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  1. In today’s rankings, there are some interesting names. There are a few college draft picks that had some ups and downs throughout the season, but their tool set remains quality and clear. There is a former highly ranked international free agent who came to the team in a trade and made his unexpected debut in 2021. And there is a young player that hasn’t spent a lot of time in the organization yet but who is really exciting. Here are my choices for the 6-10 hitting prospects in the Minnesota Twins organization. #10 1B Aaron Sabato 2021 STATS: .202/.373/.410, 18 2B, 19 HR, 57 RBI, 32.1 K%, 19.8 BB%, 1/1 SB Aaron Sabato was the Twins first-round draft pick (27th overall) out of the University of North Carolina in 2020. Over 83 college games, he hit .332/.459/.698 (1.158) with 31 doubles and 25 homers. He was added to the Twins depth camp at 2021 spring training and then began the season with Low-A Ft. Myers. It was certainly a struggle for him, especially in the first half of the season. Only one player in all of minor league baseball had more walks than Sabato, but he also struck out a lot more than was expected. However, late in the summer he started showing a little more power. In 85 games with the Mussels, he hit .189/.365/.357 (.722) with 15 doubles and 11 homers. He was promoted to Cedar Rapids and played in 22 games. He hit .253/.402/.613 (1.015) with eight homers. He had 92 walks and 149 strikeouts on the season, certainly more than was expected from a strong college bat. But, getting out of the former Florida State League and experiencing the success in Iowa reminds us of the immense power potential that he does have. #9 IF Edouard Julien 2021 STATS: .266/.434/.480, 28 2B, 1 3B, 18 HR, 72 RBI, 28.0 K%, 21.4 BB%, 34/39 SB Edouard Julien grew up in Quebec. Out of high school, the Phillies drafted him in the 37th round in 2017. He declined and went to Auburn where he (and teammate Will Holland) led Auburn to the 2019 College World Series. The Twins took him in the 18th round of the 2019 draft. While he really wanted to go back to Auburn, the Twins gave up fourth-round money and he decided to sign. Unfortunately, he went to Peru for the Can-Am Games but hurt his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery. He likely would have missed at least half of a 2020 season either way. So, his professional debut came in May in Ft. Myers. He played 47 games and hit .299/490/.456 (.946) with 12 doubles, three homers and 21 steals (in 23 attempts). Yes, a .490 on-base percentage. He moved up to Cedar Rapids for 65 more games. He hit .247/.397/.494 (.891) with 16 doubles, 15 home runs and 13 more stolen bases. On the season, he struck out 144 times, but he led minor league baseball with 110 walks. In college, he was a power hitter and upon joining the Kernels, he showed that again. But he added the speed dimension back to his game. He’s got a great eye and with those things combined, he becomes a very intriguing prospect. We just don’t know where he is going to play. #8 IF Spencer Steer 2021 STATS: .254/.348/.484, 18 2B, 3 3B, 24 HR, 66 RBI, 21.5 K%, 11.3 BB%, 8/12 SB A southern California native, Spencer Steer headed north to the University of Oregon despite being drafted by Cleveland in the 29th round of the 2016 draft. He was a starter all three years in Eugene. He hit .349/.456/.502 (.958) with 20 extra base hits as a junior, and the Twins selected him with their third round pick. He played 20 games in Elizabethton before ending with 44 games in Cedar Rapids. Following the lost 2020 season, Steer was a late addition to the Twins depth camp during spring training in 2021. He homered in a game against the Atlanta Braves. It was a sign of things to come. In an interview with Twins Daily following the 2019 season, Steer said, “I’m not the most powerful guy, but I think I can be a guy who drives in runs. For that reason you can stick me at the top of the order and I’ll find ways on base and draw a lot of walks. I think at this level, I’m more of a top of the order guy, but that can always change as I get older and put on more weight.” He began the season with High-A Cedar Rapids and hit .274/.409/.506 (.915) with seven doubles and ten home runs in 45 games. He was promoted to Wichita where he hit .241/.304/.470 (.773) with 11 doubles and 14 more homers. As Torii Hunter would have said, his man-muscles arrived. Defensively, he played 46 games at second base, 38 games at third base and 15 games at shortstop. Asked early in the year if Steer was a future utility player, Kernels manager Brian Dinkelman said no. He thinks he can be an everyday second baseman, but they will continue playing him around the infield. Steer should start 2022 with the Wind Surge, but he could get a chance to play in St. Paul in the season’s second half. He just turned 24 in December. #7 OF Gilberto Celestino 2021 STATS: .277/.371/.423, 18 2B, 7 HR, 31 RBI, 21.8 K%, 11.4 BB%, 4/5 SB 2021 MLB STATS: .136/.177/.288, 3 2B, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 22.2 K%, 4.8 BB%, 0/0 SB First and foremost, Twins fans need to realize that what they saw from Gilberto Celestino isn’t necessarily the player that he is or certainly will become. Frankly, the 22-year-old looked like a guy who had only played eight games of High-A baseball in 2019, missed all of 2020 and had just 21 games in Double-A before being called up to the big leagues. What we saw late in the year in St. Paul. We saw a guy who takes good plate appearances and is willing to walk. He can hit for some average, and he does have a little pop in his bat. Defensively, despite some nervous issues in his first stint with the Twins, he is a plus defensive outfielder, fully capable of play centerfield well. He has good (though not great) speed. He typically takes good routes, and he has a strong and generally accurate arm. Expect that he will spend most of the 2022 season at age 23 and in St. Paul. He should mostly play in centerfield, but with Byron Buxton locked in, he really should play all three outfield spots and be ready when needed. #6 OF Kala’i Rosario 2021 STATS: .277/.341/.452, 10 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR, 40 RBI, 31.7 K%, 9.1 BB%, 4/4 SB There were just five rounds in the 2020 draft due to the lockout. The Twins drafted Kala’i Rosario from Waiakea High School in Hawaii with their fifth round pick. It was noted that, along with Red Sox early pick Blaze Jordan, Rosario had as much power as any prep player from that draft. He signed, but of course, there was no season for him to report to Ft. Myers. In 2021, he stayed at the complex and then played most everyday for the FCL Twins once their season. With solid all-around offensive numbers, Rosario was named the Twins Daily short-season Minor League Hitter of the Year. He played in 51 games and showed off the extra base power. He also walked at a decent clip. Clearly he will need to keep working and try to reduce that strikeout rate, but the bat is legit and the power is legit. Defensively, he will be a corner outfielder. He spent about 75% of his innings in right field and the rest in left field. He also still has work to do with the glove and arm, but he does have the potential to an average corner outfielder. Obviously he has several levels to work through on his way up the organizational ladder. He’s going to be fun to watch. Presumably, he will spend the majority of the 2022 season in Ft. Myers again, this time with the Mighty Mussels. If he is able to show much power in that league (he’ll turn 20 in July) next year, his prospect status should go up even further. And if he doesn’t, but he shows an improved eye and produces more contact, it will be very exciting to see how he does when he moves up to Cedar Rapids. I think this is another interesting group. The first three listed above are college bats. Sabato certainly had his struggles early, but he came on late and his power is legit. Julien showed off all of his skills, his ability to know the strike zone and get on base, use his speed and also hit for a lot of power. Steer’s power certainly arrived and has moved up quickly. Celestino remains really young, and certainly was not at all ready for the big leagues when he was called up, but he has upside both offensively and defensively. Finally, Rosario is very young, and a long way from the big leagues, but he has a lot of potential with his bat that will be fun to watch. So there are hitting prospects 6-10. What do you think of this group? Please feel free to discuss and ask questions. And also try to guess how the Top 5 will be ranked when that is posted later this week. 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 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
  2. When he blew up, Miranda was outside the top 15 on virtually all Twins prospect lists and barely within the top 30 on others. It’s a bit rare that a meteoric rise occurs, but there are prospects all over the Minnesota system capable of notable 2022 seasons. While their situations may differ, the talent taking over once the games get going seems like a pretty good bet. Royce Lewis Now 22-years-old and playing for the first time in two years, the time has certainly gotten the better part of the former number one overall pick. We last saw Lewis in the Arizona Fall League at the end of 2019, and he tore up the competition. After a disappointing season that resulted in just a .661 OPS between High-A and Double-A, that was nice to see. The leg kick and swing path have been highly discussed, as has his case to stick at shortstop or move into the outfield. Regardless of the talking points, it will be nice to see the Twins top prospect back on the field, and I’d bet on his maturity and talent taking over. Give me a focused Lewis producing in a big way this season to remind pundits why he was raved about for so long. Simeon Woods-Richardson The second piece brought to the Twins in their swap of Jose Berrios, Woods-Richardson was well regarded and a popular trade target. He posted just a 5.91 ERA in 2021 and gave up six earned runs in eight innings within Minnesota’s system. It certainly wasn’t a great debut, but plenty was going against him following the trade. He played for Team USA in the Olympics, but played should be used loosely as he never made an appearance. Shutting down his workload in the middle of a season for that long created a significant road back and ultimately created a less-than-ideal situation. He’s talented and has been ranked highly because of it. The strikeout stuff should be expected to return in 2022, and seeing Woods-Richardson dominate en route to a Major League Debut would be far from unexpected. Misael Urbina Playing in his age-20 season for 2022, Urbina was stateside for the first time in 2021. He posted just a .585 OPS in the Complex League, but the 82/54 K/BB rate is where things get exciting. It’s clear he has a strong sense of plate discipline, and with another year of training as he grows into his body, Urbina’s ceiling continues to be worthy of dreaming on. There’s a substantial speed and power combination here, and playing centerfield is something he looks natural doing. I’d be far from shocked in the upcoming year, isn’t his coming out party. Spencer Steer If you haven’t been keeping tabs on Steer, it’s been time for a while. A third-round pick in 2019, Steer has posted OPS numbers north of .800 each of the past two seasons. Last year he blew up for 24 homers and posted a .409 OBP at High-A Cedar Rapids. Steer is now 24 and likely not going to be a Major League All-Star, but he has shown the makings of a solid regular. Utilizing the 2021 season, Steer could make his start at Double-A in 2022 a short one and be knocking on the door from St. Paul. Kala’i Rosario A fifth-round pick in 2020, Rosario didn’t get his opportunity to make a pro debut until last season due to Covid. However, he didn’t disappoint and posted a .793 OPS as an 18-year-old in the Complex League. His five homers in just 188 at-bats were nice to see, and there’s plenty of room for the plate discipline to take a step forward. Rosario is a corner outfielder, and his calling card will never be defense, so the bat needs to play, but the exciting part is that it looks the part so early. Getting into full-season ball this year, I’d be far-from-shocked if Rosario doesn’t immediately turn heads and see two promotions over the course of the year. What other prospects do you see worthy of keeping a particularly close eye on this season? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  3. Current Second Baseman: Jorge Polanco Entering last season, Polanco struggled through parts of the 2019 and 2020 seasons. He dealt with ankle issues that required surgery in back-to-back offseasons. Minnesota shifted him to second base, putting together his most valuable season in his big-league career. In 152 games, he hit .269/.323/.503 (.826) with 35 doubles and 33 home runs. Defensively, he finished the season as the AL's fourth highest-ranked second baseman, according to SDI. Minnesota used him occasionally at shortstop, but it's in the team's best interest to keep him at second base. 40-Man Roster Options Luis Arráez and Nick Gordon are two potential second basemen on the 40-man roster. However, both players fit better into a utility role for the team. Last season, Arráez posted a 105 OPS+, and he was one of the league's best defenders at third base. Gordon, a former first-round pick, made his big-league debut in 2021, but he is already 25-years-old. He showed some defensive flexibility that may be valuable in a bench role, and he hit .240/.292/.355 (.647) in 73 games. Arráez and Gordon can fill in at second base to keep Polanco's ankles healthy if the need arises. 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 second base depth. Minnesota has multiple second-base options populating the rosters in the upper minors. Spencer Steer was a third-round pick in 2019, and he has shown defensive flexibility throughout his professional career, including playing over 40 games at both second and third base last season. In 2021, he split time between High- and Double-A while hitting .254/.348/.484 with 45 extra-base hits in 110 games. Next season, he will be 24 years old, and he should see time at Triple-A by the season's end. At Double-A, there are a pair of intriguing young options. Minnesota signed Yunior Severino for over $2.5 million after MLB penalized the Braves for infractions committed on the international market. Last year, he split time between Low- and High-A with a .802 OPS. At 21-years-old, he was young for both levels, but the Twins left him unprotected in the upcoming Rule 5 Draft. Edouard Julien made his professional debut last year and hit .266/.434/.480 (.914) between Low- and High-A. He collected 110 walks in 112 games and stole 34 bases while only being caught five times. Anthony Prato was the organization's 7th round pick in 2019, and he played at three different levels last season. As a 23-year-old, he was older than the average age of the competition at each level, and he was limited to 47 games due to a broken hamate. Minnesota drafted Alerick Soularie in the second round in 2020, but his pro-debut was delayed because of a broken foot. After returning from injury, he posted a .668 OPS in 28 games in Fort Myers. The Twins took Mikey Perez in the 15th round of the 2021 MLB Draft, and he went 16-for-30 with six extra-base hits in his pro-debut. Overall, Minnesota has multiple strong options at the MLB level with a few prospects that should move up the ladder during the 2022 campaign. What do you think about the organization's depth at second base? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Catchers — First Base
