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  1. Everything is happening more quickly than normal in spring training, and roster decisions is a part of that. Allowing for them to be able to get more innings and get stretched out to start the minor league season, six pitchers have been optioned. The Twins have optioned pitchers Jordan Balazovic, Ronny Henriquez, Cole Sands, and Drew Strotman to Triple-A St. Paul. Chris Vallimont and Blayne Enlow were also optioned, but he was optioned to Double-A Wichita. It is the second options for Balazovic and Strotman. It is the first options for the others. The spring training roster currently has 53 players on it, including 19 non-roster players. There are still 24 pitchers (7 non-roster), five catchers (2 non-roster), 15 infielders (7 non-roster), and nine outfielders (3 non-roster). The regular-season big-league roster will include 26 players, although it is likely that there will be expanded rosters for a little while when the season begins due to the shortened spring training. It is normal for players on the 40-man roster who will not start the season in the big leagues to be optioned with the first cuts. There are several reasons for that. One might be that if a player gets hurt in big-league spring training, they would go on the big-league Injured List. In this case, these pitchers are likely to be starters in the minor leagues, and they need to be stretched out. They simply won't get the innings in big-league camp to do that. Enlow will start the season on the Wind Surge Injured List, but don't be surprised if he's back to pitching in games by May. He had Tommy John surgery last May. Josh Winder is on the mound today for the Twins in their spring game against the Red Sox. It is possible he is optioned either after the game or in the coming days. If he is not, that tells us he is being considered for an Opening Day job. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Latest Twins coverage from our writers Recent Twins discussion in our forums Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email View full article
  2. The Twins have optioned pitchers Jordan Balazovic, Ronny Henriquez, Cole Sands, and Drew Strotman to Triple-A St. Paul. Chris Vallimont and Blayne Enlow were also optioned, but he was optioned to Double-A Wichita. It is the second options for Balazovic and Strotman. It is the first options for the others. The spring training roster currently has 53 players on it, including 19 non-roster players. There are still 24 pitchers (7 non-roster), five catchers (2 non-roster), 15 infielders (7 non-roster), and nine outfielders (3 non-roster). The regular-season big-league roster will include 26 players, although it is likely that there will be expanded rosters for a little while when the season begins due to the shortened spring training. It is normal for players on the 40-man roster who will not start the season in the big leagues to be optioned with the first cuts. There are several reasons for that. One might be that if a player gets hurt in big-league spring training, they would go on the big-league Injured List. In this case, these pitchers are likely to be starters in the minor leagues, and they need to be stretched out. They simply won't get the innings in big-league camp to do that. Enlow will start the season on the Wind Surge Injured List, but don't be surprised if he's back to pitching in games by May. He had Tommy John surgery last May. Josh Winder is on the mound today for the Twins in their spring game against the Red Sox. It is possible he is optioned either after the game or in the coming days. If he is not, that tells us he is being considered for an Opening Day job. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY Latest Twins coverage from our writers Recent Twins discussion in our forums Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook, or email
  3. After a little time away, my top prospects series continues. Today we jump into the top 20 pitching prospects with some interesting names. How do you compare starting pitchers to relievers? It's certainly not easy. For this series, we have separated hitters from pitchers, and yet, maybe in future years we will want the starters and relievers separated too. Who should rank higher? A potential #3 starting pitchers, or a potential late-inning reliever? On a real baseball team, both roles are important and complement each other. In prospect rankings, relievers often get overlooked. Why? Because over the past couple of decades, relievers may work 70-80 innings in a season whereas a #4 starter could pitch 150-180 innings. That may change over time as we see the roles a little less defined. Starters are often asked to go through an order twice, which generally will be less than five innings. As we move forward, there may be a few guys that reach 150 innings, but many starters may top out at 130 innings while many relievers could jump closer to 100 innings. We shall see. Today's five prospects include two relievers. Going behind the curtain a bit, this is the range the lefty Charlie Barnes would have fit into. As you know by now, he has signed to play in Korea in 2022. Remember, this is a prospect rankings, and it is significantly different than Nick's Twins Top Assets series that is running now too. Let's get to Twins pitching prospects that I have ranked 16th through 20th. #20 - RHP Osiris German 2021 STATS: 2-2, 4 saves, 3.34 ERA, 38/0 G/GS, 1.20 WHIP, 90/24 K/BB, 59.1 IP The Twins signed Osiris German from the Dominican Republic in July of 2016. He has slowly worked his way up the Twins’ organizational ladder. He had not pitched for a full-season affiliate before the 2021 season. He split the year between Low-A Ft. Myers and High-A Cedar Rapids. He has good control. While the 23-year-old sits in the low 90s with his fastball, he has a plus-plus changeup. That is the pitch that is intriguing and could keep him moving up the system, hopefully to the big leagues. He will need to continue to improve and gain confidence in all of his pitches, but there is a lot to work with. #19 - RHP Regi Grace 2021 STATS: 1-0, 2.59 ERA, 9/8 G/GS, 0.99 WHIP, 35/11 K/BB, 31.1 IP He had a scholarship offer to Mississippi State, but when the Twins made him their 10th round pick in the 2018 draft, Regi Grace signed quickly. A terrific athlete, Grace is very strong. While his velocity sat in the upper-80s and topped out around 90-91 in 2019, he was able to increase his fastball velocity, even touching 95 at times. The main thing holding him back to this point has been health. He missed time in 2021 with a shoulder impingement. However, after he came back, he gave up just three hits and struck out 12 batters over nine scoreless innings. He tossed the first three innings of a combined no hitter in his final start. #18 - RHP Chris Vallimont 2021 STATS: 5-7, 5.84 ERA, 22/22 G/GS, 1.64 WHIP, 136/61 K/BB, 94.0 IP After coming to the Twins from the Marlins in the July 2019 Lewin Diaz trade, Chris Vallimont made four starts for the Miracle. The former fifth-round pick from Mercyhurst didn’t pitch at all in 2020. He began the 2021 season with a few weeks on the Injured List but still made 21 starts. He certainly had his ups and downs. He had one stretch in which he gave up five or more earned runs in five of six starts. He also had 11 starts in which he gave up two runs or less. He was added to the 40-man roster in November because he has really good stuff. Vallimont sits in the mid-90s, and he’s got good (though inconsistent) secondary stuff. In the past, he has shown good control, but he struggled with that part of the game in 2021. That said, he was consistently able to miss bats. That is why he’s on the 40-man roster. #17 - RHP Casey Legumina 2021 STATS: 4-2, 3.28 ERA, 15/9 G/GS 1.07 WHIP, 63/16 K/BB, 49.1 IP Casey Legumina was drafted out of high school in Arizona but chose to go to Gonzaga instead. As a sophomore, he became a top closer in college baseball. He was set to be a starter for the ‘Zags in 2019, but after four starts, he needed Tommy John surgery. Still, the Twins had seen enough and selected him in the eighth round of the draft that year. He rehabbed the rest of that summer and into the 2020 season. That means 2021 was his professional debut. He worked 44 2/3 innings for Ft. Myers before ending the season with one start in Cedar Rapids before the playoffs. He throws his fastball in the low-to-mid 90s and has a really good slider. He’s also continuing to work on his changeup. The Twins want to use him as a starter, but obviously they had to be careful with his innings in 2021. He could be a sleeper in 2022. #16 - LHP Jovani Moran 2021 MiLB STATS: 4-2, 2.41 ERA, 35/0 G/GS, 0.89 WHIP, 109/32 K/BB, 67.1 IP 2021 MLB STATS: 0-0, 7.88 ERA, 5/0 G/GS, 2.00 WHIP, 10/7 K/BB, 8.0 IP It took some time, but lefty Jovani Moran finally reached the big leagues in September of 2021. The southpaw had been the Twins seventh-round pick back in 2015 out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. When healthy, Moran has been quite successful in the minor leagues. He’s got a low-to-mid 90s fastball that touches 95, but it is his changeup that gets people talking. It is a plus-plus pitch and he gets a lot of swings and misses with it. Maybe sacrilege, but many compare it to Johan Santana’s changeup. He also has a slider that can be plus-plus at times. It was wise to get Moran some innings late in the 2021 season to help the nerves which can get to him at times. If he can throw strikes, Moran has a chance to be a long-term, late-inning, dominant relief option. This is another interesting group. There are a couple of relievers with plus-plus changeups, one of whom is ready to shine with the Twins. The other three have development to do, but the potential to be really good if they can stay healthy. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 2: 21-25 View full article
  4. How do you compare starting pitchers to relievers? It's certainly not easy. For this series, we have separated hitters from pitchers, and yet, maybe in future years we will want the starters and relievers separated too. Who should rank higher? A potential #3 starting pitchers, or a potential late-inning reliever? On a real baseball team, both roles are important and complement each other. In prospect rankings, relievers often get overlooked. Why? Because over the past couple of decades, relievers may work 70-80 innings in a season whereas a #4 starter could pitch 150-180 innings. That may change over time as we see the roles a little less defined. Starters are often asked to go through an order twice, which generally will be less than five innings. As we move forward, there may be a few guys that reach 150 innings, but many starters may top out at 130 innings while many relievers could jump closer to 100 innings. We shall see. Today's five prospects include two relievers. Going behind the curtain a bit, this is the range the lefty Charlie Barnes would have fit into. As you know by now, he has signed to play in Korea in 2022. Remember, this is a prospect rankings, and it is significantly different than Nick's Twins Top Assets series that is running now too. Let's get to Twins pitching prospects that I have ranked 16th through 20th. #20 - RHP Osiris German 2021 STATS: 2-2, 4 saves, 3.34 ERA, 38/0 G/GS, 1.20 WHIP, 90/24 K/BB, 59.1 IP The Twins signed Osiris German from the Dominican Republic in July of 2016. He has slowly worked his way up the Twins’ organizational ladder. He had not pitched for a full-season affiliate before the 2021 season. He split the year between Low-A Ft. Myers and High-A Cedar Rapids. He has good control. While the 23-year-old sits in the low 90s with his fastball, he has a plus-plus changeup. That is the pitch that is intriguing and could keep him moving up the system, hopefully to the big leagues. He will need to continue to improve and gain confidence in all of his pitches, but there is a lot to work with. #19 - RHP Regi Grace 2021 STATS: 1-0, 2.59 ERA, 9/8 G/GS, 0.99 WHIP, 35/11 K/BB, 31.1 IP He had a scholarship offer to Mississippi State, but when the Twins made him their 10th round pick in the 2018 draft, Regi Grace signed quickly. A terrific athlete, Grace is very strong. While his velocity sat in the upper-80s and topped out around 90-91 in 2019, he was able to increase his fastball velocity, even touching 95 at times. The main thing holding him back to this point has been health. He missed time in 2021 with a shoulder impingement. However, after he came back, he gave up just three hits and struck out 12 batters over nine scoreless innings. He tossed the first three innings of a combined no hitter in his final start. #18 - RHP Chris Vallimont 2021 STATS: 5-7, 5.84 ERA, 22/22 G/GS, 1.64 WHIP, 136/61 K/BB, 94.0 IP After coming to the Twins from the Marlins in the July 2019 Lewin Diaz trade, Chris Vallimont made four starts for the Miracle. The former fifth-round pick from Mercyhurst didn’t pitch at all in 2020. He began the 2021 season with a few weeks on the Injured List but still made 21 starts. He certainly had his ups and downs. He had one stretch in which he gave up five or more earned runs in five of six starts. He also had 11 starts in which he gave up two runs or less. He was added to the 40-man roster in November because he has really good stuff. Vallimont sits in the mid-90s, and he’s got good (though inconsistent) secondary stuff. In the past, he has shown good control, but he struggled with that part of the game in 2021. That said, he was consistently able to miss bats. That is why he’s on the 40-man roster. #17 - RHP Casey Legumina 2021 STATS: 4-2, 3.28 ERA, 15/9 G/GS 1.07 WHIP, 63/16 K/BB, 49.1 IP Casey Legumina was drafted out of high school in Arizona but chose to go to Gonzaga instead. As a sophomore, he became a top closer in college baseball. He was set to be a starter for the ‘Zags in 2019, but after four starts, he needed Tommy John surgery. Still, the Twins had seen enough and selected him in the eighth round of the draft that year. He rehabbed the rest of that summer and into the 2020 season. That means 2021 was his professional debut. He worked 44 2/3 innings for Ft. Myers before ending the season with one start in Cedar Rapids before the playoffs. He throws his fastball in the low-to-mid 90s and has a really good slider. He’s also continuing to work on his changeup. The Twins want to use him as a starter, but obviously they had to be careful with his innings in 2021. He could be a sleeper in 2022. #16 - LHP Jovani Moran 2021 MiLB STATS: 4-2, 2.41 ERA, 35/0 G/GS, 0.89 WHIP, 109/32 K/BB, 67.1 IP 2021 MLB STATS: 0-0, 7.88 ERA, 5/0 G/GS, 2.00 WHIP, 10/7 K/BB, 8.0 IP It took some time, but lefty Jovani Moran finally reached the big leagues in September of 2021. The southpaw had been the Twins seventh-round pick back in 2015 out of the Carlos Beltran Baseball Academy in Puerto Rico. When healthy, Moran has been quite successful in the minor leagues. He’s got a low-to-mid 90s fastball that touches 95, but it is his changeup that gets people talking. It is a plus-plus pitch and he gets a lot of swings and misses with it. Maybe sacrilege, but many compare it to Johan Santana’s changeup. He also has a slider that can be plus-plus at times. It was wise to get Moran some innings late in the 2021 season to help the nerves which can get to him at times. If he can throw strikes, Moran has a chance to be a long-term, late-inning, dominant relief option. This is another interesting group. There are a couple of relievers with plus-plus changeups, one of whom is ready to shine with the Twins. The other three have development to do, but the potential to be really good if they can stay healthy. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 2: 21-25
  5. Not every pitching prospect is cut out for a starting role in the Major Leagues. That doesn’t mean they’re a failure, as oftentimes these former starters transition into a big role in shorter stints. The Twins have several arms who are candidates for such a transition in 2022. The Twins need some bullpen help in 2022 in addition to significant rotation help. Unfortunately, there’s only so much money to go around. Transitioning some younger arms into bullpen pieces could benefit the players and team alike and get them into the majors that much quicker. The Twins have some great young arms who could be primed to make this switch. Matt Canterino Canterino was a 2nd round pick and has been a starting pitcher for much of his minor league career. His highest ERA in a single season was 1.80 as he’s dominated every stop of the minors to this point. He sports a devastating slider and a solid complementary changeup. His fastball took a big step forward during the pandemic forced break in minor league action. He can now run it up to the high 90s consistently. With such a deep pitch mix, why shouldn’t Canterino be a starting pitcher? Canterino is already 24 years old and has only made it as high as A+ ball in his three years with the Twins. He’s thrown 48 total innings in his professional career thus far. This is partially due to the lost 2020 season, but Canterino also dealt with multiple forearm injuries which eventually ended his 2021 season. Headed into 2022, Canterino has a long way to go in developing as a starter. Staying the course not only would likely keep him out of the majors for another year or two at least, but more innings also make a recurrence of the recent arm troubles more likely. Canterino has the raw stuff to debut very soon and be an effective reliever. It’s an option the Twins could very well consider at this point. Chris Vallimont Recently added to the 40 man roster, Vallimont had too much raw talent for the Twins to risk letting him go. His 6.06 ERA across 91 innings in AA aren’t impressive, but his raw skills were. Vallimont struck out 31.1% of his hitters faced, but walked a crippling 14.6% while allowing a 1.48 HR/9. He has a decent mix of pitches featuring a low to mid 90s fastball and a decent slider, curve and change. Pitchers like Vallimont move to the bullpen all the time. Jorge Alcala was the Twins' latest iteration. Moving into a short burst role actually helped iron out the walks and allowing his stuff to play up in 1-2 inning stints helped him work around the walks he was still issuing. Unlike Alcala however, Vallimont already has a steady pitch mix to immediately have a third option. The Twins protected him in the rule 5 draft because even with his walks and homer issues, Vallimont may have the floor to join a team’s bullpen and contribute in some fashion immediately. With his 40 man spot secured, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Twins make this move and fast track him to Minneapolis sometime in 2022. Drew Strotman Acquired with Joe Ryan from the Rays, Strotman also already has a 40 man spot. He also has already reached AAA, although he struggled mightily in St. Paul, posting a 7.33 ERA in 54 innings down the stretch after posting a 3.86 mark with the Rays affiliate in his 58 innings prior. It’s very possible he faded down the stretch as 2021 was his first full season coming off Tommy John. He has an impressive 60 grade fastball which he mostly pairs with the strong duo that is his cutter and slider. He also has impressive control. The Twins may be tempted to see if Strotman can hold out his performance in a rotation role again in 2022. It’s possible however, especially if they’re trying to compete, that they acclimate him to the bullpen to start the season and quickly bring him up. His big fastball and command of his pitches give him a solid floor in the bullpen and he lacks a strong changeup which could have him bullpen bound eventually anyways. Strotman also was a reliever for much of his college career. It would be far from a failure given what we’ve already gotten from Joe Ryan if Drew Strotman simply turns out to be a reliable reliever. Are there any other pitchers in the Twins system that are bullpen bound? Would you like to see any of these three stay the course? Let us know below! — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forum — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here View full article
