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  1. Below you will see Minnesota’s projected line-up and each player’s age during the 2025 campaign. Catcher: Ryan Jeffers (27) Ryan Jeffers struggled through parts of the 2021 season, but expectations are still high for him to become the team’s primary catcher in the years ahead. In 2025, he will be 27-years-old and be in his second year of arbitration eligibility. Backing up Jeffers will likely be Ben Rortvedt, who made his debut last season. First Base: Alex Kirilloff (27) Alex Kirilloff primarily split his time between the corner outfield and first base (22 OF starts, 21 1B starts) during his brief big-league career, but first base will be his eventual defensive home. He has a chance to be one of the league’s best defenders at the position. His bat will be above average no matter where he ends up on the defensive side of the ball. In 2025, he should be a regular in the middle of the line-up while powering Minnesota’s offense. Second Base: Jorge Polanco (31) Jorge Polanco is coming off his most valuable big-league season, so it is interesting to consider what the next handful of years can mean for his career. The 2025 campaign is the last season in which he is under team control from the contract he signed before the 2019 season. Last season, FanGraphs put Polanco’s value at $31.4 million, and he will make $12 million in 2025. Shortstop: Royce Lewis (25) This winter, Minnesota has an opportunity to take advantage of one of arguably the best free-agent shortstop classes in baseball history. However, Royce Lewis is one of the team’s top prospects, and they may have confidence in him holding down shortstop to start his big-league career. He hasn’t played a game in two seasons, so the 2022 campaign will go a long way to determining his eventual defensive home. Third Base: Jose Miranda (26) Josh Donaldson’s contract can run through the 2024 season, leaving third base wide open for Jose Miranda. Expectations are for Miranda to make his big-league debut in 2022, and he should start getting regular reps at third base in the upcoming campaign. He’s coming off a tremendous season at Double- and Triple-A, and the team just added him to the 40-man roster this winter. Left Field: Austin Martin (26) Austin Martin is an intriguing prospect, but his defensive future is still up for debate. He has spent most of his professional career playing shortstop or center field, and he played a lot of third base in college. With Buxton manning center, Martin can slide to a corner outfield position and provide above-average defense. Hopefully, Martin’s power tool improves in the years ahead, so he becomes a perfect corner outfield fit. Center Field: Byron Buxton (31) If the Twins hadn’t signed Byron Buxton to an extension, multiple prospects would be considered as the team’s center fielder of the future. Lewis and Martin have both seen time in the outfield, and Gilberto Celestino has played plenty in center. Those players can be secondary options because Buxton is one of baseball’s best players when he is healthy. In the years ahead, it is going to be interesting to see how Buxton ages. Some of his game relies on speed and athleticism. Will the team have to move him out of center field by 2025? Right Field: Trevor Larnach (28) There’s no question that Trevor Larnach struggled during the 2021 season, but he had only played 43 games above the High-A level entering last year. Larnach was Minnesota’s first-round pick in 2018 because of his college experience at Oregon State and his powerful bat. By 2025, he should be a solid everyday outfielder with plenty of pop. Designated Hitter: Miguel Sano (31) Designated hitter is an interesting position to try and project for the long-term. Minnesota has multiple prospects like Brent Rooker and Aaron Sabato that don’t have a defensive home. However, Miguel Sano has hit 30 home runs or more in two of the last three seasons. Will the team be willing to continue paying him $9-10 million or turn the position over to someone younger? Who do you think fits into the team’s 2025 line-up? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. PREVIOUS YEAR’S PREDICTIONS — 2022 Line-Up — 2023 Line-Up — 2024 Line-Up
  2. Top prospect Royce Lewis and 2021 Minor League Hitter of the Year Jose Miranda headline the additions. In addition, starting pitchers Josh Winder, Cole Sands, Blayne Enlow and Chris Vallimont were also added to the roster. Despite missing the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL, Royce Lewis was an easy choice to add. The #1 pick in the 2017 draft (and current Twins Daily #1 prospect) remains a top prospect in the organization as well as in all of baseball. He participated at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul in 2020. Lewis should start the 2022 season at Double-A Wichita and from there we’ll just see how his knee and his swing and his glove respond. It's possible that Lewis ends the season with the Twins. Following the announcement, Lewis said he is excited. "It means a lot! I really appreciate any sort of opportunity." And after a lost season and lots of recovery, he added, "Always great to hear any good news!" Jose Miranda was a second-round pick in 2016 out of school in Puerto Rico. He’s always had good power potential and contact skills, but things really came together in 2021 when he hit a combined .343 with 30 doubles and 30 home runs between Wichita and St. Paul. Depending on other offseason moves, Miranda should start the 2022 season in St. Paul, hopefully continue mashing and be ready for an opening at third base, or second base, or first base with the Twins. Miranda was the Twins Daily #6 prospect in August. After hearing the news, Miranda told Twins Daily, "It means a lot, especially after a lost season last year. (I'm) excited and pumped for what the future holds, and this makes me want to work harder!" Josh Winder broke out in 2021 as well. After impressing coaches at Instructional League a year ago and at big-league spring training this year, he was fantastic in Wichita before starting out strong after his promotion to St. Paul. He pitched in the Futures Game before being shut down with shoulder issues. Assuming health, Winder may be competing for a big-league job in spring training. He’s likely to start in St. Paul but could be ready for The Call whenever needed. Winder is Twins Daily’s #11 prospect. Winder was the team’s seventh-round pick in 2018 from VMI. Two rounds earlier, the Twins selected Cole Sands out of Florida State. Although he missed a few starts with minor injuries, he had a terrific season in Double-A Wichita. Sands should start 2021 in St. Paul and could be ready by midseason. Sands is the #19 Twins Daily prospect. Chris Vallimont had an ERA over six and he walked far too many batters in 2021, but the former Marlins prospect was added to the 40-man roster because he has electric stuff. While there may be questions about if he’ll be a starter long-term, the worst case is he can be a strong bullpen arm. Vallimont is the Twins Daily #25-ranked prospect. Blayne Enlow was certainly a more difficult choice, but the team decided to believe in the future of their 2017 third-round pick. His potential, even as he continues to rehab from his May 2021 Tommy John surgery, remains very high. In 2021, he was throwing harder, mixed all of his pitches and was missing a lot more bats than he previously had. If all goes well, maybe he is making rehab appearances in June or July. If things go well and he continues to progress, he could debut by the end of the 2023 season. He ranked #17 on Twins Daily's prospect list. After hearing the news, Enlow told Twins Daily he's "just getting started." The goal, of course, is to avoid a situation like a year ago when the Twins lost Akil Baddoo to the Tigers and Tyler Wells to the Orioles. Both not only made their team out of spring training, but they both became important contributors. Last year, due to Covid, there were no minor league games in which to evaluate players. At least this year, they have game video and stats and more with which to do their evaluations. But, that doesn’t make all of the decisions easy. Here are several players at risk to be lost in the Rule 5 draft. Austin Schulfer is a potential Rule 5 pick. As a starter in 2021 in Wichita, he was touching 96 mph with good secondary pitches. Again, he might end up a reliever, but there is certainly potential in his right arm Others who could be at-risk to be selected in the Rule 5 draft include shortstop-turned-pitcher Jordan Gore who was Twins Daily’s Right-Handed Relief Pitcher All Star for his work in Cedar Rapids and Wichita in his first season on the mound. St. Paul Saints relievers Ian Hamilton and Ryan Mason are also now eligible to be Rule 5d next month. Both found success in Triple-A in 2021 and could contribute in the big leagues when called upon. Other relievers that could be selected include lefties Kody Funderburk and Zach Featherstone, along with recently-acquired Alex Scherff. Utility players are often taken in the Rule 5 draft. The Twins could potentially lose Jermaine Palacios (who re-signed with the Twins quickly this offseason), Michael Helman (who broke out power this year while playing six positions well), and Yunior Severino (former big-time prospect who hit well when he joined Cedar Rapids late in the season). In addition, Mark Contreras was left unprotected after hitting 30 doubles and 20 home runs, mostly in Triple-A St. Paul in 2021. He could be a team’s fourth outfielder right now if selected. For more information on the players added or left unprotected, click here. In order to make room, the Twins dropped several players from their 40-man roster. While the players added to the 40-man roster are very excited, the players removed from the 40-man roster are on the opposite end of the excitement spectrum. The Twins have signed OF Jake Cave to an MLB deal. They outrighted LHP Devin Smeltzer and outfielder Kyle Garlick to Triple-A St. Paul. Lefty Charlie Barnes and C/IF Willians Astudillo have been DFAd. The 40-man roster is now at 40. Jake Cave was a very productive fourth outfielder for the Twins in 2018 and 2019. Over those two seasons, he hit .262/.329/.466 (.795) with 27 doubles and 21 homers in 163 games. Over the past two seasons, he has played in 118 games and hit just .202/.263/.332 (.595) with nine doubles and seven homers. His OPS+ over those two seasons was just 64. As an arbitration-eligible player, it is likely that he agreed to a deal at the Twins terms. Willians Astudillo (aka, La Tortuga) has been a fan favorite since he was first called up to the Twins and his .355 in 29 games in 2018. He has spent time with the Twins each of the past four years, but taking out that first season, he hit just .251/.278/.382 (.659) in 138 games since the beginning of the 2019 season. That is an OPS+ of just 77, 23% below league average. Will he clear waivers? Will there be a team that thinks his ability to stand at five positions, as well as squat behind the plate, provides value? Kyle Garlick was claimed by the Twins before spring training in 2021. His ability to his left-handed pitching gave him and chance and he took full advantage of it. He hit well against southpaws, until he got hurt. He tried to rehab and come back, but he ended up having surgery on a sports hernia. He was drafted in 2015, so he could become a free agent. Devin Smeltzer made an impressive first impression in his debut in 2019. He tossed six shutout innings in his big-league debut against the Brewers and had a 3.86 ERA over 49 innings. Unfortunately, he pitched to an ERA over six in just seven games in the shortened 2020 season. In 2021, He was hurt after just one appearance and missed the rest of the season (though he did toss 4 2/3 scoreless innings). He cleared waivers. Charlie Barnes made nine appearances (8 starts) for the Twins in 2021, usually spot starts, he went 0-3 with a 5.92 ERA. However, he went 6-4 with a 3.79 ERA in 16 starts for the St. Paul Saints, so I'm sure the Twins hope that he passes through waivers unclaimed and they can outright him to Triple-A. Let's discuss the Twins additions and subtractions from the 40-man roster.
  3. Twins Daily's own Cody Christie broached this very topic two years ago when Chapman was coming off monster 2018 and 2019 seasons that earned him MVP votes in each season and an All-Star Appearance in 2019. At that time Cody speculated that the package would start with Byron Buxton and include a couple prospects based on Chapman’s recent performance and four years of team control remaining. Since then, Chapman has added a third Gold Glove to his resume, but has regressed a little on the offensive side of the ball coming off a career-low 101 wRC+ in the 2021 season. Furthermore, he’s now only under team control for two more years which diminishes his value a little more. As Forst suggested in the full quote to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, letting other teams hand out big contracts is “the cycle for the A’s”. You might remember current Twins third baseman Josh Donaldson was once an up-and-coming star for the Oakland Athletics before getting shipped to the Toronto Blue Jays for Franklin Barreto, Kendall Graveman, Brett Lawrie, and Sean Nolin... none of which were Top 100 prospects at the time and none of which have made much of an impact on the field for the A’s. OOF. The similarities between 2014 Donaldson and 2021 Chapman are quite surprising. Both players were/are 28 years old. Donaldson had one-year of team control whereas Chapman has two-years. Donaldson had two monster years and so has Chapman. Both were/are considered among the best defenders in the league. Albeit the Donaldson trade was seven years ago, can the Twins really get away with trading for Chapman without giving up a top 100 prospect? To answer that question let's look at a more recent traded involving a star third baseman on a small market team. Back in February of this year, the St. Louis Cardinals acquired Nolan Arenado and $51 million while giving up the following: LHP Austin Gomber - never top 100, 219.1 IP, 4.27 FIP, 2.35 K/BB INF Mateo Gil - never top 100, #22 prospect in COL system in 2020, unranked in 2021 INF Elehuris Montero - never top 100, #7 prospect in COL system in 2020, #4 in 2021 RHP Toney Locey - never top 100, #15 prospect in COL system in 2020, unranked in 2021 RHP Jake Sommers - never top 100, unranked in COL system in 2020 & 2021 Looking at that list of names and their resumes, there is definitely some more recent precedent that indicates the Twins may not have to “sell the farm” to acquire Chapman from the A’s, who I think most would rank below Arenado in terms of providing value to a team (not to mention the $51 million toss-in). So with all that said, what does a trade with the A’s look like involving Chapman? First thing the Twins would have to do is move on from Donaldson, who was shopped at the trade deadline, or get him to agree to be the primary Designated Hitter and relieve Chapman at third base as-needed. The former seems like a more realistic option than the latter, although the metrics clearly show that Donaldson has lost a step (or multiple steps) at the hot corner. Once we’ve opened third base, then comes working with the A’s on a deal keeping in mind the precedent that has been set and the ongoing CBA negotiations that could make any teams tentative to be aggressive until they have a more clear picture on what the next CBA entails. With that said, here are some names I would shop/include in a deal for Matt Chapman: Jose Miranda - yes, he’s coming off a monster 2021 minor league season but was that real or sustainable? Nobody knows. This could be an opportunity to sell high and what better option than giving the A’s their third basemen of the future. Josh Winder, Matt Canterino, Blayne Enlow - you can never have enough pitching but seven of their top ten prospects are pitchers which afford them some flexibility to part with one. You might have to add in another low level prospect or two, but I think it makes a lot of sense to sell high on Miranda if you’re getting a young-ish third basemen in return who you have at least two years of team control over with the ability to negotiate an extension to keep him in a Twins uniform through his prime. Are you interested in seeing Matt Chapman as a Twins if it means giving up Donaldson, Miranda, and a couple other prospects?
