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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 Correa back in Minnesota, the Twins have three shortstops on the 40-man rosters with an additional three in their top 20 prospect rankings across many publications. Some fans (if they know little about baseball) may argue the Twins have more shortstops than they know what to do with. Fortunately for Twins president of baseball operations, Derek Falvey, the surplus of shortstops is not a problem to be had. “I will take having more shortstops than we have spots for every day of the week,” said Falvey in an interview following Correa’s press conference. “That tends to lead to good outcomes over time in different spots on the team. If you can play shortstop, you can move around on the dirt. And you're probably going to be pretty good at that.” Kyle Farmer For some time this off-season, Kyle Farmer was looking to be the Twins primary shortstop, but when the Twins acquired him from the Reds via trade, they knew they were getting him for more than just one position. “We really did feel that when we traded for Kyle. He’s a good player, a good shortstop. [We had] a unique situation. So we think Kyle can play in multiple slots. We actually still think he fits our current team, even in a slightly more hybrid role than what he plays, because he deepens our team [defensively],” Falvey said. While Farmer has only played four games in the outfield his entire professional career (all in left field), Falvey feels confident Farmer can extend his utility infield role into the corner outfield positions. Especially as a way to balance the heavy amount of left-handed hitters in the outfield. Though the team has yet to officially announced this, Farmer is anticipated to be the "emergency catcher" given his previous time at the position during his call up with the Dodgers in 2017. Royce Lewis With Royce Lewis, the situation is not entirely a downside with Correa’s return. Yes, his main position is blocked, but that is not the only position that Lewis feels comfortable playing on the infield. “Third base. I played three years in high school and that was my first position,” Lewis said in an interview with Twins Daily in May 2022. “That move is actually very easy for me. It's the same side of the infield and the ground balls are very similar and it's usually just more topspin [of the ball] over at third base.” Prior to his season-ending injury on May 29, 2022, Lewis played only nine games at positions that weren’t shortstop with two of those games at third for the St. Paul Saints. Jose Miranda is still set up to be the team’s everyday third baseman and while the Twins may not put Lewis back in centerfield, considering that is where he re-injured his knee, for his return. He has the ability and arm strength for third base as well as corner outfield positions. Brooks Lee The last primary shortstop that some people expect to break onto the Twins roster sometime in 2023 is Brooks Lee. Since being drafted last July by the Twins, Lee has only played games at short or as the designated hitter at Cedar Rapids and Wichita. Lee played a handful of games between second and third base in college at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Falvey acknowledged that there are conversations in the organization on how the Twins handle his primary defensive position based on his overall progression as a player in the minors this season. By signing Correa, Lee’s progression has no need to be rushed to the big leagues, and Lee and the organization can figure out what his next best position is. And to go a step further, Lee has received the invitation as a non-roster invitee to Spring Training, which will give him plenty of time for tutelage under Correa himself. Other Shortstop Prospects There are three other notable shortstop prospects that the Twins have to work with at other positions with Correa’s return; Austin Martin, Noah Miller, and Tanner Schobel. Martin has transitioned more into an outfielder throughout the 2022 season and there are those who see him as an ideal backup to Byron Buxton in center field when the time comes for his call-up. Martin had his value plummet with a down year in Wichita for 2022. He went to the Arizona Fall League and regained his value and played 95% of his games at shortstop, but with Correa back, the Twins can expect his move to the outfield to be full-time. Miller is an interesting case as he is the only one of the Twins top five picks from the 2021 Amateur Draft that remains in the organization. A high school pick from eastern Wisconsin, Miller spent the full 2022 season in Fort Myers. He still has not played a position other than shortstop but his defense is not the problem on the diamond, more so the results of his hitting. Given he is only 20, there is time to figure out what other positions he can play. Finally, Schobel, who was the third pick out of this last year’s draft, has already been shifted to second base. Schobel played only a handful of games at short after he was drafted, and will likely start his 2023 season on the other side of Miller in Ft. Myers or Cedar Rapids.
  3. Few players can handle the rigors of shortstop at the big-league level. There is pressure to perform offensively and defensively while being a leader on the field. It is arguably baseball’s most important position, and that’s why many young players are considered shortstops during their amateur careers. The Twins have struggled to cultivate shortstops throughout the franchise’s history, but one of these players has a chance to stop that trend. Triple-A: Royce Lewis (ETA: 2022) Lewis returned from ACL surgery in 2022, and Minnesota was aggressive with Lewis to start the season by sending him to Triple-A. Lewis looked like he hadn’t lost a step as he hit .313/.405/.534 (.940) with 18 extra-base hits in 34 games. His first taste of the big leagues went well too. In 12 games, he posted an .867 OPS before running into the outfield wall and undergoing a second ACL surgery. Lewis will be back in 2023, and the Twins can sign a placeholder shortstop until he is ready to return. Double-A: Brooks Lee (ETA: 2024) Austin Martin (ETA: 2023) Lee and Martin will be a fascinating duo to watch in the years ahead. Both were top-10 picks and considered the best college bats in their draft class. Martin struggled through most of 2022 (.685 OPS) before having a redeeming September. His performance has improved in the Arizona Fall League by going 18-for-38 (.474 BA) with three extra-base hits and 11 runs. He was recently named the league's Hitter of the Week. Martin hopes to follow in Matt Wallner’s footsteps from last year’s AFL season. The Twins should have Martin start at Triple-A next season. The Twins drafted Lee in June, and he quickly put himself on the prospect map. He played games at three different levels and used his college experience to post a .839 OPS. Lee saw his stock already rising in his professional debut. Many top prospect lists will consider him the organization’s best prospect, and he has a chance to be a consensus top-40 prospect entering 2023. Lee likely starts next year at Double-A, but Lee and Martin have a chance to debut next season. High-A: Wander Javier (ETA: 2024) Minnesota signed Javier back in 2015 out of the Dominican Republic, so his name has been on Twins prospect lists for most of the last decade. Some projected him to be a five-tool talent during his early minor league career, but he’s never put it all together. As a 24-year-old, he played most of 2022 at High-A, but he saw late-season action at Triple-A when there was a shortstop need. Over the last two seasons, he has failed to compile an OPS over .700, and his time might be running out in the Twins organization. If he stays with the Twins, he will start the year at Double-A. Low-A: Noah Miller (ETA: 2025), Keoni Cavaco (ETA: 2025) The Twins took Miller with the 36th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft, and the 2022 season marked his full-season debut. As a 19-year-old, he was over two years younger than the average age of the competition in the FSL. He hit .212/.348/.279 (.627) with 18 extra-base hits and 110 strikeouts in 108 games. There were positive signs during the season, as he posted a .964 OPS during May. It seems likely for him to start next season at Low-A while continuing to refine his swing. Minnesota’s current front office took Cavaco with the 13th overall pick in the 2019 MLB Draft. As that draft approached, he was a late riser, but the Twins projected he had the tools to succeed. Last season, he hit .231/.275/.397 (.672) with 34 extra-base hits in 99 games. It was his second straight season at Fort Myers, and he was slightly younger than the competition. With Miller in the same line-up, Cavaco played all of his defensive innings at third base. He likely heads to Cedar Rapids in 2023 to see if he can live up to his first-round pedigree. The names above are just some of the organization’s shortstop options. In rookie ball, other names like Danny De Andrade, Yilber Herrera, and Bryan Acuna will garner more attention as they get deeper into their careers. Baseball’s best teams usually have players with a shortstop background at multiple positions on the field. Minnesota hopes the club’s shortstop of the future is in the group mentioned above. Which prospect plays the most career games at shortstop with the Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  4. Last winter, Derek Falvey and Thad Levine hammered out a deal with Carlos Correa’s agent Scott Boras. Having previously assumed Isiah Kiner-Falefa would be their Opening Day shortstop, the Twins pivoted after dealing Josh Donaldson and freeing up substantial money for the payroll. Correa was never the expected plan for Minnesota, and he probably didn’t see himself here either. When a $300 million mega-deal didn’t materialize, the opportunity to secure a Major League-record deal for an infielder arose and he had to take it. Boras and the Twins structured the deal in a way that Correa could once again explore the open market this winter. That had to always be his plan and is why he’ll opt out. Sure, the Twins could’ve made more aggressive actions towards an extension (and maybe they have), but this front office would’ve been negotiating against itself. Knowing that Correa’s true intentions are a long-term pact, it behooves the organization to throw out a number and see where it lands amongst the competition. Maybe the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers are more interested this time around. Maybe the San Francisco Giants or Chicago Cubs bite. Maybe Correa decides to return for a longer period of time in the Twins Cities. No matter what, Minnesota needs (and likely has already started) thinking about succession plans. It’s pretty hard to replace a player the caliber of Correa, and internally there are few options. Royce Lewis won’t be ready on Opening Day as he returns from a second season in which he underwent surgery for a torn ACL. Noah Miller has been heralded as an MLB-ready defender, but he’s hardly handled that bat at the Low-A level for Fort Myers. 2022 top pick Brooks Lee is finishing this season at Double-A, but it’d be beyond aggressive for him to start at the Major Leagues in 2023. The developmental staff and front office will have to blueprint a game plan as to what the timeline of succession looks like. Do they want a long-term shortstop brought in from outside? Is Lewis the man waiting in the wings, or is there a different position he’s more suited for? How about Lee? Is he the shortstop of the future, and will that future begin in the season ahead? Much of what the front office has done from a talent acquisition perspective this season has been with a focus on more than just one season. As they enter into 2023, they’ll be positioned to start kicking in their window with the developed youth. Jose Miranda is a big-leaguer. Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff will hopefully be healthy. Josh Winder, Bailey Ober, and Joe Ryan have now all seen how the highest level works. Punting on the shortstop position with a roster on the brink doesn’t seem like the way they’ll go about things. It’d be great if Correa was back manning the middle for Minnesota next season, but if and when he’s not, the blueprint to surviving his absence must be ironclad.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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?
  8. 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!