  6. The Twins need some bullpen help in 2022 in addition to significant rotation help. Unfortunately, there’s only so much money to go around. Transitioning some younger arms into bullpen pieces could benefit the players and team alike and get them into the majors that much quicker. The Twins have some great young arms who could be primed to make this switch. Matt Canterino Canterino was a 2nd round pick and has been a starting pitcher for much of his minor league career. His highest ERA in a single season was 1.80 as he’s dominated every stop of the minors to this point. He sports a devastating slider and a solid complementary changeup. His fastball took a big step forward during the pandemic forced break in minor league action. He can now run it up to the high 90s consistently. With such a deep pitch mix, why shouldn’t Canterino be a starting pitcher? Canterino is already 24 years old and has only made it as high as A+ ball in his three years with the Twins. He’s thrown 48 total innings in his professional career thus far. This is partially due to the lost 2020 season, but Canterino also dealt with multiple forearm injuries which eventually ended his 2021 season. Headed into 2022, Canterino has a long way to go in developing as a starter. Staying the course not only would likely keep him out of the majors for another year or two at least, but more innings also make a recurrence of the recent arm troubles more likely. Canterino has the raw stuff to debut very soon and be an effective reliever. It’s an option the Twins could very well consider at this point. Chris Vallimont Recently added to the 40 man roster, Vallimont had too much raw talent for the Twins to risk letting him go. His 6.06 ERA across 91 innings in AA aren’t impressive, but his raw skills were. Vallimont struck out 31.1% of his hitters faced, but walked a crippling 14.6% while allowing a 1.48 HR/9. He has a decent mix of pitches featuring a low to mid 90s fastball and a decent slider, curve and change. Pitchers like Vallimont move to the bullpen all the time. Jorge Alcala was the Twins' latest iteration. Moving into a short burst role actually helped iron out the walks and allowing his stuff to play up in 1-2 inning stints helped him work around the walks he was still issuing. Unlike Alcala however, Vallimont already has a steady pitch mix to immediately have a third option. The Twins protected him in the rule 5 draft because even with his walks and homer issues, Vallimont may have the floor to join a team’s bullpen and contribute in some fashion immediately. With his 40 man spot secured, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the Twins make this move and fast track him to Minneapolis sometime in 2022. Drew Strotman Acquired with Joe Ryan from the Rays, Strotman also already has a 40 man spot. He also has already reached AAA, although he struggled mightily in St. Paul, posting a 7.33 ERA in 54 innings down the stretch after posting a 3.86 mark with the Rays affiliate in his 58 innings prior. It’s very possible he faded down the stretch as 2021 was his first full season coming off Tommy John. He has an impressive 60 grade fastball which he mostly pairs with the strong duo that is his cutter and slider. He also has impressive control. The Twins may be tempted to see if Strotman can hold out his performance in a rotation role again in 2022. It’s possible however, especially if they’re trying to compete, that they acclimate him to the bullpen to start the season and quickly bring him up. His big fastball and command of his pitches give him a solid floor in the bullpen and he lacks a strong changeup which could have him bullpen bound eventually anyways. Strotman also was a reliever for much of his college career. It would be far from a failure given what we’ve already gotten from Joe Ryan if Drew Strotman simply turns out to be a reliable reliever. Are there any other pitchers in the Twins system that are bullpen bound? Would you like to see any of these three stay the course? Let us know below! — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forum — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
  7. Vallimont was among six new additions to the Minnesota Twins' 40-man roster nearly two weeks ago. However, he wasn't as obvious as a choice as his compatriots. This video explains why. View full video
  8. Vallimont was among six new additions to the Minnesota Twins' 40-man roster nearly two weeks ago. However, he wasn't as obvious as a choice as his compatriots. This video explains why.
  9. On Friday afternoon, the Minnesota Twins announced that they have added six players to their 40-man roster (four pitchers and two hitters). To make room, the team also had to remove several players from the roster. Top prospect Royce Lewis and 2021 Minor League Hitter of the Year Jose Miranda headline the additions. In addition, starting pitchers Josh Winder, Cole Sands, Blayne Enlow and Chris Vallimont were also added to the roster. Despite missing the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL, Royce Lewis was an easy choice to add. The #1 pick in the 2017 draft (and current Twins Daily #1 prospect) remains a top prospect in the organization as well as in all of baseball. He participated at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul in 2020. Lewis should start the 2022 season at Double-A Wichita and from there we’ll just see how his knee and his swing and his glove respond. It's possible that Lewis ends the season with the Twins. Following the announcement, Lewis said he is excited. "It means a lot! I really appreciate any sort of opportunity." And after a lost season and lots of recovery, he added, "Always great to hear any good news!" Jose Miranda was a second-round pick in 2016 out of school in Puerto Rico. He’s always had good power potential and contact skills, but things really came together in 2021 when he hit a combined .343 with 30 doubles and 30 home runs between Wichita and St. Paul. Depending on other offseason moves, Miranda should start the 2022 season in St. Paul, hopefully continue mashing and be ready for an opening at third base, or second base, or first base with the Twins. Miranda was the Twins Daily #6 prospect in August. After hearing the news, Miranda told Twins Daily, "It means a lot, especially after a lost season last year. (I'm) excited and pumped for what the future holds, and this makes me want to work harder!" Josh Winder broke out in 2021 as well. After impressing coaches at Instructional League a year ago and at big-league spring training this year, he was fantastic in Wichita before starting out strong after his promotion to St. Paul. He pitched in the Futures Game before being shut down with shoulder issues. Assuming health, Winder may be competing for a big-league job in spring training. He’s likely to start in St. Paul but could be ready for The Call whenever needed. Winder is Twins Daily’s #11 prospect. Winder was the team’s seventh-round pick in 2018 from VMI. Two rounds earlier, the Twins selected Cole Sands out of Florida State. Although he missed a few starts with minor injuries, he had a terrific season in Double-A Wichita. Sands should start 2021 in St. Paul and could be ready by midseason. Sands is the #19 Twins Daily prospect. Chris Vallimont had an ERA over six and he walked far too many batters in 2021, but the former Marlins prospect was added to the 40-man roster because he has electric stuff. While there may be questions about if he’ll be a starter long-term, the worst case is he can be a strong bullpen arm. Vallimont is the Twins Daily #25-ranked prospect. Blayne Enlow was certainly a more difficult choice, but the team decided to believe in the future of their 2017 third-round pick. His potential, even as he continues to rehab from his May 2021 Tommy John surgery, remains very high. In 2021, he was throwing harder, mixed all of his pitches and was missing a lot more bats than he previously had. If all goes well, maybe he is making rehab appearances in June or July. If things go well and he continues to progress, he could debut by the end of the 2023 season. He ranked #17 on Twins Daily's prospect list. After hearing the news, Enlow told Twins Daily he's "just getting started." The goal, of course, is to avoid a situation like a year ago when the Twins lost Akil Baddoo to the Tigers and Tyler Wells to the Orioles. Both not only made their team out of spring training, but they both became important contributors. Last year, due to Covid, there were no minor league games in which to evaluate players. At least this year, they have game video and stats and more with which to do their evaluations. But, that doesn’t make all of the decisions easy. Here are several players at risk to be lost in the Rule 5 draft. Austin Schulfer is a potential Rule 5 pick. As a starter in 2021 in Wichita, he was touching 96 mph with good secondary pitches. Again, he might end up a reliever, but there is certainly potential in his right arm Others who could be at-risk to be selected in the Rule 5 draft include shortstop-turned-pitcher Jordan Gore who was Twins Daily’s Right-Handed Relief Pitcher All Star for his work in Cedar Rapids and Wichita in his first season on the mound. St. Paul Saints relievers Ian Hamilton and Ryan Mason are also now eligible to be Rule 5d next month. Both found success in Triple-A in 2021 and could contribute in the big leagues when called upon. Other relievers that could be selected include lefties Kody Funderburk and Zach Featherstone, along with recently-acquired Alex Scherff. Utility players are often taken in the Rule 5 draft. The Twins could potentially lose Jermaine Palacios (who re-signed with the Twins quickly this offseason), Michael Helman (who broke out power this year while playing six positions well), and Yunior Severino (former big-time prospect who hit well when he joined Cedar Rapids late in the season). In addition, Mark Contreras was left unprotected after hitting 30 doubles and 20 home runs, mostly in Triple-A St. Paul in 2021. He could be a team’s fourth outfielder right now if selected. For more information on the players added or left unprotected, click here. In order to make room, the Twins dropped several players from their 40-man roster. While the players added to the 40-man roster are very excited, the players removed from the 40-man roster are on the opposite end of the excitement spectrum. The Twins have signed OF Jake Cave to an MLB deal. They outrighted LHP Devin Smeltzer and outfielder Kyle Garlick to Triple-A St. Paul. Lefty Charlie Barnes and C/IF Willians Astudillo have been DFAd. The 40-man roster is now at 40. Jake Cave was a very productive fourth outfielder for the Twins in 2018 and 2019. Over those two seasons, he hit .262/.329/.466 (.795) with 27 doubles and 21 homers in 163 games. Over the past two seasons, he has played in 118 games and hit just .202/.263/.332 (.595) with nine doubles and seven homers. His OPS+ over those two seasons was just 64. As an arbitration-eligible player, it is likely that he agreed to a deal at the Twins terms. Willians Astudillo (aka, La Tortuga) has been a fan favorite since he was first called up to the Twins and his .355 in 29 games in 2018. He has spent time with the Twins each of the past four years, but taking out that first season, he hit just .251/.278/.382 (.659) in 138 games since the beginning of the 2019 season. That is an OPS+ of just 77, 23% below league average. Will he clear waivers? Will there be a team that thinks his ability to stand at five positions, as well as squat behind the plate, provides value? Kyle Garlick was claimed by the Twins before spring training in 2021. His ability to his left-handed pitching gave him and chance and he took full advantage of it. He hit well against southpaws, until he got hurt. He tried to rehab and come back, but he ended up having surgery on a sports hernia. He was drafted in 2015, so he could become a free agent. Devin Smeltzer made an impressive first impression in his debut in 2019. He tossed six shutout innings in his big-league debut against the Brewers and had a 3.86 ERA over 49 innings. Unfortunately, he pitched to an ERA over six in just seven games in the shortened 2020 season. In 2021, He was hurt after just one appearance and missed the rest of the season (though he did toss 4 2/3 scoreless innings). He cleared waivers. Charlie Barnes made nine appearances (8 starts) for the Twins in 2021, usually spot starts, he went 0-3 with a 5.92 ERA. However, he went 6-4 with a 3.79 ERA in 16 starts for the St. Paul Saints, so I'm sure the Twins hope that he passes through waivers unclaimed and they can outright him to Triple-A. Let's discuss the Twins additions and subtractions from the 40-man roster. View full article
  10. Top prospect Royce Lewis and 2021 Minor League Hitter of the Year Jose Miranda headline the additions. In addition, starting pitchers Josh Winder, Cole Sands, Blayne Enlow and Chris Vallimont were also added to the roster. Despite missing the entire 2021 season with a torn ACL, Royce Lewis was an easy choice to add. The #1 pick in the 2017 draft (and current Twins Daily #1 prospect) remains a top prospect in the organization as well as in all of baseball. He participated at the Twins alternate site in St. Paul in 2020. Lewis should start the 2022 season at Double-A Wichita and from there we’ll just see how his knee and his swing and his glove respond. It's possible that Lewis ends the season with the Twins. Following the announcement, Lewis said he is excited. "It means a lot! I really appreciate any sort of opportunity." And after a lost season and lots of recovery, he added, "Always great to hear any good news!" Jose Miranda was a second-round pick in 2016 out of school in Puerto Rico. He’s always had good power potential and contact skills, but things really came together in 2021 when he hit a combined .343 with 30 doubles and 30 home runs between Wichita and St. Paul. Depending on other offseason moves, Miranda should start the 2022 season in St. Paul, hopefully continue mashing and be ready for an opening at third base, or second base, or first base with the Twins. Miranda was the Twins Daily #6 prospect in August. After hearing the news, Miranda told Twins Daily, "It means a lot, especially after a lost season last year. (I'm) excited and pumped for what the future holds, and this makes me want to work harder!" Josh Winder broke out in 2021 as well. After impressing coaches at Instructional League a year ago and at big-league spring training this year, he was fantastic in Wichita before starting out strong after his promotion to St. Paul. He pitched in the Futures Game before being shut down with shoulder issues. Assuming health, Winder may be competing for a big-league job in spring training. He’s likely to start in St. Paul but could be ready for The Call whenever needed. Winder is Twins Daily’s #11 prospect. Winder was the team’s seventh-round pick in 2018 from VMI. Two rounds earlier, the Twins selected Cole Sands out of Florida State. Although he missed a few starts with minor injuries, he had a terrific season in Double-A Wichita. Sands should start 2021 in St. Paul and could be ready by midseason. Sands is the #19 Twins Daily prospect. Chris Vallimont had an ERA over six and he walked far too many batters in 2021, but the former Marlins prospect was added to the 40-man roster because he has electric stuff. While there may be questions about if he’ll be a starter long-term, the worst case is he can be a strong bullpen arm. Vallimont is the Twins Daily #25-ranked prospect. Blayne Enlow was certainly a more difficult choice, but the team decided to believe in the future of their 2017 third-round pick. His potential, even as he continues to rehab from his May 2021 Tommy John surgery, remains very high. In 2021, he was throwing harder, mixed all of his pitches and was missing a lot more bats than he previously had. If all goes well, maybe he is making rehab appearances in June or July. If things go well and he continues to progress, he could debut by the end of the 2023 season. He ranked #17 on Twins Daily's prospect list. After hearing the news, Enlow told Twins Daily he's "just getting started." The goal, of course, is to avoid a situation like a year ago when the Twins lost Akil Baddoo to the Tigers and Tyler Wells to the Orioles. Both not only made their team out of spring training, but they both became important contributors. Last year, due to Covid, there were no minor league games in which to evaluate players. At least this year, they have game video and stats and more with which to do their evaluations. But, that doesn’t make all of the decisions easy. Here are several players at risk to be lost in the Rule 5 draft. Austin Schulfer is a potential Rule 5 pick. As a starter in 2021 in Wichita, he was touching 96 mph with good secondary pitches. Again, he might end up a reliever, but there is certainly potential in his right arm Others who could be at-risk to be selected in the Rule 5 draft include shortstop-turned-pitcher Jordan Gore who was Twins Daily’s Right-Handed Relief Pitcher All Star for his work in Cedar Rapids and Wichita in his first season on the mound. St. Paul Saints relievers Ian Hamilton and Ryan Mason are also now eligible to be Rule 5d next month. Both found success in Triple-A in 2021 and could contribute in the big leagues when called upon. Other relievers that could be selected include lefties Kody Funderburk and Zach Featherstone, along with recently-acquired Alex Scherff. Utility players are often taken in the Rule 5 draft. The Twins could potentially lose Jermaine Palacios (who re-signed with the Twins quickly this offseason), Michael Helman (who broke out power this year while playing six positions well), and Yunior Severino (former big-time prospect who hit well when he joined Cedar Rapids late in the season). In addition, Mark Contreras was left unprotected after hitting 30 doubles and 20 home runs, mostly in Triple-A St. Paul in 2021. He could be a team’s fourth outfielder right now if selected. For more information on the players added or left unprotected, click here. In order to make room, the Twins dropped several players from their 40-man roster. While the players added to the 40-man roster are very excited, the players removed from the 40-man roster are on the opposite end of the excitement spectrum. The Twins have signed OF Jake Cave to an MLB deal. They outrighted LHP Devin Smeltzer and outfielder Kyle Garlick to Triple-A St. Paul. Lefty Charlie Barnes and C/IF Willians Astudillo have been DFAd. The 40-man roster is now at 40. Jake Cave was a very productive fourth outfielder for the Twins in 2018 and 2019. Over those two seasons, he hit .262/.329/.466 (.795) with 27 doubles and 21 homers in 163 games. Over the past two seasons, he has played in 118 games and hit just .202/.263/.332 (.595) with nine doubles and seven homers. His OPS+ over those two seasons was just 64. As an arbitration-eligible player, it is likely that he agreed to a deal at the Twins terms. Willians Astudillo (aka, La Tortuga) has been a fan favorite since he was first called up to the Twins and his .355 in 29 games in 2018. He has spent time with the Twins each of the past four years, but taking out that first season, he hit just .251/.278/.382 (.659) in 138 games since the beginning of the 2019 season. That is an OPS+ of just 77, 23% below league average. Will he clear waivers? Will there be a team that thinks his ability to stand at five positions, as well as squat behind the plate, provides value? Kyle Garlick was claimed by the Twins before spring training in 2021. His ability to his left-handed pitching gave him and chance and he took full advantage of it. He hit well against southpaws, until he got hurt. He tried to rehab and come back, but he ended up having surgery on a sports hernia. He was drafted in 2015, so he could become a free agent. Devin Smeltzer made an impressive first impression in his debut in 2019. He tossed six shutout innings in his big-league debut against the Brewers and had a 3.86 ERA over 49 innings. Unfortunately, he pitched to an ERA over six in just seven games in the shortened 2020 season. In 2021, He was hurt after just one appearance and missed the rest of the season (though he did toss 4 2/3 scoreless innings). He cleared waivers. Charlie Barnes made nine appearances (8 starts) for the Twins in 2021, usually spot starts, he went 0-3 with a 5.92 ERA. However, he went 6-4 with a 3.79 ERA in 16 starts for the St. Paul Saints, so I'm sure the Twins hope that he passes through waivers unclaimed and they can outright him to Triple-A. Let's discuss the Twins additions and subtractions from the 40-man roster.
