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  1. I also added in a few prospects with extreme statistical profiles, just for fun. Image courtesy of Andrew West/The News-Press via Imagn Content Services, LLC Noah Cardenas For my life, I can’t figure out why Noah Cardenas isn’t well-regarded as a prospect. Catchers who can hit are rare; catchers who can hit and field well are unique, and Cardenas might be that kind of player. Let’s start with the bat: his .302/.407/.426 line at UCLA has translated well to a .261/.421/.413 one over his first full season in professional ball, 99 games with the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. Despite a hitting environment that favors pitchers, Cardenas rode his excellent feel for the plate to an 18.2% walk rate, good for 3rd in the Florida League; his .421 OBP placed him 4th. Fielding is more difficult to analyze—even major league stats remain shaky these days—but Eric Longenhagen and Tess Taruskin refer to him as a “glove-driven” catcher, and the Pac-12 honored Cardenas with an honorable mention on their All-Defensive Team in 2019. He’s a touch older than your typical A-ball player—he celebrated his 23rd birthday on September 10th—but Cardenas should remain firmly on your radar over the next few years. Cody Laweryson “Fun” is seldom a word that describes a prospect, but the word fits Cody Laweryson’s bill perfectly. A 14th-round pick out of Maine in 2019, Laweryson shocked with a monstrous 15-strikeout performance to end his time in rookie ball but entered a hiatus thanks to the canceled minor league season in 2020. His 2021 season was forgettable, but he returned with a dominating 2022 campaign. Laweryson silenced bats with a 1.62 ERA, flipping between starting and relief, striking out 30.2% of hitters while walking just 7.2%. He even stepped up his game at AA, holding a 1.06 ERA over 59 ⅔ innings in a hitter-friendly environment. Laweryson’s secret sauce is deception, a crane-like delivery with slanted arms and raised elbows that would fit perfectly next to Michael Jackson in the Thriller music video. Hitters can barely see the ball as a barrage of limbs fly toward the plate, masking Laweryson’s pitches until too late. The Twins chose not to protect Laweryson in the upcoming Rule 5 draft, opening up the chance for another team to poach him. Brent Headrick In May, Matthew Lenz told us we should start noticing Brent Headrick. He was on to something. After struggling with command in 2021, Headrick shifted into high gear in 2022, punching out batters at an elite rate—31%, to be exact—while limiting walks with Joe Musgrove-esque control. Even a promotion into a hitters' lion's den—the Texas League—couldn’t slow down Headrick’s reign; his K-BB% barely budged after joining the Wind Surge. While not a velocity expert, Headrick works with a deceptive delivery, placing pitches in their proper location before punching out the batter with a high fastball or a diving breaking ball. The Twins agree that Headrick is fascinating; the team chose to protect him in the upcoming Rule 5 draft, perhaps paving a path for the Illinois State product to pitch for the major league club in 2023. Others Prospect evaluation is far from perfect, but one can often parse through the noise, instead focusing on the statistical freak shows who have become major league stars in recent seasons. Steven Kwan rode an elite contact profile to a 4.4 fWAR season; our own Luis Arraez broke out and won a silver slugger in 2022; Cristian Javier’s absurd minor league K numbers have translated to a career 30.9% K rate in the majors. These players were dinged for other drawbacks, but their outlier abilities have carried them to major league success. Here are a few guys in the Twins organization who stick out: Jaylen Nowlin Jaylen Nowlin struck out 35.9% of hitters in 2022. His command was dreadful enough to omit from this paragraph—his walk rate could scare the less courageous among us—but that punch-out rate will keep him around, maybe translating to major league playing time. Austin Schulfer The nearly 27-year-old Austin Schulfer is knocking loud enough on the Twins’ door that the neighbors are starting to get irritated. His strikeout and walk rates moved in the wrong direction in 2022, but his groundball rate jumped from average to 58.3%, good for tops in the system amongst all pitchers with 50 innings. Only seven qualified MLB relievers could claim a better penchant for grounders in 2022. Noah Miller 19-year-olds aren’t supposed to walk 16.2% of the time in their first full season in professional baseball, especially when they play in an offensively stunted environment. Noah Miller’s extra-base authority lagged, but his feel for the zone is already elite. View full article
  2. Noah Cardenas For my life, I can’t figure out why Noah Cardenas isn’t well-regarded as a prospect. Catchers who can hit are rare; catchers who can hit and field well are unique, and Cardenas might be that kind of player. Let’s start with the bat: his .302/.407/.426 line at UCLA has translated well to a .261/.421/.413 one over his first full season in professional ball, 99 games with the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. Despite a hitting environment that favors pitchers, Cardenas rode his excellent feel for the plate to an 18.2% walk rate, good for 3rd in the Florida League; his .421 OBP placed him 4th. Fielding is more difficult to analyze—even major league stats remain shaky these days—but Eric Longenhagen and Tess Taruskin refer to him as a “glove-driven” catcher, and the Pac-12 honored Cardenas with an honorable mention on their All-Defensive Team in 2019. He’s a touch older than your typical A-ball player—he celebrated his 23rd birthday on September 10th—but Cardenas should remain firmly on your radar over the next few years. Cody Laweryson “Fun” is seldom a word that describes a prospect, but the word fits Cody Laweryson’s bill perfectly. A 14th-round pick out of Maine in 2019, Laweryson shocked with a monstrous 15-strikeout performance to end his time in rookie ball but entered a hiatus thanks to the canceled minor league season in 2020. His 2021 season was forgettable, but he returned with a dominating 2022 campaign. Laweryson silenced bats with a 1.62 ERA, flipping between starting and relief, striking out 30.2% of hitters while walking just 7.2%. He even stepped up his game at AA, holding a 1.06 ERA over 59 ⅔ innings in a hitter-friendly environment. Laweryson’s secret sauce is deception, a crane-like delivery with slanted arms and raised elbows that would fit perfectly next to Michael Jackson in the Thriller music video. Hitters can barely see the ball as a barrage of limbs fly toward the plate, masking Laweryson’s pitches until too late. The Twins chose not to protect Laweryson in the upcoming Rule 5 draft, opening up the chance for another team to poach him. Brent Headrick In May, Matthew Lenz told us we should start noticing Brent Headrick. He was on to something. After struggling with command in 2021, Headrick shifted into high gear in 2022, punching out batters at an elite rate—31%, to be exact—while limiting walks with Joe Musgrove-esque control. Even a promotion into a hitters' lion's den—the Texas League—couldn’t slow down Headrick’s reign; his K-BB% barely budged after joining the Wind Surge. While not a velocity expert, Headrick works with a deceptive delivery, placing pitches in their proper location before punching out the batter with a high fastball or a diving breaking ball. The Twins agree that Headrick is fascinating; the team chose to protect him in the upcoming Rule 5 draft, perhaps paving a path for the Illinois State product to pitch for the major league club in 2023. Others Prospect evaluation is far from perfect, but one can often parse through the noise, instead focusing on the statistical freak shows who have become major league stars in recent seasons. Steven Kwan rode an elite contact profile to a 4.4 fWAR season; our own Luis Arraez broke out and won a silver slugger in 2022; Cristian Javier’s absurd minor league K numbers have translated to a career 30.9% K rate in the majors. These players were dinged for other drawbacks, but their outlier abilities have carried them to major league success. Here are a few guys in the Twins organization who stick out: Jaylen Nowlin Jaylen Nowlin struck out 35.9% of hitters in 2022. His command was dreadful enough to omit from this paragraph—his walk rate could scare the less courageous among us—but that punch-out rate will keep him around, maybe translating to major league playing time. Austin Schulfer The nearly 27-year-old Austin Schulfer is knocking loud enough on the Twins’ door that the neighbors are starting to get irritated. His strikeout and walk rates moved in the wrong direction in 2022, but his groundball rate jumped from average to 58.3%, good for tops in the system amongst all pitchers with 50 innings. Only seven qualified MLB relievers could claim a better penchant for grounders in 2022. Noah Miller 19-year-olds aren’t supposed to walk 16.2% of the time in their first full season in professional baseball, especially when they play in an offensively stunted environment. Noah Miller’s extra-base authority lagged, but his feel for the zone is already elite.
  3. There were two Givens for the Twins to add to their 40-man roster. The team simply was not going to leave Edouard Julien and Matt Canterino at risk to be lost in the Rule 5 draft next month. So they were added. Here is what I wrote about them in my 40-man roster prediction column: 1.) 2B Edouard Julien - The 23-year-old from Quebec was the Twins 18th round pick in 2019 out of Auburn. Just this weekend, he was named the Breakout Prospect in the Arizona Fall League after he hit .400/.563/.686 (1.248) with five doubles and five home runs in 21 games. However, you could argue that he broke out during the 2022 regular season in Wichita where he hit .300/.441/.490 (.931) with 19 doubles and 17 home runs in 113 games. He even stole 19 bags. Of course, I would argue that he broke out in 2021, his professional debut after missing 2019 and 2020 due to Tommy John surgery and the Covid pandemic. He split that season between Ft. Myers and Cedar Rapids. In 112 games, he hit .267/.434/.480 (.914) with 28 doubles, 18 home runs, and 34 stolen bases. Where will he play? Well, he spent most of 2022 at second base. He has played first and third base in pro ball. Yes, he played a couple of games in left field in 2021, but that isn’t an option. Regardless, his all-around offensive game makes him a future top-of-the-lineup contributor. For more Twins Daily content on Edouard Julien, click here. 2.) RHP Matt Canterino - Maybe not quite as “given” as Julien, but Canterino is absolutely a given to be added. He was the team’s second-round draft pick in 2019 out of Rice University. Since turning pro, two things have been true of the 24-year-old righty. First, when he has pitched, he has been absolutely dominant. In 11 games and 34 1/3 innings for Wichita in 2022, he posted a 1.83 ERA and struck out 50 batters. In 23 innings in 2021, he struck out 45 batters. His stuff is electric. Unfortunately, the second truth is that he has missed a lot of time with injury. He was shut down early in the 2021 season after experiencing some elbow pain. The rest-and-rehab was tried, but in 2022 at Wichita, he was limited to three innings per start and eventually four innings, but as his arm threw more, the pain continued. Finally, in mid-August, he underwent Tommy John surgery in Arlington making his availability to pitch in 2023 unlikely. But again, with this kind of talent, particularly with a pitcher, you keep him around and add him and don’t even give it a second thought. For more Twins Daily content on Matt Canterino, click here. Lefty Brent Headrick was my #3 prediction to be added, and here's what I wrote about him. 3.) LHP Brent Headrick - In 2022, Headrick made 15 starts in Cedar Rapids before moving up to Double-A Wichita. In 2021, he was limited in the second half with some shoulder impingement. He stayed healthy throughout the 2022 season and went 10-5 with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. In 108 1/3 innings, he walked just 25 batters and struck out 136 batters. Now, his Double-A numbers don’t look as good. In 10 games, he went 2-3 with a 4.81 ERA. However, in his first Wind Surge appearance, he gave up seven runs on 10 hits (including five home runs) in 2 1/3 innings. Take away that outing, and he went 2-2 with a 3.54 ERA, and in 40 2/3 innings, he gave up just six more home runs. Headrick was the Twins seventh-round pick in 2019 out of Illinois State. For more Twins Daily content on Brent Headrick, click here. 4th addition.) But I completely missed on Casey Legumina . He was the Twins 8th round draft pick in 2019 out of Gonzaga. He had Tommy John surgery that spring and therefore didn't make his professional debut until 2021. He was given some opportunities to star, but he has had his most success out of the bullpen. In 2022, he made three appearances in Cedar Rapids before jumping up to Wichita for 30 games. He went 2-6 with a 4.80 ERA in 33 games (16 starts). In 86 1/3 innings, he walked 36 and struck out 92 batters. He's got a closer's potential when healthy. For more Twins Daily content on Casey Legumina, click here. However, there are several players that were left unprotected who now could be selected by other teams. Catchers, or at least guys that can catch and also play first base, that could be lost include Chris Williams and Alex Isola. Williams provided power for Wichita and St. Paul. Isola played well in Wichita but missed a couple of months with an injury. He just finished his stint in the Arizona Fall League. High-upside prospects can be scary to be left unprotected. The Twins left toolsy outfielder Misael Urbina off of their 40-man roster. He probably isn't ready for the big leagues at this point, but his talent will be intriguing. Yunior Severino is a talent, and he did well in 2022 in High-A, but also in Double-A, so for the right team, he could be a bench fit for the 2023 season. DaShawn Keirsey Jr. is a little older than those two, but his athleticism, speed and defense are incredibly intriguing. He was finally healthy in 2022 and started to show what he is capable of. Michael Helman could certainly be selected. His ability to play at least seven positions well would make him intriguing to teams. However, he broke out in the upper levels with 20 homers and he also had 40 stolen bases. In the same vein, Anthony Prato is another utility player, capable of playing at least four positions. He was healthy in 2022 and did well in Cedar Rapids and Wichita. Utility players are one of the areas that do often get selected in the Rule 5 draft. So do relief pitchers who are, or very soon could be, big-league ready. Twins Daily's 2022 Relief Pitcher of the Year Evan Sisk was dominant in Wichita and at St. Paul. He's also left-handed and mixes pitches well with his low-90s fastball. Austin Schulfer keeps producing in whatever role the Twins have had him work in, starting or relieving. He ended the season with the Saints as well. Sisk isn't the only left-hander that could be at risk either. Southpaw Kody Funderburk pitched very well in 2022 for Wichita, posting a sub-3.00 ERA. He mostly started but has worked in various roles out of the bullpen as well. So, what do you think about the fourTwins additions? Which of the Twins minor leaguers left off of the roster are most at risk of being selected in the Rule 5 draft and lost? Share your thoughts in the Comments below. For more Twins Daily content on other players mentioned in this article, click the links below: Chris Williams, Alex Isola, Michael Helman, Anthony Prato, Evan Sisk, Austin Schulfer, Kody Funderburk.
