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  1. Every November, teams determine which minor leaguers they will add to their 40-man roster and hence, protect from losing in December’s Rule 5 draft. The decisions sometimes are difficult. Who might be selected? Who would be able to stick on the big-league roster throughout the season if they were selected? Twins Daily's Nash Walker breaks it down in the following video: Those decisions were made even more difficult last offseason by the lost minor league season due to the global pandemic. There weren’t as many data points for teams to evaluate, and in some cases, players had been away from team activities for six to eight months. Let’s just jump into it. AKIL BADDOO The Tigers selected outfielder Akil Baddoo with the second pick of the Rule 5 draft. Baddoo was an immensely talented prospect selected in the 2nd round of the 2016 draft. In 2018 at Cedar Rapids, he hit .243/.351/.419 (.770) with 22 doubles, 11 triples, 11 homers and 24 stolen bases. The season showed his skill set. He had a combination of speed and power, and while he didn’t hit for average, he knows the strike zone and took his walks. Unfortunately after just 29 games in Ft. Myers in 2019, in which he hit .214/.290/.393 with three doubles, three triples, four homers and six steals, Baddoo needed Tommy John surgery and missed the rest of the season. As the 2020 season approached, I talked to Baddoo in spring training. He felt great, but he would have started the season DHing and gradually getting more time in the outfield. With outfielders such as Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Brent Rooker, Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach and Gilberto Celestino ahead of him on the depth chart, the Twins took a chance by leaving him off the 40-man roster. There’s no doubt the team knew he could be taken, but could he make an opening day roster and stick in the big leagues for a full season after so much missed time, and limited production in A-ball. Baddoo had a big spring training, showing a lot of power, and he made the Tigers Opening Day roster. As important, he got off to a fast start. In his first nine games, he hit .370/.379/.963 (1.342) with two doubles, a triple and four home runs. Of course, Twins fans will recall that he had some huge moments early against his former organization. In his first game against his former teammates, he hit a grand slam. In his second game, he had a walk off single. In his third game, he had a big, RBI triple. The Twins played the Tigers going into the All Star break and then coming out of the break. In the pre-break game, he had a homer and three RBI. In the first game back from the break, he had a triple and three RBI. To say that he has performed well against the Twins might just be an understatement. In 14 games against the Twins, he has hit .327/.340/.673 (1.013) with five doubles, two triples, three homers and 14 RBI. In 97 games against all other teams, he has hit .244/.322/.410 (732) with 29 extra base hits. In 111 total games, Baddoo has hit .255/.324/.448 (.772) with 20 doubles, 12 homers and 49 RBI. He has 14 steals and leads the league with seven triples. At age 23, he has made himself into a key cog in a Tigers team that has a lot of young players and appears ready to start contending in the AL Central in the coming years. TYLER WELLS Baddoo got all of the fanfare early in the season, and understandably so, but the Twins lost a second player in the Rule 5 draft too. With their second pick in the Rule 5 draft, the Baltimore Orioles selected RHP Tyler Wells. Wells had been the Twins 15th round pick in 2016 out of Cal State-San Bernadino. At 6-8, Wells stands out on the mound but also has really good stuff. In 2018, he went 8-4 with a 2.80 ERA in 16 starts at High-A Ft. Myers before making six appearances in Double-A Pensacola where he posted a 1.65 ERA. In 119 1/3 innings, he struck out 121 batters. He was chosen the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2018 as well as the Harmon Killebrew Award winner for the Miracle. Unfortunately, in spring training 2019, Wells hurt his elbow. After trying to rehab, he needed Tommy John surgery and missed the 2019 season. Based on his rehab from surgery, he may have been able to make a few appearances late in the 2020 season, but obviously was unable to do so. So again, the Twins took a chance, leaving him unprotected, and the Orioles took a shot. While Wells started out slowly, getting irregular innings, he has become a bright spot in the Orioles 2021 roster. In 40 games, he is 2-3 with two saves. He has a 4.17 ERA and a 0.93 ERA. In 54 innings, he has given up just 38 hits, walked just 12 and struck out 64 batters. In the past two weeks, Wells has become the Orioles’ closer. He recorded two saves before having two blown saves in his past two outings. However, in a 25 game stretch before those two games, he has a 1.74 ERA, a 0.52 WHIP and opponents hit just .132 against him. In that time, he gave up just 14 hits, walked two and struck out 36 batters in 31 innings. Wells has a mid-90s fastball to go with a changeup, a slider and a slow curveball. With that pitch mix, could he return to being a starter moving forward, or will he remain a potentially-dominant reliever. BAILEY OBER Adding Jordan Balazovic to the Twins 40-man roster last November was the easy decision, to be sure. Ben Rortvedt, as a top catching prospect, was also an easy addition as well. However, I would assume many (or most) Twins fans were probably surprised when they learned that Bailey Ober had been added to the 40-man roster. Like others, Ober missed the 2020 season completely. He was not at the team’s alternate site. He did not participate in the Instructional League. In 2019, he went 8-0 with a 0.69 ERA between High-A Ft. Myers, Double-A Pensacola. In 78 2/3 innings, he walked nine batters and struck out 100 batters. Ober pitched little during spring training and made just four starts at St. Paul before getting called up to the big leagues in mid-May. Since then, he has been terrific. In 18 starts, he is 2-2 with a 4.12 ERA and a 1.22 WHIP. In 83 innings, he has walked 17 and struck out 87 batters. As impressive as he has been, the Twins have found a way to keep him healthy following a missed season. He is currently at 99 innings and should make two or three more starts before the end of the season. I’d say that the Twins front office was right in adding Ober to the 40-man roster. JOSE MIRANDA In 2016, the Twins took prep hitters Alex Kirilloff, Ben Rortvedt, Akil Baddoo and Jose Miranda all within the first 74 picks of the draft. Kirilloff and Rortvedt had been added to the 40-man roster. Baddoo was lost in the Rule 5 draft to the Tigers. And, the Twins also left infielder Jose Miranda unprotected. Like others, Miranda was not invited to big league spring training in 2020. He was not a participant at the alternate site last year. He went to Instructional League, and then he put up some big numbers playing winter ball in Puerto Rico last offseason including playing in the Caribbean Series. As the Rule 5 draft was approaching, there were definitely indications that Miranda could be selected. Fortunately, when the MLB portion of the Rule 5 draft concluded, Miranda’s name had not been called. Can you imagine if the Twins had lost Jose Miranda in the Rule 5 draft too? Scouting reports always indicated that Miranda had immense power potential. In 2018, he had 27 doubles and 16 homers. In 2019, he had 26 doubles and eight homers. This season, the power has come together. He began the season with 47 games at Double-A Wichita. He hit .345/.408/.588 (.996) with eight doubles and 13 homers. In 67 games since joining the St. Paul Saints, he has hit .341/.395/.564 (.959) with 19 doubles and 15 home runs. Speaking of putting it all together, Miranda has hit .343/.400/.574 (.974) with 27 doubles, 28 homers and 86 RBI in 114 games. Miranda’s prospect stock has increased as much as any hitter in the Twins system in 2021, and he finds himself on the edge of the big leagues. If it doesn’t happen by the end of the season, he is a given to be protected this November. OTHERS I thought it might be fun to take a look at my rankings from last November when I ranked (guessed) which players the Twins would add. Here is how I ranked them: RHP Jordan Balazovic - Easy decision, he pitched at Double-A this year. OF Akil Baddoo - see above C Ben Rortvedt - has split the season between Triple-A and the Twins. SS Wander Javier - had ups and downs in High-A Cedar Rapids. Free agent at the end of the season. RHP Luis Rijo - Had visa issues, and soon after his return had Tommy John surgery. 3B Jose Miranda - see above. RHP Griffin Jax - has made his MLB debut in 2021. 2B Yunior Severino - Started season in Ft. Myers, but has crushed the ball since moving up to Cedar Rapids. OF Gabriel Maciel - Spent the full season in Cedar Rapids. LHP Charlie Barnes - has made his MLB debut in 2021. RHP Bailey Ober - see above. LHP Jovani Moran - recently made his MLB debut. RHP Tyler Wells - see above. LHP Bryan Sammons - has split the season between AA and AAA. 1B/OF Trey Cabbage - has hit 27 homers between Cedar Rapids and Wichita. Free agent at season’s end. I’m sure the Twins would want to bring him back. 1B Zander Wiel - Recently Released SUMMARY Most years, only a handful of Rule 5 picks actually make their team’s Opening Day roster and stick through the season. In an unprecedented 2020, 40-man roster decisions were more difficult than usual. Unfortunately, the Twins lost two players who have been impactful for their new organizations. They were lucky not to lose Jose Miranda or Jovani Moran too. However, they did well in recognizing the need to protect Bailey Ober. As we start the process of thinking about who might be added to the team’s 40-man roster this coming November, it should be a bit easier since there has been a season to evaluate players again!
  2. Following a series against the Nationals, the Baltimore Orioles flew to Minnesota where they will take on the Twins in a three game series starting tonight. The teams enter the series with an identical 17-29 record. For one member of the Orioles bullpen, the experience will be very special. Right-hander Tyler Wells said this afternoon, “I’m looking forward to moving forward. Even right now, playing the Twins, it’s kind of like a homecoming. It’s a bittersweet thing because I have a lot of friends over there. It’s going to be great to see them, but I’m also looking forward to competing against them.” The Twins drafted Tyler Wells in the 15th round of the 2016 draft out of Cal State-San Bernadino. The Twins scouts saw him and determined they definitely wanted to draft him. Deron Johnson, who was the Twins Scouting Director in 2016, told Twins Daily that he had traveled with Twins area scout and now West Coast Supervisor Elliot Strankman. “Elliot and I were going to see a junior college kid at another college. He said, ‘Hey, I like this reliever at Sonoma State. Let’s go see him on the way there.’ So we go there and they’re playing Cal State-San Bernadino. We see this big giant on the mound throwing up to 94 with a nice breaking ball. John Leavitt, our area scout, had him in (his reports), but he wasn’t a guy for me to see. We just stopped in there on a whim. John had seen him, but he hadn’t seen him throwing that hard. We just kind of had him on our radar after that. We didn’t hide him out, but we didn’t show a lot of interest. We knew there were two other clubs that had interest in him. We targeted him in the draft and thought, let’s not lose this guy.” Wells was the 2018 Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Between High-A Ft. Myers and Double-A Chattanooga, he went 10-6 with a 2.56 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. He also had 121 strikeouts and just 31 walks over 119 1/3 innings. Unfortunately, the next spring training, he felt a pop in his elbow and ultimately had Tommy John surgery which cost him the 2019 season. He would have likely been rehab to come back sometime during the 2020 season, but as we all know, there was no 2020 season. And most likely, that is why the Twins decided not to add him to their 40 man roster in November. The Orioles took Wells with their second round Rule 5 pick. But even then, it didn’t necessarily mean that the Twins would lose him long term. Wells had to make the Orioles big-league roster out of spring training and still has to stay on the big-league roster throughout the entire 2021 season or be offered back to the Twins. Earlier in the Rule 5 draft, Wells’ good friend and fellow 2016 draft pick Akil Baddoo was selected by the Tigers. “We went through Tommy John surgery together and through that whole rehab process. We got pretty close. I was unbelievably happy for him. I hope he continues to absolutely rake and hope to see him up in Detroit.” Wells reported to Sarasota for his first major-league spring training. Wells pitched nine innings over five appearances. He gave up six hits, walked three and struck out 12 batters. He pitched well. Wells said this afternoon, “It was a lot of fun. A lot of the guys were super nice. It took a little time to get my feet wet, to understand how everything is going, how to go about my business. A lot of learning experiences. Got acquainted with a lot of the guys. As I continued to pitch, I learned more about myself and how my arm was feeling. I had an uptick in stuff from before I had Tommy John surgery. Everything went really, really well.” The Orioles decided to keep him on their roster for Opening Day. Getting the news was something that Wells will never forget. “I got called into the manager’s office on the last day of cuts. The GM and the manager are there. The first thing they said to me was ‘You ever been to Boston?’ Wells responded, “Nope.” They said, ‘Would you like to go?” Wells noted, “Obviously right then, I knew I made the team. It was an incredible moment.” On April 4th, the Orioles had an 11-3 lead over the Red Sox heading to the bottom of the ninth. Tyler Wells found himself jogging in from the Fenway Park bullpen to make his big-league debut. He gave up one hit, and he walked one, but he got three outs without allowing a run to end the game. “We were winning by a substantial amount, so they brought me in for the ninth and I got to finish the game. I ran out there and about halfway to the mound, I lost feeling in my feet. I started thinking I’ve got to remember how to do this pitching thing real quick.” In addition, he noted that the Red Sox fans in the right field corner were chanting his name. When he was warming up, fans were razzing him. “Wells… why are you not playing basketball? You should be playing tight end for the Patriots. Why are you even here?” Wells thought those aren’t even insults. “They were compliments. I appreciate that. I was keeping a straight face the whole time, and they liked that I didn’t even blink an eye. So they started chanting ‘Ty-Ler-Wells! Ty-Ler-Wells!’ as I was entering the game.” Since then, he has pitched in four more games against the Red Sox. His second MLB appearance came at Yankees Stadium. Primarily, he has pitched in low-leverage situations. He has completed two innings in seven of his 12 outings. Wells said, “The coaches have been pretty open about my situation. As a rookie, it’s low-leverage situations. I’m starting to get more comfortable in going in and hold games, certainly building more confidence in myself to be able to do that. I think that getting more innings as of late is really helping with that. I’m mostly a two-inning game. They try to bring me in and hold the game. I think they do have a lot of confidence in me doing that. I’m trying to help the team out as much as I can. Trying to help the bullpen as much as I can. Right now, they just want me to get more comfortable.” Overall, he has pitched in 12 games. He has a 5.14 ERA and a 1.10 WHIP. In 21 innings, he has given up 16 hits, walked seven and struck out 26 batters (11.1 K/9). One issue he has had is giving up home runs. He has already given up six homers (to Enrique Hernandez, JD Martinez, Jed Lowrie, Clint Frazier, Xander Bogaerts and Mike Zunino). This will not be Wells' first trip to Target Field. He’s been there one other time, but “not for the reasons I wanted to be. With my injury, I had to see the team doctor and got to attend a game.” On Monday night, the Twins will face left-hander John Means. As a rookie in 2019, he was the Orioles representative at the All Star game. In 2021, he has become a legitimate star. To this point, he is 4-0 with a 1.70 ERA and a 0.75 ERA. Means is a guy that Wells has talked to and learned from already. “He’s been a guy that I’ve looked up to a lot. Very level headed. That is really what makes him so go. He’s level headed because of the experiences he’s been through. He considered retiring in 2018. He ended up making his major-league debut that year. Baseball is already difficult enough, and when he got the opportunity, he didn’t waste it. He’s a great leader in the clubhouse. For me, personally, I talked to him a lot in spring training. I’ve talked to him throughout the course of the season so far. He provides a lot of insights to the pitching, the lifestyle, how to take care of yourself. He’s been a huge help for, but he takes the stuff that he tells me and he applies it. Everything he tells me, he does. He doesn’t get too up or too down. He’s just cruising.” Another teammate that Wells really admires is Trey Mancini. As you know, the O’s first baseman first baseman missed the 2020 season fighting colon cancer. He has returned this year, and through 46 games, he is hitting .280/.352/.520 (.872) with 12 doubles, ten homers and a league-leading 41 RBI. Wells says, “You aren’t going to find a lot of better people in baseball than him. He’s such a down-to-earth guy. He’s another leader in our clubhouse. The word to describe him is ‘Incredible!’ He’s pushed. He’s fought. And I think you see a lot of that in his game. He’s continued to push himself and I’m so happy for him. He’s a phenomenal human being. He does everything with a purpose. He’s so resilient. It’s very inspiring, not just for me, but for the entire team, the entire league.” Hopefully Tyler Wells will be able to make an appearance this week on the Target Field mound. One of his best friends from the Twins organization is Twins star rookie Alex Kirilloff. “AK and I have the same type of conversation every week or two. We’ll see what’s going on in our lives. I keep up with him on how his daughter is doing, and see how his wife and the rest of his family are doing. We don’t really talk a lot about baseball, just about life and how things are going. It’s cool to take a step back and realize this game has brought a lot of great people into your life. It’s such a cool thing to see him grow into a bigger person, beyond just baseball. I’m looking forward to reconnecting to him.” He pointed out the the Orioles just finished a series with the Washington Nationals. He had forgotten that another former Twins minor leaguer Sam Clay is working out of the Nationals bullpen this season. He said it was nice to reconnect with him as well. Wells has been teammates with Luis Arraez, Cody Stashak and others. Wells is good friends with Travis Blankenhorn and Aaron Whitefield who are close to Trevor Larnach so he has had a chance to get to know him as well. “It’s going to be hard, with Arraez and AK, as soon as I see them walking into the box, it’ll be hard not to smile at them. It’s cool. It’s a lot of fun. It’s going to up the ante. It’s going to make you want to perform better, and I think it’s going to do the same for those guys. It’s a lot of friendly competition.” Wells noted, “It’s awesome to be able to come back and see everybody. I think that’s what I’m looking forward to most. Baseball is still baseball. I have a job to do. I still compete. It doesn’t matter what stadium it’s in. It’s game time. You lock it in. You go out there and do your thing. I don’t think it’s so much the place as it is the people.” Wells’ goal for the rest of the 2021 season may seem simple, but it’s important. “Stay healthy! That’s the big one because after not pitching for two years and coming from AA straight to the big leagues, it’s certainly a jump, but at the same time, you’re getting more intense innings. You have 162 games a year. You want to stay healthy, and that’s my #1 goal this year. I’d like to avoid any IL stints. And, on top of that, Win some ball games. I want to compete for the team and help the team win. If they ever need a guy, I want to be that guy.” Akil Baddoo understandably caught our attention early in the season when he got off to a fast start, and hit a grand slam, and a triple, and had a walkoff single against the Twins in the season’s first week. But the Twins lost two players in this past Rule 5 draft and both are finding means of success in their rookie big league seasons.
