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  1. A couple of Twins affiliates played extra-inning games. Alex Kirilloff had his best game of the year. Louie Varland was outstanding once again. Noah Miller had a multi extra-base-hit day. And Spencer Steer has ice in his veins. In addition, we saw one Twins' top prospects continue to transition to his role as a starter masterfully. Let’s see what happened this Wednesday in the Twins organization without further ado. TRANSACTIONS The Twins activated Carlos Correa from the 10-day IL and optioned Royce Lewis to St. Paul. SS Ernie Yake was assigned to Wichita from St. Paul. Wichita placed 2B Edouard Julien on the 7-day IL SAINTS (AAA) St. Paul 7, Omaha 8 Box Score On Wednesday, the St. Paul Saints fell to the Omaha Storm Chasers 8 to 7, but Alex Kirilloff showed some very encouraging signs. After an extra-base-hit hiatus of 73 plate appearances to begin his 2022 season, Kirilloff recorded two extra-base hits on Wednesday to show some signs of power that many thought he lost due to a lingering wrist injury. Jake Faria made his seventh start of the 2022 season for the Saints and struggled again, only going three innings of work. Faria allowed four runs on four hits and three walks in those three innings while striking out two batters. His season ERA increased to 7.77 in the lackluster performance. The Saints stranded Kirilloff at second base in the first inning after his double, and Faria struggled. Faria gave up three runs on two hits and three walks in the first, but he stranded two runners thanks to a clutch 5-4-3 double play. In the third inning, the Storm Chasers scored another run thanks to a two-out homer from Brewer Hicklen. The Saints responded in the top half of the fourth with the Kirilloff homer and got another run when Jake Cave scored on a Jermaine Palacios single, but the Saints left runs on the table and stranded the bases loaded. Daniel Gossett came on to relieve Faria in the fourth and immediately gave up a homer to JaCoby Jones. Gossett settled in and worked three innings of relief while allowing two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out four batters. Cave scored again in the top of the sixth, this time on a single from David Banuelos to pull the game within two runs. The Storm Chasers responded with one in the bottom of the sixth to extend their lead back to three. In the seventh, the Cave show continued when he clubbed his first homer of the year to pull the game back within two runs. Drew Strotman came on in relief in the bottom of the seventh and threw one and ⅓ scoreless innings, allowing one hit while striking out two batters. In the top of the eighth, the Saints put together an incredible rally when Elliot Soto and Mark Contreras led off with back-to-back singles, and Curtis Terry drew a walk to give Kirilloff bases loaded with no outs. Kirilloff responded by hitting a two-run single to knot the game up at six, followed by Terry scoring on a balk to give the Saints a 7 to 6 lead. Strotman gave up a leadoff double in the bottom of the eighth and struck out Hicklen before being replaced by Jordan Gore. The first batter Gore faced hit an RBI single, and the Cardinals tied the game again. After an uneventful ninth, the Saints couldn’t get anything going offensively in the tenth inning. Jake Petricka came on in relief in the bottom half, and the first batter he faced singled, ending the game due to a runner starting on second base. The Saints fell to 15-20 with the loss. Kirilloff was 4-for-6 with a double, a homer, and three RBI. Cave went 2-for-6 with a homer and three runs scored. Roy Morales went 2-for-5, and Soto reached base four times due to two hits and two walks. WIND SURGE (AA) Wichita 7, Springfield 6 Box Score The Wichita Wind Surge were victorious over the Springfield Cardinals on Wednesday by a score of 7-6. Twins Daily #12 prospect Louie Varland made a start for the Wind Surge, and he pitched well, throwing six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out eight batters. He decreased his season ERA to 3.58 and continued to be an excellent minor league pitcher. The Wind Surge took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning behind four straight singles from Austin Martin, Alex Isola, Andrew Bechtold, and Matt Wallner. Martin scored on Bechtold’s single, while Isola came in to score on a double play later in the inning. Varland gave up a homer to MLB.com’s #27 overall prospect Jordan Walker to tie the game at two in the third inning. The game remained a stalemate for a couple more innings until the bottom of the fifth when Wallner came up clutch with a two-out, two-strike, two-run single to give the Wind Surge a 4-2 lead. In the top of the seventh, reliever Osiris German wriggled out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam to keep the score at 4-2. The Wind Surge couldn’t muster anything offensively in the seventh or eighth innings, so the Wind Surge turned to Alex Scherff to close the game down. Thanks to three walks, an error, and a hit-by-pitch, the Cardinals tied the game in the ninth. Austin Schulfer came in the ninth to clean up the mess and continued working into the tenth, as he recorded a 1-2-3 frame in the tenth. Wallner was intentionally walked to set up the double play in the bottom half of the inning, and it worked, as Michael Helman bunted into a fielder's choice. DaShawn Keirsey struck out with runners on the corners and two outs to send the game into the eleventh. Ben Gross came in to work the eleventh inning, and the first batter he faced singled, setting up runners on the corners and nobody out. The next batter hit into a double play, but the go-ahead run came in to score. The Cardinals hit a homer with two outs to make it 6-4. In the bottom of the eleventh, Chris Williams worked a leadoff walk. The Wind Surge then called on their best hitter, Spencer Steer, who had the night off. Steer got the count to 2-2, then unloaded on a fastball to left field for a three-run, walk-off homer, his seventh homer. The Wind Surge improved their record to 21-12 on the season thanks to heroics from their star player. Isola went 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored. Wallner was 2-for-3 with two RBI, two walks, and a stolen base. Williams was 2-for-3 with two walks. And the hero, Steer, was 1-for-1 with a homer and three RBI. Gross picked up his third win as his record improved to 3-0. KERNELS (HIGH-A) Cedar Rapids 2, Lake County 4 Box Score On Wednesday night, the Cedar Rapids Kernels fell to the Lake County Captains 4 to 2. Aaron Rozek toed the rubber for the Kernels as he went three and ⅓ innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three batters. He took his first loss as his record went to 4 and 1. He now has a 5.1 ERA. The Captains started the game quickly, getting a home run from the game's second batter. Twins Daily #18 prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand roped a double in the bottom half of the first but was stranded at third base. Rozek allowed two runs after a walk, single, RBI double, and sacrifice fly in the top of the third. The Kernels faced a three-run deficit going into the bottom of the third, but they responded. Willie Joe Garry Jr. led off the inning with a walk, and Will Holland tripled on the first pitch of his at-bat; driving in Garry Jr., Anthony Prato hit a sacrifice fly to score Holland, and the Kernels deficit was down to one run after the third inning. Bradley Hanner came on in relief of Rozek and threw one and ⅔ innings of scoreless relief while striking out three batters. Hanner’s ERA is down to a minuscule 0.54 on the year. In the bottom of the fifth, Holland hit a double for his second extra-base hit of the game but was stranded at second base. Ryan Shreve came in to relieve Hanner and let up a home run in the top of the sixth to increase the Kernel deficit to two runs. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Kernels threatened after a leadoff double from Prato and a single from Aaron Sabato. Still, they failed to capitalize, leaving these runners stranded at first and third. In the ninth inning, the Kernels got the tying run to the plate, but Holland struck out to end the game, and the Kernels lost 4 to 2. With the loss, the Kernels fall to 24-11. They went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, which ultimately decided the game. Holland was 2-for-4 with a double and a triple, and Encarnacion-Strand was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. Cody Laweryson threw two innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts, and Miguel Rodriguez pitched a scoreless inning. MIGHTY MUSSELS (LOW-A) GAME 1: Fort Myers 5, Clearwater 10 Box Score The Mighty Mussels dropped game one of the double-header with Clearwater. Right-hander Pierson Ohl made his sixth start of the year for Fort Myers. Ohl went four innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out three batters. Clearwater started the scoring at the bottom of the first with back-to-back hits to take a 1-0 lead. The Mighty Mussels responded with a run in the top of the second when a pitch hit Dylan Neuse, Neuse stole second base, and Luis Baez had a clutch two-out single to drive in Neuse. However, Clearwater retook the lead in the bottom half of the second when Ohl allowed a two-out solo home run. In the top of the third, the Mighty Mussels got a one-out walk from Twins Daily #10 prospect Emmanuel Rodriguez walked, stole second, and scored on a Mikey Perez double. When the Mighty Mussels needed a shutdown inning in response, Ohl could not deliver as he allowed three hits, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch which led to three runs, and the Mighty Mussels trailed 5-2 after three innings. After an uneventful fourth inning, Jake Rucker led off the top of the fifth with a single and stole second base. After Rucker moved up to third on a groundout, Rodriguez drew another walk and promptly stole second base for the second time of the game. Former first-round pick Keoni Cavaco singled with two outs to score Rucker and put the Mighty Mussels within two runs of the lead. Jackson Hicks replaced Ohl on the mound in the bottom of the fifth. After an error, two walks, a hit-by-pitch, a single, a ground-rule double, and a wild pitch, Hicks had given up five runs and was pulled from the game after only collecting two outs. The score was 10-3 when Hicks came out, and the game was all but over. John Wilson replaced Hicks and pitched one and ⅓ innings of perfect baseball to finish off the game for the Mighty Mussels. In the top of the seventh, Rucker walked, followed by a two-run home run by 2021 first-round pick Noah Miller, his second of the year. The game ended after seven innings, and the Mighty Mussels lost game one of the double-header, 10-5. Miller went 2-for-4 with a home run and 2 RBI, and Rucker went 2-for-3 with a walk. GAME 2: Fort Myers 2, Clearwater 0 Box Score Game two was a much different story for the boys in Fort Myers. The Mighty Mussels turned to right-hander Mike Paredes to try to salvage a split in the double-header. Paredes turned in an excellent outing for the Mighty Mussels, going four shutout innings while striking out three batters. The only baserunner Paredes allowed was a single in the first inning, and he only threw 45 pitches. Paredes was primarily used in a relief role to start the season, but his last two appearances have been starts, and that is a role Paredes seems to thrive in, as he has only allowed one hit through seven innings as a starter. The game was deadlocked at zero until the fourth inning. Fresh off a multi-hit performance, Miller was in an 0-2 count with one out in the fourth when he hit his second triple of the year to get the first runner in scoring position of the game. After a strikeout of Noah Cardenas, Perez came up in another RBI spot, and he delivered, cranking his fourth home run of the season to give the Mighty Mussels a 2-0 lead. After the Perez homer, the Mussels couldn’t manage any more hits and relied on their defense and pitching to win them the game. In the top of the fifth, Niklas Rimmel replaced Paredes and threw two great innings of relief, holding the opposition scoreless and striking out three. Fort Myers turned to Regi Grace in the top of the seventh to close the game out, and he pitched phenomenally, striking out all three batters he faced on only 12 pitches to earn his second save of the season. After the double-header split, the Mighty Mussels record is 22-12. Mikey Perez finished the game 2-for-3 with the game-winning homer, and Noah Miller went 1-for-3 with a triple and a run scored. These were the only three hits of the game for Fort Myers, but they proved to be enough. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Mike Paredes (Fort Myers) - 4 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day – Alex Kirilloff (St. Paul) - 4-for-6, R, 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 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4, R, HBP #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-1, HBP #8 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 1 IP, 2 H, 2 K #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-2, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 SB (9) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 3-for-7, HR (2), 3B (2), 2 R, 2 RBI #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-1, HR (7), 3 RBI, R #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, 2B (7), BB THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Omaha (6:35 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (0-0, 4.76 ERA) Springfield @ Wichita (7:05 CST) - RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (2-1, 2.20 ERA) Lake County @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (2-2, 4.03 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!