  4. With the deadline at 5:00 central time, the Minnesota Twins have made four additions to their 40-man roster. To the surprise of no one, the Twins added infielder Edouard Julien, right-handed pitchers Matt Canterino and Casey Legumina, and left-handed pitcher Brent Headrick. Image courtesy of Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports There were two Givens for the Twins to add to their 40-man roster. The team simply was not going to leave Edouard Julien and Matt Canterino at risk to be lost in the Rule 5 draft next month. So they were added. Here is what I wrote about them in my 40-man roster prediction column: 1.) 2B Edouard Julien - The 23-year-old from Quebec was the Twins 18th round pick in 2019 out of Auburn. Just this weekend, he was named the Breakout Prospect in the Arizona Fall League after he hit .400/.563/.686 (1.248) with five doubles and five home runs in 21 games. However, you could argue that he broke out during the 2022 regular season in Wichita where he hit .300/.441/.490 (.931) with 19 doubles and 17 home runs in 113 games. He even stole 19 bags. Of course, I would argue that he broke out in 2021, his professional debut after missing 2019 and 2020 due to Tommy John surgery and the Covid pandemic. He split that season between Ft. Myers and Cedar Rapids. In 112 games, he hit .267/.434/.480 (.914) with 28 doubles, 18 home runs, and 34 stolen bases. Where will he play? Well, he spent most of 2022 at second base. He has played first and third base in pro ball. Yes, he played a couple of games in left field in 2021, but that isn’t an option. Regardless, his all-around offensive game makes him a future top-of-the-lineup contributor. For more Twins Daily content on Edouard Julien, click here. 2.) RHP Matt Canterino - Maybe not quite as “given” as Julien, but Canterino is absolutely a given to be added. He was the team’s second-round draft pick in 2019 out of Rice University. Since turning pro, two things have been true of the 24-year-old righty. First, when he has pitched, he has been absolutely dominant. In 11 games and 34 1/3 innings for Wichita in 2022, he posted a 1.83 ERA and struck out 50 batters. In 23 innings in 2021, he struck out 45 batters. His stuff is electric. Unfortunately, the second truth is that he has missed a lot of time with injury. He was shut down early in the 2021 season after experiencing some elbow pain. The rest-and-rehab was tried, but in 2022 at Wichita, he was limited to three innings per start and eventually four innings, but as his arm threw more, the pain continued. Finally, in mid-August, he underwent Tommy John surgery in Arlington making his availability to pitch in 2023 unlikely. But again, with this kind of talent, particularly with a pitcher, you keep him around and add him and don’t even give it a second thought. For more Twins Daily content on Matt Canterino, click here. Lefty Brent Headrick was my #3 prediction to be added, and here's what I wrote about him. 3.) LHP Brent Headrick - In 2022, Headrick made 15 starts in Cedar Rapids before moving up to Double-A Wichita. In 2021, he was limited in the second half with some shoulder impingement. He stayed healthy throughout the 2022 season and went 10-5 with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. In 108 1/3 innings, he walked just 25 batters and struck out 136 batters. Now, his Double-A numbers don’t look as good. In 10 games, he went 2-3 with a 4.81 ERA. However, in his first Wind Surge appearance, he gave up seven runs on 10 hits (including five home runs) in 2 1/3 innings. Take away that outing, and he went 2-2 with a 3.54 ERA, and in 40 2/3 innings, he gave up just six more home runs. Headrick was the Twins seventh-round pick in 2019 out of Illinois State. For more Twins Daily content on Brent Headrick, click here. 4th addition.) But I completely missed on Casey Legumina . He was the Twins 8th round draft pick in 2019 out of Gonzaga. He had Tommy John surgery that spring and therefore didn't make his professional debut until 2021. He was given some opportunities to star, but he has had his most success out of the bullpen. In 2022, he made three appearances in Cedar Rapids before jumping up to Wichita for 30 games. He went 2-6 with a 4.80 ERA in 33 games (16 starts). In 86 1/3 innings, he walked 36 and struck out 92 batters. He's got a closer's potential when healthy. For more Twins Daily content on Casey Legumina, click here. However, there are several players that were left unprotected who now could be selected by other teams. Catchers, or at least guys that can catch and also play first base, that could be lost include Chris Williams and Alex Isola. Williams provided power for Wichita and St. Paul. Isola played well in Wichita but missed a couple of months with an injury. He just finished his stint in the Arizona Fall League. High-upside prospects can be scary to be left unprotected. The Twins left toolsy outfielder Misael Urbina off of their 40-man roster. He probably isn't ready for the big leagues at this point, but his talent will be intriguing. Yunior Severino is a talent, and he did well in 2022 in High-A, but also in Double-A, so for the right team, he could be a bench fit for the 2023 season. DaShawn Keirsey Jr. is a little older than those two, but his athleticism, speed and defense are incredibly intriguing. He was finally healthy in 2022 and started to show what he is capable of. Michael Helman could certainly be selected. His ability to play at least seven positions well would make him intriguing to teams. However, he broke out in the upper levels with 20 homers and he also had 40 stolen bases. In the same vein, Anthony Prato is another utility player, capable of playing at least four positions. He was healthy in 2022 and did well in Cedar Rapids and Wichita. Utility players are one of the areas that do often get selected in the Rule 5 draft. So do relief pitchers who are, or very soon could be, big-league ready. Twins Daily's 2022 Relief Pitcher of the Year Evan Sisk was dominant in Wichita and at St. Paul. He's also left-handed and mixes pitches well with his low-90s fastball. Austin Schulfer keeps producing in whatever role the Twins have had him work in, starting or relieving. He ended the season with the Saints as well. Sisk isn't the only left-hander that could be at risk either. Southpaw Kody Funderburk pitched very well in 2022 for Wichita, posting a sub-3.00 ERA. He mostly started but has worked in various roles out of the bullpen as well. So, what do you think about the fourTwins additions? Which of the Twins minor leaguers left off of the roster are most at risk of being selected in the Rule 5 draft and lost? Share your thoughts in the Comments below. For more Twins Daily content on other players mentioned in this article, click the links below: Chris Williams, Alex Isola, Michael Helman, Anthony Prato, Evan Sisk, Austin Schulfer, Kody Funderburk. View full article
  5. The Minnesota Twins added four players to their 40-man roster Tuesday, including pitchers Casey Legumina and Brent Headrick. Here are some highlights of both of them from the 2022 season. View full video
  6. The Minnesota Twins added four players to their 40-man roster Tuesday, including pitchers Casey Legumina and Brent Headrick. Here are some highlights of both of them from the 2022 season.
  7. By 5:00 central time on Tuesday, teams will need to make their 40-man roster additions to keep eligible players from being selected in next month's Rule 5 draft. There are probably only a couple of sure-fire additions for the Twins, but there are at least another dozen players that the Twins likely had to have some discussion about as well. Who will they add? Image courtesy of William Parmeter / Mighty Mussels Since the end of the season, the Twins' front office has been cleaning up the 40-man roster that, had way more than 40 men on it. When the World Series finished, several players automatically came off the roster and became free agents. Carlos Correa exercised his option and became a free agent. The Twins Designated five players for Assignment early in the offseason. Three of them (Jermaine Palacios, Jake Cave, Caleb Hamilton) were claimed by other teams. Just last week, players still on the 60-Day Injured List were removed from the Injured List. At the same time, Cody Stashak was outrighted from the roster and elected free agency. All that is to say that a lot of roster work has been done already. Some of that is because, on Tuesday, teams have to submit additions to their 40-man rosters by 5:00 central time. The Twins' 40-man roster is currently at 36 players. There are 21 pitchers, one catcher, five infielders, and nine outfielders. The Twins (and other teams) may make a few small trades to clean up a couple more roster spots before the additions. Friday is another key date in the offseason when teams will need to decide which arbitration-eligible players to tender (or non-tender) a 2023 contract. A couple more players could potentially come off of the roster at that time. Before getting into the predictions for which Twins minor leaguers will be added to the team’s 40-man roster, it is important to note that some of these decisions were already made during the season. Louie Varland, Matt Wallner, and Simeon Woods Richardson all were added to the roster in September. If they had not been, they would have been Givens to be added now. Those three put up tremendous 2022 seasons in both Wichita and St. Paul and earned their late-season promotions. Secondly, who is eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft if they are not protected? Players who signed when they were 18 or younger in 2018 or earlier. Players who were 19 or older when they signed in 2019 or earlier. The age at signing is the key, but a general rule would be: Players drafted out of high school in 2017 or 2018. (unless they signed when they were 19) Players drafted out of junior college or four-year college in 2017, 2018, or 2019. International players signed at 16, 17, or 18 years old in 2016, 2017, or 2018. Finally, players added to the 40-man roster on Tuesday cannot be removed from the 40-man roster until spring training. That is important to remember when the team signs free agents or makes a trade this winter. So, here are my quick thoughts on players that should be, or at least should be considered to be, added to the Twins' 40-man roster. THE GIVENS 1.) 2B Edouard Julien - The 23-year-old from Quebec was the Twins 18th round pick in 2019 out of Auburn. Just this weekend, he was named the Breakout Prospect in the Arizona Fall League after he hit .400/.563/.686 (1.248) with five doubles and five home runs in 21 games. However, you could argue that he broke out during the 2022 regular season in Wichita where he hit .300/.441/.490 (.931) with 19 doubles and 17 home runs in 113 games. He even stole 19 bags. Of course, I would argue that he broke out in 2021, his professional debut after missing 2019 and 2020 due to Tommy John surgery and the Covid pandemic. He split that season between Ft. Myers and Cedar Rapids. In 112 games, he hit .267/.434/.480 (.914) with 28 doubles, 18 home runs, and 34 stolen bases. Where will he play? Well, he spent most of 2022 at second base. He has played first and third base in pro ball. Yes, he played a couple of games in left field in 2021, but that isn’t an option. Regardless, his all-around offensive game makes him a future top-of-the-lineup contributor. 2.) RHP Matt Canterino - Maybe not quite as “given” as Julien, but Canterino is absolutely a given to be added. He was the team’s second-round draft pick in 2019 out of Rice University. Since turning pro, two things have been true of the 24-year-old righty. First, when he has pitched, he has been absolutely dominant. In 11 games and 34 1/3 innings for Wichita in 2022, he posted a 1.83 ERA and struck out 50 batters. In 23 innings in 2021, he struck out 45 batters. His stuff is electric. Unfortunately, the second truth is that he has missed a lot of time with injury. He was shut down early in the 2021 season after experiencing some elbow pain. The rest-and-rehab was tried, but in 2022 at Wichita, he was limited to three innings per start and eventually four innings, but as his arm threw more, the pain continued. Finally, in mid-August, he underwent Tommy John surgery in Arlington making his availability to pitch in 2023 unlikely. But again, with this kind of talent, particularly with a pitcher, you keep him around and add him and don’t even give it a second thought. STRONG CONSIDERATIONS 3.) LHP Brent Headrick - In 2022, Headrick made 15 starts in Cedar Rapids before moving up to Double-A Wichita. In 2021, he was limited in the second half with some shoulder impingement. He stayed healthy throughout the 2022 season and went 10-5 with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. In 108 1/3 innings, he walked just 25 batters and struck out 136 batters. Now, his Double-A numbers don’t look as good. In 10 games, he went 2-3 with a 4.81 ERA. However, in his first Wind Surge appearance, he gave up seven runs on 10 hits (including five home runs) in 2 1/3 innings. Take away that outing, and he went 2-2 with a 3.54 ERA, and in 40 2/3 innings, he gave up just six more home runs. Headrick was the Twins seventh-round pick in 2019 out of Illinois State. 