  3. Tyler Wells has been a guest on several of my podcasts in the past, always willing to talk about his journey or baseball in general. Today, we will chat with him about being selected in the Rule 5 draft, get updated on his rehab from Tommy John surgery and much more. Wells was the Twins 15th round pick in 2016 out of Cal State-San Bernadino. He immediately began pitching well. In 2018, he was the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year when he went 10-6 with a 2.49 ERA between Ft. Myers and Chattanooga. In 119 1/3 innings, he walked just 31 and struck out 121 batters. Unfortunately in the spring of 2019, he felt the pop that no pitcher wants to hear. A few months later, he underwent Tommy John surgery and rehabbed through that season and into the 2020 season. On Thursday, the Baltimore Orioles made him a Rule 5 draft pick so he will now head to Orioles spring training hoping to make their big-league roster. ------------------------------------------------------------------- Please watch LIVE at noon (central time) today on the Twins Daily Twitter, Facebook or YouTube pages live. Also feel free to ask questions in the comments below or on those platforms during the show and we'll ask them. Subscribe to the Twins Daily podcast on Libsyn, Apple iTunes or anywhere you download podcasts. Here is the YouTube link where you can watch the show. More on Tyler Wells : Twins 2018 Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year (Sept 2018) Episode 5: Get to Know RHP Tyler Wells, OF Jaylin Davis (Oct 2020) Follow Tyler on Twitter at @tylerw13. Follow Tyler on Instagram at @twells_34. Previous Episodes Episode 1: Tom Hackimer Episode 2: Matt Canterino Episode 3: Aaron Whitefield Episode 4: Spencer Steer Episode 5: Travis Blankenhorn Episode 6: Cody Laweryson Episode 7: Matt Wallner Episode 8: Brent Rooker Episode 9: Bailey Ober Episode 10: Talkin' Torii (with Jacque Jones, Royce Lewis, Niko Guardado) Episode 11: Top 60 Twins Players in 60 Seasons in Minnesota Episode 12: Charlie Mack Episode 13: Edwar Colina Episode 14: Tyler Wells
  4. Twins Territory covers a huge area. It's obviously all of Minnesota, but it's parts of western Wisconsin, northern Iowa, South Dakota, North Dakota and beyond. Our first guest this week grew up in West Fargo. He became a star on the baseball field and has taken a circuitous route through college and the minor leagues to a point where he was just added to the Arizona Diamondbacks 40-man roster after a season in which he hit a combined 29 home runs between AA and AAA. Get to know, infielder Andy Young. Follow him on Twitter at AndyJYoung15. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_9.mp3 Ten Minutes with Tyler this week only lasted about 15 minutes, our shortest conversation since he's joined the podcast every couple of episodes. Tyler discusses topics such as the Twins minor league coaching changes, new leadership, 40-man roster moves, his rehab from Tommy John surgery and more. This week, we also discussed the passing of Ryan Costello, a dear friend to so many throughout the Twins organization. Follow Tyler Wells on Twitter. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_9.mp3 Finally, our third conversation in this week's podcast is with Twins minor league infield and base-running coordinator Billy Boyer. He joined the organization about a year ago. We discuss his role and what he tries to accomplish throughout the system with players. He talked about the collaboration and communication that is prevalent throughout the organization. We also find out more about his background in the game, from minor league player, to college coaching duties to his time with the Twins. Follow Billy Boyer on Twitter. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_9.mp3 Please leave some comments in the the forum below. Ask questions. Let me know who you would like to see interviewed and even what you would like me to ask them. Your feedback is very helpful. You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells Episode 6: Get to know: Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade Episode 7: Get to know: Matt Wallner (and Ten Minutes with Tyler Wells) Episode 8: Get to know: Caleb Hamilton, Austin Schulfer, Nick Anderson Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook.
  5. Matt Wallner was the Twins Competitive Balance pick in 2019, the 39th overall pick in the 2019 draft. In 2016, the Forest Lake, MN, native was the Twins 32nd round pick but instead of signing, he went to Southern Mississippi where he became a three-time All American. We discussed several topics with him including his high school playing days, being Mr. Baseball in 2016, the draft(s) and beginning his professional career. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_7.mp3 We need a good name for our bi-weekly segment with Twins RHP prospect Tyler Wells. We went with Ten Minutes with Tyler. Well, we went about 15 minutes, but that's OK. We discussed several topics including losing minor league coordinators, what's going on at the Twins academy in the offseason, the 40-man roster, his status and rehab updates and more. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_7.mp3 7:00 - Ten Minutes with Tyler 25:40 - Matt Wallner interview Leave questions or comments below on this podcast. Send me names of people you would like to see interviewed in the future. And send your questions for Tyler Wells as well, as he will return to the show in two weeks to answer your questions. You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells Episode 6: Get to know: Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook.
  6. In 2018, RHP Tyler Wells was selected the Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Year. Unfortunately, his 2019 season was over before it began. He felt some elbow pain before spring training, tried to rehab, but in late May he had Tommy John surgery. We discussed the entire process from initial pain, to "the pop," the surgery and early stages of his rehab. Wells will be a frequent (bi-weekly) guest of the show, and we will keep updated with his progress. But he is also open to answering any questions you may have about Tommy John, pitching, and really anything you may want to know about the minor league life and experiences. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_5.mp3 The second guest of the podcast was OF Jaylin Davis. It's likely that Davis wasn't a household name to Twins fans, and maybe even Twins prospect fans, but his career trajectory took off in 2019. He began at AA Pensacola, jumped up to AAA Rochester and hit a combined 25 homers before the July 31st trade deadline. He was sent to the San Francisco Giants as part of the Sam Dyson trade. He reported to AAA Sacramento where he added another 10 home runs before being called up to the Giants in early September. We discussed his season, the power outburst, getting traded, getting called up and much, much more. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_5.mp3 Leave questions or comments below on this podcast. Send me names of people you would like to see interviewed. And send your questions for Tyler Wells as well. You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook.
  7. Over the next two weeks, Twins Daily will be revealing the Twins Daily Midseason Top 40 Prospects rankings. Our preseason Top Prospect rankings go 20 deep. Our midseason rankings double that output and give some recognition to twice as many players. Several of our minor league writers provided player rankings. They were consolidated Continue reading, and then discussing, the Twins Daily choices for 35th through 31st prospects of the Minnesota Twins below. 35. Jaylin Davis – RF Age: 24 ETA: 2020 2019 Stats (AA): .274/.382/.458 (.840 OPS), 9 2B, 0 3B, 10 HR, 64 K, 36 BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: NR Seth: 38 | Tom: 36 | Cody: 34 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR Davis was taken by the Twins in the 24th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Appalachian State University. Davis got a brief taste of rookie ball that season, but the Twins have steadily moved him through the system over the last four years. In Pensacola this year, he is slightly older than the competition, but his OPS is higher than the last two years. After knocking 11 home runs in 120 games in 2018, he has already hit double-digit home runs this season. He’s played all three outfield positions, but the vast majority of his innings have come in right field. .34. Cole Sands - RHP Age: 21 ETA: 2021 2019 Stats (A+/A-): 52.2 IP, 3.08 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 10.6 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 5.17 K/BB 2019 Ranking: NR Seth: 33 | Tom: 24 | Cody: 40 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR Sands, a fifth-round pick in 2018, is making his professional debut this season. The Twins felt he had pitched enough in college last season, so he didn’t make any appearances in rookie ball. He started the year in Cedar Rapids and posted a 3.05 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 11 walks in 41 1/3 innings. At the beginning of June, he was moved to Fort Myers and made two starts. He allowed four earned runs and struck out 13 in 11 1/3 innings. Since then, he was placed on the IL with a blister on the third digit of his right hand. His fast ball usually sits in the low 90s, but he can reach the mid-90s when needed. His curveball and his change-up are his best secondary pitches. 33. Tyler Wells - RHP Age: 24 ETA: 2022 2019 Stats: Out for the Year (Tommy John Surgery) 2019 Ranking: HM Seth: 35 | Tom: 33 | Cody: 23 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR Wells found out near the end of May that he would need Tommy John surgery and he will miss all of 2019. He split time between High-A and Double-A last year and he was almost a year and a half younger than the competition in the Southern League. Wells posted a 2.49 ERA and a 121 to 31 strikeout to walk ratio in 119 1/3 innings during the 2018 campaign. He was named the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year and he won the Harmon Killebrew Award for the Miracle. It was a breakout season for him and it’s tough to lose a year of development. However, he should be back at some point in the second half of 2020. Wells was originally a 15th round pick back in 2016. 32. Griffin Jax - RHP Age: 24 ETA: 2021 2019 Stats (AA): 51.2 IP, 1.92 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 5.9 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 3.09 K/BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: HM Seth: 26 | Tom: 34 | Cody: 31 | Ted: 28 | Steve: 24 Jax was the highest player ever taken from the United States Air Force Academy and that’s just part of his story. In order to pitch in the Twins system, he is taking part in the military’s World Class Athlete Program which allows active-duty military personnel to make training for the Olympics their full-time responsibility. Jax is taking full advantage of the opportunity as he is off to a tremendous start at Double-A. In eight of his ten appearances, he has allowed one earned run or less. He doesn’t strike out a ton of batters (5.9 K/9), but he’s been efficient at getting outs. Jax pitched in last year’s Arizona Fall League and allowed nine earned runs on 21 hits in 21 innings (3.86 ERA). His fastball sits in the low 90s and he has a great change-up and an improving slider. 31. LaMonte Wade - OF ETA: 2019 Age: 25 2019 Stats (AAA): .232/.374/.332 (.706 OPS), 7 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 38 K, 42 BB. 2019 Ranking: NR Seth: 29 | Tom: 32 | Cody: 29 | Ted: 23 | Steve: 25 Wade was the Twins 9th-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Maryland. He’s worked his way through the Twins system over the last five seasons and he’s spent parts of the last two seasons in Rochester. Wade doesn’t strikeout. Well, that might not be completely true. Throughout his professional career, he has 283 walks compared to 263 strikeouts. He has a great approach at the plate and he has the ability to attack the strike zone. He can play all three outfield positions, but he probably fits better in a corner outfield spot. Wade could make his way to Minnesota at some point this season, even if it comes as a September call-up. Who’s ranked too high? Who’s ranked too low? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Also, check back next week to see who made the top-30 prospects. Twins Daily 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings Prospects 36-40 Prospects 31-35 (Today) Prospects 26-30 Coming Soon
  8. Ten years ago, I got the idea of taking my knowledge of the Twins minor league system and turning it into a coffee table book for Twins fans. Think about how often during a Twins game Dick Bremer will mention a minor league player and someone wonders aloud who that player is and when we might see him in the big leagues. Reach down to your coffee table, grab the Prospect Handbook and sound like a genius when you tell him all about that player, his background, his stats and a scouting report on him. That was the original purpose of the book, but now it’s even more than that. First, my “knowledge of the Twins minor league system” wasn’t real high in 2008 relative to now. Second, it’s constantly evolving and I still know only a percentage of all there is to know. We have seen the evolution of the game on and off the field. The Twins have made many changes in their minor leagues. They’ve switched affiliates. They’ve added technology. They’ve added more coaches and coordinators. The goal is to make the players the best they can be and use whatever they can to get them to the big leagues and contribute. Third, and really probably #1 on this point, is the saying that has been included in every single Twins Prospect Handbook since that first edition and will again be in the 11th annual Twins Prospect Handbook as well. Minor league baseball players are doing all the same work that the big leaguers do. They are just doing it with far less fanfare, smaller per diems, less luxurious travel and hotel arrangements, and noticeably lighter wallets due to pay checks with far fewer zeroes. These players deserve to be recognized too. It’s about the players. They deserve the recognition. They work hard, and they earn what they get. Sometimes that means a big league career, and sometimes it means peaking in A-ball. So, here is a quick look at what you will find if you order a copy of the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (which will again be available in paperback and PDF). THE COVER Finn Pearson, who has done a lot of really good graphic work for Twins Daily since earlier this year, did a very nice job on the cover It would be hard for me to explain if we had gone with anyone other than Alex Kirilloff and Royce Lewis on the 2019 handbook cover. You will also notice that the beautiful stadium in Pensacola is in the background. The home of the new Twins Double-A affiliate sits right along the Gulf of Mexico. THE AUTHORS Seth Stohs - As mentioned above, this is my 11th Twins Prospect Handbook. Hard to believe. I wrote three articles for the handbook this year. I wrote the three Twins Daily Minor League Award winner articles. I had 30+ minute phone interviews with our three winners, Alex Kirilloff, Tyler Wells and Andrew Vasquez and penned an in-depth article on each. There are a lot of similarities in the stories and their are a couple of very solid relationships among these players. And as you saw the other day, they have a lot of respect for each other. Cody Christie - Cody was first a Co-Author on the Prospect Handbook in 2013. He wrote an interesting article looking into the first few seasons of Joe Mauer’s professional career and compared it to whatt Royce Lewis has done. Has there been a passing of the torch? Tom Froemming - This is Tom’s second Prospect Handbook. He wrote an article about how the Twins have brought in so much young talent over the last couple of years since Derek Falvey took the reigns. They have really used every potential means. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dan Hayes - Hayes joined The Athletic as the Twins beat writer almost a year ago, and he has been a terrific writer and a great follow on Twitter this offseason. We are thrilled that he wrote an article for this year’s Prospect Handbook. He wrote about a lot of the changes that happened over the last year or so in the Twins minor league system on and off the field. Chris Blessing - Chris writes about prospects for BaseballHQ.com and several other sites including USA Today Sports Weekly and the Minor League Baseball Analyst. In his scouting, he has seen many Chattanooga Lookouts games in recent years, and he noticed some things about Twins prospects in 2018 that are encouraging. Ted Schwerzler - Ted has contributed an article the last few years in which he projects which prospects will make their debuts with the Twins in 2019 and when. For the first time we have enlisted the help of the Twins minor league affiliates and have an article from each of the affiliates (with the exception of the GCL Twins). Rochester Red Wings media relations director Nate Rowan wrote a great article on the rich history of the Red Wings and baseball in Rochester. Includes some remarkable stories including one from a game the Red Wings played in Cuba in 1959 that got more than a little scary. Daniel Venn did a Q&A for Twins Daily recently. He is the media relations director for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. Daniel shared with us the relatively short, but interesting history of the Blue Wahoos. Marshall Kelner is the media relations director for the Ft. Myers Miracle. He wrote an article on the team’s history and the 2018 Miracle Florida State League championship team. A long-time contributor at Twins Daily and of the Prospect Handbook, Steve Buhr met with the Cedar Rapids Kernels front office for a very interesting article on how much winning matters to a minor league affiliate. Mike Gallagher was the play-by-play man of the Elizabethton Twins. He wrote about the E-Twins long history with the Twins organization and recent legislation that hopefully will keep that relationship intact moving forward. Mariana Guzman writes at Twins Latinos. She wrote a good article about the 2018 season in the Dominican Summer League including who some of the better prospects might be on that team. Who could be the guys moving up to the Gulf Coast League in 2019? We admittedly have not covered the Twins Dominican Summer League in the book or on Twins Daily as much as we should, so this is a great addition to the book. THE PROFILES We like to call the prospect profiles the meat and potatoes of the Prospect Handbook. There are over 160 profiles of Twins minor leaguers in the book. I might give you an exact number, but we will update the book after Thursday’s Rule 5 draft to add any players that the Twins select. So, that number is subject to change between now and the book’s release. For those that have purchased Prospect Handbooks in the past, you have an idea of what the profiles look like and the information in each. For those of you who have not purchased previous Prospect Handbooks, well, you can buy previous Prospect Handbooks here. Ha! However, we wanted to include a profile here just to give you an idea of what you are getting. Here is a quick snip of a player profile. The header information includes height, weight, how they were acquired and their 2018 statistics. The 2018 Recaps were written by Tom Froemming and they, well, recap the player’s 2018 season. I (Seth) wrote up the Background section and the Scouting Report. The Background covers their amateur days and previous seasons. The Scouting Report provides, well, a scouting report on the player. We also include a Forecast for ‘19 in which we try to give a good idea of where each player could spend the 2019 season. We have pictures of a lot of the players in the bios. I wish we had all, but we definitely want to thank all the photographers that were willing to let us use their photos. So there you have it. The 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook is coming very soon. Keep checking back to Twins Daily and we will let you know when it is available. It’s something that Tom, Cody and I are really proud of. It just keeps getting bigger and better, and we hope that you will enjoy it too!
