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  1. Matt Braun kicked off the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Prospect Rankings. He shared the honorable mentions and then went through the last quarter on the list. Looking ahead to the final five before getting into the top ten, that’s where we find ourselves now. It is worth noting that prospect graduations have and will happen throughout 2021. Names like Kirilloff, Larnach, Jeffers, Gordon, and Rortvedt are no longer eligible for consideration. With that said, let’s get into who’s next. 15. Misael Urbina OF Age: 19 ETA: 2024 2021 Stats (A): 42 G .191/.298/.268 3 2B 3 3B HR 24 RBI 23 BB 39 K 2021 Ranking: 14th Minnesota signed Urbina out of Venezuela back in 2018 during the International Signing Period. Jesse Sanchez called him, “one of the most coveted prospects from Venezuela in this year's international class” at the time. The bonus came in at $2.75 million, and that’s indicative of how the Twins see his tools developing. Urbina is playing in his first stateside season this year, and while the numbers aren’t gaudy by any means, controlling the strike zone is something he’s shown a strong ability to do as a young player. 14. Brent Rooker OF/1B Age: 26 2021 Stats (AAA): 43 G .243/.386/.547 6 2B 13 HR 28 RBI 31 BB 54 K 2021 Ranking: 12th Rooker was the 35th overall pick by Minnesota back in the 2017 draft. He made his MLB debut in 2020 before injury ended his season with just seven games played. Rooker has appeared in just eight games for the Twins this year going 3-for-29. Despite crushing Triple-A, his opportunities have been limited with the outfield capabilities being stretched, and him not being a true fit at first base. Should the Twins deal Nelson Cruz, Brent would appear to be in line for substantial big league at bats as the DH. 13. Cole Sands RHSP Age: 23 2021 Stats (AA): 31 2/3 IP, 2.84 ERA, 1.263 WHIP, 3.10 FIP, 30.7 K%, 13.1 BB% 2021 Ranking: 15th Sands was a 5th round selection in the 2018 draft and it didn’t take long to see that Minnesota had something special here. There’s velocity, there’s command, there’s a real starting pitcher. Sands dominated three separate levels in 2019, and has picked up where he left off in 2021. The 11.9 K/9 is a strong number at Double-A, and while the command has slipped some, there’s no long term worry there. Currently injured, Minnesota hopes to have Cole back on the bump sooner rather than later. 12. Bailey Ober RHSP Age: 25 2021 Stats (AAA): 16 IP, 2.81 ERA, 1.125 WHIP, 1.67 FIP, 32.3 K%, 7.7 BB% 2021 Ranking: 20th Now in the big leagues taking regular turns with the Twins, Ober parlayed his quick Triple-A success into six turns in the big league rotation. He owns a 5.84 ERA there but has been bit most by the home run. Strikeouts and command continue to play, while his velocity has seen an uptick and is, in part, what has elevated his prospect status. There’s a good back-end rotation piece here, and it’d be a good bet he gets plenty of leash to showcase that the rest of 2021. 11. Blayne Enlow RHSP Age: 22 2021 Stats (A+): 14 2/3 IP, 1.84 ERA, 1.295 WHIP, 2.80 FIP, 39.0 K%, 10.2 BB% 2021 Ranking: 10th Arguably one of the most exciting prospects to see showcased following the 2020 minor league hiatus, Enlow came out as expected. He below the doors of High-A hitters and looked the part of a prospect that could put together an amazing season. Unfortunately, it ended quickly as he’s now recovering from Tommy John surgery, but look for him to be back stronger on the back half of 2022, and still with a ceiling that could be among the highest in the system as far as pitchers go. View full article
  2. It is worth noting that prospect graduations have and will happen throughout 2021. Names like Kirilloff, Larnach, Jeffers, Gordon, and Rortvedt are no longer eligible for consideration. With that said, let’s get into who’s next. 15. Misael Urbina OF Age: 19 ETA: 2024 2021 Stats (A): 42 G .191/.298/.268 3 2B 3 3B HR 24 RBI 23 BB 39 K 2021 Ranking: 14th Minnesota signed Urbina out of Venezuela back in 2018 during the International Signing Period. Jesse Sanchez called him, “one of the most coveted prospects from Venezuela in this year's international class” at the time. The bonus came in at $2.75 million, and that’s indicative of how the Twins see his tools developing. Urbina is playing in his first stateside season this year, and while the numbers aren’t gaudy by any means, controlling the strike zone is something he’s shown a strong ability to do as a young player. 14. Brent Rooker OF/1B Age: 26 2021 Stats (AAA): 43 G .243/.386/.547 6 2B 13 HR 28 RBI 31 BB 54 K 2021 Ranking: 12th Rooker was the 35th overall pick by Minnesota back in the 2017 draft. He made his MLB debut in 2020 before injury ended his season with just seven games played. Rooker has appeared in just eight games for the Twins this year going 3-for-29. Despite crushing Triple-A, his opportunities have been limited with the outfield capabilities being stretched, and him not being a true fit at first base. Should the Twins deal Nelson Cruz, Brent would appear to be in line for substantial big league at bats as the DH. 13. Cole Sands RHSP Age: 23 2021 Stats (AA): 31 2/3 IP, 2.84 ERA, 1.263 WHIP, 3.10 FIP, 30.7 K%, 13.1 BB% 2021 Ranking: 15th Sands was a 5th round selection in the 2018 draft and it didn’t take long to see that Minnesota had something special here. There’s velocity, there’s command, there’s a real starting pitcher. Sands dominated three separate levels in 2019, and has picked up where he left off in 2021. The 11.9 K/9 is a strong number at Double-A, and while the command has slipped some, there’s no long term worry there. Currently injured, Minnesota hopes to have Cole back on the bump sooner rather than later. 12. Bailey Ober RHSP Age: 25 2021 Stats (AAA): 16 IP, 2.81 ERA, 1.125 WHIP, 1.67 FIP, 32.3 K%, 7.7 BB% 2021 Ranking: 20th Now in the big leagues taking regular turns with the Twins, Ober parlayed his quick Triple-A success into six turns in the big league rotation. He owns a 5.84 ERA there but has been bit most by the home run. Strikeouts and command continue to play, while his velocity has seen an uptick and is, in part, what has elevated his prospect status. There’s a good back-end rotation piece here, and it’d be a good bet he gets plenty of leash to showcase that the rest of 2021. 11. Blayne Enlow RHSP Age: 22 2021 Stats (A+): 14 2/3 IP, 1.84 ERA, 1.295 WHIP, 2.80 FIP, 39.0 K%, 10.2 BB% 2021 Ranking: 10th Arguably one of the most exciting prospects to see showcased following the 2020 minor league hiatus, Enlow came out as expected. He below the doors of High-A hitters and looked the part of a prospect that could put together an amazing season. Unfortunately, it ended quickly as he’s now recovering from Tommy John surgery, but look for him to be back stronger on the back half of 2022, and still with a ceiling that could be among the highest in the system as far as pitchers go.
