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  1. Transactions: None to report SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 7, Buffalo 1 Box Score Top pitching prospect Jordan Balazovic got the start today for the Saints and worked three scoreless innings. He has put together shorter outings of late, but this one was a good one. He allowed just two hits and struck out three while walking none. Balazovic was lifted after 39 pitches. Roy Morales started the scoring for St. Paul when he singled in Spencer Steer in the top of the 3rd inning. After allowing Buffalo to knot things up in the 4th inning, the Saints came marching in during the 7th inning. A night after going 0-for-4, Steer blasted his 10th homer at Triple-A, a three run shot, to score both Michael Helman and Braden Bishop. Caleb Hamilton then lifted a dinger of his own to plate Jermaine Palacios and Morales, making it a 7-1 game. Steer and Morales were the lone Saints with multi-hit games on the evening. WIND SURGE WISDOM San Antonio 11, Wichita 4 (Resumption of Wednesday’s game) Box Score The Wind Surge resumed the first game tonight following a postponement in the 4th inning on Wednesday. It was played as a nine inning game with the originally schedule tilt being a seven-inning affair afterwards. Wichita 7, San Antonio 4 (F/7) Box Score Southpaw Blayne Enlow was on the bump for the shortened regularly scheduled game and he went 3 2/3 innings. Enlow gave up two runs on four hits while walking two and striking out three. The only damage against Enlow came on a 2nd inning homer. It took a few innings for Wichita to push a run across despite leading in the hit column, but Kevin Merrell tallied the first Wind Surge run when he singled in Cole Sturgeon during the bottom of the 4th inning. Just an inning later, Wichita got their first lead when Sturgeon singled in both Matt Wallner and Austin Martin. After seeing the lead evaporate in the 6th inning, Wichita buckled down and got back to work. With the bases loaded, Martin got plunked and drove in a run the hard way. Edouard Julien singled driving in both Daniel Ozoria and Wallner before a Sturgeon ground out brought in Martin. Pulling away and putting some distance behind them, Wichita was able to ride the three-run lead to a victory. KERNELS NUGGETS West Michigan 3, Cedar Rapids 2 Box Score Tonight was Aaron Rozek's turn on the bump for Cedar Rapids and he twirled a good one. Throwing five innings of one hit ball, Rozek kept West Michigan scoreless while allowing just two walks and punching out four. He lowered his ERA to 3.35 on the year. Runs were tough to come by, and that made Will Holland's double in the 4th inning that much more impactful. Scoring both Seth Gray and Yunior Severino, the two runs were enough to fend off a comeback from the Whitecaps. Cedar Rapids tallied just six hits on the evening. The lack of production bit the Kernels when West Michigan pushed two across in the top of the 9th inning. With Cedar Rapids trailing for the first time, Aaron Sabato doubled to lead off their last at bat. Stranded at third base though, that's as close as the comeback attempt came. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Lakeland 4 Box Score Pierson Ohl took the ball tonight for the Mighty Mussels. He pitched six innings of one-run ball allowing just three hits and a walk. Ohl struck out eight and lowered his ERA to 4.70 on the season. Noah Cardenas started the scoring early with a 1st inning single allowing Noah Miller to cross the plate. Miller then followed suit in the 3rd inning when his single drove home Jake Rucker. After giving back a run on a 4th inning wild pitch, Fort Myers grabbed an insurance run in the 8th inning on a Rubel Cespedes single to score Cardenas. With the bases loaded, LaRon Smith drew a walk to score Cespedes, but that's where the scoring ended for the Mighty Mussels. Unfortunately Fort Myers watched their lead evaporate in the bottom of the 8th inning, and no team could push a run across in the 9th inning. Going to extras, Nelson Roberto launched his second homer of the season and gave the Mighty Mussels a two run lead as Cespedes began the inning on second. Things got dicey in the bottom half with Lakeland having runners on 2nd and 3rd and only one out but Matt Mullenbach came on to relieve Malik Barrington and slammed the door. Miller, Cespedes, Cardenas, and Smith all picked up two-hit nights. Smith recorded doubles for both of his. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 6, FCL Pirates 5 Box Score Elpidio Perez pitched 2 1/3 innings of relief work to end this game and got the win. He allowed two hits, no runs, and punched out four. Gregory Duran and Andres Centeno both had two hits for the Twins. Centeno launched his first homer of the season and Alex Rodriguez hit his first dinger as a professional. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Twins 8, DSL Cubs Blue 3 Box Score Roger Duran got the win, improving to 3-0. He worked four innings of relief allowing just a single run. Harold Grant had a 2-for-3 night with a double after coming off the bench and taking over as the designated hitter. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Pierson Ohl (Ft. Myers) - 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer - (St. Paul) - 2-4, 2B, HR(10), 2 R, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-3, R, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-2, BB, K #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 2-4, 2B, HR(10), 2 R, 3 RBI #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, R , RBI #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-1, 2 R, 3 BB #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, 2 RBI, K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 2 K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Buffalo (6:05PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands San Antonio @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina West Michigan @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Cade Povich Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates and the two Complex Season affiliates back and playing.
  2. TRANSACTIONS No transactions across the organization today! SAINTS SENTINEL St Paul 11, Columbus 10 Box Score Despite losing Alex Kirilloff to the parent club a few days ago, the St. Paul offense didn't miss a beat on Sunday afternoon. A monster day at the plate, the Saints used 12 hits to plate 11 runs and sneak past the Clippers in a Father's Day shootout in Columbus. The scoring wasn't isolated; St. Paul scored in six of nine innings and touted multi-run frames in the first, second, third, fifth, and seventh innings. Even better, the scoring didn't come from one player. Led by a four-hit showing from Mark Contreras, seven Saints recorded hits and five tallied RBI on the day. Michael Helman and Mark Contreras got the party started in the top of the first with a pair of key hits to put the Saints on the board. With Caleb Hamilton on the pond, Helman laced a single to the first run of the game. Since being promoted to Triple-A at the end of May, Helman has been red hot, hitting safely in seven of his last eight games and touting a team-leading .423 batting average. Just two batters later, Contreras notched his first of four singles of the day to score Helman (who advanced to second on a fielding error) to put the Saints up 2-0. It was rinse and repeat for St. Paul in the second and third inning. Following John Andreoli walk and Elliot Soto double (9), Spencer Steer smothered a liner to center-field to score both runners and double the lead. Curtis Terry kicked off the third inning with a solo homer (7) to left and was followed by a pair of singles from Contreras and Jermaine Palacios. Contreras would eventually score thanks to a double-play groundout from Roy Morales. And while the RBI didn't count for Morales, he would score two runners in the fifth inning on a beautifully struck double that clipped the third-base bag. Given the run support, St. Paul starter Aaron Sanchez was solid on the day, pitching 4 1/3 innings of three-run (two earned), five-hit ball while striking out four and walking two. Austin Schulfer cleaned up the final two outs of the fifth inning and earned the win on the day for St. Paul. In what looked like a blowout, the Clippers mounted a massive seventh inning off of St. Paul reliever Jake Faria. In 1 2/3 innings, Faria allowed six runs on four hits, including a grand slam. Luckily for the Saints, Mark Contreras added an insurance run in the top of the eighth with an RBI single that scored Curtis Terry. Sunday's Father's Day win was especially special for Saints skipper Toby Gardenhire. On paternity leave for the birth of his first child Bodie, Sunday marked Gardenhire's 100th win as manager of the St. Paul Saints. Congrats to Toby on the feat but more importantly, to him and his wife Sarah and the birth of their first child! WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 3, Wichita 2 (10) Box Score Despite a solid pitching performance from the Wichita staff, the Wind Surge fell just short in an extra-inning heartbreaker to Tulsa. Wichita outhit the Drillers but failed to convert, leaving 12 men on base and going 2-for-16 with runners in scoring position. Cole Sturgeon and Edouard Julien both tallied multi-hit games and Sturgeon recorded one of Wichita's two RBI on the day. With two outs in the third, Sturgeon knocked a single to center field to score Matt Wallner from second and put the Surge on the board. Wichita plated its only other run in the sixth inning when Deshawn Keirsey Jr. scored from third on a groundout from Anthony Prato. Wichita starting pitcher Casey Legumina was solid through 4 2/3 innings, allowing two runs on three hits and two walks while striking out two. Limiting the damage himself, the Surge bullpen did everything they could to follow Legumina's adequate outing. Andrew Cabezas pitched two perfect innings with three strikeouts and was followed by 2 1/3 scoreless innings from Denny Bentley and Jordon Gore. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Dayton 3 Box Score Assigned from the FCL Twins to Cedar Rapids on Friday, there's a good chance most Twins fans don't know the name Frank Nigro. They should now. Knotted at three in the bottom of the ninth, Nigro punched a 2-2 pitch to right field to score Kennie Taylor and walk the Kernels off to a league-leading 41-22 record. In his first game with Cedar Rapids, Nigro's walk-off single would have sufficed just fine on its own. Yet on top of the game-winner, Nigro laced a single in the second inning and was one of two Cedar Rapids players to record a multi-hit game. The Kernels scored their first run in the first inning. Following an Alerick Soularie double (6), Yunior Severino reached out a fielding error that allowed Soularie to score from second. The Kernels would strike again in the second thanks to an RBI single from Kyler Mack that scored Kennie Tayor. After a few innings of silence, Alerick Soularie notched his second hit of the game in the seventh with an RBI single that scored Taylor. The Cedar Rapids pitching staff was stellar from the game's first pitch to its last. Starter Sean Mooney was dominant through five, striking out six while allowing just two runs on five hits. The combo of Bobby Milacki and Matthew Swain took the bulk of relief, allowing just one run on three hits while striking out a combined four batters through 3 2/3 innings. Ryan Shreve (W, 1-0) pitched the final out for the Kernels and earned his first win of the year. MUSSEL MATTERS CANCELLED Turns out it rains (a lot) in Florida. Due to inclement weather, Sunday's game was canceled. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Mark Contreras (St. Paul)- 4-for-4, 3 R, 2 RBI, BB Pitcher of the Day: Sean Mooney (Cedar Rapids)- 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 6 K, 2 BB PROSPECT SUMMARY Take a look at how our Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects did today! For a weekly recap of prospects and the entire farm system, check out Seth's Minor League Week in Review! Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, 3 RBI, 3 K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-2, R, 2 BB, 2 K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-for-5, K UP NEXT Mondays are off for minor leaguers, get prepared for a full slate of games on Tuesday!
  3. TRANSACTIONS OF Braden Bishop signed to MiLB deal and assigned to St. Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Columbus 4, St. Paul 3 Box Score The bats started off hot for the Saints though they ultimately fizzled out after the third inning. Kyle Garlick (2-for-3, RBI) mashed a solo home run in the first inning and Caleb Hamilton (1-for-4) followed two batters later with an RBI double to give St. Paul a 2-0 lead in the opening frame. Spencer Steer (1-for-5, RBI) added another run in the third inning with a solo home run, his ninth in 21 Triple-A games. However, the Saints were unable to garner a single hit outside of the first five batters in the lineup and did not score after Steer’s jack. Cole Sands pitched admirably to open the game, striking out three and allowing only one earned run in four innings. J.C. Ramirez, Yennier Cano, and Juan Minaya all surrendered one run during their seventh, eighth, and ninth innings, respectively, which ultimately sank the Saints. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 2, Wichita 1 Box Score Cole Sturgeon's (1-for-4) solo home run was the only run the Wind Surge were able to muster against the Drillers on Saturday, despite connecting for seven hits, drawing four walks, and stealing three bases; they struck out 16 times collectively and left 16 runners on base. Daniel Gossett was tremendous to start the game, striking out five and allowing only three hits in five innings of scoreless ball. Osiris German was ultimately saddled with the loss after serving up a two-run home run in the seventh inning. Bryan Sammons and Jordan Gore each threw a scoreless inning in relief. Austin Martin was given a second-straight night off. He has not been in the lineup in four of the past six games. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Dayton 5 Box Score Five of the Kernels 10 hits against the Dragons went for extra bases as they cruised to their 40th win. Christian Encarnacion-Strand led all batters with three hits in five at-bats, including his 18th double of the season. Yunior Severino (1-for-5, 2 RBI) and Will Holland (1-for-3, 2 RBI, 2 BB) also smacked doubles. Wander Javier (2-for-5, 2 RBI) and Alerick Soularie (2-for-4, RBI) each launched solo home runs, their fifth and sixth, respectively. Cade Povich was lights out on the mound as he struck out 11 and allowed two earned runs across five innings of work. He now has 68 strikeouts in 48 innings to go along with a solid 3.38 ERA. Orlando and Miguel Rodriguez combined to strike out six and allow three runs across the game's final four innings. With the win, the Kernels clinched a playoff berth by winning the first-half division title, joining the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels as Twins affiliates that will be in their league's playoffs at the end of the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 5, Bradenton 4 Box Score The Mighty Mussels hung on to take down the Marauders in Fort Myers on Saturday. Kala'i Rosario's (1-for-3, BB) two-run home run in the fourth inning was ultimately the deciding factor in the Mighty Mussels' win. Jake Rucker (2-for-4) and Luis Baez (2-for-3) each drove in an RBI. Marco Raya tossed the first 2 2/3 innings for Fort Myers, striking out five of the nine batters he faced. Matt Mullenbach, Niklas Rimmel, Regi Grace, and John Wilson combined to strikeout 10 batters, walk two, and give up four runs, three of them earned. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 6, FCL Red Sox 5 Box Score The baby Twins’ bats were scorching on Saturday, outhitting the Red Sox 14-7 with six—including Fredy Michel’s first home run of the season—going for extra bases. Ismael Perez led the Twins offense going 2-for-5 with a double, three RBI, and two runs scored. Jose Olivares started on the bump for the Twins, striking out six and surrendering two runs in four innings of work. Danny Moreno picked up a three-inning save, striking out two and along only one batter to reach base (via walk). DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL D-backs 6, DSL Twins 3 Box Score The Twins were held scoreless until the seventh inning when they plated all three of their runs. Jose Rodriguez went 3-for-4 with an RBI, all three hits being singles. Cesar Lares got the start and gave up five earned runs across 4 ⅓ innings, though he did strike out seven and only walk one. Anthony Narvaez tossed the final 1 ⅔, striking out one and surrendering one run. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – LHP Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids): 5 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 11 K Hitter of the Day – Alerick Soularie (Cedar Rapids): 2-for-4, HR, RBI, BB, 2 R PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-for-5, HR, RBI #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3, BB #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-1, 3 BB #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-for-4, 3 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (12:05 PM CST) - RHP Jake Faria (1-2, 6.48 ERA) Wichita @ Tulsa (1:05 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (1-2, 6.59 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Dayton (2:05 PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (2-2, 2.23 ERA) Fort Myers vs Bradenton (12:00 PM CST) - TBD
  4. These Minor League Week in Reviews are getting long. They are filled with how Twins minor leaguers, from the Triple-A St. Paul Saints, down to the 17 and 18-year-old kids playing in the Dominican Summer League. Who played really well? How did the teams perform. While wins and losses are secondary to player development, it is a part of the game that matters to the players. There were several transactions on Monday. Both Rookie League affiliates played on Monday morning. There has been a lot of Twins minor league coverage all week, so be sure to keep checking back. Of course, we also look at the current Top 20 Twins prospects, and we enjoy seeing them do well. But, we (or at least I am) are just as excited to hear that a player like Elliot Soto is being called up by the Twins. Fun stories! If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. TRANSACTIONS With no Monday Minor League Report, here are the transactions from later on Sunday and on Monday: RHP Cole Sands was optioned to St. Paul. Infielder Elliot Soto’s contract was purchased and he joins the team in Seattle. To make room, RHP Cody Stashak was placed on the 60-Day IL. LHP Evan Sisk was promoted from Wichita to St. Paul. RHP Jordan Gore was sent from St. Paul to Wichita, as was OF Cole Sturgeon. RHP Argenis Angulo placed on the Development List for Wichita. RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. C Jair Camargo activated from the Injured List. OF Kennie Taylor and C Kyle Schmidt sent from Wichita to Cedar Rapids. RESULTS Previous Week in Review (5/31-6/6):Another No-No, and Huge Offensive Performances Tuesday: Gipson-Long Shucks Cubs, Steer Stays Hot Wednesday: Encarnacion-Strand Continues to Mash, Emmanuel Rodriguez Injured Thursday: Festa Fancy in Start, Steer Walks it Off Friday: A Near Sweep Saturday: Kirilloff, Saints Power Their Way to Sixth Straight Win Sunday: Offensive Clinic from Cedar Rapids, Kirilloff Homers Again MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT (More Than) Three Questions With… Saints Infielder Spencer Steer (includes video) Is Austin Martin Minnesota’s Best Trade Chip? Partial ACL Tear Ends Lewis’s Season… Again! Passing on What He Has Learned Is Elliot Soto’s Drive With the 2022 Saints MONDAY’S SHORT-SEASON RESULTS We don’t have a Minor League Report on Mondays since the full-season affiliates don’t play on Mondays. But, often the FCL Twins and DSL Twins do play. Here are their box scores and highlights. FCL Twins 6, FCL Rays 11 Box Score Starting Pitcher: Juan Rojas (4 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 6 K) Multi-Hit Games: Gregory Duran (2-for-3, BB, 2B, R, RBI, K 2B: Gregory Duran (2) Rehab Players: Daniel Robertson (0-for-2, K) Top Prospects: Danny De Andrade (0-for-3, HBP, K), Fredy Michel (1-for-3, 2 BB, K, 2 R, 1 RBI, SB). Summary: The GCL Twins fell behind 6-1 but clawed their way back to 6-5 going to the bottom of the eighth inning. That’s when the Rays scored five runs to put the game away. Just one of those five runs was earned as the Twins youngsters committed six errors in the game. DSL Twins 7, DSL Brewers (2) 6 Box Score Starting Pitcher: Julio Bonilla (4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) Multi-Hit Games: Denyerbe Gervis (2-for-2, 2B, R, RBI, SB), Isaac Pena (2-for-2, RBI), Junior Del Valle (2-for-3, R) 2B: Denyerbe Gervis (3) 3B: Yilber Herrera (1) Top Prospects: Bryan Acuna (0-3, HBP, R, 2 K) WEEK IN REVIEW Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week: 6-0, hosting Rochester Season: 30-29 overall, 6th place out of ten teams in the International League West. They are 6.0 games behind Nashville. Despite the rough week, Rochester remains in first place, a half-game ahead of Lehigh Valley. The Saints were struggling, but it’s fair to say that they are playing much better now. They began the week at 24-29. The former Twins Triple-A affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings, came to St. Paul leading the East division of the International League. The Saints swept the series and are now back over .500 at 30-29. In reality, the Saints completely dominated #OldFriend Matthew Lecroy’s squad. They outscored the Wings 48-23. They reached double-digits in runs scored three times. Aside from a walk-off win on Thursday, none of the other games were particularly close. The Red Wings still lead their division by 1/2 game. Mario Sanchez had a four-inning save this week. He gave up no runs and no hits. He walked one and struck out six batters. Joe Ryan made a rehab start on Thursday night. He struck out four batters over three scoreless, one-hit innings. He appears ready to make his next start with the Twins. Jake Petricka worked three scoreless, one-hit innings over two appearances. He walked one and struck out three batters. Tyler Thornburg threw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. He gave up one hit and struck out three batters. He also threw 2 1/3 scoreless, hitless innings in his Twins debut on Sunday afternoon. Jake Faria gave up one run on five hits in five innings in his start. He walked one and struck out two. Alex Kirilloff played in all six games. He went 9-for-24 and hit .375/.423/.792 (1.215) with a double, three homers and seven RBI. Tim Beckham played in four games. He went 9-for-17 and hit .529/.600/.765 (1.365) with a double, a homer, and nine RBI. He also had two stolen bases. Spencer Steer played in the Saints first three games this week. In that time, he went 5-for-13 and hit .385/.500/.923 (1.423) with a double and two home runs. On Thursday, he capped a four-run ninth inning with a two-run, walk-off homer. Jermaine Palacios returned to the Saints. In four games, he went 6-for-17, hitting .353/.389/.647 (1.036) with two doubles, a homer and four RBI. Michael Helman went 6-for-19 (.316) with two doubles. Mark Contreras went 6-for-20 (.300) with three doubles. Caleb Hamilton played in four games and went 4-for-12. He hit .333/.556/.583 (1.139) with a homer and two RBI. He also walked six times. In six games, Jake Cave went 8-for-23 and hit .348/.444/.609 (1.053) with a double, triple, homer, and five RBI. What’s Next? The Saints will be on the road the next two weeks. They will travel to Ohio and take on the Columbus Clippers this week. Pitching Probables (RHP Aaron Sanchez, RHP Ronny Henriquez, RHP Jordan Balazovic, RHP Derek Rodriguez, RHP Jake Faria, TBD) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge Week: 2-4, @ Arkansas Season: 32-23 overall, 1st place in the Texas League North Division. They remain 1 1/2 game ahead of Tulsa (30-24) and 2.0 games ahead of Arkansas (31-26). The series began with 6-1 losses at the hands of Arkansas. After a rainout on Wednesday, they split a doubleheader Thursday. The Wind Surge were outscored 23-20 for the week. Only one game throughout the full week was decided by less than three runs. Here are some of the top performances for the Wind Surge this past week: Louie Varland had a terrific start this week. The Minnesota native tossed six scoreless innings. He gave up three hits, walked none, and struck out nine batters. Melvi Acosta gave up just one hit over 4 2/3 innings in two appearances. He walked two and struck out four batters. Lefty Evan Sisk struck out six batters over three scoreless, hitless innings. He walked two batters. New Surge relievers, Denny Bentley and Andrew Cabezas each worked two scoreless innings and struck out two batters over two games. Anthony Prato had a good start to his Wichita days. He went 5-for-18 and hit .278/.417/.389 (.806) with two doubles and three walks. Chris Williams went 5-for-22 (.227), but he had three doubles, a homer, and five RBI. Edouard Julien was 5-for-18 (.278), but he walked six times, giving him a .458 on-base percentage for the week. What’s Next? The Wind Surge will remain on the road. They will head to Tulsa to play a seven-game series. They will play a doubleheader on Wednesday, making up for a rainout from early May. Pitching Probables (RHP Casey Legumina, Wednesday DH (TBD, TBD), TBD, TBD, TBD, TBD) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week: 4-2, @ South Bend Season: 37-20 overall, 1st place in the Midwest League West Division, 3.5 games ahead of Wisconsin (33-23). The Kernels dominated the series to the tune of a 37-16 run differential. They lost two close games and they won the other four games by an average of six runs. The Kernels were able to increase their lead in the division and put more space between themselves and third-place South Bend. David Festa continues his impressive, breakout season. In his start last week, the flamethrower struck out six batters over six scoreless innings. He gave up four hits and walked one batter. Lefty Aaron Rozek tossed four innings. He gave up no runs on two hits, one walk, one hit batter and struck out three batters. Sawyer Gipson-Long gave up one run on three hits (a solo homer). He walked one and struck out six batters. Cade Povich gave up one run on four hits over six innings on Sunday. He walked two and struck out five batters. Brent Headrick had another strong start. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up one run on six hits. He walked one and struck out seven batters. Christian Encarnacion-Strand played all six games. He went 6-for-24 and hit .250/.333/.708 (1.041) with two doubles, three homers, and eight RBI. Dylan Neuse played four games and went 3-for-10 at the plate. He hit .300/.533/.600 (1.133) with a homer. He walked four times. Wander Javier went 6-for-17 in five games last week. He hit .353/.450/.529 (979) with a double, a triple, and four RBI. In six games, Seth Gray went 7-for-22 and hit .318/.400/.636 (1.036) with a double, two homers, and seven RBI. What’s Next? The Kernels will be home for the next two weeks. This week, they will be hosting Dayton. Dayton leads the Midwest League East Division with a 36-19 record and a 4 1/2 game lead over Great Lakes. Order Tickets here. Pitching Probables (RHP John Stankiewicz, RHP David Festa, LHP Brent Headrick, LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich, RHP Sean Mooney) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Week: 1-5, @ Daytona Season: 35-21 overall, 1st place in the Florida State League West, 6.0 games ahead of Clearwater (29-27). It was a tough week for the Mussels. Marco Raya Steve Hajjar was terrific but only went two innings in his start. Emmanuel Rodriguez injured his leg on Wednesday. He is going to be out for three-to-four months after having surgery. Keoni Cavaco played in just one game but is expected to return to action this week. They were outscored by the Tortugas 17-37. Carlos Aguiar began the week by playing one game with the FCL Twins. He had a double in a 1-for-3 game. He also walked once. In four games with the Mussels, he had a double, a triple, a homer, and two walks. Noah Cardenas played in six games. He went 3-for-12 (.250). He also walked six times and was on base 59% of the time and had a double too. Jaylen Nowlin made one start. He went three scoreless innings. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out six batters. Sam Perez pitched twice, In three innings, he gave up one hit. He struck out two batters and didn’t walk anyone. Travis Adams struck out eight batters in five innings. He gave up two runs on five hits and a walk. Malik Barrington struck out four batters over three scoreless innings over two outings. He finished both games he pitched and recorded a save. What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels head back to Hammond Stadium this week to take on the Bradenton Marauders (25-31). Pitching Probables (TBD, TBD,TBD, TBD, TBD, TBD) Rookie: Florida Complex League (FCL Twins) Week: 3-2 Season: 4-2 Alexander Pena is off to a fast start. In four games, he went 7-for-12. He hit .583/.600/.917 (1.517) with two doubles, a triple, and three home runs. Fredy Michel also played four games. He went 5-for-13 and hit .385/.500/.538 (1.038) with two doubles and an RBI. Gregory Duran played four games and went 3-for-10. He hit .300/.563/.500 (1.063) with two doubles. He also walked five times. Rehabbing Daniel Robertson went 4-for-12 over three games and hit .333/.429/667 (1.096) with a double, a homer and five RBI. He also walked twice. Jose Olivares worked four relief innings. He gave up an unearned run on three hits. He walked two and struck out four batters. Tomas Cleto recorded a Save in his outing. He tossed three scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out four batters. Jon Olsen and Luis Rijo made their first rehab appearances since they had Tommy John surgery late last year. Rookie: Dominican Summer league (DSL Twins): Week: 4-1. Season: 4-2 Cesar Lares struck out eight batters over four scoreless, hitless innings in his professional debut. He walked three and hit a batter. Miguel Olivares struck out five and walked one batter over four scoreless innings. He gave up one hit. Roger Duran worked twice out of the bullpen. In five innings, he gave up one run on five hits. He walked one and struck out nine batters. Rafael Cruz played in four games and went 5-for-11. He hit .455/.538/.727 (1.265) with a double, a triple, and two RBI. Denyerbe Gervis went 6-for-12 in his four games and hit .500/.538/1.000 (1.538) with three doubles, a home run, and five RBI. Isaac Pena played in five games. He went 7-for-11 and is hitting .636/.583/.818 (1.401) with a triple and three RBI. Junior Del Valle went 5-for-8 in his four games played. He hit .625/.667/.875 (1.542) with two doubles. PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week and this season. The Prospect Tracker will be updated on the first of each month throughout the season. Notice that these pages now include stats and splits, as well as past article links, video and more. #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - Did Not Play (Season: 34 G, .313/.405/.534 (.940), 12-2B, 1-3B, 5-HR, 30 R, 14 RBI, 18 BB, 32 K) #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - Did Not Play (.000), 0-2B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (Season: 12 G, .300/.317/.550 (.867), 4-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 5 G, 1-for-14 (.071), 1-2B, 0-3B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 6 K (Season: 51 G, .235/.360/.311 (.671), 8-2B, 2-3B, 1-HR, 37 R, 14 RBI, 25 BB, 34 K, 21 SB, 2 CS) #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - In MLB (Season: 21 G, .256/.295/.442 (.737), 10-2B, 2-HR, 10 R, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 14 K) #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 5 G, 6-for-17 (.353), 2-2B, 0-HR, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K (Season: 30 G, .226/.255/.415 (.670), 8-2B, 4-HR, 10 R, 15 RBI, 3 BB, 26 K) #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 2.2 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 1 K (Season: 6 GS, 19.0 IP, 22 R, 17 ER, 31 H, 12 BB, 18 K, 0-2, 8.05 ERA, 2.26 WHIP, 5.7 BB/9, 8.5 K/9) #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 4 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 3 K (Season: 11 GS, 53.0 IP, 21 R, 20 ER, 41 H, 19 BB, 53 K, 2-3, 3.40 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 9.0 K/9) #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Injured List (Season: 11 G, 10 GS, 34.1 IP, 8 R, 7 ER, 17 H, 22 BB, 50 K, 0-1, 1.83 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 5.8 BB/9, 13.1 K/9) #7 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - (Season: 35 G, .307/.385/.591 (.976), 13-2B, 1-3B, 8-HR, 27 R, 30 RBI, 14 BB, 23 K) #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 3 G, 5-for-13 (.385), 1-2B, 2-HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K (Season: 16 G, .279/.380/.691 (1.071), 4-2B, 0-3B, 8-HR, 18 R, 19 RBI, 8 BB, 13 K) #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 2 G, 0-for-4 (.000), 0-2B, 0-3B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K (Season: 47 G, .272/.493/.552 (1.044), 5-2B, 3-3B, 9-HR, 35 R, 25 RBI, 57 BB, 52 K) #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 5 G, 2-for-17 (.118), 0-2B, 0-3B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K (Season: 50 G, .243/.375/.335 (.710), 7-2B, 2-3B, 2 HR, 33 R, 13 RBI, 37 BB, 58 K) #10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch (Season: 8 G, 7 GS, 32.2 IP, 15 R, 12 ER, 26 H, 12 BB, 35 K, 3-1, 3.31 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 3.3 BB/9, 9.6 K/9) #11 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 6 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 5 K (Season: 9 GS, 43.0 IP, 20 R, 16 ER, 34 H, 15 BB, 57 K, 4-4, 3.35 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, 11.9 K/9) #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 9 K (Season: 11 G, 10 GS, 58.1 IP, 24 R, 21 ER, 46 H, 24 BB, 71 K, 5-1, 3.24 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, 11.0 K/9) #13 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 5 IP, 3 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K (Season: 9 G, 6 GS, 34.0 IP, 29 R, 42 H, 14 BB, 36 K, 0-2, 7.68 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 3.7 BB/9, 9.5 K/9) #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 1 G, 3.1 IP, 3 R, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 2 K (Season: 5 G, 4 GS, 16.2 IP, 13 R, 10 ER, 19 H, 9 BB, 21 K, 0-1, 5.40 ERA, 1.68 WHIP, 4.9 BB/9, 11.3 K/9) #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 6 G, 4-for-19 (.211), 1-2B, 1-3B, 0--HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 9 K (Season: 52 G, .266/.380/.511 (.891), 10-2B, 1-3B, 11-HR, 35 R, 41 RBI, 33 BB, 77 K) #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 6 G, 5-for-18 (.278), 1-2B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 6 BB, 9 K (Season: 35 G, .270/.424/.387 (.811), 5-2B, 1-3B, 2-HR, 19 R, 11 RBI, 31 BB, 37 K) #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch (Season: 6 G, 5 GS, 18.2 IP, 15 R, 23 H, 6 BB, 21 K, 0-4, 7.23 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 10.1 K/9) #17 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 2 GS, 8.1 IP, 9 R, 13 H, 3 BB, 8 K (Season: 5 G, 3 GS, 16.1 IP, 12 ER, 14 H, 7 BB, 18 K, 0-3, 8.82 ERA, 1.78 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 9.1 K/9) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 6 G, 6-for-24 (.250), 2-2B, 0-3B, 3-HR, 8 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K (Season: 55 G, .207/.364/.568 (.932), 15-2B, 3-3B, 13-HR, 37 R, 51 RBI, 21 BB, 62 K) #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 1 GS, 2 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 0 BB, 2 K (Season: 9 GS, 35.1 IP, 10 R, 8 ER, 17 H, 19 BB, 59 K, 2-1, 2.04 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 4.8 BB/9, 15.0 K/9) #20 - David Festa (Ft. Myers) - (Season: 2 G, 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K, (Season: 0-0, 6.75 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 0.0 BB/9, 13.5 K/9) #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 6 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 1 BB, 6 K (Season: 4 G, 2 GS, 19.2 IP, 4 ER, 14 H, 4 BB, 22 K, 3-0, 1.83 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 10.1 K/9) PLAYERS OF THE WEEK Hitter of the Week: OF/1B Alex Kirilloff, St. Paul Saints Why is Alex Kirilloff such a great hitter? Let me count the ways. Last week, Kirilloff played in all six Saints wins. He went 9-for-24 and hit .475/.423/.792 (1.215) with a double, three homers, and seven RBI. He was the Twins choice for hitter of the week the previous, but we went with Spencer Steer. This week, the Twins went with Steer, and we are taking Kirilloff. Granted, he shouldn’t be in the minors. That wasn’t the plan. The plan was that his surgically-repaired wrist would be completely healed, and he would be hitting well in the middle of the Twins lineup. Instead, he went on the IL with some wrist pain, found out it wasn’t anything structural and was sent to St. Paul to basically get at-bats and regain confidence. In 25 games since he was optioned, he has hit .384/.465/.717 (1.182) with six doubles, nine homers, and 26 RBI. He also has 14 walks to go with 18 strikeouts. Seven of the home runs have come in the past nine games. And as soon as a position opens up and he can get very regular playing time, the former top pitch will turn to the big leagues. Pitcher of the Week: RHP Louie Varland, Wichita Wind Surge At 24, Varland is exactly one month younger than Alex Kirilloff. Their paths have been different, but they are both on the path to Target Field. Varland was a terrific pitcher at South St. Paul before joining his brother Gus at Concordia University in St. Paul. The Twins made him their15th round pick in 2019. He was the organization's minor league pitcher of the year last year, per the Twins and Twins Daily. This year, he has had outings on both sides of the spectrum. Generally speaking, it tends to be pretty directly tied to his control. Overall, he is 5-1 with a 3.24 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP. In 58 1/3 innings, he has given up 46 hits (9 homers), walked 24, and struck out 71 batters. His fastball is sitting 94-96 mph and has touched 97 on occasions. His slider is generally a plus-pitch for him, and his changeup has had mixed results, but there have been several very good days. Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the players and the teams in the COMMENTS below.
  5. Elliot Soto has been in professional baseball for 13 seasons, and he has had only three games in Major League Baseball. Soto got his call with the Los Angeles Angels on September 25, 2020, against the freeway rival Los Angeles Dodgers. Soto’s debut was as a pinch-runner for teammate Luis Rengifo in the top of the seventh inning. By the time it was Soto’s turn to bat in the top of the ninth against Kenley Jansen, he was pinch hit for by Shohei Ohtani. Soto wouldn’t have to wait long to get that first at-bat as then-Angels manager Joe Maddon, wrote him in as the starting shortstop for the team the next day. Soto spoke on what it was like getting that call-up after a long decade spent in the minors. “It was really cool and was weird. It was different because of COVID, but it didn't feel real at first until I put the uniform on. It's just indescribable, really, because then you’re like, alright, you know, I'm here, I'm in the works. But then you just want to get back there and prove that you can play there and stay there.” Back in 2007, Soto was originally drafted out of high school by the Minnesota Twins in the 13th round of the June amateur draft. Soto opted not to sign with the Twins at the time, but 15 years later, he’s come full circle to join the organization. Soto spoke on what he has enjoyed being a part of the Twins system after so many years after that first draft. “Most organizations are pretty similar. Some focus more on heavy workloads and stuff, but I think the thing that separates this organization is the mindset. They're a little bit more laid back. There are some teams that are more relaxed, and more personable, and some teams that are more centered on those workloads. This one's more towards the relaxed, which I think is better, in my opinion, because I think then you get the most out of your players.” Following his MLB debut as a pinch-runner, Soto played in the final two games of the 2020 season for the Angels and went 2-for-6 with a double and a walk. Soto has not returned to the Majors, but it has allowed for another opportunity to open for him; a team leader for the St. Paul Saints clubhouse. Many of Soto’s teammates this season including Spencer Steer, Kevin Merrell, and Royce Lewis have all described Soto as the leading veteran for the team. For Soto, the role of leadership was one that took time for him to reach and he attributed his former college teammate at Creighton and ambidextrous reliever Pat Venditte as a key mentor for his playing career. “I was no boy scout, I had some learning to do in college, Pat Venditte really helped me out. He helped me figure out what I needed to do to play in college and what it was to be a professional athlete. Watching him and how he works, and it was just like, even to this day or since I've seen him like he's out there. I played against him in 2019 and he’s out there working all day long. His work ethic is unbelievable,” said Soto. In addition to Venditte, Soto attributes his leadership success to some of his more recent teammates last season in the Dodgers' farm system. Those teammates he mentioned are former MLB catcher Tim Federowicz and utility infielder Andy Burns, who is currently playing with the Oklahoma City Dodgers. Soto spoke on how these recent teammates have helped shape his approach to playing and what he wants to pass on to his younger Saints teammates. “A lot of guys that I've been playing with recently showed me what it's like to be a real pro. Federowicz had a really good mindset. I played with him last year and Andy Burns with the Dodgers farm teams. Just the way that he [Burns] thought about things in so many different ways. You can pick up mental skills from them because I think at this point in my career, you're always getting better at your craft. In baseball, I think the mind is even more important than anything and a lot of guys have really unique things that they do. And if something works for you, it can change your game.” Learning as many things as he can from teammates' mental approaches to the game of baseball has become a key trait Soto wants to continue passing on to his current Saints teammates. “I've been lucky enough to have good teammates in the past that have given me tips or, you know, little tricks to just help you get through anything on and off the field. I just want to pass it on and that's who I want to be. I'm in my 30s now, and I want to spread the knowledge I have, especially when I like the people and I want them to play well. I view it as I'm closer to being on my way out and I want to see these guys on TV succeeding when I'm at home.” One of Soto’s current teammates that could be making that mark soon and joining the Minnesota Twins before the summer is over is Spencer Steer. Since joining the Saints in May, Steer has hit eight home runs, driven in 19 runs, posted a triple-slash .279/.380/.691, and posted a 1.071 OPS. Soto shared his thoughts on the talent he has seen in Steer and what he has been able to teach him over the short time he has been with the Saints. “He's an amazing player. When he got here, I was like, wow, okay, this kid is a real deal. Just the way he goes about playing, his demeanor, and the questions he asks. You can see that he's truly thinking about the game. He really wants to know more and then when you tell him something as a tip he's so incredibly appreciative, which makes you feel good. I just think that the type of person he has, like, he's going to have no problem going out to the next level and staying there.” On Three Questions With last week, Spencer Steer spoke about the impact Soto has has in his time with the Saints. "Elliot Soto has been a lot of fun to play alongside in the infield. He's really given me some good advice in the two weeks I've been here just about the mentality, playing the position, and also some footwork stuff." Steer is not the only Major League talent that Soto has spent a short time playing alongside that has made a lasting impact on him. Back when Soto was with the Iowa Cubs in 2014, he was playing with an MLB talent trying to still make something of a career at the age of 42; Manny Ramirez. Ramirez and Soto’s time as teammates only lasted about a month together. Even in that short time, Soto’s talent caught the eye of Ramirez and made a lasting impact on his career as Soto shared a couple of stories of their time together. “It was amazing. I wish it would have lasted longer. It was cool for me because one of the first days Manny saw me take grounders and really liked the way I played defense. So he came up to me and he was like, he calls everyone Nino, and he said, 'hey Nino, I like the way you move your hands. You got good hands. I want to hit with you before the game.' I said, Yeah, Absolutely! Every day, let's do it. So I got to work out with him before the games and just the way he worked and the stuff he did was amazing.” Having mentors in his career that are lifelong ball players that had a short time in the Majors like he did, to one of the most colorful and best hitters to ever play the game. Soto has a wealth of baseball knowledge and experience that he can share with his teammates now who are just one step away from making their MLB debuts like he did a couple of years ago.
  6. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 4, Rochester 3 Box Score Minnesota Twins Opening Day starter Joe Ryan was making a rehab start tonight for St. Paul as he works his way back after a bout of Covid. He worked three innings allowing a single baserunner on a hit. Ryan punched out four. Rochester was looking for their first win of this series and they took a 2-0 lead on a homer in the 4th inning. Another run scored on a sacrifice fly in the 8th inning. John Andreoli clubbed a two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th inning to score Jermain Palacios, and Alex Kirilloff singled as a pinch hitter. The winning run stepped up to the plate in the form of Spencer Steer. He took a ball, whiffed on the next pitch, and then sent his 8th home run at Triple-A over the center field wall. St. Paul walks off the former affiliate and are now 3-0 in this series. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1: Wichita 7, Arkansas 3 Box Score Playing a doubleheader today the Wind Surge went to Casey Legumina in game one. He turned in five strong innings allowing just three runs on six hits. Legumina didn’t walk anyone but recorded just a single strikeout. Matt Wallner wasted little time to extend his hitting streak to seven games. A first inning triple drove in Anthony Prato and put Wichita on the board. After getting behind in the bottom half, Wichita answered in the 4th inning. Chris Williams singled in Wallner before an Andrew Bechtold home run brought Williams in as well. After doubling up the Travelers total, the Wind Surge added two more in the 5th inning. Prato lifted a sacrifice fly to score Edouard Julien before Kyle Schmidt singled to drive in Austin Martin from third. It was his first hit with the Wind Surge. Arkansas tried to claw back adding one in the bottom half, but DaShawn Keirsey Jr. roped a solo shot, his second of the season, to make it 7-3 in the 6th inning. Evan Sisk turned in two perfect relief innings to slam the door while striking out three. Game 2: Arkansas 3, Wichita 0 Box Score Kody Funderburk got the start in the nightcap and worked three innings of two run baseball. He worked around six hits and a walk, but punched out six to keep his team in it. Arkansas scored the first run of the game on a solo shot in the 1st inning before a 3rd inning double pushed across another run. Joe Rizzo then launched his second dinger of the game, and ninth of the season in the 4th inning to make it 3-0. The Wind Surge, intent on making things interesting, scored on a bases loaded walk from Anthony Prato. As Leobaldo Cabrera came across, the bases remained loaded with no one out. Wichita left the sacks full though, and they went into the bottom of the 6th inning trailing by two. Wichita wouldn't get another run and they avoided being no-hit with Julien's double. KERNELS NUGGETS South Bend 2, Cedar Rapids 0 Box Score David Festa took the ball for Cedar Rapids and continued his dominant 2022 season. Working six innings, he allowed just four hits while striking out eight and walking only one. Both the Kernels and Cubs found themselves scoreless through seven innings. Unfortunately, South Bend added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 8th inning and Cedar Rapids was unable to answer. The Kernels tallied just three hits on the evening and dropped this one in lackluster fashion. MUSSEL MATTERS Daytona 10, Fort Myers 6 Box Score It was Jordan Carr making the start for the Mighty Mussels tonight and he lasted just four innings. Allowing five runs on seven hits, Carr walked no one and punched out four. This was an exciting matchup as former Twins prospect Chase Petty was on the mound for Daytona. He worked 3 2/3 innings giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits. Petty punched out five and walked two. Jake Rucker scored in the top of the first inning on an errant pickoff throw, but Fort Myers gave up the lead in the bottom half. Noah Miller drove in Luis Baez with a single in the 3rd inning to knot things at two. After a three run inning for the Tortugas in the 4th, Noah Cardenas added one back for the Mighty Mussels. He ripped a double, his fifth, to left field, scoring Rucker. A wild pitch then scored Cardenas from third before a bases loaded walk to Nelson Roberto plated Kala’i Rosario. All of a sudden things were even. In the 5th inning Daytona added in a big way, including a two-run double from Willians Astudillo’s brother WIlfred. Down 9-5 when the dust settled, another run in the 6th inning put Fort Myers down by five. Astudillo, a catcher like his turtle-named brother, allowed a passed ball in the 8th inning and Carlos Aguiar came home. That was it for the scoring though, and the Mighty Mussels seven hits were doubled up by Daytona. Rubel Cespedes had the lone two-hit night. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Rays 11, FCL Twins 7 Box Score Veteran Daniel Robertson continue his minor league rehab stint for Triple-A St. Paul with the FLC team today. He went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and tallied five RBI in total. Pitcher Wilker Reyes gave up three runs, all unearned, in 2 2/3 innings of relief work, but struck out six. Intriguing prospect Malfrin Sosa joined Robertson with a multi-hit game. The Twins were leading 7-4 going into the 7th inning but things went pear-shaped when they gave up three in the top half, and another four the following frame. DOMINICAN DAILIES No Game TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, 2 RBI, HR(8), K PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-3, R, BB, 2 K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-3, R #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, 2 RBI, HR(8), K #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, RBI, K #13 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-5, BB, 4 K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-6, 2B, BB, 3 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-2, BB, K #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ St. Paul (7:07PM CST) - RHP Josh Winder Wichita @ Arkansas (7:05PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05PM CST) - RHP Brent Headrick Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Travis Adams Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates and the two Complex Season affiliates back and playing.
  7. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== On Tuesday night, Spencer Steer had two hits including his seventh home run since joining the Saints. In 14 games, he has gone 16-for-59 and is hitting .271/.368/.678 (1.046) with three doubles and seven home runs. That is after starting the season with 35 games in Wichita where he hit .307/.385/.591 (.976) with 13 doubles and eight home runs. “It’s pretty much the same game. The biggest difference that I’ve noticed is that almost everyone you’re surrounded by has had time in the big leagues. It’s pretty cool to play with all these guys who have played at the highest level, and then obviously face pitching that’s been at the highest level too. It’s been fun so far to kind of have myself be challenged and see how these guys go about their business. It’s been a fun transition so far.” data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== He watched veterans before and during batting practice to see how they prepare, how they get into a routine. He asks questions. Teammates discuss hitting, pitchers and more. He specifically talked about watching Tim Beckham who just joined the Saints last week after starting the season on the Injured List. He and Alex Kirilloff talk hitting. And veteran Elliot Soto, who has been in professional baseball for a dozen years and even had a three-game stint with the Angels in 2020, has talked to him about a variety of aspects of the game over the past two weeks. In 2021, Steer spent 45 games in Cedar Rapids and he walked 35 times and struck out just 32 times. He moved up to Double-A Wichita, and in 65 games, he walked 20 times and struck out 73 times. Jump ahead to 2022. He began the season with 35 games in Wichita. He had 14 walks to go with 23 strikeouts, a massive improvement. He said, “Going back to that levels and having that prior experience, and obviously failing at that level, and learning from what went wrong. And also learning more about my swing and trusting that I don’t have to do more. I can just focus on hitting the baseball and hitting it on the barrel. If you hit the ball consistently, good things are going to happen.” He summarized, “Just finding a way to put the bat on the ball, and then on the barrel as much as you can. As simple as that sounds, the more you can hit the ball on the barrel, the better off you’re going to be. I think it was that simple mind set.” He also mentioned “plate discipline” and “swinging less with two strikes” when pitchers are trying to expand the strike zone. “Just kind of simple stuff like that.” Side note - While Steer is making it look simple right now, it isn’t simple. It is actually very difficult. In a Twins Daily article from late in the 2019 season, just two months after the Twins made him their 3rd round pick, the 90th overall selection in that year’s draft, I chatted with Steer about the type of hitter he was and could become. He said, “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.” The 2020 minor-league season was canceled due to the pandemic, but Steer put in the time both in the batting cage and in the weight room. He returned in 2021 and in 110 total games, split between High-A Cedar Rapids and Double-A Wichita, he hit .254/.348/.484 (.833) with 18 doubles, three triples, and 24 home runs. Only Jose Miranda (30) and Trey Cabbage (27) hit more homers than Steer in the Twins minor leagues last year. In 2022, he leads the Twins minor league system with 16 doubles, 15 homers, and 46 RBI. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== He’s looking like a guy who can drive in runs! And he is quick to credit others as well. He mentioned that Bryce Berg for helping him with the mentality and approach in leverage situations and counts. He’d take two rounds of BP with nice and easy swings, and then the last two rounds “for lack of better words, swing out of my butt.” It was a concerted effort in batting practice that he has been able to incorporate into his approach and learning how to do that in batting practice and transitioning that into the game. He learned his swing. He worked to refine his approach. He’s stuck with it, and it’s continued to this year. Bryce Berg was the Cedar Rapids hitting coach in 2021. This year, he has been named the minor league hitting coordinator. He worked with Ryan Smith in Wichita in 2021 and with the Saints now. He credited the new Wind Surge hitting coach Derek Shomon for the work he put in, but also the communication between coaches at each level, making sure everyone is on the same page with each player’s individual path and plan. As we have seen with the Twins in 2022, having some position flexibility is important. Jose Miranda put in time at both corner infield positions. Luis Arraez and Nick Gordon have additional value because they can play all over. Royce Lewis illustrates perfectly the value of being able to play multiple positions so that when there is a need in the big leagues, he can be available. Spencer Steer has been playing multiple infield positions his whole career. At the University of Oregon, he played third base his first two years before spending more time at shortstop as a junior. In his three professional seasons, he has played 89 games at third base, 75 games at second base, and 41 games at shortstop. Looking specifically at 2022, he has played 22 games at third base, 13 games at second base, and 12 games at shortstop. He certainly understands the value of being versatile. He said, “The more positions you can play, the better because there’s just more opportunity going forward. If you can play the left side of the infield and the right side of the infield, I just think the more versatility you have, just opens up more doors for you. I feel comfortable at all three spots. I’ve been playing them all fairly consistently. That’s what I hope to do going forward.” He’s only been in St. Paul for a couple of weeks, but he’s seen many teammates already getting The Call to the big leagues. He is now just one step and one call away from the big league dream. “It hasn’t really hit me that it could happen at any time. You’re just doing what you can control and that’s going out there and playing well every day. That’s all you can control. It’s awesome to see guys get that call and that opportunity. It’s something that doesn’t get old, seeing your teammates getting that call to the big leagues.” Spencer Steer was a non-roster invite to big-league spring training. While there isn’t necessarily a clear path to a big-league spot in the 2022 season, Steer has done everything in his power, and with his power, to put himself in position to be called up if and when needed.
