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  1. TRANSACTIONS RHP Tyler Beck added to Triple-A St. Paul from Double-A Wichita SAINTS SENTINEL Indianapolis 9, St. Paul 1 Box Score Tonight Austin Schulfer started for the Saints but threw to just three batters after a throw from catcher Ryan Jeffers hit him in the back of the head. He did walk off under his own power and indications are that he should be fine. Tyler Beck, recently added from Double-A Wichita having pitched just one inning this year due to injury, then gave up five runs on four hits and four walks across 1 2/3 innings. Indianapolis tagged St. Paul pitching for one run in the 1st inning, five runs in the 2nd inning, one run in the 4th inning, and another in the 6th inning before the Saints could answer. Wander Javier lifted a sacrifice fly, scoring John Andreoli to break up the shutout, but that was the end of their scoring. Indianapolis wiped that away with a run in the 8th inning and they completed the 9-1 victory. WIND SURGE WISDOM The regular season is over for the Wichita Wind Surge. Winning the finale, they finished the season 78-59. After going 35-33 in the first half, it was a 43-26 second half record that vaulted the Wind Surge into the Texas League Division Series. Wichita will play host to the Tulsa Drillers, who went just 29-40 in the second half after a near opposite 40-27 mark in the first half. Wichita has been a dominant 26-10 at home during the second half while Tulsa has gone just 13-23 on the road. Second rank Twins Daily prospect Brooks Lee was recently promoted to Wichita and will provide a significant boost to the lineup. Edouard Julien and Alex Isola have also been catalysts for the Wind Surge this season. With Kody Funderburk going in the final, he would seem unlikely to pitch in the series. Twins rookie Louie Varland’s brother Gus Varland has pitched 70 2/3 innings for Tulsa this year and should appear in the series. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Evan Sisk (St. Paul) - 2.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day – John Andreoli (St. Paul) - 2-3, R, BB PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #9 - Matt Wallner (Minnesota) - 1-3, K #16 - Ronny Henriquez (Minnesota) - 4.0 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (5:35PM CST) - RHP Simeon Woods Richardson Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) - RHP Brent Headrick Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Monday’s games!
  2. TRANSACTIONS Infielder Elliot Soto placed on 7-day concussion IL by St. Paul Pitcher Ronny Henriquez recalled by Minnesota Twins Pitcher Dereck Rodriguez optioned to Triple-A St. Paul SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Louisville 1 Box Score Wrapping up their home series against the Louisville Bats, St. Paul turned to Ariel Jurado for Sunday’s matinee. He was great allowing just a single run (unearned) on two hits and a walk. Jurado punched out three in his six innings of work. After the Bats took a first-inning lead, St. Paul responded when Chris Williams blasted his tenth Triple-A dinger in the bottom of the inning. Then in the third inning, recently-promoted Wander Javier crushed his first Triple-A home run to give St. Paul their first lead of the game. Joining the first career Triple-A homer party, Dalton Shuffield blasted one to right-center field. He was Minnesota’s 10th-round pick in the 2022 MLB Draft. Brock Stewart turned in a scoreless inning of relief with a strikeout, and Jake Jewell recorded his fifth save while recording six outs, allowing no baserunners, and striking out three. St. Paul goes on the road tomorrow before returning to play their final homestand next week. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, Midland 3 Box Score Kody Funderburk was on the bump to close out the regular season for the Wind Surge. They’ll have a day off Monday before starting their postseason against the Tulsa Drillers on Tuesday. Funderburk worked around traffic, but gave up just two runs on four hits while striking out eight in four innings of work. After getting behind in the third inning, DaShawn Keirsey Jr. put the Wind Surge on top when he blasted a two-run homer. Keirsey Jr.’s seventh of the season brought in Leobaldo Cabrera and Wichita found themselves in the run column. Wichita allowed Midland to even things in the 4th inning, but immediately took back the lead in the fifth inning. Anthony Prato lifted a sacrifice fly to score Will Holland, and then Jair Camargo jacked a two-run blast to bring in Brooks Lee. A late hit by Midland brought in another run, but Wichita held on to win their final game of the regular season TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Ariel Jurado (St. Paul) - 6.0 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day – Chris Williams (St. Paul) - 2-4, R, RBI, HR(10) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Brooks Lee (Wichita) - 3-5, R, K #9 - Matt Wallner (Minnesota) - 2-3, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (5:35PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.
  3. TRANSACTIONS Fort Myers Might Mussels reinstated LHP Steve Hajjar from the 7-day injured list. Cedar Rapids activated LHP Brent Headrick from the Injured List. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 4, Louisville 5 Box score SP: Dereck Rodriguez - 5.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: Caleb Hamilton (9), Curtis Terry (8) Multi-Hit games: Hamilton (2-4, R, HR, 2 RBI (31), K), Jermaine Palacios (2-4, R, 2B) The Saints wrapped up their second road trip to Louisville Sunday afternoon looking to split the series with the Reds Triple-A affiliate. Dereck Rodriguez was on the mound for the Saints and had a tough start as he allowed nine base runners on eight hits and a walk that turned into all five runs the Bats needed to win. Rodriguez did have six strikeouts for the afternoon and roughly two-thirds of his 94 pitches landed in the strike zone, even with two wild pitches in the afternoon. Through the first four innings of the game, the Saints were able to hold the lead thanks to two home runs, one from DH Caleb Hamilton and the other from first baseman Curtis Terry, both coming in the top of the fourth. The Bats were able to get a run back in the bottom of the fourth and the Saints responded in the top of the fifth with an RBI single from Hamilton that scored Elliot Soto. The bottom of the sixth was when the Bats retook their lead for the win and knocked Rodriguez out of the game scoring three runs on five hits. The Saints were able to escape more damage in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a diving double play started by Soto. St. Paul was unable to get any more runs and lost by a final score of 5-4. The loss brings the Saints overall record to 40-42 on the season. The Saints will return home Tuesday for a six-game series against the Toledo Mudhens which will feature former Twins prospect Akil Baddoo and former Twins reliever from the 2021 bullpen Derek Law. First pitch for Tuesday night’s opener is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. CT. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, Amarillo 4 Box Score SP: Daniel Gossett - 6 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K HR: Matt Wallner (21), Andrew Bechtold (10) Multi-Hit games: Wallner (3-5, R, HR, RBI (59)), Cole Sturgeon (2-3, R, BB, CS) Wichita completed the first half of a 12-game homestand with a loss in their series finale against the Amarillo Sod Poodles. Daniel Gossett made his fourth start since being sent down to Wichita from the Saints and held his own. Gossett allowed six hits, including one homer, through six innings but kept the Sod Poodles at two runs with five strikeouts. Twins future All-Star selection Matt Wallner carried the Wind Surge offense Sunday afternoon. Wallner led off the bottom of the first with a home run for the Wind Surge to start the day and put them up 1-0. Wallner reached base twice more on singles and had an outfield assist in the top of the third throwing out a runner at home to end the inning. Going into the top of the ninth, the Wind Surge held a 3-2 lead and looked to finish the game in their favor. The lead-off hitter was hit by a pitch. Amarillo rallied with two outs in the top of the ninth with a walk and a double to give themselves a 4-3 lead. Wichita was unable to score in the bottom of the ninth. The loss brings the Wind Surge record to an even 40-40 through 80 games on the season. The Wind Surge begin their next series at home on Tuesday against Arkansas with first pitch scheduled for 7:05 p.m. CT KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Quad Cities 4 Box Score SP: Brent Headrick 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K HR: Christian Encarnacion-Strand (18), Wander Javier (8) Multi-Hit Games: Jake Rucker (2-4, R, K, CS), Kyler Fedko (2-5, R, 2 RBI (25), K) Cedar Rapids completed their latest homestand with a series victory with four wins in six games over the Quad Cities River Bandits. The Kernels won 6-4 over the River Bandits on Sunday thanks to the power of Christian Encarnacion-Strand and multi-hit games from Jake Rucker and Kyler Fedko. Brent Headrick was on the mound for his 14th start of the season. The lefty had a shortened start of four innings on Sunday, but only made one mistake in his outing with a home run given up to River Bandits catcher Luca Tresh. Aside from the homer, Headrick dominated, striking out five on 42 pitches with 31 strikes. Entering the bottom of the third, the Kernels were down 1-0. In the bottom of the fourth, they scored four runs. The big hit was Encarnacion-Strand’s two-run home run. There was also a bases-loaded walk from Charles Mack. This gave the Kernels a 4-1 lead that they maintained until the top of the fifth when the River Bandits scored one more to make it a 4-2 game. In the top of the eighth, the River Bandits tied the game up 4-4 on an RBI single from shortstop Tyler Tolbert. The Kernels answered in the bottom half of the inning on Wander Javier’s eighth homer of the season and an RBI single from Kyler Fedko. The Kernels improve their season record to 49-32, tied for the best record in the Midwest League with the Great Lakes Loons, the Dodgers High-A affiliate. Next series for the Kernels begins on the road against the Beloit Sky Carp Tuesday night with first pitch scheduled for 6:35 p.m. CT. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers, Tampa Postponed The Mighty Mussels had their series finale against the Tampa Tarpons postponed due to rain on Sunday. The rainout was the second of the series for the Mighty Mussels in Tampa. Steve Hajjar, who was activated from the 7-Day IL Sunday, was set to start for the Mighty Mussels but will have his first start back from the IL on Tuesday against Clearwater. The Mighty Mussels return home Tuesday for a six game series against the Clearwater Threshers with first pitch set for 6:00 p.m. CT. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins off day. Resume Monday against FCL Orioles at 11 a.m. CT. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Twins off day. Resume Monday against DSL Dodgers Mega team at 10 a.m. CT TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Brent Headrick (Cedar Rapids) 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day – Matt Wallner (Wichita) (3-5, R, HR, RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 3-5, R, HR, RBI (59) #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-3, 2 BB, K #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, R, HR (18), 2 RBI (62), BB, K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, July 12. The only remaining minor league games on Mondays this season are for the Saints in September and DSL and FCL games. Toledo @ St. Paul (7:07 PM CST) - TBD Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Clearwater @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - Steve Hajjar FCL Twins @ FCL Orioles (11:00 AM CST) - TBD DSL Dodgers @ DSL Twins (10:00 AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games
  4. Transactions: Josh Winder transferred to Minnesota taxi squad Trevor Megill returned to Minnesota from MLB rehab with Saints Juan Minaya was designated for assignment by Minnesota SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 4, Louisville 1 Box Score Tonight’s game was supposed to be started by Josh Winder, but he was scratched and sent to Chicago joining the Minnesota Twins taxi squad. Dereck Rodriguez stepped up and filled in admirably. Working four innings of one-run ball, Rodriguez gave up three hits while striking out two. The lone run came on a solo blast. After getting down in the second inning, it took the Saints some time and good pitching to come back. Caleb Hamilton ripped his 8th homer, a solo blast in the 7th inning, to knot things up. St. Paul then took advantage of bad defense in the 8th inning when Louisville catcher Chris Okey uncorked an errant through trying to nail John Andreoli stealing third base. Andreoli was able to scamper home from there and Elliot Soto moved up to third after stealing second on his own. A wild pitch then gave Soto the opportunity to score, and a Michael Helman single brought in Spencer Steer. Yennier Cano came on and was the fifth different Saints reliever to work a scoreless outing. Cano got the save, his second of the year. Evan Sisk got his first win for St. Paul while Austin Schfuler got his first hold. It was St. Paul’s pitching that got them to the finish line tonight as the lineup tallied just four hits with Hamilton’s longball being the only extra-base contribution. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, Amarillo 3 Box Score Veteran Daniel Gossett got the start for Wichita tonight and turned in the longest outing on the farm. His five innings saw two runs (one earned) plated one four hits. Gossett punched out seven and walked three. He lowered his Double-A ERA this season to 1.96. Amarillo started the scoring but scorching hot Matt Wallner quickly erased the lead with his 19th homer of the season. Chris Williams then launched his own dinger, a two-run shot scoring Kyle Schmidt, to make it 3-1. After Amarillo added a run on a 3rd inning double, Wallner hit his second dinger of the day, and 20th of the season. This one was of the two-run variety plating Leobaldo Cabrera and making it a 5-2 game. Schmidt allowed a passed ball in the 7th inning to bring Amarillo back within two, 5-3. Steven Cruz came on to slam the door and generate his second save giving the Wind Surge a two-run victory. Wallner was joined by Williams, DaShawn Keirsey Jr. and Anthony Prato with two hits apiece. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 12, Quad Cities 4 Box Score Miguel Rodriguez got the start for Cedar Rapids tonight and he went three innings allowing two runs on solo homers. Quad Cities tagged him for three hits while Rodriguez responded with two strikeouts. Quad Cities broke open the scoring with a pair of homers in the 2nd inning, but Cedar Rapids took things into their hands during the 4th inning. Yunior Severino launched a home run for his third of the season to bring the Kernels within one. In the 5th inning Seth Gray evened things on a single to left that scored Jake Rucker. From there Severino singled to short and both Gray and Alerick Soularie scored on a fielder error. When Quad Cities pitcher Ruben Ramirez uncorked a wild pitch, Severino was able to scamper home and make it a 5-2 game. The River Bandits tried to make things interesting adding runs in both the 7th and 8th innings, but that’s where the door would get slammed. The Kernels made it a laugher in the bottom of the 8th inning. First Dylan Neuse doubled in Jeferson Morales. Then a Kyler Fedko triple plated Neuse and Rucker. Gray singled in Fedko and Pat Winkel then plated both Gray and Soularie on a single of his own. Wander Javier capped the scoring with a sacrifice fly to drive in Severino and make it a 12-4 game. Gray tallied three hits on the evening while Fedko, Severino, and Winkel each added two of their own. MUSSEL MATTERS Tampa 5, Fort Myers 1 Box Score The Mighty Mussels called on Travis Adams tonight for their Independence Day start and he went two innings while allowing two runs on three hits and striking out two. This was a forgettable contest for Fort Myers as they posted just a single run on three hits. Tampa put up two in the 1st inning, one in the 4th inning, one in the 6th inning, and one in the 7th inning. Rubel Cespedes clobbered a homer, his second, in the 8th inning to put the Mighty Mussels on the board. With just three hits, no Fort Myers hitter recorded multiples on the evening. Cespedes' dinger was the only hit for extra-bases. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 4, FCL Braves 1 Box Score Juan Rojas made the start for the Twins and was great. Across five scoreless innings he allowed just two hits and punched out five. Danny De Andrade picked up another two-hit game, this time recording his first triple of the season. Miguel Sano also began his rehab assignment following knee surgery. He was 0-for-4 but didn’t strike out. His rehab assignment can be a maximum of 20 days and will head to Triple-A St. Paul when he’s deemed ready for the next stage of the process. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Twins 5, DSL Dodgers Bautista 3 (F/6) Box Score Jose Rodriguez provided most of the offense in this one as he went 2-for-2 with a pair of homers. Rodriguez scored three times and drove in two runs. Catcher Jesus Peraza also had a two-hit game in the victory. Leonardo Luge got the win, the first of his professional career, working three innings in relief. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Daniel Gossett (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 7 K Hitter of the Day – Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR(20), K PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-2, BB #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-3, R, BB #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR(20), K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-4, 2 K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS (No games on Tuesday) St. Paul @ Louisville (6:05PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands Amarillo @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Tampa (5:30PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Monday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates and the two Complex Season affiliates back and playing.