  3. 5. Cole Sands, RHP Current/Future Fastball: 50/55 Sands gets a lot of life in the upper half of the strike zone. Typically, he is in the low-90s, but he has the ability to hit 95-96 mph. According to FanGraphs, “his fastball will creep into the mid-90s with big time tail, the kind that can run off the hip of left-handed hitters and back over the plate.” His control has improved during his professional career and there is still room for him to make improvements moving forward. 4. Jordan Balazovic, RHP Current/Future Fastball: 55/55 Outside of Jhoan Duran (see below), Balazovic is the other pitcher in contention for being the team’s top pitching prospect. His fastball doesn’t have quite the velocity as others on this list, but he typically sits in the low- to mid-90s while topping out at 96 mph. His fastball plays up because hitters have a tough time picking it up out of his hand. He uses it a lot at the top of the zone and that means that the strikeouts will continue to pile up. 3. Josh Winder, RHP Current/Future Fastball: 60/60 During last year’s shutdown, Winder might have earned the award for most improved pitcher in the Twins organization. During the 2019 season, his fastball sat in the low-90s, but he can now hit 98 mph consistently and he proved this during instructs. There is good movement on the pitch too, which helps his off-speed pitches to play up. During the 2021 season, he needs to prove his 2020 development is for real. If he does, fans better be prepared for how fast Winder will fly up prospect lists next off-season. 2. Edwar Colina, RHP Current/Future Fastball: 65/65 Colina might not be as well known as some of the other names on this list, because he is destined for a role in the bullpen. His fastball consistently sits in the mid- to upper-90s and he can touch 100 mph. Even with this big velocity, his fastball doesn’t have a ton of movement, so hitters have a better chance of putting it in play. There’s a good chance he is part of the Twins bullpen at some point in 2021 and he can fill a late inning role in the years to come. 1. Jhoan Duran, RHP Current/Future Fastball: 70/70 Minnesota acquired Duran as part of the Eduardo Escobar trade and now he is considered one of the team’s best pitching prospects. He has grown into his frame throughout his time in the Twins organization as he now sits at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds. His fastball consistently hits in the high 90’s and he can hit triple digits on a regular basis. His four-seam fastball might not even be his best fastball as he has a hybrid “splinker” pitch that can also reach into the mid-90s. His velocity is elite, and the Twins hope he can mix-in more strikeouts as he gets closer to the big leagues this season. How would you rank these players? Does someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES -Speed Tool Prospects -Hit Tool Prospects -Power Tool Prospects MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  4. As we work toward the Top 10, the next batch of prospects in our countdown features four outfielders, with varying skill sets and arrival timelines, as well as one of the organization's best young arms.15. Cole Sands, RHP Age: 23 (DOB: 7/17/1997) 2019 Stats (A/AA): 97.1 IP, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 10.0 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 ETA: 2022 2020 Ranking: 19 The lack of a minor-league season in 2020 hurt many prospects, and Sands is certainly among them. He was just beginning to ramp up his workload – from 75 ⅓ innings during his final year at Florida State to 97 ⅓ in his first year with the Twins – and then it all got shut down. Now, the former fifth-round draft pick will try to pick up where he left off. Prior to the pandemic, he had quite a bit of momentum going. Sands was extremely impressive during his first professional season in 2019, posting a 2.68 ERA along with a brilliant 108-to-19 K/BB over 18 starts. He started out at Low-A and ended in Double-A. Solidly built at 6-foot-3 and 215 lbs, Sands brings a fastball in the mid-90s and his changeup is rated by Baseball America as the best in the Twins system. The Twins called up Rooker in early September after Kepler went down with a groin strain. He wasted no time at the plate, collecting six hits including a home run and two doubles. "I don’t want to say he’s got Miguel Sanó power, but it’s that type of power to the big part of the field,” said hitting coach Edgar Varela of the slugger. Rooker's defensive limitations were also on display during brief action in right and left field, and while he is ostensibly an option at first base, he hasn't played it since 2018. With Nelson Cruz returning in 2021, Rooker doesn't have much of a path to regular playing time at the moment, but he's useful as a rotational righty bench bat. To become more than that, he'll need to cut down the strikeouts, prove his defensive viability, and above all, find an opportunity. 11. Gilberto Celestino, OF Age: 21 (DOB: 2/13/99) 2019 Stats (A): 536 PA, .277/.349/.410, 10 HR, 54 RBI ETA: 2023 2020 Ranking: 12 Celestino was on a roll before his 2020 season got wiped out. After a slow start at Cedar Rapids in 2019, the outfielder pressed the pedal to the medal, slashing .357/.427/.550 in 43 games after July 1st and earning a late-season call-up to Ft. Myers. After the season, Minnesota added him to the 40-man roster, fearing that another club might try to snap him up in the Rule 5 draft. For a 20-year-old who had barely skimmed High-A, it was a rather extraordinary move, setting Celestino's options clock in motion at a very early stage. Clearly, the Twins like this kid, and with good reason. He was seeing plenty of early action in spring training last year before the shutdown.
