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  1. TRANSACTIONS Cedar Rapids Kernels placed RHP Jon Olsen on the 7-day injured list. SAINTS SENTINEL Columbus 8, St. Paul 1 Box Score In one of their few day games of the season, the Saints were only able to muster up one-run in a blowout loss to Columbus. St. Paul only recorded two hits on the afternoon and gave up a total of 15 hits to the Clippers. The Saints' hits came courtesy of Jose Miranda and Drew Maggi. Miranda punched a single in the fourth inning and Maggi lined a single to center field in the eighth. Maggi would score the Saints' lone run, when Drew Stankiewicz reached on a fielder's error that scored Maggi. St. Paul starter Chandler Shepherd (L, 6-6) lasted four innings, giving up eight hits, five runs, and two walks while striking out one. Ian Hamilton followed Shepherd with 1 2/3 innings of one-run, four hit ball, striking out three. Reliever Chris Nunn was the best Saints pitcher on the day, tossing 1 1/3 innings with three strikeouts, giving up only one hit. WIND SURGE WISDOM Arkansas 6, Wichita 0 Box Score The Wind Surge were victims to a combined-no hitter on Thursday against Arkansas. Roy Morales drew two walks and Spencer Steer drew a walk, registering as the only baserunners for Wichita in the game. Wichita starter Cole Sands tossed five innings, giving up three runs on four hits while striking out two. Cody Funderburk was the only reliever to see action for the Surge, giving up three runs on three hits while striking out one. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 10, Quad Cities 9 Box Score After giving up three runs in the first the Kernels soared back for a walk-off win against league-leading Quad Cities. Yunior Severino and Michael Helman each knocked homers for the Kernels, Helman now has 17 homers on the year and has emerged as an underrated star for Cedar Rapids. All nine of Cedar Rapids' runs came in the fourth and fifth innings. Those fourth inning runs came courtesy of a Severino grand slam. Helman knocked a three-run homer of his own in the fifth. The runs kept coming when Wander Javier punched a double to left field to score Matt Wallner and Aaron Sabato. Javier now has 15 doubles on the 2021 season. Cedar Rapids starter Cody Lawyerson had a rough first inning but settled in after that. Lawyerson tossed 5 2/3 innings of four-run ball, giving up six hits and two walks while striking out four. Reliever Zach Featherstone was as dominant as he's been all season. Featherstone tossed 2 2/3 innings of scoreless baseball, striking out three and giving up only one hit. Despite a pair of dominant innings, Quad Cities mounted a comeback to tie the game at nine in the ninth inning. That didn't matter. With runners on the pond, Yunior Severino reached on a fielder's choice to score Michael Helman in the ninth to walk the Kernels off. It was only fitting that Severino and Helman, the two most dominant hitters on the night, played a role in the winning play. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Daytona 1 (Suspended, Bottom of 3) Gameday Rain put a halt to Thursday evening's contest in the Sunshine State. Yet in the few innings that took place, the Mussels looked great. Kyler Fedko knocked an RBI single in the first inning that scored Christian Encarnacion-Strand to put the Mussels on the board. After Jesus Feliz scored another run in the second thanks to a wild pitch, Encarnacion-Strand laced a single to score Tennessee alum Alerick Soularie to put the Kernels up 3-1. Starting pitcher John Stankiewicz was solid through 2 1/3, giving up one run and two hits while striking out three. Fort Myers will complete the game as a part of a double header tomorrow. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Zach Featherstone, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2.1 IP, 1 H, 2 BB, 3 K) Hitter of the Day - Michael Helman, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB,) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn 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) - 1-for-4, K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - No game #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Game Suspended #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, R, K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - No game #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - No game #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Game Suspended #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Game Suspended #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for 3, BB, 3 K FRIDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (6:05 PM CST)- RHP Drew Strotman (7-3, 4.55 ERA) Wichita @ Arkansas (7:10 PM CST) RHP Austin Schulffer (6-7, 4.38 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST)- RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 1.24 ERA) Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST)- RHP Casey Legumina (2-2. 3.78 ERA)
  2. Before jumping into the top-four hitters of the month, here are some of the honorable mentions. HONORABLE MENTIONS OF Emmanuel Rodriguez - FCL Twins- 15-55, .273/.365/.691 (1.056) with 4 doubles, 2 triples, 5 home runs, 8 BB, 24 K. 1B Aaron Sabato - Cedar Rapids Kernels- 14-66, .212/.338/.682 (1.019) with 4 doubles, 9 home runs, 9 BB, 31 K. C/OF Jeferson Morales - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels- 20-64, .313/.353/.609 (.962) with 4 doubles, 5 home runs, 2 BB, 10 K. OF Gilberto Celestino - St. Paul Saints- 24-83, .289/.385/.506 (.891) with 6 doubles, 4 home runs, 12 BB, 19 K. IF/OF Edouard Julien - Cedar Rapids Kernels- 20-74, .270/.443/.432 (.876) with 6 doubles, 2 home runs, 21 BB, 31 K. THE TOP FOUR HITTERS Number 4 - St. Paul Saints - OF BJ Boyd- 33-85, .388/.398/.694 (1.092), 2 doubles, 8 home runs, 2 BB, 12 K. Boyd was a fourth-round pick back in 2012 by the Athletics organization, and he is in his first stint in the Twins system. Boyd started the month on fire for the Wind Surge as he hit safely in 14 of the first 15 games during August. He also had a nine-game stretch where he hit eight home runs, including three games with multiple home runs. The organization rewarded him for his hot hitting by promoting him to Triple-A for the last week of the month. His time in St. Paul has been limited so far, but it’s hard to ignore what the 27-year old did over the last month at Double-A. Number 3 - Cedar Rapids Kernels - IF Yunior Severino- 33-96, .344/.427/.490 (.917), 9 doubles, 1 triple, 1 home run, 13 BB, 37 K. Severino was initially part of the Braves organization before MLB penalized them for infractions committed on the international market. He was granted his free agency, and he decided to sign with the Twins for $2.5 million back in 2017. Severino got promoted to Cedar Rapids shortly before the calendar turned to August, and he started on a tear. He hit safely in 19 of his first 20 games, including nine games with multiple hits and three games with four hits. Nearly 80% of his plate appearances have come against older pitchers. For the season, his OPS is over 40 points higher than his career mark, and August was his best month so far in 2021. Number 2 - Wichita Wind Surge - OF Leobaldo Cabrera- 15-48, .313/.469/.854 (1.323), 3 doubles, 1 triple, 7 home runs, 15 BB, 19 K. Entering this season, Cabrera had been out of affiliated baseball since the Yankees released him in June 2018. The Twins signed him this spring, and he has played at three different levels so far in 2021. Cabrera only had 15 hits for the entire month of August, but 11 of those hits were for extra bases. He also reached base safely in 12 straight games to end the month. As a 23-year-old, he has been facing older pitchers in over 76% of his plate appearances. Cabrera might be new to the Twins organization this year, but his month of August certainly put his name on the prospect map. And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is: Wichita Wind Surge- RF/1B Trey Cabbage - 28-92, .304/.402/.674 (1.076), 2 doubles, 1 triple, 10 home runs, 14 BB, 36 K. Cabbage has been in the Twins organization since 2015 when the club took him out of high school with a fourth-round pick. He entered the month of August in a bit of a slump as he hit .213/.290/.461 (.751) in July. Things started quickly when the calendar turned as he had multiple hits in the first four games of the month, including five extra-base hits. He’d end the month with nine multi-hit games. Cabbage had a couple of monster games during August. On the sixth, he went 3-for-4 with two home runs, five RBI, and three runs scored. Sixteen days later, he went 3-for-4 with a home run and six RBI. As a 24-year-old, he started the year at Cedar Rapids, where he was over a year and a half older than the average age of the competition. Now at Double-A, he is slightly younger than the competition. Nearly 60% of his plate appearances have come against older pitchers, and he has hit .307/.395/.646 (1.041) against them this season. We want to congratulate Wind Surge outfielder and first baseman Trey Cabbage, Twins Daily’s choice for Minor League Hitter of the Month for August 2021. Feel free to share your thoughts and ask questions.
  3. TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins activate CF Byron Buxton Minnesota Twins activate RHP Jorge Alcala Minnesota Twins place C Mitch Garver on 10-day IL (lower back tightness) Minnesota Twins place RHP Luke Farrell on 60-day IL (oblique strain) Minnesota Twins option RHP Edgar Garcia to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins option RHP Kyle Barraclough to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins select contract of RHP Ian Gibaut from Triple-A St. Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Toledo 11, St. Paul 1 Box Score It seems that someone forgot to tell the Saints pitchers that batting practice happens before the game, as they allowed four homers and 11 runs in this ugly loss. Bryan Sammons was the first victim of the Tulsa offense as he gave up a pair of early runs to the Mud Hens. The first came off an Aderlin Rodriguez RBI single in the first, and the second was the product of a monstrous solo homer from Isaac Paredes in the third. Jacoby Jones added on for Toledo in the fourth with a big homer of his own to straightaway center. Jones’s blast counted for two, doubling the Mud Hen lead, 4-0. Yennier Cano replaced Sammons for the fifth, but the home run onslaught didn’t stop. Rodriguez added to his RBI total for the night with a two-run shot. Chris Nunn got the sixth for the Saints, but he wasn’t the man to slow down the Toledo bats. In fact, it only got worse. Spencer Torkelson drove in two with a double and Paredes added a two-run poke off the foul pole to his solo shot from the third inning. Nunn was taken out after getting only one out in the inning, but one of his inherited runners scored before the Saints finally got back in the dugout, now down 11-0. The Saints got a run back in the eighth off a J.T. Riddle RBI single, but never even managed to cut the lead to single digits, and they lose their fifth straight. After all the pitching struggles, Andrew Vasquez finally got some outs, going 2 2/3 innings without allowing a baserunner to finish the game. He struck out three. Nobody managed a multi-hit game for the Saints. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 2, Wichita 1 Box Score Wind Surge pitchers were impressive, striking out 13 batters and keeping the Drillers to two runs in this one, but the Wichita batters were equally unimpressive (they struck out 14 times) and they drop this one, 2-1. The Drillers took an early advantage in this one with two runs in the second inning. Juan Zabala pushed one across with an RBI single, and another scored moments later on a Chris Vallimont wild pitch. After that, Vallimont settled down and got through four innings without allowing any more runs, and he added an impressive eight strikeouts. Unfortunately, the Wichita offense continued their recent dry spell and couldn’t get up to speed against the Tulsa pitching as they didn’t manage a hit until the fifth inning. They did score one in that inning, though, off an Austin Martin RBI fielder’s choice, to make it 2-1 The score was still at 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, when Aaron Whitefield came up with the bases loaded. Whitefield worked a full count and took ball four, only the home plate umpire (who was awful all night) rung him up on a ball three inches off the plate. That call ended the inning and the threat, and the game remained at 2-1. The Wind Surge went down quietly in the ninth as they did most of the game (though not without another questionable strike three call). Drillers win 2-1. After Vallimont left the ballgame, the bullpen was dominant, allowing only three hits and no runs over the remaining five innings of the game. Jason Garcia allowed two hits and a walk and added a strikeout over the fifth and sixth innings. Alex Phillips went 1 2/3 scoreless with two strikeouts and Jordan Gore got the remaining four outs and grabbed two strikeouts of his own. The Surge managed only three hits as a club so there were no individual multi-hit performances. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Beloit 1 Box Score Cody Laweryson was rock solid for the Kernels tonight, and he needed to be. The big righty sprinkled four hits over five full innings and only allowed one run. He added four strikeouts. However, the Cedar Rapids hitters were just as ineffective against Beloit starter Bryan Hoeing. Still, they pushed one across late to grab the W. Each starter handled the first time through the lineup easily and this game stayed scoreless until the fourth, when Yunior Severino gave the Kernels the lead all by himself. Actually, he got some help from the Beloit defense. What should have been a bloop single turned into a triple when the Snappers center fielder dove and missed the ball. Then, Beloit shortstop Ynmanol Marinez airmailed a throw home and Severino scampered home for a Little League home run. Beloit got that run right back in the next half inning, though, in very similar circumstances. Thomas Jones tripled and scored in the next at-bat on a wild pitch to tie the game. This pitcher’s duel stayed knotted at one apiece until the top of the ninth, when the Kernels loaded the bases with no outs. They got one across with a Seth Gray flare single into left field, but that’s all they managed. Still, that’s all they needed, as Denny Bentley shut down the Snappers in the ninth to secure a win that will leave you without fingernails, 2-1. After Laweryson exited, Melvi Acosta picked up right where Cody left off, hurling two innings of work without allowing a baserunner. Of the six outs he got, three were strikeouts. Denny Bentley took over from there and pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, grabbing the win thanks to Gray’s go-ahead knock. That knock was Gray’s second of the ballgame, and he joins Yunior Severino as the only guys with multi-hit games for the Kernels. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1: Bradenton 8, Fort Myers 2 (F/7) Box Score Game one of tonight's doubleheader got under way about two hours late due to troubling Florida weather, and the Mighty Mussels were ready to go right away. However, they melted down as the game went on and they lose in a rout. The Mussels were able to land a solid punch early with a two-run double from Christian Encarnacion-Strand in the first inning. And, John Stankiewicz was excellent in preserving that lead while he was on the mound with four innings of one-hit, scoreless work. He added five strikeouts. However, when Juan Pichardo took over for the Mussels, things went sideways. Pichardo allowed a two-run game-tying homer in the fifth to Jase Bowen and allowed three more runs in the sixth before he was removed for Bradley Hanner. Hanner got the Mussels out of the sixth, but he didn’t fare much better than Pichardo. He added two inherited runs to Pichardo’s ERA and allowed a run of his own, and just like that, Bradenton’s lead ballooned to 8-2. That lead held steady for the Marauders over the remainder of the scheduled seven innings. On a tough day all around for the Mussels, they only managed two hits as a team and didn’t have a multi-hit night for any player. Game 2: Fort Myers 10, Bradenton 2 (F/7) Box Score After a tough game one, the Mussels bounced back with a solid start from Zarion Sharpe and an explosion from the offense. Christian Encarnacion Strand ripped a single to drive in a run to get the scoring started in the first, and the rest of the squad just took off from there. Fort Myers added three more in the second, with one coming to the plate on a Justin Washington single and two more scoring on Alerick Soularie's homer. The third inning brought two runs for Bradenton, but five more for Fort Myers. With the bases loaded, Willie Joe Garry Jr. hit into a fielder's choice that scored two thanks to a throwing error, and he scored a few pitches later on a Will Holland double. Then, another error on a ball to left off the bat of Soularie scored two more to make the lead 9-2. in the fourth, Encarnacion-Strand added to his big day with his first professional homer, a solo shot that brought the lead to 10-2, where it stayed for the remainder of the game. Zarion Sharpe went five full innings for the Mussels, and allowed two earned runs on six hits. He pitched with a lead for nearly his whole outing and had a walk and two strikeouts. Carlos Suniaga allowed three baserunners over the last two innings, but kept them from scoring and picked up a pair of strikeouts in the process. Soularie and Encarnacion-Strand had multi-hit games. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Game 1: FCL Red Sox 6, FCL Twins 5 Box Score The Complex League Twins’ comeback fell just short in the bottom of the ninth in this one and they the first half of today's doubleheader 6-5. The Twins scored the first runs of the game in the bottom of the fourth, taking a 2-0 lead off RBI extra base hits from Endy Rodriguez and Malfrin Sosa. The Red Sox got three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to grab a 6-2 lead but the Twins made some noise in the last frame. Sosa ripped another RBI double and later scored on a wild pitch. Then Ricardo Olivar tripled to drive in a run to make it 6-5, with himself standing on third as the tying run. Unfortunately, the comeback came one run short as Breilin Ramirez struck out to end the game. Sosa, Rodriguez, Olivar all had multi-hit games with at least one RBI. The Twins kept the Red Sox offense scoreless through the first four innings thanks to Develson Aria and Regi Grace who both delivered two hitless innings on the mound. Erasmo Moreno took care of the fifth without allowing a run but allowed all six of the Red Sox runs over the next two innings. Cole Bellair grabbed the last out in the seventh and finished the game, allowing only one hit and no runs. Game 2: FCL Twins 7, FCL Red Sox 1 (F/7) Box Score The Twins' complex league club left no room for doubt in the second game, crushing the Red Sox in seven innings. The Twins didn't waste time getting a crooked number up on the scoreboard as they struck for three in the top of the first. An RBI each was credited to Noah Miller and Carlos Aguiar for their singles and another run came in on a Rubel Cespedes triple. The Twins added a run in the third off a wild pitch and another in the fifth off a walk before things got even more interesting in the sixth. The Twins led off the inning with back-to-back home runs but only Emmanuel Rodriguez's left the ballpark. Noah Miller showed off his wheels and made his first professional homer an inside-the-park job. The homer was Miller's second hit of the night, and he was the only Twin to accomplish a multi-hit game. On the mound, there was more excitement to be had. Third round pick Cade Povich made his professional debut with two innings of scoreless work to start this one. He allowed only one hit and struck out three. David Festa picked up where Povich left off, as he also hurled two scoreless with only one hit allowed in his pro debut. The only Red Sox run of the night came during Malik Barrington's two innings, but Barrington also got five of his six outs via strikeout. John Wilson got the remaining three outs of this seven inning game without allowing a baserunner. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - John John Stankiewicz (Fort Myers) - 4.0 IP, H, R, ER, BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Fort Myers) - 3-for-7, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR(1), 3 K (over two games) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-5, RBI, 3 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-for-3, BB #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) - 0-for-3, K #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (shoulder) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, BB #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR(1), K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-5, 2 BB, 2 K #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-5, K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo (6:05PM CST) – RHP Drew Strotman (7-3, 4.04 ERA) Tulsa @ Wichita (6:05PM CST) – RHP Cole Sands (2-1, 2.93 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:35PM CST) – RHP Ben Gross (5-1, 3.16 ERA) Bradenton @ Fort Myers Game One: (6:00PM CST) – TBD Feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games!
