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It was an interesting week in the Twins farm system. With the big-league team still in first place and struggling to find any consistency, there were several players who moved up and down this past week. Brent Headrick came back to the Twins and earned his first big-league Win. Jordan Balazovic pitched well in his MLB debut on Sunday. The Twins had two minor-leaguers earn Player of the Week honors from their leagues. Another affiliate clinched a playoff spot. And then the Twins FCL and DSL teams each had a game on Monday morning, so we'll update you on how they did. There was an 11-strikeout game (by a Twins minor league pitcher, not a Twins big-league hitter). Let's start today with a look at the current records of each of the six Twins affiliates. St. Paul Saints: 40-28 Wichita Wind Surge: 27-35 Cedar Rapids Kernels: 37-26 Fort Myers Mighty Mussels: 32-31 FCL Twins: 5-5 DSL Twins: 3-8 Let’s get to the report. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS Fort Myers played infielder Yohander Martinez on the 7-day IL with a thigh strain. In addition, Mussels outfielder Alex Sayre was placed on the 7-day IL with a fractured right thumb. SAINTS SENTINEL No surprise here, but Saints first baseman Chris Williams was named the International League Hitter of the Week. Williams played in five of the six Saints games and went 7-for-19. He hit .368/.500/1.316 (1.816) with six home runs and 14 RBI. In addition, he was willing to take five walks. On Tuesday, he hit three home runs in Louisville. In a morning game on Wednesday, he hit two more long balls. Then on Thursday, he had one more. Overall this year, Williams is hitting .281/.386/.595 (.980) with seven doubles, 13 homers and 41 RBI in 44 games. The 26-year-old was the Twins eighth-round pick in 2018 out of Clemson. He has been a catcher at various times in his career. This year, he has played just three games behind the plate this year. Others in St. Paul who had solid weeks last week include: Andrew Stevenson hit .400/.455/.800 (1.255) with a triple and two homers (plus three SBs) Anthony Prato played in five games and hit .391/.440/.652 (1.092) with three doubles and a homer. Matt Wallner played in five games and hit .294/.480/.529 (1.009) with a double, a homer and six walks. In three games, Trevor Larnach hit .333/.357/.583 (.940) with a homer. Randy Dobnak made a start and was charged with three unearned runs over 5 1/3 innings. He struck out seven batters. Kody Funderburk struck out five batters over 3 1/3 scoreless, hitless, walkless innings. Should I mention that he did hit a batter? WIND SURGE WISDOM The Wind Surge had a player of the week as well. Lefty Aaron Rozek was named the Texas League Pitcher of the Week. The southpaw made one start in Midland and tossed six shutout innings. He gave up one hit, walked one, and he hit a batter. He struck out five batters. The 27-year-old from Burnsville and Minnesota State-Mankato has had an up and down season for the Wind Surge so far. He struggled early in the season, but then in May he was selected the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month. So overall, he is 1-3 with a 6.14 ERA over 10 starts and 44 innings. Regi Grace’s season has continued to go well since his promotion to Wichita. He worked twice last week and worked 3 1/3 innings of scoreless ball. He gave up one hit, walked two and struck out three batters. He recorded the save in one of the games. Hunter McMahon was back in 2022 form last week. In 3 2/3 innings, he gave up no runs, no hits, no walks, and he struck out four batters. I tweeted it over the weekend, and a couple of times earlier this season, but DaShawn Keirsey might be the most underrated prospect in the organization. He played all six games last week. He went 10-for-24 and hit .417/.440/.833 (1.273) with two triples and two home runs. Yunior Severino played in five games and hit .400/.478/.550 (1.028) with a double and a triple. Aaron Sabato was a doubles machine last week. The burly first baseman played in five games and hit .316/.435/.632 (1.067) with six doubles and four walks. He had six hits during the week, and each was a double. Seth Gray hit .333/.455/.611 (1.066) with two doubles, a homer, and four walks in five games. Will Holland hit .308/.412/.538 (.950) with a homer. Brooks Lee hit .333 with four doubles. KERNELS NUGGETS The Twins moved their Low-A affiliate to Cedar Rapids in 2012. In 2021, the Midwest League was bumped up to the High-A level. They have been managed by Jake Mauer, Tommy Watkins, and now Brian Dinkelman. The constant through all of those seasons has been providing the Kernels fans wins and playoff berths. This week, the Kernels clinched the first-half Western Division title which means they will continue their streak of making the playoffs every year since they’ve been a Twins affiliate. Misael Urbina played in five games and hit .412/.474/.529 (1.003) with two doubles. Andrew Cossetti hit .267/.294/.733 (1.027). He had four hits including a double and two home runs. Kala’i Rosario went 4-for-15 (.267) in five games, but he walked seven times so his on-base percentage was .500. Noah Cardenas hit .313 