  5. 15. Cole Sands, RHP Age: 23 (DOB: 7/17/1997) 2019 Stats (A/AA): 97.1 IP, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 10.0 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 ETA: 2022 2020 Ranking: 19 The lack of a minor-league season in 2020 hurt many prospects, and Sands is certainly among them. He was just beginning to ramp up his workload – from 75 ⅓ innings during his final year at Florida State to 97 ⅓ in his first year with the Twins – and then it all got shut down. Now, the former fifth-round draft pick will try to pick up where he left off. Prior to the pandemic, he had quite a bit of momentum going. Sands was extremely impressive during his first professional season in 2019, posting a 2.68 ERA along with a brilliant 108-to-19 K/BB over 18 starts. He started out at Low-A and ended in Double-A. Solidly built at 6-foot-3 and 215 lbs, Sands brings a fastball in the mid-90s and his changeup is rated by Baseball America as the best in the Twins system. The mission for Sands in 2021 is to rebuild his workload and get back on track toward a full starter's regimen, while also translating his early success into the high minors. It's a tall task, but all signs suggest the right-hander is up to it. He's a sleeper candidate to debut in the majors this year. 14. Misael Urbina, OF Age: 18 (DOB: 4/26/02) 2019 Stats (Rookie): 217 PA, .279/.382/.443 , 2 HR, 26 RBI ETA: 2024 2020 Ranking: 17 Urbina was considered one of the best international prospects available in 2018 when the Twins landed him with a $2.75 million signing bonus. The toolsy outfielder arrived with an exceptional pro debut the following year, slashing .279/.382/.443 over 50 games in the Dominican Summer League. In 217 plate appearances, Urbina showed excellent plate discipline (23 walks, 14 strikeouts), hit for power (21 extra-base hits), and flashed standout speed (19 steals and five triples). He also played a very sharp center field defensively. The Twins signed Urbina as a scrawny 16-year-old, and now he's going to be challenged to grow up in a hurry. He's still young, but turns 19 in April and hasn't been exposed to a full-season league. That'll happen now. If the uber-athletic teenager can come anywhere close to replicating his 2019 performance as he presumably graduates to A-ball, he'll climb these rankings quickly. 13. Matt Wallner, OF Age: 23 (DOB: 12/12/1997) 2019 Stats (Rookie/A): 291 PA, .258/.357/.452, 8 HR, 34 RBI ETA: 2022 2020 Ranking: 14 Like Urbina, Wallner was a highly touted young outfielder who made an impressive debut in 2019, posting an .810 OPS in 65 games between Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids after being selected in the supplemental first round of June's draft. But unlike Urbina, time is not on Wallner's side. The Twins took him out of the University of Southern Mississippi with the 39th overall pick, valuing the Forest Lake native as a polished and potentially fast-moving collegiate lefty bat. Now, after the lost 2020 season, he's 23 and has played 12 games above rookie ball. To put that in context: Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler were all established as full-time major-league outfielders at 23, and Alex Kirillloff will probably do so for himself this year at the same age. None of this is damning for Wallner, who faces the same need to make up for lost time as his minor-league peers, but it leaves him with little margin for error. If he struggles at all to acclimate in A-ball, he'll quickly fall behind the curve. Conversely, if he hits the ground running, Wallner is in line to move quickly as a relatively advanced hitter. 12. Brent Rooker, OF/1B Age: 26 (DOB: 11/1/1994) 2020 Stats (MLB): 21 PA, .316/.381/.579, 1 HR, 5 RBI ETA: 2021 2020 Ranking: 9 Rooker is different from almost every other prospect we'll rank on this list, in that he gave us some actual, concrete performance to evaluate in 2020. Granted, it was an absurdly small sample: 21 plate appearances with the Twins before a fractured forearm ended his season in mid-September. But what we saw mostly confirmed what we've come to believe about Rooker: he's a quality right-handed bat with real power potential, and ready for the big leagues. The Twins called up Rooker in early September after Kepler went down with a groin strain. He wasted no time at the plate, collecting six hits including a home run and two doubles. "I don’t want to say he’s got Miguel Sanó power, but it’s that type of power to the big part of the field,” said hitting coach Edgar Varela of the slugger. Rooker's defensive limitations were also on display during brief action in right and left field, and while he is ostensibly an option at first base, he hasn't played it since 2018. With Nelson Cruz returning in 2021, Rooker doesn't have much of a path to regular playing time at the moment, but he's useful as a rotational righty bench bat. To become more than that, he'll need to cut down the strikeouts, prove his defensive viability, and above all, find an opportunity. 11. Gilberto Celestino, OF Age: 21 (DOB: 2/13/99) 2019 Stats (A): 536 PA, .277/.349/.410, 10 HR, 54 RBI ETA: 2023 2020 Ranking: 12 Celestino was on a roll before his 2020 season got wiped out. After a slow start at Cedar Rapids in 2019, the outfielder pressed the pedal to the medal, slashing .357/.427/.550 in 43 games after July 1st and earning a late-season call-up to Ft. Myers. After the season, Minnesota added him to the 40-man roster, fearing that another club might try to snap him up in the Rule 5 draft. For a 20-year-old who had barely skimmed High-A, it was a rather extraordinary move, setting Celestino's options clock in motion at a very early stage. Clearly, the Twins like this kid, and with good reason. He was seeing plenty of early action in spring training last year before the shutdown. Celestino was on Minnesota's extended 60-man roster last summer, and got his work in daily at the alternate site in St. Paul, so his development was impeded less than many ohter prospects who weren't so lucky. That might give him a leg up heading into the coming season. He's probably the best center fielder in the system after Byron Buxton, which is noteworthy given Buxton's proneness to injury. Although Celestino is not a candidate to be called up early in the 2021 season, he could quickly enter the conversation with a fast start and a major-league opening. The combination of speed and power, combined with improving discipline and strong defense in center, makes him a multi-dimensional prospect with big impact potential. Although Ryan Pressly became an All-Star after the Twins traded him to Houston, it's still looking like the Twins – with young fireballer Jorge Alcala penned into their bullpen and Celestino fast on the rise – might end up getting the best of that 2018 trade. Twins 2021 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Bailey Ober, RHP 19. José Miranda, 3B/2B 18. Alerick Soularie, UTIL 17. Ben Rortvedt, C 16. Edwar Colina, RHP