  4. Read through our choices for each position. Check out how each of our writers voted. And then discuss and cast your votes as well. Let’s get started. The Twins Daily 2021 Minnesota Twins Minor League All Star Team Catcher: Jeferson Morales - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels, Cedar Rapids Kernels Acquired: international free agent signing in October 2016 from Venezuela. 2021 Stats: .255/.370/.438 (.808) with 24 doubles, 12 home runs and 53 RBI. Just 5-8, Jeferson Morales is a really good athlete, especially for a catcher. He also played a lot in the outfield. He began the season with 71 games in Ft. Myers where he displayed a strong approach at the plate, but he also showed some power with 19 doubles and seven homers in the hot and humid conditions in Florida. He ended the season with 25 games in Cedar Rapids where he hit .301 with five doubles and five homers. Combined, he had 12 stolen bases too. ETA - May 2023 First Base: Alex Isola, Cedar Rapids Kernels Acquired: 29th round pick in 2019 from TCU 2021 Stats: .243/.342/.425 (.767) with 15 doubles, 17 home runs and 52 RBI. Alex Isola began the season with an invitation to Twins big-league spring training. A strong defensive catcher, Isola had a really good season. Early in the year, he produced by drawing a lot of walks and getting on base, but as the season continued, he started really driving the ball well. Because of that, and some injuries, he played a lot of first base when he wasn’t catching. He was also just recently named the Cedar Rapids recipient of the Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service. ETA - July 2023 Second Base: Spencer Steer - Cedar Rapids Kernels, Wichita Wind Surge Acquired: Twins 3rd round pick in 2019 out of U of Oregon 2021 Stats:.254/.348/.484 (.832) with 18 doubles, 3 triples, 24 home runs and 66 RBI The Twins have clearly made versatility a priority throughout the organization, and Spencer Steer certainly is an example of that. He played a lot at second base, third base and shortstop and does a nice job at each spot. He was a late addition to the Twins spring training development camp and played in several games. He even hit a homer in a spring game against Atlanta. It was a sign of things to come. With Cedar Rapids, he hit 10 homers in 45 games and then added 14 more in 65 games for Wichita. ETA: May 2023 Third Base: Jose Miranda - Wichita Wind Surge, St. Paul Saints Acquired: Twins Competitive Balance Pick in 2016 from HS in Puerto Rico 2021 Stats: .344/.401/.572 (.973) with 32 doubles, 30 home runs and 94 RBI. Always full of potential, Jose Miranda put together one of the most impressive seasons in recent minor league history. He hit for average. He had 62 extra base hits including 30 home runs. He drove in runs. The 23-year-old always had great bat-to-ball skills, but by working to avoid swinging at pitches outside the zone, he was able to make himself into one of the team’s top prospects and a big-league debut should be coming soon. Miranda’s rankings among all minor league (full season) players: Batting Average: 1st (.343) Slugging Percentage: 15th (.563) OPS: 8th (.960) Hits: 1st (184… 19 more than #2 on the list!) HR: Tied 11th (30) Total Bases: 1st (306… 20 more than #2 on the list!) Runs: 5th (97) RBI: 5th (94) ETA: May 2022 Shortstop: Drew Maggi - St. Paul Saints Acquired: signed as minor league free agent. 2021 Stats: .252/.354/.456 (.810) with 13 doubles, 2 triples, 16 homers and 50 RBI Drew Maggi returned to the Twins for a third straight season. The 32-year-old put together one of his best seasons as a pro, including his career-high 16 homers. Over the years, he has played all over the infield (and some outfield). This year, he played in 50 games at shortstop. He earned a September call-up to the big leagues, his first after 11 seasons in the big leagues. He spent two days on the Twins active roster, and inexplicably did not get into either of them before being optioned back to St. Paul. ETA: September 2021 Outfielder: Trey Cabbage - Cedar Rapids, Wichita Wind Surge Acquired: Twins 4th-round draft pick in 2015 out of HS in Tennessee. 2021 Stats: .264/.346/.535 (.881) with 20 doubles, 27 home runs, 82 RBI. Trey Cabbage has long been filled with power potential, and in 2021, it was on full display. He combined to hit 27 home runs (9 in Cedar Rapids and 18 in Wichita), which ranked in the Top 25 in minor league ball. Cabbage becomes a free agent when the World Series ends and should have several options available to him as the Tennessee native is still just 24-years-old. I’m certain the Twins would like to bring him back and see him take yet another step forward. ETA: August 2022 Outfielder: BJ Boyd - Wichita Wind Surge, St. Paul Saints Acquired: signed as minor league free agent in May 2021 2021 Stats: ..291/.349/.484 (.830) with 16 doubles, 16 home runs and 73 RBI. A former draft pick of the A’s, Boyd reached Triple-A in 2018. However, he decided to turn to football. He spent a year playing running back at a junior college and had scholarship offers from some Power 5 programs, but then came the pandemic. He began 2021 working with an independent team, but the Twins signed him in May, and he quickly joined Wichita’s roster. After hitting .319 with 13 doubles and 15 home runs in 66 games. He moved up and spent 26 more games with St. Paul. The 28-year-old is also now a free agent. ETA: August 2022 Outfielder - Mark Contreras - Wichita Wind Surge, St. Paul Saints Acquired: Twins 9th-round draft pick in 2017 out of UC-Riverside 2021 Stats: .251/.338/.485 (.824), with 30 doubles, 3 triples, 20 home runs and 74 RBI. Mark Contreras struggled with the bat in 2019. He hit just .186, but in his time in Double-A Pensacola, he started showing some power. After a missed 2020 season, Contreras came back strong in 2021. He started the season in Double-A with 19 games before finishing with 95 games in St. Paul where he hit 26 doubles and 18 home runs. He won a minor league Gold Glove Award in 2019, and continued to play strong defense in 2021. At 26, could he get a big-league shot in 2022? ETA: June 2022 Designated Hitter: Edouard Julien - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels, Cedar Rapids Kernels Acquired: Twins 18th-round draft pick in 2019 out of Auburn 2021 Stats: 266/.434/.480 (.914) with 28 doubles, 1 triple, 18 home runs and 72 RBI Though he was drafted in 2019 after playing in the College World Series, Edouard Julien made his professional debut in 2021 because he had Tommy John surgery that summer. Even after a missed season in 2020, the 22-year-old from Canada immediately produced in Ft. Myers. In 47 games, he hit .299 with an incredible .490 on-base percentage. He moved up to Cedar Rapids for another 65 games where he continued to get on base but added 15 home runs. He combined to steal 34 bases in 39 attempts. His 110 walks led all of minor league baseball, finishing 18 walks ahead of #2 on the list, Aaron Sabato. ETA: August 2023 Starting Pitcher: Louie Varland - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels, Cedar Rapids Kernels Acquired: Twins 15th-round draft pick in 2019 out of Concordia-St. Paul 2021 Stats: 10-4, 2.10 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 103.0 IP, 2.6 BB/9, 12.4 K/9 After being drafted, Louie Varland pitched in just three games at Elizabethton.So coming into 2021, there was no way to know what Varland would do. It didn’t take long for Varland to show out. In 10 games for Ft. Myers, he went 4-2 with a 2.09 ERA and had 76 strikeouts in 47 1/3 innings. He moved up to Cedar Rapids and was 6-2 with a 2.10 ERA. In 55 2/3 innings, he struck out 66 batters. He showed a big fastball and a strong slider throughout the year. He was the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. ETA: June 2023 Starting Pitcher: Cole Sands - Wichita Wind Surge Acquired: Twins 5th-round draft pick in 2018 out of Florida State 2021 Stats: 4-2, 2.46 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 80.1 IP, 3.9 BB/9, 10.8 K/9 Cole Sands pitched at three levels in 2019, ending the season with one start in Pensacola. After a lost 2020, he began 2021 with the Wind Surge. While he missed time twice with injury-list time, when he pitched, he pitched really well. He struck out 96 batters in his 80 1/3 innings. He’s got a good fastball that reaches into the mid-90s, but he has a very good curveball. ETA: August 2022 Starting Pitcher: Josh Winder - Wichita Wind Surge, St. Paul Saints Acquired: Twins 7th round draft pick in 2018 out of Virginia Military Institute 2021 Stats: 4-0, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 72.0 IP, 1.6 BB/9, 10.0 K/9 After going 7-2 with a 2.63 ERA in 21 starts in Cedar Rapids in 2019, Josh Winder did not pitch in 2020. Then he went to Instructional League and was throwing 97 mph, and his name was on the radar. He was invited to big-league spring training and then skipped High-A ball, jumping straight to Double-A Wichita. He dominated the level. In 10 starts, he went 3-0 with a 1.98 ERA. He had 65 strikeouts and just 10 walks over 54 2/3 innings. On July 1, he was promoted to St. Paul with Jose Miranda. His first Triple-A start started with a no-hitter into the sixth inning. He then pitched at the Futures Game. When he came back, he wasn’t the same and his season ended early with a shoulder issue. Winder is definitely on the radar for the 2022 Twins. ETA: June 2022 Starting Pitcher: Jordan Balazovic - Wichita Wind Surge Acquired: Twins 5th-round draft pick in 2016 out of high school in Ontario. 2021 Stats: 5-4, 3.62 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 97.0 IP, 3.5 BB/9, 9.5 K/9 After a fantastic 2019 between Low-A and High-A, Jordan Balazovic solidified him as a top pitching prospect in the organization. He spent the final month of the 2020 season working at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. He was added to the 40-man roster soon after. He went to big-league spring training but his season was delayed a few weeks by an oblique strain. He had a streaky season. It took him a couple of starts to get adjusted, but soon after, he had a stretch of four starts in which he did not allow a run. That was followed with some struggles, but he ended strong. ETA: July 2022 Right-Handed Relief Pitcher: Jordan Gore - Cedar Rapids Kernels, Wichita Wind Surge Acquired: Twins 19th-round draft pick in 2017 out of Coastal Carolina 2021 Stats: 8-2, 7 saves, 2.39 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, 11.7 K/9 For the first three years of his pro career, Jordan Gore played primarily shortstop. In 2019, he spent the first half of the season as the Pensacola shortstop. Late that season, after Royce Lewis arrived, Gore was a utility infielder until the decision was made for him to become a pitcher. Blessed with a big arm, he was able to work throughout 2020 on how to be a pitcher and on developing secondary pitches. He began 2021 at Cedar Rapids where he went 5-1 with a save and a 2.95 ERA. He had 58 strikeouts and 17 walks in 39 2/3 innings. He moved up to Wichita and was even better. He went 3-1 with six saves and a 1.61 ERA. He consistently showed a mid-90s fastball, but he also had developed a solid slider and a changeup. He is now a sleeper pick for a spot on the Twins 40-man roster this offseason. ETA: August 2022 Left-Handed Relief Pitcher: Jovani Moran - Wichita Wind Surge, St. Paul Saints Acquired: Twins 7th-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Puerto Rico 2021 MiLB Stats: 4-2, 3 saves, 2.54 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 4.3 BB/9, 14.6 K/9 We know where his season ended, with a spot on the Minnesota Twins roster. But Jovani Moran had a terrific season in the minor leagues to earn that spot. He began the season in Wichita where he dominated. In 37 2/3 innings, he posted a 1.91 ERA and had 64 strikeouts to go with just 14 walks. He was promoted to St. Paul where he still pitched well, despite some control issues. In 29 2/3 innings, he had a 3.03 ERA and 45 strikeouts. However, he also had 18 walks. However, since he signed in 2015, he would have become a minor league free agent at the end of the World Series if not added to the 40-man roster. He has a future with the Twins, so getting him some innings in the big leagues will be beneficial. He was the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. ETA: September 2021 ------------------------------------------------------------------ PREVIOUS Twins Daily Minor League All Stars Looking Back: 2016 Twins Daily Minor League All Stars C : Mitch Garver, 1B: Zander Wiel, 2B: Luis Arraez, 3B: Nelson Molina, SS: Nick Gordon, OF: LaMonte Wade, Zack Granite, Daniel Palka, DH: Adam Brett Walker, RH SP: Fernando Romero, LH SP: Stephen Gonsalves, RH RP: Trevor Hildenberger, LH RP: Michael Theofanopoulos. Looking Back: 2017 Twins Daily Minor League All Stars C :Mitch Garver, 1B: Jonathan Rodriguez, 2B: Travis Blankenhorn, 3B: TJ White, SS: Jermaine Palacios, OF:LaMonte Wade, Zack Granite, Akil Baddoo, DH: Brent Rooker, RH SP: Clark Beeker, LH SP: Stephen Gonsalves, RH RP: John Curtiss, LH RP: Andrew Vasquez. Looking Back: 2018 Twins Daily Minor League All Stars C :Taylor Grzelakowski, 1B: Zander Wiel, 2B: Luis Arraez, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Royce Lewis, OF: Alex Kirilloff, Jaylin Davis, Akil Baddoo, DH: Brent Rooker, RH SP: Tyler Wells, LH SP: Stephen Gonsalves, RH RP: Cody Stashak, LH RP: Andrew Vasquez. Looking Back: 2019 Twins Daily Minor League All Stars C :Ryan Jeffers, 1B: Zander Wiel, 2B: Travis Blankenhorn, 3B: Spencer Steer, SS: Nick Gordon, OF: Trevor Larnach, Jaylin Davis, Brent Rooker, DH: Gabe Snyder, RH SP: Randy Dobnak, LH SP: Devin Smeltzer, RH RP: Moises Gomez, LH RP: Zach Neff ---------------------------------------------------------------- The Votes So there you have it. The fifth annual Twins Daily Minor League All Star team, though obviously we skipped a year with no 2020 season. What would your ballot look like? Below are the votes/selections of our 2021 Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth: C :Alex Isola, 1B: Tomas Telis, 2B: Spencer Steer, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Jermaine Palacios, OF: Trey Cabbage, Mark Contreras, BJ Boyd, DH: Edouard Julien. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Josh Winder, Jordan Balazovic, RH RP Jordan Gore, LH RP: Jovani Moran. Nash: C :Tomas Telis, 1B: Alex Isola, 2B: Spencer Steer, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Drew Maggi, OF: BJ Boyd, Jimmy Kerrigan, Matt Wallner, DH Brent Rooker. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Josh Winder, Jordan Balazovic. RH RP: Ian Hamilton, LH RP: Zach Featherstone. Lucas: C :Jeferson Morales, 1B: Alex Isola, 2B: Edouard Julien, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS, Drew Maggi, OF: Gilberto Celestino, Mark Contreras, BJ Boyd, DH: Trey Cabbage, SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Jordan Balazovic, RH RP: Jordan Gore, LHP: Jovani Moran. Cody: C :Jeferson Morales, 1B: Alex Isola, 2B: Spencer Steer, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Jermaine Palacios, OF: Trey Cabbage, Brent Rooker, Gilberto Celestino, DH: BJ Boyd. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Josh Winder, Jordan Balazovic. RH RP: Jordan Gore, LH RP: Jovani Moran. Tom: C :Alex Isola, 1B: Edouard Julien, 2B: Spencer Steer, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Drew Maggi, OF: Trey Cabbage, Mark Contreras, Jeferson Morales, DH: Yunior Severino. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Tyler Beck, Austin Schulfer. RH RP: Jordan Gore, LH RP: Jovani Moran. Ted: C :Roy Morales, 1B: Andrew Bechtold, 2B: Edouard Julien, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Jermaine Palacios, OF: Trey Cabbage, Mark Contreras, Jimmy Kerrigan, DH: Matt Wallner. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Kody Funderburk, Jordan Balazovic. RH RP: Ryan Mason, LH RP: Jovani Moran. Steve: C :Alex Isola, 1B: Aaron Sabato, 2B: Edouard Julien, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Jermaine Palacios, OF: Trey Cabbage, Mark Contreras, Brent Rooker, DH: Spencer Steer. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Josh Winder, Jordan Balazovic. RH RP: Jordan Gore, LH RP: Jovani Moran. Matt: C :Jeferson Morales, 1B: Aaron Sabato, 2B: Edouard Julien, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Drew Maggi, OF: Trey Cabbage, Matt Wallner, Gilberto Celestino, DH: Brent Rooker. SP: Louie Varland, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Ben Gross, Andrew Albers. RH RP: Jordan Gore, LH RP: Jovani Moran. David: C :Jeferson Morales, 1B: Aaron Sabato, 2B: Edouard Julien, 3B: Jose Miranda, SS: Drew Maggi, OF: Gilberto Celestino, Aaron Whitefield, BJ Boyd, DH: Trey Cabbage. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Jordan Balazovic. RH RP: Jordan Gore, LH RP: Jovani Moran. Allen: C :Tomas Telis, 1B: Aaron Sabato, 2B: Jose Miranda, 3B: Spencer Steer, SS: Drew Maggi, OF: Jimmy Kerrigan, BJ Boyd, Brent Rooker, DH: Trey Cabbage. SP: Louie Varland, Cole Sands, Ben Gross, Jordan Balazovic. RH RP: Ryan Mason, LH RP: Jovani Moran.
