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  1. Recently, Jordan Balazovic was kind enough to take some time to answer questions for us. Continue reading to Get To Know more about a very young, very intriguing pitching prospect in the Twins system. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- Seth Stohs (SS): Growing up in Ontario, I’m guessing that we can guess who your favorite team was to follow, right? Who were some of your favorite players? Jordan Balazovic (JB):Haha! Yes, my favourite team was the Toronto Blue Jays and also the New York Yankees. I have two favourite pitchers that I admire which are Noah Syndergaard and Aaron Sanchez. SS: What were some of the better memories of your high school baseball career? Did you play other sports or were you involved in other activities? JB: Well, high school baseball in Canada does compare to high school baseball in the States. I would play third base which was a lot of fun. Plus, I got to hit a little bit. Haha! SS: What was the recruitment process like for you out of high school. You had committed to Auburn, but did you have a lot of coaches talking to you? JB: Before Perfect Game in Jupiter, I didn't have a lot of schools talking to me. But I pitched pretty well at Perfect Game and then after that week I started to get a lot more interest. But it was between Missouri State and Auburn. SS: Did you have the chance to speak with many scouts before the draft? What was your interaction with the Twins scout? JB: I was speaking to quite a few teams at the time, and honestly, I thought I was going to be a Phillie. But a lot changes during the draft. You never know. Walt Burrows is the Canadian area scout, so he saw me a lot even when I was younger because he would come to the Ontario Blue Jays clubhouse. So he's seen me develop ever since I was 14, I believe. Once it got closer to the draft, he came over for a home visit with my family and I. It went really well. Felt like we have good chemistry and it wasn't awkward at all which was a very good sign SS: The Twins took you in the fifth round. Was that about where you expected to be selected? How did you find out that you had been drafted? How busy was your phone at that moment? JB: I was told top 5 rounds by the team I was talking to before the draft, but once it got closer to draft day a couple team had me top 3 rounds. So I wasn't too sure where I was going to go at the time. I was watching the draft since day one. Then I was with my family Day 2 when I got the call from my agent saying I was going to be a Twin. SS: With the Auburn commitment, how difficult was the decision to sign with the Twins? JB: It was very difficult, but you never know if you will get the opportunity to play professional baseball again. It's been my dream ever since I started to play. SS: What has the adjustment like for you, from the high school game to the professional game, both on and off the field? JB: Honestly, it wasn't a big jump because with my travel ball team (Ontario Blue Jays) we would have a fall trip every year to play top universities. So I got to face better hitters which helped my development a lot and helped me this year in professional baseball. SS: You went through the Instructional League for the first time. What were you working on there or was it more about learning and getting more innings? JB: When I went to Instructional League, I was working on my arm angle and mechanics, but it's also a great learning experience with the coaching staff they had down there from higher levels. SS: At this very early stage in your career, what would you say are your biggest strengths? JB: My biggest strength would have to be the way I attack the strike zone, and I'm not afraid to face anybody. SS: What are the areas of your game that you would like to spend time working to improve? JB: I need to improve my slider and curve ball which were also things I was working on during Instructional League. SS: How has your offseason been so far? What do you do when you get away from baseball and training? JB: It's been really good! I've been working out everyday, trying to put on weight and muscle. And when I'm not doing that, I'm spending time with my family and friends. SS: Who are some of the people who have helped you get to this point in your career? JB: I would have to say my parents, both being very supportive, and my dad teaching me a lot about the game and help develop my game. A big part would have also been the Ontario Blue Jays. SS: Favorite Baseball movie? JB: Haha! That's a tough one, but I really enjoy Major League. A Big Thank You to Jordan Balazovic! Please feel free to comment or ask questions below.