  6. Most national prospect list have been released over the last few weeks. Here is a look at some of the Twins top talent that fall at the back end of Cody’s Top 20 Twins Prospects.Evaluating prospects in a pandemic certainly presents multiple challenges. Three of these names have yet to make their professional debut and that adds another wrinkle to the evaluation process. Minnesota’s system is deep and any of these names could impact the big-league roster in the years ahead. 20. Danny De Andrade- SS (16-years old) Acquired: 2021 International Free Agent ETA: 2025 The 2021 international signing period opened on January 15 and the Twins were expected to be aggressive. De Andrade was the organization’s highest rated signee, but he’s only 16-years old and he’s a long way from making his Target Field debut. Many players at his age are listed as shortstops, but there is no guarantee he will stick at that position. At 6-feet tall and 160 pounds, there is some room to add weight and even more power in the batter’s box. Scouting reports already praise him for his ability to drive the ball to all fields so he will be an exciting player to follow in the year’s ahead. 19. Jose Miranda- INF (22-years old) Acquired: 2016 2nd Round Pick ETA: 2021 Miranda has steadily been working his way through the Twins system since the club drafted him back in 2016. As a 21-year-old, he spent nearly all of 2019 at High-A, but he was able to make one appearance at Double-A. This winter he has been playing in the Puerto Rican Winter League and he’s had a strong offensive showing in 15 games. He hit .302/.377/.472 with six doubles and a home run. Fans can expect him to spend most of 2021 at both of the organization’s highest minor league levels with an outside chance of him making his big-league debut. 18. Emmanuel Rodriguez- OF (17-years old) Acquired: 2019 International Free Agent ETA: 2025 Rodriguez was Minnesota’s top international signing from the 2019 signing period, when MLB.com ranked him as the eighth best player available. He has yet to make his professional debut because of the pandemic. His best tool is his hit tool, and he is often praised for his baseball instincts. Some compared him to a young Eddie Rosario. When he signed, he was listed at 165-pounds and there are reports that he added upwards of 20 pounds since that point. He trained at home all last year so it will be nice for him to get a chance to work with Twins coaches more regularly in 2021. 17. Alerick Soularie- OF/2B (21-years old) Acquired: 2020 Second Round Pick ETA: 2024 Soularie is the third name on this list that has yet to make his professional debut. The Twins took him in the second round of last year’s draft out of Tennessee where he hit .336/.448/.586 in just over a season’s worth of at-bats. In college, he played a lot of outfield in college, but the Twins are likely going to shift him to second base since he profiles better that that position. Some scouts question his approach at the plate, but his raw athleticism should help him to make adjustments when he is able to make his professional debut. 16. Cole Sands- RHP (23-years old) Acquired: 2018 5th Round Pick ETA: 2021 Injuries have been part of his professional career as IL trips cost him parts of the 2018 and 2019 campaign. On the mound, his stuff is hard to ignore as he has a mid-90s fastball with some good movement that he combines with a plus breaking ball. Missing the 2020 season was tough on him because it would have allowed him to prove he can stay healthy and build up his innings total. Next winter, he will need to be added to the 40-man roster, so he has a lot to prove during the 2021 campaign. Which of these prospects stands out to you? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  7. Evaluating prospects in a pandemic certainly presents multiple challenges. Three of these names have yet to make their professional debut and that adds another wrinkle to the evaluation process. Minnesota’s system is deep and any of these names could impact the big-league roster in the years ahead. 20. Danny De Andrade- SS (16-years old) Acquired: 2021 International Free Agent ETA: 2025 The 2021 international signing period opened on January 15 and the Twins were expected to be aggressive. De Andrade was the organization’s highest rated signee, but he’s only 16-years old and he’s a long way from making his Target Field debut. Many players at his age are listed as shortstops, but there is no guarantee he will stick at that position. At 6-feet tall and 160 pounds, there is some room to add weight and even more power in the batter’s box. Scouting reports already praise him for his ability to drive the ball to all fields so he will be an exciting player to follow in the year’s ahead. 19. Jose Miranda- INF (22-years old) Acquired: 2016 2nd Round Pick ETA: 2021 Miranda has steadily been working his way through the Twins system since the club drafted him back in 2016. As a 21-year-old, he spent nearly all of 2019 at High-A, but he was able to make one appearance at Double-A. This winter he has been playing in the Puerto Rican Winter League and he’s had a strong offensive showing in 15 games. He hit .302/.377/.472 with six doubles and a home run. Fans can expect him to spend most of 2021 at both of the organization’s highest minor league levels with an outside chance of him making his big-league debut. 18. Emmanuel Rodriguez- OF (17-years old) Acquired: 2019 International Free Agent ETA: 2025 Rodriguez was Minnesota’s top international signing from the 2019 signing period, when MLB.com ranked him as the eighth best player available. He has yet to make his professional debut because of the pandemic. His best tool is his hit tool, and he is often praised for his baseball instincts. Some compared him to a young Eddie Rosario. When he signed, he was listed at 165-pounds and there are reports that he added upwards of 20 pounds since that point. He trained at home all last year so it will be nice for him to get a chance to work with Twins coaches more regularly in 2021. 17. Alerick Soularie- OF/2B (21-years old) Acquired: 2020 Second Round Pick ETA: 2024 Soularie is the third name on this list that has yet to make his professional debut. The Twins took him in the second round of last year’s draft out of Tennessee where he hit .336/.448/.586 in just over a season’s worth of at-bats. In college, he played a lot of outfield in college, but the Twins are likely going to shift him to second base since he profiles better that that position. Some scouts question his approach at the plate, but his raw athleticism should help him to make adjustments when he is able to make his professional debut. 