over four games. It is fair to say that the Kernels got great starting pitching last week. So much so that Zebby Matthews was used in long relief as a bulk pitcher. He worked the final six innings of a game started by Marco Raya and gave up five hits and walked none while striking out four. Jordan Carr earned a win in his start. The lefty worked five scoreless innings and gave up just one hit. He walked three and struck out three batters. Kyle Jones tossed four scoreless innings in his start. He gave up just two hits and a walk with four strikeouts. Cory Lewis gave up one run on two hits over five innings in his start last week. He had nine strikeouts. Christian MacLeod struck out six batters over four innings of one-run ball. Raya again went three innings in his start. He gave up one run on two hits and struck out six batters. MUSSEL MATTERS Jackson Hicks pitched twice and gave up a walk and hit a batter over three scoreless, hitless innings last week. Ben Ethridge gave up just one run on two hits and a walk over four innings. It was a 2-4 week for the Mussels, so no surprise that the pitching struggled. Two position players got to work on the mound during the week. Yohander Martinez returned from the IL and went 6-for-12 (.500) with a double and a homer in his three games played. Unfortunately, as you saw above in the transactions section, he is now on the IL. Jorel Ortega continues to hit really well in Fort Myers. The Tennessee alum played in all six games. He went 10-for-29 and hit .345/.367/.690 (1.057) with four doubles and two home runs. Maddux Houghton got a chance to play. In five games, he hit .353/.476/.412 (.888) with a double and four walks. COMPLEX THOUGHTS from FLORIDA FCL Twins 0, FCL Orioles 1 Box Score As you can see from the score, there was not much offense in this game for either team. Or, if you choose, we can credit the pitching of both squads. The difference in this game is that the Orioles had no errors while the Twins committed four. The O’s lone run came in the eighth inning, and it was unearned. So let’s start with the positive, the pitching. John Klein started and gave up just one hit over three scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out three batters. Owen Griffith continued his rehab assignment with two scoreless innings. He gave up three hits, but walked none. Jeferson Lopez worked the final three innings. The 18-year-old from Caracas gave up the unearned run on three hits. He had two strikeouts. The Twins batters managed just five hits in the game, and they walked four times. Omari Daniel went 1-for-2 with a walk and his first double. Bryan Acuna walked twice and stole his second base of the season. COMPLEX THOUGHTS from BOCA CHICA DSL Twins 9, DSL Mariners 2 Box Score The Twins Dominican Complex team scored five runs in the first inning and added more throughout the game to capture their third win of the season. Dameury Pena and Jayson Bass pulled off a double steal and thanks to a throwing error, Pena scored the first run of the game. Then with two outs in the top of the first, Ricardo Pena singled in Bass for the second run. Yilber Herrera and Carlos Silva walked to load the bases. Then Javier Roman walked to score Ricardo Pena. At that point, there was a pitching change. Angel Trinidad hit an infield single to score Herrera. And finally, Silva scored on a wild pitch. That is an inning that happens fairly often in the DSL. The Twins managed just five hits in the game, but they also added 11 walks and took advantage of wild pitches, a couple of errors, three hit batters, six stolen bases (in seven attempts) and more. Bass led the way with a single and two walks. Dameury Pena, Herrera and Silva each walked twice. Ledwin Taveras started and struck out five batters over the first three innings. He gave up two runs on four hits and didn’t issue a walk. Eduardo Soriano came on and worked the next five innings. The 20-year-old gave up just one hit, no walks, and he struck out 11 batters. He now has 19 strikeouts and just one walk in 11 innings this season. Jose Ojo, a 22-year-old just signed a year ago, worked a scoreless ninth and struck out two batters. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Eduardo Soriano (DSL Twins) - 5 IP, 1H, 0 R, 0 BB, 11 K, 71 pitches, 52 strikes. Hitter of the Day – Omari Daniel (FCL Twins) - 1-for-2, 2B(1), BB, CS PROSPECT SUMMARY Check out the Prospect Tracker for much more on the new Twins Top 20 prospects after seeing how they did on Monday. #4 - Edouard Julien (Minnesota) - 0-for-4, 2 K, E(2) #10 - Yasser Mercedes (FCL Twins) - 0-for-4, 2 K, E #18 - Jose Rodriguez (FCL Twins) - 1-for-4 TUESDAY’S SCHEDULE AND PITCHING PROBABLES St. Paul @ Toledo (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Simeon Woods Richardson (0-5, 8.08 ERA) Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - LHP Aaron Rozek (1-3, 6.14 ERA) Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Cory Lewis (2-0, 0.90 ERA) Fort Myers @ Tampa (5:30 PM CST) - RHP Miguelangel Boadas (0-2, 5.63 ERA) FCL Orioles @ FCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD DSL Phillies Reds @ DSL Twins (10:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Monday’s games!
