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  1. Matt Braun kicked off the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Prospect Rankings. He shared the honorable mentions and then went through the last quarter on the list. Looking ahead to the final five before getting into the top ten, that’s where we find ourselves now. It is worth noting that prospect graduations have and will happen throughout 2021. Names like Kirilloff, Larnach, Jeffers, Gordon, and Rortvedt are no longer eligible for consideration. With that said, let’s get into who’s next. 15. Misael Urbina OF Age: 19 ETA: 2024 2021 Stats (A): 42 G .191/.298/.268 3 2B 3 3B HR 24 RBI 23 BB 39 K 2021 Ranking: 14th Minnesota signed Urbina out of Venezuela back in 2018 during the International Signing Period. Jesse Sanchez called him, “one of the most coveted prospects from Venezuela in this year's international class” at the time. The bonus came in at $2.75 million, and that’s indicative of how the Twins see his tools developing. Urbina is playing in his first stateside season this year, and while the numbers aren’t gaudy by any means, controlling the strike zone is something he’s shown a strong ability to do as a young player. 14. Brent Rooker OF/1B Age: 26 2021 Stats (AAA): 43 G .243/.386/.547 6 2B 13 HR 28 RBI 31 BB 54 K 2021 Ranking: 12th Rooker was the 35th overall pick by Minnesota back in the 2017 draft. He made his MLB debut in 2020 before injury ended his season with just seven games played. Rooker has appeared in just eight games for the Twins this year going 3-for-29. Despite crushing Triple-A, his opportunities have been limited with the outfield capabilities being stretched, and him not being a true fit at first base. Should the Twins deal Nelson Cruz, Brent would appear to be in line for substantial big league at bats as the DH. 13. Cole Sands RHSP Age: 23 2021 Stats (AA): 31 2/3 IP, 2.84 ERA, 1.263 WHIP, 3.10 FIP, 30.7 K%, 13.1 BB% 2021 Ranking: 15th Sands was a 5th round selection in the 2018 draft and it didn’t take long to see that Minnesota had something special here. There’s velocity, there’s command, there’s a real starting pitcher. Sands dominated three separate levels in 2019, and has picked up where he left off in 2021. The 11.9 K/9 is a strong number at Double-A, and while the command has slipped some, there’s no long term worry there. Currently injured, Minnesota hopes to have Cole back on the bump sooner rather than later. 12. Bailey Ober RHSP Age: 25 2021 Stats (AAA): 16 IP, 2.81 ERA, 1.125 WHIP, 1.67 FIP, 32.3 K%, 7.7 BB% 2021 Ranking: 20th Now in the big leagues taking regular turns with the Twins, Ober parlayed his quick Triple-A success into six turns in the big league rotation. He owns a 5.84 ERA there but has been bit most by the home run. Strikeouts and command continue to play, while his velocity has seen an uptick and is, in part, what has elevated his prospect status. There’s a good back-end rotation piece here, and it’d be a good bet he gets plenty of leash to showcase that the rest of 2021. 11. Blayne Enlow RHSP Age: 22 2021 Stats (A+): 14 2/3 IP, 1.84 ERA, 1.295 WHIP, 2.80 FIP, 39.0 K%, 10.2 BB% 2021 Ranking: 10th Arguably one of the most exciting prospects to see showcased following the 2020 minor league hiatus, Enlow came out as expected. He below the doors of High-A hitters and looked the part of a prospect that could put together an amazing season. Unfortunately, it ended quickly as he’s now recovering from Tommy John surgery, but look for him to be back stronger on the back half of 2022, and still with a ceiling that could be among the highest in the system as far as pitchers go. View full article
  2. It is worth noting that prospect graduations have and will happen throughout 2021. Names like Kirilloff, Larnach, Jeffers, Gordon, and Rortvedt are no longer eligible for consideration. With that said, let’s get into who’s next. 15. Misael Urbina OF Age: 19 ETA: 2024 2021 Stats (A): 42 G .191/.298/.268 3 2B 3 3B HR 24 RBI 23 BB 39 K 2021 Ranking: 14th Minnesota signed Urbina out of Venezuela back in 2018 during the International Signing Period. Jesse Sanchez called him, “one of the most coveted prospects from Venezuela in this year's international class” at the time. The bonus came in at $2.75 million, and that’s indicative of how the Twins see his tools developing. Urbina is playing in his first stateside season this year, and while the numbers aren’t gaudy by any means, controlling the strike zone is something he’s shown a strong ability to do as a young player. 14. Brent Rooker OF/1B Age: 26 2021 Stats (AAA): 43 G .243/.386/.547 6 2B 13 HR 28 RBI 31 BB 54 K 2021 Ranking: 12th Rooker was the 35th overall pick by Minnesota back in the 2017 draft. He made his MLB debut in 2020 before injury ended his season with just seven games played. Rooker has appeared in just eight games for the Twins this year going 3-for-29. Despite crushing Triple-A, his opportunities have been limited with the outfield capabilities being stretched, and him not being a true fit at first base. Should the Twins deal Nelson Cruz, Brent would appear to be in line for substantial big league at bats as the DH. 13. Cole Sands RHSP Age: 23 2021 Stats (AA): 31 2/3 IP, 2.84 ERA, 1.263 WHIP, 3.10 FIP, 30.7 K%, 13.1 BB% 2021 Ranking: 15th Sands was a 5th round selection in the 2018 draft and it didn’t take long to see that Minnesota had something special here. There’s velocity, there’s command, there’s a real starting pitcher. Sands dominated three separate levels in 2019, and has picked up where he left off in 2021. The 11.9 K/9 is a strong number at Double-A, and while the command has slipped some, there’s no long term worry there. Currently injured, Minnesota hopes to have Cole back on the bump sooner rather than later. 12. Bailey Ober RHSP Age: 25 2021 Stats (AAA): 16 IP, 2.81 ERA, 1.125 WHIP, 1.67 FIP, 32.3 K%, 7.7 BB% 2021 Ranking: 20th Now in the big leagues taking regular turns with the Twins, Ober parlayed his quick Triple-A success into six turns in the big league rotation. He owns a 5.84 ERA there but has been bit most by the home run. Strikeouts and command continue to play, while his velocity has seen an uptick and is, in part, what has elevated his prospect status. There’s a good back-end rotation piece here, and it’d be a good bet he gets plenty of leash to showcase that the rest of 2021. 11. Blayne Enlow RHSP Age: 22 2021 Stats (A+): 14 2/3 IP, 1.84 ERA, 1.295 WHIP, 2.80 FIP, 39.0 K%, 10.2 BB% 2021 Ranking: 10th Arguably one of the most exciting prospects to see showcased following the 2020 minor league hiatus, Enlow came out as expected. He below the doors of High-A hitters and looked the part of a prospect that could put together an amazing season. Unfortunately, it ended quickly as he’s now recovering from Tommy John surgery, but look for him to be back stronger on the back half of 2022, and still with a ceiling that could be among the highest in the system as far as pitchers go.
  3. 5. Blayne Enlow Current/Future Slider: 50/50 The last time Enlow appeared in a professional game, he was pitching well at High-A as a 20-year-old. Now he is 22-years old, and he has made some adjustments. His fastball sits in the low-90s, but he has a ton of spin on it, which can make it tough for hitters to make solid contact. When he locates his slider, it can be his best pitch. Some refer to his slider as a cutter because he gets similar action on the pitch. He should be pitching in the upper levels of the minors this year as he continues to improve his repertoire. 4. Yennier Cano, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Cano might be the least recognizable name on this list as the team signed him out of Cuba back in 2018. His fastball can reach the high-90s but his arm slot allows him to throw a slider, sinker, and splitter. He has experience on the Cuban National Team and in the Puerto Rican Winter League. He’s already 26-years old and he has never pitched higher than High-A. That being said, his fastball and slider combination might be enough for him to earn a middle relief job at the big-league level. 3. Edwar Colina, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Colina is going to be used in the bullpen and he will likely be relying on two pitches, an overpowering fastball and a slider. His slider is hard for batters to make strong contact because of how hard he throws it. He commands his slider better than his fastball and he can rely on the pitch in almost any count. Colina’s stocky build and starter experience might give way to him becoming a multi-inning reliever in the years to come. Either way, he is a very intriguing relief prospect. 2. Jordan Balazovic, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Like the top name on this list, Balazovic was a late addition to the team’s alternate site and reports were good. Out of the team’s top two pitching prospects, Balazovic is the only one that throws a slider, and it is his second-best pitch overall. This is the pitch he uses to miss bats and his mechanics allow it to play up against right-handed hitters. As he continues to develop, his slider should also be a weapon against lefties, especially with the presence of his ever-improving changeup. 1. Matt Canterino, RHP Current/Future Slider: 55/60 During last season, Canterino was a late addition to the team’s alternate site, but he is clearly one of the team’s top pitching prospects. His slider and his changeup both project to be plus pitches and his fastball can hit the mid-90s. His four-pitch mix gives him a chance to be a big-league starter and his slider projects to be the best pitch. Since being drafted, he has slowly moved up Twins prospect lists and he can end the 2021 season in the team’s top-5 prospects. How would you rank these players? Does someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES -Fastball Prospects -Speed Tool Prospects -Hit Tool Prospects -Power Tool Prospects MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  4. Twins pitching coach Wes Johnson has focused on slider development since joining the organization and many players have seen positive growth. Here are the best sliders among the Twins top prospects.5. Blayne Enlow Current/Future Slider: 50/50 The last time Enlow appeared in a professional game, he was pitching well at High-A as a 20-year-old. Now he is 22-years old, and he has made some adjustments. His fastball sits in the low-90s, but he has a ton of spin on it, which can make it tough for hitters to make solid contact. When he locates his slider, it can be his best pitch. Some refer to his slider as a cutter because he gets similar action on the pitch. He should be pitching in the upper levels of the minors this year as he continues to improve his repertoire. 4. Yennier Cano, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Cano might be the least recognizable name on this list as the team signed him out of Cuba back in 2018. His fastball can reach the high-90s but his arm slot allows him to throw a slider, sinker, and splitter. He has experience on the Cuban National Team and in the Puerto Rican Winter League. He’s already 26-years old and he has never pitched higher than High-A. That being said, his fastball and slider combination might be enough for him to earn a middle relief job at the big-league level. 3. Edwar Colina, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Colina is going to be used in the bullpen and he will likely be relying on two pitches, an overpowering fastball and a slider. His slider is hard for batters to make strong contact because of how hard he throws it. He commands his slider better than his fastball and he can rely on the pitch in almost any count. Colina’s stocky build and starter experience might give way to him becoming a multi-inning reliever in the years to come. Either way, he is a very intriguing relief prospect. 2. Jordan Balazovic, RHP Current/Future Slider: 50/55 Like the top name on this list, Balazovic was a late addition to the team’s alternate site and reports were good. Out of the team’s top two pitching prospects, Balazovic is the only one that throws a slider, and it is his second-best pitch overall. This is the pitch he uses to miss bats and his mechanics allow it to play up against right-handed hitters. As he continues to develop, his slider should also be a weapon against lefties, especially with the presence of his ever-improving changeup. 1. Matt Canterino, RHP Current/Future Slider: 55/60 During last season, Canterino was a late addition to the team’s alternate site, but he is clearly one of the team’s top pitching prospects. His slider and his changeup both project to be plus pitches and his fastball can hit the mid-90s. His four-pitch mix gives him a chance to be a big-league starter and his slider projects to be the best pitch. Since being drafted, he has slowly moved up Twins prospect lists and he can end the 2021 season in the team’s top-5 prospects. How would you rank these players? Does someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES -Fastball Prospects -Speed Tool Prospects -Hit Tool Prospects -Power Tool Prospects MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  5. An argument can be made that Jordan Balazovic is the best pitching prospect in the Twins organization even though he doesn’t rank as the top pitcher on the Twins Daily list. So, what’s changed with Balazovic over the last year?Position: RHP Age: 22 (DOB: 9-17-1998) 2019 Stats (Low-A/High-A): 93.2 IP, 2.69 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 12.4 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 ETA: 2022 2020 Ranking: 5 2019 Ranking: NA National Top 100 Rankings BA: NR | MLB: 97 | ATH: 63 |BP: NR What’s To Like Canada hasn’t exactly been a hotbed of MLB pitching talent, but Balazovic looks to buck that trend in the years to come. Last year, he was added to the organization’s alternate site in St. Paul before ending the year in the team’s instructional league. By season’s end, he was added to Minnesota’s 40-man roster and that leaves him even closer to making his big-league debut even though he has yet to make an appearance above the High-A level. One positive to come out of last year’s pandemic was Balazovic was able to concentrate on adding weight to his lanky frame. When Minnesota selected him in the fifth round, he was a long and lean 17-year-old that was listed at 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds. Since then, he has added two inches in height and bulked up to 217 pounds. This has helped his fastball move from the high-80s into the mid-90s. Many scouting reports praise him for his pitching deception as hitters can’t pick up the ball well out of his hand. Typically, he uses his fastball at the top of the zone, and it has helped him to post SO/9 totals north of 11.0 over the last two seasons. He throws strikes and he has four pitches that he isn’t afraid to throw in any situation, which make him a very projectable big-league arm. What’s Left To Work On Like many budding pitching prospects, Balazovic continues to refine his secondary pitches. His change-up is the biggest work in progress, but he has made significant strides since joining the organization and it has a chance to be an above average pitch. This pitch will help him to attack left-handed hitters, but he might already be able to do that since lefties only hit .189/.232/.269 against him in 2019. Currently, his slider is his out pitch although he uses his curveball to get strikes as well. He has yet to pitch over 100 innings in any professional season, so that will be an important milestone for 2021. His violent delivery helps to add some deception, but this can also be a concern. Some pitchers with violent deliveries suffer from health or control issues, but neither of these have been a concern so far in Balazovic’s career (knock on wood). What’s Next Last season, Balazovic worked hard to make sure he got invited to the alternate site before the season ended. This allowed the coaching staff to work closely with him and for the front office to get a better idea of how ready he was to take the next step. As mentioned last week, he is good friends with Blayne Enlow, another Twins top pitching prospect, and they keep pushing each other up the organizational ladder. How aggressive will the Twins be with Balazovic this season? It seems most likely that he would spend the majority of the season at Double-A with an outside chance of appearing with St. Paul before the season is complete. Last winter, president of baseball operation Derek Falvey said that he expected Balazovic and Jhoan Duran to make their MLB debuts. It didn’t happen in 2020, so the time might be right in 2021. Do you think Balazovic should be the Twins top pitching prospect? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Twins Daily 2021 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Bailey Ober, RHP 19. Jose Miranda, INF 18. Alerick Soularie, OF 17. Ben Rortvedt, C 16. Edwar Colina, RHP 15. Cole Sands, RHP 14. Misael Urbina, OF 13. Matt Wallner, OF 12. Brent Rooker, OF/1B 11. Gilberto Celestino, OF 10. Blayne Enlow, RHP 9. Matt Canterino, RHP 8. Aaron Sabato, 1B 7. Keoni Cavaco, SS 6. Jordan Balazovic, RHP Stop by tomorrow for prospect #5! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  6. Position: RHP Age: 22 (DOB: 9-17-1998) 2019 Stats (Low-A/High-A): 93.2 IP, 2.69 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 12.4 K/9, 2.4 BB/9 ETA: 2022 2020 Ranking: 5 2019 Ranking: NA National Top 100 Rankings BA: NR | MLB: 97 | ATH: 63 |BP: NR What’s To Like Canada hasn’t exactly been a hotbed of MLB pitching talent, but Balazovic looks to buck that trend in the years to come. Last year, he was added to the organization’s alternate site in St. Paul before ending the year in the team’s instructional league. By season’s end, he was added to Minnesota’s 40-man roster and that leaves him even closer to making his big-league debut even though he has yet to make an appearance above the High-A level. One positive to come out of last year’s pandemic was Balazovic was able to concentrate on adding weight to his lanky frame. When Minnesota selected him in the fifth round, he was a long and lean 17-year-old that was listed at 6-foot-3 and 175 pounds. Since then, he has added two inches in height and bulked up to 217 pounds. This has helped his fastball move from the high-80s into the mid-90s. Many scouting reports praise him for his pitching deception as hitters can’t pick up the ball well out of his hand. Typically, he uses his fastball at the top of the zone, and it has helped him to post SO/9 totals north of 11.0 over the last two seasons. He throws strikes and he has four pitches that he isn’t afraid to throw in any situation, which make him a very projectable big-league arm. What’s Left To Work On Like many budding pitching prospects, Balazovic continues to refine his secondary pitches. His change-up is the biggest work in progress, but he has made significant strides since joining the organization and it has a chance to be an above average pitch. This pitch will help him to attack left-handed hitters, but he might already be able to do that since lefties only hit .189/.232/.269 against him in 2019. Currently, his slider is his out pitch although he uses his curveball to get strikes as well. He has yet to pitch over 100 innings in any professional season, so that will be an important milestone for 2021. His violent delivery helps to add some deception, but this can also be a concern. Some pitchers with violent deliveries suffer from health or control issues, but neither of these have been a concern so far in Balazovic’s career (knock on wood). What’s Next Last season, Balazovic worked hard to make sure he got invited to the alternate site before the season ended. This allowed the coaching staff to work closely with him and for the front office to get a better idea of how ready he was to take the next step. As mentioned last week, he is good friends with Blayne Enlow, another Twins top pitching prospect, and they keep pushing each other up the organizational ladder. How aggressive will the Twins be with Balazovic this season? It seems most likely that he would spend the majority of the season at Double-A with an outside chance of appearing with St. Paul before the season is complete. Last winter, president of baseball operation Derek Falvey said that he expected Balazovic and Jhoan Duran to make their MLB debuts. It didn’t happen in 2020, so the time might be right in 2021. Do you think Balazovic should be the Twins top pitching prospect? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Twins Daily 2021 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Bailey Ober, RHP 19. Jose Miranda, INF 18. Alerick Soularie, OF 17. Ben Rortvedt, C 16. Edwar Colina, RHP 15. Cole Sands, RHP 14. Misael Urbina, OF 13. Matt Wallner, OF 12. Brent Rooker, OF/1B 11. Gilberto Celestino, OF 10. Blayne Enlow, RHP 9. Matt Canterino, RHP 8. Aaron Sabato, 1B 7. Keoni Cavaco, SS 6. Jordan Balazovic, RHP Stop by tomorrow for prospect #5! 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. Age: 21 (DOB: 3-21-1999) 2019 Stats (Low-A/High-A): 110.2 IP, 3.82 ERA, 95/38 K/BB, 1.27 WHIP ETA: 2022 2020 Ranking: 10 2019 Ranking: 9 National Top 100 Rankings BA: NR |MLB: NR | ATH: NR |BP: NR What’s To Like Enlow can pump his fastball up to 96 and he typically sits in the 91-94 mph range. While other pitchers might throw harder, Enlow has tremendous spin on his fastball and that makes his fastball even more dangerous. His slider/cutter has drastically improved during his professional career, but he continues to work on locating this pitch on a regular basis. This fall Enlow was one of the team’s top prospects invited to the organization’s instructional camp in Fort Myers. Back in 2019, Enlow pitched nearly 2/3rds of his innings as a 20-year-old in the Florida State League where he was nearly three years younger than the average age of the competition. In 13 appearances, he posted a 1.21 WHIP and a 4.02 ERA with a 51 to 23 strikeout to walk ratio. He showed more consistency than at other levels and it could be a sign of even more positive signs in the future. What’s Left To Work On Enlow is far from a finished product especially since he is still in his early 20s. Since the Twins drafted him out of high school, Enlow has worked on command of his secondary pitches. He can throw four different pitches for strikes but development needs to continue to improve when it comes to pitch execution. If he can make the appropriate adjustments, his strikeout rate should continue to improve. His curveball might be the pitch to keep an eye on during the 2021 campaign. As previously mentioned, it was a pitch that put him on the prospect map as a teenager, but the pitch has regressed a bit as he works to add other secondary pitches. His fastball velocity continues to improve so having a dominating curveball could be a devastating recipe for opposing batters. One intriguing note is that Enlow would have been draft eligible this past year if he had decided to attend LSU. Some thought he had the best curveball in the 2017 Draft and that made the Twins very intrigued to work out an over slot bonus. For a player like Enlow, missing the entire 2020 season was tough to swallow. He is still very young, and he needs to continue to get work with all his pitches in game action. What’s Next There’s an outside chance he could make his big-league debut in 2021, but that would likely mean there were multiple injuries or COVID related issues with the MLB roster. With changes in affiliation levels, Enlow will likely make a short stop at Cedar Rapids, the team’s High-A affiliate, before moving up to Double-A Wichita, where he should spend the majority of the 2021 campaign. MLB.com notes that he and Jordan Balazovic have become good friends and they could push each other into the Twins rotation in the years ahead. The 2021 season can provide a very important opportunity and he has a chance to move up this list by next off-season. Twins Daily 2021 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Bailey Ober, RHP 19. Jose Miranda, INF 18. Alerick Soularie, OF 17. Ben Rortvedt, C 16. Edwar Colina, RHP 15. Cole Sands, RHP 14. Misael Urbina, OF 13. Matt Wallner, OF 12. Brent Rooker, OF/1B 11. Gilberto Celestino, OF 10. Blayne Enlow, RHP Stop by next week for prospect #9! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  8. Over the years, Minnesota has struggled to develop pitching. Three pitchers crack into this portion of their top-10 prospects and all three can make it to Target Field in 2021.All but one of the players below was acquired during the current front office regime. This speaks volumes to how the organization’s player development system has evolved. Teams need their high draft picks to 10. Keoni Cavaco- SS/3B (19-years old) Acquired: 2019 1st Round Pick ETA: 2024 Cavaco was an intriguing prospect from the time the Twins drafted him. He was left off many of the summer showcase rosters entering his senior season because he was undersized, and he wasn’t expected to be a first-round pick. A growth spurt during his senior year saw his draft stock improve immensely and the Twins jumped at the opportunity. His professional debut was a disaster as he posted .172 BA with strikeouts on 38% of his plate appearances. He has the tools and the power projection to make him a player to be excited about. 9. Blayne Enlow- RHP (21-years old) Acquired: 2017 3rd Round Pick ETA: 2022 Enlow was part of the current front office’s first draft class as the Twins were able to work out an over-slot deal to keep him from going to LSU. His fastball typically sits in the mid- to low-90s, but it has some tremendous spin that can make it tough on hitters. His slider/cutter might be his best pitch when he is able to control it near the zone. He has shown the ability to throw four different pitches, but he continues to work on his secondary pitches. Enlow turns 22-years old in March, and he is a player I expect to have a big 2021 season. 8. Matt Canterino- RHP (23-years old) Acquired: 2019 2nd Round Pick ETA: 2022 Canterino is a strike thrower and he might have gotten more dangerous in 2020 as he developed a changeup at the team’s alternate site. His slider and curveball were already good pitches so adding a changeup can solidify him as a mid-rotation starter. At 6-foot-2 and 222 pounds, he is stocky on the mound and this can make some believe that he will end up as a reliever. He will get plenty of opportunities to stick as a starter with his college experience and his continued pitch development. 7. Aaron Sabato- 1B (21-years old) Acquired: 2020 1st Round Pick ETA: 2024 In a draft unlike any other, the Twins went with Sabato, a relatively safe pick. He projects to only be able to play first base or be a DH, but his bat might have been the one of the only sure things in the 2020 Draft. He can control the strike zone even with his powerful swing. MLB.com ranks him as baseball’s seventh best first base prospect and he will move up multiple spots this year as players graduate off the list. It’s hard to get too excited about a player with limited defensive skills, but his bat might be good enough to forget about the other side of the ball. 6. Jordan Balazovic- RHP (22-years old) Acquired: 2016 5th Round Pick ETA: 2021 Looking back on the 2016 draft and many teams are going to be sorry (say it with a Canadian accent) they passed over Balazovic. He can control the strike zone with four different pitches and all of them can be used to coax strikeouts. Also, the pandemic might have helped his development as he added weight to fill out his 6-foot-5 frame. When the Twins drafted him, he weighed 175 pounds and now he is north of 215 pounds. He was added to the team’s 40-man roster this off-season and that should give him a chance to make his debut in 2021. Which of these players makes it to Target Field first? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Prospects 16-20 — Prospects 11-15 — Prospects 1-5 Coming Tomorrow MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  9. All but one of the players below was acquired during the current front office regime. This speaks volumes to how the organization’s player development system has evolved. Teams need their high draft picks to 10. Keoni Cavaco- SS/3B (19-years old) Acquired: 2019 1st Round Pick ETA: 2024 Cavaco was an intriguing prospect from the time the Twins drafted him. He was left off many of the summer showcase rosters entering his senior season because he was undersized, and he wasn’t expected to be a first-round pick. A growth spurt during his senior year saw his draft stock improve immensely and the Twins jumped at the opportunity. His professional debut was a disaster as he posted .172 BA with strikeouts on 38% of his plate appearances. He has the tools and the power projection to make him a player to be excited about. 9. Blayne Enlow- RHP (21-years old) Acquired: 2017 3rd Round Pick ETA: 2022 Enlow was part of the current front office’s first draft class as the Twins were able to work out an over-slot deal to keep him from going to LSU. His fastball typically sits in the mid- to low-90s, but it has some tremendous spin that can make it tough on hitters. His slider/cutter might be his best pitch when he is able to control it near the zone. He has shown the ability to throw four different pitches, but he continues to work on his secondary pitches. Enlow turns 22-years old in March, and he is a player I expect to have a big 2021 season. 8. Matt Canterino- RHP (23-years old) Acquired: 2019 2nd Round Pick ETA: 2022 Canterino is a strike thrower and he might have gotten more dangerous in 2020 as he developed a changeup at the team’s alternate site. His slider and curveball were already good pitches so adding a changeup can solidify him as a mid-rotation starter. At 6-foot-2 and 222 pounds, he is stocky on the mound and this can make some believe that he will end up as a reliever. He will get plenty of opportunities to stick as a starter with his college experience and his continued pitch development. 