  2. It was no surprise that the Twins needed to get an arm to Kansas City after Friday night’s 11 inning, seven hour (with rain and light delays). The specifics may have been a bit surprising. Adalberto Mejia was called up to the Twins, his first big league promotion. Kennys Vargas was the one optioned to Rochester where he’ll have to spend the next ten days. Because of a short start from lefty Hector Santiago, Mejia also made his major league debut with two outs in the fifth inning. He got a groundout to end that inning. He went another two innings and gave up two runs on five hits. Following the game, he was optioned back to Rochester. The Twins will promote another pitcher to take his spot before Sunday’s series finale.Because Mejia was promoted, Omar Bencomo was brought back to Rochester to make the Saturday start. The Red Wings also officially announced the signing of veteran Edward Mujica. Also, lefty Randy Rosario was promoted from Ft. Myers to the Chattanooga bullpen. That means that five of the six Miracle starters at the beginning of the season have now made it to Chattanooga. Let’s get to the Saturday game action: RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Gwinnett 5 (7-Rain) Box Score Omar Bencomo was summoned back to the Red Wings pretty last minute to make this start. He went five innings, though he gave up five runs on nine hits and a walk. He struck out four. Rio Ruiz took him deep twice. Neil Ramirez got the final two outs of the sixth inning before the game was called due to rain. The Red Wings managed just six hits. Wilfredo Tovar went 1-2 with a walk and his 22nd double. He scored the lone run on a single off the bat of Adam Brett Walker. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 3, Montgomery 1 Box Score With Bencomo heading back to the Red Wings, Eades was back into the Lookouts rotation, at least for this start. He was tremendous. He gave up just one hit over six shutout innings. He walked one and struck out four. 51 of his 81 pitches were strikes. Zack Jones gave up a run on a hit in two innings. He walked two and struck out two. Raul Fernandez recorded his third save with a perfect ninth. TJ White had a strong game. The infielder went 3-4 with his fourth double and third triple. Stuart Turner was 2-4 with his 21st double. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 7, Jupiter 4 Box Score Before they batted, the Miracle were down 4-0, but they clawed their way back and scored seven unanswered runs to claim the win. It was a tough start for Sam Clay. The lefty gave up four runs on two hits and six walks in 4.2 innings. He gave up all four runs right away in the first inning. He struck out four. Luke Westphal came on and walked two and struck out two over 1.1 scoreless innings. Cam Booser struck out five of the six batters he faced in his two perfect innings. Nick Anderson recorded his seventh Miracle save with two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth. Down 4-0 before they batted, Tanner English and Joe Maloney each hit solo home runs. English was 2-5. The homer was his fourth. Maloney went 2-4 with his fourth homer. He drove in four runs in the game. Chris Ibarra went 2-5 with his third double. Trey Vavra went 2-3 with a walk. Daniel Kihle went 2-4. Nick Gordon added his 22nd double. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Burlington 3 Box Score The Kernels scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead. They added three more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth and earned the win. Tyler Beardsley started and gave up two runs on four hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out two. Michael Cederoth gave up a run on two hits and a walk over 2.1 innings. He struck out two. Max Cordy got the final two outs of the 8th inning, one on a strikeout. Tom Hakimer gave up a hit and hit a batter in a scoreless ninth inning. JJ Fernandez went 2-3 with his 24th double. Travis Blankenhorn went 2-4. Casey Scoggins went 2-4 with a walk. Brandon Lopez went 1-3 and walked twice. Nelson Molina contributed his 14th double. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 2, Burlington 4 Box Score While the Kernels beat Burlington on Saturday night, the E-Twins dropped a game in Burlington. Random fun with minor league cities, of course. Miguel De Jesus started. He gave up three runs on three hits in five innings. He walked four and struck out six. Johan Quezada gave up a run on three hits over his two innings. Quin Grogan walked one and struck one out in his scoreless inning. The Twins managed just four hits in the game. Lewin Diaz was 1-3 with a walk and his 14th double. Alex Kirilloff was also 1-3 with a walk. Caleb Hamilton added his fifth double. Roberto Gonzalez doubled for the third time. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, Red Sox 1 Box Score Jordan Balazovic put together the best start of his very young professional career on Saturday morning. The young Canadian threw six shutout innings to earn his second win. He gave up five hits, walked none and struck out two. Matz Schutt hit two and gave up a hit in a scoreless seventh inning. Juan Gamez made his second pitching appearance. In this one, he gave up a run on two hits and a walk in just two-thirds of an inning. Clark Beeker got the final out of the eighth and then pitched a scoreless ninth for his second GCL save. Juan Miranda went 2-3 with his seventh double. Lean Marrero was 2-4 with his third stolen base. Justin Hazard knocked his fifth double. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Ryan Eades, Chattanooga Lookouts Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – TJ White, Chattanooga Lookouts SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Gwinnett (1:05 CST) - LHP Nick Greenwood Montgomery @ Chattanooga (1:15 CST) - RHP Felix Jorge Jupiter @ Ft. Myers (3:05 CST) - RHP Keaton Steele Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 CST) – RHP Sam Gibbons Elizabethton @ Burlington (5:00 CST) - RHP Tyler Wells GCL Twins - No Game Scheduled Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday's games. Click here to view the article
  3. Because Mejia was promoted, Omar Bencomo was brought back to Rochester to make the Saturday start. The Red Wings also officially announced the signing of veteran Edward Mujica. Also, lefty Randy Rosario was promoted from Ft. Myers to the Chattanooga bullpen. That means that five of the six Miracle starters at the beginning of the season have now made it to Chattanooga. Let’s get to the Saturday game action: RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Gwinnett 5 (7-Rain) Box Score Omar Bencomo was summoned back to the Red Wings pretty last minute to make this start. He went five innings, though he gave up five runs on nine hits and a walk. He struck out four. Rio Ruiz took him deep twice. Neil Ramirez got the final two outs of the sixth inning before the game was called due to rain. The Red Wings managed just six hits. Wilfredo Tovar went 1-2 with a walk and his 22nd double. He scored the lone run on a single off the bat of Adam Brett Walker. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 3, Montgomery 1 Box Score With Bencomo heading back to the Red Wings, Eades was back into the Lookouts rotation, at least for this start. He was tremendous. He gave up just one hit over six shutout innings. He walked one and struck out four. 51 of his 81 pitches were strikes. Zack Jones gave up a run on a hit in two innings. He walked two and struck out two. Raul Fernandez recorded his third save with a perfect ninth. TJ White had a strong game. The infielder went 3-4 with his fourth double and third triple. Stuart Turner was 2-4 with his 21st double. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 7, Jupiter 4 Box Score Before they batted, the Miracle were down 4-0, but they clawed their way back and scored seven unanswered runs to claim the win. It was a tough start for Sam Clay. The lefty gave up four runs on two hits and six walks in 4.2 innings. He gave up all four runs right away in the first inning. He struck out four. Luke Westphal came on and walked two and struck out two over 1.1 scoreless innings. Cam Booser struck out five of the six batters he faced in his two perfect innings. Nick Anderson recorded his seventh Miracle save with two strikeouts in a scoreless ninth. Down 4-0 before they batted, Tanner English and Joe Maloney each hit solo home runs. English was 2-5. The homer was his fourth. Maloney went 2-4 with his fourth homer. He drove in four runs in the game. Chris Ibarra went 2-5 with his third double. Trey Vavra went 2-3 with a walk. Daniel Kihle went 2-4. Nick Gordon added his 22nd double. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Burlington 3 Box Score The Kernels scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to take the lead. They added three more insurance runs in the bottom of the eighth and earned the win. Tyler Beardsley started and gave up two runs on four hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out two. Michael Cederoth gave up a run on two hits and a walk over 2.1 innings. He struck out two. Max Cordy got the final two outs of the 8th inning, one on a strikeout. Tom Hakimer gave up a hit and hit a batter in a scoreless ninth inning. JJ Fernandez went 2-3 with his 24th double. Travis Blankenhorn went 2-4. Casey Scoggins went 2-4 with a walk. Brandon Lopez went 1-3 and walked twice. Nelson Molina contributed his 14th double. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 2, Burlington 4 Box Score While the Kernels beat Burlington on Saturday night, the E-Twins dropped a game in Burlington. Random fun with minor league cities, of course. Miguel De Jesus started. He gave up three runs on three hits in five innings. He walked four and struck out six. Johan Quezada gave up a run on three hits over his two innings. Quin Grogan walked one and struck one out in his scoreless inning. The Twins managed just four hits in the game. Lewin Diaz was 1-3 with a walk and his 14th double. Alex Kirilloff was also 1-3 with a walk. Caleb Hamilton added his fifth double. Roberto Gonzalez doubled for the third time. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, Red Sox 1 Box Score Jordan Balazovic put together the best start of his very young professional career on Saturday morning. The young Canadian threw six shutout innings to earn his second win. He gave up five hits, walked none and struck out two. Matz Schutt hit two and gave up a hit in a scoreless seventh inning. Juan Gamez made his second pitching appearance. In this one, he gave up a run on two hits and a walk in just two-thirds of an inning. Clark Beeker got the final out of the eighth and then pitched a scoreless ninth for his second GCL save. Juan Miranda went 2-3 with his seventh double. Lean Marrero was 2-4 with his third stolen base. Justin Hazard knocked his fifth double. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Ryan Eades, Chattanooga Lookouts Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – TJ White, Chattanooga Lookouts SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Gwinnett (1:05 CST) - LHP Nick Greenwood Montgomery @ Chattanooga (1:15 CST) - RHP Felix Jorge Jupiter @ Ft. Myers (3:05 CST) - RHP Keaton Steele Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 CST) – RHP Sam Gibbons Elizabethton @ Burlington (5:00 CST) - RHP Tyler Wells GCL Twins - No Game Scheduled Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday's games.
  4. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 13, Pawtucket 5 Box Score Byung Ho Park has been on a tear of late. In Thursday morning’s game, he put on a show, and he wasn’t the only one. He went 3-5 and in his last three at bats, he hit home runs and drove in five runs. He now has hit eight home runs in the last ten games. Daniel Palka provided the early offense. He went 3-5 with his sixth double and fifth home run (26th overall) of the season. He drove in three runs. Jorge Polanco went 3-5 with two runs and two RBIs in what will hopefully be his final game with the Red Wings. John Ryan Murphy went 3-4. Logan Schafer was 2-5 with his third Red Wings homer. Jason Wheeler didn’t have his best start, but he did improve to 8-2 with an ERA of 2.70. The lefty went five innings and gave up three runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out two. Marcus Walden came on and gave up one run on three hits over two innings. He struck out three. Alex Wimmers pitched the eighth inning. He gave up one run on one hit. He walked three and struck out two. Sean Burnett worked a quiet ninth. The Red Wings are now 61-46 on the season. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4, Tennessee 3 Box Score Tied going into the bottom of the ninth inning, Edgar Corcino led off with his second hit of the game. He advanced to second base on a bunt. A Levi Michael single pushed Corcino to third base. Zach Granite came to the plate and played hero when he singled in Corcino with the game-winning run. The Lookouts improved to 54-49. Levi Michael went 3-3 in the game. Corcino was 2-4 and stole his first base with the Lookouts. Ryan Walker went 2-4 with his seventh double. Mitch Garver was also 2-4. David Hurlbut started for Chattanooga. The lefty gave up two runs on four hits over seven innings. He walked one and struck out six batters. Mason Melotakis pitched the eighth inning. He gave up the game-tying run on one hit and one walk . Raul Fernandez got the win thanks to a perfect ninth inning. MIRACLE MATTERS Box Score The Miracle enjoyed a rare off day. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Kane County 0 Box Score The Kernels put together a terrific pitching performance on Thursday night and were able to complete the shutout. They improve to 56-46 overall on the season. Australian Sam Gibbons recently returned to the rotation and appears to be showing some glimpses of what Kernels fans saw last year. He threw six shutout innings to improve to 5-3 on the year. He gave up five hits, walked two and struck out four. Kuo Hua Lo gave up one hit in a scoreless inning. Anthony McIver threw two perfect innings, striking out two, to notch his sixth save. Nelson Molina led the offense. He went 2-3 with a walk and an RBI double. He now has ten doubles on the year. The other run was driven in by a single from Sean Miller. Chris Ibarra went 2-3 with a walk. E-TWINS E-NOTES Game 1 - Elizabethton 2, Bristol 4 Box Score Ryan Mason provided the E-Twins with something of value. He pitched the complete game, but he fell to 0-2 on the season. The right-hander gave up four runs on seven hits in his six innings. He walked none and struck out four. Caleb Hamilton, a 2016 draft pick from Oregon State, knocked his first professional homer. He was 2-3 in the game. Brandon Lopez went 1-1, added a walk and a sacrifice fly drove in the second run for the Twins. He also stole his second base. There were supposed to be two games. The second game had barely started when the rains came. They postponed Game 2 and will play two seven inning games on Friday. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 5, GCL Orioles 0 Box Score It was a well-rounded game for the GCL Twins. Of course, it all starts with pitching. Florida Gulf Coast grad Brady Anderson made another strong start. The right-hander threw six shutout innings. He gave up three hits, walked none and struck out five to improve to 2-0 with a 0.98 ERA. Jordan Balazovic came on for his second appearance and recorded his first professional save. He worked the final three innings. He had two strikeouts and the other seven batters grounded out. Jose Miranda led the offense. He went 2-3 with his fourth double and two RBIs. Jorge Munoz went 2-4 with his fifth double. Heiker Meneses, still rehabbing, went 2-3. Aaron Whitefield went 1-3 with a walk and stole his 16th base. Roni Tapia has just three hits so far this season, but two of them are home runs. The second came in Thursday’s game. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sam Gibbons, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Byung Ho Park, Rochester Red Wings FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Pat Dean Tennessee @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Felix Jorge Clearwater @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) - LHP Sam Clay Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) – RHP Eduardo Del Rosario Elizabethton @ Bristol (DH @ 5:00 CST) - RHP Sean Poppen & TBD GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (11:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's games.
  5. Rob Antony jumped into the trade market after Thursday night’s game by trading All-Star Eduardo Nunez to the San Francisco Giants in exchange for Triple-A left-handed pitcher Adalberto Mejia. Jorge Polanco was recalled from Rochester. Polanco and the Red Wings had a strong offensive output on Thursday including a huge game from Byung Ho Park. Find out what Park and his teammates did as well as the rest of the scores and highlights from the Twins affiliates on Thursday.RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 13, Pawtucket 5 Box Score Byung Ho Park has been on a tear of late. In Thursday morning’s game, he put on a show, and he wasn’t the only one. He went 3-5 and in his last three at bats, he hit home runs and drove in five runs. He now has hit eight home runs in the last ten games. Daniel Palka provided the early offense. He went 3-5 with his sixth double and fifth home run (26th overall) of the season. He drove in three runs. Jorge Polanco went 3-5 with two runs and two RBIs in what will hopefully be his final game with the Red Wings. John Ryan Murphy went 3-4. Logan Schafer was 2-5 with his third Red Wings homer. Jason Wheeler didn’t have his best start, but he did improve to 8-2 with an ERA of 2.70. The lefty went five innings and gave up three runs on seven hits. He walked one and struck out two. Marcus Walden came on and gave up one run on three hits over two innings. He struck out three. Alex Wimmers pitched the eighth inning. He gave up one run on one hit. He walked three and struck out two. Sean Burnett worked a quiet ninth. The Red Wings are now 61-46 on the season. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4, Tennessee 3 Box Score Tied going into the bottom of the ninth inning, Edgar Corcino led off with his second hit of the game. He advanced to second base on a bunt. A Levi Michael single pushed Corcino to third base. Zach Granite came to the plate and played hero when he singled in Corcino with the game-winning run. The Lookouts improved to 54-49. Levi Michael went 3-3 in the game. Corcino was 2-4 and stole his first base with the Lookouts. Ryan Walker went 2-4 with his seventh double. Mitch Garver was also 2-4. David Hurlbut started for Chattanooga. The lefty gave up two runs on four hits over seven innings. He walked one and struck out six batters. Mason Melotakis pitched the eighth inning. He gave up the game-tying run on one hit and one walk . Raul Fernandez got the win thanks to a perfect ninth inning. MIRACLE MATTERS Box Score The Miracle enjoyed a rare off day. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Kane County 0 Box Score The Kernels put together a terrific pitching performance on Thursday night and were able to complete the shutout. They improve to 56-46 overall on the season. Australian Sam Gibbons recently returned to the rotation and appears to be showing some glimpses of what Kernels fans saw last year. He threw six shutout innings to improve to 5-3 on the year. He gave up five hits, walked two and struck out four. Kuo Hua Lo gave up one hit in a scoreless inning. Anthony McIver threw two perfect innings, striking out two, to notch his sixth save. Nelson Molina led the offense. He went 2-3 with a walk and an RBI double. He now has ten doubles on the year. The other run was driven in by a single from Sean Miller. Chris Ibarra went 2-3 with a walk. E-TWINS E-NOTES Game 1 - Elizabethton 2, Bristol 4 Box Score Ryan Mason provided the E-Twins with something of value. He pitched the complete game, but he fell to 0-2 on the season. The right-hander gave up four runs on seven hits in his six innings. He walked none and struck out four. Caleb Hamilton, a 2016 draft pick from Oregon State, knocked his first professional homer. He was 2-3 in the game. Brandon Lopez went 1-1, added a walk and a sacrifice fly drove in the second run for the Twins. He also stole his second base. There were supposed to be two games. The second game had barely started when the rains came. They postponed Game 2 and will play two seven inning games on Friday. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 5, GCL Orioles 0 Box Score It was a well-rounded game for the GCL Twins. Of course, it all starts with pitching. Florida Gulf Coast grad Brady Anderson made another strong start. The right-hander threw six shutout innings. He gave up three hits, walked none and struck out five to improve to 2-0 with a 0.98 ERA. Jordan Balazovic came on for his second appearance and recorded his first professional save. He worked the final three innings. He had two strikeouts and the other seven batters grounded out. Jose Miranda led the offense. He went 2-3 with his fourth double and two RBIs. Jorge Munoz went 2-4 with his fifth double. Heiker Meneses, still rehabbing, went 2-3. Aaron Whitefield went 1-3 with a walk and stole his 16th base. Roni Tapia has just three hits so far this season, but two of them are home runs. The second came in Thursday’s game. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sam Gibbons, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Byung Ho Park, Rochester Red Wings FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Pat Dean Tennessee @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Felix Jorge Clearwater @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) - LHP Sam Clay Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) – RHP Eduardo Del Rosario Elizabethton @ Bristol (DH @ 5:00 CST) - RHP Sean Poppen & TBD GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (11:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's games. Click here to view the article