  9. As you recall, following the minor league season, Twins Daily announced the minor league awards: Hitter of the Year: Alex Kirilloff Starting Pitcher of the Year: Tyler Wells Relief Pitcher of the Year: Andrew Vasquez In a minor league system, the players get to know each other and develop relationships and many friendships. Even in this small group of three, there are some interesting connections. So, I thought it would be fun to see what each had to say about the others’ seasons. Tyler Wells on Andrew Vasquez In the offseason, Vasquez works out with fellow Twins Daily 2018 award winner Tyler Wells at Performance Fitness for Athletes. Wells was really happy for Vasquez. “He’s improved every year. I was extremely happy for him. I was really proud. He’s one of my best friends. It’s good to see someone get rewarded for all the hard work and adversity. Seeing him in The Show made me want to work my butt off even more.” Tyler Wells on Alex Kirilloff The Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Year, Tyler Wells, is also close with Kirilloff. The two were drafted in 2016, played together in Elizabethton and have remained close. Of Kirilloff, Wells said, “Alex and I are really really close. We have gone through quite a bit as far as just being friends. Seeing what he did was unbelievable. Truly was unbelievable. Being around him, he always makes you want to be a better baseball player, in general. It makes you want to work harder. He’s always finding a way to get better, always thinking about it. From rooming with him in E-Town, that’s something I inherited from him that summer. Now it’s like, don’t get too high, don’t get too low. Stay consistent. What can you do to refine this little thing? We all know, Alex is one of the greatest hitters the game has ever seen. He never stops trying to get better and that rubs off on his teammates.” Andrew Vasquez on Alex Kirilloff Vasquez said of Kirilloff, "I played with him for a brief time in Elizabethton when he first got drafted. I just remembered that he was a very good hitter. It was very noticeable. You could tell he had an approach and knew what he was doing. A high school guy, he was really impressive. He was always putting good swings on the ball." Andrew Vasquez on Tyler Wells Vasquez spoke of Wells. “He had a great year. He took what he needed to improve on and focus on and it really showed this year. He lost a little weight. I was kind of worried because sometimes when guys lose weight, they can lose velo, but he kept his velo and his stamina increased. I distinctly remember in 2017 that he would have trouble going late into games, pitch count would get high and he’d get tired. This year, he made these changes and was able to sustain it. He threw really well.” Alex Kirilloff on Tyler Wells Fellow 2018 Twins Daily award winner Alex Kirilloff is a close friend of Wells since they were drafted in 2016 and played together in Elizabethton. “I think he had a great season. He did a great job last offseason. He started a new diet. He really stuck with his workout regimen and his offseason goal and plan. He lost all that weight. I’m impressed with that. He pitched well in spring training and backed it up on the field all year. I think that he has a lot of potential and hope he will have another big year.” Kirilloff continued, “Off the field, fun guy to be around, a lot of energy. Just a good guy to get behind every five days and know he’s going to battle out there on the mound. That’s always nice to have. I hope he puts together another good season next year and we’ll see what happens.” Alex Kirilloff on Andrew Vasquez Hitter of the Year, Alex Kirilloff saw Vasquez’s 2018 progression from the Florida State League to the big leagues. “It definitely is motivational for everyone, really. You don’t see that too often, but when we do see it, you keep yourself in check and realize that you are not too far away from it. Sometimes you feel like you are a million years away, but when you see a guy like Andrew do it all in one year, you push yourself to work harder and work toward that goal as well. So it was definitely pretty cool to see. I was extremely happy for him.” Later this week, we will announce more about the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. Be sure to stop back and order your copies when it becomes available. For now, you can order discounted copies of the previous Twins Prospect Handbooks here.
  10. Following the conclusion of the Twins minor league season, Twins Daily announced our choice for the 2018 Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Right-hander Tyler Wells split the season, making 16 starts for Ft. Myers and six games in Chattanooga. Combined, he went 10-6 with a 2.49 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. He struck out 121 batters in 119 1/3 innings. It was a terrific season on the field for Wells. Wells was terrific in the community throughout the season as well and earned the Miracle choice for the Harmon Killebrew Award. The Miracle do a lot throughout their season in the community, and Wells stayed busy with it throughout his time in southwest Florida. Wells shared a list of some of the activities that he participated in. “During my time in Fort Myers, I participated in multiple camps, a special needs camp, a hospital visit to see kids with cancer, and helped promote and participated in a fundraiser with the VS. Cancer Foundation. I also participated in a kids camp up in Chattanooga.” The VS. Cancer event and fundraiser was something that meant a lot personally to Wells. https://twitter.com/TylerW13/status/1014211682732838914 Wells and some teammates raised money to fight cancer, and following a game at Hammond Stadium on a Friday night in late July, they got pied. https://twitter.com/TylerW13/status/1020757714052567041 Wells made several trips to Ft. Myers area hospitals with teammates throughout the season, and even in the offseason when he was there for various camps. Being community-minded is something that is very important to Tyler Wells, and having his name associated with an award named for the great Harmon Killebrew. “It’s a huge honor for me, as it would be for anyone to associated with the Minnesota Twins legend. Baseball is only part of the job for us, and Harmon Killebrew was the best example you could have for being so much more than a baseball player. And I’m hoping, as I continue my career, that I can set an example like Killebrew did! ” Previous Ft. Myers Miracle Killebrew Award winners: 2011 - Reggie Williams 2012 - Andy Leer 2013 - Stephen Wickens 2014 - Tim Shibuya 2015 - Tanner Vavra 2016 - Trey Vavra 2017 - Kevin Garcia 2018 - Tyler Wells Other 2018 Killebrew Award Recipients Rochester Red Wings - Jake Reed Chattanooga Lookouts - Chris Paul Fort Myers Miracle - Tyler Wells Cedar Rapids Kernels - David Banuelos Congratulations to Tyler Wells on earning the 2018 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for the Fort Myers Miracle.
  11. Before we get to the Top Five, and the eventual winner, it's worth noting a few honorable mentions. While Rochester and Chattanooga struggled in 2018, Cedar Rapids made the playoffs and Ft. Myers and Elizabethton won championships, largely on their pitching. Here are some of those candidates that also received votes: Honorable Mention Sean Poppen - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 26 G, 20 GS, 6-9, 3.45 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 127.2 IP, 2.7 BB/9, 8.7 K/9 Randy Dobnak - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 24 G, 20 GS, 10-5, 3.14 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 129.0 IP, 1.7 BB/9, 5.9 K/9 Bailey Ober - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 14 GS, 7-1, 3.84 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 75.0 IP, 1.1 BB/9, 10.6 K/9 Starting Pitcher of the Year Here are the top five picks for the 2018 Minnesota Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. #5- Edwar Colina - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 21 G, 20 GS, 7-5, 2.63 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 109.1 IP, 4.4 BB/9, 8.7 K/9 Colina signed with the Twins in September of 2015. He pitched in the Dominican Summer League in 2016. Last year in Elizabethton, he was the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year. While his walk total was high, Colina was often able to work out of situations with strikeouts. Colina is stocky and strong. While he isn’t tall, he uses has legs to drive the ball. He sits 93 to 94 mph, but he can hit 96 regularly. He’s got good secondary pitches as well. He spent the majority of the season in Cedar Rapids, where he started a no-hitter. He ended the season with a start for the Miracle and then was the winning pitcher in the Miracle’s championship game. #4- Lewis Thorpe - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings - 26 G, 25 GS, 8-7, 3.54 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 129.2 iP, 2.5 BB/9, 10.9 K/9 Thorpe was added to the Twins 40-man roster last November. After missing two full seasons with Tommy John surgery (and mono), Thorpe showed enough in Ft. Myers to earn the roster spot. This year, he began in Chattanooga where he struggled early. But he started pitching well and was named to the Future Game where he represented the Twins and Australia. He took off from there, throwing more and more strikes and getting a lot of strikeouts. He ended the season with four starts in Rochester. #3- Stephen Gonsalves - Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings - 23 G, 22 GS, 12-3, 2.76 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 120.2 IP, 4.8 BB/9, 9.0 K/9 Gonsalves was the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2016 and 2017. He was the runner up to Jose Berrios in 2015. After being added to the 40-man roster last November, Gonsalves came to his second big league spring training. He struggled early and was sent to Chattanooga where he issued too many walks but dominated in four starts. He was promoted to Rochester where he went 9-3 with a 2.96 ERA. When you consider he has starts in which he gave up six runs in 1 2/3 innings, five runs in 2/3 inning, and nine earned runs in four innings, he was incredible in the rest of his innings. He followed the nine-run outing with a stretch of seven starts in which he gave up just two runs over 40 1/3 innings. In mid-August, the 24-year-old received the call to the big leagues. #2- Brusdar Graterol - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Fort Myers Miracle - 19 GS, 8-4, 2.74 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 102.0 IP, 2.5 BB/9, 9.4 K/9 The Twins signed Graterol way back in late August of 2014. The Venezuelan right-hander pitched just 11 innings in the Dominican Summer League in 2015 before coming to the Twin Cities and having Tommy John surgery. He continued to rehab until early in the 2017 season when he returned to pitching, this time for the GCL Twins. He split 2018 between the GCL and Elizabethton. He began the 2018 season in extended spring training, though he got to Cedar Rapids before the end of April. With the Kernels, he went 3-2 with a 2.18 ERA in 41 1/3 innings (9 BB, 51 K) before being promoted to the Miracle shortly after the Midwest League All-Star Game. With the Miracle, he went 5-2 with a 3.12 ERA in 11 starts and 60 2/3 innings (19 BB, 56 K). Blessed with a fastball that sits in the upper 90s and frequently hits triple digits, Graterol also has the makings of a quality slider and changeup. #1- Tyler Wells - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 22 G, 21 GS, 10-6, 2.49 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 119.1 IP, 2.3 BB/9, 9.2 K/9 The Twins used their 15th-round draft pick in the 2016 draft to select a tall, right-hander from Cal State-San Bernadino. He was an interesting draft story. Recently Senior Advisor to Scouting, Deron Johnson, who was the Twins Scouting Director in 2016, told Twins Daily that he had traveled with Twins area scout and now West Coast Supervisor Elliot Strankman. “Elliot and I were going to see a junior college kid at another college. He said, ‘Hey, I like this reliever at Sonoma State. Let’s go see him on the way there.’ So we go there and they’re playing Cal State-San Bernadino. We see this big giant on the mound throwing up to 94 with a nice breaking ball. John Leavitt, our area scout had him in, but he wasn’t a guy for me to see. We just stopped in there on a whim. John had seen him, but he hadn’t seen him throwing that hard. We just kind of had him on our radar after that. We didn’t hide him out, but we didn’t show a lot of interest. We knew there were two other clubs that had interest in him. We targeted him in the draft and thought, let’s not lose this guy.” Johnson noted that Wells reminded him of a former Twins pitching prospect (and former minor league pitcher of the year) who reached Triple-A Rochester. “Remember David Bromberg? (Wells) was a lot like David. When we draft-and-followed David, he weighed 290 pounds out of high school. He went to junior college and lost a ton of weight.” That was the carrying story for Wells as he came into the 2018 season. This past offseason, Wells worked really hard at Performance Fitness for Athletes as well as greatly improved his diet. It was noticed, and it paid off. Since being drafted, he has lost about 50 pounds. Twins minor league director Jeremy Zoll noted, “Tyler does seem to fly under the radar a little bit for whatever reason. We’ve been really proud of him this year. He came into spring training and had really transformed his body, lost about 25 pounds. Really changed his diet working with his mom and a few other people in California. To dial that in this offseason. Felt it was the area he needed to improve the most. Thought it would help him sustain success through a long, full season. He did just that. He stayed committed to that all year.” Wells acknowledged that it was very important to him, but not only did he lose the weight, but he got results on the mound. He said, “It was extremely fulfilling knowing that the hard work I’ve put in is showing out on the field. It helped me gain confidence in myself and my ability to go out there every day and compete.” The weight loss is part of Tyler Wells’ 2018 story, but at the end of the day, he is the choice for Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Year because of the numbers and because of the results, and frankly, because he is a really good pitcher. For his part, Wells likes to just keep it simple. “I don’t really try to follow my stats too much. I like to keep it simple and just try to put up as many zeroes as possible every time I go out there. If anything, I was extremely blessed and thankful to have a completely healthy season.” His pitching coach at Ft. Myers, Henry Bonilla, noted that staying healthy was part of the key for Wells. “One of the main things for Tyler was staying healthy. He always had good numbers, but seemed to find little injuries that kept him off the field. He also learned how to use his pitches better, what works well off each other and so forth.” Jeremy Zoll credits that pitching coaches working with Wells, but also Wells himself for working on things. “I know he was working with both pitching coaches, Henry Bonilla, Ivan Arteaga and JP Martinez, our assistant pitching coordinator, throughout the season with various grips on his curveball. He tried an adjustment early that ultimately didn’t go the way he wanted it to. He made some tweaks in the middle of the year and it seemed like from there, it started to really help. It played off his fastball well. Increased comfort with the slider and ability to use it early in the count, late in the count, and just continue to be comfortable pitching inside. So a lot of it is just continued innings, continued reps, continued development, and some minor tweaks along the way.” From Johnson, “Tyler’s got that good fastball carry. He’s got a nice down-action curveball. He can pitch. He’s got a changeup too. He’s got good makeup. He’s turned himself into a good prospect.” According to Zoll, “He’s got four pitches. He continued to hone ways to use all four and have them play off each other. He fills up the