  11. A pitcher tossed five no-hit innings. A veteran made the first start of his minor league career and did great. A top prospect continued to power his team's offense. But with the regular season finishing this weekend, a couple of Twins affiliates played games with major playoff implications. TRANSACTIONS Wichita Wind Surge activated RHP Adam Lau from the temporarily inactive list. Cedar Rapids Kernels activated RHP Ryan Shreve from the 7-day injured list. Cedar Rapids Kernels placed RHP Steven Cruz on the 7-day injured list. RHPs Travis Adams and Johnathan Lavallee, both 2021 draft picks, were assigned to the FCL Twins. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 8, Indianapolis 0 Box Score Jose Miranda had another big game for the Saints, but when a team tosses a two-hit shutout, we'll lead with that. Veteran Derek Law could have become a free agent when the Twins DFAd him for a second time this season recently. Instead, he accepted his assignment to the Saints and has been extended. In his career, he had pitched in 231 minor league games, all out of the bullpen. On this night, he made the start and worked a career-high four innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out six batters. Chandler Shepherd came on, and despite walking three batters and giving up a hit, he did not allow a run. Vinny Nittoli tossed two scoreless before Robinson Leyer completed the shutout with a perfect ninth inning. Back to Miranda because, let's be honest, that's what we're all here for. Miranda went 3-for-5 with his 19th Saints double, and his 15th Saints home run (28th overall). He drove in four of the team's runs. Jimmy Kerrigan was also 3-for-5 on the night. BJ Boyd drove in two runs with a double. Mark Contreras his his 25th double of the season. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, Arkansas 2 Box Score Chris Vallimont has had his ups and downs this season, but on Thursday night, he was on the mound with the opportunity to put the Wind Surge in the playoffs. He put together a very solid start. He started with five scoreless innings before allowing a solo homer to Jack Larsen in the top of the sixth inning. Overall, he gave up just the one run in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up just two hits, walked four and struck out four batters. Down 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Ernie de la Trinidad gave the Wind Surge a 2-1 lead with a two-run single. Later in the inning, the Arkansas catcher tried to pick off Andrew Bechtold at third base, but he threw it away allowing Bechtold to score and put Wichita ahead by a score of 3-1. Erik Manoah got the final out of the sixth inning and then worked two more scoreless frames. He struck out four and walked none. Adam Lau came off the IL earlier in the day got the ninth inning. He got the first two outs, on a fly out and a strikeout. However, he walked the next batter. That brought up pinch hitter Joe Rizzo representing the game-tying run. Rizzo drove in a run to cut the lead to 3-2 with a bloop single to center. However, the next batter - another pinch hitter - popped out to center fielder Austin Martin to end the game and place the Wind Surge in the playoffs. Trey Cabbage and Jermaine Palacios each went 2-for-4 in the game. Palacios hit his 17th double. Stevie Berman not only caught a great game, but he went 2-for-3 at the plate with his sixth double. Congratulations to the Wichita Wind Surge on making the playoffs in their first season as a Twins affiliate! KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 1 Box Score Coming into this game, the Kernels were tied with Lake County for second place in the High-A Central League. They were one game ahead of Great Lakes. Just one of those teams will make the playoffs. The game was pretty quiet early. Through the sixth inning, the Kernels found themselves down by a score of 3-1. However, Edouard Julien came to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered a bases-clearing double to give Cedar Rapids a 4-3 lead. Aaron Sabato then drove in Julien with a sacrifice fly to give the Kernels a 5-3 lead. It was a lead that the Kernels bullpen was able to hold. It was an important win as both Lake County and Great Lakes won their games on Thursday as well. Each team has three games remaining on their schedules. Sean Mooney got the start for the Kernels. He worked the first five innings and did not give up a hit. He was charged with one run on two walks and a hit batter. He struck out seven hitters. Lefty Denny Bentley came in to start the sixth inning. He recorded just one out and was charged with two runs on four hits. Osiris German came on and gave up just one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Zach Featherstone recorded the final out of the eighth inning before striking out the side in the ninth inning for the Save. All four outs he recorded came on strikeouts. Matt Wallner went 2-for-3 with a walk and drove in the team's first run with a single in the fourth inning. Jair Camargo was also 2-for-3 with a walk. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers, Tampa (Suspended in 1st inning) Box Score Rains have won the day most of the time in recent weeks down in Florida. On Thursday, night, right-hander Jackson Hicks made his Mussels debut, but after just seven pitches and a single to the one batter he faced, the game was suspended. It will be continued on Friday. Unfortunately, the second game of Thursday's doubleheader has simply been cancelled. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday night. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Rays 6, FCL Twins 4 Box Score Two extra-base hits from Endy Rodriguez wasn't enough to propel the FCL Twins to a win on Thursday afternoon in the Sunshine State. Rodriguez tallied two hits and two runs in the loss. The first of those hits came in the third inning when Rodriguez launched a triple to right field. He scored on the next at-bat thanks to a single from Noah Miller. After walking in the seventh, Rodriguez scored on a groundout fielder's choice from Kal'ai Rosario, who had a double on the day. Rodriguez also doubled with two outs in the ninth inning but did not score. Twins starter Travis Adams went 1 1/3 innings in his professional debut. He gave up three runs on two hits while walking two and striking out three batters. Jordan Carr came on and was charged with an unearned run in 1 2/3 innings. Johnathan Lavallee came on for his pro debut. He worked two innings. He gave up one run on two hits over two innings. He struck out three batters with no walks. Erasmo Moreno carried the bulk of the Twins bullpen, tossing four innings of one-run, two hit ball while striking out four hitters. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Derek Law (St. Paul) - 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, BB #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-3, BB, RBI, K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-4, BB, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 1-4, R, RBI, BB, K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - No Game (Paternity List) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Rained Out #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4 FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Jason Garcia (0-0, 14.40 ERA) Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (3-2, 2.63 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (First Kernels Start, 4-2, 3.02 ERA in Ft. Myers) Tampa @ Fort Myers, Game 1 (6:00 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! View full article
  12. TRANSACTIONS Wichita Wind Surge activated RHP Adam Lau from the temporarily inactive list. Cedar Rapids Kernels activated RHP Ryan Shreve from the 7-day injured list. Cedar Rapids Kernels placed RHP Steven Cruz on the 7-day injured list. RHPs Travis Adams and Johnathan Lavallee, both 2021 draft picks, were assigned to the FCL Twins. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 8, Indianapolis 0 Box Score Jose Miranda had another big game for the Saints, but when a team tosses a two-hit shutout, we'll lead with that. Veteran Derek Law could have become a free agent when the Twins DFAd him for a second time this season recently. Instead, he accepted his assignment to the Saints and has been extended. In his career, he had pitched in 231 minor league games, all out of the bullpen. On this night, he made the start and worked a career-high four innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out six batters. Chandler Shepherd came on, and despite walking three batters and giving up a hit, he did not allow a run. Vinny Nittoli tossed two scoreless before Robinson Leyer completed the shutout with a perfect ninth inning. Back to Miranda because, let's be honest, that's what we're all here for. Miranda went 3-for-5 with his 19th Saints double, and his 15th Saints home run (28th overall). He drove in four of the team's runs. Jimmy Kerrigan was also 3-for-5 on the night. BJ Boyd drove in two runs with a double. Mark Contreras his his 25th double of the season. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, Arkansas 2 Box Score Chris Vallimont has had his ups and downs this season, but on Thursday night, he was on the mound with the opportunity to put the Wind Surge in the playoffs. He put together a very solid start. He started with five scoreless innings before allowing a solo homer to Jack Larsen in the top of the sixth inning. Overall, he gave up just the one run in 5 2/3 innings. He gave up just two hits, walked four and struck out four batters. Down 1-0 in the bottom of the sixth, Ernie de la Trinidad gave the Wind Surge a 2-1 lead with a two-run single. Later in the inning, the Arkansas catcher tried to pick off Andrew Bechtold at third base, but he threw it away allowing Bechtold to score and put Wichita ahead by a score of 3-1. Erik Manoah got the final out of the sixth inning and then worked two more scoreless frames. He struck out four and walked none. Adam Lau came off the IL earlier in the day got the ninth inning. He got the first two outs, on a fly out and a strikeout. However, he walked the next batter. That brought up pinch hitter Joe Rizzo representing the game-tying run. Rizzo drove in a run to cut the lead to 3-2 with a bloop single to center. However, the next batter - another pinch hitter - popped out to center fielder Austin Martin to end the game and place the Wind Surge in the playoffs. Trey Cabbage and Jermaine Palacios each went 2-for-4 in the game. Palacios hit his 17th double. Stevie Berman not only caught a great game, but he went 2-for-3 at the plate with his sixth double. Congratulations to the Wichita Wind Surge on making the playoffs in their first season as a Twins affiliate! KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 1 Box Score Coming into this game, the Kernels were tied with Lake County for second place in the High-A Central League. They were one game ahead of Great Lakes. Just one of those teams will make the playoffs. The game was pretty quiet early. Through the sixth inning, the Kernels found themselves down by a score of 3-1. However, Edouard Julien came to the plate with the bases loaded and delivered a bases-clearing double to give Cedar Rapids a 4-3 lead. Aaron Sabato then drove in Julien with a sacrifice fly to give the Kernels a 5-3 lead. It was a lead that the Kernels bullpen was able to hold. It was an important win as both Lake County and Great Lakes won their games on Thursday as well. Each team has three games remaining on their schedules. Sean Mooney got the start for the Kernels. He worked the first five innings and did not give up a hit. He was charged with one run on two walks and a hit batter. He struck out seven hitters. Lefty Denny Bentley came in to start the sixth inning. He recorded just one out and was charged with two runs on four hits. Osiris German came on and gave up just one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Zach Featherstone recorded the final out of the eighth inning before striking out the side in the ninth inning for the Save. All four outs he recorded came on strikeouts. Matt Wallner went 2-for-3 with a walk and drove in the team's first run with a single in the fourth inning. Jair Camargo was also 2-for-3 with a walk. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers, Tampa (Suspended in 1st inning) Box Score Rains have won the day most of the time in recent weeks down in Florida. On Thursday, night, right-hander Jackson Hicks made his Mussels debut, but after just seven pitches and a single to the one batter he faced, the game was suspended. It will be continued on Friday. Unfortunately, the second game of Thursday's doubleheader has simply been cancelled. The two teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday night. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Rays 6, FCL Twins 4 Box Score Two extra-base hits from Endy Rodriguez wasn't enough to propel the FCL Twins to a win on Thursday afternoon in the Sunshine State. Rodriguez tallied two hits and two runs in the loss. The first of those hits came in the third inning when Rodriguez launched a triple to right field. He scored on the next at-bat thanks to a single from Noah Miller. After walking in the seventh, Rodriguez scored on a groundout fielder's choice from Kal'ai Rosario, who had a double on the day. Rodriguez also doubled with two outs in the ninth inning but did not score. Twins starter Travis Adams went 1 1/3 innings in his professional debut. He gave up three runs on two hits while walking two and striking out three batters. Jordan Carr came on and was charged with an unearned run in 1 2/3 innings. Johnathan Lavallee came on for his pro debut. He worked two innings. He gave up one run on two hits over two innings. He struck out three batters with no walks. Erasmo Moreno carried the bulk of the Twins bullpen, tossing four innings of one-run, two hit ball while striking out four hitters. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Derek Law (St. Paul) - 4.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, BB #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-5, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-3, BB, RBI, K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-4, BB, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 1-4, R, RBI, BB, K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - No Game (Paternity List) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Rained Out #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-4 FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Jason Garcia (0-0, 14.40 ERA) Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (3-2, 2.63 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (First Kernels Start, 4-2, 3.02 ERA in Ft. Myers) Tampa @ Fort Myers, Game 1 (6:00 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games!