  5. All three of these players currently don't rank in the team's top-10 prospects. Selecting them as a breakout prospect means they have a shot at being ranked in the team's top-10 by the end of next season. Drew Strotman, RHP Current TD Prospect Rank: 14 Minnesota acquired Strotman along with Joe Ryan from Tampa in exchange for two months of Nelson Cruz. Fans saw Ryan's impact in 2021, and now they can hope for Strotman to impact the rotation in 2022. As a 24-year-old, he pitched all of 2021 at the Triple-A level, where he was three years younger than the average age of the competition. After being traded to the Twins, his ERA rose over four runs, but he pitched more than double the number of innings he had thrown in any other professional season as he returned from Tommy John surgery. Scouting reports have him with three-four pitches ready for the big leagues, which is one of the biggest reasons the Twins targeted him. Spencer Steer, INF Current TD Prospect Rank: 20 Minnesota drafted Steer in the third round back in 2019 out of the University of Oregon. During the 2019 season, he hit .280/.385/.424 (.809) with 25 extra-base hits in 64 games. As a 23-year old, he spent time at High- and Double-A this season and a hit combined .254/.348/.484 (.833) with 45 extra-base hits in 110 games. The Twins' front office has focused on college bats in previous drafts. During the 2022 season, projections have him playing at Double- and Triple-A, putting him on the doorstep to the big leagues. Both of those levels are where Miranda found success this season, and Steer will look for a similar jump next season. Aaron Sabato, 1B Current TD Prospect Rank: 22 Sabato, a 2020 first-round pick, struggled at the beginning of 2021 as he got his first taste of professional baseball. In 85 games at Low-A, he hit .189/.365/.357 (.722) with 26 extra-base hits. Also, he was over half a year older than the average age of the competition in his league. Based on his college experience, Minnesota wasn't afraid to be aggressive with him in the second half. After being promoted to High-A Cedar Rapids, he posted a 1.015 OPS with 11 extra-base hits in 22 games. Minnesota drafted him because he was known for his powerful swing, and there were signs he was starting to put it together at the end of 2021. Can he carry those changes over to 2022? Which of these prospects stands out the most to you? Who do you think will have a breakout 2022 campaign? 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
  6. It’s not wise to overreact to a robust 15 games in the Puerto Rican Winter League, especially for a Minor Leaguer who hit just .252/.302/.369 in the prior season. For Jose Miranda, though, it was a glimpse into the future. His strong showing for Caguas was no mirage: he was improving. Miranda always possessed an elite ability to make contact, evidenced by his solid batting averages and low strikeout rates throughout his first handful of years in the minors. That’s why his power surge is so exciting. Starting the year with Wichita at Double-A, Miranda came out firing. He began the season going 13-for-32 (.406) with a double and three homers and never looked back. Miranda’s last 20 games before his promotion were outstanding. He hit .386 with a 1.085 OPS with seven homers and two doubles. Miranda’s ultimate statement came on June 29th in his debut for the Saints. He hit three homers, drove in six runs, and added a double in one of the best Triple-A unveilings you’ll ever see. Miranda proved that his great stretch in Wichita was no mirage. Miranda’s 153 wRC+ at Triple-A is the third-highest for a Twin since 2006 (min. 300 plate appearances). His 162 wRC+ at Double-A is tied for the third-best in that span. Miranda added patience to his profile while still maintaining a strikeout rate below 13%. He’s walking more, hitting for elite power, and spraying the ball all over the field. There are very few flaws to point out in his 2021 campaign. The 23-year-old leads the minors with 292 total bases, 176 hits, and 568 plate appearances. He’s started 48 games at third base, 29 at second base, 26 at first base, and 12 at Designated Hitter. He offers the infield versatility that the Twins value. So what does the future hold? Well, it’s interesting. While Miranda seemingly has nothing left to prove in the minors, there’s a log jam on the Twins’ roster. Josh Donaldson and Miguel Sanó (option) are both under contract at the corners until 2023. Alex Kirilloff impressed in his debut at first base, and Jorge Polanco had an MVP-level season at second. If that’s not enough, Luis Arraez needs a spot too. These things tend to work themselves out, so for now, let’s appreciate this incredible season from Jose Miranda. His future looks bright and offers hope that more contact-oriented prospects (like Austin Martin) can develop power in this system. While the Twins struggled to win games throughout the 2021 season, many fans found hope in the minors, especially in Jose Miranda. Congratulations, Jose! Below are the Top 8 Twins Minor League Hitters in 2021 (according to our 10-person, Twins Daily minor league writing staff) as well as others who received votes. If you click on their names, you will be directed to the search results for that player and find several other articles they are tagged in. TOP 8: 1. IF Jose Miranda - (.342/.400/.568 with 29 doubles, 29 homers at AA/AAA) T-2. 1B/OF Trey Cabbage - (.264/.346/.535 with 20 doubles, 27 homers at High-A/AA) Cabbage blasted 27 homers in 108 games and finished his season with a .535 slugging percentage. He posted an OPS over .880 for both Cedar Rapids and Wichita. T-2. IF Edouard Julien - (.266/.434/.480 with 28 doubles, 18 homers at Low-A/High-A) Julien stole 34 of 39 bases, hit 18 homers and walked 110 times in a breakout season. Julien mashed for Fort Myers before hitting .247/.397/.494 in Cedar Rapids. 4. IF Spencer Steer - (.254/.348/.484 with 18 doubles, 24 homers at High-A/AA) Steer found his power in 2021, stroking 24 homers across two levels. Steer posted a .915 OPS at Cedar Rapids and hit 14 homers for Wichita. 5. OF Mark Contreras - (.253/.341/.488 with 29 doubles, 19 homers at AA/AAA) Contreras is quietly hitting .253/.341/.488 and improved after a promotion to St. Paul. It was his best season as a Minor Leaguer. 6. OF BJ Boyd - (.294/.352/.491 with 15 doubles, 16 homers at AA/AAA) Boyd posted a .923 OPS in Wichita and earned a late season promotion to Triple-A. Boyd hadn't played professional baseball since 2018 but impressed in his return. 7. OF Jimmy Kerrigan - (.265/.336/.487 with 16 doubles, 19 homers at AA/AAA) Kerrigan is a steady force for the Saints, hitting .265/.336/.487 in over 100 games. Kerrigan has tallied 169 total bases, the most in his career. 8. OF Brent Rooker - (.245/.367/.564 with 8 doubles, 20 homers at AAA) Rooker destroyed at Triple-A before another promotion to Minnesota, where he's working himself into a 2022 role. "Rook" hit 20 homers in 62 games for the Saints. OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: OF Gilberto Celestino - (.280/.379/.431, 7 HR, 16 2B at AA/AAA) OF Matt Wallner - (.264/.350/.508, 15 HR, 14 2B, 2 3B at A+) IF/OF Drew Maggi - (.255/.358/.470, 16 HR, 13 2B, 2 3B at AAA) IF Yunior Severino - (.273/.372/.430, 8 HR, 29 2B, 2 3B at A/A+) IF/OF Michael Helman - (.246/.336/.462, 19 HR, 21 2B, 4 3B at A+) SS Jermaine Palacios - (.259/.340/.439, 19 HR, 17 2B at AA) C/1B Alex Isola - (.243/.342/.425, 17 HR, 15 2B at A+) C/OF Jeferson Morales - (.255/.370/.438, 12 HR, 24 2B at A/A+) C/1B Tomás Telís - (.292/.336/.411, 11 HR, 11 2B, 2 3B at AAA) 1B/3B Andrew Bechtold - (.239/.328/.459, 18 HR, 23 2B at AA) OF Ernie de La Trinidad - (.266/.344/.415, 9 HR, 12 2B, 2 3B at AA) PREVIOUS WINNERS: 2012 - Oswaldo Arcia 2013 - Miguel Sano 2014 - Mitch Garver 2015 - Max Kepler 2016 - Daniel Palka 2017 - Mitch Garver 2018 - Alex Kirilloff 2019 - Trevor Larnach
  7. SAINTS SENTINEL Indianapolis 10, Saints 3 Box Score Drew Strotman: 4 IP, 8 H, 7 R/ER, 3 BB, 2 K HR: Drew Stankiewicz (2) Multi-hit games: Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-3, 2 2B, RBI, BB), Stankiewicz (2-for-3, HR, RBI, R) Drew Strotman started allowed seven runs in four innings in the Saints’ loss Sunday. Strotman has allowed 23 runs over his last 23 innings. Yennier Cano gave up two runs in relief on two hits and two walks. Ryan Mason allowed an unearned run and Vinny Nittoli and Chris Nunn each pitched scoreless innings. Drew Stankiewicz blasted a homer in the third and added another hit from the nine-hole. Jimmy Kerrigan drove in Mitch Garver in the fourth with a double and BJ Boyd picked up an RBI with a groundout. Indianapolis recorded 13 singles and zero extra-base hits, scoring 10 runs and walking five times. The Saints fell to 61-59. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wind Surge 10, Travelers 6 Box Score Ben Gross: 4 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Spencer Steer (14), Andrew Bechtold (18) Multi-hit games: Austin Martin (2-for-2, 2 2B, 3 BB, 3 R), D.J. Burt (2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI), Steer (2-for-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI), Aaron Whitefield (2-for-4, 2B) Spencer Steer hit a three-run homer in the first, setting the tone for a great offensive day for the Surge. Ben Gross started and allowed five runs (four earned) in four innings of work. Austin Martin reached base five times, including two doubles and three walks. Andrew Bechtold continued his power-breakout with his 18th homer of the season. Simeon Woods Richardson pitched two scoreless innings and struck out one. Alex Phillips and Erik Manoah Jr. each threw scoreless innings. Jordan Gore allowed one run on two hits in the ninth. The Surge will compete in the playoffs next week. KERNELS NUGGETS Kernels 11, Chiefs 0 Box Score Aaron Rozek: 5 IP, 0 R/ER, BB, 4 K HR: Edouard Julien (15), Matt Wallner (15), DaShawn Keirsey 2 (7) Multi-hit games: Julien (2-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB), Aaron Sabato (2-for-4, 2 R, BB), Wallner (2-for-3, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI), Alex Isola (2-for-5, RBI, R), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI, R), Keirsey (2-for-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) The Kernels clinched a playoff berth with a huge 11-0 win Sunday. Aaron Rozek started and dazzled with five scoreless innings. Rozek struck out four. Denny Bentley, Carlos Suniaga, Zach Featherstone, and Andrew Cabezas combined for four scoreless innings out of the Kernels’ bullpen. Edouard Julien and Matt Wallner both hit two-run homers in the third and the Kernels never looked back. DaShawn Keirsey then added a solo homer in the fourth before Michael Helman drove in a run on an RBI double. The Kernels didn’t stop. Alex Isola added an RBI double, Daniel Ozoria drove in two as a pinch-hitter, and DaShawn Keirsey hit two homers, his sixth and seventh of the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Mussels 5, Tarpons 4 Box Score Brent Headrick: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2-for-4, 3B, RBI), Kyler Fedko (2-for-4, R), Mikey Perez (2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, R), Willie Joe Gary Jr. (2-for-4, 3B, RBI, R) Willie Joe Garry got things going with an RBI triple in the second and things were looking good for the Mussels early. Brent Headrick started and dominated in three innings, striking out seven. Unfortunately David Festa couldn’t hold the lead, allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits and a walk. Zarion Sharpe pitched very well in relief, striking out three in 3 1/3 one-run innings. The Mussels rallied in the eighth as Patrick Winkel and Mikey Perez added clutch hits to drive in runs. Ramon Pineda, younger brother of Twins pitcher Michael Pineda, earned the win. Fort Myers finished its season with a 60-54 record. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Season is Complete. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Rozek (5 IP, 0 R/ER, BB, 4 K) Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – DaShawn Keirsey (2-for-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-2, 2 R, 3 BB #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 2 IP, H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, K #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, K #7 – Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not play #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, R #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 4 IP, 8 H, 7 R/ER, 3 BB, 2 K #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - Did not play #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, R, 3 K #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-for-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI
  8. TRANSACTIONS RHP Miguel Rodriguez reinstated from 7-day IL at A Fort Myers RHP Ramon Pineda transferred from FCL Twins to A Fort Myers Saints Sentinel St. Paul 9, Toledo 9 (Paused game) Box Score Drew Strotman: 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Well, I had a write-up here, but apparently the game ran so late that it was paused due to a curfew. I'll leave the box score link so that people can check it out as they please, but know that the game is not technically finished. Also know that this is the first time I have ever seen something like this happen in a minor league game. Weird stuff. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 13, Tulsa 4 Box Score Cole Sands: 3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K HR: Leobaldo Cabrera (8), Andrew Bechtold (16), Austin Martin (2), Spencer Steer (13) Multi-hit games: Spencer Steer (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB), Austin Martin (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI), Wichita gave Tulsa the business on Saturday. ...Oh, I need to say more? (Editor's Note: Yes, please.) Here are a few questions: Is it a good thing when eight out of nine of your batters get a hit? Is it a good thing when six different hitters earn an RBI? Is it a good thing when your 1-2 hitters combine for six runs? I’m not a baseball expert, but I tend to think that the answer to all of those questions is yes. Tulsa actually had the first lead of the game but a homer by Leobaldo Cabrera put the lead firmly in Wichita’s grasp. They would not let go. With five runs already on the board, Andrew Bechtold demolished a three-run homerun to make it a cruel seven-run lead. With a nine-run lead, Austin Martin clobbered a homer to make it an evil 11-run lead. Finally, with 12 runs on the board, Spencer Steer obliterated a solo shot to add a cherry on top of this battered cake. Tulsa actually out-hit the Wind Surge on Saturday which is objectively hilarious. Cabrera: Bechtold: Martin: Steer: Cole Sands allowed only one run over three innings but was inefficient as he tossed 80 pitches in order to do so. From there the combination of Kody Funderburk, Zach Neff, and Hector Lujan took Wichita to the finish line on Saturday. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 1, Beloit 6 Box Score Ben Gross: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Daniel Ozoria (2-for-3, RBI) Cedar Rapids had the lone offensive dud on Saturday. Ben Gross brought the strikeouts, but the Snappers proved resilient, and dropped 10 hits on the starter. It was an all-or-nothing approach that netted Beloit six extra-base hits off of Gross en route to a lead that would never really be challenged. The lone Kernels run came thanks to a Daniel Ozoria infield single in the 5th inning. The team put together just six hits on the night, but oddly enough, three of those hits were doubles. In another odd turn, both teams had matching one walk, 14 strikeout performances by their respective pitching staffs (and lineups, technically). But, Beloit bunching their extra-base hits proved to be a wise strategy as they easily beat Cedar Rapids on Saturday. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 8 Box Score Miguel Rodriguez: 1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 K HR: Jesus Feliz (7) Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (2-for-5, 3 R), Will Holland (3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) Fort Myers was unable to recover from a 4-0 deficit on Saturday. Starter Miguel Rodriguez had one to forget. The righty was activated just before the game and more than a bit rusty on Saturday. Allowing three walks over just a single inning more or less speaks for itself. Let’s hope that Rodriguez can get back on the horse the next time he’s called upon. To their credit, the Mighty Mussels did not lie down and let the Marauders win this game without a fight. They were down by a score of 7-1 before a burning offensive spirit took hold across the dugout. Jesus Feliz kicked off the rebuttal with a solo homer in the 7th while Will Holland doubled home a run later in the inning. This would be just the first attack. Kyler Fedko unloaded the bases in the 8th with a double that was followed by the classic double error on the part of the Marauders. Unfortunately, the fight would end there. Bradenton plated one more run in the 9th, and Fort Myers fell narrowly short of a victory. Casey Legumina provided a strong effort in the loss. He was able to siphon off the bleeding over five strong innings of one-run ball in relief of Rodriguez. Complex Chronicles The FCL Twins game was suspended in the 8th inning on Saturday. Nash will have the update for you on this game when it is completed on Sunday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Casey Legumina Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, K #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - Suspended game #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - Suspended game #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 1-3, RBI, BB, 2 K #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-1, R, BB, K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-3, 2 BB #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - 3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Bradenton @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) RHP Landon Leach St. Paul @ Toledo (12:05 PM) RHP Beau Burrows Tulsa @ Wichita (12:05 PM) RHP Austin Schulfer Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (1:05 PM) TBD