  8. Transactions: RHP Cole Sands recalled by Minnesota C Roy Morales placed on injured list by St. Paul INF Kevin Merrell placed on temporary inactive list by Wichita INF Ernie Yake placed on injured list by Wichita LHP Jordan Carr transferred to Fort Myers from FCL RHP Anthony Escobar reinstated from 60-day injured list for Fort Myers SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 10, Rochester 6 Box Score Facing the former Twins Triple-A affiliate, Daniel Gossett was on the bump for St. Paul. He worked around traffic for five innings allowing just four runs (three earned) on eight hits. Gossett struck out two and walked one. Trailing 2-0 after the top half of the 1st inning, recently-healthy Tim Beckham got the run scoring going. A double to center drove in Spencer Steer before Jake Cave drove in Beckham with a single of his own. Allowing Rochester to regain the lead in the top of the 2nd inning, the Saints took over for the first time in the bottom of the 3rd inning. Steer launched his 7th dinger at Triple-A (in just 14 games) to knot things up. Then Mark Contreras followed up later with his 8th double to score Cave. Sick of the back and forth, following the Red Wings tying it in the 4th inning, Beckham got separation. His third homer, a grand slam, brought Caleb Hamilton, Steer, and Alex Kirilloff all across the plate. Cole Sturgeon wasn’t satisfied with the breathing room and his 5th inning single made it 9-4 when Contreras scored, before Jose Godoy plated Sturgeon on a single of his own. Still looking to claw back, the former affiliate got a two-run blast in the 7th inning to draw within four. Former Twins utility man Ildemaro Vargas scored on the play. That's where this one ended with the new good guys taking game one. Steer, Beckham, Contreras, and Hamilton all posted two-hit nights. WIND SURGE WISDOM Arkansas 5, Wichita 1 Box Score The Wind Surge turned to Bryan Sammons tonight as their starter. Unfortunately it was a tough outing with Sammons able to work just 2 1/3 innings while allowing four runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out two for Wichita. Arkansas got to Sammons in the 3rd inning and struck for four runs to put up a crooked number. Wichita couldn’t answer, and needed until the 5th inning to get on the board. Recently promoted Anthony Prato drove a single to left field allowing Daniel Ozoria to score. The Travelers got the run back on a 7th inning error by Edouard Julien and Wichita once again found themselves trailing by four. An 8th inning home run by the opposition pushed the deficit to five, and that’s where this one ended. Wichita managed just four hits on the evening. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, South Bend 1 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long was nails tonight for the Cedar Rapids Kernels, and he lowered the season ERA to a sparkling 1.99 with the strong effort. Working six innings, Gipson-Long allowed just a single run on three hits and a walk. He also picked up six punch outs. The lone run against him was a big fly. Cedar Rapids took an early lead on a Wander Javier single in the 2nd inning. After a throwing error by the catcher, Kyle Fedko was able to cross home plate. In the 3rd inning Seth Gray came up and did damage. A line drive to left scored both Christian Encarnacion-Strand and Aaron Sabato, in part thanks to yet another throwing error. The Kernels continued to take advantage of poor play from South Bend as a wild pitch gave Fedko the opportunity to spring home before a balk sent Gray strolling across the plate. When the inning closed, they led by a 5-0 tally. Giving one run back in the 4th inning, Fedko added back to the lead in the 5th inning. His fourth double at High-A drove in Sabato before Pat Winkel crushed his first homer of the year; a solo blast in the 6th inning. Gray was the lone batter to record two-hits on the night for Cedar Rapids, but both Fedko and Sabato drew two walks. Derek Molina and Ryan Shreve were great in relief allowing just one hit and striking out a pair, each, in three innings. MUSSEL MATTERS Daytona 5, Fort Myers 2 Box Score Steven Hajjar went tonight for the Mighty Mussels and put in two innings of perfection before giving way to the bullpen. He punched out two of the six batters he faced and the ERA now sits at 2.04 this season. Daytona got up 2-0 with a home run in the 4th inning, but Fort Myers was able to halve the deficit on Kala’i Rosario’s fifth home, a solo shot in the 5th inning. That’s where the bats went quiet for the Mighty Mussels though. Rosario contribute two hits, but only Noah Miller joined him in reaching base twice. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Pirates 12, FCL Twins 6 Box Score Daniel Robertson got in another rehab game for Triple-A St. Paul today. He was 0-for-4 with a walk and a strikeout. Danny De Andrade recorded a three-hit game with a double, and Alexander Pena had a four-hit day with a triple. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Twins 6, DSL Houston Blue 1 Box Score Bryan Acuna was 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts. He’s still looking for his first professional hit. Pitchers Miguel Olivares and Roger Duran combined to give up just three hits while striking out 10 and walking one. Rafael Cruz and Jesus Peraza both had two hits. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 2-4, 3 R, RBI, HR(7) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-4 #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - Did Not Play #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 2-4, 3 R, RBI, HR(7) #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB, 2 K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-3, BB, 2 K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-3, BB, K #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, R, BB, K #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ St. Paul (7:07PM CST) - RHP Aaron Sanchez Wichita @ Arkansas (6:35PM CST) - RHP Matt Canterino Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates and the two Complex Season affiliates back and playing.
  9. In the past, the beginning of the short-season, rookie leagues was right near the time of the MLB Draft. However, now that the draft has been pushed back to July, Opening Day of the short-season leagues came up in a hurry. On Monday, the Florida Complex League and the Dominican Summer League seasons began. At Twins Daily, we will be providing reports on those teams in our daily Minor League Reports. Below you can see how the two Twins affiliates played on Monday. If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. TRANSACTIONS With no Monday Minor League Report, here are the transactions from later on Sunday and on Monday: RHP Ian Hamilton, RHP Jharel Cotton and OF Mark Contreras back to St. Paul. IF Daniel Robertson began rehab stint with FCL Twins. Twins signed RHP Aaron Sanchez to minor-league deal and assigned him to St. Paul. IF Ernie Yake was placed on the Wichita Injured List. RESULTS Previous Week in Review (5/24-5/30):Mighty Mussels Out-Muscle Marauders Tuesday: Another No-No in Ft. Myers and Stranger Things for St. Paul Wednesday: Offensive Fireworks in Cedar Rapids and Emmanuel Rodriguez is On Fire Thursday: Rodriguez Rakes as Mussels Mount Comeback Friday: Prato Paces the Kernels, Strong Pitching Turned In Saturday: Alerick Soularie Hits For the Cycle! Wind Surge Win in Walk-off! Sunday: Steer, Kirilloff, Hamilton Power Home Run Record for Saints MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT Prospect Retrospective: Jermaine Palacios Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month - May 2022 Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month - May 2022 Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month - May 2022 Reviewing the Jose Berrios Trade SHORT-SEASON RESULTS It was opening day in the short-season leagues on Monday as both the Dominican Summer League Twins and the Florida Complex League Twins played the first game of their seasons. We are going to include these teams in our daily Minor League Reports. FCL Twins 2, FCL Pirates 7 Box Score Starting Pitcher: Develson Aria (3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) Multi-Hit Games: Alexander Pena (2-for-2, R, 2 RBI), Ismael Perez (2-for-3, R, SB) 2B: Alexander Pena (1) HR: Alexander Pena (1) Rehab Players: Daniel Robertson (0-for-2, K) Top Prospects: Danny De Andrade (0-for-4), Fredy Michel (0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K, SB). DSL Twins 5, DSL Rockies 6 Box Score Starting Pitcher: Julio Bonilla (3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) Multi-Hit Games: Anderson Nova (2-for-4, RBI, K), Daniel Pena (2-for-4, R, RBI, K), Javier Roman (2-for-2, HBP) XBH: None. Top Prospects: Bryan Acuna (0-4) WEEK IN REVIEW Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week: 4-2, @ Iowa Season: 24-29 overall, 9th place out of ten teams in the International League West. They are 10 games behind Nashville. After putting up 49 runs in seven games the previous week, the Saints scored 57 runs in six games. Three times the Saints scored more than a dozen runs in a game. The Saints pitching staff gave up 50 runs in seven games the previous week. Last week, they gave up 41 runs in the six games. The Saints hit 18 home runs including a franchise-record seven homers on Sunday afternoon. Seven hitters had an OPS over .960. It was a good week for the Saints, and now they head home to take on the former Twins Triple-A affiliate, the best team in the whole International League. Get your tickets here! Alex Kirilloff was named the Twins Minor League Player of the Week and the International League Hitter of the Week. In four games, he went 8-for-17 and hit .471/.571/1.353 (1.924) with three doubles, four homers, and eight RBI. He walked four times with just three strikeouts. Caleb Hamilton played in three games and went 4-for-8. He hit .500/.667/1.375 (2.042) with a double, two home runs, and six RBI. He also had four walks. Tim Beckham finally made his way to St. Paul. He played in four games and went 8-for-17. He hit .471/.526/.882 (1.408) with a double, two homers, and seven RBI. Spencer Steer was one of two Saints to play in all six games. He went 7-for-30 and hit .233/.303/.700 (1.003) with two doubles, four homers, and 11 RBI. Jake Cave played in five games and went 8-for-22. He hit .364/.440/.682 (1.122) with two doubles, a triple, a homer, and three RBI. Elliot Soto went 4-for-16 in five games. He hit .250/.400/.563 (.963) with two doubles and a home run. He also walked four times. Michael Helman was the second Saint who played in all six games. He went 7-for-26 and hit .269/.367/.462 (.829) with two doubles, a home run and three RBI. The best start for a Saints pitcher last week came from Mario Sanchez. He gave up two runs on five hits over an impressive 7 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out two and deserves bonus points from the whole team and front office for getting through that many innings. Tyler Viza pitched in three games, and finished two of them. He gave up one run on two hits over five innings. He struck out six batters without a walk. Austin Schulfer worked 3 2/3 innings over two appearances. He allowed an unearned run on two hits. He walked two and struck out four batters. What’s Next? #OldFriend ALERT! The Rochester Red Wings, the long-time Twins Triple-A affiliate, will be making their first appearance at CHS FIeld to take on the Saints this week. The 35-19 Red Wings are managed by former Twins C/DH Matthew LeCroy. Pitching Probables (RHP Daniel Gossett, RHP Aaron Sanchez, RHP Ronny Henriquez, TBD, TBD, TBD) Double-A Wichita Wind Surge Week: 4-2, hosting Frisco Season: 30-19 overall, 1st place in the Texas League North Division. They remain just 1 1/2 game ahead of Tulsa (28-20). The Wind Surge continue to win and find different ways to do it. Sometimes they score. Sometimes they pitch. This week, the games were mostly low scoring, but Wichita had another winning week. Over the six games, they outscored Frisco 23-17. The pitching staff was fantastic. They gave up more than three runs only once during the week. Here are some of the top performances for the Wind Surge this past week: Matt Canterino tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked four and struck out four. Steven Cruz and Osiris German each pitched twice and worked 3 1/3 innings. German gave up just one hit and struck out five batters. Cruz gave up two unearned runs and struck out four batters. Kody Funderburk pitched twice, including one start. In six innings, he gave up just one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out six bases. Matt Wallner played in all six games. He went 8-for-22 and hit .364/.417/.545 (.962) with a double and a home run. He stole two bases. Jair Camargo played in three games before going on the IL. He went 3-for-12 (.250) with a double, two homers and five RBI. Likewise, Alex Isola went on the IL after just one game last week. He had a double and a homer, and he walked once. Chris Williams had just three hits and batted .188, but he had a double and two homers. 2021 draft pick Ernie Yake went 3-for-9 (.333) and hit two doubles, including a huge bases-clearing double on Sunday against Frisco. What’s Next? The Wind Surge travel to Arkansas for six games against the Mariners’ affiliate. The Travelers are 27-24 and in third place in the North Division. Pitching Probables (RHP Blayne Enlow, RHP Matt Canterino, RHP Casey Legumina, RHP Louie Varland, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Blayne Enlow) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels Week: 4-2, @ Lansing Season: 33-18 overall, 1st place in the Midwest League West Division, 2.0 games ahead of Wisconsin (31-20). They are 5.0 games ahead of South Bend (28-23). In the first half of the week, the Kernels went 1-2, though their win was by a score of 10-2. They went on to win the final three games of the series and scored eight or more runs in each game. Overall, they outscored the Lugnuts 39-28 and were able to increase their division lead by a game. Several Kernels’ hitters had big weeks. Pitching wasn’t quite as strong, but you just have to see what Sean Mooney did. Alerick Soularie has had a tough start to his 2022 season, but he had a big week last week. In five games, he went 6-for-17 and hit .353/.560/.882 (1.442) with a double, a triple, two homers, and six RBI. He also walked eight times. He hit for the cycle on Saturday. Aaron Sabato was named the Midwest League Hitter of the Week. He played in five games and went 8-for-16. He hit .500/.619/.813 (1.432) with two doubles, a homer, and five RBI. He also walked four times. Christian Encarnacion-Strand played in all six games. He went 8-for-27 and hit .296/.387/.704 (1.091) with five doubles, two homers, and four RBI. Yunior Severino returned to the field from the IL. In four games, he went 6-for-16 and hit .375/.474/.563 (.1.037) with a double and a triple. He also walked three times. Anthony Prato played in three games for the Kernels before being promoted to Wichita. In that time, he went 4-for-15 (.267) and had a double, triple, home run and four RBI. He also stole two bases. Sawyer Gipson-Long had the top start of the week for the Kernels. He gave up one run on three hits with two walks over six innings. He struck out three batters. Sean Mooney was the piggyback arm in one game. He tossed four shutout innings. He did not give up a hit. He walked one and struck out ten batters. Cody Laweryson also worked once out of the bullpen. In 2 2/3 scoreless innings, he gave up one hit, walked two and struck out three batters. What’s Next? The Kernels will travel to South Bend to take on the Cubs. Pitching Probables (RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP John Stankiewicz, RHP David Festa, LHP Brent Headrick, LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Week: 4-2, hosting Tampa Season: 34-16 overall, 1st place in the Florida State League West, 8.0 games ahead of Clearwater (26-24). Ft. Myers was able to increase their lead in the division with a 4-2 week. The Mussel bats outscored the Tarpons 33-17 on the week. It was a terrific week for the pitchers as well, with the team’s second no-hitter of the season on Tuesday. And Emmanuel Rodriguez put together arguably the greatest week of production that I can recall! Emmanuel Rodriguez had a huge week. In five games, he went 7-for-12 and hit .583/.700/1.500 (2.200) with a double, two triples, two homers, and six RBI. He also had seven walks to go with just one strikeout! And he stole a base. No surprise he was named the Florida State League Hitter of the Week. Luis Baez played in five games. He went 4-for-9 and hit .444/.545/.444 (.989) with two walks. He also stole two bases. Kala’i Rosario played in five games and went 6-for-16. He hit .375/.474/.500 (.974) with two doubles and two walks. Mike Paredes was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week. In his start, he tossed six scoreless innings. He gave up no hits, walked two, and struck out five batters. Pierson Ohl made a start and threw three scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and walked two batters. All nine outs he recorded came on strikeouts. Ariel Jurado made his first start, a rehab appearance after having Tommy John surgery. He gave up no runs on one hit. He walked two and struck out four batters. Hunter McMahon pitched two games and three innings. He gave up just one hit, walked two and struck out seven batters. Juan Mendez pitched twice and threw two perfect innings. Five of the six outs came on strikeouts. Matt Swain made two appearances with the Mussels before his late-week promotion to Cedar Rapids. In two innings, he struck out four batters. Travis Adams gave up one run in five innings in his start. He struck out eight batters without issuing a walk. What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels make the long trek to Daytona (19-31) for a six-game series. Pitching Probables (LHP Steve Hajjar, TBD, LHP Jaylen Nowlin (vs Chase Petty), TBD, TBD, TBD) PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week. The Prospect Tracker will be updated on the first of each month throughout the season. Notice that these pages now include stats and splits, as well as past article links, video and more. #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - Did Not Play (Season: 34 G, .313/.405/.534 (.940), 12-2B, 1-3B, 5-HR, 30 R, 14 RBI, 18 BB, 32 K) #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - Did Not Play (.000), 0-2B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (Season: 12 G, .300/.317/.550 (.867), 4-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 6 G, 4-for-23 (.174), 0-2B, 1-3B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K (Season: 46 G, .247/.361/.324 (.685), 7-2B, 2-3B, 1-HR, 34 R, 14 RBI, 23 BB, 28 K, 21 SB, 2 CS) #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - In MLB (Season: 21 G, .256/.295/.442 (.737), 10-2B, 2-HR, 10 R, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 14 K) #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 5 G, 5-for-18 (.278), 1-2B, 2-HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K (Season: 25 G, .202/.237/.405 (.641), 6-2B, 4-HR, 8 R, 11 RBI, 3 BB, 22 K) #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 3.1 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 5 K (Season: 5 GS, 16.1 IP, 21 R, 16 ER, 27 H, 12 BB, 17 K, 0-2, 8.82 ERA, 2.39 WHIP, 6.6 BB/9, 9.4 K/9) #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 2 GS, 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 8 K (Season: 10 GS, 48.0 IP, 17 R, 16 ER, 37 H, 17 BB, 50 K, 2-2, 3.00 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 9.4 K/9) #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 1 GS, 3.2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 4 BB, 4 K (Season: 11 G, 10 GS, 34.1 IP, 8 R, 7 ER, 17 H, 22 BB, 50 K, 0-1, 1.83 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 5.8 BB/9, 13.1 K/9) #7 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - (Season: 35 G, .307/.385/.591 (.976), 13-2B, 1-3B, 8-HR, 27 R, 30 RBI, 14 BB, 23 K) #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 6 G, 7-for-30 (.233), 2-2B, 4-HR, 11 RBI, 2 BB, 8 K (Season: 13 G, .255/.349/.636 (.986), 3-2B, 0-3B, 6-HR, 13 R, 15 RBI, 6 BB, 11 K) #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 5 G, 7-for-12 (.583), 1-2B, 2-3B, 2-HR, 6 RBI, 7 BB, 2 K (Season: 45 G, .280/.495/.568 (1.063), 5-2B, 3-3B, 9-HR, 35 R, 25 RBI, 54 BB, 51 K) #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 6 G, 1-for-22 (.045), 1-2B, 0-3B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K (Season: 45 G, .256/.387/.357 (.744), 7-2B, 2-3B, 2 HR, 33 R, 12 RBI, 34 BB, 51 K) #10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 1 GS, 3.2 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K (Season: 8 G, 7 GS, 32.2 IP, 15 R, 12 ER, 26 H, 12 BB, 35 K, 3-1, 3.31 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 3.3 BB/9, 9.6 K/9) #11 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 4 BB, 6 K (Season: 8 GS, 37.0 IP, 19 R, 17 ER, 30 H, 13 BB, 52 K, 3-4, 3.65 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 12.6 K/9) #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 9 K (Season: 10 G, 9 GS, 52.1 IP, 24 R, 21 ER, 43 H, 24 BB, 62 K, 4-1, 3.61 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 4.1 BB/9, 10.7 K/9) #13 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 5 K (Season: 8 G, 6 GS, 29.0 IP, 26 R, 37 H, 13 BB, 30 K, 0-2, 8.07 ERA, 1.72 WHIP, 4.0 BB/9, 9.3 K/9) #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 1 G, 2.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K (Season: 4 G, 3 GS, 13.1 IP, 10 R, 9 ER, 15 H, 7 BB, 19 K, 0-0, 6.08 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 4.7 BB/9, 12.8 K/9) #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 6 G, 8-for-22 (.364), 1-2B, 1-HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K (Season: 46 G, .273/.387/.527 (.914), 9-2B, 0-3B, 1-HR, 33 R, 39 RBI, 30 BB, 68 K) #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 5 G, 5-for-19 (.263), 0-2B, 1-HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K (Season: 29 G, .269/.417/.398 (.815), 4-2B, 1-3B, 2-HR, 17 R, 11 RBI, 25 BB, 28 K) #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch (Season: 6 G, 5 GS, 18.2 IP, 15 R, 23 H, 6 BB, 21 K, 0-4, 7.23 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 10.1 K/9) #17 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 4.0 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 4 BB, 4 K (Season: 3 G, 1 GS, 8.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 H, 4 BB, 10 K K, 0-1, 7.88 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 4.5 BB/9, 11.3 K/9) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 6 G, 8-for-27 (.296), 5-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K (Season: 49 G, .303/.368/.551 (.919), 13-2B, 3-3B, 10-HR, 33 R, 43 RBI, 19 BB, 55 K) #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K (Season: 1 G, 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K, (Season: 8 GS, 33.1 IP, 10 R, 8 ER, 17 H, 19 BB, 57 K, 2-1, 2.16 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 5.1 BB/9, 15.4 K/9) #20 - David Festa (Ft. Myers) - (Season: 2 G, 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K, (Season: 0-0, 6.75 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 0.0 BB/9, 13.5 K/9) #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 5 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K (Season: 3 G, 1 GS, 13.2 IP, 4 ER, 10 H, 3 BB, 14 K, 3-0, 2.63 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 9.2 K/9) PLAYERS OF THE WEEK Hitter of the Week: Outfielder Emmanuel Rodriguez, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels This is the second consecutive, and third overall player of the week honor for Rodriguez this season. He was the choice for Hitter of the Month in April. He was solid again in May, and he has started June on fire. Two weeks ago, he went 0-for-12 for the week, but he walked 10 times, continuing to show his much-improved strike zone management. In the two weeks since then, he has played in ten games. He had gone 13-for-30 and hit .433/.591/1.000 (1.591) with a double, two triples, four home runs and 11 RBI. He has also walked 13 times and struck out ten times. Rodriguez played in five games last week at Hammond Stadium against Tampa. He went 7-for-12 and hit .583/.700/1.500 (2.200) with a doubles, two triples, two home runs, and six RBI. He also had seven walks to go with just two strikeouts. Those numbers are just crazy! Overall, he has played in 45 games for Ft. Myers in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. He has hit .280/.495/.568 (1.063) with five doubles, three triples, nine home runs, and 25 RBI. He is also 11-for-15 in stolen base attempts, and plays a solid center field. Rodriguez signed with the Twins in July 2019 for $2.5 million out of Santiago. He was unable to make his debut until 2021. Last year, in 37 FCL Twins games, he hit .214/346/.524 (.870) with five doubles, two triples, and 10 home runs. He also stole nine bases. Pitcher of the Week: RHP Mike Paredes, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Mike Paredes was the Twins 18th round draft pick in 2021 out of San Diego State University. He went to college about 10 miles from where he went to high school, San Diego High School where he was a strong two-way player. As a freshman, he worked mostly out of the bullpen and struck out 56 batters in 51 innings. He also went 1-for-2 with an RBI double. He made four starts in the shortened 2020 season. In 2021, he went 4-0. Upon signing, he pitched in two games for the FCL Twins. He gave up one run on one hit and one walk in four innings. He struck out six batters. This season, he began the season in the Ft. Myers bullpen. Gradually he got extended and then did some piggybacking before entering the team’s rotation. He has made four starts now. Overall, he is 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA. In 31 1/3 innings, he has walked just five batters while striking out 31 batters. In his start last week against Tampa, he struck out five batters over six scoreless, hitless innings. He walked two. Hunter McMahon got the final three outs to keep the no-hitter, the Mussels third no-no over the past nine months, and second this season. In his four starts, he has gradually worked more and more. In his first start, he threw three no-hit innings. In his second start, he threw four, one-hit innings. He went five innings in his third start (two runs on three hits). And, six innings of no-hit ball in his fourth start. What is next for the 21-year-old right-hander? Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the players and the teams in the COMMENTS below.