  9. The Twins selected Noah Miller with the 36th overall pick in the 2021 MLB Draft out of high school in Wisconsin. Minnesota's current front office prefers to draft college bats, but Miller didn't fit that mold. The switch-hitting infielder had all the necessary skills as scouting reports projected praised his offensive and defensive approaches. Now, in his second professional season, some of those positive signs have translated onto the field. A couple of questions surrounded Miller when he was drafted, including his age and skill level coming from a cold-weather state. He was already 19 years old, which is old for a high school player. Miller played his high school career in Wisconsin, which can put players at a disadvantage because the weather can impact their playing time as an amateur. Minnesota has tried to work through these issues since he signed with the organization. During his first two professional seasons, Minnesota has pushed Miller to play at levels where he has been at least two years younger than the average age of the competition. Miller has played the 2022 season in the Florida State League and only faced younger pitchers in 13 at-bats. Against older pitchers, he has a 57-to-40 strikeout to walk ratio as he has gotten on base in nearly 37% of his at-bats. The Twins organization is challenging Miller, and he is responding even though he is young for his level. Because of his cold-weather background, Miller's swing projected to need time to develop as a professional. As a right-handed hitter, he has hit .229/.359/.320 (.679) with nine extra-base hits in 184 plate appearances this year. His left side was more powerful when he was drafted, which has proven to be true this season. In 44 at-bats, his OPS is over 100 points higher from the left side, and two of his 12 hits have been for extra bases. Entering the season, Miller had mixed opinions about his defense, but he started strongly in his first full professional season. FanGraphs graded him on the 80 scouting scale as currently being a 30 with a potential future value of 45. MLB Pipeline has his fielding and his arm graded as a 55. He has started every game at shortstop and has only committed two errors in over 427 innings. Errors can be a fluky way to evaluate prospect talent, but even the Fort Myer's broadcaster has been impressed with the 19-year-old's FSL debut. Everything hasn't gone perfectly for Miller this season, but it's clear to see why the Twins were interested in drafting him. He has excellent bat control and can make consistent contact from both sides of the plate. As he continues to add muscle and fill out his frame, more power will come. There is a decent chance he can stick at shortstop, a position the Twins have struggled to develop in recent years. Miller is multiple years away from making his Target Field debut, but there are positive signs as he continues to thrive in his first full professional season. What stands out to you about Miller? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  10. Previous 2022 Hitters of the Month - April: Christian Encarnacion-Strand We’ll take a look at the top five hitters of the month, but before diving into it, let’s start with an honorable mention. Honorable Mention - Will Holland - Cedar Rapids Kernels 19-71, .268/.350/.507 (.857), two doubles, three triples, and three home runs Holland was a 5th round pick from Auburn by the Twins during the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. This has been one of his better months as a professional, and he now has an .800 OPS for Cedar Rapids.. It would be good for Holland to parlay a hot start into an eventual promotion to Double-A Wichita. Top Five Hitters Number 5 - Wichita Wind Surge - C Alex Isola - 22-68, .324/.425/.500 (.925), three doubles, three home runs Isola was a late-round selection in 2019, grabbed by Minnesota in the 29th round. Making his Double-A debut after a solid 2021 playing at High-A Cedar Rapids, Isola got hot in May. He’s never been a high batting average guy, but the .297 batting average this season is more than nice to see. Isola has a good amount of power and strong plate discipline. With Minnesota needing catching depth at the highest levels, his emergence early this season could afford more opportunity as the season rolls on. Number 4 - Fort Myers Miracle - SS Noah Miller - 30-87, .345/.457/.517 (1.006), five doubles, two triples, two home runs A first-round pick for the Twins last season, Miller looks the part of a true shortstop. He’s held down the position well thus far during his professional career, and his bat broke out in a big way during May. Speed is part of Miller’s game and that was evidenced by the pair of triples. He’s probably not going to hit a ton of homers, but he draws a lot of walks and already has 13 stolen bases in 15 attempts this season. Number 3 - Fort Myers Miracle - INF Mikey Perez - 21-82, .256/.361/.524 (.885), seven doubles, five home runs Minnesota grabbed Perez in the 15th round of last year’s draft out of UCLA. His pro debut was a good one, but it consisted of just 10 games last season. After a slow start in April, Perez turned it on in a big way last month. The 12 extra-base hits in just 23 games are impressive, and for a guy that never really hit for power in college, a month with five home runs is a development the Twins have to be excited about. Number 2 - Wichita Wind Surge - OF Matt Wallner - 25-84, .298/.422/.595 (1.017) seven doubles, six home runs Wallner was a first-round pick for the Twins in 2019 after he had been a 32nd-round selection out of high school (as a pitcher) three years prior. Spending three years at Southern Mississippi was the smart route for him. He improved his stock immensely, and Wallner has flashed big tools. He’s got one of the best arms in the system and hits for some of the most power. There’s always been a considerable amount of swing-and-miss in his game, but Wallner is now showing a stronger sense of plate discipline as well. He’ll have plenty of months where he hits lots of dingers. If he has a June that looks like his May, he could push a ticket to St. Paul. And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is: Wichita Wind Surge/St. Paul Saints - INF Spencer Steer - 28-90, .311/.388/.678 (1.066), six doubles, nine home runs At one point it, could’ve been argued that Steer was among the most underrated prospects in the Twins system, but I think we’ve blitzed by that point. He was rewarded with a promotion to Triple-A St. Paul recently and has continued to crush the ball there. Steer was a third-round pick in 2019 and has hit at every stop of the farm. The 24 dingers last season showed the work he put in while minor league baseball was canceled in 2020. He’s already got ten homers this season and two of them have come in his week with the Saints. Steer has an exceptional approach at the plate and is a well-balanced hitter. He has quickly become someone that the Twins can look at as a future fixture in their lineup. The Twins current middle infield is a bit crowded with superstars and top prospects, but at some of the most impactful positions on the diamond, that’s a great problem to have. Steer will be tested plenty at Triple-A, but being 24-years-old, he could factor in as part of the next wave. Minnesota has to be impressed with the career trajectory thus far, and a strong May has made 2022 an exciting start. We’d like to congratulate Spencer Steer, Twins Daily’s choice for Minor League Hitter of the Month for May 2022. Feel free to share your thoughts and ask questions below.
  11. A couple of Twins affiliates played extra-inning games. Alex Kirilloff had his best game of the year. Louie Varland was outstanding once again. Noah Miller had a multi extra-base-hit day. And Spencer Steer has ice in his veins. In addition, we saw one Twins' top prospects continue to transition to his role as a starter masterfully. Let’s see what happened this Wednesday in the Twins organization without further ado. TRANSACTIONS The Twins activated Carlos Correa from the 10-day IL and optioned Royce Lewis to St. Paul. SS Ernie Yake was assigned to Wichita from St. Paul. Wichita placed 2B Edouard Julien on the 7-day IL SAINTS (AAA) St. Paul 7, Omaha 8 Box Score On Wednesday, the St. Paul Saints fell to the Omaha Storm Chasers 8 to 7, but Alex Kirilloff showed some very encouraging signs. After an extra-base-hit hiatus of 73 plate appearances to begin his 2022 season, Kirilloff recorded two extra-base hits on Wednesday to show some signs of power that many thought he lost due to a lingering wrist injury. Jake Faria made his seventh start of the 2022 season for the Saints and struggled again, only going three innings of work. Faria allowed four runs on four hits and three walks in those three innings while striking out two batters. His season ERA increased to 7.77 in the lackluster performance. The Saints stranded Kirilloff at second base in the first inning after his double, and Faria struggled. Faria gave up three runs on two hits and three walks in the first, but he stranded two runners thanks to a clutch 5-4-3 double play. In the third inning, the Storm Chasers scored another run thanks to a two-out homer from Brewer Hicklen. The Saints responded in the top half of the fourth with the Kirilloff homer and got another run when Jake Cave scored on a Jermaine Palacios single, but the Saints left runs on the table and stranded the bases loaded. Daniel Gossett came on to relieve Faria in the fourth and immediately gave up a homer to JaCoby Jones. Gossett settled in and worked three innings of relief while allowing two runs on two hits and two walks while striking out four batters. Cave scored again in the top of the sixth, this time on a single from David Banuelos to pull the game within two runs. The Storm Chasers responded with one in the bottom of the sixth to extend their lead back to three. In the seventh, the Cave show continued when he clubbed his first homer of the year to pull the game back within two runs. Drew Strotman came on in relief in the bottom of the seventh and threw one and ⅓ scoreless innings, allowing one hit while striking out two batters. In the top of the eighth, the Saints put together an incredible rally when Elliot Soto and Mark Contreras led off with back-to-back singles, and Curtis Terry drew a walk to give Kirilloff bases loaded with no outs. Kirilloff responded by hitting a two-run single to knot the game up at six, followed by Terry scoring on a balk to give the Saints a 7 to 6 lead. Strotman gave up a leadoff double in the bottom of the eighth and struck out Hicklen before being replaced by Jordan Gore. The first batter Gore faced hit an RBI single, and the Cardinals tied the game again. After an uneventful ninth, the Saints couldn’t get anything going offensively in the tenth inning. Jake Petricka came on in relief in the bottom half, and the first batter he faced singled, ending the game due to a runner starting on second base. The Saints fell to 15-20 with the loss. Kirilloff was 4-for-6 with a double, a homer, and three RBI. Cave went 2-for-6 with a homer and three runs scored. Roy Morales went 2-for-5, and Soto reached base four times due to two hits and two walks. WIND SURGE (AA) Wichita 7, Springfield 6 Box Score The Wichita Wind Surge were victorious over the Springfield Cardinals on Wednesday by a score of 7-6. Twins Daily #12 prospect Louie Varland made a start for the Wind Surge, and he pitched well, throwing six innings, allowing two runs on five hits and two walks while striking out eight batters. He decreased his season ERA to 3.58 and continued to be an excellent minor league pitcher. The Wind Surge took an early 2-0 lead in the first inning behind four straight singles from Austin Martin, Alex Isola, Andrew Bechtold, and Matt Wallner. Martin scored on Bechtold’s single, while Isola came in to score on a double play later in the inning. Varland gave up a homer to MLB.com’s #27 overall prospect Jordan Walker to tie the game at two in the third inning. The game remained a stalemate for a couple more innings until the bottom of the fifth when Wallner came up clutch with a two-out, two-strike, two-run single to give the Wind Surge a 4-2 lead. In the top of the seventh, reliever Osiris German wriggled out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam to keep the score at 4-2. The Wind Surge couldn’t muster anything offensively in the seventh or eighth innings, so the Wind Surge turned to Alex Scherff to close the game down. Thanks to three walks, an error, and a hit-by-pitch, the Cardinals tied the game in the ninth. Austin Schulfer came in the ninth to clean up the mess and continued working into the tenth, as he recorded a 1-2-3 frame in the tenth. Wallner was intentionally walked to set up the double play in the bottom half of the inning, and it worked, as Michael Helman bunted into a fielder's choice. DaShawn Keirsey struck out with runners on the corners and two outs to send the game into the eleventh. Ben Gross came in to work the eleventh inning, and the first batter he faced singled, setting up runners on the corners and nobody out. The next batter hit into a double play, but the go-ahead run came in to score. The Cardinals hit a homer with two outs to make it 6-4. In the bottom of the eleventh, Chris Williams worked a leadoff walk. The Wind Surge then called on their best hitter, Spencer Steer, who had the night off. Steer got the count to 2-2, then unloaded on a fastball to left field for a three-run, walk-off homer, his seventh homer. The Wind Surge improved their record to 21-12 on the season thanks to heroics from their star player. Isola went 2-for-3 with two walks and a run scored. Wallner was 2-for-3 with two RBI, two walks, and a stolen base. Williams was 2-for-3 with two walks. And the hero, Steer, was 1-for-1 with a homer and three RBI. Gross picked up his third win as his record improved to 3-0. KERNELS (HIGH-A) Cedar Rapids 2, Lake County 4 Box Score On Wednesday night, the Cedar Rapids Kernels fell to the Lake County Captains 4 to 2. Aaron Rozek toed the rubber for the Kernels as he went three and ⅓ innings, allowing three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out three batters. He took his first loss as his record went to 4 and 1. He now has a 5.1 ERA. The Captains started the game quickly, getting a home run from the game's second batter. Twins Daily #18 prospect Christian Encarnacion-Strand roped a double in the bottom half of the first but was stranded at third base. Rozek allowed two runs after a walk, single, RBI double, and sacrifice fly in the top of the third. The Kernels faced a three-run deficit going into the bottom of the third, but they responded. Willie Joe Garry Jr. led off the inning with a walk, and Will Holland tripled on the first pitch of his at-bat; driving in Garry Jr., Anthony Prato hit a sacrifice fly to score Holland, and the Kernels deficit was down to one run after the third inning. Bradley Hanner came on in relief of Rozek and threw one and ⅔ innings of scoreless relief while striking out three batters. Hanner’s ERA is down to a minuscule 0.54 on the year. In the bottom of the fifth, Holland hit a double for his second extra-base hit of the game but was stranded at second base. Ryan Shreve came in to relieve Hanner and let up a home run in the top of the sixth to increase the Kernel deficit to two runs. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Kernels threatened after a leadoff double from Prato and a single from Aaron Sabato. Still, they failed to capitalize, leaving these runners stranded at first and third. In the ninth inning, the Kernels got the tying run to the plate, but Holland struck out to end the game, and the Kernels lost 4 to 2. With the loss, the Kernels fall to 24-11. They went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, which ultimately decided the game. Holland was 2-for-4 with a double and a triple, and Encarnacion-Strand was 1-for-3 with a double and a walk. Cody Laweryson threw two innings of scoreless relief with three strikeouts, and Miguel Rodriguez pitched a scoreless inning. MIGHTY MUSSELS (LOW-A) GAME 1: Fort Myers 5, Clearwater 10 Box Score The Mighty Mussels dropped game one of the double-header with Clearwater. Right-hander Pierson Ohl made his sixth start of the year for Fort Myers. Ohl went four innings, allowing five runs on eight hits and one walk while striking out three batters. Clearwater started the scoring at the bottom of the first with back-to-back hits to take a 1-0 lead. The Mighty Mussels responded with a run in the top of the second when a pitch hit Dylan Neuse, Neuse stole second base, and Luis Baez had a clutch two-out single to drive in Neuse. However, Clearwater retook the lead in the bottom half of the second when Ohl allowed a two-out solo home run. In the top of the third, the Mighty Mussels got a one-out walk from Twins Daily #10 prospect Emmanuel Rodriguez walked, stole second, and scored on a Mikey Perez double. When the Mighty Mussels needed a shutdown inning in response, Ohl could not deliver as he allowed three hits, a walk, and a hit-by-pitch which led to three runs, and the Mighty Mussels trailed 5-2 after three innings. After an uneventful fourth inning, Jake Rucker led off the top of the fifth with a single and stole second base. After Rucker moved up to third on a groundout, Rodriguez drew another walk and promptly stole second base for the second time of the game. Former first-round pick Keoni Cavaco singled with two outs to score Rucker and put the Mighty Mussels within two runs of the lead. Jackson Hicks replaced Ohl on the mound in the bottom of the fifth. After an error, two walks, a hit-by-pitch, a single, a ground-rule double, and a wild pitch, Hicks had given up five runs and was pulled from the game after only collecting two outs. The score was 10-3 when Hicks came out, and the game was all but over. John Wilson replaced Hicks and pitched one and ⅓ innings of perfect baseball to finish off the game for the Mighty Mussels. In the top of the seventh, Rucker walked, followed by a two-run home run by 2021 first-round pick Noah Miller, his second of the year. The game ended after seven innings, and the Mighty Mussels lost game one of the double-header, 10-5. Miller went 2-for-4 with a home run and 2 RBI, and Rucker went 2-for-3 with a walk. GAME 2: Fort Myers 2, Clearwater 0 Box Score Game two was a much different story for the boys in Fort Myers. The Mighty Mussels turned to right-hander Mike Paredes to try to salvage a split in the double-header. Paredes turned in an excellent outing for the Mighty Mussels, going four shutout innings while striking out three batters. The only baserunner Paredes allowed was a single in the first inning, and he only threw 45 pitches. Paredes was primarily used in a relief role to start the season, but his last two appearances have been starts, and that is a role Paredes seems to thrive in, as he has only allowed one hit through seven innings as a starter. The game was deadlocked at zero until the fourth inning. Fresh off a multi-hit performance, Miller was in an 0-2 count with one out in the fourth when he hit his second triple of the year to get the first runner in scoring position of the game. After a strikeout of Noah Cardenas, Perez came up in another RBI spot, and he delivered, cranking his fourth home run of the season to give the Mighty Mussels a 2-0 lead. After the Perez homer, the Mussels couldn’t manage any more hits and relied on their defense and pitching to win them the game. In the top of the fifth, Niklas Rimmel replaced Paredes and threw two great innings of relief, holding the opposition scoreless and striking out three. Fort Myers turned to Regi Grace in the top of the seventh to close the game out, and he pitched phenomenally, striking out all three batters he faced on only 12 pitches to earn his second save of the season. After the double-header split, the Mighty Mussels record is 22-12. Mikey Perez finished the game 2-for-3 with the game-winning homer, and Noah Miller went 1-for-3 with a triple and a run scored. These were the only three hits of the game for Fort Myers, but they proved to be enough. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Mike Paredes (Fort Myers) - 4 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day – Alex Kirilloff (St. Paul) - 4-for-6, R, 2B, HR, 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: #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4, R, HBP #4 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-1, HBP #8 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 1 IP, 2 H, 2 K #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-2, 2 BB, 2 K, 2 SB (9) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 3-for-7, HR (2), 3B (2), 2 R, 2 RBI #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 6 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 8 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-1, HR (7), 3 RBI, R #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, 2B (7), BB THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Omaha (6:35 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (0-0, 4.76 ERA) Springfield @ Wichita (7:05 CST) - RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (2-1, 2.20 ERA) Lake County @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (2-2, 4.03 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!
  12. TRANSACTIONS RHP Bailey Ober assigned to AAA St. Paul on Major League Rehab. OF Alex Kirilloff optioned to AAA St. Paul. LHP Devin Smeltzer contract selected by Minnesota Twins. IF Miguel Sano placed on 60-Day IL. RHP Blayne Enlow added to AA Wichita Saints Sentinel The Saints were rained out on Saturday. They will play a double-header against Columbus tomorrow with Bailey Ober taking the mound in game one. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 7, Arkansas 6 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K HR: Spencer Steer (6), Chris Williams (1) Multi-hit games: Austin Martin (2-for-5, R, RBI), Spencer Steer (3-for-5, HR, R, 3 RBI), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-4, 2B, R, BB, 2 K) The Wind Surge kept rolling on Saturday. Blayne Enlow made his Wind Surge debut and his first non-rehab assignment start since undergoing Tommy John surgery. He’s back. The start wasn’t the best, but six strikeouts is nothing to sneeze at. It’s just great to see him healthy and back on a pitching mound this summer. While the game ended up close, Wichita’s offense took off quickly in this game, scoring pairs of runs in the first three innings. Spencer Steer was the main culprit, hitting a two-run homer in the first to go with an RBI infield hit in the second. That may be the biggest difference feet-wise between RBI hits in baseball. Arkansas would steal a run in the bottom of the 2nd inning, but Chris Williams belted a hearty laugh, and blasted a two-run homer to right-center field. The Naturals came scratching back, though. Chris Vallimont had a tough outing in relief, allowing two earned runs and walking four batters in 1 2/3 innings of work. Defense didn’t help either, as both Andrew Bechtold and Austin Martin made errors that allowed un-earned runs to score. That Martin error was especially deadly, as Arkansas rode their extra out to three runs and a tied game. In dramatic fashion, Martin then made good and gave Wichita the lead in the 8th with an RBI single. The Naturals could not recover from that deficit. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 1 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: Anthony Prato (5) Multi-hit games: Aaron Sabato (2-for-4, 2B, R), Alerick Soularie (2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, RBI), Will Holland (2-for-3, R, RBI) The Kernels won on Saturday. Water is wet. These were the two sentences used last time, and they are still appropriate. Sawyer Gipson-Long Did the Darn Thing and completely silenced the Chiefs’ bats. It took the righty just 62 pitches to run through 15 outs with seven of those being strikeouts. Gipson-Long has been a surprising revelation since joining the Twins organization, and Saturday was another day in a line of impressive starts from him. Credit news to be given to Derek Molina, Tyler Palm, and Denny Bentley, as they combined for four clutch innings of work and just a single earned run allowed. Although the game ended up handily won by Cedar Rapids, the game flow was not always so simple. The score was 2-1 after eight innings with an Alerick Soularie little-league homer (triple with an error allowing him to score), and a Jair Camargo RBI single representing their only offense of the game. But the Kernels broke it open in the 9th inning, plating five runs off a few base knocks, and an Anthony Prato three-run bomb. Peoria had no response in their half of the inning. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 10, Palm Beach 4 Box Score Steve Hajjar: 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K HR: Mikey Perez (3), Dillon Tatum (2) Multi-hit games: Emmanuel Rodriguez (3-for-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB), Mikey Perez (3-for-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI, BB) The Mighty Mussels won handily on Saturday. Is it a good thing to have four players reach base three times in one game? Asking for a friend. Fort Myers dominated with an equal attack amongst their offense—no one batter should own the means of run production after all. Noah Miller and Emmanuel Rodriguez continued to be on-base machines, which isn’t surprising. Mikey Perez was the big story though, as he doubled, homered, and reached base four times in the game. Eight hitters reached base at least once. Steve Hajjar took the mound, and while he allowed just one run, command eluded him. Hajjar walked five batters while throwing just 46 of his 80 pitches for strikes. Although, it appears he was “effectively wild” given that the Cardinals could only knock one hit off of him. Walks proved to be the name of the game overall. The Mighty Mussels walked more than they struck out (nine to eight) while the Cardinals weren’t far behind (seven to 10). One could refer to this game as “leisurely.” TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Sawyer Gipson-Long Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-5, R, RBI #2 – Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-for-4 #3 – Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-5, 2 K #4 – Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #5 – Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #6 – Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did not pitch #7 – Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 1 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, K #8 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #9 – Josh Winder (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #10 – Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 1-for-2, 2 R, 3 BB #11 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 1-for-4, 2 K #12 – Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-for-3, 2 BB, K #13 – Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #14 – Louie Varland (Wichita) - Did not pitch #15 – Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 3-for-4, 2B, 3 R, RBI, BB, K #16 – Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #17 – Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 3 2/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 6 K #18 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 3-for-5, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR, 2B #19 – Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-for-3, 2 R, 2 BB, K #20 – Steve Hajjar (Fort Myers) - 4 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 5 BB, 5 K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (12:05 PM) - RHP Bailey Ober St. Paul @ Columbus (Game Two) - RHP Dereck Rodriguez Wichita @ NW Arkansas (1:35 PM) - RHP Casey Legumina Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (1:35 PM) - RHP John Stankiewicz Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (12:00 PM) - RHP Marco Raya