  5. After a really poor three-week stretch, the St. Paul Saints are now one of the hottest teams in Triple-A baseball. They are powering their way to a lot of wins. It’s been fun, I’m sure for the several players and coaches on the Saints roster who spent time with the Red Wings while they were a Twins affiliate. Manager Matthew LeCroy and left-handed pitcher Sam Clay are former members of the Twins organization that are with the Nationals organization now. There were several transactions on Saturday. The Twins beat the Rays, assuring a series win, but also assuring a winning record in their much-ballyhooed nine-game stretch against the Blue Jays, the Yankees and the Rays. Their young players continue to play well. Jose Miranda and Trevor Larnach have really hit. Gilberto Celestino continues to hit well over .300. Nick Gordon has proven versatile. Now, Nick Gordon did leave Saturday’s game with some sort of discomfort. Could he be an IL candidate? If so, would the Twins call up Alex Kirilloff? He has hit .379/.464/.695 (1.158) with six doubles and eight homers in 24 games since his demotion. Or, since Gordon is currently the backup to Carlos Correa at shortstop, and Correa is still getting time off, could Jermaine Palacios be added and play a utility role? He would need to be added to the 40-man roster, but Chi Chi Gonzalez was DFAd after Saturday’s game. Let’s get to the report. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS The Twins selected the contract of RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez. SS Royce Lewis was placed on the 60-Day Injured List. RHP Yennier Cano was optioned to the Saints. Following the game, the Twins DFAd Gonzalez. OF Derek Fisher was released. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 11, Rochester 7 Box Score The Saints won for the sixth straight time on Saturday night. They have won the first five games against the previous Twins Triple-A affiliate, the Red Wings. Just two weeks ago, the Saints were ten games under .500. With the win, they are now 29-29. On this night, St. Paul had a season-high 17 hits including seven that went for extra bases. Tim Beckham led the way. He went 4-for-5 and is hitting .500 through his first eight games with the Saints. Alex Kirilloff continues to rake. He went 3-for-5 and hit his seventh and eighth homers with the Saints. Above you saw his numbers over 24 games since his demotion. However, looking at just his eight games, he is .438/.514/1.094 (1.607) with three doubles, six homers, and 12 RBI in his past eight games. He also has at least one hit in 12 of his past 13 games. Michael Helman also had three hits. He was 3-for-5 with a double. Jermaine Palacios was 2-for-4 with a walk and his tenth double. Curtis Terry went 2-for-4 with his 13th double. Caleb Hamilton’s sixth home run gave the Saints a 6-4 lead in the fourth inning. It came off of former Twins prospect Sam Clay. Jordan Balazovic started. He gave up one run on four hits over 2 2/3 innings. He struck out one batter and walked none. Jordan Gore came on and gave up a double and a home run. Dereck Rodriguez came on and gave up three runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four batters. Wladimir Pinto gave up one run on two hits and a walk in 2/3 of an inning. Ian Hamilton got the final four outs to record the save. He gave up two hits, but struck out two batters. With three homers on Saturday, the Saints have 26 already during the month of June. That is more than any other minor-league or major-league team. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 2, Arkansas 5 Box Score Simeon Woods Richardson started for the Wind Surge on Saturday. He had a rough first inning. He gave up four runs on three hits and a walk. He also had a wild pitch and a balk, and the big hit was a two-run homer for Cade Marlowe. But minor-league baseball is all about development, and Woods Richardson showed a lot after the early struggles. He got a strikeout to end the first inning. Then he had 1-2-3 innings in the second and third frames. He gave up a two-out single in the fourth, but that’s it. In the fifth inning, he gave up a leadoff single, but got a double-play before getting the third out. Overall, he gave up four runs on four hits and two walks in five innings. He had three strikeouts. Denny Bentley struck out two in a scoreless sixth inning. Andrew Cabezas struck out one in a perfect seventh inning. Steven Cruz gave up a run on two hits and a walk in the eighth inning. He struck out two batters. Offense was difficult to come by for the Wind Surge on Saturday. On his 25th birthday, Dennis Ortega went 2-for-4 with his eighth double of the season. DaShawn Keirsey’s 11th double of the season drove in the team’s two runs in the seventh inning. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, South Bend 4 Box Score The Kernels got a good start from Aaron Rozek, and the offense got people on base but were unable to sustain due to 16 strikeouts. Rozek, the lefty from Burnsville High School and Minnesota State-Mankato made his eighth start of the year for the Kernels. He gave up only two hits and one walk over four scoreless innings. He struck out three batters. Sean Mooney came on as the piggyback in the fifth inning. Coming into the outing, he had a 1.67 ERA. On this night, he gave up four runs (3 earned) on five hits. He struck out four batters without issuing a walk. Wander Javier reached base four times. He went 2-for-2 with his seventh double, a walk and was also hit by a pitch. Seth Gray went 2-for-4. His eighth double came in the ninth inning and scored Yunior Severino to cut the deficit to 4-3. With one out, Javier walked, and the Kernels had the tying and go-ahead runners on base. Unfortunately, that’s where they remained as the next two batters struck out. Aaron Sabato homered for the second straight night, his ninth of the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers, Daytona The game in Daytona was postponed by rain. The two teams will finish their series at Jackie Robinson Ballpark on Sunday afternoon. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 2, FCL Red Sox 0 (Suspended in 1st inning) Box Score Starting Pitcher: Brayan Medina (1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K) Multi-Hit Games: None. XBH: None. Rehab Players: Daniel Robertson (0-for-1) Top Prospects: Danny De Andrade (1-for-1, R), Fredy Michel (1-for-1, 1 R). The Red Sox youngsters made the six-mile drive down Daniels Parkway. They went 1-2-3 in the top of the first inning. The Twins came to the plate. Daniel Robertson grounded out. Fredy Michel singled and advanced to second on a wild pitch. Danny De Andrade singled to center. Michael advanced to third base, and De Andrade advanced to second on the throw. Alexander Pena then singled to left to score both runners. And then the rains came. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Twins 6, DSL Giants 0 Box Score Starting Pitcher: Cesar Lares (4 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K) Winning Pitcher: Roger Duran (2 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 4 K) Multi-Hit Games: Isaac Pena (2-for-3, R, 3B) 2B: Daniel Pena (2), Denyerbe Gervis (2) 3B: Isaac Pena (1) HR: Jose Rodriguez (1) Top Prospects: Bryan Acuna (1-for-3, BB, R, K, SB) TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Rozek (Cedar Rapids) - 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K (48 pitches, 31 strikes) Hitter of the Day – Alex Kirilloff (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2-HR (8), 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 K PROSPECT SUMMARY Check out the Prospect Tracker for much more on the new Twins' Top 20 prospects after seeing how they did on Saturday. #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-4, 3 K (played CF) #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-for-4, 2B (8), RBI #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 2.2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 BB, 1 K (46 pitches, 35 strikes) #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 5 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 3 K (69 pitches, 44 strikes #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-for-3, BB, K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-for-3, BB, 3 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 3 K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ St. Paul (2:07 PM CST) - RHP Jake Faria (0-2, 7.12 ERA) Wichita @ Arkansas (1:35 PM CST) - RHP Blayne Enlow (0-0, 6.08 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (1:05 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (3-4, 3.65 ERA) Fort Myers @ Daytona (DH at 2:30 PM CST) - TBD, TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Saturday’s games!
  6. Transactions: RHP Cole Sands added to Minnesota as 27th man OF Kennie Taylor promoted to Double-A Wichita OF Kyle Fedko promoted to High-A Cedar Rapids OF Luis Baez transferred to Single-A Fort Myers SAINTS SENTINEL Columbus 7, St. Paul 4 Box Score Jacob Faria made the start for the afternoon tilt today. St. Paul got four innings of work from their starter and Faria allowed three runs, only one earned, on five hits while striking out four and walking one. Down early after a three-run 2nd inning for the Clippers, St. Paul knotted things in the 5th inning. Caleb Hamilton scored on an Ernie Yake ground out before Elliot Soto singled in both Yake and Jermaine Palacios. Giving a run back immediately in the bottom half of the 5th inning, the Saints saw the gap widen to four before answering with a run of their own in the 9th inning. Roy Morales drove in Kevin Merrell with a single, but that’s all the rally amounted to. Palacios was the lone Saints hitter to record two hits on the day, one of which was his fifth double. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, NW Arkansas 0 Box Score Following the fun outing against his brother last time out, Louie Varland was back for a more normal contest. He cruised through the first few innings before running into trouble in the 5th inning. In total, Varland worked six innings allowing seven hits and four runs. He picked up seven strikeouts and walked no one. Scoreless through the first two frames, the Wind Surge got their first run following a steal of third base by DaShawn Keirsey. With the ball getting away on the throw, he was able to move up ninety feet for the game’s first run. Matt Wallner then continued his hot stretch with a laced double to right scoring both Edouard Julien and Spencer Steer. Although Austin Martin hasn’t hit for Wichita this season, middle infielder Spencer Steer absolutely has. Crushing a solo blast in the 5th inning, Steer picked up his fifth of the season. Watching their lead be wiped out by the 6th inning, the Wind Surge got back to adding. In the 7th inning Alex Isola drove in Julien with a single before Andrew Bechtold added a double to plate Isola. Dennis Ortega followed with a double of his own to drive in Wallner and Bechtold, and then Leobaldo Cabrera cleared the bases with his second dinger of the season. Steven Cruz was great in relief of Varland giving the Wind Surge two scoreless innings allowing just one hit and picking up three strikeouts. Isola, Wallner, Cabrera, and Kerisey all had two hits tonight for Wichita. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 13, Peoria 1 Box Score It was Aaron Rozek on the bump tonight for the Kernels and he turned in nothing short of a dominant outing. Working five scoreless innings, Rozek allowed just three hits and no runs or walks while picking up nine punchouts. Backing up their starter, the Cedar Rapids bats put up a crooked number early. Seth Gray roped his fifth double of the season in the top of the 4th inning to plate Jeferson Morales and Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Wander Javier then lifted a single to right field scoring Gray on the play. Adding again in a big way, the 5th inning featured another Kernels outburst and this one was a home run party. Gray clobbered his second of the season before Jair Camargo hit his fifth, and Javier launched his second. Then Encarnacion-Strand decided he’d keep the ball in the park, driving a single to bring home both Will Holland and Anthony Prato. Cedar Rapids picked up another run in the 8th inning with Holland scoring on a wild pitch. They did give that one back on a solo shot in the bottom half. It didn’t matter much however, as the 9th inning saw a four-run explosion in the form of a Camargo single to score Willie Joe Garry Jr. and Javier’s second homer of the night. Javier lifted a three-run shot and what was a big league became a laugher. The Kernels recorded 14 hits in this one and got multi-hit efforts from Prato, Encarnacion-Strand, Gray, Camargo, and Javier. MUSSEL MATTERS Postponed Fort Myers’ game against Palm Beach was postponed on Thursday night. It will be made up as a double-header tomorrow afternoon. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Rozek (Cedar Rapids) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 9 K Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 3-5, 2 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR(3) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - #2 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-4, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesotal) - 0-4, 2 K #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 3.1 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Postponed #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 0-1, K #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 2-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, 2 K #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 6.0 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 7 K #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - Postponed #16 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-3, 2 R, RBI, HR(5), 2 BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-2, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Postponed FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05PM CST) - RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35PM CST) - RHP Cade Povich Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (3:30PM CST) - TBD/TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.