  4. 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)
  5. Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the FCL Twins game and the transactions from Monday. TRANSACTIONS LHP Denny Bentley was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. Ft. Myers added catcher Patrick Winkel (2021 9th round pick), outfielder Kyler Fedko (2021 12th round pick), second baseman Alerick Soularie (2020, 2nd round pick) and RHP Matt Mullenbach (signed as free agent earlier this year). FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 1, FCL Pirates 5 Box Score Twins Competitive Balance pick Noah Miller made his professional debut today. He walked in his first plate appearance. He then got out twice before singling in his final at-bat of the day. He is a career-.300 hitter as a professional. In addition, eighth-round pick Noah Cardenas was added to the FCL roster. A rehabbing Zander Wiel went 0-for-2 and was hit by a pitch. Also rehabbing is Gabe Snyder. He went 2-for-4 with a double. Juan Mendez has been good for the FCL Twins to this point. On Monday, he gave up five runs on four hits and two walks and recorded just one out. Jackson Hicks came on and gave up three hits over 4 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out six batters. Danny Moreno struck out three batters over three perfect innings. Rafael Feliz struck out the side in the final inning. With that, let’s look at Week 15 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (4-2 @ Indianapolis), overall (48-41) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (3-3 @ Tulsa), overall (52-38) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2 @ Peoria), overall (49-41) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (1-3 @ Bradenton), overall (44-41) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (2-3), overall (9-22) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Walkoff Wins of Change in Wichita TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline: 25-21 Tuesday: Balazovic Gets Back on Track TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline: 20-16 Wednesday: Who Didn’t Homer? TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline: 15-11 TD Interview: Mike McCarthy, St. Paul Saints Pitching Coach Trio Hinting at Twins Pitching Pipeline Thursday: Morales Dominates, Saints’ Bullpen Bears Down TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline: 10-6 Friday: Lewis Thorpe Appears on Verge of Twins Return TD Top Twins Prospect Rankings (Post Draft and Trade Deadline: 5-1 Saturday: Clean Sweep (But Not in a Good Way) Sunday: Smashing Sunday Twins 40-Man Roster Crunch? Perhaps Not Highlights We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 15 performances Twins Player of the Week: Yunior Severino, Cedar Rapids Kernels Severino has made a lot of money in baseball. He first received a seven-figure signing bonus with Atlanta. After Atlanta was found to be working illegally, Severino became a free agent and kept that signing bonus. Then the Twins gave him a bigger seven-figure signing bonus. He has fought some injuries in his time with the Twins, but after his recent promotion to the Kernels he has been very good. Last week, he played in six games and hit .480/.552/.720 (1.272) with three doubles and a home run. In 17 games with Cedar Rapids, he has hit .424/.493/.591 (1.084) with eight doubles and a home run. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Ben Gross, Cedar Rapids Kernels After three years at Princeton, Gross went to Duke for his senior season and became the Twins 10th round in 2019. In his start this week, he gave up two runs on six hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out 13 batters. Overall this season with Cedar Rapids, he has pitched in 15 games (14 starts) and is 5-1 with a 3.25 ERA. In 72 innings, he has walked 20 and struck out 92 batters. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints As per usual, Jose Miranda had a highlight week. In six games, he hit .462/.517/.808 (1.325) with three doubles and two homers. Jimmy Kerrigan played in four games and hit .353/.353/.941 (1.294) with a double, three homers and eight RBI. Tomas Telis played five games and hit .375/.400/.667 (1.067) with a double and two homers. Glberto Celestino played five games and hit .316/.458/.579 (1.037) with two doubles and a home run. Kyle Barraclough pitched in three games and 3 1/3 innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out seven batters. After a bad start with the Twins, Beau Burrows struck out five batters in three scoreless innings for the Sains. Rafael Garza pitched three scoreless innings and had a save for St. Paul before coming up and tossing two scoreless for the Twins. A certain highlight was the return of lefty Lewis Thorpe who made a start and gave up one run on two hits and a walk in 5 2/3 innings. Andrew Albers made two starts. In 13 innings, he gave up three earned runs (2.08 ERA). On Sunday, he tossed eight scoreless innings. Wichita Wind Surge Zach Neff gave up just one hit over 3 2/3 scoreless innings over two outings. Alex Phillips tossed 4 1/3 scoreless, no-hit innings. Bryan Sammons made a start and gave up a single and a walk over five scoreless innings. He struck out five. Austin Schulfer threw four innings in his start and struck out four batters. Cole Sands gave up two runs on five hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings in his start. He struck out 10 batters. The Wind Surge lead the AA-Central division with 941 strikeouts, second most in all Double-A ball. The Wind Surge hitters combined for 21 home runs during the week and a league-leading 33 homers in 13 August games! BJ Boyd had a huge week! He has an 11 game hitting streak. In six games last week, he hit .385/.407/1.077 (1.484) with six homers and 12 RBI! Roy Morales played four games and hit .385/.467/.692 (1.159) with a double and a homer. Jermaine Palacios played all six games. He hit .348/.400/.652 (1.052) with a double and two homers. Leobaldo Cabrera played just three games. He went 4-for-9 (.444) with a double and two home runs. Trey Cabbage played all six games. He hit just .208, but he hit four home runs. Cedar Rapids Kernels The start of Matt Canterino on Sunday sure was exciting. In his first game back with the Kernels after about 10 weeks away with injury. He worked three innings and recorded eight strikeouts. He walked one. Of the ten batters he faced, he struck out eight! Cody Laweryson worked four scoreless innings and struck out six batters. He gave up just one hit. Zach Featherstone pitched three innings over two games. He had a save and struck out five batters over three scoreless innings. Melvi Acosta had a save and struck out four batters in four innings. Derek Molina (2 2/3 innings), Tyler Palm (2 innings) and Ryan Shreve (2 innings) each struck out four batters and didn’t allow a run. Breckin Williams struck out three batters over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Jefferson Morales played in four games and hit .500/.500/.813 (1.313) with two doubles and a homer. Four of his eight hits came in one game. Michael Helman played in five games and hit .313/.421/.625 (1.046) with two doubles and a home run. Edouard Julien played in all six games and hit .333/.517/.524 (1.041) with a double and a homer. He also had eight walks. Ft. Myers Might Mussels There were only four games, but Aaron Sabato had a really good week. On the week, he hit .294 (5-for-17). Those five hits? A double and four home runs, a slugging percentage of 1.059 (1.427 OPS). Aaron Rozek struck out six batters over four, two-hit innings. Sean Mooney made one start and tossed three perfect innings. He struck out six batters. Casey Legumina returned to the mound too, and gave up just one hit over three innings. He struck out three batters. Bobby Milacki gave up one run on three hits over four innings. He struck out six batters. FCL Twins Giovahnniey German was fantastic again. In his start, he tossed five no-hit, no-run innings. He walked three and struck out seven. Jackson Hicks worked 4 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and struck out six batters. Matt Mullenbach struck out four batters in three scoreless innings. Danny Moreno pitched twice, and he gave up a run on no hits, two walks and struck out four. Wander Valdez had a big week. In four games, he hit .429/.438/.643 (1.080) with a homer. Lowlights We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints Yennier Cano gave up three runs on six hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Ryan Mason gave up four runs on two hits and four walks in 3 1/3 innings. Keon Broxton went 0-for-10 in three games. He had seven strikeouts. Wichita Wind Surge Chris Vallimont had a rocky start. In 3 2/3 innings, he gave up six runs on five hits and three walks. Evan Sisk gave up five runs (4 earned) on five hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Jhonleider Salinas gave up three runs on a hit and three walks in one innings. Mitchell Osnowitz gave up two runs on four hits in 2/3 of an inning. Erik Manoah gave up three runs on two hits and two walks in 2 1/3 innings. Caleb Hamilton went 0-for-9. Austin Martin went 3-for-23 (.130) with a homer and a walk. Aaron Whitefield went 3-for-14 (.214). Cedar Rapids Kernels Osiris German gave up five runs on six hits, a walk and a hit batter in two innings. Tyler Watson was charged with five runs on six hits a hit batter and two walks over 2 1/3 innings. Wander Javier continues to struggle. In six games, he went 2-for-24 (.083) with a triple. He also struck out 13 times in 26 plate appearances. Seth Gray went 3-for-26 (.115) with a homer. He struck out 10 times. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Matthew Swain gave up four runs on two hits and four walks in just one innings. Landon Leach had a rough start. He gave up three runs over two innings. He gave up zero hits, walked three and hit five batters. Orlando Rodriguez gave up four runs on five hits, a walk and a hit batter in 2 2/3 innings. Charlie Mack has been quite good of late, but in four games, he went 1-for-17 (.059). Prospect Summery This Prospect Summary shows our Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings following the draft and trade deadline. #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 12 games, .256/.429/.372 (.801) with 2 doubles, 1 home run, 7 RBI, 7 BB, 9 K. #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 14 GS, 65.0 IP, 66 H, 24 BB, 72 K, 3.74 ERA, 1.38 WHIP #4 - Simeon Woods-Richardson (Wichita) - Has not pitched since Olympics. #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 88 games, .346/.409/.602 (1.011) with 22 doubles, 24 homers, 66 RBI, 33 BB, 54 K #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Has not pitched since Olympics #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 5 GS, 21.0 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 43 K, 0.86 ERA, 0.67 WHIP #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Has yet to pitch. #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 49 games, .245/.313/.328 (.641) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 21 RBI, 17 BB, 66 K, 5 SB #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 39 games, .268/.339/.536 (.875) with 7 doubles, 2 triples, 10 homers, 30 RBI, 13 BB, 60 K. #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (12 games, .277/.358/.511 (.869) with 2 doubles, 3 homers, 11 RBI, 5 BB, 11 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 3 GS, 14.1 IP, 13 H, 7 BB, 11 K, 6.28 ERA, 1.40 WHIP. #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Has yet to play. #16 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (28 games, .198/.252/.423 (.676) with 7 doubles, 6 homers, 10 RBI, 6 BB, 36 K) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #18 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 76 games, .195/.293/.298 (590) with 9 doubles, 4 triples, 4 homer, 48 RBI, 37 BB, 61 K, 12 SB) #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 13 G, 12 GS, 54.0 IP, 38 H, 22 BB, 74 K, 2.83 ERA, 1.11 WHIP #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 83 games, .255/.358/.506 (.865) with 12 doubles, 2 triples, 21 homers, 50 RBI, 45 BB, 74 K) LOOKING AHEAD Ft. Myers @ Dunedin (Landon Leach, Aaron Rozek, Casey Legumina, Sean Mooney, TBD, Bobby Milacki): Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids:(Ben Gross, Louie Varland, TBD, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Matt Canterino, Cody Laweryson) Wichita @ Springfield: (Chris Vallmont, Tyler Beck, Austin Schulfer, Cole Sands, Jordan Balazovic, Chris Vallimont) Iowa @ St. Paul: (TBD, Lewis Thorpe, Beau Burrows, Joe Ryan, Andrew Albers, Drew Strotman): Feel free to ask any questions you like.
