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  1. The Mighty Mussels and Kernels each had really good weeks. The Kernels and the Saints had some great offensive performers. As we begin the final week of the minor league regular season (for Double-A and A-Ball), find out who is ending the season strong and what lies ahead for each team. Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the organization’s transactions and the FCL Twins game from Monday. TRANSACTIONS There were several announced transactions on Monday’s minor league off day. With Brent Rooker going on the Paternity List, the Twins called up RHP Kyle Barraclough. Also, for Tuesday’s Twins double-header, LHP Charlie Barnes will be called up to start Game 2 after Joe Ryan starts Game 1. RHP Melvi Acosta promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. RHP Casey Legumina promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. SS Wander Javier placed on the IL. RHP Ryan Shreve sent to Ft. Myers to begin a rehab assignment. RHP Jackson Hicks has been promoted from the FCL Twins to Ft. Myers. He was signed in July out of the USPBL. 2021 draft picks, RH Pierson Ohl and LHP Jaylen Nowlin were assigned to the FCL Twins… and they made their pro debuts on Monday in the below game. FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 4, FCL Pirates 10 Box Score The Twins fell behind 3-0 before they scored four runs in the top of the fifth frame. Luis Gomez walked with the bases loaded. Rubel Cespedes and Dillon Tatum scored on a fielder’s choice and error on a ground ball. Luis Baez then singled in one run. That was it for the Twins scoring. Their three and four hitters (Emmanuel Rodriguez and Kala’i Rosario) combined to go 0-for-8 with eight strikeouts. Niklas Rimmel made a start. He was charged with an unearned run on one hit. Pierson Ohl gave up three runs on five hits over 1 2/3 innings in his pro debut. He was replaced by Jaylen Nowlin making his debut. He gave up four runs (3 earned) on two hits, two walks and a hit batter. Elipidio Perez gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in two innings. Danny Moreno pitched one perfect inning. With that, let’s look at Week 19 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (3-3, hosting Omaha), overall (58-56) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (3-3, hosting NW Arkansas), overall (65-40) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, @ Wisconsin), overall (63-51) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (5-1, hosting Palm Beach), overall (57-53) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (2-4), overall (19-35) STANDINGS Triple-A East Midwest: Toledo 67-47, Omaha 64-40, St. Paul 58-56. Double-A Central North: Wichita 65-49, Arkansas 62-52, NW Arkansas 60-53. High-A Central West: Quad Cities 73-39, Cedar Rapids 63-51, Wisconsin 54-59. Low-A Southeast: Tampa 72-40, Bradenton 70-43, Ft. Myers 57-53. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Radcliff Honored Tuesday: Wallner Grand Slams, Saints Walk-Off Wednesday: Homers and Hits Abound Thursday: Legumina and Varland Roll, Sticks Cookin’ in Low and High A Joe Ryan is Better than His Scouting Reports Friday: Balazovic Pulled from No-Hitter Saturday: You Get a Run, You Get a Run, Everybody Gets a Run Sunday: Sterling Sands, Mussels Hold Strong HIGHLIGHTS We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 19 performances Twins Player of the Week: Alex Isola, Cedar Rapids Kernels Alex Isola had a huge week for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Over his six games in Wisconsin, he hit .286/.333/.714 (1.048) with four homers. In 93 games on the season, he has hit .247/.351/.435 (.786) with 13 doubles, 17 home runs and 51 RBI. He has caught 43 games and played 29 games at first base. He has also DHd 21 times. Isola was the Twins 29th round pick in 2019 from Texas Christian. He played at Utah in 2017 and at a junior college in 2018. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Cade Povich, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Cade Povich made his second Mighty Mussel start. He gave up just one hit (and a hit batter), or three scoreless innings. He struck out five batters. Over his two starts for Ft. Myers, he has a 1.50 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP. In six innings, he has given up four hits, walked one and struck out 11 batters. Before that, he made one appearance in the FCL. Povich was the Twins third-round pick in July out of the University of Nebraska. This season, he went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA. In 15 starts and 81 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 88 batters. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints The highlight for the offense was setting the high-water mark for runs scored in a game on Saturday when they scored 21 runs against Omaha. And while it was just one game, the Saints had a lot of strong offensive performances this week! JT Riddle has had a tough year, but this week, he hit two homers, drove in seven and posted a 1.203 OPS. Tomas Telis played six games and hit .407/.448/.704 (1.152) with two doubles and two homers. Gilberto Celestino hit .444/.500/.630 (1.130) with two doubles and a homer. Jose Miranda hit .421/.421/.632 (1.053) with a double and a homer. Drew Maggi hit .278/.381/.611 (.992) with two homers. David Banuelos played in two games. In one of those games, he had three hits, including two home runs, one of which was a grand slam. (1.569 OPS) Sherman Johnson hadn’t had a hit since August 26th (0-for-17) until Saturday night when he hit a home run. Now, that was his only hit of the week, in just six at bats, but the incredible thing is that he still managed a 1.282 OPS because he walked seven times to go along with the homer. Mark Contreras hit two doubles and two homers including a 461 foot blast! Charlie Barnes, Robinson Leyer and Nick Vincent each gave up one run on two hits over 3 1/3 innings this past week. Barnes did so in a shortened-start so that he can make the Game 2 start for the Twins on Tuesday night. Leyer over two appearances, and Nick Vincent did that over three outings. Yennier Cano threw twice and gave up a total of one run on two hits in 5 1/3 innings. Derek Law had a scoreless, one-hit three inning appearance. Jovani Moran pitched two scoreless innings in his outing last week, and then had the highlight of the week for any player. He was called up to the big leagues and made his MLB debut. I was at CHS Field on Friday and Saturday nights. On Saturday, the Saints had a tremendous pregame show that culminated with three former Navy Seals parachuting into the stadium. Wichita Wind Surge His season has been filled with ups and downs, but Jordan Balazovic’s outing this week earned him the league’s pitcher of the week honors. He tossed six no-hit innings. He gave up an unearned run and walked two batters while striking out five batters. Cole Sands was also really, really good in his two starts last week. He tossed 12 innings and gave up only an unearned run on five hits and four walks. He struck out ten batters. Jordan Gore worked twice and gave up only one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Evan Sisk gave up only an unearned run on two hits over 3 2/3 innings. Austin Schulfer threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings in his start. He gave up two hits and struck out six, despite walking five batters. DJ Burt finally got some more playing time recently, and he has done quite well. Last week, he played all six games and hit .458/.480/.833 (1.313) with three doubles and two homers. Cedar Rapids Kernels Cody Laweryson had arguably his best start of the season. He struck out nine batters over six shutout innings. He gave up three hits and two walks. Andrew Cabezas worked twice out of the bullpen and gave up just one run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out eight batters. Osiris German struck out five batters over 3 2/3 scoreless innings over his two outings. Denny Bentley struck out four batters over 2 2/3 shutout innings. It was a really good week for the Kernels’ hitters. Edouard Julien played six games and went .391/.576/.783 (1.358) with three homers. He also walked 10 of his 23 plate appearances. Anthony Prato played in just two games, but he went 4-for-8 (.500) with a double, two walks and a game-winning single. Matt Wallner hit .320/.433/.760 (1.193) with two doubles, three homers and nine RBI. Michael Helman hit .346/.393/.654 (1.047) with a double, two triples and a homer. He also stole five bases. Jeferson Morales hit .353/.476/.529 (.1006). Aaron Sabato hit .300/.400/.600 (1.000) with two homers. DaShawn Keirsey played four games in his return from the IL and hit .313/.368/.563 (.931) with a double and a homer. Also, the Kernels played in Wisconsin and got to face the TimberRattlers wearing one of their alternate uniforms, which are fantastic! Ft. Myers Might Mussels Regi Grace made his second start since returning from the IL. He tossed three scoreless innings. He struck out three, walked one and gave up two hits. Juan Pichardo struck out four batters over three scoreless innings. Casey Legumina gave up just one run on two hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and was rewarded with a promotion to Cedar Rapids. Charles Mack played in three games and hit .417 (5-for-12) with a double and two home runs (1.417 OPS). Mikey Perez moved up to the Mussels quick, and he responded by hitting .529/.600/.706 (1.306) with three doubles. Christian Encarnacion-Strand’s 15-game hitting streak ended, but for the week, he hit .391/.462/.478 (.940) with a triple. Will Holland hit .300/.462/.450 (.912) with a home run. Jake Rucker hit .450/.458/.450 (.908). Alerick Soularie hit .273/.448/.455 (.903) with a double, a homer and seven walks. FCL Twins Wander Valdez played in five games and hit .400/.500/.733 (1.233) with two doubles and a home run. Noah Miller also played five games. He hit .400/.455/.650 (1.105) with a triple and a homer. Carlos Aguiar had a two-homer game. Top pick Chase Petty made his pro debut on Friday. He tossed two scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked none and struck out two batters while showing really good stuff. LOWLIGHTS We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints Jason Garcia was the starting pitcher in the 21-4 win against Omaha. Unfortunately, he gave up four runs on five hits and two walks and went just three innings. Caleb Hamilton went 0-for-7 for the week. Wichita Wind Surge It was a highlight in last week’s report that Simeon Woods Richardson made his first appearance in the organization. It was a lowlight that he only went 1 1/3 innings. He had control issues, but didn’t give up any runs. This week, Woods Richardson is just in this list. In his second start, he gave up six runs on three hits and three walks over just 1 2/3 innings. Chris Vallimont had another rough start. He gave up nine runs (7 earned) on nine hits (3 HR) and two walks in 2 1/3 innings. Zach Neff gave up two runs on two hits and a walk and got just two outs in his outing this week. Catchers Chris Williams and Stevie Berman each had one hit in seven plate appearances. Jermaine Palacios and Austin Martin were each 3-for-17 (.176). Leobaldo Cabrera went 4-for-23 (.174). Cedar Rapids Kernels A week after being the Twins minor league pitcher of the week, Sawyer Gipson-Long had a tough start. He gave up six runs on three hits and three walks and only recorded one outs. He needed 38 pitches. He left with the bases loaded and all three runs scored. Tyler Watson gave up four runs on three hits (2 HR), three walks and a hit batter in three innings. Gabriel Maciel and Yunior Severino each played just two games. Severino went 1-for-8 (.125) and Maciel went 1-for-9 (.111). Ft. Myers Might Mussels Kole McKinnon went 1-for-11 (.091) with seven strikeouts. Willie Joe Garry went 2-for-16 (.125) with seven strikeouts. Patrick Winkel went 3-for-16 (.188). PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our updated Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings. #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 31 games, .243/.385/.374 (.759) with 6 doubles, 3 home runs, 19 RBI, 17 BB, 27 K. #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 19 GS, 93.1 IP, 94 H, 34 BB, 97 K, 3.38 ERA, 1.37 WHIP #4 - Simeon Woods-Richardson (Wichita) - 2 GS, 3.0 IP, 0 H, 6 BB, 4 K, 18.