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  1. August is upon us. That means that we are now entering (basically) the final month of the minor league season. Most of the minor league season is complete on Labor Day with playoffs starting soon after. The Dog Days are here, but that doesn’t mean that there weren’t a lot of solid hitting performances in the system in July. As you’ve noticed, ,the Elizabethton Twins have been a very hot offense. A couple of Red Wings had strong months are are making their cases to be called up. With the short-season teams having a full month, there are a lot more candidates, so grab some coffee and enjoy.Let’s take a look at the Top 6 hitters for the month of July, but first here are some players deserving of honorable mention. HONORABLE MENTION Akil Baddoo - GCL Twins/Elizabethton - 25 G, 26-94, 277/.398/.447 (.845) with four doubles, three triples, two homers, 16 RBI.Jordan Gore - Elizabethton - 15 G, 20-59, .339/.400/.441 (.841) with three doubles and a homer, 11 RBI.Matt Hague - Rochester - 29 G, 32-106, .302/.375/.453 (.828) with ten doubles, two homers, 16 RBI.Wander Javier - Elizabethton - 15 G, 18-58, .310/.412/.483 (.895) with five doubles, one triple, one homer and seven RBI.Royce Lewis - GCL Twins - 22 G, 27-84, .321/.412/.464 (.877) with four doubles, one triple, two homers and 11 RBI.Levi Michael - Chattanooga - 19 G, 22-73, .301/.370/.548 (.918) with four doubles, one triple, four homers and 12 RBISean Miller - Ft. Myers - 25 G, 30-94, .319/.347/.436 (.783) with five doubles, two homers and 15 RBI.Ben Rodriguez - GCL Twins - 20 G, 23-67, .343/.443/.507 (.951) with six doubles, one triple, one home run, and 20 RBI.Alex Robles - GCL Twins - 22 G, 29-88, .330/.348/.432 (.780) with three doubles, two home runs and 16 RBI.LaMonte Wade - Chattanooga - 24 G, 28-103, .272/.359/.417 (.776) with seven doubles, one triple, two home runs and 18 RBI.THE TOP SIX HITTERS Number 6 – Rochester - Byungho Park - 29 G, .292/.333/.538 (.871). 31-106 with six doubles, one triple, six home runs and 19 RBI. Park turned 31 years old in July, and he put together ae solid month. An injury slowed him in the early season, but he’s been hitting well since mid-June. In July, he started to show some of the power that made him legendary in Korea. Signed through 2019, with an option for 2020, the Twins will likely give him another shot at some point. Until then, it’s just good to see him healthy and starting to hit well again in Rochester. Number 5 – Elizabethton – 2B Jose Miranda - 24 G, .317/.360/.515 (.875). 32-101 with two doubles, six home runs and 22 RBI. In 2016, the Twins had four of the first 74 draft picks. With their first of two compensation picks (following the second round), they selected infielder Jose Miranda out of the Leadership Christian Academy in Puerto Rico. Miranda just turned 19 at the end of June. He’s been one (of several) really good hitters in the middle of the E-Town lineup. He’s shown a good approach at the plate, but he hits the ball with authority often. Of his 23 games played in the field so far this season, he’s played second base in 22 of them, with one start at third base. He’s also DHd a bit. Number 4 – Rochester - Mitch Garver - 25 G, .244/.340/.567 (.906). 22-90 with five doubles, eight home runs and 16 RBI. These are things I’ve written several times throughout the season and particularly the last couple of weeks. “It is inexcusable that Mitch Garver is not in the big leagues.” “Mitch Garver is the best all-around catcher in the Twins organization, including the two catchers with the Twins.” Overall this season, he is hitting .267/.370/.509 (.879) with 22 doubles and 15 home runs. He’s also thrown out 30% of would-be base stealers. He turned 26 in January. My assumption is that Chris Gimenez will either be traded or DFAd sometime in August to get Mitch Garver to the big leagues. If not, he should be up on September 1st. It just shouldn’t have taken that long. Number 3 - Elizabethton – 3B Andrew Bechtold - .387/.467/.629 (1.096) 24-62 with seven doubles, one triple, two homers and 11 RBI. He was drafted by the Rangers out of high school in 2014. He went to Maryland where he red-shirted before playing one season there. He transferred to Chipola College where he was part of a tremendous junior college team. The Twins took him in the fifth round. After signing (above slot), he went to Elizabethton. He went 0-7 his first two games. Since then, he has hit .403/.481/.627 (1.108). Number 2 - Elizabethton Twins – OF Shane Carrier - 23 G, .390/.402/.630 (1.032), 39-100 with nine doubles, five homers and 30 RBI. Carrier was the Twins 8th round pick in 2016 out of Fullerton College. He signed, forgoing a scholarship offer at Cal St. Fullerton. He spent last summer in Elizabethton. He began this season in Cedar Rapids, but through 30 games, he was hitting just .215/.243/.299 (.542), so he went down to extended spring training. It’s paid off. He has been destroying the ball in the Appy League to the tune of a .341/.353/.535 (.888) rate with ten doubles and five home runs. Carrier is strong and has a ton of power potential that he is just tapping into. And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is: Chattanooga Lookouts – 1B Jonathan Rodriguez - .383/.455/.652 (1.107), 44-115 with 13 doubles, six homers and 22 RBI. The Twins signed Jonathan Rodriguez as a six-year minor league free agent this past offseason. The Puerto Rico native went to the State College of Florida, Manatee-Sarasota and was the 17th round pick of the St. Louis Cardinals in 2009. Rodriguez gradually worked his way up the Cardinals system. He got to AA in 2014, but he stayed there until 2016 when he played in 39 AAA games. The Twins were quick to sign him and he’s been a mainstay in the Chattanooga lineup all season. With the Cardinals organization, he mostly played corner outfield positions. With the Lookouts, he’s only played first base and DH so far. That makes sense for the 27-year-old who stands 6-2 and weighs in at 250 pounds. He will turn 28 in just a couple of weeks. In 94 games with the Lookouts this year, he has hit .317/.413/.516 (.928) with 24 doubles and 15 home runs. His July was tremendous. He had two four-hit games, four three-hit games and eight two-hit games during the month. He was an extra-base hit machine, with 13 doubles and six home runs. He was named the Southern League Player of the Month as well. With Byungho Park and Kennys Vargas, along with Matt Hague, at AAA, Rodriguez is likely to spend the full season with the Lookouts. Congratulations to the July Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month for 2017, Chattanooga Lookouts Jonathan Rodriguez. Click here to view the article
  2. Also, the E-Twins had another huge offensive inning. Brent Rooker had another solid showing. There was a #ParkBang. A Kernels reliever has a pretty impressive streak going. And, a second 2017 shortstop draft pick is playing well in the GCL. Find out everything and more that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday. Let’s start with the transactions of the day: It happened about four days after it was deemed “close,” but the Twins did officially acquire lefty Jaime Garcia from Atlanta, along with catcher Anthony Recker, in exchange for Elizabethton starting pitcher Huascar Ynoa. To make room, Rule 5 RHP Justin Haley was outrighted and sent back to the Boston Red Sox. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Indianapolis 4 Box Score Niko Turley was on the mound for the Red Wings on Monday, and things didn’t go well. In 4.1 innings, he gave up four runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out three… and, well, this happened too. DJ Baxendale gave up a hit and walked two over 1.2 scoreless innings. Alex Wimmers struck out four over two perfect innings. Byungho Park led the Red Wings offense. He went 3-4 and launched his seventh home run. Matt Hague went 2-4 with his 19th double. Engelb Vielma added his seventh double. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga Box Score The Lookouts had an off day on the schedule. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Tampa 7 Box Score Lewis Thorpe had his first real rough start since his return from missing two seasons. The lefty went just 3.2 innings and was charged with five runs (three earned) on four hits. He walked three and struck out two. He also hit one batter, threw two wild pitches and had a balk. Mike Theofanopoulos struck out two in 2.1 perfect innings. Alex Robinson walked three and struck out one in a scoreless inning. Andrew Vasquez gave up two unearned runs on four hits over two innings. He struck out two. Sean Miller led the offense. He went 3-4 with his 14th double. Brent Rooker went 1-2 with two walks and his first Miracle double. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 1, Lansing 3 Box Score The Kernels won the season series against Lansing even though they fell in the finale on Monday afternoon. Anthony Marzi made the start and went the first seven innings. He gave up three runs, though just one was earned. He gave up six hits, walked none and struck out none. Colton Davis came in and did what he’s done all year… put up a zero. From Jeff Johnson’s article in The Gazette, “Davis has not allowed an earned run in his last 22 appearances out of the bullpen and given up only one run, period, in that span of 31 1/3 innings. The last time a team nicked him was way back on May 10.” He did need a little bit of help though. With a runner on second, Davis gave up a single to center. Aaron Whitefield charged the ball and came up throwing. He gunned down the base runner at home by at least five feet. Hector Lujan worked a scoreless ninth inning. The offense managed just one run. Whitefield and Christian Cavaness each went 1-3 with a walk. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 15, Pulaski 4 Box Score For the third time in a week, the E-Twins put together a huge, late-inning inning. In this one, they scored eight runs in the ninth inning. Jose Miranda went 4-5 with his sixth homer. He scored three runs and drove in three runs. TJ Dixon was 3-5 with his first pro home runs. He stole his third base. Ariel Montesino went 2-3 with two walks. Shane Carrier had two hits. Wander Javier walked twice and hit his seventh double. Carson had three RBI and his seventh double. JJ Robinson added his fifth home run. Ryley Widell made his second appearance. He gave up one run on two hits over 3.2 innings of work. He struck out three without issuing a walk. Moises Gomez gave up three runs on four hits in the final 5.1 innings. He walked four, but he struck out nine. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, GCL Orioles 5 Box Score Jordan Balazovic started for the GCL Twins on Monday. The right-hander from Canada gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits in 5.2 innings. He walked one and struck out one. Juan Mojica walked two, but got four outs without being charged with a run. Amilcar Cruz came on and threw two shutout innings. Ricky De La Torre is now hitting .288 after going 2-3 with a walk. Darling Cuestro was also 2-3 with a walk in the game. Kidany Salva went 2-4 with his first double of the season. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Alex Wimmers, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jose Miranda, Elizabethton Twins TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Indianapolis (6:05 CST) - TBD Birmingham @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves Ft. Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) - RHP Cody Stashak Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled Elizabethton @ Pulaski (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s games.
