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  1. Just when you thought the Twins had done enough this weekend to keep us on our toes, Derek Falvey went ahead and blew the roof off. A blockbuster with the Yankees started as Jon Heyman suggested a catcher was coming to Minnesota. Then the bomb dropped that Josh Donaldson was moving, and things got crazy. Another deal in which the player totals aren’t even; the Twins sent the additional talent this time. Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Ben Rortvedt are going to New York. In exchange, Minnesota gets catcher Gary Sanchez and third basemen Gio Urshela. There’s no level of this deal that shouldn’t make your head spin, so let’s break it down into smaller pieces. Third Base This is straightforward. Josh Donaldson is moved off the position, and Minnesota is no longer on the hook for his contract's remaining $50 million. Set to make $21.75 million in 2022, a team with something like $35 million in payroll flexibility just pushed that number over $50 million. Donaldson wound up playing just 163 games across two seasons with Minnesota. The shortened pandemic season didn’t help the longevity, but his nagging calf issues were present the first season. There was never a reason why the Twins should’ve considered a cash dump regarding Donaldson and his salary. Still playing at a high level in 2022, any move needed to come with a certain level of return. Ultimately, that’s what ended up happening. Gio Urshela debuted with Cleveland back in 2015 but posted just a .587 OPS through his first 148 Major League games. After a short stint in Toronto, he wound up in New York, and boy did Gio arrive in a big way. During 2019 Urshela posted an .889 OPS with 21 homers. He all but replicated that in 2020 before lacking power production last season. His 96 OPS+ basically was league average, however, and he’s just 30-years-old. He’s not the defensive stalwart Donaldson is at the hot corner, but he’s hardly a butcher either. What Urshela does offer is an easier path to playing time for the likes of Jose Miranda. Should the newly acquired piece continue to decline or start slow, Minnesota won’t hesitate to promote the 2021 standout prospect. Urshela is owed just $6.55M this season, and Miranda will get his opportunity to push for playing time at the hot corner. This is also another area that Luis Arraez could contribute. Shortstop Minnesota had its Opening Day shortstop for something like 35 hours. After acquiring Kiner-Falefa, he was sent to New York, who has been tied to the biggest names at the position. Kiner-Falefa was basically a replica of Andrelton Simmons, minus the weirdness, and now Falvey will go back on the hunt there. Urshela has accumulated just over 200 innings at shortstop, but he shouldn’t be considered an option there. Jorge Polanco is not moving back across the diamond, which again turns us back to the market. With so much cash while both Carlos Correa and Trevor Story are still on the market, there’s reasonable speculation that Minnesota could have their sights set there. Both presumably want long-term contracts, and neither Royce Lewis nor Austin Martin are slam dunks to remain at short. Catcher A former All-Star and Silver Slugger, Gary Sanchez joins the Twins as a backup for Ryan Jeffers. He’s not good defensively, and his bat has been lost since 2019, but maybe Minnesota can turn it around for the 29-year-old. Sanchez has solid on-base skills and does show a good amount of discipline in the box. His power potential is immense, with two 30+ home run seasons to his credit, but the key will be finding consistency. If it wasn’t apparent when the Twins dealt Mitch Garver, it’s certainly clear now that they’ve leaned all the way into Jeffers as their regular. Ben Rortvedt also went to the Yankees, and he’d be considered the most well-rounded defender of that trio. Jeffers obviously has made enough strides to feel comfort in pairing him with Sanchez, and there shouldn’t be an emphasis on splitting time evenly. Removing Donaldson opened up a rotational designated hitter spot for Minnesota, but it should be immediately accounted for by Sanchez, who will see regular starts there as well. It’s clear that Minnesota has solidified their plan at catcher, however. This was a huge move, the second of the day for Minnesota. Now with so much payroll flexibility and an arrow pointed towards competing, there’s no guessing how crazy this front office will get next. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email View full article
  2. Another deal in which the player totals aren’t even; the Twins sent the additional talent this time. Josh Donaldson, Isiah Kiner-Falefa, and Ben Rortvedt are going to New York. In exchange, Minnesota gets catcher Gary Sanchez and third basemen Gio Urshela. There’s no level of this deal that shouldn’t make your head spin, so let’s break it down into smaller pieces. Third Base This is straightforward. Josh Donaldson is moved off the position, and Minnesota is no longer on the hook for his contract's remaining $50 million. Set to make $21.75 million in 2022, a team with something like $35 million in payroll flexibility just pushed that number over $50 million. Donaldson wound up playing just 163 games across two seasons with Minnesota. The shortened pandemic season didn’t help the longevity, but his nagging calf issues were present the first season. There was never a reason why the Twins should’ve considered a cash dump regarding Donaldson and his salary. Still playing at a high level in 2022, any move needed to come with a certain level of return. Ultimately, that’s what ended up happening. Gio Urshela debuted with Cleveland back in 2015 but posted just a .587 OPS through his first 148 Major League games. After a short stint in Toronto, he wound up in New York, and boy did Gio arrive in a big way. During 2019 Urshela posted an .889 OPS with 21 homers. He all but replicated that in 2020 before lacking power production last season. His 96 OPS+ basically was league average, however, and he’s just 30-years-old. He’s not the defensive stalwart Donaldson is at the hot corner, but he’s hardly a butcher either. What Urshela does offer is an easier path to playing time for the likes of Jose Miranda. Should the newly acquired piece continue to decline or start slow, Minnesota won’t hesitate to promote the 2021 standout prospect. Urshela is owed just $6.55M this season, and Miranda will get his opportunity to push for playing time at the hot corner. This is also another area that Luis Arraez could contribute. Shortstop Minnesota had its Opening Day shortstop for something like 35 hours. After acquiring Kiner-Falefa, he was sent to New York, who has been tied to the biggest names at the position. Kiner-Falefa was basically a replica of Andrelton Simmons, minus the weirdness, and now Falvey will go back on the hunt there. Urshela has accumulated just over 200 innings at shortstop, but he shouldn’t be considered an option there. Jorge Polanco is not moving back across the diamond, which again turns us back to the market. With so much cash while both Carlos Correa and Trevor Story are still on the market, there’s reasonable speculation that Minnesota could have their sights set there. Both presumably want long-term contracts, and neither Royce Lewis nor Austin Martin are slam dunks to remain at short. Catcher A former All-Star and Silver Slugger, Gary Sanchez joins the Twins as a backup for Ryan Jeffers. He’s not good defensively, and his bat has been lost since 2019, but maybe Minnesota can turn it around for the 29-year-old. Sanchez has solid on-base skills and does show a good amount of discipline in the box. His power potential is immense, with two 30+ home run seasons to his credit, but the key will be finding consistency. If it wasn’t apparent when the Twins dealt Mitch Garver, it’s certainly clear now that they’ve leaned all the way into Jeffers as their regular. Ben Rortvedt also went to the Yankees, and he’d be considered the most well-rounded defender of that trio. Jeffers obviously has made enough strides to feel comfort in pairing him with Sanchez, and there shouldn’t be an emphasis on splitting time evenly. Removing Donaldson opened up a rotational designated hitter spot for Minnesota, but it should be immediately accounted for by Sanchez, who will see regular starts there as well. It’s clear that Minnesota has solidified their plan at catcher, however. This was a huge move, the second of the day for Minnesota. Now with so much payroll flexibility and an arrow pointed towards competing, there’s no guessing how crazy this front office will get next. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  3. Mitch Garver has established himself as one of the core pieces of the Twins offense the last few years. With that in mind, it may be time for the Twins to start putting more effort into setting Garver up for long term success. Catcher is a difficult position both physically and mentally. Manning the backstop is what cost one of the all-time great Twins in Joe Mauer so dearly in his prime. Even if Mauer had avoided the concussion that resulted in his move to first base, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where he would have prematurely declined due to the demands of his position. The Twins may want to try to avoid a similar scenario when it comes to Mitch Garver. Garver is far from the typical catcher in today’s baseball environment. Regulars at the position are typically expected to provide strong defense and adequately call a game for a pitching staff. If they can hold their own offensively that’s just a bonus. Garver on the other hand is a bat-first catcher. He’s far from terrible defensively and has made great strides in things like framing where he ranked in the 93rd percentile in 2021. He may not win any gold gloves but he doesn’t have to given his ability in the batter’s box. Not only has he been an above-average hitter in three of the last four seasons, but he’s also been flat-out incredible in two of them. Garver uses a mastery of the strike zone to lay off borderline pitches and force pitchers into making mistakes. His 2019 was argued as the best offensive season by a catcher since Mike Piazza when he was 55% above league average offensively and nearly put up 4 fWAR in under 400 plate appearances. It’s possible his disastrous 2020 where he posted a .167/.247/.264 line was injury-related, as in 2021 he returned to form hitting .256/.358/.517, good for 37% above the league average hitter. It’s become clear that Garver shouldn’t be valued just for his offensive skills as a catcher, but for his offensive skills in general. With other candidates for the position debuting such as Ryan Jeffers and Ben Rortvedt, perhaps it’s time to better set Garver up for success moving forward. Garver has played first base to some extent in every season of his career, although his career-high in innings at the position is 24 in 2017. Still, it may benefit the Twins to make a more concerted effort to get Garver time at a less physically demanding position. Not only is his concussion history worrisome, but it’s fair to wonder at 31 how soon the wear and tear throughout the season could begin to impact his ability to perform at the plate. Besides injury risk, moving Garver even part-time off of catcher could make him available in the lineup more often while allowing Rortvedt and Jeffers to get more exposure. Jeffers in particular was held down in 2021 by getting the bulk of at-bats against right-handers in order to allow Garver to crush lefties whenever possible. It was a tough ask of a rookie and Jeffers understandably struggled at the plate seeing almost exclusively same-handed pitching. Alex Kirilloff will be back in 2022 hopefully as the everyday first baseman with Miguel Sano rotating in. Still, Kirilloff will likely see some outfield innings and Sano and Garver can share first base and DH duties. In the last two seasons, Sano has inexplicably been well below league average against left-handed pitching, an area you can always expect Garver to excel in. If those trends continue, Garver could just overtake Sano’s at-bats altogether. Much like the eternal question “How will we find enough at-bats for Player X?” The question of how to fit Garver into DH or first base on occasion would work itself out if the Twins choose to go that route. The question is whether they decide it’s time to do so. I’d argue that it can only help. Garver’s bat will be all the more important without Nelson Cruz in 2022 and the skills that make him such a force on offense should be able to age gracefully if he can avoid injury. Is it time to start easing him off of his natural position to try to keep him effective at the plate longer? — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here View full article
  4. Catcher is a difficult position both physically and mentally. Manning the backstop is what cost one of the all-time great Twins in Joe Mauer so dearly in his prime. Even if Mauer had avoided the concussion that resulted in his move to first base, it’s not hard to imagine a scenario where he would have prematurely declined due to the demands of his position. The Twins may want to try to avoid a similar scenario when it comes to Mitch Garver. Garver is far from the typical catcher in today’s baseball environment. Regulars at the position are typically expected to provide strong defense and adequately call a game for a pitching staff. If they can hold their own offensively that’s just a bonus. Garver on the other hand is a bat-first catcher. He’s far from terrible defensively and has made great strides in things like framing where he ranked in the 93rd percentile in 2021. He may not win any gold gloves but he doesn’t have to given his ability in the batter’s box. Not only has he been an above-average hitter in three of the last four seasons, but he’s also been flat-out incredible in two of them. Garver uses a mastery of the strike zone to lay off borderline pitches and force pitchers into making mistakes. His 2019 was argued as the best offensive season by a catcher since Mike Piazza when he was 55% above league average offensively and nearly put up 4 fWAR in under 400 plate appearances. It’s possible his disastrous 2020 where he posted a .167/.247/.264 line was injury-related, as in 2021 he returned to form hitting .256/.358/.517, good for 37% above the league average hitter. It’s become clear that Garver shouldn’t be valued just for his offensive skills as a catcher, but for his offensive skills in general. With other candidates for the position debuting such as Ryan Jeffers and Ben Rortvedt, perhaps it’s time to better set Garver up for success moving forward. Garver has played first base to some extent in every season of his career, although his career-high in innings at the position is 24 in 2017. Still, it may benefit the Twins to make a more concerted effort to get Garver time at a less physically demanding position. Not only is his concussion history worrisome, but it’s fair to wonder at 31 how soon the wear and tear throughout the season could begin to impact his ability to perform at the plate. Besides injury risk, moving Garver even part-time off of catcher could make him available in the lineup more often while allowing Rortvedt and Jeffers to get more exposure. Jeffers in particular was held down in 2021 by getting the bulk of at-bats against right-handers in order to allow Garver to crush lefties whenever possible. It was a tough ask of a rookie and Jeffers understandably struggled at the plate seeing almost exclusively same-handed pitching. Alex Kirilloff will be back in 2022 hopefully as the everyday first baseman with Miguel Sano rotating in. Still, Kirilloff will likely see some outfield innings and Sano and Garver can share first base and DH duties. In the last two seasons, Sano has inexplicably been well below league average against left-handed pitching, an area you can always expect Garver to excel in. If those trends continue, Garver could just overtake Sano’s at-bats altogether. Much like the eternal question “How will we find enough at-bats for Player X?” The question of how to fit Garver into DH or first base on occasion would work itself out if the Twins choose to go that route. The question is whether they decide it’s time to do so. I’d argue that it can only help. Garver’s bat will be all the more important without Nelson Cruz in 2022 and the skills that make him such a force on offense should be able to age gracefully if he can avoid injury. Is it time to start easing him off of his natural position to try to keep him effective at the plate longer? — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
  5. Depth became necessary for Minnesota in 2021, which might transpire again next year. Here are three players that may be surprisingly helpful for the 2022 Twins. All three of these players made their debuts in 2021 after taking different routes to the big-league level. Now entering their sophomore seasons, will they be able to avoid a slump? Gilberto Celestino, CF Twins fans will remember Celestino floundering during his big-league debut last season, but that is only part of his 2021 campaign. Injuries forced the Twins to call him up with no experience above the Double-A level, and this was on the heels of a non-existent 2020 minor-league season. Transitioning to the big-league level can be challenging, but Celestino is a better player than his debut performance. After his struggles at the MLB level, he settled in nicely for the Saints and hit .290/.384/.443 (.827) while playing above-average defense in center. The chances are that Byron Buxton will be injured in 2022. When that happens, Celestino can rely on his success in the high minors to start transitioning that success to the big-league level. He has the tools to settle into an above-average fourth outfielder role with the Twins. Ben Rortvedt, C Rortvedt made his MLB debut last season after Minnesota's two-catcher rotation was unsuccessful. Entering 2022, the Twins have the same three catchers on the roster, so what has changed? Mitch Garver and Ryan Jeffers are penciled in to be the starters, but Rortvedt has some solid defensive skills that make him a more than capable backup. Scouting reports praise his work behind the plate and his ability to manage the running game. If one of the primary catchers is hurt, he is more than capable of handling the backup duties. His hit tool will never make him an everyday catcher, but he has some pop in his bat when he makes contact. At Triple-A, he hit .254/.324/.426 (.750) with 11 extra-base hits in 34 games. There's still a chance the Twins trade one of their catchers for starting pitching, and then Rortvedt takes on an even more critical role. Nick Gordon, UTL Twins fans know Gordon's name well because he was a first-round draft pick and considered a top prospect for multiple seasons. In 2021, he made his big-league debut at age-25 and hit .240/.292/.355 (.647) in 200 at-bats. Gordon was great in June. He got on base one-third of the time and posted a .765 OPS. Fans wanted to see more of Gordon, especially at the club's end of a terrible season. The Twins had little desire to play him at shortstop, his defensive position for his entire pro career. Instead, Minnesota used him at all three outfield positions and second base. Gordon's future value is tied to his ability to play multiple defensive positions while finding a way to get on base regularly. Other Twins prospects have developed power later in their career, but Gordon's ceiling seems more likely to be limited to a utility role. Which player do you think has the most significant impact on the 2022 Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  6. All three of these players made their debuts in 2021 after taking different routes to the big-league level. Now entering their sophomore seasons, will they be able to avoid a slump? Gilberto Celestino, CF Twins fans will remember Celestino floundering during his big-league debut last season, but that is only part of his 2021 campaign. Injuries forced the Twins to call him up with no experience above the Double-A level, and this was on the heels of a non-existent 2020 minor-league season. Transitioning to the big-league level can be challenging, but Celestino is a better player than his debut performance. After his struggles at the MLB level, he settled in nicely for the Saints and hit .290/.384/.443 (.827) while playing above-average defense in center. The chances are that Byron Buxton will be injured in 2022. When that happens, Celestino can rely on his success in the high minors to start transitioning that success to the big-league level. He has the tools to settle into an above-average fourth outfielder role with the Twins. Ben Rortvedt, C Rortvedt made his MLB debut last season after Minnesota's two-catcher rotation was unsuccessful. Entering 2022, the Twins have the same three catchers on the roster, so what has changed? Mitch Garver and Ryan Jeffers are penciled in to be the starters, but Rortvedt has some solid defensive skills that make him a more than capable backup. Scouting reports praise his work behind the plate and his ability to manage the running game. If one of the primary catchers is hurt, he is more than capable of handling the backup duties. His hit tool will never make him an everyday catcher, but he has some pop in his bat when he makes contact. At Triple-A, he hit .254/.324/.426 (.750) with 11 extra-base hits in 34 games. There's still a chance the Twins trade one of their catchers for starting pitching, and then Rortvedt takes on an even more critical role. Nick Gordon, UTL Twins fans know Gordon's name well because he was a first-round draft pick and considered a top prospect for multiple seasons. In 2021, he made his big-league debut at age-25 and hit .240/.292/.355 (.647) in 200 at-bats. Gordon was great in June. He got on base one-third of the time and posted a .765 OPS. Fans wanted to see more of Gordon, especially at the club's end of a terrible season. The Twins had little desire to play him at shortstop, his defensive position for his entire pro career. Instead, Minnesota used him at all three outfield positions and second base. Gordon's future value is tied to his ability to play multiple defensive positions while finding a way to get on base regularly. Other Twins prospects have developed power later in their career, but Gordon's ceiling seems more likely to be limited to a utility role. Which player do you think has the most significant impact on the 2022 Twins? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  7. 2021 was not a great year for Twins fans. The Twins came into the 2021 season projected by PECOTA to win the division at 91-71. As we all know, that was not the case, as the Twins finished dead last in the AL Central at 73-89. However, a bad season like 2021 means getting to see some of the prospects we have heard about for so long finally make their Major League debuts. In 2021, 10 Twins made their Major League debuts with various amounts of success. Nonetheless, a lot of these guys could play major roles in contributing to the future success of the team. Let’s see how they did. Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B Even though Alex Kirilloff played a game in the playoffs in 2020, he didn’t officially make his major league debut until April 14, 2021. Kirilloff had a rough start at the plate, going 0-for-15 to start his career despite some bad batted-ball luck. In April, Kirilloff’s xSLG was an otherworldly .825 but his actual slugging percentage was only .400. His average exit velocity was 95.4 MPH in April and 93 MPH in May. However, on May 5, the Twins placed Kirilloff on the IL because of a wrist injury. Kirilloff returned to the lineup on May 21 and was not the same the rest of the season, only hitting .260/.316/.387 the rest of the year. On July 21, it was announced that Kirilloff would undergo season-ending wrist surgery. In 2021, Kirilloff hit .251/.299/.423 (.722) but a lot of that was impacted by his nagging wrist injury. Lately, Kirilloff has been taking batting practice and should be ready to go for the 2022 season. Kirilloff remains an extremely promising player and should be a middle-of-the-order bat for the Twins for years to come. Grade: B Ben Rortvedt, C After Ryan Jeffers started the season 5-for-34 with 18 strikeouts and only one extra base hit, the Twins called up left-handed hitting Ben Rortvedt to back up Mitch Garver. On April 30, Rortvedt made his major league debut against the Kansas City Royals, going 1-for-3 with a walk. He recorded his first major league hit in the bottom of the eighth inning, hitting an RBI single off of Wade Davis to drive in Andrelton Simmons. Rortvedt was unimpressive at the plate in 2021, hitting .169/.229/.281 (.510) with three home runs in 98 plate appearances. Behind the plate, Rortvedt was a very good catcher. In only 256 innings, Rortvedt was worth five Defensive Runs Saved. This ranked 19th in all of MLB, and nobody else in the top 30 had less than 300 innings. Rortvedt also has a very good arm, throwing out 7 of 16 potential base stealers (44 percent). That was fourth in all of MLB among catchers with at least 200 innings. Rortvedt was a very good defensive catcher with subpar offensive abilities. If he can take a step forward with his bat, he has the potential to be an important part of the Twins future, especially if the Twins decide to trade Garver or Jeffers to acquire starting pitching. Grade: C Nick Gordon, UTIL Growing up in a baseball family, Nick Gordon had lofty expectations since being drafted in the first round by the Twins in 2014. Since then, he has had struggles with health and he became a bit of an afterthought in terms of Twins prospects. So when he made his Major League debut on May 6th, it was a feel good story for all. In his first plate appearance, he walked and then stole second on the next pitch. In his next plate appearance, he roped a single to right field for his first major league hit and then stole second base five pitches later. Gordon struck out his next plate appearance before being lifted for Jorge Polanco in the 8th inning. Gordon finished the day 1-for-2 with a walk and two stolen bases. On June 4, Gordon hit his first big league homer with his dad in the stands. Gordon was below-average with the bat, hitting .240/.292/.355 (.647). As the season progressed, Gordon greatly improved offensively. In September and October, Gordon had an OPS of .752 and a wRC+ of 103, meaning he was slightly above average in those months. He also was hitting the ball harder as the season progressed. Below is a graph of his hard hit rate by month. All season, Gordon’s hard hit rate hovered around 45 percent but in September it jumped to 63 percent. This is very encouraging to see from a young player. Gordon also was very versatile and showed he could move around the diamond which can be very beneficial for a team. He played at least 10 games at shortstop, second base, left field, and center field. He was also a good baserunner, going 10-for11 on stolen bases. He was in the 71st percentile of all players in sprint speed. Gordon could be a valuable asset for the Twins going forward if he continues to build off of his strong September and continues to be versatile. Grade: C+ Trevor Larnach, OF Ever since they drafted Trevor Larnach with the 20th overall pick in the 2018 draft, the Twins have had high expectations for him. After an impressive 2019 season between High-A and AA, Larnach has looked ready for the big leagues. He finally got his wish on May 8th, when he was the starting left fielder against the Detroit Tigers. Larnach didn’t exactly have a debut to remember, going 0-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch. Larnach picked up his first hit on May 12, when he doubled off of former Twin Liam Hendriks. Larnach got off to a good start in the big leagues, hitting .262/.357/.436 with a 120 wRC+ through July 9. After that date, Larnach was abysmal at the plate. From that point on he had a wRC+ of 29 and struck out in 42 percent of his plate appearances. He was not a great hitter against offspeed pitches. Among all MLB hitters with at least 50 plate appearances, Larnach had the highest whiff rate against sliders (56 percent) and the highest whiff rate against changeups (52 percent). The good news is that Larnach hit .362 with a .667 slugging percentage against fastballs. Teams figured out he had issues against offspeed and started throwing over 50 percent of pitches as offspeed pitches. Larnach showed some flashes of being a great hitter (max exit velocity in the 97th percentile), so if he adjusts to offspeed pitches he will be a cornerstone of the Twins lineup for years to come Grade: B- Bailey Ober, RHP At 6 feet 9 inches, Bailey Ober is the third tallest pitcher in Twins history behind Jon Rauch and Aaron Slegers. Ober and his imposing presence first appeared in the big leagues on May 18 against the Chicago White Sox. Ober went four innings, allowing four runs on five hits and one walk. He gave up home runs to Jake Lamb and Yasmani Grandal and struck out four. He got a no-decision and the Twins ended up winning 5-4 behind three Miguel Sano home runs. Ober made 20 starts in his rookie season, going 3-3 with a 4.19 ERA. Ober threw 92 innings and had a team high 5.05 K/BB ratio. This ratio was fifth best in the American League. Ober was in the 94th percentile of all pitchers in terms of walk rate and in the 85th percentile in terms of chase rate. Ober hardly threw pitches outside of the zone but when he did, hitters chased them at a high rate. Ober’s average fastball in 2021 was only 92 miles per hour, but his big frame causes the batters to have less reaction time because the ball is being released at around 52 feet from home plate, almost a foot closer than the average pitcher releases it from. This creates the illusion that Ober’s fastball is moving faster than it actually is. Despite having below average stuff (percentile rankings below), Ober’s large frame elevates him to being a good pitcher (102 ERA+) and if Ober can improve his stuff in the coming years he could be a fantastic pitcher for the Twins. Grade: A- Gilberto Celestino, OF With injuries to Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Jake Cave, and Rob Refsnyder early in 2021, the Twins needed a center fielder. They decided to call up Gilberto Celestino from AA, and he made his major league debut on June 2 against the Orioles. Celestino had a rather uneventful debut, going 0-for-2 with a strikeout in a 6-3 loss. Celestino recorded his first major league hit on June 9 against the Yankees. Over the 2021 season, Celestino mightily struggled at the plate with the Twins, hitting .136/.177/.288 (.466). It was clear Celestino was overmatched at the big league level, so they sent him down to AAA St. Paul after 22 games, and he hit well at the AAA level, having a wRC+ of 125 in 49 games there. In retrospect, Celestino wasn’t ready for the big leagues but is still a good ball player. Having some big league experience under his belt will help him going forward, and he could be Byron Buxton’s primary backup going forward so we probably will be seeing Celestino in the big leagues again at some point in 2022. Grade: D Griffin Jax, RHP On June 8, Griffin Jax made history. He became the first Air Force Academy graduate to play Major League Baseball. Jax was used in a mop-up role against the Yankees in the 9th inning when the Twins were down 5-3. Jax did not have a very good debut, going one inning while allowing three runs on home runs from Miguel Andujar and Gary Sanchez. He did record his first big league strikeout when he struck out Tyler Wade on a 2-2 slider. In 2021, Griffin Jax had a tough rookie season. He went 4-5 with a 6.37 ERA. He allowed 2.52 HR/ 9 innings which was the highest among all MLB pitchers (minimum 60 innings). That number is also the highest for a single season in Twins history (min. 60 IP). The big problem was his fastball. Jax’s fastball was the fifth worst fastball in all of baseball in terms of xSLG. Jax’s fastball got crushed in 2021, but he continued to throw it almost 50 percent of the time. Jax’s slider, on the other hand, could be a very good pitch. Jax’s .271 xwOBA against the slider is good and signals that it is a pitch he should be throwing more than just 30 percent of the time, maybe up to 50 percent. Despite a bad 2021, Jax could bounce back by relying more on his off-speed pitches and revamping his pitch arsenal going into 2022. Grade: D Charlie Barnes, LHP Charlie Barnes made his major league debut in the first game of a July 17 doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers. After the first batter he faced (Robbie Grossman) went deep, Barnes was very good. Barnes went 4 2/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk while striking out one. He recorded his first major league strikeout in the second inning when he struck out Zack Short on a changeup. In Barnes’s rookie season, he went 0-3 with a 5.92 ERA. Barnes made eight starts for the Twins and threw 38 total innings. Barnes bounced back and forth between the Twins and the minor leagues quite a bit, so he never really got the chance to establish himself at the big league level. On December 23, Barnes signed with the Lotte Giants in Korea, so we wish him the best of luck in Korea as he pursues professional baseball there. Grade: D Joe Ryan, RHP Any prospect who yields a player as good as Nelson Cruz should be good enough to make an impact in the big leagues for a long time. On September 1st, Joe Ryan gave us a taste of what he will be like for years to come. Ryan had a solid major league debut, going five innings, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk while striking out five batters. He got his first career strikeout in the first inning when he struck out Ian Happ with a high fastball. Ryan had a solid debut season for the Twins, only throwing 26 innings, but going 2-1 with a 4.05 ERA. However, Ryan had some bad luck, as his xERA was 2.99. He also had 10.1 K/9 and only 1.7 BB/9. This 10.1 K/9 rate is the highest by any rookie starter in Twins history (min. 25 IP). Ryan relied on a very good high fastball/slider combination to get strikeouts. Going into 2022, Ryan is one of three starters the Twins have in the rotation. His role on the team will depend on if the Twins make any more pitching acquisitions, but expect Ryan to be a fixture in the Twins rotation next year. Grade: A- Jovani Moran, LHP Jovani Moran was very limited in year one, but he should be a fixture in the Twins bullpen in years to come. Moran made his major league debut on September 12 and went 1 1/3 innings, allowing no runs on two hits and two walks while striking out two batters. He collected his first major league strikeout when he got Nicky Lopez to chase a devastating changeup. Jovani Moran only threw eight innings for the Twins in 2021, and at first glance you wouldn’t think he was very good. He had an ERA of 7.88 and walked seven guys in eight innings. If you look deeper, Moran was unlucky. He had an xERA of 3.84, meaning he had some awful batted-ball luck. He also throws one of the best swing-and-miss pitches in the Twins organization, a disgusting changeup. His whiff rate on that pitch was an astounding 51.4 percent, meaning that over half of the swings on that pitch were misses. This changeup whiff rate was the fourth highest for any pitcher in the league. Moran was impressive in his limited work in 2021, and I am excited to see him and his changeup in the 2022 bullpen. Grade: B Final Thoughts Despite a rough season, the Twins gave us a glimpse into their future. We saw a lot to like out of some of the Twins young players in 2021 and if these players can take a step forward in 2022 and continue to develop, the Twins should be able to contend for the AL Central in the near future. What do you think of these grades? How would you grade these players for their rookie seasons? Which of these players are you most excited to watch in 2022? Who is the most likely of these players to succeed going forward? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Thank you for reading, and Go Twins! View full article
  8. In 2021, 10 Twins made their Major League debuts with various amounts of success. Nonetheless, a lot of these guys could play major roles in contributing to the future success of the team. Let’s see how they did. Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B Even though Alex Kirilloff played a game in the playoffs in 2020, he didn’t officially make his major league debut until April 14, 2021. Kirilloff had a rough start at the plate, going 0-for-15 to start his career despite some bad batted-ball luck. In April, Kirilloff’s xSLG was an otherworldly .825 but his actual slugging percentage was only .400. His average exit velocity was 95.4 MPH in April and 93 MPH in May. However, on May 5, the Twins placed Kirilloff on the IL because of a wrist injury. Kirilloff returned to the lineup on May 21 and was not the same the rest of the season, only hitting .260/.316/.387 the rest of the year. On July 21, it was announced that Kirilloff would undergo season-ending wrist surgery. In 2021, Kirilloff hit .251/.299/.423 (.722) but a lot of that was impacted by his nagging wrist injury. Lately, Kirilloff has been taking batting practice and should be ready to go for the 2022 season. Kirilloff remains an extremely promising player and should be a middle-of-the-order bat for the Twins for years to come. Grade: B Ben Rortvedt, C After Ryan Jeffers started the season 5-for-34 with 18 strikeouts and only one extra base hit, the Twins called up left-handed hitting Ben Rortvedt to back up Mitch Garver. On April 30, Rortvedt made his major league debut against the Kansas City Royals, going 1-for-3 with a walk. He recorded his first major league hit in the bottom of the eighth inning, hitting an RBI single off of Wade Davis to drive in Andrelton Simmons. Rortvedt was unimpressive at the plate in 2021, hitting .169/.229/.281 (.510) with three home runs in 98 plate appearances. Behind the plate, Rortvedt was a very good catcher. In only 256 innings, Rortvedt was worth five Defensive Runs Saved. This ranked 19th in all of MLB, and nobody else in the top 30 had less than 300 innings. Rortvedt also has a very good arm, throwing out 7 of 16 potential base stealers (44 percent). That was fourth in all of MLB among catchers with at least 200 innings. Rortvedt was a very good defensive catcher with subpar offensive abilities. If he can take a step forward with his bat, he has the potential to be an important part of the Twins future, especially if the Twins decide to trade Garver or Jeffers to acquire starting pitching. Grade: C Nick Gordon, UTIL Growing up in a baseball family, Nick Gordon had lofty expectations since being drafted in the first round by the Twins in 2014. Since then, he has had struggles with health and he became a bit of an afterthought in terms of Twins prospects. So when he made his Major League debut on May 6th, it was a feel good story for all. In his first plate appearance, he walked and then stole second on the next pitch. In his next plate appearance, he roped a single to right field for his first major league hit and then stole second base five pitches later. Gordon struck out his next plate appearance before being lifted for Jorge Polanco in the 8th inning. Gordon finished the day 1-for-2 with a walk