  7. TRANSACTIONS In Fort Myers, IF Jesus Feliz was activated from the 7-day IL and was in the lineup batting sixth and playing first base for the Mighty Mussels. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 0, Toledo 11 Box Score Jose Miranda led off the game for the Saints with a double, but that was literally as good as it would get for them the rest of it. As a team they managed just three hits, were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, and left only five men on base on the night. In addition to Miranda’s double, Mark Contreras and Jermaine Palacios each had a single. Unfortunately, it wasn’t any better for the pitching staff either as Toledo scored at least one run in six of their eight at-bats. Starter Cole Sands went just 1 2/3 innings, allowing five earned runs on six hits and a walk. Wladimir Pinto, Jovani Moran, Jordan Gore, and Ryan Mason went the next six innings, combining to allow six runs on seven hits and three walks while striking out ten. Catcher David Banuelos was even called upon to get the final out of the game for the Saints and did so with one pitch. WIND SURGE WISDOM Midland 4, Wichita 6 Box Score The Wind Surge got a nice bounce-back start from right-hander Matt Canterino in this one, going three hitless innings. He struck out the side in the first on just 11 pitches but labored a little from there. In total, he walked two and struck out six, throwing 51 pitches (29 for strikes) in his outing. He was getting several swings and misses on mid-90s fastballs when he put them inside the zone, but also missed quite often. Overall a very encouraging outing from the top prospect, however. He also got some help from his defense, as left-fielder Leobaldo Cabrera definitely saved a couple of runs with this catch to rob a home run in the second inning: Wichita took a 3-0 lead after the second inning as Michael Helman led off the frame with his second home run of the season, and later Cole Sturgeon drove in the other two runs with a single to right field. After Canterino’s exit the RockHounds were able to jump on reliever Kody Funderburk in the fourth, as he allowed a two-run homer to cut the lead to one. Funderburk would finish three total innings, allowing two other hits and two walks while striking out two. Zach Featherstone was credited with a blown save and the win after allowing a game-tying two-run home run in the seventh. He got the win as the Wind Surge lineup came right back in the bottom half. Spencer Steer drove in one with a fielder’s choice ground ball to score Austin Martin, who had singled and stole his seventh base of the season before that, and Helman added a sac fly to make the final score 6-4. Austin Schulfer finished off the final two innings to pick up his second save, allowing two hits and striking out three. Dennis Ortega had two hits, Matt Wallner drew two walks and scored a run, and Martin was 1-for-3 with two walks in the game. KERNELS NUGGETS Peoria 3, Cedar Rapids 4 Box Score The Kernels got another strong start from left-hander Cade Povich in their series opener with Peoria. He pitched into the fifth inning, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings pitched. Though he struck out the first two batters of the fifth inning he had reached his pitch count at 81 in the game and was removed. He struck out nine hitters in the game and now has 17 strikeouts in 9 2/3 innings pitched on the season in his two starts. Cedar Rapids scored single runs in the first and second innings thanks to RBI singles from Jair Camargo and Christian Encarnacion-Strand. They took the lead back in the bottom of the sixth when Wander Javier slugged his first home run of the season, a two-run shot to make it 4-2. Bradley Hanner was the first relief pitcher for the Kernels and went a scoreless 1 1/3 innings. Cody Laweryson went the next 1 1/3, allowing one run on one walk while striking out two. Osiris German finished off the eighth then came back out for the ninth and got into some trouble. A leadoff single was followed by a sac bunt and an error to put the tying run 90-feet away with two outs. But Seth Gray made a diving play to his left at first base, knocking down a screaming grounder, and was able to flip it to German at first base to secure the win. It was German’s third save of the young season and he struck out two in his 1 2/3 innings. Encarnacion-Strand (2-for-4, R, RBI, 2 K) and Camargo (2-for-4, RBI) had multiple hits and Aaron Sabato drew two walks in the game. As a team, they collected eight hits, were 3-for-7 with runners in scoring position, and left eight men on base in improving to 8-2 on the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 4, Dunedin 2 Box Score Before he had even made a professional appearance, starting pitcher Marco Raya was heading into the 2022 season with some major helium as a prospect. After a solid debut last week, you could say Raya officially provided evidence for that helium on this night. He was lights out for six innings, allowing just a single in the first inning, and went on to retire every hitter he faced after that (16 in a row). He had multiple strikeouts in four of his six innings and punched out the last five hitters he faced to reach double-digit strikeouts with 10 on the game. Hopefully, that’s the first of many times moving forward for the 19-year-old phenom. Even more impressive may be that he did this all on just 68 pitches, with 49 of them going for strikes (72%), and 17 of them swinging. The Mighty Mussels lineup gave him all the support he and the bullpen would need in the fifth inning, scoring all four of their runs thanks to some wildness from the pitcher and RBI singles from Kyler Fedko and Noah Cardenas. Jake Rucker and Dillon Tatum provided the other two hits in the game, and Noah Miller drew two walks. Malik Barrington allowed two runs on two hits in two innings of relief, striking out one. Hunter Mcmahon picked up his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Marco Raya, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (W, 6 IP, H, 10 K) Hitter of the Day - Wander Javier, Cedar Rapids Kernels (1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-3, R, 2 BB, K, SB (7) #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, K #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, 2B, K #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 3 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 6 K #10 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 0-for-2, R, 2 BB #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - Pinch runner in the ninth #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-2, R, 2 BB, SB (1) #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - L, 1 2/3 IP, 6 H, 5 ER, BB #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, R, 3 K #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, R, RBI, BB WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo (5:35 PM CDT) - RHP Mario Sanchez (0-0, 4.50 ERA) Midland @ Wichita (12:05 PM CDT) - RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (1-0, 0.00 ERA) Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CDT) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-0, 6.00 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (6:00 PM CDT) - LHP Steve Hajjar (0-0, 12.00 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  8. When the Twins brought in Derek Falvey, much of his resume in Cleveland surrounded his ability to develop pitching. However, the team also drafted and developed Francisco Lindor during his tenure. Star shortstops are few and far between, but Minnesota is marred in a second straight winter looking for a replacement at one of baseball's most important positions. Falvey inherited a farm system that included strong shortstop prospects. Then in his first year, the team had the opportunity to select a shortstop with the first overall pick. After four years, it doesn't look like any of these shortstops will stick at the position for the long term. Royce Lewis 2018 TD Top Prospect Ranking: 1 What Was Said Then? Lewis was considered one of baseball's top-30 prospects leading into the 2018 season. He possessed all the tools and make-up a franchise can hope for with the number one overall pick. It also looked like he was on a path to make the big leagues as early as the 2020 campaign. "This guy has a chance to change a franchise with his personality and charisma," said Twins scouting director Sean Johnson upon selecting Lewis. "He's a magnet. People want to be around him." In his professional debut, he showed advanced skills at the plate that made it easy to project him as an above-average big-league player. Few prospects have as many tools as Lewis, especially looking at his potential back in 2018. What Is Said Now? Lewis is coming off surgery for a torn ACL in his right knee, and he hasn't appeared in an official game since the 2019 Arizona Fall League. His stock has dropped on many national prospect ranking lists, and there are questions about his future defensive position. His make-up and athletic ability were tested during the rehab process, and now fans will have to wait and see if he can live up to his sky-high expectations. Nick Gordon 2018 TD Top Prospect Ranking: 3 What Was Said Then? At the time, Gordon ranked as one of baseball's top-100 prospects, but his rankings were all over the board. During the 2017 season, he posted a .749 OPS at Double-A as a 22-year-old. He represented the Twins at the Futures Game in Miami, and he was a Southern League All-Star. His power was developing, and he was three years younger than the average competition in the Southern League. Twins manager Paul Molitor told the Pioneer Press, "Not surprisingly, reports are his bat is still very advanced. We're trying to make sure the rest of his game catches up, and I think he is making progress in that regard." He projected to have a floor as a solid big-league regular at second base, but there were questions about his ceiling. With solid production in the high minors, Gordon seemed like a lock to make his debut before the end of the 2019 season. What Is Said Now? Gordon made his debut, but it took until the 2021 campaign. His projections as a future second baseman have been pushed to the side as he looks more likely to serve in a utility role at the big-league level. His bat didn't continue to develop, and that was his best skill in the lower levels of the minors. There is still hope he can surprise some fans with his performance moving forward. Wander Javier 2018 TD Top Prospect Ranking: 6 What Was Said Then? Baseball America was the lone national outlet to include Javier in their top-100 prospects, but many other prospect outlets had him on their "just missed" lists. As a 19-year-old, he was coming off a 2017 season where he hit .299/.383/.471 (.854) between two rookie league levels. "He flashes an above-average feel for the barrel and should grow into more power as he gains weight," Baseball America wrote. "As he learns to recognize pitches better and strike out less, he should be able to hit at the top of the order." It looked like Javier had all the tools to become a two-way star and the chance to stick at shortstop. Without an at-bat above rookie ball, patience would be required even with his rising prospect status. What Is Said Now? Javier missed the 2018 season with a shoulder injury and then lost the 2020 season because of the pandemic. He spent 2019 at Cedar Rapids and struggled to post a .601 OPS in 80 games. Last season, he moved up to High-A (Still in Cedar Rapids) and saw his OPS jump 82 points. Javier has been left unprotected in the previous two Rule 5 Drafts, and there is a chance a team takes a chance on him when the lockout concludes. Will any of these players see significant time as a shortstop at the big-league level? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  9. Prospects come in all shapes and sizes, and players develop at different paces. This list shows that. The player in this group of five that has been around the longest is still very young, but because he signed at 16, he may seem older than he is. In fact, that player is actually younger than players drafted out of college the last couple of seasons. Brent Rooker went to Mississippi State and red-shirted as a freshman. He wasn't yet ready at that time. At 20, he was certainly ready for the SEC and became a top pick, drafted at 22-years-old. That really brings up two points about age and prospects. First, age in important to consider when looking at level of competition and stats. However, age really isn't that important when it comes to a potential big leaguer. If he's ready at 22, great. If he's ready at 26, that's OK too. Of course, with the lost 2020 season due to the pandemic, age becomes less important relative to both points. With that in mind, this group of five prospects has a few players who signed at 16 or 17 years old, and a couple of powerful college draft picks. Continue reading to see who made today's list. #15 SS Wander Javier 2021 STATS: .225/.280/.413, 15 2B, 10 3B, 12 HR, 53 RBI, 34.3 K%, 6.1 BB%, 1/4 SB It’s been discussed before, but the Twins prospect most hurt by a lost 2020 season may have been Wander Javier. Signed to the largest international free agent contract in team history in July 2015, he began the trek up the ladder. Unfortunately, He missed much of the DSL season in 2016 with injury. He played well for Elizabethton in 2017. Then a shoulder injury cost him the 2018 season and the first half of the 2019 season. He struggled in Low-A Cedar Rapids, hitting just .177 in 80 games. Then came the missed 2020 season. In 2020, he spent the season with High-A Cedar Rapids. The positive is that he remained healthy until the final weeks of the season. He certainly showed flashes of offensive potential, but overall the batting average was low, and so was the on-base percentage. He continued to strike out a lot. There are still several positives that make me (and many) unwilling to give up on him. Javier is a really good athlete. He is quick and he has good strength. He had 37 extra base hits, showing home run power and triples speed. On the positive is Javier’s shortstop defense. Similar to Jermaine Palacios defensively. He has good range. He’s got a big arm. He just sometimes struggles with routine plays, so he will need to continue working on being more consistent. Javier has one more season in the Twins organization before he can become a minor league free agent. He just turned 23 in late December, so being patient is wise. #14 3B Christian Encarnacion-Strand 2021 STATS: .391/.424/.598, 2 2B, 2 3B, 4 HR, 18 RBI, 28.3 K%, 5.4 BB%, 2/2 SB The Twins drafted Christian Encarnacion-Strand in the fourth round of the 2021 draft, and it’s fair to say he made a great first impression. As you can see above, he hit for average and showed some of the power that made him intriguing in the draft. He played in 22 games for Ft. Myers and had at least one hit in 21 games. He had at least one hit in the first 20 games. At one point, he had three hits in three straight games and four out of five games. Big and strong, he has a lot of power potential. He didn’t walk a lot with the Mighty Mussels, but he has shown a good approach at the plate. In his one season at Oklahoma State, he hit .361/.442/.661 (1.103) with 17 doubles and 15 home runs in 56 games. The California native had previously been drafted in 2019 in the 34th round when he was playing at Yavapai College in Arizona. In college, he played almost exclusively at third base. In Ft. Myers, with Jesus Feliz and fellow-2021 draft pick Jake Rucker playing third base, Encarnacion-Strand played 17 games at first base. He will be 22 years old throughout the 2022 season. There is a chance that this ranking is a little high simply due to his first impression on me, so it will be interesting to see what he does in 2022. #13 SS Keoni Cavaco 2021 STATS: .233/.296/.302, 7 2B, 2 HR, 26 RBI, 34.1 K%, 7.0 BB%, 6/8 SB Javier is the player likely hurt most by the missed 2020 season. It was also unfortunate for Keoni Cavaco. He was the Twins first-round draft pick in the 2019 draft and struggled in 25 games in the GCL that season. Despite limited pro time, the Twins pushed him to Ft. Myers despite having just turned 20 in early June. He started out well and showed glimpses of his immense potential. Unfortunately, he had some rough patches too. He also missed time with a couple of injuries including a concussion. We have seen how playing in Ft. Myers can (and does) negatively impact offense, so despite his numbers, it is far too early to be too worried yet. He is big, strong and quick and should develop doubles and home run power in time. While he played third base in high school because his Eastlake teammate was shortstop Marcelo Mayer who was the fourth overall pick in the 2021 draft. However, he has the size, speed, hands and arm strength to potentially play shortstop so that’s where the Twins played him in 2021 and will continue to do so. He certainly needs to be more consistent, but the tools are there. He won’t be able to legally drink until early June. #12 OF Misael Urbina 2021 STATS: .191/.299/.286, 12 2B, 4 3B, 5 HR,52 RBI, 18.7 K%, 12.3 BB%, 16/22 SB Back in July 2018, the Twins signed a 16-year-old Misael Urbina from Venezuela to a $2.75 million signing bonus. He made his professional debut in the DSL where he hit .279/.382/.443 (.825) with 14 doubles, five triples and two homers over 50 games. He also stole 19 bases and walked more than he struck out. After missing the 2020 season, he was set to begin the 2021 season in Extended Spring Training at the Complex. However, less than a week later, he was moved up to the Mighty Mussels and put right into their lineup. As you can see from his stat line, it was a struggle for him. However, he was more than two years younger than league average. He had a low batting average, but he took a lot of walks, showing an ability to control the strike zone (in a league with an electronic strike zone). He also was a good base stealer. He is generally a solid young outfielder who split his time between center field and left field. Urbina would benefit from another season in Ft. Myers to help his tools develop and he can find more success, even if it’s just for a half-season. He won’t even turn 20 until the end of April. #11 OF Matt Wallner 2021 STATS: .265/.350/.504, 14 2B, 2 3B, 15 HR, 47 RBI, 33.3 K%, 9.3 BB%, 0/1 SB In 2016, Matt Wallner was Mr. Minnesota in baseball and the Twins drafted him in the 32nd round as a pitcher. He didn’t sign and instead headed south to play at Southern Mississippi where he developed into one of the best power hitters in college baseball. In 2019, the Twins drafted him again, this time with the 39th overall pick. He spent that summer in Elizabethton before ending the season in Cedar Rapids. After a lost 2020 season, Wallner returned to Cedar Rapids, now the Twins High-A affiliate. In his first 17 games, he hit .333/.384/.621 (1.005) with nine extra base hits. Unfortunately, he hurt his wrist and ended up having surgery on a broken hamate bone. Two months later, he returned to the Kernels for another 54 games. In that time, he hit just .220, but he walked 10% of the time and hit 11 doubles and 11 home runs. Following the season, he went to the Arizona Fall League where he hit .303 with two doubles and six homers in just 18 games. When he has control of the strike zone, Wallner can be immensely productive. If he can do that, he should hit for average. And when he makes contact, he has as much power as anyone in the Twins system, power to all fields. He’s tall and strong and a pretty good athlete with decent speed once he gets going. Defensively, he is a solid corner outfielder. Since he spent time in college as a closer, you might know that he has a cannon for an arm. He will likely spend most of the 2022 season with the Wichita Wind Surge. He will be 24 throughout the season. I think this is a really interesting group of prospects. There are three very high-ceiling, multi-tooled prospects in this group who signed at a very young age. Javier has struggled on the field and staying on the field in his time. Cavaco and Urbina have all the tools, but they struggled. Both would have benefited from being able to play in a league between the Complex League and Low-A. Wallner and Encarnacion-Strand are college draft picks with big-time power potential who could move up the ladder more quickly. It should be a fun list to discuss. Discuss these players, their rankings and feel free to ask questions. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Hitters Part 3: 16-20 Hitters Part 4: 11-15 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 3: 16-20 Pitchers Part 4: 11-15