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP. #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 111 games, .337/.397/.560 (.957) with 26 doubles, 26 homers, 78 RBI, 39 BB, 71 K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - St. Paul (2 GS, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 17 K, 2.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP), Minnesota (2 GS, 12.0 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 9 K, 2.25 ERA, 0.42 WHIP) #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 5 GS, 21.0 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 43 K, 0.86 ERA, 0.67 WHIP (IL, elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - 1 GS, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP. #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 60 games, .233/.296/.301 (.597) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 24 RBI, 18 BB, 89 K, 5 SB (Temporary Inactive List) #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP (IL, shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 60 games, .260/.349/.506 (.855) with 13 doubles, 2 triples, 14 homers, 44 RBI, 26 BB, 91 K. #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (34 games, .313/.401/.508 (.909) with 10 doubles, 5 homers, 24 RBI, 18 BB, 29 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 7 GS, 31.2 IP, 38 H, 16 BB, 26 K, 7.39 ERA, 1.71 WHIP. #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 18 games, .275/.346/.435 (.781) with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homer, 13 RBI, 7 BB, 19 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (44 games, .203/.291/.392 (.683) with 8 doubles, 7 homers, 13 RBI, 12 BB, 56 K) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #18 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 97 games, .192/.299/.288 (.587) with 11 doubles, 4 triples, 5 homers, 51 RBI, 52 BB, 78 K, 13 SB) #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 18 G, 17 GS, 75.1 IP, 56 H, 32 BB, 92 K, 2.63 ERA, 1.17 WHIP #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 104 games, .258/.354/.489 (.843) with 16 doubles, 3 triples, 23 homers, 58 RBI, 53 BB, 100 K) LOOKING AHEAD Tampa @ Ft. Myers: (John Stankiewicz, TBD, TBD, Regi Grace, Brent Headrick, TBD): Cedar Rapids @ Peoria: (Cody Laweryson, Louie Varland, Sean Mooney, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Aaron Rozek, Tyler Watson): Arkansas @ Wichita: (Simeon Woods-Richardson, Jordan Balazovic, Chris Vallimont, Cole Sands, Austin Schulfer, Simeon Woods-Richardson): St. Paul @ Indianapolis: (Drew Strotman, Beau Burrows, Andrew Albers, Jason Garcia, Bryan Sammons, Drew Strotman): Feel free to ask any questions you like. View full article
  2. Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the organization’s transactions and the FCL Twins game from Monday. TRANSACTIONS There were several announced transactions on Monday’s minor league off day. With Brent Rooker going on the Paternity List, the Twins called up RHP Kyle Barraclough. Also, for Tuesday’s Twins double-header, LHP Charlie Barnes will be called up to start Game 2 after Joe Ryan starts Game 1. RHP Melvi Acosta promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. RHP Casey Legumina promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. SS Wander Javier placed on the IL. RHP Ryan Shreve sent to Ft. Myers to begin a rehab assignment. RHP Jackson Hicks has been promoted from the FCL Twins to Ft. Myers. He was signed in July out of the USPBL. 2021 draft picks, RH Pierson Ohl and LHP Jaylen Nowlin were assigned to the FCL Twins… and they made their pro debuts on Monday in the below game. FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 4, FCL Pirates 10 Box Score The Twins fell behind 3-0 before they scored four runs in the top of the fifth frame. Luis Gomez walked with the bases loaded. Rubel Cespedes and Dillon Tatum scored on a fielder’s choice and error on a ground ball. Luis Baez then singled in one run. That was it for the Twins scoring. Their three and four hitters (Emmanuel Rodriguez and Kala’i Rosario) combined to go 0-for-8 with eight strikeouts. Niklas Rimmel made a start. He was charged with an unearned run on one hit. Pierson Ohl gave up three runs on five hits over 1 2/3 innings in his pro debut. He was replaced by Jaylen Nowlin making his debut. He gave up four runs (3 earned) on two hits, two walks and a hit batter. Elipidio Perez gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in two innings. Danny Moreno pitched one perfect inning. With that, let’s look at Week 19 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (3-3, hosting Omaha), overall (58-56) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (3-3, hosting NW Arkansas), overall (65-40) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, @ Wisconsin), overall (63-51) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (5-1, hosting Palm Beach), overall (57-53) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (2-4), overall (19-35) STANDINGS Triple-A East Midwest: Toledo 67-47, Omaha 64-40, St. Paul 58-56. Double-A Central North: Wichita 65-49, Arkansas 62-52, NW Arkansas 60-53. High-A Central West: Quad Cities 73-39, Cedar Rapids 63-51, Wisconsin 54-59. Low-A Southeast: Tampa 72-40, Bradenton 70-43, Ft. Myers 57-53. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Radcliff Honored Tuesday: Wallner Grand Slams, Saints Walk-Off Wednesday: Homers and Hits Abound Thursday: Legumina and Varland Roll, Sticks Cookin’ in Low and High A Joe Ryan is Better than His Scouting Reports Friday: Balazovic Pulled from No-Hitter Saturday: You Get a Run, You Get a Run, Everybody Gets a Run Sunday: Sterling Sands, Mussels Hold Strong HIGHLIGHTS We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 19 performances Twins Player of the Week: Alex Isola, Cedar Rapids Kernels Alex Isola had a huge week for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Over his six games in Wisconsin, he hit .286/.333/.714 (1.048) with four homers. In 93 games on the season, he has hit .247/.351/.435 (.786) with 13 doubles, 17 home runs and 51 RBI. He has caught 43 games and played 29 games at first base. He has also DHd 21 times. Isola was the Twins 29th round pick in 2019 from Texas Christian. He played at Utah in 2017 and at a junior college in 2018. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Cade Povich, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Cade Povich made his second Mighty Mussel start. He gave up just one hit (and a hit batter), or three scoreless innings. He struck out five batters. Over his two starts for Ft. Myers, he has a 1.50 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP. In six innings, he has given up four hits, walked one and struck out 11 batters. Before that, he made one appearance in the FCL. Povich was the Twins third-round pick in July out of the University of Nebraska. This season, he went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA. In 15 starts and 81 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 88 batters. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints The highlight for the offense was setting the high-water mark for runs scored in a game on Saturday when they scored 21 runs against Omaha. And while it was just one game, the Saints had a lot of strong offensive performances this week! JT Riddle has had a tough year, but this week, he hit two homers, drove in seven and posted a 1.203 OPS. Tomas Telis played six games and hit .407/.448/.704 (1.152) with two doubles and two homers. Gilberto Celestino hit .444/.500/.630 (1.130) with two doubles and a homer. Jose Miranda hit .421/.421/.632 (1.053) with a double and a homer. Drew Maggi hit .278/.381/.611 (.992) with two homers. David Banuelos played in two games. In one of those games, he had three hits, including two home runs, one of which was a grand slam. (1.569 OPS) Sherman Johnson hadn’t had a hit since August 26th (0-for-17) until Saturday night when he hit a home run. Now, that was his only hit of the week, in just six at bats, but the incredible thing is that he still managed a 1.282 OPS because he walked seven times to go along with the homer. Mark Contreras hit two doubles and two homers including a 461 foot blast! Charlie Barnes, Robinson Leyer and Nick Vincent each gave up one run on two hits over 3 1/3 innings this past week. Barnes did so in a shortened-start so that he can make the Game 2 start for the Twins on Tuesday night. Leyer over two appearances, and Nick Vincent did that over three outings. Yennier Cano threw twice and gave up a total of one run on two hits in 5 1/3 innings. Derek Law had a scoreless, one-hit three inning appearance. Jovani Moran pitched two scoreless innings in his outing last week, and then had the highlight of the week for any player. He was called up to the big leagues and made his MLB debut. I was at CHS Field on Friday and Saturday nights. On Saturday, the Saints had a tremendous pregame show that culminated with three former Navy Seals parachuting into the stadium. Wichita Wind Surge His season has been filled with ups and downs, but Jordan Balazovic’s outing this week earned him the league’s pitcher of the week honors. He tossed six no-hit innings. He gave up an unearned run and walked two batters while striking out five batters. Cole Sands was also really, really good in his two starts last week. He tossed 12 innings and gave up only an unearned run on five hits and four walks. He struck out ten batters. Jordan Gore worked twice and gave up only one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Evan Sisk gave up only an unearned run on two hits over 3 2/3 innings. Austin Schulfer threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings in his start. He gave up two hits and struck out six, despite walking five batters. DJ Burt finally got some more playing time recently, and he has done quite well. Last week, he played all six games and hit .458/.480/.833 (1.313) with three doubles and two homers. Cedar Rapids Kernels Cody Laweryson had arguably his best start of the season. He struck out nine batters over six shutout innings. He gave up three hits and two walks. Andrew Cabezas worked twice out of the bullpen and gave up just one run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out eight batters. Osiris German struck out five batters over 3 2/3 scoreless innings over his two outings. Denny Bentley struck out four batters over 2 2/3 shutout innings. It was a really good week for the Kernels’ hitters. Edouard Julien played six games and went .391/.576/.783 (1.358) with three homers. He also walked 10 of his 23 plate appearances. Anthony Prato played in just two games, but he went 4-for-8 (.500) with a double, two walks and a game-winning single. Matt Wallner hit .320/.433/.760 (1.193) with two doubles, three homers and nine RBI. Michael Helman hit .346/.393/.654 (1.047) with a double, two triples and a homer. He also stole five bases. Jeferson Morales hit .353/.476/.529 (.1006). Aaron Sabato hit .300/.400/.600 (1.000) with two homers. DaShawn Keirsey played four games in his return from the IL and hit .313/.368/.563 (.931) with a double and a homer. Also, the Kernels played in Wisconsin and got to face the TimberRattlers wearing one of their alternate uniforms, which are fantastic! Ft. Myers Might Mussels Regi Grace made his second start since returning from the IL. He tossed three scoreless innings. He struck out three, walked one and gave up two hits. Juan Pichardo struck out four batters over three scoreless innings. Casey Legumina gave up just one run on two hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and was rewarded with a promotion to Cedar Rapids. Charles Mack played in three games and hit .417 (5-for-12) with a double and two home runs (1.417 OPS). Mikey Perez moved up to the Mussels quick, and he responded by hitting .529/.600/.706 (1.306) with three doubles. Christian Encarnacion-Strand’s 15-game hitting streak ended, but for the week, he hit .391/.462/.478 (.940) with a triple. Will Holland hit .300/.462/.450 (.912) with a home run. Jake Rucker hit .450/.458/.450 (.908). Alerick Soularie hit .273/.448/.455 (.903) with a double, a homer and seven walks. FCL Twins Wander Valdez played in five