7. Aaron Sabato- 1B (21-years old) Acquired: 2020 1st Round Pick ETA: 2024 In a draft unlike any other, the Twins went with Sabato, a relatively safe pick. He projects to only be able to play first base or be a DH, but his bat might have been the one of the only sure things in the 2020 Draft. He can control the strike zone even with his powerful swing. MLB.com ranks him as baseball’s seventh best first base prospect and he will move up multiple spots this year as players graduate off the list. It’s hard to get too excited about a player with limited defensive skills, but his bat might be good enough to forget about the other side of the ball. 6. Jordan Balazovic- RHP (22-years old) Acquired: 2016 5th Round Pick ETA: 2021 Looking back on the 2016 draft and many teams are going to be sorry (say it with a Canadian accent) they passed over Balazovic. He can control the strike zone with four different pitches and all of them can be used to coax strikeouts. Also, the pandemic might have helped his development as he added weight to fill out his 6-foot-5 frame. When the Twins drafted him, he weighed 175 pounds and now he is north of 215 pounds. He was added to the team’s 40-man roster this off-season and that should give him a chance to make his debut in 2021. Which of these players makes it to Target Field first? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Prospects 16-20 — Prospects 11-15 — Prospects 1-5 Coming Tomorrow MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  10. 5. RHP Matt Canterino 2019 Stats (Rookie, Low-A): 1.44 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 31 K, 8 BB, 25 IP After being a three-year starter at Rice, Canterino was the Twins second-round pick in 2019. He saw limited time during his first professional season because of the innings he had accumulated in college. He struck out 11 batters per nine innings and he only allowed earned runs in two of his five appearances after being promoted to Low-A. He controls the strike zone and his college experience could help him to move through the Twins system. 4. RHP Blayne Enlow 2019 Stats (Low-A, High-A): 3.82 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 95 K, 38 BB, 110 2/3 IP Enlow pitched nearly 2/3rds of his innings as a 20-year old in the Florida State League where he was nearly three years younger than the average age of the competition. For players like Enlow, missing the 2020 season was critical to developing towards the big-league level. Next spring, he will turn 22 and he has yet to pitch an inning above High-A and there are no guarantees a minor league season will happen in 2021. He’s the second-best pitching prospect in instructional camp and he should get a lot of work in over the next month. 3. 1B Aaron Sabato 2020 Stats (College): .292/.478/.708 (1.185), 7 HR, 6 2B, 16 K, 22 BB, 19 G Unlike the other players on this list, Sabato got to play a handful of games in 2020 before the pandemic shutdown most of the amateur baseball world. He destroyed the ball during his sophomore year at the University of North Carolina before becoming a draft eligible sophomore. His bat is legit and the biggest knock against him entering the draft was his lack of defensive position. Minnesota’s brass still felt like he was worth of a first-round selection and now the team will get a chance to work with him for the first time. 2. SS Keoni Cavaco 2019 Stats (Rookie): .172/.217/.253 (.470), 1 HR, 4 2B, 35 K 4 BB, 25 G Cavaco was the Twins first round pick back in 2019 and his first taste of professional baseball didn’t go exactly to plan. Teams saw him as late riser entering the draft and the Twins were intrigued by his combination of tools. He had to be chomping at the bit to get back on the field because of those initial struggles and the lack of a 2020 campaign. He’s still only 19-years old and he has a lot of development left to prove the Twins were right to make him the 13th overall pick. 1. RHP Jordan Balazovic 2019 Stats (Low-A, High-A): 2.69 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 129 K, 25 BB, 93 2/3 IP Balazovic has seen his stock consistently rise since joining the Twins organization as a third-round pick back in 2017. Entering the 2020 season, both Baseball America and MLB.com had him ranked in their top-100 prospects. Minnesota didn’t include him in their original 60-man player pool, but he was added to the alternate site near the beginning of September. He’s only pitched 73 innings above Low-A, so it seems unlikely for him to debut in 2021 but working with the Twins coaching staff can only help his stock moving forward. Click here to see who else made the instructional league roster. Which prospects benefit the most from this shortened instructional league setting? Leave a COMMENT and join 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. Recently, MLB allowed teams to host instructional camps at their spring training venues in Florida and Arizona. Teams can have up to 50 players come and work with the organization’s coaches for the first time since March. Many of Minnesota’s top prospects just wrapped up their time at the team’s alternate site in St. Paul, so who are the Twins best players at instructional camp?5. RHP Matt Canterino 2019 Stats (Rookie, Low-A): 1.44 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 31 K, 8 BB, 25 IP After being a three-year starter at Rice, Canterino was the Twins second-round pick in 2019. He saw limited time during his first professional season because of the innings he had accumulated in college. He struck out 11 batters per nine innings and he only allowed earned runs in two of his five appearances after being promoted to Low-A. He controls the strike zone and his college experience could help him to move through the Twins system. 4. RHP Blayne Enlow 2019 Stats (Low-A, High-A): 3.82 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 95 K, 38 BB, 110 2/3 IP Enlow pitched nearly 2/3rds of his innings as a 20-year old in the Florida State League where he was nearly three years younger than the average age of the competition. For players like Enlow, missing the 2020 season was critical to developing towards the big-league level. Next spring, he will turn 22 and he has yet to pitch an inning above High-A and there are no guarantees a minor league season will happen in 2021. He’s the second-best pitching prospect in instructional camp and he should get a lot of work in over the next month. 3. 1B Aaron Sabato 2020 Stats (College): .292/.478/.708 (1.185), 7 HR, 6 2B, 16 K, 22 BB, 19 G Unlike the other players on this list, Sabato got to play a handful of games in 2020 before the pandemic shutdown most of the amateur baseball world. He destroyed the ball during his sophomore year at the University of North Carolina before becoming a draft eligible sophomore. His bat is legit and the biggest knock against him entering the draft was his lack of defensive position. Minnesota’s brass still felt like he was worth of a first-round selection and now the team will get a chance to work with him for the first time. 2. SS Keoni Cavaco 2019 Stats (Rookie): .172/.217/.253 (.470), 1 HR, 4 2B, 35 K 4 BB, 25 G Cavaco was the Twins first round pick back in 2019 and his first taste of professional baseball didn’t go exactly to plan. Teams saw him as late riser entering the draft and the Twins were intrigued by his combination of tools. He had to be chomping at the bit to get back on the field because of those initial struggles and the lack of a 2020 campaign. He’s still only 19-years old and he has a lot of development left to prove the Twins were right to make him the 13th overall pick. 1. RHP Jordan Balazovic 2019 Stats (Low-A, High-A): 2.69 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 129 K, 25 BB, 93 2/3 IP Balazovic has seen his stock consistently rise since joining the Twins organization as a third-round pick back in 2017. Entering the 2020 season, both Baseball America and MLB.com had him ranked in their top-100 prospects. Minnesota didn’t include him in their original 60-man player pool, but he was added to the alternate site near the beginning of September. He’s only pitched 73 innings above Low-A, so it seems unlikely for him to debut in 2021 but working with the Twins coaching staff can only help his stock moving forward. Click here to see who else made the instructional league roster. Which prospects benefit the most from this shortened instructional league setting? Leave a COMMENT and join 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 Click here to view the article
  12. Back in 2016, the Twins revamped their front office by hiring Derek Falvey and Thad Levine. One of their biggest tasks in their first year on the job was preparing to have the number one overall pick in the 2017 MLB Draft. That draft was just the start of how they were able to add to Minnesota’s well stocked farm system. Minnesota’s current crop of regulars was moving through the system back in 2015-16 and that’s why the farm system ranked so highly. The new front office crew saw some of their impact after the 2017 MLB Draft and that continued into the following year’s draft. The results of their time at the helm are already being felt at the big-league level. 2017 Draft There were multiple options with the top overall pick back in 2017 with names like Hunter Greene, MacKenzie Gore, Brendan McKay and Kyle Wright all in the discussion. Minnesota decided Royce Lewis was the best option and he has been the organization’s highest-ranking prospect since he was drafted. Last season, Lewis finished at Double-A and under normal circumstances, he might have made his big-league debut this season. Lewis wasn’t the only strong pick in this draft. Brent Rooker was recently called up and he has been contributing to a team in the middle of a pennant race. Time will tell if he can develop into a big league regular, but his powerful swing should keep him on the roster. In the same draft, Minnesota had to offer Blayne Enlow a big signing bonus to lure him away from LSU and now he is one of the organization’s top pitching prospects. He might be a couple years away from debuting, but he add to the depth of the farm system. 2018 Draft Coming off a surprise run to the playoffs, the Twins had a much lower draft pick in 2018, but that didn’t stop them from finding players to restock the farm. Trevor Larnach was the team’s first round selection and he has developed into one of the best hitting prospects in the organization. He was the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year and the Florida State League Player of the Year. He finished last year at Double-A and now he has been part of the team’s 60-man roster that is working out in St. Paul. Another player from this draft, Ryan Jeffers, has played a pivotal role with the club due to Mitch Garver’s injury. When he was drafted, he was seen as a bat-only catcher, but he was given very little coaching on his catching defense throughout his collegiate career. Now, his 51.2% strike rate has him in the top-20 among all MLB backstops when it comes to catcher framing. Trades Add Depth Making trades is another way to stock a farm system and the Twins front office has already seen some of the rewards of those trades. Zack Littell was acquired back at the 2017 trade deadline as part of the Jaime Garcia trade and he has fit nicely into the Twins bullpen when healthy. At that same deadline, Minnesota added LHP Tyler Watson who pitched all last season at High-A with a 3.62 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP. The 2018 trade deadline was where Minnesota was able to revamp the farm. Trading Eduardo Escobar to the Diamondbacks got the Twins back a trio of prospects including RHP Jhoan Duran, who is considered one of the team’s top pitching prospects. Also, Minnesota traded away Ryan Pressly for RHP Jorge Alcala and OF Gilberto Celestino. Alcala has shown electric stuff out of the Twins bullpen this year and Celestino could become a regular at the big-league level in the years ahead. For the Twins, this trade could pay dividends for multiple years into the future. How do you feel about the Twins consistency in their farm system? 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
  13. 15. Edwar Colina, RHP 2019 MiLB Stats (A+, AA, AAA): 8-2, 2.96 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 102 K, 32 BB, 97.1 IP Colina signed with the Twins back in 2015 and he has been slowly working his way through the Twins system. He really hit his stride over the last two seasons as he started to compete in full season leagues. In the 2018 campaign, he posted a 2.63 ERA and a 106 to 53 strikeout to walk ratio at Low- and High-A. Last season, he played at three different levels and his time at High- and Double-A was outstanding. He only allowed 23 earned runs in nearly 93 innings (2.23 ERA) and he struck out more than a batter per inning. On the mound, Colina is stocky and his fastball can give hitters nightmares. He’s been clocked at over 100 mph, but he typically sits in the mid- to high-90s. His best secondary pitch is his change-up, but he is going to need to continue to improve his breaking pitches as he moves through the higher levels of the minors. 14. Wander Javier, SS 2019 MiLB Stats (A): .177/.278/.323, 11 HR, 9 2B, 116 K, 35 BB, 80 G Back in 2015, Javier was widely considered one of the best prospects in the international class and the Twins signed him for $4 million. Unfortunately, injures have cost Javier parts of multiple professional seasons. He was limited to eight games during his pro-debut because of a hamstring injury. Then in 2018, he suffered a shoulder injury and missed the entire season. Even with the injuries, he has all the tools to be considered one of the team’s top prospects. Javier was back on the field in 2019 after missing all of 2018 with a shoulder injury. It was his first taste of a full-season league and things didn’t exactly go perfectly. He struck out over 27% of the time but there were some bright spots amid a rough season. From July 15 to the end of the season, Javier compiled a .428 SLG and a .738 OPS. Nine of his 11 home runs and seven of his nine doubles were during this stretch. 13. Matt Canterino, RHP 2019 MiLB Stats (RK, A): 1-1, 1.44 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 31 K, 8 BB, 25.0 IP The Twins took Canterino in the second-round last season after a strong junior season at Rice University. He was a three-year starter at the school, and he pitched 94 innings or more in every season. In his final collegiate season, he posted a 2.81 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP, and a 121 to 23 strikeout to walk ratio. Throughout his collegiate career, he controlled the strike zone by allowing less than 3 walks per nine innings and striking out nearly 11 batters per nine. Because of his college workload, Canterino saw limited action after signing with the Twins as he made seven regular season starts and one postseason start. His college experience really showed up as he struck out over 11 batters per nine innings. It would have been exciting to see what he could have done in a full minor league season, but that will have to wait until 2021. 