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  1. TRANSACTIONS There were no reported transactions today. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 10, Indianapolis 5 Box Score One of just three teams in the Triple-A Midwest Division with a winning record, the Saints looked to gain ground on Toledo (41-30) against Indianapolis on Wednesday night. After Indy put two on the board in the top of the first, the Saints responded with a run of their our in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Rob Refsnyder laced a double to right field to continue his red-hot rehab assignment. Ben Rortvedt followed suit with a single to left that scored Refsnyder to cut the lead to one. And while the run in the first got the party started, the main act took place in the third and fourth innings for St. Paul, racking up seven runs in the two innings. Sensational prospect Jose Miranda led off the third inning with his ninth home run on the season to knot the game at two. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Sherman Johnson knocked his fifth double of the year, plating all three runners to give the Saints a 5-2 lead. Miranda once again led the offensive forge in the fourth inning, knocking a double to left. After a Mark Contreras walk, Refsnyder crushed a homer over the right field wall to expand the St. Paul lead to 8-2. And while extra-base hits and the long ball dictated the Saints’ scoring early on, the club would add two more insurance runs in the seventh thanks to a pair of singles from Rortvedt and Jimmy Kerrigan. Miranda, Rortvedt, and Refsynder all tallied multi-hit games for the Saints. Miranda now has a .355 batting average, the highest on the team. The offensive at CHS Field was nothing short of spectacular for the Saints on Wednesday night. Yet many fans may wonder why starting pitcher Charlie Barnes only tossed one inning on the night. No, it’s not an injury or trade situation. It’s probable that the Twins will need Barnes’ arm later this week given the excess of pitchers the major league club has used in the past few days and the trade deadline. And while Barnes wasn’t amazing in his one inning, the Saints bullpen sure was. Yennier Cano (W, 1-1), Jovani Moran, Ian Hamilton, and Kyle Barraclough combined for eight innings of three run ball, giving up only three hits and striking out nine. Well done, gentlemen! The Saints’ second straight win puts them at 39-34 on the season. Unfortunately for St. Paul, Toledo also won on the evening, keeping the club three games above the Saints in the standings. Yet if there’s one thing for sure it’s that the Saints are starting to get hot when it matters. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 8, NW Arkansas 5 Box Score A night after scoring a season-high 18 runs the Wind Surge brought the bats to the Walmart-state once again on Wednesday night. Andrew Bechtold got the frenzy started in the second inning thanks to a leadoff double. BJ Boyd followed that up with his own double, scoring Bechtold from second. Aussie Aaron Whitefield decided to one-up Bechtold and Boyd with his fourth triple on the year, scoring Boyd. Whitefield scored on the next at-bat thanks to a failed pick-off move. Boyd continued his hot night with an RBI single in the third, scoring Spencer Steer from second to make it 4-0. After NW Arkansas gained a run back in the fourth, the Surge turned on the jets in the fifth for a four-run inning. Spencer Steer knocked a two-run homer to extend the lead to 6-1 and BJ Boyd followed up with a solo-shot of his own. Trey Cabbage finished off the strong inning by doubling in Aaron Whitefield to give Wichita an 8-1 lead. Starting pitcher Austin Schulfer was excellent through five innings, giving up only three hits and one run while striking out eight. Schulfer ran into trouble in the sixth, giving up back-to-back homers before striking out his final batter of the night. Schulfer has been an absolute workhorse for the Surge all season, leading his team with 16 total starts. After Schulfer left the game the Wichita bullpen sprung into action. Zach Neff, Jordan Gore, and Ryan Mason were electric, allowing zero runs in 3.2 innings while striking out six. Mason now has six saves on the year. Wichita’s win puts them at 43-31 on the year, a steady 3.5 games ahead of Arkansas for the lead in the Double-A Central North Division. The Surge are 7-3 in their last ten games and have a +46 run differential on the season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Wisconsin 6 (8) Box Score Three-hit performances from Wander Javier and Matt Wallner propelled the Kernels to a high-scoring win over Wisconsin on Wednesday night in a shortened game due to rain. Wallner continued his dominant return with a two-run homer and a double and Javier laced two singles and a triple to push the Kernels to a 42-32 record in the High-A Central West division. The Kernels got things going in the second inning thanks to a Jair Camargo double that scored Yunior Severino to put the Kernels on the board. And after Wisconsin plated three of their own runs in the third, Cedar Rapids responded with seven runs in the fifth and six innings. Michael Helman led off the fifth with a leadoff first-pitch triple to center field to get the rally started. Two batters later Edouard Julien launched a homer over the right-center field wall to tie the game at three. Seth Gray followed suit with a single and was later scored by Javier’s triple. The fifth inning was only a sneak peak to what the sixth inning would offer from the Kernels’ bats. After a Helman walk Max Smith smacked his fifth homer of the year to give Cedar Rapids an 8-5 lead. Matt Wallner would follow suit with his own two-run shot in the inning to add some insurance to the Kernels’ lead. Wednesday proved that the Cedar Rapids offense is firing on as good of cylinders as they have all year. Yet there were still moments of brightness on the pitching staff that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Starting pitcher Jon Olsen struck out four batters, and relievers Derek Molina and Osiris German struck out a combined seven on the night. 11 K’s on the night for a staff? Not bad. MUSSEL MATTERS Game Postponed Wednesday’s scheduled game at Clearwater was postponed due to rain and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Thursday. Game one will begin at 3:00 pm CST and game two will begin shortly after the completion of game one. Both games will be seven innings. COMPLEX CHRONICLES No Game The Florida Complex League Twins had an off day. However, multiple players have had standout seasons so far. Right fielder Ka’lai Rosario is off to a hot start, slashing .293/.333/.533 (.867) in 75 at-bats. The Hawaii native is among league leaders in a number of stats. He’s tied for fourth-most hits (22), is second in RBI (21), and leads the league with four triples. While he doesn’t have the at-bats of Rosario, first basemen Alexander Pena has been electric, slashing .426/.481/.532 (1.013) with 20 hits and five doubles. RHP Giovahniey German has been solid through his first four starts, going 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Opposing hitters have just a .219 AVG when facing German. Throw 'em the heater, Giovahniey! The GCL Twins return to action tomorrow afternoon, facing the FCL Pirates Black at noon. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day- Ryan Mason (Wichita)- (S, 6) 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, SO Hitter of the Day- BJ Boyd (Wichita)- 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, SO PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) –Did not play #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – Game postponed #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Did not play #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – Game postponed #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 3-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, SO, #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) –Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – Game postponed #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 3-for-5, RBI #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Indianapolis @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Matt Shoemaker (1-0, 2.77 ERA) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05PM CST) – LHP Bryan Sammons (2-3 6.29 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (7:05PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson ( 2-0. 1.87 ERA) Fort Myers @ Clearwater- Game One (3:00PM CST) – LHP Brent Headrick (3-4, 3.44 ERA) Game Two (makeup from July 28) - RHP Landon Leach (0-0, 2.25 ERA)
  2. Balls were flying all across the Twins' farm on Wednesday night. Check out all the action here! TRANSACTIONS There were no reported transactions today. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 10, Indianapolis 5 Box Score One of just three teams in the Triple-A Midwest Division with a winning record, the Saints looked to gain ground on Toledo (41-30) against Indianapolis on Wednesday night. After Indy put two on the board in the top of the first, the Saints responded with a run of their our in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Rob Refsnyder laced a double to right field to continue his red-hot rehab assignment. Ben Rortvedt followed suit with a single to left that scored Refsnyder to cut the lead to one. And while the run in the first got the party started, the main act took place in the third and fourth innings for St. Paul, racking up seven runs in the two innings. Sensational prospect Jose Miranda led off the third inning with his ninth home run on the season to knot the game at two. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Sherman Johnson knocked his fifth double of the year, plating all three runners to give the Saints a 5-2 lead. Miranda once again led the offensive forge in the fourth inning, knocking a double to left. After a Mark Contreras walk, Refsnyder crushed a homer over the right field wall to expand the St. Paul lead to 8-2. And while extra-base hits and the long ball dictated the Saints’ scoring early on, the club would add two more insurance runs in the seventh thanks to a pair of singles from Rortvedt and Jimmy Kerrigan. Miranda, Rortvedt, and Refsynder all tallied multi-hit games for the Saints. Miranda now has a .355 batting average, the highest on the team. The offensive at CHS Field was nothing short of spectacular for the Saints on Wednesday night. Yet many fans may wonder why starting pitcher Charlie Barnes only tossed one inning on the night. No, it’s not an injury or trade situation. It’s probable that the Twins will need Barnes’ arm later this week given the excess of pitchers the major league club has used in the past few days and the trade deadline. And while Barnes wasn’t amazing in his one inning, the Saints bullpen sure was. Yennier Cano (W, 1-1), Jovani Moran, Ian Hamilton, and Kyle Barraclough combined for eight innings of three run ball, giving up only three hits and striking out nine. Well done, gentlemen! The Saints’ second straight win puts them at 39-34 on the season. Unfortunately for St. Paul, Toledo also won on the evening, keeping the club three games above the Saints in the standings. Yet if there’s one thing for sure it’s that the Saints are starting to get hot when it matters. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 8, NW Arkansas 5 Box Score A night after scoring a season-high 18 runs the Wind Surge brought the bats to the Walmart-state once again on Wednesday night. Andrew Bechtold got the frenzy started in the second inning thanks to a leadoff double. BJ Boyd followed that up with his own double, scoring Bechtold from second. Aussie Aaron Whitefield decided to one-up Bechtold and Boyd with his fourth triple on the year, scoring Boyd. Whitefield scored on the next at-bat thanks to a failed pick-off move. Boyd continued his hot night with an RBI single in the third, scoring Spencer Steer from second to make it 4-0. After NW Arkansas gained a run back in the fourth, the Surge turned on the jets in the fifth for a four-run inning. Spencer Steer knocked a two-run homer to extend the lead to 6-1 and BJ Boyd followed up with a solo-shot of his own. Trey Cabbage finished off the strong inning by doubling in Aaron Whitefield to give Wichita an 8-1 lead. Starting pitcher Austin Schulfer was excellent through five innings, giving up only three hits and one run while striking out eight. Schulfer ran into trouble in the sixth, giving up back-to-back homers before striking out his final batter of the night. Schulfer has been an absolute workhorse for the Surge all season, leading his team with 16 total starts. After Schulfer left the game the Wichita bullpen sprung into action. Zach Neff, Jordan Gore, and Ryan Mason were electric, allowing zero runs in 3.2 innings while striking out six. Mason now has six saves on the year. Wichita’s win puts them at 43-31 on the year, a steady 3.5 games ahead of Arkansas for the lead in the Double-A Central North Division. The Surge are 7-3 in their last ten games and have a +46 run differential on the season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Wisconsin 6 (8) Box Score Three-hit performances from Wander Javier and Matt Wallner propelled the Kernels to a high-scoring win over Wisconsin on Wednesday night in a shortened game due to rain. Wallner continued his dominant return with a two-run homer and a double and Javier laced two singles and a triple to push the Kernels to a 42-32 record in the High-A Central West division. The Kernels got things going in the second inning thanks to a Jair Camargo double that scored Yunior Severino to put the Kernels on the board. And after Wisconsin plated three of their own runs in the third, Cedar Rapids responded with seven runs in the fifth and six innings. Michael Helman led off the fifth with a leadoff first-pitch triple to center field to get the rally started. Two batters later Edouard Julien launched a homer over the right-center field wall to tie the game at three. Seth Gray followed suit with a single and was later scored by Javier’s triple. The fifth inning was only a sneak peak to what the sixth inning would offer from the Kernels’ bats. After a Helman walk Max Smith smacked his fifth homer of the year to give Cedar Rapids an 8-5 lead. Matt Wallner would follow suit with his own two-run shot in the inning to add some insurance to the Kernels’ lead. Wednesday proved that the Cedar Rapids offense is firing on as good of cylinders as they have all year. Yet there were still moments of brightness on the pitching staff that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Starting pitcher Jon Olsen struck out four batters, and relievers Derek Molina and Osiris German struck out a combined seven on the night. 11 K’s on the night for a staff? Not bad. MUSSEL MATTERS Game Postponed Wednesday’s scheduled game at Clearwater was postponed due to rain and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Thursday. Game one will begin at 3:00 pm CST and game two will begin shortly after the completion of game one. Both games will be seven innings. COMPLEX CHRONICLES No Game The Florida Complex League Twins had an off day. However, multiple players have had standout seasons so far. Right fielder Ka’lai Rosario is off to a hot start, slashing .293/.333/.533 (.867) in 75 at-bats. The Hawaii native is among league leaders in a number of stats. He’s tied for fourth-most hits (22), is second in RBI (21), and leads the league with four triples. While he doesn’t have the at-bats of Rosario, first basemen Alexander Pena has been electric, slashing .426/.481/.532 (1.013) with 20 hits and five doubles. RHP Giovahniey German has been solid through his first four starts, going 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Opposing hitters have just a .219 AVG when facing German. Throw 'em the heater, Giovahniey! The GCL Twins return to action tomorrow afternoon, facing the FCL Pirates Black at noon. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day- Ryan Mason (Wichita)- (S, 6) 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, SO Hitter of the Day- BJ Boyd (Wichita)- 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, SO PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) –Did not play #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – Game postponed #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Did not play #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – Game postponed #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 3-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, SO, #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) –Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – Game postponed #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 3-for-5, RBI #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Indianapolis @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Matt Shoemaker (1-0, 2.77 ERA) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05PM CST) – LHP Bryan Sammons (2-3 6.29 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (7:05PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson ( 2-0. 1.87 ERA) Fort Myers @ Clearwater- Game One (3:00PM CST) – LHP Brent Headrick (3-4, 3.44 ERA) Game Two (makeup from July 28) - RHP Landon Leach (0-0, 2.25 ERA) View full article
