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  1. The outliers of the top 10 Twins prospects feature names that became more commonly known to avid Twins fans this last season. Two pitchers and three hitters are a part of this section of the rankings, and all have great potential to be big names for the Twins in the coming seasons. Here are the 11-15 ranked prospects going into the 2023 season. 15. RHP Matt Canterino Age: 25 2022 (Rk, AA): 12 starts, 37 IP, 1.95 ERA, 34.7% K, 15.3% BB Canterino showed great flashes of success at Double-A Wichita last season posting a 1.95 ERA in 37 innings pitched. His pitches are still ranked at an average level in scouting grads with his slider and change-up as the outliers graded at 60 per FanGraphs, putting those pitches slightly above average. The greatest struggle that Canterino has had in his professional career so far is his command of the strike zone. Canterino can top out at 97 and 98 mph with his fastball and if he can get his command under control as he recovers from Tommy John surgery, that can make him a greater threat to hitters on the mound. The downside for Canterino is he is going to miss most, if not all, of the 2023 season due to undergoing Tommy John surgery last August. If things progress well, there is a slight chance he could see some time on the mound come September. 14. SS Noah Miller Age: 20 2022 (A): 108 games, .212/.348/.279, 12 2B, 2 HR, 23/30 SB, 23.5% K, 16.2% BB Noah Miller, the Twins second, first-round pick in 2021 out of high school in Wisconsin, played his first full season of professional ball in Ft. Myers. While his offense didn't develop, he did work counts, take his walks and put the ball in play. His power was limited to just two home runs and a .279 slugging percentage. Miller is still very young, having just turned 20 in November. There is still room and plenty of time for his power to develop. He is seen more as a contact hitter, that being his best attribute with a scouting grade of 60 according to FanGraphs. He is already arguably the best defensive shortstop in the Twins minor leagues right now. He provided consistency and the occasional web gem for the Mighty Mussels. No surprise as those who watched some spring training games saw what he could do late in big-league spring games. The hope for Miller is to develop his all-around game in 2023 to reach High-A Cedar Rapids before the season's end. 13. RHP David Festa Age: 23 2022 (A/A+): 18 starts, 103.2 IP, 2.43 ERA, 23.1% K, 8.6% BB David Festa pitched in only four games after being drafted in the 13th round by the Twins in 2021. In 2022, he became a starter and worked 103 2/3 innings. His story is very similar to Louie Varland's a year earlier. Day 3 draft pick dominated in the two A-ball levels. Now, Festa will have to show what he can do against hitters in the upper levels of the minor leagues. Festa’s performance across the 2022 season showed great development in his pitch command. His 34 walks to 108 strikeouts between Low-A and High-A brought about a 3.18 K/BB ratio, which shows great potential for better command development in his second full season. The scouting grade rankings for Festa still place him at an overall average ranking, but the 6’6 righty will do what he can to show he has a place in a future Twins rotation. Those numbers should change as his fastball was sitting 96-97 most of the year and touch 98 and 99 later in the season too. He will need to continue working on his secondary pitches as well. 12. Yasser Mercedes Age: 18 2022 (Rk): 41 games, .355/.421/.555, 13 2B, 4 HR, 30/35 SB, 19.9% K, 10.2% BB Yasser Mercedes has only been in the Twins organization for a little over a year when he signed for $1.7 million, but he already made himself a standout in the DSL in 2022. Mercedes posted a fantastic triple slash and showed mature plate discipline for a 17-year-old across 176 plate appearances. Mercedes's skill set based on scouting grades is also a good place for him to be at his age with nothing ranking below an average grade of 50. Speed seems to be his greatest attribute as the youngster stole 30 bases in 35 attempts last season, being one of only six players in the Dominican Summer League to reach the 30 stolen base threshold. He also has power potential, plays solid defense and has a strong arm. It will still be a long while before Mercedes ends up in a Twins uniform, but the potential this 18-year-old has shown indicates that he could be the Twins' best prospect a couple of years from now. 11. Matt Wallner Age: 25 2022 (AA/AAA): 128 games, .277/.412/.542, 32 2B, 27 HR, 9/14 SB, 31.3% K, 18.1% BB The Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year in 2022 and Forest Lake native made a name for himself throughout the 2022 season. Matt Wallner may have the best throwing arm in the outfield in all of the Twins organization right now, and he will have a chance to show it off at CHS Field and Target Field in 2023. Wallner’s power as a left-handed hitter also makes him a standout in the Twins system. Granted, the current Twins outfield depth with Joey Gallo, Max Kepler, Nick Gordon, Michael A Taylor, Trevor Larnach, and Byron Buxton will likely leave Wallner starting his season with the St. Paul Saints. However, he will do his best like his teammate and fellow Minnesota native, Louie Varland, to make managerial choices for the 26-man roster as hard as possible. Feel free to discuss these prospects and ask as many questions as you like in the COMMENTS below. For more Twins Daily content on these five Twins prospects, click on the link with their name here: Matt Canterino, Noah Miller, David Festa, Yasser Mercedes, Matt Wallner. Previous Installments Honorable Mention Prospects 21-30 Prospects 16-20 Prospects 11-15 Prospect #10: Coming Monday!
  2. With Carlos Correa in the fold, the discourse of Twins fandom has turned to possible rotation upgrades. There has been rumored interest in Pablo López and the Marlins as a possible trade partner. Fair enough. López, however, doesn’t really check the cost-benefit box for the Twins. Coming off a career-best season, he accumulated 2.8 fWAR in 2022. A free agent in 2025, he doesn’t clear the Sonny Gray (2.4 fWAR in 2022) echelon of starting pitching candidates with enough conviction. Pass, especially if it would take a package including Max Kepler or Luis Arraez and more to acquire him. I would assert the following guidelines in working toward a trade for starting pitching: They have to be clearly better than Sonny Gray (3.5-4.5 fWAR ideally), OR There has to be some projectability left. Edward Cabrera is a good example of the latter qualifier (25 K%, 24 years old, and not a free agent until 2029) With those criteria in mind, here are a few ‘less talked about’ starting pitching trade candidates for the Twins to pursue. For each, I’ll attempt to answer ‘what’s the appeal’? and ‘what’s the deal’? I leveraged ‘Baseball Trade Values’ to find approximate value equivalency for each trade. As with any hypothetical trade scenario, they’re meant to outline potential cost, as opposed to specific names teams might target, because, what do I know? Zac Gallen What’s the Appeal? The Diamondbacks would maximize Gallen’s value by trading him now. In 2022, he accumulated 4.3 fWAR (14th in baseball) from 180 innings after accumulating 4.4 fWAR in his previous 270ish innings spread over three seasons. Gallen was misery for hitters last season, sporting a 26.9 K%, 6.6 BB%, and 111.7 stuff+. Gallen is under team control for three more seasons, so the cost would be breathtaking. The Diamondbacks aren’t in a position to win a loaded NL West division and have some of the most elite prospect talent in baseball. Trading with the Twins allows them to continue to load up for 2024 and beyond. What’s the Deal? The Twins acquire RHP Zac Gallen from the Diamondbacks for SS Brooks Lee, OF Emmanuel Rodriguez, and RHP David Festa Verdict? Too rich for me. Nestor Cortes What’s the Appeal? Cortes was one of the feel-good stories in baseball in 2022. After a promising 2021, he exploded last season, amassing 3.6 fWAR with a 26.6 K% and a stingy 6.2 BB%. Cortes isn’t a free agent until 2026, so he would be expensive, but the Yankees and Twins are a good match to trade. The Yankees have Gerrit Cole, Carlos Rodón, Frankie Montas, Domingo Germán, and Luis Severino in the rotation mix, with more options close to the major-league level. Cortes might strike the balance between adding real quality to the rotation, at a price the Twins can stomach. What’s the Deal? The Twins acquire LHP Nestor Cortes from the Yankees for OF Max Kepler, OF Matt Wallner, and RHP Josh Winder Verdict? I would accept this trade. The Twins have a huge dearth of left-handed corner outfielders. This trade gives the Yankees a defensively strong starting outfielder, an additional outfielder for the future who can also fill in at DH, and a powerful arm who hasn’t yet clicked in Minnesota. Brandon Woodruff What’s the Appeal? Simply put, a dominant track record. Over the last four seasons, Woodruff has averaged 3.4 fWAR. While Woodruff isn’t a free agent until 2025, we know that the Brewers are not opposed to cashing in on or maximizing value. In 2022, Woodruff struck out over 30% of batters faced while maintaining a 6.8 BB%. At his best, he’s dominant and would immediately be the Twins best starting pitcher. What’s the Deal? The Twins acquire RHP Brandon Woodruff for 3B José Miranda, and RHP Bailey Ober Verdict? This deal is more a reflection of cost than a possibility. We all know Assistant General Manager Carlos Correa would immediately veto a trade of José Miranda. This situation simply bumped Ober, (who has struggled to remain healthy) from the bottom of the Twins' rotation and substituted Woodruff at the top. This also sees Brooks Lee as the Twins' long-term third baseman, debuting in 2023, with Miranda as more of a first base or DH option. Honorable Mentions I put the topic of pitching trade candidates on twitter and, as usual, Twins Daily readership came through in style. Other candidates that I didn’t include in-depth either as they had been recently written about, OR the trade fit wasn’t as obvious. They are, however, worth mentioning: Tyler Glasnow, Dustin May, Tony Gonsolin, Logan Gilbert, Chris Sale, and Frankie Montas. The list goes on. It’s worth widening the lens when considering Twins trade targets. Thinking back to the Rangers/Yankees double trade last season, it feels likely they pursue a similarly creative path to upgrade the high-end talent on the roster. Ultimately, I’m in favor of the 3.5 fWAR threshold for starting pitching acquisitions. Given the prices, I think the Twins are unlikely to be, as it would involve parting with a close-to-the-majors prospect they see as part of their core, or MLB-level pieces they view as indispensable. Time will tell. Who would you like the Twins to trade for? Who are you willing to part with and who is off limits? Join the discussion and leave your thoughts in the chat.
  3. Despite a strong 2021 in the minor leagues, Jose Miranda did not start the year on the Twins Opening Day roster. He needed to wait for an opportunity and then ran with it once one presented itself. We saw Matt Wallner force his way into the big league outfield by season’s end, and a handful of pitchers including both Simeon Woods Richardson and Louie Varland made their way to the majors. For Rocco Baldelli and the 2023 Minnesota Twins, plenty will be made about the remaining moves to come this offseason. There is no denying that Joey Gallo and Christian Vazquez aren’t enough to supplement this team. There is plenty more to be done in terms of acquisitions, but the more that Minnesota can draw from internal development the better. Who are some of the names on the farm that could fill some gaps in the year ahead? Edouard Julien A late round pick from Auburn in 2019, Julien has progressed nicely. He put on a show during the Arizona Fall League this year, and it only further substantiated his .931 OPS from Double-A Wichita. His power stroke is legit, and that’s a strong asset from the second base position. He could be a replacement for Jorge Polanco should he suffer an injury, or he could move around the diamond some. Julien will be 24 in 2023, and there is almost no reason for him to start anywhere but Triple-A St. Paul this season. He has crushed the ball every place he has gone for Minnesota, and getting this type of production from an 18th round selection is a massive win. Jordan Balazovic If there was a Twins prospect that had a nightmarish 2022 it was Balazovic. He entered the season as arguably Minnesota’s best pitching prospect, and he ended it failing to remain among many top 15’s. His 3.62 ERA at Double-A Wichita last season looked to have him close to Major League ready. Then the season got off to a slow start with a knee injury, and despite suggesting he was healthy, a 7.39 ERA across 70 2/3 Triple-A innings followed. The strikeouts stayed, and while his command faltered some, Balazovic basically became a batting practice pitcher allowing a whopping 2.5 HR/9. His previous career worst was 1.1 HR/9 as an 18-year-old in 2017, and if that can be figured out, a sucessful rebound should be in store. Brooks Lee A candidate to be taken first overall in the 2022 MLB Draft, Lee fell into the Twins lap at number eight. He wound up advancing all the way to Double-A and posted an .839 OPS in his first professional season. I’m still not sure if Lee will remain a shortstop, but there is zero question about his hit tool. There is probably not a ton of power in the bat, but he’s going to be a consistent gap hitter, and he looks extremely refined at the dish already. Barring an unexpected turn of events at shortstop, Lee could factor into an infield that will include young talents like Royce Lewis and Jose Miranda as soon as this year. With a ton of pre-draft hype, he’s lived up to all of it. David Festa Another later round pick that Minnesota has turned into found money, Festa was taken in the 13th round out of Seton Hall. He threw just 8 1/3 innings as a pro during his 2021 debut. Last season he racked up 103 2/3 innings split between two Single-A levels and posted a combined 2.43 ERA. His 9.4 K/9 was strong and Festa allowed only six homers. It may be a leap to think he’ll jump up high enough to make a Major League debut in 2023, but there’s no reason he shouldn’t start at Double-A, and that basically puts him on the doorstep following strong performance. Festa could take a path similar to that of Louie Varland, Bailey Ober, or Josh Winder in being somewhat of an overlooked prospect that forces his way into significant action. Blayne Enlow Another season removed from his Tommy John surgery, this could be the one that Enlow puts it all together. He was a draft prospect that this front office targeted with saved pool money, and he was projected to have a power arm. Throughout his minor league career Enlow has certainly been a strikeout pitcher, and that came back last season. Command was a bit of an issue during his first exposure at Double-A, but that’s not entirely unexpected given the return from injury. He’s done a good job limiting homers and has progressed nicely from a physical development perspective. It remains to be seen if he’ll stay starting or transition to a bullpen role, but there is reason to believe he’s not far from contributing at the Major League level. After a season in which we saw plenty of big league debuts, some from highly noteworthy Minnesota prospects, is there someone you’re excited for in the year ahead? Who do you think is worthy of this list and went unmentioned?