  13. Bailey Ober wasn’t a top prospect headed into 2021 but now looks like a fixture in the 2022 rotation. While not a highly-touted arm, Ober has vaulted himself into the Twins plans. Who could be the next Bailey Ober in 2022? There appear to be plenty of innings to go around in 2022. While we hope to see prospects such as Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran debut, Bailey Ober is proof that it isn’t always the shiny top prospect that storms into the Major Leagues. The Twins have a few arms in the minors who could be a pleasant surprise to the MLB club next season. Drew Strotman - Twins MLB.com Ranking: 17 The less-hyped player in the Nelson Cruz return this summer, Strotman went straight to St. Paul upon his arrival where it appears he’ll finish his season. Once a strong control pitcher, Strotman has had a walk rate over 12% this year. The Twins may be able to attribute this to his 2018 Tommy John surgery and inability to knock off the last of the rust with the lack of a 2020 season. Still, Strotman has plenty to like. He can hit the mid-90s as a starter with his best offering being a cutter with a decent curveball to pair with it. He was striking out nearly 25% of his hitters faced with a mid-3s ERA with Tampa’s AAA team in Durham before struggling across the board with the Saints, possibly a result of him hitting an innings wall in his first full season back. Strotman will be 25 next season and already possesses a 40-man roster spot. He’s in the most convenient spot of all three of these pitchers to get one of the first calls next season, especially if he comes out on fire to open the season. Cole Sands - Twins MLB.com Ranking: 19 Sands has spent 2021 exclusively at AA after a brief debut there in 2019. Despite his 10.4% walk rate this year, he’s long had the reputation as a strike-thrower, never before walking more than 6.3% of hitters. It’s a safe bet on Sands regaining that control which would bode well for his future considering he’s maintained a strikeout rate of 30% in 2021. Sands has also limited the long ball in his minor league career. 2021 is his career-worst with a still-respectable 0.93 HR/9. With a 2.93 ERA at AA this year, Sands will get the call to the next level sooner rather than later. At that point, his high floor for strikeouts, low walk totals and limiting homers puts him in a great spot to get an opportunity when the Twins need innings filled in 2022. It’s the same baseline of skills that Bailey Ober used to get to the big leagues. Chris Vallimont - Twins MLB.com Ranking: 21 In some ways, 2021 has been a disappointment for Chris Vallimont who’s sporting a 6.00 ERA at the AA level through 78 innings. He hadn’t shown a huge control problem prior to this year but has walked 14.4% of batters faced. He used to limit homers but has allowed a 1.27 per 9 innings this year. Still, that 6.00 ERA indicates a bit of bad luck according to his 4.40 FIP and 4.62 xFIP. Vallimont still shows a strong ability to strike out opponents, and has done so at a 32.1% rate. If he can return to his career norms in terms of walks and homers allowed, he could move aggressively to the MLB level as he’ll be 25 to begin 2022. He seems to have the raw stuff to dominate hitters if he can manage to iron out some kinks. If there’s one thing we can expect from the pitching staff next season, it’s that there will be plenty of opportunities. Bailey Ober appears to be a diamond in the rough, thrown into a trial by fire due to a pitching staff that completely turned over by season’s end. Could one of these three be the next development arm to take this route to success? Could it be one not listed here? — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here View full article
  14. There appear to be plenty of innings to go around in 2022. While we hope to see prospects such as Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran debut, Bailey Ober is proof that it isn’t always the shiny top prospect that storms into the Major Leagues. The Twins have a few arms in the minors who could be a pleasant surprise to the MLB club next season. Drew Strotman - Twins MLB.com Ranking: 17 The less-hyped player in the Nelson Cruz return this summer, Strotman went straight to St. Paul upon his arrival where it appears he’ll finish his season. Once a strong control pitcher, Strotman has had a walk rate over 12% this year. The Twins may be able to attribute this to his 2018 Tommy John surgery and inability to knock off the last of the rust with the lack of a 2020 season. Still, Strotman has plenty to like. He can hit the mid-90s as a starter with his best offering being a cutter with a decent curveball to pair with it. He was striking out nearly 25% of his hitters faced with a mid-3s ERA with Tampa’s AAA team in Durham before struggling across the board with the Saints, possibly a result of him hitting an innings wall in his first full season back. Strotman will be 25 next season and already possesses a 40-man roster spot. He’s in the most convenient spot of all three of these pitchers to get one of the first calls next season, especially if he comes out on fire to open the season. Cole Sands - Twins MLB.com Ranking: 19 Sands has spent 2021 exclusively at AA after a brief debut there in 2019. Despite his 10.4% walk rate this year, he’s long had the reputation as a strike-thrower, never before walking more than 6.3% of hitters. It’s a safe bet on Sands regaining that control which would bode well for his future considering he’s maintained a strikeout rate of 30% in 2021. Sands has also limited the long ball in his minor league career. 2021 is his career-worst with a still-respectable 0.93 HR/9. With a 2.93 ERA at AA this year, Sands will get the call to the next level sooner rather than later. At that point, his high floor for strikeouts, low walk totals and limiting homers puts him in a great spot to get an opportunity when the Twins need innings filled in 2022. It’s the same baseline of skills that Bailey Ober used to get to the big leagues. Chris Vallimont - Twins MLB.com Ranking: 21 In some ways, 2021 has been a disappointment for Chris Vallimont who’s sporting a 6.00 ERA at the AA level through 78 innings. He hadn’t shown a huge control problem prior to this year but has walked 14.4% of batters faced. He used to limit homers but has allowed a 1.27 per 9 innings this year. Still, that 6.00 ERA indicates a bit of bad luck according to his 4.40 FIP and 4.62 xFIP. Vallimont still shows a strong ability to strike out opponents, and has done so at a 32.1% rate. If he can return to his career norms in terms of walks and homers allowed, he could move aggressively to the MLB level as he’ll be 25 to begin 2022. He seems to have the raw stuff to dominate hitters if he can manage to iron out some kinks. If there’s one thing we can expect from the pitching staff next season, it’s that there will be plenty of opportunities. Bailey Ober appears to be a diamond in the rough, thrown into a trial by fire due to a pitching staff that completely turned over by season’s end. Could one of these three be the next development arm to take this route to success? Could it be one not listed here? — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Follow Cody Pirkl on Twitter here
  15. TRANSACTIONS RHP Joe Ryan was officially promoted to the Twins, and made his MLB debut Wednesday night against the Chicago Cubs. Ryan was excellent besides a one inning blip, as he set the Cubs down in order in four of his five innings, striking out five and walking just one in the process. RHP Vinny Nittoli was assigned to the St. Paul Saints, rejoining them after pitching with the Saints during the 2017-18 season while in the American Association. He joins infielder Drew Stankiewicz and LHP Chris Nunn as players to suit up for the Saints as independent and affiliated players. C Stevie Berman was assigned to the Wichita Wind Surge roster after being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for reliever LHP Andrew Vasquez. SS Ruben Santana was released from the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels roster. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 9, Columbus 2 Box Score St. Paul's lineup jumped all over Columbus starter Kirk McCarty with a five-run first inning that would prove to be more than enough for Bryan Sammons and the Saints bullpen on Wednesday night. Jose Miranda and Trevor Larnach got a rally started from the jump, with both delivering a single on the first pitches of their at bats. Mark Contreras got the first run on the board with a sac fly to score Miranda two batters later, then Gilberto Celestino made it 2-0 with a double to score Larnach from first. Jimmy Kerrigan then reached on an error and a Drew Maggi walk loaded the bases before Damek Tomscha and JT Riddle delivered back-to-back singles to score three more for the 5-0 lead. Sammons recorded 1-2-3 innings in the first and third, sandwiching the second inning where he struck out three and walked one, before facing his first challenge in the fourth. A walk, and two one-out singles loaded the bases before an awkward swinging bunt resulted in a force out at home, but a throwing error from catcher Tomas Telis to third then allowed two unearned runs to score. Sammons dusted himself off and struck out the next batter to keep the score at 5-2. Sammons would finish five innings on the night to pick up his first triple-A win, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out four Clippers. The bullpen trio of Luke Farrell, Derek Law, and Robinson Leyer then finished the game with a combined four scoreless innings. Farrell walked one in his one inning, Law allowed two hits and two walks in two frames, and Leyer walked one and struck out one in the ninth inning. The Saints added two runs to their final total in each of the third and seventh innings. Drew Maggi hit his 13th home run of the season in the third, a two-run shot, and in the seventh Celestino delivered an RBI double that was followed by a sac fly from Kerrigan. In all the good guys collected ten hits and four walks on the night, with Miranda (2-for-5, R) and Celestino (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K) collecting multiple hits. Maggi and Tomscha also added two RBI to the effort. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, Arkansas 4 Box Score The Wind Surge were able to build a 2-0 lead for starter Chris Vallimont after four innings, thanks to an RBI double from Roy Morales in the third to score Aaron Whitefield, and an RBI groundout from Jermaine Palacios in the top of the fourth. Vallimont was solid in his five innings, allowing only a single run on three hits and four walks, while striking out nine Travelers. He worked around some walks over the first four innings with some big strikeouts, and struck out the side in the fourth inning. Evan Sisk was brought on to start the sixth inning, and struck out three in the frame although one of those reached base as his pitch got past the catcher. Back out for the seventh, a single and a walk put an end to Sisk’s outing, and Erik Manaoh gave up a two-run double to the first hitter he faced allowing Arkansas to tie the game at three. He would then escape that inning with the game still tied after inducing a double-play ball and a pop out to the next two hitters. Wichita had taken a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth thanks to a sacrifice fly from Spencer Steer to score Morales, who had singled to lead off the inning, before Arkansas was able to tie it up. Manoah remained in the game for the bottom of the eighth and after a one-out double, he sent an errant throw toward second base on a comebacker that allowed the go-ahead run to score. Trey Cabbage and Aaron Whitefield drew walks in the ninth to put the tying run in scoring position, but Caleb Hamilton’s 103 MPH line drive with two outs found the shortstop’s glove to end the game. Both teams collected six hits on the game, but the Travelers drew seven walks compared to three from the Wind Surge, and had three hits with runners in scoring position while the good guys were 0-for-8. Morales led the way for Wichita with three hits out of the leadoff spot, including a double. He scored a run and drove in one. Spencer Steer also added a triple to the effort and scored a run. Wichita still remains the top dog in the Double-A Central Texas League, with a four game lead over Arkansas in their division. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 4, Cedar Rapids 0 Box Score The Cedar Rapids Kernels and their second best record in the High-A Central Midwest League faced off against the team ahead of them in the standings in the West Division, the Quad Cities River Bandits on Wednesday night. While there’s very little hope for them to catch the River Bandits in the division standings over the last three weeks of the season (11.0 games behind entering play tonight), the series is still big in terms of securing a playoff matchup with them as the Kernels hold a one game lead over the next team in the league standings, the Great Lakes Loons of the East Division. Cedar Rapids had right-hander Sawyer Gipson-Long on the mound for his fourth start with the team, and he did as much as he could to keep his team in second place in the standings. Over six total innings he allowed just one hit, but it was a big one for Quad Cities as it left the yard for a two-run shot in the fifth frame. He also walked three and struck out four on the night and retired the first twelve men he faced, including three K’s in the second inning. Unfortunately, he was bettered by his opposing starter, Christian Cosby, who held the Kernels lineup to just two hits and struck out six over six shutout innings. The home team got leadoff hits from Edouard Julien (single) and Michael Helman (double) in the fourth and fifth innings but were unable to make anything else happen afterward. Reliever Denny Bentley was the first man up from the bullpen to start the seventh inning and worked around a pair of walks for a scoreless inning. Back out for the eighth he immediately ran into trouble however, loading the bases with one out before a single made the score 3-0 and Osiris German was summoned. He escaped that jam without allowing another run, but in the ninth also allowed a run of his own. Bentley went 1 1/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits and three walks, while German finished the final 1 2/3 innings, allowing one run on one hit and a walk along with picking up one strikeout. Alex Isola tried to get a two-out rally started in the bottom of the ninth with a double, but Matt Wallner would swing-and-miss on three straight pitches to end the game. In all, the Kernels managed just three hits, were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, and left only three men-on-base for the game. They also did not draw a single walk compared to seven for the River Bandits. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Daytona 3 Box Score The Mighty Mussels went with a bit of a bullpen game on Wednesday night, with right-hander Matthew Swain making his first start of the 2021 season. He went the first three innings, allowing one run on three hits and three walks, while punching out six Tortugas hitters. Matt Mullenbach went the next three innings and was just as good, allowing only one run on four hits and a walk while striking out four. Zaquiel Puentes got the final two innings, and allowed just an unearned run on three walks while striking out four more Daytona hitters, while being saddled with the loss. That was because the Mighty Mussels were unable to put any further runs on the board outside of the third inning, when Christian Encarnacion-Strand delivered a two-run home run that scored Alerick Soularie, who had doubled to lead off the inning. Jake Rucker added another double to the effort, but Fort Myers had just six hits as a team, were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, and left seven men on base for the game. They drew just one walk compared to 16 strikeouts on the night, with six of their nine hitters striking out two or more times on the night. Soularie, out of the leadoff spot, was the only hitter in the lineup not to be sent walking back to the dugout on the game. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Chris Vallimont, Wichita Wind Surge (5 IP, 3 H, ER, 4 BB, 9 K) Hitter of the Day - Gilberto Celestino, St. Paul Saints (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4 #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, R #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - MLB Debut: L, 5 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, BB, 5 K #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4, 2 K #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 2 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - No game #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 2-for-2, HBP #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, 2 K #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-3, R, 3B, RBI, 2 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (11:05 AM CST) - RHP Chandler Shepherd (6-5, 5.56 ERA) Wichita @ Arkansas (7:10 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (2-1, 2.93 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Cody Laweryson (1-4, 4.75 ERA) Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz (0-0, 2.45 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
