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  1. Ryan Jeffers hit a big three-run home run to help lift the Minnesota Twins to victory over the Orioles. The Twins have now won 11 of their last 12 games. Jose Miranda drove in the first run on his first MLB hit in this one. Also featured in tonight's video are Caleb Thielbar, Tyler Duffey, Royce Lewis, Cody Laweryson and more. View full video
  2. Ryan Jeffers hit a big three-run home run to help lift the Minnesota Twins to victory over the Orioles. The Twins have now won 11 of their last 12 games. Jose Miranda drove in the first run on his first MLB hit in this one. Also featured in tonight's video are Caleb Thielbar, Tyler Duffey, Royce Lewis, Cody Laweryson and more.
  3. We continue our Twins prospect series today with my choices for the Twins pitching prospects 21 through 25. It is another interesting and unique group, so get to know these pitchers and then discuss them in the comments. We jump into the Top 25 pitching prospects today and find a couple of relievers with unique stories, a couple of intriguing 2019 draft prospects and a 2021 College World Series champion. Get to know these five prospects and then discuss them in the Comments below. #25 - RHP Jordan Gore 2021 STATS: 8-2, 2.39 ERA, 39/0 G/GS, 0.95 WHIP, 88/28 K/BB, 67.2 IP Drafted as a shortstop in 2017 from Coastal Carolina, Jordan Gore worked all the way up to Double-A in 2019 at that position. But then late in the year, the transition began. Gore was blessed with a strong arm, and because of it got an opportunity on the mound. Unfortunately, there was no 2020 season, so no one knew what to expect from him. He began at Cedar Rapids and pitched well. He earned a second-half promotion to Double-A Wichita where he continued to pitch great through the end of the season. While he threw 95 mph, he also had developed a solid change up and slider over the previous year and used all of his pitches. In addition, listen to his Twins Spotlight interview after the season, and he has a great mentality for working late innings. Gore will spend most of the 2022 season at the age of 27. #24 - RHP Cody Laweryson 2021 STATS: 2-5, 4.91 ERA, 15/14 G/GS 1.33 WHIP, 73/19 K/BB, 58.2 IP Cody Laweryson was the Twins 14th round pick in 2019 out of the University of Maine. That summer, he pitched at Elizabethton and was the Twins Daily short-season Minor League Pitcher of the Year. After the missed 2020 season, Laweryson was slowed in spring training by a minor injury. In early June, he joined the Kernels starting rotation. He had ups and downs but ended the season strong. He was able to get extra innings in the Arizona Fall League. He struck out 18 batters in 14 innings. He also represented the Twins in the Fall Stars game. He will turn 23 in May. #23 - RHP Yennier Cano 2021 STATS: 5-3, 3.23 ERA, 42/1 G/GS, 1.38 WHIP, 86/34 K/BB, 69.2 IP After defecting from Cuba, Yennier Cano became an international free agent, and in June 2019, the Twins were able to sign him. That year, he got some time in the GCL and then for the Miracle. He began the 2021 season in Double-A Wichita and went 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA over 18 1/3 innings. He had 28 strikeouts and just five walks. He moved up to St. Paul and posted a 3.86 ERA. In 51 1/3 innings, he struck out 58 batters, but he also walked 29. Cano has a rubber arm and wants to pitch all the time. He has a mid-to-upper ‘90s fastball as well as a good slider. He will turn 28 in March and should debut in 2022. #22 - RHP Sean Mooney 2021 STATS: 0-2, 2.79 ERA, 13/12 G/GS, 1.07 WHIP, 71/23 K/BB, 42.0 IP The New Jersey native headed to St. Johns where he went 19-5 with ERAs of 1.71 and 2.56 over his freshman and sophomore seasons. As a junior in 2019, he went 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA, but after nine starts, he hurt his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery. The Twins really liked him and took him with their 12th round pick in 2019. He rehabbed in 2019 and may not have pitched much in 2020 either. So 2021 was his professional debut. In 10 games (9 starts) with Ft. Myers, he went 0-1 with a 1.24 ERA. In 29 innings, he struck out 52 batters! He moved up to Cedar Rapids and made three starts. He had 19 strikeouts in 13 innings. Mooney has an advanced pitching makeup and four pitches. He profiles as a starter at least for now. 2022 could be a big year if he can stay healthy throughout the season and really get to develop. Mooney will be 23 throughout the 2022 season. #21 - LHP Christian MacLeod 2021 STATS: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1/0 G/GS, 1.80 WHIP, 2/5 K/BB, 1.2 IP 2021 was a big season for MacLeod. He became a weekend starter at Mississippi State. He went to the College World Series and helped the Bulldogs to their first national championship. The Twins drafted him in the fifth round of the 2021 draft. He signed, took some time away from pitching in games and ended the season with one outing in the FCL And after Instructional League, he was a guest on Twins Spotlight. OK, that last one may not be on the same level as the rest, but I know Twins Daily readers enjoyed it. Again, he will get a chance to start the 2022 season, probably in Ft. Myers, and have the opportunity to move up to Cedar Rapids by midseason. MacLeod will turn 22 in April. He’s got a good fastball, has typically shown good control and has secondary pitches that have potential. This is an interesting group. You’ve got a couple of older relief pitchers, though both have circumstances that make it understandable, and both showed well in 2021. There were two 2019 draft picks, both of whom have missed some time with injury, but both have had success to note when healthy. Finally, there is a 2021 draft pick who helped his team to the College World Series championship and is just beginning his career. Discuss... and keep coming back every day throughout the holiday season as we continue to discuss these prospects. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 View full article
  4. We jump into the Top 25 pitching prospects today and find a couple of relievers with unique stories, a couple of intriguing 2019 draft prospects and a 2021 College World Series champion. Get to know these five prospects and then discuss them in the Comments below. #25 - RHP Jordan Gore 2021 STATS: 8-2, 2.39 ERA, 39/0 G/GS, 0.95 WHIP, 88/28 K/BB, 67.2 IP Drafted as a shortstop in 2017 from Coastal Carolina, Jordan Gore worked all the way up to Double-A in 2019 at that position. But then late in the year, the transition began. Gore was blessed with a strong arm, and because of it got an opportunity on the mound. Unfortunately, there was no 2020 season, so no one knew what to expect from him. He began at Cedar Rapids and pitched well. He earned a second-half promotion to Double-A Wichita where he continued to pitch great through the end of the season. While he threw 95 mph, he also had developed a solid change up and slider over the previous year and used all of his pitches. In addition, listen to his Twins Spotlight interview after the season, and he has a great mentality for working late innings. Gore will spend most of the 2022 season at the age of 27. #24 - RHP Cody Laweryson 2021 STATS: 2-5, 4.91 ERA, 15/14 G/GS 1.33 WHIP, 73/19 K/BB, 58.2 IP Cody Laweryson was the Twins 14th round pick in 2019 out of the University of Maine. That summer, he pitched at Elizabethton and was the Twins Daily short-season Minor League Pitcher of the Year. After the missed 2020 season, Laweryson was slowed in spring training by a minor injury. In early June, he joined the Kernels starting rotation. He had ups and downs but ended the season strong. He was able to get extra innings in the Arizona Fall League. He struck out 18 batters in 14 innings. He also represented the Twins in the Fall Stars game. He will turn 23 in May. #23 - RHP Yennier Cano 2021 STATS: 5-3, 3.23 ERA, 42/1 G/GS, 1.38 WHIP, 86/34 K/BB, 69.2 IP After defecting from Cuba, Yennier Cano became an international free agent, and in June 2019, the Twins were able to sign him. That year, he got some time in the GCL and then for the Miracle. He began the 2021 season in Double-A Wichita and went 3-1 with a 1.47 ERA over 18 1/3 innings. He had 28 strikeouts and just five walks. He moved up to St. Paul and posted a 3.86 ERA. In 51 1/3 innings, he struck out 58 batters, but he also walked 29. Cano has a rubber arm and wants to pitch all the time. He has a mid-to-upper ‘90s fastball as well as a good slider. He will turn 28 in March and should debut in 2022. #22 - RHP Sean Mooney 2021 STATS: 0-2, 2.79 ERA, 13/12 G/GS, 1.07 WHIP, 71/23 K/BB, 42.0 IP The New Jersey native headed to St. Johns where he went 19-5 with ERAs of 1.71 and 2.56 over his freshman and sophomore seasons. As a junior in 2019, he went 2-1 with a 2.17 ERA, but after nine starts, he hurt his elbow and needed Tommy John surgery. The Twins really liked him and took him with their 12th round pick in 2019. He rehabbed in 2019 and may not have pitched much in 2020 either. So 2021 was his professional debut. In 10 games (9 starts) with Ft. Myers, he went 0-1 with a 1.24 ERA. In 29 innings, he struck out 52 batters! He moved up to Cedar Rapids and made three starts. He had 19 strikeouts in 13 innings. Mooney has an advanced pitching makeup and four pitches. He profiles as a starter at least for now. 2022 could be a big year if he can stay healthy throughout the season and really get to develop. Mooney will be 23 throughout the 2022 season. #21 - LHP Christian MacLeod 2021 STATS: 0-0, 0.00 ERA, 1/0 G/GS, 1.80 WHIP, 2/5 K/BB, 1.2 IP 2021 was a big season for MacLeod. He became a weekend starter at Mississippi State. He went to the College World Series and helped the Bulldogs to their first national championship. The Twins drafted him in the fifth round of the 2021 draft. He signed, took some time away from pitching in games and ended the season with one outing in the FCL And after Instructional League, he was a guest on Twins Spotlight. OK, that last one may not be on the same level as the rest, but I know Twins Daily readers enjoyed it. Again, he will get a chance to start the 2022 season, probably in Ft. Myers, and have the opportunity to move up to Cedar Rapids by midseason. MacLeod will turn 22 in April. He’s got a good fastball, has typically shown good control and has secondary pitches that have potential. This is an interesting group. You’ve got a couple of older relief pitchers, though both have circumstances that make it understandable, and both showed well in 2021. There were two 2019 draft picks, both of whom have missed some time with injury, but both have had success to note when healthy. Finally, there is a 2021 draft pick who helped his team to the College World Series championship and is just beginning his career. Discuss... and keep coming back every day throughout the holiday season as we continue to discuss these prospects. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Hitters Part 2: 21-25 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30
  5. Seth chats with Twins RHP prospect Cody Laweryson about his 2021 season, time spent with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, in the Arizona Fall League and more.
  6. Seth chats with Twins RHP prospect Cody Laweryson about his 2021 season, time spent with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, in the Arizona Fall League and more. View full video
  7. In a continuing theme for the 2021 Arizona Fall League season, the power hitting Matt Wallner again sent one out of the park in Week 6, and finished among the league’s leaders in OPS. Each of their relief pitchers also got one final outing, so keep reading to see how all your Minnesota Twins prospects did during the final week of the AFL season. In a bit of a scheduling quirk with the AFL, the Scottsdale Scorpions played only three games in the final week of the season, going 1-2 to finish with an overall record of 12-18, good for second place in the East Division and fifth overall. Matt Wallner: 2 games, 4-for-8, R, HR (6, tied for 4th in AFL), 2 RBI, BB, 2 K; .303/.405/.606 (1.011 OPS) overall. Wallner got the start in two games on the week, batting fifth in both contests and one game each in the opposite corners of the outfield. In Tuesday’s 9-7 loss at the Surprise Saguaros, he was in right field and led the team with three hits on the day. Down 8-4 at the time and in his third at-bat, Wallner picked up the first of those three hits with a single the opposite way that put runners on first and second with no outs. Unfortunately that’s as far as he’d make it as their rally attempt was snuffed out with three consecutive outs after that. He’d add another single in the seventh inning with a line drive to right field, and this time ended up stranded on third. With the score 9-5 going into the top of the ninth, Wallner followed a leadoff single with his sixth home run of the AFL season, a blast into right field that made it the final of 9-7. Wallner finished off his time in the AFL playing left field in Friday’s 4-3 loss against the Mesa Solar Sox. He grounded out to first base in his first at-bat in the second inning, then singled in the fourth with a ground ball into right field. The Scorpions took a 1-0 lead in the inning on four total singles and a sac fly, but Wallner ended up stranded on third after reaching there with only one out. After a double, single, and another sac fly made it 2-0 in the fifth, he drew a walk to put runners on first and second. They extended the lead to 3-0 with another single before a double-play ball ended any further threat. Leading 3-2 in the seventh and final inning of the contest, Wallner went down swinging before the Solar Sox clubbed two home runs in the bottom half to walk it off. The power hitting outfielder ends his time in the AFL with an outstanding .303/.405/.606 batting line, good for a 1.011 OPS that led the Scorpions roster and was 10th overall in the league. His six home runs were tied for third in league play while his 15 RBI also led the Scorpions and ranked 10th in the league. For comparison, Royce Lewis won the AFL MVP award during the 2019 season with a .353/.411/.565 line and .975 OPS, having 85 at-bats compared to Wallner’s 66. In 18 total games, Wallner walked 9 times and struck out 27 times, batting primarily in the middle of the Scorpions lineup. Despite his 2021 season being limited to 66 games with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, I’d fully expect Wallner to begin the 2022 season in the middle of the Wichita Wind Surge’s lineup. Zach Featherstone: 1 appearance, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K; 8.10 ERA, 2.20 WHIP, 12 K, 9 BB, 10 IP overall. Featherstone made his lone appearance on the week in Friday’s walk off loss to Mesa, being tabbed as the first relief pitcher summoned to start the third inning. With the game still scoreless, he delivered a one-two-three inning, getting a groundout and a pair of fly outs on just 12 pitches (7 for strikes). The left-hander made appearances in 11 of the Scorpions 30 games on the season, totaling 10 innings pitched with a 12-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He allowed 9 earned runs on 13 hits and finished with a 2.20 WHIP, 8.10 ERA, and .310 batting average against. Featherstone spent all of the 2021 season in Cedar Rapids’ bullpen, amassing 107 K’s in 73 1/3 innings pitched that was good for a 2.13 ERA, but as was apparent in the AFL needs to continue working on limiting free passes. I’d expect him to be with Wichita to begin the 2022 season. Andrew Bechtold: 2 games, 2-for-3, R, RBI, BB, 0 K; .237/.333/.305 (.638 OPS) overall. Bechtold saw action in two of the Scorpions three games on the week, getting the start at first base in one while entering as a pinch hitter and designated hitter in the other. His first game of the week came in Wednesday’s 4-3 win over the Salt River Rafters, where he came on as a pinch hitter for the leadoff man in the fifth inning and got a rally started by drawing a one-out walk. After an error he was on third base and scored their second run of the game on a single two batters later. Before the inning was over the Scorpions would tie the game at three. In the bottom of the sixth Bechtold delivered the most important at-bat of the game for Scottsdale, with a sacrifice fly into right field that scored the go-ahead and winning run. While Bechtold did not have a home run in AFL play, he did collect four doubles in 16 games after hitting 18 home runs and 23 doubles with the Wind Surge in 99 games. Depending on offseason roster moves Bechtold could be back in double-A, but with further improvement in his average and on-base percentage should see time with the St. Paul Saints in 2022. Kody Funderburk: Did not pitch; 6.11 ERA, 1.75 WHIP, 22 K, 6 BB, 17 2/3 IP overall. With just three games on the week Funderburk’s spot in the rotation did not come up to close out the AFL season, but he finished his time there very strong with wins in his final three starts. Those three wins led the Scorpions pitching staff and was also the second most among all AFL pitchers. His 17 2/3 IP also ranked third on the roster, while his 22 strikeouts ranked second on the team and seventh in the league. His final ERA, WHIP, and BAA numbers are skewed by his first few starts where he gave up some runs in bunches, but the 22-to-6 K-to-BB ratio is a good stat to hang his hat on, as was his excellent finish. Funderburk pitched at two levels during the 2021 season, starting ten games with Cedar Rapids before finishing with seven appearances out of the bullpen with Wichita. I’d expect him to be back in double-A to begin the 2022 season as part of the Wind Surge’s starting rotation, looking to build on his limited innings in 2021. Michael Helman: 2 games, 0-for-4, BB, 0 K, SB; .216/.355/.255 (.610 OPS) overall. Like Bechtold, Helman saw playing time in two of three games on the week, with one of those appearances coming as a pinch hitter part of the way through. In Tuesday’s loss at Surprise, Helman entered the game as a pinch hitter for the DH in the seventh inning with runners on first and third after Wallner delivered a single. His ground ball toward second base turned into an error and allowed a run to score, closing the gap on the scoreboard to four runs. After Wallner’s home run in the ninth, Helman grounded out to short for the first out as their comeback attempt came up short. In Wednesday’s win over Salt River Helman batted ninth in the lineup and played center field. He popped out in the second inning, grounded out to short to leadoff the fifth, then drew the second of two consecutive walks in the sixth inning that loaded the bases with one out. Bechtold followed him with his sac fly that gave the Scorpions the lead and with second base open, he stole his seventh base of the AFL season. Those seven steals led the Scottsdale roster and was good for fourth in the league. He was not caught stealing once during the season, and had three games where he stole two bases. In 16 games in the AFL, Helman scored 10 runs and played all around the diamond, including plenty of run in center field as he continued to expand his positional versatility. He spent all of 2021 with Cedar Rapids, and should move up to Wichita in 2022. Like Bechtold, he didn’t hit a home run during AFL play, but was among organizational leaders with 19 during the regular season. Cody Laweryson: 1 appearance, 1 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K; 3.86 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 18 K, 7 BB, 14 IP overall. After pitching in the Fall Stars Game during week five, Laweryson finished his AFL season with a lone appearance in Wednesday’s 4-3 win over Salt River. With his team down 3-1 going into the fifth, he came on as the second relief pitcher to start the inning. He allowed a one-out single but retired the other three hitters he faced, including ending the inning with a swinging strikeout after a good battle with MLB.com’s #45 overall prospect, Brett Baty of the New York Mets. Laweryson pitched in eight games with the Scorpions, including one start, and for the most part was asked to go multiple innings as he finished with 14 total innings. He held opposing hitters to a .189 batting average against, allowing 10 hits and 7 walks, while striking out 18 hitters. That K total ranked fourth on the Scorpions pitching staff. After missing the first few months of the 2021 season, the right-hander started fourteen games with Cedar Rapids but totaled just 58 2/3 innings. It’s possible he begins the 2022 season in double-A, but also would not surprise me to see him back with the Kernels looking to lengthen his outings as a starter. Evan Sisk: 1 appearance, 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; 7.59 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 14 K, 9 BB, 10 2/3 IP overall. Like his other relief pitching teammates, Sisk made just one appearance in the season’s final week, getting the ball in Tuesday’s 9-7 loss to the Surprise Saguaros. With the score 8-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth, Sisk was summoned to start the inning as the third reliever of the game for Scottsdale. He bookended a strikeout with a pair of walks, before a balk then moved both runners into scoring position. A single to the next hitter scored one before a mound visit got him back on track. He picked up a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning without any further damage, but did put an end to his scoreless inning streak at 6 total innings pitched. Like Funderburk, Sisk had a bit of a rough start to his time in the AFL, but finished strong. After allowing eight earned runs total in his first five appearances, he allowed just one over his final five to end the season. Over those final five games, Sisk allowed just two hits, walked three, and struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings. As he’s new to the Twins organization, I’d expect him to begin the 2022 season back in the bullpen in double-A looking to improve upon his control, much like Featherstone. Thanks for following the 2021 AFL season along with me, and please feel free to ask questions about the AFL and the players who were there! 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
  8. In a bit of a scheduling quirk with the AFL, the Scottsdale Scorpions played only three games in the final week of the season, going 1-2 to finish with an overall record of 12-18, good for second place in the East Division and fifth overall. Matt Wallner: 2 games, 4-for-8, R, HR (6, tied for 4th in AFL), 2 RBI, BB, 2 K; .303/.405/.606 (1.011 OPS) overall. Wallner got the start in two games on the week, batting fifth in both contests and one game each in the opposite corners of the outfield. In Tuesday’s 9-7 loss at the Surprise Saguaros, he was in right field and led the team with three hits on the day. Down 8-4 at the time and in his third at-bat, Wallner picked up the first of those three hits with a single the opposite way that put runners on first and second with no outs. Unfortunately that’s as far as he’d make it as their rally attempt was snuffed out with three consecutive outs after that. He’d add another single in the seventh inning with a line drive to right field, and this time ended up stranded on third. With the score 9-5 going into the top of the ninth, Wallner followed a leadoff single with his sixth home run of the AFL season, a blast into right field that made it the final of 9-7. Wallner finished off his time in the AFL playing left field in Friday’s 4-3 loss against the Mesa Solar Sox. He grounded out to first base in his first at-bat in the second inning, then singled in the fourth with a ground ball into right field. The Scorpions took a 1-0 lead in the inning on four total singles and a sac fly, but Wallner ended up stranded on third after reaching there with only one out. After a double, single, and another sac fly made it 2-0 in the fifth, he drew a walk to put runners on first and second. They extended the lead to 3-0 with another single before a double-play ball ended any further threat. Leading 3-2 in the seventh and final inning of the contest, Wallner went down swinging before the Solar Sox clubbed two home runs in the bottom half to walk it off. The power hitting outfielder ends his time in the AFL with an outstanding .303/.405/.606 batting line, good for a 1.011 OPS that led the Scorpions roster and was 10th overall in the league. His six home runs were tied for third in league play while his 15 RBI also led the Scorpions and ranked 10th in the league. For comparison, Royce Lewis won the AFL MVP award during the 2019 season with a .353/.411/.565 line and .975 OPS, having 85 at-bats compared to Wallner’s 66. In 18 total games, Wallner walked 9 times and struck out 27 times, batting primarily in the middle of the Scorpions lineup. Despite his 2021 season being limited to 66 games with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, I’d fully expect Wallner to begin the 2022 season in the middle of the Wichita Wind Surge’s lineup. Zach Featherstone: 1 appearance, 1 IP, 0 H, 0 BB, 0 K; 8.10 ERA, 2.20 WHIP, 12 K, 9 BB, 10 IP overall. Featherstone made his lone appearance on the week in Friday’s walk off loss to Mesa, being tabbed as the first relief pitcher summoned to start the third inning. With the game still scoreless, he delivered a one-two-three inning, getting a groundout and a pair of fly outs on just 12 pitches (7 for strikes). The left-hander made appearances in 11 of the Scorpions 30 games on the season, totaling 10 innings pitched with a 12-to-9 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He allowed 9 earned runs on 13 hits and finished with a 2.20 WHIP, 8.10 ERA, and .310 batting average against. Featherstone spent all of the 2021 season in Cedar Rapids’ bullpen, amassing 107 K’s in 73 1/3 innings pitched that was good for a 2.13 ERA, but as was apparent in the AFL needs to continue working on limiting free passes. I’d expect him to be with Wichita to begin the 2022 season. Andrew Bechtold: 2 games, 2-for-3, R, RBI, BB, 0 K; .237/.333/.305 (.638 OPS) overall. Bechtold saw action in two of the Scorpions three games on the week, getting the start at first base in one while entering as a pinch hitter and designated hitter in