and two stolen bases. On June 4, Gordon hit his first big league homer with his dad in the stands. Gordon was below-average with the bat, hitting .240/.292/.355 (.647). As the season progressed, Gordon greatly improved offensively. In September and October, Gordon had an OPS of .752 and a wRC+ of 103, meaning he was slightly above average in those months. He also was hitting the ball harder as the season progressed. Below is a graph of his hard hit rate by month. All season, Gordon’s hard hit rate hovered around 45 percent but in September it jumped to 63 percent. This is very encouraging to see from a young player. Gordon also was very versatile and showed he could move around the diamond which can be very beneficial for a team. He played at least 10 games at shortstop, second base, left field, and center field. He was also a good baserunner, going 10-for11 on stolen bases. He was in the 71st percentile of all players in sprint speed. Gordon could be a valuable asset for the Twins going forward if he continues to build off of his strong September and continues to be versatile. Grade: C+ Trevor Larnach, OF Ever since they drafted Trevor Larnach with the 20th overall pick in the 2018 draft, the Twins have had high expectations for him. After an impressive 2019 season between High-A and AA, Larnach has looked ready for the big leagues. He finally got his wish on May 8th, when he was the starting left fielder against the Detroit Tigers. Larnach didn’t exactly have a debut to remember, going 0-for-4 with a hit-by-pitch. Larnach picked up his first hit on May 12, when he doubled off of former Twin Liam Hendriks. Larnach got off to a good start in the big leagues, hitting .262/.357/.436 with a 120 wRC+ through July 9. After that date, Larnach was abysmal at the plate. From that point on he had a wRC+ of 29 and struck out in 42 percent of his plate appearances. He was not a great hitter against offspeed pitches. Among all MLB hitters with at least 50 plate appearances, Larnach had the highest whiff rate against sliders (56 percent) and the highest whiff rate against changeups (52 percent). The good news is that Larnach hit .362 with a .667 slugging percentage against fastballs. Teams figured out he had issues against offspeed and started throwing over 50 percent of pitches as offspeed pitches. Larnach showed some flashes of being a great hitter (max exit velocity in the 97th percentile), so if he adjusts to offspeed pitches he will be a cornerstone of the Twins lineup for years to come Grade: B- Bailey Ober, RHP At 6 feet 9 inches, Bailey Ober is the third tallest pitcher in Twins history behind Jon Rauch and Aaron Slegers. Ober and his imposing presence first appeared in the big leagues on May 18 against the Chicago White Sox. Ober went four innings, allowing four runs on five hits and one walk. He gave up home runs to Jake Lamb and Yasmani Grandal and struck out four. He got a no-decision and the Twins ended up winning 5-4 behind three Miguel Sano home runs. Ober made 20 starts in his rookie season, going 3-3 with a 4.19 ERA. Ober threw 92 innings and had a team high 5.05 K/BB ratio. This ratio was fifth best in the American League. Ober was in the 94th percentile of all pitchers in terms of walk rate and in the 85th percentile in terms of chase rate. Ober hardly threw pitches outside of the zone but when he did, hitters chased them at a high rate. Ober’s average fastball in 2021 was only 92 miles per hour, but his big frame causes the batters to have less reaction time because the ball is being released at around 52 feet from home plate, almost a foot closer than the average pitcher releases it from. This creates the illusion that Ober’s fastball is moving faster than it actually is. Despite having below average stuff (percentile rankings below), Ober’s large frame elevates him to being a good pitcher (102 ERA+) and if Ober can improve his stuff in the coming years he could be a fantastic pitcher for the Twins. Grade: A- Gilberto Celestino, OF With injuries to Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Jake Cave, and Rob Refsnyder early in 2021, the Twins needed a center fielder. They decided to call up Gilberto Celestino from AA, and he made his major league debut on June 2 against the Orioles. Celestino had a rather uneventful debut, going 0-for-2 with a strikeout in a 6-3 loss. Celestino recorded his first major league hit on June 9 against the Yankees. Over the 2021 season, Celestino mightily struggled at the plate with the Twins, hitting .136/.177/.288 (.466). It was clear Celestino was overmatched at the big league level, so they sent him down to AAA St. Paul after 22 games, and he hit well at the AAA level, having a wRC+ of 125 in 49 games there. In retrospect, Celestino wasn’t ready for the big leagues but is still a good ball player. Having some big league experience under his belt will help him going forward, and he could be Byron Buxton’s primary backup going forward so we probably will be seeing Celestino in the big leagues again at some point in 2022. Grade: D Griffin Jax, RHP On June 8, Griffin Jax made history. He became the first Air Force Academy graduate to play Major League Baseball. Jax was used in a mop-up role against the Yankees in the 9th inning when the Twins were down 5-3. Jax did not have a very good debut, going one inning while allowing three runs on home runs from Miguel Andujar and Gary Sanchez. He did record his first big league strikeout when he struck out Tyler Wade on a 2-2 slider. In 2021, Griffin Jax had a tough rookie season. He went 4-5 with a 6.37 ERA. He allowed 2.52 HR/ 9 innings which was the highest among all MLB pitchers (minimum 60 innings). That number is also the highest for a single season in Twins history (min. 60 IP). The big problem was his fastball. Jax’s fastball was the fifth worst fastball in all of baseball in terms of xSLG. Jax’s fastball got crushed in 2021, but he continued to throw it almost 50 percent of the time. Jax’s slider, on the other hand, could be a very good pitch. Jax’s .271 xwOBA against the slider is good and signals that it is a pitch he should be throwing more than just 30 percent of the time, maybe up to 50 percent. Despite a bad 2021, Jax could bounce back by relying more on his off-speed pitches and revamping his pitch arsenal going into 2022. Grade: D Charlie Barnes, LHP Charlie Barnes made his major league debut in the first game of a July 17 doubleheader with the Detroit Tigers. After the first batter he faced (Robbie Grossman) went deep, Barnes was very good. Barnes went 4 2/3 innings, allowing one run on four hits and a walk while striking out one. He recorded his first major league strikeout in the second inning when he struck out Zack Short on a changeup. In Barnes’s rookie season, he went 0-3 with a 5.92 ERA. Barnes made eight starts for the Twins and threw 38 total innings. Barnes bounced back and forth between the Twins and the minor leagues quite a bit, so he never really got the chance to establish himself at the big league level. On December 23, Barnes signed with the Lotte Giants in Korea, so we wish him the best of luck in Korea as he pursues professional baseball there. Grade: D Joe Ryan, RHP Any prospect who yields a player as good as Nelson Cruz should be good enough to make an impact in the big leagues for a long time. On September 1st, Joe Ryan gave us a taste of what he will be like for years to come. Ryan had a solid major league debut, going five innings, allowing three runs on three hits and a walk while striking out five batters. He got his first career strikeout in the first inning when he struck out Ian Happ with a high fastball. Ryan had a solid debut season for the Twins, only throwing 26 innings, but going 2-1 with a 4.05 ERA. However, Ryan had some bad luck, as his xERA was 2.99. He also had 10.1 K/9 and only 1.7 BB/9. This 10.1 K/9 rate is the highest by any rookie starter in Twins history (min. 25 IP). Ryan relied on a very good high fastball/slider combination to get strikeouts. Going into 2022, Ryan is one of three starters the Twins have in the rotation. His role on the team will depend on if the Twins make any more pitching acquisitions, but expect Ryan to be a fixture in the Twins rotation next year. Grade: A- Jovani Moran, LHP Jovani Moran was very limited in year one, but he should be a fixture in the Twins bullpen in years to come. Moran made his major league debut on September 12 and went 1 1/3 innings, allowing no runs on two hits and two walks while striking out two batters. He collected his first major league strikeout when he got Nicky Lopez to chase a devastating changeup. Jovani Moran only threw eight innings for the Twins in 2021, and at first glance you wouldn’t think he was very good. He had an ERA of 7.88 and walked seven guys in eight innings. If you look deeper, Moran was unlucky. He had an xERA of 3.84, meaning he had some awful batted-ball luck. He also throws one of the best swing-and-miss pitches in the Twins organization, a disgusting changeup. His whiff rate on that pitch was an astounding 51.4 percent, meaning that over half of the swings on that pitch were misses. This changeup whiff rate was the fourth highest for any pitcher in the league. Moran was impressive in his limited work in 2021, and I am excited to see him and his changeup in the 2022 bullpen. Grade: B Final Thoughts Despite a rough season, the Twins gave us a glimpse into their future. We saw a lot to like out of some of the Twins young players in 2021 and if these players can take a step forward in 2022 and continue to develop, the Twins should be able to contend for the AL Central in the near future. What do you think of these grades? How would you grade these players for their rookie seasons? Which of these players are you most excited to watch in 2022? Who is the most likely of these players to succeed going forward? Let me know your thoughts in the comments! Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!
  9. Entering the 2021 season, Minnesota hoped to have one of baseball's best catching duos. That plan didn't work perfectly, so where does the organization sit when it comes to the catching spot? Current Catchers: Mitch Garver and Ryan Jeffers Like most of the Twins roster, Garver and Jeffers struggled out of the gate before the team decided to make some changes. Garver ended April with a .644 OPS while Jeffers sat with a .393 OPS and a Triple-A demotion. In May, Garver raised his OPS by nearly 200 points, with Jeffers out of the picture. Unfortunately, he suffered a gruesome groin injury at the beginning of June that forced him to the sidelines until July 19. Jeffers took advantage of the opportunity to post a .905 OPS in his first 15 games after the Garver injury. The hot streak didn't last as he hit .191/.269/.382 (.651) in his final 59 games. Garver returned from injury with two home runs in his first game back. He looked like the 2019 version of Garver for the season's final 27 games as he posted a .927 OPS. With two MLB caliber catchers, Minnesota has an opportunity to trade one of their controllable assets this winter. However, keeping both catchers allows the team a chance to do what they planned in 2021. Jeffers has an opportunity to prove his season was a fluke, and Garver can continue to mash. 40-Man Roster Options Outside of Garver and Jeffers, Ben Rortvedt is the only other catcher on the 40-man roster. Last season, he made his big-league debut and hit .169/.229/.281 (.510) in 39 games. Rortvedt's scouting report is a defense-first catcher as he has a career .672 OPS in five seasons. Last season, he threw out seve4n of a potential 16 runners for a 44% caught stealing percentage while the league average was 23%. Rortvedt should spend most of 2022 at Triple-A while filling in when needed at the big-league level. On the Farm Options Not all of the players listed below are guaranteed to be on the team's roster at the start of next season. Still, it offers some insight into the organization's catching depth. Minnesota has a slough of veteran catching options populating the rosters in the upper minors. Besides Rortvedt, all four of the projected Triple-A catchers are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. David Bañuelos, Stevie Berman, Caleb Hamilton, and Chris Williams all saw catching time, with multiple players also getting time at first base. Berman was acquired last August from the Dodgers for LHP Andrew Vasquez. Obviously, there won't be five catchers on the Triple-A roster, so some of these players will be used at other levels. At Double-A, Jair Camargo and Jeferson Morales have the potential to be a very good catching duo. Camargo joined the Twins as part of the Kenta Maeda trade, and he collected 21 extra-base hits in 71 games last year. Morales combined for an .808 OPS last season with 12 home runs and 24 doubles between Low- and High-A. Both players will be 23 years old to start next season, and it seems more likely for them to end the season at Double-A. There are a few other names to watch in the minor's lower levels. Charles Mack was Minnesota's 6th round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft out of high school in New York. Last year as a 21-year-old, he spent the entire season at Low-A with a .738 OPS in 73 games. Patrick Winkel and Noah Cardenas were taken in last year's draft's 8th and 9th rounds. Each should debut at Low-A next season. Overall, Minnesota has catching strength at the MLB level with a few prospects to watch during the 2022 campaign. What do you think about the organization's depth at catcher? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  10. Current Catchers: Mitch Garver and Ryan Jeffers Like most of the Twins roster, Garver and Jeffers struggled out of the gate before the team decided to make some changes. Garver ended April with a .644 OPS while Jeffers sat with a .393 OPS and a Triple-A demotion. In May, Garver raised his OPS by nearly 200 points, with Jeffers out of the picture. Unfortunately, he suffered a gruesome groin injury at the beginning of June that forced him to the sidelines until July 19. Jeffers took advantage of the opportunity to post a .905 OPS in his first 15 games after the Garver injury. The hot streak didn't last as he hit .191/.269/.382 (.651) in his final 59 games. Garver returned from injury with two home runs in his first game back. He looked like the 2019 version of Garver for the season's final 27 games as he posted a .927 OPS. With two MLB caliber catchers, Minnesota has an opportunity to trade one of their controllable assets this winter. However, keeping both catchers allows the team a chance to do what they planned in 2021. Jeffers has an opportunity to prove his season was a fluke, and Garver can continue to mash. 40-Man Roster Options Outside of Garver and Jeffers, Ben Rortvedt is the only other catcher on the 40-man roster. Last season, he made his big-league debut and hit .169/.229/.281 (.510) in 39 games. Rortvedt's scouting report is a defense-first catcher as he has a career .672 OPS in five seasons. Last season, he threw out seve4n of a potential 16 runners for a 44% caught stealing percentage while the league average was 23%. Rortvedt should spend most of 2022 at Triple-A while filling in when needed at the big-league level. On the Farm Options Not all of the players listed below are guaranteed to be on the team's roster at the start of next season. Still, it offers some insight into the organization's catching depth. Minnesota has a slough of veteran catching options populating the rosters in the upper minors. Besides Rortvedt, all four of the projected Triple-A catchers are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft. David Bañuelos, Stevie Berman, Caleb Hamilton, and Chris Williams all saw catching time, with multiple players also getting time at first base. Berman was acquired last August from the Dodgers for LHP Andrew Vasquez. Obviously, there won't be five catchers on the Triple-A roster, so some of these players will be used at other levels. At Double-A, Jair Camargo and Jeferson Morales have the potential to be a very good catching duo. Camargo joined the Twins as part of the Kenta Maeda trade, and he collected 21 extra-base hits in 71 games last year. Morales combined for an .808 OPS last season with 12 home runs and 24 doubles between Low- and High-A. Both players will be 23 years old to start next season, and it seems more likely for them to end the season at Double-A. There are a few other names to watch in the minor's lower levels. Charles Mack was Minnesota's 6th round pick in the 2018 MLB Draft out of high school in New York. Last year as a 21-year-old, he spent the entire season at Low-A with a .738 OPS in 73 games. Patrick Winkel and Noah Cardenas were taken in last year's draft's 8th and 9th rounds. Each should debut at Low-A next season. Overall, Minnesota has catching strength at the MLB level with a few prospects to watch during the 2022 campaign. What do you think about the organization's depth at catcher? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  11. Mitch Garver and Ryan Jeffers entered the 2021 season with hopes of being one of baseball’s best catching duos. Unfortunately, both players struggled at times, which casts doubt on the future of Twins catching. In recent years, Minnesota has successfully utilized a two-catcher rotation. In 2019, Mitch Garver and Jason Castro split catching duties, with both players posting OPS+ totals of 100 or more. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli has been a big fan of rest and recovery during his tenure. This rotational system for catchers allows for regular rest at one of the most grueling positions in the sport. One reason the Garver-Castro pairing worked so well was that Garver bats right-handed and Castro bats left-handed. This allowed for a more natural platoon of the batters. Entering this season, there was hope that Garver and Ryan Jeffers would settle into their two-catcher rotation. Like many things for the 2021 Twins, the plan didn’t work, and one reason is the handedness of the catchers. Neither catcher was hitting very well in the season’s first month. Garver ended April by hitting .172/.213/.431 (.644) with 27 strikeouts and seven extra-base hits in 18 games. Jeffers hit .147/.216/.176 (.393), with one of his five hits being for extra bases. Baldelli tried to get Garver’s bat going by having him face more lefties, but that doesn’t help Jeffers, who has hit .189/.259/.385 (.644) against righties in 2021. At the end of April, the Twins moved Jeffers to Triple-A, a minor league level where he had yet to appear. Jeffers hit .217/.340/.446 (.786) with the Saints this year, including a 26 to 16 strikeout to walk ratio. Garver’s bat took off after Jeffers’ demotion. In 22 games, he hit .281/.438/.579 (1.017) with nine extra-base hits. It looked like the 2019 version of Garver was back. In early June, Garver suffered a gruesome "groin" injury that kept him out a month and made it necessary to call up Jeffers. Since early June, Jeffers has posted a .714 OPS with 23 extra-base hits in 71 games. Garver returned in July, and he has a .998 OPS with 12 extra-base hits in 24 games. Garver is one of baseball’s best offensive catchers when healthy, so does that make him a tradable asset? Minnesota’s off-season plan will include acquiring starting pitching, which means spending big on free agents or trading away players and prospects. Mitch Garver and Ryan Jeffers are both under team control for multiple years, so it makes sense to deal one of these players away if it helps the team rebuild for the short term. Garver knows the future is uncertain for the Twins. “You never really know what the organization is thinking,” Garver said. “You saw it in ’18, they traded away some homegrown guys that had been a staple in the lineup for a long time. And you saw what we did in ’19 when we turned it around, won 100 games with the lineup that we have, added a few pieces and we were a really good team. Who knows what could happen?” Minnesota also has Ben Rortvedt as an option to fill the backup catcher role. He is considered the best defensive catcher out of the three, and he is left-handed to help form a more natural platoon. However, there are questions about how much he can hit at the big-league level. At Triple-A this season, he hit .254/.324/.426 (.750), but his OPS is 240 points lower with the Twins. In a part-time role, Rortvedt might find success, especially if he is only facing right-handed pitching. Many fans have questions about Minnesota’s direction moving forward. Will the team enter 2022 with both Garver and Jeffers on the roster? Can Rortvedt be the team’s regular back-up catcher? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  12. In recent years, Minnesota has successfully utilized a two-catcher rotation. In 2019, Mitch Garver and Jason Castro split catching duties, with both players posting OPS+ totals of 100 or more. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli has been a big fan of rest and recovery during his tenure. This rotational system for catchers allows for regular rest at one of the most grueling positions in the sport. One reason the Garver-Castro pairing worked so well was that Garver bats right-handed and Castro bats left-handed. This allowed for a more natural platoon of the batters. Entering this season, there was hope that Garver and Ryan Jeffers would settle into their two-catcher rotation. Like many things for the 2021 Twins, the plan didn’t work, and one reason is the handedness of the catchers. Neither catcher was hitting very well in the season’s first month. Garver ended April by hitting .172/.213/.431 (.644) with 27 strikeouts and seven extra-base hits in 18 games. Jeffers hit .147/.216/.176 (.393), with one of his five hits being for extra bases. Baldelli tried to get Garver’s bat going by having him face more lefties, but that doesn’t help Jeffers, who has hit .189/.259/.385 (.644) against righties in 2021. At the end of April, the Twins moved Jeffers to Triple-A, a minor league level where he had yet to appear. Jeffers hit .217/.340/.446 (.786) with the Saints this year, including a 26 to 16 strikeout to walk ratio. Garver’s bat took off after Jeffers’ demotion. In 22 games, he hit .281/.438/.579 (1.017) with nine extra-base hits. It looked like the 2019 version of Garver was back. In early June, Garver suffered a gruesome "groin" injury that kept him out a month and made it necessary to call up Jeffers. Since early June, Jeffers has posted a .714 OPS with 23 extra-base hits in 71 games. Garver returned in July, and he has a .998 OPS with 12 extra-base hits in 24 games. Garver is one of baseball’s best offensive catchers when healthy, so does that make him a tradable asset? Minnesota’s off-season plan will include acquiring starting pitching, which means spending big on free agents or trading away players and prospects. Mitch Garver and Ryan Jeffers are both under team control for multiple years, so it makes sense to deal one of these players away if it helps the team rebuild for the short term. Garver knows the future is uncertain for the Twins. “You never really know what the organization is thinking,” Garver said. “You saw it in ’18, they traded away some homegrown guys that had been a staple in the lineup for a long time. And you saw what we did in ’19 when we turned it around, won 100 games with the lineup that we have, added a few pieces and we were a really good team. Who knows what could happen?” Minnesota also has Ben Rortvedt as an option to fill the backup catcher role. He is considered the best defensive catcher out of the three, and he is left-handed to help form a more natural platoon. However, there are questions about how much he can hit at the big-league level. At Triple-A this season, he hit .254/.324/.426 (.750), but his OPS is 240 points lower with the Twins. In a part-time role, Rortvedt might find success, especially if he is only facing right-handed pitching. Many fans have questions about Minnesota’s direction moving forward. Will the team enter 2022 with both Garver and Jeffers on the roster? Can Rortvedt be the team’s regular back-up catcher? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  13. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 7, Iowa 5 Box Score After trailing early in the ballgame, the St. Paul Saints came roaring back, using the longball and solid relief pitching to earn a confidence-building victory over the Cubs. The I-Cubs jumped out to an early lead, plating four runs in the first three frames off of starting pitcher Bryan Sammons. In what looked to be a runaway game, B.J. Boyd ignited a flame for the Saints in the bottom of the third by crushing a line drive solo homer over the left field wall. St. Paul decreased the lead to one in the fifth when Jimmy Kerrigan led off with a triple that was followed up with a Ben Rortvedt homer in the next at-bat. Momentum continued to sway towards the Saints in the sixth. Jose Miranda led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball in the next at-bat. That at-bat belonged to Tomas Telis, who connected on a 2-2 pitch to punch an RBI single to center that scored Miranda and tied the game at 4. The draw wouldn't last for long. With Telis on base, Mark Contreras rocked a 3-1 pitch over the right field wall to give the Saints a 6-4 lead. The monumental home run was Contreras' 17th on the season. His 17 blasts trail only Brent Rooker (20) and Jimmy Kerrigan (19) for the Saints this season. Contreras leads the Saints with 58 runs and 59 RBI. After using the long ball early the Saints relied on small ball to scrap another run across in the sixth. B.J. Boyd led the inning off with a single and followed up by swiping second base. Drew Stankiewicz punched a fly ball deep enough to move Boyd to third in the next at-bat. After Jose Miranda reached on a hit-by-pitch Tomas Telis knocked an RBI single past the infield to score Boyd. After Sammons' rocky start Chandler Shepherd came in and dominated, pitching 3 2/3 innings of one-hit, scoreless ball, striking out four and walking one. Yennier Cano followed Shepherd with 1 1/3 innings of one-run, one-hit ball while striking out two, Cano faced adversity in the eighth after walking the first two batters and giving up a run. Yet with runners on base, Cano struck out the final batter to get out of the jam. Ryan Mason came into the game to shut the door in the ninth. After giving up a leadoff single to Ian Miller Mason diced, delivering with a strikeout, pop fly, and another strikeout to earn his seventh save of the season. St. Paul's win was sweet, yet the fact that the team tallied three home runs is even sweeter. On Wednesday the Saints announced that $50 would be donated to ACES4KIDS every time a Saints player hits a home run in the final ten games of the season. ACES (Athletes Committed to Educating Students) is a Twin Cities non-profit dedicated to tackling the academic opportunity gap and preparing young learners to succeed in school, career, and community. Tonight's three homers are the first for the Saints on the campaign, tallying $150. The partnership is part of the Triple-A "Homers that Help" initiative and MLB will donate an additional $5,000 to the charity of choice for whatever participating team hits the most homers in the stretch. WIND SURGE WISDOM Travel Day After dropping the first two games against NW Arkansas in a best-of-five series, the Surge head back to Wichita for game three of the Double-A Central Championship Series. Friday night's game will feature Austin Schulfer (6-8, 4.34 ERA) on the bump pitching against Drew Parrish (6-4, 2.83 ERA) of the Naturals. Parrish has faced the Surge three times this season, going 0-1 with a 5.27 ERA in 20 1/3 innings. In that span he gave up 15 hits and seven earned runs while striking up 24 and walking four. Likewise, Schulfer has faced the Naturals three times this season, going 1-1 with a 22.22 ERA in 10 2.3 innings. The Plover, Wisconsin native has given up 13 hits and 11 runs to NW Arkansas while striking out 15 and walking nine. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm CST. Tickets are still available and the game can be viewed on Milb.com. KERNELS NUGGETS Travel Day After winning game one thanks to a Jair Camargo homer the Kernels dropped game two at Quad Cities and come home for game three of the High-A Central Championship Series. Casey Legumina (4-2, 3.28 ERA, mostly in Ft. Myers) of Cedar Rapids will face off against Dante Biasi (5-2, 377 ERA) of Quad Cities. Legumina's start will be his first against the River Bandits after being called up to High-A from Ft. Myers on September 13th. Biasi has been a staple for Quad Cities all season and has faced the Kernels five times, going 1-0 with a 4.32 ERA. He's given up 11 hits and seven earned runs against Cedar Rapids while striking out 13 and walking 11. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm CST. Tickets are still available and the game can be viewed on Milb.com. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Chandler Shepherd (St. Paul)- 3.2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, BB, 4 K Pitcher of the Day: B.J Boyd (St. Paul)- 3-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, SB PROSPECT SUMMARY #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-3, R #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-3, 2 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, 2B, 2 R, BB, 2 K FRIDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05 PM CST) - LHP Charlie (6-4, 3.88 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
  14. Minnesota Twins utility man Nick Gordon is having a tremendous finish to the season, peaking in September in his first big league season. He had three more hits tonight, including a home run, and drove in four runs as the Twins beat the Blue Jays. Also featured in this video are Luis Arraez, Mitch Garver, Michael Pineda, B.J. Boyd, Jimmy Kerrigan, Ben Rortvedt, Tomas Telis, Mark Contreras, Jose Miranda and Ryan Mason.
  15. Minnesota Twins utility man Nick Gordon is having a tremendous finish to the season, peaking in September in his first big league season. He had three more hits tonight, including a home run, and drove in four runs as the Twins beat the Blue Jays. Also featured in this video are Luis Arraez, Mitch Garver, Michael Pineda, B.J. Boyd, Jimmy Kerrigan, Ben Rortvedt, Tomas Telis, Mark Contreras, Jose Miranda and Ryan Mason. View full video
  16. While the Kernels and Wind Surge spent the day traveling and resting between playoff games, the St. Paul Saints claimed an incredible come-from-behind victory in Lowertown. Get a rundown of the Saints' electric win and previews of tomorrow's playoff games here! SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 7, Iowa 5 Box Score After trailing early in the ballgame, the St. Paul Saints came roaring back, using the longball and solid relief pitching to earn a confidence-building victory over the Cubs. The I-Cubs jumped out to an early lead, plating four runs in the first three frames off of starting pitcher Bryan Sammons. In what looked to be a runaway game, B.J. Boyd ignited a flame for the Saints in the bottom of the third by crushing a line drive solo homer over the left field wall. St. Paul decreased the lead to one in the fifth when Jimmy Kerrigan led off with a triple that was followed up with a Ben Rortvedt homer in the next at-bat. Momentum continued to sway towards the Saints in the sixth. Jose Miranda led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball in the next at-bat. That at-bat belonged to Tomas Telis, who connected on a 2-2 pitch to punch an RBI single to center that scored Miranda and tied the game at 4. The draw wouldn't last for long. With Telis on base, Mark Contreras rocked a 3-1 pitch over the right field wall to give the Saints a 6-4 lead. The monumental home run was Contreras' 17th on the season. His 17 blasts trail only Brent Rooker (20) and Jimmy Kerrigan (19) for the Saints this season. Contreras leads the Saints with 58 runs and 59 RBI. After using the long ball early the Saints relied on small ball to scrap another run across in the sixth. B.J. Boyd led the inning off with a single and followed up by swiping second base. Drew Stankiewicz punched a fly ball deep enough to move Boyd to third in the next at-bat. After Jose Miranda reached on a hit-by-pitch Tomas Telis knocked an RBI single past the infield to score Boyd. After Sammons' rocky start Chandler Shepherd came in and dominated, pitching 3 2/3 innings of one-hit, scoreless ball, striking out four and walking one. Yennier Cano followed Shepherd with 1 1/3 innings of one-run, one-hit ball while striking out two, Cano faced adversity in the eighth after walking the first two batters and giving up a run. Yet with runners on base, Cano struck out the final batter to get out of the jam. Ryan Mason came into the game to shut the door in the ninth. After giving up a leadoff single to Ian Miller Mason diced, delivering with a strikeout, pop fly, and another strikeout to earn his seventh save of the season. St. Paul's win was sweet, yet the fact that the team tallied three home runs is even sweeter. On Wednesday the Saints announced that $50 would be donated to ACES4KIDS every time a Saints player hits a home run in the final ten games of the season. ACES (Athletes Committed to Educating Students) is a Twin Cities non-profit dedicated to tackling the academic opportunity gap and preparing young learners to succeed in school, career, and community. Tonight's three homers are the first for the Saints on the campaign, tallying $150. The partnership is part of the Triple-A "Homers that Help" initiative and MLB will donate an additional $5,000 to the charity of choice for whatever participating team hits the most homers in the stretch. WIND SURGE WISDOM Travel Day After dropping the first two games against NW Arkansas in a best-of-five series, the Surge head back to Wichita for game three of the Double-A Central Championship Series. Friday night's game will feature Austin Schulfer (6-8, 4.34 ERA) on the bump pitching against Drew Parrish (6-4, 2.83 ERA) of the Naturals. Parrish has faced the Surge three times this season, going 0-1 with a 5.27 ERA in 20 1/3 innings. In that span he gave up 15 hits and seven earned runs while striking up 24 and walking four. Likewise, Schulfer has faced the Naturals three times this season, going 1-1 with a 22.22 ERA in 10 2.3 innings. The Plover, Wisconsin native has given up 13 hits and 11 runs to NW Arkansas while striking out 15 and walking nine. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm CST. Tickets are still available and the game can be viewed on Milb.com. KERNELS NUGGETS Travel Day After winning game one thanks to a Jair Camargo homer the Kernels dropped game two at Quad Cities and come home for game three of the High-A Central Championship Series. Casey Legumina (4-2, 3.28 ERA, mostly in Ft. Myers) of Cedar Rapids will face off against Dante Biasi (5-2, 377 ERA) of Quad Cities. Legumina's start will be his first against the River Bandits after being called up to High-A from Ft. Myers on September 13th. Biasi has been a staple for Quad Cities all season and has faced the Kernels five times, going 1-0 with a 4.32 ERA. He's given up 11 hits and seven earned runs against Cedar Rapids while striking out 13 and walking 11. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm CST. Tickets are still available and the game can be viewed on Milb.com. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Chandler Shepherd (St. Paul)- 3.2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, BB, 4 K Pitcher of the Day: B.J Boyd (St. Paul)- 3-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, SB PROSPECT SUMMARY #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-3, R #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-3, 2 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, 2B, 2 R, BB, 2 K FRIDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05 PM CST) - LHP Charlie (6-4, 3.88 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (0-0, 0.00 ERA) View full article
  17. Box Score Luke Farrell: 1.0 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 1 K (70.5-percent strikes) Homeruns: Rortvedt (3) Bottom 3 WPA: Farrell (-.332), Kepler (-.099), Cave (-.097) Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs) José Berríos Stifles Twins Lowly Offensive Attack The big storyline headed into today was the Twins bad offense against “old friend” José Berríos who’s having the best second half of his career. Despite pitching well for Toronto over the last month and half, today’s start by the former Twins pitcher was reminiscent of his time in Minnesota. Over the first three innings of the game, Berríos was on point by allowing just one hit, a 1st inning double to Byron Buxton, but only struckout one hitter. The Twins were able to put together a little rally in the fourth when Berríos hit Josh Donaldson which was followed up by back-to-back doubles from Miguel Sano and Nick Gordon to give the Twins their first runs of the game. Berríos settled back by getting 10 of the next 11 Twins batters out and allowing a lone walk to Donaldson in the top of the 6th. He’d go out for the 7th but wouldn’t be able to finish the inning as he allowed a solo homerun to Ben Rortvedt, who was batting ninth for the Twins today. The Twins didn’t have the baserunners or runs to show it but they were actually able to hit their former teammate pretty hard today generating 11 balls with exit velocities of 95 miles per hour or greater. For reference, the Twins bullpen game generated 12 hard hits over the same amount of innings. The three runs against Berríos were the only runs the Twins would get as they weren’t able to muster up a hit after the Rortvedt homer. Bullpen Needs Relief Early The Twins elected to use a bullpen game today, which typically means that each relief pitcher used will try and give the club two to three innings. Unfortunately, Luke Farrell got clobbered in the first inning giving up seven straight hits, including a double and two-run homerun, and five earned runs. Farrell was relieved by Nick Vincent at the start of the second inning who was able to silence the best offense in baseball with two innings of shutout work giving up only a hit and a walk while striking out one. Juan Minaya came on in the fourth allowing a walk and a hit but striking out the nine, one, and four hitters in the Blue Jays high powered offense. He continued his strong appearance with two more strikeouts in the fifth and generated 15-percent whiff rate on his fastballs over the two innings pitched. Caleb Thielbar was up next on the merry-go-round giving up one hit while striking out one. Danny Coulumbe finished up the last two innings of the game by striking out two and allowing just one hit. WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Moran 34 0 0 34 0 68 Barraclough 0 0 0 32 0 32 Coulombe 0 0 0 0 0 0 Colomé 0 0 14 0 0 14 Vincent 21 0 0 0 40 61 Alcalá 0 0 13 0 0 13 Garza Jr. 0 0 0 17 0 17 Duffey 0 0 16 0 0 16 Minaya 0 0 0 0 36 36 Farrell 0 0 0 0 34 34 Thielbar 0 0 0 0 22 22