4.) UT Michael Helman - The Twins were excited to select Helman out of Texas A&M in the 11th round of the 2018 draft. After a strong pro debut that year, he really struggled in 2019 at High-A Ft. Myers and ended the season injured. After a lost 2020 season, he hit .246/.336/.462 (.798) with 21 doubles, four triples, and 19 home runs in Cedar Rapids. He added 21 steals. He finished that season by playing in the Arizona Fall League. He began the 2022 season with 39 games at Wichita where he hit .278/.368/.472 (.840) with six doubles, two triples, and six home runs. He finished the season in St. Paul where, in 96 games, he hit .250/.325/.416 (.741) with 17 doubles and 14 home runs. Combined, he ended the season with 23 doubles, 20 home runs, and an impressive 40 stolen bases. He has made himself a solid contributor at the bat. He has also worked very hard to get strong all over the field on defense. Drafted as a middle infielder, he started playing all over the place in 2021. In 2022, he played 43 games in center field, 41 games at second base, 29 games at third base, and 11 games at shortstop. In 2021, he played more in the corner outfield spots than in center field. He legitimately can play seven positions on the field, and maybe I should mention that when he went to junior college, he was a catcher. 5.) Misael Urbina - This is the potential upside addition. This is the guy with talent and athleticism and tools. The 20-year-old Urbina signed in July of 2018 out of Venezuela. He spent 2019 in the Dominican Summer League where he posted a solid .825 OPS with 21 extra-base hits and 19 stolen bases in 50 games. After the lost 2020 season, he came to the States in 2021. He didn’t make the Mighty Mussels Opening Day roster, but he was on the roster about a week later. He played 101 games for the Mighty Mussels and hit .191/.299/.286 (.585) with 12 doubles, four triples, five homes, and 16 steals. Unfortunately, Urbina missed about half of the 2022 season due to some visa issues. In 50 games for the Mighty Mussels, he hit .246/.323/.419 (.741) with 16 doubles, five homers, and nine stolen bases. The Twins have added players after they spend a year in Low-A. They did it in November 2013 when they added Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler after they played in Cedar Rapids that season. Of course, they also added Deibinson Romero and Estarlin de Los Santos to the 40-man roster after their Low-A seasons. (I’m sure @Roger will appreciate that reference.) It’s hard for me to believe that Urbina would be able to stick on a big-league roster all season, so this is very borderline. 6.) IF Yunior Severino - As you know, Atlanta signed Severino as a 16-year-old in 2016. He spent the following season with the Braves organization until they were deemed to have broken the rules of international signing and a bunch of their recently-signed international players became free agents again. This time, it was the Twins that gave him a big, seven-figure signing bonus. Severino has shown glimpses of talent, but he’s also missed time with injury. He broke out with a strong 35 games at the end of the 2021 season in Cedar Rapids when he hit .321/.414/.493 (.907) with 12 doubles and three homers. He began 2022 with 46 games with the Kernels and hit .283/.398/.572 (.970) with nine doubles, two triples, and 11 homers. He moved up to Wichita and hit .273/.338/.497 (.834) with eight doubles and eight home runs. At Cedar Rapids, he played mostly second base (and DH). With the Wind Surge, he played almost exclusively at third base. He is now 23 and could be a year away from being ready. 7.) C/1B Chris Williams - Chris Williams was the Twins' eighth-round pick in 2018 out of Clemson University. In 75 games for Wichita this summer, Williams hit .277/.372/.542 (.915) with 16 doubles and 18 home runs. He finished his season with 42 games in St. Paul. He hit just .192, but he had five doubles and 10 more home runs. This season, he played 83 games at first base and caught 24 games. He will turn 26 this month, but the Twins have a need for right-handed power and currently have just one catcher on their 40-man roster. Now, Williams is not going to do a lot of catching in the big leagues, but he can be a guy who can be a #3 catcher, a backup first base option, and a power bat off the bench might provide some value to the organization. 8.) RHP Cody Laweryson - Laweryson (pronounced Lor-ih-sun) was the Twins 14th round draft pick out of the University of Maine in 2019. In 2021, he missed the first two months of the season and then posted a 4.91 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 15 games for Cedar Rapids. He did have 73 strikeouts and just 19 walks over his 58 2/3 innings. He went to the Arizona Fall League and struck out 18 batters in 14 innings and pitched in the Fall Stars game. He began 2022 in the Kernels' bullpen. In 35 innings, he struck out 42 and walked 12 batters. He posted a 2.57 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He moved up to Wichita where after 11 bullpen appearances, he made eight starts. He went 5-0 with a minuscule 1.06 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. In 59 2/3 innings, he struck out 69 and walked just 15 batters. In the entire season, he gave up just two homers over 94 2/3 innings. He’s got decent stuff and a bit of a funky delivery. Was his half-season in Wichita enough for someone to select him in the Rule 5 draft, or for the Twins to add him? 9.) OF DaShawn Keirsey, Jr. - Keirsey was the Twins' fourth-round pick in 2018 out of the University of Utah. He had a brutal injury after crashing into the wall at the end of his sophomore season in college, but inexplicably returned for his junior season and posted an OPS of 1.049. Since the Twins drafted him, his biggest issue has been staying on the field. He was limited to 45 games in Cedar Rapids in 2021 due to leg muscle issues. He never was able to get into a rhythm. In 2022, he was bumped up to Wichita and was on the field for 121 games. He had a solid showing, if not a bit of a breakout season. He hit .271/.329/.395 (.724) with 26 doubles, three triples, and seven home runs. While not a power hitter, at times he can really drive the ball and use the whole field. But his speed is absolutely electric and can be game-changing. He stole 42 bases in 49 attempts this year (86%), but he is an elite defensive center fielder, able to run down almost anything and unafraid to throw his body around to make a catch. His athleticism alone has to get him considered, and in 2022, he stayed on the field and really contributed. 10.) LHP Kody Funderburk - When the Twins drafted the lefty from Dallas Baptist in the 15th round of the 2018 draft, they had him as a pitcher only. In college, he was a very good hitter as well. Over time, he has worked solely as a pitcher and very quietly has made himself into a prospect to watch. He had a solid 2021 season between Cedar Rapids (where he started) and Wichita (where he was a reliever). He then went and made six starts in the Arizona Fall League. In 2022 at Double-A Wichita, he went 10-5 with a 2.94 ERA. In 107 innings, he had 103 strikeouts to 44 walks. He has a bit of a funky delivery that might make him intriguing to a team in the Rule 5 draft. 11.) C/1B Alex Isola - In 2017, Isola and Keirsey were teammates at Utah. Isola transferred a couple of times before the Twins made him their 29th-round pick in 2019 out of Texas Christian University. Isola just completed his six-week stint in the Arizona Fall League where he hit five doubles, and in the semi-final game launched a 420+ foot home run to help send his team to the championship game. Like Williams, part of the allure of Isola is his ability to play behind the plate as needed. With Wichita, he made 17 starts at first base and 17 starts behind the plate. He won’t win any Gold Gloves, but he could be a #3 catcher in the big leagues. His calling card is his bat. In 58 games with the Wind Surge in 2022, he hit .286/.377/.471 (.848) with nine doubles and 10 home runs. He puts together solid plate appearances with a good knowledge of the strike zone. He’s willing to take his walks, but he also can drive the ball to the gaps and over the wall. 12.) RHP Austin Schulfer - The 26-year-old was the Twins 19th round pick in 2018 out of UW-Milwaukee. In 2021, he led all Twins minor-league pitchers with 110 innings pitched over 24 starts at Double-A Wichita. In 2022, he returned to the Wind Surge to start the season and worked in 15 games out of the bullpen. He gave up just one earned run over 23 innings (0.39 ERA) and struck out 30 and walked only four batters. He recorded seven saves. He moved up to St. Paul where he went 4-3 with a 5.23 ERA. In 32 2/3 Triple-A innings, he struck out 31 batters and walked 13 batters. Schulfer has always made adjustments and should return to the Saints in 2023. Depending on the injury front in the Twins bullpen, we could see him debut at some point. HAVE TO AT LEAST CONSIDER LHP Evan Sisk - Acquired from the Cardinals at the deadline in 2021, he was the 2022 Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. 5-1, 2.08 ERA in a combined 63 innings between Wichita and St. Paul. Had 76 strikeouts to go with 29 walks. SS/OF Will Holland - the fastest runner in the Twins minor leagues, he is a great athlete and could provide a team with solid outfield or shortstop defense and pinch-running abilities. He was the team’s 5th-round pick in 2019 from Auburn. LHRP Denny Bentley - Bentley has been very good in the Twins minor leagues and can record a lot of strikeouts, but he does walk a lot of batters, as he did in the Arizona Fall League. RHRP Osiris German - German remains a very intriguing 24-year-old reliever. His best pitch is his changeup. After six games in Cedar Rapids, he worked in 37 games for Wichita. He posted a 3.02 ERA and had 17 walks and 59 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings. RHRP Hunter McMahon - he was the ninth-round pick by the Nationals in the 2019 draft. The Twins acquired him that offseason for Ryne Harper. He has pitched very little since. In 2021, he pitched in just five games. This year, he began in Ft. Myers (2.23 ERA), moved up to Cedar Rapids (1.19 ERA), and finished with four games in Double-A. In 73 2/3 combined innings. He had 76 strikeouts and just 16 walks. RHP Sean Mooney - The Twins 12th round pick in 2019 from St. John’s had Tommy John surgery that spring. So, he didn’t make his pro debut, officially, until 2021. In 42 innings, he had 71 strikeouts. In 2022 with Cedar Rapids, he posted a 3.30 ERA and had 82 strikeouts in 60 innings. Needs to stay healthy. UT Anthony Prato - 7th round pick in 2019 from UConn, Prato had a nice breakout season in 2022. He was limited in 2021 due to a broken hamate bone. In 2022, he played 45 games in Cedar Rapids before ending with 87 games in Wichita. Combined, he hit .285/.383/.444 (.827) with 30 doubles, eight triples, 10 homers, and 22 stolen bases. He played 60 games in left field, 34 games at second base, and 22 games at third base. RHP Randy Dobnak - Off the 40-man roster, if a team selected Dobnak, they would take on his contract too, so that’s unlikely. But, when he was healthy in 2019 and 2020, he was a solid back-of-rotation starter, and if he is healthy, could be that for a non-contender. RHRP Steven Cruz - MLB Pipeline ranks Cruz 28th in the organization. Ten (or even five) years ago, he would have ranked higher because he is capable of reaching triple-digits with his fastball. At 23, he posted a 5.14 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP in Wichita in 2022. In 56 innings, he had 72 strikeouts, but he also walked 35 batters. Love the arm, but hard to see him sticking in the big leagues. OTHER ELIGIBLE PLAYERS Hitters: David Banuelos, Andrew Bechtold, Kyle Schmidt, Seth Gray, Charles Mack, Jeferson Morales, Daniel Ozoria, Willie Joe Garry, Carlos Aguiar, Luis Baez, Wilfri Castro, Alexander Pena. Pitchers: Tyler Beck, Francis Peguero, Jon Olsen, Ryan Shreve, Brock Stewart, Michael Boyle, Jordan Brink, Jordan Gore, Casey Legumina, Alex Phillips, Regi Grace, Bradley Hanner, Derek Molina, Owen Griffith, Tyler Palm, Miguel Rodriguez, Matthew Swain, Zaquiel Puentes, Niklas Rimmel, Elpidio Perez, Wilker Reyes, Rafael Feliz, Danny Moreno, Alex Scherff, Andrew Cabezas, Ben Gross, Zach Neff, Josh Mitchell, Jose Brito. My prediction? This is as tough as I can remember this being. Again, we should be able to assume Canterino and Julien are added. After that, there are at least six to 10 others (and maybe more) where a legitimate case could be made. I am going to officially predict that they will also add Headrick, Helman, and Severino. I think Urbina is just not yet in a spot where he could stick in the big leagues, but I think he is at risk of being taken. He is probably the most interesting case (which is why I found a photo of him for the article). I think Chris Williams and Alex Isola are guys that could be at risk as well. Your turn? How many players will the Twins add to their 40-man roster by Tuesday’s deadline? Make your predictions for which players get added below. View full article