games and hit .400/.500/.733 (1.233) with two doubles and a home run. Noah Miller also played five games. He hit .400/.455/.650 (1.105) with a triple and a homer. Carlos Aguiar had a two-homer game. Top pick Chase Petty made his pro debut on Friday. He tossed two scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked none and struck out two batters while showing really good stuff. LOWLIGHTS We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints Jason Garcia was the starting pitcher in the 21-4 win against Omaha. Unfortunately, he gave up four runs on five hits and two walks and went just three innings. Caleb Hamilton went 0-for-7 for the week. Wichita Wind Surge It was a highlight in last week’s report that Simeon Woods Richardson made his first appearance in the organization. It was a lowlight that he only went 1 1/3 innings. He had control issues, but didn’t give up any runs. This week, Woods Richardson is just in this list. In his second start, he gave up six runs on three hits and three walks over just 1 2/3 innings. Chris Vallimont had another rough start. He gave up nine runs (7 earned) on nine hits (3 HR) and two walks in 2 1/3 innings. Zach Neff gave up two runs on two hits and a walk and got just two outs in his outing this week. Catchers Chris Williams and Stevie Berman each had one hit in seven plate appearances. Jermaine Palacios and Austin Martin were each 3-for-17 (.176). Leobaldo Cabrera went 4-for-23 (.174). Cedar Rapids Kernels A week after being the Twins minor league pitcher of the week, Sawyer Gipson-Long had a tough start. He gave up six runs on three hits and three walks and only recorded one outs. He needed 38 pitches. He left with the bases loaded and all three runs scored. Tyler Watson gave up four runs on three hits (2 HR), three walks and a hit batter in three innings. Gabriel Maciel and Yunior Severino each played just two games. Severino went 1-for-8 (.125) and Maciel went 1-for-9 (.111). Ft. Myers Might Mussels Kole McKinnon went 1-for-11 (.091) with seven strikeouts. Willie Joe Garry went 2-for-16 (.125) with seven strikeouts. Patrick Winkel went 3-for-16 (.188). PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our updated Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings. #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 31 games, .243/.385/.374 (.759) with 6 doubles, 3 home runs, 19 RBI, 17 BB, 27 K. #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 19 GS, 93.1 IP, 94 H, 34 BB, 97 K, 3.38 ERA, 1.37 WHIP #4 - Simeon Woods-Richardson (Wichita) - 2 GS, 3.0 IP, 0 H, 6 BB, 4 K, 18.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP. #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 111 games, .337/.397/.560 (.957) with 26 doubles, 26 homers, 78 RBI, 39 BB, 71 K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - St. Paul (2 GS, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 17 K, 2.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP), Minnesota (2 GS, 12.0 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 9 K, 2.25 ERA, 0.42 WHIP) #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 5 GS, 21.0 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 43 K, 0.86 ERA, 0.67 WHIP (IL, elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - 1 GS, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP. #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 60 games, .233/.296/.301 (.597) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 24 RBI, 18 BB, 89 K, 5 SB (Temporary Inactive List) #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP (IL, shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 60 games, .260/.349/.506 (.855) with 13 doubles, 2 triples, 14 homers, 44 RBI, 26 BB, 91 K. #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (34 games, .313/.401/.508 (.909) with 10 doubles, 5 homers, 24 RBI, 18 BB, 29 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 7 GS, 31.2 IP, 38 H, 16 BB, 26 K, 7.39 ERA, 1.71 WHIP. #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 18 games, .275/.346/.435 (.781) with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homer, 13 RBI, 7 BB, 19 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (44 games, .203/.291/.392 (.683) with 8 doubles, 7 homers, 13 RBI, 12 BB, 56 K) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #18 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 97 games, .192/.299/.288 (.587) with 11 doubles, 4 triples, 5 homers, 51 RBI, 52 BB, 78 K, 13 SB) #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 18 G, 17 GS, 75.1 IP, 56 H, 32 BB, 92 K, 2.63 ERA, 1.17 WHIP #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 104 games, .258/.354/.489 (.843) with 16 doubles, 3 triples, 23 homers, 58 RBI, 53 BB, 100 K) LOOKING AHEAD Tampa @ Ft. Myers: (John Stankiewicz, TBD, TBD, Regi Grace, Brent Headrick, TBD): Cedar Rapids @ Peoria: (Cody Laweryson, Louie Varland, Sean Mooney, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Aaron Rozek, Tyler Watson): Arkansas @ Wichita: (Simeon Woods-Richardson, Jordan Balazovic, Chris Vallimont, Cole Sands, Austin Schulfer, Simeon Woods-Richardson): St. Paul @ Indianapolis: (Drew Strotman, Beau Burrows, Andrew Albers, Jason Garcia, Bryan Sammons, Drew Strotman): Feel free to ask any questions you like.
  3. Jordan Balazovic was incredible on the mound in Wichita and there was late drama for Cedar Rapids. Check out that and other news and notes in tonight's Minor League Report! TRANSACTIONS No transactions today. SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 6, St. Paul 3 Box Score Omaha touched St. Paul for four homers in this one and led wire-to-wire, taking the game 6-3. Bobby Witt Jr. got the game started for the Storm Chasers with a solo homer in the first frame, and Ryan McBroom matched his teammate three innings later to make it 2-0. Omaha added on in the sixth and Witt was involved again. The Royals’ top prospect doubled in a run and later scored on an M.J. Melendez sacrifice fly. The Saints offense finally got off the mark in the sixth, when a Gilberto Celestino double started a rally that scored two and featured an RBI each from Mark Contreras and Jimmy Kerrigan. The Saints’ momentum stopped there, though, as Robinson Leyer gave up a solo bomb to the first batter of the next inning to make it 5-2, and a second McBroom homer in the eighth stretched the Omaha lead one notch further. Tomas Telis homered in the eighth to cut the deficit to 6-3, but the Saints went down quietly in the ninth and lose to that score. Charlie Barnes got the start for the Saints tonight and made just the one mistake to Bobby Witt Jr. over 3 ⅓ innings. Barnes’ early hook didn’t seem to serve any purpose for the Saints in this game, but manager Toby Gardenhire may still have taken him out for a reason: As Seth noted in his tweet, Chandler Shepherd took over from there, but he struggled, allowing three runs in 1 ⅔ innings. Leyer allowed just a solo homer in his two innings, as did Nick Vincent in his only inning of work. Chris Nunn took the ninth and was the only Saint pitcher to not allow a run. Telis and Celestino were the Saints with multi-hit games tonight. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, NW Arkansas 3 Box Score Jordan Balazovic did a lot to confirm his title as the Twins’ top pitching prospect with a truly special outing on the mound that keyed tonight’s victory for Wichita. Balazovic allowed a run on an RBI groundout in the third, but he went six full innings, struck out five, and, most notably, did not allow a hit. Balazovic, who had thrown 88 pitches when he left the game, was showing no signs of slowing down, but manager Ramon Borrego evidently didn’t see the benefit in stretching his top asset’s limits. Still, enjoy Balazovic’s six innings of dominance: Meanwhile, the Surge offense was having quite the interesting game as well. Wichita got their first two runs in the third, thanks to Austin Martin. The Wichita star shortstop came to the plate with men on first and second and poked a weak grounder to right side, but he busted out of the box and forced an overthrow (allowing one to score), and then got in a rundown that allowed the second run to score. Just watch: In the fifth, Trey Cabbage (who else?) also drove in two runs, but in a very, very different way: The Surge added another run in the fifth off a Roy Morales single that scored Chris Williams. The Naturals got their first hits of the game in the eighth off Zach Neff, and they scored two as well. Clay Dungan doubled in Kevin Merrell and later scored on a Vinnie Pasquantino sac fly to cut the lead to 5-3. Jordan Gore was rock solid in the ninth inning, though, and put away the two-run W. After Balazovic’s six no-hit innings, Adam Lau pitched a no-hit inning of his own, though he did walk two batters. Neff allowed the two runs (and the Naturals’ only two hits) in the eighth and only managed to get two outs. Gore grabbed the last four outs of the game without allowing a base runner. Cabbage and Roy Morales had multi-hit games for the Surge. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids X, Wisconsin X Box Score This game was an absolute nail-biter until it wasn't: the Kernels explode for four runs in the ninth to take it 7-3. Matt Wallner and Aaron Sabato struck first for the Kernels with back-to-back solo homers in the top of the first: However, Sean Mooney allowed that lead to slip away immediately by allowing a three-run shot to Joey Wiemer in the bottom of the inning. In the third though, Alex Isola pumped a homer of his own well over the fence in the left center to tie the game for Cedar Rapids. Both teams built and squandered numerous chances over the middle innings of this game, but it stayed tied at three into the late innings. Like they had in the fifth, the Timber Rattlers loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, and, just like the fifth, they couldn't bring even one run across. And, unlike in the fifth, this time Wisconsin's lack of clutch hitting really hurt them. While the Timber Rattlers were likely still cursing their failures in the eighth inning, Aaron Sabato came up with a man on and blasted his second bomb of the night to give the Kernels a two-run lead. Then, not to be outdone, Isola followed up with his second homer of the night, and the Kernels still weren't done. Gabriel Maciel ripped an RBI single up the middle to make the score 7-3 and effectively seal the game for Cedar Rapids. However, seemingly just to torture themselves, the Timber Rattlers loaded the bases one more time in the bottom of the ninth, and, one more time, they failed to score. But hey, it's hard to be that upset when you're dressed like this: Other than his three-run mistake, Sean Mooney hung tough on the mound for Cedar Rapids. Those were the only runs he allowed in four innings of work and he struck out six, though he did walk three. Denny Bentley was rock solid again in his 2 ⅔ innings of work, striking out four and working around three hits and two walks. Zach Featherstone got the Kernels into trouble with three walks in the eighth, but Osiris German got them out of the eighth. German went out for the ninth, too and got two outs but was removed from the game with two runners on. Melvi Acosta came on for the last out, and walk the bases loaded before finally closing out the game. MUSSEL MATTERS Palm Beach 2, Fort Myers 0 Box Score The Fort Myers’ arms, led by Cade Povich in his second Single-A start, were excellent in this game. However, the Palm Beach pitchers were two runs better and the Mussels drop this one, 2-0. Povich, the Twins’ latest third round draft pick, was very impressive in his three innings to start this game, allowing only one hit and no runs, while striking out five Cardinal batters. Miguel Rodriguez took the middle three innings of the game, and only allowed one run, a home run off the bat of Ryan Holgate in the fourth inning. Zaquiel Puentes took over from there and allowed only one run over the seventh and eighth innings, as he, too, fell victim to Holgate, this time through an RBI single. Bradley Hanner hurled a scoreless ninth inning to finish off a solid outing from the Mussels pitching staff. Still, despite the successes of their pitchers, Fort Myers never looked like winning this game because their offense fell flat. They did get seven hits – and even loaded the bases in the fifth – but they couldn’t string knocks together and their clutch hitting was atrocious. Alerick Soularie and Mikey Perez got multi-hit games, but the Mussels’ hitters might owe the pitching staff dinner after this 2-0 loss. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Red Sox 16, FCL Twins 10 Box Score The bats came out to play for the FCL Twins tonight, but unfortunately, they came out in greater force for the FCL Red Sox and Minnesota’s complex leaguers drop this one 16-10. Leading the offense for the Twins was Carlos Aguiar, who bopped two homers for a total of four RBI, and Kala’i Rosario, who was 3-for-5 with three runs, two RBI, and a homer of his own. The Twins scored two in the top of the first, but never had the lead again despite plating seven runs over the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. They added one in the ninth, but fell well short of the offensive output from the Red Sox. Other than Aguiar and Rosario, Wander Valdez was the only other Twin with a multi-hit game. It goes without saying that it was a struggle on the mound for the FCL Twins tonight. Giovahniey German started the game and allowed seven runs (six earned) over 2 ⅓ innings. His outing was low-lighted by three different wild pitches and five walks. John Wilson replaced German and was the most effective pitcher for the Twins, allowing only two runs (one earned) in 2 ⅔ innings of work. Danny Moreno followed Wilson, but followed more in German’s footsteps as he was touched for five runs in an inning and a third. Rafael Feliz finished the game by allowing two earned run in 1 ⅔ innings. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 6.0 IP, R, ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR, BB, K PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4 #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 6.0 IP, R, ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 5 K #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, 2 R, RBI, HR, 2 BB, K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, R, 2B, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 1-for-5, 2 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-5, 3 K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Did not play #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-4, K SATURDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (6:05 PM CST) - TBD NW Arkansas @ Wichita (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (5-6 5.75 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (1:05 PM CST) - LHP Aaron Rozek (0-1, 4.38 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Regi Grace (1-0, 3.47 ERA) Feel free to comment and discuss tonight’s games! 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  4. TRANSACTIONS No transactions today. SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 6, St. Paul 3 Box Score Omaha touched St. Paul for four homers in this one and led wire-to-wire, taking the game 6-3. Bobby Witt Jr. got the game started for the Storm Chasers with a solo homer in the first frame, and Ryan McBroom matched his teammate three innings later to make it 2-0. Omaha added on in the sixth and Witt was involved again. The Royals’ top prospect doubled in a run and later scored on an M.J. Melendez sacrifice fly. The Saints offense finally got off the mark in the sixth, when a Gilberto Celestino double started a rally that scored two and featured an RBI each from Mark Contreras and Jimmy Kerrigan. The Saints’ momentum stopped there, though, as Robinson Leyer gave up a solo bomb to the first batter of the next inning to make it 5-2, and a second McBroom homer in the eighth stretched the Omaha lead one notch further. Tomas Telis homered in the eighth to cut the deficit to 6-3, but the Saints went down quietly in the ninth and lose to that score. Charlie Barnes got the start for the Saints tonight and made just the one mistake to Bobby Witt Jr. over 3 ⅓ innings. Barnes’ early hook didn’t seem to serve any purpose for the Saints in this game, but manager Toby Gardenhire may still have taken him out for a reason: As Seth noted in his tweet, Chandler Shepherd took over from there, but he struggled, allowing three runs in 1 ⅔ innings. Leyer allowed just a solo homer in his two innings, as did Nick Vincent in his only inning of work. Chris Nunn took the ninth and was the only Saint pitcher to not allow a run. Telis and Celestino were the Saints with multi-hit games tonight. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, NW Arkansas 3 Box Score Jordan Balazovic did a lot to confirm his title as the Twins’ top pitching prospect with a truly special outing on the mound that keyed tonight’s victory for Wichita. Balazovic allowed a run on an RBI groundout in the third, but he went six full innings, struck out five, and, most notably, did not allow a hit. Balazovic, who had thrown 88 pitches when he left the game, was showing no signs of slowing down, but manager Ramon Borrego evidently didn’t see the benefit in stretching his top asset’s limits. Still, enjoy Balazovic’s six innings of dominance: Meanwhile, the Surge offense was having quite the interesting game as well. Wichita got their first two runs in the third, thanks to Austin Martin. The Wichita star shortstop came to the plate with men on first and second and poked a weak grounder to right side, but he busted out of the box and forced an overthrow (allowing one to score), and then got in a rundown that allowed the second run to score. Just watch: In the fifth, Trey Cabbage (who else?) also drove in two runs, but in a very, very different way: The Surge added another run in the fifth off a Roy Morales single that scored Chris Williams. The Naturals got their first hits of the game in the eighth off Zach Neff, and they scored two as well. Clay Dungan doubled in Kevin Merrell and later scored on a Vinnie Pasquantino sac fly to cut the lead to 5-3. Jordan Gore was rock solid in the ninth inning, though, and put away the two-run W. After Balazovic’s six no-hit innings, Adam Lau pitched a no-hit inning of his own, though he did walk two batters. Neff allowed the two runs (and the Naturals’ only two hits) in the eighth and only managed to get two outs. Gore grabbed the last four outs of the game without allowing a base runner. Cabbage and Roy Morales had multi-hit games for the Surge. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids X, Wisconsin X Box Score This game was an absolute nail-biter until it wasn't: the Kernels explode for four runs in the ninth to take it 7-3. Matt Wallner and Aaron Sabato struck first for the Kernels with back-to-back solo homers in the top of the first: However, Sean Mooney allowed that lead to slip away immediately by allowing a three-run shot to Joey Wiemer in the bottom of the inning. In the third though, Alex Isola pumped a homer of his own well over the fence in the left center to tie the game for Cedar Rapids. Both teams built and squandered numerous chances over the middle innings of this game, but it stayed tied at three into the late innings. Like they had in the fifth, the Timber Rattlers loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, and, just like the fifth, they couldn't bring even one run across. And, unlike in the fifth, this time Wisconsin's lack of clutch hitting really hurt them. While the Timber Rattlers were likely still cursing their failures in the eighth inning, Aaron Sabato came up with a man on and blasted his second bomb of the night to give the Kernels a two-run lead. Then, not to be outdone, Isola followed up with his second homer of the night, and the Kernels still weren't done. Gabriel Maciel ripped an RBI single up the middle to make the score 7-3 and effectively seal the game for Cedar Rapids. However, seemingly just to torture themselves, the Timber Rattlers loaded the bases one more time in the bottom of the ninth, and, one more time, they failed to score. But hey, it's hard to be that upset when you're dressed like this: Other than his three-run mistake, Sean Mooney hung tough on the mound for Cedar Rapids. Those were the only runs he allowed in four innings of work and he struck out six, though he did walk three. Denny Bentley was rock solid again in his 2 ⅔ innings of work, striking out four and working around three hits and two walks. Zach Featherstone got the Kernels into trouble with three walks in the eighth, but Osiris German got them out of the eighth. German went out for the ninth, too and got two outs but was removed from the game with two runners on. Melvi Acosta came on for the last out, and walk the bases loaded before finally closing out the game. MUSSEL MATTERS Palm Beach 2, Fort Myers 0 Box Score The Fort Myers’ arms, led by Cade Povich in his second Single-A start, were excellent in this game. However, the Palm Beach pitchers were two runs better and the Mussels drop this one, 2-0. Povich, the Twins’ latest third round draft pick, was very impressive in his three innings to start this game, allowing only one hit and no runs, while striking out five Cardinal batters. Miguel Rodriguez took the middle three innings of the game, and only allowed one run, a home run off the bat of Ryan Holgate in the fourth inning. Zaquiel Puentes took over from there and allowed only one run over the seventh and eighth innings, as he, too, fell victim to Holgate, this time through an RBI single. Bradley Hanner hurled a scoreless ninth inning to finish off a solid outing from the Mussels pitching staff. Still, despite the successes of their pitchers, Fort Myers never looked like winning this game because their offense fell flat. They did get seven hits – and even loaded the bases in the fifth – but they couldn’t string knocks together and their clutch hitting was atrocious. Alerick Soularie and Mikey Perez got multi-hit games, but the Mussels’ hitters might owe the pitching staff dinner after this 2-0 loss. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Red Sox 16, FCL Twins 10 Box Score The bats came out to play for the FCL Twins tonight, but unfortunately, they came out in greater force for the FCL Red Sox and Minnesota’s complex leaguers drop this one 16-10. Leading the offense for the Twins was Carlos Aguiar, who bopped two homers for a total of four RBI, and Kala’i Rosario, who was 3-for-5 with three runs, two RBI, and a homer of his own. The Twins scored two in the top of the first, but never had the lead again despite plating seven runs over the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. They added one in the ninth, but fell well short of the offensive output from the Red Sox. Other than Aguiar and Rosario, Wander Valdez was the only other Twin with a multi-hit game. It goes without saying that it was a struggle on the mound for the FCL Twins tonight. Giovahniey German started the game and allowed seven runs (six earned) over 2 ⅓ innings. His outing was low-lighted by three different wild pitches and five walks. John Wilson replaced German and was the most effective pitcher for the Twins, allowing only two runs (one earned) in 2 ⅔ innings of work. Danny Moreno followed Wilson, but followed more in German’s footsteps as he was touched for five runs in an inning and a third. Rafael Feliz finished the game by allowing two earned run in 1 ⅔ innings. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 6.0 IP, R, ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR, BB, K PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4 #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 6.0 IP, R, ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 5 K #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, 2 R, RBI, HR, 2 BB, K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, R, 2B, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 1-for-5, 2 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-5, 3 K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Did not play #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-4, K SATURDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (6:05 PM CST) - TBD NW Arkansas @ Wichita (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (5-6 5.75 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (1:05 PM CST) - LHP Aaron Rozek (0-1, 4.38 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Regi Grace (1-0, 3.47 ERA) Feel free to comment and discuss tonight’s games!
