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  1. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Four Starters for July, there were some other solid starting performers that just missed the cut. Let’s discuss the top starting pitchers in the organization in July. HONORABLE MENTION RHP Ben Gross - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 3 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 14 H, 4 BB, 25 K RHP Jordan Balazovic - Wichita Wind Surge - 5 GS, 28.1 IP, 2.86 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 21 H, 11 BB, 31 K. THE TOP FOUR STARTING PITCHERS #4 - RHP Giovahniey German - FCL Twins - 5 GS, 16.2 IP, 1.62 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 9 H, 7 BB, 19 K German was born in Massachusetts but grew up in the Dominican Republic. The Twins signed him as a 16-year-old in 2017. He spent two seasons in the DSL. After missing the 2020 season, He came to the States this spring and was placed on the FCL Twins roster. His first start was June 28th and he gave up four earned runs in four innings. In his first start of July, he gave up three earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. Since then, he has tossed 13 1/3 innings and only allowed an unearned run. In his July 13th start, he tossed five no-hit innings and allowed two walks. #3 - LHP Aaron Rozek - FCL Twins/Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels/Wichita Wind Surge - 5 G, 2 GS, 22.0 IP, 1.64 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 16 H, 2 BB, 29 K Rozek grew up a Twins fan in Burnsville. After high school, he went to Minnesota State-Mankato. He redshirted and then pitched four seasons for the Mavericks. He also played in the Northwoods League during his summers. He went undrafted in 2018 and has played independent baseball since. Until, that is, the Twins signed him in June. It’s been an interesting month. After two appearances in the FCL, including five shutout innings on July 3rd in which he struck out 11, he was moved to the Double-A Wichita Wind Surge. He pitched three scoreless innings in relief and recorded a Win. He was then sent to Ft. Myers where he has pitched three times. He tossed five scoreless innings in his first start there and ended the month with a two-inning scoreless outing. The lefty rarely, if ever, touches 90 on a radar gun, but he mixes things up well to keep hitters off balance. #2 - LHP Tyler Watson - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 3 GS, 19.0 IP, 0.47 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 11 H, 7 BB, 17 K Watson spent most of the season’s first month in a piggybacking role, either starting and working three innings or coming on after the starting and working three innings. In June, he worked mostly as a more traditional relief pitcher, working two innings or less. His final appearance of June was a four-inning start, and his four outings in July were all either four or five innings. His non-start, he came into the game in the second inning and pitched until the seventh inning. On the month, he gave up just two earned runs. He limited base runners. He was very good. Overall this season, the former Nationals prospect is 2-1 with a 1.68 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is (Drumroll, please...) Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels/Cedar Rapids Kernels - RHP Louie Varland - 5 GS, 27.0 IP, 1.00 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 20 H, 8 BB, 36 K Louie Varland was a star on the diamond and on the wrestling mat in his years at North St. Paul High School. He stayed home and pitched for three years at Concordia University in St. Paul, the first two years with his brother Gus. Gus was the 14th round pick of the Oakland A’s in 2018. He was traded to the Dodgers earlier this year. Louie was the 15th round pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2019. He pitched in just three games that summer for Elizabethton. He used the 2020 summer to get healthy, get stronger and gain velocity, and he did just that, hitting 100 mph on a radar gun before spring training. But for now, the intent for Varland is to be a starter, and he’s been fantastic. He began the season with Ft. Myers where he went 4-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 10 games. In 47 1/3 innings, he walked 16 and struck out 76 batters. He made two July starts in Ft. Myers, but mid-month, he was promoted to HIgh-A Cedar Rapids. He has made three starts for the Kernels so far and is yet to allow a run. In 16 innings, he has given up just eight hits, walked seven and struck out 17 batters. His best start was in Cedar Rapids against Beloit when he gave up one hit and struck out nine batters in five scoreless innings. Overall this season, the 23-year-old is 5-2 with a 1.56 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. In 63 1/3 innings, he has walked 23 and struck out 93 batters. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of July, Cedar Rapids RHP Louie Varland.