  8. Since the end of the season, the Twins' front office has been cleaning up the 40-man roster that, had way more than 40 men on it. When the World Series finished, several players automatically came off the roster and became free agents. Carlos Correa exercised his option and became a free agent. The Twins Designated five players for Assignment early in the offseason. Three of them (Jermaine Palacios, Jake Cave, Caleb Hamilton) were claimed by other teams. Just last week, players still on the 60-Day Injured List were removed from the Injured List. At the same time, Cody Stashak was outrighted from the roster and elected free agency. All that is to say that a lot of roster work has been done already. Some of that is because, on Tuesday, teams have to submit additions to their 40-man rosters by 5:00 central time. The Twins' 40-man roster is currently at 36 players. There are 21 pitchers, one catcher, five infielders, and nine outfielders. The Twins (and other teams) may make a few small trades to clean up a couple more roster spots before the additions. Friday is another key date in the offseason when teams will need to decide which arbitration-eligible players to tender (or non-tender) a 2023 contract. A couple more players could potentially come off of the roster at that time. Before getting into the predictions for which Twins minor leaguers will be added to the team’s 40-man roster, it is important to note that some of these decisions were already made during the season. Louie Varland, Matt Wallner, and Simeon Woods Richardson all were added to the roster in September. If they had not been, they would have been Givens to be added now. Those three put up tremendous 2022 seasons in both Wichita and St. Paul and earned their late-season promotions. Secondly, who is eligible to be selected in the Rule 5 draft if they are not protected? Players who signed when they were 18 or younger in 2018 or earlier. Players who were 19 or older when they signed in 2019 or earlier. The age at signing is the key, but a general rule would be: Players drafted out of high school in 2017 or 2018. (unless they signed when they were 19) Players drafted out of junior college or four-year college in 2017, 2018, or 2019. International players signed at 16, 17, or 18 years old in 2016, 2017, or 2018. Finally, players added to the 40-man roster on Tuesday cannot be removed from the 40-man roster until spring training. That is important to remember when the team signs free agents or makes a trade this winter. So, here are my quick thoughts on players that should be, or at least should be considered to be, added to the Twins' 40-man roster. THE GIVENS 1.) 2B Edouard Julien - The 23-year-old from Quebec was the Twins 18th round pick in 2019 out of Auburn. Just this weekend, he was named the Breakout Prospect in the Arizona Fall League after he hit .400/.563/.686 (1.248) with five doubles and five home runs in 21 games. However, you could argue that he broke out during the 2022 regular season in Wichita where he hit .300/.441/.490 (.931) with 19 doubles and 17 home runs in 113 games. He even stole 19 bags. Of course, I would argue that he broke out in 2021, his professional debut after missing 2019 and 2020 due to Tommy John surgery and the Covid pandemic. He split that season between Ft. Myers and Cedar Rapids. In 112 games, he hit .267/.434/.480 (.914) with 28 doubles, 18 home runs, and 34 stolen bases. Where will he play? Well, he spent most of 2022 at second base. He has played first and third base in pro ball. Yes, he played a couple of games in left field in 2021, but that isn’t an option. Regardless, his all-around offensive game makes him a future top-of-the-lineup contributor. 2.) RHP Matt Canterino - Maybe not quite as “given” as Julien, but Canterino is absolutely a given to be added. He was the team’s second-round draft pick in 2019 out of Rice University. Since turning pro, two things have been true of the 24-year-old righty. First, when he has pitched, he has been absolutely dominant. In 11 games and 34 1/3 innings for Wichita in 2022, he posted a 1.83 ERA and struck out 50 batters. In 23 innings in 2021, he struck out 45 batters. His stuff is electric. Unfortunately, the second truth is that he has missed a lot of time with injury. He was shut down early in the 2021 season after experiencing some elbow pain. The rest-and-rehab was tried, but in 2022 at Wichita, he was limited to three innings per start and eventually four innings, but as his arm threw more, the pain continued. Finally, in mid-August, he underwent Tommy John surgery in Arlington making his availability to pitch in 2023 unlikely. But again, with this kind of talent, particularly with a pitcher, you keep him around and add him and don’t even give it a second thought. STRONG CONSIDERATIONS 3.) LHP Brent Headrick - In 2022, Headrick made 15 starts in Cedar Rapids before moving up to Double-A Wichita. In 2021, he was limited in the second half with some shoulder impingement. He stayed healthy throughout the 2022 season and went 10-5 with a 3.32 ERA and a 1.08 WHIP. In 108 1/3 innings, he walked just 25 batters and struck out 136 batters. Now, his Double-A numbers don’t look as good. In 10 games, he went 2-3 with a 4.81 ERA. However, in his first Wind Surge appearance, he gave up seven runs on 10 hits (including five home runs) in 2 1/3 innings. Take away that outing, and he went 2-2 with a 3.54 ERA, and in 40 2/3 innings, he gave up just six more home runs. Headrick was the Twins seventh-round pick in 2019 out of Illinois State. 4.) UT Michael Helman - The Twins were excited to select Helman out of Texas A&M in the 11th round of the 2018 draft. After a strong pro debut that year, he really struggled in 2019 at High-A Ft. Myers and ended the season injured. After a lost 2020 season, he hit .246/.336/.462 (.798) with 21 doubles, four triples, and 19 home runs in Cedar Rapids. He added 21 steals. He finished that season by playing in the Arizona Fall League. He began the 2022 season with 39 games at Wichita where he hit .278/.368/.472 (.840) with six doubles, two triples, and six home runs. He finished the season in St. Paul where, in 96 games, he hit .250/.325/.416 (.741) with 17 doubles and 14 home runs. Combined, he ended the season with 23 doubles, 20 home runs, and an impressive 40 stolen bases. He has made himself a solid contributor at the bat. He has also worked very hard to get strong all over the field on defense. Drafted as a middle infielder, he started playing all over the place in 2021. In 2022, he played 43 games in center field, 41 games at second base, 29 games at third base, and 11 games at shortstop. In 2021, he played more in the corner outfield spots than in center field. He legitimately can play seven positions on the field, and maybe I should mention that when he went to junior college, he was a catcher. 5.) Misael Urbina - This is the potential upside addition. This is the guy with talent and athleticism and tools. The 20-year-old Urbina signed in July of 2018 out of Venezuela. He spent 2019 in the Dominican Summer League where he posted a solid .825 OPS with 21 extra-base hits and 19 stolen bases in 50 games. After the lost 2020 season, he came to the States in 2021. He didn’t make the Mighty Mussels Opening Day roster, but he was on the roster about a week later. He played 101 games for the Mighty Mussels and hit .191/.299/.286 (.585) with 12 doubles, four triples, five homes, and 16 steals. Unfortunately, Urbina missed about half of the 2022 season due to some visa issues. In 50 games for the Mighty Mussels, he hit .246/.323/.419 (.741) with 16 doubles, five homers, and nine stolen bases. The Twins have added players after they spend a year in Low-A. They did it in November 2013 when they added Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler after they played in Cedar Rapids that season. Of course, they also added Deibinson Romero and Estarlin de Los Santos to the 40-man roster after their Low-A seasons. (I’m sure @Roger will appreciate that reference.) It’s hard for me to believe that Urbina would be able to stick on a big-league roster all season, so this is very borderline. 6.) IF Yunior Severino - As you know, Atlanta signed Severino as a 16-year-old in 2016. He spent the following season with the Braves organization until they were deemed to have broken the rules of international signing and a bunch of their recently-signed international players became free agents again. This time, it was the Twins that gave him a big, seven-figure signing bonus. Severino has shown glimpses of talent, but he’s also missed time with injury. He broke out with a strong 35 games at the end of the 2021 season in Cedar Rapids when he hit .321/.414/.493 (.907) with 12 doubles and three homers. He began 2022 with 46 games with the Kernels and hit .283/.398/.572 (.970) with nine doubles, two triples, and 11 homers. He moved up to Wichita and hit .273/.338/.497 (.834) with eight doubles and eight home runs. At Cedar Rapids, he played mostly second base (and DH). With the Wind Surge, he played almost exclusively at third base. He is now 23 and could be a year away from being ready. 7.) C/1B Chris Williams - Chris Williams was the Twins' eighth-round pick in 2018 out of Clemson University. In 75 games for Wichita this summer, Williams hit .277/.372/.542 (.915) with 16 doubles and 18 home runs. He finished his season with 42 games in St. Paul. He hit just .192, but he had five doubles and 10 more home runs. This season, he played 83 games at first base and caught 24 games. He will turn 26 this month, but the Twins have a need for right-handed power and currently have just one catcher on their 40-man roster. Now, Williams is not going to do a lot of catching in the big leagues, but he can be a guy who can be a #3 catcher, a backup first base option, and a power bat off the bench might provide some value to the organization. 8.) RHP Cody Laweryson - Laweryson (pronounced Lor-ih-sun) was the Twins 14th round draft pick out of the University of Maine in 2019. In 2021, he missed the first two months of the season and then posted a 4.91 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 15 games for Cedar Rapids. He did have 73 strikeouts and just 19 walks over his 58 2/3 innings. He went to the Arizona Fall League and struck out 18 batters in 14 innings and pitched in the Fall Stars game. He began 2022 in the Kernels' bullpen. In 35 innings, he struck out 42 and walked 12 batters. He posted a 2.57 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He moved up to Wichita where after 11 bullpen appearances, he made eight starts. He went 5-0 with a minuscule 1.06 ERA and a 0.94 WHIP. In 59 2/3 innings, he struck out 69 and walked just 15 batters. In the entire season, he gave up just two homers over 94 2/3 innings. He’s got decent stuff and a bit of a funky delivery. Was his half-season in Wichita enough for someone to select him in the Rule 5 draft, or for the Twins to add him? 9.) OF DaShawn Keirsey, Jr. - Keirsey was the Twins' fourth-round pick in 2018 out of the University of Utah. He had a brutal injury after crashing into the wall at the end of his sophomore season in college, but inexplicably returned for his junior season and posted an OPS of 1.049. Since the Twins drafted him, his biggest issue has been staying on the field. He was limited to 45 games in Cedar Rapids in 2021 due to leg muscle issues. He never was able to get into a rhythm. In 2022, he was bumped up to Wichita and was on the field for 121 games. He had a solid showing, if not a bit of a breakout season. He hit .271/.329/.395 (.724) with 26 doubles, three triples, and seven home runs. While not a power hitter, at times he can really drive the ball and use the whole field. But his speed is absolutely electric and can be game-changing. He stole 42 bases in 49 attempts this year (86%), but he is an elite defensive center fielder, able to run down almost anything and unafraid to throw his body around to make a catch. His athleticism alone has to get him considered, and in 2022, he stayed on the field and really contributed. 10.) LHP Kody Funderburk - When the Twins drafted the lefty from Dallas Baptist in the 15th round of the 2018 draft, they had him as a pitcher only. In college, he was a very good hitter as well. Over time, he has worked solely as a pitcher and very quietly has made himself into a prospect to watch. He had a solid 2021 season between Cedar Rapids (where he started) and Wichita (where he was a reliever). He then went and made six starts in the Arizona Fall League. In 2022 at Double-A Wichita, he went 10-5 with a 2.94 ERA. In 107 innings, he had 103 strikeouts to 44 walks. He has a bit of a funky delivery that might make him intriguing to a team in the Rule 5 draft. 11.) C/1B Alex Isola - In 2017, Isola and Keirsey were teammates at Utah. Isola transferred a couple of times before the Twins made him their 29th-round pick in 2019 out of Texas Christian University. Isola just completed his six-week stint in the Arizona Fall League where he hit five doubles, and in the semi-final game launched a 420+ foot home run to help send his team to the championship game. Like Williams, part of the allure of Isola is his ability to play behind the plate as needed. With Wichita, he made 17 starts at first base and 17 starts behind the plate. He won’t win any Gold Gloves, but he could be a #3 catcher in the big leagues. His calling card is his bat. In 58 games with the Wind Surge in 2022, he hit .286/.377/.471 (.848) with nine doubles and 10 home runs. He puts together solid plate appearances with a good knowledge of the strike zone. He’s willing to take his walks, but he also can drive the ball to the gaps and over the wall. 12.) RHP Austin Schulfer - The 26-year-old was the Twins 19th round pick in 2018 out of UW-Milwaukee. In 2021, he led all Twins minor-league pitchers with 110 innings pitched over 24 starts at Double-A Wichita. In 2022, he returned to the Wind Surge to start the season and worked in 15 games out of the bullpen. He gave up just one earned run over 23 innings (0.39 ERA) and struck out 30 and walked only four batters. He recorded seven saves. He moved up to St. Paul where he went 4-3 with a 5.23 ERA. In 32 2/3 Triple-A innings, he struck out 31 batters and walked 13 batters. Schulfer has always made adjustments and should return to the Saints in 2023. Depending on the injury front in the Twins bullpen, we could see him debut at some point. HAVE TO AT LEAST CONSIDER LHP Evan Sisk - Acquired from the Cardinals at the deadline in 2021, he was the 2022 Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. 