  6. TRANSACTIONS RHP Orlando Rodriguez of Fort Myers placed on the 7-day IL. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 7, Indianapolis 5 Box Score Lewis Thorpe: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (3-for-5), Tomas Telis (2-for-5, HR), Mark Contreras (2-for-5), Gilberto Celestino (2-for-5, 2B), Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-4) HR: Kerrigan (16), Telis (7) Lewis Thorpe looked comfortable and confident tonight. He was throwing his curveball and changeup early in counts, then working in high fastballs to try to finish hitters off. He threw 50 of his 78 pitches for strikes (64.1%) and was efficient enough to record two outs in the sixth inning. This was a jump up from the 58 pitches he threw in his last outing for the Saints. The Twins are clearly viewing Thorpe as a starting pitcher at this point. It would make sense for him to make another start with the Saints, stretching out another 15-20 pitches, but with Michael Pineda exiting his start early, Thorpe may be looked upon as a potential replacement. The St. Paul lineup was patient with 36-year-old knuckleballer Steven Wright, who threw 97 pitches in four innings. Along with the five batters who had multiple hits listed above, Nick Gordon also reached twice, drawing a pair of walks, and stole a base. He played center field tonight. Yennier Cano had an eventful ninth inning, giving up a run on three hits, but locked down the save by striking out the final two batters he faced, stranding runners at second and third base. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 4, Wichita 1 Box Score Austin Schulfer: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K Multi-hit games: B.J. Boyd (2-for-4), Jermaine Palacios (2-for-3) HR: None The Surge were scheduled to play a doubleheader today but more inclimate weather resulted in the first game being postponed, leaving one seven-inning game left to be played. Neither team scored through seven, however, so this one went into “extra” innings. B.J. Boyd singled home the Wichita bonus runner in the top of the inning. The Wind Surge were an out away from victory but a ground ball got by first baseman Andrew Bechtold for a game-tying single and the next batter hit a walk-off home run. Tyler Beck was turning in an impressive Double-A debut before things fell apart with two outs in the eighth inning. He was attempting to cover the final four frames, and had struck out five of the first 15 batters he faced. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Peoria 3 Box Score Jon Olsen: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (4-for-5, 2B), Jefferson Morales (2-for-4) HR: Matt Wallner (10) Yunior Severino and Jeferson Morales have been huge boosts to the Kernels since being called up from Fort Myers. After a four-hit night, Severino is hitting .439 with a 1.147 OPS in his first 15 games with the club. Morales hasn’t been around as long, this was just his fourth game with Cedar Rapids, but he has a .563 average with a 1.463 OPS. Matt Wallner hit the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning. It was his 10th homer of the year and 18th as a pro, just the fourth that’s come against a lefty. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 9, Bradenton 1 Box Score Casey Legumina: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K Multi-hit games: Keoni Cavaco (2-for-6), Jesus Feliz (2-for-5, 2B), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-4, BB) HR: Will Holland (8) Every member of the Fort Myers lineup reached base and everyone but Jesus Feliz also struck out. The team combined for 10 hits, eight walks and 14 strikeouts. Keoni Cavaco had a multi-hit game, but he also struck out four times. Here’s his two-run single in what was a big five-run inning for the Mussels. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher: Lewis Thorpe, St. Paul Hitter: Yunior Severino, Cedar Rapids 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 Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – DNP #4 – Matt Canterino (Fort Myers) – DNP #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 3-for-5, R #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 2-for-6, 2 RBI, R #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, R #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – DNP #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 1-for-6, RBI #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-3, HR, BB, HBP, 2 RBI, R #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – DNP #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – DNP #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 4-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – DNP #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-for-3 #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5 #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – DNP #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – DNP SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Fort Myers at Bradenton, 11 am CT: Bobby Milacki St. Paul at Indianapolis, 6:05 pm CT: Beau Burrows Cedar Rapids at Peoria, 6:35 pm CT: Sawyer Gipson-Long Wichita at Tulsa, 7:05 pm CT: Cole Sands
  7. TRANSACTIONS RHP Matt Canterino assigned to Low-A Fort Myers on rehab assignment LHP Lewis Thorpe activated from IL, assigned to Triple-A St. Paul Saints Sentinel Louisville 4, St. Paul 3 Box Score SP: Lewis Thorpe: 2 ⅔ IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Mark Contreras: 2-for-3, 2B, BB Jose Miranda’s incredible streak has come to an end. The highly-touted Twins prospect went 0-for-5 on the day and did not reach base, marking the first time this has happened during his 35 games at Triple-A. Mark Contreras contributed the team’s only multi-hit game while Gilberto Celestino, Ben Rortvedt, and Drew Stankiewicz all drove in an RBI. Lewis Thorpe got the start after being activated from the IL. He looked every bit as much as the Lewis Thorpe we saw earlier in the season; fastball in the upper-80s, touching 90, with decent secondary stuff. Jovani Moran, Yennier Cano, and Kyle Barraclough combined for 5 ⅔ innings of scoreless ball and struck out five. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 5, Midland 2 Box Score SP: Cole Sands: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Austin Martin: 3-for-4; Roy Morales: 2-for-4, 2B; Jermaine Palacios: 2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI Cole Sands started his second game of the week and quickly settled into a groove after allowing a solo home run in the first inning. He surrendered only two more hits the rest of the way and struck out five en route to picking up the win. Zach Neff and Chris Nunn combined to throw the final four innings, striking out four and allowing one run. Austin Martin continued his hot streak since joining the Twins by picking up three hits in four at-bats as the DH. Martin is slashing .400/.571/.500 with two doubles, six walks, and only a single strikeout since being traded. Jermaine Palacios picked up his 12th double of the season and improved his OPS to .818, further cementing his argument for a promotion. Kernels Nuggets Quad Cities 7, Cedar Rapids 5 Box Score SP: Cody Lawyerson: 2 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 K HR: Wander Javier (10) Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino: 4-for-5, RBI Seven of the nine Kernels that came to the plate on Sunday afternoon picked up hits, but only Yunior Severino grabbed more than one. The 21-year-old formerly-hyped prospect has been en fuego since being called up to High-A, having accumulated a .375 batting average and .944 OPS in 11 games. Fellow formerly-hyped prospect Wander Javier contributed his 10th home run of the season. On the mound, it was yet another group effort. Cody Lawyerson started, but was removed in the third inning after being roughed up. Ryan Shreve, Osiris German, Erik Manoah, Jr., and Derek Molina finished the game, but served up three more runs. As a group, the Kernels struckout seven and walked three. Mussel Matters Dunedin 3, Fort Myers 0 Box Score SP: Matt Canterino: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Mighty Mussels must have had tomorrow’s off-day on their mind as they managed only a single hit — a single by Jesus Feliz — and struck out 13 times collectively during their loss to the Blue Jays. On the bright side, pitching prospect Matt Canterino made his first appearance since being shut down with an elbow injury in late May and tossed two perfect innings. Sawyer Gipson-Long came on in relief for Canterino and pitched the next four innings, striking out six while allowing two earned runs; he was ultimately tagged with the loss. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins No Game Scheduled. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cole Sands: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K Twins Daily Co-Minor League Hitters of the Day – Austin Martin: 3-for-4; Yunior Severino: 4-for-5, RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K (Fort Myers) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) — 0-for-5 #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4 #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 0-for-4, RBI #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 0-for-3, BB #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5 #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 0-for-4, BB #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4 #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 1-for-4 #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5, HR (10) #18 – Alerick Soularie (FCL Twins) – Did not play #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS FCL Twins vs. FCL Braves — TBD MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Checkout all of Lucas Seehafer's minor league reports here
  8. Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the FCL Twins game on Monday. There were no transactions announced on Monday. FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 0, FCL Pirates Black 3 Box Score On Monday, the FCL Twins fell to 6-18 despite a nice start from a rehabbing Lewis Thorpe. The lefty from Australia tossed three scoreless, hitless innings. He walked one and struck out four batters. Danny Moreno came up a run in the fourth on a hit and two walks. Matt Mullenbach gave up two runs (1 earned) on three hits in 1 2/3 innings. Cole Bellair got the final four outs, two on strikeouts. The Twins managed just four hits in the game. Yonardy Soto’s double was the lone extra-base hit. With that, let’s look at Week 13 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (3-3, hosting Indianapolis), overall (40-37) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (3-3, @ NW Arkansas), overall (44-34) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, @ Wisconsin), overall (44-34) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (1-2,@ Clearwater), overall (40-35) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-4), overall (6-18) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Second Half Success Scouting Twins Prospects: Jose Miranda Tuesday: Everybody Hits, Sometimes… Wednesday: Bombas Across the Board Thursday: Saints Hold Serve Twins Prospect Joe Ryan Excels in Olympic Debut Twins Acquire Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson Twins Acquire Evan Sisk Twins Claim Edgar Garcia off Waivers Twins Acquire Alex Scherff Friday: You Win Some, You Lose Some, Sometimes There’s COVID 5 Things to Know About Twins Deadline Centerpiece Austin Martin The Twins Have Got to Make Their Loaded Farm System Count 5 Things To Know About Twins Pitcher Simeon Woods-Richardson Saturday: A New Prospect Approaches Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month - July 2021 Sunday: Tyler Beck Dazzles for Kernels, Surge Win a Thriller Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month - July 2021 HIGHLIGHTS We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 13 performances Twins Player of the Week: Michael Helman, Cedar Rapids Kernels Helman played in six games last week for the Kernels and hit .435/.500/.652 (1.152) with a triple and a home run in 26 plate appearances. In 71 games this season, he has hit .237/.333/.420 (.754) with 13 doubles and ten home runs. At least twice this season, Helman has ended a game in walk-off fashion. Helman was the Twins 11th round pick in 2018 out of Texas A&M. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels It has been a breakout year for St. Paul native and Concordia University alum Louie Varland. He began the season dominating in Ft. Myers, and after throwing five shutout innings this week for the Kernels, he has begun his Cedar Rapids tenure with 16 scoreless innings. He was the Twins choice for Pitcher of the Week, and he was Twins Daily’s choice for Starting Pitcher of the Month for July. Click the link for more information on the hard-throwing right-hander. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints Jimmy Kerrigan was named the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month, and he ended it with a strong week. In six games, he hit .391/.423/.696 (1.119) with a double and two home runs. Rob Refsnyder played four rehab games. He hit .500/.600/1.063 (1.663) with three doubles and two homers. Keon Broxton played four games and hit .333/.412/.800 (1.212) with a double and two homers. Jose Miranda played five games and hit .409/.480/.636 (1.116) with two doubles and a homer. On the mound, Matt Shoemaker tossed seven shutout innings in his start. He gave up just two hits, walked two and struck out six batters. Rob Whalen returned and tossed two perfect innings over two games. In his start last Tuesday, Chandler Shepherd gave up two hits over seven scoreless innings. Wichita Wind Surge Spencer Steer had been struggling in Wichita since his promotion, other than home runs. In five games last week, he hit .444/.565/1.056 (1.621) with three doubles, a triple and two home runs. BJ Boyd played all six games and hit .429/.448/.679 (1.127) with a double and two home runs. DJ Burt played in four games and hit .357/.550/.500 (1.050) with two doubles. Chris Williams hit .357 and had a double and a home run. Chris Nunn made his Twins organizational debut this week. He struck out seven batters in 3 2/3 innings over two games. Cedar Rapids Kernels Yunior Severino was promoted to the Kernels and in his five games, he hit .412/.524/.647 (1.171) with four doubles and four walks. Matt Wallner played in five games. He hit .304/.304/.783 (1.087) with two doubles and three home runs. Edouard Julien hit just .217, but he posted a .976 OPS because his five hits included two doubles and three home runs. Tyler Beck tossed five scoreless innings in his start. He gave up two hits and two walks, but struck out five. Zach Featherstone continues to dominate. He pitched in three games and had a hold and two saves. In four innings, he struck out seven and didn’t allow a run. Tyler Watson gave up only an unearned run over his five innings in his start. Erik Manoah, Jr., struck out eight batters in 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Obviously when the team played just three games, it’s hard to make too much out of anything. Charlie Mack played in one of the three games, and he went 3-for-4. Keoni Cavaco hit a home run in the game he played. Ruben Santana went 5-for-10 with a double and a walk (1.145 OPS). Sawyer Gipson-Long was the league’s pitcher of the week. In his start, he went seven innings and gave up just an unearned run on three hits and a walk. He struck out nine batters. Bobby Milaci tossed three perfect innings and struck out three batters. FCL Twins Emmanuel Rodriguez had just two hits in nine at bats, but both were home runs. LaRon Smith went 4-for-8 (.500) with his fourth homer of the season. Kala’i Rosario went 6-for-16 (.375) with three walks, a double and a triple. Samuel Perez tossed six innings of one-hit baseball this past week. He struck out eight batters. Ramon Pineda struck out four batters in four scoreless innings… and his brother didn’t get traded. Giovahniey German threw three innings and gave up just one hit while striking out three batters. Juan Mendez gave up just one hit over 3 2/3 scoreless innings. ; LOWLIGHTS Weekly Reminder: We are talking about very small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints Damek Tomscha went 1-for-12 (.083) over four games. JT Riddle was 2-for-14 (.143). In his start on Sunday, Chandler Shepherd again took one for the team. In four innings, he gave up eight runs on 11 hits. Wichita Wind Surge Roy Morales went 3-for-17 (.176). Ernie De La Trinidad went 2-for-13 (.154) over four games. Trey Cabbage went 3-for-16 (.188) with ten strikeouts. Chris Vallimont had a tough two-start week. He gave up 11 runs (10 earned) on 10 hits and eight walks in 8 1/3 innings. Byran Sammons gave up seven earned runs on five hits and four walks in four innings in his start. Jordan Balazovic went 3 1/3 innings in his start and gave up seven runs (6 earned) on six hits and four walks. Cedar Rapids Kernels Seth Gray went 4-for-26 (.154) with 12 strikeouts. Tyler Palm gave up five runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. He was replacing Cody Laweryson who gave up three runs in just 2/3 of an inning before leaving with an apparent injury. The good news is that he is on the schedule to make another start this week. Ft. Myers Might Mussels The lowlight was simply that the team played just three games up in Clearwater because of a COVID situation by their opponent. Games Friday through Sunday were canceled. TRENDING STORYLINE For this week, let’s use this section to ask our readers a couple of questions. Leave your responses or comments below. #1a. Who is the Twins top position player prospect? It would appear that it is a choice between Austin Martin and Royce Lewis, but has Jose Miranda done enough to put himself into that conversation? #1b. Who is the Twins top pitching prospect? This one is pretty challenging. In our preseason rankings, Jhoan Duran was ahead of Jordan Balazovic. Is it one of them? Does either Simeon Woods-Richardson or Joe Ryan enter the conversation? How about Matt Canterino? Maybe even Josh Winder? PROSPECT SUMMARY We have now updated this Prospect Summary to show our Midseason Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings… #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 11 GS, 52.2 IP, 47 H, 19 BB, 64 K, 3.59 ERA, 1.25 WHIP #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4 GS, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 35 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP (went on the IL with right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 76 games, .347/.410/.612 (1.022) with 18 doubles, 22 homers, 62 RBI, 30 BB, 48 K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 43 games, .264/.344/.362 (.706) with 6 doubles, 2 triple, 2 homers, 20 RBI, 18 BB, 52 K, 6 SB #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (1 game, .400/.400/1.000 (1.400) with 1 homer, 0 BB, 1 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 71 games, .185/.370/.290 (.660) with 13 doubles, 4 homers, 26 RBI, 66 BB, 97 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 26 games, .330/.381/.680 (1.060) with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 9 homers, 20 RBI, 7 BB, 41 K. #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (11 GS, 47.1 IP, 46 H, 14 BB, 51 K, 4.94 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 10 G, 9 GS, 39.2 IP, 27 H, 19 BB, 53 K, 2.72 ERA, 1.16 WHIP #14 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (16 games, .197/.258/.443 (700) with 3 doubles, 4 homers, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 20 K) #15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 67 games, .203/.303/.299 (602) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 3 homer, 43 RBI, 35 BB, 56 K, 11 SB) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 73 games, .257/.371/.504 (.874) with 10 doubles, 2 triples, 18 homers, 44 RBI, 45 BB, 63 K) #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 71 games, .226/.279/.420 (.700) with 12 doubles, 8 triples, 9 homers, 38 RBI, 18 BB, 102 K) #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (injured) #19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 14 GS, 59.1 IP, 56 H, 36 BB, 94 K, 4.85 ERA, 1.55 WHIP LOOKING AHEAD Dunedin @ Ft. Myers (Casey Legumina, Sean Mooney, Landon Leach, Bobby Milacki, TBD, Sawyer Gipson-Long): Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids:(Jon Olsen, Tyler Watson, Ben Gross, Louie Varland, Tyler Beck Cody Laweryson) Midland @ Wichita: (Cole Sands, Bryan Sammons, Jordan Balazovic, Chris Vallimont, Austin Schulfer, Cole Sands) Louisville @ St. Paul: (Matt Shoemaker, Andrew Albers, Drew Strotman, TBD, TBD, Matt Shoemaker): Feel free to ask any questions you like.