  2. TRANSACTIONS IF Travis Blankenhorn promoted from Fort Myers to Pensacola. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 4, Scranton/WB 3 (10 Innings) Box Score Rochester used some strong pitching and four runs over the final five innings to come out victorious. Zack Littell started and pitched five strong innings. He limited the RailRiders to one run on five hits. It was the second straight start where he pitched at least five innings and allowed one run or less. LaMonte Wade made a run- saving catch in the first inning to save at least one run. Littell struck out four and walked three, but he would be long gone before this one would be decided. https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1121506353086902273 Taking over for Littell, Jake Reed and Preston Guilmet combined for three shutout innings. Reed lasted two innings by walking one and allowing one hit. Guilmett struck out the side in the eighth. Gabriel Moya allowed Scranton/WB to tie it up in the ninth. He gave up two runs on three hits. It was his first blown save. DJ Baxendale pitched a perfect tenth inning for his first win. In the sixth inning, John Andreoli doubled with one out. Following a Brent Rooker strikeout, Randy Cesar homered to put Rochester up 2-1. Luke Raley led off the bottom of the seventh and he was able to reach on a fielding error. Two batters later, Jordany Valdespin drove him in with his third double of the season. The Red Wings had a 3-1 lead. After Moya allowed the tying run to score in the ninth, Rochester needed to find a way to score a run. Zander Wiel got to start the bottom of the tenth on second base. With one out, Adam Rosales singled to put runners on the corners. Ronald Torreyes hit a chopper to first and the ball had to be thrown home. Wiel slid in safe and the Red Wings went home happy. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 5, Jackson 2 (10 Innings) Box Score Sean Poppen compiled five strong innings to put the Blue Wahoos in position to win. He struck out seven over five innings. He limited Jackson to one run on five hits. His season ERA dropped to 0.75. Andro Cutura blew his first save of the season. He allowed one run on two hits in two innings. Pensacola scored a pair of runs in the top of the sixth inning. Tanner English and Mitchell Kranson singled before Jaylin Davis reached on a throwing error. Taylor Grzelakowski came up with the big hit as he doubled to plate both runs. Cody Stashak picked up his second win in relief. He pitched two scoreless innings, while striking out three and walking one. Ryan Mason earned his fourth save of the year. He has yet to allow an earned run. In the tenth inning, Luis Arraez started on second and English walked to put to men on. Kranson used a sacrifice bunt to put two runners in scoring position. A passed ball allowed Arraez to score but it wouldn’t have mattered. Jaylin Davis blasted a two-run bomb. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 1, Palm Beach 7 Box Score Fort Myers got off to an early lead. Akil Baddoo led off the game with his second double of the season. Royce Lewis moved him to third with a fly out and then Trevor Larnach drove him in with a sacrifice fly. From there, the Miracle offense went cold. Tyler Watson ran into some trouble in the third inning as the Cardinals plated three runs. The first four batters reached base against him that frame. With the bases full, he allowed a single then a walk and finally a sacrifice fly. In the top of the sixth, Watson ran into some more trouble. A leadoff single was followed by a wild pitch. Another single saw a run score and Watson’s night was done. It was his third straight loss. Anthony Vizcaya and Alex Phillips both pitched two innings without allowing any earned runs. Vizcaya saw two runs scored but they were both unearned. Phillips allowed two hits and struck out two. He’s appeared in eight games so far this season and he has yet to allow an earned run. He has pitched more than one inning in five of his appearances and he has 18 strikeouts on the year. Fort Myers had three total hits. Larnach went 2-for-3 with and RBI to raise his average to .270. Baddoo had the lone extra-base hit. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 0, Kane County 7 Box Score Cedar Rapids offense was almost non-existent and Blayne Enlow struggled for the first time since his first start this season. Enlow had pitched five innings or more in two consecutive starts and limited the opposition to one run in both appearances. In 4 2/3 innings, he allowed seven runs, a career high, on 10 hits. He was still able to strike out seven and walked one. While Enlow struggled, Zach Neff was outstanding in relief. He was asked to pitch 3 1/3 innings. He didn’t allow any runs and he limited Kane County to two hits. Neff had allowed multiple runs in three of his six appearances entering the night. Kernels 1-4 hitters combined to go 0-for-16 with six strikeouts. Gilberto Celestino was the only batter with multiple hits. He finished 2-for-3 with his second double of the year. Joe Cronin and Yeltsin Encarnacion both went 1-for-3. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Zach Neff, Cedar Rapids (3.1 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 K) TD Hitter of the Day- Jaylin Davis, Pensacola (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, R) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 0-4, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) – Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 2-3, RBI #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – 0-2, 2 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 4.2 IP, 7 ER, 10 H, 7 K, BB #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, R #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – Did not play #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-3 #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – 2-3 #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) – 5 IP, ER, 5 H, 4 K, 3 BB #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 0-2, K #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) – 0-3 FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Pawtucket (5:35 CST) – RHP Chase De Jong (0-1, 11.12 ERA) Pensacola @ Jackson (6:05 CST) – RHP Jorge Alcala (4-0, 3.92 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Palm Beach (5:30 CST) – RHP Bailey Ober (1-0, 0.00 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) – RHP Jordan Balazovic (2-1, 2.45 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games.
