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  1. Derek Falvey has been tasked with building a pipeline of pitching talent since he was brought over from Cleveland to head up the front office. Minnesota has been intentional in targeting arms with upside that they can mold into solid workhorses. There were plenty of strong performances this season the farm, but only one took the title of Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Before getting to the winner, here are some others that were in contention: Honorable Mention- Pierson Ohl (Fort Myers) - 20 G 91.2 IP 3.53 ERA 1.178 WHIP 9.9 K/9 1.3 BB/9 Jaylen Nowlin (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 22 G 71.0 IP 3.80 ERA 1.352 WHIP 14.1 K/9 4.6 BB/9 Travis Adams (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 22 G 100.2 IP 3.93 ERA 1.162 WHIP 9.7 K/9 2.3 BB/9 #5 Marco Raya (Fort Myers) - 19 G 65.0 IP 3.05 ERA 1.077 WHIP 10.5 K/9 3.2 BB/9 Raya was taken in the 4th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft from United South High School in Laredo, TX. With the Covid shutdown and injuries over the past couple of years, 2022 was his professional debut. Skipping the Complex League entirely, Raya pitched as a 19-year-old for the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. Across 19 games and 17 starts, he was nothing short of dominant. Arguably the staff ace, Raya racked up strikeouts in bunches while doing a good job to limit damage. He’s got mid-90s stuff and is someone Minnesota could mold into a number three starter or better. #4 Brent Headrick - (Cedar Rapids/Wichita) - 25 G 108.1 IP 3.32 ERA 1.080 WHIP 11.3 K/9 2.1 BB/9 Selected in the 9th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft out of Illinois State University, Headick has really seen the ceiling for his stuff grow. Last year was his first full professional season and he put up strong numbers for Low-A Fort Myers. Splitting time between High-A Cedar Rapids and Double-A Wichita this year, Headrick has become an anchor on the staff at whatever level he plays. Headrick has continued to rack up strikeouts in bunches, and has shown a very strong ability to command the baseball. He gave up a few more homers after the promotion to Double-A, but was every bit as dominant. When the Wind Surge advanced to the Texas League postseason, it was Headrick tabbed as the Game 1 starter. #3 David Festa - (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) 21 G 103.2 IP 2.43 ERA 1.090 WHIP 9.4 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Festa made quick work of Fort Myers after starting the season there following his 13th-round selection out of Seton Hall during the 2021 Major League Baseball draft. Pitching substantially for Cedar Rapids this season, he made adjustments to continue strong outings while the strikeouts took a slight dip. Just 22 years old, Festa has done a great job avoiding big innings by limiting the longball. In just over 103 innings this season, he allowed opposing batters to leave the yard only six times. For a late-round pick, the immediate development here has been incredibly encouraging. Runner-Up Simeon Woods Richardson - (Wichita/St. Paul) 21 G 2.93 ERA 1.080 WHIP 9.7 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Acquired alongside Austin Martin from the Toronto Blue Jays when Minnesota sent Jose Berrios north of the border, Woods Richardson has been nothing short of dominant this season. Not being interrupted by the Olympic appearance as he was last season, Woods Richardson has settled into a routine. His 2.55 ERA at Triple-A St. Paul is even better than it was with Double-A Wichita, and he continues to average over a strikeout per inning. This is a top-half-of-the-rotation arm that Minnesota could call upon as soon as 2023. 2022 Minnesota Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year - Louie Varland - (Wichita/St. Paul) - 24 G 126.1 IP 3.06 ERA 1.259 WHIP 10.4 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Winning this award for the second season in a row is none other than Concordia St. Paul product Louie Varland. A St. Paul native, Varland was a 15th-round pick by the Twins during the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. After dominating Single-A in 2021, Varland continued his roll by earning a promotion to Triple-A late this season. After a 3.34 ERA across 105 innings with Wichita, Varland posted a dominant 1.69 ERA in four starts for the Saints. As has been the case over the duration of his professional career, Varland has been a strikeout arm. This season he’s tallied 146 strikeouts while ceding just 42 walks. Once working in the low-90s, Varland has put in the offseason work to push his fastball in the mid-90s on a consistent basis with the ability to top out near 97 mph. When Minnesota needed an arm for a doubleheader against the New York Yankees, it was Varland who was called on to make his big league debut. Brother, and Dodgers prospect, Gus Varland was in the stands to see Louie punch out Aaron Judge for the first strikeout of his career. Varland will continue to grow at the big league level, but he has looked the part of an arm with intrigue. He’s a hard thrower that works quick and isn’t afraid to trust his stuff. Although the Twins may not have immediate room for Varland in the 2023 Opening Day rotation, there should be no doubt that he’ll make a handful of starts and be ready to make an impact when his number is called. Previous Starting Pitcher of the Year Winners: 2021 winner - Louie Varland 2019 winner- Randy Dobnak 2018 winner - Tyler Wells 2017 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2016 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2015 winner - Jose Berrios 2014 winner - Jose Berrios 2013 winner - Taylor Rogers 2012 winner - BJ Hermsen
  2. On Sunday, the High- and Low-A regular seasons came to a close. Luckily, both of Minnesota’s affiliates qualified for the postseason, and they will begin play on Tuesday. In the Midwest League, the Cedar Rapids Kernels face the South Bend Cubs in a semifinal round. For the Florida State League, the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels square off against the Dunedin Blue Jays. Multiple names below will be getting their first taste of postseason action. Cedar Rapids Prospects To Watch Brooks Lee, SS (TD No. 2) Lee has already impressed during his professional career after being taken as a top-10 pick in June. The Twins had him skip Low-A and head directly to High-A. In 25 games, he posted a .848 OPS with four doubles and four home runs. An argument can be made that he is the organization’s best prospect, and now he has a chance to prove it on a big stage. David Festa, RHP (TD No. 13) Festa was a 13th-round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, but his stock has risen significantly over the last year. Between Low- and High-A, he has a 2.43 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP and a 108-to-34 strikeout to walk ratio. Festa is a year younger than the average age of the competition in the Midwest League, and the team will ask him to get some big outs if they make a September run. Kernels Expected Starters Game 1: David Festa Game 2: Travis Adams Game 3: Jaylen Nowlin Fort Myers Prospects To Watch Noah Miller, SS (TD No. 7) Minnesota took Miller with the 36th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft out of high school in Wisconsin. During the 2022 season, he was over two years younger than the average age of the competition in the FSL. Miller lacked power production during his first full professional season, but the playoffs offer a new opportunity. He has the potential to be one of the team’s top prospects by 2024. Marco Raya, RHP (TD No. 8) Raya was Minnesota’s first draft pick from high school in 2020 as the team took him in the fourth round. As a teenager in the FSL, over 82% of his plate appearances have come against older batters. In 19 appearances (65 innings), he has a 3.05 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP and 10.5 K/9. He missed time at the beginning of August, so he has averaged less than four innings per start in September. Tanner Schobel, SS (TD No. 18) Schobel was Minnesota’s second-round pick in 2022 from Virginia Tech, where he had a .980 OPS in three seasons. He hit 18 doubles and 19 home runs during his final collegiate season. As a professional, he has been limited to a .651 OPS with five extra-base hits in 32 games. Hopefully, his college experience shines through in the postseason. Kala’i Rosario, OF (TD No. 20) Like Raya, the Twins took Rosario out of high school in the 2020 MLB Draft. As a regular in the Mussels line-up, he has hit .239/.320/.408 (.727) with 21 doubles, three triples, and 12 home runs. His numbers are even more impressive, considering that nearly 90% of his plate appearances have come against older pitchers. Mighty Mussels Expected Starters Game 1: Pierson Ohl Game 2: Marco Raya Game 3: Jordan Carr Obviously, any player can shine under the postseason spotlight, but big players step up in critical games. Will any of the names above lead their teams to championships? Who are you looking forward to watching? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  3. Currently, one can make an argument for both Royce Lewis and Brooks Lee being Minnesota's top prospect. By 2024, both will have graduated from prospect lists and should be helping the Twins at the big-league level. In recent years, Minnesota's farm system has dropped in national rankings, but it's hard not to get excited about the talent level of the players listed below. 1. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF ETA: 2024 Rodriguez's stock has significantly risen this season as many national outlets included him in their updated top-100 rankings. As a 19-year-old, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. He only faced younger pitchers in four plate appearances during the 2022 campaign. Unfortunately, a knee injury ended his season prematurely. Minnesota can have him repeat Fort Myers to start 2023, and he has plenty of development to do before he reaches Target Field. 2. Connor Prielipp, LHP ETA: 2025 The Twins took Prielipp with their second-round pick in 2022 from the University of Alabama. He was initially projected as a top-10 pick but missed the 2022 collegiate season due to Tommy John surgery. Minnesota will likely hold off on his professional debut until 2023, but he is already in the conversation as one of the team's top pitching prospects. By 2024, Prielipp has the potential to be the team's top prospect if he can return to his pre-injury form. 3. Marco Raya, RHP ETA: 2024 Like Rodriguez, Raya is another player that has put himself on the prospect map as a teenager in the Florida State League. In 61 innings, he has posted a 3.25 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP and a 69-to-22 strikeout to walk ratio. Over 81% of his at-bats have come against older batters who Raya has held to a .592 OPS. He has three terrific secondary pitches that should allow him to continue as a starter as he moves up the organizational ladder. 4. David Festa, RHP ETA: 2024 The Twins drafted Festa in the 13th round of the 2021 MLB Draft. It's exciting when a team can find value late in the draft and develop a prospect in the organization. His velocity has significantly jumped since joining the Twins organization, as he can consistently hit in the upper-90s. In 100 2/3 innings, he has a 2.43 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP and a 108-to-34 strikeout to walk ratio. In 2023, he should get a chance to pitch in the upper minors with a chance to prove he is part of the team's long-term plans. 5. Noah Miller, SS ETA: 2025 Minnesota has traded away much of their 2021 draft class, and Miller is the highest pick still with the organization. The Twins sent him to Fort Myers this season, where he has hit .212/.347/.281 (.628) with 108 strikeouts in 106 games. As a 19-year-old, he still has offensive development to accomplish, especially as he adds weight to his body. His baseball instincts should allow him to stick at shortstop, a position the Twins have previously struggled to fill. Which player will be the team's top prospect in 2024? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  4. TRANSACTIONS - Jake Jewell, who was DFAd when the Twins added Louie Varland to the 40-man roster on Wednesday, cleared waivers and was outrighted to the Saints. - The Cedar Rapids Kernels also announced the 2B/LF Alerick Soularie has been placed on the Suspended List. SAINTS SENTINEL Toledo 3, St. Paul 2 (F/10) Box Score Runs were hard to come by as the Saints fell to the Mud Hens in extra innings on Friday night. Jordan Balazovic put together yet another fine start, striking out nine and not allowing an earned run in five innings of work. Although the 2022 campaign has been a lost one for the former top pitching prospect, Balazovic has thrown nine innings in September and surrendered only one earned run while picking up 15 strikeouts. For comparison, the most strikeouts he had accumulated in a single month this season prior to September was way back in May when K’d 17 in 16 1/3 innings. (He posted an 8.82 ERA.) Matt Wallner led the Saints offensively, going 2-for-5 with a double and triple. Elliot Soto also contributed two hits, including his 18th double of the summer. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 13, Northwest Arkansas 7 Box Score The Wind Surge resisted a late Naturals rally to overcome Northwest Arkansas on Friday evening. The Naturals’ five runs in the top of the eighth inning were offset by two innings of three runs and one of five by the Wind Surge. Wichita added two more in the bottom of the eighth for good measure. Brent Headrick started on the hill for the Wind Surge and struck out six in 3 2/3 innings. He surrendered one run on a solo home run. Jordan Brink was awarded the win after tossing 1 1/3 scoreless innings in relief, striking out three and keeping his Double-A ERA at 0.00 (through two outings and 2 1/3 innings).. Wichita had a great day at the plate, tallying 16 hits, six of which went for extra bases. All Wind Surge players reached base at least one time. Will Holland (3-for-4, 3 RBI), Anthony Prato (3-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI), Yunior Severino (2-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Edouard Julien (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB), and Leobaldo Cabrera (2-for-4) all contributed multiple hits. KERNELS NUGGETS South Bend 4, Cedar Rapids 1 Box Score The Kernels’ bats went silent against the Cubs while the pitching staff underwent a bullpen day as Cedar Rapids dropped their game to South Bend. No Kernel contributed multiple hits. Jeferson Morales (1-for-3, 2B, RBI, BB) drove in the team’s only run and hit their lone extra-base hit. Righty Ryan Shreve tossed a succinct two innings, striking out three and allowing only two runners to reach base on 25 pitches, 19 of which were strikes. He lowered his ERA to 3.08 on the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 4, St. Lucie 0 Box Score The Mighty Mussels and Mets were slated for two games Friday evening, but Mother Nature struck once again, pushing the second contest to Saturday. However, the inclement weather didn’t stop Marco Raya from feasting on the mound. The 20-year-old continued his hot summer by striking out seven in four shutout innings of work. He has now struck out 76 batters in 65 innings with the Mussels and owns a 3.05 ERA. Keoni Cavaco (1-for-2, RBI) and Ben Ross (2-for-3, RBI) each clobbered solo home runs while Tanner Schobel (1-for-2, 2 BB) added a double. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul): 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K Hitter of the Day – Yunior Severino (Wichita): 2-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Brooks Lee (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4 #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-5 #7 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4 #8 - Marco Raya (Fort Myers) - 4 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 1 BB, 7 K #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, 2B, 3B #11 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB #18 - Tanner Schobel (Fort Myers) - 1-for-2, 2B, 2 BB #20 - Kala’i Rosario (Fort Myers) - 1-for-3, RBI SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo (4:05 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (0-0, 3.38 ERA) Wichita vs. Northwest Arkansas (6:05 CST) - RHP Daniel Gossett (2-1, 2.34 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. South Bend (6:35 CST) - LHP Jaylen Nowlin (1-1, 4.40 ERA) Fort Myers vs. St. Lucie (3:30 CST) - TBD Fort Myers vs. St. Lucie (TBD CST) - TBD
  5. SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 11, St. Paul 9 Box Score The Saints’ late charge fell just short Friday night. St. Paul scored seven of their nine runs in the bottom of the eighth inning after surrendering nine in the seventh and eighth combined. Jermaine Palacios (2-for-5, RBI) and Mark Contreras (3-for-5, RBI) each hit two doubles, which account for all of St. Paul’s extra-base hits. Michael Helman (2-for-6) and Chris Williams (1-for-5) each drove in two runs. Simeon Woods Richardson performed admirably on the mound, striking out three and not surrendering an earned run in five innings. He now has a 3.29 ERA in 13 2/3 Triple-A innings. Devin Smeltzer and Brad Peacock surrendered nine runs in 2 2/3 innings of relief. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 6, Springfield 2 Box Score The Wind Surge brought home all six of their runs in the top half of the sixth inning to earn the win over the Cardinals. Edouard Julien (1-for-3) and DaShawn Keirsey Jr. (1-for-3) each picked up two RBI. All five of Wichita’s hits were singles, and as a team, they drew 10 walks. Five Wind Surge pitchers combined to throw nine innings with Alex Phillips earning the win. Aaron Rozek started and struck out six in 3 2/3 innings. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Dayton 4 Box Score The Kernels clinched the win early as their bats drove in all six runs in the top of the first inning. The Dragons scored three in the bottom of the ninth when the game was already out of reach. Eighth hitter Charles Mack went 1-for-4 with a home run and two RBI. Wander Javier (1-for-4) also contributed two RBI. Travis Adams threw the first six innings and struck out six while giving up only one run. Bradley Hanner and Tyler Palm combined to throw the final three innings, striking out four and not allowing an earned run. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 4, Bradenton 0 Box Score Keoni Cavaco’s three-run home run in the top of the second inning was all the Mighty Mussels need to pick up the win over the Marauders on Friday. Cavaco (2-for-4, 2B, HR) was the lone Fort Myers batter to contribute multiple hits. Kala’i Rosario (1-for-3) also doubled. Marco Raya tossed the first three innings and struck out five while ushering two walks and a hit. Regi Grace was awarded the win after throwing three hitless innings in relief, striking out five and walking none. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Travis Adams (Cedar Rapids): 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R/ER, 1 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers): 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Brooks Lee (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-3, 2 BB #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-3, RBI, BB #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3K #7 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, BB #8 - Marco Raya (Fort Myers) - 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, BB #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-3, 2 RBI #18 - Tanner Schobel (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3 #20 - Kala’i Rosario (Fort Myers) - 1-for-3, 2B SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul vs. Omaha (7:07 PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (0-6, 9.06 ERA) Wichita @ Springfield (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Brent Headrick (2-2, 4.75 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Dayton (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Jaylin Nowlin (1-1, 3.27 ERA) Fort Myers (6:30 PM CST) - TBD