  16. The big story from a minor league perspective on Wednesday night, was perhaps the MLB debut of Joe Ryan for the Minnesota Twins. But since that is not actually the minor leagues, you’ll have to settle for a 1-3 night on the farm for Twins affiliates. Besides the St. Paul Saints, it was tough sledding for the lineups throughout the organization on Wednesday as they were unable to reward most of their pitchers for some solid efforts. TRANSACTIONS RHP Joe Ryan was officially promoted to the Twins, and made his MLB debut Wednesday night against the Chicago Cubs. Ryan was excellent besides a one inning blip, as he set the Cubs down in order in four of his five innings, striking out five and walking just one in the process. RHP Vinny Nittoli was assigned to the St. Paul Saints, rejoining them after pitching with the Saints during the 2017-18 season while in the American Association. He joins infielder Drew Stankiewicz and LHP Chris Nunn as players to suit up for the Saints as independent and affiliated players. C Stevie Berman was assigned to the Wichita Wind Surge roster after being acquired from the Los Angeles Dodgers for reliever LHP Andrew Vasquez. SS Ruben Santana was released from the Fort Myers Mighty Mussels roster. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 9, Columbus 2 Box Score St. Paul's lineup jumped all over Columbus starter Kirk McCarty with a five-run first inning that would prove to be more than enough for Bryan Sammons and the Saints bullpen on Wednesday night. Jose Miranda and Trevor Larnach got a rally started from the jump, with both delivering a single on the first pitches of their at bats. Mark Contreras got the first run on the board with a sac fly to score Miranda two batters later, then Gilberto Celestino made it 2-0 with a double to score Larnach from first. Jimmy Kerrigan then reached on an error and a Drew Maggi walk loaded the bases before Damek Tomscha and JT Riddle delivered back-to-back singles to score three more for the 5-0 lead. Sammons recorded 1-2-3 innings in the first and third, sandwiching the second inning where he struck out three and walked one, before facing his first challenge in the fourth. A walk, and two one-out singles loaded the bases before an awkward swinging bunt resulted in a force out at home, but a throwing error from catcher Tomas Telis to third then allowed two unearned runs to score. Sammons dusted himself off and struck out the next batter to keep the score at 5-2. Sammons would finish five innings on the night to pick up his first triple-A win, allowing four hits and three walks while striking out four Clippers. The bullpen trio of Luke Farrell, Derek Law, and Robinson Leyer then finished the game with a combined four scoreless innings. Farrell walked one in his one inning, Law allowed two hits and two walks in two frames, and Leyer walked one and struck out one in the ninth inning. The Saints added two runs to their final total in each of the third and seventh innings. Drew Maggi hit his 13th home run of the season in the third, a two-run shot, and in the seventh Celestino delivered an RBI double that was followed by a sac fly from Kerrigan. In all the good guys collected ten hits and four walks on the night, with Miranda (2-for-5, R) and Celestino (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K) collecting multiple hits. Maggi and Tomscha also added two RBI to the effort. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, Arkansas 4 Box Score The Wind Surge were able to build a 2-0 lead for starter Chris Vallimont after four innings, thanks to an RBI double from Roy Morales in the third to score Aaron Whitefield, and an RBI groundout from Jermaine Palacios in the top of the fourth. Vallimont was solid in his five innings, allowing only a single run on three hits and four walks, while striking out nine Travelers. He worked around some walks over the first four innings with some big strikeouts, and struck out the side in the fourth inning. Evan Sisk was brought on to start the sixth inning, and struck out three in the frame although one of those reached base as his pitch got past the catcher. Back out for the seventh, a single and a walk put an end to Sisk’s outing, and Erik Manaoh gave up a two-run double to the first hitter he faced allowing Arkansas to tie the game at three. He would then escape that inning with the game still tied after inducing a double-play ball and a pop out to the next two hitters. Wichita had taken a 3-1 lead in the top of the sixth thanks to a sacrifice fly from Spencer Steer to score Morales, who had singled to lead off the inning, before Arkansas was able to tie it up. Manoah remained in the game for the bottom of the eighth and after a one-out double, he sent an errant throw toward second base on a comebacker that allowed the go-ahead run to score. Trey Cabbage and Aaron Whitefield drew walks in the ninth to put the tying run in scoring position, but Caleb Hamilton’s 103 MPH line drive with two outs found the shortstop’s glove to end the game. Both teams collected six hits on the game, but the Travelers drew seven walks compared to three from the Wind Surge, and had three hits with runners in scoring position while the good guys were 0-for-8. Morales led the way for Wichita with three hits out of the leadoff spot, including a double. He scored a run and drove in one. Spencer Steer also added a triple to the effort and scored a run. Wichita still remains the top dog in the Double-A Central Texas League, with a four game lead over Arkansas in their division. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 4, Cedar Rapids 0 Box Score The Cedar Rapids Kernels and their second best record in the High-A Central Midwest League faced off against the team ahead of them in the standings in the West Division, the Quad Cities River Bandits on Wednesday night. While there’s very little hope for them to catch the River Bandits in the division standings over the last three weeks of the season (11.0 games behind entering play tonight), the series is still big in terms of securing a playoff matchup with them as the Kernels hold a one game lead over the next team in the league standings, the Great Lakes Loons of the East Division. Cedar Rapids had right-hander Sawyer Gipson-Long on the mound for his fourth start with the team, and he did as much as he could to keep his team in second place in the standings. Over six total innings he allowed just one hit, but it was a big one for Quad Cities as it left the yard for a two-run shot in the fifth frame. He also walked three and struck out four on the night and retired the first twelve men he faced, including three K’s in the second inning. Unfortunately, he was bettered by his opposing starter, Christian Cosby, who held the Kernels lineup to just two hits and struck out six over six shutout innings. The home team got leadoff hits from Edouard Julien (single) and Michael Helman (double) in the fourth and fifth innings but were unable to make anything else happen afterward. Reliever Denny Bentley was the first man up from the bullpen to start the seventh inning and worked around a pair of walks for a scoreless inning. Back out for the eighth he immediately ran into trouble however, loading the bases with one out before a single made the score 3-0 and Osiris German was summoned. He escaped that jam without allowing another run, but in the ninth also allowed a run of his own. Bentley went 1 1/3 innings, allowing one run on three hits and three walks, while German finished the final 1 2/3 innings, allowing one run on one hit and a walk along with picking up one strikeout. Alex Isola tried to get a two-out rally started in the bottom of the ninth with a double, but Matt Wallner would swing-and-miss on three straight pitches to end the game. In all, the Kernels managed just three hits, were 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position, and left only three men-on-base for the game. They also did not draw a single walk compared to seven for the River Bandits. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Daytona 3 Box Score The Mighty Mussels went with a bit of a bullpen game on Wednesday night, with right-hander Matthew Swain making his first start of the 2021 season. He went the first three innings, allowing one run on three hits and three walks, while punching out six Tortugas hitters. Matt Mullenbach went the next three innings and was just as good, allowing only one run on four hits and a walk while striking out four. Zaquiel Puentes got the final two innings, and allowed just an unearned run on three walks while striking out four more Daytona hitters, while being saddled with the loss. That was because the Mighty Mussels were unable to put any further runs on the board outside of the third inning, when Christian Encarnacion-Strand delivered a two-run home run that scored Alerick Soularie, who had doubled to lead off the inning. Jake Rucker added another double to the effort, but Fort Myers had just six hits as a team, were 1-for-12 with runners in scoring position, and left seven men on base for the game. They drew just one walk compared to 16 strikeouts on the night, with six of their nine hitters striking out two or more times on the night. Soularie, out of the leadoff spot, was the only hitter in the lineup not to be sent walking back to the dugout on the game. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Chris Vallimont, Wichita Wind Surge (5 IP, 3 H, ER, 4 BB, 9 K) Hitter of the Day - Gilberto Celestino, St. Paul Saints (2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4 #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, R #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - MLB Debut: L, 5 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, BB, 5 K #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4, 2 K #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 2 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 RBI, BB, K) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - No game #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 2-for-2, HBP #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, 2 K #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-3, R, 3B, RBI, 2 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (11:05 AM CST) - RHP Chandler Shepherd (6-5, 5.56 ERA) Wichita @ Arkansas (7:10 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (2-1, 2.93 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Cody Laweryson (1-4, 4.75 ERA) Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz (0-0, 2.45 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! 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  17. On Monday, Twins Daily revealed prospects 26-30 in our post-draft and trade deadline updated rankings. We continue today with prospects 21-25. 25. RHP Chris Vallimont (24-years-old) Season Stats (High-A + Double-A): 4-4, 4.76 ERA, 64 1/3 IP, 102 K, 40 BB, 6 HR Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 20, 2021 Preseason: NR Chris Vallimont has the physical profile of a modern day pitcher. He stands nearly 6-foot-6-inches tall with an athletic 220 pound frame that he uses to generate fastballs in the mid-90s to go along with a hammer curve (as well as the occasional slider and changeup). When he's on, there's a strong argument to be made that he has some of the most dynamic stuff in the Twins' system. However, he is a bit of an enigma. His peripheral numbers suggest that he is a better pitcher than what the surface-level stats say, the main anchor dragging him down being his walks. If he hones his command, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he develops into, say, a No. 3 starter. If he doesn't, he may wind up in the bullpen long-term. There are few prospects in the Twins' system with more future outcome variance than Vallimont. 24: RHP Louie Varland (23-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): 6-2, 1.70 ERA, 69 IP, 98 K, 25 BB, 2 HR Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NR Louie Varland is one of those Twins prospects who has shot up the rankings this season due to sustained dominance. Varland was an unknown prospect when the Twins selected him in the 15th round of the 2019 draft out of Concordia-St. Paul. He started out the 2021 season with the Low-A Fort Myers Mighty Mussels before earning a promotion to the High-A Cedar Rapids Kernels where he rattled off nearly 20 straight innings of scoreless ball to begin his run at that level. Varland primarily relies on a fastball-curveball pitch mix. His fastball plays well both up and low in the zone; it presents with decent rise when elevated and greater sinking action when down. His most likely future role is as a reliever, but he has the raw stuff — and performance, to this point — to suggest he'll be effective in the high minors and, possibly, the big leagues. 23: UTIL Nick Gordon (25-years-old) Season Stats (MLB): .250/.301/.333, 37 G, 3 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 SB, 26/5 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NR, 2021 Preseason: NR To say that Nick Gordon was an after thought on the minds of Twins' fans entering the 2021 season would be an understatement. However, a strong showing at Triple-A combined with a fast start when promoted to the parent squad quickly got him back into people's minds. Gordon primarily played shortstop in the minors; however, the rash of injuries suffered by Twins' outfielders thrust Gordon into some minutes in centerfield. While he didn't provide Gold Glove caliber defense, he did show enough to suggest that he may have a brighter future as a true utility man than most thought. Gordon doesn't do anything great, but also doesn't do anything well-below average. He may not be an everyday-type of player, but he should find himself with a role in the majors — though perhaps ultimately not with the Twins — for years to come. 22: 1B/DH Aaron Sabato (22-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A): .181/.365/.309, 75 G, 13 2B, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 101/67 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 9, 2021 Preseason: 8 The tale of Aaron Sabato is virtually the opposite of that of Varland and Gordon. Sabato was known as a bopper with a good eye at the plate when the Twins selected him with the 27th overall pick in the 2020 draft but so far only his peepers have translated. Sabato has struggled to keep pace with Low-A pitching. His strikeout numbers are through the roof and his power has evaporated compared to what he displayed while with the Tar Heels. To put it bluntly, not many minor leaguers have struggled as much as he has to date and proceeded to carve out a productive major league career. Sabato's walk totals are encouraging, but he needs to show more the rest of the way. 21: INF Edouard Julien (22-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): .251/.423/.449, 78 G, 21 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 47 RBI, 25 SB, 98/73 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NR Alright, back to being positive. Edouard Julien is an on-base machine with some pop who has displayed the ability to play multiple positions defensively, though he is probably best at second base. He's also stolen far more bases this year than many thought possible when he came out of Auburn University. Julien's overall productivity has declined some since his promotion to Cedar Rapids — and, thus, the removal of Robo-umps — however, he has done more than enough to justify his placement on this list. Not bad for a former 18th round pick. What do you think of this set of five prospects? Future big-leaguers? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  18. 25. RHP Chris Vallimont (24-years-old) Season Stats (High-A + Double-A): 4-4, 4.76 ERA, 64 1/3 IP, 102 K, 40 BB, 6 HR Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 20, 2021 Preseason: NR Chris Vallimont has the physical profile of a modern day pitcher. He stands nearly 6-foot-6-inches tall with an athletic 220 pound frame that he uses to generate fastballs in the mid-90s to go along with a hammer curve (as well as the occasional slider and changeup). When he's on, there's a strong argument to be made that he has some of the most dynamic stuff in the Twins' system. However, he is a bit of an enigma. His peripheral numbers suggest that he is a better pitcher than what the surface-level stats say, the main anchor dragging him down being his walks. If he hones his command, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he develops into, say, a No. 3 starter. If he doesn't, he may wind up in the bullpen long-term. There are few prospects in the Twins' system with more future outcome variance than Vallimont. 24: RHP Louie Varland (23-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): 6-2, 1.70 ERA, 69 IP, 98 K, 25 BB, 2 HR Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NR Louie Varland is one of those Twins prospects who has shot up the rankings this season due to sustained dominance. Varland was an unknown prospect when the Twins selected him in the 15th round of the 2019 draft out of Concordia-St. Paul. He started out the 2021 season with the Low-A Fort Myers Mighty Mussels before earning a promotion to the High-A Cedar Rapids Kernels where he rattled off nearly 20 straight innings of scoreless ball to begin his run at that level. Varland primarily relies on a fastball-curveball pitch mix. His fastball plays well both up and low in the zone; it presents with decent rise when elevated and greater sinking action when down. His most likely future role is as a reliever, but he has the raw stuff — and performance, to this point — to suggest he'll be effective in the high minors and, possibly, the big leagues. 23: UTIL Nick Gordon (25-years-old) Season Stats (MLB): .250/.301/.333, 37 G, 3 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 SB, 26/5 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NR, 2021 Preseason: NR To say that Nick Gordon was an after thought on the minds of Twins' fans entering the 2021 season would be an understatement. However, a strong showing at Triple-A combined with a fast start when promoted to the parent squad quickly got him back into people's minds. Gordon primarily played shortstop in the minors; however, the rash of injuries suffered by Twins' outfielders thrust Gordon into some minutes in centerfield. While he didn't provide Gold Glove caliber defense, he did show enough to suggest that he may have a brighter future as a true utility man than most thought. Gordon doesn't do anything great, but also doesn't do anything well-below average. He may not be an everyday-type of player, but he should find himself with a role in the majors — though perhaps ultimately not with the Twins — for years to come. 22: 1B/DH Aaron Sabato (22-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A): .181/.365/.309, 75 G, 13 2B, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 101/67 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 9, 2021 Preseason: 8 The tale of Aaron Sabato is virtually the opposite of that of Varland and Gordon. Sabato was known as a bopper with a good eye at the plate when the Twins selected him with the 27th overall pick in the 2020 draft but so far only his peepers have translated. Sabato has struggled to keep pace with Low-A pitching. His strikeout numbers are through the roof and his power has evaporated compared to what he displayed while with the Tar Heels. To put it bluntly, not many minor leaguers have struggled as much as he has to date and proceeded to carve out a productive major league career. Sabato's walk totals are encouraging, but he needs to show more the rest of the way. 21: INF Edouard Julien (22-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): .251/.423/.449, 78 G, 21 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 47 RBI, 25 SB, 98/73 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NR Alright, back to being positive. Edouard Julien is an on-base machine with some pop who has displayed the ability to play multiple positions defensively, though he is probably best at second base. He's also stolen far more bases this year than many thought possible when he came out of Auburn University. Julien's overall productivity has declined some since his promotion to Cedar Rapids — and, thus, the removal of Robo-umps — however, he has done more than enough to justify his placement on this list. Not bad for a former 18th round pick. What do you think of this set of five prospects? Future big-leaguers? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  19. TRANSACTIONS No transactions today. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 1, Louisville 0 Box Score The Saints’ pitchers were untouchable tonight and the Louisville arms were only a little bit less untouchable in this pitchers duel. Saint Paul gets Louisville back for last night, winning this one 1-0. Chandler Shepherd was nothing short of dominant in his start tonight. The St. Paul starter went six full innings and didn’t allow a run. Unfortunately for the Saints, Shepherd’s Louisville counterpart, Michael Mariot, matched his every move (literally) and when Shepherd gave way to Yennier Cano to start the seventh, both starters had allowed four hits and no runs. Mariot was taken out after the seventh and Sherman Johnson, for one, was happy to see him go. Johnson gave the Saints the first lead of the ballgame in the eighth with a clutch solo shot to right center. In contrast to their opponents, the Saints bullpen did not let them down tonight. Cano walked his first two batters in the seventh but struck out a couple to get out of the inning unscathed. Then, Kyle Barraclough hurled a hitless eighth and Nick Vincent closed the game with a strong ninth. One run was all the Saints needed in this one. Thomas Telis and home run hero Sherman Johnson had the only multi-hit games for the St. Paul. Winder Shut Down Saints starter and Twins Daily’s #8 prospect Josh Winder will be shut down for the following few weeks with shoulder fatigue. Winder hasn’t pitched since July 21st and the Twins have decided to protect their asset by resting him an additional two or three weeks. Thorpe Finishes Rehab Stint In positive news, Lewis Thorpe finished his rehab stint with the FCL Twins and is set to start for the Saints on Sunday. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 11, Midland 4 Box Score Trey Cabbage led the Wind Surge bats to a big night and Chris Vallimont was an exciting watch on the mound. It was a good night for Wichita as they take this one in blowout fashion. The best way to start a ballgame is to put a crooked number up in the first, and that’s exactly what the Wind Surge did tonight. Wichita put up four in the opening frame, with an RBI each coming on Cabbage and Jermaine Palacios singles and two runs scoring on Andrew Bechtold’s double. After giving up a four spot to hard-hit Wichita liners, Midland got one back in the third off a weak infield single from Devin Foyle. However, Cabbage responded with two more RBI on a deep blast to right that extended the Wichita lead to 6-1. Midland got an additional run back in the fourth, but Cabbage had another two-run shot up his sleeve in the fifth, giving him his fourth and fifth RBI of the night. While Cabbage and the Surge were mashing, Vallimont was dealing on the mound. He struggled a bit with walks (he had four, two came around to score), but his swing-and-miss stuff was on full display as he had eight strikeouts over five innings. Just check out the Rock Hounds’ facial expressions for confirmation for how filthy he was tonight: Midland got a two-run homer of their own in the seventh, but, like they did all night, the Wichita bats had an answer. Austin Martin drove in two with a double in the eighth, and this one ended 11-4 in Wichita’s favor. After Vallimont left the ballgame, Alex Phillips allowed two earned runs over two innings and Jordan Gore took care of the eighth and ninth without allowing a baserunner. Cabbage's big night was the only multi-hit showing for Wichita. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 2 Box Score The Kernels jumped in front early and held on for the rest of the game, taking a tight one tonight, 4-2. The Kernels’ first trip to the plate was quite a productive one, as they sent eight men to bat and pushed three runs across. The big hit came in the form of a two-run Yunior Severino single, and Seth Gray also notched an RBI on a groundout. Matt Wallner helped Cedar Rapids add on in the second, with an RBI single of his own. Quad Cities finally got on the board in the fifth, using a Maikel Garcia triple to score Gavin Stupienski from first for their first run. Then, in the sixth, Jake Means doubled and drove in another run to cut the Cedar Rapids lead to 4-2. Kernels’ starter Louie Varland left the ballgame shortly after. At the end of his outing Varland had gone 5 ⅔ innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five. The bullpen took over from there for Cedar Rapids. Melvi Acosta grabbed the last out of the sixth and pitched a hitless seventh, and Zach Featherstone allowed the bases to fill in the eighth, but got out of the inning without allowing a run. Then, Featherstone shut down the River Bandits one more time, securing the 4-2 win for Cedar Rapids. Alex Isola and Severino had multi-hit games for the Kernels tonight. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 4, Dunedin 3 Box Score This one looked to be headed towards slugfest territory after the first inning, but in what turned out to be a quiet offensive game, the Mussels edge out the Blue Jays, 4-3 Dunedin got two runs right away in the top of the first, with RBI coming on a Jesus Feliz fielding error and a P.K. Morris sac fly. But, Fort Myers had a first-inning run of their own, on a Charles Mack RBI groundout that scored Misael Urbina. The score stayed at 2-1 until the fourth, when the Mussels grabbed a run to tie it up. Urbina was involved again, this time driving in a run on a sac fly. After the rocky first inning, Mussel’s starter Bobby Milacki settled down well and allowed no runs over the next three innings, and when Matthew Swain took over in the fifth, he dominated the Blue Jays bats with three hitless innings and five strikeouts. The solid pitching paid off in the seventh, when Fort Myers took their first lead of the ballgame. Jeferson Morales hit his seventh bomb of the year, driving in himself and Charles Mack to give the Mussels a two-run advantage. However, that lead got cut in half in the eighth, after a Miguel Hiraldo sacrifice fly scored Dunedin’s third run of the game. Dunedin got two baserunners on in the ninth, but they couldn’t bring them across. Denny Bentley gets credit for the six-out save and the Mussels win 4-3. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Red Sox 5, FCL Twins 5 (Suspended/7) Box Score Today’s game between the Twins’ and Red Sox’ Complex League sides was suspended due to lightning with no outs and one man on in the bottom of the seventh inning, with the score tied at five runs apiece. Of note in this one, is that Alerick Soularie made his pro debut for the FCL Twins. So far, he is 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. The game will be resumed tomorrow, so check back in tomorrow’s report for a full recap! TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Chandler Shepherd (St. Paul) 6 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day - Trey Cabbage (Wichita) 3-for-4, 3 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR (9), SO PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 1-for-4 #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, K #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 1-for-3 #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – Did not play #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-3, R, RBI, BB #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, BB, 5 K #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 0-for-5, K #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-for-2, R, RBI #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-for-3, 2 R, K #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-4, K #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – 0-for-3, BB, K (game suspended) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 8 K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Louisville @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Ian Hamilton (2-1, 2.61 ERA) Midland @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) – RHP Austin Schulfer (3-7, 4.58 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Tyler Beck (2-1, 2.06 ERA) Dunedin @ Ft. Myers (6:00PM CST) – RHP Miguel Rodriguez (2-2, 3.62 ERA) MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  20. All four full-season clubs collected wins at home tonight, and the FCL Twins haven't lost yet, so come celebrate by reading tonight's Minor League Report! TRANSACTIONS No transactions today. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 1, Louisville 0 Box Score The Saints’ pitchers were untouchable tonight and the Louisville arms were only a little bit less untouchable in this pitchers duel. Saint Paul gets Louisville back for last night, winning this one 1-0. Chandler Shepherd was nothing short of dominant in his start tonight. The St. Paul starter went six full innings and didn’t allow a run. Unfortunately for the Saints, Shepherd’s Louisville counterpart, Michael Mariot, matched his every move (literally) and when Shepherd gave way to Yennier Cano to start the seventh, both starters had allowed four hits and no runs. Mariot was taken out after the seventh and Sherman Johnson, for one, was happy to see him go. Johnson gave the Saints the first lead of the ballgame in the eighth with a clutch solo shot to right center. In contrast to their opponents, the Saints bullpen did not let them down tonight. Cano walked his first two batters in the seventh but struck out a couple to get out of the inning unscathed. Then, Kyle Barraclough hurled a hitless eighth and Nick Vincent closed the game with a strong ninth. One run was all the Saints needed in this one. Thomas Telis and home run hero Sherman Johnson had the only multi-hit games for the St. Paul. Winder Shut Down Saints starter and Twins Daily’s #8 prospect Josh Winder will be shut down for the following few weeks with shoulder fatigue. Winder hasn’t pitched since July 21st and the Twins have decided to protect their asset by resting him an additional two or three weeks. Thorpe Finishes Rehab Stint In positive news, Lewis Thorpe finished his rehab stint with the FCL Twins and is set to start for the Saints on Sunday. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 11, Midland 4 Box Score Trey Cabbage led the Wind Surge bats to a big night and Chris Vallimont was an exciting watch on the mound. It was a good night for Wichita as they take this one in blowout fashion. The best way to start a ballgame is to put a crooked number up in the first, and that’s exactly what the Wind Surge did tonight. Wichita put up four in the opening frame, with an RBI each coming on Cabbage and Jermaine Palacios singles and two runs scoring on Andrew Bechtold’s double. After giving up a four spot to hard-hit Wichita liners, Midland got one back in the third off a weak infield single from Devin Foyle. However, Cabbage responded with two more RBI on a deep blast to right that extended the Wichita lead to 6-1. Midland got an additional run back in the fourth, but Cabbage had another two-run shot up his sleeve in the fifth, giving him his fourth and fifth RBI of the night. While Cabbage and the Surge were mashing, Vallimont was dealing on the mound. He struggled a bit with walks (he had four, two came around to score), but his swing-and-miss stuff was on full display as he had eight strikeouts over five innings. Just check out the Rock Hounds’ facial expressions for confirmation for how filthy he was tonight: Midland got a two-run homer of their own in the seventh, but, like they did all night, the Wichita bats had an answer. Austin Martin drove in two with a double in the eighth, and this one ended 11-4 in Wichita’s favor. After Vallimont left the ballgame, Alex Phillips allowed two earned runs over two innings and Jordan Gore took care of the eighth and ninth without allowing a baserunner. Cabbage's big night was the only multi-hit showing for Wichita. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 2 Box Score The Kernels jumped in front early and held on for the rest of the game, taking a tight one tonight, 4-2. The Kernels’ first trip to the plate was quite a productive one, as they sent eight men to bat and pushed three runs across. The big hit came in the form of a two-run Yunior Severino single, and Seth Gray also notched an RBI on a groundout. Matt Wallner helped Cedar Rapids add on in the second, with an RBI single of his own. Quad Cities finally got on the board in the fifth, using a Maikel Garcia triple to score Gavin Stupienski from first for their first run. Then, in the sixth, Jake Means doubled and drove in another run to cut the Cedar Rapids lead to 4-2. Kernels’ starter Louie Varland left the ballgame shortly after. At the end of his outing Varland had gone 5 ⅔ innings and allowed two earned runs on five hits and two walks while striking out five. The bullpen took over from there for Cedar Rapids. Melvi Acosta grabbed the last out of the sixth and pitched a hitless seventh, and Zach Featherstone allowed the bases to fill in the eighth, but got out of the inning without allowing a run. Then, Featherstone shut down the River Bandits one more time, securing the 4-2 win for Cedar Rapids. Alex Isola and Severino had multi-hit games for the Kernels tonight. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 4, Dunedin 3 Box Score This one looked to be headed towards slugfest territory after the first inning, but in what turned out to be a quiet offensive game, the Mussels edge out the Blue Jays, 4-3 Dunedin got two runs right away in the top of the first, with RBI coming on a Jesus Feliz fielding error and a P.K. Morris sac fly. But, Fort Myers had a first-inning run of their own, on a Charles Mack RBI groundout that scored Misael Urbina. The score stayed at 2-1 until the fourth, when the Mussels grabbed a run to tie it up. Urbina was involved again, this time driving in a run on a sac fly. After the rocky first inning, Mussel’s starter Bobby Milacki settled down well and allowed no runs over the next three innings, and when Matthew Swain took over in the fifth, he dominated the Blue Jays bats with three hitless innings and five strikeouts. The solid pitching paid off in the seventh, when Fort Myers took their first lead of the ballgame. Jeferson Morales hit his seventh bomb of the year, driving in himself and Charles Mack to give the Mussels a two-run advantage. However, that lead got cut in half in the eighth, after a Miguel Hiraldo sacrifice fly scored Dunedin’s third run of the game. Dunedin got two baserunners on in the ninth, but they couldn’t bring them across. Denny Bentley gets credit for the six-out save and the Mussels win 4-3. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Red Sox 5, FCL Twins 5 (Suspended/7) Box Score Today’s game between the Twins’ and Red Sox’ Complex League sides was suspended due to lightning with no outs and one man on in the bottom of the seventh inning, with the score tied at five runs apiece. Of note in this one, is that Alerick Soularie made his pro debut for the FCL Twins. So far, he is 0-for-3 with a walk and a strikeout. The game will be resumed tomorrow, so check back in tomorrow’s report for a full recap! TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Chandler Shepherd (St. Paul) 6 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day - Trey Cabbage (Wichita) 3-for-4, 3 R, 5 RBI, 2 HR (9), SO PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 1-for-4 #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, K #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 1-for-3 #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – Did not play #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-3, R, RBI, BB #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – 5.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, BB, 5 K #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 0-for-5, K #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-for-2, R, RBI #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-for-3, 2 R, K #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-4, K #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – 0-for-3, BB, K (game suspended) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 8 K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Louisville @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Ian Hamilton (2-1, 2.61 ERA) Midland @ Wichita (7:05PM CST) – RHP Austin Schulfer (3-7, 4.58 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Tyler Beck (2-1, 2.06 ERA) Dunedin @ Ft. Myers (6:00PM CST) – RHP Miguel Rodriguez (2-2, 3.62 ERA) MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  21. We are officially past the halfway point in the minor league season. By the next time we provide a Week in Review, the trade deadline will have passed, we will post our July minor league awards, and it is likely the Twins will add more prospects to the organization. . Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the Transactions and the FCL Twins game on Monday: Infielder Yunior Severino was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. Right-Handed Pitcher Cole Bellair was sent from Ft. Myers to the Complex. FCL Twins Talk On Monday, the FCL Twins game against the FCL Orioles Black was suspended in the first inning. With that, let’s look at Week 12 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (4-2, @ Omaha), overall (37-34) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (4-2, @ Arkansas), overall (41-31) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, hosting Beloit), overall (40-32) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (3-3, hosting Daytona), overall (39-33) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-4), overall (5-14) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT... Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: All Four Teams Over .500 Tuesday: Balazovic Extends Scoreless Streak Wednesday: Dingers Galore, Nick Vincent Shines Thursday: Little Bit of Everything One Prospect the Twins Should be Willing to Trade Friday: Close Games Across the Board Twins Minor League Pitching Report: Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman Finding Hope for a 2022 Bullpen Saturday: Some Strong Corn Sunday: Fantastic Feliz! This Saints Outfielder is Making his Mark Highlights We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 12 performances Twins Player of the Week: Trey Cabbage, Wichita Wind Surge Trey Cabbage was the Twins choice for Hitter of the Week. He played in all six games for the Wind Surge. He hit .304/.320/.652 (.972) with two doubles and two home runs. Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Tennessee. He began the season in High-A Cedar Rapids. In 40 games, he hit .266/.342/.538 (.880) with 10 doubles and nine home runs. In 25 games for Wichita, he has hit .231/.317/.451 (.768) with five doubles and five more home runs. His 15 doubles this season is fifth in the Twins system, and his 14 homers ranks fourth. His 49 RBI ranks third in the organization this year. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels In his second start with the Kernels, Varland tossed five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit, walked two and struck out nine batters. In his first start for Cedar Rapids, he threw six shutout innings. Overall this year, he is 4-2 with a 1.70 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. In 58 1/3 innings, he has walked 20 and struck out 90 batters. Varland, who has a diploma from North St. Paul High School, was the Twins 15th round pick in 2019 out of Concordia University in St. Paul. His brother Gus Varland pitches for Tulsa, the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Highlights St. Paul Saints It’s the highlights list, so of course Jose Miranda needs to be here. In six games last week, he hit .321/.345/.714 (1.059) with two doubles, three homers and six RBI. Roberto Pena doesn’t play a ton, but he went 3-for-9 with a double and a homer. He also walked three times. Jimmy Kerrigan played in five games and hit .300/.533/.800 (1.333) with two doubles, a homer and five walks. Andrew Albers gave up one run on six hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six batters. Chandler Shepherd gave up one runover five innings in his outing. He struck out six as well. Andrew Vasquez came out of the Saints’ bullpen three times and recorded seven outs, three on strikeouts. Wichita Wind Surge Along with Cabbage, the Wind Surge’s top performers last week were hitters signed to minor league contracts before or during the season. Catcher/First Baseman Roy Morales played in all six games and hit .500/.571/.636 (1.208) with a double, a triple and five walks. Jermaine Palacios was limited to three games, but he hit .308/.357/.769 (1.126) with two home runs. DJ Burt played four games and went 8-for-15 (.533) with a double and a triple. Adam Lau made a spot start for the Wind Surge. He went 3 2/3 scoreless innings and gave up just one hit and walk. He struck out six. Continuing his return to the mound, Cole Sands struck out four batters over three shutout innings. Chris Vallimont was very good in his start. He tossed six scoreless innings, gave up three hits, three walks and struck out eight batters. On Tuesday, Jordan Balazovic tossed seven shutout innings to extend his streak to 25 2/3 consecutive scoreless frames. He wasn’t as strong in his second start of the week. He gave up three runs on five hits and five walks in five innings. Cedar Rapids Kernels The highlight of the week for the Kernels, at least from a Twins/Player Development standpoint, has to be the return of Matt Wallner from his hamate bone injury. He played in five games and hit .278/.381/.611 (.992) with two home runs. Gabriel Maciel played in four games and hit .500/.571/.583 (1.155) with a double and three big RBI. Kyle Schmidt played in three games and went 5-for-11 (.455). Along with Louie Varland, the Kernels had some really good starts. Ben Gross struck out eight batters in five shutout innings. Jon Olsen gave up just three hits over 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Cody Laweryson and Tyler Watson both gave up one run on three hits in their five-inning starts. The sixth Kernels starter, Tyler Beck gave up two runs (and struck out seven batters) in five innings. Melvi Acosta struck out six batters in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up only an unearned run. Zach Featherstone struck out six batters in 2 2/3 one-hit innings. Erik Manoah struck out five batters in three no-hit innings. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Charlie Mack played in five games last week. He hit .333/.429/.500 (.929) with three walks, a homer and four RBI. Jesus Feliz posted an .807 OPS, but he also provided the team with a walk-off homer on Sunday. Lefty Zarion Sharpe had his best start. He gave up two hits over five shutout innings. He struck out five. Sawyer Gipson-Long had a Quality Start. He gave up two runs on six hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out 11 batters. Denny Bentley pitched in three games. He got a Win and two Saves. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up one hit, walked three and struck out seven batters. FCL Twins Luis Baez went 6-for-15 (.400) with a double and a triple last week. Alexander Pena went 5-for-11 (.455) with a double. LaRon Smith, Malfrin Sosa, Argenis Jimenez and Kala’i Rosario each hit a home run. Develson Aria and Juan Mendez each tossed three scoreless innings. Aria struck out six and gave up only one hit. Lowlights We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints It has certainly been a struggle of late for JT Riddle. He played all six games last week, but went just 1-for-19 (.053). Ian Hamilton has been fantastic for the Saints for a couple of months, but he had a rough week. He came into three games and was charged with four runs on one hit and four walks. That said, he also was 2-for-2 in Save Opportunities. Yennier Cano gave up five runs (4 earned) on nine hits over just 3 2/3 innings. Wichita Wind Surge Last week, we highlighted catcher Chris Williams. This week, he only played twice and went 0-for-8 with five strikeouts. Aaron Whitefield went 2-for-17 (.118, .308 OPS). Spencer Steer went 3-for-22 (.136) with a homer (.409 OPS). Bryan Sammons gave up four runs on two hits and four walks in three innings in his appearance. Joe Kuzia made one appearance and gave up three runs on two hits, a walk and a hit batter in just 2/3 of an innings. Cedar Rapids Kernels A lot of Kernels struggled at the plate last week. Wander Javier went 2-for-20 (.100) with eight strikeouts. Edouard Julien went 2-for-24 (.083) with 11 strikeouts. Max Smith went 1-for-11 (.091). DaShawn Keirsey went 1-for-12 (.083). Luis Rijo made one appearance out of the bullpen. In 1 2/3 innings, he gave up four runs on five hits and a walk. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Justin Washington played four games and went 1-for-12 (.083). Willie Joe Garry was hitless in 14 at bats, but he did walk five times for a .300 on-base percentage. Keoni Cavaco played in four games in his return to the lineup after missing a week. He went 3-for-19 (.158) with eight strikeouts. Aaron Sabato went 2-for-16 (.125) with ten strikeouts in five games. He did walk seven times and had an on-base percentage of .391. Bobby Milacki gave up five runs (4 earned) on five hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Juan Pichardo gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk in two innings. FCL Twins 31-year-old lefty Sean Gilmartin pitched in 81 games in the big leagues from 2015 through 2020. The Twins signed him a few weeks ago, probably with the plan of getting him up to the Double-A or Triple-A level soon. In three games and 4 1/3 innings, he has given up nine runs (8 earned) on ten hits, two walk sand eight strikeouts. It’s been a tough season for righty from The Netherlands, Donny Breek. He pitched in four games with the Mighty Mussels earlier this year. He gave up 11 runs on six hits and 12 walks in just 3 2/3 innings. For the FCL Twins, he has now worked 1 2/3 innings and gave up nine runs (4 earned) on zero hits and seven walks. Overall, that’s a 25.31 ERA and a 4.69 WHIP in 5 1/3 innings. He’s given up six hits, walked 19, hit four and struck out three batters. Trending Storyline The trade deadline is Friday afternoon at three o’clock. The team has already made one trade, acquiring Triple-A right-handed pitchers Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman from the Rays for Nelson Cruz. There is a good chance that by the next time you read this, the Twins will have acquired several more prospect for us to research and discuss. Along with the draft picks that have signed, we may even be in need of a new prospect rankings. PROSPECT SUMMARY We have now updated this Prospect Summary to show our Midseason Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings… #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 10 GS, 49.1 IP, 41 H, 15 BB, 61 K, 2.74 ERA, 1.14 WHIP #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4 GS, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 35 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP (went on the IL with right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 71 games, .342/.405/.610 (1.015) with 16 doubles, 21 homers, 60 RBI, 28 BB, 43 K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 42 games, .264/.343/.346 (.689) with 6 doubles, 2 triple, 1 homer, 19 RBI, 18 BB, 52 K, 6 SB #7 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 70 games, .185/.370/.290 (.660) with 13 doubles, 4 homers, 26 RBI, 66 BB, 97 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 24 games, .322/.380/.600 (.980) with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 6 homers, 16 RBI, 7 BB, 36 K. #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (10 GS, 43.1 IP, 42 H, 13 BB, 45 K, 5.19 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 9 GS, 36.2 IP, 25 H, 18 BB, 49 K, 2.45 ERA, 1.17 WHIP #14 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (12 games, .136/.191/.386 (375) with 2 double, 3 homers, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 18 K) #15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 64 games, .208/.310/.308 (618) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 3 homer, 42 RBI, 34 BB, 56 K, 10 SB) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 68 games, .244/.356/.465 (.821) with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 16 homers, 37 RBI, 42 BB, 59 K) #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 66 games, .215/.274/.400 (.674) with 11 doubles, 5 triples, 9 homers, 36 RBI, 18 BB, 96 K) #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (injured) #19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 12 GS, 51.0 IP, 46 H, 28 BB, 82 K, 3.88 ERA, 1.45 WHIP LOOKING AHEAD Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (Sawyer Gipson-Long, Brent Headrick, Landon Leach, TBD, TBD): Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin:(Louie Varland, Jon Olsen, Tyler Watson, Ben Gross, Cody Laweryson, Tyler Beck) Wichita @ NW Arkansas: (Chris Vallimont (Cole Sands), Austin Schulfer, Bryan Sammons, Jordan Balazovic, TBD, Chris Vallimont) Indianapolis @ St. Paul: (Beau Burrows, Charlie Barnes, Matt Shoemaker, Griffin Jax, Drew Strotman, Beau Burrows): Feel free to ask any questions you like. View full article
  22. Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the Transactions and the FCL Twins game on Monday: Infielder Yunior Severino was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. Right-Handed Pitcher Cole Bellair was sent from Ft. Myers to the Complex. FCL Twins Talk On Monday, the FCL Twins game against the FCL Orioles Black was suspended in the first inning. With that, let’s look at Week 12 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (4-2, @ Omaha), overall (37-34) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (4-2, @ Arkansas), overall (41-31) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, hosting Beloit), overall (40-32) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (3-3, hosting Daytona), overall (39-33) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-4), overall (5-14) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT... Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: All Four Teams Over .500 Tuesday: Balazovic Extends Scoreless Streak Wednesday: Dingers Galore, Nick Vincent Shines Thursday: Little Bit of Everything One Prospect the Twins Should be Willing to Trade Friday: Close Games Across the Board Twins Minor League Pitching Report: Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman Finding Hope for a 2022 Bullpen Saturday: Some Strong Corn Sunday: Fantastic Feliz! This Saints Outfielder is Making his Mark Highlights We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 12 performances Twins Player of the Week: Trey Cabbage, Wichita Wind Surge Trey Cabbage was the Twins choice for Hitter of the Week. He played in all six games for the Wind Surge. He hit .304/.320/.652 (.972) with two doubles and two home runs. Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Tennessee. He began the season in High-A Cedar Rapids. In 40 games, he hit .266/.342/.538 (.880) with 10 doubles and nine home runs. In 25 games for Wichita, he has hit .231/.317/.451 (.768) with five doubles and five more home runs. His 15 doubles this season is fifth in the Twins system, and his 14 homers ranks fourth. His 49 RBI ranks third in the organization this year. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels In his second start with the Kernels, Varland tossed five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit, walked two and struck out nine batters. In his first start for Cedar Rapids, he threw six shutout innings. Overall this year, he is 4-2 with a 1.70 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. In 58 1/3 innings, he has walked 20 and struck out 90 batters. Varland, who has a diploma from North St. Paul High School, was the Twins 15th round pick in 2019 out of Concordia University in St. Paul. His brother Gus Varland pitches for Tulsa, the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Highlights St. Paul Saints It’s the highlights list, so of course Jose Miranda needs to be here. In six games last week, he hit .321/.345/.714 (1.059) with two doubles, three homers and six RBI. Roberto Pena doesn’t play a ton, but he went 3-for-9 with a double and a homer. He also walked three times. Jimmy Kerrigan played in five games and hit .300/.533/.800 (1.333) with two doubles, a homer and five walks. Andrew Albers gave up one run on six hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six batters. Chandler Shepherd gave up one runover five innings in his outing. He struck out six as well. Andrew Vasquez came out of the Saints’ bullpen three times and recorded seven outs, three on strikeouts. Wichita Wind Surge Along with Cabbage, the Wind Surge’s top performers last week were hitters signed to minor league contracts before or during the season. Catcher/First Baseman Roy Morales played in all six games and hit .500/.571/.636 (1.208) with a double, a triple and five walks. Jermaine Palacios was limited to three games, but he hit .308/.357/.769 (1.126) with two home runs. DJ Burt played four games and went 8-for-15 (.533) with a double and a triple. Adam Lau made a spot start for the Wind Surge. He went 3 2/3 scoreless innings and gave up just one hit and walk. He struck out six. Continuing his return to the mound, Cole Sands struck out four batters over three shutout innings. Chris Vallimont was very good in his start. He tossed six scoreless innings, gave up three hits, three walks and struck out eight batters. On Tuesday, Jordan Balazovic tossed seven shutout innings to extend his streak to 25 2/3 consecutive scoreless frames. He wasn’t as strong in his second start of the week. He gave up three runs on five hits and five walks in five innings. Cedar Rapids Kernels The highlight of the week for the Kernels, at least from a Twins/Player Development standpoint, has to be the return of Matt Wallner from his hamate bone injury. He played in five games and hit .278/.381/.611 (.992) with two home runs. Gabriel Maciel played in four games and hit .500/.571/.583 (1.155) with a double and three big RBI. Kyle Schmidt played in three games and went 5-for-11 (.455). Along with Louie Varland, the Kernels had some really good starts. Ben Gross struck out eight batters in five shutout innings. Jon Olsen gave up just three hits over 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Cody Laweryson and Tyler Watson both gave up one run on three hits in their five-inning starts. The sixth Kernels starter, Tyler Beck gave up two runs (and struck out seven batters) in five innings. Melvi Acosta struck out six batters in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up only an unearned run. Zach Featherstone struck out six batters in 2 2/3 one-hit innings. Erik Manoah struck out five batters in three no-hit innings. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Charlie Mack played in five games last week. He hit .333/.429/.500 (.929) with three walks, a homer and four RBI. Jesus Feliz posted an .807 OPS, but he also provided the team with a walk-off homer on Sunday. Lefty Zarion Sharpe had his best start. He gave up two hits over five shutout innings. He struck out five. Sawyer Gipson-Long had a Quality Start. He gave up two runs on six hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out 11 batters. Denny Bentley pitched in three games. He got a Win and two Saves. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up one hit, walked three and struck out seven batters. FCL Twins Luis Baez went 6-for-15 (.400) with a double and a triple last week. Alexander Pena went 5-for-11 (.455) with a double. LaRon Smith, Malfrin Sosa, Argenis Jimenez and Kala’i Rosario each hit a home run. Develson Aria and Juan Mendez each tossed three scoreless innings. Aria struck out six and gave up only one hit. Lowlights We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints It has certainly been a struggle of late for JT Riddle. He played all six games last week, but went just 1-for-19 (.053). Ian Hamilton has been fantastic for the Saints for a couple of months, but he had a rough week. He came into three games and was charged with four runs on one hit and four walks. That said, he also was 2-for-2 in Save Opportunities. Yennier Cano gave up five runs (4 earned) on nine hits over just 3 2/3 innings. Wichita Wind Surge Last week, we highlighted catcher Chris Williams. This week, he only played twice and went 0-for-8 with five strikeouts. Aaron Whitefield went 2-for-17 (.118, .308 OPS). Spencer Steer went 3-for-22 (.136) with a homer (.409 OPS). Bryan Sammons gave up four runs on two hits and four walks in three innings in his appearance. Joe Kuzia made one appearance and gave up three runs on two hits, a walk and a hit batter in just 2/3 of an innings. Cedar Rapids Kernels A lot of Kernels struggled at the plate last week. Wander Javier went 2-for-20 (.100) with eight strikeouts. Edouard Julien went 2-for-24 (.083) with 11 strikeouts. Max Smith went 1-for-11 (.091). DaShawn Keirsey went 1-for-12 (.083). Luis Rijo made one appearance out of the bullpen. In 1 2/3 innings, he gave up four runs on five hits and a walk. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Justin Washington played four games and went 1-for-12 (.083). Willie Joe Garry was hitless in 14 at bats, but he did walk five times for a .300 on-base percentage. Keoni Cavaco played in four games in his return to the lineup after missing a week. He went 3-for-19 (.158) with eight strikeouts. Aaron Sabato went 2-for-16 (.125) with ten strikeouts in five games. He did walk seven times and had an on-base percentage of .391. Bobby Milacki gave up five runs (4 earned) on five hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Juan Pichardo gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk in two innings. FCL Twins 31-year-old lefty Sean Gilmartin pitched in 81 games in the big leagues from 2015 through 2020. The Twins signed him a few weeks ago, probably with the plan of getting him up to the Double-A or Triple-A level soon. In three games and 4 1/3 innings, he has given up nine runs (8 earned) on ten hits, two walk sand eight strikeouts. It’s been a tough season for righty from The Netherlands, Donny Breek. He pitched in four games with the Mighty Mussels earlier this year. He gave up 11 runs on six hits and 12 walks in just 3 2/3 innings. For the FCL Twins, he has now worked 1 2/3 innings and gave up nine runs (4 earned) on zero hits and seven walks. Overall, that’s a 25.31 ERA and a 4.69 WHIP in 5 1/3 innings. He’s given up six hits, walked 19, hit four and struck out three batters. Trending Storyline The trade deadline is Friday afternoon at three o’clock. The team has already made one trade, acquiring Triple-A right-handed pitchers Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman from the Rays for Nelson Cruz. There is a good chance that by the next time you read this, the Twins will have acquired several more prospect for us to research and discuss. Along with the draft picks that have signed, we may even be in need of a new prospect rankings. PROSPECT SUMMARY We have now updated this Prospect Summary to show our Midseason Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings… #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 10 GS, 49.1 IP, 41 H, 15 BB, 61 K, 2.74 ERA, 1.14 WHIP #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4 GS, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 35 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP (went on the IL with right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 71 games, .342/.405/.610 (1.015) with 16 doubles, 21 homers, 60 RBI, 28 BB, 43 K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 42 games, .264/.343/.346 (.689) with 6 doubles, 2 triple, 1 homer, 19 RBI, 18 BB, 52 K, 6 SB #7 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 70 games, .185/.370/.290 (.660) with 13 doubles, 4 homers, 26 RBI, 66 BB, 97 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 24 games, .322/.380/.600 (.980) with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 6 homers, 16 RBI, 7 BB, 36 K. #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (10 GS, 43.1 IP, 42 H, 13 BB, 45 K, 5.19 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 9 GS, 36.2 IP, 25 H, 18 BB, 49 K, 2.45 ERA, 1.17 WHIP #14 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (12 games, .136/.191/.386 (375) with 2 double, 3 homers, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 18 K) #15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 64 games, .208/.310/.308 (618) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 3 homer, 42 RBI, 34 BB, 56 K, 10 SB) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 68 games, .244/.356/.465 (.821) with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 16 homers, 37 RBI, 42 BB, 59 K) #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 66 games, .215/.274/.400 (.674) with 11 doubles, 5 triples, 9 homers, 36 RBI, 18 BB, 96 K) #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (injured) #19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 12 GS, 51.0 IP, 46 H, 28 BB, 82 K, 3.88 ERA, 1.45 WHIP LOOKING AHEAD Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (Sawyer Gipson-Long, Brent Headrick, Landon Leach, TBD, TBD): Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin:(Louie Varland, Jon Olsen, Tyler Watson, Ben Gross, Cody Laweryson, Tyler Beck) Wichita @ NW Arkansas: (Chris Vallimont (Cole Sands), Austin Schulfer, Bryan Sammons, Jordan Balazovic, TBD, Chris Vallimont) Indianapolis @ St. Paul: (Beau Burrows, Charlie Barnes, Matt Shoemaker, Griffin Jax, Drew Strotman, Beau Burrows): Feel free to ask any questions you like.