  5. Simeon Woods Richardson made his much-anticipated debut in the Twins organization while a few 2021 draft picks had big nights. TRANSACTIONS OF Trevor Larnach placed on the 7-day IL at AAA St. Paul retroactive to 9/2 (Left-hand contusion) RHP Alex Phillips placed on the IL at AA Wichita RHP Simeon Woods Richardson activated from development list at AA Wichita Saints Sentinel St. Paul 0, Columbus 5 (7 innings) Box Score Beau Burrows: 4 1/3 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Saints lost firmly on Saturday. Beau Burrows kicked off a quasi-bullpen game by allowing three home runs in his effort. Really, Columbus just needed one of them, so this was a real rude thing for them to do. The Saints knocked out just three hits in this game as they were unable to put up any runs against Heath Fillmyer and Kyle Nelson. On the bright side, two of those hits were doubles (by Drew Stankiewicz and Mark Contreras.) Ryan Mason’s scoreless outing in relief of Burrows is just about the only solid positive that came out of this game, unfortunately. This was also supposed to be the first of an eventual doubleheader, but that game actually was rained out, so there will be a doubleheader (attempt, at least) on Sunday. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 0, Arkansas 1 Box Score Simeon Woods Richardson: 1 ⅓ IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Ernie De La Trinidad (2-for-3) Wichita lost on a walk-off on Saturday. Simeon Woods Richardson made his debut for the Twins organization on Saturday and, well, the start could have gone better. The righty needed 40 pitches to get four outs and the Wind Surge decided that it was not worth it to push him any farther. The good news is this is probably the worst start he will ever make for the team so, you know, silver linings and all that. Tyler Beck saved the day in relief of Woods Richardson. He took over and swiftly established order with five shutout innings. Now that’s what we call a good teammate. Offensively, Wichita could not get anything going. Roy Morales knocked the lone extra-base hit while Ernie De La Trinidad reached base twice. In total, the team struck out 14 times without taking a single walk. Hector Lujan was pushing to send the game into extras when David Shaeffer sent a homer over the wall to end the game. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 8, Quad Cities 7 Box Score Aaron Rozek: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Alex Isola (13), Yunior Severino (3) Multi-hit games: Alex Isola (2-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) Cedar Rapids won a barn-burner on Saturday. Aaron Rozek effectively held the River Bandits’ offense at bay for five quality innings. The Burnsville native has pitched quite well this season, and he could potentially find himself placed on the back end of some Twins prospect lists. Despite putting up eight runs, the Kernels’ offense was somewhat unusual. They were actually out-hit on the night, but they were able to bunch their scoring and knock in runs when it mattered. Alex Isola continued his ridiculous power stretch with his 13th home run of the season, Yunior Severino blasted a three-run shot of his own, and Edouard Julien set the table for the rest of the offense. All seven RBIs came from Aaron Sabato, Severino, and Isola. The lesson to take away from this is that if a team wants to win, they should bunch their hits together (wow, what wisdom, Matt.) Mussel Matters Fort Myers 4, Daytona 6 Box Score Cade Povich: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Christian Encarnacion-Strand (3-for-4, R, RBI) Fort Myers lost a close one on Saturday. Cade Povich made his Fort Myers debut on Saturday. The 3rd round pick from the 2021 draft impressed with six strikeouts over three innings of work in what was the best outing from any Mighty Mussels pitcher. He will certainly be an interesting arm to keep track of. Just two players stood out offensively for Fort Myers. Christian Encarnacion-Strand, another 2021 pick, dropped in three singles while Will Holland reached base twice. Unfortunately, it was another game in the system tonight where offense was hard to come by. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 3, FCL Red Sox 4 (8 innings) Box Score Brent Headrick: 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K HR: Noah Cardenas (1) Multi-hit games: Argenis Jimenez (2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI) The FCL Twins were walked-off in “extras” on Saturday. The pitching effort by the Twins was commendable. Five different pitchers combined to allow just two earned runs over 7 1/3 innings of work. Develson Aria was especially impressive as he threw three shutout innings with six punch outs and only two baserunners allowed. The struggle was for naught, though. The FCL Red Sox pitching staff pitched just as well as the Twins and the two teams were locked in a Cold War stalemate for much of the game. The game was finally decided when Phillip Sikes knocked in the extra-innings runner in the 8th. The good news is that Noah Cardenas, the Twins’ 8th round pick in the 2021 draft, launched his first career professional homer on Saturday. The catcher out of UCLA blasted a solo shot in the 2nd in what was one of two extra-base hits for the team on Saturday. The FCL Twins were also supposed to play a doubleheader but the second game was rained out as well. Mother nature was not born a baseball fan. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Beck Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Christian Encarnacion-Strand PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - Did not play #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-3 #7 – Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-2, BB, K #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - Did not play #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-5, 2B, R #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4, 2 K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (1:05 PM) LHP Tyler Watson Wichita @ Arkansas (1:10 PM) RHP Jordan Balazovic St. Paul @ Columbus (2:05 PM) RHP Jason Garcia St. Paul @ Columbus (30 minutes following the end of game one) LHP Charlie Barnes Fort Myers @ Daytona (3:35 PM) RHP Regi Grace View full article
  6. TRANSACTIONS OF Trevor Larnach placed on the 7-day IL at AAA St. Paul retroactive to 9/2 (Left-hand contusion) RHP Alex Phillips placed on the IL at AA Wichita RHP Simeon Woods Richardson activated from development list at AA Wichita Saints Sentinel St. Paul 0, Columbus 5 (7 innings) Box Score Beau Burrows: 4 1/3 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Saints lost firmly on Saturday. Beau Burrows kicked off a quasi-bullpen game by allowing three home runs in his effort. Really, Columbus just needed one of them, so this was a real rude thing for them to do. The Saints knocked out just three hits in this game as they were unable to put up any runs against Heath Fillmyer and Kyle Nelson. On the bright side, two of those hits were doubles (by Drew Stankiewicz and Mark Contreras.) Ryan Mason’s scoreless outing in relief of Burrows is just about the only solid positive that came out of this game, unfortunately. This was also supposed to be the first of an eventual doubleheader, but that game actually was rained out, so there will be a doubleheader (attempt, at least) on Sunday. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 0, Arkansas 1 Box Score Simeon Woods Richardson: 1 ⅓ IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Ernie De La Trinidad (2-for-3) Wichita lost on a walk-off on Saturday. Simeon Woods Richardson made his debut for the Twins organization on Saturday and, well, the start could have gone better. The righty needed 40 pitches to get four outs and the Wind Surge decided that it was not worth it to push him any farther. The good news is this is probably the worst start he will ever make for the team so, you know, silver linings and all that. Tyler Beck saved the day in relief of Woods Richardson. He took over and swiftly established order with five shutout innings. Now that’s what we call a good teammate. Offensively, Wichita could not get anything going. Roy Morales knocked the lone extra-base hit while Ernie De La Trinidad reached base twice. In total, the team struck out 14 times without taking a single walk. Hector Lujan was pushing to send the game into extras when David Shaeffer sent a homer over the wall to end the game. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 8, Quad Cities 7 Box Score Aaron Rozek: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Alex Isola (13), Yunior Severino (3) Multi-hit games: Alex Isola (2-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI) Cedar Rapids won a barn-burner on Saturday. Aaron Rozek effectively held the River Bandits’ offense at bay for five quality innings. The Burnsville native has pitched quite well this season, and he could potentially find himself placed on the back end of some Twins prospect lists. Despite putting up eight runs, the Kernels’ offense was somewhat unusual. They were actually out-hit on the night, but they were able to bunch their scoring and knock in runs when it mattered. Alex Isola continued his ridiculous power stretch with his 13th home run of the season, Yunior Severino blasted a three-run shot of his own, and Edouard Julien set the table for the rest of the offense. All seven RBIs came from Aaron Sabato, Severino, and Isola. The lesson to take away from this is that if a team wants to win, they should bunch their hits together (wow, what wisdom, Matt.) Mussel Matters Fort Myers 4, Daytona 6 Box Score Cade Povich: 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Christian Encarnacion-Strand (3-for-4, R, RBI) Fort Myers lost a close one on Saturday. Cade Povich made his Fort Myers debut on Saturday. The 3rd round pick from the 2021 draft impressed with six strikeouts over three innings of work in what was the best outing from any Mighty Mussels pitcher. He will certainly be an interesting arm to keep track of. Just two players stood out offensively for Fort Myers. Christian Encarnacion-Strand, another 2021 pick, dropped in three singles while Will Holland reached base twice. Unfortunately, it was another game in the system tonight where offense was hard to come by. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 3, FCL Red Sox 4 (8 innings) Box Score Brent Headrick: 1 2/3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K HR: Noah Cardenas (1) Multi-hit games: Argenis Jimenez (2-for-4, 3B, 2 RBI) The FCL Twins were walked-off in “extras” on Saturday. The pitching effort by the Twins was commendable. Five different pitchers combined to allow just two earned runs over 7 1/3 innings of work. Develson Aria was especially impressive as he threw three shutout innings with six punch outs and only two baserunners allowed. The struggle was for naught, though. The FCL Red Sox pitching staff pitched just as well as the Twins and the two teams were locked in a Cold War stalemate for much of the game. The game was finally decided when Phillip Sikes knocked in the extra-innings runner in the 8th. The good news is that Noah Cardenas, the Twins’ 8th round pick in the 2021 draft, launched his first career professional homer on Saturday. The catcher out of UCLA blasted a solo shot in the 2nd in what was one of two extra-base hits for the team on Saturday. The FCL Twins were also supposed to play a doubleheader but the second game was rained out as well. Mother nature was not born a baseball fan. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Beck Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Christian Encarnacion-Strand PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - Did not play #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1 1/3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-3 #7 – Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-2, BB, K #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - Did not play #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-5, 2B, R #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4, 2 K SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (1:05 PM) LHP Tyler Watson Wichita @ Arkansas (1:10 PM) RHP Jordan Balazovic St. Paul @ Columbus (2:05 PM) RHP Jason Garcia St. Paul @ Columbus (30 minutes following the end of game one) LHP Charlie Barnes Fort Myers @ Daytona (3:35 PM) RHP Regi Grace