  13. The Twins have won 14 of their past 17 games. Some of the organization's top prospects have found their way to the big leagues and contributed. All the while, three affiliates find themselves in first place. As we all know, Player Development is the most important aspect of minor league baseball. However, "winning" is not a bad thing either. Learning how to win and contribute to a team are part of the development process as well. Nothing wrong with learning how to win and making that a priority. Disclaimer (kind of): 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. If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. TRANSACTIONS There have been no official transactions from later on Sunday and on Monday. RESULTS Previous Week in Review (4/26-5/2): Prospect Movement, Strong Performances, and Wins Tuesday: Dreary Tuesday on the Farm Wednesday: Headrick Fans Ten, Bats Burst in Lowertown Thursday: Stankiewicz Stays Hot, Miller Mussels Up Friday: Promotion Season is Here Saturday: Top Pitching Prospects Galore Sunday: Kernels Win in a Walk-off, Martin Homers on Mothers Day MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT The Next Twins Prospect Promotion Is It Time to Start Worrying About Austin Martin? Twins Promote Top Prospect Royce Lewis Prospect Retrospective: Royce Lewis Three Questions With… Mighty Mussels OF Kyler Fedko (Video) WEEK IN REVIEW Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week: 3-3, hosting Iowa Season: 15-13 overall, 3rd place in the International League West. They are 4 1/2 games behind Nashville (20-9) and Columbus (18-12). The Saints split their six games last week against the Iowa Cubs. The Cubs came to St. Paul with former Twins Stephen Gonsalves, Luke Farrell, John Hicks, Ildemaro Vargas, and Andrelton Simmons made his first rehab appearances for the Cubs too. Each team won three games. The Saints outscored the Cubs 31-29. Yet none of the games was settled by less than three runs. When the week started, and really up until the weekend, the Saints roster included Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff, but both were called up on Friday. Jose Godoy was called up Sunday after playing four games in St. Paul. Mark Contreras played in all six games. He went 8-for-21 and hit .381/.500/.714 (1.214) with two doubles, a triple, and a home run. He also walked four times. 32-year-old veteran Elliot Soto played all six games too. He went 6-for-21 and hit .286/.423/.524 (.947) with a triple and a home run. He also walked five times. Curtis Terry had a nice week. In six games, he went 5-for-18 and hit .278/.500/.444 (.944) with three doubles. He also had eight walks to go with just two strikeouts. Great to see Jordan Balazovic back after starting the season on the Injured List with a knee injury. He made one rehab appearance in Ft. Myers and then started for the Saints on Saturday. He went 3 2/3 scoreless innings despite giving up five hits and two walks. He struck out four batters. Yennier Cano pitched in three innings over three games. He didn’t give up a run. He allowed just one hit, walked two and struck out four batters. JC Ramirez came out of the bullpen after Balazovic’s start. He gave up just one hit and walked one batter over 3 2/3 scoreless innings. He struck out four batters. Daniel Gossett threw three scoreless, hitless innings in a relief appearance. He walked one and struck out four. Devin Smeltzer has been that stalwart of the Saints’ staff all season. He finally had a rough start. He gave up six runs on eight hits over two innings in his start. What’s Next? The Saints travel to Columbus to take on the Clippers for the week. Pitching Probables (RHP Ronny Henriquez, RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez, RHP Jake Faria, RHP Jordan Balazovic, TBD, TBD) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge Week: 3-2, hosting Tulsa Season: 16-10 overall, 1st place in the Texas League North Division with Tulsa. They are 1.0 game ahead of Tulsa (15-11). It was billed as the week when Louie and Gus Varland would make history as brothers pitching against each other in a minor-league game. They were supposed to match up on Tuesday and again on Sunday. Instead, the teams were rained out on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. They played doubleheaders on Friday and Sunday. The Varlands pitched against each other on Friday. The offense scored just over six runs per game. Here are some of the top performances for the Wind Surge this past week: Let’s start on the mound. Matt Canterino made another start. Previously he had been working three innings. This week, he went four shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked two, and struck out four batters. There were several really strong bullpen performances. Atop that list is Austin Schulfer who finished two games last week. In 2 1/3 innings, he gave up just one hit and struck out four batters. Bryan Sammons came out of the bullpen and gave up only a solo homer over three innings. He struck out three batters. Matt Wallner backed up last week’s player of the week performance with an even better week. In five games, he went 8-for-16 and hit .500/.579/1.063 (1.642) with three doubles, two homers and eight RBI. He also walked three times. Spencer Steer had a good week too. In five games, he went 8-for-20 and hit .400/.381/.900 (1.281) with a double, three homers and eight RBI. Edouard Julien played in four games and went 6-for-12. He hit .500/.563/.667 (1.230) with two doubles. He also had three walks and stole two bases. Michael Helman played in all five games. He went 6-for-15 and hit .400/.471/.600 (1.071) with a homer and two walks. He had three stolen bases. Andrew Bechtold played in three games. He went 3-for-10 (.300) with a double and a home run. Leobaldo Cabrera went just 2-for-12 (.167) in five games. Well, hey, a week ago, we wrote that he started the season 0-for-32. In the first game of a doubleheader on Tuesday, he got out the first two at-bats, but in the sixth inning, he hit a solid single to center, ending the hitless string at 34. Two hits are a start! What’s Next? The Wind Surge will travel to NW Arkansas. Pitching Probables (RHP Ben Gross, RHP Matt Canterino, RHP Louie Varland, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Chris Vallimont, RHP Casey Legumina) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week: 4-2, hosting Quad Cities Season: 19-8 overall, 1st place in the Midwest League West Division, 2.0 games ahead of Wisconsin (17-10). The Kernels have found a lot of ways to win games. Last week, they needed strong pitching and got it. They won four of the six games, but they only outscored Quad Cities 21-15. Offense has been a struggle for the Kernels the past couple of weeks. Five Kernels bullpen arms did not allow a run last week. Bradley Hanner worked twice and gave up just one hit and one walk over four innings. He struck out six batters. Andrew Cabezas had five strikeouts over 2 2/3 innings in two perfect appearances. John Stankiewicz made his High-A debut last week out of the bullpen. In five scoreless innings, he gave up only one hit and no walks. He struck out seven batters. In 26 2/3 innings, he has 38 strikeouts to go with just five walks. Brent Headrick went six shutout innings in his start. He struck out ten batters and one gave up one hit and one walk. On Sunday, Sawyer Gipson-Long worked 5 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and struck out six batters without a walk. Cade Povich moved quickly past his first rough start. This past week, he gave up an unearned run on four hits over five innings. He walked one and struck out eight batters. Cody Laweryson also made his first start of the season. He went four shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked none, and struck out four batters. Jeferson Morales went 5-for-10 (.500) in the three games he played. He had a double and a walk. Anthony Prato played in all six games. He went 6-for-22 and hit .273/.346/.636 (.982) with a triple, two homers, and five RBI. He also walked twice. On Sunday, he had a walk-off sacrifice fly. Aaron Sabato also had two homers and five RBI on the week. Alerick Soularie’s struggles continued. On the week, he went 0-for-15 and is now hitting just .137 in his first 21 games of the season. What’s Next? The Kernels will be traveling to Peoria to take on the Chiefs. Pitching Probables (LHP Brent Headrick, RHP Sean Mooney, LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich, RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP Cody Laweryson) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Week: 3-3, at Lakeland Season: 14-10 overall, 1st place in the Florida State League West, but just 1/2 game ahead of Bradenton (15-12) and 1.0 game ahead of Clearwater (13-11). The Florida State League is typically not known for much offense. While the Mussels scored a combined four runs over their first two games last week, they scored 32 runs over the final four games. The team gave up 26 runs on the week. However, 12 of those came in just one game. The best start of the week for Ft. Myers came from RHP Pierson Ohl. He was charged with one run on four hits and a walk over five innings. He struck out four batters. Nine Mighty Mussels starters worked last week without giving up an earned run. Regi Grace, Hunter McMahon, Juan Mendez, Matthew Swain, and John Wilson each worked twice and worked between 2 2/3 innings and four innings. Steven Hajjar had an interesting start. In three innings, he did not give up a run or a hit. He struck out eight batters (in nine outs). But he also walked four batters. The worst start of the week came from Blayne Enlow. He gave up seven runs (3 earned) on five hits and a walk in just 1 2/3 innings. Sure, that’s a minimal negative, but it was Enlow’s first rehab start since he had Tommy John surgery last year. He got through it, and he felt good on Sunday. The better news? He is expected to make his next start for Wichita. Offensively, Noah Miller had a great week! In six games, he went 11-for-23 and hit .478/.556/.783 (1.339) with two doubles, a triple, a home run, and four walks. He also stole three bases. Jake Rucker also played in six games. He went 10-for-22 and hit .455/.500/.682 (1.182) with three doubles and a triple. He also walked four times and stole three bases. Daniel Ozoria played in five games and went 7-for-17 (.412) with two steals. Mikey Perez had four hits last week including one double and one home run. He added three walks. What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels will return to Hammond Stadium to take on the Palm Beach Cardinals. Pitching Probables (RHP David Festa, RHP Travis Adams, RHP Pierson Ohl, RHP Mike Paredes, RHP Marco Raya, LHP Steven Hajjar) PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week (April 26 - May 1). You may have noticed that 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) - 3 G, 3-for-10 (.300), 1-2B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K (Season: 3 G, .300/.300/.400 (.700), 1-2B, 0-3B, 0-HR, 0 R, 0 RBI, 0 BB, 1 K) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 5 G, 4-for-17 (.235), 0-2B, 1-HR, 2 RBI, 3 BB, 0 K (Season: 25 G, .242/.376/.337 (.713), 6-2B, 0-3B, 1-HR, 22 R, 8 RBI, 15 BB, 16 K, 14 SB, 0 CS) #3 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 4.2 IP, 2 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 3 K (Season: 5 GS, 27.2 IP, 5 R, 16 H, 7 BB, 28 K, 3-1, 1.63 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 2.3 BB/9, 9.1 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: 6 G, 4-for-22 (..182), 2-2B, 1-HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K (Season: 7 G, .154/.214/.346 (.560), 2-2B, 1-HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 1 K) #5 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Week/Season: 1 GS, 3.2 IP, 0 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 4 K. #6 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.1 IP, 4 ER, 5 H, 1 BB, 6 K (Season: 5 GS, 27.0 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 12 H, 8 BB, 24 K, 2-0, 1.33 ERA, 0.74 WHIP, 2.7 BB/9, 8.0 K/9) #7 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 6.0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 8 K (Season: 5 G, 2 GS, 22.1 IP, 5 R, 4 ER, 12 H, 4 BB, 20 K, 2-0, 1.61 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 1.6 BB/9, 8.1 K/9) #8 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 G, 2.2 IP, 2 R, 2 H, 1 BB, 5 K (Season: 10 G, 14.2 IP, 6 R, 10 H, 3 BB, 24 K, 0-1, 2 Saves, 3.68 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 14.7 K/9) #9 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 1 GS, 4.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 4 K (Season: 6 GS, 16.2 IP, 3 R, 7 H, 11 BB, 22 K, 0-1, 1.62 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 5.9 BB/9, 11.9 K/9) #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 5 G, 3-for-16 (.188) , 0-2B, 0 HR, 1 RBI, 9 BB, 6 K (Season: 22 G, .229/.450/.486 (.936), 3-2B, 5-HR, 17 R, 9 RBI, 27 BB, 28 K) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 6 G, 11-for-23 (.478), 2-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 4 BB, 6 K (Season: 23 G, .287/.426/.379 (.805), 3-2B, 1-3B, 1 HR, 14 R, 6 RBI, 19 BB, 28 K) #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K (Season: 5 G, 4 GS, 25.2 IP, 12 R, 9 ER, 18 H, 11 BB, 28 K, 3-1, 3.16 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3.9 BB/9, 9.8 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) - Season: 1 G, 2.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, 0 BB, 2 K #14 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 3.1 IP, 1 R, 6 H, 1 BB, 4 K (Season: 3 G, 2 GS, 9.0 IP, 5 R, 9 H, 6 BB, 9 K, 0-1, 5.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP, 6.0 BB/9, 9.0 K/9) #15 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 2 G, 1 GS, 4.2 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, (Season: 4 G, 3 GS, 15.0 IP, 6 R, 4 ER, 11 H, 3 BB, 19 K, 2-1, 2.40 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 1.8 BB/9, 11.4 K/9) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 5 G, 8-for-20 (.400), 1-2B, 3-HR, 8 RBI, 0 BB, 5 K (Season: 25 G, .320/.395/.570 (.965), 11-2B, 1-3B, 4-HR, 19 R, 21 RBI, 10 BB, 19 K) #17 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 1 R, 0 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 8 K (Season: 4GS, 19.0 IP, 9 R, 7 ER, 18 H, 5 BB, 31 K, 2-1, 3.32 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 2.4 BB/9, 14.7 K/9) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 5 G, 4-for-18 (.222), 1-2B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 6 K (Season: 25 G, .364/.423/.586 (1.009), 5-2B, 1-3B, 5-HR, 16 R, 25 RBI, 11 BB, 28 K) #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 4 G, 6-for-12 (.500), 2-2B, 0-HR, 3 BB, 4 K (Season: 17 G, .281/.394/.439 (.833), 4-2B, 1-3B, 1-HR, 11 R, 10 RBI, 12 BB, 15 K) #20 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL (elbow): Rehab start with Ft. Myers. 1.2 IP, 5 H, 7 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 1 K. PLAYERS OF THE WEEK Hitter of the Week: Outfielder Matt Wallner, Wichita Wind Surge Noah Miller was the Twins' choice for player of the week, and he had a big week. The 2021 first-round pick hit .478 with two doubles, a triple, and a home run. He posted a tremendous OPS of 1.339. However, Matt Wallner hit .500/.579/1.063 (1.642) with three doubles and two home runs in his five games. That 1.642 OPS is about as good as you can get. It has been a tale of two, two-week stretches for former first-round pick and Forest Lake alum, and that’s why we have to remember that it is a long season, and talent is talent. Matt Wallner is immensely talented. Experts will often say that Double-A is where a lot of players really struggle. If that’s the case, Matt Wallner figured some things out really quickly, and for the second straight week, he is the Twins Daily Hitter of the Week. First 2 weeks (4/8 - 4/24): 12 G, 5-for-45, .111/.222/.178 (.400), 0-2B, 1-HR, 13.0% BB%, 44.4% K% Past 2 weeks (4/26 - 5/8): 11 G, 15-for-35, .429/.535/.971 (1.506), 4-2B, 5-HR, 18.6% BB%, 27.9% K% Baseball is all about adjustments, and it’s pretty impressive that it appears Wallner has been able to adjust quickly. Few, if any, have as much power potential as Wallner. Pitcher of the Week: LHP Brent Headrick, Cedar Rapids Kernels Headrick was a solid candidate for his award last week after he tossed five shutout innings against Beloit. He had given up just three hits, walked none, and struck out seven batters. He was even better this past week in his start against Quad Cities. He threw six more scoreless innings. He gave up only one hit, walked one, and struck out ten batters. Overall, the 24-year-old has made five starts for the Kernels this year. He is 3-1 with a 1.90 ERA. in 23 2/3 innings, he has given up just ten hits, walked five, and struck out 38 batters. Those numbers result in a miniscule 0.63 WHIP and an impressive 14.5 K/9. Headrick was the Twins' ninth-round pick in 2019 out of Illinois State where he pitched for former Twins catcher Steve Holm. As a junior, he had gone 9-3 with a 3.47 ERA in 16 starts. He pitched in just three games for Elizabethton that summer. Like most, he missed the entire 2020 season. In 2021, he pitched in 15 games and made 14 starts. He went 3-5 with Ft. Myers with a 3.82 ERA. But this year, the southpaw has pitched at a new level.