  9. 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.
  10. Current Second Baseman: Luis Arraez Arraez burst onto the scene in 2019 with a rookie campaign unseen in Minnesota for quite some time. He hit .334/.399/.439 with a 29 to 36 strikeout to walk ratio. In the batter’s box, he seemed to be able to know what the pitcher was throwing and spit on pitches on the edges. Arraez was never seen as a top-tier prospect, but the 2019 season might have changed that perspective. To be clear, the 2020 season saw Arraez play through a knee injury that plagued him during spring training and the team’s summer camp session. With that being said, he still hit .321/.364/.402 with an 11 to 8 strikeout to walk ratio in 32 games. The shortened season certainly impacted his injury and it also impacted the numbers he was able to produce at the big-league level. Arraez should be the Twins present and future, but it’s hard to predict how his knee will react. 40-Man Options Besides Arraez, the Twins have other 40-man roster options to play second base. Travis Blankenhorn is a legitimate option that could surprise some fans in 2021. If the Twins are able to sign another shortstop, Jorge Polanco could move to a utility role to put less pressure on Donaldson and Arraez. Blankenhorn has accumulated over 1900 defensive innings at second base during his professional career which is more than any other defensive position. On the Farm Options Outside of the options mentioned above, there are other second base options in the minor leagues including some strong prospects. Lin was an intriguing signing this winter and Severino has all the skills to be an impact option at the big-league level. Lin will likely get multiple opportunities to fill-in for full-time players. Also, Severino has been in the Twins system long enough to build up equity with the coaching staff. Arraez might be the current second baseman Prato joined the Twins organization as a 7th round pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. He split his professional debut between Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids while hitting .268/.373/.730 with 10 extra-base hits in 4 games. Santana played three full seasons in the Dominican Summer League before making his stateside debut. In E-Town, he hit .276/.371/.372 with 10 extra-base hits in 40 games. He should have the chance to debut with Fort Myers in 2021. Julien is another intriguing option because of his college experience. Minnesota drafted him out of Auburn in 2019 and he has yet to make his professional debut. The Canadian native could make a big impact on the organization if he is able to move quickly in the years ahead. What do you think about the future of second base in Minnesota? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES -First Base -Shortstop -Third Base 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. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. AWARDS RHP Randy Dobnak was named the Pitcher of the Week for the International League. Dobnak made two starts for the Red Wings and went 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA. In 12 1/3 innings, he gave up just seven hits, hit one batter, walked three and struck out ten batters. TRANSACTIONS Blake Parker elected to become a free agent after being outrighted. Brusdar Graterol began his rehab assignment in the GCL. Yunior Severino began his rehab assignment in the GCL. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Buffalo 6 Box Score The game was tied at 3-3 heading into the bottom of the eighth. Cody Allen came on for the Red Wings. He gave up a single which was followed by a sacrifice bunt. After an error, a double put Buffalo ahead by one. Following a strikeout, Allen gave up a two-run single. The batter was thrown out at second by Alejandro de Aza to end the inning. Allen was charged with three runs (just one earned) on three hits. Drew Hutchison started and gave up three runs (2 earned) on three hits in the first five innings. He walked five and struck out four batters. Sam Clay struck out three over two scoreless, one-hit innings. He walked two. Down 6-3 going into the ninth inning, Jaylin Davis hit a two-run homer to cut the lead to one, but they were unable to score another. Nick Gordon went 2-for-4 with his 26th and 27th doubles. Jake Cave was 2-for-4 with his 16th double. Rochester hitters were hit by five pitches. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Pensacola 0, Jacksonville 1 Box Score The Blue Wahoos faced one of baseball’s best pitching prospects, Marlins RHP Sixto Sanchez. He came as advertised. He went six innings and gave up just two hits, including a double off the bat of Royce Lewis. The Wahoos ended the game with just three total hits. Mark Contreras walked twice. Lefty Bryan Sammons started. He gave up a run on three hits over the first 4 2/3 innings. He walked three and struck out six batters. Anthony Vizcaya went the next 2 2/3 innings. He struck out four and gave up just one hit. Tom Hackimer came on and got the final two outs, though he did hit a batter. In case you were wondering, Lewin Diaz went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his Jumbo Shrimp debut. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers Box Score No Game Scheduled. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Clinton 9 Box Score The Kernels fell behind 6-1 after just a couple of innings. They clawed their way back and had the tying-run on base when the game ended in a loss. Tyler Palm started and gave up six runs (2 earned) in 4 2/3 innings. He gave up seven hits, walked none and struck out three. Carlos Suniaga gave up two runs on four hits over the next two innings. Ricky Ramirez gave up an unearned run over the final 2 1/3 innings. Trevor Casanova went 3-for-4 in the game and drove in two runs. Gilberto Celestino went 2-for-5 with his 20th double. Alex Isola hit his second Kernels home run, a two-run blast in the 7th inning. He drove in three runs. Jared Akins walked three times. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 1, Burlington 5 Box Score Elizabethton got behind early and were unable to muster enough offense to mount a comeback. Tyler Benninghoff started and gave up five runs on five hits over 4 1/3 innings. He walked four and struck out four batters. Erik Cha worked the final 3 2/3 innings. He gave up one hit, walked three and struck out four batters. He also got a couple of double plays to help him pitch zeroes. Max Smith went 2-for-4 with his fourth and fifth doubles. Kidany Salva went 2-for-3. The Twins got their lone run on the first professional home run of first baseman Trevor Jenson. https://twitter.com/ETwinsBaseball/status/1155985338906505217 GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 4, GCL Rays 1 Box Score The big news is that Brusdar Graterol made his return to the mound in a rehab start. He threw the first inning and worked a perfect first inning with two strikeouts. The fastball was mostly at 100 mph per reports. Other big news is the performance of 18-year-old Anthony Escobar. On this day, he worked seven innings and gave up just one run on five hits. He walked two and struck out six batters. He is now 3-1 with a 2.10 ERA in 25 2/3 innings. Jose Guevara picked up the save with a scoreless ninth inning. There were other rehabbing players. Taylor Grzelakowski (ankle) went 0-for-2 with two walks in the game. Also, Yunior Severino (thumb) returned and played second base. He went 1-for-3 with a first-inning double. Francisco Martinez led the offense by hitting his third and fourth double of the season. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Anthony Escobar, GCL Twins Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Nick Gordon, Rochester Red Wings PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 1-4, 2B(2) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Did Not Play #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Rehab in GCL, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 1-4, 3 K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, 2 R, RBI, SB(2) #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Temporary Inactive List (Pan Am Games) #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - 0-4, 2 K #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured List (groin). #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Minnesota) - No Game Scheduled #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 2-4, 2-2B(27), HBP, R #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - 0-4 #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - Did Not Play #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 0-4, 2 K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did Not Play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 0-3, BB, K, CS #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - Injured List TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Buffalo (1:05 CST) - LHP Devin Smeltzer (1-3, 3.02 ERA) Pensacola @ Jacksonville (6:05 CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (1-0, 1.64 ERA) Dunedin @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - RHP Dakota Chalmers (1st Miracle start) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:30 CST) - TBD Elizabethton @ Burlington (5:30 CST) - RHP Ben Gross (3-1, 2 64 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games or any other minor league topics you would like.
  12. Over a two-week span, Twins Daily will be revealing the Twins Daily Midseason Top 40 Prospects. Minnesota has some of the best prospects in the game and one of the strongest farm systems. There have been some changes from our preseason top-20 list, but most of those changes are draft picks and strong performances. Continue reading, and then discussing, the Twins Daily choices for 25th through 21st prospects of the Minnesota Twins below. 25. Yunior Severino – 2B Age: 19 ETA: 2023 2019 Stats (A-): .269/.367/.269 (.636 OPS), 0 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 7 K, 4 BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: 15 Seth: 34 | Tom: 21 | Cody: 18 | Ted: 25 | Steve: NR Severino took a roundabout way of getting to the Twins organization. During the 2017 international signing period, the Twins had their eyes set on Severino. He decided to sign with Atlanta, but the Braves had circumvented international spending rules. Severino and 13 other prospects had their contract voided. In his first taste of full-season ball, Severino has seen limited action because of a broken thumb. Prior to the injury, he had gone 6-for-22 with four walks and seven strikeouts. Severino continues to add weight to his frame and with it should come some more power. When he is healthy, he should be a player to move quickly up this list. 24. Edwar Colina - RHP Age: 22 ETA: 2022 2019 Stats (A+): 41.0 IP, 3.51 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 2.4 BB/9, 3.55 K/BB 2019 Ranking: HM Seth: 13 | Tom: 30 | Cody: 35 | Ted: 31 | Steve: 13 Colina signed with the Twins back in 2015 out of Venezuela. Last year was a breakout season for him at Cedar Rapids. Over his final six starts at that level, he had 51 strikeouts in 40 1/3 innings. He has spent all this season in Fort Myers after finishing at that level last year. His first start was a little rough as he allowed six earned runs on eight hits and he couldn’t finish the fifth inning. Since then, he has posted a 2.48 with 34 strikeouts and 8 walks in 36 1/3 innings. Colina has a lot of strength in his lower half and this helps him to reach into the mid-90s with his fastball. He mixes in a good changeup and a solid breaking ball. If he continues to pitch well, he could be in the Pensacola rotation before the season ends. 23. Jose Miranda – 3B/2B Age: 20 ETA: 2022 2019 Stats (A+): .235/.300/.350 (.650 OPS), 14 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 37 K, 16 BB 2019 Ranking: 20 Seth: 28 | Tom: 17 | Cody: 26 | Ted: 26 | Steve: 30 Minnesota took Jose Miranda with their second-round pick in 2016. He played a big role in last year’s FSL championship run with Fort Myers as he went 10-for-25 (.400) with three doubles and a pair of home runs. The right-handed hitting infielder has combined for 91 regular season games at High-A over the last two seasons. During that time, he has hit .229/.297/.351 (.648) with 27 extra-base hits and a 48 to 21 strikeout to walk ratio. After hitting 16 home runs last year, his power has dipped a little. It would be nice to see him have a hot second half like last year. Miranda has split time playing second base and third base throughout his professional career and this year he has spent most of his time at the hot corner. 22. Zack Littell - RHP Age: 24 ETA: 2018 2019 Stats: MLB: 9.1 IP, 7.71 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 6.8 K/9, 1.0 BB/9, 7.00 K/BB (AAA): 50.2 IP, 3.91 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 10.3 K/9, 3.0 BB/9, 3.41 K/BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: 17 Seth: 39 | Tom: 15 | Cody: 15 | Ted: 27 | Steve: NR Littell was acquired from the Yankees as part of the Jaime Garcia trade back in 2017. He was a little bit of a polarizing prospect when it came to these rankings. Even though he is being used as a relief pitcher at the big-league level, some of us still think he could fit in as a starter. His MLB numbers look a little rough because he allowed eight earned runs in 4 1/3 innings back on May 30. In his other three appearances, he has yet to allow a run. His fastball has increased this season, which usually can be expected for pitchers coming out of the bullpen. He can help the bullpen this season and it will be interesting to see if the club keeps him there long-term. 21. Stephen Gonsalves - LHP ETA: 2018 Age: 24 2019 Stats (AAA): 2.0 IP, 4.50 ERA, 3.00 WHIP, 9.0 K/9, 22.5 BB/9, 0.40 K/BB 2019 Ranking: 12 Seth: 22 | Tom: 28 | Cody: 20 | Ted: 20 | Steve: 14 Gonsalves, a fourth-round pick in 2013, has been one of the Twins best starting pitchers in the minors over the last half of a decade. So far this year, he has been limited to one appearance. He is dealing with a stress reaction in his elbow and forearm. His UCL is intact, so the club is using a period of rest before he will be reexamined. He dominated at Double-A and High-A with sub-2.50 ERAs and sub 1.16 WHIP totals. Triple-A has seen some ups and downs with a 3.46 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP in 125 innings. He sits in the low-90s with his fastball so it’s critical for him to have command of all his pitches. His change-up might be his best pitch and he adds in a low-70s curveball as well. Who’s ranked too high? Who’s ranked too low? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Also, check back next week to see who made the top-30 prospects. Twins Daily 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings Prospects 36-40 Prospects 31-35 Prospects 26-30 Prospects 21-25 (TODAY) Prospects 16-20 Coming Soon