  2. TRANSACTIONS RHP Bailey Ober assigned to AAA St. Paul on Major League Rehab. OF Alex Kirilloff optioned to AAA St. Paul. LHP Devin Smeltzer contract selected by Minnesota Twins. IF Miguel Sano placed on 60-Day IL. RHP Blayne Enlow added to AA Wichita Saints Sentinel The Saints were rained out on Saturday. They will play a double-header against Columbus tomorrow with Bailey Ober taking the mound in game one. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 7, Arkansas 6 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K HR: Spencer Steer (6), Chris Williams (1) Multi-hit games: Austin Martin (2-for-5, R, RBI), Spencer Steer (3-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-4, 2B, R, BB, 2 K) The Wind Surge kept rolling on Saturday. Blayne Enlow made his Wind Surge debut and his first non-rehab assignment start since undergoing Tommy John surgery. He’s back. The start wasn’t the best, but six strikeouts is nothing to sneeze at. It’s just great to see him healthy and back on a pitching mound this summer. While the game ended up close, Wichita’s offense took off quickly in this game, scoring pairs of runs in the first three innings. Spencer Steer was the main culprit, hitting a two-run homer in the first to go with an RBI infield hit in the second. That may be the biggest difference feet-wise between RBI hits in baseball. Arkansas would steal a run in the bottom of the 2nd inning, but Chris Williams belted a hearty laugh, and blasted a two-run homer to right-center field. The Naturals came scratching back, though. Chris Vallimont had a tough outing in relief, allowing two earned runs and walking four batters in 1 2/3 innings of work. Defense didn’t help either, as both Andrew Bechtold and Austin Martin made errors that allowed un-earned runs to score. That Martin error was especially deadly, as Arkansas rode their extra out to three runs and a tied game. In dramatic fashion, Martin then made good and gave Wichita the lead in the 8th with an RBI single. The Naturals could not recover from that deficit. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 1 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: Anthony Prato (5) Multi-hit games: Aaron Sabato (2-for-4, 2B, R), Alerick Soularie (2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI), Will Holland (2-for-3, R, RBI) The Kernels won on Saturday. Water is wet. These were the two sentences used last time, and they are still appropriate. Sawyer Gipson-Long Did the Darn Thing and completely silenced the Chiefs’ bats. It took the righty just 62 pitches to run through 15 outs with seven of those being strikeouts. Gipson-Long has been a surprising revelation since joining the Twins organization, and Saturday was another day in a line of impressive starts from him. Credit news to be given to Derek Molina, Tyler Palm, and Denny Bentley, as they combined for four clutch innings of work and just a single earned run allowed. Although the game ended up handily won by Cedar Rapids, the game flow was not always so simple. The score was 2-1 after eight innings with an Alerick Soularie little-league homer (triple with an error allowing him to score), and a Jair Camargo RBI single representing their only offense of the game. But the Kernels broke it open in the 9th inning, plating five runs off a few base knocks, and an Anthony Prato three-run bomb. Peoria had no response in their half of the inning. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 10, Palm Beach 4 Box Score Steve Hajjar: 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K HR: Mikey Perez (3), Dillon Tatum (2) Multi-hit games: Emmanuel Rodriguez (3-for-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB), Mikey Perez (3-for-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB) The Mighty Mussels won handily on Saturday. Is it a good thing to have four players reach base three times in one game? Asking for a friend. Fort Myers dominated with an equal attack amongst their offense—no one batter should own the means of run production after all. Noah Miller and Emmanuel Rodriguez continued to be on-base machines, which isn’t surprising. Mikey Perez was the big story though, as he doubled, homered, and reached base four times in the game. Eight hitters reached base at least once. Steve Hajjar took the mound, and while he allowed just one run, command eluded him. Hajjar walked five batters while throwing just 46 of his 80 pitches for strikes. Although, it appears he was “effectively wild” given that the Cardinals could only knock one hit off of him. Walks proved to be the name of the game overall. The Mighty Mussels walked more than they struck out (nine to eight) while the Cardinals weren’t far behind (seven to 10). One could refer to this game as “leisurely.” TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-5, R, RBI #2 – Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-for-4 #3 – Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-5, 2 K #4 – Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #5 – Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #6 – Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did not pitch #7 – Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, K #8 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #9 – Josh Winder (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #10 – Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 1-for-2, 2 R, 3 BB #11 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 1-for-4, 2 K #12 – Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-3, 2 BB, K #13 – Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #14 – Louie Varland (Wichita) - Did not pitch #15 – Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 3-for-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB, K #16 – Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #17 – Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K #18 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 3-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR, 2B #19 – Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, K #20 – Steve Hajjar (Fort Myers) - 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (12:05 PM) - RHP Bailey Ober St. Paul @ Columbus (Game Two) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez Wichita @ NW Arkansas (1:35 PM) - RHP Casey Legumina Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (1:35 PM) - RHP John Stankiewicz Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (12:00 PM) - RHP Marco Raya
  3. The Twins have won 14 of their past 17 games. Some of the organization's top prospects have found their way to the big leagues and contributed. All the while, three affiliates find themselves in first place. As we all know, Player Development is the most important aspect of minor league baseball. However, "winning" is not a bad thing either. Learning how to win and contribute to a team are part of the development process as well. Nothing wrong with learning how to win and making that a priority. Disclaimer (kind of): Be sure to use these weekly reports for what they are. A look at the week. We want to highlight deserving prospects. They have earned it. Celebrate the successes throughout the whole season. If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. TRANSACTIONS There have been no official transactions from later on Sunday and on Monday. RESULTS Previous Week in Review (4/26-5/2): Prospect Movement, Strong Performances, and Wins Tuesday: Dreary Tuesday on the Farm Wednesday: Headrick Fans Ten, Bats Burst in Lowertown Thursday: Stankiewicz Stays Hot, Miller Mussels Up Friday: Promotion Season is Here Saturday: Top Pitching Prospects Galore Sunday: Kernels Win in a Walk-off, Martin Homers on Mothers Day MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT The Next Twins Prospect Promotion Is It Time to Start Worrying About Austin Martin? Twins Promote Top Prospect Royce Lewis Prospect Retrospective: Royce Lewis Three Questions With… Mighty Mussels OF Kyler Fedko (Video) WEEK IN REVIEW Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week: 3-3, hosting Iowa Season: 15-13 overall, 3rd place in the International League West. They are 4 1/2 games behind Nashville (20-9) and Columbus (18-12). The Saints split their six games last week against the Iowa Cubs. The Cubs came to St. Paul with former Twins Stephen Gonsalves, Luke Farrell, John Hicks, Ildemaro Vargas, and Andrelton Simmons made his first rehab appearances for the Cubs too. Each team won three games. The Saints outscored the Cubs 31-29. Yet none of the games was settled by less than three runs. When the week started, and really up until the weekend, the Saints roster included Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff, but both were called up on Friday. Jose Godoy was called up Sunday after playing four games in St. Paul. Mark Contreras played in all six games. He went 8-for-21 and hit .381/.500/.714 (1.214) with two doubles, a triple, and a home run. He also walked four times. 32-year-old veteran Elliot Soto played all six games too. He went 6-for-21 and hit .286/.423/.524 (.947) with a triple and a home run. He also walked five times. Curtis Terry had a nice week. In six games, he went 5-for-18 and hit .278/.500/.444 (.944) with three doubles. He also had eight walks to go with just two strikeouts. Great to see Jordan Balazovic back after starting the season on the Injured List with a knee injury. He made one rehab appearance in Ft. Myers and then started for the Saints on Saturday. He went 3 2/3 scoreless innings despite giving up five hits and two walks. He struck out four batters. Yennier Cano pitched in three innings over three games. He didn’t give up a run. He allowed just one hit, walked two and struck out four batters. JC Ramirez came out of the bullpen after Balazovic’s start. He gave up just one hit and walked one batter over 3 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out four batters. Daniel Gossett threw three scoreless, hitless innings in a relief appearance. He walked one and struck out four. Devin Smeltzer has been that stalwart of the Saints’ staff all season. He finally had a rough start. He gave up six runs on eight hits over two innings in his start. What’s Next? The Saints travel to Columbus to take on the Clippers for the week. Pitching Probables (RHP Ronny Henriquez, RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez, RHP Jake Faria, RHP Jordan Balazovic, TBD, TBD) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge Week: 3-2, hosting Tulsa Season: 16-10 overall, 1st place in the Texas League North Division with Tulsa. They are 1.0 game ahead of Tulsa (15-11). It was billed as the week when Louie and Gus Varland would make history as brothers pitching against each other in a minor-league game. They were supposed to match up on Tuesday and again on Sunday. Instead, the teams were rained out on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They played doubleheaders on Friday and Sunday. The Varlands pitched against each other on Friday. The offense scored just over six runs per game. Here are some of the top performances for the Wind Surge this past week: Let’s start on the mound. Matt Canterino made another start. Previously he had been working three innings. This week, he went four shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked two, and struck out four batters. There were several really strong bullpen performances. Atop that list is Austin Schulfer who finished two games last week. In 2 1/3 innings, he gave up just one hit and struck out four batters. Bryan Sammons came out of the bullpen and gave up only a solo homer over three innings. He struck out three batters. Matt Wallner backed up last week’s player of the week performance with an even better week. In five games, he went 8-for-16 and hit .500/.579/1.063 (1.642) with three doubles, two homers and eight RBI. He also walked three times. Spencer Steer had a good week too. In five games, he went 8-for-20 and hit .400/.381/.900 (1.281) with a double, three homers and eight RBI. Edouard Julien played in four games and went 6-for-12. He hit .500/.563/.667 (1.230) with two doubles. He also had three walks and stole two bases. Michael Helman played in all five games. He went 6-for-15 and hit .400/.471/.600 (1.071) with a homer and two walks. He had three stolen bases. Andrew Bechtold played in three games. He went 3-for-10 (.300) with a double and a home run. Leobaldo Cabrera went just 2-for-12 (.167) in five games. Well, hey, a week ago, we wrote that he started the season 0-for-32. In the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday, he got out the first two at-bats, but in the sixth inning, he hit a solid single to center, ending the hitless string at 34. Two hits are a start! What’s Next? The Wind Surge will travel to NW Arkansas. Pitching Probables (RHP Ben Gross, RHP Matt Canterino, RHP Louie Varland, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Chris Vallimont, RHP Casey Legumina) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week: 4-2, hosting Quad Cities Season: 19-8 overall, 1st place in the Midwest League West Division, 2.0 games ahead of Wisconsin (17-10). The Kernels have found a lot of ways to win games. Last week, they needed strong pitching and got it. They won four of the six games, but they only outscored Quad Cities 21-15. Offense has been a struggle for the Kernels the past couple of weeks. Five Kernels bullpen arms did not allow a run last week. Bradley Hanner worked twice and gave up just one hit and one walk over four innings. He struck out six batters. Andrew Cabezas had five strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings in two perfect appearances. John Stankiewicz made his High-A debut last week out of the bullpen. In five scoreless innings, he gave up only one hit and no walks. He struck out seven batters. In 26 2/3 innings, he has 38 strikeouts to go with just five walks. Brent Headrick went six shutout innings in his start. He struck out ten batters and one gave up one hit and one walk. On Sunday, Sawyer Gipson-Long worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and struck out six batters without a walk. Cade Povich moved quickly past his first rough start. This past week, he gave up an unearned run on four hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out eight batters. Cody Laweryson also made his first start of the season. He went four shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked none, and struck out four batters. Jeferson Morales went 5-for-10 (.500) in the three games he played. He had a double and a walk. Anthony Prato played in all six games. He went 6-for-22 and hit .273/.346/.636 (.982) with a triple, two homers, and five RBI. He also walked twice. On Sunday, he had a walk-off sacrifice fly. Aaron Sabato also had two homers and five RBI on the week. Alerick Soularie’s struggles continued. On the week, he went 0-for-15 and is now hitting just .137 in his first 21 games of the season. What’s Next? The Kernels will be traveling to Peoria to take on the Chiefs. Pitching Probables (LHP Brent Headrick, RHP Sean Mooney, LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich, RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP Cody Laweryson) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Week: 3-3, at Lakeland Season: 14-10 overall, 1st place in the Florida State League West, but just 1/2 game ahead of Bradenton (15-12) and 1.0 game ahead of Clearwater (13-11). The Florida State League is typically not known for much offense. While the Mussels scored a combined four runs over their first two games last week, they scored 32 runs over the final four games. The team gave up 26 runs on the week. However, 12 of those came in just one game. The best start of the week for Ft. Myers came from RHP Pierson Ohl. He was charged with one run on four hits and a walk over five innings. He struck out four batters. Nine Mighty Mussels starters worked last week without giving up an earned run. Regi Grace, Hunter McMahon, Juan Mendez, Matthew Swain, and John Wilson each worked twice and worked between 2 2/3 innings and four innings. Steven Hajjar had an interesting start. In three innings, he did not give up a run or a hit. He struck out eight batters (in nine outs). But he also walked four batters. The worst start of the week came from Blayne Enlow. He gave up seven runs (3 earned) on five hits and a walk in just 1 2/3 innings. Sure, that’s a minimal negative, but it was Enlow’s first rehab start since he had Tommy John surgery last year. He got through it, and he felt good on Sunday. The better news? He is expected to make his next start for Wichita. Offensively, Noah Miller had a great week! In six games, he went 11-for-23 and hit .478/.556/.783 (1.339) with two doubles, a triple, a home run, and four walks. He also stole three bases. Jake Rucker also played in six games. He went 10-for-22 and hit .455/.500/.682 (1.182) with three doubles and a triple. He also walked four times and stole three bases. Daniel Ozoria played in five games and went 7-for-17 (.412) with two steals. Mikey Perez had four hits last week including one double and one home run. He added three walks. What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels will return to Hammond Stadium to take on the Palm Beach Cardinals. Pitching Probables (RHP David Festa, RHP Travis Adams, RHP Pierson Ohl, RHP Mike Paredes, RHP Marco Raya, LHP Steven Hajjar) PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week (April 26 - May 1). You may have noticed that the Prospect Tracker has been updated, and will be updated on the first of each month throughout the season. #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 3 G, 3-for-12 (.250), 2-2B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K (Season: 24 G, .310/.430/.563 (.993), 11-2B, 1-3B, 3-HR, 21 R, 11 RBI, 17 BB, 20 K) #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 3 G, 3-for-10 (.300), 1-2B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (Season: 3 G, .300/.300/.400 (.700), 1-2B, 0-3B, 0-HR, 0 R, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 5 G, 4-for-17 (.235), 0-2B, 1-HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 0 K (Season: 25 G, .242/.376/.337 (.713), 6-2B, 0-3B, 1-HR, 22 R, 8 RBI, 15 BB, 16 K, 14 SB, 0 CS) #3 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 4.2 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 3 K (Season: 5 GS, 27.2 IP, 5 R, 16 H, 7 BB, 28 K, 3-1, 1.63 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, 9.1 K/9) #4 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 5 G, 6-for-18 (.333), 2-2B, 1-HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1K (Season: 21 G, .256/.295/.442 (.737), 10-2B, 2-HR, 10 R, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 14 K) #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - Week: 6 G, 4-for-22 (..182), 2-2B, 1-HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K (Season: 7 G, .154/.214/.346 (.560), 2-2B, 1-HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K) #5 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Week/Season: 1 GS, 3.2 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K. #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K (Season: 5 GS, 27.0 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 12 H, 8 BB, 24 K, 2-0, 1.33 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 8.0 K/9) #7 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 8 K (Season: 5 G, 2 GS, 22.1 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 12 H, 4 BB, 20 K, 2-0, 1.61 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 1.6 BB/9, 8.1 K/9) #8 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 G, 2.2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K (Season: 10 G, 14.2 IP, 6 R, 10 H, 3 BB, 24 K, 0-1, 2 Saves, 3.68 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 14.7 K/9) #9 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 1 GS, 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K (Season: 6 GS, 16.2 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 11 BB, 22 K, 0-1, 1.62 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 5.9 BB/9, 11.9 K/9) #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 5 G, 3-for-16 (.188) , 0-2B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 9 BB, 6 K (Season: 22 G, .229/.450/.486 (.936), 3-2B, 5-HR, 17 R, 9 RBI, 27 BB, 28 K) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 6 G, 11-for-23 (.478), 2-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 4 BB, 6 K (Season: 23 G, .287/.426/.379 (.805), 3-2B, 1-3B, 1 HR, 14 R, 6 RBI, 19 BB, 28 K) #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K (Season: 5 G, 4 GS, 25.2 IP, 12 R, 9 ER, 18 H, 11 BB, 28 K, 3-1, 3.16 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 9.8 K/9) #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 6 K (Season: 5 G, 4 GS, 15.2 IP, 15 R, 22 H, 5 BB, 18 K, 0-4, 8.62 ERA, 1.72 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 10.3 K/9) #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - Season: 1 G, 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 K #14 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 3.1 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 4 K (Season: 3 G, 2 GS, 9.0 IP, 5 R, 9 H, 6 BB, 9 K, 0-1, 5.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 6.0 BB/9, 9.0 K/9) #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 2 G, 1 GS, 4.2 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, (Season: 4 G, 3 GS, 15.0 IP, 6 R, 4 ER, 11 H, 3 BB, 19 K, 2-1, 2.40 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 11.4 K/9) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 5 G, 8-for-20 (.400), 1-2B, 3-HR, 8 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K (Season: 25 G, .320/.395/.570 (.965), 11-2B, 1-3B, 4-HR, 19 R, 21 RBI, 10 BB, 19 K) #17 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 8 K (Season: 4GS, 19.0 IP, 9 R, 7 ER, 18 H, 5 BB, 31 K, 2-1, 3.32 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, 14.7 K/9) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 5 G, 4-for-18 (.222), 1-2B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K (Season: 25 G, .364/.423/.586 (1.009), 5-2B, 1-3B, 5-HR, 16 R, 25 RBI, 11 BB, 28 K) #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 4 G, 6-for-12 (.500), 2-2B, 0-HR, 3 BB, 4 K (Season: 17 G, .281/.394/.439 (.833), 4-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 11 R, 10 RBI, 12 BB, 15 K) #20 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL (elbow): Rehab start with Ft. Myers. 1.2 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. PLAYERS OF THE WEEK Hitter of the Week: Outfielder Matt Wallner, Wichita Wind Surge Noah Miller was the Twins' choice for player of the week, and he had a big week. The 2021 first-round pick hit .478 with two doubles, a triple, and a home run. He posted a tremendous OPS of 1.339. However, Matt Wallner hit .500/.579/1.063 (1.642) with three doubles and two home runs in his five games. That 1.642 OPS is about as good as you can get. It has been a tale of two, two-week stretches for former first-round pick and Forest Lake alum, and that’s why we have to remember that it is a long season, and talent is talent. Matt Wallner is immensely talented. Experts will often say that Double-A is where a lot of players really struggle. If that’s the case, Matt Wallner figured some things out really quickly, and for the second straight week, he is the Twins Daily Hitter of the Week. First 2 weeks (4/8 - 4/24): 12 G, 5-for-45, .111/.222/.178 (.400), 0-2B, 1-HR, 13.0% BB%, 44.4% K% Past 2 weeks (4/26 - 5/8): 11 G, 15-for-35, .429/.535/.971 (1.506), 4-2B, 5-HR, 18.6% BB%, 27.9% K% Baseball is all about adjustments, and it’s pretty impressive that it appears Wallner has been able to adjust quickly. Few, if any, have as much power potential as Wallner. Pitcher of the Week: LHP Brent Headrick, Cedar Rapids Kernels Headrick was a solid candidate for his award last week after he tossed five shutout innings against Beloit. He had given up just three hits, walked none, and struck out seven batters. He was even better this past week in his start against Quad Cities. He threw six more scoreless innings. He gave up only one hit, walked one, and struck out ten batters. Overall, the 24-year-old has made five starts for the Kernels this year. He is 3-1 with a 1.90 ERA. in 23 2/3 innings, he has given up just ten hits, walked five, and struck out 38 batters. Those numbers result in a miniscule 0.63 WHIP and an impressive 14.5 K/9. Headrick was the Twins' ninth-round pick in 2019 out of Illinois State where he pitched for former Twins catcher Steve Holm. As a junior, he had gone 9-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 16 starts. He pitched in just three games for Elizabethton that summer. Like most, he missed the entire 2020 season. In 2021, he pitched in 15 games and made 14 starts. He went 3-5 with Ft. Myers with a 3.82 ERA. But this year, the southpaw has pitched at a new level.