  4. For the second consecutive year, baseball will have an interesting offseason, filled with uncertainty. Along with the normal questions, such as: When will free agents sign? Will anything much happen before February? Which players will be non-tendered? Baseball’s current Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) expires at midnight on December 2nd. At that point, the offseason will come to a halt. For how long? That is the question. We obviously hope that a new, long-term, equitable deal can be reached before 2022 spring training is scheduled to start in mid-February, but we don’t know. If there is a work stoppage, will there be a Winter Meetings, and if not, will there be a Rule 5 draft? Certainly, but when? That is what we are here today to talk about.. The Rule 5 draft and which players the Twins may need to add to their 40-man roster or leave susceptible to the Rule 5 draft. Last year, the Twins lost both Akil Baddoo and Tyler Wells in the major-league portion, and the likes of Sam Clay, Jose Miranda, Griffin Jax and Charlie Barnes were left exposed as well. Teams have until Friday, November 19th, to add players to their 40 man roster. At the completion of the World Series, the Twins have been able to remove their free agents - Andrelton Simmons and Michael Pineda - from the 40-man roster. Alex Colome also became a free agent when the Twins declined their half of the mutual option for 2022. The Twins have claimed right-hander Jharel Cotton. The Twins are currently at 38 players on their 40-man roster. Several players will likely need to be removed in order to make room for this new group. The Twins still have to make decisions on several arbitration-eligible players as well. Offseason roster manipulation is incredibly fascinating from afar, but it has to provide most front offices with stress and headaches. With that as the backdrop, the Twins could potentially add as many as eight or even nine players from their system to their 40-man roster (pending others being removed from the 40-man), but it is more likely they add four to six players on Friday. So, here is a quick reminder of what players will be eligible for the 2021 Rule 5 draft if not protected on the 40-man roster. Here is this year’s criteria: Players who signed when they were 18 or younger in 2017 (during the minor league season). Players who signed when they were 19 or older in 2018. Players who were eligible in previous seasons are also eligible again. Players drafted in 2015 became free agents after the World Series was complete. That list includes Aaron Whitefield (who quickly signed with the Angels), Trey Cabbage, Hector Lujan, Tyler Watson, Leobaldo Cabrera and more. So, let’s take a look at the eligible players: There are always a lot of difficult decisions as it relates to adding players to the 40-man roster. That said, there are usually some Givens, then some intriguing options due to injury or age or something else. When so few players get selected in the Rule 5 draft, is it necessary to protect as many players? Or, are so few players selected because more (or the right) players get added to 40-man rosters? While I have this group ranked by how I would consider adding them, I think the Twins should have a good conversation to consider each. (which they most certainly have) THE GIVENS SS Royce Lewis - After the Twins took him with the first overall pick in the 2017 draft out of JSerra Catholic High School in California, Royce Lewis moved pretty quickly up the organizational ladder through the 2019 season. He was the MVP of the Arizona Fall League after the season. Then came 2020, a missed season for minor leaguers, but Lewis was able to participate at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. He was excited for the 2021 season, but shortly after he arrived in Ft. Myers for spring training, he was diagnosed with a torn ACL and had season-ending surgery. His rehab has gone smoothly, and his elite tools are still very clear and his ceiling remains high. Lewis is an easy choice to add to the roster. IF Jose Miranda - The 73rd overall pick in 2016 draft from Puerto Rico, Jose Miranda has hit some and always displayed a lot of power potential. In 2021, things came together for Miranda. He didn’t chase as many pitches outside the zone and made a lot of hard contact. He hit a combined .343 between Double-A Wichita and Triple-A St. Paul with 30 doubles and 30 home runs. The Twins are lucky he wasn’t selected last year and he’s a certainty to be added this year. RH SP Josh Winder - He was the Twins seventh round pick in 2018 from Virginia Military Institute. After missing 2020, Josh Winder jumped straight to Double-A Wichita and posted a 1.98 ERA and had 65 strikeouts in 54 2/3 innings. He was promoted to Triple-A and carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning of his first game. He pitched in the Futures Game and was then shut down with some shoulder issues. He sits 95-97 with his fastball and has four pitches. Easy choice. RH SP Cole Sands - Sands was the team’s fifth round pick in 2018 out of Florida State. In 2019, he started in Low-A and ended the season with a start in Double-A. That’s where he spent the 2021 season. He went 4-2 with a 2.46 ERA. He struck out 96 batters in 80 1/3 innings. Cole Sands has a low-to-mid-90s fastball and a really good curveball. While he may not be a Given, he is more than Intriguing. I think the only chance he isn’t added is if the Twins only add three players. THE INTRIGUING RHP Blayne Enlow - The most interesting case for consideration. Enlow had Tommy John surgery in early June. Normally that would mean missing the rest of the season and all of the 2022 season. However, the success of Rich Hill’s elbow surgery procedure has given the Twins confidence in its success and Enlow had that surgery which puts him on the nine-to-12 month plan. Obviously the Twins will want to be extra cautious with a pitcher as talented as Enlow. His fastball velocity has improved, his changeup has become a solid third pitch, and he’s always had a really good breaking ball. In his brief 2021 season, he was starting to show the ability to miss bats which is very encouraging. If it was me, I would add Enlow. There are a lot of things to consider though. RH SP Chris Vallimont - Chris Vallimont was the Marlins fifth-round pick in 2018 out of Mercyhurst. The Twins acquired him with Sergio Romo at the 2019 trade deadline in exchange for first baseman Lewin Diaz. The hard-throwing right-hander made 21 starts for the Wind Surge in 2021. He went 5-7 with a 6.03 ERA. In 91 innings, he walked 61 (way too many) but struck out 130 batters (an impressive 12.9 K/9). “Control” is the key. In the past, he has had good control. The stuff is really good, but can he throw enough strikes? RH RP Jordan Gore - Gore was the Twins 19th round pick in 2017 out of Coastal Carolina, and he played shortstop until near the end of the 2019 season. That’s when he began the process of becoming a pitcher. In 2021, he finally got the chance to show what he could do. Jordan Gore was impressive. At Cedar Rapids, he had 58 strikeouts in 39 2/3 innings. He moved up to Wichita and struck out 30 batters in 28 innings. He combined to go 8-2 with a 2.39 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP. He had seven saves including six at Wichita. More importantly, while his fastball sat between 93 and 96, what was impressive is that he has a good changeup and a solid breaking ball. RH SP Austin Schulfer - Another college pitcher from the 2018 draft, Austin Schulfer was the team’s 19th round pick out of UW-Milwaukee. While he split time between starting and the bullpen in 2018 and 2019, he was a starter for Double-A Wichita in 2021. He went 6-8 with a 4.34 ERA. In 110 innings, he struck out 105 batters and walked 49. In 2021, Schulfer was hitting 96 and even 97 at times with a strong three-pitch mix. While not a known prospect, Schulfer is close to MLB ready and could work out of a big-league bullpen. RH RP Ian Hamilton - The former White Sox reliever (14 games between 2018 and 2020) was Chicago’s 11th round pick in 2016 out of Washington State. The Twins claimed him last offseason and later in the year they were able to pass him through waivers and outright him to St. Paul. Because it was his first outright, he could not yet become a free agent. But, while he has control and command concerns, Ian Hamilton has really good stuff and had 86 strikeouts in 59 innings this year for the Saints. He can pitch in the big leagues, and has, which might make the right team intrigued by his stuff. SS Jermaine Palacios - Palacios originally signed with the Twins in 2013. In 2017, he became a top shortstop prospect, and the Twins were able to trade him to Tampa for Jake Odorizzi. In 2018 and 2019, he really struggled offensively. He didn’t play in 2020, and while he was offered more by other teams, Palacios decided to sign with the Twins last summer. He responded with strong shortstop defense at Double-A and hit .259/.340/.439 (.779) with 17 doubles and 19 homers. He could have become a free agent after the World Series, but he re-signed with the Twins. At 25, Jermaine Palacios could fill a utility role somewhere. THE “SETH, YOU RANKED BAILEY OBER 11th LAST YEAR” CATEGORY RH RP Ryan Mason - Went 3-2 with six saves with Wichita. In 35 1/3 innings, he struck out 38 batters (9.7 K/9). He finished the season with 13 games in St. Paul. He was 1-0 with a save. In 18 2/3 innings, Ryan Mason walked ten and struck out 25 batters. While he profiles as a low-leverage reliever, he is ready now for a big-league opportunity. RH RP Steven Cruz - When it comes to big arms, this is the one. Steven Cruz (22) sat 96-100 for Ft. Myers this year. He also has a split-change and a slider that are both 90+ on the radar too. In 46 2/3 innings with the Mussels, he walked 30 and struck out 76 (14.7 K/9). Too many walks, and struggled late in the season in two games for Cedar Rapids. Great stuff, but probably too far away from being ready to stick on a roster. C Jair Camargo - He came to the Twins in the Kenta Maeda/Brusdar Graterol trade. So 2021 was his debut in the organization. In Cedar Rapids, he hit .236/.279/.418 (.697) with seven doubles and 13 homers. Jair Camargo is a solid catcher defensively and athletic with a strong arm. Offensively, he’s got power, but he doesn’t like to take too many pitches. 2B Yunior Severino - Enough of an international prospect that he received two seven-figure signing bonuses. He fractured his thumb early in the 2019 season and there was no 2020 season. Yunior Severino began 2021 with 63 games in Ft. Myers where he posted a .740 OPS. He moved up to Cedar Rapids and in 35 games, he hit .321/.414/.493 (.907). Combined, he had 29 doubles and eight homers. Beyond second base, he can also play third base. It’s hard to imagine he would be able to stick on a big-league roster. UT Michael Helman - The Twins selected Michael Helman in the 11th round of the 2018 draft out of Texas A&M. He took major strides forward in 2021 with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. In 111 games, he hit .246/.336/.462 (.798) with 21 doubles and 19 homers. He also stole 21 bases. In addition, he can play three infield positions and had significant time at all three outfield positions in 2021. He is in the Arizona Fall League, continuing to play all over the diamond. One position that has been selected in past Rule 5 drafts are utility players. OF Mark Contreras - A ninth round pick in 2017 after four years at UC-Riverside. After winning a minor league Gold Glove, but struggling with the bat in 2019, 2021 was a big year. He played 19 games in Double-A before playing 95 games with the Saints. Combined, he hit .251/.338/.485 (.824) with 30 doubles and 20 home runs. Mark Contreras can be a fourth outfielder in the big leagues right now, but that profile isn’t what typically gets selected in the Rule 5. IF Jesus Feliz - Call me intrigued by Jesus Feliz. I was impressed with him when I saw him at spring training in 2020, so when he hit six doubles and seven homers in the less-than-hitter-friendly Ft. Myers league. He can play shortstop, but probably profiles more at third base. The power is real. He hit just .222/.289/.380, so he’s not in a position to stick on a big-league roster, but he’s one to watch. RH RP Alex Scherff - Alex Scherff has yet to pitch in the Twins organization after coming from the Red Sox in the Hansel Robles trade. Before that, he had pitched at High-A and Double-A and went 3-1 with four saves and a 2.45 ERA. In 29 1/3 innings, he struck out 46 (14.1 K/9) and walked 13. LH RP Kody Funderburk - A 15th round pick in 2018 out of Dallas Baptist, Kody Funderburk was a two-way player in college. He’s been a full-time pitcher since signing. He made 10 starts in Cedar Rapids and posted a 3.18 ERA. He moved up to Wichita and made seven bullpen appearances. He posted a 1.25 ERA in 21 2/3 innings. Combined, he struck out 82 batters in 67 innings (11.0 K/9). Right now, he’s pitching in the Arizona Fall League being seen by scouts from every organization. He’s got 19 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings. LH RP Zach Featherstone - Another two-way player, the Twins drafted Zach Featherstone as a first baseman and outfielder in the 12th round in 2016 from Tallahassee CC. However, the southpaw was moved to the mound in 2017. Unfortunately, he hurt his elbow and had Tommy John surgery early in the 2018 season. He was ready to throw late in 2019, but a hurricane ended his chance. Then a missed 2020 season. In 2021, he pitched in 40 games out of the Kernels bullpen. He went 3-4 with nine saves and a 2.13 ERA. In 55 innings, he walked too many (42) and struck out 93 batters (15.2 K/9). He is now in the AFL and has seven walks and 12 strikeouts in 8 1/3 innings. He throws hard, sitting 92-96 mph with a good slider. IF Andrew Bechtold - Andrew Bechtold was the Twins fifth round pick in 2017 from Chipola College. From 2017 through 2019, he had hit 12 combined home runs. In 99 games for Wichita in 2021, he hit .239/.328/.459 (.786) with 23 doubles and 18 home runs. He can play third base and first base, and probably some second base. The fact that he is adding ‘Catching’ to his game makes him more versatile and more valuable to a team potentially. He is currently in the AFL as well. Others in their first year of eligibility: Luis Baez, Denny Bentley, Andrew Cabezas, DaShawn Keirsey, Landon Leach, Jeferson Morales, Danny Moreno, Zach Neff, Jon Olsen, Tyler Palm, Alexander Pena, Alex Phillips, Seth Pinkerton, Miguel Rodriguez, Evan Sisk, Gabe Snyder, Wander Valdez, Chris Williams. Others returning to Rule 5 eligibility after 2021. Melvi Acosta, David Banuelos, Stevie Berman, Ernie De La Trinidad, Osiris German, Caleb Hamilton, Wander Javier, Jimmy Kerrigan, Gabriel Maciel, Josh Mitchell, Derek Molina, Daniel Ozoria, Luis Rijo, Bryan Sammons, Jesus Toledo. SUMMARY The Twins again have several interesting players to consider adding to the 40-man roster or potentially be lost in the Rule 5 draft. Like the rest of the offseason, it’s hard to feel confident about anything that’s going to happen, including the Rule 5 draft, due to a potential December 2nd work stoppage. But it will happen at some point before the 2022 season begins... we think. PREDICTION It is pretty clear that the Givens to be added are (or should be) Royce Lewis, Jose Miranda, Josh Winder and Cole Sands. I then think they will add two of the Enlow, Vallimont, Gore and Schulfer grouping, and based on my rankings, I would guess Enlow and Vallimont. The 40-man roster currently sits at 38 players. A quick glance tells me that as many as eight or nine more players could come off of it, if needed. Obviously not that many will be dropped at this time to allow for DFAs later in the offseason, as needed to make room for free agents. I think they’ll be busy in free agency and will want those roster spots available to them. They may be busy with trades too, including some of the mentioned players.. What do you think?