16. Cole Sands- RHP (23-years old) Acquired: 2018 5th Round Pick ETA: 2021 Injuries have been part of his professional career as IL trips cost him parts of the 2018 and 2019 campaign. On the mound, his stuff is hard to ignore as he has a mid-90s fastball with some good movement that he combines with a plus breaking ball. Missing the 2020 season was tough on him because it would have allowed him to prove he can stay healthy and build up his innings total. Next winter, he will need to be added to the 40-man roster, so he has a lot to prove during the 2021 campaign. Which of these prospects stands out to you? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  8. 20. Randy Dobnak, RHP 2019 MiLB Stats (A+, AA, AAA): 12-4, 2.07 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 109 K, 28 BB, 135.0 IP 2019 MLB Stats: 2-1, 1.59 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 23 K, 5 BB, 28.1 IP Dobnak went on a tremendous ride last season with his first pitches of the year coming with the Fort Myers Miracle and his last pitches coming at Yankee Stadium in the playoffs. While Dobnak posted fantastic numbers last season, few expect him be the ace of a pitching staff. He has the potential to be a solid back end of the rotation pitcher for multiple years. His spot in the 2020 rotation wasn’t a guarantee so it will be interesting to see how he is used this year, especially with little chance of a minor league season occurring. His pitch mix includes four pitches with his sinker being used over 36% of the time. He also mixes in a changeup, curve, and four seamer. According to MLB’s Baseball Savant, his fastball spin was in the third percental when compared to the rest of baseball. His fastball velocity and curve spin also ranked in the 44th percentile or lower. Still, batters were only able to manage to barrel up the ball 2.3% of the time and his average exit velocity was 88.6. 19. Cole Sands, RHP 2019 MiLB Stats (A, A+, AA): 7-3, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 108 K, 19 BB, 97.1 IP Much like Dobnak, Sands made stops at three different minor league levels in 2019 where he was younger than the average age of the competition. His most impressive stop was in the Florida State League where he posted a 2.25 ERA and a 53 to 7 strikeout to walk ratio in 52 IP. He utilizes a fastball in the low-90s but there are times he can rear back and reach the mid-90s. His curveball and change-up are both good pitches that help to separate him from other starters in the organization. In his professional debut, Sands put up numbers that were far superior than anything he was able to compile as a three-year starter in college. His lowest ERA for any college season was 4.13 and he had a 4.73 ERA for his entire collegiate career. There were some good peripheral numbers that might have stood out to the Twins front office. Over his final two college seasons, he struck out more than 11 batters per nine innings and his WHIP dropped in every season. 18. Jose Miranda, 2B/3B 2019 MiLB Stats (A+, AA): .252/.302/.369, 8 HR, 26 2B, 54 K, 24 BB, 119 G Miranda played all but one regular season game in the Florida State League during 2019. He started off slow but ended the year on quite the offense run. Over his final 162 plate appearances, he hit .295/.333/.436 with 13 extra-base hits and almost as many walks (8) as strikeouts (10). Minnesota thought highly enough about him to send him to Pensacola for the playoffs where he compiled a .955 OPS in five postseason games. Defensively, he played more time at third base last season than any other season. Last season was the first time since his professional debut that he failed to hit double-digits in home runs. If he continues to add power, he could become quite the weapon at third base. He almost never strikes out and he has the defensive flexibility to play other infield positions as well. 17. Misael Urbina, OF 2019 MiLB Stats (FRK): .279/.382/.443, 2 HR, 14 2B, 5 3B, 19 SB, 23 BB, 14 K, 50 G Urbina signed for a boatload of cash ($2.75 million) back during the 2018 international signing period. He made his professional debut in 2019 and showed many of the skills that made him one of the top prospects in that signing class. He had 21 extra-base hits and 19 steals in 27 attempts. Also, he showed an advanced approach at the plate with more walks (23) than strikeouts (14). He can play all over the outfield, but 34 of his 44 defensive appearances came in center field. His speed will help him to stick in center field and he has the other tools to make himself a defensive weapon. As Twins fans have seen with Byron Buxton, speed can help to turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples. With more experience, he should also become better at stealing a higher percentage of bases. 16. Matt Wallner, OF 2019 MiLB Stats (RK, A): .258/.357/.452, 8 HR, 21 2B, 80 K, 24 BB, 65 G The Twins selected Wallner with the 39th overall pick in last year’s draft and he quickly made his presence known in the organization. In June and July, he hit .289/.392/.465 with 18 home runs in 37 games. He tired a little down the stretch by hitting .218/.312/.436 over the season’s final 28 games which included a dozen games in Cedar Rapids. Wallner was set to go to college at the University of North Dakota, but they cut their baseball program, and this might have actually helped him in the long run. He decided to play at Southern Mississippi and this likely allowed him to play a higher level of competition and for more scouts to put their eyes on him. His junior year really put him on a lot of team’s draft radars (if he wasn’t already there). In those 61 games, he posted a 1.127 OPS with 23 home runs. Stop back in the coming days to see who completes the top-20 list. 