  9. From 2013-2018 Brian Dozier played in nearly 900 games and blasted 161 homers for the Twins as their primary second basemen. He took time to settle into the role and changed his approach at the plate, but became an All-Star in 2015 and earned top-15 votes each of the next two seasons. In 2016-17 Dozier combined to hit 76 dingers with an .871 OPS. For a position often seen as an afterthought in the infield, he’d become a beacon of strength. Fast-forward to where we are now, and the Twins have successfully passed the torch to a new pair of talents. Signed to an extension in 2019, Jorge Polanco is potentially under team control through the 2025 season. He dealt with an ankle injury that changed his abilities drastically, but now with a clean bill of health, he looks like one of the best in baseball at the position. Since June 1 this season, Polanco owns a .926 OPS. He was a first-time All-Star in 2019 and has posted an .806 OPS over the past three seasons, even with the dismal 2020 factored in. There were always legitimate concerns regarding Polanco’s range and arm at shortstop. It was a position he had played often, but one he was ultimately miscast in. Sliding over to second base full time this season, Twins coaches talked up the fact that not only would his bat play, but his glove may find gold there. It’s safe to say the experiment has been wildly successful, and the return to offensive prowess is a welcomed shot in the arm. Recently turning 28-years-old, it’s fair to assume Polanco’s best seasons are still ahead of him, and for a Twins team looking to rebound, that’s a great thing to dream on. Then there’s the opposite but an equally successful type of player at second base for the Twins. Luis Arraez may be the second coming of Rod Carew, and he’s here to challenge for a batting title on an annual basis. Nagging knee injuries have kept him off the field at times, but the bat has remained intact when he’s out there. A .317 average this season marks a career-low, but it’s continued to rise, and the .325 mark across his first 205 big-league games is nothing to scoff at. Arraez will never play with the power that either Dozier or Polanco has, and he’s more Dozier (Gold Glove’s are offensive awards sometimes) than Polanco with the leather, but calling second his primary home helps to push this narrative. Luis has done well for himself by establishing utility around the diamond, but make no mistake that the pipeline Minnesota has pushed here is impressive. Add in that Nick Gordon is beginning to realize some of his potential in the big leagues, a converted shortstop moving to the first base side, and this situation continues to be worth monitoring. Spencer Steer is another name down on the farm that’s pushing his way towards the top and watching the Twins develop these athletes is exciting. Second base is often considered the fallback for a shortstop with a lackluster arm. Be that what it may, but Minnesota isn’t simply throwing out good defenders that have little other tools at the position. Rocco Baldelli has employed lineups that can do damage, and even before the current skipper got here, second base has become an area of strength in the system. Maybe Jorge Polanco pushes for the best in baseball title down the line, but even if he doesn’t, he’s currently headlining an impressive position group within this organization. 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. TRANSACTIONS The Wichita Wind Surge removed Simeon Woods-Richardson from the Temporary Inactive List as he returned from Team USA action. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 11, Indianapolis 9 Box Score Making his third start since coming to the Twins organization, Drew Strotman was on the bump for the Saints tonight. He worked six innings allowing five runs on six hits. He did strike out seven while walking just two. Behind 2-0 after one, Keon Broxton put the Saints on the board with their first run on a sacrifice fly, scoring Drew Maggi. Trailing 4-1 in the 4th inning, Jimmy Kerrigan brought St. Paul back within one launching his 14th home run of the year, this one a two-run shot, scoring Maggi once again. St. Paul took their first lead of the game in the 5th inning. A Nick Gordon double play allowed David Banuelos to score, and a Gilberto Celestino two-out double drove in Tomas Telis and moved the tally to 5-4 good guys. Kerrigan then homered in the 6th inning, his second of the night, and St. Paul doubled their lead. Unfortunately the 6th inning also saw Indianapolis take things over against lights out Saints reliever, Jovani Moran. Telis quickly bailed out the stud pen arm though, as a 7th inning double scored Gordon and drew things back even at 7. This one went to extras and things continued to be bonkers. The Saints scored two in the top half of the 10th on a Telis single and a Kerrigan ground out, but Indianapolis answered with two of their own in the bottom half. Needing to score in the 11th with hopes of a victory, St. Paul got heroics from none other than the man himself, Jose Miranda. Minnesota’s most prolific offensive prospect in 2021 blasted a two-run homer to give the Saints an 11-9 victory. Multi-hit efforts in this one came from Miranda, Telis, and Kerrigan. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 10, Tulsa 5 Box Score Bryan Sammons was tonight’s starter for the Wind Surge, and he was nails. Going five strong, he allowed just a single hit and one walk while punching out five batters. It was nothing short of dominant in a start where offensive run support was in excess supply. Wichita kicked things off in a big way during the first inning. Roy Morales hit his first homer of the season. He was followed by dingers from Spencer Steer (10th with Wind Surge, 20th overall) and Jermaine Palacios (17). Before the first three outs were recorded, the Wind Surge led 3-0. B.J. Boyd then got into the act with his ninth dinger, a solo shot in the third inning, and followed it up with a three-run blast in the 4th inning. Allowing Tulsa to come back in the 7th inning, Wichita's lead was decreased to just three at 8-5 entering the 8th inning. In the 9th though, they got some breathing room. Newly-acquired Austin Martin hit his first home run for the Twins organization, and Trey Cabbage went yard for his 11th home with the Wind Surge (20th overall). With the lead back up to five runs, the Wind Surge slammed the door and put a bow on this one. Boyd, Morales, Cabbage, and Palacios all had two-hit efforts for the Wind Surge tonight. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Peoria 4 Box Score Ben Gross got the call tonight for Cedar Rapids, and he was nothing short of amazing. Going six innings, he allowed just two runs on six hits, he punched out a whopping 13 batters while walking just one. Cedar Rapids struck first as Edouard Julien blasted a home run on a 3-0 pitch in the 3rd for his eighth homer since joining the Kernels. Jeferson Morales then singled in Yunior Severino and Matt Wallner to put the Kernels ahead 3-0. After giving two runs back in the 4th inning, Cedar Rapids had another answer. Seth Gray hit his eighth homer to make it 4-2, and Max Smith singled in Wander Javier extending the lead to 5-2 after five innings. Things got tight late with Peoria plating two in the 8th, but Zach Featherstone was able to slam the door and record his eighth save of the season. Both Gray and Morales had two hits on the evening. MUSSEL MATTERS Bradenton 8, Fort Myers 2 Box Score Dealing with some errant command tonight, Landon Leach gave up three runs without allowing a hit for the Mighty Mussels. The three walks and five hit batters (Yes, five!) burned him, but he did battle for two strikeouts on the evening. Fort Myers jumped out to an early lead on the scorching bat of Aaron Sabato. His first inning dinger was his ninth of the season and gave the Mighty Mussels a 1-0 lead. They trailed 5-1 entering the 8th before Sabato plated Misael Urbina while grounding into a double play. Bradenton then added another three runs in the bottom of the 8th and the deficit grew to six. The Mussels scattered four hits on the evening, but no one recorded more than one. Sabato continues to swing a hot stick, and he’s pushed the OPS to .711 despite a .191 average on the year. COMPLEX CHRONICLES No Game Scheduled TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Ben Gross (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 13 K Hitter of the Day - Jimmy Kerrigan (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2 R, 4 RBI, 2 HR(15) PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-5, R, 2 RBI, BB, K, HR(10) #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-4, K #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-4, RBI, BB, 2 K #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (shoulder impingement) #9 - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) - 1-4, R, RBI, HR(9), K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, RBI, BB, 2 K #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) - 5.1 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #14 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-4, 4 K #15 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-4, R, K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, R, 2 K #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) - No game #19 - Edwar Colina (rehab) - Injured List (elbow) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - Did not pitch THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05PM CST) - RHP Chandler Shepherd (5-5, 5.88 ERA) Wichita @ Tulsa (7:05PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (4-4, 4.99 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland (2-0, 0.83 ERA) Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:05PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (2-1, 5.31 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
  11. 20. IF Spencer Steer (23 years old) Season Stats (A+/AA): 79 G, .255/.363/.497 (.860), 19 HR, 11 2B, 2 3B, 18.9 K%, 12.7 BB% Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 16, 2021 Preseason: NA Steer was a 2019 third-round pick out of the University of Oregon. Steer’s drop in the rankings is more about the new players in the organization than about him having a poor performance. He started the year in Cedar Rapids, where he slashed .274/.409/.506 (915) in 45 games. The transition to Double-A has seen his OBP drop by 110 points, but he is still slugging .485. In his professional career, this is the first time he has been a year younger than the average age of the competition. At Cedar Rapids, he made nearly all his defensive starts at second base, and now he has been splitting time between second and third in Wichita. 19. RHP Cole Sands (24 years old) Season Stats (AA): 48.1 IP (12 G), 2.79 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 11.9 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 13, 2021 Preseason: 15 Sands immediately impacted the Twins organization after being taken in the fifth round back in 2018. While pitching at three different levels, he posted a sub-2.70 ERA with a 10.0 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9. Sands missed over a month earlier in the season, and the team has slowly been increasing his workload in recent weeks. Since coming off the IL (5 G), he has posted a 2.70 ERA while holding batters to a .190/.262/.379 slash line. His strikeout totals are up this year which is a positive since he faces older batters in over 60% of his plate appearances. 18. OF Misael Urbina (19 years old) Season Stats (A): 73 G, .193/.295/.294 (.589), 4 HR, 7 2B, 4 3B, 18.6 K%, 11.4 BB% Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 15, 2021 Preseason: 14 Urbina was signed out of Venezuela during the 2018 International Signing Period for $2.75 million. As a 19-year old, he is making his stateside debut this season, and he has only faced younger pitchers in four out of his 323 plate appearances. Even facing older competition, he has shown an advanced eye at the plate and the ability to draw walks. Defensively, he has split time between center field and left field. Urbina has some of the best tools in the Twins system, and he is a player that should move up this list in the years to come. 17. RHP Blayne Enlow (22 years old) Season Stats (A+): 14.2 IP (3 G), 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP, 14.1 K/9, 3.7 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 11, 2021 Preseason: 10 Enlow, a 2017 third-round pick, made quick work of High-A to start the season as he mowed down batters with career-high strikeout rate. Unfortunately, he was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery and will be out until the second half of 2022. Minnesota added pitching depth that will be ranked ahead of Enlow, but that doesn’t take anything away from his long-term potential. 16. OF Brent Rooker (26 years old) Season Stats (AAA): 61 G, .239/.362/.546 (.908), 19 HR, 8 2B, 1 3B, 30.2 K%, 14.3 BB% Season Stats (MLB): 24 G, .168/.225/.358 (.583), 4 HR, 6 2B, 30.3 K%, 5.9 BB% Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 14, 2021 Preseason: 12 Rooker was the 35th overall pick by Minnesota back in the 2017 MLB Draft, and now he’s found himself in a unique spot with the Twins. He has little left to prove at Triple-A as he has posted an OPS north of .900 in 2019 and 2021. His power might be the best in the entire Twins system, but questions remain about how regularly he can make contact. Minnesota is also concerned about him being a defensive liability, but the team has been using him in both corner outfield spots since his call-up. Following the Nelson Cruz trade, Rooker should stick in the Twins lineup for the rest of the season, so that the club can evaluate him for the long term. Check back this week for the rest of the Twins post-draft and post-trade deadline top-30 rankings. Feel free to discuss this group of prospects and ask questions. PREVIOUS POSTS IN THIS SERIES -Prospects 21-25 -Prospects 26-30