  5. Both Miguel Sano and Josh Donaldson are polarizing Twins players for differing reasons. The former is a hulking slugger that crushes mammoth blasts but goes through cold spells where it seems his bat has a literal hole in it. The latter is a talented slugger that holds down the hot corner but can often not be counted upon when it comes to consistent availability. This offseason, both could be on the trading block, but any return would likely focus on a re-allocation of funds rather than the asset joining the organization. Let’s first take a look at Sano. Miguel is owed $9.25 million in 2022 with a $2.75 million buyout in 2023. Minnesota is on the hook for $12 million over the next two seasons at worst. After a few years stunted by injuries, Sano played in 53 (of 60) games during 2020 and 135 last season. His .778 OPS was a far cry from the .923 mark he posted during the Bomba Squad season of 2019, but he did return the on-base percentage north of .300. His 112 OPS+ puts him just north of league average, although he was worth just 0.4 fWAR after contributing 0.5 in roughly one-third the number of games during 2020. Looking at Fangraphs valuation of fWAR, Sano has been worth just $3.5 and $4.2 million each of the past two seasons. Despite having entered Spring Training in better shape the past few years, he’s just never stayed consistent enough to produce at a high level. Unfortunately, it’s not just the Twins that are aware of this. Sano would almost undoubtedly clear waivers if Minnesota wanted to go that route, which means no one is trading for him and the current price that comes along with it. The Twins would need to eat a significant salary with even a tiny hope of bringing a warm body back in return. Internally there are immediate options to replace Sano. Alex Kirilloff becomes your everyday first basemen, and the designated hitter role gets to be a revolving door. That’s not a terrible thing, but I’m also not sure that keeping Sano as a bottom-of-the-lineup slugger sets you back at all. The cost is already sunk on Miguel, and without the ability to generate enough relief to swap him out with another impact player, riding the final season out seems wise. On Donaldson, the situation is different as he’s an above-average talent. Playing 135 games for Minnesota in 2021, coincidentally the same amount as Sano, he posted an .827 OPS. The former American League MVP has an .829 OPS in Minnesota across 163 games. He missed significant time in 2020 and then was hurt early on in 2021. Down the stretch, he became a reliable contributor but did need to be shut down in the field for a period due to his nagging calf issues. The Bringer of Rain will be 36 in 2022 and is still owed at least $51.5 million through 2023. Putting up 2.2 fWAR last season, Fangraphs valued Donaldson’s worth just north of $17 million. That still falls below the $21.75 million the Twins are on the hook annually for, and he last had back-to-back seasons of at least 3.0 fWAR in 2017. I don’t think there’s any denying that Donaldson is still a very good player and that a competing Twins team should want his talent in their lineup. He is, however, not $21 million a year good and carries a significant injury risk while continuing to age. The Twins could certainly get something nice in return for Donaldson, but it’s not going to come without eating close to half of his remaining salary and will likely be in the form of a future prospect. Ultimately I’m not sure that either player makes sense to trade if the Twins want to compete. Both Sano and Donaldson bring value to the lineup, and while their cost certainly outweighs that fact, the alternative option for either isn’t necessarily a desirable avenue. Minnesota can be done with Sano after this season should they choose, and the year ahead could provide a more straightforward path for Donaldson’s future as well. Roll with both, allow Jose Miranda to be an internal backup plan on either, and leave the spending to other areas of the roster. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Order the Offseason Handbook — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  6. Read through our choices for each position. Check out how each of our writers voted. And then discuss and cast your votes as well. Let’s get started. The Twins Daily 2021 Minnesota Twins Minor League All Star Team Catcher: Jeferson Morales - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels, Cedar Rapids Kernels Acquired: international free agent signing in October 2016 from Venezuela. 2021 Stats: .255/.370/.438 (.808) with 24 doubles, 12 home runs and 53 RBI. Just 5-8, Jeferson Morales is a really good athlete, especially for a catcher. He also played a lot in the outfield. He began the season with 71 games in Ft. Myers where he displayed a strong approach at the plate, but he also showed some power with 19 doubles and seven homers in the hot and humid conditions in Florida. He ended the season with 25 games in Cedar Rapids where he hit .301 with five doubles and five homers. Combined, he had 12 stolen bases too. ETA - May 2023 First Base: Alex Isola, Cedar Rapids Kernels Acquired: 29th round pick in 2019 from TCU 2021 Stats: .243/.342/.425 (.767) with 15 doubles, 17 home runs and 52 RBI. Alex Isola began the season with an invitation to Twins big-league spring training. A strong defensive catcher, Isola had a really good season. Early in the year, he produced by drawing a lot of walks and getting on base, but as the season continued, he started really driving the ball well. Because of that, and some injuries, he played a lot of first base when he wasn’t catching. He was also just recently named the Cedar Rapids recipient of the Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service. ETA - July 2023 Second Base: Spencer Steer - Cedar Rapids Kernels, Wichita Wind Surge Acquired: Twins 3rd round pick in 2019 out of U of Oregon 2021 Stats:.254/.348/.484 (.832) with 18 doubles, 3 triples, 24 home runs and 66 RBI The Twins have clearly made versatility a priority throughout the organization, and Spencer Steer certainly is an example of that. He played a lot at second base, third base and shortstop and does a nice job at each spot. He was a late addition to the Twins spring training development camp and played in several games. He even hit a homer in a spring game against Atlanta. It was a sign of things to come. With Cedar Rapids, he hit 10 homers in 45 games and then added 14 more in 65 games for Wichita. ETA: May 2023 Third Base: Jose Miranda - Wichita Wind Surge, St. Paul Saints Acquired: Twins Competitive Balance Pick in 2016 from HS in Puerto Rico 2021 Stats: .344/.401/.572 (.973) with 32 doubles, 30 home runs and 94 RBI. Always full of potential, Jose Miranda put together one of the most impressive seasons in recent minor league history. He hit for average. He had 62 extra base hits including 30 home runs. He drove in runs. The 23-year-old always had great bat-to-ball skills, but by working to avoid swinging at pitches outside the zone, he was able to make himself into one of the team’s top prospects and a big-league debut should be coming soon. Miranda’s rankings among all minor league (full season) players: Batting Average: 1st (.343) Slugging Percentage: 15th (.563) OPS: 8th (.960) Hits: 1st (184… 19 more than #2 on the list!) HR: Tied 11th (30) Total Bases: 1st (306… 20 more than #2 on the list!) Runs: 5th (97) RBI: 5th (94) ETA: May 2022 Shortstop: Drew Maggi - St. Paul Saints Acquired: signed as minor league free agent. 2021 Stats: .252/.354/.456 (.810) with 13 doubles, 2 triples, 16 homers and 50 RBI Drew Maggi returned to the Twins for a third straight season. The 32-year-old put together one of his best seasons as a pro, including his career-high 16 homers. Over the years, he has played all over the infield (and some outfield). This year, he played in 50 games at shortstop. He earned a September call-up to the big leagues, his first after 11 seasons in the big leagues. He spent two days on the Twins active roster, and inexplicably did not get into either of them before being optioned back to St. Paul. ETA: September 2021 Outfielder: Trey Cabbage - Cedar Rapids, Wichita Wind Surge Acquired: Twins 4th-round draft pick in 2015 out of HS in Tennessee. 2021 Stats: .264/.346/.535 (.881) with 20 doubles, 27 home runs, 82 RBI. Trey Cabbage has long been filled with power potential, and in 2021, it was on full display. He combined to hit 27 home runs (9 in Cedar Rapids and 18 in Wichita), which ranked in the Top 25 in minor league ball. Cabbage becomes a free agent when the World Series ends and should have several options available to him as the Tennessee native is still just 24-years-old. I’m certain the Twins would like to bring him back and see him take yet another step forward. ETA: August 2022 Outfielder: BJ Boyd - Wichita Wind Surge, St. Paul Saints Acquired: signed as minor league free agent in May 2021 2021 Stats: ..291/.349/.484 (.830) with 16 doubles, 16 home runs and 73 RBI. A former draft pick of the A’s, Boyd reached Triple-A in 2018. However, he decided to turn to football. He spent a year playing running back at a junior college and had scholarship offers from some Power 5 programs, but then came the pandemic. He began 2021 working with an independent team, but the Twins signed him in May, and he quickly joined Wichita’s roster. After hitting .319 with 13 doubles and 15 home runs in 66 games. He moved up and spent 26 more games with St. Paul. The 28-year-old is also now a free agent. ETA: August 2022 Outfielder - Mark Contreras - Wichita Wind Surge, St. Paul Saints Acquired: Twins 9th-round draft pick in 2017 out of UC-Riverside 2021 Stats: .251/.338/.485 (.824), with 30 doubles, 3 triples, 20 home runs and 74 RBI. Mark Contreras struggled with the bat in 2019. He hit just .186, but in his time in Double-A Pensacola, he started showing some power. After a missed 2020 season, Contreras came back strong in 2021. He started the season in Double-A with 19 games before finishing with 95 games in St. Paul where he hit 26 doubles and 18 home runs. He won a minor league Gold Glove Award in 2019, and continued to play strong defense in 2021. At 26, could he get a big-league shot in 2022? ETA: June 2022 Designated Hitter: Edouard Julien - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels, Cedar Rapids Kernels Acquired: Twins 18th-round draft pick in 2019 out of Auburn 2021 Stats: 266/.434/.480 (.914) with 28 doubles, 1 triple, 18 home runs and 72 RBI Though he was drafted in 2019 after playing in the College World Series, Edouard Julien made his professional debut in 2021 because he had Tommy John surgery that summer. Even after a missed season in 2020, the 22-year-old from Canada immediately produced in Ft. Myers. In 47 games, he hit .299 with an incredible .490 on-base percentage. He moved up to Cedar Rapids for another 65 games where he continued to get on base but added 15 home runs. He combined to steal 34 bases in 39 attempts. His 110 walks led all of minor league baseball, finishing 18 walks ahead of #2 on the list, Aaron Sabato. ETA: August 2023 Starting Pitcher: Louie Varland - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels, Cedar Rapids Kernels Acquired: Twins 15th-round draft pick in 2019 out of Concordia-St. Paul 2021 Stats: 10-4, 2.10 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 103.0 IP, 2.6 BB/9, 12.4 K/9 After being drafted, Louie Varland pitched in just three games at Elizabethton.So coming into 2021, there was no way to know what Varland would do. It didn’t take long for Varland to show out. In 10 games for Ft. Myers, he went 4-2 with a 2.09 ERA and had 76 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings. He moved up to Cedar Rapids and was 6-2 with a 2.10 ERA. In 55 2/3 innings, he struck out 66 batters. He showed a big fastball and a strong slider throughout the year. He was the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. ETA: June 2023 Starting Pitcher: Cole Sands - Wichita Wind Surge Acquired: Twins 5th-round draft pick in 2018 out of Florida State 2021 Stats: 4-2, 2.46 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 80.1 IP, 3.9 BB/9, 10.8 K/9 Cole Sands pitched at three levels in 2019, ending the season with one start in Pensacola. After a lost 2020, he began 2021 with the Wind Surge. While he missed time twice with injury-list time, when he pitched, he pitched really well. He struck out 96 batters in his 80 1/3 innings. He’s got a good fastball that reaches into the mid-90s, but he has a very good curveball. ETA: August 2022 Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder - Wichita Wind Surge, St. Paul Saints Acquired: Twins 7th round draft pick in 2018 out of Virginia Military Institute 2021 Stats: 4-0, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 72.0 IP, 1.6 BB/9, 10.0 K/9 After going 7-2 with a 2.63 ERA in 21 starts in Cedar Rapids in 2019, Josh Winder did not pitch in 2020. Then he went to Instructional League and was throwing 97 mph, and his name was on the radar. He was invited to big-league spring training and then skipped High-A ball, jumping straight to Double-A Wichita. He dominated the level. In 10 starts, he went 3-0 with a 1.98 ERA. He had 65 strikeouts and just 10 walks over 54 2/3 innings. On July 1, he was promoted to St. Paul with Jose Miranda. His first Triple-A start started with a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He then pitched at the Futures Game. When he came back, he wasn’t the same and his season ended early with a shoulder issue. Winder is definitely on the radar for the 2022 Twins. ETA: June 2022 Starting Pitcher: Jordan Balazovic - Wichita Wind Surge Acquired: Twins 5th-round draft pick in 2016 out of high school in Ontario. 2021 Stats: 5-4, 3.62 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 97.0 IP, 3.5 BB/9, 9.5 K/9 After a fantastic 2019 between Low-A and High-A, Jordan Balazovic solidified him as a top pitching prospect in the organization. He spent the final month of the 2020 season working at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. He was added to the 40-man roster soon after. He went to big-league spring training but his season was delayed a few weeks by an oblique strain. He had a streaky season. It took him a couple of starts to get adjusted, but soon after, he had a stretch of four starts in which he did not allow a run. That was followed with some struggles, but he ended strong. ETA: July 2022 Right-Handed Relief Pitcher: Jordan Gore - Cedar Rapids Kernels, Wichita Wind Surge Acquired: Twins 19th-round draft pick in 2017 out of Coastal Carolina 2021 Stats: 8-2, 7 saves, 2.39 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, 11.7 K/9 For the first three years of his pro career, Jordan Gore played primarily shortstop. In 2019, he spent the first half of the season as the Pensacola shortstop. Late that season, after Royce Lewis arrived, Gore was a utility infielder until the decision was made for him to become a pitcher. Blessed with a big arm, he was able to work throughout 2020 on how to be a pitcher and on developing secondary pitches. He began 2021 at Cedar Rapids where he went 5-1 with a save and a 2.95 ERA. He had 58 strikeouts and 17 walks in 39 2/3 innings. He moved up to Wichita and was even better. He went 3-1 with six saves and a 1.61 ERA. He consistently showed a mid-90s fastball, but he also had developed a solid slider and a changeup. He is now a sleeper pick for a spot on the Twins 40-man roster this offseason. ETA: August 2022 Left-Handed Relief Pitcher: Jovani Moran - Wichita Wind Surge, St. Paul Saints Acquired: Twins 7th-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Puerto Rico 2021 MiLB Stats: 4-2, 3 saves, 2.54 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 4.3 BB/9, 14.6 K/9 We know where his season ended, with a spot on the Minnesota Twins roster. But Jovani Moran had a terrific season in the minor leagues to earn that spot. He began the season in Wichita where he dominated. In 37 2/3 innings, he posted a 1.91 ERA and had 64 strikeouts to go with just 14 walks. He was promoted to St. Paul where he still pitched well, despite some control issues. In 29 2/3 innings, he had a 3.03 ERA and 45 strikeouts. However, he also had 18 walks. However, since he signed in 2015, he would have become a minor league free agent at the end of the World Series if not added to the 40-man roster. He has a future with the Twins, so getting him some innings in the big leagues will be beneficial. He was the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. ETA: September 2021 ------------------------------------------------------------------ PREVIOUS Twins Daily Minor League All Stars Looking Back: 2016 Twins Daily Minor League All Stars C : Mitch Garver, 1B: Zander Wiel, 2B: Luis Arraez, 3B: Nelson Molina, SS: Nick Gordon, OF: LaMonte Wade, Zack Granite, Daniel Palka, DH: Adam Brett Walker, RH SP: Fernando Romero, LH SP: Stephen Gonsalves, RH RP: Trevor Hildenberger, LH RP: Michael Theofanopoulos. Looking Back: 2017 Twins Daily Minor League All Stars C :Mitch Garver, 1B: Jonathan Rodriguez, 2B: Travis Blankenhorn, 3B: TJ White, SS: Jermaine Palacios, OF:LaMonte Wade, Zack Granite, Akil Baddoo, DH: Brent Rooker, RH SP: Clark Beeker, LH SP: Stephen Gonsalves, RH RP: John Curtiss, LH RP: Andrew Vasquez. Looking Back: 2018 Twins Daily Minor League All Stars C :Taylor Grzelakowski, 1B: Zander Wiel, 2B: Luis Arraez, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Royce Lewis, OF: Alex Kirilloff, Jaylin Davis, Akil Baddoo, DH: Brent Rooker, RH SP: Tyler Wells, LH SP: Stephen Gonsalves, RH RP: Cody Stashak, LH RP: Andrew Vasquez. Looking Back: 2019 Twins Daily Minor League All Stars C :Ryan Jeffers, 1B: Zander Wiel, 2B: Travis Blankenhorn, 3B: Spencer Steer, SS: Nick Gordon, OF: Trevor Larnach, Jaylin Davis, Brent Rooker, DH: Gabe Snyder, RH SP: Randy Dobnak, LH SP: Devin Smeltzer, RH RP: Moises Gomez, LH RP: Zach Neff ---------------------------------------------------------------- The Votes So there you have it. The fifth annual Twins Daily Minor League All Star team, though obviously we skipped a year with no 2020 season. What would your ballot look like? Below are the votes/selections of our 2021 Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth: C :Alex Isola, 1B: Tomas Telis, 2B: Spencer Steer, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Jermaine Palacios, OF: Trey Cabbage, Mark Contreras, BJ Boyd, DH: Edouard Julien. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Josh Winder, Jordan Balazovic, RH RP Jordan Gore, LH RP: Jovani Moran. Nash: C :Tomas Telis, 1B: Alex Isola, 2B: Spencer Steer, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Drew Maggi, OF: BJ Boyd, Jimmy Kerrigan, Matt Wallner, DH Brent Rooker. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Josh Winder, Jordan Balazovic. RH RP: Ian Hamilton, LH RP: Zach Featherstone. Lucas: C :Jeferson Morales, 1B: Alex Isola, 2B: Edouard Julien, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS, Drew Maggi, OF: Gilberto Celestino, Mark Contreras, BJ Boyd, DH: Trey Cabbage, SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Jordan Balazovic, RH RP: Jordan Gore, LHP: Jovani Moran. Cody: C :Jeferson Morales, 1B: Alex Isola, 2B: Spencer Steer, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Jermaine Palacios, OF: Trey Cabbage, Brent Rooker, Gilberto Celestino, DH: BJ Boyd. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Josh Winder, Jordan Balazovic. RH RP: Jordan Gore, LH RP: Jovani Moran. Tom: C :Alex Isola, 1B: Edouard Julien, 2B: Spencer Steer, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Drew Maggi, OF: Trey Cabbage, Mark Contreras, Jeferson Morales, DH: Yunior Severino. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Tyler Beck, Austin Schulfer. RH RP: Jordan Gore, LH RP: Jovani Moran. Ted: C :Roy Morales, 1B: Andrew Bechtold, 2B: Edouard Julien, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Jermaine Palacios, OF: Trey Cabbage, Mark Contreras, Jimmy Kerrigan, DH: Matt Wallner. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Kody Funderburk, Jordan Balazovic. RH RP: Ryan Mason, LH RP: Jovani Moran. Steve: C :Alex Isola, 1B: Aaron Sabato, 2B: Edouard Julien, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Jermaine Palacios, OF: Trey Cabbage, Mark Contreras, Brent Rooker, DH: Spencer Steer. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Josh Winder, Jordan Balazovic. RH RP: Jordan Gore, LH RP: Jovani Moran. Matt: C :Jeferson Morales, 1B: Aaron Sabato, 2B: Edouard Julien, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Drew Maggi, OF: Trey Cabbage, Matt Wallner, Gilberto Celestino, DH: Brent Rooker. SP: Louie Varland, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Ben Gross, Andrew Albers. RH RP: Jordan Gore, LH RP: Jovani Moran. David: C :Jeferson Morales, 1B: Aaron Sabato, 2B: Edouard Julien, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Drew Maggi, OF: Gilberto Celestino, Aaron Whitefield, BJ Boyd, DH: Trey Cabbage. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Jordan Balazovic. RH RP: Jordan Gore, LH RP: Jovani Moran. Allen: C :Tomas Telis, 1B: Aaron Sabato, 2B: Jose Miranda, 3B: Spencer Steer, SS: Drew Maggi, OF: Jimmy Kerrigan, BJ Boyd, Brent Rooker, DH: Trey Cabbage. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Ben Gross, Jordan Balazovic. RH RP: Ryan Mason, LH RP: Jovani Moran.
  7. After the Minnesota Twins fleeced the Tampa Bay Rays by swapping Nelson Cruz for Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman, they officially ended their two-and-a-half year run with a consistent designated hitter. For the first time since 2018, Rocco Baldelli had to consider who would take on that role each night when filling out his lineup card. Cruz had earned top-10 American League MVP consideration each of the past two seasons, but moving on was the right choice. A free agent looking ahead to 2022, Cruz could undoubtedly be brought back by the Twins if the parties wanted. Considering that he’s now 41-years-old and posted just a .725 OPS in 55 games with Tampa Bay, a reunion seems unnecessary. Minnesota’s lineup should be viewed as a strength with players currently within the organization plugged into it. The need for another bat-only type of player falls well down the ladder on the list of essentials. Most important, though, lineup flexibility is paramount to the playing time of talent at the big league level. Baldelli needs to figure out how to accommodate Luis Arraez, Alex Kirilloff, and Miguel Sano on a near-nightly basis. Brent Rooker hasn’t quite established himself as a necessary piece for me, but he’s in the mix, and Trevor Larnach should be expected to re-emerge quickly too. That’s a total of five names for two positions and comes without even mentioning Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year Jose Miranda. Given the reality that Josh Donaldson is entrenched at third base (but would benefit from rotational DH duties) and Jorge Polanco will play up the middle, having rotation ability at the designated hitter spot makes too much sense. I have no idea whether Miranda will hit at the big-league level like he did at Double and Triple-A. I would assume that he’s ready but will take his lumps like any young player. Larnach and Rooker both have plenty to prove, and to be frank, so too does Kirilloff. Sano is a streaky hitter but benefits from consistent at-bats and possesses 30 home run power. While you’re dealing in uncertainty with this blueprint, the same could be said about a reunion with a 41-year-old displaying a slight decline. Even if the idea is not Cruz, signing anyone to take up 140 games worth of designated hitter at-bats would be putting roster construction in a corner for the Twins. Arguably the most significant positive here is that allocation of funds can be focused elsewhere. It’s not as though Cruz’s $13 million pact in 2021 was back-breaking, but re-upping on that or doling out something similar for another option (though I don’t think Kyle Schwarber hits the open market) would be taking away funds from more pressing needs. Many teams have made a rotational designated hitter work. It’s great to have a guy you can count on to go out and rake. Still, it’s also limiting in terms of flexibility, and as the Twins transition towards a new identity (this doesn’t need to be the Bomba Squad anymore, and hasn’t been), finding who fits the mold offensively is about pushing the right buttons. Allow the skipper to do so. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  8. The Twins finished 27th overall in production from their first basemen according to FanGraphs' WAR (-0.2) during the 2021 season, with only Cleveland (-0.7), Pittsburgh (-0.9), and Kansas City (-1.0) winding up below them. (These were the only four teams to accumulate negative fWAR.) Despite ranking sixth in home runs (45), Twins' first basemen were 24th in wRC+ (97) and 29th in FanGraphs' defensive runs above average stat (-25.7). In short, Twins' first basemen, as a group, were terrible this past summer. Of course, this shouldn't come as much of a surprise to anyone who regularly tuned into the games. Miguel Sanó struggled mightily for most of the season before a hot August, and September resulted in quasi-respectable cumulative stats (30 home runs, 110 wRC+, .778 OPS). Alex Kirilloff shone brightly for 59 games before a wrist injury hampered his power, and the corresponding surgery in July sidelined him for the remainder of the season. As a result, Willians Astudillo appeared far more at first base than the Twins originally planned or his skills warranted. Arguably the best solution for the Twins' first base woes is also the easiest and most likely: Move Kirilloff to the bag and Sanó to designated hitter full-time. Kirilloff produced a 1.4 UZR in 213 ⅔ innings at first base last season, representing a slightly above average total. On the other hand, Sanó has accumulated -10.0 UZR at first base throughout his career and has never produced a positive value in a season in which he has played more than 50 innings at the position. Kirilloff's sample is too small to draw any firm conclusions — FanGraphs recommends at least three seasons of data before seeking to do so — but his early results are encouraging. Moving him to first base full-time would likely boost the team's fWAR and UZR numbers while maintaining a similar level of power at his peak. Sanó's presence at DH would also help fill the void left by Nelson Cruz's trade to the Tampa Bay Rays. Secondarily, the Twins could make Kirilloff the primary first baseman, move on from Sano, seek backups in either the free agent, waiver, or trade market, or rely on their prospects to fill in part-time. The first base free-agent class is heavy at the top with names such as Freddie Freeman and Anthony Rizzo and lacks overall depth, making an acquisition of that nature unlikely. Likewise, trades for primary backups are rare unless said backup provides value at other positions. As such, perhaps the most logical solution in this scenario would be to have Jose Miranda serve as a utilityman, filling in at third, second, and first base, assuming Josh Donaldson remains on the roster. Miranda played 225 innings at first base across Double- and Triple-A last summer, committing two errors. Many evaluators — present company included — believe he is best defensively at third due to several factors: arm strength, feel for the glove, and range. Still, he could function well at first base in spot situations. Regardless of the path they ultimately take, the Twins need more from their first basemen if they wish to be competitive during the 2022 season. Moving a healthy Kirilloff into the role is most logical and would likely provide a boost both offensively and defensively. From there, it's on the shoulders of Derek Falvey and Thad Levine to make the proper decisions. 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
  9. Back in August, Lucas Seehafer provided a comprehensive breakdown of some roster decisions facing the Twins. Some of those players have already made their big-league debuts, and others have completed their seasons. The 40-man roster "locks" category is where we can focus today, and the four names that will soon be elevated are worth noting. Jose Miranda, INF The Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year put up one of the most decorated seasons in recent prospect memory. Miranda posted a .973 OPS across 127 games at Double and Triple-A. I’m still not sure where he fits on the Opening Day roster for the Twins, but it is very evident that he’s ready to make an impact. Miranda could feel a further squeeze if and when Derek Falvey signs a shortstop, but on his own, you can bet he’ll keep pushing his way in. Josh Winder, RHP After a solid pro-debut season in 2019, Winder gained plenty of steam during Spring Training 2021. He did little to stop the hype train when he posted a 1.98 ERA in 10 Double-A starts before a promotion to Triple-A. Winder got just four starts for the Saints before being shut down due to injury. He’ll need to build back up this offseason and return with a clean bill of health, but barring those realities taking place, he should be expected to make starts in Minnesota in 2022. Cole Sands, RHP Another arm with an opportunity to take a further leap in 2022, Sands was a 5th round pick back in 2018. He made 18 starts for Double-A Wichita this season and turned in a 2.46 ERA. Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran drew the initial talk this season, but Sands posted the performance worthy of the hype. His 10.8 K/9 was impressive, and it’s another head-turning set of outcomes following his 2019 season. Like Winder, Sands should find himself as an option for Rocco Baldelli next season. Royce Lewis, SS Once Minnesota’s top prospect and among the best in baseball, Lewis has some work ahead of him. He slumped in 2019 and was set to break out in a big way before an ACL tear ended his 2020 season before it began. Whether it’s at shortstop or in the outfield, his skillset can potentially translate into a franchise cornerstone. Lewis is a high-character guy and will undoubtedly be an asset when it comes to roster construction. I’m not sure how his timeline will look having missed two consecutive seasons worth of games, but the talent could force Minnesota’s hand sooner rather than later. The Twins have more than a handful of options to add to the 40-man roster this offseason, and some of those on the fringes will be tough calls, but it’s this group of four that will certainly be added to the fold. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  10. Jose Miranda has been a very intriguing Twins prospect since being drafted in the 2nd round of the 2016 MLB draft out of Puerto Rico. He always had immense potential with the bat, but the numbers hadn't quite shown up yet. In 2021, Miranda broke out in a way that we rarely see from a prospect. After a strong showing in the Puerto Rican Winter League and Caribbean Series, Miranda was invited to Twins big-league spring training. He began the season by playing 47 games with the Double-A Wichita Wind Surge. He hit .345/.408/.588 (.996) with eight doubles and 13 home runs. He was promoted to Triple-A St. Paul in early July and in his first game, he launched three home runs. In 80 games with the Saints, he hit .343/.397/.563 (.960) with 24 doubles and 17 home runs. For dramatic effect, let's take a look at his overall numbers too. He hit an impressive .343/.401/.572 (.973) with 32 doubles, 30 home runs and 94 RBI. He performed with the bat while playing all around the infield. He played 54 games at third base, 34 games at second base, and 28 games at first base. In Wichita, he made a couple of starts and shortstop, and in St. Paul, he made three starts in left field. Miranda has found himself with several accolades already this season including the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year Award, the Twins Sherry Robertson Minor League Best Player Award, and MLB Pipeline had him on their first-team all prospect team. Join us on your lunch break as we go live at 12:30 pm central time. You can then participate by sending your questions. We'll cover a ton of topics over about 20-25 minutes. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Please watch LIVE Monday at 12:30 pm (central time) on the Twins Daily Twitter, Facebook or YouTube pages live. Also feel free to ask questions in the comments below or on those platforms during the show and we'll ask them. Subscribe to the Twins Daily podcast on Libsyn, Apple iTunes or anywhere you download podcasts. For more on Jose Miranda : Follow Jose on Instagram at @jfmp_. Follow Jose on Twitter at @Franki2998. Click here for dozens of Twins Daily articles on Jose Miranda. Previous Episodes Click here to see more previous episodes of Twins Spotlight.