5-1, 2.08 ERA in a combined 63 innings between Wichita and St. Paul. Had 76 strikeouts to go with 29 walks. SS/OF Will Holland - the fastest runner in the Twins minor leagues, he is a great athlete and could provide a team with solid outfield or shortstop defense and pinch-running abilities. He was the team’s 5th-round pick in 2019 from Auburn. LHRP Denny Bentley - Bentley has been very good in the Twins minor leagues and can record a lot of strikeouts, but he does walk a lot of batters, as he did in the Arizona Fall League. RHRP Osiris German - German remains a very intriguing 24-year-old reliever. His best pitch is his changeup. After six games in Cedar Rapids, he worked in 37 games for Wichita. He posted a 3.02 ERA and had 17 walks and 59 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings. RHRP Hunter McMahon - he was the ninth-round pick by the Nationals in the 2019 draft. The Twins acquired him that offseason for Ryne Harper. He has pitched very little since. In 2021, he pitched in just five games. This year, he began in Ft. Myers (2.23 ERA), moved up to Cedar Rapids (1.19 ERA), and finished with four games in Double-A. In 73 2/3 combined innings. He had 76 strikeouts and just 16 walks. RHP Sean Mooney - The Twins 12th round pick in 2019 from St. John’s had Tommy John surgery that spring. So, he didn’t make his pro debut, officially, until 2021. In 42 innings, he had 71 strikeouts. In 2022 with Cedar Rapids, he posted a 3.30 ERA and had 82 strikeouts in 60 innings. Needs to stay healthy. UT Anthony Prato - 7th round pick in 2019 from UConn, Prato had a nice breakout season in 2022. He was limited in 2021 due to a broken hamate bone. In 2022, he played 45 games in Cedar Rapids before ending with 87 games in Wichita. Combined, he hit .285/.383/.444 (.827) with 30 doubles, eight triples, 10 homers, and 22 stolen bases. He played 60 games in left field, 34 games at second base, and 22 games at third base. RHP Randy Dobnak - Off the 40-man roster, if a team selected Dobnak, they would take on his contract too, so that’s unlikely. But, when he was healthy in 2019 and 2020, he was a solid back-of-rotation starter, and if he is healthy, could be that for a non-contender. RHRP Steven Cruz - MLB Pipeline ranks Cruz 28th in the organization. Ten (or even five) years ago, he would have ranked higher because he is capable of reaching triple-digits with his fastball. At 23, he posted a 5.14 ERA and a 1.59 WHIP in Wichita in 2022. In 56 innings, he had 72 strikeouts, but he also walked 35 batters. Love the arm, but hard to see him sticking in the big leagues. OTHER ELIGIBLE PLAYERS Hitters: David Banuelos, Andrew Bechtold, Kyle Schmidt, Seth Gray, Charles Mack, Jeferson Morales, Daniel Ozoria, Willie Joe Garry, Carlos Aguiar, Luis Baez, Wilfri Castro, Alexander Pena. Pitchers: Tyler Beck, Francis Peguero, Jon Olsen, Ryan Shreve, Brock Stewart, Michael Boyle, Jordan Brink, Jordan Gore, Casey Legumina, Alex Phillips, Regi Grace, Bradley Hanner, Derek Molina, Owen Griffith, Tyler Palm, Miguel Rodriguez, Matthew Swain, Zaquiel Puentes, Niklas Rimmel, Elpidio Perez, Wilker Reyes, Rafael Feliz, Danny Moreno, Alex Scherff, Andrew Cabezas, Ben Gross, Zach Neff, Josh Mitchell, Jose Brito. My prediction? This is as tough as I can remember this being. Again, we should be able to assume Canterino and Julien are added. After that, there are at least six to 10 others (and maybe more) where a legitimate case could be made. I am going to officially predict that they will also add Headrick, Helman, and Severino. I think Urbina is just not yet in a spot where he could stick in the big leagues, but I think he is at risk of being taken. He is probably the most interesting case (which is why I found a photo of him for the article). I think Chris Williams and Alex Isola are guys that could be at risk as well. Your turn? How many players will the Twins add to their 40-man roster by Tuesday’s deadline? Make your predictions for which players get added below.
  9. Derek Falvey was touted for his pitching pipeline in Cleveland. Can the Twins start seeing results from their own pitching pipeline? Image courtesy of Rob Thompson, St. Paul Saints At the onset of the 2022 season, Minnesota's front office put a vote of confidence in the pitching pipeline by not signing a frontline starting pitcher. Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer were the team's two free-agent acquisitions, and neither performed exceptionally well. Unfortunately, Minnesota's pitching pipeline also struggled, but signs point to a potential turnaround in 2023. Here are how the team's top pitching prospects performed in 2022. Triple-A: Jordan Balazovic (ETA: 2023), Simeon Woods Richardson (ETA: 2022), Louie Varland (ETA: 2022), Ronny Henriquez (ETA: 2022) Woods Richardson and Varland are the two highlights of this group, as they both started the year at Double-A and finished it in the Twins rotation. By many accounts, Woods Richardson is still considered the better prospect, but Varland has now won back-to-back awards as the organization's minor league pitcher of the year. Woods Richardson posted a 2.77 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP across 23 appearances. Varland made 24 appearances with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Next year, both arms project to start in the Saints rotation, but they will be needed at the big-league level at some point in 2023. The Twins acquired Henriquez as part of the Mitch Garver trade with Texas. He is an intriguing prospect to watch as the club must decide at some point in the future if he is a starter or reliever moving forward. Henriquez made his big-league debut in 2022 as a reliever, but the organization will likely allow him to start again in 2023. As a 22-year-old, he was very young for Triple-A and posted a 5.66 ERA with a 1.39 WHIP in 95 1/3 innings. Henriquez wasn't the only prospect to see a poor performance at Triple-A. Balazovic struggled to start 2022, but he finished the season on a positive note. Entering the 2022 season, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus had him in their top-100 prospects. In 23 appearances, Balazovic had a 7.68 ERA with a 1.97 WHIP. He has been one of the team's top pitching prospects for multiple seasons, and his development is key to the organization's pitching pipeline. Henriquez and Balazovic should be at Triple-A to start 2023. Double-A: Blayne Enlow (ETA: 2023), Brent Headrick (ETA: 2024) Minnesota added Enlow to the 40-man roster last winter even though he was expected to miss most of 2022 due to Tommy John surgery. Enlow was used as a starter and reliever and posted a 4.73 ERA with a 1.63 WHIP in 59 innings. It will be interesting to see if he sticks on the 40-man roster because the Twins have a lot of clean-up this winter. He will likely need to start 2022 at Double-A because he is continuing to build up his arm strength following surgery. Varland has received most of the attention, but Headrick was in the same draft class and has performed well. He split time between High-A and Double-A with a 3.32 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP in 108 innings. He struck out more than 11 batters per nine innings, and his strikeout numbers improved after being promoted to Double-A. Headrick will start next season at Double-A, but he will have the opportunity to move to Triple-A in the second half. High-A: David Festa (ETA: 2024), Sean Mooney (ETA: 2024), Jaylen Nowlin (ETA: 2024) The Twins took Festa in the 13th round in 2019, but he has seen his prospect stock rise since that point. In 2022, he made starts at Low- and High-A with a 2.43 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He dominated in Fort Myers with a 12.4 K/9, but that total dipped to 8.5 K/9 after his promotion. Festa was a little young for the Midwest League, so he can start 2023 at that level before moving up the organizational ladder. Mooney is an intriguing pitching prospect, averaging 13.5 K/9 during his first two professional seasons. Unfortunately, injuries have been part of his career which has limited him to just over 100 innings pitched since 2021. Since he turns 25 in January, the team may need to push him to Double-A during the 2023 season. Nowlin was a 19th round pick in 2021 and he made it all the way to High-A last in 2022. He posted video-game strikeout numbers in his first full season with 14.1 K/9 in 71 innings. He throws hard and is left-handed, which may help his prospect status entering 2023. He only made three starts at High-A to end 2022, so he likely starts next season in Cedar Rapids. Low-A: Marco Raya (ERA: 2025) In recent memory, Raya is one of the Twins' most exciting pitching prospects. He missed most of 2021 with a shoulder strain, so the 2022 season marked his professional debut. In 19 games (65 innings), he posted a 3.05 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP and a 76-to-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He will be 20 years old for most of the 2023 season, so it will be interesting to see how aggressive the Twins are with his promotions. It seems likely for the club to keep him in Fort Myers for the cold months to start the year and promote him to Cedar Rapids later in the year. The names above are just some of the organization's starting pitching options in the years ahead. Connor Prielipp, a 2022 second-round pick, is arguably the Twins' best pitching prospect, and he has yet to make a professional appearance. Matt Canterino has been dominant on the mound, but health was an issue, and now he will miss 2023 following Tommy John surgery. Brayan Medina is a name to watch in the rookie leagues, as MLB.com already ranks him as the team's 17th-best prospect. This group needs to start producing if Falvey wants to recreate Cleveland's pitching success. Will the Twins' pitching pipeline emerge in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  10. At the onset of the 2022 season, Minnesota's front office put a vote of confidence in the pitching pipeline by not signing a frontline starting pitcher. Dylan Bundy and Chris Archer were the team's two free-agent acquisitions, and neither performed exceptionally well. Unfortunately, Minnesota's pitching pipeline also struggled, but signs point to a potential turnaround in 2023. Here are how the team's top pitching prospects performed in 2022. Triple-A: Jordan Balazovic (ETA: 2023), Simeon Woods Richardson (ETA: 2022), Louie Varland (ETA: 2022), Ronny Henriquez (ETA: 2022) Woods Richardson and Varland are the two highlights of this group, as they both started the year at Double-A and finished it in the Twins rotation. By many accounts, Woods Richardson is still considered the better prospect, but Varland has now won back-to-back awards as the organization's minor league pitcher of the year. Woods Richardson posted a 2.77 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP across 23 appearances. Varland made 24 appearances with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP. Next year, both arms project to start in the Saints rotation, but they will be needed at the big-league level at some point in 2023. The Twins acquired Henriquez as part of the Mitch Garver trade with Texas. He is an intriguing prospect to watch as the club must decide at some point in the future if he is a starter or reliever moving forward. Henriquez made his big-league debut in 2022 as a reliever, but the organization will likely allow him to start again in 2023. As a 22-year-old, he was very young for Triple-A and posted a 5.66 ERA with a 1.39 WHIP in 95 1/3 innings. Henriquez wasn't the only prospect to see a poor performance at Triple-A. Balazovic struggled to start 2022, but he finished the season on a positive note. Entering the 2022 season, Baseball America and Baseball Prospectus had him in their top-100 prospects. In 23 appearances, Balazovic had a 7.68 ERA with a 1.97 WHIP. He has been one of the team's top pitching prospects for multiple seasons, and his development is key to the organization's pitching pipeline. Henriquez and Balazovic should be at Triple-A to start 2023. Double-A: Blayne Enlow (ETA: 2023), Brent Headrick (ETA: 2024) Minnesota added Enlow to the 40-man roster last winter even though he was expected to miss most of 2022 due to Tommy John surgery. Enlow was used as a starter and reliever and posted a 4.73 ERA with a 1.63 WHIP in 59 innings. It will be interesting to see if he sticks on the 40-man roster because the Twins have a lot of clean-up this winter. He will likely need to start 2022 at Double-A because he is continuing to build up his arm strength following surgery. Varland has received most of the attention, but Headrick was in the same draft class and has performed well. He split time between High-A and Double-A with a 3.32 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP in 108 innings. He struck out more than 11 batters per nine innings, and his strikeout numbers improved after being promoted to Double-A. Headrick will start next season at Double-A, but he will have the opportunity to move to Triple-A in the second half. High-A: David Festa (ETA: 2024), Sean Mooney (ETA: 2024), Jaylen Nowlin (ETA: 2024) The Twins took Festa in the 13th round in 2019, but he has seen his prospect stock rise since that point. In 2022, he made starts at Low- and High-A with a 2.43 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He dominated in Fort Myers with a 12.4 K/9, but that total dipped to 8.5 K/9 after his promotion. Festa was a little young for the Midwest League, so he can start 2023 at that level before moving up the organizational ladder. Mooney is an intriguing pitching prospect, averaging 13.5 K/9 during his first two professional seasons. Unfortunately, injuries have been part of his career which has limited him to just over 100 innings pitched since 2021. Since he turns 25 in January, the team may need to push him to Double-A during the 2023 season. Nowlin was a 19th round pick in 2021 and he made it all the way to High-A last in 2022. He posted video-game strikeout numbers in his first full season with 14.1 K/9 in 71 innings. He throws hard and is left-handed, which may help his prospect status entering 2023. He only made three starts at High-A to end 2022, so he likely starts next season in Cedar Rapids. Low-A: Marco Raya (ERA: 2025) In recent memory, Raya is one of the Twins' most exciting pitching prospects. He missed most of 2021 with a shoulder strain, so the 2022 season marked his professional debut. In 19 games (65 innings), he posted a 3.05 ERA with a 1.08 WHIP and a 76-to-23 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He will be 20 years old for most of the 2023 season, so it will be interesting to see how aggressive the Twins are with his promotions. It seems likely for the club to keep him in Fort Myers for the cold months to start the year and promote him to Cedar Rapids later in the year. The names above are just some of the organization's starting pitching options in the years ahead. Connor Prielipp, a 2022 second-round pick, is arguably the Twins' best pitching prospect, and he has yet to make a professional appearance. Matt Canterino has been dominant on the mound, but health was an issue, and now he will miss 2023 following Tommy John surgery. Brayan Medina is a name to watch in the rookie leagues, as MLB.com already ranks him as the team's 17th-best prospect. This group needs to start producing if Falvey wants to recreate Cleveland's pitching success. Will the Twins' pitching pipeline emerge in 2023? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  11. The Minnesota Twins used a franchise record 37 pitchers at the Major League level this season. With plenty of short starts causing a level of scrutiny, the goal is in developing better arms that can go deeper into ballgames. There’s no better place to do that than within your own system. Derek Falvey has been tasked with building a pipeline of pitching talent since he was brought over from Cleveland to head up the front office. Minnesota has been intentional in targeting arms with upside that they can mold into solid workhorses. There were plenty of strong performances this season the farm, but only one took the title of Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Before getting to the winner, here are some others that were in contention: Honorable Mention- Pierson Ohl (Fort Myers) - 20 G 91.2 IP 3.53 ERA 1.178 WHIP 9.9 K/9 1.3 BB/9 Jaylen Nowlin (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 22 G 71.0 IP 3.80 ERA 1.352 WHIP 14.1 K/9 4.6 BB/9 Travis Adams (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 22 G 100.2 IP 3.93 ERA 1.162 WHIP 9.7 K/9 2.3 BB/9 #5 Marco Raya (Fort Myers) - 19 G 65.0 IP 3.05 ERA 1.077 WHIP 10.5 K/9 3.2 BB/9 Raya was taken in the 4th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft from United South High School in Laredo, TX. With the Covid shutdown and injuries over the past couple of years, 2022 was his professional debut. Skipping the Complex League entirely, Raya pitched as a 19-year-old for the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. Across 19 games and 17 starts, he was nothing short of dominant. Arguably the staff ace, Raya racked up strikeouts in bunches while doing a good job to limit damage. He’s got mid-90s stuff and is someone Minnesota could mold into a number three starter or better. #4 Brent Headrick - (Cedar Rapids/Wichita) - 25 G 108.1 IP 3.32 ERA 1.080 WHIP 11.3 K/9 2.1 BB/9 Selected in the 9th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft out of Illinois State University, Headick has really seen the ceiling for his stuff grow. Last year was his first full professional season and he put up strong numbers for Low-A Fort Myers. Splitting time between High-A Cedar Rapids and Double-A Wichita this year, Headrick has become an anchor on the staff at whatever level he plays. Headrick has continued to rack up strikeouts in bunches, and has shown a very strong ability to command the baseball. He gave up a few more homers after the promotion to Double-A, but was every bit as dominant. When the Wind Surge advanced to the Texas League postseason, it was Headrick tabbed as the Game 1 starter. #3 David Festa - (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) 21 G 103.2 IP 2.43 ERA 1.090 WHIP 9.4 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Festa made quick work of Fort Myers after starting the season there following his 13th-round selection out of Seton Hall during the 2021 Major League Baseball draft. Pitching substantially for Cedar Rapids this season, he made adjustments to continue strong outings while the strikeouts took a slight dip. Just 22 years old, Festa has done a great job avoiding big innings by limiting the longball. In just over 103 innings this season, he allowed opposing batters to leave the yard only six times. For a late-round pick, the immediate development here has been incredibly encouraging. Runner-Up Simeon Woods Richardson - (Wichita/St. Paul) 21 G 2.93 ERA 1.080 WHIP 9.7 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Acquired alongside Austin Martin from the Toronto Blue Jays when Minnesota sent Jose Berrios north of the border, Woods Richardson has been nothing short of dominant this season. Not being interrupted by the Olympic appearance as he was last season, Woods Richardson has settled into a routine. His 2.55 ERA at Triple-A St. Paul is even better than it was with Double-A Wichita, and he continues to average over a strikeout per inning. This is a top-half-of-the-rotation arm that Minnesota could call upon as soon as 2023. 2022 Minnesota Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year - Louie Varland - (Wichita/St. Paul) - 24 G 126.1 IP 3.06 ERA 1.259 WHIP 10.4 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Winning this award for the second season in a row is none other than Concordia St. Paul product Louie Varland. A St. Paul native, Varland was a 15th-round pick by the Twins during the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. After dominating Single-A in 2021, Varland continued his roll by earning a promotion to Triple-A late this season. After a 3.34 ERA across 105 innings with Wichita, Varland posted a dominant 1.69 ERA in four starts for the Saints. As has been the case over the duration of his professional career, Varland has been a strikeout arm. This season he’s tallied 146 strikeouts while ceding just 42 walks. Once working in the low-90s, Varland has put in the offseason work to push his fastball in the mid-90s on a consistent basis with the ability to top out near 97 mph. When Minnesota needed an arm for a doubleheader against the New York Yankees, it was Varland who was called on to make his big league debut. Brother, and Dodgers prospect, Gus Varland was in the stands to see Louie punch out Aaron Judge for the first strikeout of his career. Varland will continue to grow at the big league level, but he has looked the part of an arm with intrigue. He’s a hard thrower that works quick and isn’t afraid to trust his stuff. Although the Twins may not have immediate room for Varland in the 2023 Opening Day rotation, there should be no doubt that he’ll make a handful of starts and be ready to make an impact when his number is called. Previous Starting Pitcher of the Year Winners: 2021 winner - Louie Varland 2019 winner- Randy Dobnak 2018 winner - Tyler Wells 2017 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2016 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2015 winner - Jose Berrios 2014 winner - Jose Berrios 2013 winner - Taylor Rogers 2012 winner - BJ Hermsen View full article
  12. In a must-win game for the Wichita Wind Surge to keep their Texas League Championship hopes alive, they got a dominating start from Brent Headrick when they needed it. Would it be enough? Image courtesy of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge (photo of Brent Headrick) TRANSACTIONS There were no transactions in the organization ahead of Tuesday’s games. SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 3, St. Paul 10 Box Score The St. Paul Saints took care of business on Tuesday, riding home runs from David Banuelos, Andrew Bechtold, and Roy Morales to a 10-3 victory in their penultimate game of the season against the Omaha Storm Chasers. Right-hander Jordan Balazovic got the start, and was solid over five innings, allowing his only run of the game on a solo homer in the fifth inning. In all, he completed five frames, allowing three hits, walking three, and striking out five. While it wasn’t the season Balazovic or fans were hoping for, he did finish the season much better than he started. Over his final five starts, he allowed two or fewer runs in four of them and struck out 30 over those 21 innings. St. Paul got the scoring started in the third inning thanks to an RBI triple from Dalton Shuffield, followed by an RBI double from Michael Helman. Cole Sands came on for the start of the sixth inning and would complete three frames, being charged win a blown save but also the win for his efforts. He allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk while striking out three. Down 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, David Banuelos tied the game with a solo home run, before the Saints exploded in the eighth inning. They sent 10 men to the plate, and seven of them scored thanks in large part to the home runs from Bechtold and Morales. Evan Sisk then shut the door with a perfect ninth, striking out two, to close out on a high note in a season full of them for Twins Daily’s 2022 Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. Bechtold (2-for-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Banuelos (2-for-3, 3 R, HR, RBI), and Shuffield (2-for-4, 2 R, 3B, 2 RBI, SB) had multiple hits in the game. Morales drove in three, and Nash Knight added a double. WIND SURGE WISDOM - Texas League Championship Series (Game 2 of 3) Frisco 7, Wichita 5 (10 innings) Box Score Down 1-0 in their League Championship Series, the Wichita Wind Surge called upon Brent Headrick to keep their title dreams alive. He would be facing off against 2021’s number two overall draft pick, Jack Leiter of the Frisco RoughRiders. Though Leiter had success against Wichita during the regular season, allowing just two earned runs and striking out 16 across two games and 11 innings, Austin Martin and Edouard Julien were ready for him on this night. Martin led off the bottom of the first with a double to center field, and Julien followed with a double into the right-center gap to make it 1-0 early. In the second inning, Leobaldo Cabrera, Martin, and Julien all drew walks to end Leiter’s night after just 1 2/3 innings. They were not able to score any of those runners after his exit, but they wouldn’t need any more for the first seven innings. That’s because Headrick was the pitcher who looked like the top prospect in this one. He tied his career high for strikeouts in finishing seven shutout innings. He allowed just three hits, walked none, and punched out 11 in a dominating effort. Of his 95 pitches, 64 went for strikes (67%) and included 15 swinging strikes. He struck out multiple hitters in each of the second, third, fourth, and sixth innings to keep his team in the lead. From the second through the seventh inning, the Wind Surge had opportunities to extend their lead, but couldn’t take advantage, leaving eight men on base in that timeframe. Bullpen stalwart Cody Laweryson came on for the eighth inning, but after striking out the first hitter he faced ran into some trouble. A walk followed by a double resulted in the RoughRiders first run of the game, and an error on the play put the tying run 90 just feet away. A sac fly to the next batter tied the game at two before Laweryson was able to escape the jam. In the bottom of the eighth the Wind Surge were able to manufacture a run to retake the lead, but again squandered opportunities to put the game away. Brooks Lee led off with a single, Anthony Prato drew a walk, then a bunt from DaShawn Keirsey Jr. led to a throwing error and a 3-2 lead. It wasn’t enough again, as Casey Legumina allowed a leadoff single, then a two-out walk, and another single to tie it at three. A pair of walks in the bottom half gave Wichita a chance, but it would go to extra innings. Back out for the tenth, Legumina recorded one out but an RBI single put the RoughRiders out front for the first time in the game, then a walk brought in Alex Phillips to try and keep it close. Three consecutive singles broke it open for Frisco, and they’d take a 7-3 lead into the bottom of the tenth. With the runner starting on second base, DaShawn Keirsey Jr. led off with a two-run home run to make it 7-5, and they’d get the tying run into the batter's box, but it wasn’t meant to be. The Frisco RoughRiders of the Texas Rangers organization, are your 2022 Texas League Champions, rallying late to steal the game after Headrick’s fantastic outing. Martin finished the game 1-for-3 with a double, a run scored, and drew three walks. Julien was 2-for-5 with a double, RBI, and walk. Brooks Lee finished 3-for-4 with a run scored and walk. Keirsey Jr. also chipped in two hits on the game, including his 2-run home run. Despite the loss, congratulations on a great season to the Wichita Wind Surge! TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Brent Headrick, Wichita Wind Surge (7 IP, 3 H, 11 K) Hitter of the Day - David Banuelos, St. Paul Saints (2-for-3, 3 R, HR, RBI, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Brooks Lee (Wichita) - 3-for-4, R, BB #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-3, R, 2B, 3 BB, K #9 - Matt Wallner (Minnesota) - 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 K #11 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 BB, 5 K #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-for-5, R, 2B, RBI, BB, 2 K #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - W, 3 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 3 K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (7:07 PM CDT) - RHP Randy Dobnak (1-2, 7.04 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! View full article
  13. Brent Headrick struck out 11 batters over seven shutout innings for the Wichita Wind Surge in their Texas League championship series game tonight. Unfortunately, Wichita would lose in extra innings, ending their season. There are tons of highlights from that wild game including players such as Austin Martin, Edouard Julien, Jair Camargo, Brooks Lee, DaShawn Keirsey Jr. and more. This is the final one of these system recap videos for the season. Thank you all so much for watching.