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. Jordan Balazovic and Jhoan Duran are extraordinarily talented, as documented, but the Twins have an under-the-radar arm that should excite you just as much. Special thanks to the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook for information and guidance in this article.The Astros drafted Sands in the 22nd round of the 2015 draft but his heart seemed set on pitching for Florida State in his hometown. You have to look deeper at his college numbers to fully appreciate them. In his first four starts for the Seminoles, Sands posted a tremendous 1.84 ERA in 14 ⅔ innings. His next six starts were not as pearly. He allowed 15 runs in 19 innings (7.11 ERA). He finished the season with a respectable 4.13 ERA but walks were an issue and strikeouts were few and far between. Sands finished his freshman year with a less-than-stellar 1.52 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Sands flashed his formidable upside that summer in the Cape Cod League by striking out 18 in 14 innings. He allowed only seven hits and two runs (1.29 ERA). That wouldn’t exactly carry into his sophomore season at Florida State. His ERA jumped to 5.40 the following spring, but he boosted his strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.48), and his strikeouts (7.8) and walks (3.1) per nine rates were much improved. It was again a tale of multiple streaks for Sands. Here is how his sophomore season broke down: First 7 starts: 3.38 ERA Next 7 starts: 8.81 ERA Last 4 starts: 3.52 ERA Sands was a beast in the 2017 ACC Tournament, shutting down 15 straight Duke hitters and sending the 'Noles to the championship. He pitched three scoreless innings in the final and helped Florida State to Omaha. You can start to see the trend here. Sands has always had the ability, but struggled to consistently utilize his stuff in college. His junior season was no different. He started 4-0, dazzling and dominating to a sterling 2.45 ERA with 31 punchies and only five walks in 22 innings. In the two appearances after that, he allowed 14 runs, more than double as many as his first four starts combined (6). Of course, he bounced back with two consecutive seven inning quality starts against a great Louisville team and a winning Georgia Tech club. He threw over 100 pitches six times, including five consecutive starts in March and April. When the Twins drafted him in the fifth round of that draft, they elected to rest his arm and save his pro debut for 2019. And what a debut it was. Sands was excellent in his first start for Cedar Rapids, pitching five scoreless innings with eight strikeouts. In three starts from April 19th to May 5th, Sands produced a 1.05 ERA and struck out 16 in 17 innings. He stymied hitters with a mid-90s fastball and a well-commanded curveball. He pitched very well against lefties all year long, holding them to a .621 OPS. His splits suggest that his changeup is indeed a quality pitch, and he can use it to get lefties out consistently. Sands made it to Fort Myers by June and further impressed there. He finished with a 2.25 ERA for the Miracle and opponents hit .199 off him. He struck out 53 and walked seven in 52 innings. The Twins sent him a message by moving him to Pensacola before the conclusion of the season. He struck out six in his lone four-inning start for the Blue Wahoos. He was likely set to spend much of the 2020 season in Pensacola’s rotation with quick ascension still in the cards. Sands’ fastball command has certainly developed over the years. His strikeout-to-walk ratio has skyrocketed since joining the Twins organization. His walk rate fell below 2.0 per nine last year and his WHIP (1.027) was lower than any of his three seasons at Florida State. His ground-ball rate was just 40%, which would’ve ranked as the 15th lowest in MLB last year. If you look closely, you can see the Twins stamp on him. Throwing up in the zone, pushing for fastball velocity, walking fewer batters and supressing home runs are all points of focus for pitching coach Wes Johnson and company. The Twins walked only 2.8 per nine last year, down from 3.6 in 2018. They struck out one batter per inning, an increase from 8.6 strikeouts per nine in 2018. They allowed an equal number of homers in 2019 as 2018 (198), but the league hit 1,191 more home runs. Sands is an exciting young pitcher with plenty of upside. Maintaining his fastball command, upping his velocity, and further blossoming his curveball and changeup will be important moving forward. Furthermore, with a somewhat violent delivery, avoiding elbow and shoulder complications will be vital. Sands missed some time during his junior year with biceps tendonitis. Nevertheless, there is a shining glimmer of a front-of-the-rotation starter here in the budding right-hander. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  10. The Astros drafted Sands in the 22nd round of the 2015 draft but his heart seemed set on pitching for Florida State in his hometown. You have to look deeper at his college numbers to fully appreciate them. In his first four starts for the Seminoles, Sands posted a tremendous 1.84 ERA in 14 ⅔ innings. His next six starts were not as pearly. He allowed 15 runs in 19 innings (7.11 ERA). He finished the season with a respectable 4.13 ERA but walks were an issue and strikeouts were few and far between. Sands finished his freshman year with a less-than-stellar 1.52 strikeout-to-walk ratio. Sands flashed his formidable upside that summer in the Cape Cod League by striking out 18 in 14 innings. He allowed only seven hits and two runs (1.29 ERA). That wouldn’t exactly carry into his sophomore season at Florida State. His ERA jumped to 5.40 the following spring, but he boosted his strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.48), and his strikeouts (7.8) and walks (3.1) per nine rates were much improved. It was again a tale of multiple streaks for Sands. Here is how his sophomore season broke down: First 7 starts: 3.38 ERA Next 7 starts: 8.81 ERA Last 4 starts: 3.52 ERA Sands was a beast in the 2017 ACC Tournament, shutting down 15 straight Duke hitters and sending the 'Noles to the championship. He pitched three scoreless innings in the final and helped Florida State to Omaha. You can start to see the trend here. Sands has always had the ability, but struggled to consistently utilize his stuff in college. His junior season was no different. He started 4-0, dazzling and dominating to a sterling 2.45 ERA with 31 punchies and only five walks in 22 innings. In the two appearances after that, he allowed 14 runs, more than double as many as his first four starts combined (6). Of course, he bounced back with two consecutive seven inning quality starts against a great Louisville team and a winning Georgia Tech club. He threw over 100 pitches six times, including five consecutive starts in March and April. When the Twins drafted him in the fifth round of that draft, they elected to rest his arm and save his pro debut for 2019. And what a debut it was. Sands was excellent in his first start for Cedar Rapids, pitching five scoreless innings with eight strikeouts. In three starts from April 19th to May 5th, Sands produced a 1.05 ERA and struck out 16 in 17 innings. He stymied hitters with a mid-90s fastball and a well-commanded curveball. He pitched