  6. Previous Minor League Starting Pitchers of the Month June Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month: Aaron Rozek May Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month: Steve Hajjar April Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month: John Stankiewicz Honorable Mention III - Kody Funderburk (Double-A Wichita Wind Surge) The definition of steady-eddy development, the lefty from Mesa, AZ had another rock-solid month in July. Through four starts (and an additional long relief appearance), Funderburk touted a 2.57 ERA and 1.05 WHIP with 20 strikeouts and just five walks through 21 innings in July. Funderburk allowed just one run in three of his starts and shutout Northwest Arkansas in 3 2/3 innings of relief following Louie Varland's start on July 29. At 25 years old and coming off an incredible season in Cedar Rapids, Funderburk has found his stride with Double-A Wichita this season. His yearlong 7-4 record, 2.82 ERA, and 1.39 WHIP are rock solid, yet Funderburk's greatest strength is his versatility. A proven success as a starter and as a reliever, Funderburk serves as a the 'jack-of-all-trades yes man' for the Twins organization as they move forward. Honorable Mention II - Aaron Sanchez (Triple-A St. Paul Saints) Once a reliable rock on the MLB pitching scene, Sanchez fell short to unfortunate injuries that led to inconstancies in the mid to late 2010's. Signed to a minor league contract prior to the 2022 season, it looks like Sanchez has found his footing. Called up to the Twins towards the end of July, the 30-year-old cruised to consistency in St. Paul for a majority of the month. Through four starts and 22 2/3 innings, Sanchez recorded 3.18 ERA and 0.93 WHIP in July along with 13 strikeouts. His most impressive stat? Sanchez faced 68 batters in July for the Saints. He walked just one of them. Promoted to Target Field to face the Tigers on August 1, Sanchez dealt, striking out eight Detroit batters through five innings. Unfortunately for Sanchez, the acquisition of Michael Fulmer mean that that space on the roster was needed, resulting in Sanchez being DFA'd. Baseball is a business and it's unfortunate to see Sanchez go after things were seemingly going his way. Regardless of where his next start takes place, he's trending in the right direction. HONORABLE MENTION I - Marco Raya (Low-A Fort Myers Mighty Mussels) One of the most prized arms in the Twins organization, the Laredo, TX native continued his dominant 2022 campaign with a stellar July. In four starts and 17 innings, the 19-year-old tallied a 2.65 ERA and 1.06 WHIP while striking out 17 and walking just five batters. A fourth-round pick in the 2020 draft, Raya has continued to dazzle with his electric fastball and rock-solid slider, two things that aren't necessarily new for the righty. Long starts are a rarity at the Low-A level and Raya is no exception. All four of his starts in July were five innings or less and his season-long is six innings. That's not a reflection of Raya's performance, but merely a developmental precaution used to mold young, talented arms. The consistency and flare are there and it will be fascinating to see how Raya performs when his innings are increased as he scales the Twins' farm system. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE STARTING PITCHER OF THE MONTH - Mike Paredes (Low-A Fort Myers Mighty Mussels) On a team known for it's lights-out pitching, Mike Paredes was an absolute joy to watch through the month of July. Drafted in the 18th round of the 2021 Draft, Paredes has made a name for himself in his first full season of professional baseball. This past month was no exception. Through five games and four starts spanning 26 1/3 innings, Paredes recorded a 4-0 record, 2.05 ERA, and 1.06 WHIP while striking out 15 batters and walking just four. A heavy groundout/flyout pitcher, Parades kept runs off the board, allowing just one run in three of his four starts and allowing just one home run against 79 batters faced. Even on 'off days,' Parades was dominant. Despite giving up seven hits on July 2 against Dunedin, the 22-year-old allowed just one run through six innings to propel the Mussels to victory. Paredes has the potential to be the ultimate Twins pitcher; a consistent workhorse who may not rely heavily on speed and strikeouts, but more so on accuracy and pitch selection. An out's an out no matter how it takes place and Paredes sure knows how to get them. At 22 years old, the Twins have time to work with the San Diego State alum. And while he may not have the name recognition of other arms within the organization, expect Paredes to make more and more noise and he climbs the organization in years to come.
  7. Prospect lists can be exciting, especially as the trade deadline approaches at the beginning of August. Contending teams must part with some of the top-rated prospects so they can add veteran pieces to their roster. Minnesota expects to be active in the trade market, so who are the organization's top pitching prospects? RHP Jordan Balazovic Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus named Balazovic as one of their top 100 prospects entering the 2022 season. Unfortunately, injuries have impacted him over the last two seasons. He suffered a back injury in spring training last year that delayed the start of his season until June. From there, he was solid with a 3.62 ERA and 9.5 K/9 in 20 appearances. In 2022, he began the season on the IL with a knee strain, and he has struggled since returning. Across 11 appearances, he has a 10.13 ERA with a 2.32 WHIP. He has yet to pitch 100 innings in any professional season. RHP Matt Canterino When healthy, Canterino has sliced through minor league batters. He has struck out 126 batters in 82 1/3 innings in his professional career, but those innings have been spread over three seasons. All 11 of his appearances have come at Double-A this season with a 1.83 ERA and 13.1 K/9 in a career-high 34 1/3 innings. An argument can be made that he is the best pitching prospect in the system. However, the organization may need to shift him to a bullpen role if he can't stay healthy. LHP Connor Priellip Minnesota selected Connor Priellip in the second round of the 2022 MLB Draft, but he's no ordinary second-round pick. The left-handed pitcher was in the conversation to be the number one overall pick in the current draft class before requiring Tommy John surgery in May 2021. He is healthy and will be able to pitch in the organization after he signs. His fastball and slider are both plus pitches, and he continues to improve with his changeup. There is hope that he will be able to add more velocity as he continues to get further away from elbow reconstruction. RHP Marco Raya Raya missed most of last season with a shoulder strain, so the 2022 season marks his professional debut. He's been outstanding in 13 appearances with Fort Myers, where he is three years younger than the average age of the competition. In 47 innings, he has a 2.87 ERA with a 1.04 WHIP and a 56-to-16 strikeout to walk ratio. Only 80% of his match-ups have come against older batters who have been held to a .586 OPS. Raya has been the biggest breakout pitcher in the organization this year, but he still has a long way to go before reaching Target Field. RHP Simeon Woods Richardson As a 20-year-old, Woods Richardson faced multiple challenges as he pitched the entire year at Double-A, joined Team USA in Japan, and was traded for the second time in his career. Based on those reasons, it's easy to see his performance struggled (5.91 ERA with a 1.53 WHIP). His second Double-A stint has improved as he has a 3.40 ERA with a 1.13 WHIP and 9 K/9. Woods Richardson has held batters to a .595 OPS, and over 96% of his plate appearances have come against older batters. He may have solidified his stock more this season than the others mentioned above. Cody's Current Top-5 Twins Pitching Prospects 1. Connor Priellip 2. Simeon Woods Richardson 3. Matt Canterino 4. Marco Raya 5. Jordan Balazovic How would you rank the organization's pitchers? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  8. TRANSACTIONS INF Spencer Steer reported to Future's Game OF Matt Wallner reported to Future's Game C Caleb Hamilton promoted from Triple-A St. Paul to Minnesota Twins RHP Hunter Wood on 7-Day IL for the Saints. RHP Tyler Palm promoted from High-A Cedar Rapids to Double-A Wichita RHP Alex Scherff placed on IL SAINTS SENTINEL Toledo 7, St. Paul 3 Box Score Jake Cave (2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 R) and Jermaine Palacios (2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R) contributed the bulk of the Saints offense and all of their extra-base hits, an effort that was ultimately not enough to best the Mud Hens. Miguel Sanó finished 0-for-4 with two strikeouts. Aaron Sanchez started for St. Paul and allowed four runs in 5 2/3 innings. Ian Hamilton and Juan Minaya pitched the final 3 1/3 innings and combined to surrender three runs. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 9, Arkansas 2 Box Score It’s Christian Encarnacion-Strand’s world and we’re all just living in it. The Twins’ best power bat in the minors continued his incredible season with a two, home run performance in only his second Double-A game. He now has 26 to go along with 26 doubles and a .996 OPS in 98 career Minor League games. But his bat wasn’t the only one lighting up the night sky in Wichita Friday evening. Chris Williams (2-for-3, 2 RBI, 2 R, BB) also launched two home runs—his 14th and 15th of the season—while DeShawn Keirsey Jr. (4-for-4, 2 RBI, 2 R) *only* hit one. In total, the Wind Surge erupted for 12 hits with seven going for extra bases. On the mound, lefty Kody Funderburk did more than enough. He pitched six innings and struck out eight while surrendering only one run and allowing five Travelers to reach base. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Beloit 2 Box Score Aaron Sabato’s 10th home run of the season could not have come at a better time. The solo shot gave the Kernels a 3-2 lead in the top of the 8th inning, a lead they would ultimately not surrender. He finished 2-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored. Seth Gray drove in two runs and finished 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. Sean Mooney was lights out on the mound after the first inning when he allowed two runs after Cedar Rapids scored two of their own in the top of the frame. Mooney finished with nine strikeouts and zero walks. Miguel Rodriguez and Bobby Milacki allowed only one Sky Carp batter to reach base in four innings of relief. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Clearwater 1 Box Score Fort Myers 7, Clearwater 4 Box Score The Might Mussels came away with two victories over the Threshers in Fort Myers Friday. They took Game 1 behind the bats of Carlos Aguiar (2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, 2 R), Noah Cardenas (2-for-3, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 R), and Rubel Cespedes (1-for-3, 2B, RBI, R). Marco Raya and Malik Barrington combined to strike out seven and walk five, but the duo allowed only a single run and no extra-base hits. During the second game, it was the bats of Misael Urbina (2-for-3, HR, 3 RBI, BB, R), Noah Miller (3-for-3, BB, R), Mikey Perez (2-for-3, 2 2B, RBI, R), and Keoni Cavaco (1-for-4, 2B, RBI, R) that pushed Fort Myers over Clearwater. The Mighty Mussels pitching staff once again struggled with walks—they allowed six compared to seven strikeouts—but they were able to limit the damage thanks to only one of the Threshers’ six hits going for extra bases (a double). COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Red Sox 9, FCL Twins 3 Box Score It was a difficult day at the plate and on the mound for the FCL Twins. Only one batter—Alexander Peña (2-for-3, BB)—registered multiple hits, both being singles. Danny De Andrade (1-for-4) and Breilin Ramirez (1-for-4, RBI, R) each contributed doubles. Juan Nuñez started on the bump and struck out eight batters across four innings of work. However, he was saddled with the loss after surrendering three runs, two of them earned. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Angels 5, DSL Twins 3 Box Score Bryan Acuña (2-for-3, BB, R), José Rodriguez (1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI), and Yasser Mercedes (1-for-4, 3B, R) provided the thump for the DSL Twins lineup Friday afternoon, but it wasn’t enough to cover the DSL Angels and their 12 hits. Christian Jimenez, Eduardo Soriano, and Juan Mercedes struck out seven combined and did not allow a walk, but ultimately weren’t able to overcome the Angles’ lineup. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Kody Funderburk (Wichita): 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 8 K Hitter of the Day – Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Wichita): 2-for-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 2 R PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #8 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 3-for-6, BB, R #9 - Marco Raya (Fort Myers) - 4 IP, 3 H, 1 R/ER, 2 BB, 4 K #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-4, R #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Wichita) - 2-for-3, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 2 R SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul vs. Toledo (7:07 PM CST) - RHP Mario Sanchez (4-3, 3.24 ERA) Wichita vs. Arkansas (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Daniel Gossett (1-1, 2.22 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:35 PM CST) - LHP Brent Headrick (7-2, 2.39 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Clearwater (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Pierson Ohl (4-4, 4.42 ERA)
  9. Let’s see what happened this Saturday in the Twins organization. TRANSACTIONS 2B Nash Knight was assigned to Wichita from Round Rock Express (Rangers organization) RHP Luis Rijo was assigned to FCL from Cedar Rapids, after being removed from the 60-Day IL. OF Misael Urbina was assigned to Fort Myers from FCL Twins SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 9, Louisville 10 Box Score The Saints lost a heartbreaker on Saturday night. This game had so many lead changes; it was unfortunate to see St. Paul come out on the losing end. Aaron Sanchez took the hill for the Saints in this one. He threw six innings, allowing three runs while striking out four, keeping the Saints in the game and giving them a chance to win. Sanchez allowed three early runs to Louisville, so the Saints were in an early hole. Michael Helman singled in a run to give the Saints their first run of the night and cut the deficit to two. A few innings later, John Andreoli hit a solo shot, his seventh of the year, to cut the deficit down to just one run heading into the bottom of the sixth. The Saints brought in recently DFA’d reliever Juan Minaya to try to keep it a one-run game heading into the eighth inning. Unfortunately, he allowed four runs in the bottom of the seventh to put the Saints down by five runs, seeming like an insurmountable deficit. With six outs to go and needing five runs, the Saints started a comeback. Tim Beckham, Mark Contreras, and Jermaine Palacios all had two-out RBI singles in the top of the eighth, and Caleb Hamilton hit an RBI double to close the gap to just one run. After Drew Strotman threw a scoreless top of the eighth, the Saints tied the game in the top of the ninth when Jake Cave hit a sac-fly to score Andreoli. Evan Sisk continued to have an outstanding season when he threw a scoreless ninth to bring his season ERA down to 1.01 in 35 innings. The Saints took advantage of the runner on second base rule in the tenth when Curtis Terry doubled in the go-ahead run, and Roy Morales scored a run with a single to give the Saints a two-run lead with three outs to go. Ian Hamilton came on for the tenth and got two quick outs before an RBI single brought the game to 9-8. Louisville brought on a pinch hitter who quickly got to two strikes but hit a walk-off homer to give Louisville the come-from-behind victory. Helman, Terry, and Andreoli all had multi-hit performances to lead the offense in this game as the Saints fall to 40-42 on the season. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, Amarillo 6 Box Score In another extra-inning affair, the Wichita Wind Surge fell in a heartbreaker to the Amarillo Sod Poodles, 6-3. Kody Funderburk took the ball for Wichita, and he was excellent once again, throwing five innings without allowing an earned run. He now has a 2.78 ERA in 55 innings in 2022. Andrew Bechtold started the scoring in the bottom of the fourth when he singled to score Edouard Julien. The RBI was Bechtold’s 30th of the year. After Funderburk committed an error, the Sod Poodles capitalized with a sac-fly to tie the game at one in the top of the fifth. However, the game didn’t stay like that for long, as Wind Surge newcomer Nash Knight blasted a homer into the left-center field bullpen just one half-inning later. In the top of the seventh, Cody Laweryson allowed his first home run of the year in 45 innings to former Twin catcher Juan Centeno. The game remained deadlocked at two through the ninth inning, thanks to two scoreless innings of relief from Alex Scherff. In extra innings, the Wind Surge did not fare well as Melvi Acosta allowed three hits and two walks, which led to the Sod Poodles scoring four runs to take a four-run lead with three outs to play. Julien hit an RBI single in the bottom of the tenth, but it wasn’t enough to take down the Sod Poodles (great name, by the way) as Wichita fell 6-3 to bring their record to 40-39. KERNELS NUGGETS GAME 1 Cedar Rapids 5, Quad Cities 1 Box Score The Kernels were in control in game one of this doubleheader as they cruised to an easy 5-1 victory. Sean Mooney started on the hill for Cedar Rapids, going three innings, allowing one unearned run while striking out three. Alerick Soularie and Yunior Severino homered in their first at-bats to give the Kernels an early 2-0 lead. The homers were Soularie’s ninth and Severino’s fourth of the season. In the top of the fourth, Will Holland made one of the year's best catches. Rubendy Jaquez hit a scorching line drive to center, and Holland initially didn’t get a good jump but made up for it with incredible speed and a great diving catch to prevent extra bases. The Kernels tacked on three insurance runs in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a two-run double from Seth Gray and an RBI single from Wander Javier to increase the lead to four. Orlando Rodriguez got the win for the Kernels, throwing 2 2/3 innings of hitless relief while striking out three batters. The win was Rodriguez’s first of the year. Soularie and Gray each had multi-hit games to lead the offense to an easy win to at least guarantee a doubleheader split. GAME 2 Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 5 Box Score The Kernels had a rough go of things in the second game of this double-header, as they couldn’t get much going offensively after a tough start. The Twins Daily June Minor League Pitcher of the Month Aaron Rozek made a start for Cedar Rapids in game two. He had a rough start to the game, allowing five first-inning runs before eventually settling down. He went three innings, allowing five runs on seven hits while striking out three. This first-inning deficit was too much for the Kernels to overcome, as they could only muster up two runs on three hits in seven innings for the loss. Wander Javier, Kyler Fedko, and Jeferson Morales picked up the lone hits for Cedar Rapids in a pretty uneventful game. Bradley Hanner, Tyler Palm, and Matt Mullenbach were great out of the bullpen for Cedar Rapids, combining for four scoreless innings with ten strikeouts as they looked dominant. The Kernels had to settle for a doubleheader split on the day, and their record fell to a very impressive 48-32. MIGHTY MUSSELS MATTERS Fort Myers 8, Tampa 3 Box Score The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels continued their winning ways Saturday, picking up a sizable victory over Tampa by a score of 8-3. Twins Daily’s #9 prospect Marco Raya made a start on the mound for the Mighty Mussels, and he had his usual strikeout stuff, going four innings while allowing two runs and striking out six. Raya has 52 strikeouts in 43 innings at Fort Myers this year and has yet to turn 20 years old. The Mighty Mussels needed a response, with Raya giving up two early runs. They got a big one in the top of the fourth when Keoni Cavaco hit a solo shot, and Carlos Aguiar hit a two-run shot to give them the lead. After taking the lead, the Mighty Mussels never looked back, outscoring Tampa 5-1 the rest of the game to coast to an 8-3 win. Aguiar added his second homer of the game in the top of the eighth inning to add a little extra insurance. Pierson Ohl got the win in relief of Raya, throwing five innings of one-run ball with ten strikeouts as he completely baffled Tampa. Aguiar went 3-for-4 with a pair of homers to lead the offense in this one. Cavaco, Mikey Perez, and Rubel Cespedes all had two-hit performances to add to the Fort Myers offensive show. Fort Myers improves to 44-32 on the year with the win. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 12, FCL Red Sox 9 Box Score Rehabbing first baseman Miguel Sano played his fifth game with the FCL Twins and had his best performance, going 2-for-4 with two homers and not striking out. This is excellent progress for Sano, who the Twins hope can significantly impact the lineup after the all-star break. Ricardo Olivar added three hits to lead the offense, while Breilin Ramirez and Danny De Andrade each added two hits. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Twins 4, DSL Cubs Red 0 Box Score Cesar Lares was dominant on the mound for the DSL Twins, throwing five scoreless innings while striking out six batters to pick up the first win of his professional career. On the offensive side, Yasser Mercedes hit his first professional homer in the first inning of this game, while Rafael Cruz continued his offensive tear by hitting his fourth homer of the year. Cruz is now hitting .333/.441/.613 (1.054) with four homers in 75 at-bats this year. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Pierson Ohl (Fort Myers) - 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 K Hitter of the Day – Carlos Aguiar (Fort Myers) - 3-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #8 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, R, BB #9 - Marco Raya (Fort Myers) - 4 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 6 K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-for-3, 2 BB #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, R, BB NEXT DAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (12:05 PM CST) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez (5-2, 4.98 ERA) Amarillo @ Wichita (1:05 PM CST) - RHP Daniel Gossett (1-1, 1.96 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz (2-4, 6.32 ERA) Fort Myers @ Tampa (11:00 AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Saturday’s games! Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!