  4. TRANSACTIONS SS Royce Lewis promoted to Minnesota Twins 1B/OF Alex Kirilloff activated from IL, promoted to Minnesota Twins RHP Cole Sands promoted to Minnesota Twins LHP Jovani Moran optioned to Triple-A St. Paul INF Kevin Merrell promoted to Triple-A St. Paul from Double-A Wichita SS Daniel Robertson placed on IL (concussion) SAINTS SENTINEL Iowa 6, St. Paul 2 Box Score The Saints suddenly found themselves without multiple key members of their offense on Friday as Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff were sent across town to join José Miranda, Trevor Larnach and Gilberto Celestino with the parent squad. As such, St. Paul struggled to drive home runs despite registering eight hits against the Cubs. Caleb Hamilton hit his first home run of the spring—on the same night Miranda hit his first MLB dinger; I guess you could say that neither athlete was going to miss their shot—and drove in the team’s only runs. Cole Sturgeon and Curtis Terry each contributed two hits, with all four being singles. Jake Faria tossed the first four innings for the Saints but struggled to keep the ball in the park. He surrendered two home runs and four earned runs in the loss. Juan Minaya, Jordan Gore, Trevor Megill, and Jharel Cotton struckout six and allowed only one earned run in five innings of relief. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1: Wichita 7, Tulsa 2 Game 2: Wichita 10, Tulsa 0 Game 1 Box Score Game 2 Box Score It finally stopped raining long enough in Kansas on Friday for the Wind Surge and Drillers to fit in two contests, with the Twins’ Double-A affiliate coming out on top in both. Game one featured brothers and Minnesota natives Louie and Gus Varland facing off against one another on the mound. Louie pitched five innings and struck out six, though he did give up two runs. Gus didn’t fare quite as well, allowing six earned runs in only three innings. Still, it was a night that neither brother nor the entire family will forget. Matt Wallner (1-for-2, 3 RBI) and Spencer Steer (2-for-4, 2 RBI) each went deep in the first contest while Edouard Julien (2-for-3, BB) drove in the Wind Surge’s other two runs. Alex Scherff and Evan Sisk each threw a scoreless inning in relief. Wallner topped his performance in the first game with an even more dominant showing in the second. He finished the game 4-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, and four RBI, raising his batting average to a respectable .243 and OPS to .896. He has now hit 14-for-29 with three doubles and five home runs since beginning the season 3-for-41. Andrew Bechtold clobbered his third home run of the season while Julien contributed another 2-for-3 game with two RBI and a walk. Matt Canterino pitched four scoreless innings with four strikeouts for Wichita. Ben Gross was credited with the win following 1 ⅔ scoreless innings in relief. Austin Schulfer pitched the final 1 ⅓ and picked up three strikeouts. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 6, Cedar Rapids 2 Box Score The Kernels mustered only three hits against the River Bandits, though two of them went for extra bases. Anthony Prato hit a solo home run—his third of the spring—and Jeferson Morales’ double drove in the team’s only other score. Aaron Rozek’s string of rough outings continued on Friday as the lefty served up two more home runs and surrendered five earned runs in four innings. Bradley Hanner and Melvi Acosta each pitched two innings in relief, striking out four and allowing one more run. Tyler Palm pitched a scoreless ninth. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 9, Lakeland 1 Box Score The Might Mussel’s bats exploded for nine runs on 15 hits on Friday to pick up the win. Noah Miller had himself a particularly good game, going 3-for-5 at the plate with a double, home run, and three RBI. Kyler Fedko (2-for-3, 2 BB, 2 R), Keoni Cavaco (2-for-5, RBI), Jake Rucker (2-for-5, 2 2B, RBI), and Daniel Ozoria (3-for-5) also put forth multi-hit efforts. The Fort Myers pitching staff—led by starter Pierson Ohl, who earned the win—pitched a gem, striking out five and allowing only six Flying Tigers to reach base. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – RHP Matt Canterino (Wichita): 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K Hitter of the Day – RF Matt Wallner (Wichita): 5-for-6, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-6, SB #2 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-for-4 #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesotal) - 1-for-3, HR, RBI, BB #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 3-for-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 1-for-4 #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 5-for-6, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) -1-for-4, BB, R #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 3-for-8, HR, 2 RBI #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 4-for-6, 4 RBI, 2 BB SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul vs. Iowa( 2:07 PM CST) - RHP Mario Sanchez (1-0, 2.92 ERA) Wichita vs. Tulsa (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (2-0, 0.00 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Quad Cities (6:35 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (1-1, 4.50 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Clearwater (5:00 PM CST) - TBD
  5. Transactions: OF Cole Sturgeon promoted from Double-A Wichita to Triple-A St. Paul INF Ernie Yake promoted from Single-A Fort Myers to Triple-A St. Paul OF Jake Cave placed on temporary inactive list (paternity leave) SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 6, Iowa 3 Box Score It was Chi Chi Gonzalez making the start tonight for St. Paul and he turned in five innings of three-run ball. Avoiding extra damage while giving up nine hits, Gonzalez walked just one and fanned two. Iowa took an early lead with a run in the third inning, and then they added single tallies in the 4th and 5th innings as well. As the game got late, the Saints came alive. Jermaine Palacios opened the scoring for the good guys in the 7th inning. A ground out to third base scored Mark Contreras and the Saints made their way into the run column. Jose Godoy then singled to drive in Elliot Soto and drew the home team within one. Still trailing by one in the 8th inning, Curtis Terry ripped his 8th double of the season to score Royce Lewis and knot the game at three. With the bases loaded, Soto brought everyone home on his first triple of the season and the 6-3 lead would hold through the final frame. Contreras and Godoy were the lone hitters with multi-hit evenings. Alex Kirilloff may have been playing in his final rehab game, and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Daniel Gossett was amazing in relief working three innings of no-hit baseball while punching out four and walking just one. WIND SURGE WISDOM Postponed For the third straight night Wichita saw the matchup with the Varland brothers be postponed. Now set to face off for a doubleheader on Friday, the hope would be that Mother Nature finally cooperates. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Quad Cities 3 Box Score Sean Mooney took the ball to start this one and worked three innings while giving up three unearned runs. He walked and struck out four batters apiece. Recently promoted John Stankiewicz came on in relief and was dominant. Pitching five scoreless, Stankiewicz gave up just a single hit and no walks while striking out seven. Quad Cities plated a first inning run to take the lead, but Cedar Rapids had a quick answer. Seth Gray drove in Christian Encarnacion-Strand with a single and the score was even after one. The Kernels then jumped ahead in the second with Wander Javier scoring on a fielding error. Battling back from a two-run third inning that put the River Bandits back on top, Cedar Rapids plated a pair of their own on an Aaron Sabato ground out and another error. With just a one-run lead after the third inning, Sabato gave the Kernels more breathing room when he blasted a solo shot to left field for his third dinger of the season. Anthony Prato contributed two hits out of the leadoff spot tonight, and he was joined by both Sabato and Gray. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 7, Lakeland 6 Box Score Fort Myers gave the ball to Travis Adams tonight and he turned in a solid performance allowing just two runs on three hits over five innings. Adams recorded four strikeouts and walked none. The Mighty Mussels scored the first run of the evening on a Noah Cardenas ground out. A throwing error by Lakeland allowed Noah Miller to scamper home. After getting behind in the 2nd inning, Emmanuel Rodriguez ripped a single in the third inning allowing Jake Rucker to score. Stretching the lead further, Keoni Cavaco roped a 4th inning double driving in Kyle Schmidt before Mikey Perez homered in the 6th inning plating Kala’i Rosario on the two-run shot. Lakeland drew back within two on a homer of their own, but Schmidt erased it scoring Rodriguez on a 7th inning sacrifice fly. The game got way too dicey when the Flying Tigers tied things in the 8th inning, and neither team could push across a run in the 9th. Utilizing the runner on second in the 10th inning, Rosario ripped his second double of the season to score Cavaco and give Fort Myers the lead they’d need to hold onto. Fort Myers tallied 11 hits on the evening and Noah Miller accounted for four of them going 4-for-4. Rosario was the only other batter to join him with a multi-hit effort. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – John Stankiewicz (Cedar Rapids) - 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K Hitter of the Day – Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 4-4, R, BB, 2B 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 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 1-3, R, BB, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesotal) - 1-3, K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 4-4, R, BB, 2B #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-2, R, RBI, 3 BB FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (6:37PM CST) - RHP Jacob Faria Tulsa @ Wichita (5:05PM CST) Game 2 TBD - RHP Louie Varland/RHP Matt Canterino Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Aaron Rozek Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30PM CST) - RHP Pierson Ohl 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.
  6. TRANSACTIONS Ft. Myers announced after their game that infielder Jesus Feliz is going on the 7-Day IL with a right elbow strain. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 8, Iowa 1 Box Score The bats were alive in Lowertown on Wednesday night. Combined with rock-solid pitching, St. Paul used seven hits, two homers, and a pair of doubles to pummel the I-Cubs. The Saints flooded the bases right out of the gate thanks to a pair of first-inning walks from Jake Cave and Curtis Terry. Two batters later, Mark Contreras mashed a three-run homer over the right-field wall to give St. Paul a 3-0 lead. St. Paul scored on a similar sequence to put two more runs on the board in the second inning. After Derek Fisher was hit by a pitch Elliot Soto crushed his first homer of the year to put St. Paul up 5-0. The team would tack on two more runs in the fifth. Terry opened the floodgates with an RBI double that scored Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff to give the Saints a 7-1 lead. Lewis and Kirilloff teamed up to add another run in the seventh when Lewis scored on a Kirilloff single. Starting pitcher Ronny Henriquez was admirable on the night, allowing only one run through 3 1/3 innings. JC Ramirez was even more impressive in relief tossing 3 2/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit ball while striking out three. The tandem of Drew Strotman and Yennier Cano teamed up to pitch a perfect final two innings to seal the deal. WIND SURGE WISDOM POSTPONED For the second time in recent days, Wichita’s Wednesday night game was postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow evening. The highly-anticipated matchup of brothers Louie and Gus Varland will take place in game one. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 0 Box Score An outstanding starting pitching performance and a myriad of insurance runs propelled Cedar Rapids to a shutout win over rival Quad Cities. Cedar Rapids starting pitcher Brent Headrick was incredible, tossing six innings of scoreless ball. The Braidwood, Illinois, native only surrendered one hit and one walk while fanning a season-high ten strikeouts past the Quad Cities batting order. Headrick has at least five strikeouts in each of his five starts this season and an impressive 38 in total on the young season. Cedar Rapids broke the chess match in the sixth inning. After reaching on a thrower error, Kennie Taylor would find his way around the bases thanks to a Jeferson Morales single, a sac-fly by Anthony Prato, and an RBI single from Christian Encarnacion-Strand. The Kernels would tack on a trio of insurance runs in the seventh. After reaching on a Fielder’s Choice, Alerick Soularie stole second base and would advance to third courtesy of a Will Holland single. The former Tennessee Volunteer then scored thanks to a wild pitch. The bases weren’t clear for long; thanks to the same players that manufactured the run in the sixth inning. After consecutive walks from Taylor and Morales, Prato laced a triple to center field that scored both men to give the Kernels a 4-0 lead. That lead would hold true to the final strike thanks to an efficient bullpen outing courtesy of Orlando Rodriquez and Andrew Cabezas. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Lakeland 4 Box Score Despite multiple comeback efforts, the Mussels dropped a tight game in the Sunshine State. The Mussels rebounded to tie the game in both the sixth and ninth innings but ultimately fell short in extra innings. Aside from giving up two runs in the first, starting pitcher David Festa was solid through four innings, striking out five and only walking one. Regi Grace followed suit by pitching three innings of scoreless ball, striking out three, and walking one. Down two for the first five innings, Fort Myers fought back with a stellar sixth inning. Highly-touted prospect Noah Miller kicked off the inning with his first triple of the year. Two batters later, Kyler Fedko reached on a Fielder’s Choice that would allow Miller to score from third. Fedko would advance to second thanks to a Lakeland error on the play and a balk in the next at-bat. With two outs, Keoni Cavaco came in clutch with a sharp double to score Fedko from third and give the Mussels a slight lead. The double added his stellar night at the plate. Prior to the at-bat, Cavaco laced a triple in the first. After Lakeland regained the lead in the eighth, the Mussels scrapped back a run in the ninth to tie it up on a wild span of events. With one out Mikey Perez went to first and was later advanced to second thanks to a bunt from Ernie Yake. Yake would eventually be caught stealing second on a play that moved Perez to third and resulted in the ejection of Mussels skipper Brian Meyer. After a pair of substitutions, Perez bolted home to score on a wild pitch to tie the game at three and send the game to extra innings. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Elliot Soto (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K Pitcher of the Day: Brent Headrick (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, O R, H, BB, 10 K PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-4 #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, SB, B, K #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, 3B, BB, 2 SO #14 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 3.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 4 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, RBI, K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (5:35 PM CST) - RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-1, 4.70 ERA) Doubleheader Game One :Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05 PM CDT) - RHP Louie Varland (2-1, 3.05 ERA) Game Two: Following Game One Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CDT) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-0, 2.08 ERA) Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 PM CDT) - TBA
  7. TRANSACTIONS The Twins announced Sunday morning that pitchers Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic were assigned to Low-A affiliate Fort Myers for rehab assignments and are available to pitch Sunday. In addition, Marco Raya was activated by Ft. Myers. he is scheduled to start on Tuesday. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul and Nashville were postponed due to Weather. The Saints were unable to play their series finale against the Nashville Sounds on Sunday due to wet grounds at CHS Field. The makeup game has yet to be rescheduled for a later date. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 4, Arkansas 3 Box Score SP: Chris Vallimont - 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K HR: Cole Sturgeon (3), Alex Isola (3) Multi-hit games: Isola (3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) The Wind Surge completed their series victory over the Travelers Sunday afternoon in a 4-3 victory that gave the Wind Surge a 5-1 series win. Chris Vallimont was on the mound for his fifth start of the season for the Wind Surge. Vallimont had a strong first inning but struggled in the second and third giving up two runs in the second on a bases-clearing double by Travelers catcher Jake Anchia. Vallimont allowed the Travelers third and final run to score on a wild pitch in the bottom of the third. Vallimont cooled off in the fourth inning but was taken out for the day afterward. Alex Isola carried the Wind Surge lineup to victory with his 3-for-4 performance at the plate coming a triple short of the cycle. Isola also hit the game-winning home run in the top of the sixth that gave the Wind Surge their 4-3 lead. Cole Sturgeon hit his third home run of the season in the fifth inning against Travelers starter George Kirby. The Wind Surge will be returning home for their next series starting Tuesday against the Tulsa Drillers. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Beloit 13 Box Score SP: Cade Povich 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K HR: Aaron Sabato (2), Jeferson Morales (1) Multi-hit games: Anthony Prato (2-3, R, 2B, RBI (14) 2 BB), Jair Camargo (2-4, R, BB, K) The Kernels completed their final game against the Beloit Sky Carp with a loss that split the six-game series between the two teams. The 13-6 loss is the largest for the Kernels on the season so far. Kernels starter Cade Povich made his third start of the season but was roughed up over 4 1/3 innings pitched. The Sky Carp scored three runs against him in the second and three more to knock him out in the fifth inning. Povich still did have three strong innings. throwing scoreless first, third, and fourth innings. The Kernels offense did their best to keep up but fell short in the later innings as the Sky Carp tagged on three insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh and four more in the bottom of the eighth. Kernels left fielder Anthony Prato and catcher Jair Camargo both had strong games at the plate, but it was first baseman Aaron Sabato’s two-run homer in the top of the ninth that brought the Kernels back into the game. Even though they fell short and lost 13-6 The Kernels will be returning home for their next series against the Quad City River Bandits which will be their second series against them for the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 4, Clearwater 4: Suspended in the top of the 11th Box Score SP: Sonny Gray 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi hit games: Noah Miller (2-3, R, BB), Kyler Fedko (2-4, R, RBI (14), BB, K) The Mighty Mussels game against the Clearwater Threshers was suspended in the top of the 11th due to rain. The suspended game will resume during the Mighty Mussels next match up against the Threshers the week of May 16. Both Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic pitched for the Mighty Mussels during Sunday’s game. Gray made his rehab start and nearly three perfect innings for Fort Myers save for a fielding error in the top of the first and a single in the top of the second. Gray did not allow any walks and struck out five in his appearance. Balazovic came into the game right after Gray for two innings. Balazovic did not have as strong a performance as Gray as he gave up four runs on four hits and two walks in his first appearance for the 2022 season. He has been rehabbing a knee injury. The Mussels will begin their next series on Tuesday night at home against the Cardinals Single-A affiliate, the Palm Beach Cardinals. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Sonny Gray (Fort Myers) - 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day – Alex Isola (Wichita) - 3-4, R, 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. #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-2, R, 2B, K #5 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers, Rehab) - 2 IP 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, K #7 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (1st career MLB Win) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2-3, R, BB #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-3, R, BB #17 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, RBI (24), BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B, 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 3. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). Iowa @ St. Paul (6:37 PM CST) - TBD Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games as the second weekend of the Minor and Major League seasons has concluded.