  3. Yesterday, we wrote a bit about how well Aaron Slegers has pitched in his last seven or eight starts. For his last two starts, he was named the International League’s Pitcher of the Week. The major news on Monday, of course, was the Twins officially acquiring Jaime Garcia and Anthony Recker for Huascar Ynoa. But there was much more to the day including the decision to send back their Rule 5 pick. There are likely to be more transactions following the Monday night Twins game in Los Angeles, so we’ll update those below.Also, the E-Twins had another huge offensive inning. Brent Rooker had another solid showing. There was a #ParkBang. A Kernels reliever has a pretty impressive streak going. And, a second 2017 shortstop draft pick is playing well in the GCL. Find out everything and more that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday. Let’s start with the transactions of the day: It happened about four days after it was deemed “close,” but the Twins did officially acquire lefty Jaime Garcia from Atlanta, along with catcher Anthony Recker, in exchange for Elizabethton starting pitcher Huascar Ynoa.To make room, Rule 5 RHP Justin Haley was outrighted and sent back to the Boston Red Sox.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 1, Indianapolis 4 Box Score Niko Turley was on the mound for the Red Wings on Monday, and things didn’t go well. In 4.1 innings, he gave up four runs on six hits. He walked three and struck out three… and, well, this happened too. DJ Baxendale gave up a hit and walked two over 1.2 scoreless innings. Alex Wimmers struck out four over two perfect innings. Byungho Park led the Red Wings offense. He went 3-4 and launched his seventh home run. Matt Hague went 2-4 with his 19th double. Engelb Vielma added his seventh double. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga Box Score The Lookouts had an off day on the schedule. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Tampa 7 Box Score Lewis Thorpe had his first real rough start since his return from missing two seasons. The lefty went just 3.2 innings and was charged with five runs (three earned) on four hits. He walked three and struck out two. He also hit one batter, threw two wild pitches and had a balk. Mike Theofanopoulos struck out two in 2.1 perfect innings. Alex Robinson walked three and struck out one in a scoreless inning. Andrew Vasquez gave up two unearned runs on four hits over two innings. He struck out two. Sean Miller led the offense. He went 3-4 with his 14th double. Brent Rooker went 1-2 with two walks and his first Miracle double. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 1, Lansing 3 Box Score The Kernels won the season series against Lansing even though they fell in the finale on Monday afternoon. Anthony Marzi made the start and went the first seven innings. He gave up three runs, though just one was earned. He gave up six hits, walked none and struck out none. Colton Davis came in and did what he’s done all year… put up a zero. From Jeff Johnson’s article in The Gazette, “Davis has not allowed an earned run in his last 22 appearances out of the bullpen and given up only one run, period, in that span of 31 1/3 innings. The last time a team nicked him was way back on May 10.” He did need a little bit of help though. With a runner on second, Davis gave up a single to center. Aaron Whitefield charged the ball and came up throwing. He gunned down the base runner at home by at least five feet. Hector Lujan worked a scoreless ninth inning. The offense managed just one run. Whitefield and Christian Cavaness each went 1-3 with a walk. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 15, Pulaski 4 Box Score For the third time in a week, the E-Twins put together a huge, late-inning inning. In this one, they scored eight runs in the ninth inning. Jose Miranda went 4-5 with his sixth homer. He scored three runs and drove in three runs. TJ Dixon was 3-5 with his first pro home runs. He stole his third base. Ariel Montesino went 2-3 with two walks. Shane Carrier had two hits. Wander Javier walked twice and hit his seventh double. Carson had three RBI and his seventh double. JJ Robinson added his fifth home run. Ryley Widell made his second appearance. He gave up one run on two hits over 3.2 innings of work. He struck out three without issuing a walk. Moises Gomez gave up three runs on four hits in the final 5.1 innings. He walked four, but he struck out nine. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, GCL Orioles 5 Box Score Jordan Balazovic started for the GCL Twins on Monday. The right-hander from Canada gave up five runs (four earned) on seven hits in 5.2 innings. He walked one and struck out one. Juan Mojica walked two, but got four outs without being charged with a run. Amilcar Cruz came on and threw two shutout innings. Ricky De La Torre is now hitting .288 after going 2-3 with a walk. Darling Cuestro was also 2-3 with a walk in the game. Kidany Salva went 2-4 with his first double of the season. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Alex Wimmers, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jose Miranda, Elizabethton Twins TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Indianapolis (6:05 CST) - TBD Birmingham @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves Ft. Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) - RHP Cody Stashak Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled Elizabethton @ Pulaski (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s games. Click here to view the article
  4. The only thing that can slow down Red Wings outfielder Zack Granite is the weather. Rochester was rained out, but it was a full night in the Twins system. The Miracle and their fans at Hammond Stadium got to see the Tim Tebow Experience up close. And a remarkably unusual game. Lewis Thorpe was on the mound. Elizabethton also played a wild game in the Appy League. A 2015, 2016 and 2017 high-round draft pick each helped Elizabethton to an extra-innings win. A near cycle? So much in tonight’s Twins Minor League Report!Find out everything and more that happened happened in the Twins system on Friday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS There were a handful of transactions in the Twins system on Friday. Following the Twins loss in Kansas City, Alan Busenitz was optioned to Rochester. Ryan Pressly will return to the Twins.Felix Jorge, as we learned on Thursday, will be the 26th man and start the night game of the doubleheader.The Kernels need some starters, so on Friday, they announced the signing of lefty Anthony Marzi, a 24-year-old who has spent the last two year with the New Britain Bees of the independent Atlantic League. To make room for him, infielder Ariel Montesino was sent down to Elizabethton.RED WINGS REPORTRochester , Lehigh Valley Box Score The Red Wings were postponed by rain for the 11th time this season. Which is crazy! These teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 5, Mississippi 3 Box Score Dereck Rodriguez was on the mound, and he was also on his game. Through six innings, he gave up just one run on three hits. The lone run came on a Ronald Acuna homer. He was charged with a couple more runs in the seventh before being replaced by Paul Clemens. Rodriguez’s final line was three earned runs on six hits over 6.2 innings. He walked one and struck out six. He credited pitching backwards as a part of his success on Friday night. “My offspeed was good. I was throwing it behind in the count in hitters counts. A team like this that like to swing a lot.” Clemens gave up two hits and a walk over 2.1 shutout innings. He struck out two and recorded his first save of the season. Jonathan Rodriguez went 1-3 with two walks and his ninth home run. It was his third home run in three games. LaMonte Wade went 2-4 with a walk and two runs driven in. Nick Gordon went 2-4, and he stole his eighth base. Edgar Corcino was 2-5. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 11, St. Lucie 0 Box Score If you were to only look at this score, you would likely believe that this was a blowout. In the end, I guess it was. However, when the Miracle came to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning, it was a 0-0 game. Eleven runs crossed the plate that half inning to give the final score. Justin Haley made the start for the Miracle. After one rehab appearance (Monday) in the GCL, Haley worked two innings for the Miracle. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out two. Then regularly-scheduled starter Lewis Thorpe came on and threw 4.2 innings of shutout ball. Thorpe hasn’t worked much out of the bullpen in his career. He said, “it was different but I enjoyed the experience.” But Lewis threw the ball real well. He gave up two hits, walked three and struck out five (including a certain former Heisman Trophy winner twice). Regarding his success, he said, “I think spotting my fastball up tonight was really big.” Michael Theofanopoulos got four outs, two of them on strikeouts. His only blemish was a hit batter (a certain former NFL quarterback). Sam Clay got the final three outs. The bottom of the eighth was crazy, as you’ll see in the illustration below, but the Miracle found just about every way to score a run in that inning. Singles, doubles, bases-loaded walks, hit batters and a balk. Baseball is a funny game. But, whether you like it or not, Tim Tebow coming to Hammond Stadium was part of the game’s story. The Tim Tebow Effect is real. The Miracle have averaged 1,748 fans at home games to this point this year. On Friday night, 6,315 fans watched this game. Thorpe mentioned that he really enjoyed the opportunity to compete against Tebow. He said, “It was fun too see what Tebow had. He competes and that's all that matters. Wish him good luck in his career as a pro baseball player.” Tebow came into the game having played just three games in the Florida State League. He was 5-9 (.556) with a homer. He had two walks and struck out once. In this game, he was 0-2 with two strikeouts and was hit by a pitch. He also made this catch to rob Zander Wiel of an extra base hit. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Clinton 2 Box Score The Kernels took an early lead on Friday night in the fourth inning when Lewin Diaz hit his ninth homer and two batters later Hank Morrison added his second of the year. Of his homer, Morrison said, "I was looking for a fastball and he threw a hard slider inside that broke right over the middle and just put a good swing on it." Domenick Carlini was really good through the first five innings. He said after the game, “I think I kept them off balanced for the most part. I got away with some fastballs because they may not have been on time because of the quality offspeed pitches.” He has been working and talking a lot with Kernels’ pitching coach JP Martinez about putting hitters away. “We discussed getting to the kill counts (0-2,1-2) and putting them away when I have the chance. Too many times I can look back on the season and remember times when I didn't put guys away when I had the chance and it came back to bite me. So I tried to take advantage of those situations.” He ran into some trouble in the sixth. He got two outs, but gave up two runs in the inning. His final line was two runs on three hits over 5.2 innings. He walked three and struck out seven. Ryan Mason got the final out of the sixth inning, worked a clean seventh, and struck out two of the four batters he faced. Colton Davis struck out two over the final two innings. Diaz and Morrison were both 2-4 with a homer. Christian Cavaness went 2-5. Travis Blankenhorn’s 13th double drove in two. Caleb Hamilton went 1-3 with a walk. He also stole his first base. It was a nice win for a team that is still learning itself and coming together, according to Morrison. "It was very important just for the team morale. Winning was something the team did a lot of in the first half! Now that we have a bunch of new players. I think we are just as capable to do so, just have to come together as quick as possible!" E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 12, Kingsport 10 (12 innings) Box Score This was about as wild a game as you’ll see. It went back and forth, and needed some extra frames, but the E-Twins came out on top in the end. It looked a little questionable in the ninth. The Twins had a four-run lead, but they gave up four to send it to extra innings. According to Elizabethton left fielder (and third baseman) Trey Cabbage, "Good crowd tonight, so that always makes it fun, but our guys just love to go out and compete." In the top of the 12th, Andrew Bechtold gave the Twins an 11-10 lead, singling home Javier who was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Next up was Jose Miranda who had a special night. He came into that at bat 4-6 and needing only a triple for the cycle. He almost got it. He drove in Bechtold and tried to turn it into a triple, but he was thrown out. The Twins were able to hold on to their lead in the bottom of the 12th to win the game. Jose Miranda certainly led the way. He went 5-7 with two doubles (three on season), a home run and four RBI. He was leading off. The Twins second hitter was Trey Cabbage. He also drove in four runs. He went 2-5 with a walk, and a big three-run homer. It was his second homer of the season. They had RBI opportunities because Andrew Bechtold had a breakout game batting ninth. He recorded his first three professional hits in a 3-5 night. He also walked and scored four runs. Rainis Silva had two hits. Wander Javier was 1-3 with two walks, a HBP and his third double. Cabbage takes a pretty simple approach with him to the plate for each plate appearance. "At the plate, I just try to do damage every time up to help us get into the best position to win." Along with his offense, Cabbage also threw out a base runner at the plate. It wasn’t all good news. Brent Rooker returned to the lineup after missing the previous three games. He went 0-6 with four strikeouts, the Golden Sombrero. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, GCL Red Sox 0 Box Score In the bottom of the first inning, Akil Baddoo led off with a double. He scored when the next batter, Royce Lewis, knocked him in with a double. It was the second of the season for both of them. Two outs later, 17-year-old Victor Tademo hit his first home run of the season. That gives him the same number that he hit last season in 51 games in the Dominican Summer League. Later, Tademo added his first double of the season as well. That was it for the offense, so it’s a good thing they got some nice pitching performances. Vadim Balan has already thrown six innings over two appearances so far this year. On Friday, his younger brother Petru Balan made his first start as a pro, and it went well. The left-hander went the first four innings without giving up a run. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out five. Jose Bermudez came on and struck out three over the next three scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and walked one. Lefty Matt Jones pitched for the first time this year. The 2016 draft pick recorded the save with two scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out three. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Lewis Thorpe, Ft. Myers Miracle Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jose Miranda, Elizabethton Twins SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (5:35 CST) - LHP David Hurlbut Chattanooga @ Mississippi (6:00 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (5:05 CST) - RHP Brady Anderson Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (6:30 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker Elizabethton @ Danville (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox (9:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday’s games. Click here to view the article
  5. Find out everything and more that happened happened in the Twins system on Friday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS There were a handful of transactions in the Twins system on Friday. Following the Twins loss in Kansas City, Alan Busenitz was optioned to Rochester. Ryan Pressly will return to the Twins. Felix Jorge, as we learned on Thursday, will be the 26th man and start the night game of the doubleheader. The Kernels need some starters, so on Friday, they announced the signing of lefty Anthony Marzi, a 24-year-old who has spent the last two year with the New Britain Bees of the independent Atlantic League. To make room for him, infielder Ariel Montesino was sent down to Elizabethton. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester , Lehigh Valley Box Score The Red Wings were postponed by rain for the 11th time this season. Which is crazy! These teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 5, Mississippi 3 Box Score Dereck Rodriguez was on the mound, and he was also on his game. Through six innings, he gave up just one run on three hits. The lone run came on a Ronald Acuna homer. He was charged with a couple more runs in the seventh before being replaced by Paul Clemens. Rodriguez’s final line was three earned runs on six hits over 6.2 innings. He walked one and struck out six. He credited pitching backwards as a part of his success on Friday night. “My offspeed was good. I was throwing it behind in the count in hitters counts. A team like this that like to swing a lot.” Clemens gave up two hits and a walk over 2.1 shutout innings. He struck out two and recorded his first save of the season. Jonathan Rodriguez went 1-3 with two walks and his ninth home run. It was his third home run in three games. LaMonte Wade went 2-4 with a walk and two runs driven in. Nick Gordon went 2-4, and he stole his eighth base. Edgar Corcino was 2-5. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 11, St. Lucie 0 Box Score If you were to only look at this score, you would likely believe that this was a blowout. In the end, I guess it was. However, when the Miracle came to bat in the bottom of the eighth inning, it was a 0-0 game. Eleven runs crossed the plate that half inning to give the final score. Justin Haley made the start for the Miracle. After one rehab appearance (Monday) in the GCL, Haley worked two innings for the Miracle. He gave up one hit, walked one and struck out two. Then regularly-scheduled starter Lewis Thorpe came on and threw 4.2 innings of shutout ball. Thorpe hasn’t worked much out of the bullpen in his career. He said, “it was different but I enjoyed the experience.” But Lewis threw the ball real well. He gave up two hits, walked three and struck out five (including a certain former Heisman Trophy winner twice). Regarding his success, he said, “I think spotting my fastball up tonight was really big.” Michael Theofanopoulos got four outs, two of them on strikeouts. His only blemish was a hit batter (a certain former NFL quarterback). Sam Clay got the final three outs. The bottom of the eighth was crazy, as you’ll see in the illustration below, but the Miracle found just about every way to score a run in that inning. Singles, doubles, bases-loaded walks, hit batters and a balk. Baseball is a funny game. But, whether you like it or not, Tim Tebow coming to Hammond Stadium was part of the game’s story. The Tim Tebow Effect is real. The Miracle have averaged 1,748 fans at home games to this point this year. On Friday night, 6,315 fans watched this game. Thorpe mentioned that he really enjoyed the opportunity to compete against Tebow. He said, “It was fun too see what Tebow had. He competes and that's all that matters. Wish him good luck in his career as a pro baseball player.” Tebow came into the game having played just three games in the Florida State League. He was 5-9 (.556) with a homer. He had two walks and struck out once. In this game, he was 0-2 with two strikeouts and was hit by a pitch. He also made this catch to rob Zander Wiel of an extra base hit. https://twitter.com/AMcDevittTV/status/880946472430313472 KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Clinton 2 Box Score The Kernels took an early lead on Friday night in the fourth inning when Lewin Diaz hit his ninth homer and two batters later Hank Morrison added his second of the year. Of his homer, Morrison said, "I was looking for a fastball and he threw a hard slider inside that broke right over the middle and just put a good swing on it." Domenick Carlini was really good through the first five innings. He said after the game, “I think I kept them off balanced for the most part. I got away with some fastballs because they may not have been on time because of the quality offspeed pitches.” He has been working and talking a lot with Kernels’ pitching coach JP Martinez about putting hitters away. “We discussed getting to the kill counts (0-2,1-2) and putting them away when I have the chance. Too many times I can look back on the season and remember times when I didn't put guys away when I had the chance and it came back to bite me. So I tried to take advantage of those situations.” He ran into some trouble in the sixth. He got two outs, but gave up two runs in the inning. His final line was two runs on three hits over 5.2 innings. He walked three and struck out seven. Ryan Mason got the final out of the sixth inning, worked a clean seventh, and struck out two of the four batters he faced. Colton Davis struck out two over the final two innings. Diaz and Morrison were both 2-4 with a homer. Christian Cavaness went 2-5. Travis Blankenhorn’s 13th double drove in two. Caleb Hamilton went 1-3 with a walk. He also stole his first base. It was a nice win for a team that is still learning itself and coming together, according to Morrison. "It was very important just for the team morale. Winning was something the team did a lot of in the first half! Now that we have a bunch of new players. I think we are just as capable to do so, just have to come together as quick as possible!" E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 12, Kingsport 10 (12 innings) Box Score This was about as wild a game as you’ll see. It went back and forth, and needed some extra frames, but the E-Twins came out on top in the end. It looked a little questionable in the ninth. The Twins had a four-run lead, but they gave up four to send it to extra innings. According to Elizabethton left fielder (and third baseman) Trey Cabbage, "Good crowd tonight, so that always makes it fun, but our guys just love to go out and compete." In the top of the 12th, Andrew Bechtold gave the Twins an 11-10 lead, singling home Javier who was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Next up was Jose Miranda who had a special night. He came into that at bat 4-6 and needing only a triple for the cycle. He almost got it. He drove in Bechtold and tried to turn it into a triple, but he was thrown out. The Twins were able to hold on to their lead in the bottom of the 12th to win the game. Jose Miranda certainly led the way. He went 5-7 with two doubles (three on season), a home run and four RBI. He was leading off. The Twins second hitter was Trey Cabbage. He also drove in four runs. He went 2-5 with a walk, and a big three-run homer. It was his second homer of the season. They had RBI opportunities because Andrew Bechtold had a breakout game batting ninth. He recorded his first three professional hits in a 3-5 night. He also walked and scored four runs. Rainis Silva had two hits. Wander Javier was 1-3 with two walks, a HBP and his third double. Cabbage takes a pretty simple approach with him to the plate for each plate appearance. "At the plate, I just try to do damage every time up to help us get into the best position to win." Along with his offense, Cabbage also threw out a base runner at the plate. It wasn’t all good news. Brent Rooker returned to the lineup after missing the previous three games. He went 0-6 with four strikeouts, the Golden Sombrero. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, GCL Red Sox 0 Box Score In the bottom of the first inning, Akil Baddoo led off with a double. He scored when the next batter, Royce Lewis, knocked him in with a double. It was the second of the season for both of them. Two outs later, 17-year-old Victor Tademo hit his first home run of the season. That gives him the same number that he hit last season in 51 games in the Dominican Summer League. Later, Tademo added his first double of the season as well. That was it for the offense, so it’s a good thing they got some nice pitching performances. Vadim Balan has already thrown six innings over two appearances so far this year. On Friday, his younger brother Petru Balan made his first start as a pro, and it went well. The left-hander went the first four innings without giving up a run. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out five. Jose Bermudez came on and struck out three over the next three scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and walked one. Lefty Matt Jones pitched for the first time this year. The 2016 draft pick recorded the save with two scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out three. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Lewis Thorpe, Ft. Myers Miracle Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jose Miranda, Elizabethton Twins SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (5:35 CST) - LHP David Hurlbut Chattanooga @ Mississippi (6:00 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (5:05 CST) - RHP Brady Anderson Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (6:30 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker Elizabethton @ Danville (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox (9:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday’s games.