  3. No single prospect in the Minnesota Twins farm system has seen their value grow more over the last three months than Jose Miranda. A highly regarded prep prospect out of Puerto Rico, the Twins selected Miranda with the 73rd overall pick in the 2016 draft based on his projected ability to hit for power and average while providing solid defense at third base. However, Miranda largely failed to live up to his reputation before the 2021 season as neither his power numbers nor batting average ever reached the levels many thought they would. However, 2021 has been a much different story. As of this writing, Miranda is slashing .337/.398/.653 in 24 games with Triple-A St. Paul - he's reached base safely in all 24 games - and that's after hitting .345/.408/.588 in 47 games at Double-A Wichita. His 167 wRC+ is 10th among all MiLB players who have accumulated at least 150 plate appearances. Bump up the required plate appearances to 230, a number that should be easily obtainable for minor leaguers who play nearly every night and have remained healthy - Miranda has 331, for example - and he jumps up to fourth. In essence, while the sample size is still relatively small, Miranda has displayed enough consistency at both the Double- and Triple-A levels to suggest that some level of his success is here to stay. His numbers will regress before the season winds down, but it's fair to say that FanGraphs needs to update his 35-grade hit tool and 30-grade game power. Miranda's 2021 season is likely the ceiling for what he can be at the major league level: 20-30 home run power with a high OBP and solid, versatile infield defense. That type of player is a multi-time All-Star, MVP candidate, and a cornerstone in the lineup for a contending team. However, the odds that he reaches his current production level while on an MLB roster remain slim. In all likelihood, Miranda won't reach his 100% outcome. A more likely scenario involves him developing into something more akin to former Twin Michael Cuddyer. Cuddy finished his career with 197 home runs and a .277 batting average across 15 major league seasons. It should be considered a wild success if Miranda develops into the next Michael Cuddyer. A significant reason why Miranda has been so successful this season and may continue to be in the future is his ability to control his bat head through the strike zone. Miranda generates loft on pitches, even those down in the zone. He accomplishes this by keeping the barrel of his bat relatively parallel to the ground, which increases the surface area of the bat that may come in contact with the ball, which, in turn, increases the likelihood that a ball will be barreled rather than squibbed or popped up. Suppose he can maintain his form while facing major league-level pitching and implement minor refinements to increase his power even more. In that case, Miranda should have no problem hitting 25 or more home runs per season and for a good average. Additionally, Miranda is solid in the field, particularly at third base. While he has seen time at first, second, and third base at both Double- and Triple-A, his future, or at least his near future, is most likely at the hot corner. He possesses enough arm strength to be at least average at third and could easily fill in for Jorge Polanco and Alex Kirilloff at his other positions as needed. Miranda's emergence this season has allowed the Twins to think long and hard about trading current third baseman Josh Donaldson, and if (or more likely, when) they decide to pull the trigger, he may find himself on the next city bus to Target Field. If not this season, then next. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  4. A highly regarded prep prospect out of Puerto Rico, the Twins selected Miranda with the 73rd overall pick in the 2016 draft based on his projected ability to hit for power and average while providing solid defense at third base. However, Miranda largely failed to live up to his reputation before the 2021 season as neither his power numbers nor batting average ever reached the levels many thought they would. However, 2021 has been a much different story. As of this writing, Miranda is slashing .337/.398/.653 in 24 games with Triple-A St. Paul - he's reached base safely in all 24 games - and that's after hitting .345/.408/.588 in 47 games at Double-A Wichita. His 167 wRC+ is 10th among all MiLB players who have accumulated at least 150 plate appearances. Bump up the required plate appearances to 230, a number that should be easily obtainable for minor leaguers who play nearly every night and have remained healthy - Miranda has 331, for example - and he jumps up to fourth. In essence, while the sample size is still relatively small, Miranda has displayed enough consistency at both the Double- and Triple-A levels to suggest that some level of his success is here to stay. His numbers will regress before the season winds down, but it's fair to say that FanGraphs needs to update his 35-grade hit tool and 30-grade game power. Miranda's 2021 season is likely the ceiling for what he can be at the major league level: 20-30 home run power with a high OBP and solid, versatile infield defense. That type of player is a multi-time All-Star, MVP candidate, and a cornerstone in the lineup for a contending team. However, the odds that he reaches his current production level while on an MLB roster remain slim. In all likelihood, Miranda won't reach his 100% outcome. A more likely scenario involves him developing into something more akin to former Twin Michael Cuddyer. Cuddy finished his career with 197 home runs and a .277 batting average across 15 major league seasons. It should be considered a wild success if Miranda develops into the next Michael Cuddyer. A significant reason why Miranda has been so successful this season and may continue to be in the future is his ability to control his bat head through the strike zone. Miranda generates loft on pitches, even those down in the zone. He accomplishes this by keeping the barrel of his bat relatively parallel to the ground, which increases the surface area of the bat that may come in contact with the ball, which, in turn, increases the likelihood that a ball will be barreled rather than squibbed or popped up. Suppose he can maintain his form while facing major league-level pitching and implement minor refinements to increase his power even more. In that case, Miranda should have no problem hitting 25 or more home runs per season and for a good average. Additionally, Miranda is solid in the field, particularly at third base. While he has seen time at first, second, and third base at both Double- and Triple-A, his future, or at least his near future, is most likely at the hot corner. He possesses enough arm strength to be at least average at third and could easily fill in for Jorge Polanco and Alex Kirilloff at his other positions as needed. Miranda's emergence this season has allowed the Twins to think long and hard about trading current third baseman Josh Donaldson, and if (or more likely, when) they decide to pull the trigger, he may find himself on the next city bus to Target Field. If not this season, then next. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  5. The system had a few strong performances, some weak ones, and a huge swing from Jesús Feliz in a walk-off Mussels win. TRANSACTIONS: C Ben Rortvedt transferred from Minnesota to Triple-A St.Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Storm Chasers 9, Saints 6 Box Score Griffin Jax: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, BB, 5 K HR: José Miranda (8), Jimmy Kerrigan (10) Multi-hit games: Miranda (3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI), Kerrigan (2-for-4, HR), Drew Stankiewicz (2-for-4, R) José Miranda has dominated this space almost every single night and Sunday was no different. Miranda recorded three more hits, including a solo homer. The breakout prospect entered the game hitting .323/.389/.625 (1.014 OPS) in 23 games with the Saints. Keon Broxton has had a very nice month in St.Paul. He started the day with a stellar .278/.385/.648 slash line in July, bouncing back from a brutal June where he hit just .138/.286/.190. He singled Sunday to drive in the Saints’ first run and then stole his ninth base of the season. Ian Hamilton, usually a lockdown option for the Saints late in games, walked three and allowed a single without recording an out. Hamilton has had walk issues so far this year with a 15.5% free-pass rate entering the game. The Saints couldn’t recover from the five-run seventh. WIND SURGE WISDOM Travelers 7, Wind Surge 5 Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, 5 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit game: D.J. Burt (2-for-4, 3B, RBI, R), Wilbis Santiago (2-for-3, 2B, BB), Caleb Hamilton (2-for-4) Jordan Balazovic saw his stunning 25 ⅔ scoreless innings streak come to an end in Sunday’s walk-off loss. Balazovic struggled with his command, walking five Travelers and striking out four. His ERA on the season rose to 2.74. The Surge quickly responded after falling down 1-0 in the first. Aaron Whitefield singled home D.J. Burt in the next half inning, and Wilbis Santiago doubled behind him to take a 2-1 lead. That wouldn’t last long. The Travelers tied the game immediately and just kept clawing back, coming back from 4-2 and 5-3 deficits to eventually walk off the Surge in the bottom of the ninth. Jake Scheiner blasted a two-run homer to win it. KERNELS NUGGETS Snappers 4, Kernels 0 Box Score Cody Laweryson: 5 IP, 3 H, R/ER, BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit game: None The Kernels mustered up just two hits in their shutout loss Sunday. Jair Camargo singled in the second and Gabriel Maciel singled in the third, accounting for the entire Cedar Rapids offense. Snappers starter George Soriano struck out eight in four outstanding innings. The top four hitters in the Kernels’ lineup (Edouard Julien, Michael Helman, Matt Wallner and Wander Javier) combined to go 0-for-16 with nine strikeouts. Cody Laweryson put together one of his best starts of the year, striking out a season-high eight Snappers. Laweryson tied his season high with five innings pitched and has allowed just two runs over his last nine innings (two starts). MUSSEL MATTERS Mighty Mussels 6, Tortugas 5 Box Score Zarion Sharpe: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K HR: Charles Mack (5), Jesús Feliz (2) Multi-hit games: Mack (2-for-4, HR, BB), Feliz (3-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI) Jesús Feliz played hero in a thrilling walk-off win for the Mussels Sunday. Leading off the bottom of the ninth, Feliz blasted a 1-0 pitch to left center and saved the Mussels bullpen after they allowed three runs in the eighth. Not only did Feliz end the scoring, he also got the Mussels on the board with a two-out RBI double in the first. Charles Mack added on with a solo homer in the fifth and Yunior Severino and Keoni Cavaco each plated runs with singles in the sixth. Before the Feliz heroics, Zarion Sharpe was fantastic in his fourth start for Fort Myers. Sharpe struck out five and didn’t allow a run. He lowered his ERA to 4.50 after beginning the day at 5.33. COMPLEX CHRONICLES THE FCL TWINS DID NOT PLAY TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cody Laweryson: 5 IP, 3 H, R/ER, BB, 8 K Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jesús Feliz: 3-for-5, walk-off HR, 2B, 2 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) – 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, 5 BB, 4 K #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, BB, R #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Did not play #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – Did not play #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, 2 K #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-for-4, HR #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, BB, R #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 1-for-4 #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, 2 K #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch View full article
  6. TRANSACTIONS: C Ben Rortvedt transferred from Minnesota to Triple-A St.Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Storm Chasers 9, Saints 6 Box Score Griffin Jax: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, BB, 5 K HR: José Miranda (8), Jimmy Kerrigan (10) Multi-hit games: Miranda (3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI), Kerrigan (2-for-4, HR), Drew Stankiewicz (2-for-4, R) José Miranda has dominated this space almost every single night and Sunday was no different. Miranda recorded three more hits, including a solo homer. The breakout prospect entered the game hitting .323/.389/.625 (1.014 OPS) in 23 games with the Saints. Keon Broxton has had a very nice month in St.Paul. He started the day with a stellar .278/.385/.648 slash line in July, bouncing back from a brutal June where he hit just .138/.286/.190. He singled Sunday to drive in the Saints’ first run and then stole his ninth base of the season. Ian Hamilton, usually a lockdown option for the Saints late in games, walked three and allowed a single without recording an out. Hamilton has had walk issues so far this year with a 15.5% free-pass rate entering the game. The Saints couldn’t recover from the five-run seventh. WIND SURGE WISDOM Travelers 7, Wind Surge 5 Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, 5 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit game: D.J. Burt (2-for-4, 3B, RBI, R), Wilbis Santiago (2-for-3, 2B, BB), Caleb Hamilton (2-for-4) Jordan Balazovic saw his stunning 25 ⅔ scoreless innings streak come to an end in Sunday’s walk-off loss. Balazovic struggled with his command, walking five Travelers and striking out four. His ERA on the season rose to 2.74. The Surge quickly responded after falling down 1-0 in the first. Aaron Whitefield singled home D.J. Burt in the next half inning, and Wilbis Santiago doubled behind him to take a 2-1 lead. That wouldn’t last long. The Travelers tied the game immediately and just kept clawing back, coming back from 4-2 and 5-3 deficits to eventually walk off the Surge in the bottom of the ninth. Jake Scheiner blasted a two-run homer to win it. KERNELS NUGGETS Snappers 4, Kernels 0 Box Score Cody Laweryson: 5 IP, 3 H, R/ER, BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit game: None The Kernels mustered up just two hits in their shutout loss Sunday. Jair Camargo singled in the second and Gabriel Maciel singled in the third, accounting for the entire Cedar Rapids offense. Snappers starter George Soriano struck out eight in four outstanding innings. The top four hitters in the Kernels’ lineup (Edouard Julien, Michael Helman, Matt Wallner and Wander Javier) combined to go 0-for-16 with nine strikeouts. Cody Laweryson put together one of his best starts of the year, striking out a season-high eight Snappers. Laweryson tied his season high with five innings pitched and has allowed just two runs over his last nine innings (two starts). MUSSEL MATTERS Mighty Mussels 6, Tortugas 5 Box Score Zarion Sharpe: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K HR: Charles Mack (5), Jesús Feliz (2) Multi-hit games: Mack (2-for-4, HR, BB), Feliz (3-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI) Jesús Feliz played hero in a thrilling walk-off win for the Mussels Sunday. Leading off the bottom of the ninth, Feliz blasted a 1-0 pitch to left center and saved the Mussels bullpen after they allowed three runs in the eighth. Not only did Feliz end the scoring, he also got the Mussels on the board with a two-out RBI double in the first. Charles Mack added on with a solo homer in the fifth and Yunior Severino and Keoni Cavaco each plated runs with singles in the sixth. Before the Feliz heroics, Zarion Sharpe was fantastic in his fourth start for Fort Myers. Sharpe struck out five and didn’t allow a run. He lowered his ERA to 4.50 after beginning the day at 5.33. COMPLEX CHRONICLES THE FCL TWINS DID NOT PLAY TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cody Laweryson: 5 IP, 3 H, R/ER, BB, 8 K Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jesús Feliz: 3-for-5, walk-off HR, 2B, 2 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) – 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, 5 BB, 4 K #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, BB, R #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Did not play #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – Did not play #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, 2 K #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-for-4, HR #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, BB, R #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 1-for-4 #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, 2 K #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch
  7. A couple of major leaguers were activated for rehab assignments with the St. Paul Saints, but it was a different slugger with major league experience who stole the show at CHS Field on Tuesday night. There were also several big innings from lineups across the system on the night, and even a no-hitter rookie leagues (that asterisk in the title is for a reason, but the scorebook says what the scorebook says!). To find out who hit all those home runs in St. Paul, how the big innings all went down, and who was responsible for that no-hitter in the FCL, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS Catcher Mitch Garver was sent on a rehab assignment to the St. Paul Saints. Good to see him back on the field after his freaky injury. Jake Cave was also activated for a rehab assignment with the Saints. LHP Kody Funderburk and RHP Jordan Gore were promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. LHP Aaron Rozek was assigned to the Mighty Mussels from the Wind Surge, and RHP Jason Garcia was placed on the 7-day injured list. Taking the place of the departing pitchers from Cedar Rapids were RHP Osiris German and RHP Louie Varland from Fort Myers. In addition to Rozek the Mighty Mussels also were assigned RHP Orlando Rodriguez. SAINTS SENTINEL Columbus 1, St. Paul 19 Box Score With Jake Cave, Mitch Garver, Brent Rooker, and Willians Astudillo in the lineup for the Saints on Tuesday, this one played out just like you might expect when putting a lineup of major leaguers out against one of minor leaguers. St. Paul bludgeoned Columbus pitching early with three runs in the first then four more in the third before exploding for 10 runs in the fourth. When they needed a hit, they got them, and big ones in bunches too. Cave led off the game with a homer and Rooker hit another blast in the first. Rooker and Mark Contreras each went yard in the third. Then Rooker again, and Jose Miranda took one out of the park in the big fourth inning. The lineup got multiple hits from Miranda (2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, K), Rooker (4-for-6, 4 R, 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 K), Contreras (2-for-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K), and JT Riddle (2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI). Cave and Rooker each scored four runs. As a team St. Paul was 9-for-13 (.692) with runners in scoring position and left only five men on base. In addition to their 14 hits and six walks, five hitters were hit by pitches leading to their runs outpacing hits for the game. Righthander Griffin Jax took the mound for the Saints and went the first five innings, working efficiently. He allowed one run (solo homer) on three hits. He did not walk or strike out a batter, and threw just 63 pitches with 40 going for strikes (63.5%). Reliever Juan Minaya came on for the sixth inning and finished the next three scoreless innings. He allowed three hits, one walk, and struck out four. Joe Harvey finished off the game with a scoreless ninth, allowing one hit and punching out two. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 7, Wichita 2 Box Score Wichita got on the board first in this one when Trey Cabbage clubbed his third home run of the season, a two run-shot in the second inning. But that was all the offense they would muster on the night as the lineup managed just two other hits on the game. They had only one at-bat with a runner in scoring position and left only two men on base for the game. There is not much you can if you never have the opportunities. Righthander Austin Schulfer got the start for the Wind Surge and went five solid innings. He allowed three earned runs on two hits and three walks, while striking out six. Jovani Moran went the next 1 2/3 and was not his usual knife through butter self, being charged with one run on one hit and three walks, though he still did strike out four. Zach Neff came on gave up three runs of his own in 1+ innings. He allowed four hits and struck out one. Jhonleider Salinas finished the game off for the Wind Surge with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out two. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, South Bend 5 Box Score The Kernels too, got on the board early and then often in a single inning on Tuesday as they put up three runs in the first then a five-spot in the fourth that put them ahead 8-1 at the time. The three runs in the first came courtesy of Seth Gray’s seventh home run of the season. The lineup got multiple hits from Gray (3-for-6, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, K), Wander Javier (2-for-5, R, 2B, BB, 2 K), and Edouard Julien (2-for-5, R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K). Julien’s 2-RBI single in the fourth inning capped the scoring for Cedar Rapids and he continues to lead the minors in walks while sporting a .475 on-base percentage across two levels. The eight runs were more than enough to pick up the win as the pitching staff held strong enough as South Bend attempted a comeback. Starter Cody Laweryson went the first four innings for the Kernels, allowing a single earned run on three hits and two walks while punching out six. Tyler Palm allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in his single inning. Ryan Shreve was credited the win after his two innings where he allowed one run on two hits and struck out two. Zach Featherstone pitched the final two innings, allowing a run of his own on one hit and two walks while striking out three. The Kernels improved to 35-26 on the year and are firmly in second place of the Midwest League West Division. MUSSEL MATTERS Jupiter 10, Fort Myers 12 Box Score Fort Myers jumped out to a beg early lead after an eight run second inning, but struggled to keep that lead for the rest of the game and it turned into a back-and-forth contest late. Willie Joe Garry Jr. got the scoring started in the second with a two-RBI single. Misael Urbina followed two batters later with a grand slam that made it 6-1. A Jeferson Morales double and Jesus Feliz single would plate the other two runs in the frame. Starter Brent Headrick went four innings in total, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks, while striking out six. Matthew Swain came out for the fifth inning but was not able to get out of it before being charged with four runs on three walks. He struck out one. With two in the fifth Carlos Suniaga was summoned and went the next 2 1/3 scoreless innings, keeping the Mighty Mussels within one going into the bottom of the seventh. They were able to tie it at nine thanks to an RBI single off the bat of Ruben Santana, but gave it right back in the top of the eighth. Righthander Bradley Hanner came into the game and gave up consecutive single to start the inning, that resulted in a run as the first hitter stole second and reached third on a throwing error. Now down 10-9, Fort Myers would not give up. Yunior Severino delivered an RBI sac fly in the bottom of the eighth after Aaron Sabato reached base on an error and moved to third on a double from Morales. Feliz then put them up by one with an RBI single and executed a double steal with Justin Washington for another run to make it 12-10 in favor of the home team. Back out front for the top of the ninth, the Mighty Mussels brought on Denny Bentley to close out the win. A one out walk and single made it a little interesting, but Bentley buckled down and struck out the final two hitters (and all three outs in the inning) to end the game and pick up his fifth save. In addition to Morales and Feliz, Washington (2-for-4, R, 3B, K, SB) and Santana (2-for-2, R, RBI, 3 BB, SB) also multiple hits on the game. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Game 1: FCL Braves 5, FCL Twins 1 Box Score The FCL Twins played a doubleheader with their Atlanta Braves counterpart on Tuesday afternoon, and they each picked up a victory. In game one the Twins were outhit 8-5 and were not able to mount any rallies in losing 5-1. Alexander Pena led the way with a 2-for-3 effort including a double. Kala’I Rosario picked up the only RBI. Starter John Stankiewicz went the first two innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk while recording all of his outs via the strikeout (six total). Wilker Reyes went the next four innings and allowed three earned runs on six hits and two walks. Cole Bellair finished the game with an unearned run on two walks in the seventh, striking out one. Game 2: FCL Twins 8, FCL Braves 0 Box Score The Twins got back at the Braves in game two behind a no-hitter from their starting pitcher. The caveat here is even in the normally shortened 7-inning game of a doubleheader, only 5+ innings were completed in this one as lightning moved into the area. The Twins scored two in the first and six in the second to account for all their runs. Rosario had two more RBI in this one thanks to a double. Catcher LaRon Smith had three RBI and his second home run of the season. Pena (2-for-4, R, RBI) and Miguel Vallejo (2-for-2, R, 2 2B) had multiple hits. As a team they were 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left just six on base for the game. Pitcher Giovahniey German went five innings and walked just two while striking out four. Quite a performance for the 20-year-old in just his third game pitching in the states! Goes down as a no-hitter in the scorebook no matter who is reading it, congratulations! (Reliever Zach Goree was meant to start the sixth inning before the game was called) TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Giovahniey German, FCL Twins (5 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 4 K) Hitter of the Day – Brent Rooker, St. Paul Saints (4-for-6, 4 R, 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, K #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 1-for-2, R #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – All Star Break #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, R, BB #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (wrist sprain) #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – All Star Break #13 – Cole Sands Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 4-for-6, 4 R, 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 K #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 1-for-5, R, GS HR, 4 RBI, BB, K #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-for-4, 3 K #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 2-for-5, R, 2B, BB, 2 K #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Columbus @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – TBD Tulsa @ Wichita (12:05PM CST) – TBD Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05PM CST) – RHP Tyler Beck (1-1, 1.93 ERA) Jupiter @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (4-2, 5.89 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! 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  8. To find out who hit all those home runs in St. Paul, how the big innings all went down, and who was responsible for that no-hitter in the FCL, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS Catcher Mitch Garver was sent on a rehab assignment to the St. Paul Saints. Good to see him back on the field after his freaky injury. Jake Cave was also activated for a rehab assignment with the Saints. LHP Kody Funderburk and RHP Jordan Gore were promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. LHP Aaron Rozek was assigned to the Mighty Mussels from the Wind Surge, and RHP Jason Garcia was placed on the 7-day injured list. Taking the place of the departing pitchers from Cedar Rapids were RHP Osiris German and RHP Louie Varland from Fort Myers. In addition to Rozek the Mighty Mussels also were assigned RHP Orlando Rodriguez. SAINTS SENTINEL Columbus 1, St. Paul 19 Box Score With Jake Cave, Mitch Garver, Brent Rooker, and Willians Astudillo in the lineup for the Saints on Tuesday, this one played out just like you might expect when putting a lineup of major leaguers out against one of minor leaguers. St. Paul bludgeoned Columbus pitching early with three runs in the first then four more in the third before exploding for 10 runs in the fourth. When they needed a hit, they got them, and big ones in bunches too. Cave led off the game with a homer and Rooker hit another blast in the first. Rooker and Mark Contreras each went yard in the third. Then Rooker again, and Jose Miranda took one out of the park in the big fourth inning. The lineup got multiple hits from Miranda (2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, K), Rooker (4-for-6, 4 R, 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 K), Contreras (2-for-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K), and JT Riddle (2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI). Cave and Rooker each scored four runs. As a team St. Paul was 9-for-13 (.692) with runners in scoring position and left only five men on base. In addition to their 14 hits and six walks, five hitters were hit by pitches leading to their runs outpacing hits for the game. Righthander Griffin Jax took the mound for the Saints and went the first five innings, working efficiently. He allowed one run (solo homer) on three hits. He did not walk or strike out a batter, and threw just 63 pitches with 40 going for strikes (63.5%). Reliever Juan Minaya came on for the sixth inning and finished the next three scoreless innings. He allowed three hits, one walk, and struck out four. Joe Harvey finished off the game with a scoreless ninth, allowing one hit and punching out two. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 7, Wichita 2 Box Score Wichita got on the board first in this one when Trey Cabbage clubbed his third home run of the season, a two run-shot in the second inning. But that was all the offense they would muster on the night as the lineup managed just two other hits on the game. They had only one at-bat with a runner in scoring position and left only two men on base for the game. There is not much you can if you never have the opportunities. Righthander Austin Schulfer got the start for the Wind Surge and went five solid innings. He allowed three earned runs on two hits and three walks, while striking out six. Jovani Moran went the next 1 2/3 and was not his usual knife through butter self, being charged with one run on one hit and three walks, though he still did strike out four. Zach Neff came on gave up three runs of his own in 1+ innings. He allowed four hits and struck out one. Jhonleider Salinas finished the game off for the Wind Surge with 1 1/3 scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out two. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, South Bend 5 Box Score The Kernels too, got on the board early and then often in a single inning on Tuesday as they put up three runs in the first then a five-spot in the fourth that put them ahead 8-1 at the time. The three runs in the first came courtesy of Seth Gray’s seventh home run of the season. The lineup got multiple hits from Gray (3-for-6, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, K), Wander Javier (2-for-5, R, 2B, BB, 2 K), and Edouard Julien (2-for-5, R, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K). Julien’s 2-RBI single in the fourth inning capped the scoring for Cedar Rapids and he continues to lead the minors in walks while sporting a .475 on-base percentage across two levels. The eight runs were more than enough to pick up the win as the pitching staff held strong enough as South Bend attempted a comeback. Starter Cody Laweryson went the first four innings for the Kernels, allowing a single earned run on three hits and two walks while punching out six. Tyler Palm allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in his single inning. Ryan Shreve was credited the win after his two innings where he allowed one run on two hits and struck out two. Zach Featherstone pitched the final two innings, allowing a run of his own on one hit and two walks while striking out three. The Kernels improved to 35-26 on the year and are firmly in second place of the Midwest League West Division. MUSSEL MATTERS Jupiter 10, Fort Myers 12 Box Score Fort Myers jumped out to a beg early lead after an eight run second inning, but struggled to keep that lead for the rest of the game and it turned into a back-and-forth contest late. Willie Joe Garry Jr. got the scoring started in the second with a two-RBI single. Misael Urbina followed two batters later with a grand slam that made it 6-1. A Jeferson Morales double and Jesus Feliz single would plate the other two runs in the frame. Starter Brent Headrick went four innings in total, allowing five runs (three earned) on seven hits and three walks, while striking out six. Matthew Swain came out for the fifth inning but was not able to get out of it before being charged with four runs on three walks. He struck out one. With two in the fifth Carlos Suniaga was summoned and went the next 2 1/3 scoreless innings, keeping the Mighty Mussels within one going into the bottom of the seventh. They were able to tie it at nine thanks to an RBI single off the bat of Ruben Santana, but gave it right back in the top of the eighth. Righthander Bradley Hanner came into the game and gave up consecutive single to start the inning, that resulted in a run as the first hitter stole second and reached third on a throwing error. Now down 10-9, Fort Myers would not give up. Yunior Severino delivered an RBI sac fly in the bottom of the eighth after Aaron Sabato reached base on an error and moved to third on a double from Morales. Feliz then put them up by one with an RBI single and executed a double steal with Justin Washington for another run to make it 12-10 in favor of the home team. Back out front for the top of the ninth, the Mighty Mussels brought on Denny Bentley to close out the win. A one out walk and single made it a little interesting, but Bentley buckled down and struck out the final two hitters (and all three outs in the inning) to end the game and pick up his fifth save. In addition to Morales and Feliz, Washington (2-for-4, R, 3B, K, SB) and Santana (2-for-2, R, RBI, 3 BB, SB) also multiple hits on the game. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Game 1: FCL Braves 5, FCL Twins 1 Box Score The FCL Twins played a doubleheader with their Atlanta Braves counterpart on Tuesday afternoon, and they each picked up a victory. In game one the Twins were outhit 8-5 and were not able to mount any rallies in losing 5-1. Alexander Pena led the way with a 2-for-3 effort including a double. Kala’I Rosario picked up the only RBI. Starter John Stankiewicz went the first two innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk while recording all of his outs via the strikeout (six total). Wilker Reyes went the next four innings and allowed three earned runs on six hits and two walks. Cole Bellair finished the game with an unearned run on two walks in the seventh, striking out one. Game 2: FCL Twins 8, FCL Braves 0 Box Score The Twins got back at the Braves in game two behind a no-hitter from their starting pitcher. The caveat here is even in the normally shortened 7-inning game of a doubleheader, only 5+ innings were completed in this one as lightning moved into the area. The Twins scored two in the first and six in the second to account for all their runs. Rosario had two more RBI in this one thanks to a double. Catcher LaRon Smith had three RBI and his second home run of the season. Pena (2-for-4, R, RBI) and Miguel Vallejo (2-for-2, R, 2 2B) had multiple hits. As a team they were 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position and left just six on base for the game. Pitcher Giovahniey German went five innings and walked just two while striking out four. Quite a performance for the 20-year-old in just his third game pitching in the states! Goes down as a no-hitter in the scorebook no matter who is reading it, congratulations! (Reliever Zach Goree was meant to start the sixth inning before the game was called) TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Giovahniey German, FCL Twins (5 IP, 0 H, 2 BB, 4 K) Hitter of the Day – Brent Rooker, St. Paul Saints (4-for-6, 4 R, 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, K #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 1-for-2, R #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – All Star Break #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, R, BB #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (wrist sprain) #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – All Star Break #13 – Cole Sands Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 4-for-6, 4 R, 2B, 3 HR, 7 RBI, 2 K #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 1-for-5, R, GS HR, 4 RBI, BB, K #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-for-4, 3 K #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 2-for-5, R, 2B, BB, 2 K #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Columbus @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – TBD Tulsa @ Wichita (12:05PM CST) – TBD Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05PM CST) – RHP Tyler Beck (1-1, 1.93 ERA) Jupiter @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) – RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (4-2, 5.89 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  9. With former top prospects like Alex Kirilloff (#1 on our preseason list), Trevor Larnach (#3) and Ryan Jeffers (#4) graduating from prospect status, several new names enter the top five in our midseason update. These promising young players all have a chance to play a significant role as the Twins aim to retool and rebound. 