  10. TRANSACTIONS St. Paul Saints RHP Ariel Jurado was assigned to Low-A Fort Myers on Minor League Rehab assignment SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 16, Iowa 7 Box score SP: JC Ramirez - 2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K HR: Spencer Steer 3 HR (6), Alex Kirilloff 2 HR (6), Caleb Hamilton 2 HR (5), Tim Beckham (2) Multi-Hit Games: Steer (3-4, 5 R, 3 HR (6), 5 RBI (15), BB, HBP), Kirilloff (2-5, 2 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI (20), BB, 2 K), Beckham (2-5, 2 R, HR, RBI (7), BB, K), Michael Helman (3-4, 2 R, SB (1), BB, HBP), Hamilton (3-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 5 RBI (19), BB, K) Putting the month of May behind them, the Saints chose a good day to opt for a bullpen game with pitching as the bats, more importantly, Spencer Steer, Alex Kirilloff, and catcher Caleb Hamilton, combined for seven home runs to give the Saints a 3-2 record for June. Steer’s first home run of the afternoon came right away as he worked a 2-2 count and then hammered a lead off home run to left field to make it a 1-0 game. Before the inning was over, Tim Beckham hit his second home run, a solo shot, to extend the lead to 2-0. In the top of the second, Hamilton hit his first home run of the afternoon, a two-run shot that scored Michael Helman and gave the Saints a 4-0 lead. Before the inning was over, Steer recorded his only RBI of the afternoon not from a home run. Steer hit a sacrifice groundout that scored John Andreoli to give the Saints a 5-0 lead. On the mound for the first two innings for the Saints was JC Ramirez. Ramirez was in for his 11th appearance, the second start, for the Saints and gave up three runs on three hits and two walks. Ramirez totaled 34 pitches in his 2 innings of work and left with the Saints still in the lead 5-3. The Saints would not score again until the top of the fourth, when Steer hit his second home run of the afternoon, this time to center field, to extend the lead to 6-3. In the bottom of the fifth, the Cubs would bring themselves within a run of tying the game as they scored two off of Tyler Thornburg, who made his first appearance with the Saints for the 2022 season. The two runs Thornburg allowed went unearned and the game was at a 6-5 score going into the top of the sixth. In the top of the sixth, Hamilton hit his second home run of the day, another solo shot, and later in the inning, Kirilloff hit his first of the afternoon, a two-run homer that scored Steer extending the lead to 9-5 over the Cubs. The final home run of the afternoon for Steer came in the top of the eighth with Elliot Soto on base and put the Saints up 12-6 at the time. The third and final home run of the afternoon for Steer was his first ever three home run game of his professional career. Kirilloff’s final homer was in the top of the ninth as he hit another two-run home run that brought home Steer for his fifth run of the game and put the Saints up 16-6. The Saints will return home for a six game series for their first ever match up against the Twins former Triple AAA affiliate, the Rochester Red Wings. First game of the series is Tuesday night with first pitch scheduled for 7:07 p.m. CT. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, Frisco 3 Box Score SP: Simeon Woods Richardson - 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K HR: Chris Williams (4) Multi-Hit Games: None Wichita completed a six-game homestand with the Frisco RoughRiders Sunday afternoon and pulled away with a series victory in their 5-3 win. Simeon Woods Richardson was on the mound for the Wind Surge Sunday afternoon making his ninth start of the season. The Twins second highest pitching prospect according to Twins Daily recovered from a shortened start against the RoughRiders on Tuesday, a game that ended up being suspended due to inclement weather. Woods Richardson completed five innings for the Wind Surge on Sunday and although he allowed eight base runners on six hits and two walks. Woods Richardson only allowed two runs, both earned, and struck out seven RoughRider batters. Woods Richardson improved his season ERA to an even 3.00 on the season and his strikeout total now stands at 50 in 48 innings. The RoughRiders did get the first two runs of the game in the top of the second and later the top of the third. Being down 2-0 in the bottom of the third, Wichita was able to score their first run thanks to an Anthony Prato sacrifice fly that scored Edouard Julien making it a 2-1 RoughRider lead. The Wind Surge were able to tie the game up in the bottom of the fourth thanks to first baseman Chris Williams fourth home run of the year. With the game still remained tied in the bottom of the sixth at 2-2. Ernie Yake found himself in a 2-2 count with the bases loaded. On the fifth pitch of the at-bat, Yake laced a ball down the right field line for a bases-clearing double that gave the Wind Surge the three runs they needed to complete their 5-3 victory. The Wind Surge begin their next series on the road Tuesday for their second road series against the Arkansas Travelers, the Seattle Mariners Double AA affiliate. First pitch is scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Lansing 3 Box Score SP: Aaron Rozek 4 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K HR: Christian Encarnacion-Strand (10), Will Holland (4), Kennie Taylor (1), Aaron Sabato (7) Multi-Hit Games: Encarnacion-Strand (3-5, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, RBI (43), 2 K), Sabato (3-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI (32), K), Yunior Severino (2-4, R, BB), Jeferson Morales (2-5, 2B, RBI (18), 2 K), Taylor (2-3, R, HR, 2 RBI (3), BB, K) Cedar Rapids completed their road series in Lansing, Michigan with a banger on Sunday, crushing the Lugnuts in a 9-3 victory. Aaron Rozek was on the mound for the Kernels Sunday afternoon making his seventh start of the season. Rozek completed 4 innings for the Kernels but surrendered three runs on two home runs, a two-run home run from Lugnuts right fielder Lawrence Butler and a solo shot by center fielder Austin Beck. Aside from the home runs, Rozek only allowed two additional base runners on a single and a walk and struck out five batters in his 4 innings of work. The bats came swinging for the Kernels all afternoon. Leading the offense for the Kernels was prospect sensation Christian Encarnacion-Strand as he went 3-5 with three extra base hits including his tenth home run of the season at High-A. Kernels first baseman Aaron Sabato had one of his best games of the season at the plate, he was also 3-5 with a home run and three runs batted in. Having his best game of the season so far was Kernels right fiedler Kennie Taylor, who went 2-3 with his first home run of 2022 and drove in two runs. The Kernels victory over the Lugnuts on Sunday gave them a 4-2 series victory over Lansing and improved them to 33-18 overall on the season. The 33-18 record for the Kernels is the best in the Midwest Western division and only second to the Dayton Dragons, the Reds High-A affiliate, who have a 35-15 record on the season. Next series for the Kernels begins on the road against the South Bend Cubs on Tuesday night with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1 Fort Myers 5, Tampa 6 Box Score SP: Ariel Jurado 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Emmanuel Rodriguez (9) Multi-Hit games: Rubel Cespedes (2-4, K) The Mighty Mussels played two on Sunday afternoon as the Mussels had a rescheduled rain out game with the Tampa Tarpons from June 3. The first game featured Ariel Jurado on the mound for his first rehab start with the Mussels. Jurado went 4 innings for the Mussels in game one showing signs of strength in his first game of 2022. Jurado allowed only three base runners off of two walks and one hit and struck out four Tarpon hitters without surrendering any runs. Fort Myers was the first to score in this game as it remained scoreless going into the bottom of the fourth inning. That first run came from an Emmanuel Rodriguez solo home run putting the Mighty Mussels up 1-0. The Mussels came up with three more runs their next time at the plate in the bottom of the fifth inning. The first run came from a Nelson Roberto RBI single that scored Mikey Perez, that was followed up with an RBI triple to center field form Jake Rucker scoring Roberto and making the score 3-0 Mussels. Finally, Noah Miller laced a ground-rule double over the left field fence to score Rucker and give the Mussels a 4-0 lead. In the top of the sixth, the Tarpons began to mount their comeback against the Mussels as the Yankees number three overall prospect, Jasson Dominguez, hit a two-run home run for his sixth of the season making it a 4-2 ballgame. The Tarpons then added two more runs in the top of the seventh inning to tie the game up 4-4 and with the Mussels unable to pick up runs of their own in the bottom of the seventh, the game went to extras. The Tarpons completed their comeback as they scored two more runs in the top of the eighth making it a 6-4 game in their favor. Fort Myers responded with a singular run from a Mikey Perez sacrifice fly, but came up short in game one of the doubleheader losing 6-5. Game 2 Fort Myers 7, Tampa 1 Box Score SP: Pierson Ohl 3 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K HR: None Multi hit Games: Mikey Perez (2-3, R, 2 2B, 3 RBI (26), SB (20)), Luis Baez (2-3, 2 R, SB (6)) Fort Myers recovered in the second game of the doubleheader against the Tampa Tarpons as the bats came out the gate swinging in the bottom of the first. The Mighty Mussels put up five runs in the bottom of the first off of a walk, an error and four hits, the biggest hit coming from Mikey Perez’s RBI double that scored two. Perez wasn’t done performing when he had his second at-bat in the bottom of the second as he had another RBI double that only scored one but gave the Mighty Mussels a 6-0 lead. On the mound for the start for Fort Myers was Pierson Ohl. Ohl was making his eighth start for the Mighty Mussels and even though it was shortened, it was one of his most impressive yet as Ohl recorded all nine of his outs via strikeout while allowing five baserunners. Following an explosive first two innings of runs, the Mighty Mussels only scored one more insurance run in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a Jake Rucker single. Juan Mendez closed out the game in the top of the seventh for the Mussels to give them their 7-1 victory and a split doubleheader. The Mighty Mussels travel to Daytona Beach Tuesday for a six game series against the Reds Low-A affiliate the Daytona Tortugas with first pitch scheduled for 6:05 p.m. CT. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 3-4, 5 R, 3 HR (6), 5 RBI (15), BB, HBP PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, BB #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 2-5, RBI #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 3-4, 5 R, 3 HR (6), 5 RBI (15), BB, HBP #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - Game 1: 1-2, R, HR, RBI, 2 BB Game 2: Did not play #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Game 1: 1-3, 2B, RBI, BB Game 2: 0-4, R #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-2, R, SB (6), 2 BB #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, R, SB (6) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 3-5, 3 R, 2 2B, HR, RBI (43), 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, June 7. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). Rochester @ St. Paul (7:07 PM CST) - TBD Wichita @ Arkansas (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05 PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games
  11. Of course, the big news has to be that the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels, coming home after a 5-1 road trip, got a combined no-hitter on Tuesday night. It is their second no-no of the season, and their third since last September. The Saints roster has been decimated by the Twins injuries and Covid situations (IL spots and upcoming Toronto series) that it has hurt the Saints roster immensely. They get it. Their job is to play players and have them ready when needed, but Tuesday was beyond that. The Saints started four catchers in the game, and ultimately, two of them played positions that they haven’t played before. When one of them was drilled by a line drive in foul territory, the team lost the DH and four pitchers came to the plate. Oh, by the way, the Saints won by 10 runs! Wichita’s game was suspended in the second inning. Cedar Rapids played a morning game in Lansing, and they may wish it had been rained out. But, Anthony Prato just keeps getting the job done. Let’s get to the report. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS With Carlos Correa placed on the Covid-IL, the Twins selected the contract of infielder Jermaine Palacios. RHP Jorge Alcala was set to begin a rehab assignment with the Mighty Mussels on Tuesday, but with a long rain delay, they pushed it back a day. IF/OF Michael Helman was promoted from Wichita to St. Paul Cole Sands was the Twins' 27th man for Tuesday’s doubleheader. He started Game 2 and was returned to the Saints. IF Tim Beckham was activated by the Saints, good news after watching him limp off the field on Sunday. The Twins acquired OF John Andreoli from the Phillies in a trade. Andreoli is a veteran with time in the big leagues with three organizations including the Padres in 2021. He played for the Rochester Red Wings in 2019's second half. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 13, Iowa 3 Box Score Jermaine Palacios was called up to the Twins. Alex Kirilloff, Mark Contreras, and Yennier Cano are traveling with the Twins as part of their ‘taxi squad.’ That put Toby Gardenhire in a tough position while trying to figure out a lineup for Tuesday night in Iowa. As the Saints Twitter pointed out, they started four catchers at various positions. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Caleb Hamilton started at third base. Roy Morales started in left field. David Banuelos started out as the DH but moved to second base. And, Jose Godoy was actually behind the plate. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== Hamilton left the game and the Saints lost their DH. Dereck Rodriguez pinch ran and got one at-bat. JC Ramirez, Tyler Viza, and Austin Schulfer each got an at-bat too. Spencer Steer went 3-for-5 with a walk and two doubles and three RBI. Jake Cave went 3-for-6 with a double and two RBI. More catchers… David Banuelos went 2-for-3 with two walks and a two-run homer, and Jose Godoy added a three run homer. Jordan Balazovic started and was charged with three runs (2 earned) on five hits (including two homers) in 3 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out five batters. JC Ramirez threw 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out three. Tyler Viza, Jharel Cotton, and Ian Hamilton each pitched a scoreless innings to close out the game. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita, Frisco (Suspended in the 2nd inning due to weather) data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== The Wind Surge returned from Corpus Christi to start a series against Frisco. Well, the series started, but in the second inning, the game was suspended by weather. data:image/gif;base64,R0lGODlhAQABAPABAP///wAAACH5BAEKAAAALAAAAAABAAEAAAICRAEAOw== KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 1, Lansing 6 Box Score In the third inning, Anthony Prato hit his seventh home run of the season to give the Kernels the first lead of the game, 1-0. From there on, however, it was all Lugnuts! Cade Povich made the start. He was charged with two runs on three hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out six batters. Derek Molina came on and allowed both of Povich’s runs to score, plus two of his own before getting out of the fifth. He was charged with two runs on three hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings. Tyler Palm worked the final two innings. He gave up two runs on two hits and a walk. The Kernels had just four hits, and the Prato homer was the long extra base hit. The team actually struck out 15 times in the game. Alerick Soularie went 1-for-2 with two walks. Kyler Fedko also walked twice. In his first plate appearance, Aaron Sabato was hit on the arm with a pitch and removed for precautionary reasons. He should return to the line up in the next day or two. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 5, Tampa 0 Box Score If you’re wanting to beat the Yankees… Low-A affiliate, the Tampa Tarpons, the best way to do that might be to not allow any runs. The Mighty Mussels did one better on Tuesday night. They didn’t give up a hit either! After a 2-hour and 16-minute rain delay, it was determined that the teams would play a seven-inning game. Mike Paredes made the start. He went the first six innings. He gave up no runs and no hits. He walked two and struck out five batters. Hunter McMahon pitched the seventh inning and struck out three batters to give the Mussels the second no-hitter of their season already. It is also the third no-hitter for Ft. Myers in less than nine months. Paredes, the team’s 18th round pick in 2021 out of San Diego State started the season in the Mussels bullpen. This was just his fifth start of the season. He hit career-highs in innings (6) and pitches (69). Paredes noted following the game, “I was just mixing pitches pretty well with (Dillon) Tatum behind the dish, putting down the right fingers at the right times and keeping them off balance.” McMahon got the final outs of the Mussels no-hitter earlier this season, and did so again on this night. He walked the first batter he faced, but then followed by striking out the next three batters. And Dillon Tatum has been the catcher in both games, which absolutely needs to be noted. Following the game, the backstop said, “We’ve been trying to get our guys to be aggressive in the zone with all of their stuff. Mike and Hunter both did a really good job of all of that. They have some good pop in the middle of the order. Hats off to them.” Pitching coach and former big-leaguers Carlos Hernandez is the one (along with manager Brian Meyer) who was there for all three no-hitters. After Tuesday’s game, he said, “We are always trying to push guys to attack the strike zone,” pitching coach Carlos Hernandez said. “It’s always fun to watch them do their thing. We are here to guide them, but at the end of the day, it’s them making their own decisions out there.” Paredes wanted to get the seventh inning, but as pitching coach Jared Gaynor said, “At this level, we’re about developing them to become big-league pitchers. It’s not worth pushing their pitch counts for the sake of throwing a no-hitter in Low-A,” He continued, “Our goal is for these guys to move up. We’re always worrying about their workload and where they’re building up. I know it’s tough to take a guy out with a no-hitter at 69 pitches, but with where he’s at at this stage of the season, it was the right time to take him out.” Oh, that’s right, the Mussels used hitters in this game too, and those hitters provided some run support to the tune of five runs. All five runs came in the fifth inning. Jake Rucker started things out with his eighth double which drove in Tatum and Dylan Neuse. Emmanuel Rodriguez followed with his fifth double which drove in Rucker. And Noah Cardenas followed with his fourth double which scored Rodriguez. Cardenas scored later on a wild pitch. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Mike Paredes (Ft. Myers) - 6 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 3-5, BB, 2-2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 K PROSPECT SUMMARY Shhhh… don’t tell anyone… you get a sneak peek… It’s June 1st, so today the Twins Daily Prospect Report is changing today. Check out the Prospect Tracker for much more on the new Twins Top 20 prospects after seeing how they did on Tuesday. Of note, Joe Ryan, Josh Winder and Jhoan Duran - All Top 10 Prospects in May - are no longer deemed “prospects” as they have passed those thresholds. #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-1 (played SS) - Game Suspended in 2nd) #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - Game 2: 0-for-3 #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 3.1 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 4 K (87 pitches, 53 strikes) #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K (24 pitches, 11 strikes - Game Suspended in 2nd) #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 3-5, BB, 2-2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, 1 K (played 2B/SS) #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-1, 2 BB, 2B(6), R, RBI #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, K #11 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 4.1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 6 K (84 pitches, 45 strikes) #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-1 - Game suspended in 2nd) #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-1 - Game suspended in 2nd) #17 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 4 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 4 K (91 pitches, 54 strikes) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Iowa (12:08 PM CST) - RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-2, 3.44 ERA) Frisco @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Blayne Enlow (0-0, 7.59 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Lansing (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (3-2, 2.15 ERA) Tampa @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - LHP Steve Hajjar (2-1, 2.17 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  12. Previous 2022 Hitters of the Month - April: Christian Encarnacion-Strand We’ll take a look at the top five hitters of the month, but before diving into it, let’s start with an honorable mention. Honorable Mention - Will Holland - Cedar Rapids Kernels 19-71, .268/.350/.507 (.857), two doubles, three triples, and three home runs Holland was a 5th round pick from Auburn by the Twins during the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. This has been one of his better months as a professional, and he now has an .800 OPS for Cedar Rapids.. It would be good for Holland to parlay a hot start into an eventual promotion to Double-A Wichita. Top Five Hitters Number 5 - Wichita Wind Surge - C Alex Isola - 22-68, .324/.425/.500 (.925), three doubles, three home runs Isola was a late-round selection in 2019, grabbed by Minnesota in the 29th round. Making his Double-A debut after a solid 2021 playing at High-A Cedar Rapids, Isola got hot in May. He’s never been a high batting average guy, but the .297 batting average this season is more than nice to see. Isola has a good amount of power and strong plate discipline. With Minnesota needing catching depth at the highest levels, his emergence early this season could afford more opportunity as the season rolls on. Number 4 - Fort Myers Miracle - SS Noah Miller - 30-87, .345/.457/.517 (1.006), five doubles, two triples, two home runs A first-round pick for the Twins last season, Miller looks the part of a true shortstop. He’s held down the position well thus far during his professional career, and his bat broke out in a big way during May. Speed is part of Miller’s game and that was evidenced by the pair of triples. He’s probably not going to hit a ton of homers, but he draws a lot of walks and already has 13 stolen bases in 15 attempts this season. Number 3 - Fort Myers Miracle - INF Mikey Perez - 21-82, .256/.361/.524 (.885), seven doubles, five home runs Minnesota grabbed Perez in the 15th round of last year’s draft out of UCLA. His pro debut was a good one, but it consisted of just 10 games last season. After a slow start in April, Perez turned it on in a big way last month. The 12 extra-base hits in just 23 games are impressive, and for a guy that never really hit for power in college, a month with five home runs is a development the Twins have to be excited about. Number 2 - Wichita Wind Surge - OF Matt Wallner - 25-84, .298/.422/.595 (1.017) seven doubles, six home runs Wallner was a first-round pick for the Twins in 2019 after he had been a 32nd-round selection out of high school (as a pitcher) three years prior. Spending three years at Southern Mississippi was the smart route for him. He improved his stock immensely, and Wallner has flashed big tools. He’s got one of the best arms in the system and hits for some of the most power. There’s always been a considerable amount of swing-and-miss in his game, but Wallner is now showing a stronger sense of plate discipline as well. He’ll have plenty of months where he hits lots of dingers. If he has a June that looks like his May, he could push a ticket to St. Paul. And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is: Wichita Wind Surge/St. Paul Saints - INF Spencer Steer - 28-90, .311/.388/.678 (1.066), six doubles, nine home runs At one point it, could’ve been argued that Steer was among the most underrated prospects in the Twins system, but I think we’ve blitzed by that point. He was rewarded with a promotion to Triple-A St. Paul recently and has continued to crush the ball there. Steer was a third-round pick in 2019 and has hit at every stop of the farm. The 24 dingers last season showed the work he put in while minor league baseball was canceled in 2020. He’s already got ten homers this season and two of them have come in his week with the Saints. Steer has an exceptional approach at the plate and is a well-balanced hitter. He has quickly become someone that the Twins can look at as a future fixture in their lineup. The Twins current middle infield is a bit crowded with superstars and top prospects, but at some of the most impactful positions on the diamond, that’s a great problem to have. Steer will be tested plenty at Triple-A, but being 24-years-old, he could factor in as part of the next wave. Minnesota has to be impressed with the career trajectory thus far, and a strong May has made 2022 an exciting start. We’d like to congratulate Spencer Steer, Twins Daily’s choice for Minor League Hitter of the Month for May 2022. Feel free to share your thoughts and ask questions below.
  13. All teams sign minor-league veterans each offseason, hoping they help the Triple-A team, but knowing more of them than they would have guessed will have to come up to the big leagues. The Twins are currently in a position to have to do that again this week with all the injuries, Covid, and a trip to Canada creating issues. On the positive side of that, we get stories like Jermaine Palacios who signed with the Twins way back in 2013. He made himself into a quality prospect and was traded to the Rays before the 2018 season in the Jake Odorizzi deal. He became a minor-league free agent after the 2020 season. Despite offers from other organizations, Palacios returned to the Twins. He spent 2021 in Wichita. He has been solid in a utility role in St. Paul this year. And on Tuesday, he is making his MLB debut at shortstop for the Twins in Detroit. What a story! If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. TRANSACTIONS With no Monday Minor League Report, here are the transactions from later on Sunday and on Monday. Royce Lewis was placed on the IL. Jose Miranda was recalled from St. Paul. LHP Denny Bentley and C Jair Camargo were promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. OF Kennie Taylor was sent back to the Kernels. Cole Sands is the 27th man for the Twins today. Jermaine Palacios called up to the Twins. The Twins have signed John Andreoli and assigned him to the Saints. With Alex Kirilloff and Mark Contreras with the Twins on the taxi squad, the Saints need outfield help. Andreoli has MLB time with the Orioles and Mariners in 2018 and with the Padres in 2021. He was recently released by the Phillies organization. You may recall, the UConn alum played for the Rochester Red Wings in 2019. Michael Helman was also promoted from Wichita to St. Paul RESULTS Previous Week in Review (5/17-5/23):Steer Navigates Wichita, Sent to Saints Tuesday: Offenses Explode in Series Openers Wednesday: Cavaco Carries Mussels to Big Win Thursday: Stars Shine in St. Paul, Schmidt Goes Off in Florida Friday: Saints Walk it Off Saturday: Tons of Offense Sunday: Saints Walk Off, Wind Surge Split Series in Corpus Christi MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT Spencer Steer Closing in on the Twins Twins Prospects Being Slept On One Twins Pitching Prospect on the Rise All Arms on Deck: Should the Twins Accelerate Matt Canterino? Royce Lewis vs. Alex Kirilloff: Who’s Next in Line? Royce Lewis is Grateful to be Playing Again Everyday After Missing Two Seasons Royce Lewis Suffers a Bone Bruise in his Knee Schulfer Finally Promoted to St. Paul WEEK IN REVIEW Triple-A: St. Paul Saints Week: 4-3, hosting Indianapolis Season: 20-27 overall, 9th place out of ten teams in the International League West. They are 12 1/2 games behind Nashville. It was a rough couple of weeks on the road for the Saints. They came into last week having lost 11 games on their 12-game road trip. They returned to CHS Field for a seven-game series against the Pirates Triple-A affiliate. They actually lost the first two games of the series. But they won the second game of Wednesday’s doubleheader and then their next two as well. A winning week is a good thing and hopefully can propel them going forward. The challenge is the big-league club has been decimated by injuries, Covid, and a trip to Canada this weekend which tears up the Saints’ roster. The Saints’ bats put up 49 runs in the seven games. The pitchers gave up 50 runs. Spencer Steer made a strong first impression in his first week in Triple-A. He played all seven games and went 7-for-25, hitting .280/.400/.550 (.950) with a double and two home runs. He walked four times (even once intentionally), and struck out just three times. Jermaine Palacios played in six games. He went 8-for-23 and hit .348/.400/.609 (1.009) with three doubles, a homer, and seven RBI. He walked twice and stole a base. Jake Cave played in six games. He went 8-for-27 and hit .296/.296/.630 (.926) with a double, a triple, two home runs, and eight RBI. He ended the week by providing a walk-off hit for the Saints. Ian Hamilton pitched in three games. He tossed 3 1/3 scoreless innings and gave up just one hit. He hit one batter, walked none and struck out three batters. Jordan Gore worked 3 2/3 scoreless innings over three appearances. He gave up three hits and walked three batters, but was able to work out of it. Mario Sanchez gave up one run on four hits in six innings during his start last week. He struck out five batters without a walk. Cole Sands came off the IL last Tuesday and tossed three scoreless, one-hit innings. He was scheduled to start again on Sunday, but he was pulled from that start so that he can start Game 2 for the Twins in their doubleheader on Tuesday in Detroit. What’s Next? The Saints head down to Des Moines to take on the Iowa Cubs (23-24). Pitching Probables (RHP Jordan Balazovic, RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez, RHP Mario Sanchez, RHP Ronny Henriquez, RHP Dereck Rodriguez, TBD) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge Week: 3-3, at Corpus Christi Season: 26-17 overall, 2nd place in the Texas League North Division. They remain just 1/2 game behind Tulsa (27-17). The Wind Surge made the long trek south to Corpus Christi and split the six-game series. Wichita scored 44 runs in the six games and gave up 42 runs. Two of their losses came in one-run games while just one of their wins did. They also had a two-run win. Here are some of the top performances for the Wind Surge this past week: Evan Sisk provided some great work out of the bullpen. Over three appearances, he threw five scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out seven batters. He had a Win and two Holds. Austin Schulfer made two more appearances for the Wind Surge. He gave up two hits over 2 1/3 scoreless innings before being promoted to St. Paul finally. But not before posting a 0.39 ERA for Wichita this season. Matt Canterino’s start this past week was a bit of a microcosm of his season to this point. He showed dominant stuff, striking out six batters over 2 1/3 innings. He gave up only an unearned run. He is wisely being limited with pitches and up-downs. This week, he fought his control with four walks. Kody Funderburk worked 4 2/3 innings out of the bullpen. He gave up one run on two hits. He walked two and struck out three batters. Chris Williams ended the week on a 12-game hitting streak. In four games last week, the catcher went 5-for-15 and hit .333/.444/.857 (1.311) with two doubles, two homers, and six RBI. He added three walks. Another week, another Matt Wallner sighting. The Forest Lake alum played in all six games. He went 7-for-22 and hit .318/.464/.773 (1.237 with a double, three home runs, and nine RBI. He also walked five times and had a stolen base for good measure. Leobaldo Cabrera played all six games. He went 6-for-23 and hit .261/.346/.522 (.868) with two homers and nine RBI. What’s Next? The Wind Surge return home for six games against Frisco. . . Pitching Probables (RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Blayne Enlow, RHP Matt Canterino, RHP Casey Legumina, RHP Louie Varland, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels Week: 3-3, hosting Wisconsin Season: 29-16 overall, 1st place in the Midwest League West Division, 1.0 games ahead of Wisconsin (28-17). They are two games ahead of South Bend (27-18) It was a highly competitive week of games between the top two teams in the division. The two teams split the six-game series. Only one of the games was decided by less than four runs. The Kernels had wins of 13-2 and 9-0 among the first three games. Cedar Rapids would win a game and take a two-game division lead, but the Rattlers followed with a win to bring it back to a one-game difference. The Kernels outscored Wisconsin 38-23. He is playing all over the diamond, but that is certainly not hurting Anthony Prato at the plate. In six games last week, he went 10-for-25 and hit .400/.483/.720 (1.203) with a double, two triples, and a home run. The table-setter at the top of the order walked four times and scored nine runs in the six-game series. Aaron Sabato brought back a bit of a leg kick and closed his stance a little, and the results were positive last week. In six games, he went 8-for-25 and hit .320/.393/.640 (1.033) with two doubles, two homers and eight RBI. Will Holland has had a very solid May. In five games last week, he went 6-for-18 and hit .333/.429/.500 (.929) with a double, a triple, and three RBI. He also went 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts. Aaron Rozek got the Kernels off to a good start for the week. The lefty tossed five shutout innings in his start. He gave up three hits, walked three and struck out two batters. Sawyer Gipson-Long had a strong start on Thursday. He gave up just two hits over six scoreless innings. While he walked four, he also struck out seven batters. David Festa pitched four innings, piggybacking after Brent Headrick, on Saturday. He gave up just one run on a solo homer. Seven Kernels relievers pitched without allowing a run. Miguel Rodriguez and Andrew Cabezas tossed three scoreless, hitless innings. Bradley Hanner, Derek Molina, and Ryan Shreve each tossed two scoreless innings. What’s Next? The Kernels will travel to Lansing for six games this week. . Pitching Probables (LHP Cade Povich, RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP John Stankiewicz, RHPDavid Festa, LHP Brent Headrick, RHP Sean Mooney/LHP Aaron Rozek) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Week: 5-1, @ Bradenton Season: 30-14 overall, 1st place in the Florida State League West, 7.0 games ahead of Clearwater (23-21). Ft. Myers certainly flexed their Mussels last week on the road in Bradenton. They won the first five games of the series before a 4-2 loss on Sunday. They outscored the Marauders 45-15 during the week with their five wins being by an average of more than six runs. They scored nine or more runs four times, and there were some impressive performances from the hitters, and the pitchers too. For the second straight week, 2021 second-round pick Steve Hajjar did not allow a run. He gave up two hits and walked a batter over 5 2/3 scoreless innings. He had one walk and ten strikeouts. Pierson Ohl has improved each time he’s pitched this season. Last week, he gave up only one hit over five shutout innings. He walked one and struck out seven batters. Marco Raya gave up two runs (1 earned) over five innings. He walked one and struck out seven. Mike Paredes gave up two runs on three hits in five innings. He struck out seven batters without issuing a walk. Seven Mussels relievers did not allow an earned run last week. Matt Mullenbach returned to the roster. He gave up only an unearned run over four innings in two outings. Kyle Schmidt continues to do a nice job with the young, talented pitching staff, and he’s provided some pop every now and then too. In three games last week, he went 4-for-12 (.333) with a double, two homers and five RBI. Emmanuel Rodriguez played in five games. He went 6-for-18 and hit .333/.500/.667 (1.167) with two home runs and five RBI. He also walked six times. Keoni Cavaco had another strong week. The 20-year-old played in all six games. He went 8-for-24 and hit .333/.407/.625 (1.032) with two doubles, a triple, a homer, and seven RBI. Noah Miller played in five games. He went 6-for-20 and hit .400/.478/.600 (.978) with two doubles. He walked three times, and he stole three more bases. Kala’i Rosario went 6-for-19 and hit .316/.381/.579 (.960) with two doubles, a homer and five RBI. What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels will return home to take on Tampa. Never too early to start beating the Yankees! Pitching Probables (RHP Mike Paredes, LHP Steve Hajjar, RHP Marco Raya, LHP Jaylen Nowlin,, RHP Travis Adams, RHP Pierson Ohl) PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week. The Prospect Tracker will be updated on the first of each month throughout the season. #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 6 G, 8-for-28 (.286), 0-2B, 1-HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 7 K (Season: 34 G, .313/.405/.534 (.940), 12-2B, 1-3B, 5-HR, 30 R, 14 RBI, 18 BB, 32 K) #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1 G, 0-for-1 (.000), 0-2B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (Season: 12 G, .300/.317/.550 (.867), 4-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 5 G, 6-for-23 (.261), 1-2B, 0-3B, 0-HR, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K (Season: 40 G, .258/.377/.333 (.710), 7-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 31 R, 14 RBI, 22 BB, 25 K, 20 SB, 2 CS) #3 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Covid IL (Season: 8 GS, 43.1 IP, 11 R, 29 H, 14 BB, 42 K, 5-2, 2.28 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 8.7 K/9) #4 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - In MLB (Season: 21 G, .256/.295/.442 (.737), 10-2B, 2-HR, 10 R, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 14 K) #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - Week: 4 G, 6-for-11 (.545), 2-2B, 1-HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (Season: 20 G, .183/.216/.338 (.554), 5-2B, 2-HR, 5 R, 7 RBI, 2 BB, 14 K) #5 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 3.1 IP, 5 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 3 K (Season: 4 GS, 13.0 IP, 18 R, 14 ER, 22 H, 8 BB, 12 K, 0-2, 9.69 ERA, 2.31 WHIP, 5.5 BB/9, 8.3 K/9) #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1 GS, 4.0 IP, 4 ER, 6 H, 4 BB, 6 K (Season: 8 GS, 41.2 IP, 15 R, 14 ER, 29 H, 14 BB, 42 K, 2-2, 3.02 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, 9.1 K/9) #7 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - Covid IL (Season: 7 G, 3 GS, 29.1 IP, 14 R, 12 ER, 27 H, 9 BB, 23 K, 2-2, 3.68 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 7.1 K/9) #8 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 G, 2.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 1 K (Season: 17 G, 22.1 IP, 6 R, 14 H, 4 BB, 32 K, 0-1, 4 Saves, 2.42 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 1.6 BB/9, 12.9 K/9) #9 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 1 GS, 2.1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 H, 4 BB, 6 K (Season: 10 G, 9 GS, 30.2 IP, 8 R, 7 ER, 14 H, 18 BB, 46 K, 0-1, 2.05 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 5.3 BB/9, 13.5 K/9) #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 5 G, 6-for-18 (.333), 0-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 5 RBI, 6 BB, 8 K (Season: 40 G, .250/.471/.475 (.946), 4-2B, 1-3B, 7-HR, 30 R, 19 RBI, 47 BB, 49 K) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 5 G, 8-for-20 (.400), 2-2B, 0-3B, 0-HR, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 5 K (Season: 39 G, .288/.419/.397 (.816), 6-2B, 2-3B, 2 HR, 31 R, 11 RBI, 31 BB, 44 K) #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 2 GS, 9.2 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 9 BB, 10 K (Season: 9 G, 8 GS, 47.1 IP, 22 R, 19 ER, 38 H, 22 BB, 53 K, 4-1, 3.61 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 4.2 BB/9, 10.1 K/9) #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 3.0 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 BB, 3 K (Season: 6 G, 5 GS, 18.2 IP, 15 R, 23 H, 6 BB, 21 K, 0-4, 7.23 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 10.1 K/9) #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - (Season: 2 G, 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 0-0, 6.75 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 0.0 BB/9, 13.5 K/9) #14 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 4.2 IP, 5 ER, 7 H, 1 BB, 8 K (Season: 7 G, 5 GS, 24.2 IP, 21 R, 27 H, 12 BB, 25 K, 0-2, 7.66 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 4.4 BB/9, 9.1 K/9) #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 2 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (Season: 7 G, 6 GS, 29.0 IP, 11 R, 8 ER, 23 H, 9 BB, 31 K, 3-1, 2.48 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 9.6 K/9) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - (Season: 35 G, .307/.385/.558 (.976), 13-2B, 1-3B, 8-HR, 27 R, 30 RBI, 14 BB, 23 K) #16 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 7 G, 7-for-25 (.280), 1-2B, 2-HR, 4 RBI, 4 BB, 3 K (Season: 7 G, .280/.400/.560 (.960), 1-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 5 R, 4 RBI, 14 BB, 23 K) #17 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 3 R, 3 H, 2 BB, 9 K (Season: 7 GS, 32.2 IP, 17 R, 13 ER, 27 H, 9 BB, 46 K, 3-3, 3.58 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 12.9 K/9) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 6 G, 5-for-24 (.208), 0-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K (Season: 43 G, .304/.365/.526 (.891), 8-2B, 3-3B, 8-HR, 26 R, 39 RBI, 16 BB, 48 K) #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1 G, 0-for-1 (.000), 0-2B, 0-HR, 0 BB, 0 K (Season: 24 G, .270/.434/.392 (.826), 4-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 14 R, 10 RBI, 23 BB, 21 K) #20 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 1 GS, 3.0 IP, 5 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 3 K (Season: 3 GS, 10.2 IP, 10 R, 9 ER, 13 H, 4 BB, 15 K, 0-0, 7.59 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 5.4 BB/9, 5.4 K/9) PLAYERS OF THE WEEK Hitter of the Week: Outfielder Emmanuel Rodriguez, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels This is the second player of the week honor for Rodriguez. He was the choice for Hitter of the Month in April, and he’s been solid again in May. A week ago he went 0-for-12 for the week, but he walked 10 times, continuing to show a much better strike zone management. And, the Florida State Leagues is typically not beneficial for hitters, but he has performed and shown his immense power. Rodriguez played in five games last week in Bradenton. He went 6-for-18 and hit .333/.500/.667 (1.167) for the week. In 40 games this season, he is hitting .250/.471/.475 (.946) with four doubles, a triple, and seven home runs. He has 49 strikeouts, but he also has 47 walks. And for good measure, he’s got ten stole bases. Rodriguez signed with the Twins in July 2019 for $2.5 million out of Santiago. He was unable to make his debut until 2021. Last year, in 37 FCL Twins games, he hit .214/346/.524 (.870) with five doubles, two triples, and 10 home runs. He also stole nine bases. Pitcher of the Week: RHP Pierson Ohl, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Pierson Ohl was the Twins 14th round draft pick in 2021 out of Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. He had gone to a small high school in Simi Valley, California, and decided to join his brother Carson in college. As a junior last year, he went 10-2 with a 2.60 ERA over 16 games (15 starts). He had 103 strikeouts to go with just 12 walks in 100 1/3 innings. After signing, he pitched in one game in the FCL. He made his full-season debut in 2022 on the Mighty Mussels Opening Day roster. He has experienced ups and downs already. Twice In three of his seven starts, he has given up four or five runs. In his four other starts, he’s given up one run or less. Last Tuesday, he had the best start of the season. He tossed five scoreless innings. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out seven batters. Overall, Ohl is 2-2 with a 5.33 ERA. In 27 innings, he has walked just six and struck out 25 batters. Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the players and the teams in the COMMENTS below.