  6. No one covers Twins minor league baseball like we do at Twins Daily, and today is one of those days. We take a look at the young Twins players who remain in Ft. Myers in extended spring training. Players that didn’t make a full-season team’s Opening Day roster will remain, for an extended time, in spring training in Ft. Myers. They call this, creatively, extended spring training. These players will continue to work out, practice, play some games against other teams, and generally just keep ready. Some are getting ready for when there is a need at Cedar Rapids or even Ft. Myers (such as Casey Scoggins who has already moved up to the Miracle). Some are waiting for the short-season leagues to start in late June, and then head to Elizabethton, Tennessee, or remain in Ft. Myers and play in the GCL. Today we’ll take a quick look at the players who remain in Ft. Myers for extended spring training. Which do you think will surface in Cedar Rapids? Who are the prospects? There is a little bit of everything in this group.What do the guys do in extended spring training. Literally, it is very similar to regular spring training. Each morning there is a workout/practice. Approximately five days a week, they will play a game in the afternoon against EST teams of the Red Sox, Orioles or Rays. Most weeks, there will be one day where they will just practice and work out. They get Sundays off. You’ll see a lot of these guys go watch the Miracle games at night when they are at home. Players are able to take English classes at the player academy. Their final game is June 13th. At that point, players from the draft will also start on June 12th. COACHING STAFFS Ray Smith is again the manager of the Elizabethton Twins. It is his 31st season with the Elizabethton Twins, and the 24th as manager. There were a few years in there where he was a coach so that the Twins could have a manager work with him. He has a managerial record of 936-621. He has won six Appalachian League titles. He originally signed with the Twins in 1977, and he played in 83 big league games for the Twins between 1981 and 1983. His hitting coach for the 16th straight season is Jeff Reed. Reed was the Twins first round pick in 1980 and played in 93 games for the Twins from 1984 through 1986. The catcher went on to play a total of 17 seasons in the big leagues. Luis Ramirez is back for his third season as the E-Twins pitching coach. He had coached in the GCL the two previous years. He also spent eight seasons as the Twins pitching coordinator in their Venezuelan Academy. The manager for the GCL Twins for the seventh season is Ramon Borrego. Before coaching for the Twins in the States, he spent a year in the Dominican Republic and four years in Venezuela. From 1996 through 2002, he was an infielder in the Twins minor league system, reaching AAA in 2002. He is joined by two pitching coaches. Virgil Vasquez is in his third season on the job. He spent big league time with the Tigers and Pirates, and he played for the Twins AA and AAA teams in 2013 and 2014. He still plays in Australia in the offseason. Cibney Bello is in his second season with the organization, coming over from the Mariners organization. Toby Gardenhire was supposed to be a hitting coach in the GCL, but he was named the third base coach for Rochester last week due to Mike Quade’s shoulder injury and surgery. The Twins will still need to add a hitting coach or two for the GCL team. ROSTERS Catchers: Jhon Alvarez, Kerby Camacho, Darling Cuestro, Justin Hazard, Robert Molina, Kidany Salva, Rainis Silva, Bryant Hayman (DL-knee) Infielders: Trey Cabbage, Mario Calcano, Joe Cronin, Dane Hutcheon, Wander Javier, Andre Jernigan, Kolton Kendrick, Shane Kennedy, Amaurys Minier, Jose Miranda, Emmanuel Morel, Jorge Munoz, Bradley Strong, Victor Tademo, Roni Tapia, TJ White Outfielders: Matt Albanese, Isaiah Aluko, Jean-Carlos Arias, Akil Baddoo, Zach Featherstone, Edgar Herrera, Humber Maldonado, Lean Marrero, Hank Morrison, Casey Scoggins, Alex Kirilloff (DL-elbow) Pitchers: Melvi Acosta, Chris Anderson, Petru Balan, Vadim Balan, Jordan Balazovic, Jose Bermudez, Tyler Benninghoff, Domenick Carlini, Taylor Clemensia, Edwar Colina, Amilcar Cruz, Miguel DeJesus, Juan Gamez, Pedro Garcia, Moises Gomez, Brusdar Graterol, Quin Grogan, Matt Jones, Blair Lakso, Logan Lombana, Jose Martinez, Ryan Mason, Patrick McGuff, Jovani Moran, Callan Pearce, Johan Quezada, Evan Sanders, Matz Schutte, Carlos Suniaga, Lewis Thorpe, Huascar Ynoa TOP PROSPECTS Alex Kirilloff - The Twins top pick in 2016 will miss the season due to Tommy John surgery.Wander Javier - The bonus baby just two years ago, Javier may have as much upside as any Twins prospect.Huascar Ynoa - High upside right-hander, works into the mid-90s. Very young.Akil Baddoo - supplemental second round pick last year out of high school, very strong, good left-handed swing.Jose Miranda - supplemental second round pick last year out of high school in Puerto Rico as a shortstop, moved to third base already (as expected), strong right-handed swing.Brusdar Graterol - After Tommy John, he came back during Instructs last year throwing 98+. Unfortunately, he broke his hand before spring training and will be out a bit longer.Lewis Thorpe - He’ll surface on a full season soon, we hope, and looks to show he’s still got it after missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons.Jordan Balazovic - Canadian draft pick from 2016, throws hard, looks the part of a starter. Very young, but has potential.Amaurys Minier - Two years in the GCL. Two years in Elizabethton. Back to EST again, though he did hit 10 homers in E-Town last year. Should move up before short season.Trey Cabbage - injured last year heading into the E-Town season, he missed a couple of weeks this spring with a foot injury. Smooth swing, very strong, athletic, huge potential. Needs to play.Tyler Benninghoff - Twins 11th round pick last year out of high school, he immediately had Tommy John surgery. He’s recently started throwing bullpens off a mound. Could possibly pitch very late in GCL season.STORIES TO WATCHThe Cedar Rapids rotation is filled with guys from the 2016 draft, but there are some more bullpen arms that need to be pushed up to Cedar Rapids before the short season gets under way.Teams can only have a certain number of players play in the rookie leagues (GCL/Elizabethton) for more than three years. That number has increased in recent years, but there are a lot of players on this list who have played at least three years in the rookie leagues including former bonus baby Amaurys Minier.The biggest surprise for me on this list is outfielder Casey Scoggins. The 40th round pick in 2016 out of the University of Tampa moved up to Cedar Rapids last year after just four games in Elizabethton. He held his own and was an instigator at the top of the Kernels lineup. He also won a Gold Glove for his centerfield defense one year in college. Instead, Australian Aaron Whitefield is in Cedar Rapids to start the season after his strong showing in the GCL last year and in the ABL this winter. (Note that Casey Scoggins was already added to the Ft. Myers roster.)Will Lewis Thorpe take the Fernando Romero plan from 2016? Romero went to Cedar Rapids in mid-May for three starts before moving up to Ft. Myers. He was shut down one week before the season’s end. Maybe the same thing will happen with Thorpe? Could he go straight to Ft. Myers?What will the Twins do with Chris Anderson? The Centennial High School grad was the Dodgers #1 pick in 2013 out of Jacksonville University. He struggled last year and was released late in spring training. The Twins will likely work with him in EST and then start him back up the ladder. No real risk in bringing in the big talent, and there is some potential for reward still.There are also several veterans that remain in Ft. Myers. They are either on the disabled list of an affiliate, or they are working on something in their game before going to an affiliate.There are about a dozen players who have come to the US from the new Twins academy in the Dominican Republic now that spring training is complete.Feel free to discuss the talent that the Twins have in Extended Spring Training. You can ask as many questions as you’d like and we’ll try to get them answered. Click here to view the article
  7. What do the guys do in extended spring training. Literally, it is very similar to regular spring training. Each morning there is a workout/practice. Approximately five days a week, they will play a game in the afternoon against EST teams of the Red Sox, Orioles or Rays. Most weeks, there will be one day where they will just practice and work out. They get Sundays off. You’ll see a lot of these guys go watch the Miracle games at night when they are at home. Players are able to take English classes at the player academy. Their final game is June 13th. At that point, players from the draft will also start on June 12th. COACHING STAFFS Ray Smith is again the manager of the Elizabethton Twins. It is his 31st season with the Elizabethton Twins, and the 24th as manager. There were a few years in there where he was a coach so that the Twins could have a manager work with him. He has a managerial record of 936-621. He has won six Appalachian League titles. He originally signed with the Twins in 1977, and he played in 83 big league games for the Twins between 1981 and 1983. His hitting coach for the 16th straight season is Jeff Reed. Reed was the Twins first round pick in 1980 and played in 93 games for the Twins from 1984 through 1986. The catcher went on to play a total of 17 seasons in the big leagues. Luis Ramirez is back for his third season as the E-Twins pitching coach. He had coached in the GCL the two previous years. He also spent eight seasons as the Twins pitching coordinator in their Venezuelan Academy. The manager for the GCL Twins for the seventh season is Ramon Borrego. Before coaching for the Twins in the States, he spent a year in the Dominican Republic and four years in Venezuela. From 1996 through 2002, he was an infielder in the Twins minor league system, reaching AAA in 2002. He is joined by two pitching coaches. Virgil Vasquez is in his third season on the job. He spent big league time with the Tigers and Pirates, and he played for the Twins AA and AAA teams in 2013 and 2014. He still plays in Australia in the offseason. Cibney Bello is in his second season with the organization, coming over from the Mariners organization. Toby Gardenhire was supposed to be a hitting coach in the GCL, but he was named the third base coach for Rochester last week due to Mike Quade’s shoulder injury and surgery. The Twins will still need to add a hitting coach or two for the GCL team. ROSTERS Catchers: Jhon Alvarez, Kerby Camacho, Darling Cuestro, Justin Hazard, Robert Molina, Kidany Salva, Rainis Silva, Bryant Hayman (DL-knee) Infielders: Trey Cabbage, Mario Calcano, Joe Cronin, Dane Hutcheon, Wander Javier, Andre Jernigan, Kolton Kendrick, Shane Kennedy, Amaurys Minier, Jose Miranda, Emmanuel Morel, Jorge Munoz, Bradley Strong, Victor Tademo, Roni Tapia, TJ White Outfielders: Matt Albanese, Isaiah Aluko, Jean-Carlos Arias, Akil Baddoo, Zach Featherstone, Edgar Herrera, Humber Maldonado, Lean Marrero, Hank Morrison, Casey Scoggins, Alex Kirilloff (DL-elbow) Pitchers: Melvi Acosta, Chris Anderson, Petru Balan, Vadim Balan, Jordan Balazovic, Jose Bermudez, Tyler Benninghoff, Domenick Carlini, Taylor Clemensia, Edwar Colina, Amilcar Cruz, Miguel DeJesus, Juan Gamez, Pedro Garcia, Moises Gomez, Brusdar Graterol, Quin Grogan, Matt Jones, Blair Lakso, Logan Lombana, Jose Martinez, Ryan Mason, Patrick McGuff, Jovani Moran, Callan Pearce, Johan Quezada, Evan Sanders, Matz Schutte, Carlos Suniaga, Lewis Thorpe, Huascar Ynoa TOP PROSPECTS Alex Kirilloff - The Twins top pick in 2016 will miss the season due to Tommy John surgery. Wander Javier - The bonus baby just two years ago, Javier may have as much upside as any Twins prospect. Huascar Ynoa - High upside right-hander, works into the mid-90s. Very young. Akil Baddoo - supplemental second round pick last year out of high school, very strong, good left-handed swing. Jose Miranda - supplemental second round pick last year out of high school in Puerto Rico as a shortstop, moved to third base already (as expected), strong right-handed swing. Brusdar Graterol - After Tommy John, he came back during Instructs last year throwing 98+. Unfortunately, he broke his hand before spring training and will be out a bit longer. Lewis Thorpe - He’ll surface on a full season soon, we hope, and looks to show he’s still got it after missing the 2015 and 2016 seasons. Jordan Balazovic - Canadian draft pick from 2016, throws hard, looks the part of a starter. Very young, but has potential. Amaurys Minier - Two years in the GCL. Two years in Elizabethton. Back to EST again, though he did hit 10 homers in E-Town last year. Should move up before short season. Trey Cabbage - injured last year heading into the E-Town season, he missed a couple of weeks this spring with a foot injury. Smooth swing, very strong, athletic, huge potential. Needs to play. Tyler Benninghoff - Twins 11th round pick last year out of high school, he immediately had Tommy John surgery. He’s recently started throwing bullpens off a mound. Could possibly pitch very late in GCL season. STORIES TO WATCH The Cedar Rapids rotation is filled with guys from the 2016 draft, but there are some more bullpen arms that need to be pushed up to Cedar Rapids before the short season gets under way. Teams can only have a certain number of players play in the rookie leagues (GCL/Elizabethton) for more than three years. That number has increased in recent years, but there are a lot of players on this list who have played at least three years in the rookie leagues including former bonus baby Amaurys Minier. The biggest surprise for me on this list is outfielder Casey Scoggins. The 40th round pick in 2016 out of the University of Tampa moved up to Cedar Rapids last year after just four games in Elizabethton. He held his own and was an instigator at the top of the Kernels lineup. He also won a Gold Glove for his centerfield defense one year in college. Instead, Australian Aaron Whitefield is in Cedar Rapids to start the season after his strong showing in the GCL last year and in the ABL this winter. (Note that Casey Scoggins was already added to the Ft. Myers roster.) Will Lewis Thorpe take the Fernando Romero plan from 2016? Romero went to Cedar Rapids in mid-May for three starts before moving up to Ft. Myers. He was shut down one week before the season’s end. Maybe the same thing will happen with Thorpe? Could he go straight to Ft. Myers? What will the Twins do with Chris Anderson? The Centennial High School grad was the Dodgers #1 pick in 2013 out of Jacksonville University. He struggled last year and was released late in spring training. The Twins will likely work with him in EST and then start him back up the ladder. No real risk in bringing in the big talent, and there is some potential for reward still. There are also several veterans that remain in Ft. Myers. They are either on the disabled list of an affiliate, or they are working on something in their game before going to an affiliate. There are about a dozen players who have come to the US from the new Twins academy in the Dominican Republic now that spring training is complete. Feel free to discuss the talent that the Twins have in Extended Spring Training. You can ask as many questions as you’d like and we’ll try to get them answered.