  3. Transactions – Fort Myers placed Joe Cronin on the DL retroactive to July 24th with a sore wrist, and Victor Tademo was promoted from the GCL Twins to take his place. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 0 @ Indianapolis 4 Box Score Rochester managed just four hits and could not keep Indianapolis off the board. LaMonte Wade and Andy Wilkins both had a double but outside of those two only Kennys Vargas and Jeremy Hazelbaker managed singles. Nick Gordon was 0-for-3 with a walk. Starter Fernando Romero went 7 2/3 innings, mostly cruising after giving up three runs in the first. He gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out a pair. Luke Bard recorded the final out for the Red Wings, striking out the only batter he faced. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Pensacola 4 @ Chattanooga 1 Box Score Chattanooga outhit Pensacola 7-6 but managed only one run and committed three errors, falling 4-1. Brent Rooker had a solid night, 2-for-3 with a double and a walk. No other hitter had multiple hits, but Chris Paul hit a solo home run as part of his 1-for-4 evening. Dietrich Enns was tagged with the loss, going seven innings and giving up just three hits and two runs. He struck out six. Andrew Vasquez went 1 inning and gave up another two runs (one earned) and struck out three. Sam Clay pitched a scoreless ninth. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 9 @ Dayton 8 Box Score Alex Kirilloff extended his hitting streak to ten games, going 3-for-5 with a run scored and a pair of RBIs as the designated hitter, helping the Miracle win an 11-inning squeaker. The Miracle scored four runs in the top of the ninth inning to take the lead, but Daytona scored another run in the bottom half of the inning to force extras. Each team scored two runs in the 10th to keep the game alive, and Fort Myers took the lead for good scoring a run in the top of the 11th on a fielding error. Royce Lewis was 2-for-7 with a pair of runs scored. Taylor Grzelakowski had a huge night, 5-for-6 with a double, two RBIs and three runs scored. Ben Rodriguez had a pair of hits as well as part of his 2-for-6 night with a home run, three RBIs and two runs scored. While not terribly effective as a unit, giving up eight runs, the Miracle pitching staff did just enough to guide them to a win. Griffin Jax pitched the first four innings giving up five runs on five hits, striking out seven and walking none. Alex Robinson pitched two and gave up just one one, striking out four. Adam Bray pitched two more innings, giving up no hits, he walked one and struck out four. Ryan Mason earned a blown save and the win with two innings of three-run baseball. Colton Davis kept the Tortugas off the board in the eleventh inning earning his first save of the year. KERNELS NUGGETS Clinton 1 @ Cedar Rapids 9 Box Score Cedar Rapids gave the home crowd of 2,327 plenty to cheer about, drubbing the Lumberkings 9-1. The Kernels were led by Michael Davis who was 2-for-3 with two home runs and a walk. He scored two runs and contributed three RBIs. Jared Akins also had a pair of hits and three RBIs of his own. Starter Tyler Watson went seven innings and gave up just one run on three hits. He walked one and struck out nine. Jared Finkel pitched the final two innings, keeping Clinton hitless and he struck out a pair. Elizabethton Twins Talk Elizabethton 0 @ Burlington 5 Box Score The Twins struggled to hit and score runs on Thursday night. E-Town managed just three hits, one from Yunior Severino, one from Alex Robles, and one from Tyler Webb. None went for extra bases. As a team the Twins were just 3-for-30 with 3 walks and 5 strike outs. Starter Andrew Cabezas went six innings and gave up just two runs, one earned, scattering four hits. He struck out five and did not walk anyone. Tanner Howell replaced him for two innings and gave up three runs on three hits. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Rays 3 @ GCL Twins 1 Box Score The Twins fell behind early and couldn’t muster enough runs against the GCL Rays, falling 3-1. The GCL Twins managed just four hits, one each from Yeison Perez, Janigson Villalobos, Christian Cavaness and Estamy Urena. Twins started Landon Leach went five innings, giving up just a pair of hits and an unearned run, but left with the game tied and earned a no-decision. Denny Bentley was tagged with the loss after giving up a pair of runs in 1 1/3 innings, on three hits. Osiris German pitched a clean two-thirds innings and Junior Navas gave up four hits over two innings but kept the Rays off the board. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Watson, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Taylor Grzelakowski, Fort Myers TOP 20 PROSPECT PERFORMANCE 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 2-7, 2 R, 1 K 2. Alex Kirilloff (FM): 3-5, 1 R, 2 RBI 3. Brusdar Graterol (FM): Did not play 4. Nick Gordon (ROC): 0-4, 1 BB 5. Stephen Gonsalves (ROC): Did not play 6. Trevor Larnach (ET): 0-3, 1 BB 7. Brent Rooker (CHAT): 2-3, 1 2B, 1 BB, 1 K 8. Akil Baddoo (CR): 0-2, 1 RBI, 2 BB 9. Wander Javier: Out of for the season 10. Zack Littell (ROC): Did not play 11. Blayne Enlow (CR): Did not play 12. LaMonte Wade (ROC): 1-4, 1 2B, 1 K 13. Travis Blankenhorn (FM): 0-3, 1 K 14. Lewis Thorpe (CHAT): Did not play 15. Ben Rortvedt (FM): 1-4, 2 BB, 1 K 16. Yunior Severino (ET): 1-4, 1 K 17. Lewin Diaz (FM): Did not play 18. Ryan Jeffers (ET): Did not play 19. Jacob Pearson (CR): Did not play 20. Luis Arraez (CHAT): 1-4 FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester (6:00pm) – Zack Littell (1-4, 3.63) Chattanooga (7:15pm) – Lewis Thorpe (5-4, 3.89) Fort Myers (6:05pm) – Brusdar Graterol (1-2, 6.20) Cedar Rapids (7:35pm) – Bailey Ober (7-1, 3.88) Elizabethton (6:00pm) – TBD GCL Twins (11:00am) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's games.