  13. 15. Yunior Severino, 2B Age: 19 (DOB: 10/3/99) 2018 Stats (Rookie): 218 PA, .263/.321/.424, 8 HR, 28 RBI ETA: 2022 2018 Ranking: 18 It feels like a lifetime ago that the Atlanta Braves were handed severe sanctions for circumventing MLB's international signing rules, with GM John Coppolella banned for life and nine of the organization's signings released back into free agency. (Especially since Atlanta's internal rebuild coalesced so beautifully anyway in 2018.) But it was just last offseason that the Twins were able to capitalize and scoop up Severino, who enjoyed a solid rookie-level debut with his new franchise. In 49 games at Elizabethton, Severino posted a .745 OPS that was nearly identical to the Appalachian League average (.746). He did so as an 18-year-old switch-hitting middle infielder, in a setting where the average player was two years older. His eight home runs tied for the league lead among second basemen. Already closing in on 200 pounds as a teenager, Severino doesn't have much speed to speak of (he hasn't stolen a base in 107 games as a pro) and will probably end up at a corner spot defensively, so his bat will probably have to carry him. But there's plenty of potential in that department. "He’s like Alex Kirilloff—his swing stands out from the others,” VP for player personnel Mike Radcliff told Baseball America when the Twins signed Severino. Not a bad comp. 14. Ben Rortvedt, C Age: 21 (DOB: 9/25/97) 2018 Stats (A-/A+): 353 PA, .262/.331/.379, 5 HR, 43 RBI ETA: 2021 2018 Ranking: 16 Since being drafted by the Twins as a second-rounder in 2016, Rortvedt's offensive game has lagged behind his relatively advanced defense. In that scope, his 2018 season has to be viewed as a success; between two levels of A-ball, the lefty-swinging Wisconsin native posted a .710 OPS, improving by more than 100 points on 2017's underwhelming mark (.599) at Cedar Rapids. He certainly wasn't dominant at the plate following his midseason promotion to Fort Myers, but his approach was exemplary, with a 0.72 BB/K ratio that ranked second-best among Florida State League catchers with 100+ PA. At this point we're just waiting for a bit more power to emerge, which seems feasible as he keeps growing and adding strength. He totaled four home runs with the Miracle after hitting one in Cedar Rapids, the last a grand slam in late-August as part of a six-RBI outburst. As a receiver, Rortvedt draws high marks. His excellent arm continues to control opposing run games, as he threw out 37% of base stealers last year following 2017's 36%. He figures to compete for a spot at Double-A this spring, but will have to fend off the next guy on this list. 13. Ryan Jeffers, C Age: 21 (DOB: 6/3/97) 2018 Stats (Rookie/A-): 284 PA, .344/.444/.502, 7 HR, 33 RBI ETA: 2021 2018 Ranking: N/A I noted in recapping last year's list that while the system was generally balanced, "the notable area of concern is catcher." Rortvedt and Mitch Garver were the position's only representatives in the Top 20, and Garver would soon lose his prospect eligibility. So Jeffers immediately took on a great deal of importance when the Twins drafted him out UNC Wilmington in the second round, 59th overall, last June. He was the fourth catcher to come off the board, and the second collegiate backstop. Answering the call, Jeffers arrived with a thunderous debut in pro ball. Although you'd generally expect a successful college hitter (Jeffers put up a 1.095 OPS with 16 homers in his final season at Wilmington) to catch on quickly in the low minors, Jeffers surpassed all expectations offensively, slashing a ridiculous .422/.543/.578 in 29 games at Elizabethton before moving up to Low-A, where he finished at .288/.361/.446 in 36 contests. His bat looks legit. The key question is whether he'll stick at catcher. He's a big guy (6'4", 228) with a good arm (threw out five of 12 runners last year) but there are many raw aspects of his game behind the plate. For his part, he has no intentions of moving: "“The Twins haven’t even asked me to play anything else,” he told the Pioneer Press. “For me, that’s a good sign. They trust me behind the plate and want me to stick there. I want to stick back behind the plate. I don’t really want to play any other position.” Jeffers and Rortvedt are two sides of the same coin, inspiring plenty of confidence in one dimension with less polish in the other. They're at roughly the same stage of development. It's tough to say at this point which one's more likely to emerge, but the Twins are much better off for having both of them in the system. 12. Nick Gordon, SS Age: 23 (DOB: 10/24/95) 2018 Stats (AA/AAA): 591 PA, 248/.298/.355, 7 HR, 49 RBI ETA: 2019 2018 Ranking: 3 In the plot line of Gordon's career, you can pinpoint the moment where his prospect stock absolutely peaked, and then embarked upon an abrupt nosedive. It was on May 22nd, 2018, when he was promoted to Triple-A and suddenly everything began to fall apart. Gordon had torn it up in Chattanooga over the first two months, slashing .333/.381/.525 to back up his preseason #3 ranking on Twins Daily's prospect list, but at Rochester his limitations took center-stage. Gordon's offensive potential was always based more on projection than production. That he was able to remain a regular fixture in national prospect rankings despite never cracking a .750 OPS through four years speaks to the prestige of his pedigree. In Triple-A, the lack of power and patience caused him to tank. He endured multiple long hitless stretches. In his final 40 games he batted .166 with three extra-base hits in 170 plate appearances. Even with the context that a 22-year-old Gordon was young for the International League, it was tough to find silver linings. Meanwhile, the questions about his viability at shortstop gained more weight, as Gordon ceded a higher percentage of playing time than ever before – nearly one out of every three starts – to second base. An eventual move across the bag was generally assumed, given his lack of standout arm strength, but if Gordon can't play short in the majors his need to add offense is magnified. To that end, Gordon is said to be focused on gaining weight (and strength) this offseason. The Star Tribune reports that he's spent significant time at the team's facility in Fort Myers. If it all comes together at the plate, he'll have no trouble providing value at either middle-infield spot. Added to the 40-man roster in November, his options clock will start ticking this season. 11. Stephen Gonsalves, LHP Age: 24 (DOB: 7/8/94) 2018 Stats (AA/AAA): 120.2 IP, 2.76 ERA, 120/65 K/BB, 1.17 WHIP ETA: 2019 2018 Ranking: 4 In the plot line of Gonsalves' career, you can pinpoint the moment where his prospect stock absolutely peaked, and then embarked upon an abrupt nosedive. It was August 20th, 2018, when he arrived in the majors following an unconscious stretch at Triple-A and delivered the first in a series of clunkers. Over his first four MLB starts, every flaw in the left-hander's game was exploited. Batters teed off on his low-velo arsenal, batting .414 and pushing across 16 earned runs in 12 1/3 innings. He constantly struggled to find the zone, with 13 walks and a 57% strike rate. He threw 287 pitches and induced 17 swings and misses (6%). To his credit, Gonsalves turned things around and finished on a strong note, allowing two earned runs and four hits over 12 1/3 innings in his last three appearances, all following an "opener." During this stretch his strengths were more visible – namely a long-standing ability to limit hard contact – but he still was wild and unable to miss bats, reminding us of the tightrope he walks with limited stuff. Despite his impeccable numbers throughout the minors, which were as good as ever as he climbed past the top rung, it was always difficult for analysts to envision Gonsalves as an overpowering major-league starter. In August and September, we saw why. Gordon and Gonsalves in 2018 were both prime examples of weaknesses being exposed at the highest levels. But they're also both under 25, with ample development time ahead of them before options run out. It's important to keep in mind the positive attributes that earned each a spot in the top five a year ago. At least each one now has a precise idea of what needs improvement. In the words of Henry Ford: "Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently." Twins Daily 2019 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Jose Miranda, 2B/3B 19. Jorge Alcala, RHP 18. LaMonte Wade, OF 17. Zack Littell, RHP 16. Gilberto Celestino, OF
  14. Yesterday, Twins Daily announced the Short Season Pitcher of the Year. Throughout the rest of the week, the other minor league awards will be announced. There were some strong performances throughout the minors and some of these players may be part of the next wave of players heading for Target Field. Short profiles of our top five are to follow, but first, some players worthy of honorable mention. These players also received votes. Others Receiving Votes: Janigson Villalobos, GCL Twins: 26-84, .310/.363/.393 (.755), 3-2B, 2-3B, 15 RBI Yeltsin Encarnacion, GCL Twins/Elizabethton Twins: 50-167, .299/.350/.377 (.727), 8-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 22 RBI DaShawn Keirsey, Elizabethton Twins: 31-103, .301/.371/.427 (.798), 7-2B, 3-3B, 13 RBI Michael Helman, Elizabethton Twins: 15-40, .375/.435/.575 (1.010), 1-3B, 2-HR, 7 RBI (does not include stats from Cedar Rapids) Alex Robles, Elizabethton Twins: 66-244, .297/.357/.378 (.735), 12-2B, 2-HR, 35 RBI Trevor Larnach, Elizabethton Twins: 19-61, .311/.413/.492 (.905), 5-2B, 2-HR, 16 RBI (does not include stats from Cedar Rapids) Tyler Webb, GCL Twins/Elizabethton Twins: 41-143, .287/.373/.336 (.709), 4-2B, 1-HR, 16 RBI Short-Season Hitter of the Year Here are the top five players for the Twins Daily Short-Season Hitter of the Year 5. Yunior Severino, Elizabethton Twins: 52-198, .263/.321/.424 (.745), 8-2B, 8-HR, 28 RBI Severino split the 2017 season between the Dominican Summer League and the Braves Gulf Coast League teams. Following the season, he was ruled a free agent by Major League Baseball and the Twins quickly signed him for $2.5 million. The 18-year-old is a really good athlete with good speed, but he’s also got real good bat speed from both sides of the plate which could lead to some power. While he could play shortstop, he is already primarily playing second base. 4. Colton Burns, Elizabethton Twins: 23-93, .247/.375/.505 (.880), 6-2B, 6-HR, 14 RBI Burns was the Twins 18th-round pick in 2017 out of UC-Santa Barbara. He’s fought some injuries in his time as a professional, including about a month due to a knee injury this season. When he did play, he displayed some raw power that made him intriguing to the organization. T2. Ryan Jeffers, Elizabethton Twins: 43-102, .422/.543/.578 (1.121), 7-2B, 3-HR, 17 RBI If we’re being honest, Jeffers was clearly on his way to this award, but it was clear that the Twins 2nd-round pick was ready to be pushed to the Midwest League. Jeffers hit for average, he took walks and got on base, and he showed plenty of power. Those things continued after he joined the Cedar Rapids Kernels. T2. Trevor Casanova, Elizabethton Twins: 48-145, .331/.389/.490 (.879), 14-2B, 3-HR, 16 RBI Casanova played just one year of high school baseball and then went to three junior colleges before spending a year at El Camino College. He was drafted in 2017 in the 14th round by Seattle, but he chose to go to Cal State-Northridge. The Twins made him their 13th-round pick and sent him as one of four catchers to Elizabethton. He played a little more than half of the time and earned the playing time with his high batting average and doubles power. As he continues to work on his defense, he will be one to watch in Cedar Rapids in 2019. Get to know more about Casanova from his Q&A for Twins Daily. 1. Chris Williams, Elizabethton Twins: 54-214, .252/.372/.500 (.872), 6-2B, 1-3B, 15-HR, 51 RBI Williams grew up in Southern California and after a strong high school career, he did not have a single Division 1 offer. So, he went to an area junior college and after one year, he moved across the country to play at Clemson University. In an interview with Twins Daily in late July, Williams discussed the decision to go to Clemson. “Clemson gave me a call and asked if I was interested in leaving California and going to South Carolina to play baseball. All I can remember was being dumbfounded and thinking, What does South Carolina even look like? I had never left home for more than three weeks. But I took a leap of faith, and it was the best three years of my life.” Over the next three years, Williams played in 211 games for Clemson and hit a combined .276 (.883) with 48 doubles and 44 home runs. He was drafted in the 31st round of the 2017 draft by the Rays but went back for his senior season. This June, the Twins called his name in the eighth round. Twins minor league director Jeremy Zoll mentioned the Twins scouts finding his potential game-changing tool and took a shot on him. “I think our amateur group identified that there was real power in Chris’s bat and to be able to snag that at that point in the draft was intriguing.” Since the only defensive position Williams played for Elizabethton was first base, it may surprise many to know that the Twins drafted him as a catcher, and that may be something he gets an opportunity to do starting next month. According to Zoll, “He’s dealt with some shoulder injuries in college, and he seems to be all squared away now and coming into our fall program, we’re going to explore getting him back behind the dish. That’s only going to help his value long-term.” Williams reported to Elizabethton where manager Ray Smith took a look at him and inserted him into the middle of the lineup. Smith noted, “ We had situated him into a ‘run producing’ slot early after seeing him a few times and reading the scouting reports. He had shown success (with power) at a good college program, had driven in some runs, hit some long balls for us and we ended up leaving him there for the duration of the year.” Williams’ 15 home runs led the Appalachian League, and his 51 RBI put him in fourth in the league. Despite the low batting average, he finished in the Top 10 in the league in slugging percentage and OPS. The numbers match the scouting reports. Zoll adds, “Chris has got crazy raw power. He does a good job when pitches end up in his zone of not missing them, and he showed that from wire to wire in the Appy League. To end up with 15 bombs in short season is pretty cool and speaks to the threat he is in the middle of the order. We saw teams starting to pitch around him at times which only helped that walk total there.” While he struck out just under 20% of his plate appearances, he walked over 15% of the time too. His manager noticed. “A lot of that comes from development and application of a hit plan, knowing the strike zone, showing balance and alignment, control of your weight shift, et cetera. Allows you to make adjustments to velocity, spin and location and not get yourself out so much.” Zoll added, “You can have all the power in the world, but if you don’t find the right place to harness it or get too eager to show it off, it becomes a detriment.” E-Twins manager Ray Smith discussed how Williams fit into the ideal lineup. “Ideally, you hope to stack your line-up with speed, consistency & some power. Chris supplied us with that power threat in the middle of our lineup. He was especially effective when we had Jeffers and Larnach here for awhile. Got pitched around some late.” All that being said, Williams had a very nice professional debut with the Elizabethton Twins and was very deserving as the choice for Twins Daily Short-Season Hitter of the Year. The Ballots In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs- 1) Chris Williams, 2) Ryan Jeffers, 3) Yunior Severino, 4) Trevor Casanova, 5) Yeltsin Encarnacion Jeremy Nygaard- 1) Ryan Jeffers, 2) Chris Williams, 3) Michael Helman, 4) Trevor Larnach, 5) Trevor Casanova Cody Christie- 1) Chris Williams, 2) Ryan Jeffers, 3) Trevor Casanova, 4) Colton Burns, 5) Yunior Severino Tom Froemming- 1) Chris Williams, 2) Ryan Jeffers, 3) Colton Burns, 4) Trevor Casanova, 5) Alex Robles Steve Lein- 1) Chris Williams, 2) Trevor Casanova, 3) Colton Burns, 4) Yunior Severino, 5) DaShawn Keirsey Ted Schwerzler- 1) Trevor Casanova, 2) Janigson Villalobos, 3) Yeltsin Encarnacion, 4) DeShawn Keirsey, 5) Tyler Webb Feel free to discuss. What do you think of our rankings? How would you rank them? How would your ballot look?