  8. After posting Part 1 and Part 2over the last couple of days, predictably, today I am going to post Part 3 of my personal (preliminary) Top 50 Twins Prospect rankings. Today I'll share with you my choices for prospects 26 through 30. Typically, that would be a list of five people. However, when someone makes a list, and that list "accidentally" has two 29s in it, well, prospects 26 through 30 will contain six prospects instead of five today. So, continue on, and read of the SIX prospects ranked between 26 and 30. It is an interesting list. There are a couple of players who have spent some time in the upper levels, but the other four players are very young. Three of them remain teenagers. The teenagers all have the possibility of significantly moving up this list in 2017. Continue reading to learn more about six Twins minor leaguers deserving of recognition.REMINDER: Players eligible to be on this list include players who remain eligible for Rookie of the Year voting in 2017. That is to say, hitters with less than 130 at-bats and pitchers with less than 50 innings. (The list is preliminary. Following research for the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook 2017 - which Cody Christie, Jeremy Nygaard and I are working on - I’ll provide my final Top 30 prospects list.) Top Prospects 26-30 #30 – Nelson Molina - 21 – IF – Cedar Rapids Kernels Molina was the Twins 11th-round pick in 2013 out of high school in Puerto Rico (same high school as Twins catcher Juan Centeno). It is fair to say that he struggled offensively in the rookie leagues his first three seasons. However, watching him, he has the size (6-3), build (175), tools and work ethic to want to stand out. In 2016, he came up to the Kernels at the end of April and played well the rest of the way. He was named to the Twins Daily Minor League All-Star team after hitting .300/.374/.381 (.755) with 15 doubles, three triples and two home runs in 94 games. Drafted as a shortstop, he has played all over the field. He mostly played third base for the Kernels this year, but he ended the season playing shortstop for the team, including in the playoffs. #29 – Trey Cabbage - 19 – 3B – Elizabethton Twins Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round draft pick in 2015 out of Grainger High School in Tennessee. After signing, he spent the summer in Ft. Myers, spending some time with the GCL Twins and more time rehabbing a back injury. He spent the first half of the 2016 season at extended spring training before heading north, back to Tennessee, to play in Elizabethton. The third baseman hit .204/.297/.337 (.634) with five doubles, one triple and two home runs in just 31 games with the E-Twins. At 6-3 and a little over 200 pounds, Cabbage is a tremendous athlete. He’s got a sweet, left-handed swing with line-drive power that could turn into home run power from gap-to-gap. Defense continues to be a work-in-progress at third base, but he has a strong arm and puts in a lot of extra work. He could start 2017 in extended with an opportunity to move up to Cedar Rapids. #29 – Tanner English - 23 – OF – Ft. Myers Miracle/Rochester Red Wings English was the Twins 11t- round pick in the 2014 draft out of South Carolina. In 2015, he was named the top defensive outfielder in the Twins system for his glove work in center field in Cedar Rapids. At 5-10 and 180 pounds, English has great speed, range and a powerful arm. Offensively, he can be a leadoff type of hitter. He takes quality at-bats and has good pop. He also is a very good base runner and base-stealer. He began the 2016 in Ft. Myers, but he went on the disabled list early in the season. When he was about ready to come back, he had his ankle rolled in an extended spring game. He returned late in the year to the Miracle. When Rochester needed a center fielder for the final week, English was pushed to the level and hit .294 in 17 at-bats. To get some extra plate appearances, English will head to Arizona to participate in the Fall League. #28 – Akil Baddoo - 18 – OF - GCL Twins If these lists were solely about upside, Baddoo would likely be a Top 10 prospect. Baddoo was the fourth pick in the 2016 draft and the Twins second compensation- round pick, 74th overall. He was an outstanding high school player from the state of Georgia. After signing, he went to the GCL. At 6-1 and just shy of 200 pounds, Baddoo has a lot of tools. He has good speed (8 steals in 9 attempts). He has good range in the outfield and has a strong left arm. Though he hit just .178 in his pro debut in the GCL, most believe he will hit, and he has already shown that he has some power potential (2 triples, 2 home runs). As it is with most 18 year olds, patience will be a big key. #27 – Jose Miranda - 18 – SS – GCL Twins Miranda was selected one pick before Akil Baddoo, 73rd overall, in the June draft out of high school in Puerto Rico. He also began his career in the GCL. He played shortstop and third base equally and also played a handful of games at second base. He’ll likely be given more time at shortstop, but when he was drafted most scouts believed his future was either at third base or second base. He played in 55 games and hit .227/.308/.292 with seven doubles, a triple and a home run. Listed at 6-2 and 180 pounds, he has average speed. Most believe he will hit and has a chance to hit for above average power. #26 – Engelb Vielma - 22 – SS – Chattanooga Lookouts Vielma signed with the Twins out of Venezuela in mid-September of 2011, just late enough that he didn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster last year. The Twins will have to make that decision this November. Vielma has been named the Twins top minor league defensive infielder the last two years and earned an invitation to big league spring training after a solid 2015 in Ft. Myers. He spent the majority of the 2016 season in Chattanooga, though he had two stints on the disabled list and played some rehab games in Ft. Myers. With the Lookouts, he hit .271/.345/.318 (.663) with seven doubles and four triples. While he’ll never hit for power, if he can hit for average, he has a chance to be a big league shortstop because of his great defense. He is the total package at shortstop. He has good range, instincts and a powerful arm. Others discuss his leadership So what do you think of Part 3, Prospects 26-30? Next up will be prospects 21-25. Feel free to discuss, comment and ask questions below. Click here to view the article
  9. REMINDER: Players eligible to be on this list include players who remain eligible for Rookie of the Year voting in 2017. That is to say, hitters with less than 130 at-bats and pitchers with less than 50 innings. (The list is preliminary. Following research for the Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook 2017 - which Cody Christie, Jeremy Nygaard and I are working on - I’ll provide my final Top 30 prospects list.) Top Prospects 26-30 #30 – Nelson Molina - 21 – IF – Cedar Rapids Kernels Molina was the Twins 11th-round pick in 2013 out of high school in Puerto Rico (same high school as Twins catcher Juan Centeno). It is fair to say that he struggled offensively in the rookie leagues his first three seasons. However, watching him, he has the size (6-3), build (175), tools and work ethic to want to stand out. In 2016, he came up to the Kernels at the end of April and played well the rest of the way. He was named to the Twins Daily Minor League All-Star team after hitting .300/.374/.381 (.755) with 15 doubles, three triples and two home runs in 94 games. Drafted as a shortstop, he has played all over the field. He mostly played third base for the Kernels this year, but he ended the season playing shortstop for the team, including in the playoffs. #29 – Trey Cabbage - 19 – 3B – Elizabethton Twins Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round draft pick in 2015 out of Grainger High School in Tennessee. After signing, he spent the summer in Ft. Myers, spending some time with the GCL Twins and more time rehabbing a back injury. He spent the first half of the 2016 season at extended spring training before heading north, back to Tennessee, to play in Elizabethton. The third baseman hit .204/.297/.337 (.634) with five doubles, one triple and two home runs in just 31 games with the E-Twins. At 6-3 and a little over 200 pounds, Cabbage is a tremendous athlete. He’s got a sweet, left-handed swing with line-drive power that could turn into home run power from gap-to-gap. Defense continues to be a work-in-progress at third base, but he has a strong arm and puts in a lot of extra work. He could start 2017 in extended with an opportunity to move up to Cedar Rapids. #29 – Tanner English - 23 – OF – Ft. Myers Miracle/Rochester Red Wings English was the Twins 11t- round pick in the 2014 draft out of South Carolina. In 2015, he was named the top defensive outfielder in the Twins system for his glove work in center field in Cedar Rapids. At 5-10 and 180 pounds, English has great speed, range and a powerful arm. Offensively, he can be a leadoff type of hitter. He takes quality at-bats and has good pop. He also is a very good base runner and base-stealer. He began the 2016 in Ft. Myers, but he went on the disabled list early in the season. When he was about ready to come back, he had his ankle rolled in an extended spring game. He returned late in the year to the Miracle. When Rochester needed a center fielder for the final week, English was pushed to the level and hit .294 in 17 at-bats. To get some extra plate appearances, English will head to Arizona to participate in the Fall League. #28 – Akil Baddoo - 18 – OF - GCL Twins If these lists were solely about upside, Baddoo would likely be a Top 10 prospect. Baddoo was the fourth pick in the 2016 draft and the Twins second compensation- round pick, 74th overall. He was an outstanding high school player from the state of Georgia. After signing, he went to the GCL. At 6-1 and just shy of 200 pounds, Baddoo has a lot of tools. He has good speed (8 steals in 9 attempts). He has good range in the outfield and has a strong left arm. Though he hit just .178 in his pro debut in the GCL, most believe he will hit, and he has already shown that he has some power potential (2 triples, 2 home runs). As it is with most 18 year olds, patience will be a big key. #27 – Jose Miranda - 18 – SS – GCL Twins Miranda was selected one pick before Akil Baddoo, 73rd overall, in the June draft out of high school in Puerto Rico. He also began his career in the GCL. He played shortstop and third base equally and also played a handful of games at second base. He’ll likely be given more time at shortstop, but when he was drafted most scouts believed his future was either at third base or second base. He played in 55 games and hit .227/.308/.292 with seven doubles, a triple and a home run. Listed at 6-2 and 180 pounds, he has average speed. Most believe he will hit and has a chance to hit for above average power. #26 – Engelb Vielma - 22 – SS – Chattanooga Lookouts Vielma signed with the Twins out of Venezuela in mid-September of 2011, just late enough that he didn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster last year. The Twins will have to make that decision this November. Vielma has been named the Twins top minor league defensive infielder the last two years and earned an invitation to big league spring training after a solid 2015 in Ft. Myers. He spent the majority of the 2016 season in Chattanooga, though he had two stints on the disabled list and played some rehab games in Ft. Myers. With the Lookouts, he hit .271/.345/.318 (.663) with seven doubles and four triples. While he’ll never hit for power, if he can hit for average, he has a chance to be a big league shortstop because of his great defense. He is the total package at shortstop. He has good range, instincts and a powerful arm. Others discuss his leadership So what do you think of Part 3, Prospects 26-30? Next up will be prospects 21-25. Feel free to discuss, comment and ask questions below.
  10. It's been almost two weeks since the MLB draft and pending a few final details, the Twins appear nearly set to put a bow on what appears to be a very promising draft class.From the moment the draft wrapped up and word of signings started to trickle in, you've been able to follow all the news right here at Twins Daily. Today, the Twins are expected to officially announce the signing of three more players: Alex Kirilloff, the team's first-round pick, who is signing for slot; Brandon Lopez, who needs to pass his physical to finalize a $30k deal (which saves the Twins $126,600) and switch-hitting prep catcher Kidany Salva, who will sign for $70k pending contract approval. 6/24 Update: Austin Tribby, a big-bodied left-handed pitcher from Missouri who is out of college eligibility, is undergoing his physical and is expected to be official soon. Tribby is almost certainly looking at a $1,000 signing bonus. That will leave only fifth-round pick pitcher Jordan Balazovic remaining. All I've heard is that there are not expected to be any hang-ups with him either, though he is likely to come in over slot. Using Benninghoff's terms, even if Balazovic got the same $600k, the Twins would still have over $62k left. (Though it is possible that Balazovic could eat up all that's remaining.) But let's pretend that the Twins sign all of their Top 10 round picks and still have $75,000 left. They could offer any of their unsigned picks up to $175,000 without penalty. Who could get that money? I'd really like to see the Twins pursue Matt Jones, Canadian prep pitcher, 28th round. And it sounds like there is a distinct possibility they reach a deal with the young lefty. UPDATE: Matt Jones will undergo his physical on Sunday and sign after that. Let's revisit some of the guys that could take up the extra pool money. Shamoy Christopher, JUCO catcher, 20th round: Christopher is one of those "pop-up" guys who not all the teams knew about going into the draft. The Twins liked him, though he hadn't given every indication he wanted to sign. They've been in contact with him throughout the last few weeks, but at this time it sounds as though his demand is more than the Twins are willing to spend. Matt Byars, Michigan State catcher, 24th round: Do the Twins turn to another Wisconsin kid, who played JUCO ball in Illinois before hitting .284 in the Big Ten, adding another catcher to the system? Greg Deichmann, LSU third baseman, 26th round: Deichmann was a draft-eligible sophomore who has only played significantly for one season and has two years remaining. He demonstrated power, hitting 12 home runs in the best conference in America, and only committed eight errors at third base. Deichmann would likely command more money than the Twins have. Could they spread the money out and lock up a couple more players? It's always a possibility. Could there be another player or two they are keeping tabs on? Absolutely. So while the class is almost complete, there still is plenty of intrigue. Download attachment: 2016draft1.JPG Download attachment: 2016draft2.JPG Click here to view the article
  11. Jeremy Nygaard

    Draft Update

    From the moment the draft wrapped up and word of signings started to trickle in, you've been able to follow all the news right here at Twins Daily. Today, the Twins are expected to officially announce the signing of three more players: Alex Kirilloff, the team's first-round pick, who is signing for slot; Brandon Lopez, who needs to pass his physical to finalize a $30k deal (which saves the Twins $126,600) and switch-hitting prep catcher Kidany Salva, who will sign for $70k pending contract approval. 6/24 Update: Austin Tribby, a big-bodied left-handed pitcher from Missouri who is out of college eligibility, is undergoing his physical and is expected to be official soon. Tribby is almost certainly looking at a $1,000 signing bonus. That will leave only fifth-round pick pitcher Jordan Balazovic remaining. All I've heard is that there are not expected to be any hang-ups with him either, though he is likely to come in over slot. Using Benninghoff's terms, even if Balazovic got the same $600k, the Twins would still have over $62k left. (Though it is possible that Balazovic could eat up all that's remaining.) But let's pretend that the Twins sign all of their Top 10 round picks and still have $75,000 left. They could offer any of their unsigned picks up to $175,000 without penalty. Who could get that money? I'd really like to see the Twins pursue Matt Jones, Canadian prep pitcher, 28th round. And it sounds like there is a distinct possibility they reach a deal with the young lefty. UPDATE: Matt Jones will undergo his physical on Sunday and sign after that. Let's revisit some of the guys that could take up the extra pool money. Shamoy Christopher, JUCO catcher, 20th round: Christopher is one of those "pop-up" guys who not all the teams knew about going into the draft. The Twins liked him, though he hadn't given every indication he wanted to sign. They've been in contact with him throughout the last few weeks, but at this time it sounds as though his demand is more than the Twins are willing to spend. Matt Byars, Michigan State catcher, 24th round: Do the Twins turn to another Wisconsin kid, who played JUCO ball in Illinois before hitting .284 in the Big Ten, adding another catcher to the system? Greg Deichmann, LSU third baseman, 26th round: Deichmann was a draft-eligible sophomore who has only played significantly for one season and has two years remaining. He demonstrated power, hitting 12 home runs in the best conference in America, and only committed eight errors at third base. Deichmann would likely command more money than the Twins have. Could they spread the money out and lock up a couple more players? It's always a possibility. Could there be another player or two they are keeping tabs on? Absolutely. So while the class is almost complete, there still is plenty of intrigue.