12. Brent Rooker, OF/1B 2019 MiLB Stats (AAA): .282/.399/.530, 14 HR, 16 2B, 36 BB, 95 K, 67 G Rooker was the 35th overall pick back in 2017, the first draft under the new Twins front office regime. In three collegiate seasons, Rooker destroyed baseballs by hitting .344/.428/.660. Yes, that is a 1.088 OPS over three seasons and he posted a 1.306 OPS during his final season. The Twins were hoping for more of the same from Rooker as he started his professional career. He didn’t disappoint during his first taste of pro-ball as he posted a .930 OPS with Elizabethton and Fort Myers. This included 29 extra-base hits in 62 games. He spent all of 2018 at Double-A and hit .254/.333/.465 with 32 doubles and 22 home runs in 130 games. He missed some time in 2019 with a wrist injury but he was still able to post some strong offensive numbers. If there is a 2020 season, there is a chance Rooker makes his debut. 11. Blayne Enlow, RHP 2019 MiLB Stats (A, A+): 8-7, 3.82 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 95 K, 38 BB, 110.2 IP Like Rooker, Enlow was part of the strong draft class back in 2017. The Louisiana native had committed to play at LSU, but the Twins were able to sign him after taking him in the third round. During his professional debut, he made six appearances with the GCL Twins and posted a 1.33 ERA with 19 strikeouts and 4 walks in 20.1 innings. During the 2018 season in Cedar Rapids, he was almost three years younger than the average age of the competition. He compiled a 3.26 ERA with a 1.37 WHIP. He started 2019 back in Cedar Rapids and saw some struggles as he allowed 21 earned runs in 41.1 innings. There were some positive signs as he struck out 9.6 batters per nine innings. The Twins were aggressive with him and promoted him to Fort Myers where he had a 3.38 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP with a 51 to 23 strikeout to walk ratio. If Enlow had gone to college, he’d still be pitching for LSU, so he has time to develop into the pitcher many thought he could be. Stop back in the coming days to see who completes the top-20 list. PREVIOUS TOP-20 POSTS — Prospects 16-20 MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  14. First and foremost, the Twins minor league academy has been a tremendous success for a number of reasons: First, they have been able to conduct camps throughout the offseason. In the fall, there are camps for position players to work on their speed and agility or other specific areas of their game. In January, there are pitch camps for control or velocity. Rehabbing players are also there a lot in the offseason. They are able to do that because there is comfortable lodging for the players without sending them to a hotel. And the players are taking advantage of it. Also, players have been coming to Ft. Myers well before spring training. By the first week in January, minor leaguers start to arrive. In fact, I was told by several people that only three or four of the minor leaguers have not already shown up to camp despite the fact that the official report day is still three or four days away. That is incredible. And the players are coming into camp in really good shape and ready to go. While the practices aren’t official, there is a real level of formality to it. Coaches are assigned. Conditioning is done. Stretching. Base running. Bullpens. Batting practice. Grounders are being taken and fly balls are being caught. It’s as if practice had already started. The only difference is they aren’t wearing uniforms. They’re dressed in warmup attire, which is really creating issues for me in identifying most of the new players. I’ll adjust, don’t worry. Anyway, what is impressive is that they aren’t just in early spring mode. They’re working on things. Infield coordinator Billy Boyer is working with the infielders on specific things, on taking grounders or throws to the bases from various positions, simulating their shift positions. Hitters aren’t just taking batting practice and crushing fastballs. They are already hitting nasty sliders off of the pitching machine. Pitchers are working on location and their pitches, but they’re doing it in a fun, competitive mode. For instance, here is a video of Blayne Enlow and Jordan Balazovic. They go back and forth and simulate an 0-2 count on a hitter. What will they throw? What will the location be? https://twitter.com/SethTweets/status/1233794708763299840 I did see Bailey Ober throwing some impressive breaking balls too. Here he is working along-side Enlow. https://twitter.com/SethTweets/status/1234105413408370689 And Matt Canterino’s bullpen was very workmanlike. He was throwing all of his pitches; fastball, changeup, slider and curveball. All looked to have the potential to be plus pitches (based on this bullpen session, at least). https://twitter.com/SethTweets/status/1233795751567929345 By the way, one name to kind of keep in the back of your mind during the 2020 season is RHP Jon Olsen. He was the Twins 12th round pick in 2018 from UCLA. He had Tommy John surgery that spring and rehabbed from that and other arm issues in 2019. But he appears to be healthy and really had an impressive bullpen. On Saturday morning, I did a 25-minute radio spot on Bison 1660 in Fargo from the back field, trying to stay out of the wind. You can listen to that here. https://twitter.com/Bison1660/status/1233799305447776256 But following that interview, I walked to Bill Smith Field. That is the field behind the academy where the GCL Twins play. As I was approaching the field, I heard hollering. And then I see a ball launched out of the park. And then another ball well beyond the fence in left center field. That’s when I realized who was hitting in the cage. It was Twins 2019 first-round pick Keoni Cavaco. For good measure, he hit the next ball even further. I had also seen him the day before fielding ground balls at shortstop. Very impressive defensively. And he is a big, strong kid. He has the hands and speed for shortstop, but he’s got the size to be a third baseman. Definitely one to watch progress. After his round of batting practice. He and fellow young prospect Jesus Feliz posed for a photo. Speaking of top picks, it was great to watch Forest Lake’s own Matt Wallner take some batting practice. The young man is impressive. He’s tall and strong, and he can hit the ball a long way. In just observing, he appeared to be very coachable as well. Later, he came up and introduced himself and it was a Minnesota Nice conversation. It was good to see Taylor Grzelakowski on the field and healthy. He had a tough year last year in Pensacola. He played through a lot of pain before finally having a second ankle surgery in June. He said that his offseason and rest really helped it recover. I tell you what, there are a lot of great stories to be told on the minor league side of the complex. Hopefully I can get to some of them. One name in camp that Twins fans will find interesting. Levi Michael is back in the organization. The 2010 first-round pick spent seven seasons in the Twins organization. He split time between AA and AAA with the Mets in 2018 and did the same in the Giants system in 2019. Alright, I’m sure there is more and there will continue to be more. But feel free to ask questions and I’ll try to answer, or I’ll try to watch that player/those players more closely.
  15. Twins minor league camp doesn’t officially start until the middle of this coming week, but I have spent parts of the past three days down on the minor league fields. Here are a handful of notes.First and foremost, the Twins minor league academy has been a tremendous success for a number of reasons: First, they have been able to conduct camps throughout the offseason. In the fall, there are camps for position players to work on their speed and agility or other specific areas of their game. In January, there are pitch camps for control or velocity. Rehabbing players are also there a lot in the offseason. They are able to do that because there is comfortable lodging for the players without sending them to a hotel. And the players are taking advantage of it. Also, players have been coming to Ft. Myers well before spring training. By the first week in January, minor leaguers start to arrive. In fact, I was told by several people that only three or four of the minor leaguers have not already shown up to camp despite the fact that the official report day is still three or four days away. That is incredible. And the players are coming into camp in really good shape and ready to go. While the practices aren’t official, there is a real level of formality to it. Coaches are assigned. Conditioning is done. Stretching. Base running. Bullpens. Batting practice. Grounders are being taken and fly balls are being caught. It’s as if practice had already started. The only difference is they aren’t wearing uniforms. They’re dressed in warmup attire, which is really creating issues for me in identifying most of the new players. I’ll adjust, don’t worry. Anyway, what is impressive is that they aren’t just in early spring mode. They’re working on things. Infield coordinator Billy Boyer is working with the infielders on specific things, on taking grounders or throws to the bases from various positions, simulating their shift positions. Hitters aren’t just taking batting practice and crushing fastballs. They are already hitting nasty sliders off of the pitching machine. Pitchers are working on location and their pitches, but they’re doing it in a fun, competitive mode. For instance, here is a video of Blayne Enlow and Jordan Balazovic. They go back and forth and simulate an 0-2 count on a hitter. What will they throw? What will the location be? But following that interview, I walked to Bill Smith Field. That is the field behind the academy where the GCL Twins play. As I was approaching the field, I heard hollering. And then I see a ball launched out of the park. And then another ball well beyond the fence in left center field. That’s when I realized who was hitting in the cage. It was Twins 2019 first-round pick Keoni Cavaco. For good measure, he hit the next ball even further. I had also seen him the day before fielding ground balls at shortstop. Very impressive defensively. And he is a big, strong kid. He has the hands and speed for shortstop, but he’s got the size to be a third baseman. Definitely one to watch progress. After his round of batting practice. He and fellow young prospect Jesus Feliz posed for a photo. Speaking of top picks, it was great to watch Forest Lake’s own Matt Wallner take some batting practice. The young man is impressive. He’s tall and strong, and he can hit the ball a long way. In just observing, he appeared to be very coachable as well. Later, he came up and introduced himself and it was a Minnesota Nice conversation. It was good to see Taylor Grzelakowski on the field and healthy. He had a tough year last year in Pensacola. He played through a lot of pain before finally having a second ankle surgery in June. He said that his offseason and rest really helped it recover. I tell you what, there are a lot of great stories to be told on the minor league side of the complex. Hopefully I can get to some of them. One name in camp that Twins fans will find interesting. Levi Michael is back in the organization. The 2010 first-round pick spent seven seasons in the Twins organization. He split time between AA and AAA with the Mets in 2018 and did the same in the Giants system in 2019. Alright, I’m sure there is more and there will continue to be more. But feel free to ask questions and I’ll try to answer, or I’ll try to watch that player/those players more closely. Click here to view the article
  16. Age: 20 (DOB: 3-21-1999) 2019 Stats (Low-A/High-A): 110.2 IP, 3.82 ERA, 95/38 K/BB, 1.27 WHIP ETA: 2023 2019 Ranking: 9 2018 Ranking: 8 National Top 100 Rankings BA: NR |MLB: NR | ATH: NR |BP: NR What’s To Like Enlow continued to make positive strides and grow as a player in 2019. He worked hard and gained about ten pounds in muscle over the year. While he still sits in the low-90s, he more frequently hit 93 and 94 mph. Enlow was well known on the national prospect circuit and with Team USA for his breaking pitches, and they both can be good. He’s got a nice, slower, 12-6 type of curveball. He also throws a really sharp slider that breaks just a couple of inches but very sharp with late movement. He throws an occasional changeup as well. He also tunnels the ball very well, which can add some deception for the hitter. One thing that he worked on in the last year was improving his command. He had pretty good control, but he really wanted to focus on hitting spots within the strike zone as well. After spending the 2018 season in Cedar Rapids, he went back to Iowa to start the 2019 season. In eight starts, his strikeout rate went from 6.8 K/9 to 9.6 K/9. He was promoted to Ft. Myers where he made 13 more appearances. He went 4-4 with a 3.38 ERAand a 1.21 WHIP. His strikeout rate came back down a bit with the promotion, but he pitched much better and more consistently. What’s Left To Work On Consider that Enlow would just now be entering his junior season at LSU had he not signed with the Twins. At just 20, he’s working on everything and still has a lot of room for improvement. Each of his pitches can still get a little sharper. As that happens, the strikeout rate should rise. He remains projectable and could add more velocity to his fastball. His breaking pitches, with just a little more crispness, could become plus-plus pitches. And he continues to work on the changeup, as well as his control and command. At the highest level, for Enlow, it’s really about developing more consistency with each of his pitches, from game to game and even from inning to inning. What’s Next After splitting the 2019 season between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers, expect Enlow to spend about half of the season with the Mighty Mussels in 2020. He should spend the second half of the season in Pensacola. Sure, he’s a Twins Daily Top 10 prospect again, but it sure feels like Enlow is primed for a breakout season in 2020. He has put in the work. He has matured, and he is confident. Expect him to make a move up this list in a year. Twins Daily 2020 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Jose Miranda, 3B/2B 19. Cole Sands, RHP 18. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/LF 17. Misael Urbina, OF 16. Edwar Colina, RP 15. Matt Canterino, RHP 14. Matt Wallner, OF 13. Wander Javier, SS 12. Gilberto Celestino, OF 11. Lewis Thorpe, LHP 10. Blayne Enlow, RHP Stop by tomorrow for prospect #9! --------------------------------------------------------- Get to know more about Enlow and about another 170 minor league players in the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. ORDER NOW: 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (paperback, $17.99) ORDER NOW: 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (eBook, $12.99) The 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook goes in-depth and provides player bios, scouting reports, statistics and much more on about 170 Twins minor leaguers.