very well against lefties all year long, holding them to a .621 OPS. His splits suggest that his changeup is indeed a quality pitch, and he can use it to get lefties out consistently. Sands made it to Fort Myers by June and further impressed there. He finished with a 2.25 ERA for the Miracle and opponents hit .199 off him. He struck out 53 and walked seven in 52 innings. The Twins sent him a message by moving him to Pensacola before the conclusion of the season. He struck out six in his lone four-inning start for the Blue Wahoos. He was likely set to spend much of the 2020 season in Pensacola’s rotation with quick ascension still in the cards. https://twitter.com/Nashwalker9/status/1250501028983836674?s=20 Sands’ fastball command has certainly developed over the years. His strikeout-to-walk ratio has skyrocketed since joining the Twins organization. His walk rate fell below 2.0 per nine last year and his WHIP (1.027) was lower than any of his three seasons at Florida State. His ground-ball rate was just 40%, which would’ve ranked as the 15th lowest in MLB last year. If you look closely, you can see the Twins stamp on him. Throwing up in the zone, pushing for fastball velocity, walking fewer batters and supressing home runs are all points of focus for pitching coach Wes Johnson and company. The Twins walked only 2.8 per nine last year, down from 3.6 in 2018. They struck out one batter per inning, an increase from 8.6 strikeouts per nine in 2018. They allowed an equal number of homers in 2019 as 2018 (198), but the league hit 1,191 more home runs. Sands is an exciting young pitcher with plenty of upside. Maintaining his fastball command, upping his velocity, and further blossoming his curveball and changeup will be important moving forward. Furthermore, with a somewhat violent delivery, avoiding elbow and shoulder complications will be vital. Sands missed some time during his junior year with biceps tendonitis. Nevertheless, there is a shining glimmer of a front-of-the-rotation starter here in the budding right-hander. 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. The Narrative: The former Twins front office leadership was slow to push pitchers up the ladder, especially in their first full professional season. The 2019 Case: In 2019, Twins right-handed pitcher Cole Sands made his professional debut. He had been the Twins fifth-round draft pick in 2018 out of Florida State. After being drafted, he was shut down. He began the 2019 season in Cedar Rapids. He went 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA. After eight starts and just 41 1/3 innings with the Kernels, he was promoted to Ft. Myers. With the Miracle, he made nine starts and went 5-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 52 innings. He ended the season with one start at Double-A Pensacola in which he gave up two runs in four innings. He threw a total of 97 1/3 innings in his first full season. I have seen it written or spoken about in a few places over the last couple of years that under the previous regime, the Twins would likely not have pushed a college pitcher like Sands quite as quickly. Is that true? Is that a fair critique? Obviously there is no perfect way to analyze this. Pitcher development (like hitter development) is very much dependent upon the individual. However, I wanted to go back several seasons and find out if the previous Twins regime had any (or many, or lots, or no) cases that fit the model that we saw in 2019 with Cole Sands. What are those qualifications to meet? So I went back through all of the Twins drafts from 2001 through 2019. I looked for these two things from each pitcher drafted out of college. If, in his first full professional season, the pitcher did one or both of them, I included him. Did the pitcher reach AA (or AAA)? Sands made one start at AA, or Did the pitcher pitch at three or more levels? Sands pitched at Low-A, High-A and AA. With that, let’s take a look at the Twins history this century. CURRENT REGIME (2017-2019) Cole Sands (5th round, 2019) - Pitched at three levels. Reached AA in 2020. PREVIOUS REGIME Tyler Jay (1st round, 2015) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2016.. Nick Burdi (supp 1st, 2014) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2015. Jake Reed (5th round, 2014) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2015. DJ Baxendale (10th round, 2012) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2013. Pat Dean (3rd round, 2010) - Pitched at three levels, Low-A, High-A and AA in 2011. Logan Darnell (6th round, 2010) - Pitched at three levels, Low-A, High-A and AA in 2011. Kyle Gibson (1st round, 2009) - Pitched at three levels, High-A, AA and AAA in 2010. Billy Bullock (2nd round, 2009) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2010. Carlos Gutierrez (supp 1st, 2008) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2009. Matt Garza (1st round, 2005) - Pitched at four levels, High-A, AA, AAA and MLB in 2006. Kevin Slowey (2nd round, 2005) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2006. Brian Duensing (3rd round, 2005) - Pitched at three levels, Low-A, High-A and AA in 2006. Glen Perkins (1st round, 2004) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2005. Scott Baker (2nd round, 2003) - Pitched at three levels, High-A, AA and AAA in 2004. Jesse Crain (2nd round, 2002) - Pitched at three levels, High-A, AA and AAA in 2003. Adam Johnson (1st round, 2000) - Pitched at three levels, AA, AAA and MLB. CONCLUSIONS While this doesn’t dispute the studies done five years or so ago stating that the Twins were among the slowest, if not the slowest, to promote pitchers to the big leagues, this does show that the previous Twins regime was not afraid of pushing college pitchers quickly through the lower levels of the minor leagues. In fact, it happened most years. This isn’t a scientific study. I have done nothing more than a quick search of Twins draft picks in Baseball-Reference, so it’s possible that I am missing something. Please feel free to let me know.