  4. 35. Tyler Watson – LHP Age: 21 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats (A-/A+): 56.1 IP, 4.47 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 7.3 K/9, 3.4 BB/9, 2.33 K:BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 36 | Tom: 28 | Cody: 44 When a late-July swoon caused them to pivot into seller mode last year, the Twins flipped All-Star closer Brandon Kintzler to the Washington Nationals for Tyler Watson, a former 34th-round draft with a tall frame and a short track record. The 6'5", 200 lb southpaw has a physique any scout can love, and the Nats lured him away from college in 2015 with a $400K signing bonus. Watson blew hitters away in rookie leagues, but was struggling a bit in A-ball when the Twins acquired last summer. That hasn't changed, as the numbers above illustrate, but Derek Falvey views the burly left-hander as a long-term project. "Tyler is a young left-handed starter we feel is just scratching the surface of who he can be," Minnesota's chief baseball officer said at the time. "Taller pitchers can take a little longer to develop, but we feel there's more in the tank." Right now he's a fairly hittable starter with a low-90s fastball and a developing curve, neither of which he commands all that consistently. But Watson is still only 21, with an almost ideal build and an 8.9 K/9 rate through his 250 innings as a pro. I'm definitely curious to see what else is in the tank. 34. DaShawn Keirsey Jr. – OF Age: 21 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats (Rk): .258/.303/.419 (.722 OPS), 1 2B, 2 3B, 0 HR, 3 K, 2 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 43 | Tom: 30 | Cody: 29 Bill Kinneberg, head baseball coach at the University of Utah, knew DaShawn Keirsey Jr. was destined to be an early-round MLB draft pick from the first time he watched him play. "I remember him running faster than anyone we've ever had, and you add that to his 6-foot-2 frame — yeah, it was evident right away." Last June, he was the 124th player to come off the board when Minnesota took him in the fourth round, and it's possible he would've gone earlier if not for a major injury in 2017 where the aggressive and speedy center fielder collided with an outfield wall (sound familiar?) and came off the field in an ambulance, his hip dislocated and the socket fractured. "Nobody could give us a timetable. That was a scary deal,” said Coach Kinneberg. It was a very tough break for a player whose game was built around speed, but Keirsey rehabbed hard and bounced back this spring with an outstanding junior season, batting .386 with a 1.049 OPS while leading the PAC-12 in doubles and reaching base in 45 of 50 games. He's a speedy gamer with good contact skills from the left side and an excellent defensive rep (he was three-time PAC-12 All Defense in center), so comparisons to Zack Granite or even Ben Revere are apt, but some foresee more power in Keirsey's future. 33. Gabriel Moya – LHP Age: 23 ETA: 2018 2018 Stats (AAA): 33.0 IP, 1.64 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 10.4 K/9, 2.5 BB/9, 4.22 K/BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 40 | Tom: 35 | Cody: 22 Whereas Tyler Watson, profiled above, was clearly more of an acquisition guided by scouting, the Twins were pretty clearly going by the numbers when they picked up Gabriel Moya from Arizona in exchange for catcher John Ryan Murphy around the same time. The rare example of a lefty reliever whose changeup is his best pitch, Moya won't wow you with his high-80s fastball and modest breaking stuff. He'll more likely confuse you with his unique and twitchy mechanics. But his stats? Those'll wow you. Moya had a 0.82 ERA and 14.0 K/9 rate in Double-A last summer when the Twins acquired him, and he has kept the magic going in Minnesota's system with a 1.32 ERA and 57-to-12 K/BB ratio in 48 innings between Chattanooga (last year) and Rochester (this year). He has only received limited chances in the majors so far, amounting to 11 1/3 total innings with less than wow-worthy results, but is clearly deserving of an extended opportunity. Maybe it will come if the Twins open a spot by trading Zach Duke before the deadline. 32. Andrew Bechtold – 3B Age: 22 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats (A): .217/.320/.281 (.601 OPS), 11 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 67 K, 32 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 27 | Tom: 41 | Cody: 42 A righty-swinging infielder who grew in the Philly suburbs, Bechtold has followed a winding path to reach this point. He was selected by the Rangers in the 37th round of the 2014 draft following a strong senior year in high school, but elected not to sign, heading instead to the University of Maryland where he'd join fellow current Twins prospects LaMonte Wade and Alex Robinson. Due to injuries and other factors, things just didn't work out for Bechtold at Maryland. After two years, he transferred to Chipola, a junior college, where he got his baseball career back on track. He hit .419 with 12 home runs and 24 steals in 60 games, impressing the Twins enough that they drafted him in the fifth round and went well above slot to sign him at $600K. Bechtold's power hasn't shown up yet, as he's managed just three homers and a .337 slugging percentage in 107 games between Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids, but he has shown a solid plate approach and an ability to get on base (he posted a .426 OBP for the Kernels in June). Ultimately the third baseman's development will hinge on his adding muscle and turning it into game power, but as a skilled defender with a good idea of what he's doing at the plate, Bechtold has the right foundation. 31. Jordan Balazovic – RHP Age: 19 ETA: 2022 2018 Stats (A): 26.2 IP, 2.36 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 13.8 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 5.86 K/BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 20 | Tom: 40 | Cody: 34 One year before taking Bechtold in the fifth round, the Twins used that selection on Jordan Balazovic, a Canadian right-hander who was catching some eyes north of the border. Like Bechtold, the Twins went over-slot to sign Balazovic, coaxing him out of a commitment to Auburn. The organization has taken it slow with Balazovic, who was only 17 when drafted in 2016. He spent two seasons in the rookie Gulf Coast League, with decidedly mixed results. This year he's made the move to Cedar Rapids, and things have really come together. He has struck out 41 in 26 2/3 innings of work, and in his most recent outing on Saturday, hurled six innings of one-hit ball with 10 strikeouts. Balazovic is a teenager who's thrown less than 100 official innings since being drafted, so all standard caveats apply, but he's a very live arm, and his arrow is pointing directly upward and flashing at this moment. PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS: 2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospects: 36-40