  10. Transactions: OF Cole Sturgeon activated from Paternity List by St. Paul OF Derek Fisher placed on Injured List (shoulder sprain) by St. Paul RHP Matthew Swain promoted to Cedar Rapids from Fort Myers RHP Andrew Cabezas promoted to Wichita from Cedar Rapids RHP Melvi Acosta promoted to Wichita from Cedar Rapids SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 12, Iowa 5 Box Score The St. Paul Saints turned to Mario Sanchez today in a matinee affair against the Iowa Cubs. He was brilliant working 7 2/3 innings allowing just two runs on five hits. Sanchez only struck out two but issued just a single free pass. Recently beginning his career in the Twins organization, Tim Beckham got on the board with his first home run today. A two-run blast in the top of the 2nd inning, Curtis Terry also came around to score on the big fly. Iowa tied things in the bottom half of the 2nd inning and that’s where things stood until the 9th inning. Recently returning from the Paternity List, Cole Sturgeon used dad power and singled with the bases loaded to drive in both Terry and Jake Cave. Doubling up the score, St. Paul finally had some breathing room. After allowing Iowa to square things up in the bottom of the 9th inning, St. Paul made this one a laugher in the 10th inning. Runner on second base or not, eight runs was going to be enough to get it done. Alex Kirilloff started the inning with a double to score Roy Morales. Then Beckham singled with the bases loaded to score Kirilloff. A Michael Helman walk plated Jake Cave, and Sturgeon pushed across Elliot Soto on a fielder’s choice. Thanks to a throwing error the bases remained loaded, and Morales cleared them with a grand slam for his first homer of the season. Iowa scored their free runner in the bottom half, but down seven still, it was of little consequence. The recently promoted Austin Schulfer earned his first Triple-A win. It is of note that Kirilloff returned to the Saints lineup in this one. Despite having been with Minnesota in Detroit on the taxi squad for most of the week, he rejoined the Triple-A club in Iowa for this contest. He may not have been eligible to travel to Toronto for the next series, or the Twins wanted to get him back in games and generate at-bats. He went 1-for-5 with a double, run scored, run batted in, walk, and a strikeout in this one. Even with the offensive explosion, only Beckham and Cave recorded multi-hit contests for the Saints today. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 2, Frisco 1 Box Score Looking to continue a good run, Matt Canterino took the ball and avoided damage tonight for Wichita. He worked 3 2/3 innings as Minnesota continues to be wary of his pitch counts. Canterino allowed just two hits, gave up no runs, and walked four while striking out the same number. Melvi Acosta came on in relief making his Double-A debut. He did allow one run but gave up just two hits and a walk while working two innings. Matt Wallner has drawn plenty of attention for his power this season, but he made an amazing catch for the Turbo Tubs in the 2nd inning. Wichita scored first as Jair Camargo continued to stay hot. His first double of the season scored Edouard Julien before Chris Williams ripped his 7th double to plate Camargo. In the 5th inning, Frisco halved the lead but that's where things stood. Acosta was given the win and recorded that result in his Double-A debut. KERNELS NUGGETS Lansing 7, Cedar Rapids 3 Box Score John Stankiewicz made the start tonight for Cedar Rapids but he was able to work just 2 2/3 innings before being lifted after two runs on five hits. Stankiewicz did strike out three but also walked two on the evening. Wander Javier got the Kernels on the board first with a 2nd inning single that plated Yunior Severino. Unfortunately that’s the last lead Cedar Rapids experienced tonight. After two runs coming across for the Lugnuts in both the 3rd and 4th innings, Cedar Rapids answered with a pair of their own in the 5th inning. Stepping in with Will Holland on base, Christian Encarnacion-Strand clubbed his 9th homer of the season to bring it within one. In the 8th inning Lansing added three for good measure and despite being even in hits, the Kernels couldn’t produce more with theirs. Jefferson Morales was the lone Cedar Rapids batter to produce a multi-hit game. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 7, Tampa 6 Box Score Star pitching prospect Marco Raya was on the bump tonight for the Mighty Mussels. This was not one of his stronger outings as he went just 3 1/3 innings while allowing four runs on three hits and three walks. Raya did punch out four tonight. All of the damage against him came on a 4th inning grand slam. Fort Myers tallied the first runs of the game in the bottom of the 1st inning. With Jake Rucker on, Emmanuel Rodriguez stepped in and laced a triple to drive him in. Rodriguez then scored on a wild pitch. The aforementioned grand slam in the 4th inning put Fort Myers behind, and they would stay there the rest of the night. After giving up two more runs in the top of the 5th inning, the Mighty Mussels got one back on Rodriguez’s second triple of the game, this time scoring Luis Baez in the bottom of the 5th inning. Down three with just three outs left, Keoni Cavaco sent a big fly to left field drawing the Mighty Mussels within two. It was his second dinger of the year. After a Kala’i Rosario single, and an advance to second on a wild pitch, Kyle Schmidt doubled bringing home a run and drawing Fort Myers within 180 feet of a tie ball game. Eventually loading the bases with two outs, Noah Cardenas took a hit by pitch to walk in the tying run and on to the 10th inning it went. Fort Myers started the inning with Mikey Perez at second base. After getting a second runner on, Perez stole third base. Dillon Tatum then stepped in. He hit a pop-up in front of the pitcher's mound. As the infielders converged, the ball dropped in. As Cavaco advanced to second, Tampa threw the ball to second for a force-out, but Perez took off and scored the winning run. The Mussels found themselves walk-off winners in one of the most unique endings you'll read about.. Rodriguez was joined by Baez as batters registering multiple hits on the evening. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K Hitter of the Day – Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 3-5, R, 2 RBI, 2 3B(3) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - Injured List #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-4 #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - Did Not Play #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-5, 2 K #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 3-5, R, 2 RBI, 2 3B(3) #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-5, 3 K #10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 3.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K #11 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #13 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, 2 K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-3, R, BB, K #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, R, 2 RBI, BB, HR(9) #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Iowa (7:08PM CST) - RHP Ronny Henriquez Frisco @ Wichita (6:15PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina Cedar Rapids @ Lansing (6:05PM CST) - RHP David Festa Tampa @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Jaylen Nowlin Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.
  11. TRANSACTIONS OF Cole Sturgeon was placed on the temporary inactive list (parental leave) LHP Danny Coulombe was returned to the Minnesota Twins from Major League rehab SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 9, Indianapolis 8 (F/10) Box Score It did not appear as if a win was in the cards for the Saints for the majority of the night, but they rallied to score five runs across their final three at-bats to upend Indianapolis in extras. Dereck Rodriguez and JC Ramirez struggled to contain Indianpolis’ bats early in the contest as they served up three home runs and eight runs in six innings. But Tyler Viza, Jordan Gore, and Jharel Cotton struck out five and allowed two hits in four innings of relief to keep St. Paul within striking distance. (Cotton struck out super prospect Oniel Cruz with the bases loaded and two outs in the top of the 10th.) Royce Lewis—who made his first minor-league appearance in centerfield—Alex Kirilloff, and Spencer Steer headlined the top of the Saints’ lineup but combined to go only 2-for-13 at the plate. Lewis looked good in center but admittedly did not encounter any defensive opportunities outside of the routine. Kirilloff continued to take healthy hacks at the plate and laced a single during his second at-bat, adding onto his his recent trend of encouraging play. He’s now hitting .329 with an .875 OPS at Triple-A. Mark Contreras played hero in the bottom of the ninth, crushing his sixth home run of the season to dead center with two outs to tie the game at eight apiece. Caleb Hamilton (1-for-3) put the game within reach with a dinger of his own—a three-run shot—in the eighth. Jermaine Palacios (2-for-4, BB, 2 R) needed to see only one pitch in the bottom of the 10th and laced it into the outfield for a single, which scored Jake Cave (2-for-5, 3B, 2 R) to seal the walk-off win. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 8, Corpus Christi 6 Box Score Despite the relatively close score, the Wind Surge controlled this game from the start and improved their record to 25-16 overall. Wichita score four runs in the first two innings and added four more in the fifth and sixth. Matt Canterino started on the hill and threw only 2 1/3 innings. This was due in part to the Twins’ cautious approach to his innings load this season but mostly because of uncharacteristic control issues. He allowed only one unearned run and struck out six, but walked four and gave up one hit. In 30 ⅔ innings at Double-A, Canterino has issued 18 free passes. He accumulated only 12 across his first 58 Minor League innings in 2019 and 2021. Austin Martin led off and went 3-for-5 with a double—the team’s only extra-base hit—and three runs scored during the win. Matt Wallner (2-for-5, 2 RBI) and Dennis Ortega (2-for-5, 2 RBI) also contributed multi-hit games. KERNELS NUGGETS Wisconsin 7, Cedar Rapids 3 Box Score The Timber Rattlers’ offense exploded for six runs across the fifth and sixth innings to give them the win over the Kernels. John Stankiewicz continued his struggles from his previous start, allowing five earned runs and only striking out three in 4 ⅔ innings to earn the loss. He also served up his first home run of the season, a two-run shot in the fifth. Offensively, Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2-for-4, 2 RBI) and Kyler Fedko (2-for-4, 2B) contributed multi-hit games. Aaron Sabato (1-for-3, RBI, BB) crushed a solo home run—his fifth of the season—in the fourth inning to drive in the Kernels only other run. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 2 Box Score Marco Raya and the rest of the Mighty Mussels pitching staff performed splendidly on Friday to help lift Fort Myers over the Marauders. Raya started on the bump and threw five innings, striking out seven, walking one, and allowing only a single earned run (it came on a homer). John Wilson, Hunter McMahon, Malik Barrington, and Matthew Swain combined to toss four hitless innings, striking out six. At the plate, Noah Miller (2-for-4, 2B, BB) and Keoni Cavaco (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB) registered the team’s multi-hit games. Noah Cardenas (1-for-4), Daniel Ozoria (1-for-4, 2B), and Luis Baez (1-for-4) all picked up RBI. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – RHP Marco Raya (Fort Myers): 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K Hitter of the Day – INF Austin Martin (Wichita): 3-for-5, 2B, 3 R PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-for-5, 2B, 3 R #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 1-for-5 #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 2 ⅓ IP, 1 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 6 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 1 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-4, 2B, BB #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-for-5, 2 RBI #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-5, 2 K #18 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-for-4 SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul vs. Indianapolis (7:07 PM CST) - RHP Ronny Henriquez (0-1, 7.20 ERA) Wichita at Corpus Christi (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (0-1, 8.59 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Wisconsin (6:35 PM CST) - LHP Brent Headrick (4-1, 1.36 ERA) Fort Myers at Bradenton (5:30 PM CST) - TBD
  12. TRANSACTIONS Following the Twins' game on Sunday, OF Mark Contreras was optioned to St. Paul. Presumably, Kyle Garlick will come off of the Injured List before the Monday series against the A's. SAINTS SENTINEL Game 1 St. Paul 3, Columbus 5 Box Score SP: Bailey Ober - 5 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: Jermaine Palacios (2) Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (2-4), Kyle Garlick (2-4, R, K), Caleb Hamilton (2-2, BB) The Saints played two on Sunday afternoon against the Columbus Clippers. The first game was started by Bailey Ober as he made his rehab start with the team. Ober totaled 72 pitches through five innings for the Saints but did not have the best return to the mound on Sunday. Ober gave up five runs (4 earned) on four hits. He struck out seven without giving up any walks. Even with all of Ober’s efforts, the Saints offense was not able to come through with run support in Game 1 to give themselves a victory. Alex Kirilloff did have a good return to the Saints on Sunday as he went 2-for-4 as the designated hitter in the first game. The Saints mounted a comeback in the top of the sixth thanks to RBI singles from Derek Fisher and Jose Godoy, but the offense was not able to pick itself back up in the seventh to make a comeback. The loss in game one to the Clippers brought the Saints losing streak to six in a row. Game 2 St. Paul 4, Columbus 5 (8 Innings) Box Score SP: Dereck Rodriguez - 4 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K HR: Curtis Terry (4) Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (2-3, R, BB), Curtis Terry (2-4, R, HR, RBI (16), K) Dereck Rodriguez was on the mound for the start in Game 2 for the Saints and his afternoon on the mound lasted an inning shorter than Ober's. The Clippers hitters were able to find the location where many of Rodriguez’s pitches were heading, accounting for seven hits and three runs, all of which were scored in the bottom of the first. As he cooled off from a rough first inning, the Saints' offense put two runs on the board in the top of the second thanks to RBI singles from David Banuelos and Ernie Yake to bring themselves within a run of the Clippers. The game remained scoreless until the top of the fifth when Saint's first baseman Curtis Terry crushed a two-run home run to give the Saints their first lead of the day at 4-3. The Saints had the lead going into the bottom of the seventh to close the game out and snap their losing streak. However, the Clippers were able to tie the game up and force extra innings thanks to a game-tying home run from second baseman Tyler Freeman off of Trevor Megill. The Saints could not amount any runs for a lead in the top of the eighth, the game went into the bottom half of the inning with Megill still on the mound. That worked in favor of the Clippers as they walked off Megill on a sacrifice fly by right fielder Oscar Gonzalez. The second loss in the doubleheader brings the Saints losing streak to seven straight. They will look to break the losing streak on the road Tuesday against the Omaha Storm for their first matchup of the season. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita, Northwest Arkansas Canceled The Wind Surge’s series finale against Northwest Arkansas on the road was canceled due to rain. The game will not be made up for future dates as the teams do not meet again during the season’s first half. Casey Legumina was scheduled to pitch for the Wind Surge on Sunday but will piggyback in relief on Tuesday for Matt Canterino who is scheduled to start for the Wind Surge. Wind Surge catcher Andrew Bechtold and Michael Helman had seven-game hitting streaks going into Sunday’s game which they still keep and have a chance to extend on Tuesday against the Springfield Cardinals at home. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Peoria 3 Box Score SP: John Stankiewicz 5 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K HR: Alerick Soularie (2) Multi-hit games: Soularie (2-3, 3 R, 3B, HR, 4 RBI (8), BB, K) The Kernels completed their final game against the Chiefs on Sunday winning in a 6-3 final and taking the series five to one against Peoria. The 6-3 victory for the Kernels was thanks in major part to second baseman Alerick Soularie, who scored three of the six runs for the Kernels and drove in four, finishing the day with his best offensive performance of the season so far. John Stankiewicz got the start for the Kernels making his first start of the season for them after spending all of April in Ft. Myers and making his Kernels debut out of the bullpen a week earlier. Stankiewicz pitched five solid innings for the Kernels allowing two earned runs on seven hits and only one walk while striking out five. In the four innings to follow, the Kernels bullpen only allowed three base runners on a hit, a walk, and an error. The Kernels will return home for a two-week homestand on Tuesday playing their first series against the Lake County Captains. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Palm Beach 0 Box Score SP: Marco Raya 4 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (3-5, 2 R, 2 2B, SB (7), RBI (9)), Noah Miller (2-5, 2 R, K), Emmanuel Rodriguez (2-4, R, 3B, 2 RBI (14), SB (7), BB, K), Kyle Schmidt (2-4, RBI (14)) The Mighty Mussels extended their winning streak to seven games Sunday afternoon completing a six-game sweep over the Palm Beach Cardinals with a shutout. The six-game sweep over the Cardinals became the first-ever six-game series sweep by the Mighty Mussels in franchise history. Marco Raya made his fourth start and threw his second scoreless outing of the season completing four innings in the frame. Raya only allowed one base runner in his four innings of work with a one-out walk in the top of the first. Following Raya in the Mussels shutout was Jaylen Nowlin making his seventh relief appearance of the season. Nowlin went three innings for the Mussels allowing only three base runners on a hit, walk and hit by pitch and registered four strikeouts. The final pitcher to come into the game for the Mighty Mussels Malik Barrington who recorded a six-out save for the Mussels. Barrington did surrender three hits in his two innings of work but retired five of the six outs he needed via strikeout. The Mussels offense had a slow start to the game as it was scoreless through five and a half innings. Then in the bottom of the sixth, the Mussels got the offense going thanks to an RBI single from Kyle Schmidt that scored Emmanuel Rodriguez. The Mussels added more insurance runs in the seventh with an RBI single from Mikey Perez and a bases-loaded walk from Kala’i Rosario. Then in the bottom of the eighth, Jake Rucker had an RBI double scoring Luis Baez and later in the inning, Emmanuel Rodriguez had a bases-clearing triple that brought the score to 6-0. The Mussels will begin their next series on the road Tuesday at Clearwater with a semi-double header. The first game Tuesday is the resumption of a suspended game from May 1 that will start in the top of the 11th inning tied 4-4. The regularly scheduled game against Clearwater will start a half-hour after the suspended game’s conclusion. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 4 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K Hitter of the Day – Alerick Soularie (Cedar Rapids) - 2-3, 3 R, 3B, HR, 4 RBI (8), BB, K PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 0-3 #3 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, R, 3B, 2 RBI (14), SB (7), BB, K #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, 2 R, K #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 4 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4 TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 17. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). St. Paul @ Omaha (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Springfield @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - Matt Canterino Lake Country @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Clearwater Game 1, Resuming May 1 Suspended Game (4:00 PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Clearwater Game 2 (5:30 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
  13. TRANSACTIONS Twins placed OF Trevor Larnach on the IL (right adductor strain) Twins recalled C Jose Godoy. OF Jake Cave was activated from the temporarily inactive list. C Roy Morales activated from the Development List and promoted to the Saints. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Iowa 10 Box Score SP: Cole Sands - 3 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: David Banuelos (2) Multi-hit games: Mark Contreras (2-5, 2 2B, RBI (17), 2 K) The Saints played the final game of their 12-game homestead on Sunday with the conclusion of their series against the Iowa Cubs. On Saturday, the Saints crushed the Cubs in a 9-2 victory. On Sunday, they received the other end of the stick. The Cubs got to the Saints early in the top of the second scoring four runs on five hits and a walk off of starter Cole Sands. Sands had a better go in both the first and third innings giving up only one hit in each of those innings. The high number of strikeouts and a tiring second inning had Sands at 71 pitches through three innings, and six Saints relievers came in to finish out the game. At the plate, many of the Saints bats went cold aside from Mark Contreras who had two doubles and an RBI for the Saints on Sunday. The Saints lineup also featured the return of Jake Cave from the temporarily inactive list leading off for St. Paul and going 1-for-4 with a double and RBI. One of the newest additions to the Saints roster, second baseman Kevin Merrell, spoke on adjusting to the new clubhouse after his promotion from Wichita and which players he has gravitated to as mentors with the Saints. “There are so many guys in there with a ton of experience, and I just need to watch closely and see what I can pick up. It’s been an easy transition, there’s a lot of phenomenal dudes on this team,” said Merrell. Merrell is a former first-round draft pick by the Oakland Athletics in 2017 and went 33rd overall in the draft. Merrell has already found a teammate on the Saints he wants to learn as much as possible from, that teammate being Saints infielder Elliot Soto. Merrell explained, “He can talk to anybody. He’s super encouraging, and he’s very confident in what he does. I think that’s contagious for a lot of us. He’s played for a long time. He’s 32 or so, has a lot of experience, and I would say he stands out the most for me.” The Saints will start a two-week road trip on Tuesday with two different stops, the first being in Columbus, Ohio for a week-long match-up with the Clippers. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1 Wichita 4, Tulsa 7 Box Score Game 1 SP: Chris Vallimont - 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None Game 2 Wichita 5, Tulsa 6 Box Score Game 2 SP: Casey Legumina - 2.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 5 K HR: Austin Martin (1), Michael Helman (4) Multi-hit games: Martin (2-4, R, HR, RBI (8)), Edouard Julien (2-3, R, 2 2B, RBI (10), K) The Wind Surge entered Sunday afternoon riding an eight-game win streak and had a doubleheader scheduled with the Tulsa Drillers to finish out their five-game series. Unfortunately for the WInd Surge, they were swept in the doubleheader. Chris Vallimont was on the mound for his sixth start of the season. Vallimont had a strong first inning recovering from a leadoff triple to Drillers shortstop Jacob Amaya. Amaya scored in the next at-bat on a sacrifice groundout. Vallimont continued to cool off in the second with a 1-2-3 inning, but the Drillers picked up three more runs in the third off of Vallimont which later knocked him out of the game. The Wind Surge bats were cold throughout Game 1 and although they tallied seven hits, no Wind Surge player was able to tally more than one hit. Wind Surge third baseman Spencer Steer managed to drive in two of their four runs in the game. ----------------------------------------------------------- Game 2 brought a better hitting game for the Wind Surge, but they still fell short in another loss against the Drillers. Game 2 was started by Casey Legumina who made his first start for the Wind Surge after three starts with Cedar Rapids to start 2022. Legumina gave up two walks in the top of the first inning but left the runners on base to get out of a jam. He continued that success in the second and retired the minimum in order. The third inning was where Legumina struggled the most, walking four batters and giving up two hits including a home run to Drillers left fielder James Outman. Austin Martin fans were able to rejoice at least in Game 2 as he hit his first home run of the season. Third baseman Michael Helman also had a home run in the sixth inning that brought Wichita within one run. The Wind Surge were unable to score more runs in the bottom of the seventh in order to tie the game and force it into extras. The Wind Surge begin their next series on the road against Northwest Arkansas Tuesday morning for another six-game series with the Naturals. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1 Box Score SP: Sawyer Gipson-Long 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi hit games: Jair Camargo (2-5, K) The Kernels completed their final game against the River Bandits on Sunday taking a win to complete a 4-2 series victory of Quad Cities. The 2-1 victory for the Kernels was the smallest scoring game of the series as Anthony Prato and Wander Javier drove in the only two runs. Javier hit into a force out in the bottom of the 8th inning to score Aaron Sabato with the game-tying run. They went to extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Javier was on third base when Anthony Prato his a fly ball to right field, deep enough to end the game. Sawyer Gipson-Long had his best start of the season on Sunday. He had season highs in the start with innings pitched (5 1/3) and strikeouts (6). He also did not give up any runs or walks in the game. The Kernels will be on the road in Peoria to play another six-game series against the Chiefs. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 9, Lakeland 1 Box Score SP: Steve Hajjar 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (3-4, 2 R, SB (6), RBI (6)), Mikey Perez (2-3, 2B, 3 RBI (7), 2 BB), Kyle Schmidt (2-5, 2B, 2 RBI (13), 2 BB, 2 K), Daniel Ozoria (2-4, R) The Mighty Mussels completed their series against the Lakeland Flying Tigers with a lopsided 9-1 victory which brought about a series split. The Mighty Mussels pitching was dominated by Steve Hajjar and Marco Raya. Hajjar started the game and threw three no-hit innings, walking four and striking out eight out of the nine outs. Raya came into the game in the top of the fifth. Although Raya gave up a home run in the top of the sixth, he only allowed one other base runner on a hit and struck out four to earn the win. The Mussels offense lit up all afternoon scoring nine runs on 11 hits without the help of a home run. Mussels third baseman Jake Rucker led the offense with a three-hit game. The Mussels will begin their next series at home on Tuesday night against Palm Beach for another six-game series against the Cardinals Low-A affiliate. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long (Cedar Rapids) - 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Jake Rucker (Ft. Myers) - 3-4, 2 R, SB (6), RBI (6) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-3 #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Game 1, 0-2, R, 2 BB Game 2, 2-4, R, HR, SB, RBI #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-4, R, 2B, RBI (3) #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, R, 2 BB #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, RBI (6), BB, K #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 3 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - Game 1, 1-4, SB, 2 RBI (20) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, SB, BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - Game 1, 0-3, BB, K Game 2, 2-3, R, 2 2B, RBI (10) TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 10. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05 PM CST) - Ronny Henriquez Wichita @ Northwest Arkansas (11:05 AM CST) - Ben Gross Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:05 PM CST) - TBD Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (5:30 PM CST) - David Festa Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
  14. SAINTS SENTINEL Iowa 7, St. Paul 3 Box Score Left-hander Devin Smeltzer was on the mound for the Saints, looking to continue his early season run of success against Iowa. Unfortunately, the Cubs ambushed him early and the Saints weren’t able to recover. The first three hitters of the game singled, before a sac fly got the scoring started for the visiting team. That was followed by a two-RBI double and RBI single to make it 4-0 before St. Paul had an at-bat. The Cubs tacked on two more in the second inning to end Smeltzer’s night. The home team did also score runs in each of the first two innings, but they weren’t crooked numbers like their opponent’s. Jake Cave drew a walk and came around to score on a Curtis Terry double in the first, and Elliot Soto drove in a runner with a single in the second that made it 6-2. Jake Petricka was summoned to begin the third and went two innings, allowing one run of his own on one hit and one walk, while striking out four. Ian Hamilton (2 IP, BB, 2 K) and Tyler Bashlor (2 IP, BB) then combined for four scoreless innings, before Yennier Cano (1 IP, H, BB, K) finished it off for the Saints with a scoreless ninth. The Saints closed the gap to 7-3 in the bottom of the fifth, when Alex Kirilloff delivered an RBI single to score Royce Lewis, who had drawn a walk and stolen his sixth base of the season in front of him. Mark Contreras (2-for-3, BB) and Jose Godoy (2-for-4, R, K) had multiple hits in the effort for the Saints. As a team they were 5-for-12 with runners in scoring position, but Terry’s double was their only extra-base hit, resulting in nine men being left on base for the game. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa @ Wichita - Postponed, Rain The Wind Surge versus Drillers series opener was postponed on Tuesday due to rain. Right-hander Louie Varland was scheduled to start this one against his brother Gus, a matchup that will likely will just be moved back a day. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 3, Cedar Rapids 2 Box Score The Kernels got a solid start out of Cody Laweryson, who went the first four scoreless innings. He allowed just two hits and struck out four, needing only 49 pitches (34 for strikes) to do so. Bobby Milacki (2 IP, 3 K) and Melvi Acosta (2 IP, H, BB, K) then followed him with four more scoreless innings to keep their team in line for a win against their in-state rivals. The home team took a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the fifth when Jair Camargo led off the inning with a single. Wander Javier followed with a double for their first run, and would later score the second on another double courtesy of Willie Joe Garry, Jr. It stayed that way until the top of the ninth when Cedar Rapids sent out reliever Derek Molina, who has been excellent thus far on the season with a 1.29 ERA and sub 1.00 WHIP, looking for his second save of the year. It didn’t go as planned, and he was replaced after walking the first two hitters to put the tying runner on base. Denny Bentley was then summoned and promptly allowed an RBI double, and then a two-RBI single, that put the Kernels behind 3-2. They were unable to mount a rally in the bottom half and fell to a still excellent 15-7 on the season. Each team had just five hits in the game, but the River Bandits got them when they counted late and were able to steal one. Christian Encarnacion-Strand finished this one 1-for-3 with a base on balls, and Seth Gray reached base twice via a walk to lead the lineup. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 1, Lakeland 2 (5 innings, Rain) Box Score In his last time on the mound before getting his wisdom teeth pulled, right-hander Marco Raya introduced himself as a prospect with a one-hit effort over six innings. He struck out 10 while facing the minimum against the Dunedin Blue Jays. This game started out just as good, with a quick one-two-three first inning on just eight pitches in his return to action. But in the second, an error on a groundball from the first hitter sent things off the rails. Before it was over Raya had thrown 35 pitches in the frame, collecting only two outs around a single and three walks that brought in two runs, before being removed from the game. Hunter McMahon came on for the final out of the second and also completed the next two innings. He allowed one hit, one walk, and struck out one to stabilize the game after Raya's early exit. The Mighty Mussels were able to put a run on the scoreboard in the top of the fifth thanks to the third home run of the season from Kala’i Rosario to make it 2-1, but the weather put an end to any further comeback attempt. John Wilson came on to start the bottom of the fifth inning and got two outs before thunderstorms ended the game early with the home team at-bat and leading. Fort Myers’ only other hit of the game, was a Mikey Perez single after the Rosario homer, and he proceeded to steal his fourth base of the season. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Bobby Milacki, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2 IP, 3 K) Hitter of the Day - Kala’i Rosario, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (1-for-2, R, HR, RBI, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, R, BB #3 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 4.