strike zone and generates weak contact. All those things put together equal a pretty good starting pitcher. It helped him earn his promotion to AA and he just step on the gas pedal from there. ” Wells made 16 starts for Ft. Myers to start the season and was named a Florida State League All Star. He went 8-4 with a 2.80 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP. In 86 2/3 innings, he walked 17 and struck out 82 batters. He was the Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Month in June. He was promoted to Chattanooga where he made six more starts and went 2-2 with a 1.65 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. In 32 2/3 innings, he walked 14 but struck out 39 batters. Asked about the continued success upon his promotion to Double-A, Wells said, “Honestly, my transitions were very easy for one reason. It’s the same game all the way through. I have to go out and throw strikes, execute pitches, and give my team a chance to win every single time.” The makeup and the mental aspect of the game is often forgotten, but Tyler Wells has it in spades. “I cannot say that there was one pitch or sequence (that led to his success) because every hitter is different. My success, I believe, came from my mental side of the game. I was able to learn how to use my pitches, read hitters’ swings, and keep my approach to pitching simple and aggressive.” Deron Johnson says it well when he says of Wells. “He was a pleasant surprise. You’ve got to get lucky and get guys down there in the draft. You never know what’s going to happen with your top picks, so it’s always a pleasant surprise to get a guy or two, like Hildenberger, down there. You’ve got to get lucky.” Who knows? The Twins just may have got lucky in the 2016 15th round with Tyler Wells. The Ballots Votes came in from the Twins Daily minor league writers, making six ballots in total. Striving for transparency, here is how each individual voted: Seth Stohs - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Brusdar Graterol, 3) Stephen Gonsalves, 4) Edwar Colina, 5) Sean Poppen Jeremy Nygaard - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Stephen Gonsalves, 3) Lewis Thorpe, 4) Brusdar Graterol, 5) Bailey Ober Cody Christie - 1) Stephen Gonsalves, 2) Tyler Wells, 3) Brusdar Graterol, 4) Edwar Colina, 5) Sean Poppen Ted Schwerzler - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Brusdar Graterol, 3) Stephen Gonsalves, 4) Edwar Colina, 5) Randy Dobnak Tom Froemming - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Lewis Thorpe, 3) Brusdar Graterol, 4) Sean Poppen, 5) Stephen Gonsalves Steve Lein - 1) Tyler Wells, 2) Brusdar Graterol, 3) Lewis Thorpe, 4) Stephen Gonsalves, 5) Randy Dobnak Feel free to discuss below in the comments. Share your ballot!
  12. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Friday, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS The Twins announced that Matt Belisle would be activated from the DL on Saturday. September call ups for Saturday will include: Johnny Field, Chris Gimenez and Tyler Duffey. There had been reports from Rochester that Zack Littell left the field with his duffle bag. It's possible that they just aren't going to activate him until Sunday or something. It appears LHP Andrew Vasquez has been called up as well. He began the 2018 season in Ft. Myers.. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Lehigh Valley 3 Box Score Lewis Thorpe made his final minor league start of the 2018 season on Friday night, though he still took the loss. The southpaw from Australia worked the first seven innings. He was charged with three unearned runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out eight. He gave up the three runs in the sixth innings. With one out, Thorpe committed an error, then walked a batter. The big blow was a three-run homer that followed. Ryne Harper worked two scoreless, hitless innings. The Red Wings managed just five hits. Jon Kemmer had two hits. Zander Wiel added a single and a walk. Byron Buxton was 0-for-3 with a strikeout. He was also hit by a pitch. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4, Jackson 1 Box Score It’s been a terrific season for righty Tyler Wells. He gave up just one run on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. He uncharacteristically walked four, but he (characteristically) struck out eight. Casey Crosby got the final out of the sixth inning and worked a scoreless seventh frame as well. Tyler Jay worked a scoreless eighth inning, and Devin Smeltzer recorded his third save with a perfect ninth. Jimmy Kerrigan led the offense. He went 3-for-4 with his seventh double. Luis Arraez added two singles. Mitchell Kranson singled and walked twice. Luke Raley was 1-for-3 with a walk and drove in two runs. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, Clearwater 10 Box Score The Miracle came into the season’s final weekend with a 1 1/2 game lead for a playoff spot. On this night, they were unable to help their own cause. Griffin Jax had his first rough start of the season. He gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits and two walks in just 2 2/3 innings. Kevin Marnon came on and gave up two runs on five hits, a walk and a hit batter over the next two innings. Alex Phillip made his Twins debut and threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings without even giving up a base runner. He struck out two. Adam Bray was charged with two runs on six hits over the final two innings. He struck one out. Phillips was signed out of the independent Frontier League this week. Reports indicate that he is aggressive in the strike zone. His fastball sits 91 to 93 mph and he has both a slider and a curveball, both of which were referred to as “good pitches.” Royce Lewis went 2-for-4 in the game. Alex Kirilloff went 1-for-1 with three walks. He homered in his first at-bat of the game. It was his 20th overall of the season. He also has 101 RBI. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Burlington 2 Box Score How did Michael Davis last until the 24th round in this year’s draft. All he’s done since signing is mash to the tune of a .308 average with now nine home runs. The biggest came tonight when, down a run in the bottom of the eighth inning, he crushed a grand slam that proved to be the game winner. Gabriel Maciel went 3-for-4. Victor Tademo was 2-for-3 with a walk and his first Midwest League double. Melvi Acosta started. The righty gave up two runs on five hits and a walk in just five innings. He struck out two. Moises Gomez came on and threw two zeroes on the scoreboard. Zach Neff worked both the eighth and ninth frames to be credited with the Win. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 7, Kingsport 3 Box Score The E-Twins began their annual playoff run with a game in Kingsport. After the win, Game 2 (and Game 3, if necessary) will be played in Elizabethton. The offense showed up, but it was a terrific start by 2018 pick Josh Winder. The seventh-round pick gave up one run on four hits over the first six innings. He walked none and struck out eight. JT Perez came in for the seventh and got two outs. However, he gave up one run on one hit and three walks. Both outs he recorded came on strikeouts. Jacob Blank got the final seven outs to record the save. Five of the outs came on strikeouts. He gave up one run on one hit and two walks. Yunior Severino and Ricky De La Torre, the youngest players on the team, each had three hits. Severino had a double. Gilberto Celestino went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer. Alex Robles had two hits and drove in three runs. Chris Williams had a single and two walks. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Yunior Severino, Elizabethton Twins (3-5, 2B, 2 R). Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Josh Winder, Elizabethton Twins (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 2-4,K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 1-1, 3 BB, HR(7), R, RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-4, 2 K, R, K #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Minnesota) - 3.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K. #6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, K #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-4, IBB, K #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - did not play #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-4, 2B(9) #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, K #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, RBI #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 3-5, 2B, 2 R, K #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - Out for the season (wrist) #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) - did not play #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, R, K #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - 2-5, 2 R, K #21 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, K *Since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list. SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (5:05 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero (5-5, 3.49 ERA) Chattanooga @ Jackson (6:05 CST) - LHP Dietrich Enns (4-5, 4.01 ERA) Clearwater @ Ft. Myers (5:00 CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (0-1, 5.79 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (7:00 CST) - RHP Carlos Suniaga (3-4, 3.89 ERA) Kingsport @ Elizabethton (5:00 CST) - RHP Luis Rijo GCL Twins - Season Completed Please feel free to ask any questions about Friday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  13. Weekly Snapshot: Mon, 8/20 through Sun, 8/26 *** Record Last Week: 2-5 (Overall: 61-69) Run Differential Last Week: -16 (Overall: -37) Standing: 2nd Place in AL Central (13.0 GB) HIGHLIGHTS On Friday night, Joe Mauer notched his 2,086th career hit, surpassing Rod Carew for second place in Twins history. On that list, Mauer now trails only Kirby Puckett (2,304). He probably won't catch Puck but Mauer has admirably carved out a place in franchise lore. All-around, Mauer had an okay week by his current standards, collecting seven hits in 26 at-bats (.269) but it sort of epitomized his greatly reduced offensive impact. All seven hits were singles and he drew two walks, so the end result was a .590 OPS with one run scored and one driven in. On the same night Mauer made history, Jake Odorizzi ended his own (less favorable) run at the record books. Prior to completing seven innings against Oakland, Odorizzi had gone 30 consecutive starts without recording an out past the sixth, the sixth-longest streak ever. It was a very strong performance from the righty (7 IP, 1 ER), and a high point in what's been an up-and-down season. The aforementioned streak speaks to Odorizzi's lack of length – he's completed six innings only eight times in 27 starts this year – but altogether he's been about exactly what the Twins should have expected: an average starter and respectable back-end piece in the rotation. His ERA+ of 100 is nearly identical to last year's 101 and his career mark of 103. Some other good news: Tyler Austin just keeps mashing. The slugger launched three more home runs over the weekend, including two on Sunday (Minnesota's only offense in a 6-2 loss) and is now rocking a jaw-dropping .333/.370/.786 since coming over from New York at the deadline, with six home runs in 12 games. As I wrote last week, Austin is looking like a hell of a pickup by the front office, with a chance to play a key role in 2019. LOWLIGHTS The much-anticipated major-league debut of Stephen Gonsalves on Monday didn't exactly go as hoped. Facing the White Sox at Target Field, Gonsalves made it through one inning without much trouble but was ambushed in the second, allowing seven of eight hitters to reach base (triple, double, two singles, two walks, HBP) before getting the hook. His second turn on Saturday was an improvement, as he made it through five innings against Oakland, but he still wasn't sharp. He threw only 48 of 90 pitches for strikes, and while three of the four runs scored against him came on one swing of the bat, Gonsalves earned the poor results by allowing seven hits and four walks with just two strikeouts. Through two MLB starts, the left-hander has allowed as many earned runs (8) as in his last seven at Triple-A. It's a different ballgame up here, as Gonsalves is quickly learning. Hopefully the experience will ultimately benefit him. On Wednesday, Kyle Gibson failed to complete five innings for the first time since April, coughing up seven runs (four earned) in 4 2/3. He issued four walks, his highest total in two months. It wasn't pretty, but there's also not much reason for concern. Gibby did induce 14 swinging strikes (highest total in four August starts) and he had a 3.27 ERA over his previous five turns. Everyone has a hiccup here and there. The hiccups have been far too routine for Addison Reed, who continues to throw utterly hittable junk with the expected results. In three appearances last week he allowed three runs on six hits over four innings while striking out only one of the 18 batters he faced. On Friday night, the A's launched a pair of homers against him on meatballs left out over the plate. His once-powerful fastball has lost any semblance of effectiveness. This velocity chart via Brooks Baseball pretty much says it all: With Jim Thome fittingly in attendance, Miguel Sano had a very loud hit on Saturday – the 13th-longest home run in Target Field history, per Twins communications boss Dustin Morse – but it was one of only two knocks for him in a week that saw his average sink to .212. It's now been almost a full month since Sano returned from his banishment to Single-A, and during that span he has hit .226/.305/.441 with a 33.3% K-rate. It's encouraging relative to what we saw early in the season, but still not entirely reaffirming. Sano would do much to bolster the team's 2019 outlook by putting together a convincingly excellent final month. TRENDING STORYLINE September call-ups are around the corner. With rosters expanding on Saturday, the Twins will have some important decisions to make regarding their team's makeup. (Though they may wait until minor-league seasons end a few days later to make the majority of decisions.) On the position player side, it's a fairly straightforward situation. The only big question is whether or not to recall Byron Buxton, though his improved play since returning to Rochester's lineup might be answering it – after collecting three hits on Sunday, Buxton's batting .333 with a .583 slugging percentage in eight games since his latest DL stint. If he does come back, it'll be interesting to see how much playing time Buxton can siphon away from Jake Cave, who's absolutely earned the right to keep seeing regular reps. The pitching side is more complicated. There are a lot of starters on the 40-man deserving of looks as potential 2019 contributors: Gonsalves (who should stay up), Fernando Romero, Zack Littell, Lewis Thorpe, maybe even Chase de Jong. It's a matter of finding innings for all of them, as there's not much point in calling anyone up to sit on the bench. As a possible solution, Paul Molitor has discussed a "piggybacking" approach, wherein multiple starting pitchers work in the same game (say, three or four innings apiece). This would make a lot of sense. But then there's the issue of a crowded bullpen picture. Desperately needing to evaluate options amidst an uncertain relief outlook, the Twins need to prioritize who they want to see. Sadly, there just won't be room for all of John Curtiss, Nick Anderson, Luke Bard and Jake Reed (the latter three would require 40-man roster moves). It's already been tough enough to find regular work for the bullpen's current occupants. We'll see how things play out next week. DOWN ON THE FARM On Sunday, Tyler Wells celebrated his 24th birthday. One day earlier, he'd turned in his fifth strong outing since being promoted to Class-AA Chattanooga, logging six scoreless innings with seven strikeouts. So far for the Lookouts, Wells has a 1.67 ERA and .196 BAA, with just one home run allowed in 27 frames. The former 15th-round draft pick is firmly in the second tier of Twins pitching prospects, but Wells is not one to overlook. It's hard enough to do so given his towering 6'8" stature, but the results are also plenty eye-catching. In 114 innings between High-A and Double-A this season he has a 113-to-27 K/BB ratio and opponents are slashing just .192/.245/.286. Elsewhere: Jhoan Duran, acquired in the Eduardo Escobar trade, put together another dazzling performance at Cedar Rapids, where he's got a 2.25 ERA and 41-to-7 K/BB rate through 32 innings after fanning 10 over six scoreless frames on Friday. Another standout in the farm's second tier of pitching prospects. Also in Cedar Rapids, first-round draft pick Trevor Larnach had a monster week, flashing his big offensive potential by going 9-for-26 (.375) with two doubles and a homer. LOOKING AHEAD It's the Derek Falvey/Thad Levine reunion tour, as Minnesota travels to take on both of the top execs' former organizations. This road trip extends into the following week, when they'll visit Houston. The Twins will need to reverse their immense struggles away from home (22-40) to avoid pushing the modest goal of a .500 finish out of reach. TUESDAY, 8/28: TWINS @ INDIANS – RHP Kyle Gibson v. RHP Carlos Carrasco WEDNESDAY, 8/29: TWINS @ INDIANS – RHP Kohl Stewart v. RHP Adam Plutko THURSDAY, 8/30: TWINS @ INDIANS – RHP Jake Odorizzi v. RHP Mike Clevinger FRIDAY, 8/31: TWINS @ RANGERS – LHP Stephen Gonsalves v. LHP Mike Minor SATURDAY, 9/1: TWINS @ RANGERS – RHP Jose Berrios vs. RHP Drew Hutchison SUNDAY, 9/2: TWINS @ RANGERS – RHP Kyle Gibson v. LHP Martin Perez Catch Up On Twins Daily Game Recaps Game 123 | CHW 8, MIN 5: At Least That’s Out of the Way Game 124 | MIN 5, CHW 2: Wild Final Inning Puts Twins Over Game 125 | CHW 7, MIN 3: Sox Get to Gibby Game 126 | MIN 6, OAK 4: Twins Top Red-Hot A’s Game 127 | OAK 7, MIN 1: Puckett 2,304, Mauer 2,086, Carew 2,085 Game 128 | OAK 6, MIN 2: Gonsalves Gets Burned on Mistake Pitch Game 129 | OAK 6, MIN 2: Austin Goes Deep Twice in Loss