  12. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 12, Louisville 2 Box Score Andrew Albers took the ball for the Saints, and he twirled an absolute gem. Working seven strong, he allowed eight hits but limited the damage to just a single run on a solo shot. Albers also punched out five and walked just one batter. Trailing after the top half of the first, the Saints quickly erased the deficit on a Mark Contreras two-run blast, his 11th of the year. In the third, Damek Tomscha doubled with the bases loaded and brought everyone home, pushing the St. Paul lead to 5-1. Contreras wasn’t done adding for St. Paul as his sac fly in the 5th inning allowed Tomas Telis to scamper home. Jose Miranda then continued his hot hitting and contributed an RBI single to score Roberto Pena. Up 7-1 in the 7th inning, Jimmy Kerrigan blasted his 13th home run of the season and was followed by a Tomscha dinger making it back-to-back jacks. After a Louisville run scored in the 8th inning, the Saints added further distance. Gilberto Celestino crushed his second dinger for St. Paul, a three-run shot, and the final tally sat at 12-2. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 7, Midland 6 Box Score On the mound for Wichita was Bryan Sammons. He lasted 4 1/3 innings and gave up four runs on four hits and four walks. Sammons struck out six in the contest. Trailing 1-0 after the top of the first inning, the Wind Surge answered in a big way. An Austin Martin double was followed by a B.J. Boyd single to plate Wichita’s first run. Andrew Bechtold drove in Boyd on a sacrifice fly before Jermaine Palacios sent a ball over the wall for his 14th home run of the year and pushed the lead to 4-1. Spencer Steer lifted his ninth homer for the Wind Surge (19th overall) in the 3rd inning and gave Wichita a 5-2 lead. After Midland took the lead in the 5th inning, Steer drove in Martin on a sacrifice fly in the 8th inning to tie the game at six. In the bottom of the 9th inning, the newly-acquired Martin stepped to the dish and drove in Leobaldo Cabrera with a single to right field to walk things off for the good guys. Martin had two hits in this one and was joined by the game’s designated hitter, Trey Cabbage. John Bonnes was also in attendance for this one. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 8, Cedar Rapids 5 Box Score Tyler Watson made the start for Cedar Rapids tonight and lasted just 3 1/3 innings. He gave up six runs on four hits while striking out two and walking two batters. It was a tough night for a guy who’s been great in 2021. Cedar Rapids got on the board first with Alex Isola recording his 12th double of the season to drive in Edouard Julien. A DeShawn Keirsey homer then answered a Quad Cities two-run blast in the 2nd inning to bring things back even. Getting down 8-2 by the the inning, Cedar Rapids had quite the hill to climb. Yunior Severino chipped away with a two-run double in the 6th inning, and Max Smith homered on a solo shot in the 7th inning. That three-run deficit was as close as they’d make it, however, and 8-5 is where this one ended. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1: Dunedin 5, Fort Myers 4 (F/7) Box Score Scheduled for a pair of games Wednesday after a postponement on Tuesday, Casey Legumina took the mound in game one. He worked two innings allowing one run on one hit and one walk while striking out two batters. Fort Myers saw the bullpen give up a total of four runs in relief, but just a single run was earned. Ruben Santana gave the Mighty Mussels their first tally on a 3rd inning sacrifice fly to score Willie Joe Garry Jr. Trailing 5-1 entering the home-half of the 6th inning, Aaron Sabato blasted his fifth homer of the season, a three-run shot, to bring the Mighty Mussels back within one run. That’s where the rally ended, and Fort Myers came up short. Game 2: Fort Myers 6, Dunedin 5 (F/7) Box Score These two clubs tried making up for the weather issues last night, but a full second tilt wasn’t in the cards. Sean Mooney worked 2 1/3 innings and gave up two runs, just one earned, on a hit and three walks. He also struck out three batters. Down first again in this one, Sabato blasted his second of the evening, a two-run shot this time, to give Fort Myers the lead. Trailing 3-2 in the 3rd inning, Misael Urbina roped his fourth homer which scored Justin Washington and put the Mighty Mussels back on top. Sabato followed with a sacrifice fly to provide some breathing room. After the Mighty Mussels lead disappeared, Will Holland put them back on top for good with a solo shot, his seventh of the season, and the 6-5 lead held in the nightcap. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Orioles Orange, FCL Twins Postponed - Rain TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Andrew Albers (St. Paul) - 7.0 IP, 8 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) - 2-5, R, 6 RBI, 2 HR(6), 2 K PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-5, R, RBI #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-3, R, K #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR(2), BB, K #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #9 - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) - 2-5, R, 6 RBI, 2 HR(6), 2 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, R, BB, K #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #14 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-5, 2 K #15 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR(4), BB, 2 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-3, R, 2 RBI, HR(9), K #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 3 K #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) - N/A (foot injury) #19 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - Injured List (elbow) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - Did not pitch THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Louisville @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) - RHP Drew Strotman (7-2, 3.73 ERA) Midland @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (3-2, 3.59 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Ben Gross (4-0, 2.48 ERA) Dunedin @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - RHP Landon Leach (0-0, 3.38 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
  13. Jose Miranda may just be the best thing to ever happen to the Minnesota Twins since the invention of sliced bread. After a downright stellar month of May, Miranda shifted into Mach 5 come June, producing arguably one of the best single months that the Twins organization has seen from a minor league prospect. For that reason, he’s our June Hitter of the Month. 3B/2B/1B Jose Miranda (Wichita/St. Paul) 25 G, 43-111, .387/.438/.694 (1.132) with 4 doubles, 10 homers, 9 BB, 15 K, 23 R, 20 RBI. Miranda, who’s been at Double-A Wichita for most of the month, caught the public eye last night in his Triple-A debut with the Saints. The Puerto Rico native gave himself the best birthday present a guy could ask for, launching three HR (including a grand slam) and tallying 6 RBI in a 15-4 win over Omaha. The thing is, one night doesn’t do Miranda justice. He’s been damn good all month (and season) long. In 23 games with Wichita this month the slugger slashed an incredible .370/.427/.610 (1.037) with three doubles, seven homers, nine BB, 19 runs, 14 RBI, and only 14 strikeouts. That stat line will only go up thanks to his stellar night in St. Paul. Successful hitting is grounded in consistency. Miranda has passed that test with flying colors, hitting safely in 19 of 24 games this month with 12 of those games being multi-hit endeavors. In addition to his ability to bring his bat to the ballpark every day, there are a few pinpoint performances that have inked the word stardom to his name. On June 24 he went 5-for-6 with a run and RBI in a win against Omaha. And while that game consisted of four singles and a double, Tuesday night wasn’t the first time that Miranda has flexed the longball with a multi-homer game. On June 20 he went 3-for-4 with two homers and nine total bases in a win against Springfield. He followed that up the next day with a 4-for-5 showing at the plate with a homer, three runs, and eight total bases. Given his success so far this year it wouldn’t be shocking to see Miranda at the MLB level later this season. And while that’s a whole new ballgame it’s tough not to root for the guy after his hot start. Check Out: Miranda Searches for New Heights in 2020 Rounding out the Top Five Outfielder Ernie De La Trinidad (Wichita) 19 G, 24-70, .343/.439/.614 (1.053) with 5 doubles, 1 triple, 4 homers, 5 BB, 11 K, 9 ER, 17 RBI. Jose Miranda may have stolen the show in regard to the Wichita offense but De La Trinidad was nothing short of brilliant this past month. In fact, De La Trinidad and Miranda may be one of the best 1-2 punches in all of minor league baseball. Similar to Miranda, De La Trinidad’s month of May was nothing to be ashamed of. The Phoenix native slashed .302/.370/.429 in 17 games throughout the month. In a relatively similar number of June games, De La Trinidad’s numbers skyrocketed. And while he may not be a power hitter he doubled his number of extra-base hits from five in May to 10 in June, including four homers. De La Trinidad hasn’t played a game in over a week due to a hamstring injury but hopes to be back in the lineup soon. Jose may be up in St. Paul but don’t be surprised if De La Trinidad continues to put up high-quality numbers. 3B/2B/1B/LF Edouard Julien (Fort Myers) 25 G, 22-77, .286/.481/.468 (.949) with 5 doubles, 3 homers, 25 BB, 23 K, 23 R, 11 RBI. Julien, an Auburn product and Twins Daily Top 20 Prospect has been heating up as the summer has progressed. After 47 games in Fort Myers he was called up to Cedar Rapids on June 28 thanks to a .299 average with the Mussels. What perhaps sticks out the most is Julien's ability to hit in all way, shapes and forms. Of his 44 hits with Fort Myers 16 were extra base hits (12 2B, 3 HR, 3B). Yet his greatest weapon might be his speed. The Quebec native has stolen 21 bases so far this year and has only been caught stealing twice. Buxton-esque one might say. Julien still has a way to go before cracking the bigs but his progress has been spectacular. For a kid who was drafted in the 18th round of the 2019 draft, Julien is making his presence known throughout the organization in his first full season. 2B/3B/SS Spencer Steer (Cedar Rapids) 26 G, 28-98, .286/.421/.612 (1.034) with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 9 homers, 21 BB, 22 K, 25 R, 21 RBI. An electric defender, Steer has proven his offensive prowess in the last month with the Kernels. In his final three games before being assigned to Wichita the Oregon Duck alum knocked four hits and scored two runs. That offensive talent transitioned well to Wichita to say the least. In just his second Double-A game Steer went 2-for-4 with three runs and three RBI thanks to moonshot over the left field wall. Despite a wealth of power, Steer's money maker is his ability to get on base. He drew 20 walks in June and hit safety in 18 of 26 games. Expect him to continue to put up big numbers as he gets acclimated to Double-A ball. OF/1B Trey Cabbage (Cedar Rapids) 23 G, 27-89, .303/.364/.618 (.982), with 10 doubles, 6 homers, 9 BB, 29 K, 13 R, 23 RBI. Similar to De La Trinidad, Cabbage isn’t exactly what you’d call a home run hitter. That wasn’t the case on June 24, when the Tennessee native tallied his first multi-homer game since rookie ball in a win over Lansing. That and his ability to drive runs in earned him a promotion to Double-A Wichita earlier this week. The Cabbage Patch Kid has shown that he’s a jack of all trades at the plate and in the field. He's been rock-solid in the outfield for the Kernels and his versatility on offense was one of the main reasons while he was brought up to Wichita. With certain Wichita players being brought up to St. Paul, look for Cabbage to fill some of the offensive holes for the Wind Surge. Honorable Mention C/1B Tomás Telis (St. Paul) 19 G, 23-77, .299/.341/.468 (.809), with 1 double, 4 homers, 5 walks, 11 K, 10 R, 13 RBI, 2 SB OF Aaron Whitefield (Wichita) 25 G, 27-91, .297/.381/.374 (.785), with 4 doubles, 1 homer, 13 BB, 18 K, 15 R, 15 RBI, 8 SB OF Gabriel Maciel (Cedar Rapids) 20 G, 19-63, .302/.375/.381 (.655), with 1 triple, 1 homer, 7 BB, 7 K, 12 R, 8 RBI, 5 SB SS Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) 9 G, 11-32, .344/.400/.438 (.838), with 1 double, 1 triple, 3 BB, 8 K, 3 BB, 6 R, 3 RBI
  14. To find out everything that happened with your favorite Twins prospects on MiLB opening day, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS The Minnesota Twins recalled infielder Nick Gordon to take the place of Luis Arraez who was placed on the 7-day concussion injured list. LHP Lachlan Wells was assigned to the Cedar Rapids Kernels. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 2, Omaha 8 Box Score The Saints debut as a major league and Twins affiliate didn’t quite go to plan, but count me as one who is super excited they are in the fold instead of an independent. Starter Andrew Albers went the first four innings but was touched up for a single run in three of them, and four in the other as the Saints fell behind 7-0 while he was on the mound. He allowed eight hits total and struck out six. Glenn Sparkman came on for the fifth and allowed a solo home run, Omaha’s fourth of the game, but struck out five in his two innings. Lefty Andrew Vasquez came on for the seventh and flummoxed Omaha hitters with his slider that the broadcaster compared to “those wiffle ball pitches you see in your backyard.” He went 1-2-3 in both his innings, striking out three. Saints hitters were also flummoxed by Storm Chasers pitching throughout the game, striking out 15 times and collecting only five hits and two walks. Zander Wiel and Ryan Jeffers led the way with two hits apiece, and Jeffers delivered the first two runs as an affiliate for St. Paul with a two-run homer in the seventh. https://twitter.com/KSTPSports/status/1389756806965174275 WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 2, Springfield 0 Box Score Another new affiliate for the Twins, Wichita got their season off on the right foot defeating the Springfield Cardinals 2-0. It's fun for me to see this matchup at Hammons Field in Springfield, MO as it is one of the MiLB stadiums I have had the pleasure of attending, and reminds me of their parent club’s Busch Stadium in mini form. As for this game, it was a pitcher’s duel throughout with the teams trading zeroes until the top of the eighth, when the Wind Surge struck for two runs. Singles from Damek Tomscha and Jose Miranda started the inning, then Mark Contreras and Andrew Bechtold finished it with consecutive RBI singles with two outs to account for the scoring. Josh Winder made the start for Wichita and went the first 4 2/3’s, allowing no runs on five hits and a walk while striking out six. He threw 81 pitches with 57 of them going for strikes (70.4%), including 14 swinging strikes. Left-hander Jovani Moran got the last out of the fifth with a K, then struck out two more in a scoreless sixth. Sidewinder Tom Hackimer was next out of the bullpen and added two more scoreless frames, allowing two hits and striking out three. International signing out of Cuba in 2019, Yennier Cano, came on for the ninth and bookended a single with a pair of strikeouts to close out the victory. Aaron Whitefield, batting ninth, led the Wind Surge offense with two hits including a double and a stolen base. Contreras finished 1-for-2 with a pair of walks in addition to the RBI. Gilberto Celestino led off the game with a single and finished 1-for-5. KERNELS NUGGETS Peoria 0, Cedar Rapids 7 Box Score In the Kernels first game as a high-A affiliate, they got the job done on opening night in convincing fashion. They chased Chiefs starter Ian Bedell from the game before he could complete one inning, scoring three runs on four hits and a walk in the opening frame. They would add two more in the second and one each in the third and fourth innings to jump out to a 7-0 lead that was more than enough. Kernels pitchers cruised throughout the game, allowing just three hits to Peoria hitters and scattering five walks. Kody Funderburk made the start and went the first three innings, allowing one hit, two walks, and striking out two. Andrew Cabezas went the next four innings and picked up the win, allowing one hit, two walks, and striking out two. Melvi Acosta finished the game with two scoreless frames, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out two. Leadoff man Spencer Steer (2-for-4, 2 R, BB, SB) was the only Kernels batter with multiple hits, while Matt Wallner, Jair Camargo, and Seth Gray each clubbed a double. Gabe Snyder had an RBI triple in the first and was hit by a pitch twice. While the lineup had just seven hits, they also drew eight walks. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 3 Box Score Newly minted as the Twins low-A affiliate and renamed the Mighty Mussels before last year’s MiLB season was cancelled, Fort Myers opened their new era with a 6-3 win over Bradenton. Willie Joe Garry Jr. got the scoring started three pitches into the game, launching a home run to right-center for the early 1-0 lead. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1389715977990852609 Fort Myers would leave the bases loaded without adding another run in the opening frame and from there until the seventh inning the pitchers were the story. Mussels starter Regi Grace went 4 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on four hits and a walk while striking out six. Though he struck out the first two hitters of the fifth, he was lifted as his pitch count reached its limit at 75. He was relieved by Louie Varland who was drafted in the 15th round of the 2019 draft out of Concordia-St. Paul, and he would finish the game’s final 4 1/3 with some eye-popping numbers. He gave up two earned runs on two hits and a walk among his 16 batters faced, but struck out TEN(!) of them. The runs given up came on a two-run home run that gave the Marauders a 3-2 lead after seven, but the bats would pick him up in the ninth to give him the win. Will Holland led off the top of the ninth with a double and a few walks (one intentional to Garry Jr.) around a strikeout kept the bases loaded for the bulk of it. The first two runs would score on wild pitches, then with two outs Edouard Julien delivered the finishing blow with a two-run single. Garry Jr. (1-for-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB), Holland (1-for-3, 2B, 2 R, BB), Keoni Cavaco (1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB, SB), and Julien (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB) led the way for the offense in the win. Aaron Sabato was 0-for-5 with 3 K’s in his minor league debut. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Louie Varland, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (4.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, BB, 10 K) Hitter of the Day – Ryan Jeffers, St. Paul Saints (2-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – Did not play #2 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #3 - Trevor Larnach (St. Paul) – 0-for-3, BB, K #4 - Ryan Jeffers (St. Paul) – 2-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, K #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Injured List (back) #7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB, SB #8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-5, 3 K #9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Wichita) – 1-for-5, 2 K #12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 0-for-4, 3 K #13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5, R, 2B, K #14 - Misael Urbina (Complex) – N/A #15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - 60-Day IL (elbow) #17 - Ben Rortvedt (Minnesota) – Did not play #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A #19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) – 1-for-3, R, BB #20 - Bailey Ober (St. Paul) – Did not pitch WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Omaha (12:05PM CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes Wichita @ Springfield (6:35PM CST) – TBD Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Ben Gross Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:05PM CST) – RHP Casey Legumina Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  15. Teams were allowed to invite up to 75 players to spring training this year. 40 of the players were on the roster. Approximately 20 more players were official Non-Roster Invites. But as a means to allow teams to ease their players back into their springs and properly prepare for their seasons, another 14 to 15 players were invited to participate in the depth camp. As spring training started in February, a writer asked manager Rocco Baldelli on Zoom about the depth camp and what they would be doing. The Twins manager said, “The players in depth camp are going to be extremely important to what we do.” He continued, “They will be taking part in a lot of our fundamentals when we need them too. They’re going to be getting their work done by themselves otherwise. But, they’re going to be playing in a lot of games as well. So when these games start, I think we’re going to see our depth camp.” The Twins played 28 spring training games. Aaron Sabato, the team’s first-round draft pick last June, played in 22 of those games. He made a start or two, but in general, he came in during the middle or late innings and played first base and maybe got a plate appearance. Especially early in camp, it’s important to have a lot of pitchers to eat innings in games when the pitchers are all going just an inning or so. I recently chatted with a few of the depth camp pitchers about their experiences. Ryan Mason, a 26-year-old right-hander, went 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA and seven saves at Double-A Pensacola in 2019 before his season ended with an arm injury. Healthy, he was thrilled to be invited to big-league spring training. He said, “First and foremost, the experience was unforgettable. I enjoyed every moment getting the opportunity to spend time with the big-league club. The highlight for myself was obviously being able to throw in a couple of games and experience the nerves of pitching again, which was long overdue due to the circumstances of last season.” Mason finished out two innings for the Twins during spring training. He faced two batters and struck one of them out. He even recorded a Win. Matt Canterino is one of the Twins top pitching prospects. The 23-year-old was the team’s second-round draft pick in 2019 out of Rice University. He was able to work 4 2/3 innings over four games. He gave up only an unearned run on two hits. He walked five batters but struck out seven and certainly showed the stuff, including a 98 mph fastball, that makes him so intriguing. Canterino said, “ I really enjoyed my time on the big league side of things. The highlight for me was definitely just being able to get in some games again against really good competition. I hadn’t faced another squad since the summer of 2019, so seeing a big leaguer with a different uniform on in the batter’s box when I was pitching really got my competitive juices flowing again.” Josh Winder has seen his prospect status skyrocket since hitting 96 and 97 mph at Instructional League last October. The 6-5 right-hander was the Twins seventh round draft pick in 2018 out of Virginia Military Institute. In 2019, he went 7-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 21 starts in Cedar Rapids during his first full professional season. Winder enjoyed being around the big leaguers and observing. “It was awesome to rub shoulders with the established big league guys and see how they went about their business. The commitment and dedication to their routine/craft was the big thing that stood out to me and motivated me to make some adjustments in my approach to the game.” He also worked in four games including making one start. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up three runs on five hits, three walks and struck out five batters. For Tom Hackimer, the team’s fourth round pick in 2016 from St. John’s, he enjoyed doing something that a lot of big league pitchers haven’t been able to do. “The highlight of my spring was managing to strike out Luis Arraez during a live BP one day.” Hackimer knows many of the players on the Twins roster and has been teammates at times with several of them, including Miguel Sano. Hackimer shared a fun story from this spring. “Miguel Sanó has been making fun of how long my arms are since 2018 when he was sent down to the Miracle, then again in 2019 in Fort Myers and Pensacola while he was rehabbing. One day we were doing PFPs, and he made me stop so that he could point out to Nelson Cruz how long my arms are.” Spring Training fun! But the opportunity to observe and learn from the big league veterans and coaching staff is immensely valuable. Mason took advantage of the opportunity. “I tried to connect with as many players as possible and just talk about pretty normal stuff to reaffirm what I already knew, which is big-league players are normal and all-around great people with their own stories. Also, there is not one way to make it. Everyone paved their own path to success.” It might surprise you to read which player Winder and Canterino mentioned when asked about their surreal moment of spring. Winder noted, “Facing Josh Donaldson is Live BP was a surreal moment for me. I’ve watched him on TV for so long it was really weird seeing him up close in the box.” Canterino had a similar experience that turned into an opportunity he will never forget. He said, “One of my coolest experiences with some of the veterans came after I threw a live bullpen to some of the big league hitters. After I finished my outing, I approached Josh Donaldson and asked what he saw when I threw to him. Andrelton Simmons joined the conversation too after a little while. So the three of us ended up talking about hitting approaches and how to attack hitters for about a half hour after that.” David Banuelos, a catcher the Twins acquired in a trade with the Mariners before the 2018 season. He is known as a defense-first catcher, but he considered his first big league spring training (as a Non-Roster Invite) a “great experience,” one he learned a lot from. Banuelos also mentioned the Twins third baseman and former AL MVP.. “Listening to Donaldson talk about hitting was really cool. I had the opportunity to pick his brain a bit.” One of his two spring hits was a long home run on a Donaldsonic swing. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1375611075970875392 Spencer Steer was the Twins third round pick in 2019 from the University of Oregon. He was not on the original spring roster, but when Chris Williams hurt his shoulder in one of the first spring games, Steer was added to the depth group. He said, “The entire experience was incredible. I went from not knowing when I was reporting to minor league camp, to working out alongside big leaguers within a couple of days. It was a lot of fun to be able to watch the best of the best up close. I was able to learn a lot by just watching how they went about their work everyday.” In 11 games played, he had two hits in eight at bats including a long, opposite field home run. Starting pitchers Winder and Canterino are now in Ft. Myers, working to prepare and stretch out for their 2021 minor league seasons. Banuelos and Steer will be playing their first spring training games today in Ft. Myers. Relievers Mason and Hackimer are in St. Paul at the Twins alternate site preparing for their seasons and preparing themselves and others to possibly help the big-league club as we await the start of the season. More Minor League Notes Just a couple quick Twins minor league notes: Royce Lewis on Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlander This week, Twins shortstop prospect Royce Lewis was on the FOX Sports Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlander show. Lewis talked about a number of topics from the roles that guys like Torii Hunter and Nelson Cruz have played in his life and development. He talked some about his recovery from ACL surgery. He also talks about wine, and many other topics. It’s a fun interview. Twins Sign More International Free Agents When the international signing period opened on January 15th, the Twins signed several players including top shortstop prospects Danny De Andrade and Fredy LaFlor. In the past weeks, the Twins have signed a few more players including right-handed pitcher Jose Olivares. Baseball America’s Ben Badler wrote this of Oliveres: “For a while, Olivares trained as an outfielder in Venezuela, but he took off once he moved to the mound, with his velocity popping at games in the Dominican Republic last year. Previously eligible to sign in 2019, Olivares is now an 18-year-old righthander with a sturdy, physically mature frame and a fastball that has been up to 96 mph with lively riding life up in the zone. He pairs it with a good curveball that's more advanced than his changeup.” More Twins minor league coverage to come. Keep checking back.
  16. Two years ago, our 2019 Honorable Mentions included Luis Arraez who went on to be the team’s top rookie that season. It also included Jordan Balazovic who jumped into the top five the next season. In last year’s Honorable Mentions, you’ll find Jorge Alcala who had just been shifted from starting pitcher to a reliever. We saw his impressive rookie season in 2020. So which players who received votes this year will climb the prospect ladder in 2021 and maybe even contribute to the big league club this year? This year’s prospect rankings are difficult. Because of the pandemic, there wasn’t a 2020 minor league season. Some of the top prospects spent the summer at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. Some even made their MLB debuts. The minor leaguers did report to spring training, several had been there for weeks before being sent home. Some players went to Instructional League and there were some reports from there. Before we start, the following players are no longer “prospects” according to Baseball-Reference: Jorge Alcala, Randy Dobnak, Lewis Thorpe, Cody Stashak and Devin Smeltzer. HARD-THROWING PITCHERS The Twins’ player development group has done a nice job in recent years developing arms in the minor leagues. The next step will be seeing those pitchers work their way to the big leagues. There are some strong pitchers in the top 20, but there are a few impressive arms in our honorable mentions as well. Josh Winder was the talk of the Twins Instructional League after the missed 2020 season. He is a big, strong kid whose fastball jumped up to 97 mph this past fall. Chris Vallimont throws just as hard. He came to the Twins in the Sergio Romo trade late in 2019. Luis Rijo is the youngest of the group, and he too is reaching into the mid-to-upper 90s with his fastball. When the Twins acquired him from the Yankees in the Lance Lynn deal, he was touted as an advanced pitcher. He still has a good mix, but now with the increased velocity too. Dakota Chalmers came to the Twins in the Fernando Rodney deal with the A’s. He was coming off of Tommy John and completed his rehab in 2019. He was added to the 40 man roster and spent his 2020 summer at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. ALREADY DEBUTED Travis Blankenhorn made his MLB debut in September with one game played. His role will likely be a versatile utility player with some power. We will likely see him some in 2021, but he will see most of his time in St. Paul. COMEBACK KIDS? Wander Javier was once a top ten, and even a top five prospect for many in the Twins system. Unfortunately, he has missed about three of the past five seasons due to injury and then last year’s lost season. He struggled at Cedar Rapids in 2019. Despite that, he is ultra-talented and just turned 22 years old in late December. Yunior Severino was set to return in 2020 after breaking his thumb early in the 2019 season. He was twice a seven-figure international free agent, and he will be just 21 throughout the 2021 season. He likely is a second baseman, but he has a lot of offensive potential. WE HARDLY KNOW YE Spencer Steer was the Twins 3rd round pick in 2019 out of the University of Oregon. He had an impressive pro debut that summer but didn’t get the opportunity to back that up in 2020. That year, the Twins also selected shortstop Will Holland in the fifth round. In 36 games at E-Town, he hit seven homers and stole eight bases. His college teammate at Auburn was Edouard Julien, an infielder that the Twins took in the 18th round. Unfortunately, he was hurt during the Pan Am Games and had Tommy John surgery and hasn’t yet made his pro debut. Seth Gray is a very talented third baseman that was the Twins fourth round pick in 2019. He’s got a lot of power potential. In the 2020 draft, the Twins took right-handed pitcher Marco Raya in the fourth round. He’s got an impressive pitch mix and can throw hard. He’ll need to gain strength, but he’s certainly got some potential to move up this list. Then in the fifth round, the team took outfielder Kala’i Rosario. The Hawaii native has as much power as any prep player in last year’s draft. Emmanuel Rodriguez signed a seven-digit bonus with the Twins in 2019. He was set to begin his professional career in the DSL in 2020, but instead we will begin in 2021. It was just last month that the Twins signed 16-year-old shortstop Danny De Andrade for $2.2 million. The Venezuelan was one of this year’s top international prospects. For each of these players, 2021 will be their first opportunity to make a real impression. Some may move up this list next year. Some may find themselves outside of this list. That is a lot of talent, and those are guys who rank outside of the Twins Daily Top 20 prospects. Check back over the next two weeks to see who our 2021 Top 20 Twins Prospects are.