  14. Brent Headrick struck out 11 batters over seven shutout innings for the Wichita Wind Surge in their Texas League championship series game tonight. Unfortunately, Wichita would lose in extra innings, ending their season. There are tons of highlights from that wild game including players such as Austin Martin, Edouard Julien, Jair Camargo, Brooks Lee, DaShawn Keirsey Jr. and more. This is the final one of these system recap videos for the season. Thank you all so much for watching. View full video
  15. TRANSACTIONS There were no transactions in the organization ahead of Tuesday’s games. SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 3, St. Paul 10 Box Score The St. Paul Saints took care of business on Tuesday, riding home runs from David Banuelos, Andrew Bechtold, and Roy Morales to a 10-3 victory in their penultimate game of the season against the Omaha Storm Chasers. Right-hander Jordan Balazovic got the start, and was solid over five innings, allowing his only run of the game on a solo homer in the fifth inning. In all, he completed five frames, allowing three hits, walking three, and striking out five. While it wasn’t the season Balazovic or fans were hoping for, he did finish the season much better than he started. Over his final five starts, he allowed two or fewer runs in four of them and struck out 30 over those 21 innings. St. Paul got the scoring started in the third inning thanks to an RBI triple from Dalton Shuffield, followed by an RBI double from Michael Helman. Cole Sands came on for the start of the sixth inning and would complete three frames, being charged win a blown save but also the win for his efforts. He allowed two runs (one earned) on three hits and a walk while striking out three. Down 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh, David Banuelos tied the game with a solo home run, before the Saints exploded in the eighth inning. They sent 10 men to the plate, and seven of them scored thanks in large part to the home runs from Bechtold and Morales. Evan Sisk then shut the door with a perfect ninth, striking out two, to close out on a high note in a season full of them for Twins Daily’s 2022 Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. Bechtold (2-for-3, R, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Banuelos (2-for-3, 3 R, HR, RBI), and Shuffield (2-for-4, 2 R, 3B, 2 RBI, SB) had multiple hits in the game. Morales drove in three, and Nash Knight added a double. WIND SURGE WISDOM - Texas League Championship Series (Game 2 of 3) Frisco 7, Wichita 5 (10 innings) Box Score Down 1-0 in their League Championship Series, the Wichita Wind Surge called upon Brent Headrick to keep their title dreams alive. He would be facing off against 2021’s number two overall draft pick, Jack Leiter of the Frisco RoughRiders. Though Leiter had success against Wichita during the regular season, allowing just two earned runs and striking out 16 across two games and 11 innings, Austin Martin and Edouard Julien were ready for him on this night. Martin led off the bottom of the first with a double to center field, and Julien followed with a double into the right-center gap to make it 1-0 early. In the second inning, Leobaldo Cabrera, Martin, and Julien all drew walks to end Leiter’s night after just 1 2/3 innings. They were not able to score any of those runners after his exit, but they wouldn’t need any more for the first seven innings. That’s because Headrick was the pitcher who looked like the top prospect in this one. He tied his career high for strikeouts in finishing seven shutout innings. He allowed just three hits, walked none, and punched out 11 in a dominating effort. Of his 95 pitches, 64 went for strikes (67%) and included 15 swinging strikes. He struck out multiple hitters in each of the second, third, fourth, and sixth innings to keep his team in the lead. From the second through the seventh inning, the Wind Surge had opportunities to extend their lead, but couldn’t take advantage, leaving eight men on base in that timeframe. Bullpen stalwart Cody Laweryson came on for the eighth inning, but after striking out the first hitter he faced ran into some trouble. A walk followed by a double resulted in the RoughRiders first run of the game, and an error on the play put the tying run 90 just feet away. A sac fly to the next batter tied the game at two before Laweryson was able to escape the jam. In the bottom of the eighth the Wind Surge were able to manufacture a run to retake the lead, but again squandered opportunities to put the game away. Brooks Lee led off with a single, Anthony Prato drew a walk, then a bunt from DaShawn Keirsey Jr. led to a throwing error and a 3-2 lead. It wasn’t enough again, as Casey Legumina allowed a leadoff single, then a two-out walk, and another single to tie it at three. A pair of walks in the bottom half gave Wichita a chance, but it would go to extra innings. Back out for the tenth, Legumina recorded one out but an RBI single put the RoughRiders out front for the first time in the game, then a walk brought in Alex Phillips to try and keep it close. Three consecutive singles broke it open for Frisco, and they’d take a 7-3 lead into the bottom of the tenth. With the runner starting on second base, DaShawn Keirsey Jr. led off with a two-run home run to make it 7-5, and they’d get the tying run into the batter's box, but it wasn’t meant to be. The Frisco RoughRiders of the Texas Rangers organization, are your 2022 Texas League Champions, rallying late to steal the game after Headrick’s fantastic outing. Martin finished the game 1-for-3 with a double, a run scored, and drew three walks. Julien was 2-for-5 with a double, RBI, and walk. Brooks Lee finished 3-for-4 with a run scored and walk. Keirsey Jr. also chipped in two hits on the game, including his 2-run home run. Despite the loss, congratulations on a great season to the Wichita Wind Surge! TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Brent Headrick, Wichita Wind Surge (7 IP, 3 H, 11 K) Hitter of the Day - David Banuelos, St. Paul Saints (2-for-3, 3 R, HR, RBI, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Brooks Lee (Wichita) - 3-for-4, R, BB #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-3, R, 2B, 3 BB, K #9 - Matt Wallner (Minnesota) - 1-for-4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 K #11 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 5 IP, 3 H, ER, 3 BB, 5 K #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-for-5, R, 2B, RBI, BB, 2 K #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - W, 3 IP, 3 H, ER, BB, 3 K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (7:07 PM CDT) - RHP Randy Dobnak (1-2, 7.04 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  16. Derek Falvey has been tasked with building a pipeline of pitching talent since he was brought over from Cleveland to head up the front office. Minnesota has been intentional in targeting arms with upside that they can mold into solid workhorses. There were plenty of strong performances this season the farm, but only one took the title of Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. Before getting to the winner, here are some others that were in contention: Honorable Mention- Pierson Ohl (Fort Myers) - 20 G 91.2 IP 3.53 ERA 1.178 WHIP 9.9 K/9 1.3 BB/9 Jaylen Nowlin (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 22 G 71.0 IP 3.80 ERA 1.352 WHIP 14.1 K/9 4.6 BB/9 Travis Adams (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 22 G 100.2 IP 3.93 ERA 1.162 WHIP 9.7 K/9 2.3 BB/9 #5 Marco Raya (Fort Myers) - 19 G 65.0 IP 3.05 ERA 1.077 WHIP 10.5 K/9 3.2 BB/9 Raya was taken in the 4th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft from United South High School in Laredo, TX. With the Covid shutdown and injuries over the past couple of years, 2022 was his professional debut. Skipping the Complex League entirely, Raya pitched as a 19-year-old for the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels. Across 19 games and 17 starts, he was nothing short of dominant. Arguably the staff ace, Raya racked up strikeouts in bunches while doing a good job to limit damage. He’s got mid-90s stuff and is someone Minnesota could mold into a number three starter or better. #4 Brent Headrick - (Cedar Rapids/Wichita) - 25 G 108.1 IP 3.32 ERA 1.080 WHIP 11.3 K/9 2.1 BB/9 Selected in the 9th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft out of Illinois State University, Headick has really seen the ceiling for his stuff grow. Last year was his first full professional season and he put up strong numbers for Low-A Fort Myers. Splitting time between High-A Cedar Rapids and Double-A Wichita this year, Headrick has become an anchor on the staff at whatever level he plays. Headrick has continued to rack up strikeouts in bunches, and has shown a very strong ability to command the baseball. He gave up a few more homers after the promotion to Double-A, but was every bit as dominant. When the Wind Surge advanced to the Texas League postseason, it was Headrick tabbed as the Game 1 starter. #3 David Festa - (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) 21 G 103.2 IP 2.43 ERA 1.090 WHIP 9.4 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Festa made quick work of Fort Myers after starting the season there following his 13th-round selection out of Seton Hall during the 2021 Major League Baseball draft. Pitching substantially for Cedar Rapids this season, he made adjustments to continue strong outings while the strikeouts took a slight dip. Just 22 years old, Festa has done a great job avoiding big innings by limiting the longball. In just over 103 innings this season, he allowed opposing batters to leave the yard only six times. For a late-round pick, the immediate development here has been incredibly encouraging. Runner-Up Simeon Woods Richardson - (Wichita/St. Paul) 21 G 2.93 ERA 1.080 WHIP 9.7 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Acquired alongside Austin Martin from the Toronto Blue Jays when Minnesota sent Jose Berrios north of the border, Woods Richardson has been nothing short of dominant this season. Not being interrupted by the Olympic appearance as he was last season, Woods Richardson has settled into a routine. His 2.55 ERA at Triple-A St. Paul is even better than it was with Double-A Wichita, and he continues to average over a strikeout per inning. This is a top-half-of-the-rotation arm that Minnesota could call upon as soon as 2023. 2022 Minnesota Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year - Louie Varland - (Wichita/St. Paul) - 24 G 126.1 IP 3.06 ERA 1.259 WHIP 10.4 K/9 3.0 BB/9 Winning this award for the second season in a row is none other than Concordia St. Paul product Louie Varland. A St. Paul native, Varland was a 15th-round pick by the Twins during the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. After dominating Single-A in 2021, Varland continued his roll by earning a promotion to Triple-A late this season. After a 3.34 ERA across 105 innings with Wichita, Varland posted a dominant 1.69 ERA in four starts for the Saints. As has been the case over the duration of his professional career, Varland has been a strikeout arm. This season he’s tallied 146 strikeouts while ceding just 42 walks. Once working in the low-90s, Varland has put in the offseason work to push his fastball in the mid-90s on a consistent basis with the ability to top out near 97 mph. When Minnesota needed an arm for a doubleheader against the New York Yankees, it was Varland who was called on to make his big league debut. Brother, and Dodgers prospect, Gus Varland was in the stands to see Louie punch out Aaron Judge for the first strikeout of his career. Varland will continue to grow at the big league level, but he has looked the part of an arm with intrigue. He’s a hard thrower that works quick and isn’t afraid to trust his stuff. Although the Twins may not have immediate room for Varland in the 2023 Opening Day rotation, there should be no doubt that he’ll make a handful of starts and be ready to make an impact when his number is called. Previous Starting Pitcher of the Year Winners: 2021 winner - Louie Varland 2019 winner- Randy Dobnak 2018 winner - Tyler Wells 2017 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2016 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2015 winner - Jose Berrios 2014 winner - Jose Berrios 2013 winner - Taylor Rogers 2012 winner - BJ Hermsen
  17. The Wichita Wind Surge opened postseason play with a 17-1 blowout. Brent Headrick got things going with a strong start while DaShawn Keirsey Jr., Jair Camargo and Edouard Julien were among the many hitters who had big nights. Also included in tonight's recap are highlights of Simeon Woods Richardson's quality start for St. Paul
  18. The Wichita Wind Surge opened postseason play with a 17-1 blowout. Brent Headrick got things going with a strong start while DaShawn Keirsey Jr., Jair Camargo and Edouard Julien were among the many hitters who had big nights. Also included in tonight's recap are highlights of Simeon Woods Richardson's quality start for St. Paul View full video