  11. Three of Twins' top position prospects have a chance to debut during the 2022 season. Minnesota's front office must consider each prospect's defensive future when making a blueprint to be competitive in 2022. Here is a look at how some of the team's top prospects stack up on the defensive side of the ball. Royce Lewis Current Position: SS One of the Twins' questions to decide this winter is what position Lewis will play for the long-term. If Minnesota feels like he is still a shortstop, there is no reason to spend big money on the current free-agent class. There were defensive questions about Lewis before this recent injury, and those questions will follow him moving forward. He is back on the field, but he hasn't taken any defensive reps in game action yet. He has the speed and athleticism that should make him an above-average player at multiple positions. Future Position: Center Field Austin Martin Current Position: CF/SS Martin played six different defensive positions in college before settling in at third base. During the 2021 season, he got reps at shortstop and center field. After being traded to the Twins, Martin finished the year playing at Double-A, and he logged more innings in center than at shortstop. There are questions about his infield arm, which might push him to the outfield for the long term. However, he has shown the ability to play multiple defensive positions, which can be valuable to a big-league team. Future Position: Outfield Jose Miranda Current Position: Infield During his breakout 2021 season, Miranda logged over 200 innings at first, second, and third. This defensive flexibility should help him to find a role at the big-league level. It was a little surprising he didn't make his MLB debut at the end of 2021, but he certainly cemented his place in the team's long-term plans. If Josh Donaldson is traded this winter, Miranda can slide into third base for the 2022 season. Even if Donaldson stays, nothing is saying he will be healthy for the entire season. This should give Miranda the chance to be part of the big-league roster at some point in 2022. Future Position: Third Base There are other off-season decisions tied to each of these players. Will Minnesota sign Buxton to a long-term extension? That can change the long-term plan for Martin or Lewis. Will the Twins trade Donaldson? That can open up third base for Miranda. Depth is essential when creating a big-league roster, and these prospects have the defensive flexibility to add long-term value to the team's outlook. Which player do you think has the best chance to stick at their current defensive position? 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. 1. Pitching Depth is the Strength... For years, the Twins were known for producing soft-tossing pitchers and preaching a pitch-to-contact approach. However, if one needs an example to display that is no longer the case, it would be challenging to produce a more blatant example than the 2021 season. Partially due to the natural evolution of the game as well as the Derek Falvey and Thad Levine regime's propensity to select hard-throwing high schoolers and college arms with solid reputations, the Twins farm system is currently replete with pitching talent. Jhoan Duran and Chase Petty are among those who sit in the upper 90s and touch 100 mph with regularity. Sawyer Gipson-Long, Matt Canterino, and Louie Varland all boasted K% north of 30%. There's so much talent in the system that top prospects Jordan Balazovic, Josh Winder, Cole Sands, and Simeon Woods Richardson couldn't even be bothered to pop up until the fifth paragraph of this article! And the talent doesn't stop at the backend of the starting rotation. While Jovani Moran and his 42% strikeout rate earned a promotion to the big league club by the end of the season, he was only one of a handful of genuine bullpen arms that excelled over the summer. Zach Featherstone, Jordan Gore, Osiris German, Aaron Rozek, Yennier Cano, and Denny Bentley put up huge strikeout numbers across various levels, and all boasted ERAs below 3.40. Ian Hamilton, a former top prospect in the White Sox system, put together a strong season at Triple-A, and it could be argued that he deserved a call-up at multiple points this season. In short, this is no longer your Dad's Twins farm system. Their approach to acquiring and developing pitching is night and day from 5-10 years ago. In short order, the team will be reaping the benefits of what they sowed, whether by advancing critical pieces to the majors or by swapping prospects for MLB-ready talent. 2. …, However, Offensive Depth is Lacking It's well known at this point that infield prospect Jose Miranda had one of the best seasons in all of MiLB this past summer. The 23-year-old slashed .344/.401/.572 to go along with 30 home runs, 32 doubles, and a 158 wRC+ across Double- and Triple-A en route to garnering numerous awards. Besides Miranda, who could play a prominent role on the Twins as early as next spring, the system lacks definite MLB-caliber offensive talent, particularly up the middle. Top prospects Royce Lewis and Austin Martin possess the raw talent to succeed at the MLB level for years to come. However, Lewis has not played organized baseball for nearly two years due to COVID and injury, and neither are guaranteed to stick at shortstop. (In fact, Martin played the majority of his innings in centerfield after coming over from the Toronto Blue Jays in the Jose Berrios trade.) Utility guy Edouard Julien put together arguably the most potent offensive season besides Miranda — he posted a 154 wRC+ due largely to his absurd 21.4% walk rate. He also showed more pop (18 home runs, 28 doubles) and base stealing ability (34 in 39 attempts) at Low- and High-A than he did while at Auburn University. However, he lacks a true defensive home, having appeared all over the diamond this past summer, though he is most robust at second base. Beyond the two, the Twins top offensive performers, according to FanGraphs, were a who’s-who of borderline top 30 prospects and minor league veterans. Luckily for the Twins, the majority of their offense at the big league level comprises established athletes who are under contract, so the need for prospects to reach the majors next summer is at a minimum. However, beyond the summer of 2022, the lack of offensive depth in the system may begin to rear its head unless key pieces are retained or a few of the borderline prospects breakout. 3. Watching Minor League Ball was a Good Distraction Perhaps distraction isn't the correct term here. The Twins were terrible this year and, at many points, virtually unwatchable. But their minor league teams all performed well this year and served as an excellent alternative for the baseball hungry. There are many issues with minor league baseball — the players are poorly compensated, the life is a grind, the production value of non-Twins streams was often pretty bad, etc. — but baseball is baseball at the end of the day. Few teams across MLB put forth a better minor league product than the Twins, which made the summer much more enjoyable. 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. 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)
  14. MINOR LEAGUE END OF THE YEAR AWARDS There have been quite a few bright spots around the Twins' farm system throughout the 2021 season. Yet through all the ups, downs, wins, and losses there were a number of players who distinguished themselves as crowned jewels. Congrats to all of our 2021 Minor League 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 The Saints placed catcher Ben Rortvedt on the IL with a concussion. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 2, Toledo 0 Box Score A late-inning blast and dominant pitching led to a gutsy win for the Saints on Thursday night at Fifth Third Field. After six innings of a stalemate, the Saints struck the scoreboard in the top of the seventh. Leadoff man Jose Miranda reached on a hit by pitch and eventually moved his way to third on a groundout and wild pitch. He may as well stayed at first. Moments later, Mark Contreras launched a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall to give the Saints a 2-0 lead. The blast was Contreras' 18th on the year and fifth in September. Starting pitcher Derek Law was rock solid on the night, tossing three innings of scoreless ball. Law allowed three hits and two walks while striking out four. And while Law kicked off the party, the guest of honor title belonged to the St. Paul bullpen. The duo of Chandler Shepherd and Yennier Cano rattled off six innings of scoreless ball to hold the lead for the Saints. Shepherd was nearly perfect through four innings, giving up one hit, zero walks, and striking out three. Cano entered in the eighth and put the nail in the coffin for St. Paul. After a smooth eighth, Cano gave up a one-out double to Mud Hen shortstop Ryan Kreidler. It didn't matter. Cano regained the momentum and struck out the next two batters to seal the deal for the Saints. The Mud Hens outhit St. Paul 5-2, with a Jose Miranda single playing as the only other hit for the Saints in addition to Contreras' blast. Yet when it came to crunch time, Toledo couldn't convert, going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The Saints are now 5-2 in the Final Stretch of the season. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Mark Contreras (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, K Pitcher of the Day: Chandler Shepherd (St. Paul)- W, 4.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, H, 5 K PROSPECT SUMMARY #6- Jose Miranda (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, R #7- Joe Ryan (Minnesota)- Game in progress #13- Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul)- 0-for-4, K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota)- Game in progress FRIDAY'S PROBABLE STARTER St. Paul @ Toledo (6:05PM CST) RHP Beau Burrows (4-5, 5.16 ERA)
  15. Recently named the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year, the Twins Minor League Player of the Year, and the MLB Pipeline All-Prospect 1st Team, Miranda has picked up all of the accolades. It’s hard to be surprised, given his performance. For the season, he owns a .347/.403/.574 (.977) slash line along with 60 extra-base hits, of which 29 are home runs. His 73/41 K/BB rate suggests a strong eye and plate discipline ability, and despite the year with no minor league action, it’s hard to see anything but an immense amount of work put in. For a Minnesota Twins team that saw their season end essentially before it ever got off the ground, it’s worth wondering how Miranda wasn’t selected to see action at the big-league level. The role isn’t straightforward, though, and it’s something Derek Falvey and Rocco Baldelli will need to sort out for the year ahead. In 2021, Miranda played games at every infield position aside from catcher, and he even got three starts in left field. Primarily a third basemen, that role is currently occupied by Josh Donaldson, who has been one of the Twins better hitters and is signed to a large contract. Miranda is blocked at second base by one of the game’s best in Jorge Polanco, and he’s miscast playing shortstop. It appeared that the Twins wanted to see his abilities at first base, but that’s a role currently held down by Miguel Sano and likely Alex Kirilloff next season. So, where does he go? Had the Twins dealt Donaldson at the trade deadline, it essentially would’ve been to swing a cash dump. Donaldson, and more notably his contract, will never net the Twins anything close to an equal value. Given his uptick in production, it made sense to keep him around for the year ahead. If Minnesota is entering a rebuild, though, Donaldson’s services are much less needed, and he’d likely desire an opportunity to win elsewhere. The man at the hot corner remains much of the linchpin to this situation, though. Suppose Donaldson was out of the picture, an immediate opening is created for Miranda. He could slot in as Baldelli’s everyday third basemen. The other option would be to roll with Jorge Polanco as the team’s shortstop next season. We’ve seen that he’s stretched defensively in that position, and for a guy who’s looked so good at second base, it’d be a tough sell to put him in that spot. With Polanco at short though, Miranda could draw the most starts at second base, with Luis Arraez continuing to operate in a super-utility role as he has. The other possibility is at first base, moving Miguel Sano to a full-time designated hitter role. That forces Alex Kirilloff into the outfield, however, and leaves Trevor Larnach or Max Kepler twisting in the wind. Sano being the primary designated hitter also reduces the lineup flexibility for Baldelli on a nightly basis. It's an option, but wouldn't strike me as a desirable one. No matter what the decision-making process is, the Twins need a solution. Miranda was not a top-100 prospect entering the season, but coming off his production at the highest levels and being just 23-years-old, forcing his way into the immediate plans has been accomplished. From my perspective, the Twins still need to sign a starting-caliber shortstop, preferably on a one-year deal. That doesn’t help the chances of Miranda making the Opening Day roster or squeezing his way in quickly, but if there’s anything we’ve learned from 2021, it’s that the roster turnover comes quickly and often. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  16. Before jumping into the details of the Saints game, if you missed any of our minor league awards articles, you can read them here: Minor League Hitter of the Year: Jose Miranda Minor League Starting PItcher of the Year: Louie Varland Minor League Relief PItcher of the Year: Jovani Moran TRANSACTIONS Twins reinstated Joe Ryan from bereavement list, Charlie Barnes optioned to Triple-A St. Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Toledo 4, St. Paul 3 Box Score Jason Garcia made the start tonight for Saint Paul and he turned in 5 2/3 innings of scoreless work. Garcia gave up just two hits while punching out six and walking only two batters. He did plunk one of the top prospects in baseball, however. The Saints recorded 11 hits on the evening but were able to push across just three runs. Mark Contreras kicked off the scoring with a 1st inning single to score Jose Miranda (who had doubled). St. Paul then added two more in the 2nd inning on a Drew Stankiewicz liner and Miranda's second double. Toledo’s talented roster made things interesting late with top prospects Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson both contributing. Ian Gibault allowed a 9th inning double that plated the tying Mud Hens run before the next batter walked St. Paul off with a single up the middle. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Jason Garcia (St. Paul) - 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 4-5, R, RBI, 2 2B PROSPECT SUMMARY #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 4-5, R, RBI, 2 2B #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-4 #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo (5:35 PM CST) - RHP Derek Law (1-1, 2.84 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the Saints game on Wednesday or any other minor league topics you would like!