  7. The Wind Surge saved the system from a sweep with another come-from-behind win. See all that happened in the Twins minor leagues on Sunday. TRANSACTIONS: C Ben Rortvedt recalled to the Minnesota Twin LHP Charlie Barnes optioned to the St.Paul Saints SAINTS SENTINEL Game one: Mud Hens 10, Saints 9 Box Score Drew Strotman: 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 R/ER, 6 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (2-for-7, 2B, 2 RBI, R), Tomás Telis (3-for-7, 2B, R), Gilberto Celestino (3-for-7, RBI, R), Ben Rortvedt (2-for-6, RBI, R), Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-5, 2 R, BB), Drew Maggi (3-for-4, R, 2 RBI) This wild affair finally finished Sunday afternoon, unfortunately in a loss for St. Paul. The game was halted Saturday night in the 14th inning due to curfew. No inning could start after 1:30 am local time. Drew Strotman started and once again struggled with his command. Strotman has walked nearly 13% of batters he’s faced since being traded to the Twins. Offensively, the Saints got plenty. Eight of their nine starters recorded a hit and three recorded three hits each. The Saints issued 14 walks and pitched with runners in scoring position 27 times. Game two: Mud Hens 9, Saints 8 Box Score Beau Burrows: 4 IP, 4 H, 8 R/ER, 4 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (2-for-5, RBI), Tomás Telis (2-for-5, RBI), Drew Stankiewicz (2-for-5, 2 R), JT Riddle (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB), David Bañuelos (2-for-5, 3B, 2 RBI) This one came down to the wire with the tying run on second in the ninth. Jose Miranda and Tomás Telis each drove in a run with singles in the eighth, but the Saints couldn’t get Miranda back to the plate in the ninth. Twins fans may need to get used to watching Riley Greene do damage. The top Tigers prospect blasted a two-run homer off Beau Burrows in the first. Greene is ranked as the No. 7 prospect in baseball via MLB Pipeline. His teammate, Spencer Torkelson, is ranked No. 4. The Saints fell to 53-49 after the losses. WIND SURGE WISDOM Surge 8, Drillers 6 Box Score Austin Schulfer: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R/ER, 3 BB, 4 K HR: Austin Martin (3), Leobaldo Cabrera (9), Caleb Hamilton (8) Multi-hit games: Martin (3-for-4, HR, 2B), Cabrera (2-for-3, HR, 3B, 3 R, RBI, BB), Aaron Whitefield (2-for-4, 2 2B, R, RBI) The Drillers got out to a 2-0 lead before Austin Martin hit his second homer in as many days. Martin is six for his last nine with two homers, a double and five runs driven in. Leobaldo Cabrera stayed hot with a triple and a homer. Cabrera entered the game hitting .255/.371/.509 in 35 games with the Wind Surge. Austin Schulfer came into the game with a 2.84 ERA over his last four starts. He battled through five hits and three walks in Sunday’s win, providing five innings. Schulfer’s ERA on the season rose to 4.38. The first-place Surge have shown incredible fight and tenacity, especially over the last few weeks. The offense is clicking on all cylinders and Martin’s ability to sparkplug at the top of the lineup is benefitting the group. KERNELS NUGGETS Snappers 9, Kernels 8 Box Score Aaron Rozek: 3 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K HR: Aaron Sabato 2 (2), Alex Isola (11), Jeferson Morales (4) Multi-hit games: Sabato (2-for-4, 2 HR, BB), Isola (5-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) Alex Isola was three for his last 28 entering Sunday’s game. He turned it around in a big way. Isola homered in his first at-bat, drove in a run with a single in his second, singled in his third and singled again in his fourth. Oh, and he singled again in the 10th inning. Aaron Sabato also had a great day at the dish, hitting his first two home runs for the Kernels. Sabato earned a promotion after a hot start to the month in Fort Myers. He’s now hit nine homers in 19 August games. The Kernels are 56-46 after the walk-off. They still sit 11 games behind the Quad Cities powerhouse (67-33) in the High-A Central. MUSSEL MATTERS Marauders 22, Mussels 5 Box Score Landon Leach: 2 2/3 IP, 4 H, 9 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K HR: Christian Encarnación-Strand (2) Multi-hit games: Jesús Feliz (2-for-4, RBI), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-4, R) Yes, you read that right. The Mussels gave up 22 runs while allowing zero home runs. The Marauders went 21-for-49 (.429) with eight doubles and 20 runs driven in. Bradenton went 14-for-30 (.467) with runners in scoring position. It was a hitting clinic. It was out of character for the Mussels to pitch so poorly considering they have the second-lowest ERA (4.03) in the Low-A Southeast. Third baseman Christian Encarnación-Strand, the Twins’ fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, hit a solo homer in the ninth. He’s recorded a hit in all six games since debuting. Struggles continued this week for Twins’ top prospects Keoni Cavaco and Misael Urbina. Cavaco went 1-for-14 with a single and no walks while Urbina went 3-for-18 with three singles and five walks. Both are sporting an OPS at .600 or below. COMPLEX CHRONICLES The FCL Twins did not play Sunday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Adam Lau (1 ⅔ IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 2 K, 0 BB) Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Alex Isola (5-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 4-for-12, 2B, 3 RBI, R #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, RBI, R #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-5, 2 K #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 3-for-7, RBI, R #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - No game #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-4, 3 K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-for-3, BB #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, R, RBI View full article
  8. TRANSACTIONS: C Ben Rortvedt recalled to the Minnesota Twin LHP Charlie Barnes optioned to the St.Paul Saints SAINTS SENTINEL Game one: Mud Hens 10, Saints 9 Box Score Drew Strotman: 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 R/ER, 6 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (2-for-7, 2B, 2 RBI, R), Tomás Telis (3-for-7, 2B, R), Gilberto Celestino (3-for-7, RBI, R), Ben Rortvedt (2-for-6, RBI, R), Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-5, 2 R, BB), Drew Maggi (3-for-4, R, 2 RBI) This wild affair finally finished Sunday afternoon, unfortunately in a loss for St. Paul. The game was halted Saturday night in the 14th inning due to curfew. No inning could start after 1:30 am local time. Drew Strotman started and once again struggled with his command. Strotman has walked nearly 13% of batters he’s faced since being traded to the Twins. Offensively, the Saints got plenty. Eight of their nine starters recorded a hit and three recorded three hits each. The Saints issued 14 walks and pitched with runners in scoring position 27 times. Game two: Mud Hens 9, Saints 8 Box Score Beau Burrows: 4 IP, 4 H, 8 R/ER, 4 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (2-for-5, RBI), Tomás Telis (2-for-5, RBI), Drew Stankiewicz (2-for-5, 2 R), JT Riddle (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI, BB), David Bañuelos (2-for-5, 3B, 2 RBI) This one came down to the wire with the tying run on second in the ninth. Jose Miranda and Tomás Telis each drove in a run with singles in the eighth, but the Saints couldn’t get Miranda back to the plate in the ninth. Twins fans may need to get used to watching Riley Greene do damage. The top Tigers prospect blasted a two-run homer off Beau Burrows in the first. Greene is ranked as the No. 7 prospect in baseball via MLB Pipeline. His teammate, Spencer Torkelson, is ranked No. 4. The Saints fell to 53-49 after the losses. WIND SURGE WISDOM Surge 8, Drillers 6 Box Score Austin Schulfer: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 R/ER, 3 BB, 4 K HR: Austin Martin (3), Leobaldo Cabrera (9), Caleb Hamilton (8) Multi-hit games: Martin (3-for-4, HR, 2B), Cabrera (2-for-3, HR, 3B, 3 R, RBI, BB), Aaron Whitefield (2-for-4, 2 2B, R, RBI) The Drillers got out to a 2-0 lead before Austin Martin hit his second homer in as many days. Martin is six for his last nine with two homers, a double and five runs driven in. Leobaldo Cabrera stayed hot with a triple and a homer. Cabrera entered the game hitting .255/.371/.509 in 35 games with the Wind Surge. Austin Schulfer came into the game with a 2.84 ERA over his last four starts. He battled through five hits and three walks in Sunday’s win, providing five innings. Schulfer’s ERA on the season rose to 4.38. The first-place Surge have shown incredible fight and tenacity, especially over the last few weeks. The offense is clicking on all cylinders and Martin’s ability to sparkplug at the top of the lineup is benefitting the group. KERNELS NUGGETS Snappers 9, Kernels 8 Box Score Aaron Rozek: 3 1/3 IP, 5 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 7 K HR: Aaron Sabato 2 (2), Alex Isola (11), Jeferson Morales (4) Multi-hit games: Sabato (2-for-4, 2 HR, BB), Isola (5-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) Alex Isola was three for his last 28 entering Sunday’s game. He turned it around in a big way. Isola homered in his first at-bat, drove in a run with a single in his second, singled in his third and singled again in his fourth. Oh, and he singled again in the 10th inning. Aaron Sabato also had a great day at the dish, hitting his first two home runs for the Kernels. Sabato earned a promotion after a hot start to the month in Fort Myers. He’s now hit nine homers in 19 August games. The Kernels are 56-46 after the walk-off. They still sit 11 games behind the Quad Cities powerhouse (67-33) in the High-A Central. MUSSEL MATTERS Marauders 22, Mussels 5 Box Score Landon Leach: 2 2/3 IP, 4 H, 9 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 2 K HR: Christian Encarnación-Strand (2) Multi-hit games: Jesús Feliz (2-for-4, RBI), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-4, R) Yes, you read that right. The Mussels gave up 22 runs while allowing zero home runs. The Marauders went 21-for-49 (.429) with eight doubles and 20 runs driven in. Bradenton went 14-for-30 (.467) with runners in scoring position. It was a hitting clinic. It was out of character for the Mussels to pitch so poorly considering they have the second-lowest ERA (4.03) in the Low-A Southeast. Third baseman Christian Encarnación-Strand, the Twins’ fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, hit a solo homer in the ninth. He’s recorded a hit in all six games since debuting. Struggles continued this week for Twins’ top prospects Keoni Cavaco and Misael Urbina. Cavaco went 1-for-14 with a single and no walks while Urbina went 3-for-18 with three singles and five walks. Both are sporting an OPS at .600 or below. COMPLEX CHRONICLES The FCL Twins did not play Sunday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Adam Lau (1 ⅔ IP, 0 H, 0 R/ER, 2 K, 0 BB) Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Alex Isola (5-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-for-4, HR, R, 2 RBI #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 4-for-12, 2B, 3 RBI, R #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, RBI, R #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-5, 2 K #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 3-for-7, RBI, R #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - No game #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-4, 3 K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-for-3, BB #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, R, RBI