  12. The All-Star break popped up at the worst possible time for the hottest offense in baseball. But hopefully Eduardo Nunez will continue to swing a hot bat on Tuesday as he represents the Twins for the American League.Even though MLB games won’t resume until Friday, Monday’s schedule consisted of a nearly full slate for the Twins affiliates. In good news, Jason Wheeler will start for the International League in the AAA All-Star Game on Wednesday. In other news, the Twins released Kevin Jepsen today. They’ll be on the hook for the remainder of his salary (less the prorated minimum when he signs with another team). Let’s check out the rest of the games. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester - OFF DAY At the All-Star break, the Red Wings are 52-40, 4.5 games off of the division pace, but good for only a half-game deficit in the wild card race. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 6, Tennessee 7 Box Score Felix Jorge made his AA debut for the Lookouts on Monday. He squared off against Jen-Ho Tseng, a well-regarded prospect in his own right, who was pursued heavily by the Twins as an international free agent in 2013. Jorge’s night started off as well as you’d hope: He faced nine batters and retired them all, four on strikeouts and four on ground balls. But when the lineup turned over, so did the results. After getting the leadoff batter out, extending his streak to 10 straight, Jorge gave up five consecutive singles, resulting in three runs. Two more singles and a blast resulted in three more runs in the fifth inning. A walk and two more singles plated one more run and Jorge’s night was over: 5 1/3 innings, 10 hits, seven runs, a walk and four strikeouts. The bullpen trio of Zack Jones, Mason Melotakis and Raul Fernandez combined for five strikeouts and three shutout innings. Chattanooga scored first in the third inning when Niko Goodrum singled in Leo Reginatto, who doubled. They tacked on two more in the third inning thanks to a handful of singles and a balk. A Ryan Walker double and Stuart Turner home run contributed to the final three runs. Walker and Mitch Garver both had two hits. Only D.J. Hicks didn’t get a hit. The Lookouts are now 46-42 on the season. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 1, Dunedin 5 Box Score Miles Nordgren dominated for six innings before running into big trouble. Nordgren made it through the seventh, but not before giving up five hits, four runs (three earned) and a walk. He struck out two. Entering the seventh, Nordgren had only allowed one hit. Luke Bard (a run on two hits, walk and strikeout) and Brandon Peterson (walk, two strikeouts) each pitched an inning. Offensively, Fort Myers collected only four hits. Brad Hartong doubled. LaMonte Wade, Tanner Witt and Daniel Kihle added singles. The Miracle are 12-7 in the second half, holding a one-game lead in the FSL South. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Kane County 0 Box Score The offense got on the board when Luis Arraez drove in Jermaine Palacios, who tripled, on a sacrifice fly. It was all the Kernels would need - though they’d get more - to win the game. Arraez and Nelson Molina each had two-hit games. Zander Wiel had a two-run home run, his sixth of the season. Casey Scoggins had a double. Molina also stole a base, his third. Eduardo Del Rosario pitched five shutout innings, somewhat miraculously. He put nine runners on base - five hits and four walks - and struck out five. Anthony McIver pitched three scoreless innings, striking out two. Tom Hackimer, completed the shutout. E-TOWN E-NOTES Elizabethton 4, Greeneville 12 Box Score The E-Twins trailed 4-3 entering the ninth inning, but an eight-run frame ended all hopes for the home team. The offense wasn’t particularly good, but it was moot when the bullpen fell apart. E-town combined for only six hits, two from Shane Carrier, who provided the team with its only extra-base hit, a double. Alex Kirilloff was 0-4 with a strikeout; he played center field. Jose Martinez started the game and pitched five innings. He allowed three runs and struck out three. Alex Robinson pitched a scoreless frame. Griffin Jax struck out four in two innings. Jax gave up a solo home run though and was charged with the loss. Johan Quezada recorded two outs. He walked two and allowed four hits. He allowed six earned runs before being replaced by Hector Lujan, who allowed two more runs to score. Elizabethton drops to 7-11 GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 4, GCL Orioles 2 Box Score The piggyback tandem of Taylor Clemensia (hit, three walks, four strikeouts) and Brady Anderson (five hits, two runs, seven strikeouts) each pitched four innings before Onas Farfan allowed a hit in the ninth inning, picking up the save. Competitive Balance pick Jose Miranda led the offense today, picking up three hits, including his first extra-base hit, a double. He drove in two runs. Jorge Andrade and Tyree Davis each also had multi-hit games and doubled. Andrade stole a base. Aaron Whitefield singled twice. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Miles Nordgren, Fort Myers Hitter of the Day – Jose Miranda, GCL Twins TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Chattanooga at Tennessee (6:05 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves (2-1, 4.91 ERA) GCL Twins at GCL Orioles (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s games. Click here to view the article
  13. Even though MLB games won’t resume until Friday, Monday’s schedule consisted of a nearly full slate for the Twins affiliates. In good news, Jason Wheeler will start for the International League in the AAA All-Star Game on Wednesday. In other news, the Twins released Kevin Jepsen today. They’ll be on the hook for the remainder of his salary (less the prorated minimum when he signs with another team). Let’s check out the rest of the games. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester - OFF DAY At the All-Star break, the Red Wings are 52-40, 4.5 games off of the division pace, but good for only a half-game deficit in the wild card race. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 6, Tennessee 7 Box Score Felix Jorge made his AA debut for the Lookouts on Monday. He squared off against Jen-Ho Tseng, a well-regarded prospect in his own right, who was pursued heavily by the Twins as an international free agent in 2013. Jorge’s night started off as well as you’d hope: He faced nine batters and retired them all, four on strikeouts and four on ground balls. But when the lineup turned over, so did the results. After getting the leadoff batter out, extending his streak to 10 straight, Jorge gave up five consecutive singles, resulting in three runs. Two more singles and a blast resulted in three more runs in the fifth inning. A walk and two more singles plated one more run and Jorge’s night was over: 5 1/3 innings, 10 hits, seven runs, a walk and four strikeouts. The bullpen trio of Zack Jones, Mason Melotakis and Raul Fernandez combined for five strikeouts and three shutout innings. Chattanooga scored first in the third inning when Niko Goodrum singled in Leo Reginatto, who doubled. They tacked on two more in the third inning thanks to a handful of singles and a balk. A Ryan Walker double and Stuart Turner home run contributed to the final three runs. Walker and Mitch Garver both had two hits. Only D.J. Hicks didn’t get a hit. The Lookouts are now 46-42 on the season. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 1, Dunedin 5 Box Score Miles Nordgren dominated for six innings before running into big trouble. Nordgren made it through the seventh, but not before giving up five hits, four runs (three earned) and a walk. He struck out two. Entering the seventh, Nordgren had only allowed one hit. Luke Bard (a run on two hits, walk and strikeout) and Brandon Peterson (walk, two strikeouts) each pitched an inning. Offensively, Fort Myers collected only four hits. Brad Hartong doubled. LaMonte Wade, Tanner Witt and Daniel Kihle added singles. The Miracle are 12-7 in the second half, holding a one-game lead in the FSL South. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Kane County 0 Box Score The offense got on the board when Luis Arraez drove in Jermaine Palacios, who tripled, on a sacrifice fly. It was all the Kernels would need - though they’d get more - to win the game. Arraez and Nelson Molina each had two-hit games. Zander Wiel had a two-run home run, his sixth of the season. Casey Scoggins had a double. Molina also stole a base, his third. Eduardo Del Rosario pitched five shutout innings, somewhat miraculously. He put nine runners on base - five hits and four walks - and struck out five. Anthony McIver pitched three scoreless innings, striking out two. Tom Hackimer, completed the shutout. E-TOWN E-NOTES Elizabethton 4, Greeneville 12 Box Score The E-Twins trailed 4-3 entering the ninth inning, but an eight-run frame ended all hopes for the home team. The offense wasn’t particularly good, but it was moot when the bullpen fell apart. E-town combined for only six hits, two from Shane Carrier, who provided the team with its only extra-base hit, a double. Alex Kirilloff was 0-4 with a strikeout; he played center field. Jose Martinez started the game and pitched five innings. He allowed three runs and struck out three. Alex Robinson pitched a scoreless frame. Griffin Jax struck out four in two innings. Jax gave up a solo home run though and was charged with the loss. Johan Quezada recorded two outs. He walked two and allowed four hits. He allowed six earned runs before being replaced by Hector Lujan, who allowed two more runs to score. Elizabethton drops to 7-11 GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 4, GCL Orioles 2 Box Score The piggyback tandem of Taylor Clemensia (hit, three walks, four strikeouts) and Brady Anderson (five hits, two runs, seven strikeouts) each pitched four innings before Onas Farfan allowed a hit in the ninth inning, picking up the save. Competitive Balance pick Jose Miranda led the offense today, picking up three hits, including his first extra-base hit, a double. He drove in two runs. Jorge Andrade and Tyree Davis each also had multi-hit games and doubled. Andrade stole a base. Aaron Whitefield singled twice. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Miles Nordgren, Fort Myers Hitter of the Day – Jose Miranda, GCL Twins TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Chattanooga at Tennessee (6:05 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves (2-1, 4.91 ERA) GCL Twins at GCL Orioles (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s games.