  14. TRANSACTIONS SS Royce Lewis promoted to Minnesota Twins 1B/OF Alex Kirilloff activated from IL, promoted to Minnesota Twins RHP Cole Sands promoted to Minnesota Twins LHP Jovani Moran optioned to Triple-A St. Paul INF Kevin Merrell promoted to Triple-A St. Paul from Double-A Wichita SS Daniel Robertson placed on IL (concussion) SAINTS SENTINEL Iowa 6, St. Paul 2 Box Score The Saints suddenly found themselves without multiple key members of their offense on Friday as Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff were sent across town to join José Miranda, Trevor Larnach and Gilberto Celestino with the parent squad. As such, St. Paul struggled to drive home runs despite registering eight hits against the Cubs. Caleb Hamilton hit his first home run of the spring—on the same night Miranda hit his first MLB dinger; I guess you could say that neither athlete was going to miss their shot—and drove in the team’s only runs. Cole Sturgeon and Curtis Terry each contributed two hits, with all four being singles. Jake Faria tossed the first four innings for the Saints but struggled to keep the ball in the park. He surrendered two home runs and four earned runs in the loss. Juan Minaya, Jordan Gore, Trevor Megill, and Jharel Cotton struckout six and allowed only one earned run in five innings of relief. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1: Wichita 7, Tulsa 2 Game 2: Wichita 10, Tulsa 0 Game 1 Box Score Game 2 Box Score It finally stopped raining long enough in Kansas on Friday for the Wind Surge and Drillers to fit in two contests, with the Twins’ Double-A affiliate coming out on top in both. Game one featured brothers and Minnesota natives Louie and Gus Varland facing off against one another on the mound. Louie pitched five innings and struck out six, though he did give up two runs. Gus didn’t fare quite as well, allowing six earned runs in only three innings. Still, it was a night that neither brother nor the entire family will forget. Matt Wallner (1-for-2, 3 RBI) and Spencer Steer (2-for-4, 2 RBI) each went deep in the first contest while Edouard Julien (2-for-3, BB) drove in the Wind Surge’s other two runs. Alex Scherff and Evan Sisk each threw a scoreless inning in relief. Wallner topped his performance in the first game with an even more dominant showing in the second. He finished the game 4-for-4 with a home run, two doubles, and four RBI, raising his batting average to a respectable .243 and OPS to .896. He has now hit 14-for-29 with three doubles and five home runs since beginning the season 3-for-41. Andrew Bechtold clobbered his third home run of the season while Julien contributed another 2-for-3 game with two RBI and a walk. Matt Canterino pitched four scoreless innings with four strikeouts for Wichita. Ben Gross was credited with the win following 1 ⅔ scoreless innings in relief. Austin Schulfer pitched the final 1 ⅓ and picked up three strikeouts. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 6, Cedar Rapids 2 Box Score The Kernels mustered only three hits against the River Bandits, though two of them went for extra bases. Anthony Prato hit a solo home run—his third of the spring—and Jeferson Morales’ double drove in the team’s only other score. Aaron Rozek’s string of rough outings continued on Friday as the lefty served up two more home runs and surrendered five earned runs in four innings. Bradley Hanner and Melvi Acosta each pitched two innings in relief, striking out four and allowing one more run. Tyler Palm pitched a scoreless ninth. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 9, Lakeland 1 Box Score The Might Mussel’s bats exploded for nine runs on 15 hits on Friday to pick up the win. Noah Miller had himself a particularly good game, going 3-for-5 at the plate with a double, home run, and three RBI. Kyler Fedko (2-for-3, 2 BB, 2 R), Keoni Cavaco (2-for-5, RBI), Jake Rucker (2-for-5, 2 2B, RBI), and Daniel Ozoria (3-for-5) also put forth multi-hit efforts. The Fort Myers pitching staff—led by starter Pierson Ohl, who earned the win—pitched a gem, striking out five and allowing only six Flying Tigers to reach base. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – RHP Matt Canterino (Wichita): 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K Hitter of the Day – RF Matt Wallner (Wichita): 5-for-6, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-6, SB #2 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - 1-for-4 #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesotal) - 1-for-3, HR, RBI, BB #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 4 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 3-for-5, 2B, HR, 3 RBI #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 1-for-4 #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 5-for-6, 2 2B, 2 HR, 7 RBI #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) -1-for-4, BB, R #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 3-for-8, HR, 2 RBI #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 4-for-6, 4 RBI, 2 BB SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul vs. Iowa( 2:07 PM CST) - RHP Mario Sanchez (1-0, 2.92 ERA) Wichita vs. Tulsa (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (2-0, 0.00 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Quad Cities (6:35 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (1-1, 4.50 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Clearwater (5:00 PM CST) - TBD
  15. Transactions: OF Cole Sturgeon promoted from Double-A Wichita to Triple-A St. Paul INF Ernie Yake promoted from Single-A Fort Myers to Triple-A St. Paul OF Jake Cave placed on temporary inactive list (paternity leave) SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 6, Iowa 3 Box Score It was Chi Chi Gonzalez making the start tonight for St. Paul and he turned in five innings of three-run ball. Avoiding extra damage while giving up nine hits, Gonzalez walked just one and fanned two. Iowa took an early lead with a run in the third inning, and then they added single tallies in the 4th and 5th innings as well. As the game got late, the Saints came alive. Jermaine Palacios opened the scoring for the good guys in the 7th inning. A ground out to third base scored Mark Contreras and the Saints made their way into the run column. Jose Godoy then singled to drive in Elliot Soto and drew the home team within one. Still trailing by one in the 8th inning, Curtis Terry ripped his 8th double of the season to score Royce Lewis and knot the game at three. With the bases loaded, Soto brought everyone home on his first triple of the season and the 6-3 lead would hold through the final frame. Contreras and Godoy were the lone hitters with multi-hit evenings. Alex Kirilloff may have been playing in his final rehab game, and went 0-for-3 with a strikeout. Daniel Gossett was amazing in relief working three innings of no-hit baseball while punching out four and walking just one. WIND SURGE WISDOM Postponed For the third straight night Wichita saw the matchup with the Varland brothers be postponed. Now set to face off for a doubleheader on Friday, the hope would be that Mother Nature finally cooperates. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Quad Cities 3 Box Score Sean Mooney took the ball to start this one and worked three innings while giving up three unearned runs. He walked and struck out four batters apiece. Recently promoted John Stankiewicz came on in relief and was dominant. Pitching five scoreless, Stankiewicz gave up just a single hit and no walks while striking out seven. Quad Cities plated a first inning run to take the lead, but Cedar Rapids had a quick answer. Seth Gray drove in Christian Encarnacion-Strand with a single and the score was even after one. The Kernels then jumped ahead in the second with Wander Javier scoring on a fielding error. Battling back from a two-run third inning that put the River Bandits back on top, Cedar Rapids plated a pair of their own on an Aaron Sabato ground out and another error. With just a one-run lead after the third inning, Sabato gave the Kernels more breathing room when he blasted a solo shot to left field for his third dinger of the season. Anthony Prato contributed two hits out of the leadoff spot tonight, and he was joined by both Sabato and Gray. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 7, Lakeland 6 Box Score Fort Myers gave the ball to Travis Adams tonight and he turned in a solid performance allowing just two runs on three hits over five innings. Adams recorded four strikeouts and walked none. The Mighty Mussels scored the first run of the evening on a Noah Cardenas ground out. A throwing error by Lakeland allowed Noah Miller to scamper home. After getting behind in the 2nd inning, Emmanuel Rodriguez ripped a single in the third inning allowing Jake Rucker to score. Stretching the lead further, Keoni Cavaco roped a 4th inning double driving in Kyle Schmidt before Mikey Perez homered in the 6th inning plating Kala’i Rosario on the two-run shot. Lakeland drew back within two on a homer of their own, but Schmidt erased it scoring Rodriguez on a 7th inning sacrifice fly. The game got way too dicey when the Flying Tigers tied things in the 8th inning, and neither team could push across a run in the 9th. Utilizing the runner on second in the 10th inning, Rosario ripped his second double of the season to score Cavaco and give Fort Myers the lead they’d need to hold onto. Fort Myers tallied 11 hits on the evening and Noah Miller accounted for four of them going 4-for-4. Rosario was the only other batter to join him with a multi-hit effort. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – John Stankiewicz (Cedar Rapids) - 5.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 7 K Hitter of the Day – Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 4-4, R, BB, 2B 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 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 1-3, R, BB, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesotal) - 1-3, K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 0.2 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 4-4, R, BB, 2B #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-2, R, RBI, 3 BB FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (6:37PM CST) - RHP Jacob Faria Tulsa @ Wichita (5:05PM CST) Game 2 TBD - RHP Louie Varland/RHP Matt Canterino Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Aaron Rozek Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30PM CST) - RHP Pierson Ohl Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.