  14. TRANSACTIONS To Fort Myers: RHP Edwar Colina To Cedar Rapids: LHP Zach Neff, RHP Carlos Suniaga Also, Jordan Balazovic was placed on the Kernels’ DL and it was reported that Michael Pineda’s rehab assignment has been put on hold due to concerns over some soreness in his knees. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Syracuse 1 Box Score W: Luke Bard (3.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K) SV: John Curtiss (1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 0 K) SP: Ryan Eades (3.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K) HR: None Multi-hit games: None Rochester scored all three of their runs on a two-out rally in the fifth inning. It all started with catcher Juan Graterol drawing a walk. Alex Perez followed with a single, which chased Syracuse’s starter from the game. Byron Buxton was hit by a pitch to load the bases, then Nick Gordon drew an RBI walk. Gregorio Petit capped it off with a two-run single. D.J. Baxendale had an impressive night, striking out four of the six batters he faced over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. John Curtiss struggled some with his control, throwing just 17 of his 33 pitches for strikes, but still picked up his ninth save. Buxton was 1-for-3 with a single, a hit-by-pitch and two strikeouts. He also threw out a runner at home to end the sixth inning. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Jacksonville 5, Chattanooga 4 Box Score SP: Tyler Wells (6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K) HR: Andy Wilkins (8) Multi-hit games: Tanner English (2-for-2, 3B) This game started out as a pitchers duel, with Tyler Wells absolutely dealing for the Lookouts. The first run of the game didn’t come until the top of the eighth inning when Jacksonville took a 1-0 lead. Things got real interesting from there. Chattanooga responded with four runs in the bottom of the eighth, but their bullpen could not make that lead hold up, as they surrendered four runs right back to Jacksonville in the top of the ninth. Andy Wilkins delivered the big hit for Chattanooga, hitting a go-ahead, three-run homer with two outs in the eighth. Circling back to Wells, after six innings of shutout ball, his ERA is down to 1.67 since joining the Lookouts. He threw 63 of his 92 pitches for strikes and punched out seven batters. He’s given up just five earned runs in 27 innings for Chattanooga and has struck out 31 batters in the process. MIRACLE MATTERS St. Lucie 5, Fort Myers 2 Box Score SP: Griffin Jax (5.0 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 1 K) HR: Alex Kirilloff (5) Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR), Robbie Rinn (2-for-4) Griffin Jax had his worst start of the season and the Miracle could not recover. Jax tied a season high with four earned runs and issued four walks in a start for the first time in 24 professional appearances. Alex Kirilloff hit a home run, his fifth with the Miracle and 18th overall this season. Adam Bray pitched the final three innings, giving up one run on two hits to go along with three strikeouts. The Minneapolis native and South Dakota State product has a 1.27 ERA in 17 games with Fort Myers. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Kane County 2 Box Score W: Carlos Suniaga (5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K) HR: Michael Davis (7) Multi-hit games: Akil Baddoo (3-for-4, BB), Michael Helman (2-for-5, 2B), Trevor Larnach (2-for-4), Michael Davis 2-for-4, HR) The Kernels had two runs on the board before they even made an out in the bottom of the first inning and cruised to victory. Leadoff man Akil Baddoo filled up the stat sheet, reaching base four times. He also stole his 22nd base of the season. A quartet of 2018 draftees had big games as well. First-round pick Trevor Larnach was 2-for-4, pushing his batting average since joining the Kernels to .310, and drove in two runs. Michael Helman, an 11th-round pick, was 2-for-5 with a double and is hitting .368 in 19 games with Cedar Rapids. Michael Davis, selected in the 24th round, hit a two-run homer, his seventh with the Kernels. Finally, 31st-round pick Zach Neff logged 2 2/3 scoreless innings of one-hit ball to go with three strikeouts in his Midwest League debut. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 7, Bristol 5 Box Score W: Josh Winder (5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K) SV: Erik Cha (2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) HR: Yunior Severino (7), Gilberto Celestino (1) Multi-hit games: Gilberto Celestino (3-for-4, HR), Yelstin Encarnacion (2-for-4) E-Town jumped out to an early 4-0 lead and fended off multiple comeback attempts by the Pirates to improve their record to 36-26 this season. Josh Winder put together a solid start and Yunior Severino socked a two-run homer in the second inning. Gilberto Celestino, acquired in the Ryan Pressly deal, hit his first homer since joining the Twins and finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs. Erik Cha, making his Appy League debut, inherited a one-run lead with one out and a runner on in the seventh inning. He gave up one hit and one walk over 2 2/3 scoreless innings to earn the save, striking out five of the 11 batters he faced in the process. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 7, GCL Red Sox 6 (13 innings) Box Score W: Michael Montero (3.2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K) SP: Kai-Wei Teng (4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K) HR: Shane Carrier (1) Multi-hit games: Estamy Urena (3-for-5), Shane Carrier (2-for-5, HR) Michael Montero entered this game with one out in the top of the 10th inning, after the Red Sox had scored the go-ahead run. He got out of a jam, recording the last two outs with runners on first and second base. Charles Mack tied it back up with a sac fly in the bottom of the 10th, and Montero just kept cruising. Despite having a runner start on second base each inning, Montero posted zeros in the 11th, 12th and 13th innings. Finally, in the bottom of the 13th Hunter Lee hit a walk-off single. Shane Carrier hit a three-run homer with two outs in the seventh inning. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Tyler Wells, Chattanooga Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Gilberto Celestino, Elizabethton TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 1-for-5, R, K 2. Alex Kirilloff (FM): 2-for-4, HR, RBi, R 3. Brusdar Graterol (FM): Did not pitch. 4. Nick Gordon (ROC): 1-for-2, 2 BB, RBI 5. Stephen Gonsalves (MIN): Promoted to the Twins. 6. Trevor Larnach (CR): 2-for-4, 2 RBI, K 7. Brent Rooker (CHAT): 1-for-4, R, K 8. Akil Baddoo (CR): 3-for-4, BB, 2 R, K, SB 9. Wander Javier: Out of for the season 10. Zack Littell (ROC): Did not pitch. 11. Blayne Enlow (CR): Did not pitch. 12. LaMonte Wade (ROC): Did not play. 13. Travis Blankenhorn (FM): 0-for-4, K 14. Lewis Thorpe (CHAT): Did not pitch. 15. Ben Rortvedt (FM): 1-for-4 16. Yunior Severino (ET): 1-for-3, HR, 2 BB, 2 RBI, 2 R, K) 17. Lewin Diaz (FM): Out for the season. 18. Ryan Jeffers (CR): Did not play. 19. Jacob Pearson (CR): 1-for-4, R, K 20. Luis Arraez (CHAT): 0-for-1, K (as a pinch hitter) SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Syracuse, 12:05 pm CT: Lewis Thorpe Chattanooga vs. Jacksonville, 1:15 pm CT: TBD Fort Myers at St. Lucie, 11:00 am CT: TBD Cedar Rapids vs. Kane County, 2:05 pm CT: Tyler Watson Elizabethton at Bristol, 5:00 pm CT: TBD GCL Twins: Off Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  15. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Starters for July, there are some terrific starting performers that just missed the cut. HONORABLE MENTION Charlie Barnes - Ft. Myers Miracle - 5 GS, 27.1 IP, 1.98 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 26 H, 9 BB, 10 K Prelander Berroa - GCL Twins - 4 GS, 18.2 IP, 1.93 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 14 H, 8 BB, 12 K Donny Breek - GCL Twins - 4 G, 3 GS, 15.0 IP, 1.80 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 9 H, 7 BB, 17 K Andrew Cabezas - Elizabethton Twins - 18.2 IP, 1.93 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 13 H, 5 BB, 17 K Edwar Colina - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 G, 4 GS, 26.2 IP, 2.36 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 20 H, 12 BB, 30 K Randy Dobnak - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 28.1 IP, 1.91 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 26 H, 4 BB, 22 K Blayne Enlow - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 24.0 IP, 1.50 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 19 H, 7 BB, 12 K Tyler Palm - Elizabethton Twins - 4 GS, 19.0 IP, 1.89 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 23 H, 3 BB, 17 K Sean Poppen - Chattanooga Lookouts - 6 G, 3 GS, 32.1 IP, 1.95 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 24 H, 7 BB, 29 K THE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS #5 - RHP Tyler Wells - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 1-1, 3.52 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 23.0 IP, 15 H, 3 BB, 28 K The Twins drafted the 6-8 right-hander in the 15th round of the 2016 draft out of Cal State-San Bernadino. Wells was our choice for Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher in June, and he was very good again in July. Opponents hit just .183/.230/.329 (.559) off of him during the month. He struck out more than a batter per inning, and he showed very good control. Wells has worked very hard and lost about 50 pounds since being drafted, including about 30 pounds since last season. The results have shown for him, and as July was coming to an end, he received a promotion to Chattanooga. #4 - RHP Randy Dobnak - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 2-1, 1.91 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 28.1 IP, 26 H, 4 BB, 22 K Dobnak was signed just over a year ago out of the independent USPBL. Ever since, he has been a stable, consistent arm, mostly for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. In his July starts, the Alderson-Broaddus College graduate continued that trend. All four of his starts were quality starts. He averaged over seven innings per start and went at least 6 2/3 innings in each start. In fact, he has completed at least six innings in his last eight starts. The 23-year-old has a full pitch mix. While he doesn’t usually top 92 with his fastball, he has four good pitches. #3 - LHP Lewis Thorpe - Chattanooga Lookouts - 5 GS, 2-0, 2.05 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 22.0 IP, 14 H, 2 BB, 25 K For the 22-year-old Australian,Thorpe has really made adjustments and improved over the course of the season at AA Chattanooga. The best way to illustrate that improvement might be by showing his OPS against numbers by month. In April, opponents posts a 1.020 OPS off him. In May, .839. June? .612. And in July, opponents hit just .171/.188/.232 (.420) off of the southpaw. Thorpe represented the Twins and Australia on the World team at the Futures Game. And the reasons for his improvement in July are clear. He didn’t give up many hits. He walked very few, and he struck out more than a batter per inning. Thorpe was added to the Twins 40-man roster last November. With the way he’s pitching, he could be debut with the Twins sometime in 2019. #2- LHP Stephen Gonsalves - Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 2-0, 0.88 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 30.2 IP, 17 H, 9 BB, 24 K While Gonsalves could make a case to be the July pitcher of the month, it is more important to see just how well he has pitched of late. While the award might be nice, the reward Gonsalves likely wants most would be his first big-league promotion. That should be coming soon. It’s no secret that Gonsalves has had some highs and lows already this season. However, in his past eight starts, Gonsalves has gone 3-0 with a 0.78 ERA. In 46 1/3 innings, he has given up 23 hits, walked 22 and struck out 37 batters. He has given up zero home runs. The walks have been an issue throughout the season for Gonsalves, but in his past two starts, he has a total of one walk in 13 innings. Gonsalves looks the part of a major-league starting pitcher. He’s long and lean, and he’s got a smooth delivery. He’s got a plus-curveball and a solid, very slow curveball. He’s added a cutter/slider which all helps him miss bats with his low-90s fastball. There is no reason for Gonsalves not to make his debut within the next month. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Cedar Rapids Kernels - RHP Bailey Ober - 4 GS, 3-0, 0.73 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, 24.2 IP, 14 H, 2 BB, 36 K Ober was the Twins 12th-round draft pick in 2017 out of the College of Charleston where he was national freshman of the year, but then he needed Tommy John surgery. He missed more time with other injuries. When healthy, the 6-8 right-hander has a lot of potential. He hyper-extended his knee in spring training and stuck in extended spring for about six weeks. He joined the Cedar Rapids Kernels in late April. In his Kernels debut, he gave up six earned runs and got just two outs. He gave up four runs in four innings during his second start. In his third start, he gave up four runs in five innings. However since that time, Ober has been one of the better, more consistent starters in the Twins farm system. In July, he was dominant in his first three starts. In his first July start, he went seven innings and struck out 12 batters. In his next start, he struck out ten batters in 6 2/3 innings. In his third start of the month, he struck out 12 batters in eight innings. That’s right. He struck out 34 batters in 21 2/3 innings over just three starts. And he walked just two during that time. Unfortunately in his final start of the month, July 27, Ober went just three innings before leaving the game. He was placed on the disabled list the next day with an elbow strain. He recently had and MRI to see what was going on. Results of the MRI have not yet been made public. Obviously we wish him the best. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of July, Cedar Rapids Kernels right-hander Bailey Ober. Feel free to discuss and ask questions.