  19. Louie Varland is getting a lot of attention this season, especially with his performance in the upper minors. Another pitcher from Varland’s draft class is also putting his name on the prospect map. Image courtesy of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge Twins fans know Louie Varland after his impressive debut at Yankee Stadium. He’s the organization’s reigning minor league pitcher of the year, but he might not have gotten the respect he deserved entering the season. Many Twins rankings didn’t have him in the organization’s top-10, and another prospect may be following his path to the big leagues. Drafting and developing pitching is one of the critical strategies for teams to keep their winning window open as long as possible. Varland was a 15th-round pick in 2019, and the Twins have developed him into a legitimate starting pitching prospect. Picks later in the draft can allow for some sneaky value, and Brent Headrick fits that mold. The Twins drafted Headrick in the 9th round of the 2019 MLB Draft from Illinois State University. It was tough to know what to expect from Headrick as he posted a 6.40 ERA as a sophomore. Following that season, he headed to the Northwoods Summer League and had a 2.63 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings. Some of those positives translated to his junior season, where he posted a 10.8 K/9 with a 1.09 WHIP. Minnesota saw potential and selected him later in the draft. Entering the 2021 season, Headrick was limited to three professional appearances because of the missing 2020 campaign. Minnesota sent him to Fort Myers in 2021, where he was over a year older than the average age of the competition at that level. In 15 appearances, he posted a 3.82 ERA with a 12.6 K/9 over 61 1/3 innings. His biggest issue was allowing more than a hit per inning, resulting in a 1.58 WHIP. Luckily, Headrick has made vast improvements in 2022. Headrick started the year by dominating at High-A, where he posted a 2.34 ERA with a 0.89 WHIP in 15 starts. He significantly reduced the number of hits per nine from 9.3 H/9 in 2021 to 7.3 H/9 in 2022. Since being promoted to Double-A, his strikeout rate has improved to 12.2 K/9, and he is slightly younger than the competition for the first time in his career. Only one Twins prospect has struck out more batters than Headrick this season. Varland has accumulated 146 strikeouts in 126 1/3 innings, while Headrick has 130 strikeouts in 104 1/3 innings. For the season, his 11.2 K/9 is the highest among Twins prospects who have pitched at least 80 innings. Headrick is one of a handful of Twins prospects who will pitch more than 100 innings this season, and he is making the most of his time on the mound. Headrick won’t finish the season ranked as highly as Varland, but he is having a standout performance while other top prospects struggle. He should enter next season as one of the team’s top-30 prospects with a chance to prove himself in the upper minors. His ceiling may be a back-end of the rotation starter, but that can provide value to a Twins organization that has recently filled those spots with veterans. Keep your eye on Headrick in 2023 and beyond. What are your thoughts on Headricks’ performance so far in 2022? What is his ceiling? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  20. Twins fans know Louie Varland after his impressive debut at Yankee Stadium. He’s the organization’s reigning minor league pitcher of the year, but he might not have gotten the respect he deserved entering the season. Many Twins rankings didn’t have him in the organization’s top-10, and another prospect may be following his path to the big leagues. Drafting and developing pitching is one of the critical strategies for teams to keep their winning window open as long as possible. Varland was a 15th-round pick in 2019, and the Twins have developed him into a legitimate starting pitching prospect. Picks later in the draft can allow for some sneaky value, and Brent Headrick fits that mold. The Twins drafted Headrick in the 9th round of the 2019 MLB Draft from Illinois State University. It was tough to know what to expect from Headrick as he posted a 6.40 ERA as a sophomore. Following that season, he headed to the Northwoods Summer League and had a 2.63 ERA with 35 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings. Some of those positives translated to his junior season, where he posted a 10.8 K/9 with a 1.09 WHIP. Minnesota saw potential and selected him later in the draft. Entering the 2021 season, Headrick was limited to three professional appearances because of the missing 2020 campaign. Minnesota sent him to Fort Myers in 2021, where he was over a year older than the average age of the competition at that level. In 15 appearances, he posted a 3.82 ERA with a 12.6 K/9 over 61 1/3 innings. His biggest issue was allowing more than a hit per inning, resulting in a 1.58 WHIP. Luckily, Headrick has made vast improvements in 2022. Headrick started the year by dominating at High-A, where he posted a 2.34 ERA with a 0.89 WHIP in 15 starts. He significantly reduced the number of hits per nine from 9.3 H/9 in 2021 to 7.3 H/9 in 2022. Since being promoted to Double-A, his strikeout rate has improved to 12.2 K/9, and he is slightly younger than the competition for the first time in his career. Only one Twins prospect has struck out more batters than Headrick this season. Varland has accumulated 146 strikeouts in 126 1/3 innings, while Headrick has 130 strikeouts in 104 1/3 innings. For the season, his 11.2 K/9 is the highest among Twins prospects who have pitched at least 80 innings. Headrick is one of a handful of Twins prospects who will pitch more than 100 innings this season, and he is making the most of his time on the mound. Headrick won’t finish the season ranked as highly as Varland, but he is having a standout performance while other top prospects struggle. He should enter next season as one of the team’s top-30 prospects with a chance to prove himself in the upper minors. His ceiling may be a back-end of the rotation starter, but that can provide value to a Twins organization that has recently filled those spots with veterans. Keep your eye on Headrick in 2023 and beyond. What are your thoughts on Headricks’ performance so far in 2022? What is his ceiling? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  21. I mean, was Matt Wallner not going to hit? TRANSACTIONS OF Carlos Aguiar reinstated from 7-day IL at Ft. Myers Cedar Rapids placed RHP Luis Rijo on 7-day IL LHP Jovani Moran optioned to St. Paul Saints Sentinel St. Paul 9, Omaha 4 Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K HR: Chris Williams (8) Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (3-for-4, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI, 1 BB), Cole Sturgeon (3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB) St. Paul won decisively on Saturday. It was an all-around offensive breakout; eight batters scored a run in an 11-hit, seven-walk effort. Matt Wallner may have collected the most RBIs, but this was a democratic affair; the lone hitter to not score a run drove one in. Chris Williams swatted a solo home run. Jordan Balazovic pitched arguably his best outing on Saturday; the righty struck out six while allowing a lone run over his four innings of work. It may not be the most impressive start ever, but a step in the right direction is always welcome. Michael Feliz netted four outs with one strikeout; Williams’ AAA OPS is now over 1.000. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 2, Springfield 8 Box Score Brent Headrick: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (2-for-4), Anthony Prato (2-for-4, 2B) Wichita played a game to forget on Saturday. The defense was the major bugaboo; the team committed five errors, with two blunders attributed to Yunior Severino and three stemming from Jair Camargo. It’s difficult to win many games with that sort of performance. Brent Headrick worked around his fielders in admirable fashion, allowing two earned runs over five innings with seven strikeouts. The lefty has 42 strikeouts over 29 innings since the beginning of August. Both runs scored late as Ernie Yake singled home a runner in the 7th, and DaShawn Keirsey Jr. brought one in with a 9th inning sacrifice fly. Keirsey also sto le two bases, giving him 37 on the season. Blayne Enlow struck out four over two innings; Anthony Prato’s double was the sole extra-base hit. Kernels Nuggets The rain ended this game before it could start; the Kernels will play a doubleheader on Sunday. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 3 Box Score Tomas Cleto: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K HR: Nate Baez (1) Multi-hit games: Kala’i Rosario (2-for-4, 2 R), Nate Baez (2-for-4, HR, 2B, R, 3 RBI) The Mighty Mussels won a tame game on Saturday. Nate Baez dominated the story; the catcher cracked a double and blasted a homer on his way to three RBIs. He hasn’t played much this year—the 2022 draft pick has just 47 at-bats—but more games like this could set the foundation for a phenomenal 2023 season. Kala’i Rosario was the Robin to Baez’s Batman, drumming a double and scoring a pair of runs in Saturday’s effort. Tomas Cleto was effectively wild. The starter allowed a single hit but walked four in his scoreless outing, perhaps even flummoxing himself regarding pitch location. It was no matter; Cleto walked away with a sparkling ERA, and that is all the Mighty Mussels could ask for. Noah Miller tripled for the 4th time this season; Niklas Rimmel pitched two scoreless innings to end the game. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Brent Headrick Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Matt Wallner PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-4 #7 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, 3B, K #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 3-for-4, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI, 1 BB #11 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-3, BB, 2 K #15 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K #20 - Kala’i Rosario (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-4, 2 R SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (5:07 PM) - RHP Josh Winder Wichita @ Springfield (6:05 PM) - TBD Cedar Rapids @ Dayton (12:09 PM) - TBD Fort Myers @ Bradenton (11:00 AM) - LHP Jordan Carr View full article
  22. TRANSACTIONS OF Carlos Aguiar reinstated from 7-day IL at Ft. Myers Cedar Rapids placed RHP Luis Rijo on 7-day IL LHP Jovani Moran optioned to St. Paul Saints Sentinel St. Paul 9, Omaha 4 Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K HR: Chris Williams (8) Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (3-for-4, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI, 1 BB), Cole Sturgeon (3-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB) St. Paul won decisively on Saturday. It was an all-around offensive breakout; eight batters scored a run in an 11-hit, seven-walk effort. Matt Wallner may have collected the most RBIs, but this was a democratic affair; the lone hitter to not score a run drove one in. Chris Williams swatted a solo home run. Jordan Balazovic pitched arguably his best outing on Saturday; the righty struck out six while allowing a lone run over his four innings of work. It may not be the most impressive start ever, but a step in the right direction is always welcome. Michael Feliz netted four outs with one strikeout; Williams’ AAA OPS is now over 1.000. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 2, Springfield 8 Box Score Brent Headrick: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (2-for-4), Anthony Prato (2-for-4, 2B) Wichita played a game to forget on Saturday. The defense was the major bugaboo; the team committed five errors, with two blunders attributed to Yunior Severino and three stemming from Jair Camargo. It’s difficult to win many games with that sort of performance. Brent Headrick worked around his fielders in admirable fashion, allowing two earned runs over five innings with seven strikeouts. The lefty has 42 strikeouts over 29 innings since the beginning of August. Both runs scored late as Ernie Yake singled home a runner in the 7th, and DaShawn Keirsey Jr. brought one in with a 9th inning sacrifice fly. Keirsey also sto le two bases, giving him 37 on the season. Blayne Enlow struck out four over two innings; Anthony Prato’s double was the sole extra-base hit. Kernels Nuggets The rain ended this game before it could start; the Kernels will play a doubleheader on Sunday. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 3 Box Score Tomas Cleto: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K HR: Nate Baez (1) Multi-hit games: Kala’i Rosario (2-for-4, 2 R), Nate Baez (2-for-4, HR, 2B, R, 3 RBI) The Mighty Mussels won a tame game on Saturday. Nate Baez dominated the story; the catcher cracked a double and blasted a homer on his way to three RBIs. He hasn’t played much this year—the 2022 draft pick has just 47 at-bats—but more games like this could set the foundation for a phenomenal 2023 season. Kala’i Rosario was the Robin to Baez’s Batman, drumming a double and scoring a pair of runs in Saturday’s effort. Tomas Cleto was effectively wild. The starter allowed a single hit but walked four in his scoreless outing, perhaps even flummoxing himself regarding pitch location. It was no matter; Cleto walked away with a sparkling ERA, and that is all the Mighty Mussels could ask for. Noah Miller tripled for the 4th time this season; Niklas Rimmel pitched two scoreless innings to end the game. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Brent Headrick Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Matt Wallner PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-4 #7 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-5, 3B, K #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 3-for-4, 2 2B, R, 3 RBI, 1 BB #11 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 6 K #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 0-3, BB, 2 K #15 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K #20 - Kala’i Rosario (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-4, 2 R SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (5:07 PM) - RHP Josh Winder Wichita @ Springfield (6:05 PM) - TBD Cedar Rapids @ Dayton (12:09 PM) - TBD Fort Myers @ Bradenton (11:00 AM) - LHP Jordan Carr
  23. The Minnesota Twins may have lost 13-0, they may have had multiple position players pitch, but they didn't get no-hit by the White Sox. Luis Arraez, the hero of today's quest, broke up Dylan Cease's no-no with two outs in the ninth inning. Tonight's recap also features some Jordan Balazovic highlights and a rundown of the standings across the system.
  24. The Minnesota Twins may have lost 13-0, they may have had multiple position players pitch, but they didn't get no-hit by the White Sox. Luis Arraez, the hero of today's quest, broke up Dylan Cease's no-no with two outs in the ninth inning. Tonight's recap also features some Jordan Balazovic highlights and a rundown of the standings across the system. View full video
  25. Minnesota Twins minor league highlights, plus a look around the standings across the system. For Wichita, Austin Martin made a great diving catch, Aaron Sabato homered (again) and Brent Headrick struck out 10 batters. In Cedar Rapids, Mikey Perez got the only hit, but good thing it was a home run. The Kernels won 1-0, as Tyler Palm, Jon Olsen, Matthew Swain and Bradley Hanner combined for the shutout.
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