  10. Before taking a look at the upcoming Rule 5 draft, and the players Minnesota will need to protect, it’s worth getting the lay of the land for guys headed onto the open market. Minnesota has a handful of 40 man players that will be on their way out, and some minor leaguers will also be worth keeping tabs on once they exit the organization. First, let’s take a look at the guys currently on the 40 man roster: Michael Pineda, Alexander Colome*, Andrelton Simmons Both Pineda and Simmons are sure to be jettisoned this week. The former is a strong candidate to re-sign with the Twins, while the latter should be expected to wind up elsewhere. Given Minnesota’s 2022 pitching outlook, bringing Pineda back to bolster the starting rotation would be an excellent decision. The one uncertain candidate here is closer Alexander Colome. He fell flat for Minnesota but did rebound somewhat down the stretch. His career numbers have been better than in 2021, and free agency isn’t a straightforward process for him. Both parties have a mutual option for 2022, and the value checks in at $5.5 million. His $1.25 million buyout is forfeited if Minnesota exercises their option but Colome declines (which would seem the least likely scenario). Notable Minor Leaguers: Melvi Acosta, Adam Bray, Trey Cabbage, Wander Javier, Hector Lujan, Carlos Suniaga, Aaron Whitefield, B.J. Boyd The three most prominent names in this group are sandwiched in the middle. Trey Cabbage was a 4th round pick in the 2015 draft. He reached Double-A Wichita this season and posted an .882 OPS over 68 games. It was a solid season for the 24-year-old. Minnesota could consider a 40 man roster addition, but if not, he’ll reach the open market for the first time. Once a top prospect, Wander Javier finds himself at a critical juncture in his career. He’ll be 23-years-old next season and has played in just 226 professional games. Between injuries and ineffectiveness, things just have never followed the tools that have impressed through evaluations. Javier was at Cedar Rapids last season, although it did represent High-A this time around. He posted a sub-.700 OPS but did show flashes after a very slow start. He may find a better path forward in a different organization. Lujan represents a definite grinder when it comes to prospects. He was a 35th round pick back in 2015 but reached Double-A during the 2019 season. Pitching all of 2021 for Wichita, the numbers looked good enough for Triple-A or big-league consideration. Nothing is extremely flashy for the reliever, but there are solid numbers across the board, and he could factor as a depth middle-reliever. The other pitchers noted above have shown flashes of capability that could be useful at the big league level. Acosta, Bray, and Suniaga are more unknown names but have made a presence for themselves through performance. In the box, Whitefield has previously debuted with the Twins while Boyd put up strong numbers at Double-A in 2021. A whole host of veteran or non-prospect types will also hit free agency as Minnesota needs to decide who will be offered deals for the upcoming year. Free agency could also look slightly different this offseason, with the CBA negotiations likely dictating the ultimate timeline for players. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  11. TRANSACTIONS IF Zander Wiel was activated from the St. Paul Injured List and released from the Twins organization SAINTS SENTINEL Toledo 4, St. Paul 2 Box Score Joe Ryan took the ball for the Saints tonight and continued his impressive performance since joining the Twins organization. He worked five innings and allowed just a single run on four hits and a walk. Continuing to rack up strikeouts, he punched out eight on the evening. Luke Farrell began his rehab stint for the Twins and worked 1 2/3 innings giving up two runs on two hits but did strike out three batters. Mark Contreras tallied St. Paul’s first runs on a two-run blast in the 6th inning. His 13th homer of the year scored Byron Buxton and gave the Saints a 2-1 lead. Unfortunately, Toledo took the lead back in the 7th, and top prospect Spencer Torkelson launched his first homer for the Mud Hens in the 8th. Contreras contributed a multi-hit effort and was joined by the rehabbing Buxton who was also 2-for-4. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 3, Wichita 2 Box Score The Wind Surge sent Tyler Beck to the bump tonight, and he contributed 5 2/3 of solid work. Giving up three runs on four hits, he was burned by the longball with three leaving the yard. Beck did record six strikeouts on the evening to balance out the three free passes. Wichita kicked off the scoring in the 4th inning when Trey Cabbage homered for the 15th time with Wichita, his 24th overall this season. The 1-0 lead was erased in the 5th inning before Tulsa added two more runs in the 6th inning. Roy Morales looked to make things interesting when he plated Chris Williams in the 7th inning, but that’s when the rally fell short. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1: Beloit 3, Cedar Rapids 1 Box Score It was Louie Varland’s turn in the rotation tonight, and he put up a solid effort. Working five strong innings allowing just two runs on six hits, he limited the damage by fanning five and walking just one batter. Cedar Rapids trailed after the 1st inning, but it was Wander Javier who singled to drive in Aaron Sabato and tie things up in the 2nd inning. Mustering just two more hits the rest of the way, Beloit’s additional two runs were never matched. No one recorded a multi-hit effort for the Kernels in this one, but Sabato did register his first hit, a double, in his first at bat. Game 2: Cedar Rapids 6, Beloit 4 Box Score Looking to split the doubleheader the Kernels turned to Tyler Watson in the nightcap. He lasted only four innings, but gave up just three runs on two hits and two walks. Watson did strike out two batters but was burned by a home run. Derek Molina worked two innings in relief and earned his seventh win of the season. Cedar Rapids jumped out to the early lead in this one after Wander Javier jacked a solo shot, his 11th of the season, in the 2nd inning. Trailing following a 4th inning three-run blast, the Kernels went to work in the 6th inning. Javier started the scoring again by driving in Sabato with a single. Jeferson Morales then crushed a three-run homer to score Seth Gray and Javier while recapturing the lead and providing some distance. Edouard Julien doubled up the Snappers score when his single allowed Gabriel Maciel to score the sixth run for Cedar Rapids. This was an equal effort with only Javier providing two hits on the evening. Sabato did hit his second double in as many games, and started his High-A exposure by going 2-for-6 in the doubleheader. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1: Bradenton 7, Fort Myers 0 Box Score Fort Myers went with a bullpen effort in this one as Casey Legumina took the ball in the 1st inning. He struck out two batters and walked one but left the inning unscathed. Unfortunately, Bradenton put up a three spot in the third inning, and with a run in between, replicated that in the 6th inning. The Mighty Mussels mustered just two hits in the front half of the doubleheader, and it wasn't going to be enough to catch the Maurauders. Game 2: Fort Myers 12, Bradenton 1 Box Score Matt Mullenbach was on to make his Low-A debut and worked four innings, allowing just one run on six hits while punching out four batters. Despite this one going into the early hours of Thursday morning, he was as sharp as can be expected. Charles Mack scored on a 2nd inning wild pitch to give Fort Myers their first lead before Patrick Winkel drove in Justin Washington in the 3rd inning. The Mighty Mussels were flexing again in the 4th inning as Alerick Soularie drove in Washington and Will Holland to double up their output. In the 7th inning, still leading 4-1, Fort Myers added on in a big way for good measure. Jesus Feliz hit his sixth homer of the season, a three-run blast, that pushed the lead to six. A bases loaded walk for Willie Joe Garry scored Mack, and a Holland Single scored Christian Encarnacion-Strand. Washington worked the second bases loaded walk of the inning, and that was followed by walks for Soularie and Winkel. The Mighty Mussels added eight total in the frame, and four came by way of the free pass. Soularie, Winkel, and Holland all posted multi-hit efforts on the nightcap that stretched into the early morning hours. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Scheduled day off TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 4 H, R, ER, BB, 8 K Hitter of the Day - Mark Contreras (St. Paul) - 2-4, R, 2 RBI, HR(13) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, BB, 2 K #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-5, 2B, K #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 4 H, R, ER, BB, 8 K #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - No game #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-3 #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-6,BB, 3 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-1, K (PH) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - No game #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-3, K #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4, 2 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo (5:35 PM CST) - RHP Randy Dobnak (0-1, 3.38 ERA) Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (4-2, 3.42 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (1-1, 3.27 ERA) Bradenton @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 1.08 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games
  12. TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins selected the contract of RHP Kyle Barraclough from St. Paul Saints. Minnesota Twins selected the contract of LHP Andrew Albers from St. Paul Saints. Minnesota Twins optioned RHP Edgar Garcia to St. Paul Saints. Minnesota Twins sent RHP Beau Burrows outright to St. Paul Saints. St. Paul Saints released CF Keon Broxton. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 9, Iowa 5 Box Score The St. Paul Saints found themselves in a hole on Thursday night at CHS Field, trailing 4-2 after the fifth inning with only four hits. That all changed with one swing from Drew Maggi in the bottom of the sixth inning. Maggi launched a bases-loaded 3-2 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Saints a lead they wouldn’t look back on. Maggi’s slam was put into motion by a pair of singles from Tomas Telis and Mark Contreras and a throwing error that put Sherman Johnson on base. From there, it was all “Maggic” Maggi’s homer (12) only kick-started that the St. Paul offense. Contreras punched an RBI single in the seventh to score Trevor Larnach, kicking off a three-run inning for the Saints. Johnson would later score two runs of his own, pushing a single up the gut that scored Ian Miller and Telis to put the Saints up 9-4. Contreras was brilliant on the evening. Not only did his mid and late-inning hits count, but he got the party started for the Saints in the first with a double and a run (courtesy of a Gilberto Celestino double). Beau Burrows and Andrew Vasquez gave up a combined four runs in the first five innings. After that, it was pure gold from the St. Paul bullpen. Ian Gibaut (W, 1-3), Yennier Cano, and Ian Hamilton were lights out for the remainder of the game, giving up two hits, three walks, and zero runs while striking out seven. Cano earned his fourth hold of the year, and Hamilton continued his dominant stretch, shaving his ERA down to 2.85 Playoff Watch Thursday’s win puts the Saints just 1.5 games behind first-place Toledo. St. Paul is now in sole place of second place in the Triple-A Central East Division. Triple-A postseason format can be viewed here. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 14, Springfield 6 Box Score The Wind Surge put up yet another football-like score on Thursday night, defeating Springfield by a score of 14-6. The Surge put up a total of 21 hits, including a four-hit night from BJ Boyd and three-hit evenings for Spencer Steer, Andrew Bechtold, and DJ Burt. Bechtold and Leobaldo Cabrera each launched homers for Wichita and Bechtold knocked his 20th double of the season. Starting pitcher Austin Schulffer (W, 4-7) was solid, going five innings and striking out five while giving up four runs on seven hits. The Wichita bullpen was even more stellar on the night. Alex Phillips, Zach Neff, and Adam Lau combined for three innings of two-run ball while striking out five. Playoff Watch Tonight's win puts Wichita atop the Double-A Central league! The Surge are 54-39, 0.5 games above Frisco (Texas). The top two teams in the Double-A Central League will compete in a five-game series for the league title. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Wisconsin 8 Box Score Down 8-4 going into the sixth inning, it looked like Cedar Rapids' winning streak would end at three games. Think again. After a three-run sixth inning, Edouard Julien, Wander Javier, and Yunior Severino tag-teamed for a two-run ninth to walk the Kernels off in their largest comeback of the season. Julien led off the inning with a single and stole second on a 2-2 count with Severino at the plate. His aggressive baserunning paid off. Severino lined the next pitch over the left fielder's head, advancing all the way to third and scoring Julien. The Iowa magic was capped off when Javier lined a single to right to score pinch-runner Daniel Ozoria for the winning run. "Baseball's unlike any other sport in the fact that their isn't a time clock," Skipper Brian Dinkleman said after his team's longest game of the season. "It was a true team win." In a battle that saw hits and runs throughout the course of the game, the Kernels saw different players step up at different times. The Kernels scored their first run in the first inning when Julien touched home on a fielder's choice from Wander Javier. Cedar Rapids would double their runs scored in the second inning. After a trio of walks, Julien punched a single to center to score Jeferson Morales and Michael Helman. Despite giving up eight runs in the first four innings, the Kernels continued to knock on the door. Yunior Severino worked some two-out magic in the fourth when he crushed a double to left that moved Julien to third. Julien scored two batters later, thanks to a single from Alex Isola. Trailing by four heading into the sixth, Cedar Rapids third basemen Seth Gray put the team on his back. After a single from Severino and a walk from Isola, Gray launched a three-run shot (9) to bring the Kernels within one. Cedar Rapids pitcher Tyler Watson pitched 2 2/3 innings, giving up six runs on eight hits while striking out two. Highly-touted reliever Derek Molina followed Watson on a night that wasn't his best. Molina lasted 2/3 of an inning, striking out one while giving up two earned runs. Osiris German and Denny Bentley came up next in the firing line of Kernels' pitchers. Both were magnificent, combining for 3 2/3 scoreless innings and striking out five. Playoff Watch Tonight's win puts the Kernels at 52-41, 9.5 games behind league leader Quad Cities (Kansas City). The victory placed Cedar Rapids a full two games ahead of third-place Lake County (Cleveland). For in-depth information on High-A playoff format, click here. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1: Fort Myers 6, Dunedin 2 Box Score Two things are inevitable in the state of Florida: Jimmy Buffett is king It rains. A lot. The second of those halted Wednesday’s game against the Blue Jays in the fourth inning, with the Mussels leading 1-0. That game was resumed prior to Thursday’s scheduled game against Dunedin. Needless to say, it was worth the wait for Fort Myers. After the Jays scored two in the bottom of the fourth to take the lead, Fort Myers roared back with five unanswered runs to win the multi-day game 6-2. Four Mighty Mussels had multi-hit games, including Misael Urbina, who knocked a sixth-inning solo shot to ignite the late-inning scoring spree. On Wednesday, Jesus Feliz hit his own solo homer in the second inning to put Fort Myers on the board. Willie Joe Garry Jr. and Kyler Fedko also had multi-hit games. Fedko’s first hit of the night game in the seventh inning. The 2021 12th round pick out of Uconn punched a 1-0 pitch to right field to score Will Holland from second, giving the Mussels a 3-2 lead. Fort Myers clung to a 3-2 lead going into the top of the ninth. Yet like a heavy downpour, the Mussels offense washed away any chances of a Dunedin victory with a three-run inning. After leading off with a walk, Patrick Winkel advanced to second courtesy of a Garry Jr. single. Fedko then laced a single that advanced Garry Jr. to second. Winkel attempted to score on the play but was gunned out at home. But with two outs and runners at first and third, Tennessee Volunteer alum Alerick Soularie punched a single to left that would score Garry Jr. and advance Fedko to third. Soularie and Fedko would both score thanks to a single from Aaron Sabato. The Fort Myers pitching staff was excellent throughout the game. Starting pitcher Aaron Rozek tossed three scoreless innings while striking out four on Wednesday night. When the game resumed on Thursday, Bradley Hanner went 2 ⅓ innings, giving up two runs on three hits while striking out one. The real gem of the night was Matt Mullenbach (W, 1-0), who locked things down in the final 3 ⅓ innings, giving up no runs on three hits while striking out five and walking none. Game Two: Dunedin 2, Fort Myers 0 (7 innings) Box Score After one of their best offensive performances of the year, Fort Myers was shut down in game two thanks to quality Dunedin pitching. The Mussels were no-hit in the shortened-game format and drew three walks on the night. Dunedin pitcher Trent Palmer (W, 2-2) pitched the entire game for the Blue Jays. Palmer, a native of Rochester, MN and graduate of Anoka High School was pleased yet humble following his incredible outing. "Sometimes you have bad stuff and get outs. Sometimes you have good stuff and get hit and thankfully tonight it was right at our position players who were amazing!" Palmer said to Seth Stohs of Twins Daily. The fact that the Minnesota native pitched a no hitter against a Twins affiliate made it even more special. "It was even better than I could have imagined considering I grew up going to Twins games at the Dome and Target Field all the time!" Palmer was stellar, but Fort Myers starter Casey Legumina was nothing short of excellent. Legumina (L, 2-2) pitched four innings of one-run ball, striking out seven and walking none. The Gonzaga alum pounded the zone all night, with 43 of his 66 pitches called for strikes. Reliever Juan Pichardo was also rock-solid on the night. Pichardo followed Legumina by throwing two innings of one-hit, one-run ball while striking out five. The only hit he surrendered was a sixth-inning triple. The Fort Myers staff didn't give up a walk in the game. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Rays 4, FCL Twins 3 Box Score Four innings of scoreless pitching from Giovahniey German wasn’t enough to push the FCL Twins past the rays on Thursday afternoon. The FCL Rays scored four runs in the fifth inning off of FCL Twins pitcher Danny Moreno to seal the deal in a tightly contested ball game. The Twins struck first with two runs in the third inning. Rubel Cespedes launched a homer (2) over the right-field fence to give the Twins a 1-0 lead. Kala’i Rosario would later punch an RBI single into the outfield to score Zander Wiel. And even though the team lost, the most exciting play of the day (and arguably the season) came in the eighth inning when Wiel touched all four bags on an inside-the-park home run. Wiel has been on a rehab assignment at the complex following a quad injury. Twins Daily co-owner Seth Stohs chatted with Zander over the offseason. Give it a watch! After Moreno’s rocky fifth inning, the Twins’ bullpen locked in. Juan Mendez and Elpidio Perez combined for three innings of scoreless baseball. Mendez struck out four batters in his two innings on the bump. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily is all about community. YOU choose who tonight's (8/19) Hitter and Pitcher of the Day are! PROSPECT SUMMARY Our most recent (post deadline and draft) prospect rankings are up! Check them out here. #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Injured List (ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Did not play #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 0-for-5 #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Game 1: 0-for-5, 3 K Game 2: Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (shoulder) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, RBI, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-1, K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Game 1: 2-for-4, HR, R, RBI, BB, K Game 2: 0-for-3, K #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Joe Ryan (4-3 3.63 ERA) Wichita @ Springfield (7:05PM CST) – RHP Cole Sands (2-1, 2.83 ERA) Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (0-1, 7.20 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (5:30PM CST) – RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 0.84 ERA)