  4. Derek Falvey has been tasked with building a pipeline of pitching talent since he was brought over from Cleveland to head up the front office. Minnesota has been intentional in targeting arms with upside that they can mold into solid workhorses. There were plenty of strong performances this season the farm, but only one took the title of Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Before getting to the winner, here are some others that were in contention: Honorable Mention- Pierson Ohl (Fort Myers) - 20 G 91.2 IP 3.53 ERA 1.178 WHIP 9.9 K/9 1.3 BB/9 Jaylen Nowlin (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 22 G 71.0 IP 3.80 ERA 1.352 WHIP 14.1 K/9 4.6 BB/9 Travis Adams (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 22 G 100.2 IP 3.93 ERA 1.162 WHIP 9.7 K/9 2.3 BB/9 #5 Marco Raya (Fort Myers) - 19 G 65.0 IP 3.05 ERA 1.077 WHIP 10.5 K/9 3.2 BB/9 Raya was taken in the 4th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft from United South High School in Laredo, TX. With the Covid shutdown and injuries over the past couple of years, 2022 was his professional debut. Skipping the Complex League entirely, Raya pitched as a 19-year-old for the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. Across 19 games and 17 starts, he was nothing short of dominant. Arguably the staff ace, Raya racked up strikeouts in bunches while doing a good job to limit damage. He’s got mid-90s stuff and is someone Minnesota could mold into a number three starter or better. #4 Brent Headrick - (Cedar Rapids/Wichita) - 25 G 108.1 IP 3.32 ERA 1.080 WHIP 11.3 K/9 2.1 BB/9 Selected in the 9th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft out of Illinois State University, Headick has really seen the ceiling for his stuff grow. Last year was his first full professional season and he put up strong numbers for Low-A Fort Myers. Splitting time between High-A Cedar Rapids and Double-A Wichita this year, Headrick has become an anchor on the staff at whatever level he plays. Headrick has continued to rack up strikeouts in bunches, and has shown a very strong ability to command the baseball. He gave up a few more homers after the promotion to Double-A, but was every bit as dominant. When the Wind Surge advanced to the Texas League postseason, it was Headrick tabbed as the Game 1 starter. #3 David Festa - (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) 21 G 103.2 IP 2.43 ERA 1.090 WHIP 9.4 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Festa made quick work of Fort Myers after starting the season there following his 13th-round selection out of Seton Hall during the 2021 Major League Baseball draft. Pitching substantially for Cedar Rapids this season, he made adjustments to continue strong outings while the strikeouts took a slight dip. Just 22 years old, Festa has done a great job avoiding big innings by limiting the longball. In just over 103 innings this season, he allowed opposing batters to leave the yard only six times. For a late-round pick, the immediate development here has been incredibly encouraging. Runner-Up Simeon Woods Richardson - (Wichita/St. Paul) 21 G 2.93 ERA 1.080 WHIP 9.7 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Acquired alongside Austin Martin from the Toronto Blue Jays when Minnesota sent Jose Berrios north of the border, Woods Richardson has been nothing short of dominant this season. Not being interrupted by the Olympic appearance as he was last season, Woods Richardson has settled into a routine. His 2.55 ERA at Triple-A St. Paul is even better than it was with Double-A Wichita, and he continues to average over a strikeout per inning. This is a top-half-of-the-rotation arm that Minnesota could call upon as soon as 2023. 2022 Minnesota Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year - Louie Varland - (Wichita/St. Paul) - 24 G 126.1 IP 3.06 ERA 1.259 WHIP 10.4 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Winning this award for the second season in a row is none other than Concordia St. Paul product Louie Varland. A St. Paul native, Varland was a 15th-round pick by the Twins during the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. After dominating Single-A in 2021, Varland continued his roll by earning a promotion to Triple-A late this season. After a 3.34 ERA across 105 innings with Wichita, Varland posted a dominant 1.69 ERA in four starts for the Saints. As has been the case over the duration of his professional career, Varland has been a strikeout arm. This season he’s tallied 146 strikeouts while ceding just 42 walks. Once working in the low-90s, Varland has put in the offseason work to push his fastball in the mid-90s on a consistent basis with the ability to top out near 97 mph. When Minnesota needed an arm for a doubleheader against the New York Yankees, it was Varland who was called on to make his big league debut. Brother, and Dodgers prospect, Gus Varland was in the stands to see Louie punch out Aaron Judge for the first strikeout of his career. Varland will continue to grow at the big league level, but he has looked the part of an arm with intrigue. He’s a hard thrower that works quick and isn’t afraid to trust his stuff. Although the Twins may not have immediate room for Varland in the 2023 Opening Day rotation, there should be no doubt that he’ll make a handful of starts and be ready to make an impact when his number is called. Previous Starting Pitcher of the Year Winners: 2021 winner - Louie Varland 2019 winner- Randy Dobnak 2018 winner - Tyler Wells 2017 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2016 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2015 winner - Jose Berrios 2014 winner - Jose Berrios 2013 winner - Taylor Rogers 2012 winner - BJ Hermsen
  5. TRANSACTIONS In advance of their playoff series, the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels placed RHP Niklas Rimmel on the temporarily inactive list. Rimmel is joining Team Germany in a WBC Qualifying tournament this week. The organization also assigned perhaps a secret weapon in 2022 fourth-round draft pick, RHP Andrew Morris in his place. SAINTS SENTINEL Louisville 1, St. Paul 8 Box Score The St. Paul Saints bludgeoned the Louisville Bats at CHS Field on Tuesday behind the bats of Andrew Bechtold and the surging Matt Wallner. While they had just seven hits, they scored eight runs by taking advantage of five walks and two errors. From the leadoff spot, Wallner reached base four times in the game, going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a hit-by-pitch. He scored a run and drove in two, and his OPS for September is now up to 1.161. And if you’re under any impression those 11 games are a small sample, going back to the start of August his batting line is .290/.413/.573 (.986), and he’s hitting .322 in his last 23 games. I’ve also said it several times this year, but he absolutely demolishes just about everything he hits: Then you have Andrew Bechtold, who outshined Wallner on this night by blasting two home runs and driving in four. They were his first two home runs with the Saints after knocking 14 with the Wind Surge. Ariel Jurado made the start for the home team and completed five strong innings to pick up his first win with the Saints. He allowed just one hit, one walk, and struck out four. Ronny Henriquez finished the game with the rare four-inning save, allowing one run (on a home run, as expected) on two hits while striking out three. Cole Sturgeon (1-for-4, 2B, RBI) and Braden Bishop (0-for-3, R, RBI) drove in the other two runs for the home team. In “you don’t see that everyday” news, there was a delay in this game's fourth inning, caused by a “UFO” that would not vacate the CHS Field airspace: WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, Midland 1 Box Score With their fellow affiliates starting their league playoffs tonight, the Wind Surge got good news before this one was over, as they clinched their division and will join their friends in the Texas League playoffs, which will start next week. The Wind Surge took a 2-0 lead after the top of the first inning in this one when Edouard Julien reached base with a single and was driven in by a Yunior Severino bomb to right field two batters later. It was Severino’s seventh of the year with Wichita, and he wasn’t done on this night. Making the start for Wichita was lefty Kody Funderburk. He was able to scatter five hits and three walks over 5 1/3 scoreless innings, striking out four RockHounds along the way. In the sixth, a pair of walks to start the inning led to his replacement by Steven Cruz, who tossed the next 1 2/3 scoreless, striking out two. Severino made the score 3-0 in the fourth with his second home run of the game, this one onto the berm in center field. That was all the offense for the Wind Surge, but they got multiple hits from Severino (3-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI), Julien (2-for-3, R, BB), and DaShawn Keirsey Jr (2-for-3), who also stole his 40th base of the season. Relievers Jordan Brink (1/3 IP, 2 H, ER, BB), Osiris German (2/3 IP, K), and Blayne Enlow (S, IP, H, BB) finished off the game before they were able to celebrate. KERNELS NUGGETS - Midwest League Division Series, Game 1 (Best of 3) Cedar Rapids 1, South Bend 2 Box Score The Cedar Rapids Kernels made it to the Midwest League playoffs by winning the first half division title, with the best record in the league. South Bend won the division in the second half, and they ended the regular season playing each other last week, with the Kernels winning three of five. As the road team for Game 1, Cedar Rapids took to the batter’s box first and thanks to Pat Winkel, wasted little time putting a run on the scoreboard. His no-doubt home run put them in front 1-0 for some early breathing room. Right-hander David Festa took the mound for the Kernels and was unhittable for four innings. The only runner he allowed in that timeframe was on an error in the first, and he went on to retire 10 in a row, including six punchouts. The leadoff man in the fifth ended that bid with a single, and the Cubs had their first scoring threat a few batters later after another single. Festa kept his cool, however, striking out two and getting a groundball to keep South Bend off the scoreboard. That would be all the Cubs would muster, as Festa went on to strike out three of the final four hitters he faced, including Chicago Cubs' #1 prospect and #31 overall (per MLB.com), Pete Crow-Armstrong, for the last out of his start. In all, Festa went six innings, allowing just two hits, no walks, and punching out 10 total hitters. He threw 88 pitches, with 59 going for strikes (64%), and racking up 19 swinging strikes. He even did this: Sean Mooney came on for the seventh and delivered a one-two-three inning. Back out for the eighth, he gave up a leadoff double to put the tying run in scoring position and was removed for Bobby Milacki. Playing for the tying run, the Cubs went with the bunting approach, and it proved successful. Milacki had to rush off the mound for a bunt in front of him for his first batter, and he threw it away toward first for a run-scoring error. He nearly made another mistake on a bunt from the next hitter, looking to third before realizing nobody was covering and having to spin himself around to go back to first. Fortunately, this one went down as a sacrifice, but the go-ahead run was now just 90 feet away with one out. A single from the next batter made it 2-1 Cubs before Milacki got out of the inning by getting Crow-Armstrong to fly out to center. Deflated, the Kernels six, seven, and eight hitters were mowed down by Cubs reliever Jake Reindl, with all three striking out to end the game. Cedar Rapids outhit South Bend 7-5 in the game, but were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base, while their opponent was 2-for-5 and took advantage of the late miscue to steal game one. The top of the lineup accounted for five of their seven hits in the game, with Jake Rucker (2-for-4, 2 K), Brooks Lee (2-for-4), and Winkel (1-for-3, HR, BB, 2 K) accounting for five of their seven hits and their only run. Kyler Fedko also drew two walks as the cleanup hitter. The remaining games of the series will take place in Cedar Rapids, with Travis Adams getting the start on Thursday at 6:35 PM CDT, with the Kernels needing to even the series up at one. MUSSEL MATTERS - Florida State League Division Series, Game 1 (Best of 3) Fort Myers 4, Dunedin 6 Box Score Like their High-A counterparts, the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels made the Florida State League playoffs by winning their division in the first half of the season, also with the best record in the league. Dunedin clinched a playoff spot by winning the division in the second half, and the teams were 7-7 against each other during the regular season. In the top of the first, the Mighty Mussels strung together three singles from Noah Miller, Noah Cardenas, and Ben Ross led to the first run of the game, but Cardenas was thrown out at third on the play to end the inning. The Florida State League Pitcher of the Month for August, Pierson Ohl, was an easy choice to start game one for the Mighty Mussels, but things never even got on the rails for him in this one. Four consecutive hits to start the game (and an error on one of them) led to two runs and prompted a mound visit before he got his first out. After that, a balk and a sac fly led to two more runs and the Blue Jays had a 4-1 lead after the first inning. Ohl had a one-two-three second inning, needing only five pitches, but the aggressiveness from Blue Jays hitters struck again in the third inning, as three singles (two on first pitches, and two other at-bats went only two pitches) led to another run and 5-1 lead. A one-out double in the fourth finally chased Ohl from the game, and Mike Paredes came on and got two outs to keep his team within four. The Mighty Mussels lineup scratched single runs across in the fifth and sixth inning, with Miller driving in one with a single in the former, and Cardenas hitting a solo home run in the latter. Paredes got them through the seventh inning, allowing one run of his own on four hits and one walk in 3 2/3 innings pitched. He struck out two. A.J. Labas pitched a scoreless eighth inning, striking out two to keep his team within three heading into their last at-bat. Ben Ross did his best to kickstart a rally, leading off the inning by taking a 3-1 pitch deep to left field to make it 6-4. Kala’i Rosario followed with a single, but the next three hitters went down in order and they fell to the Blue Jays in game one. Ross led the way with three hits in four at-bats, including a double, home run, two RBI, and a run scored. Miller (2-for-3, RBI, BB) and Cardenas (2-for-4, R, HR, RBI) also had multiple hits in the game. The final two games of the three-game series will be in Fort Myers at Hammond Stadium, with the next on Thursday at 6:00 PM CDT. Right-hander Marco Raya will be on the bump for the Mighty Mussels with their season on the line. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - David Festa, Cedar Rapids Kernels (6 IP, 2 H, 10 K) Hitter of the Day - Yunior Severino, Wichita Wind Surge (3-for-4, 2 R, 2 HR, 3 RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Brooks Lee (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4 #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-4 #7 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 2-for-3, RBI, BB #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 3-for-4, R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, K #13 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6 IP, 2 H, 10 K #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-for-3, R, BB, K #15 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - S, IP H, BB #16 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - S, 4 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 K #18 - Tanner Schobel (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, R, K #20 - Kala’i Rosario (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4 WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Louisville @ St. Paul (7:07 PM CDT) - RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (1-0, 3.38 ERA) Wichita @ Midland (6:30 PM CDT) - LHP Aaron Rozek (0-0, 6.28 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  6. On Sunday, the High- and Low-A regular seasons came to a close. Luckily, both of Minnesota’s affiliates qualified for the postseason, and they will begin play on Tuesday. In the Midwest League, the Cedar Rapids Kernels face the South Bend Cubs in a semifinal round. For the Florida State League, the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels square off against the Dunedin Blue Jays. Multiple names below will be getting their first taste of postseason action. Cedar Rapids Prospects To Watch Brooks Lee, SS (TD No. 2) Lee has already impressed during his professional career after being taken as a top-10 pick in June. The Twins had him skip Low-A and head directly to High-A. In 25 games, he posted a .848 OPS with four doubles and four home runs. An argument can be made that he is the organization’s best prospect, and now he has a chance to prove it on a big stage. David Festa, RHP (TD No. 13) Festa was a 13th-round pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, but his stock has risen significantly over the last year. Between Low- and High-A, he has a 2.43 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP and a 108-to-34 strikeout to walk ratio. Festa is a year younger than the average age of the competition in the Midwest League, and the team will ask him to get some big outs if they make a September run. Kernels Expected Starters Game 1: David Festa Game 2: Travis Adams Game 3: Jaylen Nowlin Fort Myers Prospects To Watch Noah Miller, SS (TD No. 7) Minnesota took Miller with the 36th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft out of high school in Wisconsin. During the 2022 season, he was over two years younger than the average age of the competition in the FSL. Miller lacked power production during his first full professional season, but the playoffs offer a new opportunity. He has the potential to be one of the team’s top prospects by 2024. Marco Raya, RHP (TD No. 8) Raya was Minnesota’s first draft pick from high school in 2020 as the team took him in the fourth round. As a teenager in the FSL, over 82% of his plate appearances have come against older batters. In 19 appearances (65 innings), he has a 3.05 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP and 10.5 K/9. He missed time at the beginning of August, so he has averaged less than four innings per start in September. Tanner Schobel, SS (TD No. 18) Schobel was Minnesota’s second-round pick in 2022 from Virginia Tech, where he had a .980 OPS in three seasons. He hit 18 doubles and 19 home runs during his final collegiate season. As a professional, he has been limited to a .651 OPS with five extra-base hits in 32 games. Hopefully, his college experience shines through in the postseason. Kala’i Rosario, OF (TD No. 20) Like Raya, the Twins took Rosario out of high school in the 2020 MLB Draft. As a regular in the Mussels line-up, he has hit .239/.320/.408 (.727) with 21 doubles, three triples, and 12 home runs. His numbers are even more impressive, considering that nearly 90% of his plate appearances have come against older pitchers. Mighty Mussels Expected Starters Game 1: Pierson Ohl Game 2: Marco Raya Game 3: Jordan Carr Obviously, any player can shine under the postseason spotlight, but big players step up in critical games. Will any of the names above lead their teams to championships? Who are you looking forward to watching? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  7. Currently, one can make an argument for both Royce Lewis and Brooks Lee being Minnesota's top prospect. By 2024, both will have graduated from prospect lists and should be helping the Twins at the big-league level. In recent years, Minnesota's farm system has dropped in national rankings, but it's hard not to get excited about the talent level of the players listed below. 1. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF ETA: 2024 Rodriguez's stock has significantly risen this season as many national outlets included him in their updated top-100 rankings. As a 19-year-old, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. He only faced younger pitchers in four plate appearances during the 2022 campaign. Unfortunately, a knee injury ended his season prematurely. Minnesota can have him repeat Fort Myers to start 2023, and he has plenty of development to do before he reaches Target Field. 2. Connor Prielipp, LHP ETA: 2025 The Twins took Prielipp with their second-round pick in 2022 from the University of Alabama. He was initially projected as a top-10 pick but missed the 2022 collegiate season due to Tommy John surgery. Minnesota will likely hold off on his professional debut until 2023, but he is already in the conversation as one of the team's top pitching prospects. By 2024, Prielipp has the potential to be the team's top prospect if he can return to his pre-injury form. 3. Marco Raya, RHP ETA: 2024 Like Rodriguez, Raya is another player that has put himself on the prospect map as a teenager in the Florida State League. In 61 innings, he has posted a 3.25 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP and a 69-to-22 strikeout to walk ratio. Over 81% of his at-bats have come against older batters who Raya has held to a .592 OPS. He has three terrific secondary pitches that should allow him to continue as a starter as he moves up the organizational ladder. 