5. Jose Miranda, 3B/2B Age: 23 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (AA/AAA): .350 AVG, .409 OBP, .614 SLG, 16 HR, 46 RBI 2021 Ranking: 19 When we ranked him No. 19 on our preseason top prospects list, the short synopsis on Miranda was a familiar one: "High-contract righty-swinging infielder needs to find power stroke." The former second-round draft pick has long sat on the fringes of our top-20 rankings because of his many intriguing traits, but the production just wasn't there to justify ranking him much higher. Through his first 379 games in the minors, he slugged .394 with 37 home runs. This year, he found his power stroke. Miranda came out of the gates red-hot at Double-A, opening with a seven-game hitting streak that included three home runs, and he never really slowed down. Miranda slashed .345/.408/.588 with 13 home runs in two months at Wichita, then earned a late-June promotion to St. Paul, where he put together an unforgettable Triple-A debut: 5-6, 3 HR, 6 RBIs. It all came together in a hurry for Miranda and there's not much reason to think his breakthrough isn't legit. He's got a smooth, compact swing from the right side that was always produced high contact rates, and he's clearly turned a corner with his ability to drive the ball. He projects as a third baseman in the big leagues, and perhaps pretty soon, depending on what happens with Josh Donaldson. 4. Matt Canterino, RHSP Age: 23 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (A+): 18 IP, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 1.14 FIP, 51.5 K%, 4.4 BB% 2021 Ranking: 9 Canterino drew considerable hype coming into this season after reports emerged of him touching 100 MPH in a side session. A second-rounder out of Rice University in 2019, he made a strong impression by dominating in his first stint as a pro (1.44 ERA, 11.2 K/9 between rookie and A-ball), but plenty of highly-drafted collegiate players have done that. Taking the next step is the differentiator. Canterino's velo jump, and the behind-the-scenes work it reflected, were seemingly positive indicators. The righty needed to show it on the field. He has. Canterino was brilliant through four starts for Cedar Rapids, now the Twins' High-A affiliate. I mean, we're talking stupid good numbers. Thirty-five strikeouts in 18 innings? A 17.5 K/9 rate?? Canterino was striking out literally more than half the batters he faced. Beyond overpowering. He was likely in line for an imminent promotion to Double-A, but unfortunately the 23-year-old developed a sore elbow and hasn't pitched since May. He is currently on the comeback trail and the Twins hope he'll be able to return to the mound soon – probably in Wichita once he's fully back on track. 3. Jordan Balazovic, RHSP Age: 22 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (AA): 21 1/3 IP, 4.44 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 3.86 FIP, 29.5 K%, 7.1 BB% 2021 Ranking: 6 After getting a late start to his season while healing from injury, Balazovic's results through six starts at Double-A have been ... uneven. His 4.44 ERA is nothing to write home about, and he has yet to get through six innings in an outing. With that said, he's been building up – his best, and longest, start was also his most recent – and the signs of that big potential have been on display. In 24 ⅓ innings, he has piled up 33 strikeouts with a 14% swing-and-miss rate. While hitters have had success against him at times, they haven't hit for much power (3 HR and 7 XBH total) and Balazovic's control hasn't really eluded him at any point. For now the key is to continually advance his workload and consistency. 2. Jhoan Duran, RHSP Age: 23 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (A/AA): 34 1/3 IP, 3.41 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 2.64 FIP, 38.2 K%, 9.0 BB% 2021 Ranking: n/a Like Balazovic, Duran's start to the 2021 campaign was delayed by injury following a lost pandemic season. When he took the mound on May 22nd at CHS Field, it was Duran's first time pitching in a minor-league game since August 29th of 2019. He was worth the wait. Unleashing triple-digit heat, Duran dazzled, striking out six over three innings of one-run ball. His next time out he allowed only one hit while fanning eight over four scoreless frames. However, things took a downward turn at this point, as Duran was tagged with losses in his next three appearances (one a long-relief outing), surrendering 8 earned runs with an 8-to-12 K/BB ratio in nine innings. Then, he went on the Injured List with an elbow strain. For now, the Twins hope and believe he'll avoid surgery. Duran has the best stuff in Minnesota's system and some of the best in the minors. He's the real deal talent-wise and the Twins have done a stellar job in targeting, acquiring, and developing him. His biggest barriers are control and health, and we've seen both fully presented this year, with the latter currently sidelining him indefinitely. He's as boom-or-bust as they come, but the ceiling is game-changing and within reach. 1. Royce Lewis, SS Age: 22 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats: n/a 2021 Ranking: 2 Losing two consecutive full seasons – one to a global pandemic and the next to a torn ACL – in the very crux of one's development is an ordeal many baseball prospects would be unable to overcome. I'd bet on Royce Lewis not being one of them. His much-lauded character and makeup have always positively affected the view and evaluation of Lewis, in certain intangible ways, but these qualities can have a very real impact in how he responds to this challenge. He'll be more than two years removed from playing competitively when he takes the field next spring – or maybe this winter – but has the natural talent to get back up to speed quickly. And "speed" really is the key word: even after knee surgery, he'll be one of the fastest and most athletic prospects in the game. Lewis is a dynamic talent who will likely end up at one of the most important defensive positions on the field – shortstop or center – and should be relatively productive at one of those spots even if his offensive shortcomings are not fully resolved. If the Twins do hope to rebound back into contention next year, they may need to ask quite a bit of their No. 1 prospect, as well as the other four we just profiled. One commonality you will notice among this reshaped top five: They're all 22 or 23 years old, with ETAs of 2022. These players are all verging on big-league ready and in most cases, health is the only significant barrier to surpass. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  10. 5. Jose Miranda, 3B/2B Age: 23 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (AA/AAA): .350 AVG, .409 OBP, .614 SLG, 16 HR, 46 RBI 2021 Ranking: 19 When we ranked him No. 19 on our preseason top prospects list, the short synopsis on Miranda was a familiar one: "High-contract righty-swinging infielder needs to find power stroke." The former second-round draft pick has long sat on the fringes of our top-20 rankings because of his many intriguing traits, but the production just wasn't there to justify ranking him much higher. Through his first 379 games in the minors, he slugged .394 with 37 home runs. This year, he found his power stroke. Miranda came out of the gates red-hot at Double-A, opening with a seven-game hitting streak that included three home runs, and he never really slowed down. Miranda slashed .345/.408/.588 with 13 home runs in two months at Wichita, then earned a late-June promotion to St. Paul, where he put together an unforgettable Triple-A debut: 5-6, 3 HR, 6 RBIs. It all came together in a hurry for Miranda and there's not much reason to think his breakthrough isn't legit. He's got a smooth, compact swing from the right side that was always produced high contact rates, and he's clearly turned a corner with his ability to drive the ball. He projects as a third baseman in the big leagues, and perhaps pretty soon, depending on what happens with Josh Donaldson. 4. Matt Canterino, RHSP Age: 23 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (A+): 18 IP, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 1.14 FIP, 51.5 K%, 4.4 BB% 2021 Ranking: 9 Canterino drew considerable hype coming into this season after reports emerged of him touching 100 MPH in a side session. A second-rounder out of Rice University in 2019, he made a strong impression by dominating in his first stint as a pro (1.44 ERA, 11.2 K/9 between rookie and A-ball), but plenty of highly-drafted collegiate players have done that. Taking the next step is the differentiator. Canterino's velo jump, and the behind-the-scenes work it reflected, were seemingly positive indicators. The righty needed to show it on the field. He has. Canterino was brilliant through four starts for Cedar Rapids, now the Twins' High-A affiliate. I mean, we're talking stupid good numbers. Thirty-five strikeouts in 18 innings? A 17.5 K/9 rate?? Canterino was striking out literally more than half the batters he faced. Beyond overpowering. He was likely in line for an imminent promotion to Double-A, but unfortunately the 23-year-old developed a sore elbow and hasn't pitched since May. He is currently on the comeback trail and the Twins hope he'll be able to return to the mound soon – probably in Wichita once he's fully back on track. 3. Jordan Balazovic, RHSP Age: 22 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (AA): 21 1/3 IP, 4.44 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 3.86 FIP, 29.5 K%, 7.1 BB% 2021 Ranking: 6 After getting a late start to his season while healing from injury, Balazovic's results through six starts at Double-A have been ... uneven. His 4.44 ERA is nothing to write home about, and he has yet to get through six innings in an outing. With that said, he's been building up – his best, and longest, start was also his most recent – and the signs of that big potential have been on display. In 24 ⅓ innings, he has piled up 33 strikeouts with a 14% swing-and-miss rate. While hitters have had success against him at times, they haven't hit for much power (3 HR and 7 XBH total) and Balazovic's control hasn't really eluded him at any point. For now the key is to continually advance his workload and consistency. 2. Jhoan Duran, RHSP Age: 23 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (A/AA): 34 1/3 IP, 3.41 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 2.64 FIP, 38.2 K%, 9.0 BB% 2021 Ranking: n/a Like Balazovic, Duran's start to the 2021 campaign was delayed by injury following a lost pandemic season. When he took the mound on May 22nd at CHS Field, it was Duran's first time pitching in a minor-league game since August 29th of 2019. He was worth the wait. Unleashing triple-digit heat, Duran dazzled, striking out six over three innings of one-run ball. His next time out he allowed only one hit while fanning eight over four scoreless frames. However, things took a downward turn at this point, as Duran was tagged with losses in his next three appearances (one a long-relief outing), surrendering 8 earned runs with an 8-to-12 K/BB ratio in nine innings. Then, he went on the Injured List with an elbow strain. For now, the Twins hope and believe he'll avoid surgery. Duran has the best stuff in Minnesota's system and some of the best in the minors. He's the real deal talent-wise and the Twins have done a stellar job in targeting, acquiring, and developing him. His biggest barriers are control and health, and we've seen both fully presented this year, with the latter currently sidelining him indefinitely. He's as boom-or-bust as they come, but the ceiling is game-changing and within reach. 1. Royce Lewis, SS Age: 22 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats: n/a 2021 Ranking: 2 Losing two consecutive full seasons – one to a global pandemic and the next to a torn ACL – in the very crux of one's development is an ordeal many baseball prospects would be unable to overcome. I'd bet on Royce Lewis not being one of them. His much-lauded character and makeup have always positively affected the view and evaluation of Lewis, in certain intangible ways, but these qualities can have a very real impact in how he responds to this challenge. He'll be more than two years removed from playing competitively when he takes the field next spring – or maybe this winter – but has the natural talent to get back up to speed quickly. And "speed" really is the key word: even after knee surgery, he'll be one of the fastest and most athletic prospects in the game. Lewis is a dynamic talent who will likely end up at one of the most important defensive positions on the field – shortstop or center – and should be relatively productive at one of those spots even if his offensive shortcomings are not fully resolved. If the Twins do hope to rebound back into contention next year, they may need to ask quite a bit of their No. 1 prospect, as well as the other four we just profiled. One commonality you will notice among this reshaped top five: They're all 22 or 23 years old, with ETAs of 2022. These players are all verging on big-league ready and in most cases, health is the only significant barrier to surpass. 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. “I don’t know about other organizations, but it’s unprecedented in our history of the way we’ve drafted over the course of years. To take four high school position players with consecutive picks, I don’t think a lot of teams have done that.” Deron Johnson, Twins Senior Advisor to Scouting, continued, “I’m proud. It’s a bold move, I think.I don’t know many teams that have done that in the past. So far so good with the results.” Johnson, as you recall, became the Twins scouting director in 2008 and held the position through the 2016 season when he received his promotion to the Senior Scouting Advisor role. Alex Kirilloff has been one of the most impressive hitters in all of minor league baseball in 2018. Ben Rortvedt’s development both at the plate and behind the plate has been noticed by the organization. Jose Miranda’s 2018 season started slow in Cedar Rapids, but he’s been raking since and recently earned his promotion to Ft. Myers. Akil Baddoo remains in Cedar Rapids at this point, but he’s been very impressive at the plate and in center field and continues to improve. Deron Johnson insists that the plan coming into the draft wasn’t necessarily to take four high school kids right away. “You have a plan, but being able to watch our system over the years, I knew that we were in need of some position players. It just so happened.” Here is a quick look back at the top four Twins draft picks in 2016 through the eyes of Deron Johnson. ALEX KIRILLOFF “He hasn’t missed a beat since he had that layoff.” That layoff, of course, was missing the 2017 season due to Tommy John surgery. As you know, Kirilloff has not only been arguably the top hitter in the Twins minor leagues this year, but maybe one of the best in all of minor league baseball. He spent the first 65 games of his 2018 season in Cedar Rapids. He hit .333/.391/.607 (.999) with 20 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs and 56 RBI. He played in the Midwest League All-Star Game and then immediately was promoted to Ft. Myers. He represented the Twins on Team USA at the Futures Game, and went 2-for-2. In his 47 games with the Miracle, he has hit .365/.385/.547 (.932) with 19 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 37 RBI. The Twins used the 15th overall pick to take Kirilloff who played high school ball for Plum High School near Pittsburgh. While they drafted him in 2016, they had known about him for a couple of years already. He made a major impression on Johnson at Petco Park in San Diego a year before the draft. Johnson, recalled, “He hit a ball during the Perfect Game All-American Game in Petco. I mean, it was an absolute bomb. Left-handers don’t hit balls out a lot at that park. Mostly right-handers because the ball kind of travels there. That showed me that this guy’s got power.” Johnson saw him again early in the 2016 season. “I saw him a couple of times. I saw him two or three games in Florida early in spring and we identified him as a guy going into the draft.” Shortly before the draft, Johnson traveled to Pittsburgh to see Kirilloff play. Unfortunately, the game was rained out. It ended up creating a great opportunity for the scout. “ I got a chance to see him practice. A lot of times, it’s better than seeing the games. I got a chance to speak with the kid, see how he goes about his business, see how he interacts with his teammates, and that was great. Plus we had a lot of looks on him too.” BEN RORTVEDT There is this perception that players from northern states can’t get seen by scouts as easily as players from southern states. There is some truth to that, but the top prep players now are playing in the summer baseball circuit across the country, and they are the showcases necessary if players want to get drafted. That is where Rortvedt was first seen. Johnson pointed out, “We got a lot of looks in the summer. He played against the best guys. He was on that Perfect Game tour, played in the All-America Game. We definitely relied on Mike Ruth, Mike Radcliff, and Mark Wilson, the scout that had the area at the time. We had a lot of coverage on him. We had a lot of looks.” Rortvedt was the Twins second-round draft pick, the 56th overall pick in the draft, out of Verona High School in Verona, Wisconsin. He split that season between the GCL and Elizabethton. He made the jump to Cedar Rapids in 2017, and admittedly he struggled with the bat. But he was gaining experience and making improvements. He returned to Cedar Rapids to start the 2018 season. In 39 games, he hit .276/.325/.386 (.711) with 12 extra base hits. He has now played 39 games since being promoted to Ft. Myers. He has hit .244/.342/.351 (.693) with eight extra base hits (including a two home run game). Behind the plate, he is blessed with a very strong arm and has gained a reputation for working well with his pitchers. But there is a thought, a hope that he will be able to continue making strides offensively as well. Johnson believes in Rortvedt’s offensive potential. “I think he can. I think he’s strong. For him, I think it’s all about approach .He’s got a nice swing. He’s a very strong young man. A lot of that’s been addressed. Drive the ball. If he can consistently learn to and want to drive the ball, the sky's the limit for him. He’s one of the younger guys again in the Florida State League. He doesn’t strike out much, makes contact. He’s got raw power. There’s no question about that. Is he going to be a 25-home run guy? Well, I’m not going to say he can’t.” But again, his defense is where he can really affect a game. “His defense has improved immensely. He can really throw. He can stop a running game. He’s athletic behind the plate. Someone quoted me after the draft where I said that he looks like he was born to catch. I truly believe that He looks like a catcher. He looks like one of those old school catchers from the ‘50s. The big forearms, the squared jaw. The real strong face. He’s young. He’s still got some immaturity. He’s not grown up yet. It’s going to take some time, but he works at it. He really gives a good effort. His game-calling has really improved. I think all aspects of his game have gotten better.” JOSE MIRANDA The Twins added the 73rd overall pick in the 2017 as part of the compensation round. Miranda was another guy that the Twins had seen quite a bit of, including at a Perfect Game event. Miranda actually grew up in Florida. According to Johnson, “He had played in the States. His mom is a flight attendant located in Florida. He went to high school in Florida his freshman and sophomore years, and then he moved back to Puerto Rico.” He started out this season at Cedar Rapids and like the weather conditions, he was cold. As the temperatures, Miranda’s bat heated up. In 104 total games with the Kernels, he hit .277/.326/.434 (.760) with 22 doubles, 13 home runs and 72 RBI. He has now played in eight games since being promoted to the Ft. Myers Miracle. He had his coming out party, of sorts, at Perfect Game. “We didn’t know who he was. (Delvin) Perez was the main guy. (Long-time Twins scout) Freddie Thon said, let’s take a look at this guy. I kind of like this guy.” “We saw him, and we like everything about him. We’ve always liked his bat. His defense is getting better. He’s found a home at 3B. He’s going to be a big man.” Miranda was drafted as a shortstop, but it was known that he wouldn’t stay there, though he did make one start there since joining the Miracle. He split much of his time in Cedar Rapids between second base and third base. AKIL BADDOO In the 2015 draft, the Twins used their second round pick (73rd pick) on right-handed pitcher Kyle Cody, a Wisconsin native who had spent three years at the University of Kentucky. For a few reasons, Cody did not sign with the Twins. Because they did not sign him, the Twins received the 74th overall pick of the 2016 draft. The Twins went to a familiar place for this selection. They signed a tremendous athlete out of high school in Georgia. In 2010, they drafted Niko Goodrum out of Fayette County High School in Georgia. In 2012, the Twins used the second overall pick in the draft on Byron Buxton who went to Appling County High School in Baxley, Georgia. Akil Baddoo continues that line of Twins great athletes selected by the Twins out of Georgia. Johnson noted, “Akil is coming into his own. He always kind of knew the strike zone as a high school kid. He’s from Georgia and he plays some really good competition. Georgia is one of the few areas in the country, along with Southern California and Florida and Texas, they play a lot of good baseball. It’s been a hotbed, not just for us, but for the industry.” Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State are a couple of powerhouse colleges, but the prep ranks are loaded with great talent. In fact, when the Twins used the 74th overall pick in Akil Baddoo, he became the seventh Georgia high school kid drafted in 2016. Josh Lowe was the 13th overall pick by the Rays. With the 14th pick, Cleveland’s selection was Will Benson. Carter Kierboom was the 28th overall pick by the Nationals. Taylor Trammell went to the Reds with the 35th pick. The Angels selected Brandon Marsh with the 60th overall pick. Alex Speas went #63 to the Texas Rangers. Johnson saw all of them, but he wondered why Baddoo wasn’t always mentioned in the same breath as some of those top picks. “He’s from out in the country, a little town called Conyers. Akil, everyone knew him, but he was the second tier of that group. Taylor Trammell came out that year. Three or four first-round picks come out of Atlanta that year. I was always curious why people weren’t talking about Akil more. We got a lot of looks at him.” He was seen a lot the summer before he was drafted. But it was very late in the summer when Baddoo took another step forward in the eyes of the Twins scouts. “We saw him at a Puerto Rico event the winter before the draft. The Mets put together a showcase where they bring a team from the States, and they play against Puerto Rican kids. It’s a great event. It’s after other events so you don’t get a lot of kids to show up. They’re tired. But Akil was there. He showed his passion for baseball. We liked him during the summer and were excited to see him show up. He went off there. He hit the ball hard, drove some balls, ran hard.” Baddoo was the Twins Daily choice for short-season Minor League Hitter of the Year in 2017 when he split the season between the GCL and Elizabethton. He has now played in 101 games this season for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He has hit .241/.354/.413 (.767) with 19 doubles, nine triples and ten home runs. He also has 21 stolen bases in 26 attempts. Baddoo is a great athlete and has the built of a football player. “He’s strong. He’s like a running back. For me, he’s running better than when we drafted him. He’s a 70 runner. He’s playing way better defense. Mike Quade’s done a really good job with him defensively. He was a little raw defensively, but he’s got a different throwing action, but he can throw the ball. That’s maybe the one negative, the throwing. He’s getting much better. He’s got a chance to be a plus base runner.” ----------------------------------------------------------------- It is certainly not normal for a team to use four draft picks in the top two rounds and use each of them on high school hitters. To this point, the Twins front office has to be thrilled with all four picks. Each has experienced success and advanced up the organizational ladder appropriately, maybe even aggressive in some cases. 2016 was Deron Johnson’s final draft as scouting director, replaced by Sean Johnson. He says he is enjoying his new role where he gets to scout in many places. He was involved in the amateur scouting, the pro scouting and has had a chance to do some work internationally as well. But he has the right to be proud and excited about what the future might hold for his final draft. “I got a chance to see all those guys this summer, and it was fun to see. I got to see Alex. He’s done tremendously. Ben has been doing really well. He’s really improved defensively and his bat is coming on, so that is encouraging. Baddoo, despite his batting average, his peripheral numbers are really good. He’s hitting for some power, a bunch of doubles and stolen bases. And Miranda, I was there when he started heating up too.” Johnson continued. “It’s encouraging seeing those kids play well. I think Alex Is the oldest at 20-years-old. Akil won’t be 20 until the end of the year. It’s awesome seeing those guys have that kind of success this early in their career. ” But what is just as exciting as the top four picks, there are several other players that the Twins drafted in 2016 who remain in the organization and also have a chance to reach the big leagues. Will they? There’s no way to know that yet, of course, but several are on the right path. Soon, we will continue the conversation with Deron Johnson and discuss the rest of the Twins 2016 draft. It is a draft class that the Twins and their front office should be excited about.
  12. Unfortunately, a series loss against the Baltimore Orioles after the one-third mark of the season should be the proverbial nail in the coffin for this team. Injuries have piled up, and Rocco Baldelli has been tasked with finding enough beating hearts to compile lineups on a nightly basis. With that as the new reality, making sure that 2021 is used productively to set up 2022 now must be the goal. Both Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach have debuted for the Twins. They represent the organization's two best pure hitting prospects, and neither should be sent back to the minors the rest of the way. Getting them regular reps is a must and making sure they’re comfortable to contribute out of the gate next year has to be the focus. Who should join them though? Jhoan Duran Pitching prospect number one, Duran got off to a late start this year dealing with a minor injury. He’s now taken a couple of turns at Triple-A St. Paul and looks every bit the dominant piece that the Twins have been waiting on. Maybe he’s not an ace, but he throws triple-digits and has strikeout stuff. Getting him something like 10 starts at the major-league level this season makes too much sense. Allocate the workload expected for Matt Shoemaker and J.A. Happ to other guys, this being the number one option. Matt Canterino Starting at High-A never made sense for Canterino. He’ll soon be 24 and is clearly advanced well beyond that level. He should be at Double-A already, and Triple-A by the end of the summer. I don’t know if Canterino necessarily needs big league starts, but there’s no reason for him not to throw major-league innings this year. He’s got dominant strikeout stuff and could be usable in both a starting and relief role. Expecting him to contribute in 2022 makes a lot of sense, so getting the jitters out now needs to happen. Jordan Balazovic This one is a bit trickier given the injury situation. He’ll begin at Double-A Wichita this weekend, but as the Twins top pitching prospect, the stuff could push him along quickly. Balazovic has as high of an upside as anyone in the system. If Derek Falvey is going to develop his own Jose Berrios or better, this is the kid. I’d like to see him get at least one or two starts for Minnesota before the year is over. Josh Winder Another arm in the vein of Canterino, Winder was given more of an aggressive starting point. Having dominated Double-A over his first five outings, it’s time for a step up. He should spend a couple of months with the Saints at Triple-A, and then a 40-man addition along with a big league promotion makes sense. A 7th round pick in 2018, Winder will be 25 by 2022 and could certainly be an arm that the Twins look at when filling out the rotation. Cole Sands A 5th round pick back in 2018, the former Florida State Seminole has done nothing but impress in pro ball. He’ll turn 24 next month and has started strong at Double-A Wichita. There’s been a bit less command in 2021 than previous seasons, but the strikeout stuff plays. Getting him to Triple-A by mid-summer with an end-of-year promotion to the big leagues seems like the right timetable. Another guy that could be called upon in the rotation for '22, there’s no reason not to get his feet wet. Jose Miranda Losing Travis Blankenhorn over a middling reliever wasn’t ideal, but it’s Miranda that likely made him dispensable. The 2nd round pick in 2016 was Rule 5 eligible this winter but went undrafted. He’s crushed Double-A to start the year and owns a .920 OPS. There’s not much reason to keep him down longer, and he could quickly emerge as the next utility option with a bit stronger bat. He’s not a shortstop, but he can play third base, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Minnesota pushes for some outfield flexibility. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  13. To say that 2021 has not gone as expected for the Minnesota Twins would be putting it lightly. After winning back-to-back AL Central Division titles, this team wasn’t supposed to flop so hard. Now that they have, here’s how they should use the rest of the season. Unfortunately, a series loss against the Baltimore Orioles after the one-third mark of the season should be the proverbial nail in the coffin for this team. Injuries have piled up, and Rocco Baldelli has been tasked with finding enough beating hearts to compile lineups on a nightly basis. With that as the new reality, making sure that 2021 is used productively to set up 2022 now must be the goal. Both Alex Kirilloff and Trevor Larnach have debuted for the Twins. They represent the organization's two best pure hitting prospects, and neither should be sent back to the minors the rest of the way. Getting them regular reps is a must and making sure they’re comfortable to contribute out of the gate next year has to be the focus. Who should join them though? Jhoan Duran Pitching prospect number one, Duran got off to a late start this year dealing with a minor injury. He’s now taken a couple of turns at Triple-A St. Paul and looks every bit the dominant piece that the Twins have been waiting on. Maybe he’s not an ace, but he throws triple-digits and has strikeout stuff. Getting him something like 10 starts at the major-league level this season makes too much sense. Allocate the workload expected for Matt Shoemaker and J.A. Happ to other guys, this being the number one option. Matt Canterino Starting at High-A never made sense for Canterino. He’ll soon be 24 and is clearly advanced well beyond that level. He should be at Double-A already, and Triple-A by the end of the summer. I don’t know if Canterino necessarily needs big league starts, but there’s no reason for him not to throw major-league innings this year. He’s got dominant strikeout stuff and could be usable in both a starting and relief role. Expecting him to contribute in 2022 makes a lot of sense, so getting the jitters out now needs to happen. Jordan Balazovic This one is a bit trickier given the injury situation. He’ll begin at Double-A Wichita this weekend, but as the Twins top pitching prospect, the stuff could push him along quickly. Balazovic has as high of an upside as anyone in the system. If Derek Falvey is going to develop his own Jose Berrios or better, this is the kid. I’d like to see him get at least one or two starts for Minnesota before the year is over. Josh Winder Another arm in the vein of Canterino, Winder was given more of an aggressive starting point. Having dominated Double-A over his first five outings, it’s time for a step up. He should spend a couple of months with the Saints at Triple-A, and then a 40-man addition along with a big league promotion makes sense. A 7th round pick in 2018, Winder will be 25 by 2022 and could certainly be an arm that the Twins look at when filling out the rotation. Cole Sands A 5th round pick back in 2018, the former Florida State Seminole has done nothing but impress in pro ball. He’ll turn 24 next month and has started strong at Double-A Wichita. There’s been a bit less command in 2021 than previous seasons, but the strikeout stuff plays. Getting him to Triple-A by mid-summer with an end-of-year promotion to the big leagues seems like the right timetable. Another guy that could be called upon in the rotation for '22, there’s no reason not to get his feet wet. Jose Miranda Losing Travis Blankenhorn over a middling reliever wasn’t ideal, but it’s Miranda that likely made him dispensable. The 2nd round pick in 2016 was Rule 5 eligible this winter but went undrafted. He’s crushed Double-A to start the year and owns a .920 OPS. There’s not much reason to keep him down longer, and he could quickly emerge as the next utility option with a bit stronger bat. He’s not a shortstop, but he can play third base, and I wouldn’t be shocked if Minnesota pushes for some outfield flexibility. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  14. The Twins have started to turn things around as of late, but are still 11 games below .500 nearly a third of the way through the season. Certainly there is a chance for the squad to go on a long win streak, which features the next 12 games against the lowly Orioles and the free falling Kansas City Royals, but injuries are still piling up, and we've seen the Twins play just as bad as the two aforementioned squads. As of now, I still firmly sit in my stance that the front office would be best suited to have a fire-sale at the deadline, moving every expiring deal, and taking offers on players with only one year of team control left. This group of players is highlighted by Jose Berrios, Byron Buxton, and Taylor Rogers. If they get a 'blow your socks off" offer, I see no reason not to take it. Today we take a look at some infielders that the Twins should get an extended look at in the second half of 2021. RH C Ryan Jeffers Jeffers was fantastic as a rookie, featuring a fantastic defensive game behind the dish, and was part of what appeared to be a two-headed monster catching duo headed into the 2021 season. However, Garver got off to a slow start, and Jeffers was flat out bad. Jeffers was performing so poorly in limited at bats that the front office sent him down to AAA Saint Paul where he's been given the opportunity to start nearly every day, whether behind the dish or as the DH. Jeffers has returned to form at the plate, OPSing .753 for the Saints, including three home runs and four doubles. Jeffers is also using a patient approach, drawing 10 walks in 77 PA. He is still having trouble with strikeouts, with a K rate of 25 percent, but hitting the ball hard while playing fantastic defense at a premium position is worth giving a look at. When Jeffers was up, he was only starting against RH which puts him in a hole. If the Twins are out of things come July, I'd like to see Jeffers split time with Garver, including against southpaws. MIF S Nick Gordon Nick Gordon isn't the top 50 prospect that he was a few years ago, and he hasn't put up great numbers in the high minor leagues, but I believe that Gordon can be a utility infielder at a minimum. The one thing holding back Gordon right now are the facts that he struggles against left handed pitchers, which is a bad thing for a platoon bat, and can no longer play shortstop, at least over a full season. However, Gordon has succeed in the young campaign with the Saints, hitting .393, including a homer and a triple. He has also added four stolen bags, which we saw on display in Gordon's MLB debut, where he stole second base twice. If Gordon can play a strong second base, and potentially develop an average glove at third, and fill in in left field a few times a year, which with his speed I think is a possibility, he is an MLB bench bat. There is a very strong chance we see a ton of Nick Gordon, and the front office either commits to him as an MLB utility player, or removes him from the 40 man roster. 3B/2B RH Jose Miranda At only 22 years old and no spot on the 40 man roster, I don't think it's too likely that we see Miranda in Minnesota this year, but I don't think that should be the case. Miranda was mediocre in the low minors, but started the season at AA Wichita, and has gotten off to a blazing hot start. Miranda has hit .309, and has an OBP of .372 in 18 games. Jose has shown the pop that we've seen in the past with 5 homers in 68 at-bats, as well as 3 doubles. Fangraphs had Miranda ranked as the 20th Twins' prospect heading into the year, with a game power grade of 50, and a hit tool of 55, but doesn't love the defense as they note he's likely a "shift-enabled" 2nd or 3rd basemen. Miranda has good bat to ball skills which have shown well in AA, with only 10 strikeouts in 78 plate apperances. It is worth noting that Miranda is rule-5 eligible this upcoming off-season, and will have to be added to the 40 man, as he will certainly be taken if not added. I hope the Twins get out in front of things with Miranda, and see what he can do in 2021 at the big league level.