  8. TRANSACTIONS C José Godoy selected by Minnesota Twins Saints Sentinel St. Paul 2, Toledo 5 Box Score Jake Faria: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K HR: Royce Lewis (2) Multi-hit games: Curtis Terry (2-for-4, 2B) The Saints lost a winnable game on Saturday. Starter Jake Faria carried the torch for the first few innings of the game, racking up five strikeouts over four solid frames with one earned run to his name. He was not as efficient as he probably would have liked, however, and was pulled from the game after 76 pitches. The game sat at a 1-0 standstill heading into the 6th inning before Royce Lewis strode up to the plate and absolutely molly whopped crushed destroyed obliterated annihilated the baseball to give the Saints a 2-1 lead. The lead was short-lived. Chi Chi Gonzalez, pitching in relief of Faria, allowed a two-run triple and RBI single that gave the Mud Hens a lead they would never relinquish. Drew Strotman pitched an inning with no earned runs. The offense outside of Lewis’ blast was sparse. Curtis Terry and Elliot Soto provided a double each, while Chance Cisco was the only hitter outside of Terry to reach base twice. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 4, Midland 15 Box Score Brandon Lawson: 1 1/3 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, K HR: None Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2B), Michael Helman (2-for-4, RBI, 2B) Wichita was clobbered on Saturday. It was one of those days where showing up to the diamond felt like a mistake; The Wind Surge fell into a deficit in the first inning and never recovered. Wichita pitchers allowed 17 hits, 14 earned runs, and 10 walks. Alex Scherff was the only pitcher not to allow a baserunner. It would be for the best if we ended the discussion on pitching there. Wind Surge hitters were somewhat more successful. While they only knocked around three extra-base hits, they struck out just four times; poor BABIP proved to be their downfall more than anything. Edouard Julien was the most prolific hitter of the bunch, dropping in three hits while scoring half of Wichita’s total runs. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 6, Peoria 3 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Anthony Prato (2-for-2, 2 R, RBI, BB, 2 2B), Aaron Sabato (2-for-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B), Will Holland (2-for-3, 2 RBI, BB, 2B) The Kernels continued their dominant start to the season on Saturday. Unusually mortal, Sawyer Gipson-Long did not over-match hitters like he usually does. The righty trudged through four innings while Peoria hitters frustrated him by scoring in three of those frames. It was a rare off-day for a pitcher who had been so great for most of last season and the beginning of this one. The Kernels offense had his back, though. They pecked away at the Chiefs’ lead, scoring in five separate innings to culminate in six runs total—more than enough needed to win the game. Aaron Sabato and Will Holland were the most consistent culprits, twice plating runners and twice knocking in hits. In relief of Gipson-Long, Bradley Hanner, Melvi Acosta, and Osiris German combined to toss five scoreless innings, ensuring the win for Cedar Rapids. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 7, Dunedin 3 Box Score David Festa: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Kala’i Rosario (1), Emmanuel Rodriguez (5), Kyler Fedko (2) Multi-hit games: Noah Miller (2-for-3, 2 R, BB, 2B), Dylan Neuse (2-for-5) The Miracle won solidly on Saturday. David Festa continued his incredible start to the season with four shutout innings. It was not the cleanest performance—he needed 70 pitches to net 12 outs—but the start lowered his season ERA to 1.93. Much like the Kernels, Fort Myers hitters backed up their pitchers. The New Bash Brothers, Emmanuel Rodriguez, and Kyler Fedko, both launched homers in their effort to discredit the entire concept of pitching in general. Oddly enough, all of Fort Myers’ runs came via a homer or a bases-loaded BB. Walks proved to be the defining aspect of the game, as the Mighty Mussels took eight of them in the game; that’s how they plated seven runs off eight hits. The barrage of relievers—Jaylen Nowlin, Malik Barrington, Regi Grace, Matthew Swain—worked five innings with five strikeouts and three earned runs to carry the team to victory. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – David Festa, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Edouard Julien, Wichita Wind Surge PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-3, BB, R #2 – Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, R, 2 RBI, HR #3 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 0-for-4 #10 – Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 2-for-3, 2 R, BB, 2B, K #11 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 0-1 #15 – Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4, R, 2 RBI, BB, K, HR #18 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-4, 2 K #19 – Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2B SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo (1:05 PM) - RHP Daniel Gossett Midland @ Wichita (1:05 PM) - RHP Matt Canterino Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 PM) - LHP Aaron Rozek Fort Myers @ Dunedin (11:00 AM) - RHP Travis Adams
  9. Scouts typically use a 20-80 scale to rank prospects based on their current and future skill level. Below you will see where these players rank currently, including their potential to improve in the years ahead. 5. Noah Miller, SS Current Hit/Future Hit: 25/60 Minnesota selected Miller with the 36th pick in the 2021 MLB Draft out of high school in Wisconsin. In his pro debut, he hit .238/.316/.369 (.685) with six extra-base hits in 22 games. He is a switch hitter with an advanced hitting approach. Teams can have a tough time evaluating players from cold-weather states, but Miller’s hitting profile saw him rise up draft boards last spring. Compared to other high school hitters, he has a better hitting approach, and he does a tremendous job of making consistent contact. As he continues to add weight, his swing has the potential for more power, and his hitting skills project to be among the system’s best. 4. Misael Urbina, OF Current Hit/Future Hit: 30/55 The Twins signed Urbina during the 2018 international signing period. Last season, Urbina played 101 games at Low-A and hit .191/.299/.286 (.585). While those totals are low, he compiled a .825 OPS as a 17-year-old in the Dominican Summer League. Losing a year of development impacted his swing in 2021, but he only had four plate appearances against younger pitchers last season. His bat-to-ball skills are considered advanced for his age, and he controls the strike zone. Starting the 2022 season at Low-A will help him gain some confidence, and he has the potential to move up to Cedar Rapids later in the year. 3. Spencer Steer, 2B Current Hit/Future Hit: 40/50 Steer was taken in the third round back in 2019 out of the University of Oregon. Even with the missed 2020 season, his swing took some steps forward last season. He ended the year hitting .254/.348/.484 (.833) with 18 doubles and 24 home runs between High- and Double-A. Because of his collegiate experience, his advanced approach at the plate has been his calling card. In recent years, he has reworked his swing, which may help him add more power as he moves up the organizational ladder. Steer will need to cut back on his strikeout rate as he gets closer to the big leagues, but he has hitting skills that should make him a serviceable infielder. 2. Jose Miranda, 3B Current Hit/Future Hit: 50/55 Many Twins fans are now very familiar with Miranda based on his breakout 2021 season. Minnesota took Miranda in the second round back in 2016. Many within the organization have been touting his potential for multiple years. His short, compact swing allows him to make contact at a consistent level which finally resulted in improved power numbers last season. Even if those power numbers decline at the big-league level, he should be able to continue to put the bat on the ball. Miranda saw an improved walk rate last season, but his ability to make contact means he swings at a lot of pitches. Can he continue to make adjustments as he gets closer to his debut? 1. Austin Martin, SS/CF Current Hit/Future Hit: 50/60 Martin is widely considered Minnesota’s top prospect, and many scouts felt he was the top hitter in the 2020 MLB Draft. Last season, he made his pro debut and hit .270/.414/.382 (.796) at Double-A. Like Miranda, he can make contact with nearly any pitch, but he can be over patient at times. MLB Pipeline put it succinctly when saying he shows “no weaknesses at the plate.” Since joining the Twins organization, he has continued to work on altering his swing, which may produce more power in 2022. However, that might mean that he has to sacrifice contact and be more aggressive. Who do you think has the best hit tool in the Twins system? Should someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Top Power Prospects MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  10. A pair of stellar arms, a couple of hometown boys, and a couple of flashy gloves. The following group of Twins prospects, Twins Daily's 11-15 prospects, is pretty exciting. Take a look at some of the top names that will be playing at Target Field in just a few years. Big velocity. Big spin. Big strikeouts. Big Power. Big speed, and range. There is some Big potential in this group, Twins Daily's Twins prospects 11-15. 15. RHP Louie Varland Age: 24 2021 (-A, +A): 18 starts, 103 IP, 2.10 ERA, 34% K, 7% BB Arguably the most exciting pitching in the Twins farm system, Louie Varland's electric 2021 season earned him accolades as Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year and Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. A product of the Twin Cities, Varland was promoted from Low-A Fort Myers to High-A Cedar Rapids after just eight starts and emerged as the Kernels' ace. Varland relies heavily on a high fastball and shared that he is honing in on his off-speed pitches on Twins Spotlight with Seth Stohs. A truly dominant arm, Varland averaged 12.4 strikeouts and only 2.6 walks per nine innings in 2021. Expected to get his feet wet in Cedar Rapids, don't be surprised to see the Concordia-St. Paul alum scales the ranks of the Twins organization in 2022. 14. RHP Cole Sands Age: 23 2021 (AA): 18 starts, 81 IP, 2.46 ERA, 29% K, 10% BB The 2018 fifth-round draft pick for the Twins did not disappoint in his second full season with the Twins organization. After bouncing between three levels in 2019, Cole Sands was a rock for the Wind Surge last season, posting a 4-2 record and averaging only 3.6 walks per nine innings. Sands isn't necessarily the high-velocity, deep-inning pitcher that fills seats; that doesn't matter, the Florida State alum gets outs. Sands keeps the ball on the ground and only gave up six homers last year and averaged 0.7 HR/9 on his sophomore campaign. Efficiency produces results; like Varland, 2022 could be a huge breakout year for Sands. 13. OF Matt Wallner Age: 24 2021 (A+): .265/.350/.504, 14 2B, 2 3B, 15 HR, 9% BB, 33% K A mid-season injury didn't stop Minnesota native Matt Wallner from having an excellent season last year. In his second full season with the Twins organization, the Southern Miss alum proved to be a sparkplug for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. A true cleanup hitter, Wallner's power at the plate is inevitable. Wallner's biggest area of growth will come in plate discipline, given his 100 strikeouts in 2021. The reason that isn't talked about frequently is because of the game-changing power in his powerful right-handed swing that helped lead the Kernels to the High-A Central Championship Series. Changing those mountains and valleys to high-level plateaus will be key for the Forest Lake native to take his offense to the next level. 12, OF Gilberto Celestino Age: 22 2021 (AA, AAA, MLB): .206/.274/.355, 21 2B, 9 HR, 4/5 SB, 10% BB, 22% K It almost feels like Gilberto Celestino has been a Minnesota Twin for an eternity. Yet the talented outfielder is only 22 years old and saw MLB playing time for the first time last season after four previous seasons in the minors between the Twins and Astros organizations. The Dominican Republic native was signed by Houston at the ripe age of 17 and acquired by the Twins in 2019. The Astros clearly saw something in him to sign him so young and it appears the Twins do too. Celestino's stat line is bogged down by his MLB numbers. He was quite impressive with the Saints and Wind Surge in 2021, slashing .277/.371/.423 with 18 doubles and seven homers in 70 games. Time is a friend of Celestino and 2022 should provide him more of an opportunity to get his feet wet at the game's highest level. 11. SS Noah Miller Age: 18 2021 (Rk): .238/.316/.369, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 9% BB, 27% K Chosen with the 38th pick of the 2021 Draft, Noah Miller is one of the top young prospects to graze Twins Territory. A stand-out hitter on both sides of the plate, Miller is as solid as it gets with his glove at shortstop. Tabbing Brandon Crawford as his favorite shortstop growing up, Miller's sleek defense was a marquee factor in the Twins using their second draft pick (Competitive Balance) on him. Miller had a brief chance to get his feet wet at the pro level in 2022 with 96 plate appearances in the Florida Complex League. Expect him to start at Low-A in 2022 and get ready to watch what could be one of the organization's best draft picks in recent history. Read more on Miller's high ceiling courtesy of Twins Daily's JD Cameron. Previous Rankings Honorable Mention Prospects 16-20 Prospects 11-15 Prospect #10: Coming Monday
  11. The Twins opted to draft Noah Miller 36th overall in the 2021 draft after taking right-handed pitcher Chase Petty with their first pick. Petty got a deserved amount of hype for his triple-digit fastball and future upside as a stud pitcher, but Miller appears to have gotten overshadowed just a bit too much. Noah Miller boasts fantastic contact ability with a great eye at the plate, average speed, and developing power. He pairs his raw skills with highly touted athleticism and baseball IQ, all of which adds up to a fantastic floor even for a player drafted out of high school. His lack of standout offensive ability would give him the ceiling of a decent major league player if he has to move to a position like outfield or second base, but there appears to be more and more optimism in his ability to remain at shortstop. Miller falls into the mid-teens across most Twins prospect ranking lists. Keith Law of the Athletic, however, recently released his ranking of the Twins system and bumped Miller all the way up to 10. For those unfamiliar with Law, he’s recognized for being particularly pessimistic (or perhaps realistic) when it comes to ranking prospects. Law essentially believes in Miller’s safe offensive profile and more importantly his ability to play a sufficient shortstop. While Miller doesn’t have the ceiling to be the next Fernando Tatis Jr. or Wander Franco, Law believes Miller has an achievable ceiling as an everyday contributor at the position. An evaluator as highly regarded as Keith Law making such a statement should be exciting, and Twins fans in particular should have an appreciation for this possibility playing out. It seems to be a yearly tradition where the Twins either draft or internationally sign a significant number of shortstops and fans ask “Why?”. Despite the perception of casting a wide net at this position, the Twins have made little progress in developing any players who are anywhere near a lock to be the long-term answer. Typically we see these “shortstops” Make a pivot elsewhere on the diamond shortly thereafter. In regards to the history of the Minnesota Twins, Jorge Polanco was the starting shortstop in consecutive Opening Days in 2019 and 2020. Before him Pedro Florimon earned that honor in 2013 and 2014. Since 2004 however when Christian Guzman made his 6th consecutive Opening Day start, the position has essentially been a revolving door. Miller may be a long way off from Major League action at just 19 years old, but his offensive skillset that made him a first round pick is also one that gives him a relatively good shot at an MLB career. Twins fans saw with Aaron Sabato in 2021 that even in the first round there’s significant risk with prospects that have a feast or famine slugger profile. While prospects are always risky, Miller’s contact ability alone may give him a slightly better chance of overcoming the minor league gauntlet over the next few years. The bar is admittedly set quite low when it comes to shortstops in Twins territory. That being said, if Noah Miller has a full 2022 of proving he can do it at shortstop, his notoriety is going to go through the roof. For as much flak as the Twins get for their pitching development, taking a first-round shortstop who actually pans out would be an incredible development for the organization. There are a lot of MLB-ready prospects to watch in 2022, but none have an opportunity to raise their stock quite as much as Noah Miller. We won’t see him in Minneapolis this summer, but we just may be talking about him as the future franchise shortstop by this time next year. — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