  14. Transactions: RHP Ben Gross placed on Injured List by Wichita SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 8, Indianapolis 1 Box Score St. Paul gave the ball to Mario Sanchez tonight and he was great. Working six innings, Sanchez allowed just one run on four hits while striking out five and walking none. Even without the offensive explosion, he’d have kept the good guys in it. Getting behind 1-0 on some poor throwing in the 1st inning, St. Paul charged back in the 4th inning. Alex Kirilloff flashed some much-needed power with a two-run homer to right-center that also brought in Royce Lewis. Tonight was Lewis' second game at the hot corner for St. Paul and he quickly saw the opportunity for a web gem. In the 5th inning the Saints continued to add and did so in a big way. First Lewis drove in Derek Fisher with a single. Then Kirilloff singled to right scoring Lewis, and Spencer Steer followed with his first Triple-A home run, a two-run blast plating Kirilloff. The Saints weren’t satisfied with their lead and Jose Godoy drove in a run with Jermaine Palacios scoring on his ground out in the 6th inning before Mark Contreras drove in Kirilloff with a single of his own. Now up by seven runs, St. Paul had seen plenty of production from their 10 hits tonight. Lewis, Kirilloff, and Steer all had multi-hit games tonight for St. Paul. WIND SURGE WISDOM Corpus Christi 9, Wichita 5 Box Score Twins pitching prospect Blayne Enlow was making his third start since returning from Tommy John surgery tonight. It was a rough one as he allowed five runs on five hits in just three innings. Although Enlow struck out three batters, he walked four and his season ERA is up to 7.59. Wichita jumped out to an early lead with Chris Williams launching a three-run blast in the top of the 1st inning. It was his second dinger of the year. Corpus Christi immediately answered with two of their own in the bottom half. Matt Wallner, who’s been going very well at the plate of late, launched his 9th home run in the 3rd inning. With Austin Martin on base, Wallner’s homer was a two-run blast and erased the two earlier Corpus Christi runs. Although Martin is going through it offensively, he did swipe his 19th base of the season tonight. Unfortunately that’s where the momentum shifted as the home team grabbed three runs in the bottom half of the third inning and then a two-run homer in the 5th inning put them on top for their first lead of the game. In the 7th inning Corpus Christi pushed across two more and the Wind Surge were looking at a four-run deficit. Scoring four runs on five hits was nice, but that wasn’t going to get it done for Wichita this evening. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Wisconsin 0 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long worked six innings tonight for the Kernels and he was sharp. Allowing no runs on just two hits, Gipson-Long worked around four walks and punched out seven. His season ERA drops to 2.15 with this performance. Neither team jumped out to an early lead, but Cedar Rapids was able to break the zeroes in the 5th inning. Recently promoted Kyler Fedko reached on a fielder’s choice with Jair Camargo scoring on a throwing error. Wander Javier then roped his 6th double of the season to score Seth Gray and Fedko before an Alerick Soularie ground out brought Javier home. Things again got quiet until the 7th inning when Aaron Sabato stepped in and grounded a single to center, scoring Anthony Prato. Cedar Rapids had a five-run lead and with Wisconsin generating just two hits on the night that seemed like plenty of breathing room. Still not content, the Kernels went back to work in the 8th inning. A Will Holland single plated Fedko again before a Prato single scored Alerick Soularie. Christian Encarnacion-Strand made his presence felt hustling down the line and giving Holland a chance to score on an errant throw. Then with two on, Sabato came through again and his 5th double of the season drove in Prato. Adding four more runs in, this one was over before Wisconsin would even get their last raps. Despite the run production, Prato was the only Cedar Rapids batter with a multi-hit effort on the evening. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 8, Bradenton 0 Box Score Fort Myers turned to prospect Steven Hajjar tonight and he was nothing short of exceptional. Working 5 2/3 innings, Hajjar allowed just two hits and a walk. He punched out a whopping ten hitters and lowered his ERA to 2.17 on the season. Jumping on the board early, Fort Myers tallied their first run when Noah Cardenas put a ball in play to score Mikey Perez. Cardenas was doubled up on the grounder so no RBI was recorded, but it started the cascade in the run column. The 5th inning was highlighted in a big way when Kyle Schmidt went out deep to centerfield for a grand slam. Cardenas, Kala’i Rosario, and Dylan Neuse all touched home plate with him on the big fly. Two more came across in the 7th inning when a botched play at shortstop allowed both Emmanuel Rodriguez and Cardenas to scamper home. Rosario made sure the Mighty Mussels weren’t done when he pushed Keoni Cavaco across the plate on a force out. Following up his earlier grand slam, Schmidt added a solo shot in the 9th inning to push the lead back to seven. Giving up two runs to Bradenton in the bottom of the 8th inning, the six-run deficit was as close as they’d get. Tonight’s run production was a team effort as the lone batter for Fort Myers with two hits was Schmidt. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day – Kyle Schmidt (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR(4) Pitcher of the Day – Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 5.2 IP 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, R, BB, K #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-5, 2 R, RBI #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 2-4, R, 2B #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Covid-IL #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, 2 K #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 1-2, RBI #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-3, R, 2 RBI, BB, HR(9) #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, 3 K #16 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 3.0 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 4 BB, 3 K #18 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR(1) #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - IL #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 5.2 IP 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 10 K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Indianapolis @ St. Paul (7:07PM CST) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez Wichita @ Corpus Christi (7:05PM CST) - RHP Matt Canterino Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:300PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.
  15. Although the Twins have seen their farm system ranked among the lower half from most publications, that’s not to say there isn’t a significant amount of talent in the organization. The top of Minnesota’s prospect list may be a bit light after the first few names, but it seems the depth and opportunity for middle-tier names to produce could be immense. Looking at each of the four full-season minor league affiliates, here’s a name to watch throughout the rest of the summer. St. Paul Saints - Caleb Hamilton C/3B I liked Kevin Merrill in this spot originally given his previous draft position as a first-rounder, and the potential he could wind up being the depth Minnesota sought in Tim Beckham or Daniel Robertson. That said, he was sent back to Double-A despite a decent start so he'll need to work his way back up. With the Twins needing catching depth behind their big-league starters, it's nice to see Caleb Hamilton having somewhat of a breakout year. A 23rd-round pick back in 2016 out of Oregon State, Hamilton has just a .672 OPS over the course of his professional career. He did make a quick Triple-A cameo back in 2019 with Rochester, but he's found a home at St. Paul this season. It's a small sample size, but the .279 batting average over 20 games is easily a career-high. He doesn't have a ton of pop, but the .405 OBP is indicative of the best plate discipline he's shown over the course of his career. Splitting time at catcher and third base, his 44% caught stealing rate is something to note. Minnesota doesn't put a ton of emphasis on throwing out runners, but if Hamilton can control them and continue to hit, he may find his way onto the 40-man in a pinch. Wichita Wind Surge - Andrew Bechtold C/3B Before a rewrite, Spencer Steer was featured in this space. The infielder isn't generally considered at the top of the Twins prospect lists, but he recently received a promotion to Triple-A St. Paul and it's hardly unearned as he's been great. I'd like to think people know who Matt Wallner is, and are still checking on Austin Martin even with the slow start. Blayne Enlow is back from Tommy John and hoping to settle in, and Edouard Julien should be a well-known name. It came down to two 26-year-olds, Michael Helman and Andrew Bechtold, with the latter being chosen. Bechtold was selected in the 5th round of the 2017 draft. He was drafted as a third baseman but has begun to move behind the plate this season. Minnesota sent him to the Arizona Fall League last year, and he's come out strong to start 2022. His 18 homers were a career-best in 2021, and he appears poised to best that this season. Previously a big strikeout guy, he's also reigned in the plate discipline and is providing strong on-base numbers despite a lower average. The Twins catching depth is pretty minimal on the farm, but the position change could lead to Bechtold being a late bloomer. Cedar Rapids Kernels - David Festa RHP If you’ve followed the Twins Daily Minor League Report at all then the obvious name here is Christian Encarnacion-Strand. He was on the edge of the top 30 prospect lists coming into the season, but would be ranked substantially different at this point. He’s destroyed High-A pitching and probably needs a new challenge soon. Aaron Sabato is the former first-round pick, and Wander Javier used to have some steam. Instead, this is the first pitcher noted. David Festa doesn’t have a long list of career accomplishments, but he’s definitely starting to turn heads. Festa was a 13th round pick back in 2021 and has just 37 professional innings under his belt. After opening at Single-A Fort Myers to start 2022, he earned a quick promotion following five dominant starts. His Cedar Rapids debut came with six strikeouts and no walks, which really highlights much of the promise. To date in 2022, Festa owns a 1.57 ERA and a 39/6 K/BB across 28 2/3 innings. Having just turned 22-years-old, he’s going to be on the higher end of ages in the Midwest League soon, but he could push for time at Double-A Wichita before the year is over. The developmental arc for Festa is one worth monitoring, and this is the type of arm working out that makes organizations smile. Fort Myers - Emmanuel Rodriguez OF This might be cheating because some prospect lists had Rodriguez in or near the top 10 for Minnesota. While Keoni Cavaco and Noah Miller are the former high-round picks, and Steven Hajjar has looked the part, it’s Rodriguez who has been an enticing player since signing as an international free agent. At 18-years-old in the FCL last season Rodriguez posted an .870 OPS. He didn’t hit for average but drew walks and had plenty of pop. 10 homers as a teenager is always going to turn heads, and he hasn’t stopped doing that this season. Now playing in the full season Florida State League, Rodriguez owns a .907 OPS and has a whopping .466 OBP. His plate discipline is impressive and his ability to do damage makes him a constant threat at that plate. If this type of production continues throughout a full season, I’d be far from shocked to see him make massive moves on prospect lists prior to the 2023 season. Who are you most interested in hearing about outside of the top Twins prospects? Has there been a name that has impressed you the most in 2022?
  16. Collegiate powerhouse Oregon featured Steer primarily at shortstop in his junior year, although he played at the hot corner some. In his final college season, he posted a .958 OPS with six homers across 56 games. He was drafted as a solid defender with a good bat that had the ceiling of a solid regular at the highest level. It was hard to be unimpressed by Steer in his professional debut. Across 64 games the infield posted an .809 OPS and made quick work of the Appalachian League before earning a promotion to Cedar Rapids. Shelved, like everyone else in 2020, Steer opened last season as a 23-year-old a bit above the average at the Single-A level. His .915 OPS there showed he was ready for more, and the Twins gave him 65 games at Double-A Wichita in the inaugural season for the new affiliate. Again getting close to the higher end of the average age at Double-A, Steer made quick work of another level. In 35 games this season he posted a .976 OPS and clubbed eight home runs. He often played up the middle with top prospect Austin Martin, and the two combined to play strong defense for the Wind Surge. Maybe most surprisingly for Steer’s game has been the development of power. He hit just 12 long balls in 163 college games and then had just four in his first 64 professional games. When coming back from the Covid shutdown, Steer flashed his hard work. 24 dingers split between Cedar Rapids and Wichita last season was six times his previous career-high. Already with eight this season, it doesn’t appear the power surge was a fluke. The Twins have used Steer all over the infield as a minor leaguer. He’s probably best cast at second or third base, but he’s adequate at shortstop too. Playing alongside another top prospect in St. Paul, Royce Lewis and Steer can certainly feed off of each other as was the case with the situation down in Kansas. It’s probably lofty to suggest that Steer has the pedigree to be a perennial All-Star or something of that sort, but there’s no denying he’s looked the part of a Major League regular at each stop throughout the system. Obviously, the Twins have a current answer at shortstop, and Lewis appears tabbed for the future. Gio Urshela doesn’t look like a mainstay, and while Jorge Polanco is penciled in at second, he’s always going to need days off. Having a depth piece like Steer is some nice found money in the prospect world. I don’t know that Steer has a calling card of sorts yet. Luis Arraez plays all over the place and has a bat that simply doesn’t slump. His plate discipline is unmatched and it makes him one of the toughest outs in the game. Nick Gordon also plays everywhere, but it’s his speed that separates him. Steer could wind up being a big bat off the bench with the pop he’s shown, or he could just be a solid all-around utility man. Not yet on the 40-man roster, Steer will need to earn one more promotion in order to make his dreams come true. The journey got a bit closer when he singled up the middle in his second at-bat for the Saints. He’ll show he belongs here in time too, and then comes the final step.