  15. Baddoo was a second-round pick back in the 2016 MLB Draft out of high school in Georgia. He was actually Minnesota’s fourth pick in that draft behind Alex Kirilloff, Ben Rortvedt, and Jose Miranda. All of those players are still in the Twins organization, but Baddoo was left unprotected in this year’s Rule 5 Draft. Baddoo and the Tigers are showing exactly why the Rule 5 Draft was put in place. When a player is close to big-league ready, an organization can’t stash that player in the minor leagues without putting them on the 40-man roster. Baddoo’s hot start is great, but he will need to prove that he is part of the solution in Detroit, who isn’t expected to win too many games this season. During his time in the Twins organization, Baddoo played four professional seasons and reached as high as High-A. In the minors, he combined to hit .249/.357/.422 with 86 extra-base hits in 233 games. There were some clear offensive skills including a tremendous ability to draw walks along with some good power potential. This might all sound good, but there are reasons why the Twins left him unprotected this past winter. He’s been limited to under 115 games in every professional season including only 29 games back in 2019. Also, Baddoo struck out in nearly 24% of his plate appearance in 2018 and that number rose to 29.8% in 2019. So far in his brief big-league career, he has two strikeouts and no walks yet to his credit. He can play defensively in all three outfield positions, so it will be interesting to see what his long-term position will be at the big-league level. At one point, Baddoo was a borderline top-10 prospect in the Twins organization. In the last published Twins Prospect Handbook following the 2019 season, Tom had Baddoo ranked the highest as the 16th best Twins prospect. Seth had him ranked at 17 and I had him ranked as the 23rd best future Twin. Baddoo was certainly viewed as having potential, but the Twins and the Tigers are in very different places. Detroit is in rebuild mold and they can afford to take a flyer on a player like Baddoo. They aren’t expected to win for multiple seasons, so the Tigers can take the ups and downs that come with a younger player that has no experience at Double- or Triple-A. Moving forward, Baddoo’s outlook hasn’t changed significantly. The Twins have a ton of top-tier outfield prospects that were ahead of Baddoo on the team’s organizational depth chart. Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Gilberto Celestino, Brent Rooker, and Matt Wallner are just a few of the outfield prospects that would rank ahead of Baddoo for the Twins. That takes nothing away from what Baddoo might be able to do in his career, but he wasn’t in Minnesota’s long-term plans. What are your thoughts on Baddoo and the storybook start to his big-league career? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  16. Most national prospect list have been released over the last few weeks. Here is a look at some of the Twins top talent that fall at the back end of Cody’s Top 20 Twins Prospects.Evaluating prospects in a pandemic certainly presents multiple challenges. Three of these names have yet to make their professional debut and that adds another wrinkle to the evaluation process. Minnesota’s system is deep and any of these names could impact the big-league roster in the years ahead. 20. Danny De Andrade- SS (16-years old) Acquired: 2021 International Free Agent ETA: 2025 The 2021 international signing period opened on January 15 and the Twins were expected to be aggressive. De Andrade was the organization’s highest rated signee, but he’s only 16-years old and he’s a long way from making his Target Field debut. Many players at his age are listed as shortstops, but there is no guarantee he will stick at that position. At 6-feet tall and 160 pounds, there is some room to add weight and even more power in the batter’s box. Scouting reports already praise him for his ability to drive the ball to all fields so he will be an exciting player to follow in the year’s ahead. 19. Jose Miranda- INF (22-years old) Acquired: 2016 2nd Round Pick ETA: 2021 Miranda has steadily been working his way through the Twins system since the club drafted him back in 2016. As a 21-year-old, he spent nearly all of 2019 at High-A, but he was able to make one appearance at Double-A. This winter he has been playing in the Puerto Rican Winter League and he’s had a strong offensive showing in 15 games. He hit .302/.377/.472 with six doubles and a home run. Fans can expect him to spend most of 2021 at both of the organization’s highest minor league levels with an outside chance of him making his big-league debut. 18. Emmanuel Rodriguez- OF (17-years old) Acquired: 2019 International Free Agent ETA: 2025 Rodriguez was Minnesota’s top international signing from the 2019 signing period, when MLB.com ranked him as the eighth best player available. He has yet to make his professional debut because of the pandemic. His best tool is his hit tool, and he is often praised for his baseball instincts. Some compared him to a young Eddie Rosario. When he signed, he was listed at 165-pounds and there are reports that he added upwards of 20 pounds since that point. He trained at home all last year so it will be nice for him to get a chance to work with Twins coaches more regularly in 2021. 17. Alerick Soularie- OF/2B (21-years old) Acquired: 2020 Second Round Pick ETA: 2024 Soularie is the third name on this list that has yet to make his professional debut. The Twins took him in the second round of last year’s draft out of Tennessee where he hit .336/.448/.586 in just over a season’s worth of at-bats. In college, he played a lot of outfield in college, but the Twins are likely going to shift him to second base since he profiles better that that position. Some scouts question his approach at the plate, but his raw athleticism should help him to make adjustments when he is able to make his professional debut. 16. Cole Sands- RHP (23-years old) Acquired: 2018 5th Round Pick ETA: 2021 Injuries have been part of his professional career as IL trips cost him parts of the 2018 and 2019 campaign. On the mound, his stuff is hard to ignore as he has a mid-90s fastball with some good movement that he combines with a plus breaking ball. Missing the 2020 season was tough on him because it would have allowed him to prove he can stay healthy and build up his innings total. Next winter, he will need to be added to the 40-man roster, so he has a lot to prove during the 2021 campaign. Which of these prospects stands out to you? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  17. Evaluating prospects in a pandemic certainly presents multiple challenges. Three of these names have yet to make their professional debut and that adds another wrinkle to the evaluation process. Minnesota’s system is deep and any of these names could impact the big-league roster in the years ahead. 20. Danny De Andrade- SS (16-years old) Acquired: 2021 International Free Agent ETA: 2025 The 2021 international signing period opened on January 15 and the Twins were expected to be aggressive. De Andrade was the organization’s highest rated signee, but he’s only 16-years old and he’s a long way from making his Target Field debut. Many players at his age are listed as shortstops, but there is no guarantee he will stick at that position. At 6-feet tall and 160 pounds, there is some room to add weight and even more power in the batter’s box. Scouting reports already praise him for his ability to drive the ball to all fields so he will be an exciting player to follow in the year’s ahead. 19. Jose Miranda- INF (22-years old) Acquired: 2016 2nd Round Pick ETA: 2021 Miranda has steadily been working his way through the Twins system since the club drafted him back in 2016. As a 21-year-old, he spent nearly all of 2019 at High-A, but he was able to make one appearance at Double-A. This winter he has been playing in the Puerto Rican Winter League and he’s had a strong offensive showing in 15 games. He hit .302/.377/.472 with six doubles and a home run. Fans can expect him to spend most of 2021 at both of the organization’s highest minor league levels with an outside chance of him making his big-league debut. 18. Emmanuel Rodriguez- OF (17-years old) Acquired: 2019 International Free Agent ETA: 2025 Rodriguez was Minnesota’s top international signing from the 2019 signing period, when MLB.com ranked him as the eighth best player available. He has yet to make his professional debut because of the pandemic. His best tool is his hit tool, and he is often praised for his baseball instincts. Some compared him to a young Eddie Rosario. When he signed, he was listed at 165-pounds and there are reports that he added upwards of 20 pounds since that point. He trained at home all last year so it will be nice for him to get a chance to work with Twins coaches more regularly in 2021. 17. Alerick Soularie- OF/2B (21-years old) Acquired: 2020 Second Round Pick ETA: 2024 Soularie is the third name on this list that has yet to make his professional debut. The Twins took him in the second round of last year’s draft out of Tennessee where he hit .336/.448/.586 in just over a season’s worth of at-bats. In college, he played a lot of outfield in college, but the Twins are likely going to shift him to second base since he profiles better that that position. Some scouts question his approach at the plate, but his raw athleticism should help him to make adjustments when he is able to make his professional debut. 16. Cole Sands- RHP (23-years old) Acquired: 2018 5th Round Pick ETA: 2021 Injuries have been part of his professional career as IL trips cost him parts of the 2018 and 2019 campaign. On the mound, his stuff is hard to ignore as he has a mid-90s fastball with some good movement that he combines with a plus breaking ball. Missing the 2020 season was tough on him because it would have allowed him to prove he can stay healthy and build up his innings total. Next winter, he will need to be added to the 40-man roster, so he has a lot to prove during the 2021 campaign. Which of these prospects stands out to you? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  18. The highlight of the Winter Meeting’s final day is the Rule 5 draft. The Rule 5 draft works very closely with the 40-man roster rules. Teams must add players to their 40-man roster to avoid exposure in the Rule 5 draft where players could be lost to another organization. Will the Twins select any players? What players could the Twins lose?Check back to this article through the morning for updates as the Rule 5 draft occurs. Minnesota’s current 40-man roster sits with 35 active players which includes 18 pitchers, four catchers, six infielders and seven outfielders. At the end of last month, the Twins added three players to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. These players were catcher Ben Rortvedt and right-handed pitchers Jordan Balazovic and Bailey Ober. Another player to consider is Fernando Romero who spent the entire season on the restricted list due to visa issues and he is not currently on the 40-man roster. With payrolls expected to decrease next year because of the pandemic, inexpensive talent will be at a premium, so we could see more Rule 5 Draft activity than usual this offseason. As you may know, it costs $100,000 to make a Rule 5 selection. Then that player must remain on the draft team's active roster all year or be offered back to the original team for $50,000. Trades can be worked out as well. Who are some members of the Twins organization that have a chance to be selected? Here’s a quick list: OF Akil Baddoo: Baddoo was the Twins second-round pick back in 2016 out of high school. He played all of 2019 as a 20-year old at Fort Myers, but he was limited to 29 games after undergoing Tommy John surgery. His power and speed could be a valuable asset, especially since he can play centerfield. Would a team be willing to use him as a back-up outfielder for the season? SS Wander Javier: Javier has been one of the team’s top prospects since he was signed, but he missed the entire 2018 season due to Tommy John surgery. The Twins left him unprotected last year and he went unclaimed. He has all the tools and that’s one of the reasons the Twins were high on him when he signed with the club. After another missed season, it seems unlikely for a team to claim him, but the talent is there. RHP Luis Rijo: Like Javier, Rijo was left unprotected last winter and he went unclaimed. Back in 2019, he pitched the entire season at Low-A where he posted a 2.86 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 107 innings as a starter. He has three pitches and can hit the mid-90s with his fastball, which could definitely be intriguing to a rebuilding club. Would a team be able to stash him in their bullpen for the year and help him develop? 3B Jose Miranda: Minnesota selected Miranda in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Since that time, he was worked his way through the system as he played nearly all of 2019 at High-A. He’s hit double-digit home runs in two of the last three seasons and he has topped 25 doubles for two consecutive years. His ability to play multiple defensive positions could allow a team to keep him on their bench in a utility role. Other Twins players that could potential be selected include: RHP Griffin Jax, 2B Yunior Severino, OF Gabriel Maciel, LHP Charlie Barnes, LHP Jovani Moran, RHP Tyler Wells, LHP Bryan Sammons, 1B/OF Trey Cabbage, 1B Zander Wiel. ----- Outfielder Akil Baddoo was selected with the third overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft. He will join the Tigers organization after missing nearly two full seasons of competitive play. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019, but he is expected to be healthy for 2021. Right-handed pitcher Tyler Wells was selected in the second round of the Rule 5 Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. Like Baddoo, Wells underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019. Before the injury, he had a 2.49 ERA and a 121 to 31 strikeout to walk ratio in 119 1/3 innings between High- and Double-A. Right-handed pitcher Ricky Ramirez was lost to the Orioles in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft. He was the team’s 15th round pick back in 2017. During the 2019 season, posted a 3.80 ERA with a 50 to 18 strikeout to walk ratio in 42 2/3 innings. He has never pitched higher than the Florida State League. Right-handed pitcher Joe Record was selected by the Astros in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. He only made 35 appearances in the Twins organization after being selected in the 28th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. Record, a hard thrower, had a 5.07 ERA and a 68 to 16 strikeout to walk ratio over 55 innings back in 2019. In the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, the Twins selected right-handed pitcher Jhonleider Salinas from the Tampa Bay organization. At 6-foot-7, the 25-year old Venezuelan can be an opposing presence on the mound. He split 2019 between High- and Double-A where he had a 3.27 ERA and a 68 to 33 strikeout to walk ratio in 66 innings. Minnesota also picked left-handed pitcher Josh Mitchell from the Royals organization in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. He was a 22nd round pick back in 2017 from the University of Pittsburgh. He pitched all of 2019 at High-A where he had a 3.30 ERA and a 47 to 13 strikeout to walk ratio in 43 2/3 innings. Outfielder Jacob Pearson was picked up by the Atlanta Braves from the Twins organization. Originally, Pearson came to the Twins from the Angles organization for international bonus pool money that was used for signing Shohei Ohtani. During the 2019 season, Pearson hit .233/.303/.338 with 30 extra-base hits in 117 games. Feel free to discuss the Rule 5 draft here as it happens or rumors before and after. The article will be updated after the MLB portion of the Rule 5 and after the Minor League portion of the Rule 5. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  19. Check back to this article through the morning for updates as the Rule 5 draft occurs. Minnesota’s current 40-man roster sits with 35 active players which includes 18 pitchers, four catchers, six infielders and seven outfielders. At the end of last month, the Twins added three players to the 40-man roster to protect them from the Rule 5 draft. These players were catcher Ben Rortvedt and right-handed pitchers Jordan Balazovic and Bailey Ober. Another player to consider is Fernando Romero who spent the entire season on the restricted list due to visa issues and he is not currently on the 40-man roster. With payrolls expected to decrease next year because of the pandemic, inexpensive talent will be at a premium, so we could see more Rule 5 Draft activity than usual this offseason. As you may know, it costs $100,000 to make a Rule 5 selection. Then that player must remain on the draft team's active roster all year or be offered back to the original team for $50,000. Trades can be worked out as well. Who are some members of the Twins organization that have a chance to be selected? Here’s a quick list: OF Akil Baddoo: Baddoo was the Twins second-round pick back in 2016 out of high school. He played all of 2019 as a 20-year old at Fort Myers, but he was limited to 29 games after undergoing Tommy John surgery. His power and speed could be a valuable asset, especially since he can play centerfield. Would a team be willing to use him as a back-up outfielder for the season? SS Wander Javier: Javier has been one of the team’s top prospects since he was signed, but he missed the entire 2018 season due to Tommy John surgery. The Twins left him unprotected last year and he went unclaimed. He has all the tools and that’s one of the reasons the Twins were high on him when he signed with the club. After another missed season, it seems unlikely for a team to claim him, but the talent is there. RHP Luis Rijo: Like Javier, Rijo was left unprotected last winter and he went unclaimed. Back in 2019, he pitched the entire season at Low-A where he posted a 2.86 ERA and 99 strikeouts in 107 innings as a starter. He has three pitches and can hit the mid-90s with his fastball, which could definitely be intriguing to a rebuilding club. Would a team be able to stash him in their bullpen for the year and help him develop? 