In the past five editions of this series, we’ve looked at the Twins first five picks in the 2022 MLB Draft. In each case, we’ve looked at scouting reports, the amateur careers, and where they are likely to start the 2023 season. In this final installment, we’ll turn our attention to rounds dix through twenty, to highlight interesting prospects or tools to look out for from remaining picks. Unsigned Players The Twins ended the 20 round draft with just two unsigned players, their final two rounds of the draft. In the 19th round, they drafted Garrett McMillan, a left-handed pitcher who returned to school for his senior year. In the 20th round, the Twins drafted prep outfielder Korbyn Dickerson, who opted to fulfill his commitment to Louisville. Best of the Rest Listed as a shortstop, the Twins drafted Jorel Ortega in the sixth round for $50k under slot. Ortega was part of an incredible Tennessee team that put together one of the best college seasons in recent memory. Playing as their primary second baseman, Ortega slugged .672 with 18 home runs. Ortega’s offensive breakout may be partially due to Lindsey Nelson Stadium being a launching pad, as scouts had mixed reviews on his offensive upside. He had a two-run single in his first and only at-bat in 2022 for the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. On the play, he hurt his wrist and his season ended. In the 9th round, the Twins drafted UC-Santa Barbara’s Friday night starter, Cory Lewis. I’m not going to bury the lede here; Lewis throws a knuckleball that scouts think may be a viable pitch in his professional arsenal. Lewis is a classic Twins pick, highlighting a few exceptional skills and some inefficiencies the Twins can work to improve. Lewis’s fastball sits in the low 90s but has elite ride and vertical break. Lewis also gets great extension to get plenty of swing and miss up in the zone. Lewis also features a solid curveball and an emerging changeup. The Twins will likely use him as a starter and work to develop more velocity on his fastball. In the 10th round, the Twins drafted infielder Dalton Shuffield for just $20k. Shuffield is a classic organizational player. In college, he strung together over 200 games from Texas State over five seasons, punctuating his career with a .397/.444/.668 line with 20 doubles and 14 home runs. With the raft of Twins injuries in 2022, Shuffield saw time at three different MiLB levels, making it all the way to Triple-A. In 25 games, he hit .305/.380/.537 with four home runs and 10 walks. Shuffield is a versatile infield gamer with surprising pop. The Twins used some of their savings in previous rounds to draft shortstop Omari Daniel in the 14th round for $232,800. Daniel was a slightly surprising sign to me, as he seemed likely to follow through on his commitment to Oregon. He’s a true defensive shortstop with strong tools across the board (plus arm and above average speed). Before Tommy John surgery in 2022, Daniel had shown the ability to drive the ball hard but an inconsistent offensive skill set. Daniel has plenty of tools, but needs health and playing time. Who are your favorite picks outside the top five rounds? Are there particular players or tools you are excited to see in 2023? Share your thoughts below. Previous Articles in the Series Brooks Lee Connor Prielipp Tanner Schobel Andrew Morris Ben Ross
You can go more in-depth on any specific player in the Twins Daily Draft Tracker. I'll give you the class overview here. All of the Top 10 round selections and seven of the Day 3 selections are signed, sealed and delivered. We'll keep you updated at Twins Daily as they all embark soon on their professional careers. Only Brooks Lee (first round) and Connor Prielipp (second round) came in over slot. Surprisingly enough, Lee's bonus was more over slot than Prielipp's. Both figure to enter the Twins Top 10 prospects and it isn't out of the question to consider Lee and Prielipp the organization's top hitting and pitching prospect, respectively. In order to get both players signed to over slot deals, the Twins had to shave money off their Day 2 picks. Each one of those players came in under slot - between $24,100 and $178,500 - to guarantee the Twins could make that happen. Now that the dust has settled and figures are public, there are a few interesting tidbits. The Twins spent $9,933,700 of their $10,081,500 bonus pool, meaning they still have $147,800 remaining to spend. Additionally, they could spend 105% of their bonus pool without any penalty. That means the Twins could spend up to $651,875 more. Omari Daniel has not signed yet, but he will be reporting to Fort Myers this weekend and is likely to forego his college eligibility to begin his professional career. Sources have indicated that Daniel's bonus will not exceed $125,000, which would require the signing team to dip into their bonus pool. So that leaves Garrett McMillan (Alabama) and Korbyn Dickerson (Kentucky prep committed to Louisville). Both have said publicly they will not be signing and that would be the expected outcome. The Twins could offer either one $272,800 (sixth round money) to sign. That would put them right at the limit of their bonus pool. If they wanted to use the 5% extra, they could sign either to $776,875 (which is basically third round money) or