  17. This week, the Twins traded one of their top pitching prospects (pending physicals), but for the first time in a long time, there are pitching prospects-a-plenty in the Twins system. You saw some really good pitching prospects in our 11-20 prospect rankings earlier this week, and more in the Honorable Mention list. As we jump into the top ten Twins prospects, we profile a very young, very talented Twins pitching prospect.Age: 20 (DOB: 3-21-1999) 2019 Stats (Low-A/High-A): 110.2 IP, 3.82 ERA, 95/38 K/BB, 1.27 WHIP ETA: 2023 2019 Ranking: 9 2018 Ranking: 8 National Top 100 Rankings BA: NR |MLB: NR | ATH: NR |BP: NR What’s To Like Enlow continued to make positive strides and grow as a player in 2019. He worked hard and gained about ten pounds in muscle over the year. While he still sits in the low-90s, he more frequently hit 93 and 94 mph. Enlow was well known on the national prospect circuit and with Team USA for his breaking pitches, and they both can be good. He’s got a nice, slower, 12-6 type of curveball. He also throws a really sharp slider that breaks just a couple of inches but very sharp with late movement. He throws an occasional changeup as well. He also tunnels the ball very well, which can add some deception for the hitter. One thing that he worked on in the last year was improving his command. He had pretty good control, but he really wanted to focus on hitting spots within the strike zone as well. After spending the 2018 season in Cedar Rapids, he went back to Iowa to start the 2019 season. In eight starts, his strikeout rate went from 6.8 K/9 to 9.6 K/9. He was promoted to Ft. Myers where he made 13 more appearances. He went 4-4 with a 3.38 ERAand a 1.21 WHIP. His strikeout rate came back down a bit with the promotion, but he pitched much better and more consistently. What’s Left To Work On Consider that Enlow would just now be entering his junior season at LSU had he not signed with the Twins. At just 20, he’s working on everything and still has a lot of room for improvement. Each of his pitches can still get a little sharper. As that happens, the strikeout rate should rise. He remains projectable and could add more velocity to his fastball. His breaking pitches, with just a little more crispness, could become plus-plus pitches. And he continues to work on the changeup, as well as his control and command. At the highest level, for Enlow, it’s really about developing more consistency with each of his pitches, from game to game and even from inning to inning. What’s Next After splitting the 2019 season between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers, expect Enlow to spend about half of the season with the Mighty Mussels in 2020. He should spend the second half of the season in Pensacola. Sure, he’s a Twins Daily Top 10 prospect again, but it sure feels like Enlow is primed for a breakout season in 2020. He has put in the work. He has matured, and he is confident. Expect him to make a move up this list in a year. Twins Daily 2020 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Jose Miranda, 3B/2B 19. Cole Sands, RHP 18. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/LF 17. Misael Urbina, OF 16. Edwar Colina, RP 15. Matt Canterino, RHP 14. Matt Wallner, OF 13. Wander Javier, SS 12. Gilberto Celestino, OF 11. Lewis Thorpe, LHP 10. Blayne Enlow, RHP Stop by tomorrow for prospect #9! --------------------------------------------------------- Get to know more about Enlow and about another 170 minor league players in the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. ORDER NOW: 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (paperback, $17.99) ORDER NOW: 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook (eBook, $12.99) The 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook goes in-depth and provides player bios, scouting reports, statistics and much more on about 170 Twins minor leaguers. Click here to view the article
  18. Jhoan Duran was having a tough first taste of Double-A action, but everything seemed to click tonight. Duran carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, Blayne Enlow picked up a win in his return from the IL, Matt Wallner hit his first homer with the Kernels and Seth Gray walked it off for E-Town. Come see what else happened Friday.TRANSACTIONS RHP Blayne Enlow was activated off the IL and started for Fort Myers. IF Jake Hirabayashi was assigned to Cedar Rapids while the Kernels placed 2B Yunior Severino on the IL with a thigh strain. Elizabethton transferred RHP Casey Legumina on the 60-day IL retroactive 8/22. The GCL Twins transferred OF Bryson Gandy to the 60-day IL. RED WINGS REPORT Syracuse 5, Rochester 1 Box Score Randy Dobnak: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 57.6% strikes (49 of 85 pitches) HR: Ramon Flores (3) Multi-hit games: None Willians Astudillo started this game at third base and finished it in right field. He was also 1-for-4 with a strikeout. It was a quiet night for the Red Wings lineup, as Ramon Flores’ home run was their only extra-base hit. Randy Dobnak pitched well enough to give Rochester a chance, holding the Mets to two runs over five innings. Fernando Romero had a tough night in relief, walking three batters and giving up three runs in his inning of work. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 3, Jackson 2 Box Score Jhoan Duran: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Royce Lewis (3-for-4, 3 2Bs), Travis Blankenhorn (2-for-4, 2B) Jhoan Duran entered this game with a 7.13 ERA over his first 24 innings with Pensacola. He did a 180, got pointed in the right direction and was an absolute beast tonight for the Blue Wahoos. Duran carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, completed eight shutout innings and struck out 11 batters in what was an eye-opening performance. We’re getting very late in the minor league season, so it would be great to see him finish strong. Tonight was certainly a giant leap toward that direction. For most of Duran’s outing, he was protecting a one-run lead. Travis Blankenhorn hit an RBI double in the second inning and that was it through six frames. In the seventh, the rehabbing LaMonte Wade hit an RBI double and scored on a Royce Lewis double, one of three two-baggers for Royce on the evening. Those insurance runs proved to be massive, as Jackson rallied back to score two runs in the top of the ninth. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 8, Palm Beach 3 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 5.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 65.9% strikes (56 of 85 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (2-for-4, 2 2Bs, BB), Yelstin Encarnacion (2-for-4, BB) Fort Myers jumped all over Palm Beach, scoring three runs in the first inning and five more in the second. That created a low-stress return to the mound for Blayne Enlow, who was making his first start since Aug. 10. Enlow picked up the victory after throwing 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball. Four different Miracle hitters reached safely three times in this game. Jose Miranda had a pair of doubles and a walk. Yelstin Encarnacion also had two hits and a walk. Gabriel Maciel had a double and drew a pair of walks while Andrew Bechtold also had a hit and walked twice. KERNELS NUGGETS Clinton 6, Cedar Rapids 3 Box Score Tyler Palm: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 60.3% strikes (47 of 78 pitches) HR: Matt Wallner (1) Multi-hit games: Wallner (2-for-4, 2B, HR, HBP), Wander Javier (2-for-4, BB) Matt Wallner hit his first home run with the Kernels, his seventh on the season overall. Wander Javier reached base safely three times, but the rest of the Cedar Rapids lineup struggled to get much going. This was a tight game through most of the middle innings, thanks to a couple of clean frames from Austin Schulfer, but Clinton tallied two runs in the eighth and the Kernels could not answer. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 6, Danville 5 Box Score Owen Griffith: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K HR: Seth Gray (10), Charles Mack (7) Multi-hit games: Gray (3-for-5, 2B, HR), Kidany Salva (2-for-4) E-Town entered the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 5-4, but Willie Jo Garry Jr. sparked a rally with a one-out single. He advanced to second base on a wild pitch before Ruben Santana walked. Seth Gray stepped to the plate with the Twins down to their final out. He delivered a walk-off two-run double. Gray, the Twins fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, also hit his 10th home run, becoming just the fourth Appy League hitter to reach double digits in dingers this season. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Red Sox 1, GCL Twins 0 (8 innings) Box Score Jesus Toledo: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The GCL Twins got just two hits in this game, both singles. The rehabbing Luke Raley accounted for one of them. He also had an outfield assist. Jesus Toledo struggled with his control, walking three batters, but he managed to pitch three scoreless innings. Junior Navas followed suit with three shutout innings of his own before Niall Windeler pitched a scoreless seventh. The only run of this game was scored on a solo homer by the Red Sox in the bottom of the eighth inning. This game actually ended on a single to the next batter, as it was called early due to weather. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Jhoan Duran, Pensacola Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Seth Gray, Elizabethton TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis (PNS): 3-for-4, 3 2Bs, RBI 2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 1-for-4, E (fielding) 4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 1-for-3, BB, K 5. Wander Javier (CR): 2-for-4, BB, R 7: Keoni Cavaco (GCL): 0-for-4, 2 K 9. Jhoan Duran (PNS): 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K 10. Blayne Enlow (FM): 5.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 65.9% strikes (56 of 85 pitches) 13. Ryan Jeffers (PNS): 1-for-4, 2B, R, K 15. Matt Wallner (CR): 2-for-4, HR, 2B, HBP, R, 3 RBIs 18. Jorge Alcala (ROC): 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 40% strikes (2 of 5) 20. Travis Blankenhorn (PNS): 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Syracuse, 6:05 pm CT (TBD) Pensacola vs. Jackson, 6:05 pm CT (Bryan Sammons) Fort Myers at Palm Beach, 4:30 pm CT (Chris Vallimont) Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria, 6:35 pm CT (Andrew Cabezas) Elizabethton vs. Danville, 5:30 pm CT (TBD) GCL Twins vs. GCL Red Sox, 9:00 am CT (TBD) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games. Click here to view the article