3B Jose Miranda: Minnesota selected Miranda in the second round of the 2016 MLB Draft. Since that time, he was worked his way through the system as he played nearly all of 2019 at High-A. He’s hit double-digit home runs in two of the last three seasons and he has topped 25 doubles for two consecutive years. His ability to play multiple defensive positions could allow a team to keep him on their bench in a utility role. Other Twins players that could potential be selected include: RHP Griffin Jax, 2B Yunior Severino, OF Gabriel Maciel, LHP Charlie Barnes, LHP Jovani Moran, RHP Tyler Wells, LHP Bryan Sammons, 1B/OF Trey Cabbage, 1B Zander Wiel. ----- Outfielder Akil Baddoo was selected with the third overall pick in the Rule 5 Draft. He will join the Tigers organization after missing nearly two full seasons of competitive play. He underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019, but he is expected to be healthy for 2021. Right-handed pitcher Tyler Wells was selected in the second round of the Rule 5 Draft by the Baltimore Orioles. Like Baddoo, Wells underwent Tommy John surgery in 2019. Before the injury, he had a 2.49 ERA and a 121 to 31 strikeout to walk ratio in 119 1/3 innings between High- and Double-A. Right-handed pitcher Ricky Ramirez was lost to the Orioles in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 Draft. He was the team’s 15th round pick back in 2017. During the 2019 season, posted a 3.80 ERA with a 50 to 18 strikeout to walk ratio in 42 2/3 innings. He has never pitched higher than the Florida State League. Right-handed pitcher Joe Record was selected by the Astros in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. He only made 35 appearances in the Twins organization after being selected in the 28th round of the 2017 MLB Draft. Record, a hard thrower, had a 5.07 ERA and a 68 to 16 strikeout to walk ratio over 55 innings back in 2019. In the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft, the Twins selected right-handed pitcher Jhonleider Salinas from the Tampa Bay organization. At 6-foot-7, the 25-year old Venezuelan can be an opposing presence on the mound. He split 2019 between High- and Double-A where he had a 3.27 ERA and a 68 to 33 strikeout to walk ratio in 66 innings. Minnesota also picked left-handed pitcher Josh Mitchell from the Royals organization in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 Draft. He was a 22nd round pick back in 2017 from the University of Pittsburgh. He pitched all of 2019 at High-A where he had a 3.30 ERA and a 47 to 13 strikeout to walk ratio in 43 2/3 innings. Outfielder Jacob Pearson was picked up by the Atlanta Braves from the Twins organization. Originally, Pearson came to the Twins from the Angles organization for international bonus pool money that was used for signing Shohei Ohtani. During the 2019 season, Pearson hit .233/.303/.338 with 30 extra-base hits in 117 games. Feel free to discuss the Rule 5 draft here as it happens or rumors before and after. The article will be updated after the MLB portion of the Rule 5 and after the Minor League portion of the Rule 5. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  20. Minnesota surprised some last offseason by signing Josh Donaldson to a four-year, $92 million contract. The former MVP was coming off a tremendous season with Atlanta where he posted a .900 OPS and won MLB’s Comeback Player of the Year. Donaldson has the biggest free agent contract in team history, but what does that mean for the future of third base in Minnesota?Current Third Baseman: Josh Donaldson Donaldson’s first season in a Twins uniform didn’t go exactly as planned as he was limited to 28 games. When he was on the field, he hit .222/.373/.469 with eight extra-base hits in 81 at-bats. Injuries have been the story of the second half of Donaldson’s career. Outside of his 2019 season in Atlanta, he missed time in 2017, 2018, and 2020. Minnesota was well aware of Donaldson’s injury history and now he is under contract for at least the next three seasons. For all players, the 2020 season came with unique challenges and this can impact players in different ways. Minnesota can hope that a more normal 2021 season will allow Donaldson to get back being close to the player he was in Atlanta a few seasons ago. On the other hand, Minnesota is going to need to have some back-up options if Donaldson’s calf issues continue to plague him. 40-Man Options Besides Donaldson, the Twins have other 40-man roster options to play third base even with the possible departures of Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza as free agents. Travis Blankenhorn got a brief call-up last year as he appeared in one game and went 1-for-3 with a double. There is a chance he is given the opportunity to serve in the team’s utility role during the 2021 campaign. Another option for the Twins is to sign or trade for a shortstop and this allows Jorge Polanco to move into a utility role. Polanco has undergone off-season ankle surgery in each of the last two off-seasons and the Twins might want to add some infield insurance On the Farm Options Outside of the options mentioned above, there are other third base options in the minor leagues including some strong prospects. Download attachment: Twins Minor League 3B.JPG Miranda, a 2016 second round pick, was available to be selected in last week’s Rule 5 Draft, but no other organizations selected him. He showed a good balance of power and plate discipline in 2019, and he can play multiple infield positions. Bechtold, a 2017 fifth round pick, split time between Low- and High-A back in 2019. Both players will see time at Double or Triple-A next season. Mack, Steer and Gray all spent some of the 2019 season in Elizabethton with Gray and Steer making appearances at Low-A before season’s end. Mack was taken out of high school while Gray and Steer have multiple years of collegiate experience. All three players have a chance to reach Double-A by the end of the 2021 season. What do you think about the future of third base in Minnesota? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POST IN THE SERIES - SHORTSTOP MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  21. Current Third Baseman: Josh Donaldson Donaldson’s first season in a Twins uniform didn’t go exactly as planned as he was limited to 28 games. When he was on the field, he hit .222/.373/.469 with eight extra-base hits in 81 at-bats. Injuries have been the story of the second half of Donaldson’s career. Outside of his 2019 season in Atlanta, he missed time in 2017, 2018, and 2020. Minnesota was well aware of Donaldson’s injury history and now he is under contract for at least the next three seasons. For all players, the 2020 season came with unique challenges and this can impact players in different ways. Minnesota can hope that a more normal 2021 season will allow Donaldson to get back being close to the player he was in Atlanta a few seasons ago. On the other hand, Minnesota is going to need to have some back-up options if Donaldson’s calf issues continue to plague him. 40-Man Options Besides Donaldson, the Twins have other 40-man roster options to play third base even with the possible departures of Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza as free agents. Travis Blankenhorn got a brief call-up last year as he appeared in one game and went 1-for-3 with a double. There is a chance he is given the opportunity to serve in the team’s utility role during the 2021 campaign. Another option for the Twins is to sign or trade for a shortstop and this allows Jorge Polanco to move into a utility role. Polanco has undergone off-season ankle surgery in each of the last two off-seasons and the Twins might want to add some infield insurance On the Farm Options Outside of the options mentioned above, there are other third base options in the minor leagues including some strong prospects. Miranda, a 2016 second round pick, was available to be selected in last week’s Rule 5 Draft, but no other organizations selected him. He showed a good balance of power and plate discipline in 2019, and he can play multiple infield positions. Bechtold, a 2017 fifth round pick, split time between Low- and High-A back in 2019. Both players will see time at Double or Triple-A next season. Mack, Steer and Gray all spent some of the 2019 season in Elizabethton with Gray and Steer making appearances at Low-A before season’s end. Mack was taken out of high school while Gray and Steer have multiple years of collegiate experience. All three players have a chance to reach Double-A by the end of the 2021 season. What do you think about the future of third base in Minnesota? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POST IN THE SERIES - SHORTSTOP MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  22. 20. Randy Dobnak, RHP 2019 MiLB Stats (A+, AA, AAA): 12-4, 2.07 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 109 K, 28 BB, 135.0 IP 2019 MLB Stats: 2-1, 1.59 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 23 K, 5 BB, 28.1 IP Dobnak went on a tremendous ride last season with his first pitches of the year coming with the Fort Myers Miracle and his last pitches coming at Yankee Stadium in the playoffs. While Dobnak posted fantastic numbers last season, few expect him be the ace of a pitching staff. He has the potential to be a solid back end of the rotation pitcher for multiple years. His spot in the 2020 rotation wasn’t a guarantee so it will be interesting to see how he is used this year, especially with little chance of a minor league season occurring. His pitch mix includes four pitches with his sinker being used over 36% of the time. He also mixes in a changeup, curve, and four seamer. According to MLB’s Baseball Savant, his fastball spin was in the third percental when compared to the rest of baseball. His fastball velocity and curve spin also ranked in the 44th percentile or lower. Still, batters were only able to manage to barrel up the ball 2.3% of the time and his average exit velocity was 88.6. 19. Cole Sands, RHP 2019 MiLB Stats (A, A+, AA): 7-3, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 108 K, 19 BB, 97.1 IP Much like Dobnak, Sands made stops at three different minor league levels in 2019 where he was younger than the average age of the competition. His most impressive stop was in the Florida State League where he posted a 2.25 ERA and a 53 to 7 strikeout to walk ratio in 52 IP. He utilizes a fastball in the low-90s but there are times he can rear back and reach the mid-90s. His curveball and change-up are both good pitches that help to separate him from other starters in the organization. In his professional debut, Sands put up numbers that were far superior than anything he was able to compile as a three-year starter in college. His lowest ERA for any college season was 4.13 and he had a 4.73 ERA for his entire collegiate career. There were some good peripheral numbers that might have stood out to the Twins front office. Over his final two college seasons, he struck out more than 11 batters per nine innings and his WHIP dropped in every season. 18. Jose Miranda, 2B/3B 2019 MiLB Stats (A+, AA): .252/.302/.369, 8 HR, 26 2B, 54 K, 24 BB, 119 G Miranda played all but one regular season game in the Florida State League during 2019. He started off slow but ended the year on quite the offense run. Over his final 162 plate appearances, he hit .295/.333/.436 with 13 extra-base hits and almost as many walks (8) as strikeouts (10). Minnesota thought highly enough about him to send him to Pensacola for the playoffs where he compiled a .955 OPS in five postseason games. Defensively, he played more time at third base last season than any other season. Last season was the first time since his professional debut that he failed to hit double-digits in home runs. If he continues to add power, he could become quite the weapon at third base. He almost never strikes out and he has the defensive flexibility to play other infield positions as well. 17. Misael Urbina, OF 2019 MiLB Stats (FRK): .279/.382/.443, 2 HR, 14 2B, 5 3B, 19 SB, 23 BB, 14 K, 50 G Urbina signed for a boatload of cash ($2.75 million) back during the 2018 international signing period. He made his professional debut in 2019 and showed many of the skills that made him one of the top prospects in that signing class. He had 21 extra-base hits and 19 steals in 27 attempts. Also, he showed an advanced approach at the plate with more walks (23) than strikeouts (14). He can play all over the outfield, but 34 of his 44 defensive appearances came in center field. His speed will help him to stick in center field and he has the other tools to make himself a defensive weapon. As Twins fans have seen with Byron Buxton, speed can help to turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples. With more experience, he should also become better at stealing a higher percentage of bases. 16. Matt Wallner, OF 2019 MiLB Stats (RK, A): .258/.357/.452, 8 HR, 21 2B, 80 K, 24 BB, 65 G The Twins selected Wallner with the 39th overall pick in last year’s draft and he quickly made his presence known in the organization. In June and July, he hit .289/.392/.465 with 18 home runs in 37 games. He tired a little down the stretch by hitting .218/.312/.436 over the season’s final 28 games which included a dozen games in Cedar Rapids. Wallner was set to go to college at the University of North Dakota, but they cut their baseball program, and this might have actually helped him in the long run. He decided to play at Southern Mississippi and this likely allowed him to play a higher level of competition and for more scouts to put their eyes on him. His junior year really put him on a lot of team’s draft radars (if he wasn’t already there). In those 61 games, he posted a 1.127 OPS with 23 home runs. Stop back in the coming days to see who completes the top-20 list. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  23. Last month, Twins Daily ranked infielder Jose Miranda as the Twins #20 prospect. Last week, he arrived in Ft. Myers for his fourth spring training. Twins Daily caught up with the slugger to discuss several topics including being drafted, his strengths, what he’s working on, and his world-famous cousin.Along with his work in preparation for his 2020 baseball seasons, Jose Miranda also got to spend a little time with his cousin, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Yes, the same Lin-Manuel Miranda who won awards for his Broadway play In the Heights and later gained international renown for writing and starring in the immensely popular play Hamilton. According to Jose Miranda, “My dad is his dad’s cousin.” While they have only met and conversed a handful of times (the 40-year-old Lin-Manuel grew up in New York but frequently visited Puerto Rico), they had a nice chat this past offseason. “He’s friendly, humble. If you see him, you would never guess he was famous like that.” Photo by Hannah Gaber-USA TODAY “I like music. Not into singing or doing some instrumental, but I like reggaeton, music in Spanish.” Jose Miranda then added, “Sports was my primary thing since growing.” ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jose Miranda grew up in Puerto Rico. He was born in the village of Manati in the north central part of the island. He said he spent one semester of his ninth grade year with his mom in Miami. He returned to Puerto Rico and attended Leadership Christian Academy in Guaynabo, a city just south and west of San Juan and just east of Bayamon. Miranda became well-known as a baseball prospect nationally. He had a pretty good sense of where he might be drafted, and thought he knew which teams were most likely to select him. “I was expecting to go in the second round or the third round. I had communications with three or four teams. I think the Twins weren’t the favorites. I thought I was going to go to the Phillies or the Blue Jays. They were talking to me more.” A lot of times, teams will know who they want and then try to act as if they are uninterested, hoping that the player will get to them. The Twins were thrilled that Miranda was still available when they made their first of two straight Competitive Balance picks after the second round of the 2016 draft. As Twins Hall of Famer Brad Radke said that night, “With the 73rd selection of the 2016 MLB Draft, the Minnesota Twins select Jose Miranda, a shortstop from Leadership Christian Academy, Puerto Rico.” Of that night, Miranda noted, “That was my first goal. I worked so hard for that. I wanted to be in the first few rounds. My senior year, I was just working out, working out, working out, working out, playing, playing, and then I got called, and my dream came true, and now my dream is to get to the bigs.” Because of uncertainty in where he might be drafted, the Miranda family did not have a big party. The first two rounds and the Competitive Balance picks are made on the first night of the draft. The third round through the tenth round picks are made on Day 2. So Miranda was at home with his dad and his grandma. However, news of his selection traveled quickly. “My phone blew up. Texts from everyone. Twitter. Instagram.” One pick later, the Twins selected outfielder Akil Baddoo with the 74th pick, the fourth straight high school hitter that the Twins drafted that year. The Twins had drafted outfielder Alex Kirilloff with the 15th overall pick. Their second-round pick was catcher Ben Rortvedt. The group remains close. “We communicate, and we talk a lot. We’re friends.. I talk more with Akil Baddoo, but I talk to every one of those guys. They’re super cool, and they like to work.” ------------------------------------------------------------------ There is a pride that you hear in the voice of players who grew up in Puerto Rico. And the Twins have drafted and signed many players from Puerto Rico. In talking to Jose Miranda, it is quite clear he is proud to be from Puerto Rico. “For me, if