  16. TRANSACTIONS Chattanooga Lookouts DEL C Brian Olson transferred to DL ADD RHP Ryan Eades transferred from DL RED WINGS REPORT Indianapolis 3, Rochester 1 Box Score Tonight the Red Wings employed the opener strategy again and while Gabriel Moya pitched a scoreless first inning, there just wasn’t enough offense to back Kohl Stewart. Working five innings for Rochester, Stewart allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits while walking two and striking out three. Indianapolis got on the board first with a run in the third inning. Thanks to a solo shot by Willians Astudillo, the lead was erased in the top half of the fourth. Ceding single runs in both the 5th and 6th innings, the Red Wings weren’t able to muster another tally with their five hits on the night. The series is now knotted at one game each with the rubber match scheduled for tomorrow night. LaMonte Wade recorded the lone multi-hit effort with a two-hit game, and Miguel Sano went 1-4 with his first double for the Red Wings. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Pensacola 5, Chattanooga 4 Box Score As has been somewhat of a trend through the Twins minor league system of late, the Chattanooga Lookouts went with the opener strategy in this one again. Paco Rodriguez worked one inning to begin the game, and the three-run deficit was one the home team never found themselves able to overcome. Rodriguez worked into the second inning but recorded just three outs. Chattanooga found themselves trailing 5-0 entering the sixth inning. After taking over for Rodriguez in the second, Sean Poppen turned in seven solid innings for the Lookouts. He allowed just two runs on his own (one earned) and surrendered five hits. The traditional starter also fanned seven while allowing just one free pass. In the bottom of the sixth, Chattanooga tallied their first runs. Jaylin Davis knocked his seventh double of the season to right field. With the bases loaded Luis Arraez, Chris Paul, and Mitchell Kranson all came around to score. Despite entering the inning with a large deficit, Chattanooga had cut the Blue Wahoos lead to just two. Entering the ninth, the Lookouts were up against it needing a rally to extend this one. Recently reinstated from the disabled list, Chris Paul picked up his 21st double of the season to drive in Brent Rooker. Tanner English then took over as a pinch runner and was in scoring position with two outs. After intentionally walking Kranson, Pensacola was able to set down Davis on strikes. The rally came up just short and Chattanooga dropped the contest 5-4. Looking to even the series, Chattanooga plays host again tomorrow night. A win would allow the Twins Double-A affiliate an opportunity to take the series in game five on Friday. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Jupiter 1 Box Score Tyler Wells was on the mound for the Miracle in this one, which means that the Twins affiliate was bound to get a good start. When the dust settled, that’s exactly what Wells turned in. Twirling eight innings of one-run baseball, Wells allowed just three hits and one walk while striking out 10. His dominant outing was backed by just enough offense to get on the right side of the final score tonight. The scoring started in the fourth inning, thanks to a Taylor Grzelakowski double. With Royce Lewis coming around to score on the play, Fort Myers had the first run of the game. Alex Kirilloff then continued his hot hitting, and a single was enough to drive in Grzelakowski. Those two runs were all Fort Myers could muster out of their six hits on the evening. Thanks to Wells’ dominance however, that proved to be enough to get the job done. Kirilloff was the lone Miracle hitter to record a multi-hit effort, and that brings his streak of games accomplishing that feat to five. Now batting .374 through 30 games at High-A, he’s making this level look plenty easy as well. Fort Myers was able to take the series over Jupiter with tonight’s victory, and they’ll head to Daytona Beach for a four game set with the Tortugas beginning tomorrow night. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Clinton 2 Box Score Edwar Colina was on the bump to start this one for the Kernels, and thanks to seven strong innings of work, he picked up his fourth victory on the season. The Cedar Rapids starter allowed two runs on six hits but fanned nine and issued zero free passes. The lineup got Colina some breathing room in their first at-bats of the game. Akil Baddoo led off the bottom half of the inning with his ninth long ball of the season and put the home team on top 1-0. With the scoring ceasing for a few innings, it wasn’t until the middle innings that another run was tallied. Michael Davis hit a solo blast of his own, and the first in his time with Cedar Rapids, to stretch the lead to 2-0. With Baddoo on the bases, Jose Miranda dropped a single into centerfield and picked up an RBI in the process. Leaving the bottom of the fifth inning, the Kernels led 3-0. Looking to add some insurance in the late innings, another spark came for the Kernels in the seventh. Ryan Jeffers singled in David Banuelos, and Miranda drove in Davis on his second RBI single of the evening. Capping off the inning, Robby Rinn got in on the action. Lifting an RBI single to center, Baddoo and Jeffers were able to cross the plate as well. Calling it a night for his start after 89 pitches, Colina gave way to Rickey Ramirez and had him staked to a 7-0 lead. Clinton pushed across two runs in the top half of the eighth inning, but that’s all they’d get and this one was never in doubt. Taking the opener of the series, Cedar Rapids will look for similar success in games two and three the next two nights. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 6, Burlington 5 Box Score Moving to 20-11 on the year, offense has not ever been an issue for the E-Twins in 2018. Picking up six runs on 10 hits today, Tyler Palm was handed a lead and Elizabethton continued to tack on. As the away team, the E-Twins wasted no time in getting on the board. Trevor Larnach drove a sac fly out to left field and Michael Helman came in to score on the play. In the second, Helman did damage on his own, picking up an RBI on an infield single to third. Alex Robles then followed up with a single to center allowing Lean Marrero to cross the plate. Despite giving a run back in the bottom half of the inning, the E-Twins led 3-1 going into the third. Helman, who was 3-for-4 on the day, picked up his second RBI on a fourth inning single to left. As Tyler Webb scored, the E-Twins lead grew to 4-1. In the fifth, an error and a blast allowed Burlington grabbed the lead for the first time. Up 5-4, they’d look to hang on against the powerful Elizabethton offense. Fortunately for the good guys, Marrero ripped his third double of the year in the sixth and Webb scored again. Now knotted up at five all it was time for Elizabethton to regain the lead for good. Robert Molina singled in the top half of the seventh inning, plating Chris Williams and putting the E-Twins back on top. The 6-5 score would hold over the final two innings and was how this one ended. Elizabethton will look for the three game road sweep of Burlington tomorrow evening. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, GCL Rays 0 Box Score Hailing from the Netherlands, 18-year-old Donny Breek was on top of his game today for the GCL Twins. He went five scoreless innings and gave up just one hit while walking one and fanning nine. Getting scoreless relief work from the bullpen, including 2018 drafty pick Erik Cha’s first pro save, the Twins blanked the Rays in this one. The scoring started in the second inning of this contest. Charles Mack drew a leadoff walk and was followed by both Hunter Lee and Kidany Silva. Having the bases loaded as he stepped to the plate, Victor Tademo grounded out. On the play, both Mack and Lee came around to score. The GCL Twins couldn’t push anything else across in the inning, but they had grabbed the 2-0 lead. As the GCL Rays were able to muster just two hits in this contest, there wasn’t much in the form of scoring chances. The Twins added another insurance run in the top half of the ninth to push the lead to 3-0. Erick Rivera singled to pick up his second hit on the day, and later came around to score on a LaRon Smith fielder’s choice. These two teams will square off again tomorrow morning, but the Twins will play as the home team in Fort Myers. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Wells 8.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 10 K Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Akil Baddoo 2-3, 3 R, RBI, HR(9) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 1-3, R #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) – 2-4, RBI, 2B #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-4, K #6 - Trevor Larnach (Elizabethton) – 0-4, R #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 1-4, R, BB #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 2-3, 3 R, RBI, HR(9) #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 2-4 #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) – 0-4, K #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) – 0-4 #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, R, RBI #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) – 1-2, R, BB THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Indianapolis (6:05PM CST) – RHP Fernando Romero (2-2, 2.66 ERA) Pensacola @ Chattanooga (6:15AM CST) – TBD Fort Myers @ Daytona Beach (6:05PM CST) – RHP Griffin Jax (1-1, 3.08 ERA) Clinton @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (3-4, 4.80 ERA) Elizabethton @ Burlington (6:00PM CST) – TBD GCL Rays vs GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
  17. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Friday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS The Twins acquired minor league outfielder Jon Kemmer from the Astros. The 27-year-old has played in AAA the last three seasons. He is a left-handed hitting corner outfielder. The Twins activated utility man Taylor Motter and optioned him to AA Chattanooga. The decision to send him to Chattanooga rather than Rochester is because the Red Wings start their All-Star break on Monday and they want Motter to play. Gabriel Moya reported back to Rochester. Luke Bard was placed on the disabled list (calf). Ft. Myers activated OF Shane Carrier on Friday. And before we go further, a quick fireworks show for Tom Froemming, a huge fireworks enthusiast (or not really). https://twitter.com/SethTweets/status/1015450520755032064 RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Lehigh Valley 7 (10 innings) Box Score The Red Wings got the offense, but not quite enough pitching or defense in this game. Kohl Stewart made his second Red Wings start of the season. He gave up five runs on seven hits in five innings. He walked two and struck out five. Two of the hits left the ballpark, including one from former Red Wings outfielder Danny Ortiz. Trevor May walked one in an otherwise uneventful outing. Gabriel Moya struck out two batters over two scoreless innings. Alan Busenitz pitched a scoreless ninth inning, but he gave up two runs (both deemed unearned) in the 10th inning to take the loss. LaMonte Wade led the offense. He went 2-for-3 with two walks and his third home run of the season. Nick Gordon went 2-for-5 with his eighth double and his second Red Wing home run. Kennys Vargas went 2-for-5 with his tenth double. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 1, Birmingham 3 Box Score While the Lookouts were unable to garner much offense in this game, there were some interesting notes from the game. Luis Arraez made his first start for Chattanooga and recorded his first hit. Zander Wiel went 2-for-4. Jaylin Davis went 1-for-3 with a walk and drove in the lone run for the Lookouts. Lefty Anthony Marzi fell to 0-6 for Chattanooga, but he pitched better than he has of late. He was charged with three runs on seven hits and two walks in five innings. However, he also had 11 strikeouts. In his previous start, he went five innings without recording any strikeouts, and his 11 strikeouts on Friday night equaled his strikeout total over his previous four starts. Another lefty, Andrew Vasquez came on in relief. He walked one and struck out three over two hitless, scoreless innings. He has yet to give up an earned run over his first ten innings with the Lookouts this season, including 8 1/3 innings over his four appearance since returning following the Florida State League All Star game. A third lefty, Ryne Harper, struck out four batters over the final two innings. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 5, Bradenton 4 Box Score Things got a little feisty when the Miracle and Bradenton played on Friday night. Three members of the Miracle were ejected in the eighth inning. The Miracle took a 5-4 lead in the eighth frame when Lewin Diaz hit the go-ahead home run. The next batter was the red-hot Caleb Hamilton who was called out on strikes and was ejected. Soon after, his manager Ramon Borrego was tossed. Tom Hackimer was in the game for the bottom of the eighth inning. After getting the first out, he proceeded to hit the next three batters. After a force out at home and a fly out, the inning ended without the tying run scoring, Hackimer was ejected as he left the field. Tyler Wells was the story early in the game. He retired the first 16 batters that he faced. In total, he gave up two runs on three hits over six innings. He struck out eight without a walk. Colton Davis came on and gave up two runs on two hits and a walk before Hackimer was brought in. He got the final two outs of the seventh before his eighth inning. Alex Robinson came on for the ninth inning and pitched a perfect inning for the save. Lewin Diaz was the offensive hero. He went 3-for-4 with his 11th double and his sixth home run, which proved to be the game-winner. Caleb Hamilton was 2-for-4 in the game. Alex Kirilloff batted in the leadoff spot for the first time and went 1-for-5. Miguel Sano was 1-for-4 in the game. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 0, Kane County 1 Box Score Not much scoring in this game. In fact, the lone run in the game was unearned. Blayne Enlow worked a career-high six shutout innings. He worked out of some jams as he gave up six hits, walked three and hit one. He struck out three. Melvi Acosta worked the final two innings. He was charged with the unearned run on three hits. He struck out two. The Kernels managed just five hits in the game. Jacob Pearson moved into the leadoff spot when Akil Baddoo was a late scratch from the lineup. Pearson went 2-for-3 with a walk. Andrew Bechtold hit his 13th double. Trey Cabbage had a single and walked once. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton, Kingsport Box Score This game was been postponed by rain as the weather affected several games in the Appalachian League on Friday night. GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins 4, GCL Red Sox 2 Box Score The GCL Twins got a little hitting and a little pitching, enough to come out of this game with a little win. Landon Leach started for the Twins. The 2017 draft pick went two scoreless innings. He didn’t give up a hit, but he did walk three and struck out two. Donny Breek came on and also threw two scoreless innings. He walked two, hit one and struck out two. Frandy Torres gave up one run on two hits, a walk and a hit batter over 1 2/3 innings. He struck out three. Amilcar Cruz gave up one run on one hit, one walk and two hit batters. He struck out one. Tanner Howell came in and got the final seven outs to record the save. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out two. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Lewin Diaz, Ft. Myers Miracle (3-4, 2B(11), HR(6), R, 2 RBI) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Blayne Enlow, Cedar Rapids Kernels (6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 3 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that we will be updating our Top Prospect rankings so this list will be updated soon. #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4 #2 - Fernando Romero (Rochester) - Did not pitch #3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) -2-5, 2B(8), HR(2), 2 R, RBI, K #4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, 2K #6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-3, BB, 2 K #8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 1 HBP, 3 K #9 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #11 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 3-4, 2B(11), HR(6), R, 2 RBI #14 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 2-3, 2 BB, HR(3), 2 R, RBI #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-0 #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, 3K #18 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) - Did not play #19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch #20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - DFAd and Released (though he did become a father on Friday, so congratulations to him. SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley(5:35 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (1-3, 3.00 ERA) Birmingham @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (4-4, 4.04 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Bradenton (5:30 CST) - RHP Griffin Jax (1-0, 3.26 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (3-1, 2.36 ERA) Danville @ Elizabethton (5:00 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (0-0, -.00 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox(9:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Friday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  18. 30. John Curtiss – RH RP Age: 25 ETA: 2017 2018 Stats (AAA): 31.2 IP, 2.56 ERA, 1.1 WHIP, 11.7 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 2.56 K:BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 32 | Tom: 31 | Cody: 28 John Curtiss was called up to the Twins right before September last season. After a couple of rough games, he ended the season strong. This year, he began the season in Rochester but got another call up early in the season. He had two outings, and neither was good. He was sent back down, but he has pitched quite well in late innings for the Red Wings. Curtiss began his career with an opportunity to start, but he was moved to the bullpen and he flew up the organization, pitching at each level from Cedar Rapids to the big leagues between 2016 and 2017. He’s blessed with a mid-90s fastball and a couple of breaking pitches. He has the ability and the mentality to be a quality late-inning reliever for years. 