  23. Yet another week of minor league baseball is in the books and it was yet another week in which I spent time breaking down video of some of the more intriguing arms in the Minnesota Twins’ farm system. Below are some takeaways on the performance and film of three pitchers that caught my eye in particular. Louie Varland (High-A Cedar Rapids) Twins Daily Ranking: Honorable Mention MLB Pipeline Ranking: N/a FanGraphs Ranking: N/a Weekly Stats: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K Varland made his well-earned High-A debut earlier this week after putting up some stellar numbers in Low-A. His 14.45 K/9 rate and 4.75 K:BB ratio in 47 ⅓ innings for the Mighty Mussels were not only among the best on the team, but the Twins’ system in general, which is not something that many expected for the team’s 15th-round pick in 2019. Varland owns a compact windup with repeatable mechanics and a three-quarter arm slot. Although he has primarily been utilized as a starter both in college - at NCAA Division II Concordia University, St. Paul - as well as in the minors, his pitch mix primarily consists of a fastball and curveball, which is typically better suited out of the bullpen. The fastball, which sits in the mid-90s, plays best up in the zone where it stays flat with a little bit of tailing action. However, as he moves it lower in the zone, the amount of sink increases and, along with it, a diminished command. The curveball has potential to be a plus second pitch if he can refine his command. While he unleashes it frequently to miss bats, his feel for the pitch is fairly average, highlighted by often leaving it hanging middle-middle, which is something he can get away with in A-ball but will get slapped around at higher levels. However, when he locates it low, it’s a very difficult ball to square up, especially when piggybacking off a fastball up in the zone. Varland’s lack of a third pitch, whether that be another off-speed offering or improved command of his fastball down, will likely limit him to a relief role should he make it to the majors. Regardless, his performance to date should get his name placed on the major Twins prospect ranking lists come the end of the season. Chris Vallimont (Double-A Wichita) Twins Daily Ranking: No. 20 MLB Pipeline Ranking: No. 18 FanGraphs Ranking: No. 18 Weekly Stats: 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 K Chris Vallimont looks every bit the part of a major league pitcher. Standing at 6-foot-5-inches tall with an athletic frame and a left arm full of tattoos, Vallimont was acquired along with former Twin Sergio Romo from the Miami Marlins in exchange for minor league slugger Lewin Diaz. He shot up the Twins prospect rankings due in large part to his projectability and solid fastball/curve repertoire; he’ll also mix in the occasional changeup and slider, though his command, which isn’t necessarily anything to write home about to begin with, of the latter two pitches is pretty poor. However, since joining the system, he has been a bit of an enigma. Vallimont has always boasted huge strikeout numbers and that has continued this season. He currently is cutting down batters at an impressive 14.57 K/9 clip, which translates to 68 strikeouts in 42 innings at the Double-A level. However, the sheen of these numbers are muted a bit due to his propensity to dish out free passes (5.36 BB/9) and hard contact (9.1% HR:FB ratio). Making things even more murky is the fact that Vallimont’s standard and advanced statistics largely paint two distinct pictures. His 4.71 ERA is ugly, but his 3.24 FIP is much prettier, for example. He also is getting BABIP’d to death (.402), which is unsustainable. Basically, the beauty of Vallimont’s future is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, though as of now, he’s more likely to end up as a reliever than a starter in the long-term. Jordan Gore (Double-A Wichita) Twins Daily Ranking: N/a MLB Pipeline Ranking: N/a FanGraphs Ranking: N/a Weekly Stats: 3 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K The success of Jordan Gore is simply a good story. Taken in the 19th round of the 2017 draft as an infielder, Gore converted to relief pitching full-time this season after serving as a two-way player for the previous two. In 46 career innings across rookie ball, A-ball, and Double-A, Gore has struck out 62, walked 24, and allowed only two home runs. Much like the two other pitchers discussed above, Gore is a right-hander who primarily relies on his fastball and curveball. The fastball won’t necessarily blow anyone away, but the curve plays well off of it. If he continues to perform as he has to this point, he may find himself in the Twins’ bullpen at some point next summer. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  24. Louie Varland (High-A Cedar Rapids) Twins Daily Ranking: Honorable Mention MLB Pipeline Ranking: N/a FanGraphs Ranking: N/a Weekly Stats: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K Varland made his well-earned High-A debut earlier this week after putting up some stellar numbers in Low-A. His 14.45 K/9 rate and 4.75 K:BB ratio in 47 ⅓ innings for the Mighty Mussels were not only among the best on the team, but the Twins’ system in general, which is not something that many expected for the team’s 15th-round pick in 2019. Varland owns a compact windup with repeatable mechanics and a three-quarter arm slot. Although he has primarily been utilized as a starter both in college - at NCAA Division II Concordia University, St. Paul - as well as in the minors, his pitch mix primarily consists of a fastball and curveball, which is typically better suited out of the bullpen. The fastball, which sits in the mid-90s, plays best up in the zone where it stays flat with a little bit of tailing action. However, as he moves it lower in the zone, the amount of sink increases and, along with it, a diminished command. The curveball has potential to be a plus second pitch if he can refine his command. While he unleashes it frequently to miss bats, his feel for the pitch is fairly average, highlighted by often leaving it hanging middle-middle, which is something he can get away with in A-ball but will get slapped around at higher levels. However, when he locates it low, it’s a very difficult ball to square up, especially when piggybacking off a fastball up in the zone. Varland’s lack of a third pitch, whether that be another off-speed offering or improved command of his fastball down, will likely limit him to a relief role should he make it to the majors. Regardless, his performance to date should get his name placed on the major Twins prospect ranking lists come the end of the season. Chris Vallimont (Double-A Wichita) Twins Daily Ranking: No. 20 MLB Pipeline Ranking: No. 18 FanGraphs Ranking: No. 18 Weekly Stats: 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 K Chris Vallimont looks every bit the part of a major league pitcher. Standing at 6-foot-5-inches tall with an athletic frame and a left arm full of tattoos, Vallimont was acquired along with former Twin Sergio Romo from the Miami Marlins in exchange for minor league slugger Lewin Diaz. He shot up the Twins prospect rankings due in large part to his projectability and solid fastball/curve repertoire; he’ll also mix in the occasional changeup and slider, though his command, which isn’t necessarily anything to write home about to begin with, of the latter two pitches is pretty poor. However, since joining the system, he has been a bit of an enigma. Vallimont has always boasted huge strikeout numbers and that has continued this season. He currently is cutting down batters at an impressive 14.57 K/9 clip, which translates to 68 strikeouts in 42 innings at the Double-A level. However, the sheen of these numbers are muted a bit due to his propensity to dish out free passes (5.36 BB/9) and hard contact (9.1% HR:FB ratio). Making things even more murky is the fact that Vallimont’s standard and advanced statistics largely paint two distinct pictures. His 4.71 ERA is ugly, but his 3.24 FIP is much prettier, for example. He also is getting BABIP’d to death (.402), which is unsustainable. Basically, the beauty of Vallimont’s future is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, though as of now, he’s more likely to end up as a reliever than a starter in the long-term. Jordan Gore (Double-A Wichita) Twins Daily Ranking: N/a MLB Pipeline Ranking: N/a FanGraphs Ranking: N/a Weekly Stats: 3 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K The success of Jordan Gore is simply a good story. Taken in the 19th round of the 2017 draft as an infielder, Gore converted to relief pitching full-time this season after serving as a two-way player for the previous two. In 46 career innings across rookie ball, A-ball, and Double-A, Gore has struck out 62, walked 24, and allowed only two home runs. Much like the two other pitchers discussed above, Gore is a right-hander who primarily relies on his fastball and curveball. The fastball won’t necessarily blow anyone away, but the curve plays well off of it. If he continues to perform as he has to this point, he may find himself in the Twins’ bullpen at some point next summer. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  25. Josh Winder pitched like a future MLB starter en route to being named the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month for June. Honorable Mentions: LHP Brent Headrick, Low-A: 1-1, 1.71 ERA, 21 IP, 30 K, 10 BB, 1.24 WHIP RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, Low-A, 3-0, 2.91 ERA, 21 2/3 IP, 31 K, 5 BB, 1.25 WHIP Number 5: RHP Chris Vallimont, Double-A Stats: 2-2, 3.22 ERA, 22 1/3 IP, 34 K, 10 BB, 1.39 WHIP On the surface, Vallimont's numbers from May are arguably better than the ones he posted in June. However, the big difference was his uptick in innings. Vallimont faced exactly twice as many batters in June as he did in May - 96 versus 48 - and essentially maintained his strikeout rate. While he wasn't fantastic, he was good, which was enough to come in fifth in the vote. Number 4: RHP Ben Gross, High-A Stats: 2-0, 1.54 ERA, 23 1/3 IP, 29 K, 10 BB, 1.37 WHIP Gross will be 25-years-old before the end of the season meaning the odds that he ever reaches the majors are dwindling with each passing day. That said, his performance during the month of June was rather encouraging. Compared to May, Gross pitched six more innings, struck out seven more batters, allowed four fewer runs, and dropped his overall ERA from 4.15 to 2.66. Number 3: RHP Austin Schulfer, Double-A Stats: 1-1, 1.75 ERA, 25 2/3 IP, 28 K, 8 BB, 1.29 WHIP Like Gross, Schulfer saw his performance improve dramatically as the calendar turned from May to June. A 19th-round pick in the 2018 draft, Schulfer dropped his ERA from 5.31 to 3.33 after allowing seven less earned runs and striking out twice as many batters in 5 1/3 more innings. Again, his future may not be in the majors as he is already 25-years-old and owns a FIP north of 3.50 in his minor league career, however, it's always intriguing anytime a player posts a month as successful as Schulfer. Number 2: RHP Louie Varland, Low-A Stats: 1-0, 0.40 ERA, 22 1/3 IP, 29 K, 5 BB, 0.90 WHIP For as mediocre as Varland's May was, his June was absolutely superb. Piling up strikeouts has never been an issue for the former Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bear, but what changed for the 23-year-old in June was his ability to combine his punch outs with preventing the long ball. Varland struck out 29 batters in June compared to his 28 in May while seeing his home runs allowed (0 versus 2) and walks issued (5 versus 10) drop precipitously subsequent to a 59% increase in innings pitched (22 1/3 versus 14). Varland owns the raw stuff to be a contributor in some capacity at the major league level. The key with him, as is the case with many minor league pitchers, is improving his command to the point he did in June. If he can keep the walks low and and long ball few and far between, he could find himself pitching at Target Field someday. Number 1: RHP Josh Winder, Double-A (recently promoted to Triple-A) Stats: 2-0, 2.37 ERA, 30 1/3 IP, 35 K, 4 BB, 0.96 WHIP In a Twins' farm system that is replete with talent, perhaps no pitching prospect is more under-appreciated than Josh Winder. Winder, who did not even crack Twins Daily's Top 20 prospect list prior to the start of the season, finished in second place during last month's Starting Pitcher of the Month race after posting some ridiculous numbers and he continued his streak of dominance as spring turned to summer en route to winning this past month's honors. Unlike contemporaries Matt Canterino and Jhoan Duran, Winder possesses fluid mechanics with a consistent, repeatable motion. He get's good push off from his back leg which reduces the strain placed on his shoulder and elbow. He's only been placed on the injured list once in his minor league career, a stint that lasted exactly one week. Winder's owns a classic pitch arsenal consisting of a four-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and change-up. His fastball sits in the low- to mid-90s, though it can touch as high as 96 mph, and is graded as a 50-55 on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale according to FanGraphs. While he doesn't have one pitch that stands out as more impressive than the others, all four are at least average offerings, which has the benefit of raising his floor as a prospect. It this fact, along with his string of consistent positive performances, that drove Winder to be named to the 2021 Futures Game alongside a host of top-tier MLB prospects. Winder may never find himself among the Twins' top-10 prospects, however, arguably no pitcher in the system has risen their stock more than he has compared to prior to the season beginning. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
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