  9. The Wind Surge won a thrilling, back-and-forth affair while Tyler Beck shined for the Kernels. On a very active day for the system: TRANSACTIONS RHP Hector Lujan was activated from the 7-day Injured List. RHP Joe Kuzia was moved to the development list. Mighty Mussels reinstated RHP Sean Mooney from the 7-day injured list Mighty Mussels placed LHP Brent Headrick on the 7-day injured list (right oblique strain) SAINTS SENTINEL Indianapolis 12, Saints 5 Box Score SP: Chandler Shepherd: 4 IP, 11 H, 8 R/ER, 0 BB, 2 K HR: Gilberto Celestino (1), Keon Broxton (9) Multi-hit games: Celestino (2-for-5, HR), Drew Maggi (2-for-4, R, BB), Sherman Johnson (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R, BB), Broxton (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R, BB) Chandler Shepherd had trouble early in Sunday’s start. He allowed two three-run homers in the first, including one to a rehabbing Colin Moran. The Saints then fell down 7-0 in the third on an RBI single. Finally making his debut at Triple-A, Gilberto Celestino homered in the third and added a single in the fifth. Celestino jumped from Double-A to the Twins and moved back and forth in the transaction wire before finally debuting for the Saints Sunday. The Saints left 21 runners on base, scoring only five runs on 12 hits and five walks. Keon Broxton continued his torrid stretch with two more hits and two RBI. Broxton entered Sunday hitting .297/.403/.656 over his last 22 games. Both Sherman Johnson and Drew Maggi also posted an OPS over 1.000 in July. WIND SURGE WISDOM Surge 11, Naturals 10 Box Score SP: Chris Vallimont: 4 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 6 R/ER, 5 BB, 6 K HR: Hamilton (6) Multi-hit games: BJ Boyd (3-for-6, 2 RBI), Caleb Hamilton (2-for-3, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-5, 2B, BB), The Wind Surge jumped out to a 4-0 lead thanks to a Roy Morales RBI single and a Caleb Hamilton three-run homer. Things began to unravel in the third. Chris Vallimont walked five and allowed six runs in 4 ⅓ innings. Vallimont has walked 18 over his last five starts, contributing to a 7.48 ERA over that span. The Naturals scored nine unanswered runs and buried the Surge by the fifth inning. Or that’s how it looked until Wichita’s offense put together a threat in the seventh, loading the bases with one out. Leobaldo Cabrera and Caleb Hamilton each drew bases-loaded walks before BJ Boyd singled in two more runs to pull the Surge within one. Wichita wasn’t done. In the eighth, D.J. Burt drove in two more with a double to take the lead. Aaron Whitefield later singled to put the Surge up 11-9. An RBI single for the Naturals pulled them back within one, but Wichita held on for an 11-10 win. The Surge recorded 12 hits and walked 12 times, including three walks each for Burt and Cabrera. Note: SS/OF Austin Martin, acquired from Toronto in the José Berríos trade, is expected to join the team Tuesday in Wichita. KERNELS NUGGETS Kernels 3, Timber Rattlers 0 Box Score SP: Tyler Beck: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Michael Helman (2-for-5, R), Alex Isola (3-for-4, 2B), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R) Tyler Beck entered the game with a 1.91 ERA over his last 28 1/3 innings with 33 strikeouts and an opponent OPS of .509. He continued his dominance Sunday in a sterling start. Beck threw five strong innings, allowing only two hits and zero runs with five strikeouts. Beck, a 30th round pick by the Twins in the 2019 Draft, could be a candidate for a promotion to Wichita soon. Matt Wallner has picked up right where he left off after missing extended time with a wrist injury. Wallner started the day hitting .324/.375/.784 in nine games since his return. He drove in another run in the first on a groundout. Daniel Ozoria had a very nice afternoon, notching two hits and an RBI groundout himself. The Kernels’ bullpen was outstanding in relief, with Erik Manoah Jr., Osiris Germán and Zach Featherstone combining for four scoreless innings and seven strikeouts. MUSSEL MATTERS The game today between the Mighty Mussels and the Clearwater Threshers was cancelled due to COVID-19 issues within the Threshers organization. COMPLEX CHRONICLES The FCL Twins did not play Sunday (off-day). TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Beck: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Caleb Hamilton: 2-for-3, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - Did not play #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – No game #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 2-for-5, HR, RBI, R #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – No game #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, RBI, K #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-for-4 #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – No game #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – Did not play #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, 2 K #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – 4 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 6 R/ER, 5 BB, 6 K View full article
  10. TRANSACTIONS RHP Hector Lujan was activated from the 7-day Injured List. RHP Joe Kuzia was moved to the development list. Mighty Mussels reinstated RHP Sean Mooney from the 7-day injured list Mighty Mussels placed LHP Brent Headrick on the 7-day injured list (right oblique strain) SAINTS SENTINEL Indianapolis 12, Saints 5 Box Score SP: Chandler Shepherd: 4 IP, 11 H, 8 R/ER, 0 BB, 2 K HR: Gilberto Celestino (1), Keon Broxton (9) Multi-hit games: Celestino (2-for-5, HR), Drew Maggi (2-for-4, R, BB), Sherman Johnson (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R, BB), Broxton (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, R, BB) Chandler Shepherd had trouble early in Sunday’s start. He allowed two three-run homers in the first, including one to a rehabbing Colin Moran. The Saints then fell down 7-0 in the third on an RBI single. Finally making his debut at Triple-A, Gilberto Celestino homered in the third and added a single in the fifth. Celestino jumped from Double-A to the Twins and moved back and forth in the transaction wire before finally debuting for the Saints Sunday. The Saints left 21 runners on base, scoring only five runs on 12 hits and five walks. Keon Broxton continued his torrid stretch with two more hits and two RBI. Broxton entered Sunday hitting .297/.403/.656 over his last 22 games. Both Sherman Johnson and Drew Maggi also posted an OPS over 1.000 in July. WIND SURGE WISDOM Surge 11, Naturals 10 Box Score SP: Chris Vallimont: 4 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 6 R/ER, 5 BB, 6 K HR: Hamilton (6) Multi-hit games: BJ Boyd (3-for-6, 2 RBI), Caleb Hamilton (2-for-3, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-5, 2B, BB), The Wind Surge jumped out to a 4-0 lead thanks to a Roy Morales RBI single and a Caleb Hamilton three-run homer. Things began to unravel in the third. Chris Vallimont walked five and allowed six runs in 4 ⅓ innings. Vallimont has walked 18 over his last five starts, contributing to a 7.48 ERA over that span. The Naturals scored nine unanswered runs and buried the Surge by the fifth inning. Or that’s how it looked until Wichita’s offense put together a threat in the seventh, loading the bases with one out. Leobaldo Cabrera and Caleb Hamilton each drew bases-loaded walks before BJ Boyd singled in two more runs to pull the Surge within one. Wichita wasn’t done. In the eighth, D.J. Burt drove in two more with a double to take the lead. Aaron Whitefield later singled to put the Surge up 11-9. An RBI single for the Naturals pulled them back within one, but Wichita held on for an 11-10 win. The Surge recorded 12 hits and walked 12 times, including three walks each for Burt and Cabrera. Note: SS/OF Austin Martin, acquired from Toronto in the José Berríos trade, is expected to join the team Tuesday in Wichita. KERNELS NUGGETS Kernels 3, Timber Rattlers 0 Box Score SP: Tyler Beck: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Michael Helman (2-for-5, R), Alex Isola (3-for-4, 2B), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-4, 2B, RBI, R) Tyler Beck entered the game with a 1.91 ERA over his last 28 1/3 innings with 33 strikeouts and an opponent OPS of .509. He continued his dominance Sunday in a sterling start. Beck threw five strong innings, allowing only two hits and zero runs with five strikeouts. Beck, a 30th round pick by the Twins in the 2019 Draft, could be a candidate for a promotion to Wichita soon. Matt Wallner has picked up right where he left off after missing extended time with a wrist injury. Wallner started the day hitting .324/.375/.784 in nine games since his return. He drove in another run in the first on a groundout. Daniel Ozoria had a very nice afternoon, notching two hits and an RBI groundout himself. The Kernels’ bullpen was outstanding in relief, with Erik Manoah Jr., Osiris Germán and Zach Featherstone combining for four scoreless innings and seven strikeouts. MUSSEL MATTERS The game today between the Mighty Mussels and the Clearwater Threshers was cancelled due to COVID-19 issues within the Threshers organization. COMPLEX CHRONICLES The FCL Twins did not play Sunday (off-day). TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Beck: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Caleb Hamilton: 2-for-3, HR, 4 RBI, 2 BB PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - Did not play #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – No game #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 2-for-5, HR, RBI, R #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – No game #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, RBI, K #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-for-4 #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – No game #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – Did not play #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, 2 K #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – 4 ⅓ IP, 5 H, 6 R/ER, 5 BB, 6 K
  11. Alex Isola has played catcher most of his ball-playing career. He grew up near Sacramento and attended Jesuit High School where he starred on the ball field and in the classroom. He went to the University of Utah for one season and played in 12 games. The next year, he headed to Arizona where he played for Yavapai College, a junior college. He hit .367 with eight homers and 37 RBI that year which provided him with the opportunity to go to Texas Christian University for his junior season. In 2019, Isola started 49 games for the Horned Frogs, 34 at catcher and 15 at DH. He hit .267/.377/.385 (.762) with seven doubles and five home runs. He also really grew as a catcher. The Twins drafted him in the 29th round in 2019 and sent him to Elizabethton. After just seven games in the Appalachian League, he finished the season with 18 games played for the then Low-A Cedar Rapids Kernels. This spring, Isola was invited to participate in the Twins depth camp at big-league spring training. He didn’t get many in-game plate appearances, but he learned a lot. He said in early May, “The experience was one full of learning and a taste of what it’s like to be at that level. Just to see guys go about their business and watch them on an everyday basis allowed me to see what it takes and gave me things to learn about and add to my game.” Isola continued, “I got to talk to Nelson Cruz and Josh Donaldson who were some of my favorite guys to watch in high school, but I tried not to be too in awe because I didn’t want them to feel uncomfortable. They really just showed me how to find a routine and the thing that impressed me the most was their discipline each day about doing the same things over and over with enthusiasm.” He spent a lot of time working with the big-league catchers. “It can be really complicated. Those guys do a good job of doing complicated better and making it as simple as possible. Just watching Garver, Jeffers and others, you find a routine that works for you, like a pregame routine, something that you can go to every day to get better. It was more about the way they approach every day and go about their business. Baseball is repetition. You have to do the same thing every day, and you have to love doing the same stuff every day. You see how they go about it. They don’t cheat themselves. They grind everyday.” Let’s get back to the defensive side of catching where that grind can be tough. I was always too chicken to want to don the tools of ignorance when I was young. I wanted to play shortstop or third base. I didn’t want to wear the gear or take foul tips. However, in summer amateur ball while in college, I agreed to play the position when the team’s catcher (OK, my brother) got hit in the face with a fastball that tailed right into his nose. I’ve got to be honest, I loved it. No, not that my brother had a broken nose and needed surgery. That was scary! But I loved catching. I wish I would have played there all along. You are involved in every pitch. You kind of run the show. What is it about the position that Isola most enjoys? His answer speaks volumes about him as a person and as a teammate. “I think my favorite part is the relationship you form with the pitchers. I take a lot of pride in that. It’s not about me back there. My job is to get the best out of those guys. For me, I try to be there for them if they want me to catch extra. Get to know them off the field. What’s their personality? And most important, what is their stuff like?” In addition to building that relationship, Isola has worked hard on other aspects of catching too. “(I want to) Make sure I’m on top of my game calling. That’s been a big thing for me. Such an important part of the game is game calling, but it’s also fun because it’s like solving a problem. You’ve got your guy’s strengths against a hitter's weaknesses. But you’ve got to first focus on your guy’s strengths and then form a plan based on that. Obviously you like throwing out runners. The receiving part is, the Twins are big on that, it took me awhile to learn, and I’m still learning everyday. We’re on the one-knee stance a lot. My favorite part is the relationship