  5. NEWS AND NOTES -Alex Kirilloff, the team’s 2016 first-round pick, was named the Midwest League Player of the Week. He went 13-for-30 with three doubles, three home runs and eight RBIs. He had a .485 slugging percentage and an OPS of .833 while drawing three walks and scoring eight runs. -LHP Tyler Watson was promoted from Cedar Rapids to Fort Myers. -LHP Kevin Marnon was promoted from Elizabethton to Fort Myers. -RHP Moises Gomez was transferred from Fort Myers to Elizabethton -RHP Brady Anderson was placed on the 7-day disabled list CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4, Mobile 6 Box Score As the 2018 MLB Draft was underway, it’s fitting that former first-round pick Kohl Stewart started the game and he was relieved by former first-round pick Tyler Jay. Stewart scattered nine hits but limited the BayBears to two runs (one earned). He struck out seven, his second highest total of the season, and he walked one. Jay pitched two shutout frames by allowing two hits and striking out a pair. The Lookouts offense took a while to get moving but things started heating up in the seventh frame. James Ramsey and Brian Navarreto both walked to start the inning. Alex Perez loaded the bases with a single. Chattanooga’s first run was scored on a ground out by Ryan Walker. Sean Miller, LaMonte Wade, and Brent Rooker strung together three straight singles to put the Lookouts up 4-2. Things got a little out of hand in the ninth inning for Williams Ramirez. He was charged with his second loss after allowing four runs on four hits with one strikeout and no walks. He’s blown three saves so far this year out of nine save opportunities. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Palm Beach 4 Box Score The Miracle used a big fifth inning to take a lead in the middle innings. With one out, Travis Blankenhorn and Brandon Lopez singled to put runners on the corners. Caleb Hamilton laced a double to center field to tie the game 1-1. Jimmy Kerrigan was intentionally walked to load the bases. After a Joe Cronin strikeout, Mitchel Kranson singled to put Fort Myers up 3-1. Tyler Watson was cruising through eight innings but the top of the ninth inning was when things started to fall apart. After allowing a double to start the frame, he committed a fielding error to allow another runner to reach base. Tom Hackimer replaced Watson but he couldn’t hold the lead. Three runs scored in the inning and the Miracle ended up on the wrong end of this one. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Jimmy Kerrigan, Fort Myers (2-for-4, BB, 2 K) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Tyler Watson, Fort Myers (8.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 0 BB) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #7 – Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 1-4, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K #13 – Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 0-4, K #14 – LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) – 2-5, K #17 – Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 1-3, R, BB, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Indianapolis (6:05 CST) – LHP Stephen Gonsalves (4-1, 4.00 ERA) Chattanooga vs. Mobile (6:15 CST) – RHP Sean Poppen (0-1, 5.79 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Palm Beach (6:00 CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids vs. Beloit (5:35 CST) – RHP Blayne Enlow (0-1, 3.81 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Beloit (Game 2) – RHP Melvi Acosta (1-1, 1.86 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  6. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Wednesday. And as always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS On Wednesday, the Twins officially announced that John Curtiss was optioned to Rochester and RHP Fernando Romero was promoted to the Twins. Romero had a pretty strong MLB debut! OF Jimmy Kerrigan was promoted from Ft. Myers to Rochester. 1B Robbie Rinn was promoted from extended spring training to Ft. Myers. He was acquired in a minor league trade during spring training. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Pawtucket 7 Box Score Down 1-0 in the top of the fifth inning, Jermaine Curtis stepped up with a couple of runners on and hit his first home run of the season to give the Red Wings a 3-1 lead. Miles Jaye started for the Wings and gave up just one run through the first four innings. However, given the lead, Jaye gave up a four-spot in the bottom of the fifth frame. In total, he gave up five runs on eight hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings. He struck out three. Ryne Harper came on and gave up two runs on three hits over 1 2/3 innings. Ryne Harper came on and gave up two runs on three hits over 1 2/3 innings. He got five outs, all of them on strikeouts. Casey Crosby got the final five outs for the Red Wings without any further damage. Curtiss added another RBI later in the game. He was 2-for-5 with four RBI. James Ramsey was 2-for-2 with a walk and was hit by a pitch. Willians Astudillo added his second home run of the year. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 7, Mobile 6 (10 innings) Box Score Lewis Thorpe made the start for the Lookouts. The southpaw from Australia threw four scoreless innings. He gave up just two hits, but he walked five and struck out six. That led to a high pitch count. He was done after four innings having already thrown 89 pitches. Ryan Eades went the next two innings and gave up three runs on two hits and three walks. He struck out two. Cody Stashak worked the next two innings. He gave up two runs on three hits and a walk. He struck out three. Fellow Australian, Todd Van Steensel, came on to protect a one-run lead in the ninth. He gave up one run and the game went to overtime, or extra innings, if you prefer. In the top of the tenth, LaMonte Wade started the inning on second. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a Brent Rooker sacrifice fly. Van Steensel was back on the mound for the bottom of the 10th. The first batter reached on an error, putting runners at first and third. But Van Steensel got a strikeout and then coaxed a double play to end the game. Edgar Corcino led the offense by going 2-4 with his third and fourth doubles. He drove in two runs. Zander Wiel went 2-5. Alex Perez was 1-2 with three walks. Nick Gordon drove in a run with his fifth double. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 5, Tampa 0 Box Score If you’re looking for a Twins minor league starting pitcher who could move up prospect rankings throughout this season, look no further than Tyler Wells. The 6-8 right-hander got himself in very good shape in the offseason and has taken his performance to a new level. On this night, Wells threw six shutout innings. He gave up just two hits, walked one and struck out four. He improved to 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA. After Wells left, the Westmont Duo took over and combined for the final three innings. Andrew Vasquez worked two innings and was charged with an unearned run. Hector Lujan threw a perfect ninth inning. Joe Cronin continued his hot stretch to start the season. The infielder went 2-for-4 with a walk and his first triple. He drove in three runs and stole a base. Robbie Rinn made his Twins and Florida State League debuts on Wednesday night. He went 1-2 with a walk and a double. Nelson Molina went 1-3 with a walk and his first stolen base of the year. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, South Bend 0 (6 innings, rain) Box Score There was a threat of some serious weather, but the game was able to get through the necessary five innings to be complete. Tyler Watson did his part to keep the game rolling. The left-hander threw all 5 1/3 innings without allowing a run. He gave up just three hits and walked none. He struck out six. Jean Carlos Arias led the offense. He went 3-for-3 with two RBI. Alex Kirilloff scored twice and drove in one with his seventh double. Andrew Bechtold added his third double. For South Bend, their second pitcher of the game was Rollie Lacy. He was a Cubs draft pick last year out of Creighton. He played his high school baseball at Holy Family High School in Victoria, Minnesota. In 18.1 innings this season, he has a 1.93 ERA. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Jermaine Curtis, Rochester Wings (2-5, HR(1), 4 RBI) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Tyler Wells, Ft. Myers Miracle (6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #2 - Fernando Romero (Minnesota) - 5.2 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 5 K (MLB Debut) #3 - Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) - 1-5, 2B(5), R, RBI, BB, K #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - 1-3, 2B(7), 2 R, 1 RBI #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-4, BB, SF, RBI, 4 K #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 0-2, R, 1 BB, 1 K #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 5 BB, 6 K #14 - LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) - 0-5, 2 R, BB, 2 K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) - 0-2, K #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, 2K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers (2-0, 1.50 ERA) Chattanooga @ Mobile (6:35 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart (2-1, 5.82 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Tampa (5:30 CST) - LHP Charlie Barnes (0-2, 4.24 ERA) South Bend @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Bailey Ober (0-1, 81.00 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions about Wednesday’s full schedule of games, or ask any questions you may have.
  7. Tune in live at 8:00 central time tonight when Seth will again be joined by five guests. Charlie Barnes was the Twins fourth-round pick out of Clemson. After signing with the Twins, he went to Elizabethton where he went 2-1 with a 1.19 ERA over six games and 22.2 innings. He moved up to Cedar Rapids where he went 2-1 with a 3.86 ERA over 25.2 innings. In 48.1 combined innings, he walked 18 and struck out 46. Another new member of the organization is also a left-handed starter, Tyler Watson. The 6-5 southpaw was the 34th round pick of the Washington Nationals out of high school in 2015. He came to the Twins at the July 31 trade deadline in exchange for closer Brandon Kintzler. He reported to Cedar Rapids where he made five starts to close out the year. David Banuelos was drafted in the fifth round just last June by the Seattle Mariners out of Long Beach State. He came to the Twins this offseason in exchange for some international slot dollars. The catcher is known for his great defense, but he put up some strong numbers in his final collegiate season. Alex Robles was the Twins 30th round pick last summer out of Austin Peay in Tennessee. He was a two-way player all four seasons, and he was really good as a pitcher. However, as a pro, he is likely to play around the infield. So, we’ll get to know four new members of the Twins organization. In addition, we will be joined by another member of the Minnesota Gophers baseball program. Senior third baseman Micah Coffey hit .340/.396/.493 (.889) with 15 doubles, two triples, four homers and 46 RBI for the Gophers. If you have any questions for any of these guests, please feel free to leave them in the comments below. I'll ask them during the show. If you are listening during the live show, I will also ask for questions on my Twitter feed, so you can ask questions there as well. You can listen live, or you can listen later. Either way, you'll want to listen and learn more about some Twins minor leaguers and more. PREVIOUS EPISODES While you're eagerly anticipating tonight's show, tune in to some of the previous episodes... Episode 1: Twins (LaMonte Wade, Stephen Gonsalves, Tyler Wells), Gophers (Luke Pettersen), MLB.com's prospect guru Jonathan Mayo. Episode 2: Twins (Aaron Slegers, Alex Kirilloff, Brent Rooker, Royce Lewis), Gophers (Toby Hanson) Episode 3: Twins (Bryan Sammons, Ryley Widell, Zack Littell, Travis Blankenhorn), Gophers (Alex Boxwell) Episode 4: Twins (Zack Granite, Nelson Molina, Lewis Thorpe, Josh Rabe), and Baseball HQ prospect guru, Chris Blessing.