  16. TRANSACTIONS Ft. Myers announced after their game that infielder Jesus Feliz is going on the 7-Day IL with a right elbow strain. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 8, Iowa 1 Box Score The bats were alive in Lowertown on Wednesday night. Combined with rock-solid pitching, St. Paul used seven hits, two homers, and a pair of doubles to pummel the I-Cubs. The Saints flooded the bases right out of the gate thanks to a pair of first-inning walks from Jake Cave and Curtis Terry. Two batters later, Mark Contreras mashed a three-run homer over the right-field wall to give St. Paul a 3-0 lead. St. Paul scored on a similar sequence to put two more runs on the board in the second inning. After Derek Fisher was hit by a pitch Elliot Soto crushed his first homer of the year to put St. Paul up 5-0. The team would tack on two more runs in the fifth. Terry opened the floodgates with an RBI double that scored Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff to give the Saints a 7-1 lead. Lewis and Kirilloff teamed up to add another run in the seventh when Lewis scored on a Kirilloff single. Starting pitcher Ronny Henriquez was admirable on the night, allowing only one run through 3 1/3 innings. JC Ramirez was even more impressive in relief tossing 3 2/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit ball while striking out three. The tandem of Drew Strotman and Yennier Cano teamed up to pitch a perfect final two innings to seal the deal. WIND SURGE WISDOM POSTPONED For the second time in recent days, Wichita’s Wednesday night game was postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow evening. The highly-anticipated matchup of brothers Louie and Gus Varland will take place in game one. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 0 Box Score An outstanding starting pitching performance and a myriad of insurance runs propelled Cedar Rapids to a shutout win over rival Quad Cities. Cedar Rapids starting pitcher Brent Headrick was incredible, tossing six innings of scoreless ball. The Braidwood, Illinois, native only surrendered one hit and one walk while fanning a season-high ten strikeouts past the Quad Cities batting order. Headrick has at least five strikeouts in each of his five starts this season and an impressive 38 in total on the young season. Cedar Rapids broke the chess match in the sixth inning. After reaching on a thrower error, Kennie Taylor would find his way around the bases thanks to a Jeferson Morales single, a sac-fly by Anthony Prato, and an RBI single from Christian Encarnacion-Strand. The Kernels would tack on a trio of insurance runs in the seventh. After reaching on a Fielder’s Choice, Alerick Soularie stole second base and would advance to third courtesy of a Will Holland single. The former Tennessee Volunteer then scored thanks to a wild pitch. The bases weren’t clear for long; thanks to the same players that manufactured the run in the sixth inning. After consecutive walks from Taylor and Morales, Prato laced a triple to center field that scored both men to give the Kernels a 4-0 lead. That lead would hold true to the final strike thanks to an efficient bullpen outing courtesy of Orlando Rodriquez and Andrew Cabezas. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Lakeland 4 Box Score Despite multiple comeback efforts, the Mussels dropped a tight game in the Sunshine State. The Mussels rebounded to tie the game in both the sixth and ninth innings but ultimately fell short in extra innings. Aside from giving up two runs in the first, starting pitcher David Festa was solid through four innings, striking out five and only walking one. Regi Grace followed suit by pitching three innings of scoreless ball, striking out three, and walking one. Down two for the first five innings, Fort Myers fought back with a stellar sixth inning. Highly-touted prospect Noah Miller kicked off the inning with his first triple of the year. Two batters later, Kyler Fedko reached on a Fielder’s Choice that would allow Miller to score from third. Fedko would advance to second thanks to a Lakeland error on the play and a balk in the next at-bat. With two outs, Keoni Cavaco came in clutch with a sharp double to score Fedko from third and give the Mussels a slight lead. The double added his stellar night at the plate. Prior to the at-bat, Cavaco laced a triple in the first. After Lakeland regained the lead in the eighth, the Mussels scrapped back a run in the ninth to tie it up on a wild span of events. With one out Mikey Perez went to first and was later advanced to second thanks to a bunt from Ernie Yake. Yake would eventually be caught stealing second on a play that moved Perez to third and resulted in the ejection of Mussels skipper Brian Meyer. After a pair of substitutions, Perez bolted home to score on a wild pitch to tie the game at three and send the game to extra innings. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Elliot Soto (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K Pitcher of the Day: Brent Headrick (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, O R, H, BB, 10 K PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-4 #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, SB, B, K #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, 3B, BB, 2 SO #14 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 3.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 4 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, RBI, K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (5:35 PM CST) - RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-1, 4.70 ERA) Doubleheader Game One :Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05 PM CDT) - RHP Louie Varland (2-1, 3.05 ERA) Game Two: Following Game One Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CDT) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-0, 2.08 ERA) Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 PM CDT) - TBA
  17. TRANSACTIONS The Twins announced Sunday morning that pitchers Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic were assigned to Low-A affiliate Fort Myers for rehab assignments and are available to pitch Sunday. In addition, Marco Raya was activated by Ft. Myers. he is scheduled to start on Tuesday. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul and Nashville were postponed due to Weather. The Saints were unable to play their series finale against the Nashville Sounds on Sunday due to wet grounds at CHS Field. The makeup game has yet to be rescheduled for a later date. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 4, Arkansas 3 Box Score SP: Chris Vallimont - 4 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K HR: Cole Sturgeon (3), Alex Isola (3) Multi-hit games: Isola (3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI) The Wind Surge completed their series victory over the Travelers Sunday afternoon in a 4-3 victory that gave the Wind Surge a 5-1 series win. Chris Vallimont was on the mound for his fifth start of the season for the Wind Surge. Vallimont had a strong first inning but struggled in the second and third giving up two runs in the second on a bases-clearing double by Travelers catcher Jake Anchia. Vallimont allowed the Travelers third and final run to score on a wild pitch in the bottom of the third. Vallimont cooled off in the fourth inning but was taken out for the day afterward. Alex Isola carried the Wind Surge lineup to victory with his 3-for-4 performance at the plate coming a triple short of the cycle. Isola also hit the game-winning home run in the top of the sixth that gave the Wind Surge their 4-3 lead. Cole Sturgeon hit his third home run of the season in the fifth inning against Travelers starter George Kirby. The Wind Surge will be returning home for their next series starting Tuesday against the Tulsa Drillers. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Beloit 13 Box Score SP: Cade Povich 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K HR: Aaron Sabato (2), Jeferson Morales (1) Multi-hit games: Anthony Prato (2-3, R, 2B, RBI (14) 2 BB), Jair Camargo (2-4, R, BB, K) The Kernels completed their final game against the Beloit Sky Carp with a loss that split the six-game series between the two teams. The 13-6 loss is the largest for the Kernels on the season so far. Kernels starter Cade Povich made his third start of the season but was roughed up over 4 1/3 innings pitched. The Sky Carp scored three runs against him in the second and three more to knock him out in the fifth inning. Povich still did have three strong innings. throwing scoreless first, third, and fourth innings. The Kernels offense did their best to keep up but fell short in the later innings as the Sky Carp tagged on three insurance runs in the bottom of the seventh and four more in the bottom of the eighth. Kernels left fielder Anthony Prato and catcher Jair Camargo both had strong games at the plate, but it was first baseman Aaron Sabato’s two-run homer in the top of the ninth that brought the Kernels back into the game. Even though they fell short and lost 13-6 The Kernels will be returning home for their next series against the Quad City River Bandits which will be their second series against them for the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 4, Clearwater 4: Suspended in the top of the 11th Box Score SP: Sonny Gray 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi hit games: Noah Miller (2-3, R, BB), Kyler Fedko (2-4, R, RBI (14), BB, K) The Mighty Mussels game against the Clearwater Threshers was suspended in the top of the 11th due to rain. The suspended game will resume during the Mighty Mussels next match up against the Threshers the week of May 16. Both Sonny Gray and Jordan Balazovic pitched for the Mighty Mussels during Sunday’s game. Gray made his rehab start and nearly three perfect innings for Fort Myers save for a fielding error in the top of the first and a single in the top of the second. Gray did not allow any walks and struck out five in his appearance. Balazovic came into the game right after Gray for two innings. Balazovic did not have as strong a performance as Gray as he gave up four runs on four hits and two walks in his first appearance for the 2022 season. He has been rehabbing a knee injury. The Mussels will begin their next series on Tuesday night at home against the Cardinals Single-A affiliate, the Palm Beach Cardinals. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Sonny Gray (Fort Myers) - 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day – Alex Isola (Wichita) - 3-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 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. #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-2, R, 2B, K #5 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers, Rehab) - 2 IP 4 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, K #7 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K (1st career MLB Win) #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 2-3, R, BB #13 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-3, R, BB #17 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 4.1 IP, 8 H, 6 ER, 2 BB, 6 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, RBI (24), BB, K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B, 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, May 3. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). Iowa @ St. Paul (6:37 PM CST) - TBD Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games as the second weekend of the Minor and Major League seasons has concluded.
  18. TRANSACTIONS C José Godoy selected by Minnesota Twins Saints Sentinel St. Paul 2, Toledo 5 Box Score Jake Faria: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K HR: Royce Lewis (2) Multi-hit games: Curtis Terry (2-for-4, 2B) The Saints lost a winnable game on Saturday. Starter Jake Faria carried the torch for the first few innings of the game, racking up five strikeouts over four solid frames with one earned run to his name. He was not as efficient as he probably would have liked, however, and was pulled from the game after 76 pitches. The game sat at a 1-0 standstill heading into the 6th inning before Royce Lewis strode up to the plate and absolutely molly whopped crushed destroyed obliterated annihilated the baseball to give the Saints a 2-1 lead. The lead was short-lived. Chi Chi Gonzalez, pitching in relief of Faria, allowed a two-run triple and RBI single that gave the Mud Hens a lead they would never relinquish. Drew Strotman pitched an inning with no earned runs. The offense outside of Lewis’ blast was sparse. Curtis Terry and Elliot Soto provided a double each, while Chance Cisco was the only hitter outside of Terry to reach base twice. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 4, Midland 15 Box Score Brandon Lawson: 1 1/3 IP, 6 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, K HR: None Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2B), Michael Helman (2-for-4, RBI, 2B) Wichita was clobbered on Saturday. It was one of those days where showing up to the diamond felt like a mistake; The Wind Surge fell into a deficit in the first inning and never recovered. Wichita pitchers allowed 17 hits, 14 earned runs, and 10 walks. Alex Scherff was the only pitcher not to allow a baserunner. It would be for the best if we ended the discussion on pitching there. Wind Surge hitters were somewhat more successful. While they only knocked around three extra-base hits, they struck out just four times; poor BABIP proved to be their downfall more than anything. Edouard Julien was the most prolific hitter of the bunch, dropping in three hits while scoring half of Wichita’s total runs. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 6, Peoria 3 Box Score Sawyer Gipson-Long: 4 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Anthony Prato (2-for-2, 2 R, RBI, BB, 2 2B), Aaron Sabato (2-for-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B), Will Holland (2-for-3, 2 RBI, BB, 2B) The Kernels continued their dominant start to the season on Saturday. Unusually mortal, Sawyer Gipson-Long did not over-match hitters like he usually does. The righty trudged through four innings while Peoria hitters frustrated him by scoring in three of those frames. It was a rare off-day for a pitcher who had been so great for most of last season and the beginning of this one. The Kernels offense had his back, though. They pecked away at the Chiefs’ lead, scoring in five separate innings to culminate in six runs total—more than enough needed to win the game. Aaron Sabato and Will Holland were the most consistent culprits, twice plating runners and twice knocking in hits. In relief of Gipson-Long, Bradley Hanner, Melvi Acosta, and Osiris German combined to toss five scoreless innings, ensuring the win for Cedar Rapids. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 7, Dunedin 3 Box Score David Festa: 4 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Kala’i Rosario (1), Emmanuel Rodriguez (5), Kyler Fedko (2) Multi-hit games: Noah Miller (2-for-3, 2 R, BB, 2B), Dylan Neuse (2-for-5) The Miracle won solidly on Saturday. David Festa continued his incredible start to the season with four shutout innings. It was not the cleanest performance—he needed 70 pitches to net 12 outs—but the start lowered his season ERA to 1.93. Much like the Kernels, Fort Myers hitters backed up their pitchers. The New Bash Brothers, Emmanuel Rodriguez, and Kyler Fedko, both launched homers in their effort to discredit the entire concept of pitching in general. Oddly enough, all of Fort Myers’ runs came via a homer or a bases-loaded BB. Walks proved to be the defining aspect of the game, as the Mighty Mussels took eight of them in the game; that’s how they plated seven runs off eight hits. The barrage of relievers—Jaylen Nowlin, Malik Barrington, Regi Grace, Matthew Swain—worked five innings with five strikeouts and three earned runs to carry the team to victory. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – David Festa, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Edouard Julien, Wichita Wind Surge PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-3, BB, R #2 – Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, R, 2 RBI, HR #3 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 0-for-4 #10 – Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 2-for-3, 2 R, BB, 2B, K #11 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - 0-1 #15 – Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4, R, 2 RBI, BB, K, HR #18 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-4, 2 K #19 – Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, 2B SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo (1:05 PM) - RHP Daniel Gossett Midland @ Wichita (1:05 PM) - RHP Matt Canterino Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 PM) - LHP Aaron Rozek Fort Myers @ Dunedin (11:00 AM) - RHP Travis Adams