  12. Players like Austin Martin, Royce Lewis, and Jose Miranda should all have made their debuts before the end of the 2023 season. Minnesota’s pitching pipeline also points to many of their arms debuting over the next two years. There are other exciting players to keep an eye on as these players have a chance to develop into the team’s top prospect. Chase Petty, RHP ETA: 2025 Seth’s Top-30 Pitcher Rank: 6 Minnesota selected Petty with the team’s first-round pick in 2021 out of high school in New Jersey. High school pitchers can be extremely risky, and it was an uncharacteristic pick for the current front office regime. However, Petty checks all the boxes. His fastball can reach triple-digits, and it has movement. His slider has the chance at developing into a plus-pitch, and scouting reports state that his changeup continues to improve. Many of the knocks against Petty are tied to him being just over six feet tall, but Twins fans saw José Berríos find big-league success at that height. Petty won’t turn 19-years-old until April, so there is no need to rush him through the system. Emmanuel Rodriguez, CF ETA: 2024 Seth’s Top-30 Hitter Rank: 5 Rodriguez was Minnesota’s top international signee in the 2019 class, and he has already established himself as one of the team’s top international prospects. Last season, he made his professional debut and hit .214/.346/.524 (.870) with 17 extra-base hits, including 10 home runs. Even though he has played just 37 pro games, he is considered an advanced hitter that knows the strike zone well. He showed tremendous power last season even though his listed weight is under 170-pounds. It’s scary to think about what he will be able to do when he adds more muscle to his frame. Right now, he projects to be able to stick in centerfield, but he can be a plus defender in a corner spot if his power continues to develop. Noah Miller, SS ETA: 2025 Seth’s Top-30 Hitter Rank: 4 Miller, like Petty, was taken in the 2021 MLB Draft out of high school. He has many of the skills and athleticism needed to stick at shortstop, making him a valuable prospect in the years ahead. Last season after signing, he played in 22 games and hit .238/.316/.369 (.685) with six extra-base hits and a 26-to-9 strikeout to walk ratio. He turned 19-years-old in November, and he already has a solid frame at 185 pounds. As a switch-hitter, his right-handed swing is considered the better side as he went 6-for-11, including three extra-base hits in his pro debut. Scouting reports already point to his advanced approach at the plate, and the Twins will continue to work to improve his approach. Add that with his above-average defense at a premium defensive position, and signs point to him having one of the highest ceilings in the Twins farm system. Which player do you think will be the team’s top prospect by 2024? Is it a player on this list or someone else? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  13. While the MLB lockout continues to stagnate the offseason, minor-league players are preparing to travel to Florida and Arizona to begin preparation for their seasons. In this series, I’ll look at some of the Twins' notable picks from the early rounds of the 2021 draft. I’ll dig into scouting reports and storylines to look for ahead of the 2022 season. Next up, Steven Hajjar, a left-handed pitcher drafted out of the University of Michigan. Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45 (grades courtesy of MLB.com) Signing and Scouting The Twins selected left-handed pitcher Steven Hajjar with their second-round pick in the 2021 draft (61st overall) out of the University of Michigan. Hajjar signed for the exact slot-bonus of $1.13 million. Coming into the draft, Hajjar was ranked as the #60 overall prospect by Baseball America and #100 overall by MLB.com. Hajjar was the first of two college left-handed pitchers selected by the Twins in the early rounds (ahead of Cade Povich in the third round). Hajjar, in line with other early picks outside the Twins first, has a strong all-around skill set and provides a solid floor as a prospect for the organization, who are continuing to add and develop a stable of pitching talent. It’s notable that Hajjar and Povich are the only left-handed starting pitchers who would feature in most evaluators' top Twins prospects lists. At 6’5 and 215 pounds. the 21-year-old southpaw has a prototypical starting-pitcher's body, while still being a little on the lanky side. Interestingly, Hajjar had a significant draft pedigree from his high-school career, when his fastball was already in the low 90s and he had more projectability. Despite not being able to establish his previous velocity (mid-90s fastball) in his final year at Michigan, he had an excellent season. Hajjar put together a 3.09 ERA over 81 innings, striking out 110 and walking 29 batters. In terms of his arsenal, Hajjar has a four-pitch mix led by a fastball that sits around 91 mph. Knowing the tendencies of the Twins, it's likely they feel they can re-up Hajjar’s fastball velocity to the 93-95 mph range, which would be of significant impact. Indeed, reports from Twins instructs in Florida has Hajjar’s fastball clocked at 97 mph when working with the organization coaching staff after he was drafted. If this increase sticks, it will alter Hajjar’s ceiling and possibly his trajectory as a prospect. Hajjar’s fastball does not have a lot of spin but good vertical movement. One would imagine the organization will encourage the establishment of his fastball up in the strike zone when he makes his professional debut. Hajjar has an excellent changeup that sits in the low 80s and falls away late in its plane. He has a slow 12-6 curveball and a slider he used more intermittently. It’s possible the Twins encourage him to ditch one of his breaking pitches in favor of refining the other, particularly given the quality of his changeup. Likely to Start At: Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (A) (with the ability to move quickly to Cedar Rapids (A+) Hajjar has a strong floor as a rare left-handed starting pitcher in the Twins organization due to his size, excellent college career, and already well-developed pitching arsenal. Ultimately, his end-game will probably depend on the consistency with which he can increase his velocity as he develops, with the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter. Who is the most intriguing of the three draft picks discussed so far? What are your thoughts on Steven Hajjar ahead of his professional debut with the Twins? Previous Prospect Previews Twins Prospect Preview: Chase Petty Twins Prospect Preview: Noah Miller
  14. While the MLB lockout continues to stagnate the offseason, minor-league players are preparing to travel to Florida and Arizona to begin preparation for their seasons. In this series, I’ll look at some of the Twins' notable picks from the early rounds of the 2021 draft. I’ll dig into scouting reports and storylines to look for ahead of the 2022 season. Next up, Noah Miller, a high school shortstop from Wisconsin. Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45 (grades courtesy of MLB.com) Signing and Scouting The Twins selected switch-hitting shortstop Noah Miller with their supplemental first-round pick in the 2021 draft (36th overall) out of Ozaukee High School in Fredonia, WI. He signed for a $1.7 million bonus, convincing him to renege on his commitment to Alabama. Miller was ranked as the #74 overall prospect by Baseball America and #62 overall by MLB.com. Miller is the second high school shortstop the Twins have drafted in the first round in recent seasons, following helium prospect Keoni Cavaco, selected at #13 overall in the 2019 draft. The younger brother of Cleveland Guardians’ infielder Owen Miller, who made his MLB debut in 2021, Noah has a solid floor, due to a strong all-around game. At 6’0 and 180 pounds, Miller is an excellent athlete and infielder. Baseball America described his defense as ‘elite’ heading into the 2021 draft. Miller joins an increasing wealth of high school baseball talent from Wisconsin that has produced players like Gavin Lux, Jared Kelenic, and Twins catcher Ben Rortvedt in recent seasons. Offensively, Miller has a line-drive swing and shows the ability to hit the ball the other way, though with little power currently. He has an effective approach at the plate and good control of the strike zone (drawing nine walks in his first 84 professionals at-bats). Miller is an above-average runner with an above-average arm, which evaluators believe will give him the ability to play shortstop at the major-league level. While Miller doesn’t have one stand-out tool or skill-set, his strong all-around game makes him a lower variance prospect than Chase Petty. His first full season against professional pitching will be telling and a good indicator of whether Miller’s ceiling is every day starting shortstop, or more of a utility role. Quiet Excellence Miller is a prospect who won’t receive much fanfare initially, despite having MLB bloodlines. The absence of a loud tool from his arsenal and the likelihood he will move relatively slowly through the Twins minor league system will see to that. He is, however, not a prospect to sleep on. His overall athleticism was highlighted by Seth Stohs in his excellent piece this summer on the Miller family. Noah Miller finished his high school basketball career by casually breaking the all-time point scoring record. Miller benefited from being in close geographical proximity to the Twins, across the border in Wisconsin. With the 2021 draft delayed, the Twins scouting and development personnel had opportunities to get additional looks at Miller. On draft day, the Twins were attracted to several elements of Miller’s profile; his effortless defense (his favorite player is Brandon Crawford), infield clock, and a smooth compact swing from both sides of the plate. The Twins feel like he has the ability to add power to his swing as he grows and fills out. Ultimately, they believe they took a prospect beyond his years in Noah Miller. Likely to Start At: Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (A) Miller has a higher floor than most high school shortstop products. He has the defensive instincts to stick at the big-league level. How he handles his first full season of professional pitching will go a long way to determining if he can reach his ceiling as an everyday MLB shortstop. Twins Prospect Preview: Chase Petty
  15. Welcome to my choices as the Minnesota Twins top five hitting prospects. There may be some interesting ratings as you proceed down this list, and I’m guessing there will be plenty of good discussion. The exciting thing, in my opinion, is that the top three hitters on this list all have huge potential and high ceilings. All three have defensive versatility. All three are very exciting. And my choices for prospects four and five are very young and have a world of potential, but a lot of runs to move up the organizational ladder yet. Enjoy this final installment of my Top 30 Twins hitting prospects, and then let’s discuss. #5 OF Emmanuel Rodriguez 2021 STATS: .214/.346/.524, 5 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, 23 RBI, 36.6 K%, 15.0 BB%, 9/13 SB The Twins signed Emmanuel Rodriguez in July 2019 out of the Dominican Republic. Unfortunately there was no 2020 season so 2021 marked the professional debut for the talented young outfielder. He remained in Ft. Myers for Extended Spring Training and then spent the remainder of the season with the FCL Twins. He is a really good athlete. He played centerfield most of the season, but as he grows, he is more likely to play in the corners. He has a good arm. But as you can see from the numbers, it is his bat that will get people excited… at least when he makes contact. A 37% strikeout rate is obviously not ideal, but the 15% walk rate is obviously very impressive. Is he being too passive? Is his swing simply too big at this point? However, he certainly has immense power and power potential. Talking to people who played with him in the FCL or were around him at Instructional League saw what he is capable of and pointed out that his future is very bright. If he can improve his contact rate, he could spend time with the Mighty Mussels. He will turn 19 at the end of February, so it might make most sense to spend time with the FCL Twins again. Just two of his 2021 plate appearances came against a younger pitcher. #4 SS Noah Miller 2021 STATS: .238/.316/.369, 3 2B, 1 3B, 2 HR, 14 RBI, 27.1 K%, 9.4% BB%, 1/2 SB The Twins were very excited to get Noah Miller, a high school shortstop from Wisconsin, with the 36th overall pick in the 2021 draft. The Twins not only loved his makeup, but they feel that he will be able to hit and hit for power from both sides of the plate. They also think that he has the soft hands, strong arms and quick feet to handle shortstop as he gets stronger and moves up. His older brother Owen made his MLB debut for Cleveland in 2021. Noah was there. Cleveland put his photo on the big scoreboard, congratulating him on his high school graduation as he was missing the ceremony. Unfortunately, Noah didn’t see it as he was in the concourse getting food. Noah mentioned that he has always worked with his brother and done the drills that Owen was doing while in college and Noah was still in middle school. Noah made his pro debut in the FCL and certainly held his own. He had one 5-for-5 game. He showed a little bit of power. He struck out a bit much, but that will improve with time and he showed a good, mature approach at the plate. Miller will be just 19 throughout the 2022 season. I would guess he will spend most of the season with the Mighty Mussels. #3 SS/CF Austin Martin 2021 STATS: .254/.399/.381, 8 2B, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 17.9 K%, 13.7 BB%, 5/6 SB Cleveland drafted Austin Martin out of his Florida high school in 2017. However, he enrolled at Vanderbilt and became one of the best, most all-around players in college baseball. He hit .338 as a freshman with a .452 on-base percentage. As a sophomore in 2019, he hit .392/.486/.604 (1.091) with 19 doubles, four triples, 10 homers and 18 steals. He also walked more than he struck out. In 2020, he played in 16 games before the season was shut down. He hit .377/.507/.660 (1.168) with six doubles and three home runs. He had 10 walks and just two strikeouts. Some considered him the best available player in the 2020 draft, but he fell to the Blue Jays with the fifth overall pick. The Jays pushed him. He started his pro career in Double-A New Hampshire. In 56 games, he hit .281/.424/.383 (.807) with 10 doubles and two homers. He represented the Jays in the 2021 Futures Game. Then to acquire Jose Berrios at the trade deadline, the Jays finally gave in and dealt Martin to the Twins. After joining the Wind Surge, he hit .254/.399/.381 (.779) with eight doubles and three homers. So, what’s to like? A lot. First and foremost, Austin Martin is an on-base machine. Not only does he control the plate and take walks but he appears happy to be hit by pitches to get on base. Some worry about the power developing, and like most, I think that he will. I think he can be a 20-25 homer per year guy. He could also potentially steal 20 bases if the opportunity presents itself. He is a great athlete. Obviously there are questions about if he can play shortstop. I think he could. That said, he played third base at Vanderbilt, and with Wichita, he played over half of his time in centerfield. He can likely play all three outfield spots and all four infield spots. However, most important, he is a guy that you want at or near the top of the batting order. He may spend a little time in Wichita to start the 2022 season, if only to start him with his Team USA 15U teammate and roommate Royce Lewis, but he should spend most of his season with the Saints. There is a pretty strong chance that he will make his major-league debut in 2022. He turns 23 in late March. #2 IF Jose Miranda 2021 STATS: .344/.401/.572, 32 2B, 30 HR, 94 RBI, 12.5 K%, 7.1 BB%, 4/8 SB Twins fans have read a ton about Jose Miranda in 2022, and for the reasons that was true, he made the biggest jump of any Twins prospect in 2021. It was a huge season for the former Twins 2nd round pick from Puerto Rico in 2016. I mean, just look at those numbers! OK, now look at them again. He earned the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year Award, and the Sherry Robertson Twins Minor League Player of the Year award. He was a first team all minor league baseball guy for most of the national publications. But what about his 2021 performance may lead us to believe that it is sustainable? For me, there are a few things. First, his statistics were just as good, if not even better, after being promoted to the Saints. Second, he has always had great bat-to-ball skills and puts a lot of pitches in play. It was a focus for him to avoid swinging at bad pitches, and in doing so, he was able to do much more damage on pitches he could really drive. That fundamental change in approach is incredibly difficult to make, and he did it for the full season. He won’t be one to take a ton of walks. He wants to crush the baseball, but now he’s got a plan. Defensively, he won’t win Gold Gloves anyway, but he can be a decent second baseman and average or better at both corner infield spots. He was drafted