  8. Continue reading to find out how the two Twins minor league playoff games went and who performed well in the losses. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 0, Montgomery 2 Box Score The final score was the same as Game 3. Unfortunately for the Lookouts, they were on the short-end on the scoreboard in Game 4. Adalberto Mejia made his final rehab start. He had made two starts for the Red Wings, but their season is over, so he made a start for the Lookouts. Having thrown 61 pitches in his previous rehab appearance, he was in line to throw about 75 pitches in this one. He threw 73 pitches, and 50 of them were strikes. The left-hander threw the first five innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out five without allowing a run. He appears ready to rejoin the Twins starting rotation. The Rays also used a couple of rehabbing pitchers. Nathan Eovaldi struck out two in the first innings. Then Xavier Cedeno threw a scoreless inning. At that point, #OldFriend Logan Darnell came in to the game to face the Lookouts. The southpaw went the next 4.2 innings without allowing a run to get the win. The Lookouts were unable to score in the game. Darnell said it wasn't too strange to pitch against the Twins affiliate. "I mean, not that strange. I only knew a handful of guys and Baxendale might be the only guy I played with. But honestly it's good to see the staff... Jake (Mauer), Ivan (Arteaga), CJ the most! Great people! Chattanooga is a solid team! Very tough to pitch against... perfect mix of patience and aggressive hitters. TJ White is dangerous player." TJ White had two of the Lookouts' four hits. Jonathan Rodriguez walked twice. But the Lookouts ended the game without a run. DJ Baxendale came into the game for the sixth inning and put up another zero. Unfortunately, the Lookouts defense was not good. They committed four errors in this game. Baxendale gave up one run each in the seventh and eighth innings, but they were both unearned. Nick Anderson pitched a scoreless ninth. That sets up a winner-takes-all game on Sunday night in Chattanooga. Remember, the Southern League has cancelled its championship series due to Hurricane Irma, so there will be co-champions. Pensacola won the other half. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 5 (10 innings) Box Score The Kernels won their first round series against Kane County and even had a day off while waiting to find out who they would play in the Midwest League’s Western Division finals. That team was Quad Cities, so it was off to Davenport on Saturday for the Kernels. There was no scoring in the first inning, but the Kernels put together a nice second inning. They scored four runs. Lewin Diaz led off with a double which was followed by a walk by Caleb Hamilton. With one out, Jimmy Kerrigan walked to load the bases. Ben Rortvedt came through with a two-run single to right field. Kerrigan was able to advance to third base which was important because he scored soon after on a wild pitch. Rortvedt advanced to second base on the wild pitch which allowed him to score on an Ariel Montesino single. Tyler Watson made the start and he was terrific through six innings. He put up six zeroes on the board. However, the Twins were not able to add on. Watson went out for the seventh and it didn’t go well for him. Watson struck out the first batter. He then issued a walk but got the second out on a fly out. Unfortunately, he wasn’t able to get the third out. The next three batters hit singles before Watson was replaced by Logan Lombana. Lombana gave up a single to score one, and then the game-tying run scored on an error. Bryan Sammons and Max Cordy combined to throw two scoreless innings and send the game to extra innings. Ryan Mason came in for the 10th inning. Colin Moran walked to lead off the inning. A pinch-runner advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. The Kernels chose to intentionally walk the next batter, hoping to coax a double play ball. Instead, the next batter singled which scored the runner from second and ended the game. The Kernels dropped Game 1 of the Best of 3 series. Game 2 will be in Cedar Rapids. The Kernels will need to win to keep their season going. SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Montgomery @ Chattanooga (5:15 CST) - LHP Dietrich Enns Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (4:05 CST) - LHP Charlie Barnes Please feel free to ask any questions about Saturday night’s playoff games. Check back on Sunday night for another night of Twins minor league playoff action.
  9. Let’s start with the transactions of the day. It’s incredible how many transactions there have been this season, particularly this late in the season. And, there’s more to come... The Twins announced following the Tuesday night game that RHP Tim Melville had been DFAd. On Wednesday morning, the subsequent move became official. RHP John Curtiss has been promoted and will join the Twins bullpen. As noted last night, Felix Jorge was promoted to Rochester (and started on Wednesday). Nik Turley also arrived and is back on the Red Wings roster. Chattanooga added a couple of pitchers to their mix. RHP Keaton Steele and LHP Anthony McIver were promoted to the Lookouts. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 4 (Completion of suspended game) Box Score Before the rains fell in Rochester, these teams played to a 4-4 game through just three innings. Aaron Slegers went 3.1 innings and was charged with four runs on eight hits (including two homers) and a walk. He struck out two. Offensively, Byungho Park had driven in all four runs. One came on an RBI single in the first inning. In the third frame, he hit his 12th homer, a three-run shot. When play began on Wednesday, Drew Rucinski took over on the mound. He threw 3.1 scoreless innings, striking out five and giving up a hit and a walk. Buddy Boshers came on, gave up a hit and a walk and got just one out. Alex Wimmers struck out two over the final two innings to improve to 7-3 on the season. Leonardo Reginnato led the offense. He went 3-4 with his 11th double. Park was 2-4 with his 13th homer and four RBI. JB Shuck was 2-4 with his 25th double. Matt Hague was 1-3 with a walk and his 27th double. Daniel Palka was 1-3 with a walk and his 11th double. Rochester 1, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 0 (Regularly-Scheduled game) Box Score Game 2 of the night was just what the teams wanted, a fast-paced, quick, seven inning game. It was Felix Jorge’s AAA debut, and he gave the Red Wings exactly what they needed. The right-hander threw six shutout innings. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out seven. Unfortunately, when he left, the score was still tied at zero, so he got a no-decision. Michael Tonkin pitched the seventh, and he struck out all three batters he faced. As you would expect from a game that had no runs scored through six and a half innings, there was little offense. Zack Granite went 2-3 with his 16th double, and Leonard Reginnato played hero. He stepped to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and delivered his third home run to end the game. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 7, Mississippi 2 Box Score Felix Jorge was supposed to start for the Lookouts on Wednesday, but instead he was up in Rochester. So this was a bullpen game for the Lookouts. DJ Baxendale started and worked through four innings. He gave up one run on two hits. He walked two and struck out three. Anthony McIver picked up his first AA win with two shutout innings. He walked one and struck out one. Next, Keaton Steele made his AA debut and gave up one run on three hits in two innings. He struck out two. Gabriel Moya came on and gave up a hit and struck one out in a scoreless inning. TJ White led the offense again. He went 3-3. Max Murphy’s ninth double drove in two runs. LaMonte Wade was 1-3 with a walk and two RBI. Ryan Walker and Levi Michael were both 1-3 with a walk. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 6, Clearwater 4 Box Score It was a long night for the Miracle. Sean Poppen made the start. He got two outs, gave up a hit, and then threw a wild pitch. And then the rains came and there was a delay. That was the end of Poppen’s night. Andrew Vasquez came on and went 2.1 innings. He gave up one run on one hit. He walked three and struck out four. Alex Robinson then gave up three runs on five hits and two walks in his two innings. He struck out three. Sam Clay struck out two over his two scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and hit a batter. Michael Kohn worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Tom Hackimer picked up his fifth save with the Miracle. He struck out one, and hit one, in a scoreless ninth inning. Jaylin Davis led the offense. He went 3-4 in the game. Tanner English and Brent Rooker each had an RBI double. Zander Wiel had a big homer, his 12th of the year. The Miracle’s top two hitters, Brandon Lopez and Jermaine Palacios, went 0-5 but they combined for five walks as well. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Kane County 3 Box Score The game was tied going into the 10th inning. With one out, Shane Carrier was hit by a pitch and then Shane Kennedy was hit by a pitch. Aaron Whitefield pinch ran for Carrier at that point, and the move worked. He scored right away when Trey Cabbage singled him in. Joe Cronin was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Royce Lewis and Travis Blankenhorn each walked in another run to add a couple of insurance runs. Tyler Watson put together easily the best start of his short Twins career. The southpaw gave up just one run in six innings. He gave up four hits, walked none, and struck out four. Ryan Mason gave up the tying run on four hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. He struck out one. Max Cordy came on and kept the game tied through the ninth. He did give up a run in the 10th inning, but that one didn’t hurt. Cabbage led the offense. He went 3-5 with that game-winning RBI. Along with his RBI walk in the 10th, Blankenhorn hit his 10th home run. Shane Carrier went 2-5. Lewis went 0-4, but he had a sacrifice earlier in the game to go with the 10th inning walk. Joe Cronin and Jimmy Kerrigan each doubled. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 10, Bristol 2 Box Score The E-Twins bats certainly showed up again in this game. They were led by Wander Javier who went 4-5 with his 13th double and third home run. Akil Baddoo was also a triple shy of the cycle. He went 3-4 with his 13th double and second home run. JJ Robinson went 2-4 with his third double and eighth home run. Ariel Montesino went 2-4 with a triple. Andrew Bechtold went 2-4 with a walk. Colton Waltner went 1-3 with two walks. Matt Albanese went 2-5. Randy Dobnak improved to 2-0. He was the recipient of all the run support, but he still pitched well too. He gave up one run on seven hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out four. Blair Lakso worked the final three innings to record his first save. He gave up one run on two hits. He walked three and struck out three. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 9, GCL Orioles 6 Box Score This was a back-and -forth game until the bottom of the eighth when the Twins scored five runs to take the lead. Things started well in the first inning. Ben Rodriguez knocked in three runs with his fourth home run of the season. In the eighth inning, Jean Carlos Arias added a three-run homer to give the Twins the lead. It’s his fifth homer of the year. Soon after, Twins manager Ramon Borrego was ejected for arguing a third strike. Immediately after that, Victor Tademo provided some insurance with a two-run single. Landon Leach made the start. The right-hander was charged with three unearned runs over 2.2 innings. He gave up just one hit, walked three and struck out two. In the second, a run scored due to a passed ball. Leach got the first two outs of the third inning, but then issued a walk followed by a single. Pedro Garcia came on and got a grounder, but an error kept the inning alive. Those inherited runners (and one more) scored. Garcia went four innings. He was charged with three runs (2 earned) on four hits. He walked three and struck out two. Austin Bizzle came on got the final seven outs to record his first pro win. He struck out one. Jean Carlos Arias went 2-3 with a walk, his sixth double and his fifth homer. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Felix Jorge, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Leonardo Reginnato, Rochester Red Wings THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Scranton/Wilkes Barre @ Rochester (12:35 CST) - TBD Mississippi @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (6:00 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) - LHP Anthony Marzi Bristol @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) - RHP Bailey Ober GCL Twins @ GCL O’s (11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Wednesday’s games.
  10. Brandon Kintzler's baseball story is a great one. He spent time with the St. Paul Saints. He was signed by the Brewers where he spent parts of six seasons in the big leagues. A knee injury got him removed from the 40-man roster, and he became a free agent. Terry Ryan and the Twins quickly swooped in and signed him to a minor league deal. He spent about a month in Rochester before coming up to the Twins. Since then, he has been a remarkably consistent big league pitcher. In 54 games last year for the Twins, he posted a 3.15 ERA with a 1.23 WHIP. He became the team's closer and recorded 17 saves. This year, he has a 2.78 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. He's recorded 28 saves and leads the league in games finished. But he is a free agent at the end of the season, so now that the Twins have decided to be a seller, he becomes an obvious choice. Because of that, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine have been fielding a lot of calls regarding their closer. Rumors started swirling late on Monday morning, but the team practiced patience and the deal was consummated moments before (and announced minutes after) Monday's 3:00 deadline.. Tyler Watson is a 6-5, 200 pound kid who is 6-4 with a 4.35 ERA in 18 games (17 starts) in Hagerstown, the Low A affiliate of the Nationals. In 93 innings he has 24 walks and 98 strikeouts. Most indicate that his prospect status has risen. He's a low-90s guy now, but is projectable, so he could add more velocity as he grows. He's also got a good curveball.
  11. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gleemangeek/Episode_326_Trade_Deadline_2017.mp3?dest-id=74590
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