  19. TRANSACTIONS RHP Blayne Enlow was activated off the IL and started for Fort Myers. IF Jake Hirabayashi was assigned to Cedar Rapids while the Kernels placed 2B Yunior Severino on the IL with a thigh strain. Elizabethton transferred RHP Casey Legumina on the 60-day IL retroactive 8/22. The GCL Twins transferred OF Bryson Gandy to the 60-day IL. RED WINGS REPORT Syracuse 5, Rochester 1 Box Score Randy Dobnak: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 57.6% strikes (49 of 85 pitches) HR: Ramon Flores (3) Multi-hit games: None Willians Astudillo started this game at third base and finished it in right field. He was also 1-for-4 with a strikeout. It was a quiet night for the Red Wings lineup, as Ramon Flores’ home run was their only extra-base hit. Randy Dobnak pitched well enough to give Rochester a chance, holding the Mets to two runs over five innings. Fernando Romero had a tough night in relief, walking three batters and giving up three runs in his inning of work. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 3, Jackson 2 Box Score Jhoan Duran: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Royce Lewis (3-for-4, 3 2Bs), Travis Blankenhorn (2-for-4, 2B) Jhoan Duran entered this game with a 7.13 ERA over his first 24 innings with Pensacola. He did a 180, got pointed in the right direction and was an absolute beast tonight for the Blue Wahoos. Duran carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, completed eight shutout innings and struck out 11 batters in what was an eye-opening performance. We’re getting very late in the minor league season, so it would be great to see him finish strong. Tonight was certainly a giant leap toward that direction. For most of Duran’s outing, he was protecting a one-run lead. Travis Blankenhorn hit an RBI double in the second inning and that was it through six frames. In the seventh, the rehabbing LaMonte Wade hit an RBI double and scored on a Royce Lewis double, one of three two-baggers for Royce on the evening. Those insurance runs proved to be massive, as Jackson rallied back to score two runs in the top of the ninth. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 8, Palm Beach 3 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 5.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 65.9% strikes (56 of 85 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (2-for-4, 2 2Bs, BB), Yelstin Encarnacion (2-for-4, BB) Fort Myers jumped all over Palm Beach, scoring three runs in the first inning and five more in the second. That created a low-stress return to the mound for Blayne Enlow, who was making his first start since Aug. 10. Enlow picked up the victory after throwing 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball. Four different Miracle hitters reached safely three times in this game. Jose Miranda had a pair of doubles and a walk. Yelstin Encarnacion also had two hits and a walk. Gabriel Maciel had a double and drew a pair of walks while Andrew Bechtold also had a hit and walked twice. KERNELS NUGGETS Clinton 6, Cedar Rapids 3 Box Score Tyler Palm: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 60.3% strikes (47 of 78 pitches) HR: Matt Wallner (1) Multi-hit games: Wallner (2-for-4, 2B, HR, HBP), Wander Javier (2-for-4, BB) Matt Wallner hit his first home run with the Kernels, his seventh on the season overall. Wander Javier reached base safely three times, but the rest of the Cedar Rapids lineup struggled to get much going. This was a tight game through most of the middle innings, thanks to a couple of clean frames from Austin Schulfer, but Clinton tallied two runs in the eighth and the Kernels could not answer. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 6, Danville 5 Box Score Owen Griffith: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K HR: Seth Gray (10), Charles Mack (7) Multi-hit games: Gray (3-for-5, 2B, HR), Kidany Salva (2-for-4) E-Town entered the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 5-4, but Willie Jo Garry Jr. sparked a rally with a one-out single. He advanced to second base on a wild pitch before Ruben Santana walked. Seth Gray stepped to the plate with the Twins down to their final out. He delivered a walk-off two-run double. https://twitter.com/ETwinsBaseball/status/1165078543585427456 Gray, the Twins fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, also hit his 10th home run, becoming just the fourth Appy League hitter to reach double digits in dingers this season. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Red Sox 1, GCL Twins 0 (8 innings) Box Score Jesus Toledo: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The GCL Twins got just two hits in this game, both singles. The rehabbing Luke Raley accounted for one of them. He also had an outfield assist. Jesus Toledo struggled with his control, walking three batters, but he managed to pitch three scoreless innings. Junior Navas followed suit with three shutout innings of his own before Niall Windeler pitched a scoreless seventh. The only run of this game was scored on a solo homer by the Red Sox in the bottom of the eighth inning. This game actually ended on a single to the next batter, as it was called early due to weather. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Jhoan Duran, Pensacola Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Seth Gray, Elizabethton TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis (PNS): 3-for-4, 3 2Bs, RBI 2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 1-for-4, E (fielding) 4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 1-for-3, BB, K 5. Wander Javier (CR): 2-for-4, BB, R 7: Keoni Cavaco (GCL): 0-for-4, 2 K 9. Jhoan Duran (PNS): 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K 10. Blayne Enlow (FM): 5.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 65.9% strikes (56 of 85 pitches) 13. Ryan Jeffers (PNS): 1-for-4, 2B, R, K 15. Matt Wallner (CR): 2-for-4, HR, 2B, HBP, R, 3 RBIs 18. Jorge Alcala (ROC): 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 40% strikes (2 of 5) 20. Travis Blankenhorn (PNS): 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Syracuse, 6:05 pm CT (TBD) Pensacola vs. Jackson, 6:05 pm CT (Bryan Sammons) Fort Myers at Palm Beach, 4:30 pm CT (Chris Vallimont) Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria, 6:35 pm CT (Andrew Cabezas) Elizabethton vs. Danville, 5:30 pm CT (TBD) GCL Twins vs. GCL Red Sox, 9:00 am CT (TBD) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  20. TRANSACTIONS SS Mike Miller signed and assigned to AAA Rochester LHP Lewis Thorpe optioned to AAA Rochester OF Jake Cave recalled by Minnesota RHP Zack Littell recalled by Minnesota RHP Williams Ramirez released by AA Pensacola 2B Yunior Severino activated from the 7-day IL for A Cedar Rapids RHP Matt Canterino promoted to A Cedar Rapids RHP Cody Laweryson assigned to Elizabethton Twins RHP Benjamin Dunn assigned to Elizabethton Twins RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 7, Pawtucket 4 Box Score Drew Hutchison: 5 ⅓ IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 64.8% strikes (59 of 91 pitches) HR: Brandon Barnes (25) Multi-hit games: Alejandro De Aza (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Ronald Torreyes (3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI) The Red Wings won a pretty clean game this Saturday. It was the new guys in the lineup who proved to be the major force as Mike Miller, Brandon Barnes, and Alejandro De Aza all had an extra-base hit and at least one run scored. Mike Miller is the newest of those guys and he made his Rochester debut with a double and a walk. If he continues to do this, they may start to really like him over there. Alejandro De Aza now has an OPS over 1.000 with the Red Wings so he seems ready in case the Twins (knock on wood) would ever need some more OF depth. Ryan Eades worked a great outing in relief of Hutchison as he got five outs with three coming via strikeout and just one hit allowed. All in all, Rochester pitching struck out ten without walking a single batter. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 3, Birmingham 1 Box Score Bryan Sammons: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 6 K, 56% strikes (56 of 100 pitches) HR: Larnach (3), Costello (3) Multi-hit games: Ivan De Jesús Jr. (2-for-3, 2B) Bryan Sammons was very very good on Saturday, notably so with a pair of goose eggs in more than one stat up there. Unfortunately, the five walks inflated the pitch count so he could not go any deeper for the no-hitter. Gabriel Moya relieved Sammons and gave up the first hit for the Barons in the eighth off a cheeky infield pop-up that didn’t get any home cooking from the official scorer. Either way, the Blue Wahoos’ pitching allowed only a single run on the day. Trevor Larnach had been having a somewhat rough time recently in his first games at AA, but he hit his third home run at AA on Saturday and that had to have felt good. In fact, the first three Blue Wahoos’ hitters (Lewis, Kirilloff, and Larnach) all had a hit. What are we nicknaming this group? The trifecta? C(Rush)? Let us think about it at least. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Lakeland 4 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Yeltsin Encarnacion (2-for-4, R) The Miracle lost a heartbreaker this Saturday. They got out to a lead first thanks to a Gabriel Maciel single in the third inning that scored Ernie De La Trinidad. Blayne Enlow was on the bump and he did the job as he went six innings with just one earned run. Normally I have the pitch count but MiLB.com has it that he threw forty-two pitches and well, I can tell you that that is not true. The Miracle added two more runs in the seventh off an Aaron Whitefield single to put the game at 3-1. Zach Neff working in his second inning in relief of Enlow in the eighth allowed four straight batters to reach and two runs to make it a 4-3 deficit. The Miracle could not recover. Aaron Whitefield had a good game as he reached base three times and knocked in a run. ( The second run that scored on his single was not counted as an RBI because that run scored on a throwing error.) He was also picked off once but I won’t dwell on the negative. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Burlington 2 Box Score Matt Cantinero: 2 ⅔ IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 47.7% strikes (31 of 65 pitches) HR: Wander Javier (7) Multi-hit games: Gilberto Celestino (2-for-4, R) Matt Cantinero made his Kernels debut and did not allow any hits or runs but fought his command as he failed to hit the 50% strike mark. I watched some of his start and it looked like he could not keep the breaking ball down specifically but this was most likely just nerves. Also, his delivery has more funk than a Red Hot Chili Peppers album from the 80’s. The Kernels only scored one time and it was from Wander Javier who blasted a three-run homer in the sixth inning to take the lead. It has not been the easiest of time for Wander at Cedar Rapids but the power is starting to flash as this was his second homer in nine games. Yunior Severino made his return to the Kernels’ lineup and he got a hit while striking out twice. E-Town E-Notes Elizabethton 9, Bristol 6 Box Score Ryley Widell: 4 ⅓ IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K HR: Seth Gray (8) Multi-hit games: Seth Gray (2-for-5, HR, 2B, 1 R, 4 RBI), Anthony Prato (3-for-3, 2 R, RBI) Good pro tip: if you give up a lot of runs, make sure to score more runs. Thanks, I’ll be here all week. It was looking bleak for Elizabethton as they were down headed into the bottom of the ninth and there were some shenanigans regarding the sprinkler system: https://twitter.com/BadderUpSports/status/1157823463014502400 Anyway, it was a 6-4 game in favor of Bristol in the ninth before a Willie Joe Garry Jr. single scored a run to make it a little closer. DaShawn Keirsey walked to load the bases before Seth Gray hit a walk-off grand slam. That was Gray’s second extra- base hit of the day and he chose a great time to do it. https://twitter.com/ETwinsBaseball/status/1157839069256310785 GCL Twins Takes GCL Twins postponed The GCL Twins were postponed today so I have nothing to tell you here, move on. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Bryan Sammons Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Seth Gray PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, 3B, R #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 1-for-4 #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - IL #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, HR, R, RBI, 2 K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB, K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Postponed #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Day to day #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - Did not play #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) - Did not play #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 0-for-4, R, K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 1-for-3, BB #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 0-for-4, R, BB #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - IL SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Pawtucket (12:05 A.M.) - RHP Adam Bray Birmingham @ Pensacola (5:05 P.M.) - RHP Edwar Colina Fort Myers @ Lakeland (12:00 P.M.) - RHP Bailey Ober Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 P.M.) - RHP Tyler Palm Bristol @ Elizabethton (5:00 P.M.) - RHP Tyler Benninghoff Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games.