4. David Festa, RHP ETA: 2024 The Twins drafted Festa in the 13th round of the 2021 MLB Draft. It's exciting when a team can find value late in the draft and develop a prospect in the organization. His velocity has significantly jumped since joining the Twins organization, as he can consistently hit in the upper-90s. In 100 2/3 innings, he has a 2.43 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP and a 108-to-34 strikeout to walk ratio. In 2023, he should get a chance to pitch in the upper minors with a chance to prove he is part of the team's long-term plans. 5. Noah Miller, SS ETA: 2025 Minnesota has traded away much of their 2021 draft class, and Miller is the highest pick still with the organization. The Twins sent him to Fort Myers this season, where he has hit .212/.347/.281 (.628) with 108 strikeouts in 106 games. As a 19-year-old, he still has offensive development to accomplish, especially as he adds weight to his body. His baseball instincts should allow him to stick at shortstop, a position the Twins have previously struggled to fill. Which player will be the team's top prospect in 2024? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  8. TRANSACTIONS Recently signed non-drafted free agent LHP Michael Boyle was assigned to Ft. Myers. So was MLB veteran RHP Brock Stewart who has worked his way back to affiliated ball after recovering from injuries the past few seasons? SAINTS SENTINEL Iowa 6, St. Paul 5 Box score Ronny Henriquez has been coming out of the bullpen for the Saints the past couple of months, generally still working multiple innings situations. He returned to the starting rotation this week and put together arguably his best start of the season. The right-hander gave up one run on three hits over five innings. He struck out six batters, and maybe most important for his development, he walked none. The bullpen came on and had some moments. Juan Minaya recorded the first two outs in the sixth inning. But, he gave up one run on two walks. Austin Schulfer came on and got the final out of that inning. Jharel Cotton gave up a run on one hit and one walk in the seventh inning. Heading into the bottom of the eighth inning, the Saints held a 5-3 lead. Jovani Moran came on and struck out two in the eighth inning. Unfortunately, he gave up three runs on two hits and two walks, and a hit batter to blow the save and take the loss. The outing bumps his Saints season ERA up to 6.00. Just 15 of his 31 pitches were strikes. There are openings in the Twins bullpen, and he certainly isn’t putting up the Triple-A numbers to force the Twins’ hand. Matt Wallner went 2-for-4 with a walk and his sixth double since joining the Saints. Jermaine Palacios went 2-for-5. Nash Knight went 2-for-4. WIND SURGE WISDOM Frisco 2, Wichita 1 Box Score Lefty Kody Funderburk gave up two runs in the third inning, and that was it for the Frisco run-scoring on this night. Unfortunately, it was one run more than the Wind Surge were able to muster. Funderburk gave up those two runs on two hits and two walks. He struck out four. The bullpen followed with four scoreless, hitless innings. Denny Bentley walked one and struck one out over two innings. Alex Phillips and Steven Cruz each worked one inning. Cruz struck out two batters. The Wind Surge batters had twice as many hits as Frisco, but just half as many runs. Wichita had four hits, but the lone run came in the top of the seventh inning in the form of Jair Camargo’s eighth Double-A home run. Austin Martin found three different ways to get on base. He was hit by a pitch, walked, and had a single. He also stole his 31st bag. KERNELS NUGGETS Lake County 1, Cedar Rapids 5 Box Score Cedar Rapids got some great pitching and kept the offense rolling, scoring their five runs in four different innings. Let’s start on the mound where David Festa improved to 7-2 with a 2.25 ERA with 5 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, no walks, and he struck out six batters. Matt Mullenbach got four of the five batters he faced out. He did hit one batter. Bobby Milacki struck out four batters over the final two innings. The lone run allowed came on a ninth-inning home run. It’s been a tough season for outfielder Willie Joe Garry. He missed more than two months with injury, but since his return, the speedster has been playing very well. On this night, he went 3-for-4 with a single, double, and a home run. He drove in two of the Kernel runs and scored three runs. Jake Rucker went 2-for-3 with a walk and was hit by a pitch. If not the fewest in the league, the Minnesota Twins big-league club has very stolen bases. On Friday night, infielder Mikey Perez stole his 12th base since joining the Kernels. He had 32 stolen bases in Ft. Myers earlier in the season. Here are the organization’s Top 10 leaders in Stolen Bases in 2022: Mikey Perez - 44 DaShawn Keirsey, Jr. - 34 Austin Martin - 32 Michael Helman - 30 Yasser Mercedes - 30 Will Holland - 26 Daniel Ozoria - 20 Anthony Prato - 20 Luis Baez - 19 Noah Miller - 19 MUSSEL MATTERS Lakeland, Fort Myers (Game Suspended in the 3rd inning) Box Score The Mighty Mussels played two games on Thursday but only completed two innings on Friday night due to rain. We’ll have more on this game when it is completed (hopefully on Saturday), but we’ll show you a little of what happened. 30-year-old Brock Stewart started for the Mussels and went the first two innings. He gave up two runs on just one hit. Immediately following a hit batter in the second innings, he gave up a home run to Mike Rothenberg. But all that is the background to a potentially great story. Stewart was drafted by the Dodgers in the 6th round in 2014 out of Illinois State. Just two years after signing, he made his big-league debut. Between 2016 and 2019, he pitched in 36 games for the Dodgers, including 11 starts. He went 6-3 with a 6.05 ERA over 105 2/3 innings. When the Dodgers let him go, the Blue Jays claimed him and he went 4-0 over 10 late-season appearances. After that season, he was selected by the Cubs in the Rule 5 draft, but they let him go in late May of 2020 as the season was in doubt. He pitched in six games for the Chicago Deep Dish of the City of Champions Cup League. The Dodgers signed him before the 2021 season, but he had Tommy John surgery in May of 2021 and rehabbed the rest of the season. He hadn’t pitched at all this year either, but after a tryout, the Twins signed him in mid-July to a minor league deal. Maybe it’s a long shot, but maybe he works his way back and gets to the big leagues in a bullpen role. Those are the kind of stories that are fun to tell when a game is suspended in the bottom of the third. Michael Boyle pitched a scoreless top of the third. He is 28 years old and hasn’t pitched since 2019 with the Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate in Tulsa. He’s healthy and attempting to come back. Hopefully we’ll continue to write about him the next year or so and get to know more about his story too. Noah Cardenas hit a solo home run in the second inning, his ninth of the year. In the bottom of the third inning, Misael Urbina led off with a double. Ben Ross drove him in with a double. One batter later, Ross stole third base and then scored on a Cardenas single. Kala’i Rosario followed with an RBI double, his 20th two-bagger of the season. And that’s when the game was delayed by rain. The teams will attempt to finish this game as part of a modified doubleheader on Saturday late afternoon. That will be a nine-inning game. The regularly-scheduled game will then be a seven-inning game. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, (73 pitches, 47 strikes) Hitter of the Day – Willie Joe Garry, Jr. (Cedar Rapids) - 3-4, 2B (9), HR (2), 3 R, 2 RBI, K PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Brooks Lee (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, BB, RBI #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-2, BB, HBP, SB (31) #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 2-4, BB, R, RBI, 2 K #13 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 5.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 6 K, (73 pitches, 47 strikes) #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-4, 2 K #16 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K (67 pitches, 45 strikes) #18 - Tanner Schobel (Fort Myers) - 0-2, 2 K #20 - Kala'i Rosario (Fort Myers) - 1-2, 2B(20), RBI K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Here are the start times and probables for their games. St. Paul @ Iowa (6:08 PM CST) - RHP Simeon Woods Richardson Wichita @ Frisco (7:05 PM CST) - LHP Aaron Rozek Cedar Rapids @ Lake County (5:35 PM CST) - LHP Jaylen Nowlin Lakeland @ Fort Myers (DH starting at 3:30 PM CST) - TBD, RHP Tomas Cleto Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday's games
  9. TRANSACTIONS LHP Devin Smeltzer recalled from St. Paul Saints Sentinel (Game One: 7 Innings) St. Paul 4, Scranton Wilkes-Barre 5 Box Score Mario Sanchez: 3 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 2 K HR: Chris Williams (4), Braden Bishop (2) Multi-hit games: None The Saints lost the first game of their doubleheader. Devin Smeltzer was slated to start this match, but the Twins required his services, and Mario Sanchez became the game-one starter. A 1-2 punch 1st and 2nd inning dashed his hopes of dominating; he walked away from those frames with four earned runs to his name. St. Paul’s bats scratched across four runs—on just two hits—with Chris Williams and Braden Bishop both swatting homers in the effort. Two other runs scored off a groundout from Caleb Hamilton and a sacrifice fly donated by Williams. There is something aesthetically strange when a game has two homers—both solo shots—and no other hits while still ending up with four runs. That conundrum worked because of seven walks taken by Saints’ batters. Austin Schulfer tossed a pair of scoreless frames in the final two innings. (Game Two: 7 Innings) Saints 0, Scranton Wilkes-Barre 4 Box Score Juan Minaya: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Saints lost an even uglier match for game two. The offense mustered up just two hits; the team took an equal number of walks and strikeouts (6 to 6), but the BABIP gods frowned upon St. Paul, and nothing came of their free passes. Juan Minaya pitched three scoreless innings as the opening act; Jovani Moran struck out five over two frames. Evan Sisk added a pair of punch outs in his scoreless frame. Michael Helman took two walks and swiped his 19th base of the season; no other hitter reached base more than once. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 10, Tulsa 7 Box Score Kody Funderburk: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K HR: Jair Camargo (6), Yunior Severino (2) Multi-hit games: Jair Camargo (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI), DaShawn Kiersey Jr. (2-for-4, RBI) Wichita won a high-scoring game on Saturday. Despite the runs, most of the effort stemmed from just two innings; Wichita bunched homers in the 3rd inning, then bombarded Tulsa with piranha-style small ball in the 7th frame. Three singles and a groundout scored four runs. Outside of the blasts, Wichita took more walks than strikeouts (6 to 5) and collected eight other hits; Edouard Julien reached base five times. Kody Funderburk found the most success of all arms, swallowing five innings with just a pair of earned runs to his name. The 25-year-old lefty owns an ERA of 2.82 with the Wind Surge this season. Kernels Nuggets (Game One) Cedar Rapids 2, Wisconsin Timber Rattlers 6 Box Score Luis Rijo: 3 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Charles Mack (2-for-4, 2B, R) In the first game, the Kernels lost a battle that had begun the day before. The rain ended the prior engagement, but that pause did not gift the Kernels enough fortunate to win the game; Jake Rucker knocked in two runs with a 5th inning double but capped the scoring for Cedar Rapids. The Timber Rattlers had jumped on Luis Rijo on Friday; the righty allowed four credited runs in an eventful early game showing. Cedar Rapids’ bullpen smothered Wisconsin’s bats after play resumed, as the group allowed a single earned run—a 9th inning addition off an infield hit. Derek Molina carried the effort, tossing a trio of clean innings with two strikeouts. (Game Two) Cedar Rapids 8, Wisconsin 3 Box Score David Festa: 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K HR: Seth Gray (13) Multi-hit games: Seth Gray (3-for-4, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Jake Rucker (2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB), Pat Winkel (2-for-2, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 BB) The Kernels found better fortune in the second game. David Festa led the way with an unusual stat line; the righty allowed three unearned runs, walked four batters, and still walked away with an improved season ERA. This game probably falls into the “we take those” category of starts. A trio of batters—Seth Gray, Jake Rucker, and Pat Winkel—led the offensive charge; the batters accounted for every hit by Cedar Rapids and knocked in seven runs. No other batter really contributed, but none needed to, thanks to the tremendous effort by the Gray-Rucker-Winkel triumvirate. Hunter McMahon and Matt Mullenbach worked 3 1/3 scoreless innings, giving Cedar Rapids pitchers a clean earned-run slate in this effort. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 2, Palm Beach 14 Box Score Marco Raya: 2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Noah Miller (2-for-4, R), Kala’i Rosario (2-for-4) The Mighty Mussels endured an old-fashioned clock-cleaning on Saturday. The Cardinals piled up 14 runs on 16 hits, haunting Mighty Mussels’ pitchers in six of the eight innings they hit in; no arm walked away with a clean ERA. Fort Myers batters racked up an impressive tally of hits as well—10 of them, in fact—but they failed to extend any of those knocks beyond the chance to claim first base. The team served up a doughnut—0-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Keoni Cavaco earned his 18th error of the season; Noah Miller collected two hits. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 2, FCL Red Sox 3 Box Score Wilker Reyes: 3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4K HR: Danny De Andrade (4) Multi-hit games: None The DSL Twins lost a slow, tightened game on Saturday. The arms did their part; DSL Twins pitchers combined for 11 strikeouts, 2 walks, and 2 earned runs. Seven players participated. Unfortunately, an extra un-earned run proved deadly, as the batters failed to hold up their end of the bargain. Hitters collected just three hits; one of the knocks found its way over the fence, but that would be it for extra-base damage. Danny De Andrade was the culprit, and his 1st inning two-run shot both started and ended the night’s scoring output. Dominican Dailies DSL Twins 9, DSL Rockies 10 Box Score Cesar Lares: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K HR: Yilber Herrera (1) Multi-hit games: Brayan Acuña (2-for-5, R, RBI), Anderson Nova (3-for-4, R, RBI), Denyerbe Gervis (2-for-5, R) The DSL Twins lost in an absurd affair. The game was your typical 5-5 matchup; neither team found an advantage over the other as each squad landed an equal total of jabs. An unbelievable flourish broke out in the 9th inning, as the DSL Rockies plated four runs and the DSL Twins called with four of their own. A two-run homer from Yilber Herrera—his first of the year—lead the offensive charge. Cesar Lares worked another impressive start; the lefty allowed one run over five innings, picking up five strikeouts along the way. His ERA on the season now stands at 2.93. No single batter stood out—it was more of a democratic approach on Saturday—but Jose Rodriguez collected his 15th double of the season, and Yasser Mercedes earned his 13th. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cesar Lares Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jair Camargo PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #2 - Brooks Lee (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, BB, K #7 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, R #8 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 2 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 1 K #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 1-6, 2 BB, 2 K #13 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 3 ⅔ IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-1, 2 R, 3 BB, HBP #15 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K #20 - Kala’i Rosario (Ft. Myers) - 2-4 SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Scranton Wilkes-Barre @ St. Paul (2:07 PM) - RHP Simeon Woods Richardson Tulsa @ Wichita (1:05 PM) - LHP Aaron Rozek Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 PM) - TBD Fort Myers @ Palm Beach (11:00 AM) - RHP Regi Grace
  10. TRANSACTIONS No transactions within the Twins organization on Sunday. SAINTS SENTINAL Indianapolis 5, St. Paul 3 Box Score A stellar day at the plate from Mark Contreras wasn't enough to push the Saints to a win against Indianapolis on Sunday afternoon. Contreras crushed two homers in St. Paul's loss, marking his multi-homer game of the season and first game with a home run since July 2 against Omaha. Contreras' first moon shot came in the fourth inning with Jermaine Palacios on base, scoring the Saints' first two runs. Contreras would launch a solo shot to right-center field in the eighth inning to plate St. Paul's final run of the day. Both of Contreras' homers came on the first pitch of the at-bat. That aggressive approach at the plate is only going to benefit him as he continues to develop his offense in hopes of a return to the parent club in Minneapolis. Elliot Soto was the only other Saint with a multi-hit game, tallying a double (11) in the second inning and a single in the fourth. The pair of hits were Soto's first since July 10 at Louisville, where he recorded a pair of singles. Starting pitcher Cole Sands lasted 3 2/3 innings, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out six in Sunday's loss. Sands threw 45 of his 70 pitches for strikes and pitched scoreless innings in the first and third innings; ultimately, the talented prospect ran into trouble with a trio of hits in the second and a leadoff walk followed by a homer in the fourth. St. Paul's bullpen was excellent on the day. RHP Ariel Jurado followed Sands with 3 1/3 innings of hitless, scoreless, and walk-less ball while striking out three. Northfield, Minnesota native Jake Petricka pitched a flawless eighth inning for his hometown organization, striking out two while walking none. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 3, Wichita 0 Box Score Like a wind turbine on a still day, the Surge weren't able to propel any momentum, dropping a shut-out loss to Tulsa that resulted in the Drillers taking home the Propeller Series for the first time. Wichita tallied just five hits in the loss, going 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position and leaving seven men on base. Two of those hits came from highly-touted prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who laced singles in the first and third innings. Encarnacion-Strand has recorded multi-hit games in four of his last eight games and is slashing an impressive .400/.438/.833 in the month of July. Starting pitcher Kody Funderburk (L, 7-3) didn't have his best outing....but it still wasn't all that bad. Through three innings, the Mesa, Arizona native allowed just one run on two hits and a walk while striking out five. And while accelerating prospect was tabbed with the loss, his performance was far from poor. The Surge used five relievers through five innings following Funderburk; Daniel Gossett allowed two runs on two hits while striking out five through the fourth and fifth innings. Following Gossett's two runs, the bullpen shut out the Drillers. Bryan Sammons, Andrew Cabezas, and Osiris German allowed just one hit through the final three innings while allowing no runs and just one walk while striking out a combined four batters. KERNELS NUGGETS Peoria 9, Cedar Rapids 7 Box Score There's a first time for everything...including sweeps. Despite a three-hit game from Yunior Severino, the Kernels dropped the series finale to Peoria on Sunday, resulting in their first time being on the wrong side of a sweep through 2022. Severino laced three singles and two RBI alongside a walk in Sunday's matinee, making it his second consecutive game with three hits. The 22-year-old is on a tear, hitting safely in five of his last six games and slashing .292/.433/.583 through July. Aaron Sabato also made some noise for the Kernels at the plate, crushing a three-run homer in the fifth inning to keep Cedar Rapids in the game. Sabato also homered on Saturday against Peoria and has recorded four extra-base hits through eight games in July. Starting pitcher David Festa (L, 6-1) suffered his first loss of the season, allowing six runs (five earned) on nine hits and two walks through four innings. And while Festa did strike out three hitters, his moment of brilliance came in the third and fourth innings. Allowing three consecutive singles (two in the third, one in the fourth), Festa picked off all three baserunners. While the end result wasn't there, that's pretty incredible. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Dunedin 3 (7 innings) Box Score After a weather delay limiting Saturday's play to just 1/2 of an inning, the Mussels came to play on Sunday, taking down the D-Jays thanks to stellar hitting from Keoni Cavaco and a total team effort from the pitching staff. Crushing an opening inning two-run shot of game one last night, Cavaco brought his bat on Sunday. With Nelson Roberto on base in the fifth, Cavaco punched a single to left field to score Roberto and knot the game at three. Cavaco's RBI served as the ignition for a monster three-run inning in the sixth for Fort Myers. The Mussels were rock-solid on the bump through all seven innings in game one. After Steve Hajjar got the ball rolling in the first, Mike Paredes (W, 6-2) carried the weight through 5 1/3 innings, allowing just one earned run on five hits while striking out three. With a three-run lead in the final frame, Anthony Escobar shut down the D-Jays to nab the Mussels' 50th win of the year. Game Two Fort Myers 3, Dunedin 2 (7 innings) Box Score A flat 50 just wasn't enough for the Mighty Mussels on Sunday afternoon. After swiping their 50th win of the season in game one of Sunday's twin bill, Fort Myers earned win number 51 on the season thanks to a multi-hit game from Cavaco and a solid outing from Travis Adams. Cavaco got the first run of the day on the board with a first-inning single that scored Misael Urbina to put the Mussels up 1-0. The 21-year-old's daily dinger derby continued in the third inning when he crunched a solo shot over the left field wall to give Fort Myers a 2-0 lead. Cavaco now has eight home runs on the season and has hit safely in his last four games (three of which have been multi-hit games). Starting pitcher Travis Adams gave up a flurry of hits but locked down when it mattered, allowing just one run through 4 2/3 innings while striking out five. The Mighty Mussel bullpen was just as (if not more) effective. Niklas Rimmel (W, 3-1) pitched 1 1/3 innings of scoreless ball followed by a scoreless seventh inning courtesy of Samuel Perez (H, 3) and Johnathan Lavallee (S, 2). TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 4-for-7, 2 HR, 5 RBI, 2 K Pitcher of the Day: Travis Adams (Fort Myers) 4.2 IP, 6 H, R, ER, 5 K PROSPECT SUMMARY See how our Twins Daily Minor League Top 20 Prospects did on Sunday afternoon. #6 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-for-5, K #8 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-5, 2B, H, R, BB, 2 K (two games) #12 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-for-3, BB, K #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Wichita) - 2-for-4, K #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - (L, 1-5), 3.2 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 2 BB, 6 K #18 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - (L, 6-1) 4.0 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 0.2 IP, H, BB, K MONDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS FCL Twins @ FCL Rays (11:00am CST) - TBD DSL Twins @ DSL Rockies (11:00am CST) - TBD