  6. Information will be added in spurts, so keep refreshing! 3rd Round (93; $645,500) - RHP Griffin Jax, RHP Jax is an interesting pick to kick off the second day of the draft. The 6-2, 200 lb righty is the first ever player from the Air Force Academy selected in the Top 10 rounds. A junior, there is talk that there must be some sort of a military commitment or a high price tag. How does that effect Jax's ability to sign a professional contract and pitch? That's something that we'll have to find out. As far as ability goes, though, Jax has it with a three-pitch mix that features a low-to-mid 90s fastball, a low-80s slider and a low-80s changeup. He threw 105 innings, so the Twins - if they have him - would have him throwing very little before next year anyway. His father, Garth, was a NFL linebacker. Update: Twins feel confident they can sign Jax, though they are prepared for him to have to finish his military obligations, be unavailable until next May and, hopefully, go into reserves. There's little concern about him not being in shape when they can get their hands back on him because, as my source tells me, "finger tip push ups." Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 100; MLB.com, 82; Perfect Game, 125. 4th Round (123; $477,900) - RHP Thomas Hackimer, St. John's (SR) You can all stop holding your breath: The Twins drafted a college reliever. Hackimer is a side-arming unhittable relief pitcher. His numbers were eye-popping: WHIP and ERA are both under 0.75. He does it with a two-pitch mix: a low-90s fastball and a low-80s "frisbee" slider. Hackimer, the first relief pitcher to be named Big East Pitcher of the Year since 2005, will be the first member of this draft class to pitch for the Twins, which could be as soon as next year. Here is an interesting write-up on Hackimer. Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 191; MLB.com, 174; Perfect Game, 152. 5th Round (153; $357,800) - RHP Jordan Balazovic, Ontario HS I put a Canadian pitcher in my 10-round mock, but didn't have the right guy. Balazovic is another high-schooler, though the Auburn commit has another year left of high school (what comes after senior year? Super senior year) and can re-enter the draft the team can't meet his demands. I don't think that should be a problem at this point. Balazovic is young (still 17) and raw, but the 6-3, 170 lb right-hander hits 92 mph with his fastball. He also throws a changeup and breaking ball. There is a lot of projection left, so file Balazovic under "projectable." Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 134; MLB.com, 127; Perfect Game, unranked. 6th Round (183; $267,800) - RHP Alex Schick, California A high school teammate of Stephen Gonsalves and Brady Aiken, Schick missed most of his junior season with a dislocated kneecap. He returned at the end of season, throwing a low-90s fastball and a curveball that is his best pitch. While draft previews project him best a reliever, the early word is that he'll "probably" begin his professional career as a starter. Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 498; MLB.com, unranked; Perfect Game, unranked. 7th Round (213; $200,900) - CF Matt Albanese, Bryant University A 6-2, 200 lb athlete with power, Albanese has been a three-year starter at Bryant University. In 142 career games, Albanese only struck out 59 times. In comparison, he walked 57 times. As a junior, Albanese walked 28 times and struck out 15 times. He hit 11 home runs and stole 15 bases. While the hit tool is present against weaker competition, there is some question about how the bat will transfer to pro ball. The Twins obviously believe in the bat and approach enough, which makes five hitters in the first nine picks. Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 431; MLB.com, unranked; Perfect Game, 237. 8th Round (243; $178,200) - OF Shane Carrier, Fullerton College (Junior College) Carrier is a power bat. Here's some video. Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, unranked; MLB.com, unranked; Perfect Game, unranked. 9th Round (273; $166,300) - C Mitchell Kranson, Cal (SR) Kranson is a senior sign who will join the organization as a catcher after playing most infield for the Golden Bears. Undersized but with a decent bat. Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, unranked; MLB.com, unranked; Perfect Game, unranked. 10th Round (303; $156,600) - SS Brandon Lopez, Miami (SR) Light-hitting shortstop, who can stick. Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 432; MLB.com, unranked; Perfect Game, 466.