  17. Spencer Steer was the Twins third round draft pick in 2019 out of the University of Oregon. The infielder debuted with the Elizabethton Twins but wasn't in the Appalachian League long. He moved up to Cedar Rapids for the rest of the season. In late August, he had two walk-off hits for the Kernels in a week. https://twitter.com/JimCrikket/status/1167631572369125376 Despite just a partial season, he was voted the Twins Daily Minor League All Star third baseman after the season . https://twitter.com/twinsdaily/status/1179135144009113602 He had moved up prospect rankings and most reports were telling me that I was ranking him too long. So let's find out even more about an exciting Twins prospect, Spencer Steer. We'll discuss being drafted by the Twins, making his pro debut, and this strange 2020 season. We will also take any questions that you may have. Find out more about Spencer Steer, his story, and what else he's got going on Twins Spotlight. More on Spencer Steer: Get to Know: Twins Infield Prospect Spencer Steer (August 2019) Follow Spencer on Twitter at @spenc__er. Check out his channel on Twitch at SpencerSteer7. Previous episodes Episode 1: Tom Hackimer Episode 2: Matt Canterino Episode 3: Aaron Whitefield Subscribe to the Twins Daily podcast on Libsyn, Apple iTunes or anywhere you download podcasts.
  18. A list of previous winners of this award is comprised of an interesting trio. In 2016 it was the recently traded Lewin Diaz. Having broken out in a big way during 2019, he became a hot commodity and was the piece Miami coveted in exchange for big league reliever Sergio Romo. For his efforts in 2017 Akil Baddoo took home the honors. He played in just 29 games for High-A Fort Myers before needing season ending elbow surgery. Last year’s winner was Chris Williams who split time between Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers this season. The goal with the Short Season Hitter of the Year award is to put a focus on both the GCL and Elizabethton clubs. While promotions are great for players, only their exploits in those respective leagues are to be considered. The seasons are shorter and the stats obviously have less ability to accumulate, but these bats all made an immediate and powerful impact. Previous Winners: 2016: Lewin Diaz 2017: Akil Baddoo 2018: Chris Williams Stay tuned to Twins Daily for the announcements of the rest of the minor league awards in the coming days. Before we profile the top five, here’re the guys that rounded out the Short Season Hitter of the Year ballots. Others Receiving Votes: Jeferson Morales, GCL Twins: 26-110, .236/.373/.436, 7 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 16 RBI Seth Gray, Elizabethton Twins: 49-218, .225/.336/.445, 15 2B, 11 HR, 36 RBI Parker Phillips, GCL Twins/Elizabethton Twins: 54-204, .265/.367/.407, 9 2B, 3B, 6 HR, 26 RBI Short Season Hitter of the Year: Here are the top five players for the Twins Daily Short Season Hitter of the Year 5. Albee Weiss, Elizabethton Twins: 25-96, .260/.295/.604, 4 2B, 3B, 9 HR, 25 RBI Weiss was selected in the 23rd round of the 2018 MLB draft. He played the entire season last year at Elizabethton and mustered just a .610 OPS in 36 games. Repeating the level this year, his power played significantly higher and he parlayed that in to opportunities with both Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers. He’s split time between left field and first base during his professional career. 4. Max Smith, Elizabethton Twins: 61-213, .286/.353/.451, 12 2B, 3B, 7 HR, 28 RBI The Twins took Smith in the 31st round of the 2019 MLB draft out of UNLV. The Tucson, Arizona native was a senior sign and turned in a respectable debut season in pro ball. Power isn’t really his game, but seeing seven long balls show up in his first year is a nice development. A left-handed bat, he played primarily in left field for Elizabethton, but can man all three outfield spots. 3. Spencer Steer, Elizabethton Twins: 25-77, .325/.442/.506, 6 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 13 RBI Minnesota made the former Oregon Ducks shortstop their third-round pick in the most recent amateur draft. It’s not surprising that a talent taken that high would be better than the rookie ball level, but Steer proved it quickly. He hit on a nightly basis and left Elizabethton with a .949 OPS. Moving up to Cedar Rapids, he was an important cog for a team with postseason aspirations. This is definitely a player to watch in the Twins system going forward. 2. Wander Valdez, GCL Twins: 30-93, .323/.382/.516, 6 2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI Signed on the July 2 International Free Agent date back in 2016 as a 16-year-old, Valdez spent the past two seasons playing in the Dominican Summer League. In his first season on US soil the Twins got to see plenty of excitement from a talent they doled out a half-million to. Still young, power should be a developing aspect of the corner infielder’s game, but the impressive output during 29 games of GCL action is something to build off of. 1. Matt Wallner, Elizabethton Twins: 56-208, .269/.361/.451, 18 2B, 3B, 6 HR, 28 RBI A hometown star from Forest Lake, Minnesota, Wallner was grabbed by the Twins with their 39th overall selection in the most recent MLB draft. After three great seasons for Southern Mississippi, and a handful of shattered Conference USA records, it was time to go pro. Wallner has an electric arm, but was drafted as a hitter for Minnesota. The power stroke is something of a calling card for him, and putting him in the same system as 2017 draftee Brent Rooker gives Minnesota two of the most accomplished Division I ballplayers of recent memory. For the Golden Eagles Wallner hit at least 16 homers in each of his collegiate seasons, and topped out with 23 as a junior in 2019. He owned a career 1.113 OPS across 189 games in Conference USA and left his mark all over the program. Talking with Wallner after the draft in June, he mentioned the level of excitement being taken by his hometown team saying, “It’s a dream come true and can’t wait to get started with the Twins organization.” Wallner was actually selected by the Twins out of high school in the 32nd round, but the intention then was always to go to school. He mentioned comparisons of his power-lefty style to Justin Morneau, and Minnesota fans would be elated to see that replicate itself at the highest level. Wallner earned a late season promotion to Cedar Rapids, and has been involved in a postseason run that will no doubt help development and growth down the line through valuable experience. Matt has operated entirely as a right fielder for Minnesota, and continuing to see his power play from that role as he helps teams at different levels throughout his journey to the big leagues will be must-watch excitement. The Ballots In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs- 1) Matt Wallner 2) Max Smith 3) Seth Gray 4) Parker Phillips 5) Wander Valdez Tom Froemming- 1) Matt Wallner 2) Albee Weiss 3) Seth Gray 4) Jeferson Morales 5) Wander Valdez Cody Christie- 1) Wander Valdez 2) Matt Wallner 3) Max Smith 4) Spencer Steer 5) Jeferson Morales Matt Braun- 1) Spencer Steer 2) Wander Valdez 3) Jeferson Morales 4) Albee Weiss 5) Matt Wallner Ted Schwerzler- 1) Spencer Steer 2) Albee Weiss 3) Wander Valdez 4) Matt Wallner 5) Jeferson Morales Steve Lein- 1) Matt Wallner 2) Max Smith 3) Wander Valdez 4) Seth Gray 5) Jeferson Morales Feel free to discuss. What do you think of our rankings? How would you rank them? How would your ballot look?
  19. Spencer Steer was born and raised in Long Beach, California. He grew up an Angels fan, rooting for some really good, star-laden teams. Steer said, “I always loved Garrett Anderson, watching him play. Obviously I’ve loved watching Mike Trout the last eight years or so. It’s fun to be able to drive 20 minutes and watch him play.” That’s where he grew to love the game of baseball. He played at MIllikan High School where he starred on the baseball team for four seasons. He played in some Perfect Game events as well. “I got some great experience playing in those Perfect Game tournaments against that kind of competition.” https://twitter.com/JimCrikket/status/1167631572369125376 Steer had been drafted before. He was selected by Cleveland in the 29th round of the 2016 MLB Draft. While he wasn’t against the idea of signing, he had a pretty strong commitment to the University of Oregon. “I was pretty set on going to school. I never took the draft for granted, and I didn’t want to close that door and completely shut it off. I really wanted that college experience. It wasn’t a tough choice given the circumstances.” In his first year with the Ducks, he played well and earned Freshman All-American honors. IT was a good learning season for him, and he took those experiences and when he became the veteran, he returned the favor. “It was a big change. The competition level was much better than what I was seeing in high school. I was playing against guys three or four years older than me. That was definitely a bit of an adjustment. But learning from the older guys when I was a freshman, learning from their experiences and how they’ve grown through their couple of years. Then as a junior, trying to help the freshman out, giving them advice, showing them the ropes, helping them make the adjustment that I had to make as a freshman.” He again played well as a sophomore and was given the opportunity to spend that summer playing in the Cape Cod League. “I played (summer ball) every year. I played three years of summer ball and before my junior year I played in the Cape. It was a great experience. It was a time to work on things, to refine your skills and develop new ones. My experience with summer ball was great.” This spring, he put together a really strong junior season. In 56 games, he hit .349/.456/.502 (.958) with 13 doubles and six homers. He was named first-time All Pac 12 on the field as well as an Academic All Pac 12 performer. It’s not always easy to balance with the schedules of a Division I athlete, but Steer credits the school for helping make it possible. “They gave us a bunch of resources at Oregon, tutors and support staff from the academic side of things. It’s amazing. They make it easier for us. They are able to help us out. The coaches are also good with scheduling, making sure we have enough time to get home after practice and do our academics.” Steer’s major is General Social Science with an emphasis in business. “I’m going back to Oregon this fall and hopefully getting to just a term away from graduating this offseason.” In talking with Steer, it was very clear that his time at Oregon was meaningful to and for him on and off the field. “The University of Oregon. The experience I had there with the coaching staff. Coach (George) Horton is a really great coach. He really prepared me for more than just baseball, but also for life outside of baseball. How to be a man. The culture we have at Oregon has taught me a lot about what it’s like to be a good teammate, to be a man, to love your family, to treat people with respect and all the lessons I’ve learned there.I just think that the experiences at Oregon have helped me to become the professional that I am.” Steer had already been drafted once, but as the 2019 draft approached, it was a different experience for him. This time, he was ready to begin his professional career and knew he had a chance to be drafted much higher. He began hearing from scouts last fall. He was also appreciative that scouts generally spent more time talking to coaches once the season started so that he could focus on just playing. “It started in the fall. They’d come in and see where your head was at. It was a different experience for me because I knew I wanted to take that next step in my career, and I knew I was ready for it.” One team that he did not talk to at all before the draft was the Minnesota Twins. “I didn’t hear anything from the Twins, surprisingly, until after the draft. I never heard anything from them prior to the draft.” Yet, the Twins obviously liked him enough and made him their third-round draft pick in June, the 90th overall draft pick this year. It isn’t unusual for teams to do this, to try to make it look (to other organizations) like they aren’t really all that interested, so that they have a better chance or some additional hope to draft him.) photo by Steve Buhr During the draft, Steer tried not to stress too much and was just hanging out in Eugene with a few friends and teammates. “It was a pretty special moment to hear my name that early in the draft. It didn’t really sink in until a couple of days later.” Soon after the draft, Steer was on a plane to Minneapolis where he met with the Twins front office, watched a game and signed a professional contract to play in the Minnesota Twins organization. He spent a little time in Ft. Myers and then made the trek north to start his career with the Elizabethton Twins. In 20 games, he hit .325/.442/.506 (.948) with 13 doubles and six home runs. He walked 15 times with just five strikeouts. “Elizabethton is a great place to start. It wasn’t too much adjusting. It was just playing baseball every day instead of every weekend. It was just the toll on your body was a little different, but I was able to experience that in summer ball. So it wasn’t too big of an adjustment.” The Twins felt he was ready to move up and sent him to the Cedar Rapids Kernels where, in 40 games, he has hit .265/.372/.406 (.778) with 13 doubles, two triples and two home runs. “You can notice that the pitching gets a little better. Guys have more control of their off-speed, and those pitches are a little better. Learn from the older guys on the team and seeing what their plan at the plate is and how they attack guys. Try to do as much as you can to learn every day and see what works best for you.” At E-Town, he played mostly shortstop. Since joining the Kernels, he’s mostly played third base though he has also been learning and getting time at second base. “For me defensively, the more defensive positions I can play, the better. I think my versatility is a huge advantage. I’m able to play all the positions in the infield. I’d say I’m probably most comfortable at third base because that’s where I’ve played the majority of my innings the last couple of years. But I’m starting to play a lot more second base here at Cedar Rapids .I played a lot of shortstop at Elizabethton. I think I’ve proved that I can play every spot. That’s a huge advantage to me.” For the most part, Steer has hit first or second. He’s had a couple of games in the middle of the order. “At this level, I’m not the most powerful guy, but I think I can be a guy who drives in runs. For that reason you can stick me at the top of the order and I’ll find ways on base and draw a lot of walks. I think at this level, I’m more of a top of the order guy, but that can always change as I get older and put on more weight.” https://twitter.com/JimCrikket/status/1166177637812846597 In the offseason, Steer will head back to Eugene, take a few classes and enjoy spending time with his friends. Follow Spencer Steer on Twitter at @spenc__er.