  19. On Saturday, May 22, Noah Miller was sitting in his bedroom. He walked into the next room and saw his mom crying. “Why are you crying?” He asked. She replied, tears in her eyes, “Owen just got called up.” Owen Miller is the older brother of Noah. He was the third-round draft pick of the San Diego Padres in 2018 out of Illinois State. In August of 2020, he was traded to Cleveland in the Mike Clevenger trade. At 24, he found himself in Cleveland, batting sixth and DHing against J.A. Happ and the Twins. Sure, he went 0-for-5 with three strikeouts, but he is a big leaguer. And Noah Miller was there. “I did get to go. Actually, I missed my graduation for that. It was pretty exciting.” Yes, Noah was set to graduate on Sunday afternoon. Instead, he said his family got up about 2:30 a.m. and made the trek to Cleveland for a 1:10 game. The Cleveland brass found out that Noah was missing his graduation, so they put a big picture of him on their video board congratulating him on his graduation. “I actually missed it. I was getting hot dogs with my brother’s girlfriend and my cousin.” Don’t worry. Miller said that he received his diploma from the school’s principal shortly after. That May game in Cleveland was not his first Twins game of the year. He drove down to Milwaukee for the Opening Day pitcher’s duel between Jose Berrios and Corbin Burnes (and that hard-to-watch first loss of the season for the Twins). It’s been a hectic past couple of months for Noah Miller. Before baseball season began, he finished his senior season of basketball. When asked if he was any good, he sheepishly replied, “I broke our school’s scoring record, so now I’m the all-time leading scorer at our high school.” Miller didn’t play in the Area Code Games last summer, and scouts didn’t get as many opportunities to see players in 2020 due to the pandemic. He played his high school baseball season, and he continued to play more this summer. Twins Scouting Director Sean Johnson said, “We benefited from the later draft this year because normally a kid from Wisconsin, you’re not going to get to until late April or May, which may not have been enough time to get the looks we got on Noah. I saw Noah play three weeks ago for his summer team just east of LaCrosse, did a day trip that day with Deron Johnson. So we got a lot more looks than we normally would in a June 10 draft. So we used the extra month and said, ‘Who’s playing? Who can we go see?’” Soon after, Miller was invited to Target Field to participate in a pre-draft workout. Twins area scout Joe Bisenius had been tracking him for quite some time and was in contact with him all year, but when he arrived at Target Field, and there were just three other players, he knew that the Twins had a legitimate interest in him. So he wasn’t totally surprised when the Twins selected him. “I talked to him (Bisenius) a good amount. I talked to him, especially in the winter. I had a zoom call with him. I think they told me they had eight or nine guys come to see me play. I wasn’t necessarily surprised. When I went to the pre-draft workout, there were only four of us there, and they told me, ‘you’re kind of our guy here,’ that was pretty cool. I knew that my shot to get into the first round was with the Twins. It was a little bit of a surprise, but at the same time, I wasn’t surprised.” So on Sunday night, Day 1 of the draft, Miller knew there was some chance he would be drafted late in the night, maybe by the Twins, but also realized that he could be selected early on Day 2. “It was awesome. I was sitting there, and my agent called me around pick 34, and he was like, ‘Hey man, the Twins might pick you at 36. There’s a chance.’ He said, ‘Just be on the lookout.’ Then he called me again, and he was just like, ‘Again, just kind of be ready if something happens here.’ So I didn’t really know if I was going to or not, and then they picked me, and it was just, I mean, it was unbelievable. It was just me and my family, and we were going crazy.” Following Day 1 of the draft, Sean Johnson described Miller’s offense. “Johnson noted, “It’s rare anymore to see a player you believe has hit skills from both sides of the plate. Switch-hitters are pretty rare anymore. He has a great swing from both sides. We think that he will have power from both sides.” Miller said he’s been switch-hitting for a long time. He said, “Realistically, it was probably like second or third grade just playing wiffleball in the backyard with my brother and my cousins, and in the basement with tennis balls. Then in fifth grade, I finally just realized that it’s something that I should probably do, and it was something that I enjoyed doing, so I just stuck with it from there. My approach from both, pretty much the same for both ways. I don’t have the same mechanics for both ways, but my end goal is the same, and my thought is the same.” He added that he is equally comfortable from both sides of the plate. “I probably get more at-bats lefty in-game, but I’ve done the work outside of games to make it feel the same.” Johnson talked about Miller’s defense as well. “He’s extremely instinctive as a defender. He’s not the fastest shortstop in the world, but we think that he has a chance to stay there for a long time. He’ll profile whether he plays short forever or not. Great hands. Great feet. Great clock. It’s all the things you want to see. He’s super-advanced, more advanced than a lot of the college guys you see.” While Miller acknowledges that he grew up a Brewers fan, he said his favorite player (aside from his brother, of course) is Giants shortstop Brandon Crawford because “he’s such a smooth defender.” He said he had played some second base and some third base on some national teams or in tournaments but spent most of his time at shortstop. And finally, Johnson talked about Miller’s drive, saying, “Johnson said, “You can just see the competitiveness in him that he got from his brother, and his family and being in that environment.” Owen Miller went off to Illinois State when Noah was just 12 years old. Noah would hear all of the different things that Owen was working on in college, and he would be sure to work on those things as well. Noah was 15 when Owen was drafted, and he continued to get tips and things to work on and put into his game. “Very beneficial for me. It was just awesome to have. (Owen) being such a great hitter. Him being my number one hitting coach was kind of the best thing that he’s ever done for me,” Owen has continually provided solid advice for Noah. “He told me about college. He told me about pro ball. He told me the benefits of both, the cons of both. He thought I was ready for pro ball. He thought that was something that I should maybe do if I get the chance. He said maybe I should take that, and I’m glad I did now. He told me about the grind of minor league baseball, everything like that, just working in the offseason with him, working out with him, hitting with him. Everything that improved my game.” It certainly isn’t difficult to understand why the Twins are so excited about both Chase Petty and Noah Miller. Soon their long journey up the organizational ladder will begin. It should be fun to watch. Jared Walsh. JP Feyereisen. Daulton Varsho. Jarred Kelenic. Gavin Lux. Alex McRae. Jonathan Stiever. Recently-retired Jordan Zimmerman. Twins catcher Ben Rortvedt. Owen Miller. All of these players have spent time in the big leagues in 2021. All of these players were born and grew up in Wisconsin. Miller hopes to join his brother and these other Wisconsinites in the big leagues one day. Miller gives a lot of credit to RJ Fergus at Hitters Baseball in Caledonia, Wisconsin, for giving Wisconsin kids an indoor facility for the winter. Next up? The Twins will be talking with Miller and his family and representation and come to terms on a signing bonus. He is likely to sign that contract at Target Field and then head down to Ft. Myers and begin his pro career. If he does get into games, and he should, it will be with the FCL Twins. Let the journey begin.
  20. Scouts typically use a 20-80 scale to rank prospects based on their current and future skill level. Below you will see where these players rank currently, including their potential to improve in the years ahead. 5. Noah Miller, SS Current Hit/Future Hit: 25/60 Minnesota selected Miller with the 36th pick in the 2021 MLB Draft out of high school in Wisconsin. In his pro debut, he hit .238/.316/.369 (.685) with six extra-base hits in 22 games. He is a switch hitter with an advanced hitting approach. Teams can have a tough time evaluating players from cold-weather states, but Miller’s hitting profile saw him rise up draft boards last spring. Compared to other high school hitters, he has a better hitting approach, and he does a tremendous job of making consistent contact. As he continues to add weight, his swing has the potential for more power, and his hitting skills project to be among the system’s best. 4. Misael Urbina, OF Current Hit/Future Hit: 30/55 The Twins signed Urbina during the 2018 international signing period. Last season, Urbina played 101 games at Low-A and hit .191/.299/.286 (.585). While those totals are low, he compiled a .825 OPS as a 17-year-old in the Dominican Summer League. Losing a year of development impacted his swing in 2021, but he only had four plate appearances against younger pitchers last season. His bat-to-ball skills are considered advanced for his age, and he controls the strike zone. Starting the 2022 season at Low-A will help him gain some confidence, and he has the potential to move up to Cedar Rapids later in the year. 3. Spencer Steer, 2B Current Hit/Future Hit: 40/50 Steer was taken in the third round back in 2019 out of the University of Oregon. Even with the missed 2020 season, his swing took some steps forward last season. He ended the year hitting .254/.348/.484 (.833) with 18 doubles and 24 home runs between High- and Double-A. Because of his collegiate experience, his advanced approach at the plate has been his calling card. In recent years, he has reworked his swing, which may help him add more power as he moves up the organizational ladder. Steer will need to cut back on his strikeout rate as he gets closer to the big leagues, but he has hitting skills that should make him a serviceable infielder. 2. Jose Miranda, 3B Current Hit/Future Hit: 50/55 Many Twins fans are now very familiar with Miranda based on his breakout 2021 season. Minnesota took Miranda in the second round back in 2016. Many within the organization have been touting his potential for multiple years. His short, compact swing allows him to make contact at a consistent level which finally resulted in improved power numbers last season. Even if those power numbers decline at the big-league level, he should be able to continue to put the bat on the ball. Miranda saw an improved walk rate last season, but his ability to make contact means he swings at a lot of pitches. Can he continue to make adjustments as he gets closer to his debut? 1. Austin Martin, SS/CF Current Hit/Future Hit: 50/60 Martin is widely considered Minnesota’s top prospect, and many scouts felt he was the top hitter in the 2020 MLB Draft. Last season, he made his pro debut and hit .270/.414/.382 (.796) at Double-A. Like Miranda, he can make contact with nearly any pitch, but he can be over patient at times. MLB Pipeline put it succinctly when saying he shows “no weaknesses at the plate.” Since joining the Twins organization, he has continued to work on altering his swing, which may produce more power in 2022. However, that might mean that he has to sacrifice contact and be more aggressive. Who do you think has the best hit tool in the Twins system? Should someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Top Power Prospects MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  21. A pair of stellar arms, a couple of hometown boys, and a couple of flashy gloves. The following group of Twins prospects, Twins Daily's 11-15 prospects, is pretty exciting. Take a look at some of the top names that will be playing at Target Field in just a few years. Big velocity. Big spin. Big strikeouts. Big Power. Big speed, and range. There is some Big potential in this group, Twins Daily's Twins prospects 11-15. 15. RHP Louie Varland Age: 24 2021 (-A, +A): 18 starts, 103 IP, 2.10 ERA, 34% K, 7% BB Arguably the most exciting pitching in the Twins farm system, Louie Varland's electric 2021 season earned him accolades as Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year and Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. A product of the Twin Cities, Varland was promoted from Low-A Fort Myers to High-A Cedar Rapids after just eight starts and emerged as the Kernels' ace. Varland relies heavily on a high fastball and shared that he is honing in on his off-speed pitches on Twins Spotlight with Seth Stohs. A truly dominant arm, Varland averaged 12.4 strikeouts and only 2.6 walks per nine innings in 2021. Expected to get his feet wet in Cedar Rapids, don't be surprised to see the Concordia-St. Paul alum scales the ranks of the Twins organization in 2022. 14. RHP Cole Sands Age: 23 2021 (AA): 18 starts, 81 IP, 2.46 ERA, 29% K, 10% BB The 2018 fifth-round draft pick for the Twins did not disappoint in his second full season with the Twins organization. After bouncing between three levels in 2019, Cole Sands was a rock for the Wind Surge last season, posting a 4-2 record and averaging only 3.6 walks per nine innings. Sands isn't necessarily the high-velocity, deep-inning pitcher that fills seats; that doesn't matter, the Florida State alum gets outs. Sands keeps the ball on the ground and only gave up six homers last year and averaged 0.7 HR/9 on his sophomore campaign. Efficiency produces results; like Varland, 2022 could be a huge breakout year for Sands. 13. OF Matt Wallner Age: 24 2021 (A+): .265/.350/.504, 14 2B, 2 3B, 15 HR, 9% BB, 33% K A mid-season injury didn't stop Minnesota native Matt Wallner from having an excellent season last year. In his second full season with the Twins organization, the Southern Miss alum proved to be a sparkplug for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. A true cleanup hitter, Wallner's power at the plate is inevitable. Wallner's biggest area of growth will come in plate discipline, given his 100 strikeouts in 2021. The reason that isn't talked about frequently is because of the game-changing power in his powerful right-handed swing that helped lead the Kernels to the High-A Central Championship Series. Changing those mountains and valleys to high-level plateaus will be key for the Forest Lake native to take his offense to the next level. 12, OF Gilberto Celestino Age: 22 2021 (AA, AAA, MLB): .206/.274/.355, 21 2B, 9 HR, 4/5 SB, 10% BB, 22% K It almost feels like Gilberto Celestino has been a Minnesota Twin for an eternity. Yet the talented outfielder is only 22 years old and saw MLB playing time for the first time last season after four previous seasons in the minors between the Twins and Astros organizations. The Dominican Republic native was signed by Houston at the ripe age of 17 and acquired by the Twins in 2019. The Astros clearly saw something in him to sign him so young and it appears the Twins do too. Celestino's stat line is bogged down by his MLB numbers. He was quite impressive with the Saints and Wind Surge in 2021, slashing .277/.371/.423 with 18 doubles and seven homers in 70 games. Time is a friend of Celestino and 2022 should provide him more of an opportunity to get his feet wet at the game's highest level. 11. SS Noah Miller Age: 18 2021 (Rk): .238/.316/.369, 2 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 9% BB, 27% K Chosen with the 38th pick of the 2021 Draft, Noah Miller is one of the top young prospects to graze Twins Territory. A stand-out hitter on both sides of the plate, Miller is as solid as it gets with his glove at shortstop. Tabbing Brandon Crawford as his favorite shortstop growing up, Miller's sleek defense was a marquee factor in the Twins using their second draft pick (Competitive Balance) on him. Miller had a brief chance to get his feet wet at the pro level in 2022 with 96 plate appearances in the Florida Complex League. Expect him to start at Low-A in 2022 and get ready to watch what could be one of the organization's best draft picks in recent history. Read more on Miller's high ceiling courtesy of Twins Daily's JD Cameron. Previous Rankings Honorable Mention Prospects 16-20 Prospects 11-15 Prospect #10: Coming Monday