  17. It has been a struggle for the Saints on the road these past two weeks. They return home this week, hoping to turn things back around. Tickets still available! The other Twins affiliates are in a good place to make a first-half playoff run. Wichita is just 1/2 game out of first place. Cedar Rapids is a game ahead of Wisconsin, and those two teams will be playing in Iowa this week. Tickets still available! The Mighty Mussels have the biggest lead, with a four-game cushion coming into play this week. If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. TRANSACTIONS With no Monday Minor League Report, here are the transactions from later on Sunday and on Monday. Infielder Spencer Steer was promoted from Wichita to St. Paul. Infielder Kevin Merrell was sent back down to Wichita. RHP Matt Mullenbach was added back to the Ft. Myers roster from the Florida Complex. RESULTS Previous Week in Review (5/10-5/16): Tuesday: Alex Isola Goes Off Wednesday: Steer Walks It Off for Wichita, Four Hits for Kirilloff Thursday: Kernels Krush, Larnach and Lewis Launch Friday: Fort Myers Carries the Day Saturday: Cave, Saints Slam Storm Chasers Sunday: Mussels Win in 13 Innings, Wind Surge Win in Walkoff MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT Despite Great First Impression, Royce Lewis Optioned to St. Paul After Tuesday’s Game Devin Smeltzer Deserves a Longer Look Three Questions With… Kernels RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (VIDEO) Three Questions With… former Kernels RHP (Current Wisconsin coach) Patrick McGuff (VIDEO) WEEK IN REVIEW Triple-A: St. Paul Saints Week: 1-5, at Omaha Season: 16-24 overall, 9th place out of ten teams in the International League West. They are 12.5 games behind Nashville. The Saints are likely thrilled to get back to the friendly confines of CHS Field. They have been on the road the past two weeks and went 1-11. In Omaha, they ended their losing streak on Saturday with a 4-2 win, but that was it. They were outscored 25-45 by the Storm Chasers. Kevin Merrell was signed as a minor-league veteran after playing in the Royals organization since 2019. He played in 13 games with Omaha in 2021. He played all six games this week and went 7-for-17 and hit .412/.444/.765 (1.209) with two homers and four RBI. (and for his efforts, Merrell was sent down to Wichita on Monday) No one wanted to see Royce Lewis sent back to St. Paul, but he was, and he handled it well. He went 6-for-16, hitting .375/.444/.625 (1.069) with a double and a home run. He also stole bases. For those curious, he played two games at shortstop and one game at both third base and left field. Alex Kirilloff was the Twins' choice for hitter of the week. In six games, he went 9-for-25 and hit .360/.429/.520 (.949) with a double, a homer and five RBI. He also walked three times. Dereck Rodriguez made one start. In five innings, he gave up one run on three hits. He walked three and struck out nine batters. Chi Chi Gonzalez also went five innings in his start. He gave up two runs (1 earned) on five hits. He walked two and struck out six batters. It wasn’t a great week for all of the Saints starters. Jake Faria gave up four runs on four hits and three walks in three innings. Mario Sanchez gave up five runs (4 earned) on five hits and two walks in three innings. Ronny Henriquez made one start and one relief appearance. In 6 1/3 innings, he gave up nine runs on eight hits and four walks. Jordan Balazovic gave up six runs on six hits and a walk in four innings. What’s Next? The Saints return home for seven games against Indianapolis, starting at 11:07 on Tuesday morning with an Education Day special. The two teams will be playing two games on Wednesday night. Head to www.SaintsBaseball.com for tickets! Pitching Probables (RHP Cole Sands, (Wed DH: RHP Jordan Balazovic/LHP Devin Smeltzer ), RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez, RHP Dereck Rodriguez, RHP Ronny Henriquez, RHP Cole Sands) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge Week: 4-2, hosting Springfield Season: 23-14 overall, 2nd place in the Texas League North Division with Tulsa. They are just 1/2 game behind Tulsa (24-14). It was a tightly contested week of games at Riverfront Stadium last week against Springfield. The Wind Surge outscored the Cardinals 36-35 for the week. Three games were decided by two runs. Three games were decided by just one run. Here are some of the top performances for the Wind Surge this past week: Seven Wind Surge relievers did not allow an earned run last week. Five of them pitched twice. Austin Schulfer continues to make his case that he should be in Triple-A. In three innings, he gave up no runs and no hits. He walked one and struck out four batters. Lefty Bryan Sammons struck out four batters over 2 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up just two hits and walked none. Matt Canterino had 12 strikeouts in 7 2/3 innings. Chris Williams played in five games. He went 9-for-17 and hit .529/.652/.588 (1.240) with a double. He also walked six times. In five games, Spencer Steer went 6-for-17. He hit .353/.389/.824 (1.213) with two doubles and two home runs. Matt Wallner went 7-for-22 last week. He hit .318/.444/.500 (.944) with a double, a homer, and five RBI. He also walked five times, and he played a little defense too. Alex Isola went 6-for-20 in five games. He hit .300/.364/.550 (.944) with two doubles and a home run. Austin Martin went 6-for-18 in five games and hit .333/.500/.333 (.833) with three walks. Also, minor league uniforms can be fun, or something... What’s Next? The Wind Surge will be traveling down to Texas to take on Corpus Christi. . Pitching Probables (RHP Louie Varland, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Blayne Enlow, RHP Matt Canterino, RHP Casey Legumina, RHP Louie Varland) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels Week: 2-4, hosting Lake County Season: 26-13 overall, 1st place in the Midwest League West Division, 1.0 games ahead of Wisconsin (25-14), who they play in Cedar Rapids this week. In the two games that the Kernels won last week, they outscored Lake County 18-3. However, in the four losses, they were outscored 8-26. Ten Kernels pitchers did not allow an earned run last week, including three starting pitchers. Cade Povich went 5 1/3 innings in his start. He gave up two hits, walked one, and struck out five batters. The Twins named him their pitcher of the week. Sean Mooney went five scoreless innings in his start. He gave up just one hit, walked three, and struck out six batters. On Sunday, Brent Headrick started and threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and walked one batter. He was replaced by David Festa, making his first Kernels appearance. He went the rest of the way. He gave up one run on three hits over 4 2/3 innings. He struck out six batters without issuing a walk. Brad Hanner has made big strides in 2022. The right-hander worked three innings over two games. He gave up no runs, just one hit, walked none, and struck out five batters. John Stankiewicz had his first rough start of the year. He gave up six runs on seven hits, two walks, and a hit batter in 3 2/3 innings. After a slow start, Will Holland has been much improved in the season’s second month. In five games, he went 5-for-16 and hit .313/.421/.688 (1.109) with a double, triple, home run, and four RBI. He walked three times and had two stolen bases. In five games, Willie Joe Garry, Jr., went 4-for-15 and hit .267/.353/.733 (1.086) with two triples and a home run. Christian Encarnacion-Strand had two doubles and two home runs. On the other side, Anthony Prato has been terrific atop the order for the Kernels, but last week, he went 2-for-20 (.100). Wander Javier went 2-for-18 (.111). What’s Next? The Kernels will be home for the second straight week. They will be hosting the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers in a series of the top two teams in the division. The Rattlers have a development coach in former Kernels pitcher Patrick McGuff. In a Three Questions With… interview on Brewer Fanatic, I asked McGuff about his time with the Twins, his transition from player to coach, and about the very talented Wisconsin team that is coming to Memorial Stadium this week. Click here to watch. Pitching Probables (Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich, RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP John Stankiewicz, LHP Brent Headrick, RHP Sean Mooney) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Week: 5-3, hosting Clearwater Season: 25-13 overall, 1st place in the Florida State League West, 4.0 games ahead of Clearwater (21-17). The week began by completing a suspended game on Tuesday. They played eight games and had doubleheaders on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Ignoring the continuation of the suspended game, the Mighty Mussels outscored the Threshers 29-26. Lefty Steve Hajjar went five shutout innings in his start. He gave up one hit, walked one, and struck out six batters. Mike Paredes made another start and went four scoreless innings. He gave up one hit, walked none, and struck out three batters. Malik Barrington made his first start and went three innings. Then he came back a couple of days later and pitched up a save in the 13-inning game. In four innings, he gave up only an unearned run and two hits. He struck out three batters. Since returning from the Injured List, Niklas Rimmel pitched twice. He worked four relief innings over two games. He gave up an unearned run on two hits and two walks. He struck out five. Matthew Swain’s incredible season continued. In four innings over two games, he gave up one hit, walked two (both intentional), and struck out four. Lefty John Wilson worked 4 1/3 scoreless innings over two games. He gave up three hits and hit a batter. Regi Grace gave up one earned run over 3 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out eight batters. In five games, Noah Cardenas played in five games. He went 6-for-17 and hit .353/.476/.706 (1.182) with three doubles and a home run. He walked four times as well. Dylan Neuse played in six games. He went 6-for-16 and hit .375/.474/.625 (1.099) with a double and a home run. Mikey Perez played in seven games and went 6-for-24. He hit .250/.321/.583 (.904) with two doubles, two homers and seven RBI. Emmanuel Rodriguez played in six games. He went 0-for-12, but he walked ten times to post a .478 on-base percentage. What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels will travel to Bradenton (19-20) for a “normal” six-game series this week. Pitching Probables (RHP Pierson Ohl, RHP Mike Paredes, LHP Steve Hajjar, RHP Marco Raya, TB D, RHP Travis Adams) PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week. The Prospect Tracker was updated on May 1 and will be updated on the first of each month throughout the season. #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 4 G, 6-for-16 (.375), 1-2B, 1-HR, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K (Season: 28 G, .320/.432/.573 (1.005), 12-2B, 1-3B, 4-HR, 24 R, 12 RBI, 18 BB, 25 K) #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1 G, 2-for-4 (.500), 1-2B, 1-HR, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (Season: 11 G, .308/.325/.564 (.889), 4-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 5 G, 6-for-18 (.333), 0-2B, 0-3B, 0-HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K (Season: 35 G, .257/.386/.338 (.724), 6-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 26 R, 12 RBI, 20 BB, 22 K, 18 SB, 2 CS) #3 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 5.2 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 6 K (Season: 8 GS, 43.1 IP, 11 R, 29 H, 14 BB, 42 K, 5-2, 2.28 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 8.7 K/9) #4 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - In MLB (Season: 21 G, .256/.295/.442 (.737), 10-2B, 2-HR, 10 R, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 14 K) #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - Week: 4 G, 2-for-12 (.167), 1-2B, 0-HR, 2 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K (Season: 16 G, .117/.159/.217 (.375), 3-2B, 1-HR, 3 R, 5 RBI, 2 BB, 13 K) #5 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 4.0 IP, 6 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 4 K (Season: 3 GS, 9.2 IP, 13 R, 9 ER, 19 H, 5 BB, 9 K, 0-1, 8.38 ERA, 2.48 WHIP, 4.7 BB/9, 8.4 K/9) #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 6 H, 1 BB, 4 K (Season: 7 GS, 37.2 IP, 11 R, 10 ER, 23 H, 19 BB, 36 K, 2-1, 2.39 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, 8.6 K/9) #7 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 1 G, 3.2 IP, 5 ER, 9 H, 2 BB, 1 K (Season: 7 G, 3 GS, 29.1 IP, 14 R, 12 ER, 27 H, 9 BB, 23 K, 2-2, 3.68 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 7.1 K/9) #8 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 3 G, 3.2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 6 K (Season: 15 G, 20.1 IP, 6 R, 12 H, 3 BB, 31 K, 0-1, 3 Saves, 2.66 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 1.3 BB/9, 13.7 K/9) #9 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 2 G, 1 GS, 7.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 3 BB, 12 K (Season: 9 G, 8 GS, 28.1 IP, 7 R, 14 H, 14 BB, 40 K, 0-1, 2.22 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 4.4 BB/9, 12.7 K/9) #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 6 G, 0-for-12 (.00), 0-2B, 0-3B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 10 BB, 6 K (Season: 35 G, .235/.466/.441 (.907), 5-2B, 2-3B, 10-HR, 26 R, 14 RBI, 41 BB, 41 K) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 6 G, 5-for-25 (.200), 1-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 2 BB, 7 K (Season: 34 G, .279/.410/.381 (.791), 4-2B, 2-3B, 2 HR, 25 R, 8 RBI, 28 BB, 39 K) #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 K (Season: 7 G, 6 GS, 37.2 IP, 18 R, 15 ER, 30 H, 13 BB, 43 K, 4-1, 3.58 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, 10.3K/9) #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Injured List (Season: 5 G, 4 GS, 15.2 IP, 15 R, 22 H, 5 BB, 18 K, 0-4, 8.62 ERA, 1.72 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 10.3 K/9) #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - (Season: 2 G, 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 0-0, 6.75 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 0.0 BB/9, 13.5 K/9) #14 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 2 G, 1 GS, 6.1 IP, 9 ER, 8 H, 4 BB, 4 K (Season: 6 G, 4 GS, 20.0 IP, 16 R, 20 H, 11 BB, 17 K, 0-1, 7.20 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 5.0 BB/9, 7.7 K/9) #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 3 R, 3 BB, 3 K, (Season: 6 G, 5 GS, 24.0 IP, 9 R, 7 ER, 19 H, 8 BB, 24 K, 2-1, 2.63 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, 9.0 K/9) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 5 G, 6-for-17 (.353), 2-2B, 2-HR, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K (Season: 35 G, .307/.385/.558 (.976), 13-2B, 1-3B, 8-HR, 27 R, 30 RBI, 14 BB, 23 K) #17 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 5.1 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K (Season: 6 GS, 27.2 IP, 14 R, 10 ER, 24 H, 7 BB, 37 K, 3-2, 3.25 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, 12.0 K/9) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 6 G, 5-for-22 (.227), 2-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 5 RBI, 3 BB, 8 K (Season: 37 G, .320/.384/.544 (.928), 8-2B, 2-3B, 7-HR, 23 R, 34 RBI, 15 BB, 42 K) #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1 G, 1-for-2 (.500), 0-2B, 0-HR, 1 BB, 1 K (Season: 23 G, .274/.439/.397 (.836), 4-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 14 R, 10 RBI, 23 BB, 21 K) #20 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 1 GS, 4.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 6 K (Season: 2 GS, 7.2 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 8 H, 0 BB, 12 K, 0-0, 4.70 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 0.00 BB/9, 14.1 K/9) PLAYERS OF THE WEEK Hitter of the Week: Infielder Spencer Steer, Wichita Wind Surge Steer just hasn’t found himself touted on prospect lists over his still-young career, but he clearly is highly regarded within the Twins organization. Now after exactly 100 games at Double-A Wichita, he is heading to St. Paul and will make his Triple-A debut this week at CHS Field. In five games last week, Steer went 6-for-17 and hit .353/.389/.824 (1.213) with two doubles, two homers, and five RBI. He missed one game after fouling a ball off of his lower leg. On Wednesday, the Surge were down by one in the 11th inning. Two runners were on base. Steer did this... In 35 games with the Wind Surge this year, he has hit .307/.385/.591(.976) with 13 doubles, eight homers, and 30 RBI. Steer was the Twins' third-round pick in 2019 out of the University of Oregon where he was a three-year starter. He spent a little time in Elizabethton before joining the Kernels late that season. After the lost 2020 season, he split 2021 between now-High-A Kernels and Wichita. Combined, he hit .254/.348/.484 (.833) with 18 doubles, three triples, and 24 home runs. Defensively, Steer is solid all around the infield. He’s mostly played third base the last couple of seasons. This year, he has started at third base 16 times, shortstop nine times, and second base six times. With the Twins wanting Royce Lewis to play all over, Steer may do the same thing, giving the Saints plenty of defensive flexibility, and also giving them another prospect to be excited about. Pitcher of the Week: LHP Cade Povich, Cedar Rapids Kernels Povich is certainly one of the top young Twins pitching prospects. The hard-throwing lefty had a strong start last week. He tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up just two hits, walked one, and struck out five batters. Reports showed that he was hitting 97 consistently with his fastball and his other pitches are coming along very well too. Povich was the Twins' third-round pick in 2021 out of the University of Nebraska where he had gone 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA over 15 starts. After signing, he pitched in one game in the FCL and three games with the Mighty Mussels. Combined, he worked ten innings. He gave up one earned run on seven hits. He walked two and struck out 19 batters. Reports of his increased velocity were frequent coming out of Instructional League after the season. The Twins have pushed Povich, challenging him by having him jump up to Cedar Rapids to start this season. In total, he has made six starts so far. He is 3-2 with a 3.25 ERA. In 27 2/3 innings, he has seven walks and 37 strikeouts. ---------------------------------------------------- It was an exciting week throughout the Twins organization, from the big leagues to the eight-game series for the Low-A Mighty Mussels. The coming week will present more storylines, the most exciting at this point could take place in Cedar Rapids where there’ll be a battle for positioning atop the Midwest League West Division. Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the players and the teams in the COMMENTS below.
  18. A couple of Twins affiliates played extra-inning games. Alex Kirilloff had his best game of the year. Louie Varland was outstanding once again. Noah Miller had a multi extra-base-hit day. And Spencer Steer has ice in his veins. In addition, we saw one Twins' top prospects continue to transition to his role as a starter masterfully. Let’s see what happened this Wednesday in the Twins organization without further ado. TRANSACTIONS The Twins activated Carlos Correa from the 10-day IL and optioned Royce Lewis to St. Paul. SS Ernie Yake was assigned to Wichita from St. Paul. Wichita placed 2B Edouard Julien on the 7-day IL SAINTS (AAA) St. Paul 7, Omaha 8 Box Score On Wednesday, the St. Paul Saints fell to the Omaha Storm Chasers 8 to 7, but Alex Kirilloff showed some very encouraging signs. After an extra-base-hit hiatus of 73 plate appearances to begin his 2022 season, Kirilloff recorded two extra-base hits on Wednesday to show some signs of power that many thought he lost due to a lingering wrist injury. Jake Faria made his seventh start of the 2022 season for the Saints and struggled again, only going three innings of work. Faria allowed four runs on four hits and three walks in those three innings while striking out two batters. His season ERA increased to 7.77 in the lackluster performance. The Saints stranded Kirilloff at second base in the first inning after his double, and Faria struggled. Faria gave up three runs on two hits and three walks in the first, but he stranded two runners thanks to a clutch 5-4-3 double play. In the third inning, the Storm Chasers scored another run thanks to a two-out homer from Brewer Hicklen. The Saints responded in the top half of the fourth with the Kirilloff homer and got another run when Jake Cave scored on a Jermaine Palacios single, but the Saints left runs on the table and stranded the bases loaded. Daniel Gossett came on to relieve Faria in the fourth and immediately gave up a homer to JaCoby Jones. Gossett settled in and worked three innings of relief while allowing two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out four batters. Cave scored again in the top of the sixth, this time on a single from David Banuelos to pull the game within two runs. The Storm Chasers responded with one in the bottom of the sixth to extend their lead back to three. In the seventh, the Cave show continued when he clubbed his first homer of the year to pull the game back within two runs. Drew Strotman came on in relief in the bottom of the seventh and threw one and ⅓ scoreless innings, allowing one hit while striking out two batters. In the top of the eighth, the Saints put together an incredible rally when Elliot Soto and Mark Contreras led off with back-to-back singles, and Curtis Terry drew a walk to give Kirilloff bases loaded with no outs. Kirilloff responded by hitting a two-run single to knot the game up at six, followed by Terry scoring on a balk to give the Saints a 7 to 6 lead. Strotman gave up a leadoff double in the bottom of the eighth and struck out Hicklen before being replaced by Jordan Gore. The first batter Gore faced hit an RBI single, and the Cardinals tied the game again. After an uneventful ninth, the Saints couldn’t get anything going offensively in the tenth inning. Jake Petricka came on in relief in the bottom half, and the first batter he faced singled, ending the game due to a runner starting on second base. The Saints fell to 15-20 with the loss. Kirilloff was 4-for-6 with a double, a homer, and three RBI. Cave went 2-for-6 with a homer and three runs scored. Roy Morales went 2-for-5, and Soto reached base four times due to two hits and two walks. WIND SURGE (AA) Wichita 7, Springfield 6 Box Score The Wichita Wind Surge were victorious over the Springfield Cardinals on Wednesday by a score of 7-6. Twins Daily #12 prospect Louie Varland made a start for the Wind Surge, and he pitched well, throwing six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out eight batters. He decreased his season ERA to 3.58 and continued to be an excellent minor league pitcher. The Wind Surge took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning behind four straight singles from Austin Martin, Alex Isola, Andrew Bechtold, and Matt Wallner. Martin scored on Bechtold’s single, while Isola came in to score on a double play later in the inning. Varland gave up a homer to MLB.com’s #27 overall prospect Jordan Walker to tie the game at two in the third inning. The game remained a stalemate for a couple more innings until the bottom of the fifth when Wallner came up clutch with a two-out, two-strike, two-run single to give the Wind Surge a 4-2 lead. In the top of the seventh, reliever Osiris German wriggled out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam to keep the score at 4-2. The Wind Surge couldn’t muster anything offensively in the seventh or eighth innings, so the Wind Surge turned to Alex Scherff to close the game down. Thanks to three walks, an error, and a hit-by-pitch, the Cardinals tied the game in the ninth. Austin Schulfer came in the ninth to clean up the mess and continued working into the tenth, as he recorded a 1-2-3 frame in the tenth. Wallner was intentionally walked to set up the double play in the bottom half of the inning, and it worked, as Michael Helman bunted into a fielder's choice. DaShawn Keirsey struck out with runners on the corners and two outs to send the game into the eleventh. Ben Gross came in to work the eleventh inning, and the first batter he faced singled, setting up runners on the corners and nobody out. The next batter hit into a double play, but the go-ahead run came in to score. The Cardinals hit a homer with two outs to make it 6-4. In the bottom of the eleventh, Chris Williams worked a leadoff walk. The Wind Surge then called on their best hitter, Spencer Steer, who had the night off. Steer got the count to 2-2, then unloaded on a fastball to left field for a three-run, walk-off homer, his seventh homer. The Wind Surge improved their record to 21-12 on the season thanks to heroics from their star player. Isola went 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored. Wallner was 2-for-3 with two RBI, two walks, and a stolen base. Williams was 2-for-3 with two walks. And the hero, Steer, was 1-for-1 with a homer and three RBI. Gross picked up his third win as his record improved to 3-0. KERNELS (HIGH-A) Cedar Rapids 2, Lake County 4 Box Score On Wednesday night, the Cedar Rapids Kernels fell to the Lake County Captains 4 to 2. Aaron Rozek toed the rubber for the Kernels as he went three and ⅓ innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three batters. He took his first loss as his record went to 4 and 1. He now has a 5.1 ERA. The Captains started the game quickly, getting a home run from the game's second batter. Twins Daily #18 prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand roped a double in the bottom half of the first but was stranded at third base. Rozek allowed two runs after a walk, single, RBI double, and sacrifice fly in the top of the third. The Kernels faced a three-run deficit going into the bottom of the third, but they responded. Willie Joe Garry Jr. led off the inning with a walk, and Will Holland tripled on the first pitch of his at-bat; driving in Garry Jr., Anthony Prato hit a sacrifice fly to score Holland, and the Kernels deficit was down to one run after the third inning. Bradley Hanner came on in relief of Rozek and threw one and ⅔ innings of scoreless relief while striking out three batters. Hanner’s ERA is down to a minuscule 0.54 on the year. In the bottom of the fifth, Holland hit a double for his second extra-base hit of the game but was stranded at second base. Ryan Shreve came in to relieve Hanner and let up a home run in the top of the sixth to increase the Kernel deficit to two runs. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Kernels threatened after a leadoff double from Prato and a single from Aaron Sabato. Still, they failed to capitalize, leaving these runners stranded at first and third. In the ninth inning, the Kernels got the tying run to the plate, but Holland struck out to end the game, and the Kernels lost 4 to 2. With the loss, the Kernels fall to 24-11. They went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, which ultimately decided the game. Holland was 2-for-4 with a double and a triple, and Encarnacion-Strand was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. Cody Laweryson threw two innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts, and Miguel Rodriguez pitched a scoreless inning. MIGHTY MUSSELS (LOW-A) GAME 1: Fort Myers 5, Clearwater 10 Box Score The Mighty Mussels dropped game one of the double-header with Clearwater. Right-hander Pierson Ohl made his sixth start of the year for Fort Myers. Ohl went four innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out three batters. Clearwater started the scoring at the bottom of the first with back-to-back hits to take a 1-0 lead. The Mighty Mussels responded with a run in the top of the second when a pitch hit Dylan Neuse, Neuse stole second base, and Luis Baez had a clutch two-out single to drive in Neuse. However, Clearwater retook the lead in the bottom half of the second when Ohl allowed a two-out solo home run. In the top of the third, the Mighty Mussels got a one-out walk from Twins Daily #10 prospect Emmanuel Rodriguez walked, stole second, and scored on a Mikey Perez double. When the Mighty Mussels needed a shutdown inning in response, Ohl could not deliver as he allowed three hits, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch which led to three runs, and the Mighty Mussels trailed 5-2 after three innings. After an uneventful fourth inning, Jake Rucker led off the top of the fifth with a single and stole second base. After Rucker moved up to third on a groundout, Rodriguez drew another walk and promptly stole second base for the second time of the game. Former first-round pick Keoni Cavaco singled with two outs to score Rucker and put the Mighty Mussels within two runs of the lead. Jackson Hicks replaced Ohl on the mound in the bottom of the fifth. After an error, two walks, a hit-by-pitch, a single, a ground-rule double, and a wild pitch, Hicks had given up five runs and was pulled from the game after only collecting two outs. The score was 10-3 when Hicks came out, and the game was all but over. John Wilson replaced Hicks and pitched one and ⅓ innings of perfect baseball to finish off the game for the Mighty Mussels. In the top of the seventh, Rucker walked, followed by a two-run home run by 2021 first-round pick Noah Miller, his second of the year. The game ended after seven innings, and the Mighty Mussels lost game one of the double-header, 10-5. Miller went 2-for-4 with a home run and 2 RBI, and Rucker went 2-for-3 with a walk. GAME 2: Fort Myers 2, Clearwater 0 Box Score Game two was a much different story for the boys in Fort Myers. The Mighty Mussels turned to right-hander Mike Paredes to try to salvage a split in the double-header. Paredes turned in an excellent outing for the Mighty Mussels, going four shutout innings while striking out three batters. The only baserunner Paredes allowed was a single in the first inning, and he only threw 45 pitches. Paredes was primarily used in a relief role to start the season, but his last two appearances have been starts, and that is a role Paredes seems to thrive in, as he has only allowed one hit through seven innings as a starter. The game was deadlocked at zero until the fourth inning. Fresh off a multi-hit performance, Miller was in an 0-2 count with one out in the fourth when he hit his second triple of the year to get the first runner in scoring position of the game. After a strikeout of Noah Cardenas, Perez came up in another RBI spot, and he delivered, cranking his fourth home run of the season to give the Mighty Mussels a 2-0 lead. After the Perez homer, the Mussels couldn’t manage any more hits and relied on their defense and pitching to win them the game. In the top of the fifth, Niklas Rimmel replaced Paredes and threw two great innings of relief, holding the opposition scoreless and striking out three. Fort Myers turned to Regi Grace in the top of the seventh to close the game out, and he pitched phenomenally, striking out all three batters he faced on only 12 pitches to earn his second save of the season. After the double-header split, the Mighty Mussels record is 22-12. Mikey Perez finished the game 2-for-3 with the game-winning homer, and Noah Miller went 1-for-3 with a triple and a run scored. These were the only three hits of the game for Fort Myers, but they proved to be enough. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Mike Paredes (Fort Myers) - 4 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day – Alex Kirilloff (St. Paul) - 4-for-6, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4, R, HBP #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-1, HBP #8 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 1 IP, 2 H, 2 K #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-2, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 SB (9) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 3-for-7, HR (2), 3B (2), 2 R, 2 RBI #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-1, HR (7), 3 RBI, R #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, 2B (7), BB THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Omaha (6:35 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (0-0, 4.76 ERA) Springfield @ Wichita (7:05 CST) - RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (2-1, 2.20 ERA) Lake County @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (2-2, 4.03 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!