  17. It’s not wise to overreact to a robust 15 games in the Puerto Rican Winter League, especially for a Minor Leaguer who hit just .252/.302/.369 in the prior season. For Jose Miranda, though, it was a glimpse into the future. His strong showing for Caguas was no mirage: he was improving. Miranda always possessed an elite ability to make contact, evidenced by his solid batting averages and low strikeout rates throughout his first handful of years in the minors. That’s why his power surge is so exciting. Starting the year with Wichita at Double-A, Miranda came out firing. He began the season going 13-for-32 (.406) with a double and three homers and never looked back. Miranda’s last 20 games before his promotion were outstanding. He hit .386 with a 1.085 OPS with seven homers and two doubles. Miranda’s ultimate statement came on June 29th in his debut for the Saints. He hit three homers, drove in six runs, and added a double in one of the best Triple-A unveilings you’ll ever see. Miranda proved that his great stretch in Wichita was no mirage. Miranda’s 153 wRC+ at Triple-A is the third-highest for a Twin since 2006 (min. 300 plate appearances). His 162 wRC+ at Double-A is tied for the third-best in that span. Miranda added patience to his profile while still maintaining a strikeout rate below 13%. He’s walking more, hitting for elite power, and spraying the ball all over the field. There are very few flaws to point out in his 2021 campaign. The 23-year-old leads the minors with 292 total bases, 176 hits, and 568 plate appearances. He’s started 48 games at third base, 29 at second base, 26 at first base, and 12 at Designated Hitter. He offers the infield versatility that the Twins value. So what does the future hold? Well, it’s interesting. While Miranda seemingly has nothing left to prove in the minors, there’s a log jam on the Twins’ roster. Josh Donaldson and Miguel Sanó (option) are both under contract at the corners until 2023. Alex Kirilloff impressed in his debut at first base, and Jorge Polanco had an MVP-level season at second. If that’s not enough, Luis Arraez needs a spot too. These things tend to work themselves out, so for now, let’s appreciate this incredible season from Jose Miranda. His future looks bright and offers hope that more contact-oriented prospects (like Austin Martin) can develop power in this system. While the Twins struggled to win games throughout the 2021 season, many fans found hope in the minors, especially in Jose Miranda. Congratulations, Jose! Below are the Top 8 Twins Minor League Hitters in 2021 (according to our 10-person, Twins Daily minor league writing staff) as well as others who received votes. If you click on their names, you will be directed to the search results for that player and find several other articles they are tagged in. TOP 8: 1. IF Jose Miranda - (.342/.400/.568 with 29 doubles, 29 homers at AA/AAA) T-2. 1B/OF Trey Cabbage - (.264/.346/.535 with 20 doubles, 27 homers at High-A/AA) Cabbage blasted 27 homers in 108 games and finished his season with a .535 slugging percentage. He posted an OPS over .880 for both Cedar Rapids and Wichita. T-2. IF Edouard Julien - (.266/.434/.480 with 28 doubles, 18 homers at Low-A/High-A) Julien stole 34 of 39 bases, hit 18 homers and walked 110 times in a breakout season. Julien mashed for Fort Myers before hitting .247/.397/.494 in Cedar Rapids. 4. IF Spencer Steer - (.254/.348/.484 with 18 doubles, 24 homers at High-A/AA) Steer found his power in 2021, stroking 24 homers across two levels. Steer posted a .915 OPS at Cedar Rapids and hit 14 homers for Wichita. 5. OF Mark Contreras - (.253/.341/.488 with 29 doubles, 19 homers at AA/AAA) Contreras is quietly hitting .253/.341/.488 and improved after a promotion to St. Paul. It was his best season as a Minor Leaguer. 6. OF BJ Boyd - (.294/.352/.491 with 15 doubles, 16 homers at AA/AAA) Boyd posted a .923 OPS in Wichita and earned a late season promotion to Triple-A. Boyd hadn't played professional baseball since 2018 but impressed in his return. 7. OF Jimmy Kerrigan - (.265/.336/.487 with 16 doubles, 19 homers at AA/AAA) Kerrigan is a steady force for the Saints, hitting .265/.336/.487 in over 100 games. Kerrigan has tallied 169 total bases, the most in his career. 8. OF Brent Rooker - (.245/.367/.564 with 8 doubles, 20 homers at AAA) Rooker destroyed at Triple-A before another promotion to Minnesota, where he's working himself into a 2022 role. "Rook" hit 20 homers in 62 games for the Saints. OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: OF Gilberto Celestino - (.280/.379/.431, 7 HR, 16 2B at AA/AAA) OF Matt Wallner - (.264/.350/.508, 15 HR, 14 2B, 2 3B at A+) IF/OF Drew Maggi - (.255/.358/.470, 16 HR, 13 2B, 2 3B at AAA) IF Yunior Severino - (.273/.372/.430, 8 HR, 29 2B, 2 3B at A/A+) IF/OF Michael Helman - (.246/.336/.462, 19 HR, 21 2B, 4 3B at A+) SS Jermaine Palacios - (.259/.340/.439, 19 HR, 17 2B at AA) C/1B Alex Isola - (.243/.342/.425, 17 HR, 15 2B at A+) C/OF Jeferson Morales - (.255/.370/.438, 12 HR, 24 2B at A/A+) C/1B Tomás Telís - (.292/.336/.411, 11 HR, 11 2B, 2 3B at AAA) 1B/3B Andrew Bechtold - (.239/.328/.459, 18 HR, 23 2B at AA) OF Ernie de La Trinidad - (.266/.344/.415, 9 HR, 12 2B, 2 3B at AA) PREVIOUS WINNERS: 2012 - Oswaldo Arcia 2013 - Miguel Sano 2014 - Mitch Garver 2015 - Max Kepler 2016 - Daniel Palka 2017 - Mitch Garver 2018 - Alex Kirilloff 2019 - Trevor Larnach
  18. TRANSACTIONS None Saints Sentinel St. Paul 11, Iowa 1 Box Score Andrew Albers: 5 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K HR: David Bañuelos (3) Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (3-for-6, 2B, R, 3 RBI), David Bañuelos (2-for-4, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB) The Saints steamrolled the Cubs on Sunday. St. Paul took all the way until the 2nd inning to score a number of runs that would be wholly unnecessary for them to win. A wild pitch plated B.J. Boyd before Jose Miranda brought two more runners in safely with a single up the middle. Miranda racked up three RBIs in the game; his first time doing that since… Friday. David Bañuelos provided the firepower for the 3rd inning. He unclogged the bases with a two-run double that put St. Paul up 5-0 after the first third of the game. They would be far from done scoring. The 7th inning would prove to be the most fruitful for the Saints’ offense. Jose Miranda flexed his muscles once more and banged a run-scoring double to take the lead 7-1. Drew Maggi singled home a run before B.J. Boyd tripled home two more. Mr. Bañuelos added a solo homer in the 8th for good measure. In total, the Saints offense knocked ten hits, walked an astounding 13 times, and scored 11 runs. Somehow, actually, it seems that the Cubs got off easier than they should have. But it did not matter as Andrew Albers and the rest of the Saints pitching staff carried the torch the rest of the way. Albers allowed a single run over his five excellent innings of work while Ian Hamilton, Derek Law, and Ian Gibaut combined to hold Iowa’s offense scoreless. In total, the three relievers struck out five, walked one, and allowed one hit en route to that lopsided victory. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 0, Quad Cities 5 Box Score Cody Laweryson: 1/3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Kernels lost Game 5 to Quad Cities, finish second in High-A Central League. Cody Laweryson was wild early. Four of the first five hitters he faced reached base, and he was pulled after throwing 26 pitches to net one out. Denny Bentley held the bleeding to just a pair of runs, but he was also touched up for two runs over his 2 2/3 innings of work. Derek Molina was the most effective out-getter of the night as he allowed no runs over 2 2/3 innings while striking out three batters. Even if the River Bandits failed to score after the 1st inning, they still would have won the game. The Kernels’ offense was completely blanked in the game as, despite walking eight times, they were unable to score a run. In a unique outcome, the team left ten men on base despite only having two hits in the ballgame. The River Bandits gave the Kernels a plethora of opportunities to plate a run, but the offense could not find a single hit with a runner on base. DaShawn Keirsey tried to kick-start the bats with a 9th inning double-the only extra-base hit of the game for Cedar Rapids-but he was stranded at second. It was a tough loss for a team that was in the driver’s seat just two days ago. Cedar Rapids was up 2-1 in the series but lost on Saturday and Sunday, and they now find themselves as the second place team in the High-A Central, as they were in the regular season. Nonetheless, it was an impressive season for the team as they were without Matt Canterino and Blayne Enlow for most of the year, and only had one healthy player from our Twins Daily Top 20 on the roster for the final game (Matt Wallner). TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Andrew Albers Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – David Bañuelos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-6, 2B, R, 3 RBI #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, K #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, K #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-2, 2 K
  19. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Iowa 1 Box Score Some nights, great pitching and Jose Miranda is all you need to secure a win. Tonight was one of those nights. Charlie Barnes got the start on the mound for St. Paul tonight and he was excellent in a shortened outing. He went four innings and allowed only one run, while accumulating four strikeouts. Barnes threw 70 pitches in this one and wasn’t showing signs of slowing down, so his removal from the game is likely to keep him fresh for potential major league service in the future. The one Cubs run came in the top of the third on an Abiatal Avelino RBI single off Barnes. Fortunately, though, the Saints struck in the bottom of the inning when Jose Miranda belted a no-doubter three-run shot. That blast proved to be all the Saints would need. After Barnes was removed, Beau Burrows entered the game in the fifth, charged with getting the fifteen-out save (not a thing). Burrows was even more fantastic, though, as he didn’t allow a hit until the ninth inning and struck out six Cubs. He did allow two hits in the ninth, but did not allow a run over all five of his innings, and the Saints took the game 3-1. St. Paul improves to 2-1 in the Triple-A Final Stretch. WIND SURGE WISDOM Double-A Central Championship Series Game 3: NW Arkansas 6, Wichita 2 (NW Arkansas wins series 3-0) Box Score Needing a win after their top two arms got roughed up in games one and two, the Wind Surge put the ball in the capable right hand of Austin Schulfer tonight in Riverfront Stadium’s playoff debut. However, a fourth inning grand slam ruined the night for Schulfer and the Surge, and their comeback hopes in this game and in the series never got started. The packed home crowd was amped up early and Jermaine Palacios gave them something to cheer about in the second when he stroked a ball 400 feet the left and bat-flipped the Surge to a 1-0 lead. The Naturals grabbed that run back in the third with a sac fly scoring Blake Perkins, who advanced two bases on an errant Schulfer pickoff attempt. After a close out call at the plate kept Wichita from retaking the lead, Brewer Hicklen, who made a game-saving catch in Game 1, pumped a grand slam over the left field wall to take the air out of the Wichita crowd and give NW Arkansas a 5-1 lead. Spencer Steer doubled and later scored on an Andrew Bechtold groundout in the fourth, but the offense couldn’t build on that and the next run of the game came in the seventh in favor of the Naturals, making it 6-2. In fact, the Surge didn’t put together a meaningful threat the rest of the game and that 6-2 scoreline was enough to earn the Naturals a dog-pile on the infield grass. Schulfer ended up pitching four innings, allowing five runs (four earned) while striking out four. He gave way to Kody Funderburk, who allowed just one run in three innings. Jordan Gore finished the game with two innings of scoreless work. On offense, the Surge grabbed seven hits but, as they have for much of the stretch run, they struggled to bring runs in. Jermaine Palacios and Austin Martin had multi-hit games. KERNELS NUGGETS High-A Central Championship Series Game 3: Cedar Rapids 8, Quad Cities 4 (Cedar Rapids leads series 2-1) Box Score After splitting the first two games, the Kernels endured a lengthy delay and turned to the long ball, bopping 4 homers en route to a crucial 8-4 Game 3 victory. Quad Cities opened their account in the first inning with a Logan Porter RBI single, but DaShawn Kiersey Jr. had an answer in the form of a two-run homer that gave the Kernels a 2-1 second-inning lead. In the third inning, the Kernels loaded the bases but their threat was interrupted by a rain delay. Well over an hour later, the game picked up again and Kiersey flew out to end the threat, permanently this time. In the fourth, though, Edouard Julien doubled the Cedar Rapids lead with a solo homer, and a few batters later, Alex Isola followed suit. Isola’s blast was worth three though, and the Kernels took a 6-1 lead. Quad Cities got a run back in the fifth, but Julien was back at it again in the sixth, with another solo bomb. And, Michael Helman added on another when he doubled and later scored on a Matt Wallner sac fly. Quad Cities got two runs back in the seventh to cut the lead to 8-4 that was as close as their comeback attempts would get and the Cedar Rapids Kernels are one win away from the title. Casey Legumina got the start for Cedar Rapids and allowed one run in two innings but after the lengthy delay, this one became a bullpen game. Adam Rozek matched Legumina, allowing one run over the third and fourth innings. Derek Molina took over and pitched 2 1/3 innings and allowed two runs, though only one was earned. Carlos Suniaga allowed a few hits, but finished the game with two scoreless innings. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Beau Burrows (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day - Edouard Julien (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR, BB, K PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-3, BB #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-3, BB, HR (16), 3 RBI #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, RBI, 2 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-3, BB #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, K #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, 2B, R, 2 K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Drew Strotman (9-4, 5.13 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (3-3, 4.55 ERA in regular season) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games!
  20. 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!