I was born again, I’d want to be born in Puerto Rico. It’s my island. It’s where I grew up. I love it. My family is there. It's such a small island. Everyone is rooting for you when you’re here. I love it. ” The Puerto Rican players will often get together for dinners or just hang out and talk about baseball. Having that support from the players who have made it to the big leagues and from the island is motivating. “It’s a motivating thing because we know they were here before. They went from the minors, from rookie ball to the bigs. They tell us, you’ve got to trust the process, and if you do things right, you will get promoted to the bigs. One day, you’re going to play up here with us. That’s the main goal. Jose Miranda has been moving up the Twins organizational ladder one level at a time. Following the draft, he played 55 games for the GCL Twins. In 2017, he played in 54 games for the Elizabethton Twins and hit .283 with eight doubles and 11 home runs. He moved up to full-season ball in 2018. He played in 104 games with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He hit .277/.326/.434 (.760) with 22 doubles and 13 home runs. He ended the season with 27 games in Ft. Myers where he helped the Miracle to the Florida State League championship. He began 2019 with the MIracle. In 118 games, he hit .248/.299/.364 (.663) with 25 doubles and eight home runs. Statistics in the Florida State League always have to be taken with a grain of salt, especially with a 21-year-old. “It’s pretty hard. Sometimes you hit some balls that you think are going to go or they’re going to fall, but they get there and they catch them. Sometimes you get frustrated, but it just is what it is. It’s a tough league, but you have to live with it.” That’s where a player needs more than just tools and physical strength. It’s where players can get challenged with the mental aspects of the game. “Just got to stay hard in your mind, strong. Just stay positive. Keep working. You’ve just got to keep working, and you can’t stop working.” Starting pitchers Jordan Balazovic and Dakota Chalmers were promoted from Ft. Myers to Pensacola for their playoff run. Jose Miranda was the lone hitter that was promoted for the Southern League playoffs. He went 3-for-5 with a double in his one regular season game. Then in five playoff games for the Blue Wahoos, Miranda hit .368/.429/.526 (.955). “I think I had a little more confidence going into the offseason. In my mind, I was like, at least I finished in Double-A. It was a little jump. It was at the end, but I finished at Double-A.” ------------------------------------------------------------------------- In his career, Miranda has split time between third base and second base, with an occasional game played at shortstop. However, he has begun to play more third base. While his third base-second base mix was about 50/50 in 2018, he played third base nearly two-thirds of the time in 2019. Most scouts believe that is the position he is most likely to play. For his part, Miranda doesn’t mind playing either position. “I feel comfortable at both. If you can tell me now which one I want to play, I don’t have an answer right now. I like to play both, or all three. I like to play shortstop too. But right now it’s more third and second. Whatever they want me to play, I’ll play it.” ----------------------------------------------------------------- 2020 will be a big year for Jose Miranda. Following the season, he will be Rule 5 draft-eligible if he is not added to the Twins 40-man roster. To prepare for the season, he really worked hard. “First of all, I was working on my body because I wanted to lose some weight. Last year I felt a little sloppy, a little slow. So I told my trainer we had to work on my weight to get a little faster, to gain a little agility. And then my swing, and my swing mechanics.” When asked for his goals, he didn’t mention numbers and statistics. “One of my main goals is just to stay healthy for the whole year. Stay healthy, and then control what I can control.” Off the field, Miranda has some very exciting news as well. He will soon become a father. “We’re having a baby. Super exciting.” Miranda’s girlfriend is due in April. She is in Puerto Rico but hopefully about a month after the baby is born, mother and child will come to the States to be with Jose. A big year indeed! Click here to view the article
  24. Along with his work in preparation for his 2020 baseball seasons, Jose Miranda also got to spend a little time with his cousin, Lin-Manuel Miranda. Yes, the same Lin-Manuel Miranda who won awards for his Broadway play In the Heights and later gained international renown for writing and starring in the immensely popular play Hamilton. According to Jose Miranda, “My dad is his dad’s cousin.” While they have only met and conversed a handful of times (the 40-year-old Lin-Manuel grew up in New York but frequently visited Puerto Rico), they had a nice chat this past offseason. “He’s friendly, humble. If you see him, you would never guess he was famous like that.” Photo by Hannah Gaber-USA TODAY “I like music. Not into singing or doing some instrumental, but I like reggaeton, music in Spanish.” Jose Miranda then added, “Sports was my primary thing since growing.” ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jose Miranda grew up in Puerto Rico. He was born in the village of Manati in the north central part of the island. He said he spent one semester of his ninth grade year with his mom in Miami. He returned to Puerto Rico and attended Leadership Christian Academy in Guaynabo, a city just south and west of San Juan and just east of Bayamon. Miranda became well-known as a baseball prospect nationally. He had a pretty good sense of where he might be drafted, and thought he knew which teams were most likely to select him. “I was expecting to go in the second round or the third round. I had communications with three or four teams. I think the Twins weren’t the favorites. I thought I was going to go to the Phillies or the Blue Jays. They were talking to me more.” A lot of times, teams will know who they want and then try to act as if they are uninterested, hoping that the player will get to them. The Twins were thrilled that Miranda was still available when they made their first of two straight Competitive Balance picks after the second round of the 2016 draft. As Twins Hall of Famer Brad Radke said that night, “With the 73rd selection of the 2016 MLB Draft, the Minnesota Twins select Jose Miranda, a shortstop from Leadership Christian Academy, Puerto Rico.” Of that night, Miranda noted, “That was my first goal. I worked so hard for that. I wanted to be in the first few rounds. My senior year, I was just working out, working out, working out, working out, playing, playing, and then I got called, and my dream came true, and now my dream is to get to the bigs.” Because of uncertainty in where he might be drafted, the Miranda family did not have a big party. The first two rounds and the Competitive Balance picks are made on the first night of the draft. The third round through the tenth round picks are made on Day 2. So Miranda was at home with his dad and his grandma. However, news of his selection traveled quickly. “My phone blew up. Texts from everyone. Twitter. Instagram.” One pick later, the Twins selected outfielder Akil Baddoo with the 74th pick, the fourth straight high school hitter that the Twins drafted that year. The Twins had drafted outfielder Alex Kirilloff with the 15th overall pick. Their second-round pick was catcher Ben Rortvedt. The group remains close. “We communicate, and we talk a lot. We’re friends.. I talk more with Akil Baddoo, but I talk to every one of those guys. They’re super cool, and they like to work.” ------------------------------------------------------------------ There is a pride that you hear in the voice of players who grew up in Puerto Rico. And the Twins have drafted and signed many players from Puerto Rico. In talking to Jose Miranda, it is quite clear he is proud to be from Puerto Rico. “For me, if I was born again, I’d want to be born in Puerto Rico. It’s my island. It’s where I grew up. I love it. My family is there. It's such a small island. Everyone is rooting for you when you’re here. I love it. ” The Puerto Rican players will often get together for dinners or just hang out and talk about baseball. Having that support from the players who have made it to the big leagues and from the island is motivating. “It’s a motivating thing because we know they were here before. They went from the minors, from rookie ball to the bigs. They tell us, you’ve got to trust the process, and if you do things right, you will get promoted to the bigs. One day, you’re going to play up here with us. That’s the main goal. Jose Miranda has been moving up the Twins organizational ladder one level at a time. Following the draft, he played 55 games for the GCL Twins. In 2017, he played in 54 games for the Elizabethton Twins and hit .283 with eight doubles and 11 home runs. He moved up to full-season ball in 2018. He played in 104 games with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He hit .277/.326/.434 (.760) with 22 doubles and 13 home runs. He ended the season with 27 games in Ft. Myers where he helped the Miracle to the Florida State League championship. He began 2019 with the MIracle. In 118 games, he hit .248/.299/.364 (.663) with 25 doubles and eight home runs. Statistics in the Florida State League always have to be taken with a grain of salt, especially with a 21-year-old. “It’s pretty hard. Sometimes you hit some balls that you think are going to go or they’re going to fall, but they get there and they catch them. Sometimes you get frustrated, but it just is what it is. It’s a tough league, but you have to live with it.” That’s where a player needs more than just tools and physical strength. It’s where players can get challenged with the mental aspects of the game. “Just got to stay hard in your mind, strong. Just stay positive. Keep working. You’ve just got to keep working, and you can’t stop working.” Starting pitchers Jordan Balazovic and Dakota Chalmers were promoted from Ft. Myers to Pensacola for their playoff run. Jose Miranda was the lone hitter that was promoted for the Southern League playoffs. He went 3-for-5 with a double in his one regular season game. Then in five playoff games for the Blue Wahoos, Miranda hit .368/.429/.526 (.955). “I think I had a little more confidence going into the offseason. In my mind, I was like, at least I finished in Double-A. It was a little jump. It was at the end, but I finished at Double-A.” ------------------------------------------------------------------------- In his career, Miranda has split time between third base and second base, with an occasional game played at shortstop. However, he has begun to play more third base. While his third base-second base mix was about 50/50 in 2018, he played third base nearly two-thirds of the time in 2019. Most scouts believe that is the position he is most likely to play. For his part, Miranda doesn’t mind playing either position. “I feel comfortable at both. If you can tell me now which one I want to play, I don’t have an answer right now. I like to play both, or all three. I like to play shortstop too. But right now it’s more third and second. Whatever they want me to play, I’ll play it.” ----------------------------------------------------------------- 2020 will be a big year for Jose Miranda. Following the season, he will be Rule 5 draft-eligible if he is not added to the Twins 40-man roster. To prepare for the season, he really worked hard. “First of all, I was working on my body because I wanted to lose some weight. Last year I felt a little sloppy, a little slow. So I told my trainer we had to work on my weight to get a little faster, to gain a little agility. And then my swing, and my swing mechanics.” When asked for his goals, he didn’t mention numbers and statistics. “One of my main goals is just to stay healthy for the whole year. Stay healthy, and then control what I can control.” Off the field, Miranda has some very exciting news as well. He will soon become a father. “We’re having a baby. Super exciting.” Miranda’s girlfriend is due in April. She is in Puerto Rico but hopefully about a month after the baby is born, mother and child will come to the States to be with Jose. A big year indeed!
  25. Find more on these five Minnesota Twins prospects and much more in the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. It’s available in paperback and as an ebook. 20. Jose Miranda, 3B/2B Age: 21 (DOB 6/29/1998) 2019 Stats (A+/AA): 483 PA, .252/.302/.369 (.671 OPS), 8 HR, 11.2 K%, 5.0 BB% 2019 Ranking: 20 We start this year’s list the exact same way we did in 2019. Miranda’s numbers don’t jump off the page, but keep in mind he still slugged better than the Florida State League average (.353) and was young for the level. He faced pitchers who were older than him in over 96 percent of his plate appearances last season. Miranda reached Pensacola to end the year. He played one regular season game, then hit .368/.429/.526 (.955) over five postseason games for the Blue Wahoos. That continued a trend, as Miranda has hit .350/.429/.583 (1.012 OPS) in 16 career playoff games. Once again, Miranda posted an insanely low strikeout rate. His 11.2 K% ranked 23rd among the 686 minor leaguers to log 400 plate appearances last season (inside the top four percent). He also mashed lefties, hitting .303/.330/.506 (.835 OPS), and continued to work on his defensive versatility. Sometimes the biggest thing that needs to happen for a player’s power to emerge is simply to get the heck out of Fort Myers. The guy at No. 18 on this list is a great example of just that ... 19. Cole Sands, RHP Age: 22 (DOB 7/17/1997) 2019 Stats (A/A+/AA): 97 1/3 IP, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 28.2 K%, 5.0 BB% 2019 Ranking: NR The Twins drafted Sands in 2018, but he didn’t make his professional debut until this past season. He opened the year with Cedar Rapids and immediately outmatched Midwest League hitters. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1114718482913005568 Sands made eight starts for the Kernels, nine for Fort Myers, then closed out the season by making his Double-A debut in the second leg of a doubleheader for Pensacola. I’d say that’s quite a busy first year on the job. Among the 667 minor league pitchers to log at least 80 innings in 2019, Sands’ 2.45 FIP ranked eighth. He did an incredible job of racking up strikeouts while limiting his walks, posting a K:BB ratio of 5.68. Another positive development was that Sands increased his workload from 75 1/3 innings at Florida State in 2018 to 97 1/3 innings this past season. 18. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/LF Age: 23 (DOB 8/3/1996) 2019 Stats (A+/AA): 471 PA, .277/.321/.466 (.787 OPS), 19 HR, 22.3 K%, 5.7BB% 2019 Ranking: NR Blankenhorn slipped off our list and onto the honorable mentions last year, but was No. 17 on the Twins Daily 2018 list and No. 9 on the 2017 list. He opened 2019 back in Fort Myers, but was headed up the coast after just 15 games with the Miracle. Despite facing tougher pitchers, the move to Pensacola did wonders for Blankenhorn’s power production. After hitting 12 home runs in 139 total games for the Miracle, Blankenhorn needed just 49 games to reach a dozen bombas for the Blue Wahoos. He hit .298/.337/.521 (.857 OPS) in his first 70 Double-A games, but suffered an injury in mid-July and slumped upon his return. Blankenhorn also continued to display his athleticism in 2019. He spent most of his time at second base (70 starts), but played more outfield than he had in previous seasons, and had three outfield assists in just 24 starts in left field. He was also a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts. The Twins added Blankenhorn to the 40-man roster this offseason, so expect him to get plenty of looks during spring training. 17. Misael Urbina, OF Age: 17 (DOB 4/26/2002) 2019 Stats (FRk): 217 PA, .279/.382/.443 (.825 OPS), 2 HR, 6.5 K%, 10.6 BB% 2019 Ranking: NR This guy has a chance to be the Twins’ No. 1 prospect a few years from now. Urbina’s speed and overall athleticism were hyped when the Twins signed him to a $2.75 million bonus, but the Venezuelan dynamo also proved he can control his plate appearances in. Urbina’s 6.5 K% was the fourth lowest among the 343 hitters who logged at least 170 plate appearances in the Dominican Summer League. He paired that with a strong 10.6 BB%. He also slugged nearly 100 points better than the DSL average and stole 19 bases in 50 games, oh, by the way. DSL stats aren’t particularly sticky. Taking a look back at prior years you’ll find quite a few guys who shine and then fizzle once they reach full-season ball. Still, Urbina’s tools, pedigree and now performance makes for a tantalizing player to pin dreams on. 16. Edwar Colina, RHP Age: 22 (DOB 5/3/1997) 2019 Stats (A+/AA/AAA): 97 1/3 IP, 2.96 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 25.4 K%, 8.0 BB% 2019 Ranking: NR Colina’s talent was on full display throughout July, where gave up just two earned runs in 31 2/3 innings (0.57 ERA) and struck out 36 batters. He was named Twins Daily’s Minor League Pitcher of the Month for that performance. Colina made 10 starts for Fort Myers and four more for Pensacola. In those outings, he pitched to a 2.29 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and struck out 89 batters in 82 2/3 innings. His overall numbers were dragged down a bit by five relief outings that didn’t go nearly as well. The product of Venezuela has always had a knack for keeping the ball in the yard, and tied Cole Sands for the lowest HR/9 in the system (minimum 90 innings). Both of them surrendered just four homers in 97 1/3 innings pitched. Over his entire minor league career, Colina has given up a grand total of just 16 home runs in 324 2/3 innings pitched. Twins Daily 2020 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions Stop by tomorrow for prospects 11-15 MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
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