  11. 2022 Prospect PreviewToo often, as the draft approaches, we focus on the first-round pick and nothing else. That’s a mistake we’re doomed to repeat over and over again. It’s also true retrospectively, and it clouds our analysis and judgment. For example, thinking about the 2020 draft, folks immediately think about Aaron Sabato and less about Marco Raya. With that in mind ahead of draft kickoff on Sunday night, let’s check in with the Minnesota Twins draft class of 2021. It’s shaping up to be incredibly impressive. Round 1: Chase Petty, RHP (A-Ball) Petty was an exciting pick for the Twins, bucking a trend of not selecting prep pitchers in early rounds. A 102 mph fastball also added to the excitement (let’s hope they stick with the high-velocity trend). Petty was traded in the off-season to the Reds for Sonny Gray. So far in 2022, Petty has struck out 58 in 61 innings of work to go along with a 3.39 ERA in A ball, a solid start for a 19-year-old. (2022 Prospect Preview) (Preseason #9 Prospect) Competitive Balance A: Noah Miller, SS (Fort Myers) Miller is still just 19 and has spent all of 2022 at Fort Myers. A legitimate shortstop prospect, he has the defensive chops, movement, and range to stay at the position long-term. While Miller’s hitting is still a work in progress (.238 average) he has incredible strike zone control and has worked 50 walks in 73 games in 2022 (.365 OBP). Patience is key with Miller, but things are ticking over nicely in Fort Myers. (2022 Prospect Preview) (Sire of Ft. Myers Consideration) 2: Steven Hajjar, LHP (Fort Myers) The first of a pair of talented left-handed starters drafted by the Twins, Hajjar has battled injuries in 2022 but has been completely dominant when on the mound. Despite walks being an issue (23 in 37 innings), Hajjar has struck out 61 batters and limited opposing offenses to a .160 batting average. (2022 Prospect Preview) 3: Cade Povich, LHP (Cedar Rapids) Povich is another exciting talent from the early rounds of the 2021 draft that is proving abundant for the organization. Povich has a 3.62 ERA at Cedar Rapids in 69 2/3 innings of work in 2022. He’s also managed an eye-popping 97 strikeouts in that time. Povich has added velocity as he has filled out and has a ton more projectability in his frame. He’s one to watch for the Twins. (2022 Prospect Preview) (Twins Spotlight Interview) 4: Christian Encarnacion-Strand, 1B/3B (Wichita) Encarnacion Strand is another incredible success story in 2022, with a Jose Miranda-like breakout. He’s already crushed 26 home runs in his first 98 minor league games across three levels. After putting up a .370 OBP at Cedar Rapids he was promoted to Wichita. In his second Double-A game on Friday night, he clobbered two home runs. In 76 games this season across two levels, he’s managed a .616 SLG, 22 home runs, and 74 RBIs. Based purely on performance, Encarnacion-Strand would be a first-round pick in a redraft of 2021 selections. 5: Christian MacLeod, LHP (Rookie Ball) MacLeod has pitched just 1 2/3 innings so far in his pro career. His career with the Twins is yet to get off the ground because he had Tommy John surgery during spring training. 6: Travis Adams, RHP (Fort Myers) Adams has been in the rotation for Fort Myers all season, accumulating 14 starts. He’s pitched well overall, striking out 64 batters in 64 2/3 innings to go along with a 3.62 ERA and pinpoint control (15 walks). 7: Jake Rucker, 3B (Cedar Rapids) A 22-year-old third baseman, Rucker has played at two levels in 2022, recently being promoted to Cedar Rapids. In his first 12 games in Iowa, he has a .367 OBP. 8: Noah Cardenas, C (Fort Myers) The Twins eighth-round pick out of UCLA has been at Fort Myers all season after getting his feet wet in rookie ball at the end of 2021. Cardenas has shown excellent strike zone control, racking up 50 walks in 63 games, contributing to a gaudy .409 OBP. 9: Pat Winkel, C (Cedar Rapids) A college teammate of Kyler Fedko, Winkel is currently at Cedar Rapids. His season was delayed by almost two months on the Injured List. The Twins 9th round pick has a .726 OPS through his first 25 games at High A. 10: Ernie Yake, SS (St. Paul) Yake has played at four levels in 2022, mostly to plug holes for other promotions. He began the season in Ft. Myers but was called up to St. Paul when needed. He then spent time in Wichita. Currently, he is rehabbing in the FCL. Speaks to the confidence the organization has in his makeup, and his defense. 11: Brandon Birdsell, RHP (did not sign) Birdsell was a pitcher who fell in the draft due to injury concerns and opted to return to school at Texas Tech. He struck out 106 in 85 innings of work in college in 2022 and promises to be a top 150 pick this July. 12: Kyler Fedko, OF (Cedar Rapids) An outfielder selected out of UConn, Fedko lit up Fort Myers early in the 2022 season to the tune of a .422 OBP through 26 games. He was promoted to Cedar Rapids, where the on-base numbers still look good (.340). (Three Questions With... Interview) 13: David Festa, RHP (Cedar Rapids) Festa is one of the greatest early success stories of the 2021 draft. A weekend starter for Seton Hall, he checks in at 6’6, 185 pounds (so plenty of projectability left). Festa struck out 33 batters in just 24 innings at Fort Myers, sporting a 1.50 ERA. He was the starter in the Mussels first no-hitter of the season. After being promoted to Cedar Rapids, he’s kept at it. In 48-plus innings at High A, he has a 1.86 ERA with 51 punch outs. Festa sports an upper 90s fastball and is a rising star in the Twins system. (2022 Prospect Preview) (Twins Spotlight Interview) 14: Pierson Ohl, RHP (Fort Myers) Ohl was a pitcher Seth interviewed and we wrote up prior to the 2022 season. Drafted as a control pitcher, Ohl has put up impressive strikeout numbers so far at Fort Myers. In 55 innings, he’s struck out 65 batters. His great challenge is lower velocity. He’s surrendering a .282 batting average against in his 12 starts so far this season. (2022 Prospect Preview) (Twins Spotlight Interview) 15: Mikey Perez, SS (Fort Myers) The 22-year-old infielder already has 240 at-bats at Fort Myers in 2022. He’s hitting .222/.327/.396 through 70 games so far this season. 16: Jonathan Lavallee, RHP Lavallee has pitched very limited innings in 2022. After starting at rookie ball, he was moved up to Fort Myers. The 22-year-old is yet to give up a run in five innings of work in A ball, striking out six batters. 17: Dylan Neuse, SS (Cedar Rapids) An older prospect at 23, Neuse started the season at Fort Myers but was moved up to Cedar Rapids. He’s struggled in his first 26 games with the bat, hitting just .198, but is on base plenty (.343). His brother Sheldon plays for the Oakland A's. 18: Mike Paredes, RHP (Fort Myers) A 21-year-old right-handed pitcher, Paredes is at Fort Myers in 2022. In 54 plus innings pitched this season, he surrendered just a 2.15 ERA, striking out 44, and walking just 10. His highlight may be throwing the first six innings of one of the Mighty Mussels no-hitters. 19: Jaylen Nowlin, LHP (Fort Myers) Nowlin is a developmental arm to watch. Pitching for Fort Myers, largely in a starting role in 2022, he’s racked up 68 strikeouts in just 41.2 innings pitched. Walks have been a problem (25 so far in 2022), but he’s giving up a .226 average to opposing hitters. Keep an eye out for his development. 20: Dillon Tatum, C (Fort Myers) The 22 year old catcher drafted out of UC-Irvine is currently at Fort Myers. In 145 at-bats, he’s hitting just .166 with five home runs. He has also been the catcher for both of the Mussels no-hitters this season. How do you think the Twins 2021 draft class is shaping up? Who are the prospects you are most excited about?
  12. Transactions: OF Matt Wallner has been promoted to Triple-A St. Paul C David Banuelos activated off IL by St. Paul RHP Ben Heller signed by Minnesota and assigned to Triple-A St. Paul INF Christian Encarnacion-Strand has been promoted to Double-A Wichita C Roy Morales transferred to Double-A Wichita from St. Paul C Frank Nigro was transferred to Single-A Fort Myers from Wichita C Alex Rodriguez was transferred to FCL Twins from Fort Myers CF Kennie Taylor activated off IL by Cedar Rapids C Jair Camargo begins rehab assignment for Wichita with FCL INF Ernie Yake begins rehab assignment for Wichita with FCL Making his Double-A debut this season, Wallner raked after a slow start. Across 78 games he posted a .299/.436/.597 slash line with 24 home runs. He’s reigned in the strikeouts to the tune of a manageable 107/62 K/BB, and he finished his time with the Wind Surge putting up a 4-for-4 effort on Wednesday night. Encarnacion-Strand was Minnesota’s 4th round pick in 2021, and he spent 74 games this year with High-A Cedar Rapids. Encarnacion-Strand got off to a hot start and has maintained the production to the tune of a .296/.370/.599 slash line. His 20 home runs are eye-popping, and the power plays well from the hot corner. Both players will now get extended run at the next level of the farm, likely remaining there through the duration of the season. Wallner joins teammate Spencer Steer as representatives for the MLB Futures Game taking place on Saturday in Los Angeles as part of the All-Star festivities. SAINTS SENTINEL Toledo 10, St. Paul 1 Box Score Former top Twins pitching prospect Jordan Balazovic was on the bump for the Saints tonight. He’s really struggled this year and couldn’t escape that same fate tonight. He went just two innings and allowed four runs on five hits. Balazovic gave up a walk, and a homer, while striking out one. Toledo scored first tallying two in the first frame. Then Kody Clemens, son of Roger Clemens, crushed a two-run bomb in the next frame. Down 4-0 in the third inning, rehabbing Miguel Sano roped a line drive single to plate Spencer Steer for the Saints first run. It continued to go sideways from there and by the time St. Paul batted in the 7th inning, they trailed 8-1. Failing to score in their half of the frame, the Saints Ariel Jurado served up two more on an 8th inning Mud Hens blast. Wallner was hitless to this point, and Sano's two raps didn't matter. It was a laugher at 10-1. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 11, Arkansas 5 Box Score Wichita went with Cody Laweryson tonight and he turned in a good outing. Working 3 1/3 innings, the righty allowed no runs on three hits. He allowed two walks but also struck out two batters. The Wind Surge jumped ahead early when Andrew Bechtold blasted his 12th homer of the year, a solo shot to left-center. Chris Williams continued his hot hitting, and his 13th double scored Cole Sturgeon to give the good guys a 2-0 lead in the 2nd inning. Not content with the first bit of production, Wichita went back to work in the 3rd inning. Williams hit his 12th homer of the year, this one a grand slam, to drive in Roy Morales, Bechtold, and Sturgeon. Then Edouard Julien took advantage of a fielding error allowing Anthony Prato to race home and make it a 7-0 lead. The Travelers got on the board with a 5th inning solo blast, but it was quickly negated when Prato scored on Ozoria’s fielder’s choice. Then the newly-promoted Christian Encarnacion-Strand recorded his first Double-A hit, a double, scoring both Ozoria and Julien making it 10-1. Offense remained the name of this game into the late innings. Arkansas drew closer with four runs in the 6th inning, but Williams answered with his 13th homer, and second of the game, to push the lead back up to 11-5. Bechtold and finished with four hits tonight while Williams had three hits and six RBI. Sturgeon also had a multi-hit game. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Beloit 1 Box Score David Festa has cruised this season for the Kernels and tonight was more of the same. He worked six innings allowing a single run on four hits. The righty picked up six punchouts and walked three. His ERA on the year is down to 1.86. Run production was in short supply tonight. Kyle Fedko ripped a solo shot in the 1st inning to make it 1-0, and then a passed ball allowed Alerick Soularie to scamper home. Despite giving up a run in the 6th inning, Cedar Rapids maintained the tight lead. After both Fedko and Soularie reached base in the 8th inning, Yunior Severino doubled the lead on a single and gave the Kernels breathing room to the tune of 4-1. Will Holland wanted to make sure a save situation wasn’t necessary, so his sacrifice fly in the 9th inning scored Wander Javier did just that. With eight hits total on the night, two hits came from each of Fedko, Severino, and Pat Winkel. MUSSEL MATTERS Postponed Tonight's game has been postponed due to unplayable field conditions. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Pirates 7, FCL Twins 4 Box Score Infielder Ernie Yake was rehabbing while on the injured list today with the FCL Twins. He was 0-for-3 with two strikeouts and played second base. Jair Camargo was also playing as part of a rehab assignment. As the designated hitter, Camargo was 1-for-4 with a triple and an RBI. Luis Rijo was recently removed from the 60-day injured list and transferred to the FCL so he could continue to rehab. Today, he made another start. He went four innings while allowing two runs and striking out four. It was the first of his six appearances this season in which he’s allowed an earned run. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Twins 6, DSL Colorado 5 Box Score Outfielder Yasser Mercedes was 4-for-5 including a leadoff homer in this one for the Twins. Anderson Nova also had a two-hit game while Anthony Narvaez punched out four across 2 2/3 innings of one-hit relief work. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Chris Williams (Wichita) - 3-4, 2 R, 6 RBI, 2B, 2 HR(13) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #6 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-2, R, BB, K #7 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 2.0 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 1 K #12 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 0-3, K #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, R #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Wichita) - 1-5, 2 RBI, 2B, K #18 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Toledo @ St. Paul (7:07PM CST) - RHP Aaron Sanchez Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) - LHP Kody Funderburk Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:35PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney Clearwater @ Fort Myers (3:30PM CST/Game 2 to follow) - TBD/TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates and the two Complex Season affiliates back and playing,
  13. TRANSACTIONS RHP Jon Olsen activated from 60-day IL, assigned to High-A Cedar Rapids RHP Pierce Banks transferred from High-A Cedar Rapids to Rookie Ball FCL Twins SAINTS SENTINEL Louisville 4, St. Paul 1 Box Score The Saints fell short on Friday night due in large part to an offense that sputtered all evening. Spencer Steer (2-for-3, 2B, BB) was the lone St. Paul batter to register multiple hits. His .876 OPS is currently third on the team behind Tim Beckham (1.090) and Jake Cave (.878). (Jake Cave's 49-game on-base streak ended during the loss.) Elliot Soto—the Saints’ No. 9 hitter—drove in the team’s lone run with a solo home run, his third of the season. Mario Sanchez started on the bump for St. Paul and surrendered four runs and two home runs across 3 1/3 innings. Ariel Jurado pitched the bulk of the remaining innings, striking out three and allowing only a single base runner during the game’s final four innings. Austin Schulfer lowered his ERA to 2.70 and picked up two strikeouts. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 6, Amarillo 4, F/11 Box Score An Andrew Bechtold walk-off three-run home run sent the Wind Surge home victorious over the Sod Poodles on Friday. It was Bechtold's ninth dinger of the year. Leobaldo Cabrera (2-for-3, RBI, BB) joined the Wichita third basemen in the homer column with his sixth. Anthony Prato (2-for-5, RBI) and Edouard Julien (1-for-3, RBI, 2 BB, R) each contributed a double. Blayne Enlow put together perhaps his best performance of the campaign, striking out five and allowing a single unearned run in four innings. His fastball touched 94 mph and sat 92-93 mph while his breaking ball sat in the low-80s and featured sharp, downward break. Osiris German, Bryan Sammons, Steven Cruz, Jordan Gore, and Andrew Cabezas pitched spectacularly out of the bullpen, combining to strike out five and not allow an earned run in seven innings. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Quad Cities 2 Box Score The Kernels coasted to a victory over their intrastate rivals thanks to a standout performance by David Festa as well as their bats. Festa improved his High-A record to 5-0 on the season after striking out eight batters and not allowing a single run in six innings of work. He now owns a 1.91 ERA to go along with 45 strikeouts in 42 1/3 innings with Cedar Rapids. At the plate, the Kernels popped with aplomb, smoking five extra-base hits, four of which were home runs. Seth Gray (2-for-5, 3 RBI), Jake Rucker (1-for-2, 2 RBI), Dylan Neuse (1-for-4, RBI), and Alerick Soularie (1-for-5, 3 RBI) all hit long balls. Christian Encarnacion-Strand went 2-for-4 with a double, walk, and two runs scored. MUSSEL MATTERS Tampa 5, Fort Myers 3 Box Score Tampa 3, Fort Myers 1 Box Score The Mighty Mussels dropped both of their contests to the Tarpons on Friday, despite an offense that collected 13 hits combined. Mike Paredes started and pitched admirably in the first game, striking out three and allowing a single run on a solo shot across four innings. But Tampa touched John Wilson for four runs in the sixth inning, which ultimately gave them the win. Rubel Cespedes (2-for-3, 2 RBI) was the lone Fort Myers batter to pick up multiple hits. Cespedes also picked up two hits in three at-bats in the second game, contributing his seventh double of the season. He was joined by Kala’i Rosario (2-for-2) whose ninth home run plated the Mighty Mussels only run. Malik Barrington punched out six batters but surrendered three runs in three innings. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 2, FCL Red Sox 0 Box Score Old friend Miguel Sanó hit a double, walked twice, and drove in a run as the FCL Twins took down the Red Sox on Friday. Andres Centeno (2-for-3, BB) drove in the game's only other run. Luis Rijo tossed the first three innings for the Twins and struck out five batters. Alex Phillips, Cleiber Maldonado, and Danny Moreno combined to strike out five batters in six innings of hitless work out of the bullpen. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Twins 7, DSL Giants Orange 5 Box Score Independence Day may have been earlier this week, but that didn’t stop the DSL Twins from lighting off some fireworks on Friday. Jose Rodriguez (3-for-5, RBI, BB) led the Twins' offensive charge with all three of his going for two bases. Yasser Mercedes (1-for-2, 3 BB, 2 R) was particularly pesky on the base paths, stealing three bags bringing his total to eight on the season. Rafael Cruz (2-for-4, 3 RBI, BB, R) hit his third home run. On the mound, Christian Jimenez pitched five innings, striking out six and allowing only one earned run. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K Hitter of the Day – Andrew Bechtold (Wichita) - 2-for-5, HR (9), 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - IL (ACL surgery) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - Did Not Play #3 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - IL (Knee surgery) #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - (Covid IL) #5 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - (IL-elbow/forearm) #6 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 2-for-3, 2B, BB #13 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 4 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K #15 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-3, RBI, 2 BB, R #16 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2B, BB, 2 R #18 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 8 K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-0, 4.21 ERA) Wichita vs. Amarillo (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Kody Funderburk (6-2, 3.06 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Quad Cities (6:35 PM CST) - LHP Aaron Rozek (6-2, 3.35 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Quad Cities (TBD) - TBD Fort Myers @ Tampa (5:30 PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya (3-1, 2.77 ERA)