  13. 30. RHP Marco Raya (19 years old) Season Stats: Yet to Debut Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NA, 2021 Preseason: NA Raya was the Twins’ fourth-round draft pick in 2020 out of United South High School in Laredo, Texas. His fastball can hit in the low- to mid-90s, and he mixes in three breaking pitches, including a slider, a curveball, and a change-up. At 6-feet tall and 170 pounds, he isn’t tall on the mound, but he is a good athlete, and the Twins are excited about the promise he shows for the future. Currently, he is on the IL with the FCL Twins. 29. LHP Jovani Moran (24 years old) Season Stats (AA/AAA): 50 IP (26 G), 1.98 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 15.3 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NA Moran has one of the best change-ups in the Twins system, and he has been able to use it to dominate the minor’s upper levels this season. Originally, he was taken by the Twins in the seventh round in 2015 out of Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. During July, he struck out nearly 50% of the batter he faced. Right-handed batters have been limited to a .352 OPS against him in 2021. With his success at Triple-A, he seems likely to make his big-league debut before the season's end. 28. LHP Steve Hajjar (21 years old) Season Stats (College): 81.2 IP (14 G), 3.09 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 12.1 K/9 3.2 BB/9 Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NA, 2021 Preseason: NA Hajjar was Minnesota’s second-round pick in this year’s draft from the University of Michigan. He signed for the full slot value of $1,129,700 but has yet to make his professional debut. At Michigan, he led the Big Ten with 110 strikeouts in 81 2/3 innings. He is 6-foot-5 and weighs 215 pounds, so he is quite the presence on the mound. Typically, his fastball sits in the low-90s, but he can reach the mid-90s with some movement. He mixes in a change-up and a curveball to keep batters off balance. 27. SS Wander Javier (22 years old) Season Stats (A+): 76 G, .219/.274/.409 (.683), 9 HR, 12 2B, 9 3B, 33.8 K%, 6.1 BB% Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 17, 2021 Preseason: NA Javier was initially signed by the Twins in July 2015, and his name has populated the team’s top prospect lists throughout that time. At one point, he was considered a top-100 prospect in baseball, but he hasn’t put it all together to the point where he has been left unprotected in the Rule 5 draft the past two years. He had a tremendous month of June with a .834 OPS, but he struck out 41 times in 112 plate appearances in July. Fans can hope he develops into a five-tool talent, but that dream might have passed at this point. 26. 2B Alerick Soularie (22 years old) Season Stats: Rehab Assignment Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 18, 2021 Preseason: 18 Soularie rolled his ankle during spring training and then broke his foot going down some stairs, which has kept him out of action until late last week. He was taken in the second round in 2020 out of the University of Tennessee and he is 22-years old. Soularie has started his rehab assignment by going 2-for-5 with a home run, two RBI, and two runs scored. He is considered one of the best athletes in the Twins system, and the organization has to be excited to have him back on the field. Check back this week for the rest of the Twins post-draft and post-trade deadline top-30 rankings. Feel free to discuss this group of prospects and ask questions.
  14. TRANSACTIONS There were no reported transactions today. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 10, Indianapolis 5 Box Score One of just three teams in the Triple-A Midwest Division with a winning record, the Saints looked to gain ground on Toledo (41-30) against Indianapolis on Wednesday night. After Indy put two on the board in the top of the first, the Saints responded with a run of their our in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Rob Refsnyder laced a double to right field to continue his red-hot rehab assignment. Ben Rortvedt followed suit with a single to left that scored Refsnyder to cut the lead to one. And while the run in the first got the party started, the main act took place in the third and fourth innings for St. Paul, racking up seven runs in the two innings. Sensational prospect Jose Miranda led off the third inning with his ninth home run on the season to knot the game at two. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Sherman Johnson knocked his fifth double of the year, plating all three runners to give the Saints a 5-2 lead. Miranda once again led the offensive forge in the fourth inning, knocking a double to left. After a Mark Contreras walk, Refsnyder crushed a homer over the right field wall to expand the St. Paul lead to 8-2. And while extra-base hits and the long ball dictated the Saints’ scoring early on, the club would add two more insurance runs in the seventh thanks to a pair of singles from Rortvedt and Jimmy Kerrigan. Miranda, Rortvedt, and Refsynder all tallied multi-hit games for the Saints. Miranda now has a .355 batting average, the highest on the team. The offensive at CHS Field was nothing short of spectacular for the Saints on Wednesday night. Yet many fans may wonder why starting pitcher Charlie Barnes only tossed one inning on the night. No, it’s not an injury or trade situation. It’s probable that the Twins will need Barnes’ arm later this week given the excess of pitchers the major league club has used in the past few days and the trade deadline. And while Barnes wasn’t amazing in his one inning, the Saints bullpen sure was. Yennier Cano (W, 1-1), Jovani Moran, Ian Hamilton, and Kyle Barraclough combined for eight innings of three run ball, giving up only three hits and striking out nine. Well done, gentlemen! The Saints’ second straight win puts them at 39-34 on the season. Unfortunately for St. Paul, Toledo also won on the evening, keeping the club three games above the Saints in the standings. Yet if there’s one thing for sure it’s that the Saints are starting to get hot when it matters. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 8, NW Arkansas 5 Box Score A night after scoring a season-high 18 runs the Wind Surge brought the bats to the Walmart-state once again on Wednesday night. Andrew Bechtold got the frenzy started in the second inning thanks to a leadoff double. BJ Boyd followed that up with his own double, scoring Bechtold from second. Aussie Aaron Whitefield decided to one-up Bechtold and Boyd with his fourth triple on the year, scoring Boyd. Whitefield scored on the next at-bat thanks to a failed pick-off move. Boyd continued his hot night with an RBI single in the third, scoring Spencer Steer from second to make it 4-0. After NW Arkansas gained a run back in the fourth, the Surge turned on the jets in the fifth for a four-run inning. Spencer Steer knocked a two-run homer to extend the lead to 6-1 and BJ Boyd followed up with a solo-shot of his own. Trey Cabbage finished off the strong inning by doubling in Aaron Whitefield to give Wichita an 8-1 lead. Starting pitcher Austin Schulfer was excellent through five innings, giving up only three hits and one run while striking out eight. Schulfer ran into trouble in the sixth, giving up back-to-back homers before striking out his final batter of the night. Schulfer has been an absolute workhorse for the Surge all season, leading his team with 16 total starts. After Schulfer left the game the Wichita bullpen sprung into action. Zach Neff, Jordan Gore, and Ryan Mason were electric, allowing zero runs in 3.2 innings while striking out six. Mason now has six saves on the year. Wichita’s win puts them at 43-31 on the year, a steady 3.5 games ahead of Arkansas for the lead in the Double-A Central North Division. The Surge are 7-3 in their last ten games and have a +46 run differential on the season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Wisconsin 6 (8) Box Score Three-hit performances from Wander Javier and Matt Wallner propelled the Kernels to a high-scoring win over Wisconsin on Wednesday night in a shortened game due to rain. Wallner continued his dominant return with a two-run homer and a double and Javier laced two singles and a triple to push the Kernels to a 42-32 record in the High-A Central West division. The Kernels got things going in the second inning thanks to a Jair Camargo double that scored Yunior Severino to put the Kernels on the board. And after Wisconsin plated three of their own runs in the third, Cedar Rapids responded with seven runs in the fifth and six innings. Michael Helman led off the fifth with a leadoff first-pitch triple to center field to get the rally started. Two batters later Edouard Julien launched a homer over the right-center field wall to tie the game at three. Seth Gray followed suit with a single and was later scored by Javier’s triple. The fifth inning was only a sneak peak to what the sixth inning would offer from the Kernels’ bats. After a Helman walk Max Smith smacked his fifth homer of the year to give Cedar Rapids an 8-5 lead. Matt Wallner would follow suit with his own two-run shot in the inning to add some insurance to the Kernels’ lead. Wednesday proved that the Cedar Rapids offense is firing on as good of cylinders as they have all year. Yet there were still moments of brightness on the pitching staff that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Starting pitcher Jon Olsen struck out four batters, and relievers Derek Molina and Osiris German struck out a combined seven on the night. 11 K’s on the night for a staff? Not bad. MUSSEL MATTERS Game Postponed Wednesday’s scheduled game at Clearwater was postponed due to rain and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Thursday. Game one will begin at 3:00 pm CST and game two will begin shortly after the completion of game one. Both games will be seven innings. COMPLEX CHRONICLES No Game The Florida Complex League Twins had an off day. However, multiple players have had standout seasons so far. Right fielder Ka’lai Rosario is off to a hot start, slashing .293/.333/.533 (.867) in 75 at-bats. The Hawaii native is among league leaders in a number of stats. He’s tied for fourth-most hits (22), is second in RBI (21), and leads the league with four triples. While he doesn’t have the at-bats of Rosario, first basemen Alexander Pena has been electric, slashing .426/.481/.532 (1.013) with 20 hits and five doubles. RHP Giovahniey German has been solid through his first four starts, going 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Opposing hitters have just a .219 AVG when facing German. Throw 'em the heater, Giovahniey! The GCL Twins return to action tomorrow afternoon, facing the FCL Pirates Black at noon. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day- Ryan Mason (Wichita)- (S, 6) 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, SO Hitter of the Day- BJ Boyd (Wichita)- 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, SO PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) –Did not play #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – Game postponed #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Did not play #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – Game postponed #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 3-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, SO, #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) –Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – Game postponed #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 3-for-5, RBI #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Indianapolis @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Matt Shoemaker (1-0, 2.77 ERA) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05PM CST) – LHP Bryan Sammons (2-3 6.29 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (7:05PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson ( 2-0. 1.87 ERA) Fort Myers @ Clearwater- Game One (3:00PM CST) – LHP Brent Headrick (3-4, 3.44 ERA) Game Two (makeup from July 28) - RHP Landon Leach (0-0, 2.25 ERA)
  15. Entering play on Saturday, Cedar Rapids shortstop Wander Javier has gone hitless in his past four games (0-for-13). However, over his previous 14 games, Javier had hit a cool .333/.379/.683 (1.062) with two doubles, two triples and five home runs. As important, the quality of the plate appearances has greatly improved. With the help of Kernels coach Jairo Rodriguez translating, Javier said that when the season started, he didn’t feel good about his swing. “It was slow,” stated Javier. However, he added, “Right now, I feel much better and more comfortable with my swing. I have worked hard in the cage and on the field. My swing feels better now, quicker.” Kernels manager Brian Dinkelman pointed out recently, “Wander’s at-bats have been getting better. Not chasing as much. Squaring balls up more and hitting the ball hard. He and Bryce (Berg, Kernels hitting coach) have been working hard in the cage on his approach and getting good pitches to hit. Hopefully he can build off these (recent games), and keep it going for himself.” Let’s go back in time. In 2015, Javier was a well-known prospect in the Dominican that many teams wanted to sign. The Twins signed a 16-year-old Wander Javier to a $4 million signing bonus. It was the largest in team history for an international signing, topping the $3.15 million bonus that Miguel Sano got in 2009. At that time, Javier was ranked among the Top 10 international prospects. So were Vlad Guerrero, Jr. (Toronto, $3.9 million), Christian Pache (Atlanta, $1.4 million) and Gilberto Celestino (Astros, $2.5 million). Also among the Top 30 were Juan Soto who signed for $1.5 million with the Nationals, and Fernando Tatis, Jr., who signed for $700,000 with the White Sox. Growing up, Javier noted that he began playing and working with several professional baseball players when he was 11, 12 years old. He said, “It was a good experience to practice with a lot of guys who play professional baseball.” At that time, Javier noted that he was a big fan of Derek Jeter, “but now I like Francisco Lindor. I think he plays very well.” With that type of signing bonus comes notoriety and attention, and with it, very high expectations for such a youngster. Javier made his pro debut in the Dominican Summer League in 2016 and hit .308/.400/.654 (1.054) in nine games. He had three doubles and two homers before an injury ended his season. In 2017, he came to the States and hit .299/.383/.471 (.855) with 13 doubles and four homers in 41 games at Elizabethton. Unfortunately, he missed the 2018 season due to a shoulder injury. It also cost him a couple of months at the start of the 2019 season. He then went to then-Low A Cedar Rapids where he hit just .177/.278/.323 (.601) with nine doubles and 11 homers in 80 games. If there was anyone who wanted or needed a 2020 season, it was Javier. Unfortunately, with the COVID pandemic, there was no season. However, he continued to work. Javier noted, “When the quarantine started, I just worked out at home in the Dominican for a couple of months. After that, I went to Santo Domingo and worked with a coach every day.” No one should question Javier’s work ethic. Occasionally he posts some video of his offseason workouts, and it is impressive. He has grown and gained strength. Javier admitted, “I worked a lot on offense because I didn’t have a good year in 2019. It was very important to be a better hitter this year.” When the 2021 minor league season began, Javier returned to Cedar Rapids. However, the Kernels are now the Twins High-A affiliate. He got off to a slow start. Through the season’s first 13 games, he was hitting just .143/.208/.224 (.432). In 29 games since then, he has hit .254/.304/.500 (.804) with six doubles, two triples and six homers. His manager said, “Confidence is part of it…. Once you start swinging well and have confidence in what you’re doing, stick to your plan and stay in the strike zone, he can do damage on a lot of pitches.” Javier says, “I try to hit line drives in the games every day, but I do have the ability to hit for power too. But I’m looking to hit more line drives.” His goals for the remainder of the season are to continue to make hard contact and reduce his swing-and-miss percentage. On defense, Javier has been quite good. Some have described his shortstop defense as “plus-plus.” Dinkelman says, “He’s solid out there at shortstop and makes the plays.” Javier noted, “When I started playing baseball, I played shortstop all the time. I continue to work every day there, and I feel good about it.” On Friday night in Cedar Rapids, Javier got a game off. The Kernels’ eight-game win streak came to an end, but he has enjoyed his time with this team. “Everybody plays together. Everybody is a good teammate in the clubhouse. Everybody’s working together every day. It’s very good because it helps us play better on the field.” 2021 is a big season for Wander Javier. At season’s end, he could become a minor league free agent if not added to the Twins 40-man roster. It seems as though Javier has been in the organization forever, but at the same time, he will not turn 23 until the end of December. The Twins haven’t given up on him, and neither should Twins fans. Dinkelman said, “He’s young, and he shows the skills that he has with the defense and with his bat. He’s been playing with a lot of confidence after a slow start the first couple of weeks. Now he’s playing well, playing better defense too. He’s only 22, it’s not old by any means in baseball. We continue to work with him and help him get better, and hopefully he can move up the ladder sometime this year and become the major-league baseball player that everybody’s hoping he will be.” Javier wants to join his good friends Juan Soto and Fernando Tatis, Jr., in the big leagues. “They certainly motivate me, but I need to continue to work hard every day because I want to play in the big leagues next year… or this year. Soon!” Wander Javier has found some confidence in his game. Now, he (and Twins fans) will have to continue to be patient.