  22. The Twins opted to draft Noah Miller 36th overall in the 2021 draft after taking right-handed pitcher Chase Petty with their first pick. Petty got a deserved amount of hype for his triple-digit fastball and future upside as a stud pitcher, but Miller appears to have gotten overshadowed just a bit too much. Noah Miller boasts fantastic contact ability with a great eye at the plate, average speed, and developing power. He pairs his raw skills with highly touted athleticism and baseball IQ, all of which adds up to a fantastic floor even for a player drafted out of high school. His lack of standout offensive ability would give him the ceiling of a decent major league player if he has to move to a position like outfield or second base, but there appears to be more and more optimism in his ability to remain at shortstop. Miller falls into the mid-teens across most Twins prospect ranking lists. Keith Law of the Athletic, however, recently released his ranking of the Twins system and bumped Miller all the way up to 10. For those unfamiliar with Law, he’s recognized for being particularly pessimistic (or perhaps realistic) when it comes to ranking prospects. Law essentially believes in Miller’s safe offensive profile and more importantly his ability to play a sufficient shortstop. While Miller doesn’t have the ceiling to be the next Fernando Tatis Jr. or Wander Franco, Law believes Miller has an achievable ceiling as an everyday contributor at the position. An evaluator as highly regarded as Keith Law making such a statement should be exciting, and Twins fans in particular should have an appreciation for this possibility playing out. It seems to be a yearly tradition where the Twins either draft or internationally sign a significant number of shortstops and fans ask “Why?”. Despite the perception of casting a wide net at this position, the Twins have made little progress in developing any players who are anywhere near a lock to be the long-term answer. Typically we see these “shortstops” Make a pivot elsewhere on the diamond shortly thereafter. In regards to the history of the Minnesota Twins, Jorge Polanco was the starting shortstop in consecutive Opening Days in 2019 and 2020. Before him Pedro Florimon earned that honor in 2013 and 2014. Since 2004 however when Christian Guzman made his 6th consecutive Opening Day start, the position has essentially been a revolving door. Miller may be a long way off from Major League action at just 19 years old, but his offensive skillset that made him a first round pick is also one that gives him a relatively good shot at an MLB career. Twins fans saw with Aaron Sabato in 2021 that even in the first round there’s significant risk with prospects that have a feast or famine slugger profile. While prospects are always risky, Miller’s contact ability alone may give him a slightly better chance of overcoming the minor league gauntlet over the next few years. The bar is admittedly set quite low when it comes to shortstops in Twins territory. That being said, if Noah Miller has a full 2022 of proving he can do it at shortstop, his notoriety is going to go through the roof. For as much flak as the Twins get for their pitching development, taking a first-round shortstop who actually pans out would be an incredible development for the organization. There are a lot of MLB-ready prospects to watch in 2022, but none have an opportunity to raise their stock quite as much as Noah Miller. We won’t see him in Minneapolis this summer, but we just may be talking about him as the future franchise shortstop by this time next year. — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
  23. Players like Austin Martin, Royce Lewis, and Jose Miranda should all have made their debuts before the end of the 2023 season. Minnesota’s pitching pipeline also points to many of their arms debuting over the next two years. There are other exciting players to keep an eye on as these players have a chance to develop into the team’s top prospect. Chase Petty, RHP ETA: 2025 Seth’s Top-30 Pitcher Rank: 6 Minnesota selected Petty with the team’s first-round pick in 2021 out of high school in New Jersey. High school pitchers can be extremely risky, and it was an uncharacteristic pick for the current front office regime. However, Petty checks all the boxes. His fastball can reach triple-digits, and it has movement. His slider has the chance at developing into a plus-pitch, and scouting reports state that his changeup continues to improve. Many of the knocks against Petty are tied to him being just over six feet tall, but Twins fans saw José Berríos find big-league success at that height. Petty won’t turn 19-years-old until April, so there is no need to rush him through the system. Emmanuel Rodriguez, CF ETA: 2024 Seth’s Top-30 Hitter Rank: 5 Rodriguez was Minnesota’s top international signee in the 2019 class, and he has already established himself as one of the team’s top international prospects. Last season, he made his professional debut and hit .214/.346/.524 (.870) with 17 extra-base hits, including 10 home runs. Even though he has played just 37 pro games, he is considered an advanced hitter that knows the strike zone well. He showed tremendous power last season even though his listed weight is under 170-pounds. It’s scary to think about what he will be able to do when he adds more muscle to his frame. Right now, he projects to be able to stick in centerfield, but he can be a plus defender in a corner spot if his power continues to develop. Noah Miller, SS ETA: 2025 Seth’s Top-30 Hitter Rank: 4 Miller, like Petty, was taken in the 2021 MLB Draft out of high school. He has many of the skills and athleticism needed to stick at shortstop, making him a valuable prospect in the years ahead. Last season after signing, he played in 22 games and hit .238/.316/.369 (.685) with six extra-base hits and a 26-to-9 strikeout to walk ratio. He turned 19-years-old in November, and he already has a solid frame at 185 pounds. As a switch-hitter, his right-handed swing is considered the better side as he went 6-for-11, including three extra-base hits in his pro debut. Scouting reports already point to his advanced approach at the plate, and the Twins will continue to work to improve his approach. Add that with his above-average defense at a premium defensive position, and signs point to him having one of the highest ceilings in the Twins farm system. Which player do you think will be the team’s top prospect by 2024? Is it a player on this list or someone else? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  24. While the MLB lockout continues to stagnate the offseason, minor-league players are preparing to travel to Florida and Arizona to begin preparation for their seasons. In this series, I’ll look at some of the Twins' notable picks from the early rounds of the 2021 draft. I’ll dig into scouting reports and storylines to look for ahead of the 2022 season. Next up, Steven Hajjar, a left-handed pitcher drafted out of the University of Michigan. Scouting Grades: Fastball: 50 | Curveball: 50 | Changeup: 60 | Control: 50 | Overall: 45 (grades courtesy of MLB.com) Signing and Scouting The Twins selected left-handed pitcher Steven Hajjar with their second-round pick in the 2021 draft (61st overall) out of the University of Michigan. Hajjar signed for the exact slot-bonus of $1.13 million. Coming into the draft, Hajjar was ranked as the #60 overall prospect by Baseball America and #100 overall by MLB.com. Hajjar was the first of two college left-handed pitchers selected by the Twins in the early rounds (ahead of Cade Povich in the third round). Hajjar, in line with other early picks outside the Twins first, has a strong all-around skill set and provides a solid floor as a prospect for the organization, who are continuing to add and develop a stable of pitching talent. It’s notable that Hajjar and Povich are the only left-handed starting pitchers who would feature in most evaluators' top Twins prospects lists. At 6’5 and 215 pounds. the 21-year-old southpaw has a prototypical starting-pitcher's body, while still being a little on the lanky side. Interestingly, Hajjar had a significant draft pedigree from his high-school career, when his fastball was already in the low 90s and he had more projectability. Despite not being able to establish his previous velocity (mid-90s fastball) in his final year at Michigan, he had an excellent season. Hajjar put together a 3.09 ERA over 81 innings, striking out 110 and walking 29 batters. In terms of his arsenal, Hajjar has a four-pitch mix led by a fastball that sits around 91 mph. Knowing the tendencies of the Twins, it's likely they feel they can re-up Hajjar’s fastball velocity to the 93-95 mph range, which would be of significant impact. Indeed, reports from Twins instructs in Florida has Hajjar’s fastball clocked at 97 mph when working with the organization coaching staff after he was drafted. If this increase sticks, it will alter Hajjar’s ceiling and possibly his trajectory as a prospect. Hajjar’s fastball does not have a lot of spin but good vertical movement. One would imagine the organization will encourage the establishment of his fastball up in the strike zone when he makes his professional debut. Hajjar has an excellent changeup that sits in the low 80s and falls away late in its plane. He has a slow 12-6 curveball and a slider he used more intermittently. It’s possible the Twins encourage him to ditch one of his breaking pitches in favor of refining the other, particularly given the quality of his changeup. Likely to Start At: Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (A) (with the ability to move quickly to Cedar Rapids (A+) Hajjar has a strong floor as a rare left-handed starting pitcher in the Twins organization due to his size, excellent college career, and already well-developed pitching arsenal. Ultimately, his end-game will probably depend on the consistency with which he can increase his velocity as he develops, with the ceiling of a mid-rotation starter. Who is the most intriguing of the three draft picks discussed so far? What are your thoughts on Steven Hajjar ahead of his professional debut with the Twins? Previous Prospect Previews Twins Prospect Preview: Chase Petty Twins Prospect Preview: Noah Miller
  25. While the MLB lockout continues to stagnate the offseason, minor-league players are preparing to travel to Florida and Arizona to begin preparation for their seasons. In this series, I’ll look at some of the Twins' notable picks from the early rounds of the 2021 draft. I’ll dig into scouting reports and storylines to look for ahead of the 2022 season. Next up, Noah Miller, a high school shortstop from Wisconsin. Scouting Grades: Hit: 55 | Power: 45 | Run: 50 | Arm: 55 | Field: 55 | Overall: 45 (grades courtesy of MLB.com) Signing and Scouting The Twins selected switch-hitting shortstop Noah Miller with their supplemental first-round pick in the 2021 draft (36th overall) out of Ozaukee High School in Fredonia, WI. He signed for a $1.7 million bonus, convincing him to renege on his commitment to Alabama. Miller was ranked as the #74 overall prospect by Baseball America and #62 overall by MLB.com. Miller is the second high school shortstop the Twins have drafted in the first round in recent seasons, following helium prospect Keoni Cavaco, selected at #13 overall in the 2019 draft. The younger brother of Cleveland Guardians’ infielder Owen Miller, who made his MLB debut in 2021, Noah has a solid floor, due to a strong all-around game. At 6’0 and 180 pounds, Miller is an excellent athlete and infielder. Baseball America described his defense as ‘elite’ heading into the 2021 draft. Miller joins an increasing wealth of high school baseball talent from Wisconsin that has produced players like Gavin Lux, Jared Kelenic, and Twins catcher Ben Rortvedt in recent seasons. Offensively, Miller has a line-drive swing and shows the ability to hit the ball the other way, though with little power currently. He has an effective approach at the plate and good control of the strike zone (drawing nine walks in his first 84 professionals at-bats). Miller is an above-average runner with an above-average arm, which evaluators believe will give him the ability to play shortstop at the major-league level. While Miller doesn’t have one stand-out tool or skill-set, his strong all-around game makes him a lower variance prospect than Chase Petty. His first full season against professional pitching will be telling and a good indicator of whether Miller’s ceiling is every day starting shortstop, or more of a utility role. Quiet Excellence Miller is a prospect who won’t receive much fanfare initially, despite having MLB bloodlines. The absence of a loud tool from his arsenal and the likelihood he will move relatively slowly through the Twins minor league system will see to that. He is, however, not a prospect to sleep on. His overall athleticism was highlighted by Seth Stohs in his excellent piece this summer on the Miller family. Noah Miller finished his high school basketball career by casually breaking the all-time point scoring record. Miller benefited from being in close geographical proximity to the Twins, across the border in Wisconsin. With the 2021 draft delayed, the Twins scouting and development personnel had opportunities to get additional looks at Miller. On draft day, the Twins were attracted to several elements of Miller’s profile; his effortless defense (his favorite player is Brandon Crawford), infield clock, and a smooth compact swing from both sides of the plate. The Twins feel like he has the ability to add power to his swing as he grows and fills out. Ultimately, they believe they took a prospect beyond his years in Noah Miller. Likely to Start At: Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (A) Miller has a higher floor than most high school shortstop products. He has the defensive instincts to stick at the big-league level. How he handles his first full season of professional pitching will go a long way to determining if he can reach his ceiling as an everyday MLB shortstop. Twins Prospect Preview: Chase Petty
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