  14. Previous Minor League Starting Pitchers of the Month May Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month: Steve Hajjar April Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month: John Stankiewicz For an organization fished with trophy pitching prospects, there were surprisingly very few outstanding starting pitching performances through the month of June. The diagnosis doesn't solely lie on the shoulders of poor outings; top prospects Matt Canterino and Simeon Woods-Richardson have struggled with injuries while names like Jordan Balazovic and Blayne Enlow are easing their way back from significant injuries. Still, June presented an opportunity for some likely and unlikely names to steal the show on the mound. Here are our top five starting pitchers in the month of June. Number Five: RHP Mario Sanchez (St. Paul Saints) - 4 G, 2 GS, 21 2/3 IP, 1.66 ERA. 0.55 WHIP, 10 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K Signed to a minor league contract at the beginning of the year after time in the Nationals organization, June was a breakout month for the 27-year-old righty. Coming off a lackluster May where opposing hitters cooked off of him (.258 AVG), Sanchez found his stride as both a starter and long reliever, with opposing hitters averaging a meager .144 AVG off of him. Sanchez's best start came actually came in a loss on May 26 against Buffalo when he allowed just two runs on three hits while striking out six through six innings. The journeyman's 0.22 BB/9 of .022 in June was a career-best and the veteran certainly knows how to eat up innings in an effective way. Number Four: RHP Cole Sands (St. Paul Saints) - 3 GS, 14 IP, 1.29 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 12 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 5 BB, 16 K After a less than perfect stint with the Twins, Sands returned to Triple-A St. Paul and returned to the consistency that makes him a great pitcher. Sands earned his first win of the season in a seven-strikeout masterpiece on June 29 against Omaha, allowing just one run on four hits and three walks through five innings. 2022 hasn't been a dreamy year from Sands. A talented pitcher who has seen the game's highest level, July could provide an opportunity for Sands to return both physically and mentally to the things that garner him an impressively high ceiling. Given bullpen struggles with the parent club, that is needed now more than ever. Number Three: RHP Louie Varland (Wichita Wind Surge) 5 GS, 26 1/3 IP, 3.08 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 24 H, 10 R, 9 ER, 8 BB, 35 K There's no doubt that Louie Varland has been the most exciting story in the Twins farm system over the past two years. A Minnesota kid with slight chances of 'making it,' Varland was absolutely brilliant in Fort Myers and Cedar Rapids last year and has been rock-solid for the Wind Surge in 2022. Now a top-tier prospect, the 24-year-old has come back down to earth after a few 'not bad, but not great' starts. Still, Varland wasn't shelled in any of his five starts and reached at least five innings in each one en route to a 2-1 record on the month. The pinnacle of that came on June 10 when Varland blew by Arkansas through six shutout innings, allowing just three hits and striking out nine. Varland has always been a strikeout pitcher and it appears that trend won't be going anywhere. Still on an excellent trajectory, expect Varland to dominate in Double-A the rest of the season and maybe even see a glimpse of St. Paul come August or September. Number Two: RHP David Festa (Cedar Rapids Kernels) 5 G, 4 GS, 27 2/3 IP, 2.28 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 22 H, 7 R, 7 ER, 9 BB, 28 K Our May pitcher of the month continued to dominate in June. Festa's 28 strikeouts led the Kernels and was second in the organization to Louie Varland's 35. Rozek went 2-0 on the month wins over Lansing on June 3 and Wisconsin on June 28. Yet Festa's best start came in a no-decision on June 9 against South Bend when he tossed six shutout innings with eight strikeouts while allowing just four hits and one walk. Festa keeps his walk numbers down for the most part, but even when he doesn't, the righty from Verona, NJ limits damage control. Despite giving up a season-high four walks on June 21 against West Michigan, Festa still allowed just one run and two hits through six innings. The versatility is beautiful and Festa is just getting started. Drafted by the Twins in the 13th round of the 2021 Draft, Festa's first full season in pro ball has been electric and the train shows no signs of stopping. It would be foolish to say that Festa won't be in Wichita by this time next season. Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month LHP Aaron Rozek (Cedar Rapids Kernels) - 4 GS, 18 2/3 IP, 1.45 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 9 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 6 BB, 16 K Velocity and flare win clicks, consistency wins baseball games. A son of Burnsville, MN, Rozek had as solid and steady of a month as anyone in the organization...and in minor league baseball. Despite only garnering one win on the month, Rozek put the Kernels in a position to win each time he took the mound. Even in his worst start of the month, Rozek limited damage, and the Kernels ended up beating Lansing 9-3 in dominating fashion. In that start, Rozek allowed three runs on three hits (two of which were homers) and one walk while striking out five. Rozek pounded the zone and only missed on three pitches that resulted in a single and two homers. Need more proof that it wasn't that bad? Rozek threw 41 of his 60 pitches for strikes. That's pretty damn good. Speaking of consistency, Rozek's strike percentages in each outing were 64%, 68%, 64.5%, and 69 %. The Burnsville Blaze alum's 0.80 WHIP not only led the Kernels but was only second to Mario Sanchez's 0.75 WHIP from Twins' minor league pitchers with over ten innings pitched. Rozek's best outing came against the Daytona Tortugas on June 17 when he pitched 5 2/3 shutout innings while allowing just three hits and two walks while striking out four. Rozek shut out his opponents in three of his four starts and averaged less than two walks in those three starts while giving up no homers. A graduate of Minnesota State, the undrafted Rozek signed a minor league contract with the Twins midway through the 2021 season. After bouncing between the FCL Twins, Wichita, and Fort Myers in 2021, Rozek seems to have found his stride with the Kernels in 2022. The 26-year-old is a prime example of an organization taking a chance on a player with quite a bit of uncertainty. After a lukewarm start to the season, it appears that Rozek has found his stride and his future looks bright. Think there are any other players deserving of Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month accolades? Converse and comment below!
  15. Let’s see what happened this Wednesday in the Twins organization. TRANSACTIONS The Twins optioned RHP Josh Winder to AAA St. Paul 3B Jake Rucker was promoted from Low-A Fort Myers to High-A Cedar Rapids SAINTS (AAA) St. Paul 6, Omaha 2 Box Score The Saints used two big innings on Wednesday to gain a 6-2 victory over the Omaha Storm Chasers. Cole Sands made the start for the Saints, and he continued his dominance since being sent down from the Twins, throwing five innings of one-run ball while striking out seven. In the first inning, Jake Cave extended his on-base streak to 43 games, the second-longest in the minor leagues this year and the longest by a Twins minor leaguer since 2006. After Sands allowed his lone run in the top of the third inning, the Saints responded for three in the bottom of the inning. Spencer Steer hit a bloop triple and came around to score on a single by Cave. Two batters later, Cave came around to score on a wild pitch. After a walk, Jermaine Palacios hit an RBI double to give the Saints a two-run lead through three innings. In the fifth, the Saints put up three more runs thanks to a two-run double from John Andreoli and an RBI fielders’ choice from Elliot Soto. The Saints bullpen was given a five-run cushion thanks to those big innings and great starting pitching from Sands, and the bullpen did not disappoint, only giving up two hits in four innings of work. Juan Minaya pitched two scoreless innings, Hunter Wood pitched a scoreless eighth, and Ian Hamilton pitched the ninth and allowed a run despite not allowing any hits. Saints pitching combined for 13 strikeouts in the dominant victory. Two-hit games led the offense by Steer and Cave and a three-hit performance from Palacios. The win improved the Saints' record to 36-37 in 2022, and they will look to get to .500 on Thursday. WIND SURGE (AA) Wichita 10, Springfield 1 Box Score The Wichita Wind Surge won in an offensive onslaught on Wednesday by a score of 10-1. Casey Legumina got the start on the mound for the Wind Surge and pitched 2 2/3 innings, not allowing any runs on three hits while striking out five. Legumina was mowing down Springfield hitters until a line drive hit him in the back, forcing him to come out of the game in the bottom of the third. After Legumina was removed, Cody Laweryson pitched 2 1/3 innings, not allowing any hits and striking out four batters. The tandem of Legumina and Laweryson combined for five innings, three hits allowed, no runs, and nine strikeouts. Quite the night for the L&L boys. Offensively, it was the Edouard Julien show. Julien got the offense started in the top of the first when he hit his fifth homer of the year to give the Wind Surge a 1-0 lead early. In the top of the third, on the next pitch he saw, Julien hit a three-run homer to right-center to extend the Wind Surge lead to four. In the top of the fourth, he hit a two-run double for his fifth and sixth RBI of the night. And in the top of the sixth, he drove in Kevin Merrell with a groundout for his seventh RBI of the night. One batter later, Austin Martin drove in a run with a single to extend the lead to nine runs. Steven Klimek, Steven Cruz, Osiris German, and Denny Bentley each pitched in relief of Laweryson and allowed one run between the four of them while striking out four in four innings. In the top of the ninth, Chris Williams hit his seventh home run to extend the lead back to nine runs. The Wind Surge improved their record to 36-34 on the year. Julien finished 4-for-5 with seven RBI to lead the offense, and Martin went 3-for-3 with two walks. Matt Wallner continued to be an offensive force as he went 1-for-3 with two walks and two runs scored. KERNELS (HIGH-A) GAME ONE Cedar Rapids 6, Wisconsin 2 Box Score This game was the continuation of Tuesday’s game which was suspended. Before suspension on Tuesday, the Kernels jumped out to a 5-0 lead thanks to a two-run homer from Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and back-to-back-to-back doubles from Kyler Fedko, Yunior Severino, and Pat Winkel. Brent Headrick threw two innings of this game before it was suspended. Headrick did not have his best stuff as he allowed three hits, and it took him 40 pitches to get through two innings, but he did so without giving up a run. After the game was picked up on Wednesday, David Festa was given the (re)-start for the Kernels. Festa continued to be one of the best pitchers in the Twins' minor-league system as he went 5 2/3 innings, allowing two runs and striking out seven. The Kernels picked up an insurance run in the top of the eighth inning when Alerick Soularie singled, scoring Dylan Neuse to push the Kernels’ lead to six. In the bottom of the eighth, Festa gave up a run and got pulled with two outs. Derek Molina came out of the bullpen and allowed an RBI single but nothing after that as he got the final four outs of a 6-2 victory for Cedar Rapids. Festa picked up the win for Cedar Rapids to improve his record to 4-0 on the year. Soularie led the offense by going 2-for-4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Fedko reached three times via a double and two walks. GAME TWO Cedar Rapids 1, Wisconsin 3 Box Score In their second game of the day, the Kernels offense struggled mightily, only collecting one hit and striking out 13 times in seven innings. Hunter McMahon got the start in game two for the Kernels, and he went three innings while allowing one run on three hits while striking out three. Seth Gray provided the only offense for the Kernels with his ninth homer of the year in the top of the third to tie the game at one. After McMahon exited, Orlando Rodriguez came in relief for the Kernels, and after he had faced two batters, he had allowed two runs after a leadoff single and a two-run homer. After the homer, Rodriguez pitched well, getting five more outs without allowing a run. After Rodriguez, Tyler Palm came in and got four outs for the Kernels without allowing a run. The Kernels couldn’t get anything going in response to the two-run homer and picked up the loss 3-1. The double-header split puts the Kernels’ record at 45-26, the best in the Midwest League. MIGHTY MUSSELS (LOW-A) Fort Myers 4, Dunedin 5 Box Score The Fort Myers Mighty Mussels battled back from a four-run deficit but couldn’t get over the hump on Wednesday as they fell 5-4 to Dunedin. Fort Myers took an early lead in this one when Dillon Tatum hit a solo homer in the bottom of the second inning. Pierson Ohl was the starter for Fort Myers in this one, and he turned in a quality start, going six innings while allowing three runs on seven hits and no walks. Ohl struck out four batters in the start. After Tatum’s home run, Dunedin scored five unanswered runs through the top of the seventh inning. In the bottom of the seventh, Kala’i Rosario hit his eighth homer of the year, and Rubel Cespedes drove in Carlos Aguiar with a single to get the Mighty Mussels within two runs. In the top of the eighth, the Mighty Mussels brought in Anthony Escobar, who threw two hitless innings to keep the game close. In the bottom of the eighth, Keoni Cavaco scored on a wild pitch to bring the game within a run. However, the Mighty Mussels couldn’t manage a run in the bottom of the ninth and took the loss. The loss drops Fort Myers to 42-26 on the year. Cavaco picked up two hits to lead the offense, and Ohl took the loss to drop to 3-4 on the year. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Twins 3, DSL Cleveland Blue 2 Box Score Starting Pitcher: Ledwin Taveras (5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, W) Multi-Hit Games: Yasser Mercedes (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB) 2B: Jose Rodriguez (2), Mercedes (2) TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Ledwin Taveras (DSL Twins) - 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K, W Hitter of the Day – Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 4-for-5, 2B (9), 2 HR (6), 7 RBI, 2 R PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-for-3, RBI, 2 BB #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-for-4 #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, 3B (1), R #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-5, 2 K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 4-for-5, 2B (9), 2 HR (6), 7 RBI, 2 R #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 7 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-1, HR (17), 2 R, 2 RBI #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 7 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (7:07 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (0-2, 6.93 ERA) Wichita @ Springfield (7:05 CST) - RHP Louie Varland (6-2, 3.42 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:40 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (5-4, 3.93 ERA) Dunedin @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya (3-1, 3.00 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!
  16. My secretary is informing me that the trade deadline is actually August 2nd, but because I’ve already written the previous paragraph, and because I found it funny, I will ignore that. There has recently been a weird but unsurprising defeatist mentality amongst Twins fans. Some have asked not what the Twins can do to improve at the deadline, but instead which veterans they can deal to consolidate their losses and give it another try next season. I disagree entirely with this notion. The Twins are a good baseball team lacking an extra arm, or two, or three, but acquiring those necessary few players is easily doable. Here are some of the prospects they may give up to do so. Matt Wallner It will be hard to part with a Minnesota boy, but the team may have to do it. Wallner stands at the crossroads of an excellent 2022 season and a weird position fit for the team in the future. There’s no shortage of young left-handed power-hitting outfielders on the Twins, making fate the beholder for any potential playing time for Wallner; his spot is far from saved. Wallner is a legitimate prospect as well; Fangraphs gives him a 45 FV rating—a number that doesn’t blow anyone away but does represent a quality player with MLB potential. After all, Luis Arraez was just a 40+ FV prospect according to the same website. When drawing up trades, it’s easy to clump up the bottom of the barrel (Brent Rooker and Nick Gordon for Luis Castillo, anyone?) in a foolish attempt at swindling grown men out of their other, more talented grown men. That doesn’t happen in this era of MLB. Wallner alone will not net Frankie Montas, but he could be the 2nd best piece in a package deal for him or a starter like him. The only thing that could make teams shy away from Wallner is that he may be too MLB-ready. Remember, out-of-contention organizations like the Athletics hate spending money even more than they hate their own fans, and they don’t like holding on to a player who will be arbitration-eligible around the time they’re supposed to compete again. Cole Sands Like Wallner, whether a team wants Cole Sands depends on how much they’re willing to pay a player more than the vet minimum. Still, Sands is an awkward fit on the Twins. He has potential—that sweeping breaking ball is something vicious—but are they willing to throw him to the major league wolves and potentially take losses in exchange for learning experiences? A team out of contention can say yes, but the answer is far trickier for the Twins. Sands is similar to Wallner in that he will likely be the 2nd best piece if the trade is of the big-splash variety. College Arm in the Low Minors This is cheating, but I make the rules, so I get to break them at will. The Twins have a glut of recently-drafted college arms laying waste to hitters in the low minors (hey, someone should write about that), and the team may dangle one in front of a team looking for the most sought-after commodity in sports: a young starting pitcher. I think the team will avoid bringing up Cade Povich in talks, but Brent Headrick, David Festa, and Travis Adams could be the lotto tickets necessary to coax an elite reliever out of another organization. Players the Team Will Not Move Remember, this is theorizing, not prophecizing; I have no idea which prospects the Twins covet and secretly loathe. I have a hard time seeing the team move Austin Martin; he’s both significantly underperforming and a crucial cog in their return for José Berríos. If the team liked him enough to part ways with their best homegrown starter in a generation, then I don’t see them reversing course so soon. Spencer Steer is another player I don’t see the team parting ways with unless the return is massive. Gio Urshela is a stop-gap to nowhere, and Jose Miranda should avoid playing 3rd base as much as possible. Steer fits so perfectly in the team’s plan for next season that dealing him would make little sense. Final player: Marco Raya. This is even more speculation-y than before, but he feels anointed by the Twins to be the next Berríos. A team would have to make an overwhelmingly generous offer to convince the team to trade him away, and sellers usually aren’t the ones to make such concessions.