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, BB, 3 K #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-for-5, 2B, RBI (first MLB hit) #11 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 0-for-2, K #15 - Marco Raya (Fort Myers) - L, 1.2 IP, H, 2 R (1 ER), 3 BB, K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, BB WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (6:37 PM CDT) - RHP Ronny Henriquez (0-1, 6.35 ERA) Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05 PM CDT) - RHP Louie Varland (2-1, 3.05 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CDT) - LHP Brent Headrick (2-1, 2.55 ERA) Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 PM CDT) - RHP David Festa (1-1, 1.93 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  15. Most of the Twins affiliates have played 15 games now while the St. Paul Saints have played 18 games. Top prospects are reaching 50-60 plate appearances. That's not enough to make any grand stances on players, but we'll get there. Starting pitchers will be making their third and fourth starts. Pitch counts may increase, and we might soon be able to find tendencies for players. and we will be here to cover it all. Let's take a look back at Week 3 in the Twins minor leagues. If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. Please note that the hyperlinks on player names will show you past articles in which that player has been tagged. Click around a bit and see how much some of these players have been written about over the years. RESULTS Tuesday: The Arrival of Raya Wednesday: Wind Surge Win a Wild One Thursday: Double Walk Offs and Shoving Smeltzer Friday: St. Paul Completes Twin Cities Sweep Saturday: Emmanuel Rodriguez Does It Again Sunday: Kernels and Surge Strike Large in Series Finales on Sunday MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT Twins Minor League Week in Review (4/12-18) Twins Have Important Reinforcements Close Unheralded Twins Prospects to Watch Twins Complete Padres Trade with Pitching Prospect Brayan Medina Emmanuel Rodriguez: A Star in the Making? Three Questions With… Emmanuel Rodriguez (Video) WEEK IN REVIEW Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week: 2-4 at Toledo Season: 10-7 overall, 3rd place in the International League West. They are 2 1/2 games behind Nashville. The Saints scored nine runs in one game last week. In their other five games, they scored a combined ten runs. In the first game of the week, they lost 11-0. That’s not to say that there weren’t some highlights. Ten Saints pitchers worked and did not give up an earned run. Sure, that includes catcher David Banuelos who retired the only batter he faced. The highlight was Ronny Henriquez. He made his first appearance of the season, his first appearance in the Twins organization, and his first Triple-A appearance. It went quite well. He worked three scoreless, hitless innings. He walked one and struck out four batters. Yennier Cano worked three scoreless innings over two appearances. He gave up two hits and hit a batter, and he struck out three batters. Dereck Rodriguez returned to the Saints after one appearance with the Twins. He gave up two unearned runs on two hits over three innings. He struck out five batters without issuing a walk. As you’d expect, it wasn’t all good. As terrific as Cole Sands was in his first two Triple-A starts, this wasn’t a good week. Combined, he gave up ten runs on ten hits in just 2 2/3 innings. He walked three and didn’t have a strikeout. He had a short start early in the week and came out of the bullpen on Sunday. No surprise that the Saints didn’t have any hitting standouts in such a frustrating week. Jose Miranda led the offense, hitting .250/.321/.458 (.779) with five doubles and three walks. Royce Lewis hit just .190 over six games. He had five walks, a double, and an absolutely mammoth home run. Daniel Robertson went 2-for-17 (.118) last week. Jake Cave was 3-for-23 (.130) with ten strikeouts. It was also a rough week for the catchers. Chance Sisco went 1-for-9 (.111). Jose Godoy went 1-for-8 (.125), though he got called up, and on Sunday had two incredibly huge walks. Caleb Hamilton went 0-for-5, and David Banuelos went 0-for-3. What’s Next? The Saints come home to host the Nashville Sound, the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. (Go to SaintsBaseball.com for tickets!) Pitching Probables: (RHP Dereck Rodriguez, LHP Devin Smeltzer, RHP Ronny Henriquez, RHP Jake Faria, TBD, TBD) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge Week: 4-2 at home vs. Midland Season: 8-7 overall, tied for 2nd place in the Texas League South Division. They are 2.0 games behind Tulsa. The Surge had a fantastic week offensively. In six games, they scored 52 runs. That includes a 15-1 win on Thursday, but they also had games with 10, nine, and eight runs. However, it was a rough week for their pitching staff. They gave up 45 runs. They had games in which they gave up 15, 10, eight, and seven runs. With that as the background, let’s start with the hitters. Six Wichita hitters posted an OPS over 1.000 for the week. Andrew Bechtold had a really nice week. In four games, he hit .364/.556/.727 (1.283). He had a double and a home run. He also walked six times with just two strikeouts. Kevin Merrell also played in four games. He hit .313/.333/.938 (1.271) with a double and three home runs. Michael Helman played all six games and hit .348/.429/.783 (1.212) with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and eight RBI. He also walked four times. Spencer Steer also played all six games. He hit .409/.567/.591 (1.158) with four doubles. He had eight walks to go with just three strikeouts. Steer was the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. Was he also Twins Daily's hitter of the week? Edouard Julien returned the second half of the week from the Injured List. He went 4-for-11 with a double and a triple. He also stole two bases in three games. Dennis Ortega signed with the Twins late in spring training. He played last year with the Triple-A affiliate of the Cardinals, the organization he began with in 2014. In five games last week, he hit .478/.500/.696 (1.196) with three doubles, a triple, and seven RBI. Despite his years of professional experience, he is still just 24 years old. On the other side of the spectrum, Leobaldo Cabrera went 0-for-15 during the week. Matt Wallner had two hits on Sunday, but he was 2-for-14 (.143) for the week. For the Wind Surge pitching staff, there were certainly extremes. Matt Canterino started on both Monday and Sunday. Combined, he threw six scoreless, hitless innings. He walked two batters and struck out nine. After missing most of the 2021 season with elbow issues, the Twins will be immensely cautious with Canterino this year, likely putting him on a plan similar to what the team did with Bailey Ober a year ago. Simeon Woods Richardson was incredible again in his start this week. The right-hander tossed six scoreless innings. He gave up two singles, walked no one, and struck out six batters. Austin Schulfer tossed four scoreless innings over his two appearances. He gave up three hits, walked none and struck out five batters. He recorded one save. While it wasn’t a great outing, Chris Vallimont had a nice, bounce-back start. He gave up one run in four innings. He gave up three hits, hit a batter, and walked three batters. He had six strikeouts. On the other side, Brandon Lawson gave up six earned runs in 1 1/3 innings. Steven Cruz pitched twice. In 1 2/3 innings, he gave up six runs on four hits, a hit batter, and four walks. All of that came in the ninth inning when he came in with a 7-0 lead. Zach Featherstone also pitched twice. He gave up seven runs on four hits (2 homers), and three walks in two innings. Bryan Sammons gave up four runs on four hits and three walks in two innings. What’s Next? The Wind Surge will be traveling to Arkansas for the week. Pitching Probables: (RHP Chris Vallimont, RHP Louie Varland, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Matt Canterino, TBD, TBD) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week: 5-1 at home vs Peoria) Season: 12-3 overall, 1st place in the Midwest League, 1.0 game ahead of Wisconsin. The Kernels won five of six games despite leading the run differential just 25-23. The first three games of the week were one-run games. They were postponed on Wednesday and then won both games of a doubleheader in walk-off fashion. The Kernels week (and season so far) has been largely successful due to some great work out of the bullpen. Eight relievers combined for 20 innings of zero unearned runs. Melvi Acosta, Denny Bentley, Osiris German, Bradley Hanner, and Bobby Milacki each pitched twice during the week and worked between 2 2/3 and 3 2/3 innings. Hanner was given the Win in both of his games. He walked and batter and hit a batter, but he did not give up a run or a hit during the week. Sean Mooney went five innings in his start. He gave up one run on four hits. Lefty Cade Povich gave up two runs (1 earned) on five hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out nine batters. Casey Legumina also worked 4 2/3 innings and gave up two runs. The Kernels got several solid performances from their hitters last week against Peoria. After a middling first full week of the season (after an amazing first weekend), Christian Encarnacion-Strand had another strong week against Peoria. Over six games, he hit .400/.400/.560 (.960) with two doubles and a triple. The only blemish was nine strikeouts in 25 plate appearances. Will Holland played in five games. He hit .375/.474/.438 (.912) with a double. In five games, Jeferson Morales hit .313/.429/.438 (.867) with two doubles. Outfielder Willie Joe Garry hit .294/.333/.529 (.862) with two doubles and a triple. What’s Next? The Kernels will be traveling to southeast Wisconsin to take on the Beloit Sky Carp. Pitching Probables: (RHP Cody Laweryson, RHP Casey Legumina, LHP Brent Headrick, RHP Sean Mooney, RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long/LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Week: 3-3 at Dunedin Season: 10-5 overall, 1st place in the Florida State League West, 2.0 games ahead of Bradenton. The Mighty Mussels scored 20 runs over their six-game week. Fortunately, their pitching staff only allowed just 18 runs on the week. No surprise, it was a tightly-contested week. Three of the six games were settled by one run. There was also a two-run game, a three-run game, and a four-run game. No laughers in Florida this week, at least not in Dunedin. The Mighty Mussels starters continued to pitch really well. The six starters worked a combined 28 1/3 innings and gave up just four runs (2 earned) on 11 hits and eight walks. They struck out 39 batters. John Stankiewicz had another great start last week. He struck out nine batters over five scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and walked two batters. Marco Raya’s second professional start was pretty incredible. He struck out 10 batters over six innings. He gave up one hit and struck out none. Steve Hajjar was good in his second pro start. He struck out 10 batters over 4 1/3 innings. He gave up an unearned run on two walks and a hit batter. No hits. David Festa also went four scoreless frames in his start. He gave up three hits, walked two, and struck out four batters. The big news to come out of this start was that he hit 98.6 mph with a fastball. On Sunday, Travis Adams gave up one run on one hit over five one-run innings. Two relievers worked twice and got at least 12 outs. Hunter McMahon walked one and struck out one over four hitless innings. Mike Paredes gave up just one hit over 4 1/3 scoreless innings and struck out five batters. It was a good week for a few 2022 draft picks. Eighth round pick from UCLA, catcher Noah Cardenas played in four games. He hit .273/.471/.545 (1.016) with a homer and three walks. Dylan Neuse was the Twins 17th round pick from Texas Tech. He also played in four games and hit .273/.385/.545 (.930) with his first professional home run. 12th round pick Kyler Fedko, an outfielder from U Conn had another solid week. Over six games, he hit .286/.407/.476 (.883) with a double and a home run. What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels are back at Hammond Stadium this coming week to face Clearwater. Pitching Probables: (LHP Steve Hajjar, RHP Pierson Ohl, RHP John Stankiewicz, TBD, RHP Travis Adams, TBD) PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week (April 19-24). #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 6 G, 7-for-24 (.292), 2-2B, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 4 K (Season: 15 G, .262/.392/.344 (.736), 5-2B, 15 R, 4 RBI, 10 BB, 12 K) #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 6 G, 4-for-21 (.190), 3-2B, 3B, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K (Season: 16 G, .288/.394/.542 (.937), 7-2B, 1-3B, 2-HR, 15 R, 9 RBI, 9 BB, 15 K) #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 5 G, 5-for-19 (.263), 3-2B, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K (Season: 16 G, .235/.280/.397 (.677), 8-2B, 1-HR, 8 R, 10 RBI, 4 BB, 13 K) #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - IL (knee) #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K (Season: 3 GS, 16 IP, 3 R, 9 H, 5 BB, 16 K, 2-1, 1.69 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 9.0 K/9) #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 2 GS, 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 9 K (Season: 4 GS, 9.2 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 8 BB, 14 K, 0-1, 2.79 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 7.4 BB/9, 13.0 K/9) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 G, 3.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 4 K (Season: 6 G, 9.0 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 2 BB, 15 K, 0-0, 4.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 15.0 K/9) #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1 GS, 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 6 K (Season: 3 GS, 16.2 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 14 K, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.54 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9, 7.6 K/9) #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 1 G, 4.0 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 0 BB, 4 K (Season: 3 G, 10.1 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 3 BB, 5 K, 0-0, 3.48 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, 4.4 K/9) #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 6 G, 5-for-21 (.238), 1-2B, 5 BB, 6 K (Season: 14 G, .200/.353/.218 (.571), 1-2B, 8 R, 1 RBI, 12 BB, 20 K) #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 5 G, 0-for-3 (.000), 0 BB, 0 K (Season: 9 G, .100/.250/.100 (.350), 2 R, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K) #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 4 G, 2-for-14 (.143), 5 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K.(Season: 12 G, .111/.222/.178 (.400), 1-HR, 4 R, 7 RBI, 7 BB, 24 K) #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 2 G, 1 GS, 2.2 IP, 10 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 0 K (Season: 4 G, 3 GS, 12.2 IP, 11 R, 14 H, 4 BB, 12 K, 0-3, 7.82 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 8.5 K/9) #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 6 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K (Season: 3 G, 2 GS, 15.1 IP, 10 R, 7 ER, 11 H, 8 BB, 18 K, 1-1, 4.11 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 4.7 BB/9, 10.6 K/9) #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 6 G, 3-for-20 (.150) , 2-2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 11 K (Season: 14 G, .267/.469/.667 (1.136), 3-2B, 5-HR, 12 R, 8 RBI, 16 BB, 17 K) #16 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - (Week/Season: 1 G, 3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, 12.0 K/9) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL (elbow) #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 6 G, 9-for-22 (.409), 4-2B, 6 RBI, 8 BB, 3 K (Season: 15 G, .322/.429/.542 (.971), 8-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 12 R, 12 RBI, 9 BB, 12 K) #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 3 G, 4-for-11 (.364), 1 BB, 2 K, 2 SB (Season: 7 G, .318/.385/.455 (.839), 1-2B, 1-3B, 4 R, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K) #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 10 K. (Season: 2 GS, 7.1 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 16 K, 0-0, 4.91 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 4.9 BB/9, 19.6 K/9) PLAYERS OF THE WEEK Hitter of the Week: Super Utility, Michael Helman, Wichita Wind Surge Last week, Michael Helman played in all six games for Wichita. He hit .348/.429/.783 (1.212) with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and eight RBI. He also walked four times. In 15 games on the season, he has hit .286/.379/.554 (.933) with two doubles, two triples, and three home runs. As important in his development, he has nine walks to just six strikeouts on the season. He is also 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts. The Twins drafted Helman in the 11th round of the 2018 draft as a second baseman out of Texas A&M. That is the position he played most of the time pre-pandemic. When he returned to the field in 2021, versatility became a huge part of Helman’s game. In fact, I think it is a trait that will help him get a shot in the big leagues at some point. Last year, he played 42 games in left field, 27 games in right field, 26 games in center field, 16 games at second base and four games at shortstop. He went to the Arizona Fall League where he played eight games in center but also played games in left, second and third base. This season, Helman has started ten games in center, four games at third base, and one game at second base. After struggling offensively in Ft. Myers in 2019, hitting just .197 before an injury ended his season. It was in Cedar Rapids in 2021 where his bat, and specifically his power arrived. In 111 games, he hit 21 doubles, four triples and 19 home runs (50% more than previously as a pro). He always took quality at-bats and knows the strike zone well, but after being a top of the order or bottom of the order hitter, he has become a middle of the order hitter in a very strong Wichita Wind Surge lineup in 2021. Pitcher of the Week: Marco Raya, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels In just his second professional start, Raya shut down the Dunedin Blue Jays for six innings. He faced the minimum of 18 batters. He gave up one hit, walked none, and struck out ten batters. The one batter who got a hit was soon thrown out attempting to steal a base. It was a nice jump forward after his first start in which he gave up three runs (2 earned) on seven hits, a walk, and a hit batter. Raya was the Twins' fourth-round draft pick in 2020 out of United South High School in Laredo, Texas. Of course, there wasn’t a season for him to begin his career then. He made a strong showing in the instructional league that fall. He was excited to begin in 2021 but a minor injury cost him the season. However, reports from last year’s instructional league had him hitting 96-97 mph with a fastball. That’s especially impressive when he was selected as a prep pitcher with four quality pitches and good control. Add in the big fastball and Raya has a chance to be really good. What were your favorite storylines from the past week, and what will you be following in the coming week.