the other. His first game of the week came in Wednesday’s 4-3 win over the Salt River Rafters, where he came on as a pinch hitter for the leadoff man in the fifth inning and got a rally started by drawing a one-out walk. After an error he was on third base and scored their second run of the game on a single two batters later. Before the inning was over the Scorpions would tie the game at three. In the bottom of the sixth Bechtold delivered the most important at-bat of the game for Scottsdale, with a sacrifice fly into right field that scored the go-ahead and winning run. While Bechtold did not have a home run in AFL play, he did collect four doubles in 16 games after hitting 18 home runs and 23 doubles with the Wind Surge in 99 games. Depending on offseason roster moves Bechtold could be back in double-A, but with further improvement in his average and on-base percentage should see time with the St. Paul Saints in 2022. Kody Funderburk: Did not pitch; 6.11 ERA, 1.75 WHIP, 22 K, 6 BB, 17 2/3 IP overall. With just three games on the week Funderburk’s spot in the rotation did not come up to close out the AFL season, but he finished his time there very strong with wins in his final three starts. Those three wins led the Scorpions pitching staff and was also the second most among all AFL pitchers. His 17 2/3 IP also ranked third on the roster, while his 22 strikeouts ranked second on the team and seventh in the league. His final ERA, WHIP, and BAA numbers are skewed by his first few starts where he gave up some runs in bunches, but the 22-to-6 K-to-BB ratio is a good stat to hang his hat on, as was his excellent finish. Funderburk pitched at two levels during the 2021 season, starting ten games with Cedar Rapids before finishing with seven appearances out of the bullpen with Wichita. I’d expect him to be back in double-A to begin the 2022 season as part of the Wind Surge’s starting rotation, looking to build on his limited innings in 2021. Michael Helman: 2 games, 0-for-4, BB, 0 K, SB; .216/.355/.255 (.610 OPS) overall. Like Bechtold, Helman saw playing time in two of three games on the week, with one of those appearances coming as a pinch hitter part of the way through. In Tuesday’s loss at Surprise, Helman entered the game as a pinch hitter for the DH in the seventh inning with runners on first and third after Wallner delivered a single. His ground ball toward second base turned into an error and allowed a run to score, closing the gap on the scoreboard to four runs. After Wallner’s home run in the ninth, Helman grounded out to short for the first out as their comeback attempt came up short. In Wednesday’s win over Salt River Helman batted ninth in the lineup and played center field. He popped out in the second inning, grounded out to short to leadoff the fifth, then drew the second of two consecutive walks in the sixth inning that loaded the bases with one out. Bechtold followed him with his sac fly that gave the Scorpions the lead and with second base open, he stole his seventh base of the AFL season. Those seven steals led the Scottsdale roster and was good for fourth in the league. He was not caught stealing once during the season, and had three games where he stole two bases. In 16 games in the AFL, Helman scored 10 runs and played all around the diamond, including plenty of run in center field as he continued to expand his positional versatility. He spent all of 2021 with Cedar Rapids, and should move up to Wichita in 2022. Like Bechtold, he didn’t hit a home run during AFL play, but was among organizational leaders with 19 during the regular season. Cody Laweryson: 1 appearance, 1 IP, H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K; 3.86 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 18 K, 7 BB, 14 IP overall. After pitching in the Fall Stars Game during week five, Laweryson finished his AFL season with a lone appearance in Wednesday’s 4-3 win over Salt River. With his team down 3-1 going into the fifth, he came on as the second relief pitcher to start the inning. He allowed a one-out single but retired the other three hitters he faced, including ending the inning with a swinging strikeout after a good battle with MLB.com’s #45 overall prospect, Brett Baty of the New York Mets. Laweryson pitched in eight games with the Scorpions, including one start, and for the most part was asked to go multiple innings as he finished with 14 total innings. He held opposing hitters to a .189 batting average against, allowing 10 hits and 7 walks, while striking out 18 hitters. That K total ranked fourth on the Scorpions pitching staff. After missing the first few months of the 2021 season, the right-hander started fourteen games with Cedar Rapids but totaled just 58 2/3 innings. It’s possible he begins the 2022 season in double-A, but also would not surprise me to see him back with the Kernels looking to lengthen his outings as a starter. Evan Sisk: 1 appearance, 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; 7.59 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, 14 K, 9 BB, 10 2/3 IP overall. Like his other relief pitching teammates, Sisk made just one appearance in the season’s final week, getting the ball in Tuesday’s 9-7 loss to the Surprise Saguaros. With the score 8-4 heading into the bottom of the sixth, Sisk was summoned to start the inning as the third reliever of the game for Scottsdale. He bookended a strikeout with a pair of walks, before a balk then moved both runners into scoring position. A single to the next hitter scored one before a mound visit got him back on track. He picked up a strikeout and a groundout to end the inning without any further damage, but did put an end to his scoreless inning streak at 6 total innings pitched. Like Funderburk, Sisk had a bit of a rough start to his time in the AFL, but finished strong. After allowing eight earned runs total in his first five appearances, he allowed just one over his final five to end the season. Over those final five games, Sisk allowed just two hits, walked three, and struck out nine in 6 2/3 innings. As he’s new to the Twins organization, I’d expect him to begin the 2022 season back in the bullpen in double-A looking to improve upon his control, much like Featherstone. Thanks for following the 2021 AFL season along with me, and please feel free to ask questions about the AFL and the players who were there! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  9. Outfielder Matt Wallner hit another home run, Kody Funderburk picked up another win, and Evan Sisk continued his turnaround during Week 5 of Arizona Fall League play for Minnesota Twins prospects. One of their pitchers also got to play in the Fall Stars Game, in which their AFL East team won. Week 5 was the first of the season where the Scottsdale Scorpions put together a winning record, with three wins compared to two losses. Going into the last week of play their record sits at 11-16, good for second in the East division standing, 3.5 games behind Mesa. Matt Wallner: 4 games, 5-for-13, 2 R, 2B, HR (5), 2 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K; .276/.386/.569 (.955 OPS, leads team) overall. The power hitting lefty was back to full participation in Week 5, getting the start in four games. He came out hot in Monday’s 11-10 loss against the Mesa Solar Sox, getting the nod at designated hitter and batting sixth. He drew a walk in the first inning that loaded the bases, and the hitter after him delivered a two-run single for an early 3-0 lead for the Scorpions. Leading off the third, Wallner clubbed his fifth home run of the AFL season the opposite way into left-center to kick start an inning where his team batted around. That of course means Wallner came up again, and in addition to starting it, he also finished the scoring in their six-run barrage with an RBI double that made it 10-0 Scottsdale. Unfortunately for them, that was the end of their scoring on the game, and the Solar Sox came scorching back with 11 runs of their own the rest of the way to steal a victory. Wallner was also hit by another pitch in the 5th inning, meaning he reached base four times on the day in six plate appearances. He was back in action for Tuesday’s 2-1 victory at home versus the Surprise Saguaros, taking left field and again batting sixth. With his team down 1-0 going into the bottom of the ninth inning, Wallner led off their last at-bat with a line drive single into right field on the first pitch he saw. Teammate Kole Cottam followed his lead, and took the very next pitch deep to right center, giving the Scorpions a walk-off win after being held to just three hits as a team before the ninth. After a day off Wallner was moved up in the lineup for Thursday’s 4-0 loss to the Peoria Javelinas, batting third and playing in right field. His team again had some trouble collecting hits, but he had one of their four on the game with a single in the sixth inning. He also drew a walk in this one, and had two strikeouts in his other plate appearance to finish 1-for-3. In the team's final game of the week on Friday, Wallner was again in right field and batting fifth for their 4-2 win over the Glendale Desert Dogs in a seven inning affair. He extended his hitting streak to five games with a single in the third inning but ended up stranded at second base. His team was already up 4-0 and was more than enough the rest of the way for the Scorpions. He ended the game 1-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts, but otherwise had another strong week and currently tied for the team lead with five home runs, and leads the squad with 14 RBI and a .955 OPS on the AFL season. Zach Featherstone: 2 appearances, 1.2 IP, H, ER, 3 BB, K; 9.00 ERA, 2.44 WHIP, 12 K, 9 BB, 9 2/3 IP overall. Featherstone made his first appearance of the week to start the fifth inning in Wednesday’s 6-1 win over the Salt River Rafters. He was credited with his second hold of the AFL season as he delivered a scoreless frame. He struck out the first hitter he faced before allowing a walk, but a groundout and caught stealing attempt erased any threat. 12 of his 21 pitches in the inning went for strikes, including four swinging. In their win against Glendale on Friday, Featherstone was brought into the game with one out in the sixth inning and a runner on second base. A walk to the first hitter he faced this time came back to bite him. With two runners on and two outs a batter later, he had an epic 12-pitch battle he ultimately ended up losing after the hitter fouled off six different pitches. The two-run double that resulted made the final score of 4-2. After another walk triggered a mound visit, Featherstone finally put an end to the threat by getting a pop out to the infield to keep his team in front. Andrew Bechtold: 2 games, 1-for-9, R, 6 K; .214/.313/.286 (.598 OPS) overall. Bechtold was the catcher for the first game of the week for Scottsdale on Monday, and batting eighth in the lineup. In their six-run third inning that Wallner led off with a bomb, Bechtold later delivered a loud and long single before trotting around the bases on another home run from teammate Jordan Qasar. He’d finish the game 1-for-5 with three strikeouts as the Scorpions collapsed after jumping out to a big lead early. In their shutout loss to the Peoria Javelinas on Thursday, Bechtold batted cleanup playing first base, and finished 0-for-4 with another three strikeouts. In a game where his team had just four hits it’s a little hard to feel bad about such a performance, then you also take a look at how other players did and come to the conclusion it was just one of those days. Maybe there was a bad glare around the batter's eye as despite the win, Peoria’s leadoff hitter was 0-for-5 with five K’s for the infamous “platinum sombrero,” another who was 0-for-4 with the “golden” variety (4 K’s), and finally another who matched Bechtold with the boring regular sombrero. All in all the teams combined to strike out 27 times in the game, or exactly half the outs recorded. Yikes. Kody Funderburk: 1 start, W, 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K; 6.11 ERA, 1.75 WHIP, 22 K, 6 BB, 17 2/3 IP overall. After a two-win Week 4 Funderburk continued his rebound from a bit of a rough start with another win in his lone start of Week 5. He got the nod in Friday’s scheduled seven inning game, and completed a perfect first three innings, retiring all nine hitters he faced. He picked up a strikeout in each inning and needed just forty pitches in his time on the mound. 26 of those pitches went for strikes, and included five of the swinging variety. That’s three straight wins for the left-handed starting pitcher and in that time he’s allowed four runs on eleven hits, walked only one, and struck out 15 batters in 10 2/3 IP. His ERA is down from above 10 to 6.11, and his WHIP down nearly a whole point to 1.75, in that timeframe, coming on strong for the Scorpions starting staff as the end of the season approaches. He is second on the team in innings pitched and strikeouts in AFL play. Michael Helman: 2 games, 0-for-4, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 2 SB; .234/.368/.277 (.649 OPS) overall. Like Bechtold, Helman saw action in only two of the five games one week, getting the start in Wednesday’s and Friday’s wins. Batting leadoff and playing center field in their 6-1 win over Salt River, Helman reached base in three of five plate appearances. He picked up an RBI in the second inning when his bases loaded ground ball to short ended with no out being recorded for a fielder’s choice play. He drew a walk in the fifth inning and came around to score on a single that gave the Scorpions a 2-0 lead. He added another base on balls in the sixth and finished the game 0-for-3 with a run scored. In Friday’s win over Glendale, Helman was inverted to ninth in the lineup, and this time playing left field. He was hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance, and subsequently stole second base, ending up on third when the throw went into center field. He scored on a sacrifice fly from the next batter to give them a 4-0 lead at the time. He led off the fourth inning with a walk and as he has done so far in the season, took off for second base again, picking up another stolen base. This is the third time in AFL play he has stolen two bases in a game and his six total steals lead the team and is tied for third in the league. He’d end this game 0-for-1 with a run scored, walk, and strikeout. Cody Laweryson: 2 appearances (including Fall Stars Game), 2 1/3 IP, 3 H, 5 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 2 K; 4.15 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 17 K, 7 BB, 13 IP overall. Laweryson pitched in two games on the week, though only one of those was with the rest of his Twins teammates as he was their only selection to play in the Fall Stars Game on Saturday. In Monday’s game where Scottsdale blew a 10-run lead, Laweryson unfortunately got charged with the loss. He began his outing in the fifth inning with the score 10-6, and he delivered a scoreless frame on 12 pitches, picking up a strikeout in the process. A leadoff single was erased when he got an inning-ending double play ball. Back out for the sixth inning, it then went downhill for him and the Scorpions. A single and two walks loaded the bases with one out, before he gave up a grand slam that tied the game at 10. Another walk put an end to his day, and that runner later came around to score on an error to complete the epic comeback for the Solar Sox. In 1 1/3 innings pitched, Laweryson was charged with five runs (four earned) on three hits and three walks. It was a different story in Saturday’s Fall Stars Game, where Laweryson got the invite after piling up strikeouts and in the season’s first half. With his East squad up 5-2, he got the ball to start the fifth inning and set the opposition down in order. He was credited with a hold and punctuated his outing with a swinging strikeout to end the inning. The East team won the game 6-5 powered by home runs from the game’s MVP JJ Bleday of the Miami Marlins, and Hunter Bishop from the San Francisco Giants. Evan Sisk: 2 appearances, 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K; 7.45 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 12 K, 7 BB, 9 2/3 IP overall. The left-handed Sisk made his first appearance of the week in Tuesday’s walk-off win against Surprise, called upon for the seventh inning with his team down 1-0. He delivered a one-two-three outing, striking out one and getting a pair of ground balls on fifteen pitches. Continuing his surge in AFL play Sisk was next called upon as a fireman in their shutout loss to Peoria on Thursday. After two runs had already scored in the inning, Sisk entered the game with two outs and runners on the corners in the sixth. He ended the rally with a big strikeout to keep the score at 3-0, then also delivered a scoreless seventh, allowing just a single before striking out his last hitter on three pitches. In his last five appearances, Sisk has pitched a total of 5 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up just one hit, walking none, and striking out seven. Check back every week to see how Minnesota Twins prospects have played during the AFL season, and please feel free to ask questions about the AFL and the players who are there! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  10. Week 5 was the first of the season where the Scottsdale Scorpions put together a winning record, with three wins compared to two losses. Going into the last week of play their record sits at 11-16, good for second in the East division standing, 3.5 games behind Mesa. Matt Wallner: 4 games, 5-for-13, 2 R, 2B, HR (5), 2 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K; .276/.386/.569 (.955 OPS, leads team) overall. The power hitting lefty was back to full participation in Week 5, getting the start in four games. He came out hot in Monday’s 11-10 loss against the Mesa Solar Sox, getting the nod at designated hitter and batting sixth. He drew a walk in the first inning that loaded the bases, and the hitter after him delivered a two-run single for an early 3-0 lead for the Scorpions. Leading off the third, Wallner clubbed his fifth home run of the AFL season the opposite way into left-center to kick start an inning where his team batted around. That of course means Wallner came up again, and in addition to starting it, he also finished the scoring in their six-run barrage with an RBI double that made it 10-0 Scottsdale. Unfortunately for them, that was the end of their scoring on the game, and the Solar Sox came scorching back with 11 runs of their own the rest of the way to steal a victory. Wallner was also hit by another pitch in the 5th inning, meaning he reached base four times on the day in six plate appearances. He was back in action for Tuesday’s 2-1 victory at home versus the Surprise Saguaros, taking left field and again batting sixth. With his team down 1-0 going into the bottom of the ninth inning, Wallner led off their last at-bat with a line drive single into right field on the first pitch he saw. Teammate Kole Cottam followed his lead, and took the very next pitch deep to right center, giving the Scorpions a walk-off win after being held to just three hits as a team before the ninth. After a day off Wallner was moved up in the lineup for Thursday’s 4-0 loss to the Peoria Javelinas, batting third and playing in right field. His team again had some trouble collecting hits, but he had one of their four on the game with a single in the sixth inning. He also drew a walk in this one, and had two strikeouts in his other plate appearance to finish 1-for-3. In the team's final game of the week on Friday, Wallner was again in right field and batting fifth for their 4-2 win over the Glendale Desert Dogs in a seven inning affair. He extended his hitting streak to five games with a single in the third inning but ended up stranded at second base. His team was already up 4-0 and was more than enough the rest of the way for the Scorpions. He ended the game 1-for-3 with a pair of strikeouts, but otherwise had another strong week and currently tied for the team lead with five home runs, and leads the squad with 14 RBI and a .955 OPS on the AFL season. Zach Featherstone: 2 appearances, 1.2 IP, H, ER, 3 BB, K; 9.00 ERA, 2.44 WHIP, 12 K, 9 BB, 9 2/3 IP overall. Featherstone made his first appearance of the week to start the fifth inning in Wednesday’s 6-1 win over the Salt River Rafters. He was credited with his second hold of the AFL season as he delivered a scoreless frame. He struck out the first hitter he faced before allowing a walk, but a groundout and caught stealing attempt erased any threat. 12 of his 21 pitches in the inning went for strikes, including four swinging. In their win against Glendale on Friday, Featherstone was brought into the game with one out in the sixth inning and a runner on second base. A walk to the first hitter he faced this time came back to bite him. With two runners on and two outs a batter later, he had an epic 12-pitch battle he ultimately ended up losing after the hitter fouled off six different pitches. The two-run double that resulted made the final score of 4-2. After another walk triggered a mound visit, Featherstone finally put an end to the threat by getting a pop out to the infield to keep his team in front. Andrew Bechtold: 2 games, 1-for-9, R, 6 K; .214/.313/.286 (.598 OPS) overall. Bechtold was the catcher for the first game of the week for Scottsdale on Monday, and batting eighth in the lineup. In their six-run third inning that Wallner led off with a bomb, Bechtold later delivered a loud and long single before trotting around the bases on another home run from teammate Jordan Qasar. He’d finish the game 1-for-5 with three strikeouts as the Scorpions collapsed after jumping out to a big lead early. In their shutout loss to the Peoria Javelinas on Thursday, Bechtold batted cleanup playing first base, and finished 0-for-4 with another three strikeouts. In a game where his team had just four hits it’s a little hard to feel bad about such a performance, then you also take a look at how other players did and come to the conclusion it was just one of those days. Maybe there was a bad glare around the batter's eye as despite the win, Peoria’s leadoff hitter was 0-for-5 with five K’s for the infamous “platinum sombrero,” another who was 0-for-4 with the “golden” variety (4 K’s), and finally another who matched Bechtold with the boring regular sombrero. All in all the teams combined to strike out 27 times in the game, or exactly half the outs recorded. Yikes. Kody Funderburk: 1 start, W, 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K; 6.11 ERA, 1.75 WHIP, 22 K, 6 BB, 17 2/3 IP overall. After a two-win Week 4 Funderburk continued his rebound from a bit of a rough start with another win in his lone start of Week 5. He got the nod in Friday’s scheduled seven inning game, and completed a perfect first three innings, retiring all nine hitters he faced. He picked up a strikeout in each inning and needed just forty pitches in his time on the mound. 26 of those pitches went for strikes, and included five of the swinging variety. That’s three straight wins for the left-handed starting pitcher and in that time he’s allowed four runs on eleven hits, walked only one, and struck out 15 batters in 10 2/3 IP. His ERA is down from above 10 to 6.11, and his WHIP down nearly a whole point to 1.75, in that timeframe, coming on strong for the Scorpions starting staff as the end of the season approaches. He is second on the team in innings pitched and strikeouts in AFL play. Michael Helman: 2 games, 0-for-4, 2 R, 3 BB, 2 K, 2 SB; .234/.368/.277 (.649 OPS) overall. Like Bechtold, Helman saw action in only two of the five games one week, getting the start in Wednesday’s and Friday’s wins. Batting leadoff and playing center field in their 6-1 win over Salt River, Helman reached base in three of five plate appearances. He picked up an RBI in the second inning when his bases loaded ground ball to short ended with no out being recorded for a fielder’s choice play. He drew a walk in the fifth inning and came around to score on a single that gave the Scorpions a 2-0 lead. He added another base on balls in the sixth and finished the game 0-for-3 with a run scored. In Friday’s win over Glendale, Helman was inverted to ninth in the lineup, and this time playing left field. He was hit by a pitch in his first plate appearance, and subsequently stole second base, ending up on third when the throw went into center field. He scored on a sacrifice fly from the next batter to give them a 4-0 lead at the time. He led off the fourth inning with a walk and as he has done so far in the season, took off for second base again, picking up another stolen base. This is the third time in AFL play he has stolen two bases in a game and his six total steals lead the team and is tied for third in the league. He’d end this game 0-for-1 with a run scored, walk, and strikeout. Cody Laweryson: 2 appearances (including Fall Stars Game), 2 1/3 IP, 3 H, 5 R (4 ER), 3 BB, 2 K; 4.15 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 17 K, 7 BB, 13 IP overall. Laweryson pitched in two games on the week, though only one of those was with the rest of his Twins teammates as he was their only selection to play in the Fall Stars Game on Saturday. In Monday’s game where Scottsdale blew a 10-run lead, Laweryson unfortunately got charged with the loss. He began his outing in the fifth inning with the score 10-6, and he delivered a scoreless frame on 12 pitches, picking up a strikeout in the process. A leadoff single was erased when he got an inning-ending double play ball. Back out for the sixth inning, it then went downhill for him and the Scorpions. A single and two walks loaded the bases with one out, before he gave up a grand slam that tied the game at 10. Another walk put an end to his day, and that runner later came around to score on an error to complete the epic comeback for the Solar Sox. In 1 1/3 innings pitched, Laweryson was charged with five runs (four earned) on three hits and three walks. It was a different story in Saturday’s Fall Stars Game, where Laweryson got the invite after piling up strikeouts and in the season’s first half. With his East squad up 5-2, he got the ball to start the fifth inning and set the opposition down in order. He was credited with a hold and punctuated his outing with a swinging strikeout to end the inning. The East team won the game 6-5 powered by home runs from the game’s MVP JJ Bleday of the Miami Marlins, and Hunter Bishop from the San Francisco Giants. Evan Sisk: 2 appearances, 2 1/3 IP, 1 H, 0 BB, 3 K; 7.45 ERA, 1.45 WHIP, 12 K, 7 BB, 9 2/3 IP overall. The left-handed Sisk made his first appearance of the week in Tuesday’s walk-off win against Surprise, called upon for the seventh inning with his team down 1-0. He delivered a one-two-three outing, striking out one and getting a pair of ground balls on fifteen pitches. Continuing his surge in AFL play Sisk was next called upon as a fireman in their shutout loss to Peoria on Thursday. After two runs had already scored in the inning, Sisk entered the game with two outs and runners on the corners in the sixth. He ended the rally with a big strikeout to keep the score at 3-0, then also delivered a scoreless seventh, allowing just a single before striking out his last hitter on three pitches. In his last five appearances, Sisk has pitched a total of 5 2/3 scoreless innings, giving up just one hit, walking none, and striking out seven. Check back every week to see how Minnesota Twins prospects have played during the AFL season, and please feel free to ask questions about the AFL and the players who are there! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  11. Matt Wallner continued to display his big power in Week 3 of the Arizona Fall League season with two more home runs, but Minnesota Twins hitting prospects playing with him in the desert combined to go 0-for-20 after having strong starts. Pitchers also had a rough go in Week 3, but one continued to impress while a pair of relievers did have nice bounce-back outings. Overall on the week the Scottsdale Scorpions had just two wins in six games and are now 5-11 on the season. They will look to put together their first winning record of the AFL campaign in Week 4. Matt Wallner: 3 games, 2-for-9, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K; .278/.400/.611 (1.011 OPS) overall. While Wallner only had two hits on the week, they were both big ones and raised his OPS during the AFL season over .100 points from Week 2 to Week 3. Wallner played right field and batted sixth in the lineup in Scottsdale’s first game of the week, a 7-6 loss to Glendale on Monday. Down 6-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Wallner drew a walk that put runners on first and second base before another walk loaded the bases. He then trotted home on Jeter Downs’ grand slam that pulled the Scorpions within one run. He was the final out of the game when he grounded out to the pitcher with the tying run on first base. He finished this one 0-for-4 with one walk, the run scored, and one strikeout. In Tuesday’s 11-2 loss to Surprise Wallner was one of the few bright spots for Scottsdale as he scored both of their runs and as a team managed just five hits. In his first at-bat with one out in the second inning, Wallner blasted a moonshot solo home run to right field. His third home run of the AFL season made the score 2-1. He also drew a walk in the ninth inning and came around to score on a single three batters later. In the game Wallner was 1-for-3 with two runs scored, the home run, a walk, and one strikeout. He played left field and again batted sixth. The final action of the week for Wallner came in Thursday’s 11-4 win over Mesa where he batted fifth in the lineup and was back in right field. He struck out on three pitches in his first at-bat but didn’t waste any time in his second one to lead off the third inning. He took a big hack at the first pitch he saw and drove it over the fence the opposite way, giving his team a 5-1 lead at the time. The game got a little interesting for Wallner from there. In the fifth and sixth innings he was hit by pitches in both at-bats. The second of those resulted in an RBI, but hit him in the face. He was subsequently removed from the game, requiring some stitches but avoiding anything serious. In total, he reached base three times in the win, finishing with a 1-for-2 batting line with the home run, one strikeout, and two HBP’s and finished his week tied for second in the league in home runs with four in 36 at-bats on the season. Zach Featherstone: 2 appearances, 1 2/3 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K; 8.44 ERA, 2.25 WHIP (5 1/3 IP) overall. Featherstone established a bit of a theme for Twins relief pitchers in AFL games this week with a forgettable first appearance that was followed by a rebound effort. He was the first reliever out of the bullpen in Monday’s loss to Glendale to start the fifth inning. He struck out the first hitter he faced and then got out number two on a liner to center. But from there it was walk, single, single, single, and another walk before he was pulled with two runs already in and responsible for the bases being loaded. Two more runs would be charged to him before the inning was over and Scottsdale was down 5-1 after five. Back in action for the Scorpions 11-4 win over the Solar Sox on Thursday, Featherstone was tabbed this time to pitch the eighth inning with his team up by seven. It was a one-two-three effort requiring thirteen pitches, with the final two hitters going down swinging. In 5 1/3 innings thus far for Featherstone, he has a 9:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio he’ll look to improve upon in the season’s final three weeks. Andrew Bechtold: 3 games, 0-for-9, R, 6 BB, 3 K; .235/.366/.324 (.689 OPS) overall. Although Bechtold didn’t collect a hit on the week as he was moved up in the lineup, he did draw an impressive six walks in his three games, raising his OBP on the AFL season to .366. In their 7-6 loss to the Desert Dogs on Monday, Bechtold was 0-for-3 but drew the first two of those free passes while serving as the DH and batting fifth in front of Wallner. He drew those walks in the fourth and sixth innings but made it no farther than first base. Playing third base and moving up to third in the lineup in Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to Salt River, Bechtold drew three walks and struck out twice in his five plate appearances. After drawing a free pass in the first inning and being among those to load the bases, Bechtold got to third base with just one out, but Scottsdale was only able to score one run in front of him for an early lead. His other walks came in the third inning (stranded on second) and the ninth (that put the tying run in scoring position), but was unable to notch a run scored on the game. Bechtold’s final game of the week came in Friday’s 6-5 win over Glendale, where he batted cleanup and played catcher. He was 0-for-4 on the game, but drew his final base on balls of the week in the eighth inning and later scored on a two-run double that ended up being big runs for the Scorpions as the game went to extra innings before they were able to win it in the eleventh. Kody Funderburk: 1 start, 3 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K; 10.29 ERA, 2.71 WHIP (7 IP) overall. The left-handed Funderburk was tabbed to start Tuesday’s game against Surprise, which they ended up losing big. He was saddled with his second loss of the AFL season. The Saguaros got to him early with the first three hitters of the game reaching base, the third with an RBI single to open the game’s scoring. Another RBI single later in the frame put the Scorpions in a 2-0 hole before their first at-bat. The second inning was much easier for Funderburk. He needed just six pitches to record three outs in one-two-three fashion, picking up a swinging strikeout to end the frame. The third inning was more like the first, except this time the hits came more in the form of doubles. After a leadoff single Funderburk got his second strikeout of the outing, but the consecutive doubles that followed led to two more runs. To finish the inning and his outing, he did notch his fourth strikeout (swinging) on three pitches. Michael Helman: 3 games, 0-for-11, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K; .214/.333/.250 (.583 OPS) overall. Like Bechtold, Helman did not have a hit in his three games, but due to a few base on balls did score a couple of runs in his time on the field in Week 3, including a game winner. He had to wait until Wednesday’s game against Salt River to see some action. He batted eighth and played left field. His at-bats included a pair of pop-outs to the infield, a lineout to center, and one strikeout. His next game was on Friday in the Scorpions extra-inning win over Glendale. His two walks in five plate appearances helped them win the game. The first of those free passes came in the seventh inning, and he would score the second run of the inning to tie the game at three. In the eighth his second walk loaded the bases before a Christian Koss double scored two to put the Scorpions ahead 5-4 at the time. After lining into a double play to end the 10th inning, Helman started the 11th on second base with the game still tied, after a (intentional?!) balk moved him to third, Helman was able to trot home for the walk-off winning run on a Koss single to right field. He played second base this time around and again batted eighth in the lineup. Helman was again in the lineup, batting sixth and playing center field, for the Scorpions in Saturday’s 8-4 loss to Surprise. It was an 0-for-4 effort a game the Scorpions outhit the Saguaros 10-7 as a team. He reached base on an error to leadoff the second inning, grounded out to third in the fourth, popped out to first in the sixth, and flew out to center in the seventh to account for all his plate appearances. Cody Laweryson: 2 appearances, 2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K; 1.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP (9 IP) overall. After impressing with strikeouts in the season’s first two weeks, Laweryson got his job done in different fashion in Week 3, lowering his ERA to 1.00 on the AFL season in the process with just one strikeout in two appearances. In Wednesday's 3-2 loss against Salt River, Laweryson was brought on to start the sixth inning with the score already 3-2. The first batter reached base on an error, but he was able to retire the next three hitters with a strikeout and two more grounders to keep his team in front. He threw 15 pitches, with nine going for strikes (2 swinging) in this outing. With his team down 6-1 after a bases loaded two-run single in the seventh, Laweryson was summoned with runners on first and second base and two outs in Saturday’s 8-4 loss to the Saguaros. Looking to limit the damage in the frame any further, Laweryson did allow his first big hit of the AFL season, a two-run double to the first batter he faced that made it 8-1, but he was not responsible for those runners. He got a lineout to end the inning after that and with a clean slate in the eighth delivered a scoreless frame. He allowed two hits in his 1 1/3 innings in this one and will look to get back to punching out hitters in Week 4. Evan Sisk: 2 appearances, 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; 14.40 ERA, 2.60 WHIP (5 IP) overall. Like Featherstone before him, Sisk had a rough first appearance followed by a solid second in Week 3 of AFL action. In their big loss on Tuesday, Sisk was brought in from the bullpen to start the fifth inning with the score already 7-1 Surprise. He got the first two outs on a grounder and flyout around a walk, before a single put runners on first and second, and a double to the next hitter brought them both home for a 9-1 Saguaros lead. Another walk prompted a mound visit before he got the final out of the inning on a fly ball to center field. In the Scorpions extra-inning win over Glendale on Friday, Sisk was tabbed for the sixth inning with the score 2-1 in favor of the Desert Dogs. He made quick work of the hitters he faced, retiring them in order with the first of those two outs coming via strikeouts on foul tips that teammate Bechtold held onto as the catcher. Check back every week to see how Minnesota Twins prospects played during the AFL season, and please feel free to ask questions about the AFL and the players who are there! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  12. Overall on the week the Scottsdale Scorpions had just two wins in six games and are now 5-11 on the season. They will look to put together their first winning record of the AFL campaign in Week 4. Matt Wallner: 3 games, 2-for-9, 2 HR, 3 R, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 3 K; .278/.400/.611 (1.011 OPS) overall. While Wallner only had two hits on the week, they were both big ones and raised his OPS during the AFL season over .100 points from Week 2 to Week 3. Wallner played right field and batted sixth in the lineup in Scottsdale’s first game of the week, a 7-6 loss to Glendale on Monday. Down 6-1 in the bottom of the eighth, Wallner drew a walk that put runners on first and second base before another walk loaded the bases. He then trotted home on Jeter Downs’ grand slam that pulled the Scorpions within one run. He was the final out of the game when he grounded out to the pitcher with the tying run on first base. He finished this one 0-for-4 with one walk, the run scored, and one strikeout. In Tuesday’s 11-2 loss to Surprise Wallner was one of the few bright spots for Scottsdale as he scored both of their runs and as a team managed just five hits. In his first at-bat with one out in the second inning, Wallner blasted a moonshot solo home run to right field. His third home run of the AFL season made the score 2-1. He also drew a walk in the ninth inning and came around to score on a single three batters later. In the game Wallner was 1-for-3 with two runs scored, the home run, a walk, and one strikeout. He played left field and again batted sixth. The final action of the week for Wallner came in Thursday’s 11-4 win over Mesa where he batted fifth in the lineup and was back in right field. He struck out on three pitches in his first at-bat but didn’t waste any time in his second one to lead off the third inning. He took a big hack at the first pitch he saw and drove it over the fence the opposite way, giving his team a 5-1 lead at the time. The game got a little interesting for Wallner from there. In the fifth and sixth innings he was hit by pitches in both at-bats. The second of those resulted in an RBI, but hit him in the face. He was subsequently removed from the game, requiring some stitches but avoiding anything serious. In total, he reached base three times in the win, finishing with a 1-for-2 batting line with the home run, one strikeout, and two HBP’s and finished his week tied for second in the league in home runs with four in 36 at-bats on the season. Zach Featherstone: 2 appearances, 1 2/3 IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K; 8.44 ERA, 2.25 WHIP (5 1/3 IP) overall. Featherstone established a bit of a theme for Twins relief pitchers in AFL games this week with a forgettable first appearance that was followed by a rebound effort. He was the first reliever out of the bullpen in Monday’s loss to Glendale to start the fifth inning. He struck out the first hitter he faced and then got out number two on a liner to center. But from there it was walk, single, single, single, and another walk before he was pulled with two runs already in and responsible for the bases being loaded. Two more runs would be charged to him before the inning was over and Scottsdale was down 5-1 after five. Back in action for the Scorpions 11-4 win over the Solar Sox on Thursday, Featherstone was tabbed this time to pitch the eighth inning with his team up by seven. It was a one-two-three effort requiring thirteen pitches, with the final two hitters going down swinging. In 5 1/3 innings thus far for Featherstone, he has a 9:4 strikeout-to-walk ratio he’ll look to improve upon in the season’s final three weeks. Andrew Bechtold: 3 games, 0-for-9, R, 6 BB, 3 K; .235/.366/.324 (.689 OPS) overall. Although Bechtold didn’t collect a hit on the week as he was moved up in the lineup, he did draw an impressive six walks in his three games, raising his OBP on the AFL season to .366. In their 7-6 loss to the Desert Dogs on Monday, Bechtold was 0-for-3 but drew the first two of those free passes while serving as the DH and batting fifth in front of Wallner. He drew those walks in the fourth and sixth innings but made it no farther than first base. Playing third base and moving up to third in the lineup in Wednesday’s 3-2 loss to Salt River, Bechtold drew three walks and struck out twice in his five plate appearances. After drawing a free pass in the first inning and being among those to load the bases, Bechtold got to third base with just one out, but Scottsdale was only able to score one run in front of him for an early lead. His other walks came in the third inning (stranded on second) and the ninth (that put the tying run in scoring position), but was unable to notch a run scored on the game. Bechtold’s final game of the week came in Friday’s 6-5 win over Glendale, where he batted cleanup and played catcher. He was 0-for-4 on the game, but drew his final base on balls of the week in the eighth inning and later scored on a two-run double that ended up being big runs for the Scorpions as the game went to extra innings before they were able to win it in the eleventh. Kody Funderburk: 1 start, 3 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K; 10.29 ERA, 2.71 WHIP (7 IP) overall. The left-handed Funderburk was tabbed to start Tuesday’s game against Surprise, which they ended up losing big. He was saddled with his second loss of the AFL season. The Saguaros got to him early with the first three hitters of the game reaching base, the third with an RBI single to open the game’s scoring. Another RBI single later in the frame put the Scorpions in a 2-0 hole before their first at-bat. The second inning was much easier for Funderburk. He needed just six pitches to record three outs in one-two-three fashion, picking up a swinging strikeout to end the frame. The third inning was more like the first, except this time the hits came more in the form of doubles. After a leadoff single Funderburk got his second strikeout of the outing, but the consecutive doubles that followed led to two more runs. To finish the inning and his outing, he did notch his fourth strikeout (swinging) on three pitches. Michael Helman: 3 games, 0-for-11, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K; .214/.333/.250 (.583 OPS) overall. Like Bechtold, Helman did not have a hit in his three games, but due to a few base on balls did score a couple of runs in his time on the field in Week 3, including a game winner. He had to wait until Wednesday’s game against Salt River to see some action. He batted eighth and played left field. His at-bats included a pair of pop-outs to the infield, a lineout to center, and one strikeout. His next game was on Friday in the Scorpions extra-inning win over Glendale. His two walks in five plate appearances helped them win the game. The first of those free passes came in the seventh inning, and he would score the second run of the inning to tie the game at three. In the eighth his second walk loaded the bases before a Christian Koss double scored two to put the Scorpions ahead 5-4 at the time. After lining into a double play to end the 10th inning, Helman started the 11th on second base with the game still tied, after a (intentional?!) balk moved him to third, Helman was able to trot home for the walk-off winning run on a Koss single to right field. He played second base this time around and again batted eighth in the lineup. Helman was again in the lineup, batting sixth and playing center field, for the Scorpions in Saturday’s 8-4 loss to Surprise. It was an 0-for-4 effort a game the Scorpions outhit the Saguaros 10-7 as a team. He reached base on an error to leadoff the second inning, grounded out to third in the fourth, popped out to first in the sixth, and flew out to center in the seventh to account for all his plate appearances. Cody Laweryson: 2 appearances, 2 1/3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 1 K; 1.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP (9 IP) overall. After impressing with strikeouts in the season’s first two weeks, Laweryson got his job done in different fashion in Week 3, lowering his ERA to 1.00 on the AFL season in the process with just one strikeout in two appearances. In Wednesday's 3-2 loss against Salt River, Laweryson was brought on to start the sixth inning with the score already 3-2. The first batter reached base on an error, but he was able to retire the next three hitters with a strikeout and two more grounders to keep his team in front. He threw 15 pitches, with nine going for strikes (2 swinging) in this outing. With his team down 6-1 after a bases loaded two-run single in the seventh, Laweryson was summoned with runners on first and second base and two outs in Saturday’s 8-4 loss to the Saguaros. Looking to limit the damage in the frame any further, Laweryson did allow his first big hit of the AFL season, a two-run double to the first batter he faced that made it 8-1, but he was not responsible for those runners. He got a lineout to end the inning after that and with a clean slate in the eighth delivered a scoreless frame. He allowed two hits in his 1 1/3 innings in this one and will look to get back to punching out hitters in Week 4. Evan Sisk: 2 appearances, 2 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 2 K; 14.40 ERA, 2.60 WHIP (5 IP) overall. Like Featherstone before him, Sisk had a rough first appearance followed by a solid second in Week 3 of AFL action. In their big loss on Tuesday, Sisk was brought in from the bullpen to start the fifth inning with the score already 7-1 Surprise. He got the first two outs on a grounder and flyout around a walk, before a single put runners on first and second, and a double to the next hitter brought them both home for a 9-1 Saguaros lead. Another walk prompted a mound visit before he got the final out of the inning on a fly ball to center field. In the Scorpions extra-inning win over Glendale on Friday, Sisk was tabbed for the sixth inning with the score 2-1 in favor of the Desert Dogs. He made quick work of the hitters he faced, retiring them in order with the first of those two outs coming via strikeouts on foul tips that teammate Bechtold held onto as the catcher. Check back every week to see how Minnesota Twins prospects played during the AFL season, and please feel free to ask questions about the AFL and the players who are there! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  13. Week two for Minnesota Twins prospects in the Arizona Fall League included one hitter continuing to show his power, infielders racking up hits, two pitchers making a start during the week with one of them continuing to flash elite strikeout numbers in the early going. Overall on the week, the Scottsdale Scorpions went just 1-5 and gave up runs in bunches in several of their games. They will look to rebound as a team in week three. Matt Wallner: 4 games, 5-for-16, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 9 K; .296/.375/.519 (.894 OPS) overall. Wallner started off week two just as he finished week one, with a home run in Monday’s 7-6 loss to Salt River. His second blast of the fall season led off the second inning and put Scottsdale up 1-0 early in the game. After a day off, Wallner was back in the lineup on Wednesday, hitting third and playing right field in the Scorpions 11-9 loss to the Solar Sox. His first four at-bats included a pop-out to the catcher and three strikeouts, but helped start their attempt at a comeback with a single on an 0-2 pitch in the ninth. He would later come around to score the Scorpions final run of the game. In Thursday’s 17-2 loss to Surprise Wallner in left field and batting third again. You can tell from the score there wasn’t much going right for the Scorpions in this one, but Wallner contributed one of their two runs batted in with a sacrifice fly in the third inning. For the game he was 0-for-2 with a walk and a pair of strikeouts. Wallner’s final game of the week came in Friday’s 10-8 loss to the Peoria Javelinas. As the cleanup hitter in this one, he would finish 1-for-4 with three strikeouts. He singled in the fifth inning and drew a walk to load the bases in the ninth, but would end up stranded in scoring position both times. Zach Featherstone: 2 appearances, 1 2/3 IP, H, 1 BB, 2 K; 2.45 ERA, 1.91 WHIP overall. The left-hander saw action in two games on the week, with his first appearance coming in Tuesday’s 12-4 win over the Desert Dogs. He was the first reliever summoned and pitched a scoreless fourth inning. He allowed a single and struck out two hitters in the outing. In Thursday’s blowout loss to the Saguaros, Featherstone was the last reliever called upon and got the final two outs of the game for the Scorpions. After six of the first seven hitters of the eighth inning reached base and four runs had already scored, he was brought in with runners on first and second. He got a flyout then walked one to reload the bases before a pair of wild pitches got away from him and two more runs came across home plate for Surprise. He got a groundout later in that at-bat to finally end the onslaught. Andrew Bechtold: 4 games, 6-for-17, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 BB, 8 K; .320/.346.440 (.786 OPS) overall. Bechtold was the designated hitter and batted sixth in Monday’s loss to the Rafters, but like Wallner, he had a big game as they combined for five of the Scorpions 10 hits on the day. Bechtold finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI. His double in the fourth inning put Scottsdale in front 2-1, and he scored his run on a double a batter later. Leading off the sixth inning Bechtold clubbed another double to center field, but ended up stranded on second base. He also drew a walk in the second inning. In Wednesday's game against Mesa, Bechtold moved up into the cleanup spot behind Wallner.. He played first base in this one and had another two-hit day. He singled in both the first and eighth innings and scored a run in the eighth when the Scorpions cut the Solar Sox lead to 9-7. Bechtold’s third game of the week was on Thursday and he was the catcher, batting fifth. He finished 1-for-4 to collect one of the Scorpions four hits on the game. He singled in the second inning and was left on base. He also grounded out in the fourth, flew out in the sixth, and struck out in the ninth. Behind the dish he allowed one passed ball and three bases were stolen by the Saguaros. In Saturday’s 8-1 loss to Salt River Bechtold was at third base and again hitting cleanup in the lineup. He extended his hitting streak to his first six games in the AFL with a 1-for-4 effort. He singled in the first inning to drive in the Scorpions only run of the game. Unfortunately, in his other three at-bats, he struck out but has otherwise been impressive thus far in Arizona with a .320 batting average. Kody Funderburk: 1 start, 2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (0 earned), 3 BB, K; 9.