as a shortstop, though that is certainly a stretch for him. He did get games there for both Wichita and St. Paul in 2021. Following the season, the Twins added him to the 40-man roster. And while he may not make the opening day roster, Twins fans are likely to continue asking for him to be called up until he is. He will turn 24 in late June, and his offensive potential is as high as anyone in the organization. #1 SS Royce Lewis 2021 STATS: Did Not Play—Injured And some may have been surprised by my choice of #1 Twins pitching prospect, and I would guess that many will be surprised by this choice. I’m sticking with Royce Lewis. Understandably, there are questions. The only way to answer those questions is to get on the field, so hopefully he will be able to do that soon (please, MLB and MLBPA!). Since being the Arizona Fall League MVP after the 2019 season, Lewis has not played a competitive game. Like most, he missed the 2020 season. That said, he certainly impressed coaches and teammates with his work and performance at the Twins alternate site that summer. And as excited as he was about getting to spring training a year ago, he had to be disappointed when he learned that he had a torn ACL and needed season-ending surgery. But Lewis, the #1 overall pick of the 2017 draft, handled the adversity in style. He came to work every day and remained positive throughout. At season’s end, he was able to get some at bats in the final two Instructional League games. There’s no doubt that an extended lockout would hurt Lewis. He needs to play and get back into the swing of things. However, the tools remain. Lewis is strong and has 30-homer potential. He is still one of the fastest players in the Twins organization, so a 30-30 season is certainly possible. Sure, there are questions about whether or not he will stick at shortstop, but he has good range and a strong arm. He sometimes struggles with routine plays, but he can make any play a shortstop needs to make. Lewis will turn 23 in early March, so he remains young. I would suspect that following spring training, he will go to Wichita and play up to half of the season there. At that point, he will presumably move up to St. Paul for the second half of the season. Of course, if healthy, and if he’s producing and playing well, he certainly could make his MLB debut in 2022. So there you have it. The top three prospects are all at Double-A or Triple-A and could see big-league time in 2022. All three have huge ceilings and potential to be long-term answers in the big leagues. Noah Miller and Emmanuel Rodriguez are very young and haven’t even played for a full-season team yet. That said, both have big potential as well. This is a pretty solid group, and while I think it’s fair to say that the pitching in the organization may be deeper than the hitting, but let’s not forget that Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Nick Gordon, Brent Rooker and Ben Rortvedt are no longer “prospects,” and Luis Arraez is still very young. But what do you think? How would you rank the top five or the top ten Twins hitting prospects? Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Hitters Part 3: 16-20 Hitters Part 4: 11-15 Hitters Part 5: 6-10 Hitters Part 6: 1-5 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 Pitchers Part 6: 1-5
  16. Current Shortstop: TBD If the season started today, Jorge Polanco might be the team's only option at shortstop. Minnesota doesn't want to move Polanco back to shortstop, so they need to add a veteran shortstop when the lockout ends. Carlos Correa and Trevor Story are two of the top available free-agent options, but it will take a ton of money to sign either of these players. Other players like Andrelton Simmons and Jonathan Villar are options on much cheaper deals to be placeholders to some of the team's top prospects. 40-Man Roster Options There are defensive question marks around both of the team's shortstop options on the 40-man roster. A former first-round pick, Nick Gordon played shortstop throughout his professional career. However, the Twins were hesitant to use him at that position throughout his rookie campaign. In 73 games last year, Gordon made eight starts at shortstop. He posted a .647 OPS with 10 steals in 11 chances. He has the opportunity to fill a utility role with the club, but being the team's starting shortstop seems out of the question. Royce Lewis could very well be the organization's shortstop of the future, but there have been questions about his defensive position throughout his professional career. He may have been able to put some of those questions to rest in 2021, but a knee injury leading into spring training cost him the entire season. The last time Lewis was on the field, he was winning MVP in the Arizona Fall League, but that was coming on the heels of a season where he posted to a .661 OPS. On the Farm Options Not all of the players listed below are guaranteed to be on the team's roster at the start of next season. Still, it offers some insight into the organization's shortstop depth. Minnesota has multiple shortstop options populating the rosters throughout the minor leagues. With Lewis working his way back, Minnesota has another top-prospect in Austin Martin in the upper minors. The Twins acquired Martin as part of the Jose Berrios trade, and he posted a .796 OPS in 93 Double-A games last season. Like Lewis, there are questions about his future defensive home as the Twins used him at shortstop and center field. At this point, it seems most likely for him to be an outfielder for the long term. Wander Javier is another familiar name to many Twins fans as he has been in the organization since he signed in 2015. At one point, he was considered one of the organization's top prospects, including being on Baseball America's Top-100 list leading into 2018. However, he has struggled through injuries and poor play as he moved up the organizational ladder. Last year at High-A, he hit .225/.280/.413 (.693) with 37 extra-base hits and 141 strikeouts in 96 games. Minnesota left him unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft, and a rebuilding team could take a flyer on him as a utility option. Will Holland played all of the 2021 season at Low-A, where he was 1.7 years older than the average age of the competition. He combined to hit .214/.336/.401 (.736) with 26 extra-base hits. Joining Holland at Fort Myers was former first-round pick Keoni Cavaco, who combined for a .598 OPS in 60 games. Holland should move up to High-A while Cavaco seems likely to return to Low-A. There are multiple teenage options in the organization's rookie leagues too. Noah Miller was the 36th overall pick in 2021 out of high school in Wisconsin. He played in 22 games for the FCL Twins and hit .238/.316/.369 (.685) with six extra-base hits. Danny De Andrade and Fredy Michel were both 2021 international signees that made their professional debuts in the Dominican Summer League. In 50 games, De Andrade hit .264/.340/.348 (.688) with 14 extra-base hits, while Michel posted a .583 OPS with 62 strikeouts in 43 games. Overall, Minnesota has question marks at the big-league level and with it's two biggest prospects. What do you think about the organization's shortstop depth? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Catchers — First Base — Second Base — Third Base
  17. TRANSACTIONS None reported SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 17, Omaha 3 Box Score It was Drew Strotman’s turn today for the Saints, and he danced around a good Omaha lineup. Working 5 1/3 innings, Strotman picked up six punch outs while allowing three runs on four hits and three walks. Uber-prospect Bobby Witt Jr. tagged him for a solo shot that never left the park. The Saints provided him with plenty of offensive support. Looking to make up for the inside-the-park homer from Witt Jr., St. Paul answered quickly. Jose Miranda recorded his 18th double to drive in Sherman Johnson, and Tomas Telis then lifted a two-run blast over the left-center field wall. Tied up after the top half of the 4th inning, the Saints took the lead again in the bottom half. Drew Maggi hit his 15th homer of the year before David Banuelos recorded his first for St. Paul. Up 5-3 in the 7th inning, B.J. Boyd recorded his first double with the club and scored Mark Contreras on the play. After a bases loaded walk allowed Gilberto Celestino to score, Banuelos crushed his second home run of the day. A grand slam put the Saints up 11-3 and this one was way out of reach. In the bottom of the eighth, the Saints scored six more runs. JT Riddle hit the team's second grand slam of the game, and Jose Miranda followed with a solo shot, his 13th with the Saints. Banuelos went 3-for-5 with his first two Saints homers, three runs scored and six RBI. Drew Maggi went 3-for-4 with a walk and his 15th homer of the season. Miranda went 3-for-6. Tomas Telis, Mark Contreras and BJ Boyd each had two hits. Sherman Johnson walked four times in this contest. Strotman got his first Win with the Saints. Chris Nunn recorded the next four outs. Nick Vincent got the final out of the seventh inning. Chandler Shepherd pitched the eighth and ninth innings. WIND SURGE WISDOM NW Arkansas 1, Wichita 0 Box Score Austin Schulfer shoved tonight for the Wind Surge. Yes, he lacked command, but he went 4 1/3 innings giving up just two hits and working around five free passes. Schulfer also recorded six strikeouts before turning the ball over to Ben Gross. Gross then put in solid work of his own going 3 2/3 innings allowing just a single run on five hits while walking two and fanning three. Despite combining for 13 hits, these two teams plated just one run. An 8th inning single for the opposition put Wichita behind and that was enough to do them in for the evening. Roy Morales recorded three hits while D.J. Burt had two of his own. Jordan Gore worked a scoreless 9th inning but the offense remained dormant and Wichita wound up being shut out on the evening. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 11, Wisconsin 5 Box Score Cody Lawyerson was on the bump for Cedar Rapids in today’s matinee and worked six strong. He was dominant, striking out nine and walking just two while allowing only three hits. The Kernels have a thing for threes in today’s tilt. Putting up the first runs of the game, it was a three-spot in the third inning. Edouard Julien lifted his 11th homer to driver in Daniel Ozoria, and Michael Helman made it back-to-back jacks with his 18th. Then in the fourth inning it was again a three spot started by a Julien walk with the bases loaded. Helman ripped a single to center plating both DaShawn Keirsey and Ozoria on the play. As had been the case all afternoon the 6th inning featured another three-spot. Last night’s hero Matt Wallner drove in Julien on a single before Alex Isola hit his 14th dinger to also bring home Wallner. Giving up five runs across the 7th and 8th innings, Cedar Rapids looked to grab some extra breathing room. Wallner homered for the second straight game, his 13th on the season, and Seth Gray drove in Yunior Severino to push the final tally up to 11-5. Wallner and Gray both had three hits on the afternoon with Helman adding two of his own. Following Laweryson was Derek Molina who gave up one run in the seventh inning. Stephen Cruz came in for his High-A debut in the eighth frame. He gave up four runs (3 earned) on two hits and two walks. He recorded just one out, but it was on a strikeout. Melvi Acosta came on and got the final five outs. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Palm Beach 2 (Susp B/4) Box Score John Stankiewicz was tonight's starter as he celebrated his 23rd birthday. Working through four innings, he allowed just two runs on five hits and two walks. Stankiewicz also struck out four. Despite being at just 69 pitches, his night was done in by rain with the game being suspended in the 4th inning. Fort Myers scored first tallying a run on a Kyler Fedko walk with the bases loaded in the 1st inning. After giving the run back in the 2nd inning, Alerick Soularie reached on an error that allowed Mike Perez to scamper home. Again tied after the top half of the 4th inning, Perez drove in Willie Joe Garry in the bottom half to retake the lead for the Mighty Mussels. The clubs will finish this one out tomorrow evening. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Orioles Orange 15, FCL Twins 8 Box Score If you’re a fan of offensive outputs then this one was for you. A makeup of a previously postponed contest, the Twins and Orioles complex clubs combined for 23 runs on 25 hits. It was also a rather sloppy affair with both teams adding to the eight total errors on the day. After a starter Juan Mendez was able to record just a single out before giving up four runs, Cole Bellair worked 4 ⅓ innings. He was tagged for seven runs, but just one of them was of the earned variety. His eight strikeouts looked very nice up against just one walk. Ricardo Velez gave up one run over 2 1/3 innings of relief. Rafael Feliz gave up three runs over the final two innings. Down 8-1 after the 3rd inning, this one got out of hand early. The Twins did combine for seven runs the rest of the way, including a four-run effort in the bottom of the 9th inning. 2021 draftee Noah Miller was the star of the show with a 5-for-5 effort where he finished just a double shy of the cycle. Malfrin Sosa (three hits) and Luis Baez (two hits) joined Miller with multi-hit efforts of their own. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Cody Lawyerson (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K Hitter of the Day - Noah Miller (Complex) - 5-5, 3B, HR(2), R, 5 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, K #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-6, 2B (18), HR (13), 2 R, 2 RBI, K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR(13), 2 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-2, 2 BB #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 5-5, 3B, HR(2), R, 5 RBI #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 2-2 #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-3, K, BB THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Beau Burrows (2-4, 6.20 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland (5-1, 1.85 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (3-2, 3.23 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games
  18. Here are four Twins minor leaguers who could be the organization's top prospect ahead of the 2023 season. The assumption here is that prospects such as Austin Martin, Royce Lewis and others will already be in the big leagues. Chase Petty, RHP Current TD Ranking: 9 Petty was Minnesota’s first-round pick in 2021, and his scouting reports are certainly something for fans to get excited about. He was a regular on the national showcase circuit, where he touched triple digits with his fastball. Petty mixes in a slider and changeup keep batters off balance. With any young pitcher, there can be questions about command and delivery. By 2023, the Twins will have a better idea of what Petty can be for the long-term, especially after getting into full-season ball. Keoni Cavaco, SS Current TD Ranking: 10 Cavaco, the number 13 overall pick in 2019, has under 100 professional games under his belt. He’s spent the majority of his age-20 season at Low-A, where he has hit .240/.297/.311 with ten extra-base hits in 57 games. All but 27 of his at-bats have come against older pitchers, so there is some room for optimism. During last year’s pandemic, Cavaco worked to refine his swing and add muscle. Over the next two years, Twins fans can hope he starts to see the results of this hard work. Noah Miller, SS Current TD Ranking: 15 The Twins took Miller with a competitive balance pick at the end of the first round. He is an advanced hitter for his age, which might help him move ahead of the other hitters on this list. Current scouting reports have his arm and fielding ability as two of his best tools, which should allow him to stick at shortstop as he continues to develop. Miller has a chance to be one of the team’s top-5 prospects in two years, but will he put it all together and take over the top spot? Misael Urbina, OF Current TD Ranking: 18 MLB Pipeline picked Urbina as the team’s top prospect in 2023, which might make sense for where he is in his development path. He’s younger than Cavaco, and he has played at the same level as him for the entire season. It’s his first season playing in the States, and he saw his slugging percentage increase every month from May through July. Even with his struggles this year, he can start 2022 at Low-A and still be younger than the competition at that level. Which prospect do you think will be the team’s top prospect in two years? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  19. Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the FCL Twins game and the transactions from Monday. TRANSACTIONS LHP Denny Bentley was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. Ft. Myers added catcher Patrick Winkel (2021 9th round pick), outfielder Kyler Fedko (2021 12th round pick), second baseman Alerick Soularie (2020, 2nd round pick) and RHP Matt Mullenbach (signed as free agent earlier this year). FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 1, FCL Pirates 5 Box Score Twins Competitive Balance pick Noah Miller made his professional debut today. He walked in his first plate appearance. He then got out twice before singling in his final at-bat of the day. He is a career-.300 hitter as a professional. In addition, eighth-round pick Noah Cardenas was added to the FCL roster. A rehabbing Zander Wiel went 0-for-2 and was hit by a pitch. Also rehabbing is Gabe Snyder. He went 2-for-4 with a double. Juan Mendez has been good for the FCL Twins to this point. On Monday, he gave up five runs on four hits and two walks and recorded just one out. Jackson Hicks came on and gave up three hits over 4 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out six batters. Danny Moreno struck out three batters over three perfect innings. Rafael Feliz struck out the side in the final inning. With that, let’s look at Week 15 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (4-2 @ Indianapolis), overall (48-41) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (3-3 @ Tulsa), overall (52-38) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2 @ Peoria), overall (49-41) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (1-3 @ Bradenton), overall (44-41) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (2-3), overall (9-22) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Walkoff Wins of Change in Wichita TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline: 25-21 Tuesday: Balazovic Gets Back on Track TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline: 20-16 Wednesday: Who Didn’t Homer? TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline: 15-11 TD Interview: Mike McCarthy, St. Paul Saints Pitching Coach Trio Hinting at Twins Pitching Pipeline Thursday: Morales Dominates, Saints’ Bullpen Bears Down TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline: 10-6 Friday: Lewis Thorpe Appears on Verge of Twins Return TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline: 5-1 Saturday: Clean Sweep (But Not in a Good Way) Sunday: Smashing Sunday Twins 40-Man Roster Crunch? Perhaps Not Highlights We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 15 performances Twins Player of the Week: Yunior Severino, Cedar Rapids Kernels Severino has made a lot of money in baseball. He first received a seven-figure signing bonus with Atlanta. After Atlanta was found to be working illegally, Severino became a free agent and kept that signing bonus. Then the Twins gave him a bigger seven-figure signing bonus. He has fought some injuries in his time with the Twins, but after his recent promotion to the Kernels he has been very good. Last week, he played in six games and hit .480/.552/.720 (1.272) with three doubles and a home run. In 17 games with Cedar Rapids, he has hit .424/.493/.591 (1.084) with eight doubles and a home run. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Ben Gross, Cedar Rapids Kernels After three years at Princeton, Gross went to Duke for his senior season and became the Twins 10th round in 2019. In his start this week, he gave up two runs on six hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out 13 batters. Overall this season with Cedar Rapids, he has pitched in 15 games (14 starts) and is 5-1 with a 3.25 ERA. In 72 innings, he has walked 20 and struck out 92 batters. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints As per usual, Jose Miranda had a highlight week. In six games, he hit .462/.517/.808 (1.325) with three doubles and two homers. Jimmy Kerrigan played in four games and hit .353/.353/.941 (1.294) with a double, three homers and eight RBI. Tomas Telis played five games and hit .375/.400/.667 (1.067) with a double and two homers. Glberto Celestino played five games and hit .316/.458/.579 (1.037) with two doubles and a home run. Kyle Barraclough pitched in three games and 3 1/3 innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out seven batters. After a bad start with the Twins, Beau Burrows struck out five batters in three scoreless innings for the Sains. Rafael Garza pitched three scoreless innings and had a save for St. Paul before coming up and tossing two scoreless for the Twins. A certain highlight was the return of lefty Lewis Thorpe who made a start and gave up one run on two hits and a walk in 5 2/3 innings. Andrew Albers made two starts. In 13 innings, he gave up three earned runs (2.08 ERA). On Sunday, he tossed eight scoreless innings. Wichita Wind Surge Zach Neff gave up just one hit over 3 2/3 scoreless innings over two outings. Alex Phillips tossed 4 1/3 scoreless, no-hit innings. Bryan Sammons made a start and gave up a single and a walk over five scoreless innings. He struck out five. Austin Schulfer threw four innings in his start and struck out four batters. Cole Sands gave up two runs on five hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings in his start. He struck out 10 batters. The Wind Surge lead the AA-Central division with 941 strikeouts, second most in all Double-A ball. The Wind Surge hitters combined for 21 home runs during the week and a league-leading 33 homers in 13 August games! BJ Boyd had a huge week! He has an 11 game hitting streak. In six games last week, he hit .385/.407/1.077 (1.484) with six homers and 12 RBI! Roy Morales played four games and hit .385/.467/.692 (1.159) with a double and a homer. Jermaine Palacios played all six games. He hit .348/.400/.652 (1.052) with a double and two homers. Leobaldo Cabrera played just three games. He went 4-for-9 (.444) with a double and two home runs. Trey Cabbage played all six games. He hit just .208, but he hit four home runs. Cedar Rapids Kernels The start of Matt Canterino on Sunday sure was exciting. In his first game back with the Kernels after about 10 weeks away with injury. He worked three innings and recorded eight strikeouts. He walked one. Of the ten batters he faced, he struck out eight! Cody Laweryson worked four scoreless innings and struck out six batters. He gave up just one hit. Zach Featherstone pitched three innings over two games. He had a save and struck out five batters over three scoreless innings. Melvi Acosta had a save and struck out four batters in four innings. Derek Molina (2 2/3 innings), Tyler Palm (2 innings) and Ryan Shreve (2 innings) each struck out four batters and didn’t allow a run. Breckin Williams struck out three batters over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Jefferson Morales played in four games and hit .500/.500/.813 (1.313) with two doubles and a homer. Four of his eight hits came in one game. Michael Helman played in five games and hit .313/.421/.625 (1.046) with two doubles and a home run. Edouard Julien played in all six games and hit .333/.517/.524 (1.041) with a double and a homer. He also had eight walks. Ft. Myers Might Mussels There were only four games, but Aaron Sabato had a really good week. On the week, he hit .294 (5-for-17). Those five hits? A double and four home runs, a slugging percentage of 1.059 (1.427 OPS). Aaron Rozek struck out six batters over four, two-hit innings. Sean Mooney made one start and tossed three perfect innings. He struck out six batters. Casey Legumina returned to the mound too, and gave up just one hit over three innings. He struck out three batters. Bobby Milacki gave up one run on three hits over four innings. He struck out six batters. FCL Twins Giovahnniey German was fantastic again. In his start, he tossed five no-hit, no-run innings. He walked three and struck out seven. Jackson Hicks worked 4 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and struck out six batters. Matt Mullenbach struck out four batters in three scoreless innings. Danny Moreno pitched twice, and he gave up a run on no hits, two walks and struck out four. Wander Valdez had a big week. In four games, he hit .429/.438/.643 (1.080) with a homer. Lowlights We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints Yennier Cano gave up three runs on six hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Ryan Mason gave up four runs on two hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings. Keon Broxton went 0-for-10 in three games. He had seven strikeouts. Wichita Wind Surge Chris Vallimont had a rocky start. In 3 2/3 innings, he gave up six runs on five hits and three walks. Evan Sisk gave up five runs (4 earned) on five hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Jhonleider Salinas gave up three runs on a hit and three walks in one innings. Mitchell Osnowitz gave up two runs on four hits in 2/3 of an inning. Erik Manoah gave up three runs on two hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings. Caleb Hamilton went 0-for-9. Austin Martin went 3-for-23 (.130) with a homer and a walk. Aaron Whitefield went 3-for-14 (.214). Cedar Rapids Kernels Osiris German gave up five runs on six hits, a walk and a hit batter in two innings. Tyler Watson was charged with five runs on six hits a hit batter and two walks over 2 1/3 innings. Wander Javier continues to struggle. In six games, he went 2-for-24 (.083) with a triple. He also struck out 13 times in 26 plate appearances. Seth Gray went 3-for-26 (.115) with a homer. He struck out 10 times. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Matthew Swain gave up four runs on two hits and four walks in just one innings. Landon Leach had a rough start. He gave up three runs over two innings. He gave up zero hits, walked three and hit five batters. Orlando Rodriguez gave up four runs on five hits, a walk and a hit batter in 2 2/3 innings. Charlie Mack has been quite good of late, but in four games, he went 1-for-17 (.059). Prospect Summery This Prospect Summary shows our Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings following the draft and trade deadline. #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 12 games, .256/.429/.372 (.801) with 2 doubles, 1 home run, 7 RBI, 7 BB, 9 K. #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 14 GS, 65.0 IP, 66 H, 24 BB, 72 K, 3.74 ERA, 1.38 WHIP #4 - Simeon Woods-Richardson (Wichita) - Has not pitched since Olympics. #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 88 games, .346/.409/.602 (1.011) with 22 doubles, 24 homers, 66 RBI, 33 BB, 54 K #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Has not pitched since Olympics #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 5 GS, 21.0 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 43 K, 0.86 ERA, 0.67 WHIP #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Has yet to pitch. #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 49 games, .245/.313/.328 (.641) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 21 RBI, 17 BB, 66 K, 5 SB #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 39 games, .268/.339/.536 (.875) with 7 doubles, 2 triples, 10 homers, 30 RBI, 13 BB, 60 K. #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (12 games, .277/.358/.511 (.869) with 2 doubles, 3 homers, 11 RBI, 5 BB, 11 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 3 GS, 14.1 IP, 13 H, 7 BB, 11 K, 6.28 ERA, 1.40 WHIP. #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Has yet to play. #16 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (28 games, .198/.252/.423 (.676) with 7 doubles, 6 homers, 10 RBI, 6 BB, 36 K) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #18 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 76 games, .195/.293/.298 (590) with 9 doubles, 4 triples, 4 homer, 48 RBI, 37 BB, 61 K, 12 SB) #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 13 G, 12 GS, 54.0 IP, 38 H, 22 BB, 74 K, 2.83 ERA, 1.11 WHIP #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 83 games, .255/.358/.506 (.865) with 12 doubles, 2 triples, 21 homers, 50 RBI, 45 BB, 74 K) LOOKING AHEAD Ft. Myers @ Dunedin (Landon Leach, Aaron Rozek, Casey Legumina, Sean Mooney, TBD, Bobby Milacki): Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids:(Ben Gross, Louie Varland, TBD, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Matt Canterino, Cody Laweryson) Wichita @ Springfield: (Chris Vallmont, Tyler Beck, Austin Schulfer, Cole Sands, Jordan Balazovic, Chris Vallimont) Iowa @ St. Paul: (TBD, Lewis Thorpe, Beau Burrows, Joe Ryan, Andrew Albers, Drew Strotman): Feel free to ask any questions you like.
  20. 15. Noah Miller - INF Age: 18 ETA: 2025 2021 Stats: n/a 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: n/a There is little to say about Noah Miller considering the fact that he is just 18, and has not played a game of professional baseball yet. The Twins decided to select Miller with the final pick in the 1st round of the 2021 MLB Draft as they believe in his immense potential as a switch-hitting, athletic shortstop. Oh, and also because he hit .608 as a high school senior. No, that is not a typo. Miller will certainly require a significant amount of time to develop, but the end result could be a truly dynamic middle-infielder who could anchor the top of a lineup for years. Just make sure to keep his name tucked away for future reference. 14. Drew Strotman - RHSP Age: 24 ETA: 2021 2021 Stats: 67 ⅔ IP, 3.59 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 4.14 FIP, 22.8 K%, 13.1 BB% 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: n/a Drew Strotman is perhaps the most polarizing prospect the Twins received at the trade deadline. Fangraphs has him placed optimistically as the team’s 7th best prospect (and on the edge of the top 100 prospect list), while MLB.com ranked him as the franchise's 15th best prospect-a number much closer to what we decided. At any rate, Strotman is an exciting combination of talent and seasoning. A brand new cutter has deepened what was already an intriguing repertoire of major league quality. He has already been added to the 40-man roster so his promotion to the major league club is simply a formality at this point. The walks are high, but Eric Longenhagen wrote that Strotman is “likely a big league starter”. Lord knows that the Twins need as many of those as they can get. 13. Gilberto Celestino - OF Age: 22 ETA: 2021 2021 Stats: (MLB): .136 AVG, .177 OBP, .288 SLG, 23 wRC+ (AA/AAA): .259 AVG, .338 OBP, .431 SLG, 107 WRC+ 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 7 Gilberto Celestino is the only player from this part of the list to play at the major league level and, well, he certainly seemed overwhelmed. The young outfielder was acquired by the Twins in the Ryan Pressly trade three years ago (holy bleep, it’s been three years already?), and it is quite clear that, while Celestino possesses quality tools, he needs more seasoning before he can succeed in the show. But fear not. Celestino is still just 22 years old and, as we all have seen over the past few years, toolsy center fielders often require an extended amount of time to realize their full potential. Celestino will play out the rest of 2021 at AAA (where he owns a 130 wRC+ in a small sample) and will be better prepared to potentially etch out a role on the 2022 Twins. 12. Matt Wallner - OF Age: 23 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (A+): .281 AVG, .338 OBP, .548 SLG, 135 wRC+ 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 10 Matt Wallner was plucked from the backwoods of Minnesota by the Twins with the 39th overall pick of the 2019 draft. Well, that is not entirely accurate as the Twins neither physically plucked him, like one would with an apple, nor was he taken directly from the state (he played college ball at the University of Southern Mississippi), but the sentence sounds cool so it shall stay. (Editor's Note: Ummmm....) Anyways, Wallner was drafted as a high-strikeout guy with “light tower power,” and so far in his minor league career he has played… like a high strikeout guy with light tower power. He has been frustratingly limited to just over 30 games in 2021 due to a pesky wrist injury that proved to be more serious than previously believed. He had surgery on his hamate bone. But in the time he has played, Wallner has mashed. His nine homers over 148 plate appearances gives him about a 36 home run pace over 600 plate appearances (a typical full season), while his .548 slugging percentage would make him the 11th best qualified major leaguer by that stat. Simply put, a healthy Wallner can absolutely crush. 11. Josh Winder - RHSP Age: 24 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (AA/AAA): 72 IP, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 3.41 FIP, 29.1 K%, 4.7 BB% 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 8 Perhaps no prospect throughout the Twins’ system has seen his stock rise higher in 2021 than Josh Winder. Even the noted, uh, “strong opinion-holder”, Keith Law, admitted that he was anticipating watching Winder pitch in 2021. So far, Winder has not disappointed. He saw a tangible uptick in velocity while working out in 2020, and the upgrade has rippled throughout his entire pitch mix. The result was an utterly dominant stint at AA Wichita that saw him strike out more than 30% of the hitters he faced, walk less than 5% of them, and earn a trip to the MLB Futures Game. Batters hit a paltry .207 against him, and I can only imagine that hitters in the AA-Central North division threw an absolute rager of a party to celebrate his promotion to AAA. A shoulder injury has cut Winder’s playtime in AAA to just four meager starts, and it appears that the team is in no rush to bring Winder back in 2021; a mix of injuries and a desire to limit his innings total is the culprit here. In any case, Winder should be on everyone's radar as a starter who will make an impact in 2022.