  16. Two years ago, our 2019 Honorable Mentions included Luis Arraez who went on to be the team’s top rookie that season. It also included Jordan Balazovic who jumped into the top five the next season. In last year’s Honorable Mentions, you’ll find Jorge Alcala who had just been shifted from starting pitcher to a reliever. We saw his impressive rookie season in 2020. So which players who received votes this year will climb the prospect ladder in 2021 and maybe even contribute to the big league club this year? This year’s prospect rankings are difficult. Because of the pandemic, there wasn’t a 2020 minor league season. Some of the top prospects spent the summer at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. Some even made their MLB debuts. The minor leaguers did report to spring training, several had been there for weeks before being sent home. Some players went to Instructional League and there were some reports from there. Before we start, the following players are no longer “prospects” according to Baseball-Reference: Jorge Alcala, Randy Dobnak, Lewis Thorpe, Cody Stashak and Devin Smeltzer. HARD-THROWING PITCHERS The Twins’ player development group has done a nice job in recent years developing arms in the minor leagues. The next step will be seeing those pitchers work their way to the big leagues. There are some strong pitchers in the top 20, but there are a few impressive arms in our honorable mentions as well. Josh Winder was the talk of the Twins Instructional League after the missed 2020 season. He is a big, strong kid whose fastball jumped up to 97 mph this past fall. Chris Vallimont throws just as hard. He came to the Twins in the Sergio Romo trade late in 2019. Luis Rijo is the youngest of the group, and he too is reaching into the mid-to-upper 90s with his fastball. When the Twins acquired him from the Yankees in the Lance Lynn deal, he was touted as an advanced pitcher. He still has a good mix, but now with the increased velocity too. Dakota Chalmers came to the Twins in the Fernando Rodney deal with the A’s. He was coming off of Tommy John and completed his rehab in 2019. He was added to the 40 man roster and spent his 2020 summer at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul. ALREADY DEBUTED Travis Blankenhorn made his MLB debut in September with one game played. His role will likely be a versatile utility player with some power. We will likely see him some in 2021, but he will see most of his time in St. Paul. COMEBACK KIDS? Wander Javier was once a top ten, and even a top five prospect for many in the Twins system. Unfortunately, he has missed about three of the past five seasons due to injury and then last year’s lost season. He struggled at Cedar Rapids in 2019. Despite that, he is ultra-talented and just turned 22 years old in late December. Yunior Severino was set to return in 2020 after breaking his thumb early in the 2019 season. He was twice a seven-figure international free agent, and he will be just 21 throughout the 2021 season. He likely is a second baseman, but he has a lot of offensive potential. WE HARDLY KNOW YE Spencer Steer was the Twins 3rd round pick in 2019 out of the University of Oregon. He had an impressive pro debut that summer but didn’t get the opportunity to back that up in 2020. That year, the Twins also selected shortstop Will Holland in the fifth round. In 36 games at E-Town, he hit seven homers and stole eight bases. His college teammate at Auburn was Edouard Julien, an infielder that the Twins took in the 18th round. Unfortunately, he was hurt during the Pan Am Games and had Tommy John surgery and hasn’t yet made his pro debut. Seth Gray is a very talented third baseman that was the Twins fourth round pick in 2019. He’s got a lot of power potential. In the 2020 draft, the Twins took right-handed pitcher Marco Raya in the fourth round. He’s got an impressive pitch mix and can throw hard. He’ll need to gain strength, but he’s certainly got some potential to move up this list. Then in the fifth round, the team took outfielder Kala’i Rosario. The Hawaii native has as much power as any prep player in last year’s draft. Emmanuel Rodriguez signed a seven-digit bonus with the Twins in 2019. He was set to begin his professional career in the DSL in 2020, but instead we will begin in 2021. It was just last month that the Twins signed 16-year-old shortstop Danny De Andrade for $2.2 million. The Venezuelan was one of this year’s top international prospects. For each of these players, 2021 will be their first opportunity to make a real impression. Some may move up this list next year. Some may find themselves outside of this list. That is a lot of talent, and those are guys who rank outside of the Twins Daily Top 20 prospects. Check back over the next two weeks to see who our 2021 Top 20 Twins Prospects are.
  17. Current Shortstop: Jorge Polanco Polanco is signed thru the 2023 season when he would be age-29, but the team has a $10.5 million option for 2024 and a $12 million for 2025. After signing his extension, Polanco rewarded the Twins with a tremendous first half to the 2019 campaign as he hit .312/.368/.514 with 41 extra-base hits in 85 games. He’d be named as the starter for the AL All-Star team, but things have changed over the last calendar year. In the second half of 2019, his OPS dropped by nearly 100 points and there have been some defensive concerns throughout his professional career. The 2020 campaign didn’t go much better as he posted a career worst .658 OPS. In each of the last two offseason, Polanco has been forced to have surgery on his right ankle. So, what does this mean moving forward? 40-Man Options With Ehire Adrianza hitting free agency, there’s only one other 40-man option with significant shortstop experience. Nick Gordon was the team’s first round pick back in 2014 and he spent the 2019 season at Triple-A where he hit .298/.342/.459 in 70 games. Unfortunately, he spent much of the 2020 season trying to recover from a positive COVID-19 diagnosis. He was never able to report to the team’s alternate site camp in St. Paul. By the time he recovered, he spent the rest of the season recovering in Fort Myers. While Gordon has shortstop experience, the 2019 season was the first time he spent roughly half his defensive innings at second base. The lack of a minor league season and his battle with COVID-19 really hurt Gordon’s chances to make improvements in 2020. He already turned 25 and he has yet to make his big-league debut. On the Farm Options Outside of Gordon, there are other shortstop options in the minor leagues including some of the team’s top prospects. Lewis has been considered the organization’s top prospect and he spent the entire 2020 season at the team’s alternate site. He struggled through parts of 2019 at High- and Double-A before going to the Arizona Fall League and being named the league’s MVP. Questions have been raised about his long-term ability to stick at shortstop, but he still should be knocking on the door to the big leagues in 2021. Lin was picked up on a minor league deal at the beginning of December. He was a former top-20 prospect for the Red Sox before serving in a utility role over the last four seasons. For his career, he is a .223/.298/.316 with 13 extra-base hits in nearly 220 big-league plate appearances. He has also shown the ability to play nearly every defensive position. Javier and Holland have taken different routes to this point in their career. Javier signed for $4 million as an international free agent back in 2015, but he has been limited to 130 games as a professional. Holland was drafted out of Auburn University in 2019 after posting an .812 OPS over three collegiate seasons. Both have a chance to reach Double-A next season. Cavaco will be one of the more intriguing names to watch on this list since he was a first-round draft pick under the current front office regime. Coming into the draft, he was viewed a late riser, but the Twins liked the tools he possessed. Will the Twins bump him up to Low-A as a teenager? What do you think about the future of shortstop in Minnesota? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  18. Check back to this article through the morning for updates as the Rule 5 draft occurs. Minnesota’s current 40-man roster sits with 35 active players which includes 18 pitchers, four catchers, six infielders and seven outfielders. At the end of last month, the Twins added three players to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. These players were catcher Ben Rortvedt and right-handed pitchers Jordan Balazovic and Bailey Ober. Another player to consider is Fernando Romero who spent the entire season on the restricted list due to visa issues and he is not currently on the 40-man roster. With payrolls expected to decrease next year because of the pandemic, inexpensive talent will be at a premium, so we could see more Rule 5 Draft activity than usual this offseason. As you may know, it costs $100,000 to make a Rule 5 selection. Then that player must remain on the draft team's active roster all year or be offered back to the original team for $50,000. Trades can be worked out as well. Who are some members of the Twins organization that have a chance to be selected? Here’s a quick list: OF Akil Baddoo: Baddoo was the Twins second-round pick back in 2016 out of high school. He played all of 2019 as a 20-year old at Fort Myers, but he was limited to 29 games after undergoing Tommy John surgery. His power and speed could be a valuable asset, especially since he can play centerfield. Would a team be willing to use him as a back-up outfielder for the season? SS Wander Javier: Javier has been one of the team’s top prospects since he was signed, but he missed the entire 2018 season due to Tommy John surgery. The Twins left him unprotected last year and he went unclaimed. He has all the tools and that’s one of the reasons the Twins were high on him when he signed with the club. After another missed season, it seems unlikely for a team to claim him, but the talent is there. RHP Luis Rijo: Like Javier, Rijo was left unprotected last winter and he went unclaimed. Back in 2019, he pitched the entire season at Low-A where he posted a 2.86 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 107 innings as a starter. He has three pitches and can hit the mid-90s with his fastball, which could definitely be intriguing to a rebuilding club. Would a team be able to stash him in their bullpen for the year and help him develop? 3B Jose Miranda: Minnesota selected Miranda in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Since that time, he was worked his way through the system as he played nearly all of 2019 at High-A. He’s hit double-digit home runs in two of the last three seasons and he has topped 25 doubles for two consecutive years. His ability to play multiple defensive positions could allow a team to keep him on their bench in a utility role. Other Twins players that could potential be selected include: RHP Griffin Jax, 2B Yunior Severino, OF Gabriel Maciel, LHP Charlie Barnes, LHP Jovani Moran, RHP Tyler Wells, LHP Bryan Sammons, 1B/OF Trey Cabbage, 1B Zander Wiel. ----- Outfielder Akil Baddoo was selected with the third overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft. He will join the Tigers organization after missing nearly two full seasons of competitive play. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019, but he is expected to be healthy for 2021. Right-handed pitcher Tyler Wells was selected in the second round of the Rule 5 Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. Like Baddoo, Wells underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019. Before the injury, he had a 2.49 ERA and a 121 to 31 strikeout to walk ratio in 119 1/3 innings between High- and Double-A. Right-handed pitcher Ricky Ramirez was lost to the Orioles in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft. He was the team’s 15th round pick back in 2017. During the 2019 season, posted a 3.80 ERA with a 50 to 18 strikeout to walk ratio in 42 2/3 innings. He has never pitched higher than the Florida State League. Right-handed pitcher Joe Record was selected by the Astros in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. He only made 35 appearances in the Twins organization after being selected in the 28th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. Record, a hard thrower, had a 5.07 ERA and a 68 to 16 strikeout to walk ratio over 55 innings back in 2019. In the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, the Twins selected right-handed pitcher Jhonleider Salinas from the Tampa Bay organization. At 6-foot-7, the 25-year old Venezuelan can be an opposing presence on the mound. He split 2019 between High- and Double-A where he had a 3.27 ERA and a 68 to 33 strikeout to walk ratio in 66 innings. Minnesota also picked left-handed pitcher Josh Mitchell from the Royals organization in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. He was a 22nd round pick back in 2017 from the University of Pittsburgh. He pitched all of 2019 at High-A where he had a 3.30 ERA and a 47 to 13 strikeout to walk ratio in 43 2/3 innings. Outfielder Jacob Pearson was picked up by the Atlanta Braves from the Twins organization. Originally, Pearson came to the Twins from the Angles organization for international bonus pool money that was used for signing Shohei Ohtani. During the 2019 season, Pearson hit .233/.303/.338 with 30 extra-base hits in 117 games. Feel free to discuss the Rule 5 draft here as it happens or rumors before and after. The article will be updated after the MLB portion of the Rule 5 and after the Minor League portion of the Rule 5. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  19. Keoni Cavaco, SS Cavaco was the Twins first round draft pick in 2019 and he struggled in his first professional season. Over the course of 25 games, he hit .172/.217/.253 with five extra-base hits and 35 strikeouts. Entering the draft, he was seen as a player on the rise because of his toolset, but it’s hard to gauge a player after less than 92 professional plate appearances. The 2020 campaign would have allowed for Cavaco to repeat with the GCL Twins or take the jump up to Elizabethton. His age-19 season is going to be a wash so the Twins are going to have to hope he makes significant progress in the years ahead to live up to his status as a top-10 prospect in the Twins loaded farm system. Jordan Balazovic, RHP This was the year for Jordan Balazovic to make his mark and it could have provided him the opportunity to move all the way to the big-league level. Instead, he isn’t even included on the Twins current 60-man roster and he will be left wondering what could have been in 2020. For those that don’t know, Balazovic is widely considered the Twins best pitching prospect and Baseball America and MLB.com included him in their top-100 prospects entering the 2020 season. Last season, Balazovic dominated with most of his starts coming at Fort Myers where he was nearly three years younger than the average age of the competition. He struck out 12.4 batters per nine innings and his WHIP was an unheard of 0.98 over 93 2/3 innings. The 2020 season could have catapulted him into the upper echelon of pitching prospects and that might have put him on track to be a September call-up. Wander Javier, SS/2B Javier had 50 professional games under his belt entering last season and there was little he did to improve his stock in 2019. As a 20-year old at Cedar Rapids, he hit .177/.278/.323 with 11 home runs and nine doubles in 80 games. It was his first season at a full-season affiliate, and he was coming off a 2018 campaign that saw him miss the entire year due to shoulder surgery. If there was any prospect that needed to show his potential in 2020, it was certainly Javier. Even with all his struggles, he is still considered one of the Twins top prospects because of the tools he showed as an amateur. He’s only played 110 games during his professional career and that has amounted to fewer than 500 at-bats. Minnesota left him off their 60-man roster and maybe this will be motivation for him to comeback and be an even stronger player in 2021. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  20. 15. Edwar Colina, RHP 2019 MiLB Stats (A+, AA, AAA): 8-2, 2.96 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 102 K, 32 BB, 97.1 IP Colina signed with the Twins back in 2015 and he has been slowly working his way through the Twins system. He really hit his stride over the last two seasons as he started to compete in full season leagues. In the 2018 campaign, he posted a 2.63 ERA and a 106 to 53 strikeout to walk ratio at Low- and High-A. Last season, he played at three different levels and his time at High- and Double-A was outstanding. He only allowed 23 earned runs in nearly 93 innings (2.23 ERA) and he struck out more than a batter per inning. On the mound, Colina is stocky and his fastball can give hitters nightmares. He’s been clocked at over 100 mph, but he typically sits in the mid- to high-90s. His best secondary pitch is his change-up, but he is going to need to continue to improve his breaking pitches as he moves through the higher levels of the minors. 