  17. TRANSACTIONS There were no transactions in the system heading into Tuesday’s games. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 7, Buffalo 8 Box Score The Saints jumped out to a big lead with a five-run third inning, but the bullpen wasn’t able to hold it late as they fell back to .500 on the season in their series opener with the Bisons. On the mound for St. Paul was right-hander Ronny Henriquez, and he pitched into the sixth inning. As has been the knock on him in his minor league career, the home run ball was an issue, as he allowed two in his 5 1/3 innings. Luckily for him, they were both of the solo variety and were the only runs given up. In total he allowed four hits, walked two, and struck out five in his outing. In their big third inning, the Saints got a bases-clearing double from Tim Beckham, then later a two-run double from Jermaine Palacios to go out front. Palacios was robbed of a grand slam in the fifth, and instead had to settle for a sac fly that made the score 6-1, before he learned his lesson and muscled one further out in the seventh for a solo homer that made it 7-2. The bottom of the seventh is where it started to fall apart. Tyler Viza had come on in relief of Henriquez in the sixth after he walked two consecutive batters and escaped the jam, but very quickly got himself into one in the seventh. Two hit batters and a walk loaded the bases, then a sac fly and single scored two runs before St. Paul had anyone warmed up. Hunter Wood prevented any further damage that inning, but the lead was now 7-4. In the eighth it was Jovani Moran’s turn to shut the Bisons down and he got the first two hitters he faced, but a pair of walks around an RBI double ended his outing in favor of Yennier Cano. Who promptly allowed a go-ahead three-run homer to complete the Buffalo comeback. The Saints went down quietly in the bottom of the ninth, and will look to get back on track with Josh Winder on the mound tomorrow, continuing his rehab assignment. Beckham (2-for-5, 2 R, 2B, 3 RBI, 2 K) and Palacios (2-for-3, R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, K) led the way for the offense with multiple hits, and Spencer Steer finished 1-for-3 with a pair of walks and run scored out of the leadoff spot. WIND SURGE WISDOM San Antonio 2, Wichita 9 Box Score We need to talk about Matt Wallner. The slugger out of Southern Mississippi got off to a slow start this year, hitting just .200 in the season's first month. But as the weather has warmed up down in the Texas League, so has he. In the month of May he posted a .287/.410/.575 batting line, and after his two home run game tonight, is hitting .345(!)/.500(!!!)/.690(!!!!!) in the month of June. He’s been so good, and getting on-base so often, that he’s been batting in the leadoff spot for the Wind Surge in the last week. That was the case again tonight in the series opener with the San Antonio Missions, and it didn’t take long for him to show up. It was the fourth pitch of the bottom of the first inning to be exact. That blast tied the game at one, and in his second at-bat in the third inning, he put the Wind Surge in the lead with an RBI single. He later scored on a single from Edouard Julien and the home team took a 3-1 lead. The offense broke the game open in the fifth with four-run inning, though Wallner didn’t factor into the outburst this time. A three-run homer from Cole Sturgeon did most of the damage, but Julien tacked on another RBI single and their lead was now 7-2. Wallner was back at it in the eighth, delivering his third hit and a second home run, when he demolished the first pitch of his at-bat for a two-run blast. I’d imagine he’ll be up with St. Paul soon. Making the start for Wichita was Sawyer Gipson-Long, and he picked up his first win in double-A with a five-inning effort. He allowed two runs on six hits, walked zero, and struck out three. Relievers Melvi Acosta (2 IP, H, BB, K), Steven Cruz (1 IP, H, K), and Osiris German (1 IP, 2 H) finished off the final four scoreless innings in the 9-2 win. Joining Wallner in the multi-hit parade for the Wind Surge were Julien (2-for-3, R, 2 RBI, 2 BB), Anthony Prato (2-for-4, R), and Leobaldo Cabrera (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B). KERNELS NUGGETS West Michigan 1, Cedar Rapids 2 Box Score The Kernels matchup with the Whitecaps on Tuesday was a good old-fashioned pitchers duel, as the starting pitchers battled each other for the first half of the game, allowing only two hits each in their time on the mound. There were just seven hits total in the game between both teams, and the Kernels did not have a runner advance past second base until the eighth inning. But they finally made it count when they did. Right-hander David Festa got the start and while he didn’t rack up strikeouts like he has been known to this season, kept the Whitecaps off balance in his six innings. He allowed two hits, walked four, and struck out three in allowing just one run. He was sitting mid-90’s all game and topped out at 97 MPH while I was listening to the broadcast. Bradley Hanner delivered two scoreless innings out of the bullpen, allowing one hit, and gets credited with his fourth win of the season, as the lineup came through late. They finally got a runner in scoring position after a one-out single from Kennie Taylor was followed by a walk from Alerick Soularie, bringing up Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who has proven to be born for these situations. He delivered an RBI double down the first base line that tied the game at one, and put the go-ahead runner 90-feet away. After an intentional walk to Aaron Sabato, Seth Gray drove a fly ball deep enough into right field to give the Kernels the lead with a sac fly. Derek Molina came on for the bottom of the ninth, and retired the Whitecaps one-two-three, picking up his third save of the season, and punctuating the comeback with a strikeout to end it. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Lakeland 2 Box Score The Mighty Mussels got a solid start from left-hander Jordan Carr, and the bullpen finished off the battle of pitching staffs to collect their 40th win of the season against the Flying Tigers. Carr picked up his second win with five innings of one-run ball. He allowed five hits, two walks, and struck out five. His lone run allowed came in the fifth inning, which made the score 3-1 in favor of Fort Myers. The lineup had put single runs on the scoreboard in each of the second, fourth, and fifth innings to that point. In the second it was a triple from Keoni Cavaco to score Rubel Cespedes, who had led off the inning with a double. In the fourth, a groundout from Cespedes scored Noah Miller from third, who had led off the inning with a walk. Their run in the fifth came courtesy of an errant throw from the catcher that allowed Mikey Perez to score from second. Those three runs would hold up as the bullpen trio of Jackson Hicks (1 IP, H, BB, K), Anthony Escobar (1 IP, 2 H, 2 K), and Hunter McMahon (2 IP, H, ER, BB, K) kept Lakeland at bay over the final four innings. McMahon’s run allowed came on a solo home run in the eighth, but he set the opposition down in order in the bottom of the ninth for his fifth save. The Mighty Mussels were outhit 9-to-6 and drew only one walk as a team, but got enough to steal a win behind their pitching. They were just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position, and left only one man on base for the game. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Orioles 3, FCL Twins 15 Box Score The FCL Twins knocked out twelve hits and drew ten walks in blowing out the FCL Orioles. They scored multiple runs in each of the first, fourth, fifth, and seventh innings, led by three hits, including a home run, and five RBI from Yonardy Soto. Andres Centeno also drove in five with a pair of singles and two sacrifice flies. Brayan Medina got the win, allowing two runs (one earned) on five hits and three walks in four innings pitched. He struck out two. Miguelangel Boadas added three innings of scoreless relief, allowing two hits, walking two, and striking out four. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL Angels 4, DSL Twins 5 Box Score The DSL Twins held off a comeback attempt from the DSL Angels to even their record at 6-6 on the season. Shortstop Yilber Herrera led the way on offense with a 2-for-3 effort, including a double and a triple, and drove in three runs. Rafael Cruz and Denyerbe Gervis also added triples to the effort. Miguel Olivares made the start and went the first four innings, allowing no runs on two hits and two walks, while striking out six. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - David Festa, Cedar Rapids Kernels (6 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 4 BB, 3 K) Hitter of the Day - Matt Wallner, Wichita Wind Surge (3-for-5, 3 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4, R #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-2 #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-for-3, R, 2 BB #9 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 1-for-3, R, BB, 2 K #13 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 5 1/3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 3-for-5, 3 R, 2 HR, 4 RBI #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-for-3, R, 2 RBI #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, 2B, RBI, K #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 4 BB, 3 K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Buffalo (6:05 PM CDT) - RHP Josh Winder (0-0, 6.75 ERA) San Antonio @ Wichita (7:05 PM CDT) - LHP Kody Funderburk (6-2, 2.41 ERA) West Michigan @ Cedar Rapids (12:05 PM CDT) - LHP Brent Headrick (6-2, 2.55 ERA) Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 PM CDT) - RHP Travis Adams (4-2, 2.94 ERA) DSL Braves @ DSL Twins (10:00 AM CDT) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  18. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 4, Rochester 3 Box Score Minnesota Twins Opening Day starter Joe Ryan was making a rehab start tonight for St. Paul as he works his way back after a bout of Covid. He worked three innings allowing a single baserunner on a hit. Ryan punched out four. Rochester was looking for their first win of this series and they took a 2-0 lead on a homer in the 4th inning. Another run scored on a sacrifice fly in the 8th inning. John Andreoli clubbed a two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th inning to score Jermain Palacios, and Alex Kirilloff singled as a pinch hitter. The winning run stepped up to the plate in the form of Spencer Steer. He took a ball, whiffed on the next pitch, and then sent his 8th home run at Triple-A over the center field wall. St. Paul walks off the former affiliate and are now 3-0 in this series. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1: Wichita 7, Arkansas 3 Box Score Playing a doubleheader today the Wind Surge went to Casey Legumina in game one. He turned in five strong innings allowing just three runs on six hits. Legumina didn’t walk anyone but recorded just a single strikeout. Matt Wallner wasted little time to extend his hitting streak to seven games. A first inning triple drove in Anthony Prato and put Wichita on the board. After getting behind in the bottom half, Wichita answered in the 4th inning. Chris Williams singled in Wallner before an Andrew Bechtold home run brought Williams in as well. After doubling up the Travelers total, the Wind Surge added two more in the 5th inning. Prato lifted a sacrifice fly to score Edouard Julien before Kyle Schmidt singled to drive in Austin Martin from third. It was his first hit with the Wind Surge. Arkansas tried to claw back adding one in the bottom half, but DaShawn Keirsey Jr. roped a solo shot, his second of the season, to make it 7-3 in the 6th inning. Evan Sisk turned in two perfect relief innings to slam the door while striking out three. Game 2: Arkansas 3, Wichita 0 Box Score Kody Funderburk got the start in the nightcap and worked three innings of two run baseball. He worked around six hits and a walk, but punched out six to keep his team in it. Arkansas scored the first run of the game on a solo shot in the 1st inning before a 3rd inning double pushed across another run. Joe Rizzo then launched his second dinger of the game, and ninth of the season in the 4th inning to make it 3-0. The Wind Surge, intent on making things interesting, scored on a bases loaded walk from Anthony Prato. As Leobaldo Cabrera came across, the bases remained loaded with no one out. Wichita left the sacks full though, and they went into the bottom of the 6th inning trailing by two. Wichita wouldn't get another run and they avoided being no-hit with Julien's double. KERNELS NUGGETS South Bend 2, Cedar Rapids 0 Box Score David Festa took the ball for Cedar Rapids and continued his dominant 2022 season. Working six innings, he allowed just four hits while striking out eight and walking only one. Both the Kernels and Cubs found themselves scoreless through seven innings. Unfortunately, South Bend added a pair of runs in the bottom of the 8th inning and Cedar Rapids was unable to answer. The Kernels tallied just three hits on the evening and dropped this one in lackluster fashion. MUSSEL MATTERS Daytona 10, Fort Myers 6 Box Score It was Jordan Carr making the start for the Mighty Mussels tonight and he lasted just four innings. Allowing five runs on seven hits, Carr walked no one and punched out four. This was an exciting matchup as former Twins prospect Chase Petty was on the mound for Daytona. He worked 3 2/3 innings giving up two runs (one earned) on three hits. Petty punched out five and walked two. Jake Rucker scored in the top of the first inning on an errant pickoff throw, but Fort Myers gave up the lead in the bottom half. Noah Miller drove in Luis Baez with a single in the 3rd inning to knot things at two. After a three run inning for the Tortugas in the 4th, Noah Cardenas added one back for the Mighty Mussels. He ripped a double, his fifth, to left field, scoring Rucker. A wild pitch then scored Cardenas from third before a bases loaded walk to Nelson Roberto plated Kala’i Rosario. All of a sudden things were even. In the 5th inning Daytona added in a big way, including a two-run double from Willians Astudillo’s brother WIlfred. Down 9-5 when the dust settled, another run in the 6th inning put Fort Myers down by five. Astudillo, a catcher like his turtle-named brother, allowed a passed ball in the 8th inning and Carlos Aguiar came home. That was it for the scoring though, and the Mighty Mussels seven hits were doubled up by Daytona. Rubel Cespedes had the lone two-hit night. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Rays 11, FCL Twins 7 Box Score Veteran Daniel Robertson continue his minor league rehab stint for Triple-A St. Paul with the FLC team today. He went 2-for-4 with a three-run homer and tallied five RBI in total. Pitcher Wilker Reyes gave up three runs, all unearned, in 2 2/3 innings of relief work, but struck out six. Intriguing prospect Malfrin Sosa joined Robertson with a multi-hit game. The Twins were leading 7-4 going into the 7th inning but things went pear-shaped when they gave up three in the top half, and another four the following frame. DOMINICAN DAILIES No Game TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, 2 RBI, HR(8), K PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-3, R, BB, 2 K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 1-3, R #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, 2 RBI, HR(8), K #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, RBI, K #13 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-5, BB, 4 K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-6, 2B, BB, 3 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-2, BB, K #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ St. Paul (7:07PM CST) - RHP Josh Winder Wichita @ Arkansas (7:05PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05PM CST) - RHP Brent Headrick Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Travis Adams Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates and the two Complex Season affiliates back and playing.
  19. Previous 2022 Starting Pitcher of the Month April - John Stankiewicz Methodology: This isn’t a scientific ranking by any stretch of the imagination. Other minor league writers gave feedback on their top players before the author weighed their choices with his own opinions. Results were less clear-cut than one would hope (one writer had Matt Canterino 2nd while another had him 6th). This is meant to act as a general spotlight to shine on many players, not just the one we deemed “the best,” so don’t take this any more seriously than it needs to be. Honorable Mention - Travis Adams - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, 3.15 ERA, 3.45 FIP, 29.7 K%, 20 IP Travis Adams, the Twins 6th round pick in 2021 out of Sacramento State, threw his hat in the ring of notable college arms making noise in 2022. He allowed a few more runs than the arms that will grace this list, but he was still outstanding—allowing an opponent batting average of .162 in May against a WHIP of 0.85. Honorable Mention - Chi Chi González - St. Paul Saints, 2.53 ERA, 2.52 FIP, 24.4 K%, 21 1/3 IP Chi Chi González joined the Twins organization this past off-season, inking a minor league deal hoping that he could pitch his way into an unsteady major league rotation. That hasn’t happened yet, but González took a significant step towards that future in May. He rebounded from a shaky April to pitch to a respectable 2.53 ERA in May without giving up a long ball in four starts. Number Five - Sawyer Gipson-Long - Cedar Rapids Kernels, 1.74 ERA, 3.59 FIP, 29.5 K%, 20 2/3 IP Sawyer Gipson-Long, another recent college arm (someone should write about that), popped up on the prospect radar last season and is proving that his success is no fluke. The righty from Mercer crushed his competition in May, allowing a sub-.200 batting average against while striking out batters at nearly a 30% clip. That’s good, folks. His age, combined with his status as an older arm, curses his evaluations to be bland; Eric Longenhagen and Tess Taruskin described him as someone who sits “90-94 with an above-average slider and plenty of strikes.” Keep an eye on him as an under-the-radar pitcher who could be in Wichita very soon. Number Four - Brent Headrick - Cedar Rapids Kernels, 0.93 ERA, 3.70 FIP, 26.0 K%, 19 ⅓ IP Another former-collegiate pitcher, Brent Headrick, has found command in 2022, and hitters have suffered for it. Headrick crushed May, holding a WHIP of just 0.78 with three of his four starts ending without him surrendering an earned run. His FIP held him back from placing higher on this list—the next three pitchers all dominated in ERA and peripherals—but that’s hardly a knock on Headrick’s pitching ability. Allowing two earned runs in an entire month is elite, no matter how you slice it. Number Three - Matt Canterino - Wichita Wind Surge, 2.00 ERA, 2.95 FIP, 37.3 K%, 18 IP Matt Canterino had an unusual month of May; he started four games while piggybacking in another but still ended up with fewer innings than all previously named starters. Nonetheless, he dominated. Canterino allowed runs in just one outing while striking out the world as he returns from an elbow injury that shortened his 2021 season. The Rice product walked more batters than one would prefer (12.0% of them), but his strikeout total in May was so ridiculous that he still ended up at the number three spot. Number Two - David Festa- Fort Myers Mighty Mussels/Cedar Rapids Kernels, 1.45 ERA, 2.32 FIP, 36.8 K%, 18 2/3 IP One of the most talked-about Twins prospects this year, David Festa, had a month to remember in May. The 13th-round pick out of Seton Hall embodied efficiency, striking out hitters like an elite MLB reliever while not sacrificing command in favor of his stuff; he walked just 5.9% of hitters in May. His performance earned him a promotion to Cedar Rapids, where he made two outings; one great and one forgettable. His ascent through the minors could be rapid, so make sure to stop and appreciate Festa before he switches levels again. Number One - Steve Hajjar - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels, 0.51 ERA, 2.21 FIP, 42.6 K%, 17 ⅔ IP For a while, Steve Hajjar was like Cthulu—legendary and fearsome, but never seen as he pitched with a Fort Myers team that doesn’t broadcast their games and only occasionally plays against a team that does. Then May 26th happened. Hajjar took the mound against the Bradenton Marauders and shut them down completely, fanning 10 over 5 ⅔ innings with no earned runs. It was the perfect culmination of Hajjar’s ability. The Twins drafted the tall lefty out of Michigan in the 2nd round of the 2021 draft; enamored by his potential, they handed him over $1 million. Hajjar didn’t pitch for the organization that year, but grumblings from team sources indicated that they were pleased with his internal performance. 2022 hasn’t left much for the imagination. The fewest amount of strikeouts Hajjar netted in a single game is 5, and he’s already punched out 50 batters through 29 innings of work. 29; he’s thrown 29 innings and has 50 strikeouts. Walker Buehler has thrown nearly 60 innings and only has 49. The primary issue left for Hajjar is command—he’s walked 17 hitters in those 29 innings to give him a ghastly 14.7 BB% on the year. Although, there may be signs of control as he’s walked just one batter respectively in each of his last two starts. Hajjar is a starter with immense potential, and it will be a great joy to watch him develop in the Twins system.