  14. My Fourth of July weekend started a bit early. A little much-needed time off from my 8-5 job (which has been more like 8-8 the last month) allows me to hang out and relax for a few days. Maybe even ride around in a truck in the woods, looking for a deer friend. Sorry! But hey, the Twins minor leaguers still play ball, and we at Twins Daily will still cover it. They gave us plenty to talk about on Thursday night. Adam Brett Walker lived up to his twitter handle (@walkoff28) with a HUGE homer in Game 1 tonight for the Red Wings. A couple of Twins' second-round picks had real solid games in Ft. Myers, where another starter has quietly had a solid season. Chattanooga played and it was still June, so of course Daniel Palka homered, again. And another 2016 pick played in his first professional game.All that, and much more, in today’s Twins Minor League Report. RED WINGS REPORT Game 1 - Rochester 5, Pawtucket 1 (8 innings) Box Score I think we know that Adam Brett Walker is what he is on the baseball field, and sometimes that works out really, really well for his team. Game 1 on Thursday was one of those times. He came up big with the walk off grand slam. The Red Wings had just five hits in the game. James Beresford went 2-4 with his 11th double. Logan Schafer hit his first Red Wings triple. Andrew Albers was very good as well. The lefty gave up one run on five hits over seven innings. He struck out three and didn’t issue a walk. JT Chargois gets the win after a perfect, two-strikeout inning. Game 2 - Rochester 1, Pawtucket 6 Box Score There was a different, less exciting script in the second game of the doubleheader, especially for the Red Wings. Nick Greenwood gave up four runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings. He struck out four without a walk. Ryan O’Rourke came on with a runner on in the sixth and got one out, on a strikeout. However he gave up an intentional walk and a hit and both runners scored. David Martinez got the final out of the sixth and worked through the seventh. Eddie Rosario went 2-3 with his 14th double. Miguel Sano added a double. Tommy Field hit his first Red Wings triple. Stephen Wickens was also 2-3. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 7, Pensacola 3 Box Score The Lookouts had a touchdown and PAT and held Pensacola to just a field goal for the Thursday night win. Ryan Eades improved to 5-3 with six strong innings. He gave up just one run on four hits. He walked three and struck out six. Jake Reed worked the next two innings. He gave up two runs on three hits and two hit batters. He did strike out four. Mason Melotakis struck out two in a perfect ninth inning. Daniel Palka ended an incredible June with yet another homer, his 20th of the season and two RBI. He ends June with 13 homers and 30 RBI in the month. Not too shabby. Shannon Wilkerson entered the game in center field, replacing Zach Granite (who went 1-2). Wilkerson went 2-3 with his seventh double and his second home run. It was a two-run blast to give the Lookouts a cushion in the eighth inning. Dalton Hicks went 2-4 with his 16th double. Ryan Walker was 2-4. Stuart Turner had a single, and he also stole his first two bases of the season. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, Palm Beach 0 Box Score Keaton Steele is the least known of the Miracle rotation, but he has quietly put together a solid season. He had one of his best starts on Thursday night. He threw 6.2 shutout innings. He gave up four hits, walked two and struck out two. He is now 4-6 but has a solid 3.66 ERA. Steele was replaced by Luke Bard who got the next four outs. Mike Theofanopoulos came in for the ninth inning. He gave up one hit, but he recorded his first Florida State League save. Joe Maloney led the offense. He went 2-4 and also stole his first two bases with the Miracle. AJ Murray notched his third triple. Nick Gordon recorded the lone RBI on a single. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Quad Cities 6 Box Score Eduardo del Rosario started and worked six innings. However, he gave up six runs on six hits (two homers). He walked three and struck out four. Anthony McIver and Cameron Booser each worked scoreless innings. Booser did so while walking one and giving up one hit. Luis Arraez continued to hit. He went 2-4. Nelson Molina, batting third, went 2-4 with his fifth double. Zander Wiel added an RBI double, his 15th of the year. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 1, Pulaski 3 Box Score Travis Blankenhorn gave the E-Twins a 1-0 lead in the first inning with his third homer of the season. But that was it in terms of runs scored. Jaylin Davis was 1-3 and had a walk. Lewin Diaz added his third double. Alex Kiriloff batted sixth again, but this time, he played left field. He went 1-4. Brandon Lopez made his professional debut. He signed a little later since Miami was playing in the College World Series. He went 1-3 with a walk. He batted fifth and played shortstop. Domenick Carlini actually pitched pretty well, but a couple of errors led to a couple of unearned runs, and he took the loss. He gave up the two unearned runs on just one hit. He walked two and struck out one. Hector Lujan went the final three innings. He gave up one run on three hits. He walked one and struck out two. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 2, GCL Orioles 0 Box Score Bo Hellquist, a non-drafted free agent from Savage (Burnsville HS) and Minnesota-Duluth, made his pro debut. The crafty lefty threw 4.1 scoreless innings before meeting his pitch limit. He gave up three hits, walked none and struck out five. Daniel Martinez struck out two over 1.2 perfect innings to record his first win. Callan Pearce struck out three over two shutout innings. Garrett Kelly recorded his first save. He struck out two in a perfect ninth. Akil Baddoo led off and went 2-4 with his first stolen base. Jose Miranda went 2-3 with a walk and his first stolen base. He also drove in both Twins runs. Australian Aaron Whitefield went 2-4. Jorge Munoz went 1-3 with a walk and his first steal. Manuel Guzman, in his first rehab game, went 1-3 with a with a stolen base. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Keaton Steele, Ft. Myers Miracle Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Shannon Wilkerson, Chattanooga Lookouts FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Syracuse @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Jason Wheeler Chattanooga @ Pensacola (6:30 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves Jupiter @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (7:00 CST) – RHP Cody Stashak Pulaski @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (11:00 am CST) - RHP Miguel de Jesus Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Wednesday's games. Click here to view the article
  15. All that, and much more, in today’s Twins Minor League Report. RED WINGS REPORT Game 1 - Rochester 5, Pawtucket 1 (8 innings) Box Score I think we know that Adam Brett Walker is what he is on the baseball field, and sometimes that works out really, really well for his team. Game 1 on Thursday was one of those times. He came up big with the walk off grand slam. https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/748682412092043264 The Red Wings had just five hits in the game. James Beresford went 2-4 with his 11th double. Logan Schafer hit his first Red Wings triple. Andrew Albers was very good as well. The lefty gave up one run on five hits over seven innings. He struck out three and didn’t issue a walk. JT Chargois gets the win after a perfect, two-strikeout inning. Game 2 - Rochester 1, Pawtucket 6 Box Score There was a different, less exciting script in the second game of the doubleheader, especially for the Red Wings. Nick Greenwood gave up four runs on seven hits in 5.1 innings. He struck out four without a walk. Ryan O’Rourke came on with a runner on in the sixth and got one out, on a strikeout. However he gave up an intentional walk and a hit and both runners scored. David Martinez got the final out of the sixth and worked through the seventh. Eddie Rosario went 2-3 with his 14th double. Miguel Sano added a double. Tommy Field hit his first Red Wings triple. Stephen Wickens was also 2-3. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 7, Pensacola 3 Box Score The Lookouts had a touchdown and PAT and held Pensacola to just a field goal for the Thursday night win. Ryan Eades improved to 5-3 with six strong innings. He gave up just one run on four hits. He walked three and struck out six. Jake Reed worked the next two innings. He gave up two runs on three hits and two hit batters. He did strike out four. Mason Melotakis struck out two in a perfect ninth inning. Daniel Palka ended an incredible June with yet another homer, his 20th of the season and two RBI. He ends June with 13 homers and 30 RBI in the month. Not too shabby. Shannon Wilkerson entered the game in center field, replacing Zach Granite (who went 1-2). Wilkerson went 2-3 with his seventh double and his second home run. It was a two-run blast to give the Lookouts a cushion in the eighth inning. Dalton Hicks went 2-4 with his 16th double. Ryan Walker was 2-4. Stuart Turner had a single, and he also stole his first two bases of the season. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 2, Palm Beach 0 Box Score Keaton Steele is the least known of the Miracle rotation, but he has quietly put together a solid season. He had one of his best starts on Thursday night. He threw 6.2 shutout innings. He gave up four hits, walked two and struck out two. He is now 4-6 but has a solid 3.66 ERA. Steele was replaced by Luke Bard who got the next four outs. Mike Theofanopoulos came in for the ninth inning. He gave up one hit, but he recorded his first Florida State League save. Joe Maloney led the offense. He went 2-4 and also stole his first two bases with the Miracle. AJ Murray notched his third triple. Nick Gordon recorded the lone RBI on a single. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Quad Cities 6 Box Score Eduardo del Rosario started and worked six innings. However, he gave up six runs on six hits (two homers). He walked three and struck out four. Anthony McIver and Cameron Booser each worked scoreless innings. Booser did so while walking one and giving up one hit. Luis Arraez continued to hit. He went 2-4. Nelson Molina, batting third, went 2-4 with his fifth double. Zander Wiel added an RBI double, his 15th of the year. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 1, Pulaski 3 Box Score Travis Blankenhorn gave the E-Twins a 1-0 lead in the first inning with his third homer of the season. But that was it in terms of runs scored. Jaylin Davis was 1-3 and had a walk. Lewin Diaz added his third double. Alex Kiriloff batted sixth again, but this time, he played left field. He went 1-4. Brandon Lopez made his professional debut. He signed a little later since Miami was playing in the College World Series. He went 1-3 with a walk. He batted fifth and played shortstop. Domenick Carlini actually pitched pretty well, but a couple of errors led to a couple of unearned runs, and he took the loss. He gave up the two unearned runs on just one hit. He walked two and struck out one. Hector Lujan went the final three innings. He gave up one run on three hits. He walked one and struck out two. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 2, GCL Orioles 0 Box Score Bo Hellquist, a non-drafted free agent from Savage (Burnsville HS) and Minnesota-Duluth, made his pro debut. The crafty lefty threw 4.1 scoreless innings before meeting his pitch limit. He gave up three hits, walked none and struck out five. Daniel Martinez struck out two over 1.2 perfect innings to record his first win. Callan Pearce struck out three over two shutout innings. Garrett Kelly recorded his first save. He struck out two in a perfect ninth. Akil Baddoo led off and went 2-4 with his first stolen base. Jose Miranda went 2-3 with a walk and his first stolen base. He also drove in both Twins runs. Australian Aaron Whitefield went 2-4. Jorge Munoz went 1-3 with a walk and his first steal. Manuel Guzman, in his first rehab game, went 1-3 with a with a stolen base. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Keaton Steele, Ft. Myers Miracle Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Shannon Wilkerson, Chattanooga Lookouts FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Syracuse @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Jason Wheeler Chattanooga @ Pensacola (6:30 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves Jupiter @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (7:00 CST) – RHP Cody Stashak Pulaski @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (11:00 am CST) - RHP Miguel de Jesus Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Wednesday's games.
  16. On Thursday night the Elizabethton played their Opening Night game. We previewed their roster here. This afternoon (well, morning on Minnesota time), the Gulf Coast League Twins will play their first game of the season. The Gulf Coast League has an interesting blend of players. There are kids who signed right out of high school. There are players in their first year or two from another country There are some late-round college picks (and this year, several undrafted free agents) to help fill out the roster and to work on their tools or their control, etc. Like the E-Town roster, it allows for many more players. The roster is also subject to quite some change as more players are signed or now players can move up and down from Elizabethton. While the team plays at noon six days a week (Sundays off), the playing time is generally split a little more equally, generally with the exception of the guys who are considered strong prospects. Same thing at Elizabethton: look at the number of plate appearances and games played to see who the top prospects likely are.With that mini intro, let’s get to the GCL roster. COACHING STAFF The team is managed by Ramon Borrego. This is his seventh season with the Twins GCL squad, the sixth as the manager. He is assisted by extra coaches since these rookie leagues are all about player development. The hitting coaches are Javier Valentin (2nd year) and Steve Singleton (1st year). The pitching coaches are Virgil Vazquez (2nd year) and Cibney Bello (1st year, though he held a few pitching coach positions in the Mariners organization). HITTERS Catchers: Jhon Alvarez (20), Juan Gamez (22), Ben Rortvedt (18), Kidany Salva (17) Rortvedt clearly is the top prospect in this catching group. Drafted early this month in the second round, many believe that he will hit and have the ability to stick behind the plate.Alvarez has spent the past three seasons in the Dominican Summer League. He’s 20 and making his US debut. Last year he hit .250 with a .706 OPS. Better known for his defense.Kidany Salva was the Twins 17th round pick this month out of high school in Houston. He just signed in the last day or two.Juan Gamez was the team’s 31st round pick, a defensive-minded catcher out of NDSU.Infielders: Joe Cronin (22), Zach Featherstone (20), Dane Hutcheon (21), Kolton Kendrick (19), Jose Miranda (17), Emmanuel Morel (19), Jorge Munoz (20), Roni Tapia, Joe Cronin has a Hall of Fame name, however, the 34th round pick will have to earn his playing time. The Twins selected him as a shortstop, though he has played mainly first base and third base in the last two seasons and Boston College.Featherstone was drafted after two seasons at Tallahassee CC. He is expected to get time in left field and at first base.Dane Hutcheon was the Twins 29th round pick. He played mostly shortstop at the U of Montevallo. He’s got good speed.Kolton Kendrick was the Twins 8th round pick a year ago out of high school in Louisiana. He came down with mono so his season started late and he didn’t really regain his strength until after the season. He was drafted for his power. (Here is a Q&A with the slugger)Jose Miranda was the Twins first 2nd round Lottery B pick (#73) last month out of high school in Puerto Rico. He will turn 18 next week. Many believe he is likely to move to second or third, he is going to get a lot of time at shortstop this summer.Emmanuel Morel is one of the fastest players in the Twins minor leagues. The 5-10, 164 pound infielder spent the last two seasons in the DSL. Last year he hit .282 with a .428 OBP and 24 stolen bases. He will play both middle infield spots.Jorge Munoz is one of the players that really stood out to me. He’s thin. He's two inches taller than Engelb Vielma (6-1) and weighs exactly the same amount (165). But he’s got a little pop in his bat. He hit .315 with a .415 OBP last year in the DSL. He played almost exclusively on the left side of the diamond. Strong defensively at shortstop, he can get a bit flashy at times. He just turned 20 this week.Tapia got a nice bonus from the Twins a couple of years ago ($500K). He spent a year in the DSL and then really struggled last year in his first go-round in the GCL. At 6-3 and 205, he’s got the strength. He’ll play both corner infield spots.Outfielders: Juan Carlos Arias (18), Lean Marrero (18), Luis Martinez (20), Aaron Whitefield (19), Akil Baddoo (17), Tyree Davis Arias debuted in the DSL a year ago where he hit .311/378/.537 (.914) with 13 doubles, nine triples and two homers. At 5-11 and 180 pounds, he’s got good strength to go with real good speed.Marrero was drafted a year ago in the 16th round of the the Leadership Christian Academy, the same school Jose Miranda was drafted from this year. Last year, he struggled to a .159 average. Weighing in at 6-1 and 177 pounds, Marrero does have a nice, left-handed swing worth watching this year.Martinez is a terrific defensive center fielder which is why he played 39 games for the DSL Twins last year despite hitting just .140. Obviously he’ll have to hit, but at 5-11, 190 pounds, he has some potential pop.Aaron Whitefield signed with the Twins last summer in time to play in six games in the GCL. He had only started playing baseball a year earlier. He ended up being an All-Star in the Australian Baseball League this winter. He’s a great athlete with terrific speed and defense. You’ll want to read his back story here.Still just 17, Baddoo has a ton of potential, but we will have to be patient with him. Drafted with the Twins second 2nd round Lottery B pick (compensation for not signing Kyle Cody a year earlier) this month, he is known to have a really quick bat and good speed.Tyree Davis was the Twins 37th round pick in 2014 out of Compton, California. He got hurt again last season and missed time, but he worked out hard and jumped up to 6-3 and 200 pounds. He is one of the best pure athletes in the organization and has a very high upside. He just needs to stay healthy and get the at-bats to gain some confidence.PITCHERS Starters: Huascar Ynoa (18), Miguel de Jesus (20), Taylor Clemensia (19), Quinton Grogan (23), Tyler Fox (22), Brady Anderson (23). Huascar Ynoa was the Twins big international signing in 2014 though it was the only year in at least the last four years where they didn’t hand out a 7-digit signing bonus to an international, 16-year-old. Ynoa is the younger brother of White Sox pitcher Michael Ynoa (who once got a $4 million signing bonus from the A’s when he was 16). This Ynoa throws 90-94 gets good movement and knows how to pitch. He has the ability to dominate. He is 6-3 and 215 pounds and just turned 18. He went 2-5 last year in the DSL but posted an ERA of 2.70.De Jesus is pretty similar. He’s 6-1 and 205 pounds. Last year in the DSL, he went 6-6 and a 4.30 ERA and a strikeout per inning. He has a fastball that sits 92-94. He gets a lot of sink on it and should be a ground ball machine in time. Though he signed last summer,Clemensia is a left-hander out of The Netherlands who will be making his professional debut.Quinton Grogan had 83 strikeouts in 75.1 innings at Lewis-Clark State this year.Following this month’s draft, the Twins signed right-hander Tyler Fox out of the University of Nebraska-Omaha where he went 10-2 with a 3.04 ERA in just over 100 innings.Brady Anderson doesn’t have far to travel. The Twins signed out of of Florida Gulf Coast University. He graduated in 2015 