14. Wander Javier, SS 2019 MiLB Stats (A): .177/.278/.323, 11 HR, 9 2B, 116 K, 35 BB, 80 G Back in 2015, Javier was widely considered one of the best prospects in the international class and the Twins signed him for $4 million. Unfortunately, injures have cost Javier parts of multiple professional seasons. He was limited to eight games during his pro-debut because of a hamstring injury. Then in 2018, he suffered a shoulder injury and missed the entire season. Even with the injuries, he has all the tools to be considered one of the team’s top prospects. Javier was back on the field in 2019 after missing all of 2018 with a shoulder injury. It was his first taste of a full-season league and things didn’t exactly go perfectly. He struck out over 27% of the time but there were some bright spots amid a rough season. From July 15 to the end of the season, Javier compiled a .428 SLG and a .738 OPS. Nine of his 11 home runs and seven of his nine doubles were during this stretch. 13. Matt Canterino, RHP 2019 MiLB Stats (RK, A): 1-1, 1.44 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 31 K, 8 BB, 25.0 IP The Twins took Canterino in the second-round last season after a strong junior season at Rice University. He was a three-year starter at the school, and he pitched 94 innings or more in every season. In his final collegiate season, he posted a 2.81 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and a 121 to 23 strikeout to walk ratio. Throughout his collegiate career, he controlled the strike zone by allowing less than 3 walks per nine innings and striking out nearly 11 batters per nine. Because of his college workload, Canterino saw limited action after signing with the Twins as he made seven regular season starts and one postseason start. His college experience really showed up as he struck out over 11 batters per nine innings. It would have been exciting to see what he could have done in a full minor league season, but that will have to wait until 2021. 12. Brent Rooker, OF/1B 2019 MiLB Stats (AAA): .282/.399/.530, 14 HR, 16 2B, 36 BB, 95 K, 67 G Rooker was the 35th overall pick back in 2017, the first draft under the new Twins front office regime. In three collegiate seasons, Rooker destroyed baseballs by hitting .344/.428/.660. Yes, that is a 1.088 OPS over three seasons and he posted a 1.306 OPS during his final season. The Twins were hoping for more of the same from Rooker as he started his professional career. He didn’t disappoint during his first taste of pro-ball as he posted a .930 OPS with Elizabethton and Fort Myers. This included 29 extra-base hits in 62 games. He spent all of 2018 at Double-A and hit .254/.333/.465 with 32 doubles and 22 home runs in 130 games. He missed some time in 2019 with a wrist injury but he was still able to post some strong offensive numbers. If there is a 2020 season, there is a chance Rooker makes his debut. 11. Blayne Enlow, RHP 2019 MiLB Stats (A, A+): 8-7, 3.82 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 95 K, 38 BB, 110.2 IP Like Rooker, Enlow was part of the strong draft class back in 2017. The Louisiana native had committed to play at LSU, but the Twins were able to sign him after taking him in the third round. During his professional debut, he made six appearances with the GCL Twins and posted a 1.33 ERA with 19 strikeouts and 4 walks in 20.1 innings. During the 2018 season in Cedar Rapids, he was almost three years younger than the average age of the competition. He compiled a 3.26 ERA with a 1.37 WHIP. He started 2019 back in Cedar Rapids and saw some struggles as he allowed 21 earned runs in 41.1 innings. There were some positive signs as he struck out 9.6 batters per nine innings. The Twins were aggressive with him and promoted him to Fort Myers where he had a 3.38 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP with a 51 to 23 strikeout to walk ratio. If Enlow had gone to college, he’d still be pitching for LSU, so he has time to develop into the pitcher many thought he could be. Stop back in the coming days to see who completes the top-20 list. PREVIOUS TOP-20 POSTS — Prospects 16-20 MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  21. If you missed the first round rounds, you can view them here. A brief primer: We're taking 16 players with "prospect" or "rookie" status. Positions on each team included: Catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, three outfielders, a bench player/hitter, three starting pitchers, three relief pitchers, and an extra pitcher. (Please note that comments under the picks were made by the person making the selection.) Round 5 Seth Stohs - Luis Rijo RH SP When the Twins acquired Rijo in July 2018, he had put up solid numbers and was known for his pitch ability. Then last summer in Cedar Rapids, he was pumping 96! I like that upside. Steve Lein - Akil Baddoo OF Though an injury cut short his 2019 season, Baddoo is an outfielder who can play center, gets on base, and was starting to show some pop. Ted Schwerzler - Griffin Jax RHP Jax isn’t going to be an ace, but he’s more than capable of being a safe and trustworthy arm. He’s performed at every level, and despite some hurdles in getting his baseball career to remain consistent, he’s been as reliable as it gets. Cody Christie - Wander Javier, SS Might as well complete my up-the-middle trifecta. Javier is coming off a rough transition to a full-season league, but he has too many tools not to be able to find success. Injuries have limited his time on the field, but more time and experience will showcase his full potential. Jeremy Nygaard - Will Holland, SS Holland struck out way too much in his pro debut, which came on the heels of a not-so-great junior season at Auburn. But his first two years there, plus a really good Cape performance in 2018, has me believing in both the power and the speed (16 home runs and 23 stolen bases in 2019 between Auburn and Elizabethton). If he can stick at shortstop, that’s just icing on the cake if he realizes his potential with the bat. Matt Braun - Gabriel Maciel, OF Outfielders kind of flew off the board quicker than I anticipated so I’m glad that I was able to snap Maciel. He could be the stereotypical leadoff hitter in the mold of Denard Span who sets the table for guys in the middle of the lineup. Round 6 Matt Braun - Yunior Severino, 2B Severino is a very interesting prospect in his own right. He was snatched up by the Twins after the Braves were busted for shady international practices and he has held his own in the lower level of the minors so far. He brings good upside in raw power that isn’t seen often in middle infielders and is one of the only switch-hitters in the entire system. Jeremy Nygaard - Zander Wiel, 1B/OF I’m not positive that Holland bats higher than sixth… but I know Wiel will bat third or fourth. I finally have my run-producing masher, who I assume will be my primary first baseman, though he does have some experience in the outfield. Cody Christie - Spencer Steer, 3B College experience, check. Power bat, check. Steer can help solidify the left side of the infield with Wander Javier playing up the middle. He will be a leader in the clubhouse and on the field. (Get to Know Spencer Steer here.) Ted Schwerzler - Trey Cabbage 1B The FSL wasn’t all that kind in Cabbage’s debut season there, but the 2015 4th round pick game into his power. He’s now 23 and will need to step up quickly, but he’s got the chops to play an athletic first base and drive the ball out of the yard. Steve Lein - Seth Gray 3B After being drafted in the 4th round last year Gray had a tale of two halves in his first season as a professional. In the months of June and July he hit a combined .201/.314/.373 in 134 at-bats with Elizabethton. Then he turned it on in August and September with a .270/.368/.520 line in his last 100 at-bats, including a promotion to Cedar Rapids for his final four games. Gray possesses a good amount of raw power, so I’m looking for that out of him in my lineup. Seth Stohs - Bailey Ober, RH SP I mean, just look at the numbers. The lanky right-hander pitched in 14 games last year and went 8-0 with a 0.69 ERA. In 78 2/3 innings, he struck out 100 batters and walked nine. He may not throw hard, but he’s doing something right. He knows himself as a pitcher and continued to learn throughout the 2019 season. Round 7 Seth Stohs - Sean Poppen, RH RP He’s mostly been a starter since the Twins drafted him out of Harvard. He’s had a little bit of big league time now out of the bullpen. As noted this offseason, I am a big believer in his upside as a reliever. He throws 97 and gets a ton of movement on his fastball and slider. Steve Lein - Josh Winder SP I’ll finish my rotation with Winder. He threw a ton of innings with the Kernels in 2019 and led the Midwest League with a 2.65 ERA and 0.98 WHIP. He can hit mid-90’s with his fastball and has a full repertoire of secondary offerings, with a few breaking balls showing promise. Ted Schwerzler - Cody Stashak RH RP The MLB debut in 2019 was about as good as it gets. In 25 innings Stashak mowed down opposing hitters and did so while limiting walks in an extremely impressive way. Relievers only have so much value, but I’m stoked to get him here. Cody Christie - Jorge Alcala RH SP I’m going with my best available player here and he happens to fill a need on my roster. Alcala struggled through parts of 2019, but his high ERA might not tell the full story. He has a fastball that can hit in the high 90s and a slider that helps him strikeout batters. If he doesn’t work in the rotation, he could be a tremendous bullpen option with his top two pitch options. Jeremy Nygaard - Chris Vallimont RHSP I thought hard about taking a pitcher instead of Wiel, but there were quite a few I liked and thought I’d get two of them (here and my next picks). I didn’t anticipate Seth kicking off a five-straight-pitchers run. All the pitchers that I considered here are gone, but I’m going to take the next pitcher on my list. Vallimont throws gas, is a little under the radar, and completes my rotation nicely. Matt Braun - Bryan Sammons, LHSP Jeremy taking Vallimont threw me into a fit of words that will not be repeated but I eventually got my bearings back and took Sammons. The walks were a bit high for him at AA this year but he brings great strikeout potential from the left side and rounds out my rotation quite nicely. Round 8 Matt Braun - Willie Joe Garry Jr., OF Garry Jr. and Maciel might make one of the most athletic outfields you can field using Twins minor leaguers. Garry Jr. is very young with a lot of development left but has as much upside as anyone else in the system. Hopefully people stop taking my guys as this continues. Jeremy Nygaard - Emmanuel Rodriguez OF The top “prospect” left on my list and also, having just turned 17, the youngest. Rodriguez will fit into a defensively-strong outfield, playing right field. He’ll also fit into the bottom third of the lineup where he can put his strong hitting skills on display, without pressure. Cody Christie - Tyler Wells, RH SP Wells was due back from Tommy John surgery in 2020 but his last action in 2018 saw him put up some strong numbers at High- and Double-A. He rounds out my rotation nicely and could wind up being one of my best pitchers if he can get back to where he was before surgery. Ted Schwerzler - Edouard Julien 3B Minnesota went with a pair of Auburn Tigers infielders in the 2019 draft. Julien initially decided to go back to school until the Twins convinced him otherwise. He had a bit of a down Sophomore year, but there’s plenty of pop in his bat and he’s got a chance to be a solid contributor on the diamond. Steve Lein - Mark Contreras OF Contreras had a rough season at the plate in 2019 overall, but I'm adding him for a different reason here: his elite defense. He won an MiLB gold glove award for his work in the outfield at all three spots. Seth Stohs - Derek Molina, RH RP Molina is a great athlete, and now that he is a full-time pitcher, he’s taking off. The right-hander split 2019 between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers and had 61 strikeouts and just 11 walks over 41 innings of work. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  22. Find more on these five Minnesota Twins prospects and much more in the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. It’s available in paperback and as an ebook. 15. Matt Canterino, RHP Age: 22 (DOB: 12/14/1997) 2019 Stats (Rookie/A): 25 IP, 1.44 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 11.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 ETA: 2021 2019 Ranking: NR Of the many things this rebuilt front office has done well, drafting ranks near the top. And while it's early, the returns thus far on their third pick from last summer have been exceedingly good. After an outstanding collegiate career at Rice University (alma mater of current Twins reliever Tyler Duffey), Canterino went to Minnesota in the second round, with the 54th overall pick. He quickly got to work against pro hitters, posting the marks you see above against overwhelmed – and generally younger – competition. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1223263416631980033 The right-hander was as dominant as can be in his first minor-league stint, which was kept in check at 25 innings after he totaled nearly 100 during the college season. Such a small sample is hardly decisive, but we can at least lean positive on his pre-draft scouting reports; per Baseball America, he was "one of the funkier pitchers in this year’s draft class," and also "one of the better high-floor options among the college arms." So far, so good. https://twitter.com/BaseballAmerica/status/1135752137886130176 14. Matt Wallner, OF Age: 22 (DOB: 12/12/97) 2018 Stats (Rookie/A): 291 PA, .258/.357/.452, 8 HR, 34 RBI ETA: 2022 2019 Ranking: NR Did I mention the Twins have drafted well lately? Wallner's contiguity to Canterino doesn't stop with landing next to him in these rankings; they were born two days apart, and drafted within 15 picks of one another last June, both out of southern colleges in the same conference. But unlike the Texas-native Canterino, Wallner is a local product, born and raised in Forest Lake. As a high schooler he was anointed Minnesota's Mr. Baseball in 2016. https://twitter.com/TwinsPics/status/1135747586290311169? After passing up the Twins as a 32nd-round pick that year, opting instead for Southern Miss, Wallner straight-up raked over three years in Conference USA. He amassed a .337/.461/.652 slash line over 189 games, earning his way up to the 39th overall pick in 2019. And unlike Canterino, Wallner wasn't held back by the constraints of a pitching workload post-draft. He got in a healthy 291 plate appearances as a pro at age 21. The results weren't necessarily amazing, but they're almost eerily similar to those Alex Kirilloff put up in his own Elizabethton debut, as a first-round pick in 2016. I think we all recall what followed in the (delayed) encore. 