  19. TRANSACTIONS RHP Bailey Ober assigned to AAA St. Paul on Major League Rehab. OF Alex Kirilloff optioned to AAA St. Paul. LHP Devin Smeltzer contract selected by Minnesota Twins. IF Miguel Sano placed on 60-Day IL. RHP Blayne Enlow added to AA Wichita Saints Sentinel The Saints were rained out on Saturday. They will play a double-header against Columbus tomorrow with Bailey Ober taking the mound in game one. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 7, Arkansas 6 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K HR: Spencer Steer (6), Chris Williams (1) Multi-hit games: Austin Martin (2-for-5, R, RBI), Spencer Steer (3-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-4, 2B, R, BB, 2 K) The Wind Surge kept rolling on Saturday. Blayne Enlow made his Wind Surge debut and his first non-rehab assignment start since undergoing Tommy John surgery. He’s back. The start wasn’t the best, but six strikeouts is nothing to sneeze at. It’s just great to see him healthy and back on a pitching mound this summer. While the game ended up close, Wichita’s offense took off quickly in this game, scoring pairs of runs in the first three innings. Spencer Steer was the main culprit, hitting a two-run homer in the first to go with an RBI infield hit in the second. That may be the biggest difference feet-wise between RBI hits in baseball. Arkansas would steal a run in the bottom of the 2nd inning, but Chris Williams belted a hearty laugh, and blasted a two-run homer to right-center field. The Naturals came scratching back, though. Chris Vallimont had a tough outing in relief, allowing two earned runs and walking four batters in 1 2/3 innings of work. Defense didn’t help either, as both Andrew Bechtold and Austin Martin made errors that allowed un-earned runs to score. That Martin error was especially deadly, as Arkansas rode their extra out to three runs and a tied game. In dramatic fashion, Martin then made good and gave Wichita the lead in the 8th with an RBI single. The Naturals could not recover from that deficit. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 1 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: Anthony Prato (5) Multi-hit games: Aaron Sabato (2-for-4, 2B, R), Alerick Soularie (2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI), Will Holland (2-for-3, R, RBI) The Kernels won on Saturday. Water is wet. These were the two sentences used last time, and they are still appropriate. Sawyer Gipson-Long Did the Darn Thing and completely silenced the Chiefs’ bats. It took the righty just 62 pitches to run through 15 outs with seven of those being strikeouts. Gipson-Long has been a surprising revelation since joining the Twins organization, and Saturday was another day in a line of impressive starts from him. Credit news to be given to Derek Molina, Tyler Palm, and Denny Bentley, as they combined for four clutch innings of work and just a single earned run allowed. Although the game ended up handily won by Cedar Rapids, the game flow was not always so simple. The score was 2-1 after eight innings with an Alerick Soularie little-league homer (triple with an error allowing him to score), and a Jair Camargo RBI single representing their only offense of the game. But the Kernels broke it open in the 9th inning, plating five runs off a few base knocks, and an Anthony Prato three-run bomb. Peoria had no response in their half of the inning. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 10, Palm Beach 4 Box Score Steve Hajjar: 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K HR: Mikey Perez (3), Dillon Tatum (2) Multi-hit games: Emmanuel Rodriguez (3-for-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB), Mikey Perez (3-for-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB) The Mighty Mussels won handily on Saturday. Is it a good thing to have four players reach base three times in one game? Asking for a friend. Fort Myers dominated with an equal attack amongst their offense—no one batter should own the means of run production after all. Noah Miller and Emmanuel Rodriguez continued to be on-base machines, which isn’t surprising. Mikey Perez was the big story though, as he doubled, homered, and reached base four times in the game. Eight hitters reached base at least once. Steve Hajjar took the mound, and while he allowed just one run, command eluded him. Hajjar walked five batters while throwing just 46 of his 80 pitches for strikes. Although, it appears he was “effectively wild” given that the Cardinals could only knock one hit off of him. Walks proved to be the name of the game overall. The Mighty Mussels walked more than they struck out (nine to eight) while the Cardinals weren’t far behind (seven to 10). One could refer to this game as “leisurely.” TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-5, R, RBI #2 – Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-for-4 #3 – Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-5, 2 K #4 – Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #5 – Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #6 – Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did not pitch #7 – Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, K #8 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #9 – Josh Winder (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #10 – Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 1-for-2, 2 R, 3 BB #11 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 1-for-4, 2 K #12 – Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-3, 2 BB, K #13 – Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #14 – Louie Varland (Wichita) - Did not pitch #15 – Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 3-for-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB, K #16 – Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #17 – Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K #18 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 3-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR, 2B #19 – Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, K #20 – Steve Hajjar (Fort Myers) - 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (12:05 PM) - RHP Bailey Ober St. Paul @ Columbus (Game Two) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez Wichita @ NW Arkansas (1:35 PM) - RHP Casey Legumina Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (1:35 PM) - RHP John Stankiewicz Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (12:00 PM) - RHP Marco Raya
  20. The Twins have won 14 of their past 17 games. Some of the organization's top prospects have found their way to the big leagues and contributed. All the while, three affiliates find themselves in first place. As we all know, Player Development is the most important aspect of minor league baseball. However, "winning" is not a bad thing either. Learning how to win and contribute to a team are part of the development process as well. Nothing wrong with learning how to win and making that a priority. Disclaimer (kind of): Be sure to use these weekly reports for what they are. A look at the week. We want to highlight deserving prospects. They have earned it. Celebrate the successes throughout the whole season. If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. TRANSACTIONS There have been no official transactions from later on Sunday and on Monday. RESULTS Previous Week in Review (4/26-5/2): Prospect Movement, Strong Performances, and Wins Tuesday: Dreary Tuesday on the Farm Wednesday: Headrick Fans Ten, Bats Burst in Lowertown Thursday: Stankiewicz Stays Hot, Miller Mussels Up Friday: Promotion Season is Here Saturday: Top Pitching Prospects Galore Sunday: Kernels Win in a Walk-off, Martin Homers on Mothers Day MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT The Next Twins Prospect Promotion Is It Time to Start Worrying About Austin Martin? Twins Promote Top Prospect Royce Lewis Prospect Retrospective: Royce Lewis Three Questions With… Mighty Mussels OF Kyler Fedko (Video) WEEK IN REVIEW Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week: 3-3, hosting Iowa Season: 15-13 overall, 3rd place in the International League West. They are 4 1/2 games behind Nashville (20-9) and Columbus (18-12). The Saints split their six games last week against the Iowa Cubs. The Cubs came to St. Paul with former Twins Stephen Gonsalves, Luke Farrell, John Hicks, Ildemaro Vargas, and Andrelton Simmons made his first rehab appearances for the Cubs too. Each team won three games. The Saints outscored the Cubs 31-29. Yet none of the games was settled by less than three runs. When the week started, and really up until the weekend, the Saints roster included Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff, but both were called up on Friday. Jose Godoy was called up Sunday after playing four games in St. Paul. Mark Contreras played in all six games. He went 8-for-21 and hit .381/.500/.714 (1.214) with two doubles, a triple, and a home run. He also walked four times. 32-year-old veteran Elliot Soto played all six games too. He went 6-for-21 and hit .286/.423/.524 (.947) with a triple and a home run. He also walked five times. Curtis Terry had a nice week. In six games, he went 5-for-18 and hit .278/.500/.444 (.944) with three doubles. He also had eight walks to go with just two strikeouts. Great to see Jordan Balazovic back after starting the season on the Injured List with a knee injury. He made one rehab appearance in Ft. Myers and then started for the Saints on Saturday. He went 3 2/3 scoreless innings despite giving up five hits and two walks. He struck out four batters. Yennier Cano pitched in three innings over three games. He didn’t give up a run. He allowed just one hit, walked two and struck out four batters. JC Ramirez came out of the bullpen after Balazovic’s start. He gave up just one hit and walked one batter over 3 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out four batters. Daniel Gossett threw three scoreless, hitless innings in a relief appearance. He walked one and struck out four. Devin Smeltzer has been that stalwart of the Saints’ staff all season. He finally had a rough start. He gave up six runs on eight hits over two innings in his start. What’s Next? The Saints travel to Columbus to take on the Clippers for the week. Pitching Probables (RHP Ronny Henriquez, RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez, RHP Jake Faria, RHP Jordan Balazovic, TBD, TBD) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge Week: 3-2, hosting Tulsa Season: 16-10 overall, 1st place in the Texas League North Division with Tulsa. They are 1.0 game ahead of Tulsa (15-11). It was billed as the week when Louie and Gus Varland would make history as brothers pitching against each other in a minor-league game. They were supposed to match up on Tuesday and again on Sunday. Instead, the teams were rained out on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They played doubleheaders on Friday and Sunday. The Varlands pitched against each other on Friday. The offense scored just over six runs per game. Here are some of the top performances for the Wind Surge this past week: Let’s start on the mound. Matt Canterino made another start. Previously he had been working three innings. This week, he went four shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked two, and struck out four batters. There were several really strong bullpen performances. Atop that list is Austin Schulfer who finished two games last week. In 2 1/3 innings, he gave up just one hit and struck out four batters. Bryan Sammons came out of the bullpen and gave up only a solo homer over three innings. He struck out three batters. Matt Wallner backed up last week’s player of the week performance with an even better week. In five games, he went 8-for-16 and hit .500/.579/1.063 (1.642) with three doubles, two homers and eight RBI. He also walked three times. Spencer Steer had a good week too. In five games, he went 8-for-20 and hit .400/.381/.900 (1.281) with a double, three homers and eight RBI. Edouard Julien played in four games and went 6-for-12. He hit .500/.563/.667 (1.230) with two doubles. He also had three walks and stole two bases. Michael Helman played in all five games. He went 6-for-15 and hit .400/.471/.600 (1.071) with a homer and two walks. He had three stolen bases. Andrew Bechtold played in three games. He went 3-for-10 (.300) with a double and a home run. Leobaldo Cabrera went just 2-for-12 (.167) in five games. Well, hey, a week ago, we wrote that he started the season 0-for-32. In the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday, he got out the first two at-bats, but in the sixth inning, he hit a solid single to center, ending the hitless string at 34. Two hits are a start! What’s Next? The Wind Surge will travel to NW Arkansas. Pitching Probables (RHP Ben Gross, RHP Matt Canterino, RHP Louie Varland, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Chris Vallimont, RHP Casey Legumina) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week: 4-2, hosting Quad Cities Season: 19-8 overall, 1st place in the Midwest League West Division, 2.0 games ahead of Wisconsin (17-10). The Kernels have found a lot of ways to win games. Last week, they needed strong pitching and got it. They won four of the six games, but they only outscored Quad Cities 21-15. Offense has been a struggle for the Kernels the past couple of weeks. Five Kernels bullpen arms did not allow a run last week. Bradley Hanner worked twice and gave up just one hit and one walk over four innings. He struck out six batters. Andrew Cabezas had five strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings in two perfect appearances. John Stankiewicz made his High-A debut last week out of the bullpen. In five scoreless innings, he gave up only one hit and no walks. He struck out seven batters. In 26 2/3 innings, he has 38 strikeouts to go with just five walks. Brent Headrick went six shutout innings in his start. He struck out ten batters and one gave up one hit and one walk. On Sunday, Sawyer Gipson-Long worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and struck out six batters without a walk. Cade Povich moved quickly past his first rough start. This past week, he gave up an unearned run on four hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out eight batters. Cody Laweryson also made his first start of the season. He went four shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked none, and struck out four batters. Jeferson Morales went 5-for-10 (.500) in the three games he played. He had a double and a walk. Anthony Prato played in all six games. He went 6-for-22 and hit .273/.346/.636 (.982) with a triple, two homers, and five RBI. He also walked twice. On Sunday, he had a walk-off sacrifice fly. Aaron Sabato also had two homers and five RBI on the week. Alerick Soularie’s struggles continued. On the week, he went 0-for-15 and is now hitting just .137 in his first 21 games of the season. What’s Next? The Kernels will be traveling to Peoria to take on the Chiefs. Pitching Probables (LHP Brent Headrick, RHP Sean Mooney, LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich, RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP Cody Laweryson) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Week: 3-3, at Lakeland Season: 14-10 overall, 1st place in the Florida State League West, but just 1/2 game ahead of Bradenton (15-12) and 1.0 game ahead of Clearwater (13-11). The Florida State League is typically not known for much offense. While the Mussels scored a combined four runs over their first two games last week, they scored 32 runs over the final four games. The team gave up 26 runs on the week. However, 12 of those came in just one game. The best start of the week for Ft. Myers came from RHP Pierson Ohl. He was charged with one run on four hits and a walk over five innings. He struck out four batters. Nine Mighty Mussels starters worked last week without giving up an earned run. Regi Grace, Hunter McMahon, Juan Mendez, Matthew Swain, and John Wilson each worked twice and worked between 2 2/3 innings and four innings. Steven Hajjar had an interesting start. In three innings, he did not give up a run or a hit. He struck out eight batters (in nine outs). But he also walked four batters. The worst start of the week came from Blayne Enlow. He gave up seven runs (3 earned) on five hits and a walk in just 1 2/3 innings. Sure, that’s a minimal negative, but it was Enlow’s first rehab start since he had Tommy John surgery last year. He got through it, and he felt good on Sunday. The better news? He is expected to make his next start for Wichita. Offensively, Noah Miller had a great week! In six games, he went 11-for-23 and hit .478/.556/.783 (1.339) with two doubles, a triple, a home run, and four walks. He also stole three bases. Jake Rucker also played in six games. He went 10-for-22 and hit .455/.500/.682 (1.182) with three doubles and a triple. He also walked four times and stole three bases. Daniel Ozoria played in five games and went 7-for-17 (.412) with two steals. Mikey Perez had four hits last week including one double and one home run. He added three walks. What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels will return to Hammond Stadium to take on the Palm Beach Cardinals. Pitching Probables (RHP David Festa, RHP Travis Adams, RHP Pierson Ohl, RHP Mike Paredes, RHP Marco Raya, LHP Steven Hajjar) PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week (April 26 - May 1). You may have noticed that the Prospect Tracker has been updated, and will be updated on the first of each month throughout the season. #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 3 G, 3-for-12 (.250), 2-2B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K (Season: 24 G, .310/.430/.563 (.993), 11-2B, 1-3B, 3-HR, 21 R, 11 RBI, 17 BB, 20 K) #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 3 G, 3-for-10 (.300), 1-2B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (Season: 3 G, .300/.300/.400 (.700), 1-2B, 0-3B, 0-HR, 0 R, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 5 G, 4-for-17 (.235), 0-2B, 1-HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 0 K (Season: 25 G, .242/.376/.337 (.713), 6-2B, 0-3B, 1-HR, 22 R, 8 RBI, 15 BB, 16 K, 14 SB, 0 CS) #3 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 4.2 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 3 K (Season: 5 GS, 27.2 IP, 5 R, 16 H, 7 BB, 28 K, 3-1, 1.63 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, 9.1 K/9) #4 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 5 G, 6-for-18 (.333), 2-2B, 1-HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1K (Season: 21 G, .256/.295/.442 (.737), 10-2B, 2-HR, 10 R, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 14 K) #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - Week: 6 G, 4-for-22 (..182), 2-2B, 1-HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K (Season: 7 G, .154/.214/.346 (.560), 2-2B, 1-HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K) #5 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Week/Season: 1 GS, 3.2 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K. #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K (Season: 5 GS, 27.0 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 12 H, 8 BB, 24 K, 2-0, 1.33 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 8.0 K/9) #7 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 8 K (Season: 5 G, 2 GS, 22.1 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 12 H, 4 BB, 20 K, 2-0, 1.61 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 1.6 BB/9, 8.1 K/9) #8 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 G, 2.2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K (Season: 10 G, 14.2 IP, 6 R, 10 H, 3 BB, 24 K, 0-1, 2 Saves, 3.68 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 14.7 K/9) #9 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 1 GS, 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K (Season: 6 GS, 16.2 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 11 BB, 22 K, 0-1, 1.62 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 5.9 BB/9, 11.9 K/9) #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 5 G, 3-for-16 (.188) , 0-2B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 9 BB, 6 K (Season: 22 G, .229/.450/.486 (.936), 3-2B, 5-HR, 17 R, 9 RBI, 27 BB, 28 K) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 6 G, 11-for-23 (.478), 2-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 4 BB, 6 K (Season: 23 G, .287/.426/.379 (.805), 3-2B, 1-3B, 1 HR, 14 R, 6 RBI, 19 BB, 28 K) #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K (Season: 5 G, 4 GS, 25.2 IP, 12 R, 9 ER, 18 H, 11 BB, 28 K, 3-1, 3.16 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 9.8 K/9) #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 6 K (Season: 5 G, 4 GS, 15.2 IP, 15 R, 22 H, 5 BB, 18 K, 0-4, 8.62 ERA, 1.72 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 10.3 K/9) #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - Season: 1 G, 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 K #14 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 3.1 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 4 K (Season: 3 G, 2 GS, 9.0 IP, 5 R, 9 H, 6 BB, 9 K, 0-1, 5.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 6.0 BB/9, 9.0 K/9) #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 2 G, 1 GS, 4.2 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, (Season: 4 G, 3 GS, 15.0 IP, 6 R, 4 ER, 11 H, 3 BB, 19 K, 2-1, 2.40 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 11.4 K/9) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 5 G, 8-for-20 (.400), 1-2B, 3-HR, 8 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K (Season: 25 G, .320/.395/.570 (.965), 11-2B, 1-3B, 4-HR, 19 R, 21 RBI, 10 BB, 19 K) #17 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 8 K (Season: 4GS, 19.0 IP, 9 R, 7 ER, 18 H, 5 BB, 31 K, 2-1, 3.32 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, 14.7 K/9) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 5 G, 4-for-18 (.222), 1-2B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K (Season: 25 G, .364/.423/.586 (1.009), 5-2B, 1-3B, 5-HR, 16 R, 25 RBI, 11 BB, 28 K) #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 4 G, 6-for-12 (.500), 2-2B, 0-HR, 3 BB, 4 K (Season: 17 G, .281/.394/.439 (.833), 4-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 11 R, 10 RBI, 12 BB, 15 K) #20 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL (elbow): Rehab start with Ft. Myers. 1.2 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. PLAYERS OF THE WEEK Hitter of the Week: Outfielder Matt Wallner, Wichita Wind Surge Noah Miller was the Twins' choice for player of the week, and he had a big week. The 2021 first-round pick hit .478 with two doubles, a triple, and a home run. He posted a tremendous OPS of 1.339. However, Matt Wallner hit .500/.579/1.063 (1.642) with three doubles and two home runs in his five games. That 1.642 OPS is about as good as you can get. It has been a tale of two, two-week stretches for former first-round pick and Forest Lake alum, and that’s why we have to remember that it is a long season, and talent is talent. Matt Wallner is immensely talented. Experts will often say that Double-A is where a lot of players really struggle. If that’s the case, Matt Wallner figured some things out really quickly, and for the second straight week, he is the Twins Daily Hitter of the Week. First 2 weeks (4/8 - 4/24): 12 G, 5-for-45, .111/.222/.178 (.400), 0-2B, 1-HR, 13.0% BB%, 44.4% K% Past 2 weeks (4/26 - 5/8): 11 G, 15-for-35, .429/.535/.971 (1.506), 4-2B, 5-HR, 18.6% BB%, 27.9% K% Baseball is all about adjustments, and it’s pretty impressive that it appears Wallner has been able to adjust quickly. Few, if any, have as much power potential as Wallner. Pitcher of the Week: LHP Brent Headrick, Cedar Rapids Kernels Headrick was a solid candidate for his award last week after he tossed five shutout innings against Beloit. He had given up just three hits, walked none, and struck out seven batters. He was even better this past week in his start against Quad Cities. He threw six more scoreless innings. He gave up only one hit, walked one, and struck out ten batters. Overall, the 24-year-old has made five starts for the Kernels this year. He is 3-1 with a 1.90 ERA. in 23 2/3 innings, he has given up just ten hits, walked five, and struck out 38 batters. Those numbers result in a miniscule 0.63 WHIP and an impressive 14.5 K/9. Headrick was the Twins' ninth-round pick in 2019 out of Illinois State where he pitched for former Twins catcher Steve Holm. As a junior, he had gone 9-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 16 starts. He pitched in just three games for Elizabethton that summer. Like most, he missed the entire 2020 season. In 2021, he pitched in 15 games and made 14 starts. He went 3-5 with Ft. Myers with a 3.82 ERA. But this year, the southpaw has pitched at a new level.
  21. TRANSACTIONS Twins placed OF Trevor Larnach on the IL (right adductor strain) Twins recalled C Jose Godoy. OF Jake Cave was activated from the temporarily inactive list. C Roy Morales activated from the Development List and promoted to the Saints. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Iowa 10 Box Score SP: Cole Sands - 3 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: David Banuelos (2) Multi-hit games: Mark Contreras (2-5, 2 2B, RBI (17), 2 K) The Saints played the final game of their 12-game homestead on Sunday with the conclusion of their series against the Iowa Cubs. On Saturday, the Saints crushed the Cubs in a 9-2 victory. On Sunday, they received the other end of the stick. The Cubs got to the Saints early in the top of the second scoring four runs on five hits and a walk off of starter Cole Sands. Sands had a better go in both the first and third innings giving up only one hit in each of those innings. The high number of strikeouts and a tiring second inning had Sands at 71 pitches through three innings, and six Saints relievers came in to finish out the game. At the plate, many of the Saints bats went cold aside from Mark Contreras who had two doubles and an RBI for the Saints on Sunday. The Saints lineup also featured the return of Jake Cave from the temporarily inactive list leading off for St. Paul and going 1-for-4 with a double and RBI. One of the newest additions to the Saints roster, second baseman Kevin Merrell, spoke on adjusting to the new clubhouse after his promotion from Wichita and which players he has gravitated to as mentors with the Saints. “There are so many guys in there with a ton of experience, and I just need to watch closely and see what I can pick up. It’s been an easy transition, there’s a lot of phenomenal dudes on this team,” said Merrell. Merrell is a former first-round draft pick by the Oakland Athletics in 2017 and went 33rd overall in the draft. Merrell has already found a teammate on the Saints he wants to learn as much as possible from, that teammate being Saints infielder Elliot Soto. Merrell explained, “He can talk to anybody. He’s super encouraging, and he’s very confident in what he does. I think that’s contagious for a lot of us. He’s played for a long time. He’s 32 or so, has a lot of experience, and I would say he stands out the most for me.” The Saints will start a two-week road trip on Tuesday with two different stops, the first being in Columbus, Ohio for a week-long match-up with the Clippers. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1 Wichita 4, Tulsa 7 Box Score Game 1 SP: Chris Vallimont - 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None Game 2 Wichita 5, Tulsa 6 Box Score Game 2 SP: Casey Legumina - 2.1 IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 6 BB, 5 K HR: Austin Martin (1), Michael Helman (4) Multi-hit games: Martin (2-4, R, HR, RBI (8)), Edouard Julien (2-3, R, 2 2B, RBI (10), K) The Wind Surge entered Sunday afternoon riding an eight-game win streak and had a doubleheader scheduled with the Tulsa Drillers to finish out their five-game series. Unfortunately for the WInd Surge, they were swept in the doubleheader. Chris Vallimont was on the mound for his sixth start of the season. Vallimont had a strong first inning recovering from a leadoff triple to Drillers shortstop Jacob Amaya. Amaya scored in the next at-bat on a sacrifice groundout. Vallimont continued to cool off in the second with a 1-2-3 inning, but the Drillers picked up three more runs in the third off of Vallimont which later knocked him out of the game. The Wind Surge bats were cold throughout Game 1 and although they tallied seven hits, no Wind Surge player was able to tally more than one hit. Wind Surge third baseman Spencer Steer managed to drive in two of their four runs in the game. ----------------------------------------------------------- Game 2 brought a better hitting game for the Wind Surge, but they still fell short in another loss against the Drillers. Game 2 was started by Casey Legumina who made his first start for the Wind Surge after three starts with Cedar Rapids to start 2022. Legumina gave up two walks in the top of the first inning but left the runners on base to get out of a jam. He continued that success in the second and retired the minimum in order. The third inning was where Legumina struggled the most, walking four batters and giving up two hits including a home run to Drillers left fielder James Outman. Austin Martin fans were able to rejoice at least in Game 2 as he hit his first home run of the season. Third baseman Michael Helman also had a home run in the sixth inning that brought Wichita within one run. The Wind Surge were unable to score more runs in the bottom of the seventh in order to tie the game and force it into extras. The Wind Surge begin their next series on the road against Northwest Arkansas Tuesday morning for another six-game series with the Naturals. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1 Box Score SP: Sawyer Gipson-Long 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi hit games: Jair Camargo (2-5, K) The Kernels completed their final game against the River Bandits on Sunday taking a win to complete a 4-2 series victory of Quad Cities. The 2-1 victory for the Kernels was the smallest scoring game of the series as Anthony Prato and Wander Javier drove in the only two runs. Javier hit into a force out in the bottom of the 8th inning to score Aaron Sabato with the game-tying run. They went to extra innings. In the bottom of the 11th inning, Javier was on third base when Anthony Prato his a fly ball to right field, deep enough to end the game. Sawyer Gipson-Long had his best start of the season on Sunday. He had season highs in the start with innings pitched (5 1/3) and strikeouts (6). He also did not give up any runs or walks in the game. The Kernels will be on the road in Peoria to play another six-game series against the Chiefs. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 9, Lakeland 1 Box Score SP: Steve Hajjar 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (3-4, 2 R, SB (6), RBI (6)), Mikey Perez (2-3, 2B, 3 RBI (7), 2 BB), Kyle Schmidt (2-5, 2B, 2 RBI (13), 2 BB, 2 K), Daniel Ozoria (2-4, R) The Mighty Mussels completed their series against the Lakeland Flying Tigers with a lopsided 9-1 victory which brought about a series split. The Mighty Mussels pitching was dominated by Steve Hajjar and Marco Raya. Hajjar started the game and threw three no-hit innings, walking four and striking out eight out of the nine outs. Raya came into the game in the top of the fifth. Although Raya gave up a home run in the top of the sixth, he only allowed one other base runner on a hit and struck out four to earn the win. The Mussels offense lit up all afternoon scoring nine runs on 11 hits without the help of a home run. Mussels third baseman Jake Rucker led the offense with a three-hit game. The Mussels will begin their next series at home on Tuesday night against Palm Beach for another six-game series against the Cardinals Low-A affiliate. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long (Cedar Rapids) - 5.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Jake Rucker (Ft. Myers) - 3-4, 2 R, SB (6), RBI (6) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-3 #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Game 1, 0-2, R, 2 BB Game 2, 2-4, R, HR, SB, RBI #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-4, R, 2B, RBI (3) #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, R, 2 BB #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, RBI (6), BB, K #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 3 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - Game 1, 1-4, SB, 2 RBI (20) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, SB, BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - Game 1, 0-3, BB, K Game 2, 2-3, R, 2 2B, RBI (10) TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 10. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05 PM CST) - Ronny Henriquez Wichita @ Northwest Arkansas (11:05 AM CST) - Ben Gross Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:05 PM CST) - TBD Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (5:30 PM CST) - David Festa Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
  22. TRANSACTIONS RHP Jordan Balazovic activated from the IL for the St. Paul Saints RHP Cole Sands optioned to the St. Paul Saints from the Minnesota Twins RHP Blayne Enlow assigned to Low-A Fort Myers on minor league rehab RHP Dylan Thomas was reinstated from the 7-day IL and released Saints Sentinel St. Paul 9, Iowa 2 Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Kevin Merrell (1), Derek Fisher (3) Multi-hit games: Jermaine Palacios (2-for-5, RBI) A top prospect made his AAA debut on Saturday. Jordan Balazovic, one of the team’s top pitching young arms, returned from the injured list on Saturday, tossing 3 2/3 scoreless innings for the Saints. Other exciting pitching prospects have overshadowed Balazovic with their major-league performances, but no one should forget just how dominant Balazovic can be when healthy. Of course, one should never lose themselves in a pitcher when St. Paul’s offense scored nine runs. It was a group effort on Saturday; every player got on base at least once, and the only player without a hit (Curtis Terry) walked four times. In fact, the team ended up walking more often than they struck out (11 to 10). The Cubs suffered death by a thousand paper cuts. Outside of the Kevin Merrell homer above, Derek Fisher and Cole Sturgeon provided the only other extra-base hits of the game. One final offensive note: every RBI came from the 5-9 hitters. Mario Sanchez allowed two runs over 3 1/3 innings in relief of Balazovic; Wladimir Pinto shut out Iowa over the final two innings with an impressive five strikeouts. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 5, Tulsa 4 Box Score Simeon Woods Richardson: 5 1/3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: Spencer Steer 2 (3, 4) Multi-hit games: Spencer Steer (3-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR) Wichita walked off their opponent on Saturday. Simeon Woods Richardson proved he was human, allowing his first earned runs of the year in a decidedly middling start. The Drillers, full of classically tough Dodgers prospects, ambushed Woods Richardson in the third inning with three hits and an HBP, ultimately netting three runs in the frame. Wichita would not stand around quietly, though. Or, Spencer Steer specifically, would not stand around quietly. Steer was a train engine, doubling home a run in the first before homering in the third and fourth innings. One must assume that Tulsa pitchers were on the verge of an outright revolt if their coaches forced them to pitch to Steer. Of course, one man an offense does not make. Alex Isola reached base three times, Michael Helman singled home a run, and Matt Wallner brought home the walk-off run in the 9th inning. Don’t look now, but Wallner now owns an .897 OPS at AA despite his dreadful start to the season. We all sometimes Need A Little Help From Our Friends, and the wind smiled favorably onto Wichita. Oh, and Wallner also threw a missile to nail a runner at home. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 6, Quad Cities 2 Box Score Cade Povich: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K HR: Anthony Prato (4), Will Holland (1), Aaron Sabato (4) Multi-hit games: Jeferson Morales (3-for-4, 2 R) The Kernels won on Saturday. Water is wet. Cade Povich continued his utterly brilliant introduction to the full minor-league season by punching out eight batters without allowing an earned run. Don’t look now, but the Twins may already have the second wave of arms in the wings waiting for the first group to graduate. Cedar Rapids’ offense started with a bang. Anthony Prato hit a lead-off homer and Charles Mack doubled home another run in the first to give Povich a 2-0 lead before his second inning of work. Will Holland extended the lead in the second with a solo shot before Aaron Sabato blasted away, giving the Kernels a six-run lead before anyone knew what hit them. Bobby Milacki and Denny Bentley combined for four innings with just one run allowed to end the game. Kernels pitchers struck out 15 batters in total. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 7, Lakeland 12 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 1 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (2-for-3, R, RBI, 2B, BB), Noah Miller (2-for-4, R, RBI, BB), Noah Cardenas (2-for-4, 2 RBI), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-4, 2 R) The Mighty Mussels lost a high scorer on Saturday. Blayne Enlow made his much-anticipated return from Tommy John surgery. The young righty was tagged as the Lance McCullers of the Twins’ 2017 draft when they went over-slot to pick him in the third round after drafting Royce Lewis with the first overall pick. His career hasn’t been straightforward since, but the Twins saw enough potential to protect him from the Rule 5 draft, and this year will go a long way to proving whether that decision was wise. Baseball is far too cruel to carry a storybook tale, though. Even after Fort Myers jumped out to a 6-0 lead, Lakeland harassed Enlow in the second inning, taking advantage of poor defense to take a 7-6 lead after the dust had settled. Mike Parades tried in vain to put the effort to a stop, but Lakeland’s bats were in an evil mood, and all he gained was a higher ERA. The game wasn’t all bad; Fort Myers reached base 16 times as Noah Miller and Emmanuel Rodriguez continued to flash their on-base potential with three and two times reaching base respectively. Keoni Cavaco was not so fortunate, striking out three times in the loss. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cade Povich Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-5, R #2 – Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, 2B, K #3 – Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-2, BB #4 – Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K #7 – Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K #10 – Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 2-for-4, R, RBI, BB, K #11 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 0-for-1 #12 – Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-for-4, RBI, 2B, BB, 2 K #15 – Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, R, 2 BB, K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - 1 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K #18 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 3-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR, 2B SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (2:07 PM) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez Tulsa @ Wichita (12:05 PM) - RHP Chris Vallimont Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 PM) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long Fort Myers @ Lakeland (12:00 PM) - LHP Steve Hajjar
  23. First it was the pitchers as Josh Winder made the Opening Day roster, and then Cole Sands followed him during his first career start. Jose Miranda crushed Double and Triple-A last season before drawing his first big league start at the hot corner. The goal for Minnesota was to have both a good Major League team, but also establish real depth that could immediately make an impact from the farm. You can now make the argument that pipeline is bearing fruit, and we can take a looking at the names that could be next up: Spencer Steer The least likely of this group, Spencer Steer is a solid infielder at Double-A Wichita. He was a 3rd round pick out of Oregon in 2019 and posted an .833 OPS split between High-A and Double-A last season. Through the first month of 2022 Steer owns a .300/.398/.488 slash line for the WInd Surge, and has now played nearly 100 games at that level. With Miranda moving up to the majors, Steer could be in line for a promotion to Triple-A if the stay becomes long-term for Miranda. Steer can play second, third, and shortstop, but finds himself most at home playing the hot corner. Power production showed up in a big way last year when he blasted 24 homers, and it was clear he put in serious work during the canceled 2020 season. He’s been a doubles machine so far in 2022 but the longballs will fly as the weather warms. He’s not on the 40-man roster and there’s a few non-roster veterans that may be opted for first, but Steer certainly has the chops to help the Twins should his number be called. Matt Canterino A product of Rice University, Canterino has been held back by injury like so many to go through the program. He possesses a unique windup and has a lot of movement in his delivery. Canterino is a very hard thrower though, and his 13.9 career K/9 is beyond impressive. Throwing just 21 innings last year, Canterino is being handled very carefully after beginning the season at Double-A. He’s made five starts but has accumulated just 12 2/3 innings across them. His 2.13 ERA is impressive but the command has become a bit of an issue early this year with nine walks. He still has big strikeout stuff mowing over 18 batters, and he’s yet to allow a home run. Canterino has never thrown more than 25 innings during a single season of his professional career, and Minnesota certainly is hoping to change that this season. Managing his workload and helping a good big league team, Canterino could be called upon to debut out of the bullpen with a higher level of effort. He too would need a 40-man roster spot. Royce Lewis Quite possibly the most likely prospect promotion is also the most exciting. Lewis missed two years due to the pandemic and then an ACL surgery prior to Spring Training in 2021. He’s back and debuted at Triple-A to start 2022. You could make the argument that the former top 10 prospect looks as good as he ever has. There’s a notable difference in his swing as Lewis has calmed the leg kick dramatically. His hands are a bit quieter and the results have certainly followed. Through his first 21 games for the St. Paul Saints, Lewis is slashing .320/.441/.587 with three homers, nine doubles, and a triple. Maybe even more encouraging is how well Lewis is covering the plate and dictating at-bats. The talented shortstop owns a strong 18/15 K/BB and he’s used elite speed to swipe five bases on six attempts. Minnesota doesn’t seem to question whether Lewis can stick at shortstop, but barring a Carlos Correa injury the opportunity wouldn’t seem to immediately be there. Lewis has played in the outfield professionally and could find an opportunity as the right-handed outfield bat that the Twins continue to seek. While not the prototypical corner slugger, there’s power that can play, and he’d be an elite defender with range that would match that of Byron Buxton. Ultimately I don’t foresee any of these options coming to fruition prior to June. Each has hurdles to clear and time to substantiate current performances. They are all names to watch though, and none of them would represent a shocking debut should they reach Target Field in 2022. Who are you most looking forward to seeing next?