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP overall. Funderburk made the start in Wednesday’s loss to Mesa after allowing three unearned runs in his two innings. He walked the first two batters of the game but came back with a strikeout before inducing a double-play ball for a scoreless inning. In the second, it was a walk and single followed by an error on Bechtold at first base that allowed the first unearned run to score. An RBI groundout and RBI single later in the inning accounted for the other two before Funderburk got the final out on a grounder to third to cap his outing. In his two innings he allowed two hits, walked three, and struck out one. Michael Helman: 3 games, 3-for-11, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 SB; .353/.450/.412 (.862 OPS) overall. Helman saw action in three games on the week, playing third base, second base, and center field in the games on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. He batted ninth in all three contests and collected three more hits to keep his batting average in AFL play above .350 thus far. Against Mesa on Wednesday Helman picked up singles in the third and eighth innings. He led off the third inning with his first of the game, and would score from first on a double from the next batter to cut the Mesa lead to 3-2 at the time. His second single in the eighth was of the RBI variety and made the score 9-6 Solar Sox. In all he finished 2-for-5 with one strikeout as a hitter, but also had two errors in the field. In the all-around clunker of a game against Surprise on Thursday Helman was 0-for-3 with a lineout, fly out, and groundout, his first AFL game without a hit so far on the season. Against Peoria on Friday, Helman got back to his hitting ways, and also caused some havoc on the base paths. In his first at-bat in the third inning he drew a walk and promptly stole second base. He would then score Scottsdale’s first run of the game on a single before they took a 3-1 lead on a home run from early standout Jeter Downs. In the fourth Helman delivered an RBI single to make it 4-1 and he again took second base to get himself into scoring position, though he wouldn’t make it any farther around the bases. He finished this game 1-for-3 with the run scored, an RBI, walk, and the two stolen bases for a nice finish to his week. Cody Laweryson: 2 appearances (1 start), 4 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; 1.35 ERA, 0.90 WHIP overall. Laweryson pitched in two games on the week, including a start in Friday’s loss to the Javelina’s. His first game of the week was in Tuesday’s win over Glendale where he pitched the seventh and eighth innings. He allowed a single to the first hitter he faced, but then retired the other six he faced in a row, including two strikeouts. In his start on Friday he was sharp for the first two innings, striking out four hitters and allowing only two baserunners after an error from his third baseman and a walk in the second inning. Back out for the third he surrendered a single and a double around a lineout before being replaced by the bullpen. In his 2 1/3 innings he was charged with one run on two hits and a walk while striking out four. So far on the season Laweryson leads the Scorpions pitching staff in innings pitched (6 2/3), and strikeouts, and his 12 K’s rank second among all pitchers in the AFL. Evan Sisk: 2 appearances, 1 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 5 K; 18.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP overall. Sisk made two relief outings on the week and was roughed up a little in each, though strikeouts came in bunches in one of those outings. In Monday’s loss to Salt River Sisk was unable to record an out in the sixth inning and by the time it was over the Rafters had taken a 5-4 lead. A leadoff double was followed by two walks and a hit batter before he was removed. Responsible for the bases being loaded, three more runs would end up being charged to him and the Scorpions were not able to fully recover the rest of the way. On Thursday Sisk was the first reliever summoned after the Scorpions starter went 3 1/3 innings and he struck out the first hitter he faced. But that was then followed by a single and a two-run home run that put Surprise out front 6-2. He then hit a batter before picking up his second strikeout to end the inning. In the fifth it was a lot better for the lefty to end week two on a high note as all three hitters went down swinging on pitches up in the zone. In his 1 2/3 innings in this one, he allowed two runs on two hits and a walk, but all five of his outs came on K’s. Check back every week to see how Minnesota Twins prospects have played during the AFL season, and please feel free to ask questions about the AFL and the players who are there! 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
  14. Overall on the week, the Scottsdale Scorpions went just 1-5 and gave up runs in bunches in several of their games. They will look to rebound as a team in week three. Matt Wallner: 4 games, 5-for-16, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 9 K; .296/.375/.519 (.894 OPS) overall. Wallner started off week two just as he finished week one, with a home run in Monday’s 7-6 loss to Salt River. His second blast of the fall season led off the second inning and put Scottsdale up 1-0 early in the game. After a day off, Wallner was back in the lineup on Wednesday, hitting third and playing right field in the Scorpions 11-9 loss to the Solar Sox. His first four at-bats included a pop-out to the catcher and three strikeouts, but helped start their attempt at a comeback with a single on an 0-2 pitch in the ninth. He would later come around to score the Scorpions final run of the game. In Thursday’s 17-2 loss to Surprise Wallner in left field and batting third again. You can tell from the score there wasn’t much going right for the Scorpions in this one, but Wallner contributed one of their two runs batted in with a sacrifice fly in the third inning. For the game he was 0-for-2 with a walk and a pair of strikeouts. Wallner’s final game of the week came in Friday’s 10-8 loss to the Peoria Javelinas. As the cleanup hitter in this one, he would finish 1-for-4 with three strikeouts. He singled in the fifth inning and drew a walk to load the bases in the ninth, but would end up stranded in scoring position both times. Zach Featherstone: 2 appearances, 1 2/3 IP, H, 1 BB, 2 K; 2.45 ERA, 1.91 WHIP overall. The left-hander saw action in two games on the week, with his first appearance coming in Tuesday’s 12-4 win over the Desert Dogs. He was the first reliever summoned and pitched a scoreless fourth inning. He allowed a single and struck out two hitters in the outing. In Thursday’s blowout loss to the Saguaros, Featherstone was the last reliever called upon and got the final two outs of the game for the Scorpions. After six of the first seven hitters of the eighth inning reached base and four runs had already scored, he was brought in with runners on first and second. He got a flyout then walked one to reload the bases before a pair of wild pitches got away from him and two more runs came across home plate for Surprise. He got a groundout later in that at-bat to finally end the onslaught. Andrew Bechtold: 4 games, 6-for-17, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 BB, 8 K; .320/.346.440 (.786 OPS) overall. Bechtold was the designated hitter and batted sixth in Monday’s loss to the Rafters, but like Wallner, he had a big game as they combined for five of the Scorpions 10 hits on the day. Bechtold finished 2-for-4 with a run scored and RBI. His double in the fourth inning put Scottsdale in front 2-1, and he scored his run on a double a batter later. Leading off the sixth inning Bechtold clubbed another double to center field, but ended up stranded on second base. He also drew a walk in the second inning. In Wednesday's game against Mesa, Bechtold moved up into the cleanup spot behind Wallner.. He played first base in this one and had another two-hit day. He singled in both the first and eighth innings and scored a run in the eighth when the Scorpions cut the Solar Sox lead to 9-7. Bechtold’s third game of the week was on Thursday and he was the catcher, batting fifth. He finished 1-for-4 to collect one of the Scorpions four hits on the game. He singled in the second inning and was left on base. He also grounded out in the fourth, flew out in the sixth, and struck out in the ninth. Behind the dish he allowed one passed ball and three bases were stolen by the Saguaros. In Saturday’s 8-1 loss to Salt River Bechtold was at third base and again hitting cleanup in the lineup. He extended his hitting streak to his first six games in the AFL with a 1-for-4 effort. He singled in the first inning to drive in the Scorpions only run of the game. Unfortunately, in his other three at-bats, he struck out but has otherwise been impressive thus far in Arizona with a .320 batting average. Kody Funderburk: 1 start, 2 IP, 2 H, 3 R (0 earned), 3 BB, K; 9.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP overall. Funderburk made the start in Wednesday’s loss to Mesa after allowing three unearned runs in his two innings. He walked the first two batters of the game but came back with a strikeout before inducing a double-play ball for a scoreless inning. In the second, it was a walk and single followed by an error on Bechtold at first base that allowed the first unearned run to score. An RBI groundout and RBI single later in the inning accounted for the other two before Funderburk got the final out on a grounder to third to cap his outing. In his two innings he allowed two hits, walked three, and struck out one. Michael Helman: 3 games, 3-for-11, 2 R, 2 BB, 1 K, 2 SB; .353/.450/.412 (.862 OPS) overall. Helman saw action in three games on the week, playing third base, second base, and center field in the games on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. He batted ninth in all three contests and collected three more hits to keep his batting average in AFL play above .350 thus far. Against Mesa on Wednesday Helman picked up singles in the third and eighth innings. He led off the third inning with his first of the game, and would score from first on a double from the next batter to cut the Mesa lead to 3-2 at the time. His second single in the eighth was of the RBI variety and made the score 9-6 Solar Sox. In all he finished 2-for-5 with one strikeout as a hitter, but also had two errors in the field. In the all-around clunker of a game against Surprise on Thursday Helman was 0-for-3 with a lineout, fly out, and groundout, his first AFL game without a hit so far on the season. Against Peoria on Friday, Helman got back to his hitting ways, and also caused some havoc on the base paths. In his first at-bat in the third inning he drew a walk and promptly stole second base. He would then score Scottsdale’s first run of the game on a single before they took a 3-1 lead on a home run from early standout Jeter Downs. In the fourth Helman delivered an RBI single to make it 4-1 and he again took second base to get himself into scoring position, though he wouldn’t make it any farther around the bases. He finished this game 1-for-3 with the run scored, an RBI, walk, and the two stolen bases for a nice finish to his week. Cody Laweryson: 2 appearances (1 start), 4 1/3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K; 1.35 ERA, 0.90 WHIP overall. Laweryson pitched in two games on the week, including a start in Friday’s loss to the Javelina’s. His first game of the week was in Tuesday’s win over Glendale where he pitched the seventh and eighth innings. He allowed a single to the first hitter he faced, but then retired the other six he faced in a row, including two strikeouts. In his start on Friday he was sharp for the first two innings, striking out four hitters and allowing only two baserunners after an error from his third baseman and a walk in the second inning. Back out for the third he surrendered a single and a double around a lineout before being replaced by the bullpen. In his 2 1/3 innings he was charged with one run on two hits and a walk while striking out four. So far on the season Laweryson leads the Scorpions pitching staff in innings pitched (6 2/3), and strikeouts, and his 12 K’s rank second among all pitchers in the AFL. Evan Sisk: 2 appearances, 1 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 5 K; 18.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP overall. Sisk made two relief outings on the week and was roughed up a little in each, though strikeouts came in bunches in one of those outings. In Monday’s loss to Salt River Sisk was unable to record an out in the sixth inning and by the time it was over the Rafters had taken a 5-4 lead. A leadoff double was followed by two walks and a hit batter before he was removed. Responsible for the bases being loaded, three more runs would end up being charged to him and the Scorpions were not able to fully recover the rest of the way. On Thursday Sisk was the first reliever summoned after the Scorpions starter went 3 1/3 innings and he struck out the first hitter he faced. But that was then followed by a single and a two-run home run that put Surprise out front 6-2. He then hit a batter before picking up his second strikeout to end the inning. In the fifth it was a lot better for the lefty to end week two on a high note as all three hitters went down swinging on pitches up in the zone. In his 1 2/3 innings in this one, he allowed two runs on two hits and a walk, but all five of his outs came on K’s. Check back every week to see how Minnesota Twins prospects have played during the AFL season, and please feel free to ask questions about the AFL and the players who are there! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY: — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  15. The opening week of the 2021 Arizona Fall League season started off slowly for the Scottsdale Scorpions as they went 0-2 in their first two games. But with help from one of the Minnesota Twins prospects and his power, they finished the week with two consecutive wins to even their record after week one. There was one start from a Twins pitcher in those four games, some big strikeout performances from their relievers, and an impressive early stat line from another hitter. Matt Wallner: 3 games, 3-for-11, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K; .273/.385/.545 (.930 OPS) overall. After missing about half of the 2021 minor league season with a hand injury, Matt Wallner is looking to make up development time in the AFL. He got off to a pretty good start. In the AFL season’s opening game that Scottsdale lost to Glendale 4-3, Wallner batted third in the lineup (which is a good indication of his talent level on a team with Marco Luciano and Triston Casas in the same lineup) and played in right field. He finished the game 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, but notched a single in the third inning that put runners on the corners for a Scorpions scoring threat they didn’t cash in. His other at-bat was a lineout to left field in the fifth. After a day off, Wallner was back in the lineup on Friday for the Scorpions first win, a reverse of their opener where they defeated the Desert Dogs 4-3. Wallner batted fifth and switched sides in the outfield, getting the nod in left in this one. He finished 0-for-2, but drew a pair of walks and was on base when Curtis Mead clubbed the deciding three-run homer in the top of the seventh. In his final game of the week, an 8-2 victory over Peoria, Wallner was again batting fifth and was the designated hitter. Down 1-0 after three innings, Wallner stepped to the plate with two outs and a runner on first before putting the Scorpions ahead for good with one swing of the bat. His homer to left-center field made the score 2-1. He got another RBI opportunity in the ninth, and delivered a run-scoring single to account for the Scorpions eighth and final run. It was an exclamation point game for the slugger to end his first week of action on a high note. Zach Featherstone: 2 appearances, 2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, BB, 4 K; 4.50 ERA, 2.50 WHIP overall. Zach Featherstone was an excellent part of the Cedar Rapids Kernels bullpen during the 2021 season, amassing 93 strikeouts in 55 innings with a 2.13 ERA and nine saves. He came in third in Twins Daily’s 2021 MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Year voting. While he definitely walked too many (42 batters) and is likely part of the reason he’s in Arizona, hoping to learn some new tricks when it comes to his command and control. He appeared in two games on the week, the first of which came in the season opener against Glendale. He was tabbed for the sixth inning and struck out the first two hitters he faced before allowing a double and single that put runners on the corners. He recovered nicely, striking out the next hitter on three pitches for a scoreless frame and a nice start to his AFL ledger when it comes to strikeouts. His second appearance of the AFL season came in Saturday’s 8-2 win over the Javelinas. He was the second reliever of the game for the Scorpions and came on to start the fifth inning. It wasn’t as clean as his first game, as he allowed a leadoff single where the runner ended up coming around to score on a double three batters later. He walked one and struck out one in his inning, being credited with a hold, and will look to continue racking up strikeouts in week 2. Andrew Bechtold: 2 games, 2-for-8, 2B, 0 BB, 3 K; .250/.250.375 (.625 OPS) overall. Andrew Bechtold was the Twins fifth round pick in the 2017 draft after an excellent season at Chipola College. He was among the organization's leaders in home runs during the 2021 minor league season with 18 in 99 games for Wichita. One interesting development for Bechtold that he will continue in the AFL, is the Twins working with him at the catcher position, where he advanced enough during the year that they got him in a single game there late. Bechtold had to wait for the Scorpions third game to get his first AFL action, and he was tabbed to play third base and bat seventh in the lineup in their 4-3 win over Glendale. He finished the game 1-for-4, clubbing a two-out double in the fifth inning before being stranded. His other three at-bats included three ground balls, including two that ended in double-plays. In Saturday’s 8-2 win, Bechtold again was batting seventh and got the start behind the dish for the Scorpions. I’m sure he’d like to have been better than his first three at-bats in his first game as the catcher for the Scorpions that all ended in strikeouts, but he got another chance in the eighth, where he singled to put a runner in scoring position. As the catcher, Bechtold allowed one stolen base with an errant throw, but later also threw a runner out at second. Scorpions pitchers walked eight Javelinas and had two wild pitches, but Bechtold surely contributed to them scoring just two runs calling the game as they were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base. Kody Funderburk: 1 start, 2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, BB, 2 K; 18.00 ERA, 3.50 WHIP overall. After finishing the 2021 season as a reliever with Wichita, Kody Funderburk is tabbed as a starter for the Scorpions in the AFL. He did make 10 starts for Cedar Rapids before his promotion to Wichita where he was used only as a reliever. However, he was a long reliever and averaged more than three innings per appearance. He also had a sub 1.00 WHIP with Wichita and is likely in Arizona in part due to his limited innings as a professional, as he’s thrown just 155 innings since being drafted in 2018. Funderburk was on the mound to start Scottsdale’s second game of the season on Thursday, a game they lost big. You might think Funderburk was the biggest reason for that after you see he allowed four runs on six hits in his two innings, but those that followed him on the mound were infinitely worse as the Scorpions lost 13-5 behind a nine-run third inning after Funderburk’s day was over. He pitched a scoreless first inning, allowing only an infield single, but with a 4-0 lead after the top of the second, Funderburk wasn’t able to keep runners off the bases in the bottom half. Two doubles, three singles, and a walk in the inning led to the score being tied at four, but he did end his outing with his second strikeout of the frame and his outing. When I used that term “infinitely” above I was being quite literal, as the next two pitchers for Scottsdale in the third inning didn’t record a single out and were charged with nine earned runs. Michael Helman: 2 games, 3-for-6, 2 R, 2B, 2 BB, 0 K; .500/.625/.667 (1.292 OPS) overall. Like Bechtold, Michael Helman was among the organization's leaders in home runs during the 2021 season, slugging 19 with the Kernels in 111 games. He was an infielder when drafted and played mostly second base in his first two seasons, but in 2021 was primarily an outfielder (all three positions) with some middle-infield mixed in. He’ll likely play all around the diamond in Arizona, but I’ll be watching for his opportunities in center field especially. His first game of the week came in Thursday’s big loss to Mesa, but it wasn’t because of anything he did as he reached base three times and scored a run. He batted eighth in the lineup and played third base, finishing 1-for-2 with two walks. He drew his first base on balls in the second inning and later scored on a Jeter Downs single. In the fourth inning, he singled to right field and was on third base when the bases were loaded, but was forced out at home on a comebacker to the pitcher. His second walk of the game came in the eighth inning, but he was again the force out on a double-play ball that ended the inning. Helman was tabbed for center field in Saturday’s 8-2 win over the Javelinas, and batted eighth in the lineup behind his organizational teammate Andrew Bechtold. He singled in the fifth inning and later scored Scottsdale’s third run of the game on a double. In the seventh inning, his first double of the AFL season put a runner on third that later scored on a sacrifice fly from the next hitter. He finished the game 2-for-4 and his first week with an excellent batting line. Cody Laweryson: 1 appearance, 2 1/3 IP, 2 BB, 6 K; 0.00 ERA, 0.86 WHIP overall. After a strong debut season in 2019 in which he struck out 63 batters in 46 innings with a 0.80 WHIP and 1.57 ERA, Cody Laweryson missed some time to start the 2021 and wasn’t back to pitching until June. The strikeouts were still there as he racked up 73 in just 58 2/3 innings with the Kernels over 15 games (14 starts), but the missed 2020 season and injury loomed large as his ERA was 4.91 with a 1.33 WHIP. He’s looking to make up some innings and gain confidence in the AFL. Laweryson’s lone appearance on the week came in Thursday’s 13-5 loss to Mesa. After his team fell behind so big he was one of the stabilizing forces, along with another of his organizational teammates, as he entered the game in the middle of the fourth inning with the bases loaded and only one out. He struck out both hitters he faced to squash that threat, and followed that up by striking out all three hitters in the fifth. Back out for the sixth he got two more outs, including another strikeout, before losing some steam and walking his final two hitters before being removed. I say that last bit a little tongue in cheek, as if you believe the data available, he should have gotten his seventh strikeout of the night on multiple pitches in the at-bat resulting in the first of those walks: In all, Laweryson struck out six hitters and walked two in his 2 1/3 scoreless innings, and if this game is any indication his confidence should be sky high moving forward. Evan Sisk: 1 appearance, 1 1/3 IP, H, 2 BB; 0.00 ERA, 2.25 WHIP overall. Evan Sisk is new to the Twins organization, coming over from the St. Louis Cardinals in the trade of J.A. Happ during the 2021 season. He pitched in 14 games with the Wichita Wind Surge that resulted in a 4.87 ERA and 1.82 WHIP. Like Featherstone he’ll need to work to cut down his walks and the AFL gives him a good opportunity to hone those skills against top competition. Sisk’s only outing of the week also came in the Scorpions blowout loss to Mesa, but he was the pitcher who picked up where Laweryson left off after those walks in the sixth inning. He did issue another walk to the first hitter he faced to load the bases, but got a fly out to escape that jam. Back out for the seventh, Sisk gave up a leadoff single and a walk later in the inning, but otherwise got three ground ball outs to finish his game with a scoreless outing. In total, he allowed no runs on one hit and two walks in 1 1/3 innings. Check back every week to see how Minnesota Twins prospects have played during the AFL season, and please feel free to ask questions about the AFL and the players who are there! 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