  18. The Twins got to their former teammate but ultimately weren't able to overcome the five-run first inning from the Blue Jays. They drop the rubber match to Toronto and drop to 65-85 on the season. That and more in today's recap. Box Score Luke Farrell: 1.0 IP, 7 H, 5 ER, 1 K (70.5-percent strikes) Homeruns: Rortvedt (3) Bottom 3 WPA: Farrell (-.332), Kepler (-.099), Cave (-.097) Win Probability Chart (via Fangraphs) José Berríos Stifles Twins Lowly Offensive Attack The big storyline headed into today was the Twins bad offense against “old friend” José Berríos who’s having the best second half of his career. Despite pitching well for Toronto over the last month and half, today’s start by the former Twins pitcher was reminiscent of his time in Minnesota. Over the first three innings of the game, Berríos was on point by allowing just one hit, a 1st inning double to Byron Buxton, but only struckout one hitter. The Twins were able to put together a little rally in the fourth when Berríos hit Josh Donaldson which was followed up by back-to-back doubles from Miguel Sano and Nick Gordon to give the Twins their first runs of the game. Berríos settled back by getting 10 of the next 11 Twins batters out and allowing a lone walk to Donaldson in the top of the 6th. He’d go out for the 7th but wouldn’t be able to finish the inning as he allowed a solo homerun to Ben Rortvedt, who was batting ninth for the Twins today. The Twins didn’t have the baserunners or runs to show it but they were actually able to hit their former teammate pretty hard today generating 11 balls with exit velocities of 95 miles per hour or greater. For reference, the Twins bullpen game generated 12 hard hits over the same amount of innings. The three runs against Berríos were the only runs the Twins would get as they weren’t able to muster up a hit after the Rortvedt homer. Bullpen Needs Relief Early The Twins elected to use a bullpen game today, which typically means that each relief pitcher used will try and give the club two to three innings. Unfortunately, Luke Farrell got clobbered in the first inning giving up seven straight hits, including a double and two-run homerun, and five earned runs. Farrell was relieved by Nick Vincent at the start of the second inning who was able to silence the best offense in baseball with two innings of shutout work giving up only a hit and a walk while striking out one. Juan Minaya came on in the fourth allowing a walk and a hit but striking out the nine, one, and four hitters in the Blue Jays high powered offense. He continued his strong appearance with two more strikeouts in the fifth and generated 15-percent whiff rate on his fastballs over the two innings pitched. Caleb Thielbar was up next on the merry-go-round giving up one hit while striking out one. Danny Coulumbe finished up the last two innings of the game by striking out two and allowing just one hit. WED THU FRI SAT SUN TOT Moran 34 0 0 34 0 68 Barraclough 0 0 0 32 0 32 Coulombe 0 0 0 0 0 0 Colomé 0 0 14 0 0 14 Vincent 21 0 0 0 40 61 Alcalá 0 0 13 0 0 13 Garza Jr. 0 0 0 17 0 17 Duffey 0 0 16 0 0 16 Minaya 0 0 0 0 36 36 Farrell 0 0 0 0 34 34 Thielbar 0 0 0 0 22 22 View full article
  19. It was a good week on the road for the Twins. In the minor leagues, there were some new prospects making their first impressions, some walk-off wins, multi-homer games, transactions, and some graduations. Find out more in this week’s Twins Minor League Week in Review. 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 FCL Twins game and the transactions from Monday. TRANSACTIONS RHPs Tyler Beck and Erik Manoah, Jr. were promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 1, FCL Braves 5 Box Score The FCL Twins managed just five hits on Monday. Alerick Soularie had three of them including his first double. Shouldn’t be long before he joins the Mighty Mussels. A rehabbing Anthony Prato had one hit as well. Juan Mendez made the start. He went 3 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on one hit and one walk. He struck out six batters. John Wilson got the next five outs and gave up just one hit. Jackson Hicks made his affiliated-ball debut. He gave up two runs (1 earned) on two hits over three innings. He struck out three. Hicks signed with the team last month out of the USPBL. Rafael Feliz gave up an unearned run in his inning. With that, let’s look at Week 14 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (4-2, hosting Louisville), overall (44-39) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (5-1, hosting Midland), overall (49-35) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (1-5, hosting Quad Cities), overall (45-39) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (3-3, hosting Dunedin), overall (43-38) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-1), overall (7-19) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Complex Struggles but Success Everywhere Else The Twins Bought Low on Austin Martin Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month - July 2021 Tuesday: Austin Martin Makes Twins Debut Twins Claim RHP Ralph Garza Jr. Wednesday: Sabato’s Blasts, Martin’s Heroics Thursday: Shootout in Wichita, Pitcher’s Duel in St. Paul Friday: Affiliates Feast on Home Cooking Scouting Twins Prospects: Cole Sands St. Paul to Stardom: Louie Varland is the Real Deal Saturday: Walk-off Winners Sunday: (Gonna Make You Sweat) Everybody Pitch Now TD Top Twins Prospects (Post Draft and Post Trade Deadline): 26-30 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 14 performances Twins Player of the Week: Jermaine Palacios, Wichita Wind Surge A former Twins top prospect, Palacios was sent to the Rays in exchange for Jake Odorizzi. He struggled with Tampa, especially in Double-A. The Twins outbid teams to bring back Palacios this offseason. He signed with the Twins with the understanding that Royce Lewis would be the Wichita shortstop to start the season, and he would need to move around the diamond. Instead, Lewis hurt his knee and Palacios played shortstop nearly every day. He plays great defense there, and he has provided strong offense as well. Then last week, the Twins acquired shortstop/center fielder Austin Martin from the Rays, and Palacios needed to move around the infield. He played a game at second base. Then he played a game at third base. Then Martin moved out to center, and Palacios got to play some games at shortstop. It’s fair to say that Palacios handled it well, and was out to prove something. In six games, he hit .304/.385/.783 (1.167) with two doubles, three homers and seven RBI. He also stole two bases. In 76 games this season, he has hit .261/.351/.467 (.818) with 12 doubles and 16 home runs. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Jovani Moran, St. Paul Saints Moran has had a terrific season, and his adjustment to Triple-A has gone swimmingly. This past week, he tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings over two games. He gave up no hits. He issued zero walks. He did hit a batter. He also struck out six batters. In seven games since joining the Saints, he is 1-0 with a save. He’s got a 1.80 ERA and a 0.47 WHIP. In 15 innings, he has four walks and 23 strikeouts. (13.8 K/9) That is after he worked 20 games in Double-A Wichita to start the season. There, he went 2-1 with two saves and a 1.91 ERA and 0.74 WHIP. In 37 2/3 innings, he walked 14 and struck out 64 batters (15.3 K/9). So, overall, he’s got a 1.88 ERA, a 0.67 WHIP, just 3.1 BB/9 and 14.9 K/9. Yes, in his 52 2/3 innings, he has 87 strikeouts. The 2015 seventh round pick from Puerto Rico appears to be ready for one more promotion this season. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints Ben Rortvedt is getting much more playing time now with the Saints, and he’s performing. This past week, he played in five games and hit .357/.400/.857 (1.257) with a double and two home runs including a pinch-hit, extra-innings, walk-off, two-run homer. Mark Contreras played in five games. He hit .294/.316/.706 (1.022) with a double and two home runs, including a game-tying home run in the ninth inning of the Rortvedt Walkoff Game. The Saints also got some very nice bullpen work. Kyle Barraclough struck out six batters over five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit. Edgar Garcia also worked in three games. He threw four scoreless innings and gave up two hits and a walk. Chandler Shepherd had a terrific start, tossing six shutout innings. He gave up just four hits and walked none. Andrew Albers gave up one run over seven innings in his start. Drew Strotman gave up just one run on four hits over five innings in his start. Wichita Wind Surge Trey Cabbage had a big week. He played in all six games and hit .375/.423/.875 (1.298) with a double, triple and three home runs. In his first week with the Twins organization, Austin Martin played in all six games and hit .400/.571/.500 (1.071) with two doubles. He also walked six times and struck out just once. BJ Boyd played just twice and went 3-for-7 (.429) with a double and a home run. Caleb Hamilton played in three games and had a double, triple and home run. Martin and Hamilton each had a walkoff this week. Jordan Gore worked three scoreless, hitless innings and gave up only a walk. He struck out four. Austin Schulfer provided a solid start. He gave up one run on five hits and two walks over five innings. He struck out six. Cole Sands struck out 11 batters over 8 2/3 innings in his two starts while posting a 3.12 ERA. Cedar Rapids Kernels Max Smith had a strong week again. He played in five games and hit .357/.471/.571 (1.042) with a home run and three walks. DaShawn Keirsey, Jr, hit two home runs. Yunior Severino went 9-for-24 (.375) with a double over his six games. Breckin Williams worked three innings over two relief appearances. He gave up only an unearned run and struck out four. Osiris German struck out four batters over three innings over two games. In addition, he also received his high school equivalency through the Twins academy on Monday. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Aaron Sabato played in four games this past week. He went 2-for-11 (.182), but the two hits were both home runs, one in each game of a doubleheader. The highlight for the organization was the return of Matt Canterino. He worked two perfect innings on Sunday in his first rehab appearance. Matthew Swain struck out five batters over a three-inning performance. Bobby Milacki made one start and gave up just one earned run over four innings. He struck out five batters. Aaron Rozek worked twice out of the bullpen and gave up just one run over four innings. He also struck out five batters. FCL Twins Emmanuel Rodriguez had just seven at bats, but he had four hits including two doubles and a home run. Alerick Soularie finally got to make his professional debut after hurting his foot in spring training. In his three rehab games, he is 5-for-9 (.555) with a double and a home run. Ricardo Olivar also hit a home run. 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 Nick Gordon will finally get every day playing time. In his return to the Saints, he played four games and went 2-for-15 (.133). Keon Broxton went 1-for-10 (.100). JT Riddle played in three games and went 0-for-8. Rafael Garza’s first appearance with a Twins affiliate didn’t go great. He gave up three runs on two hits and two walks and recorded just two outs. Wichita Wind Surge Both Aaron Whitefield and Andrew Bechtold went 3-for-20 (.150), though each had a home run, and Bechtold also had a double. Sean Gilmartin gave up four runs on four hits in his innings of work before going on the Injured List. Jordan Balazovic went 4 2/3 innings in his start. He gave up six runs on eight hits, two walks and a hit batter. Alex Phillips gave up four runs on four hits (2 HR) over 3 2/3 innings over two appearances. Cedar Rapids Kernels Seth Gray went 3-for-23 (.130). Michael Helman went 2-for-18 (.111). Gabriel Maciel went 1-for-9 (.111). Edouard Julien went 1-for-10 (.100). Matt Wallner went 2-for-22 (.091). Tyler Watson has been really good this season, but he had a rough one this past week. The lefty gave up six runs on four hits and two walks over 3 1/3 innings in his start. Cody Laweryson gave up four runs on six hits and three walks over just 2 2/3 innings in his start. Even Ben Gross had an off start. He gave up seven runs on eight hits (3 HR) and a walk in 4 1/3 innings. He’s been pretty terrific of late. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Ruben Santana played in all six games and went 0-for-16. Misael Urbina went 1-for-18 (.056) over his six games. The one hit was a home run. Keoni Cavaco played in five games and went 2-for-19 (.105). Will Holland was 2-for-16 (.125) though he had a home run. TRENDING STORYLINE One very cool benefit of the Twins academies both in Ft. Myers and in the Dominican Republic is that beyond baseball work, they are able to take classes. There is a program which allows players to take classes and receive their high school equivalency and graduate. On Monday, there was a virtual celebration of the graduates from 2020 (were not able to celebrate in person) and 2021. Here is the list of Twins players who have received their diplomas. 2021 Graduating Class Carlos Aguiar Luis Baez Miguelangel Boadas Rubel Céspedes Gregory Durán Osiris Germán Oscar Paredes Alexander Peña Emmanuel Rodríguez Endy Rodríguez Malfrin Sosa 2020 Graduating Class Develson Aria Rafael Feliz Giovahniey Germán Argenis Jiménez Jeferson Morales Juan Pichardo Breilin Ramírez Wilker Reyes Carlos Suniaga Wander Valdez Join us in congratulating each of these, well, student-athletes. PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our Midseason Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings. As you have seen, we have started to share the Twins Daily Top 30 Prospect rankings after the draft and trade deadline. Here is Part 1. #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - 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) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 12 GS, 57.1 IP, 55 H, 21 BB, 68 K, 4.24 ERA, 1.33 WHIP #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4 GS, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 35 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP (went on the IL with right elbow strain, made first rehab appearance for Ft. Myers, 2 perfect innings) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 82 games, .337/.401/.587 (.987) with 19 doubles, 22 homers, 63 RBI, 30 BB, 52 K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 45 games, .249/.323/.341 (.664) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 19 RBI, 17 BB, 57 K, 5 SB #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (7 games, .250/.276/.464 (.740) with 2 homers, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 75 games, .185/.364/.309 (.674) with 13 doubles, 6 homers, 32 RBI, 67 BB, 101 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 33 games, .279/.338/.558 (.896) with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 9 homers, 23 RBI, 10 BB, 49 K. #11 - 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) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (12 GS, 52.1 IP, 53 H, 15 BB, 56 K, 4.99 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 12 G, 11 GS, 49.1 IP, 33 H, 21 BB, 64 K, 2.79 ERA, 1.12 WHIP #14 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (23 games, .176/.235/.374 (.608) with 6 doubles, 4 homers, 6 RBI, 6 BB, 27 K) #15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 73 games, .193/.295/.294 (589) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 4 homer, 46 RBI, 37 BB, 60 K, 12 SB) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 79 games, .255/.363/.497 (.860) with 11 doubles, 2 triples, 19 homers, 48 RBI, 45 BB, 67 K) #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 77 games, .219/.273/.415 (.688) with 12 doubles, 9 triples, 10 homers, 41 RBI, 20 BB, 112 K) #18 - Alerick Soularie (FCL Twins) – 3 games, .556/.636/1.000 (1.636) with 1 doubles, 1 homer, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K) #19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 15 GS, 64.1 IP, 60 H, 40 BB, 102 K, 4.76 ERA, 1.55 WHIP LOOKING AHEAD Ft. Myers @ Bradenton (Sean Mooney, Landon Leach, Casey Legumina, Miguel Rodriguez, Bobby Milacki, Aaron Rozek): Cedar Rapids @ Peoria:(Ben Gross, Louie Varland, TBD, Jon Olsen, Sawyer Gipson-Long, TBD) Wichita @ Tulsa: (Jordan Balazovic, Bryan Sammons, Chris Vallmont, Austin Schulfer, Cole Sands, Jordan Balazovic) St. Paul @ Indianapolis: (Andrew Albers, Drew Strotman, Chandler Shepherd, TBD, TBD, TBD) Feel free to ask any questions you like. View full article
  20. 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 FCL Twins game and the transactions from Monday. TRANSACTIONS RHPs Tyler Beck and Erik Manoah, Jr. were promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 1, FCL Braves 5 Box Score The FCL Twins managed just five hits on Monday. Alerick Soularie had three of them including his first double. Shouldn’t be long before he joins the Mighty Mussels. A rehabbing Anthony Prato had one hit as well. Juan Mendez made the start. He went 3 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on one hit and one walk. He struck out six batters. John Wilson got the next five outs and gave up just one hit. Jackson Hicks made his affiliated-ball debut. He gave up two runs (1 earned) on two hits over three innings. He struck out three. Hicks signed with the team last month out of the USPBL. Rafael Feliz gave up an unearned run in his inning. With that, let’s look at Week 14 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (4-2, hosting Louisville), overall (44-39) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (5-1, hosting Midland), overall (49-35) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (1-5, hosting Quad Cities), overall (45-39) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (3-3, hosting Dunedin), overall (43-38) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-1), overall (7-19) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Complex Struggles but Success Everywhere Else The Twins Bought Low on Austin Martin Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month - July 2021 Tuesday: Austin Martin Makes Twins Debut Twins Claim RHP Ralph Garza Jr. Wednesday: Sabato’s Blasts, Martin’s Heroics Thursday: Shootout in Wichita, Pitcher’s Duel in St. Paul Friday: Affiliates Feast on Home Cooking Scouting Twins Prospects: Cole Sands St. Paul to Stardom: Louie Varland is the Real Deal Saturday: Walk-off Winners Sunday: (Gonna Make You Sweat) Everybody Pitch Now TD Top Twins Prospects (Post Draft and Post Trade Deadline): 26-30 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 14 performances Twins Player of the Week: Jermaine Palacios, Wichita Wind Surge A former Twins top prospect, Palacios was sent to the Rays in exchange for Jake Odorizzi. He struggled with Tampa, especially in Double-A. The Twins outbid teams to bring back Palacios this offseason. He signed with the Twins with the understanding that Royce Lewis would be the Wichita shortstop to start the season, and he would need to move around the diamond. Instead, Lewis hurt his knee and Palacios played shortstop nearly every day. He plays great defense there, and he has provided strong offense as well. Then last week, the Twins acquired shortstop/center fielder Austin Martin from the Rays, and Palacios needed to move around the infield. He played a game at second base. Then he played a game at third base. Then Martin moved out to center, and Palacios got to play some games at shortstop. It’s fair to say that Palacios handled it well, and was out to prove something. In six games, he hit .304/.385/.783 (1.167) with two doubles, three homers and seven RBI. He also stole two bases. In 76 games this season, he has hit .261/.351/.467 (.818) with 12 doubles and 16 home runs. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Jovani Moran, St. Paul Saints Moran has had a terrific season, and his adjustment to Triple-A has gone swimmingly. This past week, he tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings over two games. He gave up no hits. He issued zero walks. He did hit a batter. He also struck out six batters. In seven games since joining the Saints, he is 1-0 with a save. He’s got a 1.80 ERA and a 0.47 WHIP. In 15 innings, he has four walks and 23 strikeouts. (13.8 K/9) That is after he worked 20 games in Double-A Wichita to start the season. There, he went 2-1 with two saves and a 1.91 ERA and 0.74 WHIP. In 37 2/3 innings, he walked 14 and struck out 64 batters (15.3 K/9). So, overall, he’s got a 1.88 ERA, a 0.67 WHIP, just 3.1 BB/9 and 14.9 K/9. Yes, in his 52 2/3 innings, he has 87 strikeouts. The 2015 seventh round pick from Puerto Rico appears to be ready for one more promotion this season. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints Ben Rortvedt is getting much more playing time now with the Saints, and he’s performing. This past week, he played in five games and hit .357/.400/.857 (1.257) with a double and two home runs including a pinch-hit, extra-innings, walk-off, two-run homer. Mark Contreras played in five games. He hit .294/.316/.706 (1.022) with a double and two home runs, including a game-tying home run in the ninth inning of the Rortvedt Walkoff Game. The Saints also got some very nice bullpen work. Kyle Barraclough struck out six batters over five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit. Edgar Garcia also worked in three games. He threw four scoreless innings and gave up two hits and a walk. Chandler Shepherd had a terrific start, tossing six shutout innings. He gave up just four hits and walked none. Andrew Albers gave up one run over seven innings in his start. Drew Strotman gave up just one run on four hits over five innings in his start. Wichita Wind Surge Trey Cabbage had a big week. He played in all six games and hit .375/.423/.875 (1.298) with a double, triple and three home runs. In his first week with the Twins organization, Austin Martin played in all six games and hit .400/.571/.500 (1.071) with two doubles. He also walked six times and struck out just once. BJ Boyd played just twice and went 3-for-7 (.429) with a double and a home run. Caleb Hamilton played in three games and had a double, triple and home run. Martin and Hamilton each had a walkoff this week. Jordan Gore worked three scoreless, hitless innings and gave up only a walk. He struck out four. Austin Schulfer provided a solid start. He gave up one run on five hits and two walks over five innings. He struck out six. Cole Sands struck out 11 batters over 8 2/3 innings in his two starts while posting a 3.12 ERA. Cedar Rapids Kernels Max Smith had a strong week again. He played in five games and hit .357/.471/.571 (1.042) with a home run and three walks. DaShawn Keirsey, Jr, hit two home runs. Yunior Severino went 9-for-24 (.375) with a double over his six games. Breckin Williams worked three innings over two relief appearances. He gave up only an unearned run and struck out four. Osiris German struck out four batters over three innings over two games. In addition, he also received his high school equivalency through the Twins academy on Monday. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Aaron Sabato played in four games this past week. He went 2-for-11 (.182), but the two hits were both home runs, one in each game of a doubleheader. The highlight for the organization was the return of Matt Canterino. He worked two perfect innings on Sunday in his first rehab appearance. Matthew Swain struck out five batters over a three-inning performance. Bobby Milacki made one start and gave up just one earned run over four innings. He struck out five batters. Aaron Rozek worked twice out of the bullpen and gave up just one run over four innings. He also struck out five batters. FCL Twins Emmanuel Rodriguez had just seven at bats, but he had four hits including two doubles and a home run. Alerick Soularie finally got to make his professional debut after hurting his foot in spring training. In his three rehab games, he is 5-for-9 (.555) with a double and a home run. Ricardo Olivar also hit a home run. 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 Nick Gordon will finally get every day playing time. In his return to the Saints, he played four games and went 2-for-15 (.133). Keon Broxton went 1-for-10 (.100). JT Riddle played in three games and went 0-for-8. Rafael Garza’s first appearance with a Twins affiliate didn’t go great. He gave up three runs on two hits and two walks and recorded just two outs. Wichita Wind Surge Both Aaron Whitefield and Andrew Bechtold went 3-for-20 (.150), though each had a home run, and Bechtold also had a double. Sean Gilmartin gave up four runs on four hits in his innings of work before going on the Injured List. Jordan Balazovic went 4 2/3 innings in his start. He gave up six runs on eight hits, two walks and a hit batter. Alex Phillips gave up four runs on four hits (2 HR) over 3 2/3 innings over two appearances. Cedar Rapids Kernels Seth Gray went 3-for-23 (.130). Michael Helman went 2-for-18 (.111). Gabriel Maciel went 1-for-9 (.111). Edouard Julien went 1-for-10 (.100). Matt Wallner went 2-for-22 (.091). Tyler Watson has been really good this season, but he had a rough one this past week. The lefty gave up six runs on four hits and two walks over 3 1/3 innings in his start. Cody Laweryson gave up four runs on six hits and three walks over just 2 2/3 innings in his start. Even Ben Gross had an off start. He gave up seven runs on eight hits (3 HR) and a walk in 4 1/3 innings. He’s been pretty terrific of late. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Ruben Santana played in all six games and went 0-for-16. Misael Urbina went 1-for-18 (.056) over his six games. The one hit was a home run. Keoni Cavaco played in five games and went 2-for-19 (.105). Will Holland was 2-for-16 (.125) though he had a home run. TRENDING STORYLINE One very cool benefit of the Twins academies both in Ft. Myers and in the Dominican Republic is that beyond baseball work, they are able to take classes. There is a program which allows players to take classes and receive their high school equivalency and graduate. On Monday, there was a virtual celebration of the graduates from 2020 (were not able to celebrate in person) and 2021. Here is the list of Twins players who have received their diplomas. 2021 Graduating Class Carlos Aguiar Luis Baez Miguelangel Boadas Rubel Céspedes Gregory Durán Osiris Germán Oscar Paredes Alexander Peña Emmanuel Rodríguez Endy Rodríguez Malfrin Sosa 2020 Graduating Class Develson Aria Rafael Feliz Giovahniey Germán Argenis Jiménez Jeferson Morales Juan Pichardo Breilin Ramírez Wilker Reyes Carlos Suniaga Wander Valdez Join us in congratulating each of these, well, student-athletes. PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our Midseason Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings. As you have seen, we have started to share the Twins Daily Top 30 Prospect rankings after the draft and trade deadline. Here is Part 1. #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - 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) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 12 GS, 57.1 IP, 55 H, 21 BB, 68 K, 4.24 ERA, 1.33 WHIP #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4 GS, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 35 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP (went on the IL with right elbow strain, made first rehab appearance for Ft. Myers, 2 perfect innings) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 82 games, .337/.401/.587 (.987) with 19 doubles, 22 homers, 63 RBI, 30 BB, 52 K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 45 games, .249/.323/.341 (.664) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 19 RBI, 17 BB, 57 K, 5 SB #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (7 games, .250/.276/.464 (.740) with 2 homers, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 75 games, .185/.364/.309 (.674) with 13 doubles, 6 homers, 32 RBI, 67 BB, 101 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 33 games, .279/.338/.558 (.896) with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 9 homers, 23 RBI, 10 BB, 49 K. #11 - 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) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (12 GS, 52.1 IP, 53 H, 15 BB, 56 K, 4.99 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 12 G, 11 GS, 49.1 IP, 33 H, 21 BB, 64 K, 2.79 ERA, 1.12 WHIP #14 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (23 games, .176/.235/.374 (.608) with 6 doubles, 4 homers, 6 RBI, 6 BB, 27 K) #15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 73 games, .193/.295/.294 (589) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 4 homer, 46 RBI, 37 BB, 60 K, 12 SB) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 79 games, .255/.363/.497 (.860) with 11 doubles, 2 triples, 19 homers, 48 RBI, 45 BB, 67 K) #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 77 games, .219/.273/.415 (.688) with 12 doubles, 9 triples, 10 homers, 41 RBI, 20 BB, 112 K) #18 - Alerick Soularie (FCL Twins) – 3 games, .556/.636/1.000 (1.636) with 1 doubles, 1 homer, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K) #19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 15 GS, 64.1 IP, 60 H, 40 BB, 102 K, 4.76 ERA, 1.55 WHIP LOOKING AHEAD Ft. Myers @ Bradenton (Sean Mooney, Landon Leach, Casey Legumina, Miguel Rodriguez, Bobby Milacki, Aaron Rozek): Cedar Rapids @ Peoria:(Ben Gross, Louie Varland, TBD, Jon Olsen, Sawyer Gipson-Long, TBD) Wichita @ Tulsa: (Jordan Balazovic, Bryan Sammons, Chris Vallmont, Austin Schulfer, Cole Sands, Jordan Balazovic) St. Paul @ Indianapolis: (Andrew Albers, Drew Strotman, Chandler Shepherd, TBD, TBD, TBD) Feel free to ask any questions you like.
  21. TRANSACTIONS C Jeferson Morales promoted to A+ Cedar Rapids RHP Luis Rijo placed on 7-day IL at A+ Cedar Rapids (right elbow sprain) C Allante Hall transferred to A Fort Myers LHP Sean Gilmartin placed on 7-day IL at AA Wichita C Jair Camargo placed on 7-day IL at A+ Cedar Rapids retroactive to August 6th (right hamstring strain) RHP Josh Winder placed on 7-day IL at AAA St. Paul retroactive to July 22nd (right shoulder impingement) Saints Sentinel St. Paul 4, Louisville 2 Box Score Ian Hamilton: 3 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None St. Paul was nearly no-hit on Saturday. Bo Takahashi held the squad hitless while he was on the mound but the team was able to pounce on rehabbing reliever Tejay Antone for their first hit, and their first run of the game. The run tied the game; a fact aided in no small part by the Saints pitching staff on Saturday. It was a bullpen game and Ian Hamilton drew the first straw. Hamilton was able to shed his previous issues with command, and staunchly allowed no Reds hitter to reach base via the walk. All in all, Hamilton tossed three quality innings. The game was even at one headed into the 9th inning. Ryan Mason ran into some trouble, and before anyone could even realize it, the bases were loaded. The Bats plated a run but nearly scored another if Jimmy Kerrigan did not hose the runner at home with a great play: It looked as if Louisville was going to walk away with a win, but Mark Contreras had other plans. He sent a ball to what was previously an undocumented dimension with his game-tying blast: Édgar García ran into some trouble in the top half of the 10th inning, but was able to escape any real damage. In the bottom half of the inning, Ben Rortvedt was called upon to pinch hit for J.T. Riddle and send the home crowd into a frenzy with a walk-off two-run bomb: Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 5, Midland 4 Box Score SP: Austin Schulfer: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K HR: Caleb Hamilton (7), Jermaine Palacios (16) Multi-hit games: Caleb Hamilton (2-for-3, HR, 2B, R, 4 RBI) The Wind Surge won a thriller on Saturday. Austin Schulfer carried the squad early with yet another wonderful start. The right-hander has been workhorse-like in 2021 with nearly 80 innings on the year; an impressive total considering the non-existent 2020 minor league season. Caleb Hamilton backed his starter quickly with a 2nd inning, two-run homer. The 26-year-old is now creeping up on his career-high in homers for a season (9) which he set in 2017. In the least surprising news since the election of George Washington, Jermaine Palacios crushed his 16th homer of the year on Saturday. The blast moved Palacios into the top 10 for homeruns among all minor league shortstops. Yes, all of them. His new-found power is real and, if you happen to be the unfortunate soul pitching to him, terrifying. The game was knotted at three headed into the 9th inning. The Rockhounds inched ahead thanks to a Jonah Bride homer, but the Wind Surge refused to end quietly. With the bases loaded, Caleb Hamilton sent everyone home with a sacrifice fly that scored not one, but two runs. Take a look for yourself: Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 1, Quad Cities 4 Box Score SP: Tyler Beck: 6 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Kernels lost a clean game on Saturday. Tyler Beck’s line looks uglier than reality. Four runs is poor no matter how it’s sliced, but Beck’s runs came in the form of a duo of two-run shots. The sudden nature of home runs reflects a pitcher who was more unlucky than poor. Two pitches made the difference between four earned runs and a potentially better outing. In any case, the Kernels offense did little to help Beck. Wander Javier’s 7th inning triple was the lone extra-base hit by Cedar Rapids in the game. In total, only four base hits came off the bats of Kernels hitters on Saturday. For an inkling of good news from this game, Breckin Williams and Andrew Cabezas combined for three perfect innings of relief. The two righties punched out four batters in total. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 5, Dunedin 3 Box Score SP: Miguel Rodriguez: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jesus Feliz (2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-4, R) Fort Myers won a (somewhat) close one on Saturday. Despite falling down into a quick 1-0 pit, the Mighty Mussels easily rebounded. In the 2nd inning, Ruben Santana grounded home a run and Misael Urbina walked home another to steal the lead from Dunedin. Jesus Feliz singled home a third run in the 3rd inning, and a wild pitch in the 5th plated the final two runs scored by Fort Myers on the night. One has to unleash a truly reckless pitch to score two baserunners. If only the play was televised. Both Charles Mack and Nick Anderson reached base four times on Saturday. They combined for enough walks to challenge an old-persons home. But that’s enough for the offense. Let’s honor the pitchers who paved the path for the Mighty Mussels on Saturday. Beyond Miguel Rodriguez, whose great performance was self-evident, Zarion Sharpe held the Blue Jays scoreless for four crucial innings. Combining both of their pitching lines gives you one singular starter who gave up just one run over seven innings of work. That will play. Originally, I had written that the Mighty Mussels “won a comfortable one on Saturday”, but that became false in the 9th inning. Steven Cruz was called upon to guard a four-run lead. He would end the game with a two-run lead. But hey, the size of the lead does not matter at all as long as it holds. Complex Chronicles Game one: FCL Twins 5, FCL Red Sox 11 Box Score SP: Erasmo Moreno: 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K R: Emmanuel Rodriguez (5) Multi-hit games: Emmanuel Rodriguez (3-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, RBI) This game was a continuation of the battle that began yesterday, but was suspended. Perhaps the FCL Twins would have preferred it if the matchup was just canceled instead. FCL Twins pitchers were struck well and often by the FCL Red Sox offense. No Twin escaped the endeavor without a wounded ERA with the lone exception of John Wilson. There was good news on the offensive front, however. Emmanuel Rodriguez knocked around a pair of extra-base hits, and Alerick Soularie finally graced a baseball diamond as a member of the Twins. Other than that, it is best to leave this game to the history books. Game two: FCL Twins 5, FCL Red Sox 1 Box Score SP: Develson Aria: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Alerick Soularie (1), Ricardo Oliver (1) Multi-hit games: Alerick Soularie (2-for-2, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Alexander Pena (2-for-4, RBI) While the first game was considerably unremarkable, game two was anything but. This type of glow-up has not been seen since George Gordon Meade took over command of the Army of the Potomac. In a level of irony well-suited for Alanis Morissette, the FCL Twins scored as many runs in this game as they had in the previous encounter. Alerick Soularie demanded that his presence be acknowledged as he blasted his first career homer in the first inning of the game. In all, three runs would be scored before three outs were netted. All three pitchers for the FCL Twins left the game with a clean slate. Develson Aria proved that he is more than just a phenomenal name, and he held the Red Sox scoreless in his start. Danny Moreno and Samuel Perez were called upon to relieve Aria, and both players evaded allowing any earned runs. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Austin Schulfer Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Caleb Hamilton 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) - 0-3 #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 0-4, 2 K #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 1-4, R, K #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – Did not play #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4, K #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-5, 2 R, K #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-4, BB, K #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-4, K #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, 3B, 2 K #18 – Alerick Soularie (FCL Twins) – 2-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Dunedin @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long Midland @ Wichita (12:05 PM) RHP Cole Sands Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (1:05 PM) RHP Cody Laweryson Louisville @ St. Paul (1:05 PM) LHP Lewis Thorpe