  15. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Friday, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS The Twins announced that Matt Belisle would be activated from the DL on Saturday. September call ups for Saturday will include: Johnny Field, Chris Gimenez and Tyler Duffey. There had been reports from Rochester that Zack Littell left the field with his duffle bag. It's possible that they just aren't going to activate him until Sunday or something. It appears LHP Andrew Vasquez has been called up as well. He began the 2018 season in Ft. Myers.. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Lehigh Valley 3 Box Score Lewis Thorpe made his final minor league start of the 2018 season on Friday night, though he still took the loss. The southpaw from Australia worked the first seven innings. He was charged with three unearned runs on four hits and a walk. He struck out eight. He gave up the three runs in the sixth innings. With one out, Thorpe committed an error, then walked a batter. The big blow was a three-run homer that followed. Ryne Harper worked two scoreless, hitless innings. The Red Wings managed just five hits. Jon Kemmer had two hits. Zander Wiel added a single and a walk. Byron Buxton was 0-for-3 with a strikeout. He was also hit by a pitch. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4, Jackson 1 Box Score It’s been a terrific season for righty Tyler Wells. He gave up just one run on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. He uncharacteristically walked four, but he (characteristically) struck out eight. Casey Crosby got the final out of the sixth inning and worked a scoreless seventh frame as well. Tyler Jay worked a scoreless eighth inning, and Devin Smeltzer recorded his third save with a perfect ninth. Jimmy Kerrigan led the offense. He went 3-for-4 with his seventh double. Luis Arraez added two singles. Mitchell Kranson singled and walked twice. Luke Raley was 1-for-3 with a walk and drove in two runs. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, Clearwater 10 Box Score The Miracle came into the season’s final weekend with a 1 1/2 game lead for a playoff spot. On this night, they were unable to help their own cause. Griffin Jax had his first rough start of the season. He gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits and two walks in just 2 2/3 innings. Kevin Marnon came on and gave up two runs on five hits, a walk and a hit batter over the next two innings. Alex Phillip made his Twins debut and threw 2 1/3 scoreless innings without even giving up a base runner. He struck out two. Adam Bray was charged with two runs on six hits over the final two innings. He struck one out. Phillips was signed out of the independent Frontier League this week. Reports indicate that he is aggressive in the strike zone. His fastball sits 91 to 93 mph and he has both a slider and a curveball, both of which were referred to as “good pitches.” Royce Lewis went 2-for-4 in the game. Alex Kirilloff went 1-for-1 with three walks. He homered in his first at-bat of the game. It was his 20th overall of the season. He also has 101 RBI. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Burlington 2 Box Score How did Michael Davis last until the 24th round in this year’s draft. All he’s done since signing is mash to the tune of a .308 average with now nine home runs. The biggest came tonight when, down a run in the bottom of the eighth inning, he crushed a grand slam that proved to be the game winner. Gabriel Maciel went 3-for-4. Victor Tademo was 2-for-3 with a walk and his first Midwest League double. Melvi Acosta started. The righty gave up two runs on five hits and a walk in just five innings. He struck out two. Moises Gomez came on and threw two zeroes on the scoreboard. Zach Neff worked both the eighth and ninth frames to be credited with the Win. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 7, Kingsport 3 Box Score The E-Twins began their annual playoff run with a game in Kingsport. After the win, Game 2 (and Game 3, if necessary) will be played in Elizabethton. The offense showed up, but it was a terrific start by 2018 pick Josh Winder. The seventh-round pick gave up one run on four hits over the first six innings. He walked none and struck out eight. JT Perez came in for the seventh and got two outs. However, he gave up one run on one hit and three walks. Both outs he recorded came on strikeouts. Jacob Blank got the final seven outs to record the save. Five of the outs came on strikeouts. He gave up one run on one hit and two walks. Yunior Severino and Ricky De La Torre, the youngest players on the team, each had three hits. Severino had a double. Gilberto Celestino went 2-for-4 with a two-run homer. Alex Robles had two hits and drove in three runs. Chris Williams had a single and two walks. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Yunior Severino, Elizabethton Twins (3-5, 2B, 2 R). Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Josh Winder, Elizabethton Twins (6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 8 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 2-4,K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 1-1, 3 BB, HR(7), R, RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-4, 2 K, R, K #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Minnesota) - 3.2 IP, 6 H, 6 R, 3 ER, 4 BB, 0 K. #6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, K #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-4, IBB, K #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - did not play #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-4, 2B(9) #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, K #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - 7 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, RBI #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 3-5, 2B, 2 R, K #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - Out for the season (wrist) #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) - did not play #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, R, K #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - 2-5, 2 R, K #21 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, R, K *Since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list. SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (5:05 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero (5-5, 3.49 ERA) Chattanooga @ Jackson (6:05 CST) - LHP Dietrich Enns (4-5, 4.01 ERA) Clearwater @ Ft. Myers (5:00 CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (0-1, 5.79 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (7:00 CST) - RHP Carlos Suniaga (3-4, 3.89 ERA) Kingsport @ Elizabethton (5:00 CST) - RHP Luis Rijo GCL Twins - Season Completed Please feel free to ask any questions about Friday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  16. TRANSACTIONS There were a few roster moves and an All-Star announcement in the system on Tuesday: In Chattanooga, infielder Sean Miller was released. No corresponding move was made at this time. Miller was a 10th-round pick for the Twins in the 2015 draft out of South Carolina. It was busy in Fort Myers, as the Twins signed pitcher Alex Phillips out of the independent Frontier League and assigned him to the Miracle where he would play a part in their game. They also placed Taylor Grzelakowski on the 7-day disabled list while activating Shane Carrier. Kennys Vargas was named an International League Postseason All-Star, and slots as the designated hitter on the roster. Vargas has been fantastic of late, with 20 hits including five home runs and 18 RBI since August 14th (14 games). RED WINGS REPORT Game 1: Buffalo 4, Rochester 5 (seven innings) Box Score In their regularly scheduled game, the Red Wings used one big inning and a timely hit from Byron Buxton late to secure a victory. Zack Littell made the start for Rochester, and completed six of the game’s seven innings. He allowed a single run in each of the first and third innings, then two in the fourth to tie the game. He gave his offense a chance by holding the Bisons scoreless in his final two innings, including striking out the last two hitters he faced with a runner in scoring position. He ended up with a win to even his record at 6-6 on the season when the home team struck in the bottom half of his final frame. The game was tied as the Red Wings lineup strung together five hits and a sacrifice fly in the third inning that was good for four runs of their own. Alex Perez, Byron Buxton, and Nick Gordon loaded the bases with singles to start it, Gregorio Petit drove in two of them with a double, then an RBI single from LaMonte Wade and sac fly from Zander Wiel finished it. In the bottom of the sixth Juan Graterol doubled to put himself in scoring position, then with two outs Buxton traded places with him for the deciding run. Lefty Andrew Vasquez got his first save opportunity since being promoted to Triple A in the top of the seventh, and while it got interesting, escaped a no-out situation with runners on second and third to record his first save with Rochester. He struck out the final two hitters to do so after fantastic barehanded fielder’s choice play from Petit at third base to cut a runner down at home: https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1034591514532302848 The top of the Red Wings lineup (Buxton, Gordon, Petit) combined to go 6-for-11 with three runs scored, four doubles, and three RBI on the game. Wade and Graterol also picked up multiple hits. Game 2: Buffalo 4, Rochester 6 (seven innings, makeup of 4/8 postponement) Box Score In game two, a makeup of a postponement due to snow all the way back in early April, Rochester pitched a bullpen game. D.J. Baxendale started and finished the first 2 1/3 innings. He allowed one run in the second and ran into some more trouble in the third, finishing with two runs allowed on five hits and a walk. He struck out one. Nick Anderson got his team through the fifth inning, allowing one run on two hits and a walk in 2 2/3, striking out four. He notched his seventh win of the season. John Curtiss closed out the final two innings for his tenth save. He gave up a run on a solo-homer that made it the final of 6-4, but also struck out two. The Red Wings runs came courtesy of RBI doubles from Jeremy Hazelbaker and Alex Perez in the second inning, a two-run double from Kennys Vargas and RBI single from Hazelbaker in the third, and finally an RBI single from Nick Gordon in the fifth. They racked up eleven hits as a team with Gordon leading the way with a 3-for-4 showing, along with multiple hits from Gregorio Petit (2-for-4, R, 2B) and Hazelbaker (2-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI). CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Jacksonville 9, Chattanooga 2 Box Score Tyler Jay got the opener role in this one and delivered a scoreless first inning. He gave up one hit and struck out one leading into ‘starter’ Sean Poppen’s game. The Jumbo Shrimp jumped all over Poppen and the Lookouts were not able to recover. Although he finished four innings, Poppen’s line included seven runs (six earned) on ten hits and one walk in his time. He struck out three and allowed two home runs. Anthony Marzi came on for the sixth and would finish 1 2/3, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks along with picking up two K’s. Sam Clay finished the seventh and added a scoreless eighth, striking out four of the five hitters he faced. Williams Ramirez finished off the game for the home team with a one-two-three ninth, striking out one. On offense Chattanooga tallied seven hits and two walks, but they didn’t lead to many scoring opportunities as they were just 0-for-3 with runners in scoring position and grounded into four double plays. Jordan Gore collected multiple hits with a 2-for-3 night. Brent Rooker finished 1-for-4 while an Andy Wilkins home run and Jimmy Kerrigan sac fly led to their only runs. It was the Lookouts final home game of the season and they close it out with a five-game set across the state of Tennessee in Jackson starting on Thursday. MIRACLE MATTERS Bradenton 1, Fort Myers 2 (10 innings) Box Score The Miracle’s tilt with the Marauders on Tuesday was a good old-fashioned pitcher’s duel, with the score being just 1-0 Fort Myers heading into the top of the ninth inning. Starting for the home team was Andro Cutura, and he delivered six scoreless innings in his start, scattering five hits and one walk while striking out five. In the sixth, he worked around a hit-by-pitch and a double to start the inning by getting a shallow fly out and two K’s to end his night. The Miracle took the 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third after Travis Blankenhorn led of the frame with his 21st double and would later score on a sac fly from Ernie De La Trinidad. Hits were scarce for them, as they had just five as a team through nine. Ryan Mason came on from the bullpen for the seventh and eighth frames, keeping his team in front by allowing just one hit and a walk while striking out three. Adam Bray and his 1.27 ERA with Fort Myers came out for the top of the ninth and Bradenton was able to tie the game with three singles and saddle him with his first blown save of the year. The newly signed Alex Phillips was summoned for the tenth and got all three hitters he faced, including a K, to keep the Marauders off the board. In the bottom of the inning, after an intentional walk to Caleb Hamilton and a passed ball to advance the runners to second and third, Blankenhorn brought in the walk-off run with a single to center field. The win brings the Miracle to within a half-game of the Charlotte Stone Crabs in the Florida State League South division with five games to play. KERNELS NUGGETS Scheduled Day Off The Kernels wrapped up a Midwest League title in the second half on Monday and will finish off their regular season with a five-game series at home against the Burlington Bees starting Wednesday. They will kick off the MWL playoffs a week from Wednesday, against whomever comes out on top of a current half-game difference in the Western Division standings between Kane County, Beloit, and Wisconsin (Quad Cities and Peoria already qualified in the first half, so are ineligible). E-TWINS E-TALK Pulaski 5, Elizabethton 8 Box Score The E-Twins got all the run support they would need in the third inning when they batted around and plated six runs, but they also had pushed a run across in each of the first two innings to account for their eight runs on the scoreboard. Yunior Severino got them started with his eighth home run in the first, and they made it 2-0 on a bases-loaded passed ball in the second before the big outburst in the third. Gilberto Celestino (2-for-4, R, 2B, K), Jared Akins (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB, K, SB), and Lean Marrero (2-for-4, R, 2B, 2 RBI, K) collected multiple hits in the contest to lead the way. Andrew Cabezas got the start and served as an opener, pitching just the first inning. He went one-two-three including strikeouts of the game’s first two hitters. Prelander Berroa went the next 2 1/3, allowing three runs on two hits and three walks while striking out two. Juan Gomez got the win with the next 2 2/3, where he allowed an unearned run on four hits and two walks. He struck out three. J.T. Perez was the next man up and allowed a run on three hits, along with picking up four K’s in two innings. Jacob Blank closed it out for his first professional save with a one-two-three ninth, striking out two. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Andro Cutura, Fort Myers Miracle (6 IP, 0 R, 5 H, BB, 5 K) Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Travis Blankenhorn, Fort Myers Miracle (2-for-4, R, 2B, Game Winning RBI) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, 2 K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – (2 games) 4-for-8, 2 R, RBI, K #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Minnesota) – Did not pitch. #6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 1-for-4 #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off #9 -Wander Javier – Out for the season. #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) –.W, 6 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, BB, 5 K #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – (2 games) 2-for-6, RBI, K #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 2-for-4, R, 2B, RBI #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Fort Myers) – Did not play #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) – 1-for-5, HR (8), 2 K #17 - Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – Out for the season. #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) – Scheduled Day Off #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) – Did not play WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Buffalo @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) – RHP Chase De Jong (1-3, 3.81 ERA) Bradenton @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – RHP Clark Beeker (4-7, 4.73 ERA) Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Blayne Enlow (3-5, 3.24 ERA) Pulaski @ Elizabethton (6:00PM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  17. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Monday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS It’s a rarity, but on Monday there were no transactions in the Twins minor leagues. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Columbus 2 Box Score Chase De Jong was on the mound for the Red Wings in Ohio, facing off against Columbus. The right-hander gave up two runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five. Nick Anderson worked the final 2 1/3 innings and gave up just one hit. He struck out three batters without issuing a walk. Jon Kemmer led the offense. He went 3-for-4 with his fifth Red Wings double. Gregorio Petit went 2-for-4 with his ninth double. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga Box Score No Game Scheduled. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 4, Charlotte 3 Box Score Down 3-2 going into the bottom of the eighth inning. Caleb Hamilton drilled his 15th double of the season to drive in the tying and winning runs. Ryan Costello went 2-for-4. Royce Lewis got the Miracle on the scoreboard in the third inning when he singled in Hamilton. Griffin Jax put up another quality start. It was the tenth time in his eleven starts that he has completed six innings. On this night, he began with three perfect innings and five scoreless innings before giving up three runs in the sixth inning. In total, he gave up five hits, walked two and struck out six batters. Jovani Moran came on and struck out four batters over two, one-hit innings. He walked two. Kevin Marnon picked up his second save with a scoreless ninth inning. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 0, Quad Cities 3 Box Score Edwar Colina had another strong start for the Kernels. He gave up one run on two hits (one solo homer) and two walks over the first seven innings. He struck out a career-high ten batters. Rickey Ramirez came on and pitched a scoreless eighth inning, but he gave up two runs in the ninth to push the deficit to 3-0. The Kernels got a base runner in the ninth inning, but were unable to break up the shutout. Trey Cabbage broke up the no-hitter in the fifth inning with a single. The team had just four hits in the game. Michael Helman had two of them. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 4, Greeneville 1 Box Score Sometimes a strong start is all you need. In this game, Lean Marrero led off the top of the first inning with his second E-Twins homer. The next batter, Yunior Severino, drilled his fifth home run. Two batters into the game, the Twins had what proved to be enough runs to win this ball game. Jean Carlos Arias added a two-run triple later in the game. Yeltsin Encarnacion went 2-for-4 with his fourth double. Gilberto Celestino walked twice and stole his sixth base. Kody Funderburk started and threw four scoreless innings. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out two. Funderburk's four innings extended the E-Twins starters' stretch of scoreless innings to 26 (per Mike Gallagher). Brian Rapp came on and worked the next four innings. He was charged with an unearned run on two hits and a walk. He struck out six on his way to his first professional win. Johan Quezada came on and pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his second save of the year. He gave up a hit, walked one and struck out one. GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins , GCL Orioles Box Score Monday’s game was postponed by rain. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Jon Kemmer, Rochester Red Wings (3-4, 2B(5)). Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Edwar Colina, Cedar Rapids Kernels (7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, RBI, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, 2B(19), R #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch. #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-4, K #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch #6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, K #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - No Game Scheduled #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 0-3, BB, 2 K #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB, RBI, 2 K #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - No Game Scheduled #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 1-4, HR(5), R, RBI, 2 K #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - Out for the season (wrist) #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, K #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4 #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - No Game Scheduled. #21 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, HBP *Since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list. TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Columbus (6:05 CST) - TBD Chattanooga @ Mississippi (7:00 CST) - TBD Charlotte @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker (4-7, 4.17 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids - LHP Tyler Watson (4-5, 4.66 ERA) Elizabethton @ Greeneville (6:00 CST) - RHP Luis Rijo (3-1, 2.35 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  18. Led by manager Ray Smith, Elizabethton won its seventh Appy League title in 2017. Smith, who was signed by the Twins as an undrafted free agent in 1977, enters his 32nd season in the Elizabethton Twins coaching staff, his 25th as the manager. He played in 63 games for the E-Twins during that 1977 season. He played in 83 games for the Twins between 1981 and 1983. He comes into the season with an overall managerial record of 977-648. Former Twins first-round draft pick (1980) Jeff Reed, who played for the Twins from 1984 through 1986, enters his 17th season as the Elizabethton hitting coach. The 17-year major league veteran also works with the E-Twins catchers. Pitching coach Luis Ramirez has been with Elizabethton the past three seasons. Before that, he was the GCL pitching coach for two years. He came to the Twins organization in 2006 as the pitching coordinator for the Twins at their Venezuelan Academy. For the first time, Elizabethton will have a fourth coach on staff. Takashi Miyoshi has spent the past seven seasons coaching in independent leagues Prospects To Watch The Elizabethton Twins Opening Day roster (including the DL) includes just one player who ranked in the preseason Twins Daily Top 20 Prospect rankings. Yunior Severino was our choice for the Twins #18 prospect. The infielder from the Dominican Republic signed a year earlier with Atlanta. However, when MLB announced sanctions on the team for illegal practices, Severino became a free agent. After a solid showing as a 17-year-old in the GCL last year, the Twins signed him as a free agent for $2.5 million. Severino is a good athlete with a strong swing from both sides of the plate. He has some power potential. Defensively, he could play shortstop, but he’ll likely mostly play second base. The reason is, at least in part, because of Ricky De La Torre. The Twins sixth-round draft pick out of high school in Puerto Rico is a very talented shortstop. On a roster where most of the players are 21 or 22 years old, the two 18-year-olds will form a very talented, athletic keystone combination. 2018 first-round draft pick, Trevor Larnach, will likely join the E-Twins at some point following the Oregon State College World Series run. Even if his stay is fairly short, we should anticipate him spending some time in eastern Tennessee. Second-round pick Ryan Jeffers will also begin his professional career with the E-Twins. (if you missed it, read Ted’s Q&A with Ryan Jeffers here) THE ROSTER Before jumping into the roster, it should be noted that there have been a couple of injuries. You're all aware of the Wander Javier shoulder surgery that cost him this entire season. In addition, lefty Riley Widell, who pitched for Elizabethton last year, came down with mono this spring, so he's been gradually regaining his strength. Miguel DeJesus, who missed the entire 2017 season due to Tommy John surgery, could also surface with the E-Twins this summer. Outfielder Matt Albanese is also on the DL to start the season. The Pitchers RHP Jacob Blank (22) - 22nd round pick in 2018 from Division II National Champion Augustana RHP Christian Broussard (21) - 22nd round pick in 2017, from Cal St-Los Angeles RHP Andrew Cabezas (21) - 18th round pick in 2018 out of Miami LHP Kody Funderburk (21) - 15th round pick in 2018 from Dallas Baptist University RHP Juan Gamez (24) - 31st round pick in 2016 as a catcher from NDSU. Moved to pitcher that summer. RHP Pedro Garcia (22) - signed October, 2015, from Dominican Republic RHP Moises Gomez (21) - signed April, 2014, from Venezuela RHP Blair Lakso (23) - undrafted free agent signed in August, 2016, from U of Buffalo RHP Derek Molina (20) - 14th round pick in 2017 out of Merced College LHP Tyler Palm (23) - signed about a week ago from the United Shore Professional Baseball League. Tallest pitcher on the roster at 6-9. RHP Seth Pinkerton (21) - 20th round pick in 2018 from the U. of Hartford RHP Johan Quezada (23) - signed September, 2012, Dominican Republic. 6-6 pitcher has missed most of last two seasons with shoulder injury. RHP Ricky Ramirez (21) - 15th round pick in 2017 from Fresno State RHP Brian Rapp (22) - 26th round pick in 2018 from Boston College RHP Austin Schulfer (22) - 19th round pick in 2018 out of UW-Milwaukee RHP Carlos Suniaga (21) - signed in September 2014 out of Venezuela RHP Josh Winder (21) - 7th round pick in 2018 from Virginia Military Institute A few of these guys have already seen some time in Cedar Rapids. Carlos Suniaga was just sent to the E-Twins over the weekend. Most likely, the organization would like to see him start and he’s been working out of the bullpen for the Kernels. Derek Molina and Ricky Ramirez have already seen some time with the Kernels as well. At the rookie levels, it is difficult to know the roles of players, especially pitchers. The pitchers drafted out of college this year have likely already thrown a lot of innings, and have been throwing since January. So, the Twins will limited their innings and starters may work out of the bullpen. That’s also why the rookie level events can have up to 35 players on the roster. The Catchers Trevor Casanova (21) - 13th round pick in 2018 out of Cal St-Northridge Andrew Cosgrove (21) - 17th round pick in 2017 from North Carolina State Ryan Jeffers (21) - 2nd round pick in 2018 out of UNC-Wilmington Chris Williams (21) - 8th round pick in 2018 from Clemson University The Twins drafted a lot of college catchers in 2018, and the first three they selected are all going to be in Elizabethton. As these guys adjust to the professional baseball game, they will all catch probably twice a week, at least early in the season. They may get extra at bats by DHing or playing some at another position. The Infielders Ricky De La Torre (18) - 6th round pick in 2017 out of high school in Puerto Rico Hunter Lee (22) - 27th round pick in 2018 out of High Point University Ariel Montesino (22) - signed May 2013 from the Dominican Republic Yunior Severino (18) - Free agent from Atlanta from the Dominican Republic. Played for GCL Braves last year. Alex Robles (22) - 30th round pick in 2017 from Austin Peay University Robles was a two-way player all four years in college. The organization has decided to have him start his career as a hitter, knowing they could move him to the mound later. He has already spent a couple of weeks with both the Ft. Myers Miracle and Chattanooga Lookouts. Montesino split 2017 between Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids and sprinkled in a couple of games with Ft. Myers. This is the fourth season he will have spent time with the E-Twins yet remains just 22. Lee is a 5-9 second baseman who was all Big South this year. He had a 28 game hitting streak earlier in the season. As mentioned above, Severino and De La Torre are the two big prospects on this opening day roster, in part, because of their relative youth, along with their immense talent. The Outfielders Jared Akins (21) - 13th round pick in 2017 from Fresno State Colton Burns (22) - 18th round pick in 2017 from UC-Santa Barbara DaShawn Keirsey (21) - 4th round pick in 2018 out of Utah Lean Marrero (20) - 16th round pick in 2015 out of high school in Puerto Rico Albee Weiss (22) - 23rd round pick in 2018 from Cal St-Northridge As mentioned Trevor Larnach will likely join the E-Twins in the next two or three weeks. Keirsey is the very talented fourth-round pick that may have still been available because he missed lots of time with injury. Marrero spent a few weeks in Cedar Rapids last year, until he suffered a broken hamate bone which cost him the rest of his season. Akins and Burns played at strong college programs. Both have very good size and tools, but they need patience. It was strange when the Twins drafted a second catcher from Cal State-Northridge in this year’s draft, but Weiss has already been moved to the outfield. So there you have it, the Opening Day roster of the Elizabethton Twins. There are 30 players listed above, and as mentioned, more will likely be added in coming days as more players (Trevor Larnach, Cole Sands, etc.) sign. For more information on the 2018 Twins draft picks, please click here (links at bottom of article).
  19. 20. Luis Arraez – 2B Age: 21 ETA: 2020 2018 Stats (AA/A+): .321/.371/.416 (.786), 14 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 28 K, 19 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 19 | Tom: 19 | Cody: 23 Arraez tore his ACL in just his fourth game of 2017 and was forced to miss the entire rest of the season. He came out of the gates this season struggling badly, hitting .205/.266/.248 (.514) over his first 32 games. With the turn of the calendar from May to June, Luis appeared to have worked off the rust and so began an incredible run. From the start of June to when he was promoted to Chattanooga on the Fourth of July, Arraez hit .441/.484/.604 (1.087) over a span of 28 games. That streak helped earn him the title of Twins Daily’s Minor League Hitter Of The Month for June. Arraez is the youngest player to appear for the Lookouts so far this season. 19. Jacob Pearson – LF Age: 20 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats (A): .298/.373/.444 (.816), 7 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 28 K, 18 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 22 | Tom: 27 | Cody: 11 The Twins traded for Pearson over the winter, sending international bonus pool slot money over to the Angels. His batting line for the Kernels has been impressive (see above), but what’s particularly attractive about his offensive skill set is the fact that he’s posted a walk rate in the double digits (10.7 percent) while maintaining a strikeout rate under 17 percent (16.6, to be exact). To put that into perspective, only seven other Midwest League hitters can boast that same accomplishment of the 162 who have at least 150 plate appearances this season. Defensively, Pearson has played 78.6 percent of his games as a professional in left field with the rest of the time coming in center. 18. Ryan Jeffers – C Age: 21 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats (Rk): .361/.480/.426 (.906), 4 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 11 K, 9 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 15 | Tom: 20 | Cody: 19 The Twins selected Jeffers with the No. 59 overall pick in this year’s draft after he hit .323/.445/.620 (1.065) with more walks (85) than strikeouts (78) in his three years at UNC Wilmington. Listed at 6-for-4 and 228 pounds, Jeffers is a big, powerful guy. Only time will tell if he sticks behind the plate, but the Twins are clearly believers. Even if he eventually moves to another position, it’s possible he has enough bat to play just about anywhere. In his first 75 plate appearances as a pro, Jeffers has reached safely 36 times (22 hits, nine walks and five HBPs). He’s made six starts at catcher and another 11 at DH, as the E-Twins are also trying to get catching reps in for Andy Cosgrove and Trevor Casanova. 17. Lewin Diaz – 1B Age: 21 ETA: 2020 2018 Stats (A+): .240/.271/.376 (.647), 11 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 43 K, 8 BB 2018 Ranking: 13 | 2017 Ranking: 10 Seth: 23 | Tom: 16 | Cody: 12 There’s no way around it, Diaz is having a rough go of things in 2018. It appears the Florida State League All-Star break came at the perfect time, however, as Diaz has hit .333/.380/.470 (.850) in 17 games since. The FSL can be a brutal place for a power hitter, and adjusting to a league that suppresses offense can be a mental hurdle, as well. Diaz has continued to put the ball in play a lot, but he’s having a much harder time finding hits. After posting a .322 BABIP last season in Cedar Rapids, that number has dropped all the way down to .268 this season. Diaz’s prospect stock is on the decline, but there are still some national media outlets that list him inside the system’s top 10. 16. Yunior Severino – 2B Age: 18 ETA: 2022 2018 Stats (Rk): .333/.340/.444 (.785), 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 10 K, 1 BB 2018 Ranking: 18 | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 16 | Tom: 17 | Cody: 17 Yet another relative newcomer to the organization, Severino was signed as a free agent for $2.5 million this December after the Braves were forced to forfeit him as a penalty for violating international signing rules. To put that into some perspective, the Twins recently signed this year’s first-round pick Trevor Larnach for $2.55 million. Yunior is the youngest player to appear for Elizabethton this season, so as you could expect, he’s still very raw. In 69 games as a professional, Severino has hit .280/.344/.424 (.769) with a 25.8 K% and 8.4 BB%. He’s been a second baseman so far, but how he fills out physically could ultimately determine his future position. If he continues to get bigger and stronger, he’ll likely have enough arm for third base. What are your thoughts on the latest set of rankings? Who’s ranked too high? Who’s ranked too low? Leave a comment and start the discussion. Make sure to check back tomorrow for Nos. 11-15. Haven’t been flowing along? Well here’s how we’ve ranked the prospects so far: 40. Aaron Whitefield, 39. Jaylin Davis, 38. Ricky De La Torre, 37. Lachlan Wells, 36. Aaron Slegers 35. Tyler Watson, 34. DaShawn Keirsey Jr., 33. Gabriel Moya, 32. Andrew Bechtold, 31. Jordan Balazovic 30. John Curtiss, 29. Zack Granite, 28. Jake Cave, 27. Tyler Wells, 26. Griffin Jax 25. Tyler Jay, 24. Felix Jorge, 23. Kohl Stewart, 22. Landon Leach, 21. Jose Miranda For anyone wondering, these rankings were compiled prior to the official announcement that the Twins had singed 16-year-old Venezuelan Misael Urbina to a $2.75 million bonus, so he is not included in the rankings.
  20. We’ll start in the big leagues, but we’ll work our way down throughout the minor league system, including the guys in extended spring training. These rosters are as of this moment, so the list is subject to change at a moment’s notice. MINNESOTA TWINS Shortstops: Jorge Polanco (24), Eduardo Escobar (29), Ehire Adrianza (28), Gregorio Petit (33) Second Base: Brian Dozier (31) Jorge Polanco was the shortstop that we were all very excited about coming into spring training. He was arguably the Twins best hitter over the season’s final two months. Unfortunately, less than two weeks before the season started, Polanco was given an 80-game suspension for PEDs. He should return to the lineup in early July. So, Eduardo Escobar was given the starting shortstop job to start the season. However, a couple of weeks into the season, Miguel Sano was hurt and Escobar moved over to third base. Enter Ehire Adrianza who has manned the position most of the last month. Veteran Gregorio Petit came up and has been used in a utility role. Brian Dozier is the second baseman. He’s been the team’s best player the last three years. He’s off to a slow start again this year, but the Gold Glove winner is in the lineup nearly every day. ROCHESTER RED WINGS Shortstops: Nick Gordon (22), Leonardo Reginnato (28) Second Base: Taylor Featherston (28), Sean Miller (23) Nick Gordon finally received the promotion to Triple A and the Red Wings on Thursday. He’s been a Top 50 prospect in all of baseball since the Twins used their first-round pick on him in 2014. At AA, he’s hit for average, improved his power production, and has also improved at shortstop. He’s close. Featherston is a veteran of several season in MLB baseball and plays around the infield. The same can be said of Reginnato. Miller has also played all around the infield. He spent 2017 in Ft. Myers and then went to the Arizona Fall League after the season. He was the organizations top defensive infielder last year and spent the first half of spring training in big league camp. After starting the season in Chattanooga, he was quickly promoted to Triple A where the defense has played, but the bat has not. He may return to Double A where he should get more time at shortstop. CHATTANOOGA LOOKOUTS Shortstop: Ryan Walker (26) Second Base: Alex Perez (25) Ryan Walker has slowly worked up the system. He has now spent most of the past three seasons with the Lookouts. He’s played mostly second base, but he’s a natural at shortstop. He’s also played third base and some in the outfield. He recently returned from the disabled list after missing some time with a knee injury. Perez was a late round pick just a couple of years ago after being a four-year starter at Virginia Tech at shortstop. He’s also played mostly at second base in pro ball. He takes incredibly professional at-bats and works counts very well. FORT MYERS MIRACLE Shortstop: Brandon Lopez (24), Joe Cronin (24) Second Base: Travis Blankenhorn (21), Luis Arraez (21) Lopez was a four-year starter at shortstop at Miami. He was promoted to the Miracle after the All-Star break a year ago. He’s spent some time on the DL this season. He’s played quite a bit at all three infield spots. Cronin played four years at Boston College. He’s solid all-around and can play all three non-first base infield spots well. Upon starting his season this year, he was one of the top hitters in the organization in April. Luis Arraez tore up his knee in the third game in 2017 and missed the remainder of the season. He came back to the Miracle a couple of weeks into the season. It took him a while to get the bat going, as you would expect, but his average is again over .200 and working its way up quickly. While he’s probably a second baseman, he has made starts at third base and shortstop this year already. Blankenhorn is one of our Top 20 Twins prospects. He has split his time between third base and second base, and even had a couple of games in the outfield. He’s produced a lot of power so far this season and been much improved with the glove. CEDAR RAPIDS KERNELS Shortstop: Royce Lewis (18) Second Base: Jose Miranda (19), Jordan Gore (23) Royce Lewis was the top pick in the entire 2017 draft out of high school in California. After starting his career in the GCL, he was pushed up to Cedar Rapids. That’s where he’s started 2018. While he has slumped the last week or two, he’s still hitting over .300. As impressive, his defense at shortstop has been good. A move up to Ft. Myers could be in the near future for the barely still-just 18-year-old. Jose Miranda was the second Comp B pick taken by the Twins after the second round of the 2016 draft. He had a nice showing in Elizabethton and has experienced some ups and downs already in his first season at Cedar Rapids. He’s played more second base, but he’s also spent time at third base. He’s got good power potential. Jordan Gore was drafted a year ago out of Coastal Carolina. He’s played shortstop when Lewis is given a day off. He’s played more at second base. While he has hit ninth, the switch hitter has hit over .300 and played very good defense. EXTENDED SPRING TRAINING Shortstop: Wander Javier (19), Carson Crites (23), Ricky De La Torre (18), Agustin Marte (19) Second Base: Ariel Montesino (22), Emmanuel Morel (20), Yunior Severino (18), Yeltsin Encarnacion (19) While we wondered how Toby Gardenhire would get both Royce Lewis and Wander Javier into the Kernels lineup at the same time. Unfortunately, we may never know, at least not for a while. Javier re-injured his left (non-throwing shoulder) and required surgery recently. He’s immensely talented, and while it is unfortunate he’ll miss the year, hopefully it won’t mean too much long-term. Carson Crites fits a similar mold as the likes of Cronin and Perez. Late-round college picks who may not have any high-end tools, but they also have few flaws in a solid all-around game. He’s spent a little time with the Miracle this year. Rick De La Torre was considered a first or second round talent early in 2017, but the Puerto Rico native fell to the Twins in the sixth round. Montesino has been in the organization for a long time. The switch-hitter split 2017 between Cedar Rapids, Elizabethton and Ft. Myers, playing around the infield and even some in center field.Emmanuel Morel is one of the fastest runners in the minor leagues. After being injured in 2016, he performed much better in 2017 in the GCL and should move up to E-Town. Yunior Severino is also a Top 20 prospect. He became a free agent this winter after baseball’s investigation of the Atlanta Braves. The Twins signed him for $2.5 million. He’s impressive from the left and right side of the plate. While most think he’ll spend most of his time at second base, he should get time at shortstop too. Agustin Marte and Yeltsin Encarnacion are in extended spring training after playing in the Dominican Summer League a year ago. Encarnacion is 20 and has played three years in the DSL. Marte is 19 and has played there the last two seasons. Twins Top Middle Infield Prospects 1 - Royce Lewis - SS 2 - Nick Gordon - SS 3 - Wander Javier - SS 4 - Yunior Severino - 2B 5 - Luis Arraez - 2B There is the list of middle infielders throughout the Twins system. Things are pretty solid in the big leagues with Brian Dozier, Jorge Polanco (when he returns) and Eduardo Escobar. And Nick Gordon is one step away. Royce Lewis is one of the top prospects in baseball, and Wander Javier will come back in 2019. Those three players are Top 100 prospects. So, should the Twins avoid the shortstop position in the upcoming draft or in the international market? Absolutely not. Keep bringing in great athletes and baseball players and hope that you end up with a log jam. Shortstops can move elsewhere on the diamond, or they could trade excess at the position for other needs. One example is the trade of Jermaine Palacios to the Rays this spring for Jake Odorizzi.