  16. Matt Wallner: 3 games, 3-for-11, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K; .273/.385/.545 (.930 OPS) overall. After missing about half of the 2021 minor league season with a hand injury, Matt Wallner is looking to make up development time in the AFL. He got off to a pretty good start. In the AFL season’s opening game that Scottsdale lost to Glendale 4-3, Wallner batted third in the lineup (which is a good indication of his talent level on a team with Marco Luciano and Triston Casas in the same lineup) and played in right field. He finished the game 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, but notched a single in the third inning that put runners on the corners for a Scorpions scoring threat they didn’t cash in. His other at-bat was a lineout to left field in the fifth. After a day off, Wallner was back in the lineup on Friday for the Scorpions first win, a reverse of their opener where they defeated the Desert Dogs 4-3. Wallner batted fifth and switched sides in the outfield, getting the nod in left in this one. He finished 0-for-2, but drew a pair of walks and was on base when Curtis Mead clubbed the deciding three-run homer in the top of the seventh. In his final game of the week, an 8-2 victory over Peoria, Wallner was again batting fifth and was the designated hitter. Down 1-0 after three innings, Wallner stepped to the plate with two outs and a runner on first before putting the Scorpions ahead for good with one swing of the bat. His homer to left-center field made the score 2-1. He got another RBI opportunity in the ninth, and delivered a run-scoring single to account for the Scorpions eighth and final run. It was an exclamation point game for the slugger to end his first week of action on a high note. Zach Featherstone: 2 appearances, 2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, BB, 4 K; 4.50 ERA, 2.50 WHIP overall. Zach Featherstone was an excellent part of the Cedar Rapids Kernels bullpen during the 2021 season, amassing 93 strikeouts in 55 innings with a 2.13 ERA and nine saves. He came in third in Twins Daily’s 2021 MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Year voting. While he definitely walked too many (42 batters) and is likely part of the reason he’s in Arizona, hoping to learn some new tricks when it comes to his command and control. He appeared in two games on the week, the first of which came in the season opener against Glendale. He was tabbed for the sixth inning and struck out the first two hitters he faced before allowing a double and single that put runners on the corners. He recovered nicely, striking out the next hitter on three pitches for a scoreless frame and a nice start to his AFL ledger when it comes to strikeouts. His second appearance of the AFL season came in Saturday’s 8-2 win over the Javelinas. He was the second reliever of the game for the Scorpions and came on to start the fifth inning. It wasn’t as clean as his first game, as he allowed a leadoff single where the runner ended up coming around to score on a double three batters later. He walked one and struck out one in his inning, being credited with a hold, and will look to continue racking up strikeouts in week 2. Andrew Bechtold: 2 games, 2-for-8, 2B, 0 BB, 3 K; .250/.250.375 (.625 OPS) overall. Andrew Bechtold was the Twins fifth round pick in the 2017 draft after an excellent season at Chipola College. He was among the organization's leaders in home runs during the 2021 minor league season with 18 in 99 games for Wichita. One interesting development for Bechtold that he will continue in the AFL, is the Twins working with him at the catcher position, where he advanced enough during the year that they got him in a single game there late. Bechtold had to wait for the Scorpions third game to get his first AFL action, and he was tabbed to play third base and bat seventh in the lineup in their 4-3 win over Glendale. He finished the game 1-for-4, clubbing a two-out double in the fifth inning before being stranded. His other three at-bats included three ground balls, including two that ended in double-plays. In Saturday’s 8-2 win, Bechtold again was batting seventh and got the start behind the dish for the Scorpions. I’m sure he’d like to have been better than his first three at-bats in his first game as the catcher for the Scorpions that all ended in strikeouts, but he got another chance in the eighth, where he singled to put a runner in scoring position. As the catcher, Bechtold allowed one stolen base with an errant throw, but later also threw a runner out at second. Scorpions pitchers walked eight Javelinas and had two wild pitches, but Bechtold surely contributed to them scoring just two runs calling the game as they were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base. Kody Funderburk: 1 start, 2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, BB, 2 K; 18.00 ERA, 3.50 WHIP overall. After finishing the 2021 season as a reliever with Wichita, Kody Funderburk is tabbed as a starter for the Scorpions in the AFL. He did make 10 starts for Cedar Rapids before his promotion to Wichita where he was used only as a reliever. However, he was a long reliever and averaged more than three innings per appearance. He also had a sub 1.00 WHIP with Wichita and is likely in Arizona in part due to his limited innings as a professional, as he’s thrown just 155 innings since being drafted in 2018. Funderburk was on the mound to start Scottsdale’s second game of the season on Thursday, a game they lost big. You might think Funderburk was the biggest reason for that after you see he allowed four runs on six hits in his two innings, but those that followed him on the mound were infinitely worse as the Scorpions lost 13-5 behind a nine-run third inning after Funderburk’s day was over. He pitched a scoreless first inning, allowing only an infield single, but with a 4-0 lead after the top of the second, Funderburk wasn’t able to keep runners off the bases in the bottom half. Two doubles, three singles, and a walk in the inning led to the score being tied at four, but he did end his outing with his second strikeout of the frame and his outing. When I used that term “infinitely” above I was being quite literal, as the next two pitchers for Scottsdale in the third inning didn’t record a single out and were charged with nine earned runs. Michael Helman: 2 games, 3-for-6, 2 R, 2B, 2 BB, 0 K; .500/.625/.667 (1.292 OPS) overall. Like Bechtold, Michael Helman was among the organization's leaders in home runs during the 2021 season, slugging 19 with the Kernels in 111 games. He was an infielder when drafted and played mostly second base in his first two seasons, but in 2021 was primarily an outfielder (all three positions) with some middle-infield mixed in. He’ll likely play all around the diamond in Arizona, but I’ll be watching for his opportunities in center field especially. His first game of the week came in Thursday’s big loss to Mesa, but it wasn’t because of anything he did as he reached base three times and scored a run. He batted eighth in the lineup and played third base, finishing 1-for-2 with two walks. He drew his first base on balls in the second inning and later scored on a Jeter Downs single. In the fourth inning, he singled to right field and was on third base when the bases were loaded, but was forced out at home on a comebacker to the pitcher. His second walk of the game came in the eighth inning, but he was again the force out on a double-play ball that ended the inning. Helman was tabbed for center field in Saturday’s 8-2 win over the Javelinas, and batted eighth in the lineup behind his organizational teammate Andrew Bechtold. He singled in the fifth inning and later scored Scottsdale’s third run of the game on a double. In the seventh inning, his first double of the AFL season put a runner on third that later scored on a sacrifice fly from the next hitter. He finished the game 2-for-4 and his first week with an excellent batting line. Cody Laweryson: 1 appearance, 2 1/3 IP, 2 BB, 6 K; 0.00 ERA, 0.86 WHIP overall. After a strong debut season in 2019 in which he struck out 63 batters in 46 innings with a 0.80 WHIP and 1.57 ERA, Cody Laweryson missed some time to start the 2021 and wasn’t back to pitching until June. The strikeouts were still there as he racked up 73 in just 58 2/3 innings with the Kernels over 15 games (14 starts), but the missed 2020 season and injury loomed large as his ERA was 4.91 with a 1.33 WHIP. He’s looking to make up some innings and gain confidence in the AFL. Laweryson’s lone appearance on the week came in Thursday’s 13-5 loss to Mesa. After his team fell behind so big he was one of the stabilizing forces, along with another of his organizational teammates, as he entered the game in the middle of the fourth inning with the bases loaded and only one out. He struck out both hitters he faced to squash that threat, and followed that up by striking out all three hitters in the fifth. Back out for the sixth he got two more outs, including another strikeout, before losing some steam and walking his final two hitters before being removed. I say that last bit a little tongue in cheek, as if you believe the data available, he should have gotten his seventh strikeout of the night on multiple pitches in the at-bat resulting in the first of those walks: In all, Laweryson struck out six hitters and walked two in his 2 1/3 scoreless innings, and if this game is any indication his confidence should be sky high moving forward. Evan Sisk: 1 appearance, 1 1/3 IP, H, 2 BB; 0.00 ERA, 2.25 WHIP overall. Evan Sisk is new to the Twins organization, coming over from the St. Louis Cardinals in the trade of J.A. Happ during the 2021 season. He pitched in 14 games with the Wichita Wind Surge that resulted in a 4.87 ERA and 1.82 WHIP. Like Featherstone he’ll need to work to cut down his walks and the AFL gives him a good opportunity to hone those skills against top competition. Sisk’s only outing of the week also came in the Scorpions blowout loss to Mesa, but he was the pitcher who picked up where Laweryson left off after those walks in the sixth inning. He did issue another walk to the first hitter he faced to load the bases, but got a fly out to escape that jam. Back out for the seventh, Sisk gave up a leadoff single and a walk later in the inning, but otherwise got three ground ball outs to finish his game with a scoreless outing. In total, he allowed no runs on one hit and two walks in 1 1/3 innings. Check back every week to see how Minnesota Twins prospects have played during the AFL season, and please feel free to ask questions about the AFL and the players who are there! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  17. Wednesday is Opening Day in the Arizona Fall League. After a year without it, six teams will begin their six-week season. The Twins have sent seven players and one coach to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions. Learn a little more about each and what they want to get out of their time in the AFL. The Scottsdale Scorpions team contains seven players from the Twins, Giants, “Guardians,” Rays, and Red Sox. As was announced just last week, the Twins are sending four pitchers and three position players. Right-hander Cody Laweryson and lefties Kody Funderburk, Zach Featherstone, and Evan Sisk will get some extra innings on the mound. Outfielder Matt Wallner, infielder Andrew Bechtold, and utility man Michael Helman will get more opportunities at the plate and in the field. For the Twins representatives, it is their first time playing in the league. Most of them hadn’t even been to Arizona for the Fall League as a fan. The lone exception is Kody Funderburk, who grew up in Mesa, Arizona, and frequented the ballparks in the Fall. The southpaw was a two-way player at Dallas Baptist, but he has been solely a pitcher since joining the Twins as their 15th round draft pick in 2018. He began this season at High-A Cedar Rapids, where he made ten starts and was 1-3 with a 3.18 ERA. In 45 1/3 innings, he had 59 strikeouts. He moved up to Double-A Wichita, and all seven of his appearances came out of the bullpen. He posted a 1.25 ERA and had 23 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings. Ryan Smith has earned praise for his terrific work as the hitting coach of the Wichita Wind Surge, the same role he will have for Scottsdale. Smith noted, “Prior to last week, I had never been in Arizona!” The Twins prospects finished the season in either Cedar Rapids or Wichita. Both teams made the playoffs. They got a couple of weeks off before heading to Arizona for a week of practice. Each player has things they want to work on during their time in the Fall League. Likewise, Smith intends to continue to improve himself during his time there. He said, “ I’d like to continue to sharpen my communication (and Spanish-speaking) skills with this new group of players.” For Evan Sisk, the Fall League provides him with an opportunity to work on pitches and such. He came to the Twins at the trade deadline from the Cardinals in the J.A. Happ trade and spent the final two months working in the Wind Surge bullpen. He will also get to know these Twins teammates better. Minnesota native Matt Wallner missed about two months of the 2021 season because of a broken hamate bone. This time will allow him to get some of those missed at-bats back. He noted, “Working on seeing and being more comfortable against the better arms in this league.” Kernels starter Cody Laweryson missed time early in the season. His season began in June, and he made 14 starts. In 58 2/3 innings, he had 73 strikeouts. For him, it is mainly about working on his confidence. “My biggest thing to work on is keeping my confidence high no matter how my outings are going.” Like Funderburk, Zach Featherstone was a two-way player in college. The Twins drafted him in the 12th round of the 2016 draft as a first baseman/outfielder. He spent that first year in the organization as a hitter. However, he quickly moved to the mound. Unfortunately, after just a handful of innings in 2017, he had Tommy John surgery. He missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He was ready for a rehab appearance when a hurricane shut down the GCL season. Like others, he did not pitch in 2020. So you can imagine what it meant for him to get back on the mound for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 2021. And he was terrific. By season’s end, he was the Kernels closer, and his pitches were much sharper. He noted, “I’m going to be working on getting ahead of hitters more often, attacking the strike zone with all three of my pitches.” Featherstone throws a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a curveball, and a slider that can be devastating at times. Michael Helman was drafted as a middle infielder in the 11th round of the 2018 draft out of Texas A&M. His power arrived in 2021. In 121 pro games between 2018 and 2019, he had 19 doubles and seven homers. In 111 games for the Kernels in 2021, he hit 21 doubles and 19 home runs. Helman did so while spending time playing all over the diamond. Having played one pro game in the outfield over his first two pro seasons, he played 42 games in left field, 27 games in right field, and 26 games in center field. He played 20 games in the middle infield. He pointed out, “I would like to become more of a complete player all around both on the offensive and defensive sides. I’m not sure if I’ll be playing more outfield or infield. I guess it just depends on where they want to work me in.” In the season’s first half, he split his time between first base and third base. After the Twins promoted Jose Miranda to St. Paul, Bechtold played more third base. In 99 games, he hit 23 doubles and 18 home runs. The day after the Wind Surge clinched a playoff spot, Bechtold played his first game as a catcher. It is something he had been working on for about a month. “I’m definitely going to be continuing to work on my catching. Catching for me was a project the last month or so of the season, and we put in a lot of work. I was able to catch in a game in Double-A this year because of how well the progression we were working on worked. I know catching is a valuable tool for me to have. I’m excited to continue to work on it and continue to get more experience. Along with catching, I want to continue to develop as much range as possible at third base and continue to fine-tune my approach at the plate.” The Arizona Fall League is something that baseball fans should include on their bucket list. And for players, the opportunity to play in the league is tremendous. The players should be excited about this opportunity, and they all are. Bechtold said, “I’m most looking forward to playing against guys you may not normally see, whether that’s because of the league they are in or level. I think the AFL is a great opportunity to see guys first-hand and see how you compare to some of the other organizations’ top talents. I think playing with high-caliber players for an extended period of time pushes you and forces you to play your best baseball, so I’m looking forward to that.” It is about testing yourself against prospects from around baseball. Featherstone said, “I’m looking forward to getting to compete against some of the best minor league competition from this year.” Laweryson explained, “I would say I’m most looking forward to the competition I’m going to face and the great players I’m going to be playing with.” Wallner echoed the sentiment, “ Looking forward to competing against upper-level competition that’s out here.” And so did Helman, “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play against some great competition.” One of the great things about the Fall League and playing with coaches and players from other organizations is the chance to learn from others. Maybe try something that will click for them and help them achieve another level of success. Smith is undoubtedly looking forward to that. “I’m really looking forward to the collaboration with coaches and players from other organizations, as well as enjoying the great fall weather out in AZ. ” To summarize, Bechtold said, “I’ve heard a lot about it just being a baseball fan growing up, and I always knew it was something I would want to play in one day if given the opportunity. I think the Twins have a good group of guys here, so I’m excited to experience it with them and really take it all in and enjoy my time here.” In the past, I have chatted with players after the AFL season is complete to hear their experiences. Most are just thrilled to have had the opportunity to have met such great players and people from other organizations. It’s fun to see if they were able to accomplish some of the things they wanted to. Each week throughout the AFL season, Twins Daily will update how the Twins prospects have performed. View full article
  18. The Scottsdale Scorpions team contains seven players from the Twins, Giants, “Guardians,” Rays, and Red Sox. As was announced just last week, the Twins are sending four pitchers and three position players. Right-hander Cody Laweryson and lefties Kody Funderburk, Zach Featherstone, and Evan Sisk will get some extra innings on the mound. Outfielder Matt Wallner, infielder Andrew Bechtold, and utility man Michael Helman will get more opportunities at the plate and in the field. For the Twins representatives, it is their first time playing in the league. Most of them hadn’t even been to Arizona for the Fall League as a fan. The lone exception is Kody Funderburk, who grew up in Mesa, Arizona, and frequented the ballparks in the Fall. The southpaw was a two-way player at Dallas Baptist, but he has been solely a pitcher since joining the Twins as their 15th round draft pick in 2018. He began this season at High-A Cedar Rapids, where he made ten starts and was 1-3 with a 3.18 ERA. In 45 1/3 innings, he had 59 strikeouts. He moved up to Double-A Wichita, and all seven of his appearances came out of the bullpen. He posted a 1.25 ERA and had 23 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings. Ryan Smith has earned praise for his terrific work as the hitting coach of the Wichita Wind Surge, the same role he will have for Scottsdale. Smith noted, “Prior to last week, I had never been in Arizona!” The Twins prospects finished the season in either Cedar Rapids or Wichita. Both teams made the playoffs. They got a couple of weeks off before heading to Arizona for a week of practice. Each player has things they want to work on during their time in the Fall League. Likewise, Smith intends to continue to improve himself during his time there. He said, “ I’d like to continue to sharpen my communication (and Spanish-speaking) skills with this new group of players.” For Evan Sisk, the Fall League provides him with an opportunity to work on pitches and such. He came to the Twins at the trade deadline from the Cardinals in the J.A. Happ trade and spent the final two months working in the Wind Surge bullpen. He will also get to know these Twins teammates better. Minnesota native Matt Wallner missed about two months of the 2021 season because of a broken hamate bone. This time will allow him to get some of those missed at-bats back. He noted, “Working on seeing and being more comfortable against the better arms in this league.” Kernels starter Cody Laweryson missed time early in the season. His season began in June, and he made 14 starts. In 58 2/3 innings, he had 73 strikeouts. For him, it is mainly about working on his confidence. “My biggest thing to work on is keeping my confidence high no matter how my outings are going.” Like Funderburk, Zach Featherstone was a two-way player in college. The Twins drafted him in the 12th round of the 2016 draft as a first baseman/outfielder. He spent that first year in the organization as a hitter. However, he quickly moved to the mound. Unfortunately, after just a handful of innings in 2017, he had Tommy John surgery. He missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He was ready for a rehab appearance when a hurricane shut down the GCL season. Like others, he did not pitch in 2020. So you can imagine what it meant for him to get back on the mound for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 2021. And he was terrific. By season’s end, he was the Kernels closer, and his pitches were much sharper. He noted, “I’m going to be working on getting ahead of hitters more often, attacking the strike zone with all three of my pitches.” Featherstone throws a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a curveball, and a slider that can be devastating at times. Michael Helman was drafted as a middle infielder in the 11th round of the 2018 draft out of Texas A&M. His power arrived in 2021. In 121 pro games between 2018 and 2019, he had 19 doubles and seven homers. In 111 games for the Kernels in 2021, he hit 21 doubles and 19 home runs. Helman did so while spending time playing all over the diamond. Having played one pro game in the outfield over his first two pro seasons, he played 42 games in left field, 27 games in right field, and 26 games in center field. He played 20 games in the middle infield. He pointed out, “I would like to become more of a complete player all around both on the offensive and defensive sides. I’m not sure if I’ll be playing more outfield or infield. I guess it just depends on where they want to work me in.” In the season’s first half, he split his time between first base and third base. After the Twins promoted Jose Miranda to St. Paul, Bechtold played more third base. In 99 games, he hit 23 doubles and 18 home runs. The day after the Wind Surge clinched a playoff spot, Bechtold played his first game as a catcher. It is something he had been working on for about a month. “I’m definitely going to be continuing to work on my catching. Catching for me was a project the last month or so of the season, and we put in a lot of work. I was able to catch in a game in Double-A this year because of how well the progression we were working on worked. I know catching is a valuable tool for me to have. I’m excited to continue to work on it and continue to get more experience. Along with catching, I want to continue to develop as much range as possible at third base and continue to fine-tune my approach at the plate.” The Arizona Fall League is something that baseball fans should include on their bucket list. And for players, the opportunity to play in the league is tremendous. The players should be excited about this opportunity, and they all are. Bechtold said, “I’m most looking forward to playing against guys you may not normally see, whether that’s because of the league they are in or level. I think the AFL is a great opportunity to see guys first-hand and see how you compare to some of the other organizations’ top talents. I think playing with high-caliber players for an extended period of time pushes you and forces you to play your best baseball, so I’m looking forward to that.” It is about testing yourself against prospects from around baseball. Featherstone said, “I’m looking forward to getting to compete against some of the best minor league competition from this year.” Laweryson explained, “I would say I’m most looking forward to the competition I’m going to face and the great players I’m going to be playing with.” Wallner echoed the sentiment, “ Looking forward to competing against upper-level competition that’s out here.” And so did Helman, “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play against some great competition.” One of the great things about the Fall League and playing with coaches and players from other organizations is the chance to learn from others. Maybe try something that will click for them and help them achieve another level of success. Smith is undoubtedly looking forward to that. “I’m really looking forward to the collaboration with coaches and players from other organizations, as well as enjoying the great fall weather out in AZ. ” To summarize, Bechtold said, “I’ve heard a lot about it just being a baseball fan growing up, and I always knew it was something I would want to play in one day if given the opportunity. I think the Twins have a good group of guys here, so I’m excited to experience it with them and really take it all in and enjoy my time here.” In the past, I have chatted with players after the AFL season is complete to hear their experiences. Most are just thrilled to have had the opportunity to have met such great players and people from other organizations. It’s fun to see if they were able to accomplish some of the things they wanted to. Each week throughout the AFL season, Twins Daily will update how the Twins prospects have performed.