  24. Most of the Twins affiliates have played 15 games now while the St. Paul Saints have played 18 games. Top prospects are reaching 50-60 plate appearances. That's not enough to make any grand stances on players, but we'll get there. Starting pitchers will be making their third and fourth starts. Pitch counts may increase, and we might soon be able to find tendencies for players. and we will be here to cover it all. Let's take a look back at Week 3 in the Twins minor leagues. If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. Please note that the hyperlinks on player names will show you past articles in which that player has been tagged. Click around a bit and see how much some of these players have been written about over the years. RESULTS Tuesday: The Arrival of Raya Wednesday: Wind Surge Win a Wild One Thursday: Double Walk Offs and Shoving Smeltzer Friday: St. Paul Completes Twin Cities Sweep Saturday: Emmanuel Rodriguez Does It Again Sunday: Kernels and Surge Strike Large in Series Finales on Sunday MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT Twins Minor League Week in Review (4/12-18) Twins Have Important Reinforcements Close Unheralded Twins Prospects to Watch Twins Complete Padres Trade with Pitching Prospect Brayan Medina Emmanuel Rodriguez: A Star in the Making? Three Questions With… Emmanuel Rodriguez (Video) WEEK IN REVIEW Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week: 2-4 at Toledo Season: 10-7 overall, 3rd place in the International League West. They are 2 1/2 games behind Nashville. The Saints scored nine runs in one game last week. In their other five games, they scored a combined ten runs. In the first game of the week, they lost 11-0. That’s not to say that there weren’t some highlights. Ten Saints pitchers worked and did not give up an earned run. Sure, that includes catcher David Banuelos who retired the only batter he faced. The highlight was Ronny Henriquez. He made his first appearance of the season, his first appearance in the Twins organization, and his first Triple-A appearance. It went quite well. He worked three scoreless, hitless innings. He walked one and struck out four batters. Yennier Cano worked three scoreless innings over two appearances. He gave up two hits and hit a batter, and he struck out three batters. Dereck Rodriguez returned to the Saints after one appearance with the Twins. He gave up two unearned runs on two hits over three innings. He struck out five batters without issuing a walk. As you’d expect, it wasn’t all good. As terrific as Cole Sands was in his first two Triple-A starts, this wasn’t a good week. Combined, he gave up ten runs on ten hits in just 2 2/3 innings. He walked three and didn’t have a strikeout. He had a short start early in the week and came out of the bullpen on Sunday. No surprise that the Saints didn’t have any hitting standouts in such a frustrating week. Jose Miranda led the offense, hitting .250/.321/.458 (.779) with five doubles and three walks. Royce Lewis hit just .190 over six games. He had five walks, a double, and an absolutely mammoth home run. Daniel Robertson went 2-for-17 (.118) last week. Jake Cave was 3-for-23 (.130) with ten strikeouts. It was also a rough week for the catchers. Chance Sisco went 1-for-9 (.111). Jose Godoy went 1-for-8 (.125), though he got called up, and on Sunday had two incredibly huge walks. Caleb Hamilton went 0-for-5, and David Banuelos went 0-for-3. What’s Next? The Saints come home to host the Nashville Sound, the Triple-A affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. (Go to SaintsBaseball.com for tickets!) Pitching Probables: (RHP Dereck Rodriguez, LHP Devin Smeltzer, RHP Ronny Henriquez, RHP Jake Faria, TBD, TBD) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge Week: 4-2 at home vs. Midland Season: 8-7 overall, tied for 2nd place in the Texas League South Division. They are 2.0 games behind Tulsa. The Surge had a fantastic week offensively. In six games, they scored 52 runs. That includes a 15-1 win on Thursday, but they also had games with 10, nine, and eight runs. However, it was a rough week for their pitching staff. They gave up 45 runs. They had games in which they gave up 15, 10, eight, and seven runs. With that as the background, let’s start with the hitters. Six Wichita hitters posted an OPS over 1.000 for the week. Andrew Bechtold had a really nice week. In four games, he hit .364/.556/.727 (1.283). He had a double and a home run. He also walked six times with just two strikeouts. Kevin Merrell also played in four games. He hit .313/.333/.938 (1.271) with a double and three home runs. Michael Helman played all six games and hit .348/.429/.783 (1.212) with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and eight RBI. He also walked four times. Spencer Steer also played all six games. He hit .409/.567/.591 (1.158) with four doubles. He had eight walks to go with just three strikeouts. Steer was the Twins Minor League Player of the Week. Was he also Twins Daily's hitter of the week? Edouard Julien returned the second half of the week from the Injured List. He went 4-for-11 with a double and a triple. He also stole two bases in three games. Dennis Ortega signed with the Twins late in spring training. He played last year with the Triple-A affiliate of the Cardinals, the organization he began with in 2014. In five games last week, he hit .478/.500/.696 (1.196) with three doubles, a triple, and seven RBI. Despite his years of professional experience, he is still just 24 years old. On the other side of the spectrum, Leobaldo Cabrera went 0-for-15 during the week. Matt Wallner had two hits on Sunday, but he was 2-for-14 (.143) for the week. For the Wind Surge pitching staff, there were certainly extremes. Matt Canterino started on both Monday and Sunday. Combined, he threw six scoreless, hitless innings. He walked two batters and struck out nine. After missing most of the 2021 season with elbow issues, the Twins will be immensely cautious with Canterino this year, likely putting him on a plan similar to what the team did with Bailey Ober a year ago. Simeon Woods Richardson was incredible again in his start this week. The right-hander tossed six scoreless innings. He gave up two singles, walked no one, and struck out six batters. Austin Schulfer tossed four scoreless innings over his two appearances. He gave up three hits, walked none and struck out five batters. He recorded one save. While it wasn’t a great outing, Chris Vallimont had a nice, bounce-back start. He gave up one run in four innings. He gave up three hits, hit a batter, and walked three batters. He had six strikeouts. On the other side, Brandon Lawson gave up six earned runs in 1 1/3 innings. Steven Cruz pitched twice. In 1 2/3 innings, he gave up six runs on four hits, a hit batter, and four walks. All of that came in the ninth inning when he came in with a 7-0 lead. Zach Featherstone also pitched twice. He gave up seven runs on four hits (2 homers), and three walks in two innings. Bryan Sammons gave up four runs on four hits and three walks in two innings. What’s Next? The Wind Surge will be traveling to Arkansas for the week. Pitching Probables: (RHP Chris Vallimont, RHP Louie Varland, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Matt Canterino, TBD, TBD) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week: 5-1 at home vs Peoria) Season: 12-3 overall, 1st place in the Midwest League, 1.0 game ahead of Wisconsin. The Kernels won five of six games despite leading the run differential just 25-23. The first three games of the week were one-run games. They were postponed on Wednesday and then won both games of a doubleheader in walk-off fashion. The Kernels week (and season so far) has been largely successful due to some great work out of the bullpen. Eight relievers combined for 20 innings of zero unearned runs. Melvi Acosta, Denny Bentley, Osiris German, Bradley Hanner, and Bobby Milacki each pitched twice during the week and worked between 2 2/3 and 3 2/3 innings. Hanner was given the Win in both of his games. He walked and batter and hit a batter, but he did not give up a run or a hit during the week. Sean Mooney went five innings in his start. He gave up one run on four hits. Lefty Cade Povich gave up two runs (1 earned) on five hits in 4 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out nine batters. Casey Legumina also worked 4 2/3 innings and gave up two runs. The Kernels got several solid performances from their hitters last week against Peoria. After a middling first full week of the season (after an amazing first weekend), Christian Encarnacion-Strand had another strong week against Peoria. Over six games, he hit .400/.400/.560 (.960) with two doubles and a triple. The only blemish was nine strikeouts in 25 plate appearances. Will Holland played in five games. He hit .375/.474/.438 (.912) with a double. In five games, Jeferson Morales hit .313/.429/.438 (.867) with two doubles. Outfielder Willie Joe Garry hit .294/.333/.529 (.862) with two doubles and a triple. What’s Next? The Kernels will be traveling to southeast Wisconsin to take on the Beloit Sky Carp. Pitching Probables: (RHP Cody Laweryson, RHP Casey Legumina, LHP Brent Headrick, RHP Sean Mooney, RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long/LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Week: 3-3 at Dunedin Season: 10-5 overall, 1st place in the Florida State League West, 2.0 games ahead of Bradenton. The Mighty Mussels scored 20 runs over their six-game week. Fortunately, their pitching staff only allowed just 18 runs on the week. No surprise, it was a tightly-contested week. Three of the six games were settled by one run. There was also a two-run game, a three-run game, and a four-run game. No laughers in Florida this week, at least not in Dunedin. The Mighty Mussels starters continued to pitch really well. The six starters worked a combined 28 1/3 innings and gave up just four runs (2 earned) on 11 hits and eight walks. They struck out 39 batters. John Stankiewicz had another great start last week. He struck out nine batters over five scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and walked two batters. Marco Raya’s second professional start was pretty incredible. He struck out 10 batters over six innings. He gave up one hit and struck out none. Steve Hajjar was good in his second pro start. He struck out 10 batters over 4 1/3 innings. He gave up an unearned run on two walks and a hit batter. No hits. David Festa also went four scoreless frames in his start. He gave up three hits, walked two, and struck out four batters. The big news to come out of this start was that he hit 98.6 mph with a fastball. On Sunday, Travis Adams gave up one run on one hit over five one-run innings. Two relievers worked twice and got at least 12 outs. Hunter McMahon walked one and struck out one over four hitless innings. Mike Paredes gave up just one hit over 4 1/3 scoreless innings and struck out five batters. It was a good week for a few 2022 draft picks. Eighth round pick from UCLA, catcher Noah Cardenas played in four games. He hit .273/.471/.545 (1.016) with a homer and three walks. Dylan Neuse was the Twins 17th round pick from Texas Tech. He also played in four games and hit .273/.385/.545 (.930) with his first professional home run. 12th round pick Kyler Fedko, an outfielder from U Conn had another solid week. Over six games, he hit .286/.407/.476 (.883) with a double and a home run. What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels are back at Hammond Stadium this coming week to face Clearwater. Pitching Probables: (LHP Steve Hajjar, RHP Pierson Ohl, RHP John Stankiewicz, TBD, RHP Travis Adams, TBD) PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week (April 19-24). #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 6 G, 7-for-24 (.292), 2-2B, 2 RBI, 5 BB, 4 K (Season: 15 G, .262/.392/.344 (.736), 5-2B, 15 R, 4 RBI, 10 BB, 12 K) #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 6 G, 4-for-21 (.190), 3-2B, 3B, 3 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K (Season: 16 G, .288/.394/.542 (.937), 7-2B, 1-3B, 2-HR, 15 R, 9 RBI, 9 BB, 15 K) #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 5 G, 5-for-19 (.263), 3-2B, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K (Season: 16 G, .235/.280/.397 (.677), 8-2B, 1-HR, 8 R, 10 RBI, 4 BB, 13 K) #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - IL (knee) #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K (Season: 3 GS, 16 IP, 3 R, 9 H, 5 BB, 16 K, 2-1, 1.69 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 9.0 K/9) #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 2 GS, 6.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 9 K (Season: 4 GS, 9.2 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 8 BB, 14 K, 0-1, 2.79 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 7.4 BB/9, 13.0 K/9) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 G, 3.0 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 4 K (Season: 6 G, 9.0 IP, 4 R, 8 H, 2 BB, 15 K, 0-0, 4.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 15.0 K/9) #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1 GS, 6 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 0 BB, 6 K (Season: 3 GS, 16.2 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 14 K, 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.54 WHIP, 2.2 BB/9, 7.6 K/9) #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 1 G, 4.0 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 0 BB, 4 K (Season: 3 G, 10.1 IP, 4 R, 7 H, 3 BB, 5 K, 0-0, 3.48 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 2.6 BB/9, 4.4 K/9) #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 6 G, 5-for-21 (.238), 1-2B, 5 BB, 6 K (Season: 14 G, .200/.353/.218 (.571), 1-2B, 8 R, 1 RBI, 12 BB, 20 K) #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 5 G, 0-for-3 (.000), 0 BB, 0 K (Season: 9 G, .100/.250/.100 (.350), 2 R, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K) #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 4 G, 2-for-14 (.143), 5 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K.(Season: 12 G, .111/.222/.178 (.400), 1-HR, 4 R, 7 RBI, 7 BB, 24 K) #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 2 G, 1 GS, 2.2 IP, 10 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 0 K (Season: 4 G, 3 GS, 12.2 IP, 11 R, 14 H, 4 BB, 12 K, 0-3, 7.82 ERA, 1.42 WHIP, 2.8 BB/9, 8.5 K/9) #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 6 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 4 K (Season: 3 G, 2 GS, 15.1 IP, 10 R, 7 ER, 11 H, 8 BB, 18 K, 1-1, 4.11 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 4.7 BB/9, 10.6 K/9) #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 6 G, 3-for-20 (.150) , 2-2B, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 4 BB, 11 K (Season: 14 G, .267/.469/.667 (1.136), 3-2B, 5-HR, 12 R, 8 RBI, 16 BB, 17 K) #16 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - (Week/Season: 1 G, 3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 4 K, 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.33 WHIP, 3.0 BB/9, 12.0 K/9) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL (elbow) #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 6 G, 9-for-22 (.409), 4-2B, 6 RBI, 8 BB, 3 K (Season: 15 G, .322/.429/.542 (.971), 8-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 12 R, 12 RBI, 9 BB, 12 K) #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 3 G, 4-for-11 (.364), 1 BB, 2 K, 2 SB (Season: 7 G, .318/.385/.455 (.839), 1-2B, 1-3B, 4 R, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K) #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 10 K. (Season: 2 GS, 7.1 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 4 H, 4 BB, 16 K, 0-0, 4.91 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 4.9 BB/9, 19.6 K/9) PLAYERS OF THE WEEK Hitter of the Week: Super Utility, Michael Helman, Wichita Wind Surge Last week, Michael Helman played in all six games for Wichita. He hit .348/.429/.783 (1.212) with two doubles, a triple, two home runs and eight RBI. He also walked four times. In 15 games on the season, he has hit .286/.379/.554 (.933) with two doubles, two triples, and three home runs. As important in his development, he has nine walks to just six strikeouts on the season. He is also 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts. The Twins drafted Helman in the 11th round of the 2018 draft as a second baseman out of Texas A&M. That is the position he played most of the time pre-pandemic. When he returned to the field in 2021, versatility became a huge part of Helman’s game. In fact, I think it is a trait that will help him get a shot in the big leagues at some point. Last year, he played 42 games in left field, 27 games in right field, 26 games in center field, 16 games at second base and four games at shortstop. He went to the Arizona Fall League where he played eight games in center but also played games in left, second and third base. This season, Helman has started ten games in center, four games at third base, and one game at second base. After struggling offensively in Ft. Myers in 2019, hitting just .197 before an injury ended his season. It was in Cedar Rapids in 2021 where his bat, and specifically his power arrived. In 111 games, he hit 21 doubles, four triples and 19 home runs (50% more than previously as a pro). He always took quality at-bats and knows the strike zone well, but after being a top of the order or bottom of the order hitter, he has become a middle of the order hitter in a very strong Wichita Wind Surge lineup in 2021. Pitcher of the Week: Marco Raya, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels In just his second professional start, Raya shut down the Dunedin Blue Jays for six innings. He faced the minimum of 18 batters. He gave up one hit, walked none, and struck out ten batters. The one batter who got a hit was soon thrown out attempting to steal a base. It was a nice jump forward after his first start in which he gave up three runs (2 earned) on seven hits, a walk, and a hit batter. Raya was the Twins' fourth-round draft pick in 2020 out of United South High School in Laredo, Texas. Of course, there wasn’t a season for him to begin his career then. He made a strong showing in the instructional league that fall. He was excited to begin in 2021 but a minor injury cost him the season. However, reports from last year’s instructional league had him hitting 96-97 mph with a fastball. That’s especially impressive when he was selected as a prep pitcher with four quality pitches and good control. Add in the big fastball and Raya has a chance to be really good. What were your favorite storylines from the past week, and what will you be following in the coming week.
  25. TRANSACTIONS INF Keoni Cavaco activated from IL. INF Edouard Julien activated from IL C Chris Williams moved to the Developmental Roster SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 9, Toledo 4 Box Score The Saints were the lone Twins’ affiliate to pick up a win Friday night thanks to a six-run eighth inning. On the night, St. Paul registered 11 hits and drew seven walks against the Mud Hens. Jake Cave led the Saints with three hits in six at-bats, including a double, raising his batting average on the young season to .302. Utility man Jermaine Palacios also tallied a multi-hit game (2-for-5) with his double being St. Paul's only other extra-base hit save for Mark Contreras’ (1-for-4) two-run home run in the third inning. Royce Lewis remained on a tear, reaching base three times in six plate appearances and driving in a run. Fellow top prospect Jose Miranda went 1-for-4 with his single plating two runners. Derek Fisher (1-for-4), Daniel Robertson (1-for-4), and Jose Godoy (1-for-5) also picked up hits. JC Ramirez started on the bump for St. Paul and was touched for four runs in 3 2/3 innings. However, the bullpen did not cave for the remainder of the game as Jake Petricka, Trevor Megill, Tyler Bashlor, and Yennier Cano tossed the final 5 1/3 innings, surrendering four hits and walks, but striking out seven and not allowing a run. Cano, a 28-year-old fireballer who slots somewhere in between former Twin Edwar Colina and Jhoan Duran in terms of talent and potential, has now struck out eight batters and only walked one in seven innings. WIND SURGE WISDOM Midland 10, Wichita 8 Box Score Louie Varland did not have his best stuff as the 2021 Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year fell victim to the Rockhounds' offense. Varland was sitting 95-97 mph with his fastball for the majority of his outing, but he lacked command of his curveball and Midland took advantage. Varland served up three home runs and six runs overall (three earned) in five innings, striking out four and walking two batters. Friday’s start was emblematic of why it is difficult for two-pitch pitchers to find success as starters at the MLB level. Today's hitters, even those at Double-A, are able to mash upper-90s heat if they know it is coming and doubly so when they know that the opposing pitcher isn’t going/able to drop in a breaking ball or other off-speed pitch into the zone. Varland has shown enough during his brief time in the minors to suggest that he is an MLB talent, but unless he greatly improves the command of his breaking pitch or further develops his nascent changeup, it will be unlikely that he reaches the precipice as a starter. There is no shame in that. Varland could be another Duran-type for the Twins in short stints, but he needs more refinement if he wishes to do so. Bryan Sammons and Austin Schulfer each threw two innings in relief with the former allowing four runs while the latter punched out two and kept his ERA at 0.00. Offensively, the Wind Surge faired much better. Austin Martin’s bat continues to wake up following his slow start to the season as his 2-for-4 night leaves his batting average a .296. (Quick aside: Martin continued to display why many questions his ability to stick at shortstop long-term as he registered his fifth error of the season on a routine ground ball. Martin has all the physical tools to play shortstop. However, he looks much more comfortable in centerfield as well as during his appearances at second base. He’s a smooth athlete with quick feet but lacks the arm strength or sure-handedness that are needed for success at arguably MLB’s most important defensive position. His strengths play much better in either the outfield or a less demanding infield position like second or even third.) Spencer Steer had the best night at the plate across all levels, going 4-for-5 and driving in two runs. Michael Helman (1-for-4, 2 RBI, BB) launched his third home run of the season in the fifth inning and Dennis Ortega (2-for-5) contributed Wichita’s only other extra base hit, a double. Cole Sturgeon (1-for-5, 2 RBI), Andrew Bechtold (1-for-4, RBI), and Edouard Julien (0-for-3, RBI) were the other Wind Surge players to register RBIs. KERNELS NUGGETS Peoria 8, Cedar Rapids 2 Box Score Very little went right for the Kernels on Friday. Offensively, Cedar Rapids only managed five hits, all of them singles, and struck out 10 times. A silver lining: Christian Encarnacion-Strand remained hot, going 2-for-5 to raise his batting average to .434 and OPS to 1.229 across his first 55 plate appearances of the season. One might argue that Encarnacion-Strand has already earned a promotion to Double-A, but with Steer and Miranda still in the minors and playing the same position, it would seem as though a call-up is still a month or two away. The other three Kernels to reach base via hit were Wander Javier (1-for-4, RBI), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (1-for-3), and Jeferson Morales (1-for-3, BB). Brent Headrick’s strong start to the season hit a pothole against the Chiefs as he was unable to make it out of the fourth inning after walking four batters, serving up a home run, and surrendering three earned runs. Miguel Rodriguez provided a nice respite for 2 1/3 innings, striking out two and keeping the Peoria bats at bay. However, they woke up after he exited, torching Cody Laweryson and Andrew Cabezas for five runs. Tyler Palm pitched the final frame, striking out the side, despite loading the bases. MUSSEL MATTERS Dunedin 2, Fort Myers 1 Box Score The Blue Jays and Mighty Mussels combined for three runs and all of them came in the ninth inning. Noah Cardenas’ (1-for-2, BB) second home run of the season put Fort Myers on the board during the top of the final frame, but the Mighty Mussels walked the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning before Gabriel Martinez hit a walk-off two-run single. John Stankiewicz once again dazzled as he struck out nine batters and allowed only a single hit in five innings. The 23-year-old now boasts a 1.13 ERA with a 7:1 K:BB ratio over the first 16 innings of the season. Hunter McMahon tossed three innings in relief, walking and striking out one batter. Emmanuel Rodriguez broke out of his 0-for-12 slump by going 1-for-3 with a double. However, he exited the game earlier for a currently unknown reason. Kyler Fedko (1-for-3), Dillon Tatum (1-for-3), and Jake Rucker (1-for-4, 2B) also registered hits. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – RHP John Stankiewicz (Fort Myers): 5 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 9 K, 78 pitches Hitter of the Day – INF Spencer Steer (Wichita): 4-for-5, 2 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-4, #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, RBI, 2 BB, 2 R #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, 2 RBI, BB, R #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4 #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - Defensive Replacement #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 5 IP, 4 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 3 HR #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-3, 2B, BB #16 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 4-for-5, 2 RBI #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-for-3, RBI SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo ( 4:05 PM CST) - RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-0, 2.35 ERA) Wichita vs Midland (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Brandon Lawson (0-1, 17.18 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs Peoria (2:05 PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (1-0, 1.00 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (5:30 PM CST) - RHP Travis Adams (1-0, 0.90 ERA)
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