  21. Players that didn’t make a full-season team’s Opening Day roster will remain, for an extended time, in spring training in Ft. Myers. They call this, creatively, extended spring training. These players will continue to work out, practice, play games against other teams five or six times a week, and generally just keep ready. Some are getting ready for when there is a need at Cedar Rapids or even Ft. Myers (such as Alex Robles, or Carlos Suniaga who has already moved up to the Miracle and then went to Cedar Rapids). Some are waiting for the short-season leagues to start in late June, and they head to Elizabethton, Tennessee, or remain in Ft. Myers and play in the GCL. Today we’ll take a quick look at the players who remain in Ft. Myers for extended spring training. Which do you think will surface in Cedar Rapids? Who are the prospects? There is a little bit of everything in this group. What do the guys do in extended spring training (EST)? It is very similar to regular spring training. Each morning there is a workout/practice. Approximately five days a week, they will play a game in the afternoon against EST teams of the Red Sox, Orioles or Rays. Most weeks, there will be one day where they will just practice and work out. They get Sundays off. You’ll see a lot of these guys go watch the Miracle games at night when they are at home. Players are able to take English and Spanish classes at the player academy. COACHING STAFFS Ray Smith will again be the manager of the Elizabethton Twins. It is his 32nd season with the Elizabethton Twins, and the 25th as manager. A few of the years he was a coach so that the Twins could have another manager work with and learn from him. He has a managerial record of 977-648. He has won seven Appalachian League titles, including the 2017 championship. He originally signed with the Twins in 1977, and he played in 83 big league games for the Twins between 1981 and 1983. His hitting coach for the 17th straight season by Jeff Reed. Reed was the Twins first round pick in 1980 and played in 93 games for the Twins from 1984 through 1986. The catcher went on to play a total of 17 seasons in the big leagues. Smith and Reed are not yet at EST. Luis Ramirez is back for his fourth season as the E-Twins pitching coach. He had coached in the GCL the two previous years. He also spent eight seasons as the Twins pitching coordinator in their Venezuelan Academy. Takashi Miyoshi was added as the fourth E-Twins coach. After a long playing career, he has been coaching in the independent leagues. After seven seasons of managing the GCL Twins (and EST), Ramon Borrego moved up to manager of the Ft. Myers Miracle. The Twins brought in Dan Ramsey who had been the coach at Whitworth University in Washington. He had led his team to the national Division III tournament three times. He is joined by two pitching coaches. Virgil Vasquez is in his fourth season on the job. He spent big league time with the Tigers and Pirates, and he played for the Twins AA and AAA teams in 2013 and 2014. Frank Jagoda joins the organization in 2018 as another pitching coach. He’s had a variety of roles in recent years including coaching at Patrick Henry Community College in Virginia and USA Baseball the last couple of summers. The Twins also hired a couple of new hitting coaches for the GCL. Luis Rodriguez originally signed as a player with the Twins in 1997. He worked his way up and spent time with the Twins for parts of 2005 through 2007. He spent parts of three more season in the big leagues. This is his first coaching opportunity. Also, Matt Borgschulte comes to the Twins organization after coaching in the Cardinals system in 2017. ROSTER Catchers: Kerby Camacho, Andy Cosgrove, Yeremi De La Cruz, Robert Molina, Kidany Salva, Colton Waltner Infielders: Carson Crites, Ricky De La Torre, Wander Javier, Kolton Kendrick, Ariel Montesino, Emmanuel Morel, Robby Rinn, JJ Robinson, Yunior Severino, Victor Tademo Outfielders: Jared Akins, Matt Albanese, Jean-Carlos Arias (Called up to Cedar Rapids on Monday), Colton Burns, TJ Dixon, Edgar Herrera, Lean Marrero, Jacob Pearson Pitchers: Melvi Acosta, Dean Aldridge, Yancarlos Baez, Petru Balan, Jordan Balazovic, Tyler Benninghoff, Christian Broussard, Zack Featherstone, Juan Gamez, Pedro Garcia, David Gerics, Brusdar Graterol, Matt Jones, Tanner Kiest, Blair Lakso, Landon Leach, Andriu Marin, Michael Montero, Bailey Ober, Johan Quezada, Rickey Ramirez, Kai-Wei Teng,Ryley Widell. Adam Bray (Rehab) TOP PROSPECTS Wander Javier - Immensely talented, Javier will likely soon move up to Cedar Rapids after missing time with a shoulder injury. Javier has five-tool potential and could stick at shortstop. Twins Daily’s #6 Prospect. Brusdar Graterol - High upside right-hander, works into the upper-90s. 2017 was his first season back after Tommy John surgery. He will likely be pitching for Cedar Rapids by the time the short-seasons start. Twins Daily’s #9 Prospect. Yunior Severino - came to the Twins this offseason after MLB declared him-and other Braves prospects-free agents. Played last year in the GCL and should spend this summer playing in Elizabethton. Twins Daily’s #18 Prospect. Landon Leach - second-round pick in 2017 out of high school in Canada, Leach throws really hard, into the mid-90s.. He’s raw as he hasn’t been pitching for long, but he has a ton of potential. . Jacob Pearson - Pearson was the Angels third-round pick last year out of high school in Louisiana. The Angels needed international dollars in their attempt to sign Shohei Ohtani, so the Twins traded a million of international funds for Pearson. He’s an athletic outfielder with speed and some pop in his bat. Get to Know: Jacob Pearson. Victor Tademo - While Tademo hit just .199 last year in the GCL, he was one of its youngest players. He’s got the ability to play shortstop, though he’s already playing mostly third base. Michael Montero - At 17 years old, Montero debuted in 2017 in the DSL. In 58 innings, he walked 12 and struck out 64. A tall, right-hander, he is one to watch this season, likely in the GCL. Ricky De La Torre - A year ago, there was thought that De La Torre could be a first-round draft pick. The Twins drafted him in the sixth round out of school in Puerto Rico. A great athlete, De La Torre is another guy who could stick at shortstop. Tyler Benninghoff - Twins 11th-round pick in 2016 out of high school, he immediately had Tommy John surgery. He’s recently started throwing bullpens off a mound. Could possibly pitch very late in GCL season. STORIES TO WATCH How quickly will Brusdar Graterol and Wander Javier get to Cedar Rapids. Based on how many games the Kernels have already lost this season, it’s pretty clear that it was best to keep them both in Florida. Javier missed time in spring training with a shoulder injury, otherwise he likely would have started the year with the Kernels. Graterol will likely be on a fairly strict innings (and/or pitch) count in 2018. I would guess they will both be in Iowa by mid-May. It’s always interesting to see which players the team has move up from EST to the Miracle when they have a need. Already this year, RHP Carlos Suniaga has been up twice, and infielder Alex Robles has started the last two days for the Miracle. On Monday, outfielder Jean Carlos Arias moved up to Cedar Rapids. The Twins have always had players from around the globe. The current EST roster includes players from the following countries: Dominican Republic (9), Venezuela (7), Puerto Rico (4), Canada (3), and one each from Australia, Moldova and Taiwan. (Those numbers do not include players on the disabled list of full-season teams.) The oldest players on EST rosters are both first basemen. JJ Robinson, the Twins 33rd-round draft pick last year out of Lewis-Clark State, is 25 until mid-October. Robinson is six days older than Robbie Rinn who was acquired from the Royals during spring training. On the other end of the spectrum, Michael Montero is 18 years old, born just after New Years Day in 2000. He is about two months younger than Yunior Severino. Landon Leach, Victor Tademo and Ricky De La Torre were all born within a two-week period in July of 1999. Feel free to discuss the talent that the Twins have in Extended Spring Training. You can ask as many questions as you’d like and we’ll try to get them answered.
  22. Let’s get to the list, and please feel free to discuss our choices and how they may rank on your personal top 10 or top 20 lists. 20. Felix Jorge - RHP Age: 24 2017 MiLB Stats (AA/AAA): 10-4, 3.68 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 149.0 IP, 161 H, 40 BB, 108 K 2017 MLB Stats (MLB): 1-0, 10.57 ERA, 2.08 WHIP, 7.2 IP, 14 H, 2 BB, 4 K ETA: 2017 2017 Ranking: 12 Signed in February of 2011 Jorge has gradually worked his way up the Twins system. The last few years, he has turned himself from a suspect to a prospect. On the 40-man roster, Jorge was given an opportunity to make his MLB debut for the Twins when they had a need for a starter in July. Jorge was promoted directly from Chattanooga. In his debut, he gave up three runs in five innings and picked up his first MLB win. Five days later, he made another start. It didn’t go as well. He ended the regular season with starts in Rochester before pitching for Chattanooga in the Southern League playoffs. Jorge’s got a nice fastball in the 92-94 range. He’s got great poise and calm on the mound. He’s got a nice changeup and an improving curveball. In 2018, he should spend the year in Rochester and potentially get more opportunities to make starts for the Twins. 19. Tyler Jay - LH RP Age: 23 2017 Stats (AA/AAA): 3-0, 3.09 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 11 H, 4 BB, 19 K ETA: 2018 2017 Ranking: 5 Jay was the Twins first-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Illinois. While he was a reliever in college, many teams believed that he had the pitches and the makeup to be a starter. That’s what he did in 2016, and he did well. However, he managed just 83.2 innings. This past spring, the Twins announced that Jay was being moved to the bullpen. It is a role that he should thrive in. Unfortunately, he missed nearly the entire 2017 season with biceps tendinitis. As you can see, he got good strikeout numbers. He went to the Arizona Fall League to make up for some of the lost time. However, when healthy, Jay has the ability and the potential to be a dominant relief options, and soon. 18. Yunior Severino Age: 18 2017 Stats (Rookie): .286/.345/.444 (.789), 17-2B, 2-3B, 3-HR ETA: 2022 2017 Ranking: NR The Braves had a dozen minor leaguers declared free agents due to violations by their front office. Those players were then allowed to sign with other teams using international pool money from 2017 or 2018. Top prospect Kevin Maitan signed for $2.2 million with the Angels, though there were reports that the Twins offered him more than the Angels but he saw a quicker route to the majors with the Angels. The Twins didn’t worry about it. Instead, they signed Severino for $2.5 million of 2018 pool money. Severino had signed with the Braves in 2016 for $1.9 million. After spending ten games with the Braves DSL team last summer, he moved up to the GCL. Severino was signed as a shortstop, but he was already moved to second base due to his range. He is a switch-hitter. He has more power from the right-side now, but he has a lot of potential to add power. 17. Travis Blankenhorn - 2B/3B Age: 21 2017 Stats (Low-A): .251/.343/.441 (.784), 12-2B, 11-3B, 13-HR, 13-SB ETA: 2021 2017 Ranking: 9 Signed as the Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Pennsylvania, Blankenhorn spent the entire 2017 season in Cedar Rapids. He had ended the 2016 season with 25 games for the Kernels. Blankenhorn had some ups and downs throughout the 2017 season. By month, his OPS were .776, .604, 1.048, .449, and 1.023. You can see the upside in those numbers. You can also see the inconsistency that you might expect from a 21-year-old. But Blankenhorn can fill a stat sheet. He’s got a good approach at the plate. He can use the whole field. He has extra base pop with the speed to turn doubles into triples. He’s got power now, and he’s got the size to develop even more home run power. He also is a good base runner who can steal bases. Twice in 2017 he stole home. Defensively, Blankenhorn spent the first half of the season at third base (.916 fielding percentage). After the All Star break, he moved over to second base for the second half (.989 fielding percentage). He’s still working at both positions and now feels comfortable at both, but he’s happy to play anywhere as long as he’s in the lineup. 16. Ben Rortvedt - C Age: 20 2017 Stats (Low A): .224/.284/.315 (.599), 16-2B, 4-HR ETA: 2022 2017 Ranking: 19 Rortvedt was the Twins second-round pick in 2016 out of high school in Wisconsin. After splitting 2016 between the GCL and Elizabethton, Rortvedt was one of the younger players in the Midwest League in 2017. He struggled early in the season. Through May, he was hitting just .187/.234/.174 (.388), but the Twins believed in him and Rortvedt responded very well. Over his final 54 games, he hit a very respectable .273/.324/.397 (.721). While the bat remains a work-in-progress for the 20-year-old, his defense is already very good. He works well with pitchers. He’s a very good athlete which helps him with blocking pitches and with his footwork so he’s able to show off his very strong, accurate arm.
  23. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gleemangeek/Episode_347_-_Zero_to_100_Real_Quick.mp3?dest-id=74590
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