13. Wander Javier, SS Age: 21 (DOB: 12/29/98) 2019 Stats (A): 342 PA .177/.278/.323, 11 HR, 37 RBI ETA: 2023 2019 Ranking: 5 There's no positive spin to be placed on Javier's 2019 season. After losing his entire 2018 to shoulder surgery, the highly touted shortstop returned with a thud, posting a .601 OPS in Low-A ball while striking out at a hideous 34% rate. Most distressingly, there was no real showing of improvement throughout of the year – he was bad at the start, bad in the middle, bad at the end. He was such a complete void the plate that his somewhat refined work in the field barely registered. But Javier did not rank fifth on this list a year ago, even coming off a lost season, for no reason. His $4 million signing bonus from the Twins in 2015 remains the largest they've ever doled out for an international prospect. His performance as a teenager in 2017 and 2018 reinforced the investment. And for all he's been through, Javier is still only 21 – almost exactly a year younger than Wallner, who has followed such a very different path. Javier is still a young and raw player, whose immense talents and abilities are not negated by one undeniably futile season at age 20 in the unfamiliar American Midwest. Patience is warranted and luckily the Twins can afford it. 12. Gilberto Celestino, OF Age: 20 (DOB: 2/13/99) 2019 Stats (A/A+): 536 PA, 277/.349/.410, 10 HR, 54 RBI ETA: 2022 2019 Ranking: 16 Celestino came at a cost. The Twins also received a hard-throwing, volatile reliever named Jorge Alcala when they sent Ryan Pressly to the Astros in 2018, but there was always a sense Celestino was the centerpiece. Minnesota's front office clearly saw something in the teenage center fielder out of the Dominican Republic. Good on 'em. In the 2015 international signing period, Celestino was ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 11 talent, exactly one spot ahead of fellow Dominican Wander Javier. (The kismet in this section of the rankings is something, ain't it?) He signed with Houston for $2.5 million, and was coming along nicely when the Twins plucked him away at the trade deadline. His 2019 campaign got off to a brutal start, as Celestino hit .219/.299/.290 through the end of May at Cedar Rapids. Then, as summer set in, he took flight. From June 1st onward, the 20-year-old slashed .313/.380/.485, including a successful closing stint at High-A. With excellent plate discipline, he produced consistently, doing so as an athletic and rangy center fielder. The Twins might just have a gem on their hands here. Also he once did this, which was awesome: https://twitter.com/WBSC/status/1055987197814308864 11. Lewis Thorpe, LHP Age: 24 (DOB: 11/23/95) 2019 Stats (AA/AAA): 129.2 IP, 3.54 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 10.9 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 ETA: 2020 2018 Ranking: 8 Here's the way prospect analysis and the minor leagues almost inevitably tend to work: Uber-talented young ballplayers garner heavy praise and underground notoriety by dominating the lower tiers of the profession. Then, as they rise and the competition elevates, reality sets in. Their numbers come down to Earth. Their rankings slide. For example, it isn't like Nick Gordon's failures last year caused him to fall from No. 11 in 2019 to outside the top 20 in this year's rankings – he had a fine season at Triple-A – but the limitations of his skill set became clearer than ever at the highest level. And at age 24, the upside is getting harder to see. The same cannot be said for Thorpe. No, his surface numbers at Triple-A were not spectacular, much less his 6.18 ERA in a brief big-league run. But he was also a 23-year-old whose early development was derailed by health issues, and amidst the unspectacular results, his proclivity for missing bats was relentless. In 450 innings between the minors and majors, Thorpe has compiled 542 strikeouts, equating to a 10.8 K/9 rate, and he's done so while generally staying in the strike zone and keeping the ball in the park. That's the right recipe. A critical year lies ahead of him, standing at the front of the line for opportunities to impact a championship-caliber team. Twins Daily 2020 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Jose Miranda, 3B/2B 19. Cole Sands, RHP 18. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/LF 17. Misael Urbina, OF 16. Edwar Colina, RP 15. Matt Canterino, RHP 14. Matt Wallner, OF 13. Wander Javier, SS 12. Gilberto Celestino, OF 11. Lewis Thorpe, LHP Stop by tomorrow for prospect #10! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  23. Admittedly, so much can and will happen between now and November. There will be spring training, a 162-game regular season and a 140-game minor-season. There will likely be trades. The 26-man active roster will be enacted for the first time. There will be injuries. There will be breakouts. And there will be players who struggle adjusting as they move up the ladder. So primarily this is a fun exercise, an opportunity for you to read and see listed the players who need to be added. However, every year we also try to consider if there will be a logjam on the 40-man roster, and maybe some players who will be eligible could be considered as trade candidates. So, here is a quick reminder of what players will be eligible for the 2020 Rule 5 draft if not protected on the 40-man roster. Here is this year’s criteria: Players who signed when they were 18 or younger in 2016 (during the minor league season). Players who signed when they were 19 or older in 2017. Players who were eligible in previous seasons are also eligible again. Players drafted or signed during the 2014 season became free agents after the World Series was complete. But back to the players needing to be added or risk losing to the Rule 5 draft,.. In 10 months. I’ll break them into a few categories. The Givens are players that I think have to be added or there is a high likelihood that they will be selected by another team. The next category will be Possibly. I think there is a chance these guys could be added depending upon how many players the team chooses to add. Because we are so far out, I chose to add more names, so I included some that may be On the Bubble at this point. And then of course I jotted down the other players that are eligible. The final group is comprised of the players will be free agents at the conclusion of the World Series unless added before then. The Givens If I had written this article one year ago, I certainly would have had Wander Javier in the Givens category. Injuries can certainly alter perspective. The numbers game, mid-season acquisitions and other players stepping up can also be a factor. In addition, some of these guys could get called up before the season ends and won’t be on the list. OF Alex Kirilloff - 1st round pick in 2016 from high school in Pennsylvania. Top prospects are going to get protected. They won’t be non-tendered. Kirilloff won’t be non-tendered. In fact, there is a decent chance he gets called up during the season. RHP Jordan Balazovic - 5th round pick in 2016 from secondary school in Ontario. A Top 100 prospect coming into the 2020 season. Should spent most of 2020 in Pensacola. OF/1B Brent Rooker - Competitive Balance A pick in 2017 from Mississippi State. Likely to be called up in-season, but if not, he is likely to be added. RHP Edwar Colina - Signed from Venezuela in late September 2015. Colina wasn’t a big prospect when he was signed, now he’s hitting triple-digits and has the pitches to potentially be a starter. Possibles SS Wander Javier - Left off the 40-man roster this offseason, he went unclaimed. Still immensely talented and could break out at any time. Again, by season’s end, he’s a candidate for the Givens section. C Ben Rortvedt - 2nd round pick in 2016 from Wisconsin. He has moved up the system pretty quickly and spent half of the season at Pensacola before a knee injury. Terrific defensively and very strong. 3B Jose Miranda - The 73rd overall pick in 2016 draft from Puerto Rico, Miranda has hit some and displays a lot of power potential. Has played some second base but profiles to third base. OF Akil Baddoo - The 74th overall pick in the 2016 draft out of high school in Georgia. Missed most of 2019 season with Tommy John surgery, but is a great athlete who has a good approach at the plate and a great power-speed combination. RHP Bailey Ober - Twins 12th round pick in 2017 out of the College of Charleston, he has put up fantastic numbers when he has been on the mound. If healthy, he’s got a chance. RHP Griffin Jax - Jax was also left unprotected and went unclaimed this year. He’s already had success in AA and could be MLB ready sometime in 2020. RHP Luis Rijo - 21-year-old from Venezuela posted a 2.86 ERA in 107 innings in Cedar Rapids in 2019 but still went unclaimed in the Rule 5. LHP Jovani Moran - The lefty dominated the lower levels of the minors, but injuries cost him time in 2019. But, he’s young, left-handed and has a couple of plus-pitches. Definitely could contribute in 2021, if not 2020. RHP Tyler Wells - Wells may have been an easy add in 2019 if he hadn’t missed the season due to Tommy John surgery. He’ll rehab most of the year which means he’ll be closer to his return. Can he get back to his 2018 performance level? -------------------- To learn more about all of these prospects, and about 150 more, purchase your copy(ies) of the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook. From Melvi Acosta to Malique Ziegler and everyone in between, learn about their backgrounds, their 2019 seasons, their scouting reports and a forecast for 2020. Available in paperback ($17.99) and as a PDF ebook ($12.99). 145 pages of Twins prospect content. And hey, if you want the previous 11 Twins Prospect Handbooks, you can get them too. -------------------- On the Bubble OF Gabriel Maciel - Signed with the Diamondbacks in June 2016 from Brazil. Came to the Twins in the Eduardo Escobar trade in July 2018. Not a big guy, but he hits a lot of line drives, runs really well and plays good outfield defense. LHP Bryan Sammons - The Twins 8th round pick in 2017 from Western Carolina, he dominated at Ft. Myers before spending the final four months of the season in Pensacola. Left-handed, he has four quality pitches. 2B Yunior Severino - Enough of an international prospect that he received two nine-figure signing bonuses. He had a solid season in E-Town in 2018. Unfortunately fractured his thumb early in the 2019 season. Could break out in 2020 if he stays in the lineup. LHP Lachlan Wells - Wells was well on track to be added a couple of years ago but Tommy John surgery cost him some development time. He missed the 2018 season and returned in the second half of 2019. Can he return to form in his first full season back? LHP Charlie Barnes - 4th round pick in 2017 from Clemson. He lefty pitched at three levels in 2019 (8 starts in Ft. Myers, 13 starts in Pensacola, 4 starts in Rochester). RHP Tom Hackimer - Twins 4th round pick in 2015 from St. Johns, the side-winder had surgery after the AFL in 2018. He pitched briefly for the Miracle before finishing the season in Pensacola. 1B/OF Trey Cabbage - 4th round pick in 2015 from high school in Tennessee. Broke out early in Cedar Rapids in 2019 and showed some of his immense power potential in 2019. If he takes another step, he could be added. 1B Zander Wiel - Twins 12th round pick in 2015 from Vanderbilt. Wiel wasn’t added or selected after his 2019 season in Rochester in which he hit 40 doubles and 24 home runs. He should get a shot in 2020 during that season. Others in their first year of eligibility: Tyler Benninghoff, Matt Jones, Kidany Salva, Jared Akins, David Banuelos, Andrew Bechtold, Mark Contreras, Ernie De La Trinidad, Calvin Faucher, Jordan Gore, Derek Molina, Ricky Ramirez, Joe Record, Petru Balan, Yeremi De La Cruz, Jesus Feliz, Osiris German, Taylor Grzelakowski, Jimmy Kerrigan, Fernando Martinez, Michael Montero, Junior Navas, Daniel Ozoria, Ruben Santana, Jesus Toledo, Frandy Torres, Janigson Villalobos. Others returning to Rule 5 eligibility after 2020. Melvi Acosta, Adam Bray, Joe Cronin, Miguel De Jesus, Yeltsin Encarnacion, Zach Featherstone, Moises Gomez, Caleb Hamilton, Hector Lujan, Ryan Mason, Alex Robinson, Alex Schick, Carlos Suniaga, Tyler Watson, Aaron Whitefield, Malique Ziegler. These players will become free agents at the conclusion of the 2020 World Series unless added to the 40-man roster. Sam Clay, Andro Cutura, Randy LeBlanc, Jose Martinez, Jake Reed. Again, this is mostly an exercise in looking ahead, information for you to consider throughout the 2020 season. It’s also something where, as the Twins talk trades and potentially see a 40-man roster crunch next offseason, maybe this information comes into play. And frankly, it will just be kind of fun to see which of these players move up or down the list and how this list looks different in November. ---------------------------------------------------------- To learn more about all of these prospects, and about 150 more, purchase your copy(ies) of the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook. From Melvi Acosta to Malique Ziegler and everyone in between, learn about their backgrounds, their 2019 seasons, their scouting reports and a forecast for 2020. Available in paperback ($17.99) and as a PDF ebook ($12.99). 145 pages of Twins prospect content. And hey, if you want the previous 11 Twins Prospect Handbooks, you can get them too.
  24. Here are four prospects to watch in 2021 for different reasons. One player could be a contributor in 2020, one was a rising prospect this season, one prospect saw his stock decline, and another has a chance to be jump on the radar next year. 2020 Contributor: Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B Late in spring training, he suffered what was called a minor wrist injury and it would keep him out of action until May and then he missed more time in June. He was limited to 94 games and saw his OPS drop to .756 as he had for 29 extra-base hits. As the season progressed, he showed signs of the player he was in 2018. During the month of August, he hit .311/.351/.500 (.851) with five home runs and five doubles. The five home runs were more than double the total he had in any other month of the season. Minnesota’s starting first baseman from last season, C.J. Cron, was non-tendered earlier this off-season and this could be an opportunity for Kirilloff to take over at first base. The Twins drafted Kirilloff as a corner outfielder, but he played over 300 innings at first base last season. He was charged with five errors in 266 chances for a .981 fielding percentage. While Minnesota might give Kirilloff a long look in spring training, it seems more likely for the club to use another internal option at first base like Miguel Sano, Mitch Garver and/or Marwin Gonzalez. Riser: Jhoan Duran, RHP Duran pitched most of 2019 at High-A and he was able to make seven Double-A starts where he was, on average, over three years younger than the competition. The 2020 season will be important for Duran to prove he can be a long-term starter as some are starting to look to him as a relief pitching option. His delivery can be inconsistent, but he threw strikes on 64.7% of his pitches. Even with these concerns, he struck out more than 10 batters per nine innings for the second straight season. He was added to the Twins 40-man roster this off-season so there is a chance he could make his debut in 2020. Faller: Wander Javier, SS Javier originally signed with the Twins back in 2015 for $4 million and he has been slowly working his way through the Twins system. He spent 2016 in the Dominican Summer League and jumped to Elizabethton in 2017. He underwent Tommy John surgery and missed all the 2018 season. Last year he played the entire year at Cedar Rapids and hit .177/.278/.323 (.601) with 21 extra-base hits. Minnesota left him off their 40-man roster and exposed him to the Rule 5 Draft. He wasn’t selected and this means he will stay in the organization. Now, he will have plenty to prove next season and he still has plenty of promise. One to watch: Misael Urbina, CF Urbina signed with the Twins during the international signing period back in 2018. He made his professional debut in the Dominican Summer League and hit .279/.382/.443 (.825) in 50 games. He has great speed and was able to show that with five triples and 19 stolen bases last season. On the defensive side, he uses his speed to be a good to be a strong defender in center field and he continues to improve with his arm. It will be interesting to see how aggressive the Twins are with Urbina. Will they move him to Elizabethton like they did with Javier? What prospects will you be keeping an eye on this coming season? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  25. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS None KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Clinton 6 Box Score The Cedar Rapids Kernels season ended one win shy of participating in the Midwest League championship series. Congratulations to first-year manager Brian Dinkelman and his coaching staff. Brian Dinkelman sent RHP Tyler Palm to the mound to start, it was all hands on deck for the Kernels in the win or go home game. Unfortunately, Palm didn’t get through the first inning. He got two outs, but he was removed having given up three runs on three hits and a walk. Lefty Denny Bentley came on and gave the team length. He was able to work three scoreless innings and gave up just two hits. Jose Martinez got two outs but was charged with one run. Nate Hadley recorded five outs and gave up just one hit. JT Perez came on for the top of the seventh inning. He was charged with two unearned runs. Austin Schulfer worked the final two innings Tyler Webb continued to hit in the playoffs for the Kernels. His fifth inning single drove in a run and cut the Kernels deficit to 4-2 at the time. Webb went 10-for-17 (.588). On the other side of the spectrum, Matt Wallner went 0-for-24 with 10 strikeouts in the six Kernels playoff games. Wander Javier had a single and two doubles in the game as well. Jared Akins and Trevor Casanova each had a double for the Kernels as well. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Denny Bentley, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, 2-2B, R #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS No More Games! Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s Kernels game or any other minor league topics you would like.
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