  16. TRANSACTIONS In Fort Myers, IF Jesus Feliz was activated from the 7-day IL and was in the lineup batting sixth and playing first base for the Mighty Mussels. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 0, Toledo 11 Box Score Jose Miranda led off the game for the Saints with a double, but that was literally as good as it would get for them the rest of it. As a team they managed just three hits, were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, and left only five men on base on the night. In addition to Miranda’s double, Mark Contreras and Jermaine Palacios each had a single. Unfortunately, it wasn’t any better for the pitching staff either as Toledo scored at least one run in six of their eight at-bats. Starter Cole Sands went just 1 2/3 innings, allowing five earned runs on six hits and a walk. Wladimir Pinto, Jovani Moran, Jordan Gore, and Ryan Mason went the next six innings, combining to allow six runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out ten. Catcher David Banuelos was even called upon to get the final out of the game for the Saints and did so with one pitch. WIND SURGE WISDOM Midland 4, Wichita 6 Box Score The Wind Surge got a nice bounce-back start from right-hander Matt Canterino in this one, going three hitless innings. He struck out the side in the first on just 11 pitches but labored a little from there. In total, he walked two and struck out six, throwing 51 pitches (29 for strikes) in his outing. He was getting several swings and misses on mid-90s fastballs when he put them inside the zone, but also missed quite often. Overall a very encouraging outing from the top prospect, however. He also got some help from his defense, as left-fielder Leobaldo Cabrera definitely saved a couple of runs with this catch to rob a home run in the second inning: Wichita took a 3-0 lead after the second inning as Michael Helman led off the frame with his second home run of the season, and later Cole Sturgeon drove in the other two runs with a single to right field. After Canterino’s exit the RockHounds were able to jump on reliever Kody Funderburk in the fourth, as he allowed a two-run homer to cut the lead to one. Funderburk would finish three total innings, allowing two other hits and two walks while striking out two. Zach Featherstone was credited with a blown save and the win after allowing a game-tying two-run home run in the seventh. He got the win as the Wind Surge lineup came right back in the bottom half. Spencer Steer drove in one with a fielder’s choice ground ball to score Austin Martin, who had singled and stole his seventh base of the season before that, and Helman added a sac fly to make the final score 6-4. Austin Schulfer finished off the final two innings to pick up his second save, allowing two hits and striking out three. Dennis Ortega had two hits, Matt Wallner drew two walks and scored a run, and Martin was 1-for-3 with two walks in the game. KERNELS NUGGETS Peoria 3, Cedar Rapids 4 Box Score The Kernels got another strong start from left-hander Cade Povich in their series opener with Peoria. He pitched into the fifth inning, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings pitched. Though he struck out the first two batters of the fifth inning he had reached his pitch count at 81 in the game and was removed. He struck out nine hitters in the game and now has 17 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings pitched on the season in his two starts. Cedar Rapids scored single runs in the first and second innings thanks to RBI singles from Jair Camargo and Christian Encarnacion-Strand. They took the lead back in the bottom of the sixth when Wander Javier slugged his first home run of the season, a two-run shot to make it 4-2. Bradley Hanner was the first relief pitcher for the Kernels and went a scoreless 1 1/3 innings. Cody Laweryson went the next 1 1/3, allowing one run on one walk while striking out two. Osiris German finished off the eighth then came back out for the ninth and got into some trouble. A leadoff single was followed by a sac bunt and an error to put the tying run 90-feet away with two outs. But Seth Gray made a diving play to his left at first base, knocking down a screaming grounder, and was able to flip it to German at first base to secure the win. It was German’s third save of the young season and he struck out two in his 1 2/3 innings. Encarnacion-Strand (2-for-4, R, RBI, 2 K) and Camargo (2-for-4, RBI) had multiple hits and Aaron Sabato drew two walks in the game. As a team, they collected eight hits, were 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position, and left eight men on base in improving to 8-2 on the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 4, Dunedin 2 Box Score Before he had even made a professional appearance, starting pitcher Marco Raya was heading into the 2022 season with some major helium as a prospect. After a solid debut last week, you could say Raya officially provided evidence for that helium on this night. He was lights out for six innings, allowing just a single in the first inning, and went on to retire every hitter he faced after that (16 in a row). He had multiple strikeouts in four of his six innings and punched out the last five hitters he faced to reach double-digit strikeouts with 10 on the game. Hopefully, that’s the first of many times moving forward for the 19-year-old phenom. Even more impressive may be that he did this all on just 68 pitches, with 49 of them going for strikes (72%), and 17 of them swinging. The Mighty Mussels lineup gave him all the support he and the bullpen would need in the fifth inning, scoring all four of their runs thanks to some wildness from the pitcher and RBI singles from Kyler Fedko and Noah Cardenas. Jake Rucker and Dillon Tatum provided the other two hits in the game, and Noah Miller drew two walks. Malik Barrington allowed two runs on two hits in two innings of relief, striking out one. Hunter Mcmahon picked up his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Marco Raya, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (W, 6 IP, H, 10 K) Hitter of the Day - Wander Javier, Cedar Rapids Kernels (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-3, R, 2 BB, K, SB (7) #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, K #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, 2B, K #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 3 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 6 K #10 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 0-for-2, R, 2 BB #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - Pinch runner in the ninth #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-2, R, 2 BB, SB (1) #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - L, 1 2/3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, BB #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, R, 3 K #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, R, RBI, BB WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo (5:35 PM CDT) - RHP Mario Sanchez (0-0, 4.50 ERA) Midland @ Wichita (12:05 PM CDT) - RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (1-0, 0.00 ERA) Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CDT) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-0, 6.00 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (6:00 PM CDT) - LHP Steve Hajjar (0-0, 12.00 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  17. In 2021, the Mighty Mussels adjusted to their first season in Low-A ball. It was even more difficult because there wasn’t an Advanced Rookie League anymore since the Elizabethton Twins were no more. Players who likely would have played in E-Town were pushed to play in full-season ball. For some, that’s good. Others will have to repeat the level. This group is filled with many 2021 draft picks, some of whom played in Ft. Myers some late last season. We will introduce you to the 2022 Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Opening Day roster with a tweet-length bio. For much more on each player, click the hyperlink with the name and see all of the Twins Daily stories in which each player is tagged. There are some terrific prospects on this roster, and there are some great stories. COACHING STAFF Manager: Brian Meyer Hitting Coach: Rayden Sierra Pitching Coaches: Jared Gaynor, Carlos Hernandez Bench Coach: Takashi Miyoshi PITCHERS RHP Travis Adams (22) - Twins sixth-round pick in 2021 out of Cal State, Sacramento, where he was a starter for three years. He made just one appearance in the FCL last year after signing. RHP David Festa (22) - The New Jersey native spent three college seasons at Seton Hall. Last year, he went 6-4 with a 2.00 ERA. Twins 13th round pick, he throws 94-97 and will be a starter for the Mussels to start the season. RHP Regi Grace (22) - Grace was the Mighty Mussels Opening Day starter last year. He was the Twins 10th round pick in 2018 out of high school in Mississippi. LHP Steve Hajjar (21) - Hajjar was the Twins' 2nd round pick in 2021 out of Michigan. He didn’t pitch after signing, but he has a chance to move up quickly. Between 2020 and 2021 at Michigan, he went 7-2 with a 3.01 ERA. He had 134 strikeouts in 101 2/3 innings. RHP Jackson Hicks (24) - signed last summer out of the USPBL, Hicks split his time between the FCL and the Mighty Mussels. He walked two with the FCL squad and struck out 16 batters in 14 innings. RHP Hunter McMahon (23) - McMahon came to the Twins from the Nationals after the 2019 season in exchange for Ryne Harper. He had been the Nats' ninth-round pick that summer. A lost 2021 and an injury-plagued 2021 in which he pitched just five games, four with the Mussels. He needs to get some innings under his belt. RHP Juan Mendez (23) - The Dominican made his pro debut last year as a 22-year-old in the FCL. He went 2-3 with a 3.58 ERA over 12 games (5 starts). In 27 2/3 innings, he walked 14 and struck out 37 batters. LHP Jaylen Nowlin (21) - The lefty was the Twins 19th round pick last summer from Chipola College. He pitched in just one game last year in the FCL. He was clocked in the mid-to-upper 90s with a good slider during instructs. He’ll need to work on control and consistency, but he has potential. RHP Pierson Ohl (22) - He was the Twins 14th round pick last year out of Grand Canyon University. Last year, he went 10-2 with a 2.60 ERA. In 100 1/3 innings, he walked just 12 and struck out 103. He pitched in just one game with the FCL Twins last year and was a guest on Twins Spotlight in the offseason. RHP Michael Paredes (21) - After three seasons at San Diego State, he was the Twins 18th round pick in 2021. In the FCL, he struck out six and walked one batter in four innings. He profiles as a starter, but he will likely work in multiple roles with the Mighty Mussels. LHP Samuel Perez (22) - Perez was the Twins Daily short-season pitcher of the year in 2021 when he went 4-2 with a 1.45 ERA. He struck out 39 batters and walked just five in 37 1/3 innings. The Twins had signed him in the spring out of the Frontier League. He had initially signed with the Angels and spent two seasons in the DSL. RHP Marco Raya (19) - Raya was the Twins' fourth-round pick in 2020 out of high school in Texas. Minor shoulder issues kept him from pitching during the 2021 season. However, in Instructs last fall, he was impressive, hitting 97 with the fastball to go along with a four-pitch mix. RHP Niklas Rimmel (22) - The Berlin, Germany, native signed with the Twins late in 2017. He pitched in the GCL in 2018 and 2019, and injuries slowed him last year limited him to just three games and seven innings in the FCL. RHP John Stankiewicz (23) - After three years at Fordham University, he went undrafted in the five-round 2020 draft. He signed with the Twins. Last year, he pitched once in the FCL before making seven appearances (4 starts) for the Mussels. Combined, he went 1-0 with a 2.84 ERA. He had 30 strikeouts and nine walks in 25 1/3 innings. RHP Matthew Swain (24) - The Twins drafted Swain in the 23rd round in 2019 out of NAIA Georgia Gwinnett College. Last year, he pitched in n35 games for the Mussels. In 60 2/3 innings, he struck out 70 batters while walking 31. He was 6-2 with five saves. He stands 6-7 and throws hard. LHP John Wilson (24) - The southpaw was a freshman All-American at Old Dominion in 2017. Unfortunately, he was hurt and missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons, and the 2020 season was cut short. After the draft last year, he signed with the Twins and pitched in 17 games between the FCL (14 games) and Ft. Myers. CATCHERS Noah Cardenas (22) - The Twins went over slot to sign the UCLA backstop as their eight-round pick last summer. A solid defensive catcher, he hit .268/.371/.404 (.774) with 12 doubles and five homers in 57 games. He then hit .300/.400/.500 (.900) in 13 games in the FCL last year. Kyle Schmidt (24) - Twins 33rd round pick in 2019 from Richmond, Schmidt’s defense has kept him jumping all over the Twins organization. Last year, he played 25 games in Ft. Myers, 22 in Cedar Rapids, and even one game up in St. Paul. He hit a combined .250/.370/.329 (.699), including .302/.423/.430 (.853) at Ft. Myers. Great defender all-around. Dillon Tatum (21) - Tatum was the Twins 20th round pick in 2021 out of UC-Irvine, where he hit .278/.401/.684 (1.085) over 40 games last year. He had seven doubles and 15 homers. He played just five games in the FCL late in the season. INFIELDERS Keoni Cavaco (20) - The Twins selected Cavaco with the 13th overall pick in the 2019 draft. Last year in Ft. Myers, he played in 60 games due to a concussion and other minor injuries. He hit .233/.296/.301 (.597) with six doubles, two triples, and two homers. He is a solid defender at shortstop, but he could return to his high school position, third base, in 2022. Noah Miller (19) - Miller, whose older brother Owen plays for the Guardians, was the 36th overall pick in the 2021 draft out of high school in Wisconsin. In 22 FCL games last year, he hit .238/.316/.369 (.685) with three doubles and two homers. He has impressed the spring, especially defensively, in the four games he played for the Twins. He also had two hits in seven at-bats. Daniel Ozoria (21) - Ozoria came to the Twins from the Angels after the 2018 season for John Curtiss. In 2019, he split time between E-Town and Cedar Rapids. In 2021, he was moved all over. He started the season at Cedar Rapids (now High-A). In 51 games there, he hit .252/.388/.328 (.616) with six doubles and a homer. He also played five games for Ft. Myers and three games in St. Paul. He’s been around a while; it’s hard to believe he’s still just 21. Mikey Perez (22) - After three seasons at UCLA, the Twins made Perez their 15th round pick in 2021. He only played significant time in his junior season. He played well in Mankato in the summer of 2019. After signing, he played one game in the FCL (and went 3-for-4 with a homer). He moved up to Ft. Myers and hit .500 (13-for-26) with five doubles. Primarily a second baseman, he can play around the infield. His mom is the UCLA softball team’s head coach. Jake Rucker (22) - Rucker was the Twins' seventh-round pick last year out of the University of Tennessee. As a junior, he hit .330/.399/.520 (.920) with 21 doubles and nine home runs. In 22 games with the Mussels after signing, he hit .265/.377/.324 (.700) with two doubles. Ernie Yake (24) - Yake was the Twins 10th round pick in 2021 out of Gonzaga. As a senior in 2021, he hit .333/.423/.433 (.856) with 14 doubles and one homer in 42 games). He played seven games in the FCL before moving up to St OUTFIELDERS Kyler Fedko (22) - Twins 12th round pick in 2021 out of U-Conn. In 2021, he hit .398/.485/.674 (1.159) with 14 doubles and 12 homers in 52 games. He was putting up similar numbers in 2020 before the pandemic. In 23 games last year for the Mussels, he hit .235/.346/.265 (.610) with two doubles. Dylan Neuse (23) - Neuse was the Twins 17th round pick last year from Texas Tech. He was limited to just 27 games in 2021 and hit .281/.440/.427 (.867) with seven doubles. He has good speed and stole 11 bases. He didn’t play last year after signing. Emmanuel Rodriguez (19) - Rodriguez was a big international signing in 2019 from the Dominican Republic. After a lost 2020 season, Rodriguez played 37 games in 2021 with the FCL Twins. He hit .214/.346/.524 (.870) with five doubles, two triples, and ten homers. He also stole nine bases and has become a top Twins prospect. Kala’i Rosario (19) - Rosario was drafted in the fifth round of the five-round 2020 draft out of high school in Hawaii. He was one of the most potent prep bats in that draft class. In 2021, he hit .277/. 341/.452 (.793) with ten doubles, four triples, and five home runs. He was the Twins Daily short-season Hitter of the Year. So what do you think of this roster? There are several very young players with big potential. Leave your Comments and Questions below.