  21. Every November, teams determine which minor leaguers they will add to their 40-man roster and hence, protect from losing in December’s Rule 5 draft. The decisions sometimes are difficult. Who might be selected? Who would be able to stick on the big-league roster throughout the season if they were selected? Twins Daily's Nash Walker breaks it down in the following video: Those decisions were made even more difficult last offseason by the lost minor league season due to the global pandemic. There weren’t as many data points for teams to evaluate, and in some cases, players had been away from team activities for six to eight months. Let’s just jump into it. AKIL BADDOO The Tigers selected outfielder Akil Baddoo with the second pick of the Rule 5 draft. Baddoo was an immensely talented prospect selected in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft. In 2018 at Cedar Rapids, he hit .243/.351/.419 (.770) with 22 doubles, 11 triples, 11 homers and 24 stolen bases. The season showed his skill set. He had a combination of speed and power, and while he didn’t hit for average, he knows the strike zone and took his walks. Unfortunately after just 29 games in Ft. Myers in 2019, in which he hit .214/.290/.393 with three doubles, three triples, four homers and six steals, Baddoo needed Tommy John surgery and missed the rest of the season. As the 2020 season approached, I talked to Baddoo in spring training. He felt great, but he would have started the season DHing and gradually getting more time in the outfield. With outfielders such as Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Brent Rooker, Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach and Gilberto Celestino ahead of him on the depth chart, the Twins took a chance by leaving him off the 40-man roster. There’s no doubt the team knew he could be taken, but could he make an opening day roster and stick in the big leagues for a full season after so much missed time, and limited production in A-ball. Baddoo had a big spring training, showing a lot of power, and he made the Tigers Opening Day roster. As important, he got off to a fast start. In his first nine games, he hit .370/.379/.963 (1.342) with two doubles, a triple and four home runs. Of course, Twins fans will recall that he had some huge moments early against his former organization. In his first game against his former teammates, he hit a grand slam. In his second game, he had a walk off single. In his third game, he had a big, RBI triple. The Twins played the Tigers going into the All Star break and then coming out of the break. In the pre-break game, he had a homer and three RBI. In the first game back from the break, he had a triple and three RBI. To say that he has performed well against the Twins might just be an understatement. In 14 games against the Twins, he has hit .327/.340/.673 (1.013) with five doubles, two triples, three homers and 14 RBI. In 97 games against all other teams, he has hit .244/.322/.410 (732) with 29 extra base hits. In 111 total games, Baddoo has hit .255/.324/.448 (.772) with 20 doubles, 12 homers and 49 RBI. He has 14 steals and leads the league with seven triples. At age 23, he has made himself into a key cog in a Tigers team that has a lot of young players and appears ready to start contending in the AL Central in the coming years. TYLER WELLS Baddoo got all of the fanfare early in the season, and understandably so, but the Twins lost a second player in the Rule 5 draft too. With their second pick in the Rule 5 draft, the Baltimore Orioles selected RHP Tyler Wells. Wells had been the Twins 15th round pick in 2016 out of Cal State-San Bernadino. At 6-8, Wells stands out on the mound but also has really good stuff. In 2018, he went 8-4 with a 2.80 ERA in 16 starts at High-A Ft. Myers before making six appearances in Double-A Pensacola where he posted a 1.65 ERA. In 119 1/3 innings, he struck out 121 batters. He was chosen the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2018 as well as the Harmon Killebrew Award winner for the Miracle. Unfortunately, in spring training 2019, Wells hurt his elbow. After trying to rehab, he needed Tommy John surgery and missed the 2019 season. Based on his rehab from surgery, he may have been able to make a few appearances late in the 2020 season, but obviously was unable to do so. So again, the Twins took a chance, leaving him unprotected, and the Orioles took a shot. While Wells started out slowly, getting irregular innings, he has become a bright spot in the Orioles 2021 roster. In 40 games, he is 2-3 with two saves. He has a 4.17 ERA and a 0.93 ERA. In 54 innings, he has given up just 38 hits, walked just 12 and struck out 64 batters. In the past two weeks, Wells has become the Orioles’ closer. He recorded two saves before having two blown saves in his past two outings. However, in a 25 game stretch before those two games, he has a 1.74 ERA, a 0.52 WHIP and opponents hit just .132 against him. In that time, he gave up just 14 hits, walked two and struck out 36 batters in 31 innings. Wells has a mid-90s fastball to go with a changeup, a slider and a slow curveball. With that pitch mix, could he return to being a starter moving forward, or will he remain a potentially-dominant reliever. BAILEY OBER Adding Jordan Balazovic to the Twins 40-man roster last November was the easy decision, to be sure. Ben Rortvedt, as a top catching prospect, was also an easy addition as well. However, I would assume many (or most) Twins fans were probably surprised when they learned that Bailey Ober had been added to the 40-man roster. Like others, Ober missed the 2020 season completely. He was not at the team’s alternate site. He did not participate in the Instructional League. In 2019, he went 8-0 with a 0.69 ERA between High-A Ft. Myers, Double-A Pensacola. In 78 2/3 innings, he walked nine batters and struck out 100 batters. Ober pitched little during spring training and made just four starts at St. Paul before getting called up to the big leagues in mid-May. Since then, he has been terrific. In 18 starts, he is 2-2 with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. In 83 innings, he has walked 17 and struck out 87 batters. As impressive as he has been, the Twins have found a way to keep him healthy following a missed season. He is currently at 99 innings and should make two or three more starts before the end of the season. I’d say that the Twins front office was right in adding Ober to the 40-man roster. JOSE MIRANDA In 2016, the Twins took prep hitters Alex Kirilloff, Ben Rortvedt, Akil Baddoo and Jose Miranda all within the first 74 picks of the draft. Kirilloff and Rortvedt had been added to the 40-man roster. Baddoo was lost in the Rule 5 draft to the Tigers. And, the Twins also left infielder Jose Miranda unprotected. Like others, Miranda was not invited to big league spring training in 2020. He was not a participant at the alternate site last year. He went to Instructional League, and then he put up some big numbers playing winter ball in Puerto Rico last offseason including playing in the Caribbean Series. As the Rule 5 draft was approaching, there were definitely indications that Miranda could be selected. Fortunately, when the MLB portion of the Rule 5 draft concluded, Miranda’s name had not been called. Can you imagine if the Twins had lost Jose Miranda in the Rule 5 draft too? Scouting reports always indicated that Miranda had immense power potential. In 2018, he had 27 doubles and 16 homers. In 2019, he had 26 doubles and eight homers. This season, the power has come together. He began the season with 47 games at Double-A Wichita. He hit .345/.408/.588 (.996) with eight doubles and 13 homers. In 67 games since joining the St. Paul Saints, he has hit .341/.395/.564 (.959) with 19 doubles and 15 home runs. Speaking of putting it all together, Miranda has hit .343/.400/.574 (.974) with 27 doubles, 28 homers and 86 RBI in 114 games. Miranda’s prospect stock has increased as much as any hitter in the Twins system in 2021, and he finds himself on the edge of the big leagues. If it doesn’t happen by the end of the season, he is a given to be protected this November. OTHERS I thought it might be fun to take a look at my rankings from last November when I ranked (guessed) which players the Twins would add. Here is how I ranked them: RHP Jordan Balazovic - Easy decision, he pitched at Double-A this year. OF Akil Baddoo - see above C Ben Rortvedt - has split the season between Triple-A and the Twins. SS Wander Javier - had ups and downs in High-A Cedar Rapids. Free agent at the end of the season. RHP Luis Rijo - Had visa issues, and soon after his return had Tommy John surgery. 3B Jose Miranda - see above. RHP Griffin Jax - has made his MLB debut in 2021. 2B Yunior Severino - Started season in Ft. Myers, but has crushed the ball since moving up to Cedar Rapids. OF Gabriel Maciel - Spent the full season in Cedar Rapids. LHP Charlie Barnes - has made his MLB debut in 2021. RHP Bailey Ober - see above. LHP Jovani Moran - recently made his MLB debut. RHP Tyler Wells - see above. LHP Bryan Sammons - has split the season between AA and AAA. 1B/OF Trey Cabbage - has hit 27 homers between Cedar Rapids and Wichita. Free agent at season’s end. I’m sure the Twins would want to bring him back. 1B Zander Wiel - Recently Released SUMMARY Most years, only a handful of Rule 5 picks actually make their team’s Opening Day roster and stick through the season. In an unprecedented 2020, 40-man roster decisions were more difficult than usual. Unfortunately, the Twins lost two players who have been impactful for their new organizations. They were lucky not to lose Jose Miranda or Jovani Moran too. However, they did well in recognizing the need to protect Bailey Ober. As we start the process of thinking about who might be added to the team’s 40-man roster this coming November, it should be a bit easier since there has been a season to evaluate players again!
  22. TRANSACTIONS Wichita Wind Surge activated RHP Adam Lau from the temporarily inactive list. Cedar Rapids Kernels activated RHP Ryan Shreve from the 7-day injured list. Cedar Rapids Kernels placed RHP Steven Cruz on the 7-day injured list. RHPs Travis Adams and Johnathan Lavallee, both 2021 draft picks, were assigned to the FCL Twins. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 8, Indianapolis 0 Box Score Jose Miranda had another big game for the Saints, but when a team tosses a two-hit shutout, we'll lead with that. Veteran Derek Law could have become a free agent when the Twins DFAd him for a second time this season recently. Instead, he accepted his assignment to the Saints and has been extended. In his career, he had pitched in 231 minor league games, all out of the bullpen. On this night, he made the start and worked a career-high four innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out six batters. Chandler Shepherd came on, and despite walking three batters and giving up a hit, he did not allow a run. Vinny Nittoli tossed two scoreless before Robinson Leyer completed the shutout with a perfect ninth inning. Back to Miranda because, let's be honest, that's what we're all here for. Miranda went 3-for-5 with his 19th Saints double, and his 15th Saints home run (28th overall). He drove in four of the team's runs. Jimmy Kerrigan was also 3-for-5 on the night. BJ Boyd drove in two runs with a double. Mark Contreras his his 25th double of the season. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, Arkansas 2 Box Score Chris Vallimont has had his ups and downs this season, but on Thursday night, he was on the mound with the opportunity to put the Wind Surge in the playoffs. He put together a very solid start. He started with five scoreless innings before allowing a solo homer to Jack Larsen in the top of the sixth inning. Overall, he gave up just the one run in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up just two hits, walked four and struck out four batters. Down 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Ernie de la Trinidad gave the Wind Surge a 2-1 lead with a two-run single. Later in the inning, the Arkansas catcher tried to pick off Andrew Bechtold at third base, but he threw it away allowing Bechtold to score and put Wichita ahead by a score of 3-1. Erik Manoah got the final out of the sixth inning and then worked two more scoreless frames. He struck out four and walked none. Adam Lau came off the IL earlier in the day got the ninth inning. He got the first two outs, on a fly out and a strikeout. However, he walked the next batter. That brought up pinch hitter Joe Rizzo representing the game-tying run. Rizzo drove in a run to cut the lead to 3-2 with a bloop single to center. However, the next batter - another pinch hitter - popped out to center fielder Austin Martin to end the game and place the Wind Surge in the playoffs. Trey Cabbage and Jermaine Palacios each went 2-for-4 in the game. Palacios hit his 17th double. Stevie Berman not only caught a great game, but he went 2-for-3 at the plate with his sixth double. Congratulations to the Wichita Wind Surge on making the playoffs in their first season as a Twins affiliate! KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 1 Box Score Coming into this game, the Kernels were tied with Lake County for second place in the High-A Central League. They were one game ahead of Great Lakes. Just one of those teams will make the playoffs. The game was pretty quiet early. Through the sixth inning, the Kernels found themselves down by a score of 3-1. However, Edouard Julien came to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered a bases-clearing double to give Cedar Rapids a 4-3 lead. Aaron Sabato then drove in Julien with a sacrifice fly to give the Kernels a 5-3 lead. It was a lead that the Kernels bullpen was able to hold. It was an important win as both Lake County and Great Lakes won their games on Thursday as well. Each team has three games remaining on their schedules. Sean Mooney got the start for the Kernels. He worked the first five innings and did not give up a hit. He was charged with one run on two walks and a hit batter. He struck out seven hitters. Lefty Denny Bentley came in to start the sixth inning. He recorded just one out and was charged with two runs on four hits. Osiris German came on and gave up just one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Zach Featherstone recorded the final out of the eighth inning before striking out the side in the ninth inning for the Save. All four outs he recorded came on strikeouts. Matt Wallner went 2-for-3 with a walk and drove in the team's first run with a single in the fourth inning. Jair Camargo was also 2-for-3 with a walk. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers, Tampa (Suspended in 1st inning) Box Score Rains have won the day most of the time in recent weeks down in Florida. On Thursday, night, right-hander Jackson Hicks made his Mussels debut, but after just seven pitches and a single to the one batter he faced, the game was suspended. It will be continued on Friday. Unfortunately, the second game of Thursday's doubleheader has simply been cancelled. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday night. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Rays 6, FCL Twins 4 Box Score Two extra-base hits from Endy Rodriguez wasn't enough to propel the FCL Twins to a win on Thursday afternoon in the Sunshine State. Rodriguez tallied two hits and two runs in the loss. The first of those hits came in the third inning when Rodriguez launched a triple to right field. He scored on the next at-bat thanks to a single from Noah Miller. After walking in the seventh, Rodriguez scored on a groundout fielder's choice from Kal'ai Rosario, who had a double on the day. Rodriguez also doubled with two outs in the ninth inning but did not score. Twins starter Travis Adams went 1 1/3 innings in his professional debut. He gave up three runs on two hits while walking two and striking out three batters. Jordan Carr came on and was charged with an unearned run in 1 2/3 innings. Johnathan Lavallee came on for his pro debut. He worked two innings. He gave up one run on two hits over two innings. He struck out three batters with no walks. Erasmo Moreno carried the bulk of the Twins bullpen, tossing four innings of one-run, two hit ball while striking out four hitters. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Derek Law (St. Paul) - 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, BB #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-3, BB, RBI, K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-4, BB, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 1-4, R, RBI, BB, K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - No Game (Paternity List) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Rained Out #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4 FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Jason Garcia (0-0, 14.40 ERA) Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (3-2, 2.63 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (First Kernels Start, 4-2, 3.02 ERA in Ft. Myers) Tampa @ Fort Myers, Game 1 (6:00 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games!