but had a year of eligibility remaining so he started taking Masters courses and continued pitching. He leaves the school as one of the best pitchers in the school’s history, though I think Chris Sale likely edges him out for the top spot.Relievers: Clark Beeker (23) Onas Farfan (23), Moises Gomez (19), Bo Hellquist (22), Garrett Kelly (21), Daniel Martinez (22), Pat McGuff (22), Callan Pearce (20), Matz Schutte (18), Zach Strecker (22). Beeker was the Twins 33rd round pick this month out of Davidson. He was a 5th-year senior who throws a lot of strikes.Farfan went to Robbinsdale Cooper and was drafted in 2014 out of Ridgewater College in Willmar. He is coming back after missing the 2015 season with Tommy John surgery. Just turned 23 yesterday. Gomez struck out 12 and walked 14 in 24 innings out of the GCL bullpen a year ago, but he has some stuff and will get another shot as a 19-year-old this year.Hellquist had a solid four-year career at Minnesota-Duluth. When he went undrafted earlier this month, the Burnsville High School grad signed with the Twins. He fits the ‘crafty lefty” mold and could get a shot as a starter as well.Garrett Kelly is another non-drafted free agent signed following the draft. He is an interesting story in that he only became a full-time pitcher a year ago, as a college junior. Before that, he was a catcher. He had a strong arm and has been clocked at 96 mph. He’s the kind of guy you take a shot on.Daniel Martinez is the younger brother of Cedar Rapids pitching coach JP Martinez. He too wasn’t drafted despite a solid college career at the University of New Orleans. In 2016, he led the team with 12 saves and struck out 66 batters in 59.2 innings.Patrick McGuff started the last couple of years at Morehead State where he struck out basically a batter per inning (98 Ks in 99 IP). He was the Twins 39th round pick this year.This will be the third straight season in the GCL for right-hander Callan Pearce, though he is just 20. He was signed out of South Africa, and this spring he was pitching important innings for his country’s WBC Qualifier team that almost upset host Australia. He needs to find his control.Matz Schutte is just 18. He posted a 3.07 ERA last year in the GCL, his first, but he throws in the low-to-mid 80s now. The right-hander from The Netherlands does have some pitch-ability.Zach Strecker is another non-drafted signee. He pitched at the University of Kentucky. He posted a 1.84 ERA over 29.1 innings this spring for the Wildcats.Your random note of the day: At a U15 tournament in 2012, Taylor Clemensia was named the best batter and Matz Schutte was named the top pitcher. So there you have it… a current look at the Gulf Coast League team roster. There appear to be more non-drafted free agents than the Twins have signed in recent years, or in the last decade that I can remember. Then again, they have had non-drafted free agents get to the big leagues. The youngest player on this roster is 17 while the oldest just recently turned 23. It’s a diverse group in terms of number of countries represented as well. It’s always a fun roster to follow and we can start following those box scores on Friday! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, though I may need Jeremy Nygaard’s thoughts on some of the 2016 draft picks. Click here to view the article
  17. With that mini intro, let’s get to the GCL roster. COACHING STAFF The team is managed by Ramon Borrego. This is his seventh season with the Twins GCL squad, the sixth as the manager. He is assisted by extra coaches since these rookie leagues are all about player development. The hitting coaches are Javier Valentin (2nd year) and Steve Singleton (1st year). The pitching coaches are Virgil Vazquez (2nd year) and Cibney Bello (1st year, though he held a few pitching coach positions in the Mariners organization). HITTERS Catchers: Jhon Alvarez (20), Juan Gamez (22), Ben Rortvedt (18), Kidany Salva (17) Rortvedt clearly is the top prospect in this catching group. Drafted early this month in the second round, many believe that he will hit and have the ability to stick behind the plate. Alvarez has spent the past three seasons in the Dominican Summer League. He’s 20 and making his US debut. Last year he hit .250 with a .706 OPS. Better known for his defense. Kidany Salva was the Twins 17th round pick this month out of high school in Houston. He just signed in the last day or two. Juan Gamez was the team’s 31st round pick, a defensive-minded catcher out of NDSU. Infielders: Joe Cronin (22), Zach Featherstone (20), Dane Hutcheon (21), Kolton Kendrick (19), Jose Miranda (17), Emmanuel Morel (19), Jorge Munoz (20), Roni Tapia, Joe Cronin has a Hall of Fame name, however, the 34th round pick will have to earn his playing time. The Twins selected him as a shortstop, though he has played mainly first base and third base in the last two seasons and Boston College. Featherstone was drafted after two seasons at Tallahassee CC. He is expected to get time in left field and at first base. Dane Hutcheon was the Twins 29th round pick. He played mostly shortstop at the U of Montevallo. He’s got good speed. Kolton Kendrick was the Twins 8th round pick a year ago out of high school in Louisiana. He came down with mono so his season started late and he didn’t really regain his strength until after the season. He was drafted for his power. (Here is a Q&A with the slugger) Jose Miranda was the Twins first 2nd round Lottery B pick (#73) last month out of high school in Puerto Rico. He will turn 18 next week. Many believe he is likely to move to second or third, he is going to get a lot of time at shortstop this summer. Emmanuel Morel is one of the fastest players in the Twins minor leagues. The 5-10, 164 pound infielder spent the last two seasons in the DSL. Last year he hit .282 with a .428 OBP and 24 stolen bases. He will play both middle infield spots. Jorge Munoz is one of the players that really stood out to me. He’s thin. He's two inches taller than Engelb Vielma (6-1) and weighs exactly the same amount (165). But he’s got a little pop in his bat. He hit .315 with a .415 OBP last year in the DSL. He played almost exclusively on the left side of the diamond. Strong defensively at shortstop, he can get a bit flashy at times. He just turned 20 this week. Tapia got a nice bonus from the Twins a couple of years ago ($500K). He spent a year in the DSL and then really struggled last year in his first go-round in the GCL. At 6-3 and 205, he’s got the strength. He’ll play both corner infield spots. Outfielders: Juan Carlos Arias (18), Lean Marrero (18), Luis Martinez (20), Aaron Whitefield (19), Akil Baddoo (17), Tyree Davis Arias debuted in the DSL a year ago where he hit .311/378/.537 (.914) with 13 doubles, nine triples and two homers. At 5-11 and 180 pounds, he’s got good strength to go with real good speed. Marrero was drafted a year ago in the 16th round of the the Leadership Christian Academy, the same school Jose Miranda was drafted from this year. Last year, he struggled to a .159 average. Weighing in at 6-1 and 177 pounds, Marrero does have a nice, left-handed swing worth watching this year. Martinez is a terrific defensive center fielder which is why he played 39 games for the DSL Twins last year despite hitting just .140. Obviously he’ll have to hit, but at 5-11, 190 pounds, he has some potential pop. Aaron Whitefield signed with the Twins last summer in time to play in six games in the GCL. He had only started playing baseball a year earlier. He ended up being an All-Star in the Australian Baseball League this winter. He’s a great athlete with terrific speed and defense. You’ll want to read his back story here. Still just 17, Baddoo has a ton of potential, but we will have to be patient with him. Drafted with the Twins second 2nd round Lottery B pick (compensation for not signing Kyle Cody a year earlier) this month, he is known to have a really quick bat and good speed. Tyree Davis was the Twins 37th round pick in 2014 out of Compton, California. He got hurt again last season and missed time, but he worked out hard and jumped up to 6-3 and 200 pounds. He is one of the best pure athletes in the organization and has a very high upside. He just needs to stay healthy and get the at-bats to gain some confidence. PITCHERS Starters: Huascar Ynoa (18), Miguel de Jesus (20), Taylor Clemensia (19), Quinton Grogan (23), Tyler Fox (22), Brady Anderson (23). Huascar Ynoa was the Twins big international signing in 2014 though it was the only year in at least the last four years where they didn’t hand out a 7-digit signing bonus to an international, 16-year-old. Ynoa is the younger brother of White Sox pitcher Michael Ynoa (who once got a $4 million signing bonus from the A’s when he was 16). This Ynoa throws 90-94 gets good movement and knows how to pitch. He has the ability to dominate. He is 6-3 and 215 pounds and just turned 18. He went 2-5 last year in the DSL but posted an ERA of 2.70. De Jesus is pretty similar. He’s 6-1 and 205 pounds. Last year in the DSL, he went 6-6 and a 4.30 ERA and a strikeout per inning. He has a fastball that sits 92-94. He gets a lot of sink on it and should be a ground ball machine in time. Though he signed last summer, Clemensia is a left-hander out of The Netherlands who will be making his professional debut. Quinton Grogan had 83 strikeouts in 75.1 innings at Lewis-Clark State this year. Following this month’s draft, the Twins signed right-hander Tyler Fox out of the University of Nebraska-Omaha where he went 10-2 with a 3.04 ERA in just over 100 innings. Brady Anderson doesn’t have far to travel. The Twins signed out of of Florida Gulf Coast University. He graduated in 2015 but had a year of eligibility remaining so he started taking Masters courses and continued pitching. He leaves the school as one of the best pitchers in the school’s history, though I think Chris Sale likely edges him out for the top spot. Relievers: Clark Beeker (23) Onas Farfan (23), Moises Gomez (19), Bo Hellquist (22), Garrett Kelly (21), Daniel Martinez (22), Pat McGuff (22), Callan Pearce (20), Matz Schutte (18), Zach Strecker (22). Beeker was the Twins 33rd round pick this month out of Davidson. He was a 5th-year senior who throws a lot of strikes. Farfan went to Robbinsdale Cooper and was drafted in 2014 out of Ridgewater College in Willmar. He is coming back after missing the 2015 season with Tommy John surgery. Just turned 23 yesterday. Gomez struck out 12 and walked 14 in 24 innings out of the GCL bullpen a year ago, but he has some stuff and will get another shot as a 19-year-old this year. Hellquist had a solid four-year career at Minnesota-Duluth. When he went undrafted earlier this month, the Burnsville High School grad signed with the Twins. He fits the ‘crafty lefty” mold and could get a shot as a starter as well. Garrett Kelly is another non-drafted free agent signed following the draft. He is an interesting story in that he only became a full-time pitcher a year ago, as a college junior. Before that, he was a catcher. He had a strong arm and has been clocked at 96 mph. He’s the kind of guy you take a shot on. Daniel Martinez is the younger brother of Cedar Rapids pitching coach JP Martinez. He too wasn’t drafted despite a solid college career at the University of New Orleans. In 2016, he led the team with 12 saves and struck out 66 batters in 59.2 innings. Patrick McGuff started the last couple of years at Morehead State where he struck out basically a batter per inning (98 Ks in 99 IP). He was the Twins 39th round pick this year. This will be the third straight season in the GCL for right-hander Callan Pearce, though he is just 20. He was signed out of South Africa, and this spring he was pitching important innings for his country’s WBC Qualifier team that almost upset host Australia. He needs to find his control. Matz Schutte is just 18. He posted a 3.07 ERA last year in the GCL, his first, but he throws in the low-to-mid 80s now. The right-hander from The Netherlands does have some pitch-ability. Zach Strecker is another non-drafted signee. He pitched at the University of Kentucky. He posted a 1.84 ERA over 29.1 innings this spring for the Wildcats. Your random note of the day: At a U15 tournament in 2012, Taylor Clemensia was named the best batter and Matz Schutte was named the top pitcher. So there you have it… a current look at the Gulf Coast League team roster. There appear to be more non-drafted free agents than the Twins have signed in recent years, or in the last decade that I can remember. Then again, they have had non-drafted free agents get to the big leagues. The youngest player on this roster is 17 while the oldest just recently turned 23. It’s a diverse group in terms of number of countries represented as well. It’s always a fun roster to follow and we can start following those box scores on Friday! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask, though I may need Jeremy Nygaard’s thoughts on some of the 2016 draft picks.
  18. DRAFT POOL: $8,153,500 If you're viewing in the forum, click here to see the graphics. 6/21: Jonathan Mayo tweeted out details of Thomas Hackimer and confirmed my Saturday report of Mitchell Kranson. The Twins also officially announced the signing of Matt Albanese. The club will save an additional ($50K? $75K) when they sign Lopez and and might have to give a similar amount to Balazovic that they gave to Benninghoff. Fortunately, they'd be right in line to do that with the anticipated Lopez savings. Then the attention turns to Salva and Christopher, in my opinion. --- 6/20: Lots of draft happenings over the weekend. The biggest news was the club's agreement with first-round pick OF Alex Kirilloff. As Doogie suggested on draft night, the agreement is for exactly slot. That is confirmed in this tweet by Jim Callis. Expect Kirilloff to arrive in town later Wednesday and head to Target Field Thursday morning to pass his physical, sign his contract and take in the afternoon clash with his home-state Phillies. (Why wouldn't the Twins have him throw out the first pitch?) -- The Twins also released via their game notes on Sunday that they had signed 26 draft picks. Most of them had already been listed right here, but there were a few new names (mostly college seniors). The list also included 10th-round pick Brandon Lopez, who is still playing in the College World Series. The Twins later announced - after I pointed that out on Twitter, ironically - that they actually hadn't signed Lopez. With that deal obviously going to happen, only Jordan Balazovic is unsigned, but there's really no reason to be concerned about that either. So that puts the entire class of the Top 10 rounds in tow. When they're all delivered, there will be extra money to spend. It will be interesting to see who they make their #1 priority. Stay tuned for more news as I hear it. -- 6/18: Mitchell Kranson signed for $90,000 per source. Though he was primarily a third baseman at Cal, he will get an opportunity to catch. His signing saved the Twins $76,300. They will still need to shave more than $75,000 to avoid penalty, though that will not be an issue with two more seniors still needing to come to terms/have their bonus revealed. -- Shane Carrier has also signed according to game notes. Though his bonus hasn't been reported as of 11:30 am, it's believed to be under slot according to a source. 6/17: Lots of Tyler Benninghoff news on Friday. If you read in the comments (or didn't), the Twins were able to cut a deal with Benninghoff before the draft on Saturday morning, most likely Friday night, after they had a pretty good idea how much of their pool allotment they would spend on the Top 10 rounds. They are currently about $250,000 over budget, but still have three seniors to sign that will save them a significant amount. (It wouldn't shock me if they save enough to go overslot with Balazovic and still have some left to chase a prep player from the later rounds). But I've been told all those negotiations wait until the Top 10 is done. Jim Callis tweeted the Jose Miranda deal. Another underslot deal too. The Twins are essentially buying another high picks... Jim Callis tweeted that Matt Albanese signed for underslot. The Twins have banked an additional $20K. I was told earlier this morning that there was "no hurry" on Albanese to officially sign as he currently has an injured wrist and won't be playing for four to six weeks. He had agreed to terms was to undergo his physical early next week. Maybe I was just being overly cautious after reporting that Kyle Cody had agreed to terms last year only to fail his physical. -- MDR Sports tweeted out that their client, Jose Miranda, signed his contract with the Twins. Though the official number hasn't been released, expect it to be for just under slot. Of the top 10-round picks, this leaves Jordan Balazovic as the one that might be hardest to get done, though I don't anticipate that being too difficult. (I'd guess he'll come overslot). Kirilloff's season just ended, so I'd guess he will be in the Cities within the next few days. There is no hurry on Albanese (with the wrist), but I'm sure the Twins have his price locked in. The 10th round pick, Brandon Lopez, is still playing for Miami in the College World Series, but there will be savings there too. So where is all this extra money going? Benninghoff is the odds-on favorite. But there might still be some money left. Could that go to one of the young catchers? Kidany Silva to get him out of his Sam Houston State commitment or Shamoy Christopher, an unknown community college commodity? What if Benninghoff's physical gives the Twins pause? Would Greg Deichman or TJ Collett be in play? There could be a lot of intrigue leading up to the signing deadline. -- 6/16: I was informed this morning that Benninghoff is on his way to Fort Myers. Typically this is a precursor to a deal but - while I remain optimistic a deal will get done - I would anticipate there being a significant amount of time looking at his right arm during the physical. If everything checks out, I'd anticipate a deal is struck relatively quickly. 6/15: Baddoo came in under slot, as was reported to be the case here earlier this morning. Jim Callis tweeted the specifics. Matt Albanese is close to signing. He does have a broken wrist that will keep him out of action for the next 4-6 weeks. A number of players are expected to arrive in Fort Myers today. Look for official word on many of these signings by the end of the day tomorrow. -- As of the reported draft signings, the Twins have saved $109,400. That does not included expected saving on Baddoo, Hackimer, Kranson and Lopez. Those additional savings should give the club the flexibility to sign the rest of their top 10 and make a strong run at Benninghoff, who I expect to sign. The teams is also "progressing" on deals with young catchers Kidany Silva and Shamoy Christopher. -- 6/14: Later on Tuesday night some more draft news started trickling in. The Twins tweeted that they signed Akil Baddoo, Griffin Jax and Alex Schick. That was followed up by these tweets. The only reported signing from yesterday without a bonus - Akil Baddoo - should come in a "tick under slot" according to a source. -- Jim Callis tweets that Ben Rortvedt signed for $900k (saving the team $241,600). -- According to sources, a number of others have agreed to terms and/or signed their contracts already. If I've only heard they've agreed to terms and they have eligibility remaining, I'm not going to list them until I know they're official (for eligibility reasons). Purely speculative, but I believe Baddoo will be overslot. Hackimer, Kranson and Lopez will all help save money. During the draft, I was told those savings were for "a few" guys. Benninghoff is definitely going to dip into the pool if the Twins decide to go that route, but I'd be a little surprised if they knew they saved enough to sign him when they drafted him. I'd guess he'll come down to the wire, along with Christopher. 6/13: Twins tweet out that have have signed second-round pick Ben Rortvedt to a contract. Rortvedt's slot is worth $1,141,600. According to a source, the Twins have agreed to terms with at least five others as well. Stay tuned. And, as always, feel free to comment below.