they could offer each $450,937 (late fourth round money). A late signing after professing publicly that a player is returning isn't unprecedented. The Twins signed Edouard Julien for $493,000 in 2019 after he stated he was going back to Auburn As the signing deadline approaches next week, the only question remains... will either McMillan or Dickerson change their mind? MINNESOTA TWINS $651,875 Player Round Slot Bonus $147,800 Brooks Lee, SS, Cal Poly 1 $5,442,400 $5,675,000 -$232,600 Connor Prielipp, LHP, Alabama 2 $1,662,700 $1,825,000 -$162,300 Tanner Schobel, SS, Virginia Tech"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Tanner Schobel, SS, Virginia Tech CB $1,002,000 $1,002,000 $0 Andrew Morris, RHP, Texas Tech"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Andrew Morris, RHP, Texas Tech 4 $533,300 $500,000 $33,300 Ben Ross, SS, Notre Dame Coll."}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Ben Ross, SS, Notre Dame Coll. 5 $398,500 $220,000 $178,500 Jorel Ortega, 2B, Tennessee"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Jorel Ortega, 2B, Tennessee 6 $301,200 $250,000 $51,200 Kyle Jones, RHP, Toledo"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Kyle Jones, RHP, Toledo 7 $235,600 $176,700 $58,900 Zebby Matthews, RHP, W. Carolina"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Zebby Matthews, RHP, W. Carolina 8 $187,900 $125,000 $62,900 Cory Lewis, RHP, UC-Santa Barbara"}" style="font-size:8pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Cory Lewis, RHP, UC-Santa Barbara 9 $164,100 $140,000 $24,100 Dalton Shuffield, SS, Texas State"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Dalton Shuffield, SS, Texas State 10 $153,800 $20,000 $133,800 Andrew Cossetti, C, St. Joseph's"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Andrew Cossetti, C, St. Joseph's 11 - $125,000 Nate Baez, C, Arizona State"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Nate Baez, C, Arizona State 12 - $125,000 C.J. Culpepper, RHP, Cal Baptist"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">C.J. Culpepper, RHP, Cal Baptist 13 - $125,000 Omari Daniel, SS, The Walker School 14 - Agreed Ben Ethridge, RHP, So. Miss."}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Ben Ethridge, RHP, So. Miss. 15 - $125,000 Jankel Ortiz, SS, Ac. Pres. HS (PR) 16 - $125,000 Alec Sayre, OF, Wright State"}" style="font-size:9pt; padding:2px 3px 2px 3px; vertical-align:bottom">Alec Sayre, OF, Wright State 17 - $100,000 Zachary Veen, LHP, Point Loma 18 - $80,000 Garrett McMillan, RHP, Alabama 19 - intends to return to Alabama Korbyn Dickerson, OF, Trinity HS (KY) 20 - intends to go to Louisville
Omari Daniel is a Georgia native selected as a shortstop out of The Walker School. He has solid instincts and a smooth delivery across the diamond. Daniel is able to pump a fastball in the low-90’s, but can also generate a bit higher velocity when throwing from his position. He’s a taller kid at 6’2”, but will look to add muscle on his frame when getting into pro ball. He underwent Tommy John surgery in May 2021. The Twins had to feel confident they could reach a number that would get a deal done when taking Daniel in the 14th round, and after a week of consideration, Daniel feels good about signing on the dotted line. Before he heads to Fort Myers, I caught up with him for Twins Daily. Twins Daily: You were the Twins first high school selection this year. Obviously, prep stats are more difficult to track, but tell us about your game a little. What's your style and how do you settle in at the plate? Omari Daniel: People would say my play style is very electric, quick, and fast-paced. I like getting teammates involved in everything. Being a team player is big for me. From a hitting approach, I like to think about hitting the ball to the opposite field for a fastball, and for off-speed, think hitting the ball up the middle or pull side. TD: With so much draft excitement, you've certainly known this day could be on your radar for a while. What has the preparation for the draft looked like and what did it feel like to be selected? OD: Since having surgery, I have been doing my physical therapy three days a week. The focus has been on wanting to get back healthy and 100%. TD: Playing in Georgia, you've got to be familiar with a former Twins first-rounder from Baxley in Byron Buxton. What can you say about ballplayers from your state? OD: Georgia for sure has the best baseball athletes in the country. TD: Committing to Oregon you obviously set yourself up in a position to play at an elite program. What are you most excited about the next step in your journey now looking at turning pro? OD: I look forward to a learning experience from different coaches and teammates. Being more developed as a player would help me be a big leaguer. Being a Twin could teach me these things. Being in the Twins farm system could help me grow as a player and person. TD: What do you know about the Minnesota Twins? Have you ever been to Target Field before? OD: I have not been to the field. I know that the Twins have one of the best developmental farm systems there is. TD: If there's someone you want Twins Territory to know about you as a player or person, what is it? OD: I am ready to help this organization as a shortstop as best as I can.