  18. The Twins and Red Sox play each other a handful of times every spring training. Given the close proximity of their homes, it makes for an easy opponent as far as travel is concerned. Rather than going across town today, the action with rookie and Single-A teams on the back fields seemed more appealing. Minnesota put 2020 draft pick Marco Raya on the mound to start the game for the Single-A club. He looked the part of beginning to fill out his body and really filled up the strike zone. His stuff played well, and he looked to largely overmatch the Boston lineup. With the 2020 season being canceled and then dealing with injury much of last year, Raya has yet to make an appearance in a professional game. This upcoming season will be exciting for him, and he’s definitely one to watch. Cade Povich drew the start against a loaded rookie-level Red Sox club on the opposite field. Both Red Sox top prospects, Marcelo Mayer and Blaze Jordan started, and Povich handled each of the talented competitors. The former Nebraska Husker struck out the side in one inning today and was largely dominant for Minnesota. He struck out nine batters in 4 2/3 innings. It was hard to be unimpressed with Casey Legumina, who took over for Povich while he was dealing. Strikeouts were added in bunches as he displayed a strong pace and swagger on the mound. There's no assessing velocity without a radar gun on him, but the intent behind his fastball was more than evident. Some general observations include the growth Keoni Cavaco has seen as he fills out his frame. The Single-A club displayed an impressive power outing with three homers in four batters (and a double in between), and despite the wind blowing out, catching prospect Noah Cardenas left the yard in a big way. A few other notes from today include: the roster cutting of six players being reassigned out of big-league camp. None of the names are shocking, but there’s more than a couple here that should be options for the Twins at some point in 2022. Big leaguers Luis Arraez and Alex Kirilloff both got at-bats on the back fields today. Carlos Correa saw his first live at bats since the World Series. Former teammates Sonny Gray and Gary Sanchez worked together during live at-bats today. Catching coach Hank Conger was heavily involved in their exchanges. The experimental rules in the minor leagues also became official today, as did the continuation of what’s incorrectly being dubbed a “ghost runner” in Major League extra innings. Minnesota’s bats woke up en route to a 10-4 victory over the Red Sox today, and the highlight could have been Trevor Larnach’s three-run blast to the big part of the park. Tomorrow Tampa comes to town, although there is a good chance of rain in the forecast. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  19. Longenhagen was the lone author of the January 2021 rendition of the list so this will be an interesting comparison to see how he views these guys one year later. As a reminder, a player loses his rookie and prospect designation from the prospect list if they surpassed 130 at-bats, 50 innings pitched, or 45 days on the active roster. With that defined, let’s start by looking at the graduates from the 2021 list sorted by their 2021 team prospect ranking. Graduates #1 (in 2021) Alex Kirilloff #3 Trevor Larnach #4 Ryan Jeffers #10 Gilberto Celestino #12 Brent Rooker #37 Nick Gordon The Twins graduated some of their best prospects early on in 2021 but the end results left (a lot) more to be desired. Kirilloff’s season ended in July due to a wrist injury but should be penned in as the opening day 1st basemen. Larnach ended the season in AAA after a second-half OPS of .480, but I would expect him to be the everyday left fielder at some point this season. Jeffers stuck around after his June 1st promotion but ended the season batting below the Mendoza line and a career-low (minors included) .401 slugging percentage. Celestino only got 59 at-bats but was on the roster for almost two full months where he slashed .136/.177/.288. I’m not sure what a role would look like for him in 2022 other than maybe the last guy on the roster used as a late-game defensive replacement and pinch-runner. Rooker, who had an exciting start to his career in 2020, was able to eclipse the Mendoza line…by a point…in 2021 but may not have a spot in the 2022 lineup without an injury or trade. Gordon was the lone bright spot and really carved out a role for himself as a super-utility ending the season with a .752 OPS in the last month. Top 3 Risers #3 Jose Miranda, UT (+17) It’s no surprise that the Twins Minor League Player of the Year shot up prospect boards after his meteoric 2021 season. With 30 home runs and a .973 OPS between AA-Wichita and AAA-St. Paul, the utility infielder will be one to keep an eye on during an abbreviated Spring Training although I wouldn’t anticipate him being with the Twins on Opening Day. #12 Marco Raya, RHP(+11) On the contrary from Miranda, it was surprising to see Raya jump 11 spots considering he has yet to see game action in 18 months with the Twins due to shoulder soreness in 2021. Raya has some electric stuff but a small frame.. It remains to be seen whether or not his stuff can play at the professional level and if he’ll be a starter or reliever. #4 Josh Winder, RHP (+9) Winder dominated AA-Wichita to the tune of a sub-2 ERA and struck out more than 10 batters per nine innings. That performance earned him a promotion to AAA-St. Paul where he didn’t find the same success in just four starts before being shut down with shoulder tightness. Honorable Mention: Spencer Steer, 2B (+9) “Top” 3 Fallers #24 Aaron Sabato, 1B (-16) Sabato’s 2021 wasn’t all bad…he ended on a high note with an OPS north of 1.000 after being promoted to high-A-Cedar Rapids in 75 at-bats. But when your value is almost exclusively as a power hitter, it’s hard to ignore the .410 slugging across the entirety of the season. He’s a non-roster invite to Spring Training but I’d imagine he’ll spend most of this season at AA-Wichita. #28 Blayne Enlow, LHP (-11) This fall is mostly attributed to needing Tommy John and missing most of the 2021 season and at least half the 2022 season. He’s still only 22 and the Twins believe in him enough to protect him from the Rule 5 draft this offseason, and he just might end up on the “risers” side of this list next year. #27 Chris Vallimont, RHP (-9) After encouraging 2018 and 2019 minor league seasons, he returned from a missed 2020 season and really struggled with his control, walking six batters per nine. He turns 25 in three days and hasn’t had any success past A-ball in three minor league seasons. He’s always been a starter, but he reworked some things in 2021 and if that doesn’t work, he may need to look at a relief role if he has a shot at being a Major League pitcher someday. I think 2022 will be the deciding factor on what his future looks like. Looking at Langenhagen’s 2022 list, who graduates, who rises, and who falls a year from now? Leave your thoughts in the comments! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  20. With the draft in July last year, the Twins had their drafted pitchers report to Ft. Myers and then take time away from throwing. In that time, they learned more about nutrition and weight lifting programs. They threw some bullpens, in large part, just to have some baseline analytics using their technology. In doing so, they could learn more about themselves and develop a plan for their offseason. Actual innings pitched were not important. Starting the process of development is the most important thing. Chase Petty threw just five total innings for the FCL games over two starts, but he did a lot of learning. He said, “It was new for sure. It was a lot better competition, obviously, coming from high school baseball, especially from New Jersey baseball. It was definitely a big difference. But it was fun. I really enjoyed it. All the guys here are very supportive of you.” He continued, “Really just being a professional baseball player and cleaning up everything off the field and on the field. Just having the mindset of a big-leaguer because that's the goal, that's the dream, and succeed even there. Really this offseason was developing that mindset that this is going to be a grind, and you really have to prepare yourself for it. I'm ready for it.” Petty ended last season at the Instructional League and went back home to Summer Pointe, New Jersey. He trained in nearby Pleasantville at the Baseball Performance Center with Phillies Triple-A pitcher Mike Adams. He has worked at the facility since his freshman year of high school. Fellow Twins pitching prospect Sean Mooney also works out there. Earlier this week, Minor League Director Alex Hassan noted that they are fully aware of the facility and the coaches and trust their work. He also noted, "Chase really has impressed us with his ability to be routine-oriented for a high school player.” He continued, “Normally on the high school front, you’re really trying to emphasize routine in the training room or weight room or just on the field in terms of catch play and things you’re working on. He had a lot of that coming in, which has really stood out and been impressive.” Hassan says that Petty has been impressive on the field too. “I’ve heard the perception among high school players who throw hard that they just want to go out there and blow it out, and it’s a spectacle to see how hard he can throw, but I think he’s got more touch and more feel than that typical profile. He threw strikes in the very, very brief appearances he had in the FCL. In Instructs, he continued to fill up the zone. We’ll continue to work on that.” When drafted, we read a lot about Petty touching 102 or 103 mph with his fastball at times. That certainly can be a concern, but he and the Twins understand the bigger picture. Petty says that last year in games, he was consistently throwing 94 to 97 mph and touching 99 mph at times, and that’s where he would like to be in 2022. “Around there would still be ideal, but at the end of the day, it's all about getting outs and still performing. So doing what I have to do, whether that's velo up, or kind of dominating with my secondary pitches, that's what I'll have to do to become an all-around better pitcher.” To do that, he is working with the pitching coaches and coordinators to clean up some of his mechanics. He said, “It's really cleaning up things that need to be cleaned up whether that is the arm path, whether that is the arm angle, and kind of making sure things are where they need to be to prevent injuries and stay as healthy as possible.” His spring training roommate can certainly help talk him through that conversation. Marco Raya was the Twins’ fourth-round pick in 2020 out of high school in Texas. He did not pitch in 2021 due to a shoulder injury. However, he arrived at Instructional League healthy and hitting 97-99 mph at times. In my personal Twins prospect rankings, I have Chase Petty at #9 and Marco Raya at #10. Petty also ranked ninth in the Twins Daily rankings, while Raya was listed among the Honorable Mentions. Both understand that big-league hitters can hit a triple-digit fastball, so they know they need to keep working on secondary pitches. When the Twins drafted Petty, he talked about having 4-5 pitches and working on others. The Twins have worked with him and helped him focus his early-career attention on thinking long-term. Petty said, “We worked a lot with analytics here, and we’ve done a lot with perfecting our craft and perfecting the things that play the most. So we really just perfected the sinker, the changeup, and the slider for right now, and once those three are where they need to be, we’ll start working on the fourth, and hopefully, they’re on, and we’ll keep going. Right now, it’s really just perfecting what we need to perfect right now to get to where we need to be long term.” Long-term. It’s a great concept, and Chase Petty won’t even turn 19 years old until April 4th, so he and the Twins need to be patient. Last summer, the Twins made him a multi-millionaire, but let’s not forget that this is his first real job. This is the first time he’s lived away from home for an extended period. It’s the first time he’s lived in a dorm or had a roommate. Asked about Petty, Matt Canterino said, “I mean, the stuff’s electric. It’s really, really cool to watch, and I’m 24 now. What is he, 18 still? It’s just incredible. I can tell you I was nowhere near the stuff that he has, and it’s really impressive. I guess if I had to say like one thing - once again, I’m 24, he’s 18 - and I know that if I look back at that pitcher, I was at 18, where I am now, not just like how I’ve developed, but like what I throw now and my mentality and stuff on the mound, it’s two completely different people. It’s not even just from five years ago to now. It’s like from two years ago, three years ago to now. So I think most of the stuff that I would tell him would just be, ‘Be open to new things. Keep working. Listen to what everybody has to say, not necessarily do everything that everybody tells you to do but be open about that stuff. It will be really cool to see how you evolve as a pitcher and as a person.” Sage advice indeed. Be patient, and yet get to work. Petty arrived with the first group of pitchers in mid-January. He said, “Really just got here to get to work and to get after it. We had early camps, and me and Marco (Raya), and Louie Varland, we really worked heavy together in that camp. We really got after it together there.” Petty noted that he grew up in Millville, New Jersey, and a 10-minute drive north takes you to Vineland, New Jersey. Hispanics comprise about 35% of the town’s population, so Petty got to know a little Spanish in elementary school and Little League from just hanging out with his friends. He feels very fortunate to have Marco Raya, who speaks fluent Spanish, as his roommate for many reasons, including that he teaches him some Spanish. He wants to continue to learn and be able to better communicate with his teammates from Latin America. Well, that and he wants to know what they’re saying when they think he doesn’t understand. As for his 2022 goals, he keeps it pretty simple. He is working as a starter and building up strength and innings. But he noted, “Obviously (I want) to have the best season possible for myself and move up the ranks as much as I possibly can, whether that be finishing the season in Low-A, High-A, wherever that may be. Just pushing myself to have the best season I possibly can.” He doesn’t know where he’s going to start the 2022 season. It certainly wouldn’t hurt him to start the season in Extended Spring Training and continue to build him up, but indications are that he will begin the 2022 season with the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels. There are a lot of reasons to be excited about right-hander Chase Petty. He has a big arm with velocity and secondary pitches. He’s shown pretty good control. He has a good head on his shoulders and has really taken to instruction. So what are your overall thoughts on the Twins taking Petty with their late, first-round pick in 2021, and what do you hope to see from him in 2022? Share your thoughts below. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  21. Looking beyond the top 20 illustrates the depth of the organization. These Twins Daily rankings are comprised of the votes of 11 Twins Daily writers who covered the Twins farm system in 2021. The voters followed the system nearly daily over the past season. Many watched a lot of video. Some attended some games at the Twins affiliates. In 2019, Luis Arraez and Jordan Balazovic appeared in this list. Two years ago, names such as Randy Dobnak, LaMonte Wade, Jorge Alcala, Bailey Ober were outside the Top 20. (maybe I shouldn’t mention that Akil Baddoo was a 2020 Honorable Mention.) Last year’s Honorable Mention group contains several players who have moved up the rankings Many of the prospects you’ll read about today could be, and maybe should be, in the Top 20 in one year. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if a couple of these players are Top 10 prospects one year from now. Before we start, the following players are no longer “prospects” according to Baseball-Reference: Alex Kirilloff, Ryan Jeffers, Brent Rooker, Trevor Larnach, Ben Rortvedt, Nick Gordon, Bailey Ober, and Ralph Garza, Jr. FIRST-ROUND FEATURES If anyone in the top 20 is unable to fulfill their duties, well, the #21 prospect is 2020 first-round pick Aaron Sabato. The first baseman struggled in his professional debut. We have reviewed and replayed his statistics, the low batting average, lots of strikeouts. But, he also has a very good eye at the plate, and his final couple weeks in Ft. Myers and during his time in Cedar Rapids, Sabato reminded us of the power potential that he possesses. Likewise, 2019 first-round pick Keoni Cavaco falls out of the top 20. While he still has immense tools, speed, power, and arm strength, he continued to struggle at the plate in Ft. Myers, especially as the season went along. He also fought some injuries including a concussion. Cavaco was one of the Twins prospects who was most hurt by the lost 2020 season. He remained young for the Low-A level and certainly had less pro experience than most. But often, talent and athleticism work out and Cavaco remains very intriguing. ALREADY DEBUTED Jovani Moran was drafted in 2015 and in 2021, he finally made his MLB debut in September. The lefty has put up huge strikeout numbers throughout his minor league career. He dominated at Double-A and then Triple-A before spending the final month with the Twins. He could be a big part of the Twins bullpen for years to come. ON THE 40 ALREADY A couple of very hard-throwing right-handers on the 40-man roster fell just outside the Top 20. Drew Strotman came to the Twins from Tampa in the Nelson Cruz trade. He’s got a four-pitch mix that includes a fastball that can touch 98 mph. He struggled in his time with the Saints, but he should help the Twins in 2022. Even after Tommy John surgery, the Rays had added Strotman to the 40-man roster. Chris Vallimont came to the Twins from the Marlins in the Lewin Diaz trade in 2019. Another starter with a big fastball, Vallimont sits 94 to 96 and touched 97. He was very inconsistent in 2021, especially with his control. Too many walks. However, he was a strikeout machine and his stuff is so good the Twins put him on their 40-man roster after the season. ARM STRENGTH The 2019 Twins draft included a lot of college pitchers, and several of them have made an impression already, even with the lost 2020 season. Casey Legumina didn’t pitch after that 2019 draft as he was recovering from Tommy John surgery, so 2021 was his professional debut. Sawyer Gipson-Long began the season with a rough start, but he proved durable and unlike many, he became an innings eater. At the same time, he too recorded a lot of strikeouts. WE HARDLY KNOW YE We already mentioned Aaron Sabato above, but all four of the Twins 2020 draft picks received votes, but not enough to get into the Top 20. Frankly, we just haven’t seen enough of them yet for various reasons. Alerick Soularie put up big offensive numbers at Tennessee before the Twins made him their second round pick. Unfortunately in spring training, he had a foot injury, so he didn’t get into games until the second half of the season. Marco Raya was the team’s 4th round pick in 2020, and with a minor injury, he did not pitch at all in 2021 either, so he is yet to make his professional debut. Yet, reports out of instructional league mentioned that he was hitting 97 mph with his fastball. When he was drafted, it was for things like control, a strong pitch mix. To add velocity to that is really exciting. Kala’i Rosario was their fifth and final pick of the 2020 draft. He was one of the most powerful prep bats in that draft. His pro debut came in the FCL and he was named the Twins Daily Short-Season Minor League Hitter of the Year. Of course, we also didn’t see a lot of the 2021 draft picks, but a few of them have already made an impression. No 2021 draft pick made a bigger impression than fourth-round pick Christian Encarnacion-Strand. He hit in 21 of 22 games played and posted a .391/.424/.598 (1.022) with four homers. Third-round pick Cade Povich also was impressive. The southpaw from Nebraska pitched in just 10 innings in his pro debut, but he had 19 strikeouts in that time. And again, reports from the instructional league noted that he was hitting 97 mph fairly consistently. Yasser Mercedes received a $1.7 million signing bonus from the Twins just a month ago. An athletic outfielder, Mercedes is just 16-years-old but obviously an intriguing talent. In 2018, Misael Urbina received a $2.75 million signing bonus from the Twins as a 16-year-old international free agent. A week into the 2021 season, Urbina moved up to the Mighty Mussels. He was one of the younger players in the league and struggled, hitting under-.200 and yet he held his own and showed a good plate approach. Yunior Severino came on strong after he was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. After hitting .245 in 63 games with Ft. Myers, he hit .321 in 35 games for the Kernels. Combined, he was second in the organization with 29 doubles. As I look at this group of Honorable Mentions, it is incredibly exciting. There are five or six pitchers that are very intriguing in this list with big velocity and the ability to get strikeouts. There are a few hitters that have big power potential. As I said in the beginning, many of these players could move up the rankings in 2022. That is a lot of talent, and those are guys who rank outside of the Twins Daily Top 20 prospects. Check back over the next two weeks to see who our 2021 Top 20 Twins Prospects are.