  19. The Mighty Mussels and Kernels each had really good weeks. The Kernels and the Saints had some great offensive performers. As we begin the final week of the minor league regular season (for Double-A and A-Ball), find out who is ending the season strong and what lies ahead for each team. Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the organization’s transactions and the FCL Twins game from Monday. TRANSACTIONS There were several announced transactions on Monday’s minor league off day. With Brent Rooker going on the Paternity List, the Twins called up RHP Kyle Barraclough. Also, for Tuesday’s Twins double-header, LHP Charlie Barnes will be called up to start Game 2 after Joe Ryan starts Game 1. RHP Melvi Acosta promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. RHP Casey Legumina promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. SS Wander Javier placed on the IL. RHP Ryan Shreve sent to Ft. Myers to begin a rehab assignment. RHP Jackson Hicks has been promoted from the FCL Twins to Ft. Myers. He was signed in July out of the USPBL. 2021 draft picks, RH Pierson Ohl and LHP Jaylen Nowlin were assigned to the FCL Twins… and they made their pro debuts on Monday in the below game. FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 4, FCL Pirates 10 Box Score The Twins fell behind 3-0 before they scored four runs in the top of the fifth frame. Luis Gomez walked with the bases loaded. Rubel Cespedes and Dillon Tatum scored on a fielder’s choice and error on a ground ball. Luis Baez then singled in one run. That was it for the Twins scoring. Their three and four hitters (Emmanuel Rodriguez and Kala’i Rosario) combined to go 0-for-8 with eight strikeouts. Niklas Rimmel made a start. He was charged with an unearned run on one hit. Pierson Ohl gave up three runs on five hits over 1 2/3 innings in his pro debut. He was replaced by Jaylen Nowlin making his debut. He gave up four runs (3 earned) on two hits, two walks and a hit batter. Elipidio Perez gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in two innings. Danny Moreno pitched one perfect inning. With that, let’s look at Week 19 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (3-3, hosting Omaha), overall (58-56) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (3-3, hosting NW Arkansas), overall (65-40) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, @ Wisconsin), overall (63-51) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (5-1, hosting Palm Beach), overall (57-53) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (2-4), overall (19-35) STANDINGS Triple-A East Midwest: Toledo 67-47, Omaha 64-40, St. Paul 58-56. Double-A Central North: Wichita 65-49, Arkansas 62-52, NW Arkansas 60-53. High-A Central West: Quad Cities 73-39, Cedar Rapids 63-51, Wisconsin 54-59. Low-A Southeast: Tampa 72-40, Bradenton 70-43, Ft. Myers 57-53. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Radcliff Honored Tuesday: Wallner Grand Slams, Saints Walk-Off Wednesday: Homers and Hits Abound Thursday: Legumina and Varland Roll, Sticks Cookin’ in Low and High A Joe Ryan is Better than His Scouting Reports Friday: Balazovic Pulled from No-Hitter Saturday: You Get a Run, You Get a Run, Everybody Gets a Run Sunday: Sterling Sands, Mussels Hold Strong HIGHLIGHTS We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 19 performances Twins Player of the Week: Alex Isola, Cedar Rapids Kernels Alex Isola had a huge week for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Over his six games in Wisconsin, he hit .286/.333/.714 (1.048) with four homers. In 93 games on the season, he has hit .247/.351/.435 (.786) with 13 doubles, 17 home runs and 51 RBI. He has caught 43 games and played 29 games at first base. He has also DHd 21 times. Isola was the Twins 29th round pick in 2019 from Texas Christian. He played at Utah in 2017 and at a junior college in 2018. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Cade Povich, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Cade Povich made his second Mighty Mussel start. He gave up just one hit (and a hit batter), or three scoreless innings. He struck out five batters. Over his two starts for Ft. Myers, he has a 1.50 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP. In six innings, he has given up four hits, walked one and struck out 11 batters. Before that, he made one appearance in the FCL. Povich was the Twins third-round pick in July out of the University of Nebraska. This season, he went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA. In 15 starts and 81 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 88 batters. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints The highlight for the offense was setting the high-water mark for runs scored in a game on Saturday when they scored 21 runs against Omaha. And while it was just one game, the Saints had a lot of strong offensive performances this week! JT Riddle has had a tough year, but this week, he hit two homers, drove in seven and posted a 1.203 OPS. Tomas Telis played six games and hit .407/.448/.704 (1.152) with two doubles and two homers. Gilberto Celestino hit .444/.500/.630 (1.130) with two doubles and a homer. Jose Miranda hit .421/.421/.632 (1.053) with a double and a homer. Drew Maggi hit .278/.381/.611 (.992) with two homers. David Banuelos played in two games. In one of those games, he had three hits, including two home runs, one of which was a grand slam. (1.569 OPS) Sherman Johnson hadn’t had a hit since August 26th (0-for-17) until Saturday night when he hit a home run. Now, that was his only hit of the week, in just six at bats, but the incredible thing is that he still managed a 1.282 OPS because he walked seven times to go along with the homer. Mark Contreras hit two doubles and two homers including a 461 foot blast! Charlie Barnes, Robinson Leyer and Nick Vincent each gave up one run on two hits over 3 1/3 innings this past week. Barnes did so in a shortened-start so that he can make the Game 2 start for the Twins on Tuesday night. Leyer over two appearances, and Nick Vincent did that over three outings. Yennier Cano threw twice and gave up a total of one run on two hits in 5 1/3 innings. Derek Law had a scoreless, one-hit three inning appearance. Jovani Moran pitched two scoreless innings in his outing last week, and then had the highlight of the week for any player. He was called up to the big leagues and made his MLB debut. I was at CHS Field on Friday and Saturday nights. On Saturday, the Saints had a tremendous pregame show that culminated with three former Navy Seals parachuting into the stadium. Wichita Wind Surge His season has been filled with ups and downs, but Jordan Balazovic’s outing this week earned him the league’s pitcher of the week honors. He tossed six no-hit innings. He gave up an unearned run and walked two batters while striking out five batters. Cole Sands was also really, really good in his two starts last week. He tossed 12 innings and gave up only an unearned run on five hits and four walks. He struck out ten batters. Jordan Gore worked twice and gave up only one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Evan Sisk gave up only an unearned run on two hits over 3 2/3 innings. Austin Schulfer threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings in his start. He gave up two hits and struck out six, despite walking five batters. DJ Burt finally got some more playing time recently, and he has done quite well. Last week, he played all six games and hit .458/.480/.833 (1.313) with three doubles and two homers. Cedar Rapids Kernels Cody Laweryson had arguably his best start of the season. He struck out nine batters over six shutout innings. He gave up three hits and two walks. Andrew Cabezas worked twice out of the bullpen and gave up just one run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out eight batters. Osiris German struck out five batters over 3 2/3 scoreless innings over his two outings. Denny Bentley struck out four batters over 2 2/3 shutout innings. It was a really good week for the Kernels’ hitters. Edouard Julien played six games and went .391/.576/.783 (1.358) with three homers. He also walked 10 of his 23 plate appearances. Anthony Prato played in just two games, but he went 4-for-8 (.500) with a double, two walks and a game-winning single. Matt Wallner hit .320/.433/.760 (1.193) with two doubles, three homers and nine RBI. Michael Helman hit .346/.393/.654 (1.047) with a double, two triples and a homer. He also stole five bases. Jeferson Morales hit .353/.476/.529 (.1006). Aaron Sabato hit .300/.400/.600 (1.000) with two homers. DaShawn Keirsey played four games in his return from the IL and hit .313/.368/.563 (.931) with a double and a homer. Also, the Kernels played in Wisconsin and got to face the TimberRattlers wearing one of their alternate uniforms, which are fantastic! Ft. Myers Might Mussels Regi Grace made his second start since returning from the IL. He tossed three scoreless innings. He struck out three, walked one and gave up two hits. Juan Pichardo struck out four batters over three scoreless innings. Casey Legumina gave up just one run on two hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and was rewarded with a promotion to Cedar Rapids. Charles Mack played in three games and hit .417 (5-for-12) with a double and two home runs (1.417 OPS). Mikey Perez moved up to the Mussels quick, and he responded by hitting .529/.600/.706 (1.306) with three doubles. Christian Encarnacion-Strand’s 15-game hitting streak ended, but for the week, he hit .391/.462/.478 (.940) with a triple. Will Holland hit .300/.462/.450 (.912) with a home run. Jake Rucker hit .450/.458/.450 (.908). Alerick Soularie hit .273/.448/.455 (.903) with a double, a homer and seven walks. FCL Twins Wander Valdez played in five games and hit .400/.500/.733 (1.233) with two doubles and a home run. Noah Miller also played five games. He hit .400/.455/.650 (1.105) with a triple and a homer. Carlos Aguiar had a two-homer game. Top pick Chase Petty made his pro debut on Friday. He tossed two scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked none and struck out two batters while showing really good stuff. LOWLIGHTS We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints Jason Garcia was the starting pitcher in the 21-4 win against Omaha. Unfortunately, he gave up four runs on five hits and two walks and went just three innings. Caleb Hamilton went 0-for-7 for the week. Wichita Wind Surge It was a highlight in last week’s report that Simeon Woods Richardson made his first appearance in the organization. It was a lowlight that he only went 1 1/3 innings. He had control issues, but didn’t give up any runs. This week, Woods Richardson is just in this list. In his second start, he gave up six runs on three hits and three walks over just 1 2/3 innings. Chris Vallimont had another rough start. He gave up nine runs (7 earned) on nine hits (3 HR) and two walks in 2 1/3 innings. Zach Neff gave up two runs on two hits and a walk and got just two outs in his outing this week. Catchers Chris Williams and Stevie Berman each had one hit in seven plate appearances. Jermaine Palacios and Austin Martin were each 3-for-17 (.176). Leobaldo Cabrera went 4-for-23 (.174). Cedar Rapids Kernels A week after being the Twins minor league pitcher of the week, Sawyer Gipson-Long had a tough start. He gave up six runs on three hits and three walks and only recorded one outs. He needed 38 pitches. He left with the bases loaded and all three runs scored. Tyler Watson gave up four runs on three hits (2 HR), three walks and a hit batter in three innings. Gabriel Maciel and Yunior Severino each played just two games. Severino went 1-for-8 (.125) and Maciel went 1-for-9 (.111). Ft. Myers Might Mussels Kole McKinnon went 1-for-11 (.091) with seven strikeouts. Willie Joe Garry went 2-for-16 (.125) with seven strikeouts. Patrick Winkel went 3-for-16 (.188). PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our updated Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings. #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 31 games, .243/.385/.374 (.759) with 6 doubles, 3 home runs, 19 RBI, 17 BB, 27 K. #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 19 GS, 93.1 IP, 94 H, 34 BB, 97 K, 3.38 ERA, 1.37 WHIP #4 - Simeon Woods-Richardson (Wichita) - 2 GS, 3.0 IP, 0 H, 6 BB, 4 K, 18.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP. #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 111 games, .337/.397/.560 (.957) with 26 doubles, 26 homers, 78 RBI, 39 BB, 71 K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - St. Paul (2 GS, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 17 K, 2.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP), Minnesota (2 GS, 12.0 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 9 K, 2.25 ERA, 0.42 WHIP) #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 5 GS, 21.0 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 43 K, 0.86 ERA, 0.67 WHIP (IL, elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - 1 GS, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP. #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 60 games, .233/.296/.301 (.597) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 24 RBI, 18 BB, 89 K, 5 SB (Temporary Inactive List) #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP (IL, shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 60 games, .260/.349/.506 (.855) with 13 doubles, 2 triples, 14 homers, 44 RBI, 26 BB, 91 K. #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (34 games, .313/.401/.508 (.909) with 10 doubles, 5 homers, 24 RBI, 18 BB, 29 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 7 GS, 31.2 IP, 38 H, 16 BB, 26 K, 7.39 ERA, 1.71 WHIP. #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 18 games, .275/.346/.435 (.781) with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homer, 13 RBI, 7 BB, 19 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (44 games, .203/.291/.392 (.683) with 8 doubles, 7 homers, 13 RBI, 12 BB, 56 K) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #18 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 97 games, .192/.299/.288 (.587) with 11 doubles, 4 triples, 5 homers, 51 RBI, 52 BB, 78 K, 13 SB) #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 18 G, 17 GS, 75.1 IP, 56 H, 32 BB, 92 K, 2.63 ERA, 1.17 WHIP #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 104 games, .258/.354/.489 (.843) with 16 doubles, 3 triples, 23 homers, 58 RBI, 53 BB, 100 K) LOOKING AHEAD Tampa @ Ft. Myers: (John Stankiewicz, TBD, TBD, Regi Grace, Brent Headrick, TBD): Cedar Rapids @ Peoria: (Cody Laweryson, Louie Varland, Sean Mooney, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Aaron Rozek, Tyler Watson): Arkansas @ Wichita: (Simeon Woods-Richardson, Jordan Balazovic, Chris Vallimont, Cole Sands, Austin Schulfer, Simeon Woods-Richardson): St. Paul @ Indianapolis: (Drew Strotman, Beau Burrows, Andrew Albers, Jason Garcia, Bryan Sammons, Drew Strotman): Feel free to ask any questions you like. View full article
  20. Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the organization’s transactions and the FCL Twins game from Monday. TRANSACTIONS There were several announced transactions on Monday’s minor league off day. With Brent Rooker going on the Paternity List, the Twins called up RHP Kyle Barraclough. Also, for Tuesday’s Twins double-header, LHP Charlie Barnes will be called up to start Game 2 after Joe Ryan starts Game 1. RHP Melvi Acosta promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. RHP Casey Legumina promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. SS Wander Javier placed on the IL. RHP Ryan Shreve sent to Ft. Myers to begin a rehab assignment. RHP Jackson Hicks has been promoted from the FCL Twins to Ft. Myers. He was signed in July out of the USPBL. 2021 draft picks, RH Pierson Ohl and LHP Jaylen Nowlin were assigned to the FCL Twins… and they made their pro debuts on Monday in the below game. FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 4, FCL Pirates 10 Box Score The Twins fell behind 3-0 before they scored four runs in the top of the fifth frame. Luis Gomez walked with the bases loaded. Rubel Cespedes and Dillon Tatum scored on a fielder’s choice and error on a ground ball. Luis Baez then singled in one run. That was it for the Twins scoring. Their three and four hitters (Emmanuel Rodriguez and Kala’i Rosario) combined to go 0-for-8 with eight strikeouts. Niklas Rimmel made a start. He was charged with an unearned run on one hit. Pierson Ohl gave up three runs on five hits over 1 2/3 innings in his pro debut. He was replaced by Jaylen Nowlin making his debut. He gave up four runs (3 earned) on two hits, two walks and a hit batter. Elipidio Perez gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in two innings. Danny Moreno pitched one perfect inning. With that, let’s look at Week 19 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (3-3, hosting Omaha), overall (58-56) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (3-3, hosting NW Arkansas), overall (65-40) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, @ Wisconsin), overall (63-51) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (5-1, hosting Palm Beach), overall (57-53) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (2-4), overall (19-35) STANDINGS Triple-A East Midwest: Toledo 67-47, Omaha 64-40, St. Paul 58-56. Double-A Central North: Wichita 65-49, Arkansas 62-52, NW Arkansas 60-53. High-A Central West: Quad Cities 73-39, Cedar Rapids 63-51, Wisconsin 54-59. Low-A Southeast: Tampa 72-40, Bradenton 70-43, Ft. Myers 57-53. IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Radcliff Honored Tuesday: Wallner Grand Slams, Saints Walk-Off Wednesday: Homers and Hits Abound Thursday: Legumina and Varland Roll, Sticks Cookin’ in Low and High A Joe Ryan is Better than His Scouting Reports Friday: Balazovic Pulled from No-Hitter Saturday: You Get a Run, You Get a Run, Everybody Gets a Run Sunday: Sterling Sands, Mussels Hold Strong HIGHLIGHTS We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 19 performances Twins Player of the Week: Alex Isola, Cedar Rapids Kernels Alex Isola had a huge week for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Over his six games in Wisconsin, he hit .286/.333/.714 (1.048) with four homers. In 93 games on the season, he has hit .247/.351/.435 (.786) with 13 doubles, 17 home runs and 51 RBI. He has caught 43 games and played 29 games at first base. He has also DHd 21 times. Isola was the Twins 29th round pick in 2019 from Texas Christian. He played at Utah in 2017 and at a junior college in 2018. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Cade Povich, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Cade Povich made his second Mighty Mussel start. He gave up just one hit (and a hit batter), or three scoreless innings. He struck out five batters. Over his two starts for Ft. Myers, he has a 1.50 ERA and a 0.83 WHIP. In six innings, he has given up four hits, walked one and struck out 11 batters. Before that, he made one appearance in the FCL. Povich was the Twins third-round pick in July out of the University of Nebraska. This season, he went 6-1 with a 3.11 ERA. In 15 starts and 81 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 88 batters. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints The highlight for the offense was setting the high-water mark for runs scored in a game on Saturday when they scored 21 runs against Omaha. And while it was just one game, the Saints had a lot of strong offensive performances this week! JT Riddle has had a tough year, but this week, he hit two homers, drove in seven and posted a 1.203 OPS. Tomas Telis played six games and hit .407/.448/.704 (1.152) with two doubles and two homers. Gilberto Celestino hit .444/.500/.630 (1.130) with two doubles and a homer. Jose Miranda hit .421/.421/.632 (1.053) with a double and a homer. Drew Maggi hit .278/.381/.611 (.992) with two homers. David Banuelos played in two games. In one of those games, he had three hits, including two home runs, one of which was a grand slam. (1.569 OPS) Sherman Johnson hadn’t had a hit since August 26th (0-for-17) until Saturday night when he hit a home run. Now, that was his only hit of the week, in just six at bats, but the incredible thing is that he still managed a 1.282 OPS because he walked seven times to go along with the homer. Mark Contreras hit two doubles and two homers including a 461 foot blast! Charlie Barnes, Robinson Leyer and Nick Vincent each gave up one run on two hits over 3 1/3 innings this past week. Barnes did so in a shortened-start so that he can make the Game 2 start for the Twins on Tuesday night. Leyer over two appearances, and Nick Vincent did that over three outings. Yennier Cano threw twice and gave up a total of one run on two hits in 5 1/3 innings. Derek Law had a scoreless, one-hit three inning appearance. Jovani Moran pitched two scoreless innings in his outing last week, and then had the highlight of the week for any player. He was called up to the big leagues and made his MLB debut. I was at CHS Field on Friday and Saturday nights. On Saturday, the Saints had a tremendous pregame show that culminated with three former Navy Seals parachuting into the stadium. Wichita Wind Surge His season has been filled with ups and downs, but Jordan Balazovic’s outing this week earned him the league’s pitcher of the week honors. He tossed six no-hit innings. He gave up an unearned run and walked two batters while striking out five batters. Cole Sands was also really, really good in his two starts last week. He tossed 12 innings and gave up only an unearned run on five hits and four walks. He struck out ten batters. Jordan Gore worked twice and gave up only one hit over 2 1/3 scoreless innings. Evan Sisk gave up only an unearned run on two hits over 3 2/3 innings. Austin Schulfer threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings in his start. He gave up two hits and struck out six, despite walking five batters. DJ Burt finally got some more playing time recently, and he has done quite well. Last week, he played all six games and hit .458/.480/.833 (1.313) with three doubles and two homers. Cedar Rapids Kernels Cody Laweryson had arguably his best start of the season. He struck out nine batters over six shutout innings. He gave up three hits and two walks. Andrew Cabezas worked twice out of the bullpen and gave up just one run on four hits over 6 2/3 innings. He struck out eight batters. Osiris German struck out five batters over 3 2/3 scoreless innings over his two outings. Denny Bentley struck out four batters over 2 2/3 shutout innings. It was a really good week for the Kernels’ hitters. Edouard Julien played six games and went .391/.576/.783 (1.358) with three homers. He also walked 10 of his 23 plate appearances. Anthony Prato played in just two games, but he went 4-for-8 (.500) with a double, two walks and a game-winning single. Matt Wallner hit .320/.433/.760 (1.193) with two doubles, three homers and nine RBI. Michael Helman hit .346/.393/.654 (1.047) with a double, two triples and a homer. He also stole five bases. Jeferson Morales hit .353/.476/.529 (.1006). Aaron Sabato hit .300/.400/.600 (1.000) with two homers. DaShawn Keirsey played four games in his return from the IL and hit .313/.368/.563 (.931) with a double and a homer. Also, the Kernels played in Wisconsin and got to face the TimberRattlers wearing one of their alternate uniforms, which are fantastic! Ft. Myers Might Mussels Regi Grace made his second start since returning from the IL. He tossed three scoreless innings. He struck out three, walked one and gave up two hits. Juan Pichardo struck out four batters over three scoreless innings. Casey Legumina gave up just one run on two hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six and was rewarded with a promotion to Cedar Rapids. Charles Mack played in three games and hit .417 (5-for-12) with a double and two home runs (1.417 OPS). Mikey Perez moved up to the Mussels quick, and he responded by hitting .529/.600/.706 (1.306) with three doubles. Christian Encarnacion-Strand’s 15-game hitting streak ended, but for the week, he hit .391/.462/.478 (.940) with a triple. Will Holland hit .300/.462/.450 (.912) with a home run. Jake Rucker hit .450/.458/.450 (.908). Alerick Soularie hit .273/.448/.455 (.903) with a double, a homer and seven walks. FCL Twins Wander Valdez played in five games and hit .400/.500/.733 (1.233) with two doubles and a home run. Noah Miller also played five games. He hit .400/.455/.650 (1.105) with a triple and a homer. Carlos Aguiar had a two-homer game. Top pick Chase Petty made his pro debut on Friday. He tossed two scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked none and struck out two batters while showing really good stuff. LOWLIGHTS We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints Jason Garcia was the starting pitcher in the 21-4 win against Omaha. Unfortunately, he gave up four runs on five hits and two walks and went just three innings. Caleb Hamilton went 0-for-7 for the week. Wichita Wind Surge It was a highlight in last week’s report that Simeon Woods Richardson made his first appearance in the organization. It was a lowlight that he only went 1 1/3 innings. He had control issues, but didn’t give up any runs. This week, Woods Richardson is just in this list. In his second start, he gave up six runs on three hits and three walks over just 1 2/3 innings. Chris Vallimont had another rough start. He gave up nine runs (7 earned) on nine hits (3 HR) and two walks in 2 1/3 innings. Zach Neff gave up two runs on two hits and a walk and got just two outs in his outing this week. Catchers Chris Williams and Stevie Berman each had one hit in seven plate appearances. Jermaine Palacios and Austin Martin were each 3-for-17 (.176). Leobaldo Cabrera went 4-for-23 (.174). Cedar Rapids Kernels A week after being the Twins minor league pitcher of the week, Sawyer Gipson-Long had a tough start. He gave up six runs on three hits and three walks and only recorded one outs. He needed 38 pitches. He left with the bases loaded and all three runs scored. Tyler Watson gave up four runs on three hits (2 HR), three walks and a hit batter in three innings. Gabriel Maciel and Yunior Severino each played just two games. Severino went 1-for-8 (.125) and Maciel went 1-for-9 (.111). Ft. Myers Might Mussels Kole McKinnon went 1-for-11 (.091) with seven strikeouts. Willie Joe Garry went 2-for-16 (.125) with seven strikeouts. Patrick Winkel went 3-for-16 (.188). PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our updated Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings. #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 31 games, .243/.385/.374 (.759) with 6 doubles, 3 home runs, 19 RBI, 17 BB, 27 K. #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 19 GS, 93.1 IP, 94 H, 34 BB, 97 K, 3.38 ERA, 1.37 WHIP #4 - Simeon Woods-Richardson (Wichita) - 2 GS, 3.0 IP, 0 H, 6 BB, 4 K, 18.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP. #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 111 games, .337/.397/.560 (.957) with 26 doubles, 26 homers, 78 RBI, 39 BB, 71 K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - St. Paul (2 GS, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 17 K, 2.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP), Minnesota (2 GS, 12.0 IP, 4 H, 1 BB, 9 K, 2.25 ERA, 0.42 WHIP) #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 5 GS, 21.0 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 43 K, 0.86 ERA, 0.67 WHIP (IL, elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - 1 GS, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP. #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 60 games, .233/.296/.301 (.597) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 24 RBI, 18 BB, 89 K, 5 SB (Temporary Inactive List) #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP (IL, shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 60 games, .260/.349/.506 (.855) with 13 doubles, 2 triples, 14 homers, 44 RBI, 26 BB, 91 K. #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (34 games, .313/.401/.508 (.909) with 10 doubles, 5 homers, 24 RBI, 18 BB, 29 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 7 GS, 31.2 IP, 38 H, 16 BB, 26 K, 7.39 ERA, 1.71 WHIP. #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 18 games, .275/.346/.435 (.781) with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 1 homer, 13 RBI, 7 BB, 19 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (44 games, .203/.291/.392 (.683) with 8 doubles, 7 homers, 13 RBI, 12 BB, 56 K) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #18 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 97 games, .192/.299/.288 (.587) with 11 doubles, 4 triples, 5 homers, 51 RBI, 52 BB, 78 K, 13 SB) #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 18 G, 17 GS, 75.1 IP, 56 H, 32 BB, 92 K, 2.63 ERA, 1.17 WHIP #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 104 games, .258/.354/.489 (.843) with 16 doubles, 3 triples, 23 homers, 58 RBI, 53 BB, 100 K) LOOKING AHEAD Tampa @ Ft. Myers: (John Stankiewicz, TBD, TBD, Regi Grace, Brent Headrick, TBD): Cedar Rapids @ Peoria: (Cody Laweryson, Louie Varland, Sean Mooney, Sawyer Gipson-Long, Aaron Rozek, Tyler Watson): Arkansas @ Wichita: (Simeon Woods-Richardson, Jordan Balazovic, Chris Vallimont, Cole Sands, Austin Schulfer, Simeon Woods-Richardson): St. Paul @ Indianapolis: (Drew Strotman, Beau Burrows, Andrew Albers, Jason Garcia, Bryan Sammons, Drew Strotman): Feel free to ask any questions you like.
  21. Tonight's minor league games either featured low-scoring gritty contests or lopsided scores that left one team embarrassed. Check out who won the close ones and who got steamrolled in tonight's Minor League Report! TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins activate CF Byron Buxton Minnesota Twins activate RHP Jorge Alcala Minnesota Twins place C Mitch Garver on 10-day IL (lower back tightness) Minnesota Twins place RHP Luke Farrell on 60-day IL (oblique strain) Minnesota Twins option RHP Edgar Garcia to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins option RHP Kyle Barraclough to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins select contract of RHP Ian Gibaut from Triple-A St. Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Toledo 11, St. Paul 1 Box Score It seems that someone forgot to tell the Saints pitchers that batting practice happens before the game, as they allowed four homers and 11 runs in this ugly loss. Bryan Sammons was the first victim of the Tulsa offense as he gave up a pair of early runs to the Mud Hens. The first came off an Aderlin Rodriguez RBI single in the first, and the second was the product of a monstrous solo homer from Isaac Paredes in the third. Jacoby Jones added on for Toledo in the fourth with a big homer of his own to straightaway center. Jones’s blast counted for two, doubling the Mud Hen lead, 4-0. Yennier Cano replaced Sammons for the fifth, but the home run onslaught didn’t stop. Rodriguez added to his RBI total for the night with a two-run shot. Chris Nunn got the sixth for the Saints, but he wasn’t the man to slow down the Toledo bats. In fact, it only got worse. Spencer Torkelson drove in two with a double and Paredes added a two-run poke off the foul pole to his solo shot from the third inning. Nunn was taken out after getting only one out in the inning, but one of his inherited runners scored before the Saints finally got back in the dugout, now down 11-0. The Saints got a run back in the eighth off a J.T. Riddle RBI single, but never even managed to cut the lead to single digits, and they lose their fifth straight. After all the pitching struggles, Andrew Vasquez finally got some outs, going 2 2/3 innings without allowing a baserunner to finish the game. He struck out three. Nobody managed a multi-hit game for the Saints. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 2, Wichita 1 Box Score Wind Surge pitchers were impressive, striking out 13 batters and keeping the Drillers to two runs in this one, but the Wichita batters were equally unimpressive (they struck out 14 times) and they drop this one, 2-1. The Drillers took an early advantage in this one with two runs in the second inning. Juan Zabala pushed one across with an RBI single, and another scored moments later on a Chris Vallimont wild pitch. After that, Vallimont settled down and got through four innings without allowing any more runs, and he added an impressive eight strikeouts. Unfortunately, the Wichita offense continued their recent dry spell and couldn’t get up to speed against the Tulsa pitching as they didn’t manage a hit until the fifth inning. They did score one in that inning, though, off an Austin Martin RBI fielder’s choice, to make it 2-1 The score was still at 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, when Aaron Whitefield came up with the bases loaded. Whitefield worked a full count and took ball four, only the home plate umpire (who was awful all night) rung him up on a ball three inches off the plate. That call ended the inning and the threat, and the game remained at 2-1. The Wind Surge went down quietly in the ninth as they did most of the game (though not without another questionable strike three call). Drillers win 2-1. After Vallimont left the ballgame, the bullpen was dominant, allowing only three hits and no runs over the remaining five innings of the game. Jason Garcia allowed two hits and a walk and added a strikeout over the fifth and sixth innings. Alex Phillips went 1 2/3 scoreless with two strikeouts and Jordan Gore got the remaining four outs and grabbed two strikeouts of his own. The Surge managed only three hits as a club so there were no individual multi-hit performances. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Beloit 1 Box Score Cody Laweryson was rock solid for the Kernels tonight, and he needed to be. The big righty sprinkled four hits over five full innings and only allowed one run. He added four strikeouts. However, the Cedar Rapids hitters were just as ineffective against Beloit starter Bryan Hoeing. Still, they pushed one across late to grab the W. Each starter handled the first time through the lineup easily and this game stayed scoreless until the fourth, when Yunior Severino gave the Kernels the lead all by himself. Actually, he got some help from the Beloit defense. What should have been a bloop single turned into a triple when the Snappers center fielder dove and missed the ball. Then, Beloit shortstop Ynmanol Marinez airmailed a throw home and Severino scampered home for a Little League home run. Beloit got that run right back in the next half inning, though, in very similar circumstances. Thomas Jones tripled and scored in the next at-bat on a wild pitch to tie the game. This pitcher’s duel stayed knotted at one apiece until the top of the ninth, when the Kernels loaded the bases with no outs. They got one across with a Seth Gray flare single into left field, but that’s all they managed. Still, that’s all they needed, as Denny Bentley shut down the Snappers in the ninth to secure a win that will leave you without fingernails, 2-1. After Laweryson exited, Melvi Acosta picked up right where Cody left off, hurling two innings of work without allowing a baserunner. Of the six outs he got, three were strikeouts. Denny Bentley took over from there and pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, grabbing the win thanks to Gray’s go-ahead knock. That knock was Gray’s second of the ballgame, and he joins Yunior Severino as the only guys with multi-hit games for the Kernels. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1: Bradenton 8, Fort Myers 2 (F/7) Box Score Game one of tonight's doubleheader got under way about two hours late due to troubling Florida weather, and the Mighty Mussels were ready to go right away. However, they melted down as the game went on and they lose in a rout. The Mussels were able to land a solid punch early with a two-run double from Christian Encarnacion-Strand in the first inning. And, John Stankiewicz was excellent in preserving that lead while he was on the mound with four innings of one-hit, scoreless work. He added five strikeouts. However, when Juan Pichardo took over for the Mussels, things went sideways. Pichardo allowed a two-run game-tying homer in the fifth to Jase Bowen and allowed three more runs in the sixth before he was removed for Bradley Hanner. Hanner got the Mussels out of the sixth, but he didn’t fare much better than Pichardo. He added two inherited runs to Pichardo’s ERA and allowed a run of his own, and just like that, Bradenton’s lead ballooned to 8-2. That lead held steady for the Marauders over the remainder of the scheduled seven innings. On a tough day all around for the Mussels, they only managed two hits as a team and didn’t have a multi-hit night for any player. Game 2: Fort Myers 10, Bradenton 2 (F/7) Box Score After a tough game one, the Mussels bounced back with a solid start from Zarion Sharpe and an explosion from the offense. Christian Encarnacion Strand ripped a single to drive in a run to get the scoring started in the first, and the rest of the squad just took off from there. Fort Myers added three more in the second, with one coming to the plate on a Justin Washington single and two more scoring on Alerick Soularie's homer. The third inning brought two runs for Bradenton, but five more for Fort Myers. With the bases loaded, Willie Joe Garry Jr. hit into a fielder's choice that scored two thanks to a throwing error, and he scored a few pitches later on a Will Holland double. Then, another error on a ball to left off the bat of Soularie scored two more to make the lead 9-2. in the fourth, Encarnacion-Strand added to his big day with his first professional homer, a solo shot that brought the lead to 10-2, where it stayed for the remainder of the game. Zarion Sharpe went five full innings for the Mussels, and allowed two earned runs on six hits. He pitched with a lead for nearly his whole outing and had a walk and two strikeouts. Carlos Suniaga allowed three baserunners over the last two innings, but kept them from scoring and picked up a pair of strikeouts in the process. Soularie and Encarnacion-Strand had multi-hit games. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Game 1: FCL Red Sox 6, FCL Twins 5 Box Score The Complex League Twins’ comeback fell just short in the bottom of the ninth in this one and they the first half of today's doubleheader 6-5. The Twins scored the first runs of the game in the bottom of the fourth, taking a 2-0 lead off RBI extra base hits from Endy Rodriguez and Malfrin Sosa. The Red Sox got three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to grab a 6-2 lead but the Twins made some noise in the last frame. Sosa ripped another RBI double and later scored on a wild pitch. Then Ricardo Olivar tripled to drive in a run to make it 6-5, with himself standing on third as the tying run. Unfortunately, the comeback came one run short as Breilin Ramirez struck out to end the game. Sosa, Rodriguez, Olivar all had multi-hit games with at least one RBI. The Twins kept the Red Sox offense scoreless through the first four innings thanks to Develson Aria and Regi Grace who both delivered two hitless innings on the mound. Erasmo Moreno took care of the fifth without allowing a run but allowed all six of the Red Sox runs over the next two innings. Cole Bellair grabbed the last out in the seventh and finished the game, allowing only one hit and no runs. Game 2: FCL Twins 7, FCL Red Sox 1 (F/7) Box Score The Twins' complex league club left no room for doubt in the second game, crushing the Red Sox in seven innings. The Twins didn't waste time getting a crooked number up on the scoreboard as they struck for three in the top of the first. An RBI each was credited to Noah Miller and Carlos Aguiar for their singles and another run came in on a Rubel Cespedes triple. The Twins added a run in the third off a wild pitch and another in the fifth off a walk before things got even more interesting in the sixth. The Twins led off the inning with back-to-back home runs but only Emmanuel Rodriguez's left the ballpark. Noah Miller showed off his wheels and made his first professional homer an inside-the-park job. The homer was Miller's second hit of the night, and he was the only Twin to accomplish a multi-hit game. On the mound, there was more excitement to be had. Third round pick Cade Povich made his professional debut with two innings of scoreless work to start this one. He allowed only one hit and struck out three. David Festa picked up where Povich left off, as he also hurled two scoreless with only one hit allowed in his pro debut. The only Red Sox run of the night came during Malik Barrington's two innings, but Barrington also got five of his six outs via strikeout. John Wilson got the remaining three outs of this seven inning game without allowing a baserunner. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - John John Stankiewicz (Fort Myers) - 4.0 IP, H, R, ER, BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Fort Myers) - 3-for-7, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR(1), 3 K (over two games) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-5, RBI, 3 K #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) - 1-for-3, BB #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, K #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (shoulder) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, BB #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR(1), K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-5, 2 BB, 2 K #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-5, K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo (6:05PM CST) – RHP Drew Strotman (7-3, 4.04 ERA) Tulsa @ Wichita (6:05PM CST) – RHP Cole Sands (2-1, 2.93 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:35PM CST) – RHP Ben Gross (5-1, 3.16 ERA) Bradenton @ Fort Myers Game One: (6:00PM CST) – TBD Feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games! 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  22. TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins activate CF Byron Buxton Minnesota Twins activate RHP Jorge Alcala Minnesota Twins place C Mitch Garver on 10-day IL (lower back tightness) Minnesota Twins place RHP Luke Farrell on 60-day IL (oblique strain) Minnesota Twins option RHP Edgar Garcia to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins option RHP Kyle Barraclough to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins select contract of RHP Ian Gibaut from Triple-A St. Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Toledo 11, St. Paul 1 Box Score It seems that someone forgot to tell the Saints pitchers that batting practice happens before the game, as they allowed four homers and 11 runs in this ugly loss. Bryan Sammons was the first victim of the Tulsa offense as he gave up a pair of early runs to the Mud Hens. The first came off an Aderlin Rodriguez RBI single in the first, and the second was the product of a monstrous solo homer from Isaac Paredes in the third. Jacoby Jones added on for Toledo in the fourth with a big homer of his own to straightaway center. Jones’s blast counted for two, doubling the Mud Hen lead, 4-0. Yennier Cano replaced Sammons for the fifth, but the home run onslaught didn’t stop. Rodriguez added to his RBI total for the night with a two-run shot. Chris Nunn got the sixth for the Saints, but he wasn’t the man to slow down the Toledo bats. In fact, it only got worse. Spencer Torkelson drove in two with a double and Paredes added a two-run poke off the foul pole to his solo shot from the third inning. Nunn was taken out after getting only one out in the inning, but one of his inherited runners scored before the Saints finally got back in the dugout, now down 11-0. The Saints got a run back in the eighth off a J.T. Riddle RBI single, but never even managed to cut the lead to single digits, and they lose their fifth straight. After all the pitching struggles, Andrew Vasquez finally got some outs, going 2 2/3 innings without allowing a baserunner to finish the game. He struck out three. Nobody managed a multi-hit game for the Saints. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 2, Wichita 1 Box Score Wind Surge pitchers were impressive, striking out 13 batters and keeping the Drillers to two runs in this one, but the Wichita batters were equally unimpressive (they struck out 14 times) and they drop this one, 2-1. The Drillers took an early advantage in this one with two runs in the second inning. Juan Zabala pushed one across with an RBI single, and another scored moments later on a Chris Vallimont wild pitch. After that, Vallimont settled down and got through four innings without allowing any more runs, and he added an impressive eight strikeouts. Unfortunately, the Wichita offense continued their recent dry spell and couldn’t get up to speed against the Tulsa pitching as they didn’t manage a hit until the fifth inning. They did score one in that inning, though, off an Austin Martin RBI fielder’s choice, to make it 2-1 The score was still at 2-1 in the bottom of the eighth, when Aaron Whitefield came up with the bases loaded. Whitefield worked a full count and took ball four, only the home plate umpire (who was awful all night) rung him up on a ball three inches off the plate. That call ended the inning and the threat, and the game remained at 2-1. The Wind Surge went down quietly in the ninth as they did most of the game (though not without another questionable strike three call). Drillers win 2-1. After Vallimont left the ballgame, the bullpen was dominant, allowing only three hits and no runs over the remaining five innings of the game. Jason Garcia allowed two hits and a walk and added a strikeout over the fifth and sixth innings. Alex Phillips went 1 2/3 scoreless with two strikeouts and Jordan Gore got the remaining four outs and grabbed two strikeouts of his own. The Surge managed only three hits as a club so there were no individual multi-hit performances. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Beloit 1 Box Score Cody Laweryson was rock solid for the Kernels tonight, and he needed to be. The big righty sprinkled four hits over five full innings and only allowed one run. He added four strikeouts. However, the Cedar Rapids hitters were just as ineffective against Beloit starter Bryan Hoeing. Still, they pushed one across late to grab the W. Each starter handled the first time through the lineup easily and this game stayed scoreless until the fourth, when Yunior Severino gave the Kernels the lead all by himself. Actually, he got some help from the Beloit defense. What should have been a bloop single turned into a triple when the Snappers center fielder dove and missed the ball. Then, Beloit shortstop Ynmanol Marinez airmailed a throw home and Severino scampered home for a Little League home run. Beloit got that run right back in the next half inning, though, in very similar circumstances. Thomas Jones tripled and scored in the next at-bat on a wild pitch to tie the game. This pitcher’s duel stayed knotted at one apiece until the top of the ninth, when the Kernels loaded the bases with no outs. They got one across with a Seth Gray flare single into left field, but that’s all they managed. Still, that’s all they needed, as Denny Bentley shut down the Snappers in the ninth to secure a win that will leave you without fingernails, 2-1. After Laweryson exited, Melvi Acosta picked up right where Cody left off, hurling two innings of work without allowing a baserunner. Of the six outs he got, three were strikeouts. Denny Bentley took over from there and pitched a scoreless eighth and ninth, grabbing the win thanks to Gray’s go-ahead knock. That knock was Gray’s second of the ballgame, and he joins Yunior Severino as the only guys with multi-hit games for the Kernels. MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1: Bradenton 8, Fort Myers 2 (F/7) Box Score Game one of tonight's doubleheader got under way about two hours late due to troubling Florida weather, and the Mighty Mussels were ready to go right away. However, they melted down as the game went on and they lose in a rout. The Mussels were able to land a solid punch early with a two-run double from Christian Encarnacion-Strand in the first inning. And, John Stankiewicz was excellent in preserving that lead while he was on the mound with four innings of one-hit, scoreless work. He added five strikeouts. However, when Juan Pichardo took over for the Mussels, things went sideways. Pichardo allowed a two-run game-tying homer in the fifth to Jase Bowen and allowed three more runs in the sixth before he was removed for Bradley Hanner. Hanner got the Mussels out of the sixth, but he didn’t fare much better than Pichardo. He added two inherited runs to Pichardo’s ERA and allowed a run of his own, and just like that, Bradenton’s lead ballooned to 8-2. That lead held steady for the Marauders over the remainder of the scheduled seven innings. On a tough day all around for the Mussels, they only managed two hits as a team and didn’t have a multi-hit night for any player. Game 2: Fort Myers 10, Bradenton 2 (F/7) Box Score After a tough game one, the Mussels bounced back with a solid start from Zarion Sharpe and an explosion from the offense. Christian Encarnacion Strand ripped a single to drive in a run to get the scoring started in the first, and the rest of the squad just took off from there. Fort Myers added three more in the second, with one coming to the plate on a Justin Washington single and two more scoring on Alerick Soularie's homer. The third inning brought two runs for Bradenton, but five more for Fort Myers. With the bases loaded, Willie Joe Garry Jr. hit into a fielder's choice that scored two thanks to a throwing error, and he scored a few pitches later on a Will Holland double. Then, another error on a ball to left off the bat of Soularie scored two more to make the lead 9-2. in the fourth, Encarnacion-Strand added to his big day with his first professional homer, a solo shot that brought the lead to 10-2, where it stayed for the remainder of the game. Zarion Sharpe went five full innings for the Mussels, and allowed two earned runs on six hits. He pitched with a lead for nearly his whole outing and had a walk and two strikeouts. Carlos Suniaga allowed three baserunners over the last two innings, but kept them from scoring and picked up a pair of strikeouts in the process. Soularie and Encarnacion-Strand had multi-hit games. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Game 1: FCL Red Sox 6, FCL Twins 5 Box Score The Complex League Twins’ comeback fell just short in the bottom of the ninth in this one and they the first half of today's doubleheader 6-5. The Twins scored the first runs of the game in the bottom of the fourth, taking a 2-0 lead off RBI extra base hits from Endy Rodriguez and Malfrin Sosa. The Red Sox got three runs in both the sixth and seventh innings to grab a 6-2 lead but the Twins made some noise in the last frame. Sosa ripped another RBI double and later scored on a wild pitch. Then Ricardo Olivar tripled to drive in a run to make it 6-5, with himself standing on third as the tying run. Unfortunately, the comeback came one run short as Breilin Ramirez struck out to end the game. Sosa, Rodriguez, Olivar all had multi-hit games with at least one RBI. The Twins kept the Red Sox offense scoreless through the first four innings thanks to Develson Aria and Regi Grace who both delivered two hitless innings on the mound. Erasmo Moreno took care of the fifth without allowing a run but allowed all six of the Red Sox runs over the next two innings. Cole Bellair grabbed the last out in the seventh and finished the game, allowing only one hit and no runs. Game 2: FCL Twins 7, FCL Red Sox 1 (F/7) Box Score The Twins' complex league club left no room for doubt in the second game, crushing the Red Sox in seven innings. The Twins didn't waste time getting a crooked number up on the scoreboard as they struck for three in the top of the first. An RBI each was credited to Noah Miller and Carlos Aguiar for their singles and another run came in on a Rubel Cespedes triple. The Twins added a run in the third off a wild pitch and another in the fifth off a walk before things got even more interesting in the sixth. The Twins led off the inning with back-to-back home runs but only Emmanuel Rodriguez's left the ballpark. Noah Miller showed off his wheels and made his first professional homer an inside-the-park job. The homer was Miller's second hit of the night, and he was the only Twin to accomplish a multi-hit game. On the mound, there was more excitement to be had. Third round pick Cade Povich made his professional debut with two innings of scoreless work to start this one. He allowed only one hit and struck out three. David Festa picked up where Povich left off, as he also hurled two scoreless with only one hit allowed in his pro debut. The only Red Sox run of the night came during Malik Barrington's two innings, but Barrington also got five of his six outs via strikeout. John Wilson got the remaining three outs of this seven inning game without allowing a baserunner. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - John John Stankiewicz (Fort Myers) - 4.0 IP, H, R, ER, BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Fort Myers) - 3-for-7, 2 R, 3 RBI, HR(1), 3 K (over two games) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-5, RBI, 3 K #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) - 1-for-3, BB #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, K #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (shoulder) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, BB #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR(1), K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-5, 2 BB, 2 K #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-5, K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Toledo (6:05PM CST) – RHP Drew Strotman (7-3, 4.04 ERA) Tulsa @ Wichita (6:05PM CST) – RHP Cole Sands (2-1, 2.93 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:35PM CST) – RHP Ben Gross (5-1, 3.16 ERA) Bradenton @ Fort Myers Game One: (6:00PM CST) – TBD Feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games!
  23. TRANSACTIONS: C Ben Rortvedt transferred from Minnesota to Triple-A St.Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Storm Chasers 9, Saints 6 Box Score Griffin Jax: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, BB, 5 K HR: José Miranda (8), Jimmy Kerrigan (10) Multi-hit games: Miranda (3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI), Kerrigan (2-for-4, HR), Drew Stankiewicz (2-for-4, R) José Miranda has dominated this space almost every single night and Sunday was no different. Miranda recorded three more hits, including a solo homer. The breakout prospect entered the game hitting .323/.389/.625 (1.014 OPS) in 23 games with the Saints. Keon Broxton has had a very nice month in St.Paul. He started the day with a stellar .278/.385/.648 slash line in July, bouncing back from a brutal June where he hit just .138/.286/.190. He singled Sunday to drive in the Saints’ first run and then stole his ninth base of the season. Ian Hamilton, usually a lockdown option for the Saints late in games, walked three and allowed a single without recording an out. Hamilton has had walk issues so far this year with a 15.5% free-pass rate entering the game. The Saints couldn’t recover from the five-run seventh. WIND SURGE WISDOM Travelers 7, Wind Surge 5 Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, 5 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit game: D.J. Burt (2-for-4, 3B, RBI, R), Wilbis Santiago (2-for-3, 2B, BB), Caleb Hamilton (2-for-4) Jordan Balazovic saw his stunning 25 ⅔ scoreless innings streak come to an end in Sunday’s walk-off loss. Balazovic struggled with his command, walking five Travelers and striking out four. His ERA on the season rose to 2.74. The Surge quickly responded after falling down 1-0 in the first. Aaron Whitefield singled home D.J. Burt in the next half inning, and Wilbis Santiago doubled behind him to take a 2-1 lead. That wouldn’t last long. The Travelers tied the game immediately and just kept clawing back, coming back from 4-2 and 5-3 deficits to eventually walk off the Surge in the bottom of the ninth. Jake Scheiner blasted a two-run homer to win it. KERNELS NUGGETS Snappers 4, Kernels 0 Box Score Cody Laweryson: 5 IP, 3 H, R/ER, BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit game: None The Kernels mustered up just two hits in their shutout loss Sunday. Jair Camargo singled in the second and Gabriel Maciel singled in the third, accounting for the entire Cedar Rapids offense. Snappers starter George Soriano struck out eight in four outstanding innings. The top four hitters in the Kernels’ lineup (Edouard Julien, Michael Helman, Matt Wallner and Wander Javier) combined to go 0-for-16 with nine strikeouts. Cody Laweryson put together one of his best starts of the year, striking out a season-high eight Snappers. Laweryson tied his season high with five innings pitched and has allowed just two runs over his last nine innings (two starts). MUSSEL MATTERS Mighty Mussels 6, Tortugas 5 Box Score Zarion Sharpe: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K HR: Charles Mack (5), Jesús Feliz (2) Multi-hit games: Mack (2-for-4, HR, BB), Feliz (3-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI) Jesús Feliz played hero in a thrilling walk-off win for the Mussels Sunday. Leading off the bottom of the ninth, Feliz blasted a 1-0 pitch to left center and saved the Mussels bullpen after they allowed three runs in the eighth. Not only did Feliz end the scoring, he also got the Mussels on the board with a two-out RBI double in the first. Charles Mack added on with a solo homer in the fifth and Yunior Severino and Keoni Cavaco each plated runs with singles in the sixth. Before the Feliz heroics, Zarion Sharpe was fantastic in his fourth start for Fort Myers. Sharpe struck out five and didn’t allow a run. He lowered his ERA to 4.50 after beginning the day at 5.33. COMPLEX CHRONICLES THE FCL TWINS DID NOT PLAY TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cody Laweryson: 5 IP, 3 H, R/ER, BB, 8 K Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jesús Feliz: 3-for-5, walk-off HR, 2B, 2 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, 5 BB, 4 K #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, BB, R #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Did not play #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – Did not play #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, 2 K #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-for-4, HR #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, BB, R #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 1-for-4 #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, 2 K #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch
  24. The system had a few strong performances, some weak ones, and a huge swing from Jesús Feliz in a walk-off Mussels win. TRANSACTIONS: C Ben Rortvedt transferred from Minnesota to Triple-A St.Paul SAINTS SENTINEL Storm Chasers 9, Saints 6 Box Score Griffin Jax: 6 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, BB, 5 K HR: José Miranda (8), Jimmy Kerrigan (10) Multi-hit games: Miranda (3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI), Kerrigan (2-for-4, HR), Drew Stankiewicz (2-for-4, R) José Miranda has dominated this space almost every single night and Sunday was no different. Miranda recorded three more hits, including a solo homer. The breakout prospect entered the game hitting .323/.389/.625 (1.014 OPS) in 23 games with the Saints. Keon Broxton has had a very nice month in St.Paul. He started the day with a stellar .278/.385/.648 slash line in July, bouncing back from a brutal June where he hit just .138/.286/.190. He singled Sunday to drive in the Saints’ first run and then stole his ninth base of the season. Ian Hamilton, usually a lockdown option for the Saints late in games, walked three and allowed a single without recording an out. Hamilton has had walk issues so far this year with a 15.5% free-pass rate entering the game. The Saints couldn’t recover from the five-run seventh. WIND SURGE WISDOM Travelers 7, Wind Surge 5 Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, 5 BB, 4 K HR: None Multi-hit game: D.J. Burt (2-for-4, 3B, RBI, R), Wilbis Santiago (2-for-3, 2B, BB), Caleb Hamilton (2-for-4) Jordan Balazovic saw his stunning 25 ⅔ scoreless innings streak come to an end in Sunday’s walk-off loss. Balazovic struggled with his command, walking five Travelers and striking out four. His ERA on the season rose to 2.74. The Surge quickly responded after falling down 1-0 in the first. Aaron Whitefield singled home D.J. Burt in the next half inning, and Wilbis Santiago doubled behind him to take a 2-1 lead. That wouldn’t last long. The Travelers tied the game immediately and just kept clawing back, coming back from 4-2 and 5-3 deficits to eventually walk off the Surge in the bottom of the ninth. Jake Scheiner blasted a two-run homer to win it. KERNELS NUGGETS Snappers 4, Kernels 0 Box Score Cody Laweryson: 5 IP, 3 H, R/ER, BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit game: None The Kernels mustered up just two hits in their shutout loss Sunday. Jair Camargo singled in the second and Gabriel Maciel singled in the third, accounting for the entire Cedar Rapids offense. Snappers starter George Soriano struck out eight in four outstanding innings. The top four hitters in the Kernels’ lineup (Edouard Julien, Michael Helman, Matt Wallner and Wander Javier) combined to go 0-for-16 with nine strikeouts. Cody Laweryson put together one of his best starts of the year, striking out a season-high eight Snappers. Laweryson tied his season high with five innings pitched and has allowed just two runs over his last nine innings (two starts). MUSSEL MATTERS Mighty Mussels 6, Tortugas 5 Box Score Zarion Sharpe: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, 5 K HR: Charles Mack (5), Jesús Feliz (2) Multi-hit games: Mack (2-for-4, HR, BB), Feliz (3-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI) Jesús Feliz played hero in a thrilling walk-off win for the Mussels Sunday. Leading off the bottom of the ninth, Feliz blasted a 1-0 pitch to left center and saved the Mussels bullpen after they allowed three runs in the eighth. Not only did Feliz end the scoring, he also got the Mussels on the board with a two-out RBI double in the first. Charles Mack added on with a solo homer in the fifth and Yunior Severino and Keoni Cavaco each plated runs with singles in the sixth. Before the Feliz heroics, Zarion Sharpe was fantastic in his fourth start for Fort Myers. Sharpe struck out five and didn’t allow a run. He lowered his ERA to 4.50 after beginning the day at 5.33. COMPLEX CHRONICLES THE FCL TWINS DID NOT PLAY TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cody Laweryson: 5 IP, 3 H, R/ER, BB, 8 K Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jesús Feliz: 3-for-5, walk-off HR, 2B, 2 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 5 IP, 5 H, 3 R/ER, 5 BB, 4 K #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, HR, 2 RBI #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, BB, R #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Did not play #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – Did not play #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, 2 K #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-for-4, HR #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-for-4, BB, R #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 1-for-4 #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-for-4, 2 K #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch View full article
  25. Cody Laweryson was the Twins 14th round draft pick in 2019 out of the University of Maine. Upon signing, he spent most of the rest of that season at Elizabethton where he pitched in ten games. In 41 innings, he walked nine and struck out 59 batters. He posted a 1.76 ERA and a0.83 WHIP. He made one start in Cedar Rapids and threw five shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out four batters. For the efforts, Twins Daily named him the 2019 Twins Short-Season Pitcher of the Year. Recently, Laweryson participated in the Twins Instructional League in Ft. Myers. We'll talk to him about the draft, his pro debut, a strange 2020 season and what lies ahead for him. Please watch LIVE at noon on the Twins Daily Twitter, Facebook or YouTube pages live. Also feel free to ask questions in the comments below or on those platforms during the show and we'll ask them. Subscribe to the Twins Daily podcast on Libsyn, Apple iTunes or anywhere you download podcasts. Here is the YouTube link: More on Cody Laweryson: Twins 2019 Short-Season Pitcher of the Year (Sept 2019) Follow Cody on Twitter at @CodeBreker49er. Check out his Instagram page at @claweryson25. Previous episodes Episode 1: Tom Hackimer Episode 2: Matt Canterino Episode 3: Aaron Whitefield Episode 4: Spencer Steer Episode 5: Travis Blankenhorn
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