  21. It was another very fun day in the Twins’ minor league system as nearly every team who played won their game and there was a no-hitter flirtation. There were also some bombs hit by some top prospects which is always fun. All that and more in this edition of the minor league report.TRANSACTIONS SS Mike Miller signed and assigned to AAA Rochester LHP Lewis Thorpe optioned to AAA Rochester OF Jake Cave recalled by Minnesota RHP Zack Littell recalled by Minnesota RHP Williams Ramirez released by AA Pensacola 2B Yunior Severino activated from the 7-day IL for A Cedar Rapids RHP Matt Canterino promoted to A Cedar Rapids RHP Cody Laweryson assigned to Elizabethton Twins RHP Benjamin Dunn assigned to Elizabethton Twins RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 7, Pawtucket 4 Box Score Drew Hutchison: 5 ⅓ IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 64.8% strikes (59 of 91 pitches) HR: Brandon Barnes (25) Multi-hit games: Alejandro De Aza (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Ronald Torreyes (3-for-5, 2B, R, RBI) The Red Wings won a pretty clean game this Saturday. It was the new guys in the lineup who proved to be the major force as Mike Miller, Brandon Barnes, and Alejandro De Aza all had an extra-base hit and at least one run scored. Mike Miller is the newest of those guys and he made his Rochester debut with a double and a walk. If he continues to do this, they may start to really like him over there. Alejandro De Aza now has an OPS over 1.000 with the Red Wings so he seems ready in case the Twins (knock on wood) would ever need some more OF depth. Ryan Eades worked a great outing in relief of Hutchison as he got five outs with three coming via strikeout and just one hit allowed. All in all, Rochester pitching struck out ten without walking a single batter. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 3, Birmingham 1 Box Score Bryan Sammons: 6 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 6 K, 56% strikes (56 of 100 pitches) HR: Larnach (3), Costello (3) Multi-hit games: Ivan De Jesús Jr. (2-for-3, 2B) Bryan Sammons was very very good on Saturday, notably so with a pair of goose eggs in more than one stat up there. Unfortunately, the five walks inflated the pitch count so he could not go any deeper for the no-hitter. Gabriel Moya relieved Sammons and gave up the first hit for the Barons in the eighth off a cheeky infield pop-up that didn’t get any home cooking from the official scorer. Either way, the Blue Wahoos’ pitching allowed only a single run on the day. Trevor Larnach had been having a somewhat rough time recently in his first games at AA, but he hit his third home run at AA on Saturday and that had to have felt good. In fact, the first three Blue Wahoos’ hitters (Lewis, Kirilloff, and Larnach) all had a hit. What are we nicknaming this group? The trifecta? C(Rush)? Let us think about it at least. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Lakeland 4 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Yeltsin Encarnacion (2-for-4, R) The Miracle lost a heartbreaker this Saturday. They got out to a lead first thanks to a Gabriel Maciel single in the third inning that scored Ernie De La Trinidad. Blayne Enlow was on the bump and he did the job as he went six innings with just one earned run. Normally I have the pitch count but MiLB.com has it that he threw forty-two pitches and well, I can tell you that that is not true. The Miracle added two more runs in the seventh off an Aaron Whitefield single to put the game at 3-1. Zach Neff working in his second inning in relief of Enlow in the eighth allowed four straight batters to reach and two runs to make it a 4-3 deficit. The Miracle could not recover. Aaron Whitefield had a good game as he reached base three times and knocked in a run. ( The second run that scored on his single was not counted as an RBI because that run scored on a throwing error.) He was also picked off once but I won’t dwell on the negative. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Burlington 2 Box Score Matt Cantinero: 2 ⅔ IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 3 K, 47.7% strikes (31 of 65 pitches) HR: Wander Javier (7) Multi-hit games: Gilberto Celestino (2-for-4, R) Matt Cantinero made his Kernels debut and did not allow any hits or runs but fought his command as he failed to hit the 50% strike mark. I watched some of his start and it looked like he could not keep the breaking ball down specifically but this was most likely just nerves. Also, his delivery has more funk than a Red Hot Chili Peppers album from the 80’s. The Kernels only scored one time and it was from Wander Javier who blasted a three-run homer in the sixth inning to take the lead. It has not been the easiest of time for Wander at Cedar Rapids but the power is starting to flash as this was his second homer in nine games. Yunior Severino made his return to the Kernels’ lineup and he got a hit while striking out twice. E-Town E-Notes Elizabethton 9, Bristol 6 Box Score Ryley Widell: 4 ⅓ IP, 6 H, 5 ER, 3 BB, 2 K HR: Seth Gray (8) Multi-hit games: Seth Gray (2-for-5, HR, 2B, 1 R, 4 RBI), Anthony Prato (3-for-3, 2 R, RBI) Good pro tip: if you give up a lot of runs, make sure to score more runs. Thanks, I’ll be here all week. It was looking bleak for Elizabethton as they were down headed into the bottom of the ninth and there were some shenanigans regarding the sprinkler system: Anyway, it was a 6-4 game in favor of Bristol in the ninth before a Willie Joe Garry Jr. single scored a run to make it a little closer. DaShawn Keirsey walked to load the bases before Seth Gray hit a walk-off grand slam. That was Gray’s second extra- base hit of the day and he chose a great time to do it. GCL Twins Takes GCL Twins postponed The GCL Twins were postponed today so I have nothing to tell you here, move on. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Bryan Sammons Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Seth Gray PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, 3B, R #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 1-for-4 #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - IL #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, HR, R, RBI, 2 K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-2, 2 R, 2 BB, K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Postponed #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Day to day #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - Did not play #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) - Did not play #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 0-for-4, R, K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 1-for-3, BB #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 0-for-4, R, BB #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - IL SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Pawtucket (12:05 A.M.) - RHP Adam Bray Birmingham @ Pensacola (5:05 P.M.) - RHP Edwar Colina Fort Myers @ Lakeland (12:00 P.M.) - RHP Bailey Ober Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 P.M.) - RHP Tyler Palm Bristol @ Elizabethton (5:00 P.M.) - RHP Tyler Benninghoff Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games. Click here to view the article
  22. That means that, for the first time in the professional baseball careers of virtually every Twins minor leaguer, there’s a chance that any one of them could find themselves packing their bags this week and moving on to another organization. Fort Myers Miracle pitcher Blayne Enlow knows the score. “No one is safe,” Enlow said on Sunday. “Not even Royce (Lewis), who is their number one prospect. If he’s not safe, no one’s safe. You can always get traded.” Enlow, the 2017 third round draft choice of the Twins, is the organization’s 12th ranked prospect, according to MLB.com, making him just about as likely to be a name on the lips of GMs talking trades with Twins brass Derek Falvey and Thad Levine this week as any other Twins prospect. Enlow said that he doesn’t feel like the trade possibilities are at the forefront of players’ minds, even as Lewin Diaz, their teammate with the Miracle until a promotion sent him up to Double-A Pensacola a few weeks ago, got the news Saturday night that he had been traded to the Marlins organization in return for reliever Sergio Romo, minor league arm Chris Vallimont and a player to be named later. “It is what it is. You get a lot of relationships and you become close to a lot of guys, but at any moment you could be traded,” he said. “So, do you (let it) get into your head? No. It’s not like you’re always thinking about (getting) traded, but if it happens, you’ve got to accept it. What are you going to do? You can’t do nothing. The Twins have got a really, really good season going. They’re trying to chase that ring and they’re going to do whatever is necessary to get it.” His manger in Fort Myers, Toby Gardenhire, agrees. “I don’t think it’s an issue at all,” he said. “The players deal with it the way they deal with it. They don’t really honestly know whether you’re buyers or sellers.” With a smile, Gardenhire added, “These guys haven’t been in pro ball long enough to really realize what that means. So, every year at the trade deadline, they all think they’re going to get traded and it doesn’t happen. “This year’s a little bit different,” he conceded. “The Twins are trying to get guys this year, so we know, as a staff, there’s a chance that some of these guys might get traded. But I don’t really think it affects them as players. I think they just go out there and play the game.” For a young player, getting traded can be a mixed bag. On the one hand, you’re having to leave the teammates, coaches and development staff you’ve been working and playing with, perhaps, as with Diaz, for your entire professional career. On the other hand, as may also be the case with Diaz, the trade could open up a door to accelerate your opportunity to get to the big leagues. And in the end, that’s the ultimate goal of every minor leaguer. The Diaz trade also brought out mixed emotions for Gardenhire, who managed the first baseman during the first half of the 2019 season. “It’s tough because I really like that kid and he did a really good job. I think he’s got a very bright future,” he said. “But at the same time, I do know that the Twins got a pitcher that they desperately needed. We got some other guys in return. So, it’s a good thing for the organization. “I think for Lewin it’s going to be a good thing, also. He’s got a chance to go over there, he might be in the big leagues by the end of the year. So, it’s tough because I really like the kid and I’m happy for him. But I know he’s got mixed feelings, too, because he liked the organization and he wanted to be around, too. So, it’s tough. “I hope he goes over there and gets plenty of opportunities, which I’m sure he will. When you trade for somebody like that and you trade away a couple of guys, you want to see what you have. Hopefully, (the Marlins) will give him a shot up there and hopefully, he’ll be up there (to the big leagues) this year.” Enlow is also a big fan of his former teammate. “It don’t matter what’s coming, Lewin Diaz is unreal with the bat,” Enlow said. “He’s got incredible hand-eye coordination and he can just put it wherever he wants. Just ridiculous. I’ve seen him put balls, (that I thought) ‘how is that even hittable?’, four hundred feet out. He’s a really gifted hitter and he’s a really good dude. You never want to see one of your teammates go, but I want to see him succeed. Hopefully, it does bring him closer (to the big leagues).” For his part, the 20-year-old Enlow has had the kind of season that is almost certainly being noticed by scouts and GMs across baseball. After opening the season in Cedar Rapids and putting up a 4-3 record in eight starts for the Kernels, Enlow was promoted to Class High-A Fort Myers near the end of May. His first five starts in a Miracle uniform were quality starts. The sixth start, though, was problematic. Enlow took a comebacker off his throwing elbow in the first inning and came out of the game. He returned to the mound for his next start seven days later, but lasted just three innings. He surrendered four earned runs in five innings in his following start and gave up five earned in his most recent start on Friday. He did work a full seven innings Friday, however, facing just the minimum nine batters in the final three innings. Enlow dismissed the suggestion that maybe his elbow has had some residual effect on his mound performances this month. “I think everything’s perfectly fine,” he said. “It hit the elbow, so it was going to hurt. But nothing terrible happened. Michael Helman (Miracle infielder) got hit in the forearm the other day and broke his bone, so I’m just blessed it wasn’t something too serious. I don’t think (the elbow) has affected me. It’s just like, it happens. It’s baseball. You’re going to get hit some days and you’re going to do good (other days). Just got to keep on keeping on.” The right-hander has had some dramatic splits this season in one area. He’s notched a 2.08 ERA and .204 Batting Average Against when he faces right-handed hitters, while lefties have touched him for a .302 BAA and 5.91 ERA. Interestingly, a year ago, he had far more success against left-handers than righties. Asked about the splits, Enlow had an explanation ready “I didn’t really have a curve ball last year, so the righties felt more comfortable,” he explained. “And I had a really good change up last year which had the lefties uncomfortable at the plate. This year I’ve got my curve ball and now I’m just dominating the righties more so. But the lefties, I’ve been leaving a lot of stuff right down the middle and if you make a mistake, they’re going to punish you for it.” Gardenhire, who also managed Enlow in Cedar Rapids in 2018, is in his pitcher’s corner and likes what he’s seen out of him since he joined the Miracle. “He’s made big strides from last year with the way he goes about his business,” the manager said. “He’s still a kid. He’s only 20. So, learning how to be a professional pitcher, I think, has been the most important part for him and he’s definitely getting there. He’s making big strides, big improvements. He’s got good stuff. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to use that and how to be ready to use it all on a day to day basis is his biggest thing. So, like I said, big strides this year.” Now, we all just have to sit back and see if Enlow’s still making those strides as a member of the Twins organization come August 1.
  23. For the first time in perhaps a decade or more, the Minnesota Twins are a true “buyer” as the July 31 trade deadline approaches, looking for pitching help to solidify not only their bullpen, but also perhaps their starting rotation. They’ve been linked through media reports to virtually every top of the rotation starting pitcher that non-contenders may be making available.That means that, for the first time in the professional baseball careers of virtually every Twins minor leaguer, there’s a chance that any one of them could find themselves packing their bags this week and moving on to another organization. Fort Myers Miracle pitcher Blayne Enlow knows the score. “No one is safe,” Enlow said on Sunday. “Not even Royce (Lewis), who is their number one prospect. If he’s not safe, no one’s safe. You can always get traded.” Enlow, the 2017 third round draft choice of the Twins, is the organization’s 12th ranked prospect, according to MLB.com, making him just about as likely to be a name on the lips of GMs talking trades with Twins brass Derek Falvey and Thad Levine this week as any other Twins prospect. Enlow said that he doesn’t feel like the trade possibilities are at the forefront of players’ minds, even as Lewin Diaz, their teammate with the Miracle until a promotion sent him up to Double-A Pensacola a few weeks ago, got the news Saturday night that he had been traded to the Marlins organization in return for reliever Sergio Romo, minor league arm Chris Vallimont and a player to be named later. “It is what it is. You get a lot of relationships and you become close to a lot of guys, but at any moment you could be traded,” he said. “So, do you (let it) get into your head? No. It’s not like you’re always thinking about (getting) traded, but if it happens, you’ve got to accept it. What are you going to do? You can’t do nothing. The Twins have got a really, really good season going. They’re trying to chase that ring and they’re going to do whatever is necessary to get it.” His manger in Fort Myers, Toby Gardenhire, agrees. “I don’t think it’s an issue at all,” he said. “The players deal with it the way they deal with it. They don’t really honestly know whether you’re buyers or sellers.” With a smile, Gardenhire added, “These guys haven’t been in pro ball long enough to really realize what that means. So, every year at the trade deadline, they all think they’re going to get traded and it doesn’t happen. “This year’s a little bit different,” he conceded. “The Twins are trying to get guys this year, so we know, as a staff, there’s a chance that some of these guys might get traded. But I don’t really think it affects them as players. I think they just go out there and play the game.” For a young player, getting traded can be a mixed bag. On the one hand, you’re having to leave the teammates, coaches and development staff you’ve been working and playing with, perhaps, as with Diaz, for your entire professional career. On the other hand, as may also be the case with Diaz, the trade could open up a door to accelerate your opportunity to get to the big leagues. And in the end, that’s the ultimate goal of every minor leaguer. The Diaz trade also