  22. Two teams in the system won via the walk-off on Saturday. Read all about that and more in this edition of the minor league report. TRANSACTIONS C Jeferson Morales promoted to A+ Cedar Rapids RHP Luis Rijo placed on 7-day IL at A+ Cedar Rapids (right elbow sprain) C Allante Hall transferred to A Fort Myers LHP Sean Gilmartin placed on 7-day IL at AA Wichita C Jair Camargo placed on 7-day IL at A+ Cedar Rapids retroactive to August 6th (right hamstring strain) RHP Josh Winder placed on 7-day IL at AAA St. Paul retroactive to July 22nd (right shoulder impingement) Saints Sentinel St. Paul 4, Louisville 2 Box Score Ian Hamilton: 3 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None St. Paul was nearly no-hit on Saturday. Bo Takahashi held the squad hitless while he was on the mound but the team was able to pounce on rehabbing reliever Tejay Antone for their first hit, and their first run of the game. The run tied the game; a fact aided in no small part by the Saints pitching staff on Saturday. It was a bullpen game and Ian Hamilton drew the first straw. Hamilton was able to shed his previous issues with command, and staunchly allowed no Reds hitter to reach base via the walk. All in all, Hamilton tossed three quality innings. The game was even at one headed into the 9th inning. Ryan Mason ran into some trouble, and before anyone could even realize it, the bases were loaded. The Bats plated a run but nearly scored another if Jimmy Kerrigan did not hose the runner at home with a great play: It looked as if Louisville was going to walk away with a win, but Mark Contreras had other plans. He sent a ball to what was previously an undocumented dimension with his game-tying blast: Édgar García ran into some trouble in the top half of the 10th inning, but was able to escape any real damage. In the bottom half of the inning, Ben Rortvedt was called upon to pinch hit for J.T. Riddle and send the home crowd into a frenzy with a walk-off two-run bomb: Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 5, Midland 4 Box Score SP: Austin Schulfer: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K HR: Caleb Hamilton (7), Jermaine Palacios (16) Multi-hit games: Caleb Hamilton (2-for-3, HR, 2B, R, 4 RBI) The Wind Surge won a thriller on Saturday. Austin Schulfer carried the squad early with yet another wonderful start. The right-hander has been workhorse-like in 2021 with nearly 80 innings on the year; an impressive total considering the non-existent 2020 minor league season. Caleb Hamilton backed his starter quickly with a 2nd inning, two-run homer. The 26-year-old is now creeping up on his career-high in homers for a season (9) which he set in 2017. In the least surprising news since the election of George Washington, Jermaine Palacios crushed his 16th homer of the year on Saturday. The blast moved Palacios into the top 10 for homeruns among all minor league shortstops. Yes, all of them. His new-found power is real and, if you happen to be the unfortunate soul pitching to him, terrifying. The game was knotted at three headed into the 9th inning. The Rockhounds inched ahead thanks to a Jonah Bride homer, but the Wind Surge refused to end quietly. With the bases loaded, Caleb Hamilton sent everyone home with a sacrifice fly that scored not one, but two runs. Take a look for yourself: Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 1, Quad Cities 4 Box Score SP: Tyler Beck: 6 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The Kernels lost a clean game on Saturday. Tyler Beck’s line looks uglier than reality. Four runs is poor no matter how it’s sliced, but Beck’s runs came in the form of a duo of two-run shots. The sudden nature of home runs reflects a pitcher who was more unlucky than poor. Two pitches made the difference between four earned runs and a potentially better outing. In any case, the Kernels offense did little to help Beck. Wander Javier’s 7th inning triple was the lone extra-base hit by Cedar Rapids in the game. In total, only four base hits came off the bats of Kernels hitters on Saturday. For an inkling of good news from this game, Breckin Williams and Andrew Cabezas combined for three perfect innings of relief. The two righties punched out four batters in total. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 5, Dunedin 3 Box Score SP: Miguel Rodriguez: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Jesus Feliz (2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-4, R) Fort Myers won a (somewhat) close one on Saturday. Despite falling down into a quick 1-0 pit, the Mighty Mussels easily rebounded. In the 2nd inning, Ruben Santana grounded home a run and Misael Urbina walked home another to steal the lead from Dunedin. Jesus Feliz singled home a third run in the 3rd inning, and a wild pitch in the 5th plated the final two runs scored by Fort Myers on the night. One has to unleash a truly reckless pitch to score two baserunners. If only the play was televised. Both Charles Mack and Nick Anderson reached base four times on Saturday. They combined for enough walks to challenge an old-persons home. But that’s enough for the offense. Let’s honor the pitchers who paved the path for the Mighty Mussels on Saturday. Beyond Miguel Rodriguez, whose great performance was self-evident, Zarion Sharpe held the Blue Jays scoreless for four crucial innings. Combining both of their pitching lines gives you one singular starter who gave up just one run over seven innings of work. That will play. Originally, I had written that the Mighty Mussels “won a comfortable one on Saturday”, but that became false in the 9th inning. Steven Cruz was called upon to guard a four-run lead. He would end the game with a two-run lead. But hey, the size of the lead does not matter at all as long as it holds. Complex Chronicles Game one: FCL Twins 5, FCL Red Sox 11 Box Score SP: Erasmo Moreno: 3 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K R: Emmanuel Rodriguez (5) Multi-hit games: Emmanuel Rodriguez (3-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, RBI) This game was a continuation of the battle that began yesterday, but was suspended. Perhaps the FCL Twins would have preferred it if the matchup was just canceled instead. FCL Twins pitchers were struck well and often by the FCL Red Sox offense. No Twin escaped the endeavor without a wounded ERA with the lone exception of John Wilson. There was good news on the offensive front, however. Emmanuel Rodriguez knocked around a pair of extra-base hits, and Alerick Soularie finally graced a baseball diamond as a member of the Twins. Other than that, it is best to leave this game to the history books. Game two: FCL Twins 5, FCL Red Sox 1 Box Score SP: Develson Aria: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Alerick Soularie (1), Ricardo Oliver (1) Multi-hit games: Alerick Soularie (2-for-2, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Alexander Pena (2-for-4, RBI) While the first game was considerably unremarkable, game two was anything but. This type of glow-up has not been seen since George Gordon Meade took over command of the Army of the Potomac. In a level of irony well-suited for Alanis Morissette, the FCL Twins scored as many runs in this game as they had in the previous encounter. Alerick Soularie demanded that his presence be acknowledged as he blasted his first career homer in the first inning of the game. In all, three runs would be scored before three outs were netted. All three pitchers for the FCL Twins left the game with a clean slate. Develson Aria proved that he is more than just a phenomenal name, and he held the Red Sox scoreless in his start. Danny Moreno and Samuel Perez were called upon to relieve Aria, and both players evaded allowing any earned runs. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Austin Schulfer Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Caleb Hamilton 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) - 0-3 #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 0-4, 2 K #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 1-4, R, K #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – Did not play #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4, K #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-5, 2 R, K #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-4, BB, K #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-4, K #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, 3B, 2 K #18 – Alerick Soularie (FCL Twins) – 2-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Dunedin @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long Midland @ Wichita (12:05 PM) RHP Cole Sands Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (1:05 PM) RHP Cody Laweryson Louisville @ St. Paul (1:05 PM) LHP Lewis Thorpe View full article
  23. To find out how that debut went, and what all the rest of your favorite Minnesota Twins prospects did on Tuesday night, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS SS/OF Austin Martin was activated for the Wichita Wind Surge and he led off their game tonight, playing shortstop. RHP John Stankiewicz was assigned from the FCL Twins to Fort Myers. RHP Miguel Rodriguez was activated from the injured list for the Mighty Mussels. SAINTS SENTINEL Louisville 4, St. Paul 5 Box Score The Saints utilized a bullpen game in the first game of the week’s series against the Bats on Tuesday, sending out Ian Hamilton as the opener. He went three innings, allowing two runs on two solo homers, and striking out two. He was followed by Kyle Barraclough who went the next two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out three batters. Robinson Leyer got the sixth and seventh innings and was charged with a blown save. That’s due to him allowing Louisville to tie the game at three on another solo home run in the sixth, to the rehabbing Mike Moustakas. Edgar Garcia pitched a scoreless eighth inning, picking up his third win in the process, by allowing one hit and striking out one. Nick Vincent finished the game to pick up his fifth save of the season, but made it a little interesting by allowing another solo home run to close the gap to 5-4. He struck out two hitters. On offense the Saints got on the scoreboard in the second inning thanks to a Ben Rortvedt home run, his second on the season in Triple-A. They took the lead 3-2 after five innings when Rob Refsnyder and Gilberto Celestino each delivered RBI singles. In the eighth inning it was a two-run single from Twins Daily’s Hitter of the Month for July, Jimmy Kerrigan, that put the game just out of reach for Louisville. Jose Miranda (2-for-4, R, 2B, K), Rortvedt (3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI), and Kerrigan (2-for-4, 2 RBI) each had multiple hits for the home team in the win. WIND SURGE WISDOM Midland 5, Wichita 6 Box Score The story in this game was sure to be the organization debut of prospect Austin Martin, whom the Twins received in their trade of Jose Berrios to the Toronto Blue Jays. It was a bit of a mixed bag as far as offense and defense goes, but he was certainly exciting in his debut. Martin reached base twice out of the leadoff spot for the Wind Surge, first with a single in the fourth inning for his first hit in the organization. On B.J. Boyd’s double that followed, he came around to score all the way from first, including a nifty slide to avoid the tag at home. He reached base again in the sixth after being hit by a pitch in the back of his knee (his 15th HBP of the year), and it looked a lot worse than it actually was at first as he collapsed in the batters box, then seemed to head immediately toward the dugout. But he did stay in the game and on defense later in the seventh, ended a bases loaded threat with a 6-3 double play on a grounder up the middle that kept the Wind Surge in the lead at 6-5. Martin was also charged with two errors in the game. The first came in the fifth inning on a hard hit ball up the middle. He made a nice half-dive smother to keep it in the infield, but lost control on the transfer and ended up sailing his throw to first base. The second came in the seventh on a ball he tried backhand in the hole but it bounced off him into the outfield and led to an unearned run before he killed the rally later with that nice double play. But enough about the new guy! Wichita scored first in this one in the bottom of the first, thanks to B.J. Boyd’s eighth home run of the season, and added a second run in the third on a wild pitch after Spencer Steer clubbed a two-out double. They added three more runs in the fourth on a two-run homer from Aaron Whitefield, and then the double from Boyd to score Martin. Whitefield added a necessary insurance run in the sixth with a sac fly to score Trey Cabbage, who had led off the inning with a double. Making the start for the Wind Surge was Cole Sands, who has been on a strict pitch count since returning from injury in the middle of July. To open the game he gave up a triple, but worked around it with a popout and pair of strikeouts to come out unscathed. He finished 3 2/3 innings on the night, and finally got bit in the fourth inning. Overall he was charged with two earned runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out six batters. Alex Phillips was the first reliever summoned from the bullpen and went the next 1 2/3 innings. He allowed two earned runs of his own on a homer in the sixth, but also struck out two. The recently acquired Evan Sisk finished the next 2/3 of an inning, fighting his control to allow one run on three walks while striking out one. With the score 6-5 Wind Surge at this point, Mitchell Osnowitz and Chris Nunn finished off any further comeback attempt with a combined three scoreless innings. Osnowitz picked up a hold with two scoreless, allowing three hits and striking out two. Nunn picked up his first save with Wichita with a one-two-three ninth, including a K. Boyd (2-for-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Spencer Steer (2-for-4, R, 2B, K), and Cabbage (2-for-4, R, 2B, K) had multiple hits for the offense. Whitefield led the way with three RBIs. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 8, Cedar Rapids 3 Box Score Cedar Rapids got on the scoreboard first in this one in the second inning after loading the bases with nobody out. Max Smith delivered an RBI single and was followed by a sac fly from Gabriel Maciel and 2-0 lead. Starting pitcher Jon Olson held the River Bandits to just one hit through the first three innings, but a single followed by a double in the fourth finally put a runner across in the fourth. After a one-two-three fifth inning Olsen came back out for the sixth, and ran into trouble immediately. He was lifted after loading the bases, and finished five plus innings. He was charged with four earned runs on six hits, one walk, and struck out three batters. He was supplanted by reliever Andrew Cabezas, who promptly gave up a bases clearing triple, then a double for a run allowed of his own. A bit mad at himself probably, he channeled some anger and struck out the next three hitters he faced to end the inning with his team down 5-2. He would add a scoreless seventh inning to keep his team within striking distance. The Kernels closed the lead to two in the bottom of the sixth with another sac fly from Maciel, but the lone run was a bit disappointing as they had the bases with nobody out. The bullpen duo of Breckin Williams and Melvi Acosta then wasn’t able to keep Quad Cities at bay in the eighth and ninth innings, allowing them to extend their lead to the final of 8-3. Williams gave up one run (unearned) on one hit while striking out one in the eighth. Acosta allowed two earned runs on four hits in the ninth and struck out two batters. The loss extends the River Bandits lead in the Central-West Division standings to nine games, but the Kernels remain tied for the second best record in the league. MUSSEL MATTERS Dunedin @ Fort Myers, Postponed (rain) The Mighty Mussels and Blue Jays were rained out on Tuesday. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon, with righthander Sean Mooney on the mound for Fort Myers in game one. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Orioles Orange @ FCL Twins, Postponed (rain) The FCL Twins were affected by the same rain as their Hammond Stadium friends across the Lee County Sports Complex parking lot, and did not play Tuesday morning. They will make up the game on Wednesday as both teams do not have another scheduled.. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Cole Sands, Wichita Wind Surge (3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 6 K) Hitter of the Day - Ben Rortvedt, St. Paul Saints (3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY #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) - 2-for-4, R, 2B, K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Game postponed #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, RBI, K #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #9 - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) - Game postponed #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 2 K #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 6 K #14 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-for-4, R, 2B, RBI, BB, K #15 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Game postponed #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-for-4, R, 2B, K #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-2, R, 2 BB, K #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) - N/A (foot injury) #19 - Edwar Colina (rehab) - Injured List (elbow) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - Did not pitch WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Louisville @ St. Paul (1:05PM CST) - LHP Andrew Albers (4-4, 4.44 ERA) Midland @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (2-4, 7.08 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (2-1, 1.68 ERA) Dunedin @ Fort Myers (Game 1, 3:30PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 0.56 ERA) Dunedin @ Fort Myers (Game 2, 30 minutes after game 1) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  24. There is more than one new prospect in the Minnesota Twins minor league system after the trade deadline, but perhaps the biggest one that came over made his organizational debut on Tuesday night in Double-A. To find out how that debut went, and what all the rest of your favorite Minnesota Twins prospects did on Tuesday night, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS SS/OF Austin Martin was activated for the Wichita Wind Surge and he led off their game tonight, playing shortstop. RHP John Stankiewicz was assigned from the FCL Twins to Fort Myers. RHP Miguel Rodriguez was activated from the injured list for the Mighty Mussels. SAINTS SENTINEL Louisville 4, St. Paul 5 Box Score The Saints utilized a bullpen game in the first game of the week’s series against the Bats on Tuesday, sending out Ian Hamilton as the opener. He went three innings, allowing two runs on two solo homers, and striking out two. He was followed by Kyle Barraclough who went the next two scoreless innings, giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out three batters. Robinson Leyer got the sixth and seventh innings and was charged with a blown save. That’s due to him allowing Louisville to tie the game at three on another solo home run in the sixth, to the rehabbing Mike Moustakas. Edgar Garcia pitched a scoreless eighth inning, picking up his third win in the process, by allowing one hit and striking out one. Nick Vincent finished the game to pick up his fifth save of the season, but made it a little interesting by allowing another solo home run to close the gap to 5-4. He struck out two hitters. On offense the Saints got on the scoreboard in the second inning thanks to a Ben Rortvedt home run, his second on the season in Triple-A. They took the lead 3-2 after five innings when Rob Refsnyder and Gilberto Celestino each delivered RBI singles. In the eighth inning it was a two-run single from Twins Daily’s Hitter of the Month for July, Jimmy Kerrigan, that put the game just out of reach for Louisville. Jose Miranda (2-for-4, R, 2B, K), Rortvedt (3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI), and Kerrigan (2-for-4, 2 RBI) each had multiple hits for the home team in the win. WIND SURGE WISDOM Midland 5, Wichita 6 Box Score The story in this game was sure to be the organization debut of prospect Austin Martin, whom the Twins received in their trade of Jose Berrios to the Toronto Blue Jays. It was a bit of a mixed bag as far as offense and defense goes, but he was certainly exciting in his debut. Martin reached base twice out of the leadoff spot for the Wind Surge, first with a single in the fourth inning for his first hit in the organization. On B.J. Boyd’s double that followed, he came around to score all the way from first, including a nifty slide to avoid the tag at home. He reached base again in the sixth after being hit by a pitch in the back of his knee (his 15th HBP of the year), and it looked a lot worse than it actually was at first as he collapsed in the batters box, then seemed to head immediately toward the dugout. But he did stay in the game and on defense later in the seventh, ended a bases loaded threat with a 6-3 double play on a grounder up the middle that kept the Wind Surge in the lead at 6-5. Martin was also charged with two errors in the game. The first came in the fifth inning on a hard hit ball up the middle. He made a nice half-dive smother to keep it in the infield, but lost control on the transfer and ended up sailing his throw to first base. The second came in the seventh on a ball he tried backhand in the hole but it bounced off him into the outfield and led to an unearned run before he killed the rally later with that nice double play. But enough about the new guy! Wichita scored first in this one in the bottom of the first, thanks to B.J. Boyd’s eighth home run of the season, and added a second run in the third on a wild pitch after Spencer Steer clubbed a two-out double. They added three more runs in the fourth on a two-run homer from Aaron Whitefield, and then the double from Boyd to score Martin. Whitefield added a necessary insurance run in the sixth with a sac fly to score Trey Cabbage, who had led off the inning with a double. Making the start for the Wind Surge was Cole Sands, who has been on a strict pitch count since returning from injury in the middle of July. To open the game he gave up a triple, but worked around it with a popout and pair of strikeouts to come out unscathed. He finished 3 2/3 innings on the night, and finally got bit in the fourth inning. Overall he was charged with two earned runs on three hits and a walk, while striking out six batters. Alex Phillips was the first reliever summoned from the bullpen and went the next 1 2/3 innings. He allowed two earned runs of his own on a homer in the sixth, but also struck out two. The recently acquired Evan Sisk finished the next 2/3 of an inning, fighting his control to allow one run on three walks while striking out one. With the score 6-5 Wind Surge at this point, Mitchell Osnowitz and Chris Nunn finished off any further comeback attempt with a combined three scoreless innings. Osnowitz picked up a hold with two scoreless, allowing three hits and striking out two. Nunn picked up his first save with Wichita with a one-two-three ninth, including a K. Boyd (2-for-4, R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI), Spencer Steer (2-for-4, R, 2B, K), and Cabbage (2-for-4, R, 2B, K) had multiple hits for the offense. Whitefield led the way with three RBIs. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 8, Cedar Rapids 3 Box Score Cedar Rapids got on the scoreboard first in this one in the second inning after loading the bases with nobody out. Max Smith delivered an RBI single and was followed by a sac fly from Gabriel Maciel and 2-0 lead. Starting pitcher Jon Olson held the River Bandits to just one hit through the first three innings, but a single followed by a double in the fourth finally put a runner across in the fourth. After a one-two-three fifth inning Olsen came back out for the sixth, and ran into trouble immediately. He was lifted after loading the bases, and finished five plus innings. He was charged with four earned runs on six hits, one walk, and struck out three batters. He was supplanted by reliever Andrew Cabezas, who promptly gave up a bases clearing triple, then a double for a run allowed of his own. A bit mad at himself probably, he channeled some anger and struck out the next three hitters he faced to end the inning with his team down 5-2. He would add a scoreless seventh inning to keep his team within striking distance. The Kernels closed the lead to two in the bottom of the sixth with another sac fly from Maciel, but the lone run was a bit disappointing as they had the bases with nobody out. The bullpen duo of Breckin Williams and Melvi Acosta then wasn’t able to keep Quad Cities at bay in the eighth and ninth innings, allowing them to extend their lead to the final of 8-3. Williams gave up one run (unearned) on one hit while striking out one in the eighth. Acosta allowed two earned runs on four hits in the ninth and struck out two batters. The loss extends the River Bandits lead in the Central-West Division standings to nine games, but the Kernels remain tied for the second best record in the league. MUSSEL MATTERS Dunedin @ Fort Myers, Postponed (rain) The Mighty Mussels and Blue Jays were rained out on Tuesday. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow afternoon, with righthander Sean Mooney on the mound for Fort Myers in game one. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Orioles Orange @ FCL Twins, Postponed (rain) The FCL Twins were affected by the same rain as their Hammond Stadium friends across the Lee County Sports Complex parking lot, and did not play Tuesday morning. They will make up the game on Wednesday as both teams do not have another scheduled.. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Cole Sands, Wichita Wind Surge (3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 6 K) Hitter of the Day - Ben Rortvedt, St. Paul Saints (3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY #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) - 2-for-4, R, 2B, K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Game postponed #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, RBI, K #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #9 - Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) - Game postponed #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 2 K #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, BB, 6 K #14 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-for-4, R, 2B, RBI, BB, K #15 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Game postponed #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-for-4, R, 2B, K #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-2, R, 2 BB, K #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) - N/A (foot injury) #19 - Edwar Colina (rehab) - Injured List (elbow) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - Did not pitch WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Louisville @ St. Paul (1:05PM CST) - LHP Andrew Albers (4-4, 4.44 ERA) Midland @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (2-4, 7.08 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (2-1, 1.68 ERA) Dunedin @ Fort Myers (Game 1, 3:30PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 0.56 ERA) Dunedin @ Fort Myers (Game 2, 30 minutes after game 1) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! 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  25. “I don’t know about other organizations, but it’s unprecedented in our history of the way we’ve drafted over the course of years. To take four high school position players with consecutive picks, I don’t think a lot of teams have done that.” Deron Johnson, Twins Senior Advisor to Scouting, continued, “I’m proud. It’s a bold move, I think.I don’t know many teams that have done that in the past. So far so good with the results.” Johnson, as you recall, became the Twins scouting director in 2008 and held the position through the 2016 season when he received his promotion to the Senior Scouting Advisor role. Alex Kirilloff has been one of the most impressive hitters in all of minor league baseball in 2018. Ben Rortvedt’s development both at the plate and behind the plate has been noticed by the organization. Jose Miranda’s 2018 season started slow in Cedar Rapids, but he’s been raking since and recently earned his promotion to Ft. Myers. Akil Baddoo remains in Cedar Rapids at this point, but he’s been very impressive at the plate and in center field and continues to improve. Deron Johnson insists that the plan coming into the draft wasn’t necessarily to take four high school kids right away. “You have a plan, but being able to watch our system over the years, I knew that we were in need of some position players. It just so happened.” Here is a quick look back at the top four Twins draft picks in 2016 through the eyes of Deron Johnson. ALEX KIRILLOFF “He hasn’t missed a beat since he had that layoff.” That layoff, of course, was missing the 2017 season due to Tommy John surgery. As you know, Kirilloff has not only been arguably the top hitter in the Twins minor leagues this year, but maybe one of the best in all of minor league baseball. He spent the first 65 games of his 2018 season in Cedar Rapids. He hit .333/.391/.607 (.999) with 20 doubles, five triples, 13 home runs and 56 RBI. He played in the Midwest League All-Star Game and then immediately was promoted to Ft. Myers. He represented the Twins on Team USA at the Futures Game, and went 2-for-2. In his 47 games with the Miracle, he has hit .365/.385/.547 (.932) with 19 doubles, two triples, four home runs and 37 RBI. The Twins used the 15th overall pick to take Kirilloff who played high school ball for Plum High School near Pittsburgh. While they drafted him in 2016, they had known about him for a couple of years already. He made a major impression on Johnson at Petco Park in San Diego a year before the draft. Johnson, recalled, “He hit a ball during the Perfect Game All-American Game in Petco. I mean, it was an absolute bomb. Left-handers don’t hit balls out a lot at that park. Mostly right-handers because the ball kind of travels there. That showed me that this guy’s got power.” Johnson saw him again early in the 2016 season. “I saw him a couple of times. I saw him two or three games in Florida early in spring and we identified him as a guy going into the draft.” Shortly before the draft, Johnson traveled to Pittsburgh to see Kirilloff play. Unfortunately, the game was rained out. It ended up creating a great opportunity for the scout. “ I got a chance to see him practice. A lot of times, it’s better than seeing the games. I got a chance to speak with the kid, see how he goes about his business, see how he interacts with his teammates, and that was great. Plus we had a lot of looks on him too.” BEN RORTVEDT There is this perception that players from northern states can’t get seen by scouts as easily as players from southern states. There is some truth to that, but the top prep players now are playing in the summer baseball circuit across the country, and they are the showcases necessary if players want to get drafted. That is where Rortvedt was first seen. Johnson pointed out, “We got a lot of looks in the summer. He played against the best guys. He was on that Perfect Game tour, played in the All-America Game. We definitely relied on Mike Ruth, Mike Radcliff, and Mark Wilson, the scout that had the area at the time. We had a lot of coverage on him. We had a lot of looks.” Rortvedt was the Twins second-round draft pick, the 56th overall pick in the draft, out of Verona High School in Verona, Wisconsin. He split that season between the GCL and Elizabethton. He made the jump to Cedar Rapids in 2017, and admittedly he struggled with the bat. But he was gaining experience and making improvements. He returned to Cedar Rapids to start the 2018 season. In 39 games, he hit .276/.325/.386 (.711) with 12 extra base hits. He has now played 39 games since being promoted to Ft. Myers. He has hit .244/.342/.351 (.693) with eight extra base hits (including a two home run game). Behind the plate, he is blessed with a very strong arm and has gained a reputation for working well with his pitchers. But there is a thought, a hope that he will be able to continue making strides offensively as well. Johnson believes in Rortvedt’s offensive potential. “I think he can. I think he’s strong. For him, I think it’s all about approach .He’s got a nice swing. He’s a very strong young man. A lot of that’s been addressed. Drive the ball. If he can consistently learn to and want to drive the ball, the sky's the limit for him. He’s one of the younger guys again in the Florida State League. He doesn’t strike out much, makes contact. He’s got raw power. There’s no question about that. Is he going to be a 25-home run guy? Well, I’m not going to say he can’t.” But again, his defense is where he can really affect a game. “His defense has improved immensely. He can really throw. He can stop a running game. He’s athletic behind the plate. Someone quoted me after the draft where I said that he looks like he was born to catch. I truly believe that He looks like a catcher. He looks like one of those old school catchers from the ‘50s. The big forearms, the squared jaw. The real strong face. He’s young. He’s still got some immaturity. He’s not grown up yet. It’s going to take some time, but he works at it. He really gives a good effort. His game-calling has really improved. I think all aspects of his game have gotten better.” JOSE MIRANDA The Twins added the 73rd overall pick in the 2017 as part of the compensation round. Miranda was another guy that the Twins had seen quite a bit of, including at a Perfect Game event. Miranda actually grew up in Florida. According to Johnson, “He had played in the States. His mom is a flight attendant located in Florida. He went to high school in Florida his freshman and sophomore years, and then he moved back to Puerto Rico.” He started out this season at Cedar Rapids and like the weather conditions, he was cold. As the temperatures, Miranda’s bat heated up. In 104 total games with the Kernels, he hit .277/.326/.434 (.760) with 22 doubles, 13 home runs and 72 RBI. He has now played in eight games since being promoted to the Ft. Myers Miracle. He had his coming out party, of sorts, at Perfect Game. “We didn’t know who he was. (Delvin) Perez was the main guy. (Long-time Twins scout) Freddie Thon said, let’s take a look at this guy. I kind of like this guy.” “We saw him, and we like everything about him. We’ve always liked his bat. His defense is getting better. He’s found a home at 3B. He’s going to be a big man.” Miranda was drafted as a shortstop, but it was known that he wouldn’t stay there, though he did make one start there since joining the Miracle. He split much of his time in Cedar Rapids between second base and third base. AKIL BADDOO In the 2015 draft, the Twins used their second round pick (73rd pick) on right-handed pitcher Kyle Cody, a Wisconsin native who had spent three years at the University of Kentucky. For a few reasons, Cody did not sign with the Twins. Because they did not sign him, the Twins received the 74th overall pick of the 2016 draft. The Twins went to a familiar place for this selection. They signed a tremendous athlete out of high school in Georgia. In 2010, they drafted Niko Goodrum out of Fayette County High School in Georgia. In 2012, the Twins used the second overall pick in the draft on Byron Buxton who went to Appling County High School in Baxley, Georgia. Akil Baddoo continues that line of Twins great athletes selected by the Twins out of Georgia. Johnson noted, “Akil is coming into his own. He always kind of knew the strike zone as a high school kid. He’s from Georgia and he plays some really good competition. Georgia is one of the few areas in the country, along with Southern California and Florida and Texas, they play a lot of good baseball. It’s been a hotbed, not just for us, but for the industry.” Georgia Tech and Kennesaw State are a couple of powerhouse colleges, but the prep ranks are loaded with great talent. In fact, when the Twins used the 74th overall pick in Akil Baddoo, he became the seventh Georgia high school kid drafted in 2016. Josh Lowe was the 13th overall pick by the Rays. With the 14th pick, Cleveland’s selection was Will Benson. Carter Kierboom was the 28th overall pick by the Nationals. Taylor Trammell went to the Reds with the 35th pick. The Angels selected Brandon Marsh with the 60th overall pick. Alex Speas went #63 to the Texas Rangers. Johnson saw all of them, but he wondered why Baddoo wasn’t always mentioned in the same breath as some of those top picks. “He’s from out in the country, a little town called Conyers. Akil, everyone knew him, but he was the second tier of that group. Taylor Trammell came out that year. Three or four first-round picks come out of Atlanta that year. I was always curious why people weren’t talking about Akil more. We got a lot of looks at him.” He was seen a lot the summer before he was drafted. But it was very late in the summer when Baddoo took another step forward in the eyes of the Twins scouts. “We saw him at a Puerto Rico event the winter before the draft. The Mets put together a showcase where they bring a team from the States, and they play against Puerto Rican kids. It’s a great event. It’s after other events so you don’t get a lot of kids to show up. They’re tired. But Akil was there. He showed his passion for baseball. We liked him during the summer and were excited to see him show up. He went off there. He hit the ball hard, drove some balls, ran hard.” Baddoo was the Twins Daily choice for short-season Minor League Hitter of the Year in 2017 when he split the season between the GCL and Elizabethton. He has now played in 101 games this season for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He has hit .241/.354/.413 (.767) with 19 doubles, nine triples and ten home runs. He also has 21 stolen bases in 26 attempts. Baddoo is a great athlete and has the built of a football player. “He’s strong. He’s like a running back. For me, he’s running better than when we drafted him. He’s a 70 runner. He’s playing way better defense. Mike Quade’s done a really good job with him defensively. He was a little raw defensively, but he’s got a different throwing action, but he can throw the ball. That’s maybe the one negative, the throwing. He’s getting much better. He’s got a chance to be a plus base runner.” ----------------------------------------------------------------- It is certainly not normal for a team to use four draft picks in the top two rounds and use each of them on high school hitters. To this point, the Twins front office has to be thrilled with all four picks. Each has experienced success and advanced up the organizational ladder appropriately, maybe even aggressive in some cases. 2016 was Deron Johnson’s final draft as scouting director, replaced by Sean Johnson. He says he is enjoying his new role where he gets to scout in many places. He was involved in the amateur scouting, the pro scouting and has had a chance to do some work internationally as well. But he has the right to be proud and excited about what the future might hold for his final draft. “I got a chance to see all those guys this summer, and it was fun to see. I got to see Alex. He’s done tremendously. Ben has been doing really well. He’s really improved defensively and his bat is coming on, so that is encouraging. Baddoo, despite his batting average, his peripheral numbers are really good. He’s hitting for some power, a bunch of doubles and stolen bases. And Miranda, I was there when he started heating up too.” Johnson continued. “It’s encouraging seeing those kids play well. I think Alex Is the oldest at 20-years-old. Akil won’t be 20 until the end of the year. It’s awesome seeing those guys have that kind of success this early in their career. ” But what is just as exciting as the top four picks, there are several other players that the Twins drafted in 2016 who remain in the organization and also have a chance to reach the big leagues. Will they? There’s no way to know that yet, of course, but several are on the right path. Soon, we will continue the conversation with Deron Johnson and discuss the rest of the Twins 2016 draft. It is a draft class that the Twins and their front office should be excited about.
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