  20. Transactions: RHP Tyler Thornburg signed by Minnesota and assigned to St. Paul OF Mark Contreras recalled by Minnesota RHP Jharel Cotton selected by Minnesota RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez selected by Minnesota RHP Ian Hamilton selected by Minnesota INF Daniel Ozoria transferred to Wichita INF Rubel Cespedes assigned to Fort Myers SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 8, Iowa 7 Box Score With the big league club headed into Canada and needing warm bodies, plenty of roster moves impacted the St. Paul Saints on Friday. Ronny Henriquez drew the start and went 4 1/3 while allowing five runs on ten hits. He struck out five and walked just one. Roy Morales started the scoring for St. Paul in the top half of the 1st inning when his single drove in Jake Cave. After Iowa tied it in the 2nd inning, St. Paul jumped back up in the 3rd inning. Solo shots by Elliot Soto and Alex Kirilloff made it a 3-1 score. Iowa drew back within one during the bottom of the 3rd inning, but Michael Helman answered with his first Triple-A home run, a two-run blast scoring Cole Sturgeon, in the 4th inning to push the lead up to three. In the 5th inning Kirilloff contributed again, this time with a double plating Soto and making it a 6-3 game. After Iowa scored in both the 5th and 6th innings to take the lead 7-6, St. Paul rallied. Morales ripped a double in the 9th inning to score Kirilloff and push things to extras. In the 10th inning Caleb Hamilton used a fielder’s choice to score Helman. In the bottom half of the frame Sturgeon uncorked a dart to home plate nailing the would-be game-tying run and ending the game. Kirilloff had a three-hit game with a pair of extra-base hits. Morales and Soto both had multi-hit efforts of their own. WIND SURGE WISDOM Frisco 2, Wichita 1 Box Score Wichita turned the ball to Casey Legumina and was rewarded with 5 2/3 innings of strong work. Legumina allowed just two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out seven. The lone damage against him came on a 4th inning big fly. Playing a tight contest the night before, Wichita looked for more run support in this one. DaShawn Keirsey Jr. roped his 10th double in the bottom of the 2nd inning to score Matt Wallner. That got the Wind Surge on the board, but that’s where the run production would end. After winning a game 2-1 on Thursday, they dropped this contest by the same score. Four hits from the starting lineup wasn’t enough to get it done. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Lansing 5 Box Score David Festa was tonight’s starting pitcher for the Kernels and he continued to turn in strong outings. Working five innings, Festa gave up just two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five. His ERA at High-A now sits at 2.63 on the year. Lansing jumped out to a 1-0 lead after the first inning, but that was erased by Aaron Sabato in the 3rd inning. A single to right field scored Anthony Prato and Christian Encarnacion-Strand giving Cedar Rapids the lead. Things were knotted once again by the end of the inning, but the Kernels jumped back out ahead in the 5th inning. Prato singled to right pushing Charles Mack across the plate, and then Prato was able to score later after stealing third and scoring on a throwing error. The Lugnuts continued to charge back, coming within one in the 7th inning, but Cedar Rapids again had an answer. Mack singled to score Jeferson Morales before Prato ripped his 5th triple to plate Will Holland and Mack. A wild pitch then allowed Prato yet another opportunity to cross the plate. Lansing tired to make a comeback, but the hole was too deep and the 9th inning rally ended with just two runs being made up. Sabato had a strong three-hit evening while Prato, Mack, and Wander Javier all contributed two hits apiece. MUSSEL MATTERS The Mighty Mussels and Tarpons were postponed on Friday due to inclement weather. They square off again on Saturday evening. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Casey Legumina (Wichita) - 5.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K Hitter of the Day – Anthony Prato (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, 3 R, 3 RBI, BB, 3B PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - Injured List #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-4, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - Did Not Play #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-6, 3 K #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - Postponed #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - Postponed #10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #11 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #13 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - 4.1 IP, 10 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 1 BB, 5 K #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, R, 2B #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-4, 2 K #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 2-5, R, 2 K, 2 B #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 5.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Iowa (6:08PM CST) - RHP Jacob Faria Frisco @ Wichita (6:05PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland Cedar Rapids @ Lansing (6:05PM CST) - RHP Brent Headrick Tampa @ Fort Myers (5:00 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.
  21. If you hadn’t been paying attention to the Twins’ minor leagues, you don’t read this site enough, which is a shame. Twins Daily has been covering the system, uhhh, daily, and there has been an apparent development so far in the season: college arms dominating. Cade Povich, Brent Headrick, Steve Hajjar, David Festa, Travis Adams, Matt Canterino, and Sawyer Gipson-Long have all performed well, especially in the context of a minor league system with less sheen after graduations and under-performance amongst the best prospects. Those names stand out. I find K-BB% to be the best quick-and-dirty stat analysis for pitching prospects. It sums up just how dominant a pitcher is against his penchant for walking batters, and it completely removes poor minor league defense from the equation. It’s an incomplete picture for sure, but that’s how minor league stat-scouting goes. How well are those arms performing in context with their peers? With a minimum of 30 innings pitched, here’s how they compare with pitchers in their division. Players ranked by rank relative to division: *Hajjar has 29 innings pitched as of writing this, but he’s an essential piece of the story, so I included him anyway. Festa has pitched with both Fort Myers and Cedar Rapids in 2022, which makes his placement in the table messy—just know his K-BB% would be elite in either league. The Twins have targeted college arms specifically for years now. Since 2017, their drafts have been 43%, 43%, 38%, and 45% college arms, respectively, with 2020 ignored as it should be for every topic. Bailey Ober, Cole Sands, and Josh Winder were college arms, and while they didn’t draft Joe Ryan, he came from the collegiate ranks as well. It took a few years of cleaning out the gutters, but the system is now overflowing with college arms. This focus is nothing new for Derek Falvey; he coveted multiple collegiate arms during his time as a Cleveland executive. Corey Kluber, Trevor Bauer, Mike Clevinger, Shane Bieber, and Aaron Civale rose through the college ranks before joining Cleveland’s system and found varying levels of success in the majors. That’s three Cy Young winners for those keeping track. An advantage to drafting college arms is their seasoning; those players have more time performing against high-level talent and require less time in the minors than their high school counterparts. Teams know this; it’s why the Angels, probably foolishly, drafted 19 college pitchers in 2021. The draft is 20 rounds. Another truism about drafting college pitchers is that, because their cement is more dry, taking one is less a game of projections and more a project of finding undervalued characteristics. High schoolers might as well be light-years away from the majors, and their development presents an immense risk. The Moneyball book perfectly represented the idea with Billy Beane’s anger at drafting Jeremy Bonderman, a projectable arm with a “clean delivery, and a body that looked as if it had been created to wear a baseball uniform.” Although, Bonderman had the last laugh when he pitched more than 1,200 innings in MLB over a nine-year career. Is this simply just the game repeating itself; it’s meta-game moving full-circle back towards what was cutting edge thinking 20 years ago? Perhaps, perhaps not. If you looked carefully, you’d see that players like Povich and Hajjar found extra velocity ticks after joining the organization. The team could be identifying players with more data attached to them to target a fix or two and enjoy the benefits of a more realized player. After all, this is the landscape of Big Data in baseball, and the Twins might be using it to their advantage.
  22. Minnesota selected David Festa in the 13th round of the 2021 MLB Draft out of Seton Hall University. He posted a 3.49 ERA in three collegiate seasons with a 1.27 WHIP and 8.9 K/9. There were some positive signs from his junior year, where he posted career-best totals with a 2.00 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, and two shutouts. He struck out 67 batters in 72 innings, but he showed positive strides toward being an effective pitcher. The Twins hoped to get Festa into the system and build on his collegiate improvements. Shortly after signing, Festa made his professional debut for the FCL Twins. In two starts, he was nearly unhittable as he struck out 8-of-16 batters he faced and didn't walk a batter. Minnesota promoted him to Fort Myers, where he allowed four earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. Festa was nearly a year younger than the average age of the competition at Low-A, and it was a small sample size. The Twins sent Festa back to Fort Myers to start the 2022 season, and he was one of the best pitchers in the Florida State League. Through five starts, Festa had a 1.50 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in 24 innings while striking out 33 and walking six. He was named the FSL Pitcher of the Week after pitching six no-hit innings with 11 strikeouts. Minnesota rewarded Festa's strong start to the season with a promotion to Cedar Rapids. On Sunday, Festa made his first appearance for the Kernels as Cedar Rapids scheduled him to follow Brent Headrick's start. He allowed one earned run on three hits with no walks and six strikeouts in 4 2/3 innings. The only run he allowed came in the ninth inning when his team was up by six runs. It was a tremendous High-A debut for a Twins pitcher putting himself on the Twins prospect map. Players drafted in the 13th round usually end up being organizational depth, but Festa is emerging as a legitimate top-30 prospect in the Twins organization. So far in 2022, batters are hitting .152/.208/.182 (.389) while striking out in nearly 40% of their at-bats. Festa has faced younger batters in two-thirds of his at-bats, but he has held them to a .334 OPS. Now that he is at High-A, he is over a year younger than the average age of the competition, so he will start facing older competition on a more regular basis. Festa has struck out more than 12 batters per nine innings throughout his professional career. Baseball America didn't rank Festa among the Top-30 Twins prospects entering the 2022 season, but they recently updated their list, and he is now ranked 29th. If he continues to perform this well, it's clear that Festa will establish himself as a pitching prospect to keep an eye on in the years to come. What has impressed you most about Festa so far? Do you think he should be ranked higher in the Twins system? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  23. Although the Twins have seen their farm system ranked among the lower half from most publications, that’s not to say there isn’t a significant amount of talent in the organization. The top of Minnesota’s prospect list may be a bit light after the first few names, but it seems the depth and opportunity for middle-tier names to produce could be immense. Looking at each of the four full-season minor league affiliates, here’s a name to watch throughout the rest of the summer. St. Paul Saints - Caleb Hamilton C/3B I liked Kevin Merrill in this spot originally given his previous draft position as a first-rounder, and the potential he could wind up being the depth Minnesota sought in Tim Beckham or Daniel Robertson. That said, he was sent back to Double-A despite a decent start so he'll need to work his way back up. With the Twins needing catching depth behind their big-league starters, it's nice to see Caleb Hamilton having somewhat of a breakout year. A 23rd-round pick back in 2016 out of Oregon State, Hamilton has just a .672 OPS over the course of his professional career. He did make a quick Triple-A cameo back in 2019 with Rochester, but he's found a home at St. Paul this season. It's a small sample size, but the .279 batting average over 20 games is easily a career-high. He doesn't have a ton of pop, but the .405 OBP is indicative of the best plate discipline he's shown over the course of his career. Splitting time at catcher and third base, his 44% caught stealing rate is something to note. Minnesota doesn't put a ton of emphasis on throwing out runners, but if Hamilton can control them and continue to hit, he may find his way onto the 40-man in a pinch. Wichita Wind Surge - Andrew Bechtold C/3B Before a rewrite, Spencer Steer was featured in this space. The infielder isn't generally considered at the top of the Twins prospect lists, but he recently received a promotion to Triple-A St. Paul and it's hardly unearned as he's been great. I'd like to think people know who Matt Wallner is, and are still checking on Austin Martin even with the slow start. Blayne Enlow is back from Tommy John and hoping to settle in, and Edouard Julien should be a well-known name. It came down to two 26-year-olds, Michael Helman and Andrew Bechtold, with the latter being chosen. Bechtold was selected in the 5th round of the 2017 draft. He was drafted as a third baseman but has begun to move behind the plate this season. Minnesota sent him to the Arizona Fall League last year, and he's come out strong to start 2022. His 18 homers were a career-best in 2021, and he appears poised to best that this season. Previously a big strikeout guy, he's also reigned in the plate discipline and is providing strong on-base numbers despite a lower average. The Twins catching depth is pretty minimal on the farm, but the position change could lead to Bechtold being a late bloomer. Cedar Rapids Kernels - David Festa RHP If you’ve followed the Twins Daily Minor League Report at all then the obvious name here is Christian Encarnacion-Strand. He was on the edge of the top 30 prospect lists coming into the season, but would be ranked substantially different at this point. He’s destroyed High-A pitching and probably needs a new challenge soon. Aaron Sabato is the former first-round pick, and Wander Javier used to have some steam. Instead, this is the first pitcher noted. David Festa doesn’t have a long list of career accomplishments, but he’s definitely starting to turn heads. Festa was a 13th round pick back in 2021 and has just 37 professional innings under his belt. After opening at Single-A Fort Myers to start 2022, he earned a quick promotion following five dominant starts. His Cedar Rapids debut came with six strikeouts and no walks, which really highlights much of the promise. To date in 2022, Festa owns a 1.57 ERA and a 39/6 K/BB across 28 2/3 innings. Having just turned 22-years-old, he’s going to be on the higher end of ages in the Midwest League soon, but he could push for time at Double-A Wichita before the year is over. The developmental arc for Festa is one worth monitoring, and this is the type of arm working out that makes organizations smile. Fort Myers - Emmanuel Rodriguez OF This might be cheating because some prospect lists had Rodriguez in or near the top 10 for Minnesota. While Keoni Cavaco and Noah Miller are the former high-round picks, and Steven Hajjar has looked the part, it’s Rodriguez who has been an enticing player since signing as an international free agent. At 18-years-old in the FCL last season Rodriguez posted an .870 OPS. He didn’t hit for average but drew walks and had plenty of pop. 10 homers as a teenager is always going to turn heads, and he hasn’t stopped doing that this season. Now playing in the full season Florida State League, Rodriguez owns a .907 OPS and has a whopping .466 OBP. His plate discipline is impressive and his ability to do damage makes him a constant threat at that plate. If this type of production continues throughout a full season, I’d be far from shocked to see him make massive moves on prospect lists prior to the 2023 season. Who are you most interested in hearing about outside of the top Twins prospects? Has there been a name that has impressed you the most in 2022?