brought out mixed emotions for Gardenhire, who managed the first baseman during the first half of the 2019 season. “It’s tough because I really like that kid and he did a really good job. I think he’s got a very bright future,” he said. “But at the same time, I do know that the Twins got a pitcher that they desperately needed. We got some other guys in return. So, it’s a good thing for the organization. “I think for Lewin it’s going to be a good thing, also. He’s got a chance to go over there, he might be in the big leagues by the end of the year. So, it’s tough because I really like the kid and I’m happy for him. But I know he’s got mixed feelings, too, because he liked the organization and he wanted to be around, too. So, it’s tough. “I hope he goes over there and gets plenty of opportunities, which I’m sure he will. When you trade for somebody like that and you trade away a couple of guys, you want to see what you have. Hopefully, (the Marlins) will give him a shot up there and hopefully, he’ll be up there (to the big leagues) this year.” Enlow is also a big fan of his former teammate. “It don’t matter what’s coming, Lewin Diaz is unreal with the bat,” Enlow said. “He’s got incredible hand-eye coordination and he can just put it wherever he wants. Just ridiculous. I’ve seen him put balls, (that I thought) ‘how is that even hittable?’, four hundred feet out. He’s a really gifted hitter and he’s a really good dude. You never want to see one of your teammates go, but I want to see him succeed. Hopefully, it does bring him closer (to the big leagues).” For his part, the 20-year-old Enlow has had the kind of season that is almost certainly being noticed by scouts and GMs across baseball. After opening the season in Cedar Rapids and putting up a 4-3 record in eight starts for the Kernels, Enlow was promoted to Class High-A Fort Myers near the end of May. His first five starts in a Miracle uniform were quality starts. The sixth start, though, was problematic. Enlow took a comebacker off his throwing elbow in the first inning and came out of the game. He returned to the mound for his next start seven days later, but lasted just three innings. He surrendered four earned runs in five innings in his following start and gave up five earned in his most recent start on Friday. He did work a full seven innings Friday, however, facing just the minimum nine batters in the final three innings. Enlow dismissed the suggestion that maybe his elbow has had some residual effect on his mound performances this month. “I think everything’s perfectly fine,” he said. “It hit the elbow, so it was going to hurt. But nothing terrible happened. Michael Helman (Miracle infielder) got hit in the forearm the other day and broke his bone, so I’m just blessed it wasn’t something too serious. I don’t think (the elbow) has affected me. It’s just like, it happens. It’s baseball. You’re going to get hit some days and you’re going to do good (other days). Just got to keep on keeping on.” The right-hander has had some dramatic splits this season in one area. He’s notched a 2.08 ERA and .204 Batting Average Against when he faces right-handed hitters, while lefties have touched him for a .302 BAA and 5.91 ERA. Interestingly, a year ago, he had far more success against left-handers than righties. Asked about the splits, Enlow had an explanation ready “I didn’t really have a curve ball last year, so the righties felt more comfortable,” he explained. “And I had a really good change up last year which had the lefties uncomfortable at the plate. This year I’ve got my curve ball and now I’m just dominating the righties more so. But the lefties, I’ve been leaving a lot of stuff right down the middle and if you make a mistake, they’re going to punish you for it.” Gardenhire, who also managed Enlow in Cedar Rapids in 2018, is in his pitcher’s corner and likes what he’s seen out of him since he joined the Miracle. “He’s made big strides from last year with the way he goes about his business,” the manager said. “He’s still a kid. He’s only 20. So, learning how to be a professional pitcher, I think, has been the most important part for him and he’s definitely getting there. He’s making big strides, big improvements. He’s got good stuff. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to use that and how to be ready to use it all on a day to day basis is his biggest thing. So, like I said, big strides this year.” Now, we all just have to sit back and see if Enlow’s still making those strides as a member of the Twins organization come August 1. Click here to view the article
  24. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Starters for June, there were some other strong starting performers that just missed the cut. You can certainly agree or disagree with the rankings. Let’s discuss the top starting pitchers in the organization in June. HONORABLE MENTION Edwar Colina - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 4 GS, 24.0 IP, 2.63 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 23 H, 6 BB, 17 K (.253/601) Randy Dobnak - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 3 GS, 30.2 IP, 2.05 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 31 H, 6 BB, 26 K, (267/657) Kody Funderburk - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 3 G, 3 GS, 13.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 11 H, 3 BB, 18 K (.220/571) Griffin Jax - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 4 G, 4 GS, 19.1 IP, 1.40 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 13 H, 3 BB, 11 K, (183/399) Sean Poppen - Rochester Red Wings - 6 G, 4 GS, 31.0 IP, 2.90 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 26 H, 12 BB, 36 K (226/686) Luis Rijo - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 3 G, 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 0.61 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 7 H, 4 BB, 12 K (149/.418) Devin Smeltzer - Rochester Red Wings - 4 G, 4 GS, 20.0 IP, 3.60 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 19 H, 3 BB, 30 K (250/739) Kai-Wei Teng - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 3 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.57 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 19 H, 7 BB, 23 K (.235/.570) THE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS #5 - RHP Blayne Enlow - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 3 GS, 25.1 IP, 2.13 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 18 H, 7 BB, 20 K Enlow had a couple of tough, short starts for Cedar Rapids during the season’s first month, but he has been really good since then. He was a candidate for Starting Pitcher of the Month in May, and was promoted to Ft. Myers at the end of that month. He has been even better since joining the Miracle. He has produced a quality start in all five of his Miracle starts. Enlow is blessed with a low-90s fastball that occasionally pushes to 94 and even 95. He also is known for his breaking ball and ability to spin the ball. The Twins third-round pick in 2017 continues to grow as a pitcher which is exciting as he won’t turn 21 until next March. #4 - RHP Cole Sands - Ft. Myers Miracle - 3 GS, 16.1 IP, 2.20 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 8 H, 2 BB, 19 K Sands was the Twins fifth-round pick last year after three seasons at Florida State. The Twins just shut him down and didn’t have him pitch at all after the draft. He came to spring this year and pitched well in Cedar Rapids. In his first start of the season, he tossed five hitless innings. He was promoted to the Miracle right before June. He had a short IL stint, and when he returned, he threw five no-hit innings. He has given up just two hits in 11 innings over his past two starts. Sands also works in the low 90s with good secondary pitches as you would expect from a 21-year-old coming out of a quality college baseball program. In his three June starts, opponents hit just .145 off of him with a .409 OPS. #3 - RHP Austin Schulfer - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 4 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 11 H, 5 BB, 23 K Schulfer was the Twins 19th-round pick a year ago after four years at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He pitched in Elizabethton last year. This year, he began the season in the Cedar Rapids bullpen, though he usually worked multiple innings. He appeared in the April Relief Pitcher of the Month list, and then Brian Dinkelman moved him into the Kernels rotation where he has continued to pitch well. Schulfer doesn’t throw real hard, but he generally throws strikes and stays away from the middle of the plate with each of his pitches. Opponents hit just .151 with a .498 OPS against him in June. #2 - RHP Jhoan Duran - 4 G, 3 GS, 24.0 IP, 1.88 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 15 H, 10 BB, 31 K, Overall this season Jhoan Duran has a record of 1-7. You might think that he must not be pitching well, but that isn’t the case. He has a 3.48 ERA on the season and has 78 strikeouts in 62 innings (26 walks). He has been pretty consistent and his stuff has continued to improve. We often hear about him hitting triple-digits multiple times in his starts. Duran came to the Twins last July in the Eduardo Escobar trade from the Diamondbacks.In June, he went 1-3 with a 1.88 ERA. He gave up one run in three of his starts, and two runs in the other. Duran recently ranked #9 in our midseason Twins top prospect rankings. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Cedar Rapids Kernels - RHP Josh Winder - 5 G, 5 GS, 34.0 IP, 1.32 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 22 H, 6 BB, 28 K (190/520) At the end of May, Steve Buhr wrote an article on Josh Winder that profiled the talented right-hander drafted a year ago out of Virginia Military Academy. He talked about liking to keep his room clean and his head clear, especially on the mound. Winder was pitching well at the time, but he was tremendous in June. In 13 starts so far this season for the Kernels, Winder is 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. As you can see above, he was tremendous in five June starts. All five starts were quality starts. He had a seven-inning shutout performance early in the month at Peoria. He ended his month with eight innings of shutout baseball against Kane County. In that start, he gave up just three hits, walked none and struck out eight. Winder works with a low-90s fastball. He has a good curveball and has worked really hard to make his changeup an effective pitch. And it has become a really good pitch for him. One would think that a promotion to Ft. Myers should be in the near future for Winder. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of June, Cedar Rapids Kernels right-hander Josh Winder. Feel free to discuss and ask questions.
  25. In the last couple of days, we have announced our choices for Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month for June and Twins Relief Pitcher of the Month for June. Today, we will look at an extensive group of starting pitchers who were really good in June. The rankings were not easy at all, so be sure to add your rankings as well. As impressive as the top five were this month, there were another eight starters that received strong consideration and are listed among the honorable mentions. Previous 2019 Starting Pitchers of the Month: April - Devin Smeltzer - Pensacola Blue Wahoos May - Jordan Balazovic - Ft. Myers MiracleBefore we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Starters for June, there were some other strong starting performers that just missed the cut. You can certainly agree or disagree with the rankings. Let’s discuss the top starting pitchers in the organization in June. HONORABLE MENTION Edwar Colina - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 4 GS, 24.0 IP, 2.63 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 23 H, 6 BB, 17 K (.253/601)Randy Dobnak - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 3 GS, 30.2 IP, 2.05 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 31 H, 6 BB, 26 K, (267/657)Kody Funderburk - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 3 G, 3 GS, 13.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 11 H, 3 BB, 18 K (.220/571)Griffin Jax - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 4 G, 4 GS, 19.1 IP, 1.40 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 13 H, 3 BB, 11 K, (183/399)Sean Poppen - Rochester Red Wings - 6 G, 4 GS, 31.0 IP, 2.90 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 26 H, 12 BB, 36 K (226/686)Luis Rijo - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 3 G, 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 0.61 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 7 H, 4 BB, 12 K (149/.418)Devin Smeltzer - Rochester Red Wings - 4 G, 4 GS, 20.0 IP, 3.60 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 19 H, 3 BB, 30 K (250/739)Kai-Wei Teng - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 3 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.57 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 19 H, 7 BB, 23 K (.235/.570)THE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS #5 - RHP Blayne Enlow - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 3 GS, 25.1 IP, 2.13 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 18 H, 7 BB, 20 K Enlow had a couple of tough, short starts for Cedar Rapids during the season’s first month, but he has been really good since then. He was a candidate for Starting Pitcher of the Month in May, and was promoted to Ft. Myers at the end of that month. He has been even better since joining the Miracle. He has produced a quality start in all five of his Miracle starts. Enlow is blessed with a low-90s fastball that occasionally pushes to 94 and even 95. He also is known for his breaking ball and ability to spin the ball. The Twins third-round pick in 2017 continues to grow as a pitcher which is exciting as he won’t turn 21 until next March. #4 - RHP Cole Sands - Ft. Myers Miracle - 3 GS, 16.1 IP, 2.20 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 8 H, 2 BB, 19 K Sands was the Twins fifth-round pick last year after three seasons at Florida State. The Twins just shut him down and didn’t have him pitch at all after the draft. He came to spring this year and pitched well in Cedar Rapids. In his first start of the season, he tossed five hitless innings. He was promoted to the Miracle right before June. He had a short IL stint, and when he returned, he threw five no-hit innings. He has given up just two hits in 11 innings over his past two starts. Sands also works in the low 90s with good secondary pitches as you would expect from a 21-year-old coming out of a quality college baseball program. In his three June starts, opponents hit just .145 off of him with a .409 OPS. #3 - RHP Austin Schulfer - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 4 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 11 H, 5 BB, 23 K Schulfer was the Twins 19th-round pick a year ago after four years at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He pitched in Elizabethton last year. This year, he began the season in the Cedar Rapids bullpen, though he usually worked multiple innings. He appeared in the April Relief Pitcher of the Month list, and then Brian Dinkelman moved him into the Kernels rotation where he has continued to pitch well. Schulfer doesn’t throw real hard, but he generally throws strikes and stays away from the middle of the plate with each of his pitches. Opponents hit just .151 with a .498 OPS against him in June. #2 - RHP Jhoan Duran - 4 G, 3 GS, 24.0 IP, 1.88 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 15 H, 10 BB, 31 K, Overall this season Jhoan Duran has a record of 1-7. You might think that he must not be pitching well, but that isn’t the case. He has a 3.48 ERA on the season and has 78 strikeouts in 62 innings (26 walks). He has been pretty consistent and his stuff has continued to improve. We often hear about him hitting triple-digits multiple times in his starts. Duran came to the Twins last July in the Eduardo Escobar trade from the Diamondbacks.In June, he went 1-3 with a 1.88 ERA. He gave up one run in three of his starts, and two runs in the other. Duran recently ranked #9 in our midseason Twins top prospect rankings. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Cedar Rapids Kernels - RHP Josh Winder - 5 G, 5 GS, 34.0 IP, 1.32 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 22 H, 6 BB, 28 K (190/520) At the end of May, Steve Buhr wrote an article on Josh Winder that profiled the talented right-hander drafted a year ago out of Virginia Military Academy. He talked about liking to keep his room clean and his head clear, especially on the mound. Winder was pitching well at the time, but he was tremendous in June. In 13 starts so far this season for the Kernels, Winder is 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. As you can see above, he was tremendous in five June starts. All five starts were quality starts. He had a seven-inning shutout performance early in the month at Peoria. He ended his month with eight innings of shutout baseball against Kane County. In that start, he gave up just three hits, walked none and struck out eight. Winder works with a low-90s fastball. He has a good curveball and has worked really hard to make his changeup an effective pitch. And it has become a really good pitch for him. One would think that a promotion to Ft. Myers should be in the near future for Winder. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of June, Cedar Rapids Kernels right-hander Josh Winder. Feel free to discuss and ask questions. Click here to view the article
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