  22. Sometimes there aren’t a lot of data points or statistics available in scouting or in prospect analysis. That would be the case today. In this group of five prospects, they combined to pitch just 36 innings of pro ball in 2021. Granted, three of them were drafted in 2021 and threw plenty of innings as amateurs. The other two pitchers missed significant time during the season with injury. So for this group to be pitching prospects six through ten means that they have some impressive scouting reports, stuff, big arms and more. So let’s start. Be sure to discuss and ask questions in the comments below. #10 - LHP Steve Hajjar 2021 Stats: Did Not Pitch Back in 2018, the Milwaukee Brewers selected Steve Hajjar in the 21st round out of Central Catholic High School in Massachusetts. He declined and enrolled at the University of Michigan. He tore his ACL in the fall of his freshman season. He put his name on the map in 2020. Due to Covid, he made just four starts, but he went 3-0 with a 2.70 ERA. Then in 2021, he went 4-2 with a 3.09 ERA over 14 starts. In 81 2/3 innings, he struck out 110 batters while walking just 29 batters. The Twins made him their 2nd round pick. The southpaw works in the low-to-mid 90s, though he has been clocked as high as 97 mph. He’s also an advanced pitcher and has a good breaking ball and changeup as part of his four-pitch mix. The 21-year-old will make his pro debut in 2022 and could be a fast mover through the lower levels of the system. #9 - LHP Cade Povich 2021 STATS: 0-0, 0.90 ERA, 4/3 G/GS, 0.90 WHIP, 19/2 K/BB, 10.0 IP The Twins drafted Cade Povich in the third round of the 2021 draft. In his junior season at Nebraska, he went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA over 15 starts. He tossed 81 innings and struck out 88 batters while walking 22. After signing, he went to Ft. Myers and got adjusted to the professional game and the Twins organization. He ended the season with two innings in the FCL before pitching in eight innings (over three games) to end the season with the Mighty Mussels. Along with the impressive numbers he showed all season and in his ten pro innings, his name was the one I heard most coming out of the Instructional League after the season. He’s blessed with a very strong arm, pitching into the mid-90s, but he also has solid secondary pitches. Video surfaced of him airing it out in a cage last week, throwing 101.2 mph. He will turn 22 in April. #8 - RHP Jhoan Duran 2021 STATS: 0-3, 5.06 ERA, 5/4 G/GS, 1.81 WHIP, 22/13 K/BB, 16.0 IP 2021 was a lost season for Jhoan Duran. He began the season in the Injured List with some forearm/elbow issues. He returned to the mound about a month into the season. He showed his stuff, often hitting 102 mph for the Saints (probably actually 100 mph). He’s got a good slider. He has the noted “splinker.” He has the ability to miss bats and get strikeouts. Unfortunately, as you can see above, he couldn’t stay on the mound. After just five games, he went back on the IL and was shut down. He didn’t have surgery and reports were good late in the year. That will be the question. It is also possible that he could wind up in the bullpen where he could be a force and his arm could be protected more. He came to the Twins in the July 2018 Eduardo Escobar trade from the Diamondbacks. Duran just turned 24 years old over the weekend, so there should be no rush. #7 - RHP Marco Raya 2021 Stats: Did Not Pitch Along with Povich, the name Marco Raya also came with glowing platitudes about how good he looked at the Instructional League. Raya was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2020. He didn’t pitch during the 2021 season due to a minor injury, but he pitched at Instructs. The 19-year-old from Laredo, Texas, was consistently hitting 97 mph on the radar gun. He also has a lot of pitch-ability. He’s got a changeup. He has a couple of different breaking pitches. He has confidence. Now he just needs some innings. He should start the season with the Mighty Mussels. #6 - RHP Chase Petty 2021 STATS: 0-0, 5.40 ERA, 25/17 G/GS, 1.40 WHIP, 6/1 K/BB, 5.0 IP Chase Petty grew up in Millville, New Jersey. Yes, the hometown of Angels’ outfielder Mike Trout. Petty finished out his high school career at Mainland Regional High School, and he actually threw a no-hitter against Trout’s alma mater. In July, the Twins made him the 26th overall pick in the 2021 draft. That night, he immediately showed his personality and charisma that could make him a star off the field. On the field, and specifically on the mound, he has the kind of stuff that could make him an All Star. Petty is blessed with a big arm. He regularly touched triple-digits with his fastball, reportedly hitting 102. While he stands just 6-1, he is lean and has the potential to add strength. But beyond the fastball, Petty throws a slider, a curveball and a changeup, and he has worked on more pitches. After signing, he worked at the Twins complex in Ft. Myers. However, he got into two games at the end of the FCL Twins. He gave up three runs over five innings. He also struck out six batters with just one walk. In games, he was sitting 96-98 mph with the fastball. (Personally, I see this as a good thing) In summary, these five pitchers did not get many professional innings in 2021. They all have potential, and after throwing some innings, we may find that these five and the top five could be pretty interchangeable. This is a group with a ton of potential. Duran is the one that could see big-league time in 2022 if healthy. Povich and Hajjar could be fast movers, and they're left-handed which is certainly an added bonus. Raya and Petty are all about ceiling and upside and the organization should and will be patient with them. This grouping should be a fun list to discuss. I know I'm excited about this group. Discuss these players, their rankings and feel free to ask questions. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Hitters Part 3: 16-20 Hitters Part 4: 11-15 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 3: 16-20 Pitchers Part 4: 11-15 Pitchers Part 5: 6-10
  23. 30. RHP Marco Raya (19 years old) Season Stats: Yet to Debut Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NA, 2021 Preseason: NA Raya was the Twins’ fourth-round draft pick in 2020 out of United South High School in Laredo, Texas. His fastball can hit in the low- to mid-90s, and he mixes in three breaking pitches, including a slider, a curveball, and a change-up. At 6-feet tall and 170 pounds, he isn’t tall on the mound, but he is a good athlete, and the Twins are excited about the promise he shows for the future. Currently, he is on the IL with the FCL Twins. 29. LHP Jovani Moran (24 years old) Season Stats (AA/AAA): 50 IP (26 G), 1.98 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 15.3 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NA Moran has one of the best change-ups in the Twins system, and he has been able to use it to dominate the minor’s upper levels this season. Originally, he was taken by the Twins in the seventh round in 2015 out of Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. During July, he struck out nearly 50% of the batter he faced. Right-handed batters have been limited to a .352 OPS against him in 2021. With his success at Triple-A, he seems likely to make his big-league debut before the season's end. 28. LHP Steve Hajjar (21 years old) Season Stats (College): 81.2 IP (14 G), 3.09 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 12.1 K/9 3.2 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NA, 2021 Preseason: NA Hajjar was Minnesota’s second-round pick in this year’s draft from the University of Michigan. He signed for the full slot value of $1,129,700 but has yet to make his professional debut. At Michigan, he led the Big Ten with 110 strikeouts in 81 2/3 innings. He is 6-foot-5 and weighs 215 pounds, so he is quite the presence on the mound. Typically, his fastball sits in the low-90s, but he can reach the mid-90s with some movement. He mixes in a change-up and a curveball to keep batters off balance. 27. SS Wander Javier (22 years old) Season Stats (A+): 76 G, .219/.274/.409 (.683), 9 HR, 12 2B, 9 3B, 33.8 K%, 6.1 BB% Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 17, 2021 Preseason: NA Javier was initially signed by the Twins in July 2015, and his name has populated the team’s top prospect lists throughout that time. At one point, he was considered a top-100 prospect in baseball, but he hasn’t put it all together to the point where he has been left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft the past two years. He had a tremendous month of June with a .834 OPS, but he struck out 41 times in 112 plate appearances in July. Fans can hope he develops into a five-tool talent, but that dream might have passed at this point. 26. 2B Alerick Soularie (22 years old) Season Stats: Rehab Assignment Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 18, 2021 Preseason: 18 Soularie rolled his ankle during spring training and then broke his foot going down some stairs, which has kept him out of action until late last week. He was taken in the second round in 2020 out of the University of Tennessee and he is 22-years old. Soularie has started his rehab assignment by going 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. He is considered one of the best athletes in the Twins system, and the organization has to be excited to have him back on the field. Check back this week for the rest of the Twins post-draft and post-trade deadline top-30 rankings. Feel free to discuss this group of prospects and ask questions.
  24. Marco Raya was the Twins fourth round draft pick in 2020 out of United South High School in Laredo, Texas. Shortly after the selection, Twins scouting director Sean Johnson said, "We really love his mechanics, his delivery, his arm action. He checks a lot of boxes for us. For a high school pitcher, great foundation to evolve into a starter. Raya, who turned 18 after the draft, also has the pitches to get excited about. His fastball sits in the low-90s and has touched 94. He's got a hard, sharp slider as well as a slower curveball. He's also got a change up that needs development but has a chance to be a plus-pitch for him. Raya is young and will need to mature physically over the coming years. He is touted for his work ethic and his character. Johnson said, "He's a tremendous worker, a tremendous competitor." Of course, Raya was not able to start his professional baseball journey due to the lost 2020 minor league season. However, he was invited to the Twins instructional camp in Ft. Myers in November. Tonight, we will get to learn more about a very talented Twins prospect. Please join us live at 8:00 tonight to watch, and participate by sending your questions. We'll cover a ton of topics and ask any questions you have. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Please watch LIVE tonight at 8:00 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. Here is the YouTube link where you can watch the show. For more on Marco Raya: Follow Marco on Instagram at @theofficialrayita. Follow Marco on Twitter at @markraya_. Twins Select Marco Raya with the 128th Overall Pick (June 2020). Twins Newest Pitcher Excited to Make his Mark (June 2020). Previous Episodes Click here to see more previous episodes of Twins Spotlight. Episode 22: Zander Wiel Episode 23: Blayne Enlow Episode 24: Royce Lewis Episode 25: Trey Cabbage Episode 26: Keoni Cavaco Episode 27: Casey Legumina Episode 28: DaShawn Keirsey Episode 29: Twins Wives (Maci Blankenhorn, Lexi Jeffers, Jordan Kirilloff) Episode 31: Bryan Sammons Episode 32: Marco Raya
  25. Two years ago, our 2019 Honorable Mentions included Luis Arraez who went on to be the team’s top rookie that season. It also included Jordan Balazovic who jumped into the top five the next season. In last year’s Honorable Mentions, you’ll find Jorge Alcala who had just been shifted from starting pitcher to a reliever. We saw his impressive rookie season in 2020. So which players who received votes this year will climb the prospect ladder in 2021 and maybe even contribute to the big league club this year? This year’s prospect rankings are difficult. Because of the pandemic, there wasn’t a 2020 minor league season. Some of the top prospects spent the summer at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. Some even made their MLB debuts. The minor leaguers did report to spring training, several had been there for weeks before being sent home. Some players went to Instructional League and there were some reports from there. Before we start, the following players are no longer “prospects” according to Baseball-Reference: Jorge Alcala, Randy Dobnak, Lewis Thorpe, Cody Stashak and Devin Smeltzer. HARD-THROWING PITCHERS The Twins’ player development group has done a nice job in recent years developing arms in the minor leagues. The next step will be seeing those pitchers work their way to the big leagues. There are some strong pitchers in the top 20, but there are a few impressive arms in our honorable mentions as well. Josh Winder was the talk of the Twins Instructional League after the missed 2020 season. He is a big, strong kid whose fastball jumped up to 97 mph this past fall. Chris Vallimont throws just as hard. He came to the Twins in the Sergio Romo trade late in 2019. Luis Rijo is the youngest of the group, and he too is reaching into the mid-to-upper 90s with his fastball. When the Twins acquired him from the Yankees in the Lance Lynn deal, he was touted as an advanced pitcher. He still has a good mix, but now with the increased velocity too. Dakota Chalmers came to the Twins in the Fernando Rodney deal with the A’s. He was coming off of Tommy John and completed his rehab in 2019. He was added to the 40 man roster and spent his 2020 summer at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. ALREADY DEBUTED Travis Blankenhorn made his MLB debut in September with one game played. His role will likely be a versatile utility player with some power. We will likely see him some in 2021, but he will see most of his time in St. Paul. COMEBACK KIDS? Wander Javier was once a top ten, and even a top five prospect for many in the Twins system. Unfortunately, he has missed about three of the past five seasons due to injury and then last year’s lost season. He struggled at Cedar Rapids in 2019. Despite that, he is ultra-talented and just turned 22 years old in late December. Yunior Severino was set to return in 2020 after breaking his thumb early in the 2019 season. He was twice a seven-figure international free agent, and he will be just 21 throughout the 2021 season. He likely is a second baseman, but he has a lot of offensive potential. WE HARDLY KNOW YE Spencer Steer was the Twins 3rd round pick in 2019 out of the University of Oregon. He had an impressive pro debut that summer but didn’t get the opportunity to back that up in 2020. That year, the Twins also selected shortstop Will Holland in the fifth round. In 36 games at E-Town, he hit seven homers and stole eight bases. His college teammate at Auburn was Edouard Julien, an infielder that the Twins took in the 18th round. Unfortunately, he was hurt during the Pan Am Games and had Tommy John surgery and hasn’t yet made his pro debut. Seth Gray is a very talented third baseman that was the Twins fourth round pick in 2019. He’s got a lot of power potential. In the 2020 draft, the Twins took right-handed pitcher Marco Raya in the fourth round. He’s got an impressive pitch mix and can throw hard. He’ll need to gain strength, but he’s certainly got some potential to move up this list. Then in the fifth round, the team took outfielder Kala’i Rosario. The Hawaii native has as much power as any prep player in last year’s draft. Emmanuel Rodriguez signed a seven-digit bonus with the Twins in 2019. He was set to begin his professional career in the DSL in 2020, but instead we will begin in 2021. It was just last month that the Twins signed 16-year-old shortstop Danny De Andrade for $2.2 million. The Venezuelan was one of this year’s top international prospects. For each of these players, 2021 will be their first opportunity to make a real impression. Some may move up this list next year. Some may find themselves outside of this list. That is a lot of talent, and those are guys who rank outside of the Twins Daily Top 20 prospects. Check back over the next two weeks to see who our 2021 Top 20 Twins Prospects are.
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