  21. On Saturday, May 22, Noah Miller was sitting in his bedroom. He walked into the next room and saw his mom crying. “Why are you crying?” He asked. She replied, tears in her eyes, “Owen just got called up.” Owen Miller is the older brother of Noah. He was the third-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 2018 out of Illinois State. In August of 2020, he was traded to Cleveland in the Mike Clevenger trade. At 24, he found himself in Cleveland, batting sixth and DHing against J.A. Happ and the Twins. Sure, he went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, but he is a big leaguer. And Noah Miller was there. “I did get to go. Actually, I missed my graduation for that. It was pretty exciting.” Yes, Noah was set to graduate on Sunday afternoon. Instead, he said his family got up about 2:30 a.m. and made the trek to Cleveland for a 1:10 game. The Cleveland brass found out that Noah was missing his graduation, so they put a big picture of him on their video board congratulating him on his graduation. “I actually missed it. I was getting hot dogs with my brother’s girlfriend and my cousin.” Don’t worry. Miller said that he received his diploma from the school’s principal shortly after. That May game in Cleveland was not his first Twins game of the year. He drove down to Milwaukee for the Opening Day pitcher’s duel between Jose Berrios and Corbin Burnes (and that hard-to-watch first loss of the season for the Twins). It’s been a hectic past couple of months for Noah Miller. Before baseball season began, he finished his senior season of basketball. When asked if he was any good, he sheepishly replied, “I broke our school’s scoring record, so now I’m the all-time leading scorer at our high school.” Miller didn’t play in the Area Code Games last summer, and scouts didn’t get as many opportunities to see players in 2020 due to the pandemic. He played his high school baseball season, and he continued to play more this summer. Twins Scouting Director Sean Johnson said, “We benefited from the later draft this year because normally a kid from Wisconsin, you’re not going to get to until late April or May, which may not have been enough time to get the looks we got on Noah. I saw Noah play three weeks ago for his summer team just east of LaCrosse, did a day trip that day with Deron Johnson. So we got a lot more looks than we normally would in a June 10 draft. So we used the extra month and said, ‘Who’s playing? Who can we go see?’” Soon after, Miller was invited to Target Field to participate in a pre-draft workout. Twins area scout Joe Bisenius had been tracking him for quite some time and was in contact with him all year, but when he arrived at Target Field, and there were just three other players, he knew that the Twins had a legitimate interest in him. So he wasn’t totally surprised when the Twins selected him. “I talked to him (Bisenius) a good amount. I talked to him, especially in the winter. I had a zoom call with him. I think they told me they had eight or nine guys come to see me play. I wasn’t necessarily surprised. When I went to the pre-draft workout, there were only four of us there, and they told me, ‘you’re kind of our guy here,’ that was pretty cool. I knew that my shot to get into the first round was with the Twins. It was a little bit of a surprise, but at the same time, I wasn’t surprised.” So on Sunday night, Day 1 of the draft, Miller knew there was some chance he would be drafted late in the night, maybe by the Twins, but also realized that he could be selected early on Day 2. “It was awesome. I was sitting there, and my agent called me around pick 34, and he was like, ‘Hey man, the Twins might pick you at 36. There’s a chance.’ He said, ‘Just be on the lookout.’ Then he called me again, and he was just like, ‘Again, just kind of be ready if something happens here.’ So I didn’t really know if I was going to or not, and then they picked me, and it was just, I mean, it was unbelievable. It was just me and my family, and we were going crazy.” Following Day 1 of the draft, Sean Johnson described Miller’s offense. “Johnson noted, “It’s rare anymore to see a player you believe has hit skills from both sides of the plate. Switch-hitters are pretty rare anymore. He has a great swing from both sides. We think that he will have power from both sides.” Miller said he’s been switch-hitting for a long time. He said, “Realistically, it was probably like second or third grade just playing wiffleball in the backyard with my brother and my cousins, and in the basement with tennis balls. Then in fifth grade, I finally just realized that it’s something that I should probably do, and it was something that I enjoyed doing, so I just stuck with it from there. My approach from both, pretty much the same for both ways. I don’t have the same mechanics for both ways, but my end goal is the same, and my thought is the same.” He added that he is equally comfortable from both sides of the plate. “I probably get more at-bats lefty in-game, but I’ve done the work outside of games to make it feel the same.” Johnson talked about Miller’s defense as well. “He’s extremely instinctive as a defender. He’s not the fastest shortstop in the world, but we think that he has a chance to stay there for a long time. He’ll profile whether he plays short forever or not. Great hands. Great feet. Great clock. It’s all the things you want to see. He’s super-advanced, more advanced than a lot of the college guys you see.” While Miller acknowledges that he grew up a Brewers fan, he said his favorite player (aside from his brother, of course) is Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford because “he’s such a smooth defender.” He said he had played some second base and some third base on some national teams or in tournaments but spent most of his time at shortstop. And finally, Johnson talked about Miller’s drive, saying, “Johnson said, “You can just see the competitiveness in him that he got from his brother, and his family and being in that environment.” Owen Miller went off to Illinois State when Noah was just 12 years old. Noah would hear all of the different things that Owen was working on in college, and he would be sure to work on those things as well. Noah was 15 when Owen was drafted, and he continued to get tips and things to work on and put into his game. “Very beneficial for me. It was just awesome to have. (Owen) being such a great hitter. Him being my number one hitting coach was kind of the best thing that he’s ever done for me,” Owen has continually provided solid advice for Noah. “He told me about college. He told me about pro ball. He told me the benefits of both, the cons of both. He thought I was ready for pro ball. He thought that was something that I should maybe do if I get the chance. He said maybe I should take that, and I’m glad I did now. He told me about the grind of minor league baseball, everything like that, just working in the offseason with him, working out with him, hitting with him. Everything that improved my game.” It certainly isn’t difficult to understand why the Twins are so excited about both Chase Petty and Noah Miller. Soon their long journey up the organizational ladder will begin. It should be fun to watch. Jared Walsh. JP Feyereisen. Daulton Varsho. Jarred Kelenic. Gavin Lux. Alex McRae. Jonathan Stiever. Recently-retired Jordan Zimmerman. Twins catcher Ben Rortvedt. Owen Miller. All of these players have spent time in the big leagues in 2021. All of these players were born and grew up in Wisconsin. Miller hopes to join his brother and these other Wisconsinites in the big leagues one day. Miller gives a lot of credit to RJ Fergus at Hitters Baseball in Caledonia, Wisconsin, for giving Wisconsin kids an indoor facility for the winter. Next up? The Twins will be talking with Miller and his family and representation and come to terms on a signing bonus. He is likely to sign that contract at Target Field and then head down to Ft. Myers and begin his pro career. If he does get into games, and he should, it will be with the FCL Twins. Let the journey begin.
  22. “We’ve loved Chase Petty for a long time, and we’ve had a crush on Noah Miller for a long time too. Walking out of the (draft) room with two guys that you love is a feeling you want to have after Day 1. Our group in that room is thrilled.” Twins Scouting Director Sean Johnson at the end of a long, but exciting first day of the 2021 MLB Draft. For the first time, the MLB Draft took place on All Star weekend in the city of the All Star game, Denver, Colorado. Several of the draft prospects were in attendance including the Twins top pick. When the time came for the Twins’ first pick, the commissioner announced that the Twins selected right-handed pitcher Chase Petty from Mainland Regional High School in New Jersey. Petty is touted for having hit triple-digits with his fastball, but on Sunday night, he displayed plenty of personality too. LaTroy Hawkins represented the Twins in Denver at the draft - after managing the American League team of prospects in the Futures Game earlier in the day. Asked if he approved of the pick, Hawkins said, “I didn’t have to approve of it. I liked his personality.” During Petty’s interview on MLB Network, it was mentioned that he threw a no-hitter this year against Millville High School, Mike Trout’s old stomping grounds. Petty nonchalantly said that he’s been in contact with Trout (who was also taken with the 26th overall pick), and that he had texted with him a couple of hours before the draft. He then pointed out that he is having dinner on Monday night with Fernando Tatis, Jr., and Manny Machado (they belong to the same agency). Petty and fellow draft prospect Joe Mack developed their “bromance” and appear to have named themselves Shake-and-Bake. Mack was selected with the 31st overall pick by the Miami Marlins. His older brother, Charles Mack is a catcher for the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels and was in Denver for the event with his family. Petty said that the two got to know each other. In addition, Petty said that he has trained with Twins 2019 draft pick from St. John’s, RHP Sean Mooney, as well. Last summer, Vanderbilt Jack Leiter texted him and they spent some time working together. Leiter was the second overall pick in the 2021 draft. If there is one knock on Chase Petty that Twins fans may have, it might just be this. “I’m a Yankees fan. My first ever game was at the original Yankees Stadium. It’s by far my favorite stadium I’ve been to.” While Petty has always played middle infield, primarily second base, when he’s not pitching, his favorite players have been a couple of Mets pitchers. “My favorite players, personally, are Marcus Stroman and Jacob de Grom which is funny because they’re on the same team. I’ve talked to Stroman. He and I have developed a little bit of a relationship.” Chase Petty has all the connections. In addition to his personality, Johnson noted his arm strength, “spin talent” and a feel for his changeup. Twins area scout John Wilson coached Petty in the East Coast Pro Showcase last summer and got to know him. The two developed a great relationship there. The Twins also had several Zoom meetings with him last winter. They had medical personnel review his video. So did several in the Twins Player Development group. Let’s start with the velocity. It’s hard to ignore. As you have seen, Petty has hit 102 mph on the radar gun. He said that it has been a process to gain velocity. Petty said it really started his sophomore year when he began training at Baseball Performance Center. “I really started seeing improvements in velocity and everything. They put me on a really tough lifting schedule that obviously worked out. Over the years, I’ve put on more weight. I’ve worked on my mechanics a lot, and through that whole process is when I saw the jump.” When was the first time he hit 100 on a radar gun? Petty, who said he is now 6-1 and 200 pounds, said, “It was in July of last summer.” Asked if there is more in the tank? Petty laughed and said, “Oh yeah. Oh yeah!” Petty is both confident and competitive. “I think you (Twins fans) got the strongest competitor in the draft. I’m going to go out there and do everything I can to help my team win, help the organization win, and I’m just going to give it my all.” But as we know, pitchers in today’s game need more than a fastball to sustain long-term success. Petty said, “I throw a four-seam (fastball), a sinker, a slider and a changeup. Right now, I’m really just working on perfecting everything, perfecting my craft, getting bigger, getting stronger still. And really just putting in the work in the weight room and at my training facility.” Johnson thinks that Petty can be much more than a one-pitch pitcher. “We think he has ceiling to all of his pitches. Obviously he doesn’t need to throw any harder. 101 is definitely a good number, to start with. We see a lot of upside to both breaking balls, especially the slider which we think is going to be a really good pitch, as well as the change. He’s had command of those pitches, especially the change. He’s thrown strikes when we’ve seen him.” Johnson pointed out, “I’m not sure it was a real analytical decision that we used to push us over the hump with Chase. It was more of a scouting evaluation. We loved him. We had him in the first round. Our player development people and everyone else that looked at him and got to know Chase were all on board. As a scouting director, you’re looking for confidence from the group to make the selection.” Johnson continued, “I would say that with both of our picks tonight, our group loved both players equally. We wanted those players, and it feels good to walk out of that room - and I know we’ve got more work to do the next two days - but getting two guys in the barn that you love is a good feeling.” Ten picks after taking Petty, the Twins selected shortstop Noah Miller with the 36th pick, the final pick of Competitive Balance Round A and the final pick of the night. Miller is a shortstop from Ozaukee High School in Wisconsin. His brother Owen made his MLB debut with Cleveland earlier this year. Johnson said, “You can just see the competitiveness in him that he got from his brother, and his family and being in that environment.” Players don’t get selected this high in the draft without incredible baseball tools and talent, but it’s clear that the Twins really the character of both of their Day 1 picks. However, let’s start with Miller’s skill set. Johnson noted, “It’s rare anymore to see a player you believe has hit skills from both sides of the plate. Switch-hitters are pretty rare anymore. He has a great swing from both sides. We think that he will have power from both sides. He’s extremely instinctive as a defender. He’s not the fastest shortstop in the world, but we think that has a chance to stay there for a long time. He’ll profile whether he plays short forever or not. Great hands. Great feet. Great clock. It’s all the things you want to see. He’s super advanced, more advanced than a lot of the college guys you see.” Johnson added, “I’m glad we got him. One of our favorites. You walk into the draft room and there’s certain guys that you don’t want to miss on. And Noah Miller, after the first round, was a guy we did not want to miss on. To get him today was a great feeling.” Joe Bisenius was the Twins area scout and he got to know him really well. The Twins (and likely other teams) benefited from the draft moving from early June to mid-July. Miller didn’t play in the Area Code Games last summer. The Twins were aware of him and liked him, but the extra five to six weeks gave the Twins plenty of time to play catch up. Johnson said, "It doesn't take long to realize that Noah Miller is a rock star." The Twins selected high school players with their first two picks in the draft for the first time since 2016 when the Twins selected four high school hitters with their first four picks in Deron Johnson’s final draft as Scouting Director. Before that, Johnson selected Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios with the team’s first two picks in 2012’s draft. It was a long day for the Twins scouting department. They got to Target Field about noon and then after Day 1 was complete, they continued to work. Starting at noon on Monday, Day 2 begins. Second through tenth round picks will be made. Johnson said, “We’re going to plan scenarios. We’ll come up with some ideas. Some guys may have become signable. Some guys may have fallen short of and decided to go to college, that slipped out of the first round. A lot of conversations with agents, advisors, and with players and get a feel for what our board is going to look like so we are ready to go with our next pick.” What will the Twins do on Day 2? Find out throughout the draft and discuss in the Day 2 Thread.
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