  7. The MLB Draft resumes today at 12:00 (central time) with each organization making their 3rd round through 10th round draft picks. The Minnesota Twins will have the fifteenth pick in each round. Throughout the day, I will be here posting the Minnesota Twins draft picks and providing some analysis on the player and the selection.Information will be added in spurts, so keep refreshing! 3rd Round (93; $645,500) - RHP Griffin Jax, RHP Jax is an interesting pick to kick off the second day of the draft. The 6-2, 200 lb righty is the first ever player from the Air Force Academy selected in the Top 10 rounds. A junior, there is talk that there must be some sort of a military commitment or a high price tag. How does that effect Jax's ability to sign a professional contract and pitch? That's something that we'll have to find out. As far as ability goes, though, Jax has it with a three-pitch mix that features a low-to-mid 90s fastball, a low-80s slider and a low-80s changeup. He threw 105 innings, so the Twins - if they have him - would have him throwing very little before next year anyway. His father, Garth, was a NFL linebacker. Update: Twins feel confident they can sign Jax, though they are prepared for him to have to finish his military obligations, be unavailable until next May and, hopefully, go into reserves. There's little concern about him not being in shape when they can get their hands back on him because, as my source tells me, "finger tip push ups." Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 100; MLB.com, 82; Perfect Game, 125. 4th Round (123; $477,900) - RHP Thomas Hackimer, St. John's (SR) You can all stop holding your breath: The Twins drafted a college reliever. Hackimer is a side-arming unhittable relief pitcher. His numbers were eye-popping: WHIP and ERA are both under 0.75. He does it with a two-pitch mix: a low-90s fastball and a low-80s "frisbee" slider. Hackimer, the first relief pitcher to be named Big East Pitcher of the Year since 2005, will be the first member of this draft class to pitch for the Twins, which could be as soon as next year. Here is an interesting write-up on Hackimer. Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 191; MLB.com, 174; Perfect Game, 152. 5th Round (153; $357,800) - RHP Jordan Balazovic, Ontario HS I put a Canadian pitcher in my 10-round mock, but didn't have the right guy. Balazovic is another high-schooler, though the Auburn commit has another year left of high school (what comes after senior year? Super senior year) and can re-enter the draft the team can't meet his demands. I don't think that should be a problem at this point. Balazovic is young (still 17) and raw, but the 6-3, 170 lb right-hander hits 92 mph with his fastball. He also throws a changeup and breaking ball. There is a lot of projection left, so file Balazovic under "projectable." Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 134; MLB.com, 127; Perfect Game, unranked. 6th Round (183; $267,800) - RHP Alex Schick, California A high school teammate of Stephen Gonsalves and Brady Aiken, Schick missed most of his junior season with a dislocated kneecap. He returned at the end of season, throwing a low-90s fastball and a curveball that is his best pitch. While draft previews project him best a reliever, the early word is that he'll "probably" begin his professional career as a starter. Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 498; MLB.com, unranked; Perfect Game, unranked. 7th Round (213; $200,900) - CF Matt Albanese, Bryant University A 6-2, 200 lb athlete with power, Albanese has been a three-year starter at Bryant University. In 142 career games, Albanese only struck out 59 times. In comparison, he walked 57 times. As a junior, Albanese walked 28 times and struck out 15 times. He hit 11 home runs and stole 15 bases. While the hit tool is present against weaker competition, there is some question about how the bat will transfer to pro ball. The Twins obviously believe in the bat and approach enough, which makes five hitters in the first nine picks. Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 431; MLB.com, unranked; Perfect Game, 237. 8th Round (243; $178,200) - OF Shane Carrier, Fullerton College (Junior College) Carrier is a power bat. Here's some video. Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, unranked; MLB.com, unranked; Perfect Game, unranked. 9th Round (273; $166,300) - C Mitchell Kranson, Cal (SR) Kranson is a senior sign who will join the organization as a catcher after playing most infield for the Golden Bears. Undersized but with a decent bat. Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, unranked; MLB.com, unranked; Perfect Game, unranked. 10th Round (303; $156,600) - SS Brandon Lopez, Miami (SR) Light-hitting shortstop, who can stick. Pre-draft rankings: Baseball America, 432; MLB.com, unranked; Perfect Game, 466. Click here to view the article
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