  24. TRANSACTIONS The Twins activated Trevor Larnach from the IL and placed Cody Stashak on the IL with shoulder inflammation. Kernels placed catcher Jeferson Morales on the 7-day IL with a left oblique strain. Jeff Johnson of The Gazette in Cedar Rapids notes that catcher Patrick Winkel could be coming off the IL and joining the Kernels this week. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 6, Omaha 8 Box score SP: Ronny Henriquez - 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K HR: Curtis Terry (5) Multi-hit games: Royce Lewis (3-5, R, 2B, SB (10)), Elliot Soto (2-4, RBI (15), K) After breaking the game open in the top of the first with a 4-0 nothing lead. The Saints fell up short again in another loss against Omaha. The top of the first was an exciting start for the Saints. Royce Lewis led off with a double and scored in the next at-bat thanks to an RBI single from Alex Kirilloff. Saints left fielder Mark Contreras then drew a walk leading to two runners on for Curtis Terry who drilled a three-run home run to give the Saints their 4-0 lead. Ronny Henriquez was on the mound for the Saints and although his teammates gave him a 4-0 lead for his start. Henriquez gave up three runs to the Storm Chasers on two RBI doubles in the first and gave up another run in the top of the second that had the game tied at 4-4. Henriquez cooled off following a rocky first two innings as he surrendered only one hit in his final three innings of work on Sunday. The Storm Chasers took their first lead in the bottom of the sixth thanks to a solo home run from their designated hitters Vinnie Pasquantino. In the seventh inning the Storm Chasers tagged on three more runs to give them a 8-4 lead over the Saints. The Saints were able to tag on two more runs thanks to RBI singles from Cole Sturgeon and Elliot Soto, but it was not enough for a comeback, dropping another game and the series against Omaha. The Saints return home Tuesday to begin their second homestand against the Indianapolis Indians with an 11:07 a.m. CT start time. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 2, Springfield 1 Box Score SP: Danny Coulombe - 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K HR: None Multi-hit games: DaShawn Keirsey (2-4, R, 2B) The Wind Surge’s series finale against Springfield was a low-scoring affair as the Wind Surge came out on top with a walk-off win from Michael Helman. The game was started by Danny Coulombe, who was given an inning of rehab work with the Wind Surge. After allowing only one walk, Coulombe completed his afternoon in Wichita and drove to Kansas City to join the Twins for the rest of their ball game. Following Coulombe’s one inning of work was Matt Canterino, who was originally planned to be the starter for Sunday’s Wind Surge game. Canterino pitched brilliantly following Coulombe as he pitched four no-hit innings, only walked one batter and struck out six. The Wind Surge’s bats were led by left fielder DaShawn Keirsey who went two for four with a double Sunday afternoon and scored the game-winning run from Michael Helman’s single in the bottom of the ninth. The Wind Surge begin their next series on the road against the Corpus Christi Hooks Tuesday evening at 6:35 p.m. CT. Louie Varland will be making the start for the Wind Surge on Tuesday. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Lake County 1 Box Score SP: Brent Headrick 4.1 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K HR: Christian Encarnacion-Strand (7) Multi hit games: Jair Camargo (2-4, R, K) The Kernels completed their series against the Lake County Captains Sunday and had a strong two pitcher performance from starter Brent Headrick and David Festa. Headrick allowed only one of his three hits given up in the first two innings, and although he did not have any strikeouts, his command of the strike zone was in place with a 70% strike percentage. Festa dominated as well, taking on the rest of the game for the Kernels. Festa went for 4.2 innings, three hits, one earned run, no walks, and six strikeouts. The only run that Festa surrendered to the Captains came in the ninth on an RBI single to Captains shortstop Gabriel Rodriguez. The big hits for the Kernels came in the first three innings scoring one in the first on a Seth Gray bases-loaded walk. Then in the bottom of the second, Christian Encarnacion-Strand slugged his seventh home run of the year for the Kernels to extend the lead to four, nothing. The Kernels then added on their final two runs in the third from a Will Holland single that scored Jair Camargo and Willie Joe Gray Jr. The Kernels begin the second series of their homestand on Tuesday at 6:35 p.m. CT against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers for their first matchup of the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 7, Clearwater 6 (13 innings) Box Score SP: Jaylen Nowlin 2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K HR: Noah Cardenas (3) Multi hit games: Cardenas (3-5, R, HR, 2 RBI (12), BB, K), Keoni Cavaco (2-6, 2 K), Daniel Ozoria (3-5, 2 R, 2B, BB, 2 K) The Mighty Mussels gave fans extra baseball today as they fought an extra-inning battle with the Clearwater Threshers which ended with a 7-6 score through 13 innings. Jaylen Nowlin was the opener for the Mighty Mussels today as they opted to go with a bullpen game for Sunday. Nowlin only went two innings and gave up four of the Threshers five runs in the fourth inning. Nowlin had not pitched for the Mussels since last Sunday, making this his eighth appearance of the season. From there, the only Mussels reliever to give up a run was Niklas Rimmel in the bottom of the ninth which tied the game at five apiece and sent it into extra innings. The Mussels bats did not catch on as early as the Threshers did. The Mussels were the first to get a run on the board thanks to a bases-loaded two-run walk from Luis Baez that scored Kala’i Rosario, but the Mussels fell short of capitalizing on the bases-loaded opportunity. Baez drove in two more runs for the Mussels in the top half of the fourth scoring Dillon Tatum and Daniel Ozoria but was thrown out trying to stretch his single into a double. The Mussels were able to take the lead in the top of the seventh thanks to a two run home run from Noah Cardenas, giving Cardenas his third hit of the game. It wasn’t until the 13th inning when either the Mussels or Threshers scored again. The Mussels tagged on two runs in the top half of the 13th inning thanks to a double from Ozoria that scored Jake Rucker. Ozoria then scored the second run of the inning for the Mussels to give them a 7-5 lead. Malik Barrington was on the mound to close the game out for the Mussels in the bottom of the 13th inning. Although a Threshers runner reached on an error and scored on an RBI single, Barrington was still able to shut down the Threshers offense and record his second save of the season. The Mussels will begin their next six-game series on the road Tuesday against the Pirates Low-A Affiliate the Bradenton Marauders at 5:30 p.m. central time. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 4.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day – Royce Lewis (St. Paul) 3-5, R, 2B, SB (10) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 3-5, R, 2B, SB (10) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-3, BB #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-3, K #8 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - IP, 2 K, SV #9 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 4 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-0, R, 2 BB #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-7, 4 K #14 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-4, R #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, R, HR, 3 RBI (34) 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 24. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). Indianapolis @ St. Paul (11:07 AM CST) - Cole Sands Wichita @ Corpus Christi (6:35 PM CST) - Louie Varland Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - Aaron Rozek Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:30 CST) - Pierson Ohl Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
  25. So be sure to use these weekly reports for what they are. A look at the week. We want to highlight deserving prospects. They have earned it. Celebrate the successes throughout the whole season. But this week at Twins Daily, we have had a lot of minor-league coverage. As players are starting to step up and put together strong seasons, we want to dig into them a little further, so you'll find a lot this week. If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. TRANSACTIONS With no Monday Minor League Report, here are the transactions from later on Sunday and on Monday. Following Sunday's Twins game, OF Mark Contreras was optioned to St. Paul. OF Kyle Garlick was activated from the Injured List. RHP Ryan Shreve has been activated from the IL by Cedar Rapids. RHP David Festa was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. RHP Matt Mullenbach was sent back to the Florida Complex. RESULTS Previous Week in Review (5/3-5/9): Wallner, Miller, Steer, Headrick, Stankiewicz Star Tuesday: Mighty Mussels No-Hitter! Wednesday: Gonzalez Dominates, Kernels Shuck the Opposition Thursday: Kernels Krush, Wichita Rakes Friday: Mighty Mussels Sweep, Fedko Homers in Kernels Debut Saturday: A Denied Rehab Start and a Clean Franchise Sweep Sunday: Mussels Sweep! Kernels Keep Winning! MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT Prospect Retrospective: OF Mark Contreras Prospect Retrospective: RHP Yennier Cano “It felt great.” Balazovic Reflects on First Start of 2022 and What’s Ahead Matt Canterino Continues to Dominate Minor League Hitters It’s Time to Start Noticing Brent Headrick From Lee to Limestone: One Prospect Who Needs More Attention (Video) From Lee to Limestone: Three Questions with Brent Headrick (Video) WEEK IN REVIEW Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week: 0-6, at Columbus Season: 15-19 overall, 9th place out of ten teams in the International League West. They are 8.0 games behind Nashville. A week ago, they were in third place. The Saints were swept in a doubleheader on Sunday afternoon, and that finished out a six-game sweep at the hands of the Columbus Clippers. It was also the Saints' seventh straight loss. It was also their eighth straight loss on the road. In his series, the Saints lost three times by one run, and once by two, three, and four runs. Three of the games went to extra innings. The Saints scored 30 runs last week, but they gave up 41 runs. Caleb Hamilton played in all six games. The utility man went 9-for-18 and hit .500/.609/.667 (1.276) with a home run. He also walked five times. Alex Kirilloff returned to the Saints on Sunday and had two hits in both games of the doubleheader. Chi Chi Gonzalez made one start and tossed six scoreless, hitless innings. He did walk four batters, but he struck out seven batters. He was named the International League's pitcher of the week. What’s Next? The Saints travel to Omaha to take on the Storm Chasers. Pitching Probables (RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez, RHP Jake Faria, RHP Jordan Balazovic, RHP Mario Sanchez, RHP Dereck Rodriguez, RHP Ronny Henriquez) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge Week: 3-2, @ NW Arkansas Season: 19-12 overall, 1st place in the Texas League North Division with Tulsa. They are just 1/2 game ahead of Tulsa (19-13). The Wind Surge were outscored 25-27 on the week but managed to take a 3-2 series win. Sunday’s game was rained out and officially canceled. Why canceled instead of postponed? The two teams are not scheduled to play each other again in the season’s first half so there is no opportunity to make it up. Here are some of the top performances for the Wind Surge this past week: Matt Canterino continues to dominate hitters in the Texas League. In his outing this week, he tossed four scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and struck out six batters without issuing a walk. Austin Schulfer pitched twice and recorded a save each time. In four innings, he gave up one earned run on three hits. He struck out six batters. Maybe not a great performance, but Blayne Enlow made his return to the mound (not in a rehab outing) 11 months after Tommy John surgery. That is a highlight! He went 3 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs (2 earned) on five hits. He struck out six batters and issued no walks. It took him a while to get his first hit, but in four games this past week, Leobaldo Cabrera went 3-for-9 with two home runs. Andrew Bechtold played four games. He went 6-for-15 (.400) with four doubles and a home run. Alex Isola went 5-for-15 (.333) with three walks and a home run. Spencer Steer went 4-for-20 (.200), but two of the hits were home runs. Edouard Julien went 3-for-14 (.214), but he walked ten times for a .542 on-base percentage. What’s Next? The Wind Surge will be hosting the Springfield Cardinals. Pitching Probables (RHP Matt Canterino, RHP Louie Varland, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Blayne Enlow, RHP Casey Legumina, RHP Matt Canterino) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week: 5-1, at Peoria Season: 24-9 overall, 1st place in the Midwest League West Division, 2.0 games ahead of Wisconsin (22-11), who also went 5-1 last week as well. In April, the Kernels hosted Peoria and won five of six games. This past week, they did it again, this time on the road in Peoria. The Kernels outscored the Chiefs 47-12. In four of the six games, Cedar Rapids gave up just one run. Of 17 pitchers who pitched in at least one game last week, 13 of them didn’t allow an earned run. What a week of pitching for the Kernels. Over the first five games of the week, the team allowed just nine total runs, and only five of them were earned. Brent Headrick continues to impress. The lefty struck out seven batters over five scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and walked none. Fellow lefty Aaron Rozek also tossed five scoreless innings in his start. He gave up three hits, walked none, and struck out nine batters. Sawyer Gipson-Long went five scoreless innings in his start. He gave up two hits, walked none, and struck out seven batters. Sean Mooney gave up an unearned run over five innings in his start. He gave up five hits and struck out four batters without allowing a walk. John Stankiewicz started on Sunday and gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk over five innings. He struck out five batters. Cody Laweryson came out of the bullpen twice. In five innings, he gave up only an unearned run on one hit and no walks. He struck out five batters. As pointed out above, the Kernels bats showed up too. Alerick Soularie led the way. In five games, he went 6-for-19 and hit .316/.409/.842 (1.251) with two triples, two homers, and seven RBI. He also walked three times and stole two bases. Will Holland played in four games. He went 5-for-14 and hit .357/.438/.714 (1.152) with a triple and a home run. Jair Camargo played in three games and went 5-for-14 (.357) with two home runs and five RBI. Wander Javier played in five games and went 4-for-19. He hit .211/.318/.526 (.844) with two home runs and five RBI. What’s Next? The Kernels will be starting a 12-game homestand starting on Tuesday with six games against Lake County. Pitching Probables (RHP Sean Mooney, LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich, RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP John Stankiewicz, LHP Brent Headrick) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Week: 6-0, hosting Palm Beach Season: 20-10 overall, 1st place in the Florida State League West, 2.0 games ahead of Clearwater (18-12). For the first time, the Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels swept a six-game series. Why? As usual, it all comes down to pitching. 16 pitchers threw for Ft. Myers during the week. 12 of them didn’t allow a run (earned or unearned). In six games, the pitchers allowed a total of six runs. The team threw shutouts in the first three games of the series and again on Sunday. Of course, the highlight of the week was the combined no-hitter. The Mussels offense was solid too. They scored 28 runs. David Festa struck out 11 batters over six innings in his start this week. He walked two batters, but he gave up no hits. Jaylen Nowlin and Hunter McMahon completed the final three innings of the no-hitter. Travis Adams had another very good start. In five shutout innings, he gave up two hits, walked two, and struck out six batters. Marco Raya made the start on Sunday. He tossed four no-hit innings. He walked one and struck out two batters. Matthew Swain pitched two and recorded two saves. In two innings, he gave up one hit, no walks, and struck out five batters. Malik Barrington struck out ten batters over four innings over his two relief appearances. He recorded his first save on Sunday. He gave up just three hits and one walk on the week. Hunter McMahon threw four scoreless innings over two games. He recorded one save. He gave up three hits, walked one, and recorded two strikeouts. Jaylen Nowlin worked five total innings during the week. He did not allow a run. He gave up one hit, walked one, hit one, and struck out seven batters. Mike Paredes made a spot start and tossed three scoreless, hitless innings. He walked one and struck out three batters. The offense was good too, and this week they were led by infielder Mikey Perez. In five games, he went 8-for-18 and hit .444/.524/.944 (1.468) with three doubles and two home runs. He also went 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts. Emmanuel Rodriguez had a strong week. He played all six games and went 8-for-19. He hit .421/.542/.579 (1.121) with a double, and a triple. He also walked four times. Catcher Dillon Tatum played in four games and went 3-for-3. He had a home run and walked four times. Oh, and he caught a no-hitter. Jake Rucker played in six games. He went 8-for-23 and hit .348/.400/.478 (.878) with three doubles. Noah Miller hit .308 (4-for-13) with seven walks for a .550 on-base percentage. What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels will head to Clearwater for a big, eight-game series against the Threshers. They will play two games on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday. The beauty of rainouts in Florida, eh? Pitching Probables Tuesday: Bullpen to complete suspended game. RHP Travis Adams in the regular game. Wednesday: RHP Pierson Ohl, RHP Mike Paredes Thursday: No Game Friday: LHP Steve Hajjar, Bullpen Game Saturday: Marco Raya Sunday: TBD PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week. You may have noticed, the Prospect Tracker has been updated, and will be updated on the first of each month throughout the season. #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 3 G, 3-for-12 (.250), 2-2B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K (Season: 24 G, .310/.430/.563 (.993), 11-2B, 1-3B, 3-HR, 21 R, 11 RBI, 17 BB, 20 K) #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 6 G, 6-for-22 (.273), 1-2B, 1-HR, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 3 K (Season: 9 G, .281/.281/.438 (.719), 2-2B, 0-3B, 1-HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, 0 BB, 4 K) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 5 G, 6-for-23 (.261), 0-2B, 1-3B, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K (Season: 30 G, .246/.366/.339 (.705), 6-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 23 R, 10 RBI, 17 BB, 20 K, 17 SB, 0 CS) #3 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 2 GS, 10.0 IP, 5 R, 8 H, 5 BB, 8 K (Season: 7 GS, 37.2 IP, 10 R, 24 H, 12 BB, 36 K, 4-2, 2.39 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 8.6 K/9) #4 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 5 G, 6-for-18 (.333), 2-2B, 1-HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1K (Season: 21 G, .256/.295/.442 (.737), 10-2B, 2-HR, 10 R, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 14 K) #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - Week: 4 G, 1-for-18 (.056), 0-2B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 6 K (Season: 11 G, .114/.152/.227 (.379), 2-2B, 1-HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K) #5 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 2.0 IP, 7 R, 3 ER, 8 H, 2 BB, 1 K (Season: 2 GS, 5.2 IP, 7 R, 3 ER, 13 H, 4 BB, 5 K. #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.2 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 8 K (Season: 6 GS, 32.2 IP, 9 R, 8 ER, 17 H, 9 BB, 32 K, 2-1, 2.20 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 8.8 K/9) #7 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 3.1 IP, 4 R, 3 ER, 6 H, 3 BB, 2 K (Season: 6 G, 3 GS, 25.2 IP, 9 R, 7 ER, 18 H, 7 BB, 22 K, 2-1, 2.45 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 2.5 BB/9, 7.7 K/9) #8 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 G, 2.0 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 BB, 1 K (Season: 12 G, 16.2 IP, 6 R, 10 H, 3 BB, 25 K, 0-1, 2 Saves, 3.24 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 1.6 BB/9, 13.5 K/9) #9 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 1 GS, 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB, 6 K (Season: 7 GS, 20.2 IP, 3 R, 9 H, 11 BB, 28 K, 0-1, 1.31 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 4.8 BB/9, 12.2 K/9) #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 6 G, 8-for-19 (.421) , 1-2B, 1 3B, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 6 K (Season: 28 G, .270/.468/.506 (.974), 4-2B, 1-3B, 5-HR, 22 R, 14 RBI, 31 BB, 34 K) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 5 G, 4-for-13 (.308), 0-2B, 0-HR, 7 BB, 4 K (Season: 27 G, .278/.431/.361 (.792), 3-2B, 1-3B, 1 HR, 19 R, 6 RBI, 24 BB, 32 K) #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 4 ER, 7 H, 0 BB, 7 K (Season: 6 G, 5 GS, 31.2 IP, 16 R, 13 ER, 25 H, 11 BB, 35 K, 4-1, 3.69 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 3.1 BB/9, 9.9 K/9) #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 3.0 IP, 4 ER, 8 H, 1 BB, 6 K (Season: 5 G, 4 GS, 15.2 IP, 15 R, 22 H, 5 BB, 18 K, 0-4, 8.62 ERA, 1.72 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 10.3 K/9) #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 1 G, 2.0 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 0 BB, 4 K (Season: 2 G, 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 0-0, 6.75 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 0.0 BB/9, 13.5 K/9) #14 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 4.2 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 4 K (Season: 4 G, 3 GS, 13.2 IP, 7 R, 12 H, 7 BB, 13 K, 0-1, 4.61 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 4.6 BB/9, 8.6 K/9) #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 1 GS, 4.0 IP, 0 R, 0 BB, 2 K, (Season: 5 G, 4 GS, 19.0 IP, 6 R, 4 ER, 11 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2-1, 1.89 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, 9.9 K/9) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 5 G, 4-for-20 (.200), 0-2B, 2-HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 3 K (Season: 30 G, .300/.384/.558 (.942), 11-2B, 1-3B, 6-HR, 22 R, 25 RBI, 13 BB, 22 K) #17 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 3.1 IP, 5 R, 3 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 1 K (Season: 5 GS, 22.1 IP, 14 R, 10 ER, 22 H, 6 BB, 32 K, 2-2, 4.03 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, 12.9 K/9) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 6 G, 6-for-26 (.231), 1-2B, 1-3B, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K (Season: 31 G, .336/.396/.536 (.932), 6-2B, 2-3B, 5-HR, 19 R, 29 RBI, 12 BB, 34 K) #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 5 G, 3-for-14 (.214), 0-2B, 0-HR, 10 BB, 5 K (Season: 22 G, .268/.432/.394 (.826), 4-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 14 R, 10 RBI, 22 BB, 20 K) #20 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - Week/Season: 1 GS, 3.2 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 0-0, 4.91 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 0.00 BB/9, 14.7 K/9) PLAYERS OF THE WEEK Hitter of the Week: Infielder Mikey Perez, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Finally finding his name in the lineup nearly every day sure did wonders for Mikey Perez. Last week, he played in five games. He went 8-for-18 and hit .444/.524/.944 (1.468) with three doubles, two homers, and six RBI. He walked twice, and he went 4-for-4 in stolen base attempts. On the season, he has played in 23 games. He is 18-for-73 and hitting .247/.382/.452 (.834) with six doubles, three homers, and 13 RBI. He is also 8-for-9 on stolen base attempts. Perez was the Twins 15th round pick in 2021 out of UCLA where his mom is one of the top college softball coaches in the country. Perez can play all over the field, but he has played mostly at second base in college and so far as a pro. He’s played some third base as well. He also is a solid shortstop, though with Noah Miller getting most of the playing time there. Pitcher of the Week: RHP David Festa, Ft. Myers Might Mussels David Festa worked the first six innings of the Mighty Mussels combined no-hitter this week. In those six innings, he walked two batters and struck out 11 batters. Festa was the Twins 13th round pick in 2021 out of Seton Hall University. As a junior, he went 6-4 with a 2.00 ERA. After signing, he pitched in two FCL games and two games with the Mighty Mussels. He impressed at Instructs by posting some impressive velocities on his fastball and slider. Through his first five starts of 2022, he is now 2-1 with a 1.50 ERA. In 24 innings, he has struck out 33 batters and walked just six batters. In his most recent start, he hit 99.1 mph. He not only should rocket up prospect rankings, but it’s very possible he moves up to Cedar Rapids in the near future. On Monday, Festa was promoted to Cedar Rapids. Feel free to ask questions or leave comments on the teams and players.
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