part, and then game-calling because that’s where I can solve problems.” With Kernels first baseman Gabe Snyder on the Injured List and Trey Cabbage up in Double-A, the team has to play others at first base. Many nights, that is a catcher, and Isola has been able to get extra at bats because of that flexibility. He had played a little bit there in junior college. “It was one of the things I worked on during quarantine. I had so much time. Some of the guys I worked with are infielders, so I figured why not. I got to see Astudillo, and you can create a lot of value for yourself just by playing other positions.” He added, “I’m open to it. I want to learn. You just play wherever the team needs you at this point. We’ve had so many injuries this year. I’m just trying to help where I can. I want to play every day, so whatever “Dink” wants, I can do.” Also during quarantine, Isola was able to rekindle something that will help him through the ups and downs of a long baseball season and career. “My faith is something that I grew up with and when I got to college strayed away from to be honest. This last year during quarantine I rekindled my relationship with God and it’s made me realize how important it is to have a relationship with Him. Early in the year when I was struggling at the plate, I had faith that God would get me through and reading the Bible allowed me to maintain a good perspective on things that normally would have had me panicking. Having that relationship with God is key for me along with my family in getting through the ups and downs of a season.” On Tuesday night in Cedar Rapids, Isola was behind the plate, but at the plate, he went 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBI. He had a single, a double and his seventh home run of the season. No, he didn’t have a triple. He hasn’t had one in his professional career. He didn’t have any in three seasons of college ball. He said, “I think I had one in high school. I’m not a fast runner. I’m a catcher. I’m going to need a deep ballpark.” In 42 games on the season, Isola is now hitting .234/.379/.438 (.817) with seven doubles, seven homers and 20 RBI. He also has 31 walks to go against 36 strikeouts. He is patient at the plate and yet has some really good pop in his bat. A couple of weeks ago, Brian Dinkelman said, “I think his eye and approach have always been there as far as laying off pitches and taking his walks. Now he’s getting stronger and is starting to hit the ball a little harder. The power is starting to come around. So if he can combine the walks with some power also, he can be a good hitter.” “For me as a hitter, I try to go in with an understanding of what I’m going to do. There are times when you are just reacting, but if I can go in with a good plan based on which pitcher we’re facing. The big thing with the walks is you just don’t want to give away at bats. That’s the tough thing about baseball. It’s a long season. You really have to be competitive in there. There are a lot of strikeouts in baseball right now. I choke up with two strikes. I foul off a lot of balls. I work deep in counts so I’ll get some walks.” He gives a lot of credit to Kernels hitting coach Bryce Berg. “I give it up to him. He does a great job of helping me develop a plan, trying that and executing it.” . Alex Isola used the time off in 2020 to his benefit. “I had a full year to just work on my game. Credit to the Twins. I’ve been working with hitting coaches and catching coaches during quarantine. As much as everyone was down because were weren’t playing, I tried to use it as a positive and try to focus on all aspects of my game.” Manager Brian Dinkelman notes that Isola has really grown as a player since he joined the Kernels late in the 2019 season. “He’s really improved his ABs. He’s really driving the ball a lot more this year in terms of power, which is good to see. He’s improving every day and becoming more of a complete player.” Isola hasn’t shown up on any Twins top prospect ranking articles. However, if he continues to work hard on presenting pitches and working with pitchers, and is able to maintain a solid approach at the plate, he is a guy who could slowly work his way up to the big leagues in time.
  12. He was a college catcher selected in the 29th round of the 2019 draft, but Alex Isola is garnering some much-deserved attention at the plate and behind it. Alex Isola has played catcher most of his ball-playing career. He grew up near Sacramento and attended Jesuit High School where he starred on the ball field and in the classroom. He went to the University of Utah for one season and played in 12 games. The next year, he headed to Arizona where he played for Yavapai College, a junior college. He hit .367 with eight homers and 37 RBI that year which provided him with the opportunity to go to Texas Christian University for his junior season. In 2019, Isola started 49 games for the Horned Frogs, 34 at catcher and 15 at DH. He hit .267/.377/.385 (.762) with seven doubles and five home runs. He also really grew as a catcher. The Twins drafted him in the 29th round in 2019 and sent him to Elizabethton. After just seven games in the Appalachian League, he finished the season with 18 games played for the then Low-A Cedar Rapids Kernels. This spring, Isola was invited to participate in the Twins depth camp at big-league spring training. He didn’t get many in-game plate appearances, but he learned a lot. He said in early May, “The experience was one full of learning and a taste of what it’s like to be at that level. Just to see guys go about their business and watch them on an everyday basis allowed me to see what it takes and gave me things to learn about and add to my game.” Isola continued, “I got to talk to Nelson Cruz and Josh Donaldson who were some of my favorite guys to watch in high school, but I tried not to be too in awe because I didn’t want them to feel uncomfortable. They really just showed me how to find a routine and the thing that impressed me the most was their discipline each day about doing the same things over and over with enthusiasm.” He spent a lot of time working with the big-league catchers. “It can be really complicated. Those guys do a good job of doing complicated better and making it as simple as possible. Just watching Garver, Jeffers and others, you find a routine that works for you, like a pregame routine, something that you can go to every day to get better. It was more about the way they approach every day and go about their business. Baseball is repetition. You have to do the same thing every day, and you have to love doing the same stuff every day. You see how they go about it. They don’t cheat themselves. They grind everyday.” Let’s get back to the defensive side of catching where that grind can be tough. I was always too chicken to want to don the tools of ignorance when I was young. I wanted to play shortstop or third base. I didn’t want to wear the gear or take foul tips. However, in summer amateur ball while in college, I agreed to play the position when the team’s catcher (OK, my brother) got hit in the face with a fastball that tailed right into his nose. I’ve got to be honest, I loved it. No, not that my brother had a broken nose and needed surgery. That was scary! But I loved catching. I wish I would have played there all along. You are involved in every pitch. You kind of run the show. What is it about the position that Isola most enjoys? His answer speaks volumes about him as a person and as a teammate. “I think my favorite part is the relationship you form with the pitchers. I take a lot of pride in that. It’s not about me back there. My job is to get the best out of those guys. For me, I try to be there for them if they want me to catch extra. Get to know them off the field. What’s their personality? And most important, what is their stuff like?” In addition to building that relationship, Isola has worked hard on other aspects of catching too. “(I want to) Make sure I’m on top of my game calling. That’s been a big thing for me. Such an important part of the game is game calling, but it’s also fun because it’s like solving a problem. You’ve got your guy’s strengths against a hitter's weaknesses. But you’ve got to first focus on your guy’s strengths and then form a plan based on that. Obviously you like throwing out runners. The receiving part is, the Twins are big on that, it took me awhile to learn, and I’m still learning everyday. We’re on the one-knee stance a lot. My favorite part is the relationship part, and then game-calling because that’s where I can solve problems.” With Kernels first baseman Gabe Snyder on the Injured List and Trey Cabbage up in Double-A, the team has to play others at first base. Many nights, that is a catcher, and Isola has been able to get extra at bats because of that flexibility. He had played a little bit there in junior college. “It was one of the things I worked on during quarantine. I had so much time. Some of the guys I worked with are infielders, so I figured why not. I got to see Astudillo, and you can create a lot of value for yourself just by playing other positions.” He added, “I’m open to it. I want to learn. You just play wherever the team needs you at this point. We’ve had so many injuries this year. I’m just trying to help where I can. I want to play every day, so whatever “Dink” wants, I can do.” Also during quarantine, Isola was able to rekindle something that will help him through the ups and downs of a long baseball season and career. “My faith is something that I grew up with and when I got to college strayed away from to be honest. This last year during quarantine I rekindled my relationship with God and it’s made me realize how important it is to have a relationship with Him. Early in the year when I was struggling at the plate, I had faith that God would get me through and reading the Bible allowed me to maintain a good perspective on things that normally would have had me panicking. Having that relationship with God is key for me along with my family in getting through the ups and downs of a season.” On Tuesday night in Cedar Rapids, Isola was behind the plate, but at the plate, he went 3-for-5 with two runs and three RBI. He had a single, a double and his seventh home run of the season. No, he didn’t have a triple. He hasn’t had one in his professional career. He didn’t have any in three seasons of college ball. He said, “I think I had one in high school. I’m not a fast runner. I’m a catcher. I’m going to need a deep ballpark.” In 42 games on the season, Isola is now hitting .234/.379/.438 (.817) with seven doubles, seven homers and 20 RBI. He also has 31 walks to go against 36 strikeouts. He is patient at the plate and yet has some really good pop in his bat. A couple of weeks ago, Brian Dinkelman said, “I think his eye and approach have always been there as far as laying off pitches and taking his walks. Now he’s getting stronger and is starting to hit the ball a little harder. The power is starting to come around. So if he can combine the walks with some power also, he can be a good hitter.” “For me as a hitter, I try to go in with an understanding of what I’m going to do. There are times when you are just reacting, but if I can go in with a good plan based on which pitcher we’re facing. The big thing with the walks is you just don’t want to give away at bats. That’s the tough thing about baseball. It’s a long season. You really have to be competitive in there. There are a lot of strikeouts in baseball right now. I choke up with two strikes. I foul off a lot of balls. I work deep in counts so I’ll get some walks.” He gives a lot of credit to Kernels hitting coach Bryce Berg. “I give it up to him. He does a great job of helping me develop a plan, trying that and executing it.” . Alex Isola used the time off in 2020 to his benefit. “I had a full year to just work on my game. Credit to the Twins. I’ve been working with hitting coaches and catching coaches during quarantine. As much as everyone was down because were weren’t playing, I tried to use it as a positive and try to focus on all aspects of my game.” Manager Brian Dinkelman notes that Isola has really grown as a player since he joined the Kernels late in the 2019 season. “He’s really improved his ABs. He’s really driving the ball a lot more this year in terms of power, which is good to see. He’s improving every day and becoming more of a complete player.” Isola hasn’t shown up on any Twins top prospect ranking articles. However, if he continues to work hard on presenting pitches and working with pitchers, and is able to maintain a solid approach at the plate, he is a guy who could slowly work his way up to the big leagues in time. View full article
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