29. Zack Granite – OF Age: 25 ETA: 2017 2018 Stats (Rk): .211/.291/.240 (.531 OPS), 6 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 22 K, 25 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: 16 Seth: 34 | Tom: 32 | Cody: 24 Zack Granite came up midway through the 2017 season and showed glimpses of what he can be on the baseball field. For most of his career, he has exemplified what a team might want from a leadoff hitter. He takes pitches, walks more than he strikes out, steals bases and has a little extra base pop at times. Granite was one of the last players optioned at the end of spring training this offseason, a surprise for many. Unfortunately, he soon hurt his non-throwing shoulder and had to miss about six weeks. He’s struggled to get things going since he’s been back, but that doesn’t take away what Granite can be and the role that he can play on the big league club as a fourth outfielder who will play quality defense at three outfield positions and put together quality plate appearances. 28. Jake Cave – OF Age: 25 ETA: 2018 2018 Stats (AAA): .265/.349/.386 (.735 OPS), 9 2B, 1 3B, 5 HR, 26 K, 55 BB 2018 Stats (MLB): .233/.267/.488 (.755 OPS), 2 2B, 0 3B, 3 HR, 2 K, 14 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 25 | Tom: 23 | Cody: 39 The Twins acquired Cave in a late spring training trade with the New York Yankees. After missing some time in the early part of his career with injury, Cave really took off after being selected by the Reds in the Rule 5 draft. While he was one of their final spring training cuts, he returned to the Yankees with renewed confidence and his career took off. A year ago, Cave hit .324 with a .921 OPS at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes Barre. The Yankees added him to their 40-man roster. Of course, they have a pretty strong outfield and Cave was DFAd which allowed the Twins to acquire him. The Twins have called him up three times already this season and he is now getting an opportunity to play every day, at least until Byron Buxton is ready. At 25, he’s still got some upside. 27. Tyler Wells – RHP Age: 23 ETA: 2020 2018 Stats (A): 63.2 IP, 2.54 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 7.6 K/9, 2.0 BB/9, 3.86 K:BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 18 | Tom: 37 | Cody: 31 The Twins drafted Wells in the 15th round of the 2016 draft out of Cal State San Bernadino. He’s experienced a lot of success during his first two seasons as a professional, pitching in Elizabethton in 2016 and Cedar Rapids in 2017. In the past offseason, Wells went to work and lost 30 pounds from his 6-8 frame. That has really helped him in the Florida State League. While his strikeouts have been down, his control and command of pitches has become much better. Wells has the ability to reach into the 94 mph range with a fastball. His best pitches may be his breaking balls. He throws a 12-6 curveball, but he also has a sharp slider that can get strikeouts. He was the Twins Daily choice for Starting Pitcher of the Month in June. 26. Griffin Jax – RHP Age: 23 ETA: 2020 2018 Stats (A): 30.1 IP, 3.26 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 4.7 K/9, 0.9 BB/9, 5.33 K/BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 26 | Tom: 21 | Cody: 37 When the Twins used their third-round draft pick in 2016 on Griffin Jax, he became the highest-drafted player from a military academy. There have been some challenges associated with that, but in mid-April, Jax learned that he would be able to serve the remainder of his active duty while pitching in the Twins system (more specifics here). In 2017, Jax was limited to just five games before returning to duty. He has made five appearances this season. The first four were starts. His most recent appearance came after Ervin Santana’s rehab start went three innings. Jax finished the remaining six innings. He has worked at least six innings in all but his first appearance of the year. Jax profiles as a starter with three good pitches. The strikeouts are low so far, but the walks are very low. PREVIOUS INSTALLMENTS: 2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospects: 36-40 2018 Twins Midseason Top Prospects: 31-35
  19. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Starters for June, here are some terrific bullpen performances that just missed the cut. HONORABLE MENTION Andro Cutura - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 23.1 IP, 1-2, 3.09 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 22 H, 7 BB, 23 K Randy Dobnak - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 G, 4 GS, 32.1 IP, 2-0, 2.78 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 34 H, 5 BB, 15 K Brusdar Graterol - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 3 GS, 16.0 IP, 1-1, 2.81 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 13 H, 3 BB, 15 K Griffin Jax - Ft. Myers Miracle - 5 G, 4 GS, 30.1 IP, 1-0, 3.26 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 34 H, 3 BB, 16 K. Kohl Stewart - Chattanooga Lookouts - 4 GS, 24.1 IP, 1.48 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 27 H, 8 BB, 29 K Lewis Thorpe - Chattanooga Lookouts - 5 GS, 28.1 IP, 3.81 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 24 H, 7 BB, 39 K THE TOP SIX STARTING PITCHERS #6 - LHP Charlie Barnes - Ft. Myers Miracle - 5 GS, 2-0, 1.15 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 30.0 IP, 24 H, 11 BB, 20 K Barnes was the Twins fourth-round pick last year out of Clemson. The southpaw quickly moved from Elizabethton to Cedar Rapids. The Twins had him start the 2018 season in Ft. Myers. After posting ERAs over four in the first two months of the season, Barnes seemed to put things together in June. Opponents hit just .231/.328/.260 (587) against him. Barnes is just 22-years-old. #5 - RHP Jordan Balazovic - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 3-1, 2.74 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 23.0 IP, 22 H, 4 BB, 36 K Balazovic was the Twins’ sixth-round pick in 2016 out of secondary school in Ontario. He impressed that season in the GCL, but he struggled at the same level in 2017. He had an impressive spring training and continued to pitch well at Extended Spring Training. He was promoted to Cedar Rapids after Memorial Day. He made one relief appearance and was sent back to Ft. Myers. Ten days later, he was back up and entered the Kernels rotation. He was very good in his four starts. 36 strikeouts and four walks is very impressive. That equates to 14.1 K/9. Opponents hit .250/.290/.386 (.677) against him during June. He will not turn 20 until mid-September. #4 - LHP Bryan Sammons - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 3-1, 2.67 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 27.0 IP, 23 H, 5 BB, 23 K It was another solid month for the 23-year-old left-hander. He was the Twins eighth-round pick in 2017 out of Western Carolina. Last year, he pitched for Elizabethton and ended the season with Cedar Rapids. While he had a strong 2.67 ERA in June, he’s got a 2.69 ERA on the season. He’s been good, and he’s been consistent. For the month, opponents hit .237/.272/.309 (.581) against him. While he doesn’t throw real hard, he has plenty of velocity (low 90s) to go with strong secondary pitches. As important, he’s got very good control. #3 - RHP Bailey Ober - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 GS, 3-0, 2.63 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 24.0 IP, 19 H, 3 BB, 27 K Ober was the Twins 12th round draft pick in 2017 out of the College of Charleston where he was that national freshman of the year, but then he needed Tommy John surgery. He missed more time with other injuries. When healthy, the 6-8 right-hander has a lot of potential. He hyperextended his knee in spring training and stuck in Extended Spring for about six weeks. In his first start, he gave up six earned runs in just 2/3 of an inning. That certainly affected his season’s ERA, but he was good in June. He limited base runners. A 9 to 1 strikeout to walk rate certainly helps. Opponents hit just .221/.247/.337 (.584) in June. #2- LHP Adalberto Mejia - Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 4-1, 1.41 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 32.0 IP, 19 H, 8 BB, 30 K While his return to the big leagues on the final day of June didn’t go great (though it was as good as any other Twins pitcher against the Cubs), Mejia earned his return to the big league club. It may have happened sooner for the 25-year-old if not for a blister earlier in the season. Opponents hit just .170/.223/.250 (.473) during the month. He went at least six innings in all five of his Red Wings starts. He gave up two run once. On his 25th birthday, he threw seven shutout innings. Mejia has earned an extended stay in the big leagues. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Ft. Myers Miracle - RHP Tyler Wells - 4 GS, 4-0, 1.63 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 27.2 IP, 16 H, 5 BB, 25 K The Twins drafted the 6-8 right-hander in the 15th round of the 2016 draft out of Cal State-San Bernadino. He pitched well at the end of that season in Elizabethton. He spent the 2017 season in Cedar Rapids where he posted a 5-3 record with a 3.11 ERA. In 75 1/3 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 92. He’s been even better in 2018 in Ft. Myers and earned his spot on the Florida State League All Star team. He’s currently 7-3 with a 2.54 ERA over his first first 12 starts with the Miracle. He has given up more than two runs in just two of his 12 starts (and once he gave up three). He was obviously very good in June. Opponents hit just .168/.210/.242 (.452) against him during the month. Not included in those stats (or the stats above) are the two scoreless innings that he threw in the All Star game as well. Wells has the high and the pitches. He’s got a good fastball that reaches into the mid-90s at time. He’s got a couple of good breaking balls. He has a slow curveball that drops as well as a slider that darts out of the strike zone. He’s also got an improving changeup. He’s also shown a great work ethic. In the offseason, he worked out a lot and lost over 30 pounds. It’s possible that Wells will get an opportunity to end the season in Chattanooga with the Lookouts. For now, he’s pitching really well with the Miracle and for it, he is our choice for Pitcher of the Month. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of June, Ft. Myers Miracle right-hander Tyler Wells. Feel free to discuss and ask questions.
  20. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Monday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS Before the Twins game, they announced that utilityman Taylor Motter had been placed on the DL with concussion symptoms. To take his spot is 26-year-old catcher/third baseman/left fielder Willians Astudillo. To make room for Astudillo, the Twins DFAd RHP Felix Jorge who has made a few rehab appearances in the GCL this season. Following the Twins game, they announced that Adalberto Mejia was added to the roster with reliever Alan Busenitz again being shuttled back to Rochester. The Miracle announced that OF Shane Carrier was placed on the DL with a quad strain. Aaron Whitefield returns from the DL after missing two months with a broken hamate bone. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Lehigh Valley 2 (10 innings) Box Score Stephen Gonsalves started and gave up one run on three hits over five innings. He struck out seven, but he also walked five batters. He got a lot of help from his bullpen. Tyler Duffey struck out five batters in three perfect innings. Jake Reed pitched a scoreless ninth. But he did give up a run in the 10th inning, an unearned run due to the inning starting with a runner on second base. He struck out three and didn’t issue a walk. The Red Wings were unable to get much offense going. Gregorio Petit went 2-for-5 and drove in the team’s lone run. His single scored Chris Carter who was on with his sixth double. Of note, Byron Buxton went 1-for-5 with a double. He also threw out a runner at home. Jorge Polanco went 1-for-3 with a walk. The winning pitcher for Lehigh Valley was former Gophers LHP Tom WIndle. Trevor Plouffe went 0-2 with two walks and two strikeouts. Danny Ortiz was 0-4. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 7, Tennessee 2 Box Score The Lookouts had help throughout the lineup and got strong pitching to win on Friday night. Jaylin Davis led the offense. He went 2-for-3 with his first double and drove in two runs. He was twice hit by a pitch. Brent Rooker was also hit by a pitch. He added a single and a walk and scored twice. Andy Wilkins provided some power with his fifth homer, a two-run shot. Alex Perez set the table with three walks. Sean Poppen started and went the first four innings. He gave up two runs on three hits. He walked three and struck out four batters. Ryan Eades struck out three over two scoreless relief innings. Sam Clay struck out four over two scoreless innings. Tyler Jay struck out one in a scoreless ninth inning. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 6, Lakeland 1 Box Score Tyler Wells has been very good most of the 2018 season for the Miracle. He was again on Friday night. In 6 2/3 innings he gave up one run on five hits. He walked one and struck out eight batters to improve to 7-3 on the season. Tom Hackimer came on and threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out one. Miguel Sano had a good game with the bat. He went 3-for-4 and drove in tree runs. (He did have one throwing error on defense.) Aaron Whitefield returned to the Miracle lineup after missing nearly two months with a broken hamate bone. He had a single and a walk and scored twice. Alex Kirilloff went 2-for-3 with a walk. Caleb Hamilton kept his hot streak going with an RBI double. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1 - Cedar Rapids 7, Burlington 4 Box Score The Kernels got off to a quick start and held on in Game 1 of their doubleheader. They got offensive contributions from several players. Akil Baddoo went 3-for-5 with his tenth double. Royce Lewis was 2-for-2 with a walk and his 17th double. He also stole his 19th base. Robby Rinn went 2-for-2 with two walks and his sixth double. David Banuelos had two hits, including his eighth double. Jordan Gore was also 2-for-4. Outfielder Jared Akins made his Midwest League and Kernels debut at DH. He went 0-for-4. Bailey Ober was the beneficiary of the offensive support. He improved to 4-1 despite allowing four runs on six hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out five. Melvi Acosta picked up his second save with two scoreless innings. He struck out two. Game 2 - Cedar Rapids 6, Burlington 3 Box Score Akil Baddoo had a terrific day, and he got Game 2 started as well as anyone could hope for the Kernels. He launched his eighth homer of the year. He went 2-for-4 in the game. Royce Lewis hit three doubles in the second game, giving him four on the day and 20 on the season. Jean Carlos Arias hit his ninth double and fourth home run. Jordan Gore had two more hits. Ben Rodriguez hit his fifth homer, and Andrew Bechtold and Robby Rinn each contributed a double. Trey Cabbage added his third triple of the year. Blayne Enlow started the second game. He gave up one run on four hits and two walks in four innings. He struck out three. Jared Finkel came on and worked the next 2 2/3 innings. He gave up two runs on two hits, He struck out two and didn’t walk a batter. He left with just one more out to get. Jose Martinez was successful and earned the one-out save. E-Twins E-Talk Elizabethton 5, Danville 6 Box Score The E-Twins had plenty of base runners, but on this night, it wasn’t enough. The team had nine hits and seven walks, but their five runs came up one short. Ryan Jeffers led the way. He went 3-for-5 with an RBI. Trevor Casanova was 2-for-4 with his third double. Chris Williams walked twice. Carlos Suniaga started and went the first 2 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out three. Andrew Cabezas came on and gave up three runs on four hits and three walks as well, but he struck just one out. Moises Gomez struck out six over three, one-hit, no-run innings. He walked two, but he made up for it somewhate by picking off two. Derek Molina struck out one in a scoreless final inning GCL Twins Talk GCL Twins , GCL Red Sox Box Score Game postponed by rain. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Akil Baddoo, Cedar Rapids Kernels (5-9, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI) Royce Lewis, Cedar Rapids Kernels (5-7, BB, 4-2B, 3 R, 2 RBI) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Tyler Wells, Ft. Myers Miracle (6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that we will be updating our Top Prospect rankings so this list will be updated soon. #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 5-7, BB, 4-2B(20), 3 R, 2 RBI, SF #2 - Fernando Romero (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-4, K, SH #4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 7 K #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 2-3, BB #6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-3, BB, 2 R, K, SB(2), HBP #8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #9 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 5-9, 2B(10), HR(8), 2 R, 2 RBI #11 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, K #14 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-3, BB #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play #18 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) - Did Not Play #19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K #20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - Disabled List, began rehab on June 19. DFAd on Friday, June 29. SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers (5-5, 3.36 ERA) Chattanooga @ Tennessee (6:00 CST) - LHP Anthony Marzi (0-4, 7.51 ERA) Lakeland @ Ft. Myers (5:00 CST) - RHP Ervin Santana (Rehab) Cedar Rapids @ Burlington (6:30 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (2-1, 3.05 ERA) Elizabethton @ Danville (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (9:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Friday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  21. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Sunday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS Tyler Duffey returned to Rochester. To make room on the roster, infielder Leonardo Reginnato was placed on the DL (ankle). Following their Sunday win, the Twins announced that Joe Mauer is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment in Rochester on Tuesday. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Durham 6 Box Score Zack Littell made his first start for the Red Wings since his major league debut earlier in the week. It started out well, but he struggled in a three-run fourth inning. On the day, Littell gave up four runs on five hits and four walks in four innings. He struck out three. Tyler Duffey came on and threw two scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and struck one out. Nick Anderson pitched the seventh inning. He gave up two runs on three hits. He walked one and struck one out. Alan Busenitz dropped his ERA to 0.38 with two more scoreless innings. Zack Granite and Willians Astudillo each went 2-for-4. LaMonte Wade went 1-for-2 with two walks. Former Twins prospect Chih-Wei Hu got the win. He gave up one run on four hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out two. He improves to 2-5 with a 4.87 ERA. The Red Wings are now 28-30 on the season. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 1, Montgomery 2 Box Score Things started out well for the the Lookouts. The second batter, Brent Rooker hit a solo home run to give the team a 1-0 lead. It was his ninth home run. Unfortunately, the team had just two more hits, both by Edgar Corcino who also stole his third base. Mitchell Kranson made his Double-A debut and went 0-for-2 and was hit by a pitch. https://twitter.com/MiLB/status/1005987931935461376 Kohl Stewart put together one of his best starts of the season. In seven innings, he gave up two runs on just six hits. He walked two and struck out nine. Cody Stashak worked one perfect inning. The Lookouts are now 34-29. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, Dunedin 1 Box Score Right-hander Tyler Wells put together a second straight very strong start for the Miracle. He gave up just three hits over seven scoreless innings. He walked two and struck out four to improve to 5-3 with a 2.47 ERA. Ryan Mason picked up his second Miracle save with two innings of work. He gave up one run on two hits. The Miracle scored their two runs in the third inning on back-to-back RBI singles from Joe Cronin and Travis Blankenhorn. Jimmy Kerrigan went 2-for-3 in the game. The Miracle are now 24-36. They are about to begin their final series before the All- Star Game. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 1, Wisconsin 5 Box Score The Kernels had a bullpen game started by Melvi Acosta. The right-hander gave up three runs (one earned) on three hits over just two innings. He walked one and struck out two. Jovani Moran came on and gave up one run on two hits and two walks in his two innings. He struck out one. Tanner Kiest went the final four innings. He gave up one run on two hits and a walk while striking out two. Alex Kirilloff went 2-for-4 with his fifth triple. Jose Miranda and Andrew Bechtold went 2-for-4. Trey Cabbage went 1-for-3 with a walk and his first stolen base. Royce Lewis started at DH. He batted once and then was replaced in the game by Jacob Pearson. No reports yet on the reason that Lewis left the game. The Kernels are now 28-34. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Brent Rooker, Chattanooga Lookouts (1-3, BB, HR(9)) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Tyler Wells, Fort Myers Miracle (7 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 0-1, left game #2 - Fernando Romero (Minnesota) - 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K) #3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Did not play. #4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, 3B(5) #6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 1-3, BB, HR(9) #8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Disabled List #9 - Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Play #11 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - 4 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K) #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #14 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-2, 2 BB #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-3 #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, RBI #18 - Yunior Severino (Extended Spring Training) - #19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - Did Not Pitch #20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - Disabled List, still no official timetable for return. MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Scranton/Wilkes Barre (5:35 CST) - Stephen Gonsalves (4-2, 4.13 ERA) Chattanooga @ Montgomery (6:35 CST) - RHP Sean Poppen (0-2, 12.38 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Palm Beach (5:30 CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (0-0, 1.13 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (12:05 CST) - Jordan Balazovic (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  22. Keep reading to find out more on the events in the Twins minor league system on Sunday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. AWARDS The Twins announced that Cedar Rapids infielder Jose Miranda was the organization’s Player of the Week. Lookouts righty Omar Bencomo was named the organization’s Pitcher of the Week. TRANSACTIONS Almost surprisingly, there were no Twins minor league transactions on Sunday. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester, Norfolk Box Score The game was delayed and soon after it was called. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader in Rochester in July. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 13, Mobile 5 Box Score Maybe Lewis Thorpe has figured things out in the Southern League. After posting his best start of the season last time out, he posted a new best start of the year on Sunday. The lefty from Australia threw six shutout innings. He gave up just three hits, walked two and struck out six. Sam Clay came on and was charged with five runs (two earned) on three hits and two walks over 1 2/3 innings. He struck out two. Zack Jones got the final four outs. He gave up a hit and walked one. The Lookouts offense was helped by some shaky pitching. They scored their 13 runs on just seven hits, but they also took 12 walks. A nine-run fifth inning started with an error. LaMonte Wade then hit his seventh home run. After an out, Mobile pitchers went on to walk six straight batters. When Wade came back to the plate, he added another run-scoring single. Wade led the way. He went 2-for-3 with a walk, his seventh homer and four RBIs. He also stole his fifth base. Zander Wiel went 2-for-5 with his 17th double. Chris Paul walked twice while Alex Perez and James Ramsey each walked twice. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, St. Lucie 1 Box Score Right-hander Tyler Wells has had a strong start to his 2018 season for Ft. Myers. Wells put together the best start of his season on Sunday afternoon. In eight innings, Wells gave up just one run on two hits. The only blemish was a solo home run in the seventh inning. He walked one and struck out seven. He improved to 4-3 with a 2.86 ERA. Well noted following the outing, “I would say that commanding the inside part of the plate with my fastball was the key. Really made my offspeed better, and more effective!” As impressive, Wells completed eight innings for the first time this season and just the second time since being drafted in the 15th round of the 2016 draft out of college. Not only was it the first time he’d completed eight, it was the first time this season that he had made pitches in the seventh or eighth innings. Wells was at 90 pitches through seven innings and manager Ramon Borrego had him go out for the eighth. He finished with 101 pitches. Was he surprised he got the eighth inning? “I wouldn’t say surprised is the right word. I’ve had issues this season and many seasons before with pitch counts getting high very fast. So I would say I was pleased to get there and the fact I could finish it off strong!” Wells threw a one-two-three eighth inning and struck out the final two batters. Lefty Andrew Vasquez picked up his fourth save of the season with a scoreless ninth inning. He walked one and reduced his ERA to 0.64. With one out in the fifth inning, Taylor Grzelakowski walked. Jimmy Kerrigan was next to the plate and he hit a double to score Grzelakowski to give the Miracle a 1-0 lead. Following the game-tying home run in the seventh inning, the Miracle quickly responded with two runs in the top of the eighth inning. Caleb Hamilton and Luis Arraez walked. Then Brandon Lopez hit a double that scored Hamilton. Arraez scored on a passed ball with two outs to give the Miracle their third run. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Burlington 10 Box Score The offense showed up in Burlington on Sunday afternoon, but unfortunately, the home team bats scored one more run. Alex Kirilloff got things going. He went 2-for-5 and hit his 10th home run of the season in the first inning. Jean Carlos Arias went 3-for-4 with his fourth double and also stole his fourth base. Andrew Bechtold went 2-for-4. Ben Rodriguez was 2-for-3 with a walk and a hit, a three-run homer. It was his third homer of the year. Edwar Colina gave up five runs on five hits. Unfortunately he recorded just five outs. He also walked two and struck out two. Jose Martinez came on and did a nice job. He gave up one run on two hits over 4 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out three. Calvin Faucher gave up two runs on one hit and one walk. He struck out two in 1 2/3 innings. Carlos Suniaga got the final out of the eighth inning, but he got just one out in the ninth before taking the loss. Each of the four Kernels pitchers gave up one home run. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: LaMonte Wade, Chattanooga Lookouts (2-3, BB, HR(7), 4 RBI, SB(5)) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Lewis Thorpe, Chattanooga Lookouts (6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K) or Tyler Wells, Fort Myers Miracle (8 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K)... Vote here: https://twitter.com/twinsdaily/status/1003440262931189760 PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, 2B(11), RBI, K #2 - Fernando Romero (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Rained Out. #4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Rained Out. #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) - 2-5, HR(10), R, RBI, K #6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-3, BB, 2 K, RBI, SF #8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch #9 - Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) - Disabled List (hand contusion) #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 0-5, R, K #11 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch (MLB Debut on Tuesday) #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 6 K, 89 pitches, 59 strikes) #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - Did not play. #14 - LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) - 2-3, BB, HR(7), 4 RBI, SB(5) #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Play #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, 2 K #18 - Yunior Severino (Extended Spring Training) - #19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - Did Not Pitch #20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - Disabled List, still no official timetable for return. MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester - No Game Scheduled Mobile @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart (3-3, 6.60 ERA) Palm Beach @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  23. Before we get to our Top 4 starting pitchers for the month of April, here is a list of a couple others who deserve to be recognized for a solid final month of the season. HONORABLE MENTION Randy LeBlanc - Chattanooga Lookouts - 5 GS, 28.1 IP, 3-1, 2.22 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 30 H, 8 BB, 22 K Fernando Romero - Rochester Red Wings - 4 G, 3 GS, 21.0 IP, 0-1, 2.57 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 17 H, 10 BB, 20 K. THE TOP FOUR STARTING PITCHERS #4 - LHP Anthony Marzi - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 3 GS, 1-0, 1.93 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 18.2 IP, 18 H, 4 BB, 20 K Anthony Marzi got the Opening Night start for the Miracle, and he’s been good since. He did pitch once out of the bullpen, but that was just piggybacking a Phil Hughes rehab start. Marzi was a graduate of the University of Connecticut in 2014. He went undrafted, but that winter he signed with the New York Yankees. In 2015, he pitched in six games for the GCL Yankees before being released in March of 2016. He tried out for the independent New Britain Bees of the independent Atlantic League and did well in 2016 and 2017. In late June 2017, he was signed by the Twins because they needed starters in Cedar Rapids. He made nine starts for the Kernels and pitched well enough that his final regular season start came for the Ft. Myers Miracle. While the left-hander does not throw hard or miss a lot of bats, he can be effective by hitting his spots. He has been able to do that since signing. #3 - Tyler Wells - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 2-1, 3.63 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 17.1 IP, 11 H, 4 BB, 18 K Wells had a terrific month. He’d done a terrific job of limiting base runners. He doesn’t give up a lot of hits, and he doesn’t hurt himself with walks. Wells was the Twins 15th-round pick in 2016 draft out of Division II Cal State - San Bernadino. He ended that season strong in Elizabethton, and last year he went 5-3 with a 3.11 ERA in Cedar Rapids, though he was limited to 75 innings due to a couple of injuries. Wells went to work this offseason and lost 25 pounds and came to spring training in great shape. #2- Stephen Gonsalves - Chattanooga Lookouts - 4 G, 3-0, 1.77 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 20.1 IP, 11 H, 10 BB, 25 K Gonsalves is not a new name to these monthly starting pitcher awards. He’s won several of the monthly awards, and he was the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in both 2016 and 2017. After his 2017 season, the Twins added him to the 40-man roster. He went to his second straight big league spring training. It was a bit of a surprise that he was sent to AA Chattanooga to start the season. It was much less surprising to see him put up really impressive numbers through his first four starts. It’s also not surprising that his first start of May was with the Rochester Red Wings (or that he threw 7 2/3 scoreless innings). The former fourth-round pick from San Diego is on track to make his major league debut sometime in 2018. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Rochester Red Wings - RHP Aaron Slegers - 4 GS, 2-0, 1.50 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 24.0 IP, 19 H, 3 BB, 14 K Speaking of guys who have been mentioned in these reports a lot, Aaron Slegers was twice a Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month in 2017. He even made three big league starts. He was the runner-up for Starting Pitcher of the Year. And he has started out 2018 very well as well. Slegers threw six innings in all four of his starts. He had four quality starts and twice he didn’t give up a run. He even got to spend one day in the Twins bullpen in New York, called up in case a long reliever was needed. Slegers was the Twins fifth-round draft pick in 2013 out of Indiana University where he had been been the Big 10’s Pitcher of the Year. He has moved up one level each year and has developed well at that pace. After debuting in 2017, Slegers returns to Rochester where he will continue to pitch in hopes of more of those call-ups. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of April, Rochester starter Aaron Slegers. Feel free to discuss and ask questions.
  24. 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.
  25. TRANSACTIONS Fort Myers Miracle placed RHP Colton Davis on the 7-day disabled list and activated 2B Luis Arraez from the 7-day disabled list. RED WINGS REPORT OFF CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 3, Jacksonville 1 Box Score The Lookouts put a three-spot on the board in the bottom of the first inning and then didn’t bother to score again as the pitching staff carried them the rest of the way, giving up just one run late in the game. Randy LeBlanc started and earned the win to move to 2-1 on the year with six innings of scoreless baseball. LeBlanc scattered five hits, walked one, and struck out three. Zack Jones pitched a scoreless seventh inning, but not without challenge as he walked three and escaped unharmed thanks to a pair of strike outs. Williams Ramirez picked up his third save of the year, this one of the six-out variety. He gave up one run on one hit, he walked two and struck out one. Bunching all of their runs in the first inning, the Lookouts sent seven men to the plate and could have scored more if not for making two outs on the base paths. Chris Paul had the Lookouts’ only extra-base hit of the night, during the first inning rally, his only hit of the night. He finished 1-for-3 with that double, a walk, and a run scored. Brent Rooker, T.J. White, and Brian Navarreto each added a pair of singles. A hero the last couple of days, Zander Wiel added another RBI as part of a 1-for-3 night that also included a walk. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 4, Dunedin 2 Box Score Fort Myers committed three errors and still came out on top on Thursday night thanks to some excellent pitching that gave up just three hits and one earned run. Starter Tyler Wells moved to 2-0 on the year with five full innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out only two but did not issue a single walk. He was replaced by Max Cody who gave up an unearned run on one hit and a walk. Carlos Suniaga earned his first save of the year, also a two-inning save just like Williams Ramirez up in AA. He gave up a run on one hit, and a walk. He struck out two. The Miracle scored three of their four runs on a pair of home runs. Jimmy Kerrigan, who finished a single short of the cycle as part of his 3-for-4 night hit a solo home run. The other dinger was a two-run shot off the bat of Joe Cronin in the seventh inning. Cronin was 2-for-3 with a double and that home run, and three RBIs. As a team, the Miracle had 10 hits, two walks, and they struck out eight times. Luis Arraez played in his first game since April 8, 2017. He was 0-for-4 and made a pair of errors at second base. KERNELS NUGGETS Doubleheader Postponed - Rain STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Randy LeBlanc, Chattanooga Lookouts Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jimmy Kerrigan, Fort Myers Miracle TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily top 20 prospects performed: #3. Nick Gordon – 0-4, 1R, 1SO #7. Brent Rooker – 2-4, 1SO #13. Lewin Diaz – 1-3, 3B, 1R, 1SO #14. LaMonte Wade – 1-4, 1R #17. Travis Blankenhorn – 2-4, 1R FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Columbus, 5:35 pm CT - Adalberto Mejia Chattanooga vs. Jacksonville, 6:15 pm CT - Lewis Thorpe Fort Myers at Bradenton, 5:30 pm CT - Charlie Barnes Cedar Rapids vs. Kane County, 6:36 pm CT - Blayne Enlow Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's games.
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