  20. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Friday, starting with the transaction of the day. TRANSACTIONS Seth Gray was promoted from Elizabethton to Cedar Rapids. Albee Weiss was sent from Cedar Rapids to Elizabethton. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Syracuse 1 Box Score The Red Wings utilized a bullpen game on Friday night. Conceivably, it was a bullpen game in which as many as five of the pitchers could be in a Twins uniform on Sunday, or certainly by Tuesday. Devin Smeltzer started and went the first two innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out three batters. Zack Littell struck out two and walked one in his inning. Brusdar Graterol struck out two in his perfect inning. Sam Clay gave up one run on four hits and a walk over two innings. He struck out five. Trevor Hildenberger faced six batters and got all six of them out. Ryne Harper got the ninth inning. With one out, he gave up two hits and a walk to load the bases. He ended the game with back-to-back strikeouts. Brandon Barnes went 2-for-3 with a walk and two RBIs in the game. Ronald Torreyes went 2-for-3. Zander Wiel knocked his 24th home run. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Game 1 - Pensacola 3, Montgomery 2 Box Score Bryan Sammons put together another good start for the Wahoos. The lefty gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six batters. Anthony Vizcaya got the final four outs, two on strikeouts, to record the win. Royce Lewis got the scoring going with a solo home run in the top of the first inning. It was his second AA homer. In the fifth inning, Joe Cronin tied the game with his fifth Pensacola homer. In the top of the seventh, Travis Blankenhorn singled in Alex Kirilloff with what proved to be the winning run. Larnach and Ryan Jeffers were each 2-for-3 with a walk. Lewis and Blankenhorn were 2-for-4. Game 2- Pensacola 1, Montgomery 2 Box Score Griffin Jax started for the Wahoos. He gave up two runs on three hits over five innings. He walked on and struck out five batters. Jovani Moran struck out one in a perfect inning. Pensacola’s offense didn’t get much going. Travis Blankenhorn went 1-for-2 with a walk and his 18th home run. He also stole his 11th base. The two teams will not play on Saturday so that the Biscuits can attend the funeral of their teammate Blake Biven’s wife, child and mother-in-law. https://twitter.com/wsfa12news/status/1167462391396929536 MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers season was complete following their game on Thursday because of Hurricane Dorian. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1 Box Score For the second time this week, Spencer Steer has provided the Kernels with a walk- off win at home. It’s the third walk-off win this week for the Kernels. https://twitter.com/JimCrikket/status/1167631572369125376 The Kernels got some strong pitching in this game. Andrew Cabezas started and gave up five hits and three walks but no runs over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out three. JT Perez came on and got all four batters he faced out. Nate Hadley gave up a game-tying run, but struck out five batters over the final two innings. DaShawn Keirsey provided the offense early. He had three hits. Gabe Snyder drove in Daniel Ozoria with a triple in the seventh inning to start the scoring. With one out in the bottom of the ninth, Ozoria reached on an error and ended up at second base. Steer followed with the winner. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Andrew Cabezas, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Travis Blankenhorn, Pensacola Blue Wahoos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - Game 1 (2-4, HR (2), R, RBI), Game 2 (0-2, BB, K, SB (6) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Game 1 (1-4, R), Game 2 (Did Not Play) #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Rochester) - 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K (13 pitches, 10 strikes) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - Game 1 (2-3, BB, K), Game 2 (0-3, K) #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Play #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Season Complete #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured List #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Season Complete #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (lower leg contusion) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - Game 1 (2-3, BB), Game 2 (1-3, K) #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - 1-4, BB, 2 R, RBI #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-3, BB, 2B(2) #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Injured List #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - Season Complete #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - Game 1 (2-4, RBI, K), Game 2 (1-2, BB, HR (18), R, RBI, SB(11) WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Syracuse @ Rochester (5:05 CST) - TBD Pensacola @ Montgomery - Game moved ahead to a doubleheader on Friday, allowing the Montgomery team to attend the funeral of Blake Biven’s wife, baby and mother-in-law. Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:30 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (7-2, 2.68 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Friday games or any other minor league topics you would like.
  21. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with some awards and the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS The Red Wings announced that LHP Stephen Gonsalves ended his rehab and was transferred to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Also, OF Brent Rooker began a rehab appearance with the GCL Twins. OF Nelson Roberto was promoted from the DSL to the GCL. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 4, Buffalo 5 Box Score Charlie Barnes made the start for the Red Wings. He gave up five runs on nine hits and four walks in five innings. He struck out two. Fernando Romero, Jake Reed and Sam Clay each threw a scoreless inning. Drew Maggi went 2-for-4 with a walk. Mike Miller was 2-for-4. Zander Wiel was also 2-for-4 and added his 38th double of the year. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Pensacola 4, Jackson 2 Box Score The Wahoos used a three-run bottom of the eighth inning to take the 4-2 win. Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade and Mark Contreras each knocked in a run in the inning. It was a bullpen game for Pensacola on Monday. Adam Bray started and gave up two runs on two hits over 2 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out three batters. Anthony Vizcaya tossed scoreless 3 1/3 innings. He gave up just two hits, hit a batter and struck out two. Jovani Moran struck out three batters over the next 1 2/3 innings, and Jonathan Cheshire got the final four outs, two on strikeouts. Wade went 1-for-3 with a walk and the ninth-inning ground rule double. Ryan Jeffers added his fifth double. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers, Dunedin Box Score A scheduled doubleheader with the Blue Jays was again rained out. They are hoping to play doubleheaders each of the next two days. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Peoria 6 (11 innings) Box Score The Kernels fell behind late, tied it in the bottom of the ninth, then tied it again in the bottom of the tenth. Unfortunately, they did not have an answer in the 11th inning to take the loss. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth and down by a run, Spencer Steer doubled in a run, but a runner was thrown out at home to send the game to extra innings. Steer then scored on a ground out in the 10th inning to tie the game and send it to the 11th. Steer led the offense. He went 2-for-5 with his 10th and 11th doubles. Wander Javier went 2-for-3 with two walks and his ninth double. Gabe Snyder also had two hits. Kody Funderburk started. The southpay gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and two walks in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out five batters. Nate Hadley came on and gave up just one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. He struck out two. Ricky Ramirez worked one inning and gave up a run on two hits and a walk. Alex Schick worked three innings. He gave up an unearned run in the 10th and another in the 11th. (As you know, that means that the runners that started the inning on second base scored.) UPDATE - I apologize for not providing the Byron Buxton update initially. Here it is. He did not play last night due to wet playing conditions. He is expected to start, and play CF, for the Kernels tonight (Tuesday). E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 1, Greeneville 0 Box Score Right-handed pitcher Cody Laweryson was the Twins 14th-round pick in June out of the University of Maine. On Monday night, he tossed six shutout innings. He gave up just three hits and didn’t issue a walk. He also struck out 15 batters in the game. https://twitter.com/ETwinsBaseball/status/1166155925545267200 Owen Griffith came on and worked the final three innings, keeping the shutout, and recording his first pro save. He gave up just one hit and struck out five batters. The Twins got their lone run when Janigson Villalobos hit his sixth double of the season to drive in Anthony Prato with the game’s only run. Will Holland went 2-for-3 and stole his eighth base. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins, GCL Rays Box Score The game was suspended in the bottom of the fourth inning with the Twins leading 2-0. The full story will come in Tuesday’s minor league report. However, a couple of quick notes from the early innings. First, non-drafted free agent Evan Gillespie tossed four scoreless innings. He gave up just two hits, walked none and struck out four batters. Luke Raley was 1-for-2 as he continued his rehab. He played center field. Brent Rooker made his first rehab appearance. He was 1-for-2 before the rains came. He played left field. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Cody Laweryson, Elizabethton Twins Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 0-3, R, 2 K, SB(5) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-3, BB #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 1-4, 2 K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 2-3, 2 BB, 2B(9) #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Game suspended #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (lower leg contusion) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - 1-3, R, 2B(5) #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - No Game Scheduled #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-6, 2 K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Injured List #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - Season Complete #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 0-4, R, K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Buffalo (6:35 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart (8-5, 5.23) Jackson @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - RHP Bailey (2-0, 0.64 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Palm Beach (DH @ 1:00 CST) - LHP Lachlan Wells (2-4, 4.15 ERA), TBD Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Luis Rijo (7-2, 2.82 ERA) Greeneville @ Elizabethton (5:30 CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games or any other minor league topics you would like.
  22. TRANSACTIONS RHP DJ Baxendale reinstated from the IL with Rochester. RHP Kohl Stewart recalled by Minnesota from Rochester. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 9, Norfolk 4 Box Score Rochester’s bottom three batters in the line-up combined for eight hits on the way to a convincing win. Tomas Telis and Jimmy Kerrigan both had two doubles. Ronald Torreyes had three big hits including a three-run home run to seal the deal in the ninth inning. The Red Wings didn’t even take full advantage of their opportunities because the club left 12 men on base and went 5-for-19 with runners in scoring position. In a bullpen game, Preston Guilmet started and allowed three runs on three hits in 2 2/3 innings. Carlos Torres was the next man up and he held Norfolk to one run over three innings. From there the bullpen went into shutdown mode. D.J. Baxendale, Cody Allen and Cody Stashak combined for 3 1/3 shutout innings to end the game. Allen allowed three walks, but he was able to escape without any damage. Stashak pitched a perfect ninth. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 0, Mississippi 1 Box Score The Blue Wahoos offensive out-hit the Braves 7 to 2, but Mississippi was able to come up with the one big hit in the game. Randy Dobnak pitched a complete game on 90 pitches (65 strikes) and struck out nine. In the bottom of the fifth, he surrendered a lead-off double and that runner would end up being the only score of the game. Pensacola had four opportunities with runners in scoring position, but none of them were successful. The club also failed to record any extra-base hits. Alex Kirilloff went 2-for-4 and he has multiple hits in three of his last five games. Trevor Larnach and Lewin Diaz both went 1-for-4. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 4, Tampa 5 Box Score Jordan Balazovic seemed to be cruising before running into trouble in the fourth inning as Tampa would score five runs with only three of them being earned runs. Ryan Costello committed a fielding error at first base with two outs that allowed another two runs to score. Balazovic struck out four and walked one in 4 2/3 innings. Tyler Watson was impressive as he kept Fort Myers within striking distance. He pitched 4 1/3 shutout innings with two strikeouts and two walks. It was his first appearance all season where he didn’t allow an earned run. Fort Myers had held Tampa scoreless for 20 straight innings in the series before the fourth inning in this one. The Miracle tried to mount a comeback in the bottom of the fourth as Ryan Jeffers (walk) and Costello (single) both reached to start the inning. After Jose Miranda grounded into a double play, Trey Cabbage hit a triple and he ended up scoring on the play after an error by the center fielder to make the score 5-2. In the bottom of the sixth, some of the same names were involved in a crooked inning. Jeffers was hit by a pitch and moved to third on a Costello double. Miranda drove in Jeffers with a sacrifice fly and Andrew Bechtold added another sacrifice fly later in the inning. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Lake County 4 Box Score Cedar Rapids scored four runs in the top of the seventh inning to improve to 14 games over .500 on the season. The Kernel’s took the lead in a unique way as well. Originally the official scorer gave Spencer Steer a straight steal of home for what turned out to be the winning run. Eventually, it was changed to a run via balk. In the game, Steer went 2-for-4 with an RBI and two doubles. He’s been on fire since being promoted from E-Town going 6-for-16 with three extra-base hits. Gabe Snyder, playing in his second professional game in his home state, also had a good day at the plate. He reached base three times and hit his tenth home run of the season. He is tied with Chris Williams and Jared Akins for the team-lead in homers. Cedar Rapids clinched their eighth straight series victory over Lake County. On the mound, Luis Rijo did just enough to put the Kernels in position to win. He allowed four runs on nine hits with three strikeouts and a walk. J.T. Perez and Rickey Ramirez combined for three shutout innings to close the door. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 2, Greeneville 6 Box Score This game started as a pitcher’s duel with neither arm surrendering a run until the fifth inning. However, the wheels came off for Andriu Marin in that inning as he allowed five runs and he wasn't be able to finish the frame. Overall, he allowed five hits with eight strikeouts and three walks. He collected 13 total outs and eight of them came via the strikeout. Ryan Shreve gave up one run on four hits in 1 2/3 innings with a couple of strikeouts. Steven Cruz struck out four in two perfect innings. With one out in the seventh, Kidany Salva singled to try to start the rally. After a strikeout, Rueben Santana singled to put a runner in scoring position with two down. Charles Mack knocked in both baserunners with a single of his own and the E-Twins were on the board, but it wouldn’t be enough. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Randy Dobnak, Pensacola (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 9 K, BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Ronald Torreyes, Rochester (3-for-5, HR, 5 RBI, 2 R) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Fort Myers) – 1-4, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 2-4 #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 1-4 #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4, 3 K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) – 4.2 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 4 K, 1 BB #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) – No game #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 1-6, 2 RBI, 3 K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Fort Myers) – 0-2, 2 R, BB #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 1-2, 2B, R, BB #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) – 1-4, R, RBI, BB, K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – Did not play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – Did not pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) – Did not play #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – Injured list FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Gwinnett (6:05 CST) – RHP Drew Hutchison (1-1, 6.84 ERA) Pensacola @ Mississippi (6:35 CST) – RHP Charlie Barnes (2-2, 3.40 ERA) Fort Myers @ Florida (5:00 CST) – RHP Blayne Enlow (2-2, 2.80 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Lake County (6:00 CST) – RHP Andrew Cabezas (4-5, 3.66 ERA) Elizabethton @ Greeneville (5:30 CST) – TBD GCL Twins vs. GCL Red Sox (11:00 AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games.
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