  23. TRANSACTIONS Charlie Barnes was returned to the Saints after being the 29th man on Tuesday. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Indianapolis 2 Box Score Playing an afternoon matinee in Indianapolis, the Saints sent Beau Burrows to the bump. He tossed 6 1/3 innings of four-hit ball allowing just a single run. Burrows walked two and punched out six in what was among his best outings this season. St. Paul scored first as Sherman Johnson singled home Damek Tomscha in the 2nd inning. After allowing an equalizer in the bottom half, St. Paul added again in the 3rd inning. Jimmy Kerrigan drove in Jose Miranda on a single to center. Putting some distance between the clubs, Caleb Hamilton singled in the 4th inning to score Tomscha and make it a 3-1 game. Things got a bit dicey in the 9th inning when Yennier Cano allowed some traffic to turn into a run. He loaded the bases with a walk on a 3-2 pitch but generated a ground ball to end the game. Miranda continued his amazing season with a 3-for-4 effort and Tomscha had a multi-hit game as well tallying two doubles. WIND SURGE WISDOM Arkansas 10, Wichita 5 (Game 1) Box Score Suspended yesterday, here’s what Steve had to say about the action that did get played: Unfortunately for the Wind Surge, they played much of this game through some drizzle before the conditions became too much for them to continue. They had not yet completed five innings, so the game was suspended in the top of the fifth and will resume tomorrow. It had been a mixed bag before the game was paused, as Simeon Woods Richardson delivered a fantastic performance for the first three innings of the game, but upon his exit the Travelers struck to take the 4-1 lead against Ben Gross. In his outing, Woods Richardson allowed just two hits while striking out five in his three innings. He definitely looked like a top prospect in this one as compared to his prior outings. Of his 47 pitches in the game, 32 went for strikes (68%), including a whopping 12 swinging strikes. He got those swings and misses on all of his pitches as well, with his changeup especially (to my eyes) looking like it was fooling everyone. Wichita got their lone run in the bottom of the second thanks to an RBI infield single from Aaron Whitefield. Picking up in the 5th inning, Trey Cabbage made his presence felt launching his 18th homer of the year, a two-run shot that drew Wichita within one at 4-3. A 6th inning grand slam for Arkansas allowed a five-run inning to provide plenty of distance. Wichita attempted to make things interesting in the 8th inning when Andrew Bechtold singled in Cabbage and Aaron Whitefield drove in Spencer Steer. That 9-5 deficit was the closest things would get, and with Arkansas adding another run in the 9th inning, this one stayed out of reach. Wichita 6, Arkansas 4 (F/7 Game 2) Box Score Jordan Balazovic was on the bump for game two of this non-traditional doubleheader. It wasn’t his sharpest outing and the Twins top pitching prospect went just 3 2/3 innings allowing four runs on four hits and four walks while striking out five batters. Down 2-0 after the first inning, Wichita answered with two runs of their own in the 2nd inning. Jermaine Palacios singled driving in Leobaldo Cabrera, and Andrew Bechtold plated Palacios on a single of his own. Again trailing after the 4th inning, the Wind Surge answered with Spencer Steer ripping a bases loaded double to bring everyone home. Grabbing their first lead of the contest, Cedar Rapids was now on top 5-4. During a 6th inning Bechtold walk, Whitefield swiped third base and scored on an error by the Travelers backstop. 6-4 is where this on would end, and Roy Morales was the lone player to record a multi-hit effort going 3-for-4 on the evening. KERNELS NUGGETS Peoria 2, Cedar Rapids 1 Box Score Louie Varland has been dominant at the two levels of Class A ball this season, and he turned in another great start tonight for the Kernels. Working six innings, Varland allowed two runs (just one earned) on four hits and no walks. He punched out 11 batters on the evening and dropped his ERA to 2.10. Derek Molina struck out four batters over the final two innings. Jair Camargo drove in Aaron Sabato with a 5th inning single knotting the game at one, but that was the only run production the Kernels could muster and they fell just short. Camargo had a two-hit night and accounted for half of Cedar Rapids total. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 5, Tampa 2 Box Score Needing just seven total strikeouts to set a new team record, the Mighty Mussels eclipsed the team total set by the Miracle back in 2019. Starter John Stankiewicz picked up six of the necessary punch outs and worked six innings allowing just a single run on five hits and a walk. After getting behind in the first, Charles Mack recorded his second triple of the season plating both Misael Urbina and Will Holland to take the lead. Mack then drew a bases-loaded walk in the third to drive in Alerick Soularie before Jake Rucker was hit and allowed Christian Encarnacion-Strand to score. Kyle Fedko was hit by a pitch and allowed Holland to score. Three runs came across in the inning, and none were generated by a ball put in play. Tampa drew closers with a solo shot in the 9th inning, but the left the bases loaded and wound up on the short side of the scoreboard. Despite being scheduled for a twin bill, rain again impacted tonight’s plans and turned this into a one game, nine-inning affair. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Scheduled Day Off TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Louie Varland (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 K Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-4, R PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-2, R, BB, K #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 4 H 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-4, R #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - No game #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - Did not play #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - No game #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play (Paternity List) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-3, R, BB #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-3, 3 RBI THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Derek Law (1-0, 3.20 ERA) Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (5-7, 6.33 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 9.00 ERA) Tampa @ Fort Myers, Game 1 (6:00 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
  24. TRANSACTIONS LHP Charlie Barnes and RHP Andrew Albers were recalled from St. Paul in advance of the Twins doubleheader with Cleveland. In double-A, RHP Tyler Beck was placed on the 7-day injured list with a right forearm strain. RHP Jackson Hicks was officially promoted from the FCL Twins to the Mighty Mussels. RHP Hunter McMahon joined the FCL Twins on a rehab assignment. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 13, Indianapolis 4 Box Score Three days after bludgeoning their opponent 21-4 at CHS Field, the Saints did more of the same to a new opponent on the road in Indianapolis on Tuesday night. A six-run second inning got the party started and included home runs from Mark Contreras and Jose Miranda, along with an RBI double from Damek Tomscha. They extended their lead to 8-0 in the top of the fourth thanks to an error and an RBI groundout from Tomas Telis. Tomscha added a solo home run in the sixth that made it 9-1 before a four-run seventh capped off the evening and was powered by yet another Saints home run off the bat of Sherman Johnson. In all the Saints lineup pounded out 14 hits with eight of them going for extra bases. Though they were only 5-for-19 with runners in scoring position, those hits were big ones with the home runs and doubles. Miranda (2-for-6, R, HR, 4 RBI), Contreras (2-for-5, R, 2B, HR, RBI, K), Jimmy Kerrigan (3-for-5, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 K), and Tomscha (4-for-5, 4 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) had multiple hits. Right-hander Drew Strotman made the start and delivered a quality outing. Over six innings he scattered five hits and three walks, allowing two runs (on two homers) while punching out four batters. Ryan Mason pitched two perfect innings of relief, striking out one. Ian Hamilton pitched the ninth and was charged with two earned runs thanks to three walks and one hit, but it was far from enough for Indianapolis. WIND SURGE WISDOM Arkansas 4, Wichita 1 (Game Suspended, to be resumed tomorrow at 4:30 PM) Box Score Unfortunately for the Wind Surge, they played much of this game through some drizzle before the conditions became too much for them to continue. They had not yet completed five innings, so the game was suspended in the top of the fifth and will resume tomorrow. It had been a mixed bag before the game was paused, as Simeon Woods Richardson delivered a fantastic performance for the first three innings of the game, but upon his exit the Travelers struck to take the 4-1 lead against Ben Gross. In his outing, Woods Richardson allowed just two hits while striking out five in his three innings. He definitely looked like a top prospect in this one as compared to his prior outings. Of his 47 pitches in the game, 32 went for strikes (68%), including a whopping 12 swinging strikes. He got those swings and misses on all of his pitches as well, with his changeup especially (to my eyes) looking like it was fooling everyone. Wichita got their lone run in the bottom of the second thanks to an RBI infield single from Aaron Whitefield. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 1, Peoria 6 Box Score Cedar Rapids was unable to solve the Peoria pitching staff on Tuesday, resulting in a 6-1 loss that dropped them to 63-52 and just one game ahead of the teams chasing them in the High-A Central playoff race. The lineup was only able to manage four hits on the night, with two of those coming off the bat of Matt Wallner. Their lone run came in the fifth inning thanks to a solo home run from DeShawn Keirsey. As a team they struck out 11 times and drew just one walk, while having only two at-bats with runners in scoring position in the game. Cody Laweryson was on the mound to start and went the first 5 1/3 innings. He allowed all six of the Chiefs runs, on eight hits and one walk, while striking out five. Zach Featherston got the Kernels through the seventh inning without allowing a hit, walking one, and striking out two in his 1 2/3 innings. Tyler Palm finished the game with a scoreless eighth, giving up one hit and striking out two batters. MUSSEL MATTERS Tampa @ Fort Myers, Postponed: Inclement Weather The Mighty Mussels game with the Tarpons was postponed on Tuesday as rain was moving into the area. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 6, FCL Rays 3 Box Score The Twins used a five-run second inning to pull away early, and the pitching staff held the Rays at bay the rest of the way to pick up the win. In that second inning, the Twins took advantage of a pair of errors and got RBI singles from Argenis Jiminez, Noah Cardenas, and Ernie Yake before a sac fly from Endy Rodriguez plated the fifth run. They got an insurance run in the top of the ninth thanks to an RBI single from Wilfri Castro to drive in Gregory Duran who had led off the inning with a triple. Yake (2-for-4, 2B, RBI K) had multiple hits in the contest. Hunter McMahon got the start in his first game with the FCL Twins and went the first two innings, allowing one hit and striking out four batters. Ryan Shreve allowed two runs (one earned) on two hits in his lone inning, though he did strike out three. Wilker Reyes was credited with his first hold by going the next three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out two Rays. Juan Mendez picked up his first save by finishing the final three innings. He gave up one run on three hits and struck out three hitters. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Simeon Woods Richardson, Wichita Wind Surge (3 IP, 2 H, 5 K) Hitter of the Day - Damek Tomscha, St. Paul Saints (4-for-5, 4 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Game suspended #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 5 K #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-6, R, HR, 4 RBI #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 5 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 5 K (left game in sixth after being struck in hand with line drive) #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4 #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-3, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - W, 6 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 0-for-5, 2 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play (Paternity List) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Game postponed #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - Game suspended WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (11:05 AM CST) - RHP Beau Burrows (2-5, 6.16 ERA) Arkansas @ Wichita (30 min after completion of suspended game) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (5-4, 3.38 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland (6-1, 2.17 ERA) Tampa @ Fort Myers, Game 1 (3:30 PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz (0-0, 3.12 ERA) Tampa @ Fort Myers, Game 2 (30 min after Game 1) - RHP Jackson Hicks (Low-A debut) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  25. TRANSACTIONS RHP Miguel Rodriguez reinstated from 7-day IL at A Fort Myers RHP Ramon Pineda transferred from FCL Twins to A Fort Myers Saints Sentinel St. Paul 9, Toledo 9 (Paused game) Box Score Drew Strotman: 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Well, I had a write-up here, but apparently the game ran so late that it was paused due to a curfew. I'll leave the box score link so that people can check it out as they please, but know that the game is not technically finished. Also know that this is the first time I have ever seen something like this happen in a minor league game. Weird stuff. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 13, Tulsa 4 Box Score Cole Sands: 3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K HR: Leobaldo Cabrera (8), Andrew Bechtold (16), Austin Martin (2), Spencer Steer (13) Multi-hit games: Spencer Steer (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB), Austin Martin (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI), Wichita gave Tulsa the business on Saturday. ...Oh, I need to say more? (Editor's Note: Yes, please.) Here are a few questions: Is it a good thing when eight out of nine of your batters get a hit? Is it a good thing when six different hitters earn an RBI? Is it a good thing when your 1-2 hitters combine for six runs? I’m not a baseball expert, but I tend to think that the answer to all of those questions is yes. Tulsa actually had the first lead of the game but a homer by Leobaldo Cabrera put the lead firmly in Wichita’s grasp. They would not let go. With five runs already on the board, Andrew Bechtold demolished a three-run homerun to make it a cruel seven-run lead. With a nine-run lead, Austin Martin clobbered a homer to make it an evil 11-run lead. Finally, with 12 runs on the board, Spencer Steer obliterated a solo shot to add a cherry on top of this battered cake. Tulsa actually out-hit the Wind Surge on Saturday which is objectively hilarious. Cabrera: Bechtold: Martin: Steer: Cole Sands allowed only one run over three innings but was inefficient as he tossed 80 pitches in order to do so. From there the combination of Kody Funderburk, Zach Neff, and Hector Lujan took Wichita to the finish line on Saturday. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 1, Beloit 6 Box Score Ben Gross: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Daniel Ozoria (2-for-3, RBI) Cedar Rapids had the lone offensive dud on Saturday. Ben Gross brought the strikeouts, but the Snappers proved resilient, and dropped 10 hits on the starter. It was an all-or-nothing approach that netted Beloit six extra-base hits off of Gross en route to a lead that would never really be challenged. The lone Kernels run came thanks to a Daniel Ozoria infield single in the 5th inning. The team put together just six hits on the night, but oddly enough, three of those hits were doubles. In another odd turn, both teams had matching one walk, 14 strikeout performances by their respective pitching staffs (and lineups, technically). But, Beloit bunching their extra-base hits proved to be a wise strategy as they easily beat Cedar Rapids on Saturday. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 8 Box Score Miguel Rodriguez: 1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 K HR: Jesus Feliz (7) Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (2-for-5, 3 R), Will Holland (3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) Fort Myers was unable to recover from a 4-0 deficit on Saturday. Starter Miguel Rodriguez had one to forget. The righty was activated just before the game and more than a bit rusty on Saturday. Allowing three walks over just a single inning more or less speaks for itself. Let’s hope that Rodriguez can get back on the horse the next time he’s called upon. To their credit, the Mighty Mussels did not lie down and let the Marauders win this game without a fight. They were down by a score of 7-1 before a burning offensive spirit took hold across the dugout. Jesus Feliz kicked off the rebuttal with a solo homer in the 7th while Will Holland doubled home a run later in the inning. This would be just the first attack. Kyler Fedko unloaded the bases in the 8th with a double that was followed by the classic double error on the part of the Marauders. Unfortunately, the fight would end there. Bradenton plated one more run in the 9th, and Fort Myers fell narrowly short of a victory. Casey Legumina provided a strong effort in the loss. He was able to siphon off the bleeding over five strong innings of one-run ball in relief of Rodriguez. Complex Chronicles The FCL Twins game was suspended in the 8th inning on Saturday. Nash will have the update for you on this game when it is completed on Sunday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Casey Legumina Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, K #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - Suspended game #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - Suspended game #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 1-3, RBI, BB, 2 K #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-1, R, BB, K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-3, 2 BB #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - 3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Bradenton @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) RHP Landon Leach St. Paul @ Toledo (12:05 PM) RHP Beau Burrows Tulsa @ Wichita (12:05 PM) RHP Austin Schulfer Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (1:05 PM) TBD
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