  19. The draft has officially wrapped up, but make this your one-stop shop for all the post-draft news. All the draft information in one place.Download attachment: 2016draft1.JPG Download attachment: 2016draft2.JPG DRAFT POOL: $8,153,500 If you're viewing in the forum, click here to see the graphics. 6/21: Jonathan Mayo tweeted out details of Thomas Hackimer and confirmed my Saturday report of Mitchell Kranson. The Twins also officially announced the signing of Matt Albanese. Download attachment: hackimertweet.JPG Download attachment: kransontweet.JPG The club will save an additional ($50K? $75K) when they sign Lopez and and might have to give a similar amount to Balazovic that they gave to Benninghoff. Fortunately, they'd be right in line to do that with the anticipated Lopez savings. Then the attention turns to Salva and Christopher, in my opinion. --- 6/20: Lots of draft happenings over the weekend. The biggest news was the club's agreement with first-round pick OF Alex Kirilloff. As Doogie suggested on draft night, the agreement is for exactly slot. That is confirmed in this tweet by Jim Callis. Download attachment: kirillofftweet.JPG Expect Kirilloff to arrive in town later Wednesday and head to Target Field Thursday morning to pass his physical, sign his contract and take in the afternoon clash with his home-state Phillies. (Why wouldn't the Twins have him throw out the first pitch?) -- The Twins also released via their game notes on Sunday that they had signed 26 draft picks. Most of them had already been listed right here, but there were a few new names (mostly college seniors). The list also included 10th-round pick Brandon Lopez, who is still playing in the College World Series. The Twins later announced - after I pointed that out on Twitter, ironically - that they actually hadn't signed Lopez. Download attachment: gamenotes.JPG With that deal obviously going to happen, only Jordan Balazovic is unsigned, but there's really no reason to be concerned about that either. Download attachment: balazovic.JPG So that puts the entire class of the Top 10 rounds in tow. When they're all delivered, there will be extra money to spend. It will be interesting to see who they make their #1 priority. Stay tuned for more news as I hear it. -- 6/18: Mitchell Kranson signed for $90,000 per source. Though he was primarily a third baseman at Cal, he will get an opportunity to catch. His signing saved the Twins $76,300. They will still need to shave more than $75,000 to avoid penalty, though that will not be an issue with two more seniors still needing to come to terms/have their bonus revealed. -- Shane Carrier has also signed according to game notes. Though his bonus hasn't been reported as of 11:30 am, it's believed to be under slot according to a source. 6/17: Lots of Tyler Benninghoff news on Friday. If you read in the comments (or didn't), the Twins were able to cut a deal with Benninghoff before the draft on Saturday morning, most likely Friday night, after they had a pretty good idea how much of their pool allotment they would spend on the Top 10 rounds. They are currently about $250,000 over budget, but still have three seniors to sign that will save them a significant amount. (It wouldn't shock me if they save enough to go overslot with Balazovic and still have some left to chase a prep player from the later rounds). But I've been told all those negotiations wait until the Top 10 is done. Download attachment: benninghofftweet1.JPG Download attachment: benninghofftweet2.JPG Jim Callis tweeted the Jose Miranda deal. Another underslot deal too. The Twins are essentially buying another high picks... Download attachment: mirandatweet.JPG Jim Callis tweeted that Matt Albanese signed for underslot. The Twins have banked an additional $20K. Download attachment: albanesetweet.JPG I was told earlier this morning that there was "no hurry" on Albanese to officially sign as he currently has an injured wrist and won't be playing for four to six weeks. He had agreed to terms was to undergo his physical early next week. Maybe I was just being overly cautious after reporting that Kyle Cody had agreed to terms last year only to fail his physical. -- MDR Sports tweeted out that their client, Jose Miranda, signed his contract with the Twins. Though the official number hasn't been released, expect it to be for just under slot. Download attachment: Mirandatweet.JPG Of the top 10-round picks, this leaves Jordan Balazovic as the one that might be hardest to get done, though I don't anticipate that being too difficult. (I'd guess he'll come overslot). Kirilloff's season just ended, so I'd guess he will be in the Cities within the next few days. There is no hurry on Albanese (with the wrist), but I'm sure the Twins have his price locked in. The 10th round pick, Brandon Lopez, is still playing for Miami in the College World Series, but there will be savings there too. So where is all this extra money going? Benninghoff is the odds-on favorite. But there might still be some money left. Could that go to one of the young catchers? Kidany Silva to get him out of his Sam Houston State commitment or Shamoy Christopher, an unknown community college commodity? What if Benninghoff's physical gives the Twins pause? Would Greg Deichman or TJ Collett be in play? There could be a lot of intrigue leading up to the signing deadline. -- 6/16: I was informed this morning that Benninghoff is on his way to Fort Myers. Typically this is a precursor to a deal but - while I remain optimistic a deal will get done - I would anticipate there being a significant amount of time looking at his right arm during the physical. If everything checks out, I'd anticipate a deal is struck relatively quickly. 6/15: Baddoo came in under slot, as was reported to be the case here earlier this morning. Jim Callis tweeted the specifics. Download attachment: baddootweet.JPG Matt Albanese is close to signing. He does have a broken wrist that will keep him out of action for the next 4-6 weeks. A number of players are expected to arrive in Fort Myers today. Look for official word on many of these signings by the end of the day tomorrow. -- As of the reported draft signings, the Twins have saved $109,400. That does not included expected saving on Baddoo, Hackimer, Kranson and Lopez. Those additional savings should give the club the flexibility to sign the rest of their top 10 and make a strong run at Benninghoff, who I expect to sign. The teams is also "progressing" on deals with young catchers Kidany Silva and Shamoy Christopher. -- 6/14: Later on Tuesday night some more draft news started trickling in. The Twins tweeted that they signed Akil Baddoo, Griffin Jax and Alex Schick. That was followed up by these tweets. Download attachment: schicktweet.JPG Download attachment: jaxtweet.JPG The only reported signing from yesterday without a bonus - Akil Baddoo - should come in a "tick under slot" according to a source. -- Jim Callis tweets that Ben Rortvedt signed for $900k (saving the team $241,600). -- According to sources, a number of others have agreed to terms and/or signed their contracts already. If I've only heard they've agreed to terms and they have eligibility remaining, I'm not going to list them until I know they're official (for eligibility reasons). Purely speculative, but I believe Baddoo will be overslot. Hackimer, Kranson and Lopez will all help save money. During the draft, I was told those savings were for "a few" guys. Benninghoff is definitely going to dip into the pool if the Twins decide to go that route, but I'd be a little surprised if they knew they saved enough to sign him when they drafted him. I'd guess he'll come down to the wire, along with Christopher. 6/13: Twins tweet out that have have signed second-round pick Ben Rortvedt to a contract. Rortvedt's slot is worth $1,141,600. According to a source, the Twins have agreed to terms with at least five others as well. Stay tuned. And, as always, feel free to comment below. Click here to view the article
  20. Jose Miranda is a taller, bigger bodied shortstop that may eventually have to move. He's considered to have a good bat, though there's some mystery surrounding Miranda because he didn't travel off of the island as much as other Puerto Ricans. Miranda will start at shortstop in the Gulf Coast League. Akil Baddoo is listed at 6-0, 195; he's not that big. Don't let the size fool you though. The 20/20 talk is probably his ceiling, but he gets compared to players like Carl Crawford, Ray Langford and Denard Span. Baddoo is going to be a fan favorite as a player that just seems to have fun playing the game. He'll get plenty of reps in centerfield to start his career, but may profile long-term as a left-fielder. One scout called him the "best pure hitter in Georgia." Baseball America ranks Miranda #113, but MLB.com did not have him ranked. "The strength of the Puerto Rican draft class this year is its infielders, and Miranda has emerged as one of the best following Delvin Perez. Miranda has a good approach at the plate and has an advanced feel for hitting, enabling him to make a lot of contact. He also shows some pop and projects to hit for average power as he physically matures. While Miranda plays shortstop now, his footwork and lower half will lead him to move off the position as a professional. He has an average arm and a good enough glove to stay in the infield, either at second or third base. There is still some rawness to the 17-year-old's game, but Miranda provides significant upside thanks to his offensive profile." Baseball America had Baddoo ranked as their 54th best prospect. "Baddoo combines plus speed with an intriguing feel for the barrel. He endeared himself to scouts on the national scene with a strong showing at the 2015 East Coast Pro event, where he showed off his quick hands and even quicker feet. This spring, while his team went just 9-16, Baddoo showed scouts strong bat-to-ball skills, leading some evaluators to believe he could develop a plus hit tool and hit at the top of the lineup. He's a lefthanded hitter (and thrower) with above-average bat speed and a short stroke, but he was pull-happy against quality pitching at East Coast Pro and at the WWBA Championships in the fall and will have to continue to prove himself against quality pitching. Baddoo's arm strength is below-average and his reads and routes lack polish, leading some to envision him as a left fielder long term, though scouts expect him to play center field to start his career. He is committed to Kentucky." MLB.com ranks Baddoo #72. "The Georgia high school ranks have produced 13 outfielders selected in the first two rounds in the six previous Drafts this decade, and Baddoo could add to that number in 2016. The Kentucky recruit has an intriguing power/speed combination and has improved in both departments over the last year. Baddoo has made strides with his bat as well and has the potential to hit for both power and average. He has a loose, whippy left-handed swing with plenty of bat speed. Add in his plus speed, and he has the upside of a 20-20 player if everything comes together.Baddoo's quickness stands out more than his instincts in center field, so he could wind up on an outfield corner. With his below-average arm, that would mean shifting to left field, though scouts who like him think he'd still provide enough offense to profile there."
  21. With the 73rd and 74th picks of the night, the Twins drafted Jose Miranda, a prep shortstop from Puerto Rico, and Akil Baddoo, a prep outfielder from Georgia.Jose Miranda is a taller, bigger bodied shortstop that may eventually have to move. He's considered to have a good bat, though there's some mystery surrounding Miranda because he didn't travel off of the island as much as other Puerto Ricans. Miranda will start at shortstop in the Gulf Coast League. Akil Baddoo is listed at 6-0, 195; he's not that big. Don't let the size fool you though. The 20/20 talk is probably his ceiling, but he gets compared to players like Carl Crawford, Ray Langford and Denard Span. Baddoo is going to be a fan favorite as a player that just seems to have fun playing the game. He'll get plenty of reps in centerfield to start his career, but may profile long-term as a left-fielder. One scout called him the "best pure hitter in Georgia." Baseball America ranks Miranda #113, but MLB.com did not have him ranked. "The strength of the Puerto Rican draft class this year is its infielders, and Miranda has emerged as one of the best following Delvin Perez. Miranda has a good approach at the plate and has an advanced feel for hitting, enabling him to make a lot of contact. He also shows some pop and projects to hit for average power as he physically matures. While Miranda plays shortstop now, his footwork and lower half will lead him to move off the position as a professional. He has an average arm and a good enough glove to stay in the infield, either at second or third base. There is still some rawness to the 17-year-old's game, but Miranda provides significant upside thanks to his offensive profile." Baseball America had Baddoo ranked as their 54th best prospect. "Baddoo combines plus speed with an intriguing feel for the barrel. He endeared himself to scouts on the national scene with a strong showing at the 2015 East Coast Pro event, where he showed off his quick hands and even quicker feet. This spring, while his team went just 9-16, Baddoo showed scouts strong bat-to-ball skills, leading some evaluators to believe he could develop a plus hit tool and hit at the top of the lineup. He's a lefthanded hitter (and thrower) with above-average bat speed and a short stroke, but he was pull-happy against quality pitching at East Coast Pro and at the WWBA Championships in the fall and will have to continue to prove himself against quality pitching. Baddoo's arm strength is below-average and his reads and routes lack polish, leading some to envision him as a left fielder long term, though scouts expect him to play center field to start his career. He is committed to Kentucky." MLB.com ranks Baddoo #72. "The Georgia high school ranks have produced 13 outfielders selected in the first two rounds in the six previous Drafts this decade, and Baddoo could add to that number in 2016. The Kentucky recruit has an intriguing power/speed combination and has improved in both departments over the last year. Baddoo has made strides with his bat as well and has the potential to hit for both power and average. He has a loose, whippy left-handed swing with plenty of bat speed. Add in his plus speed, and he has the upside of a 20-20 player if everything comes together.Baddoo's quickness stands out more than his instincts in center field, so he could wind up on an outfield corner. With his below-average arm, that would mean shifting to left field, though scouts who like him think he'd still provide enough offense to profile there." Click here to view the article
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