  12. Sometimes narratives, baseball or other, get into circulation, and once they do, it seems that they are hard to get rid of. I have probably (unfortunately) started some, and I am sure that I have passed along some without doing any research. Of course, I think we all agree that a little data to either support or disprove any narrative should help. Today I am going to address one of those narratives and let you decide.The Narrative: The former Twins front office leadership was slow to push pitchers up the ladder, especially in their first full professional season. The 2019 Case: In 2019, Twins right-handed pitcher Cole Sands made his professional debut. He had been the Twins fifth-round draft pick in 2018 out of Florida State. After being drafted, he was shut down. He began the 2019 season in Cedar Rapids. He went 2-1 with a 3.05 ERA. After eight starts and just 41 1/3 innings with the Kernels, he was promoted to Ft. Myers. With the Miracle, he made nine starts and went 5-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 52 innings. He ended the season with one start at Double-A Pensacola in which he gave up two runs in four innings. He threw a total of 97 1/3 innings in his first full season. I have seen it written or spoken about in a few places over the last couple of years that under the previous regime, the Twins would likely not have pushed a college pitcher like Sands quite as quickly. Is that true? Is that a fair critique? Obviously there is no perfect way to analyze this. Pitcher development (like hitter development) is very much dependent upon the individual. However, I wanted to go back several seasons and find out if the previous Twins regime had any (or many, or lots, or no) cases that fit the model that we saw in 2019 with Cole Sands. What are those qualifications to meet? So I went back through all of the Twins drafts from 2001 through 2019. I looked for these two things from each pitcher drafted out of college. If, in his first full professional season, the pitcher did one or both of them, I included him. Did the pitcher reach AA (or AAA)? Sands made one start at AA, orDid the pitcher pitch at three or more levels? Sands pitched at Low-A, High-A and AA.With that, let’s take a look at the Twins history this century. CURRENT REGIME (2017-2019) Cole Sands (5th round, 2019) - Pitched at three levels. Reached AA in 2020.PREVIOUS REGIME Tyler Jay (1st round, 2015) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2016..Nick Burdi (supp 1st, 2014) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2015.Jake Reed (5th round, 2014) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2015.DJ Baxendale (10th round, 2012) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2013.Pat Dean (3rd round, 2010) - Pitched at three levels, Low-A, High-A and AA in 2011.Logan Darnell (6th round, 2010) - Pitched at three levels, Low-A, High-A and AA in 2011.Kyle Gibson (1st round, 2009) - Pitched at three levels, High-A, AA and AAA in 2010.Billy Bullock (2nd round, 2009) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2010.Carlos Gutierrez (supp 1st, 2008) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2009.Matt Garza (1st round, 2005) - Pitched at four levels, High-A, AA, AAA and MLB in 2006.Kevin Slowey (2nd round, 2005) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2006.Brian Duensing (3rd round, 2005) - Pitched at three levels, Low-A, High-A and AA in 2006.Glen Perkins (1st round, 2004) - Pitched at two levels, High-A and AA in 2005.Scott Baker (2nd round, 2003) - Pitched at three levels, High-A, AA and AAA in 2004.Jesse Crain (2nd round, 2002) - Pitched at three levels, High-A, AA and AAA in 2003.Adam Johnson (1st round, 2000) - Pitched at three levels, AA, AAA and MLB.CONCLUSIONSWhile this doesn’t dispute the studies done five years or so ago stating that the Twins were among the slowest, if not the slowest, to promote pitchers to the big leagues, this does show that the previous Twins regime was not afraid of pushing college pitchers quickly through the lower levels of the minor leagues. In fact, it happened most years. This isn’t a scientific study. I have done nothing more than a quick search of Twins draft picks in Baseball-Reference, so it’s possible that I am missing something. Please feel free to let me know. Click here to view the article
  13. Find more on these five Minnesota Twins prospects and much more in the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. It’s available in paperback and as an ebook. 20. Jose Miranda, 3B/2B Age: 21 (DOB 6/29/1998) 2019 Stats (A+/AA): 483 PA, .252/.302/.369 (.671 OPS), 8 HR, 11.2 K%, 5.0 BB% 2019 Ranking: 20 We start this year’s list the exact same way we did in 2019. Miranda’s numbers don’t jump off the page, but keep in mind he still slugged better than the Florida State League average (.353) and was young for the level. He faced pitchers who were older than him in over 96 percent of his plate appearances last season. Miranda reached Pensacola to end the year. He played one regular season game, then hit .368/.429/.526 (.955) over five postseason games for the Blue Wahoos. That continued a trend, as Miranda has hit .350/.429/.583 (1.012 OPS) in 16 career playoff games. Once again, Miranda posted an insanely low strikeout rate. His 11.2 K% ranked 23rd among the 686 minor leaguers to log 400 plate appearances last season (inside the top four percent). He also mashed lefties, hitting .303/.330/.506 (.835 OPS), and continued to work on his defensive versatility. Sometimes the biggest thing that needs to happen for a player’s power to emerge is simply to get the heck out of Fort Myers. The guy at No. 18 on this list is a great example of just that ... 19. Cole Sands, RHP Age: 22 (DOB 7/17/1997) 2019 Stats (A/A+/AA): 97 1/3 IP, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 28.2 K%, 5.0 BB% 2019 Ranking: NR The Twins drafted Sands in 2018, but he didn’t make his professional debut until this past season. He opened the year with Cedar Rapids and immediately outmatched Midwest League hitters. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1114718482913005568 Sands made eight starts for the Kernels, nine for Fort Myers, then closed out the season by making his Double-A debut in the second leg of a doubleheader for Pensacola. I’d say that’s quite a busy first year on the job. Among the 667 minor league pitchers to log at least 80 innings in 2019, Sands’ 2.45 FIP ranked eighth. He did an incredible job of racking up strikeouts while limiting his walks, posting a K:BB ratio of 5.68. Another positive development was that Sands increased his workload from 75 1/3 innings at Florida State in 2018 to 97 1/3 innings this past season. 18. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/LF Age: 23 (DOB 8/3/1996) 2019 Stats (A+/AA): 471 PA, .277/.321/.466 (.787 OPS), 19 HR, 22.3 K%, 5.7BB% 2019 Ranking: NR Blankenhorn slipped off our list and onto the honorable mentions last year, but was No. 17 on the Twins Daily 2018 list and No. 9 on the 2017 list. He opened 2019 back in Fort Myers, but was headed up the coast after just 15 games with the Miracle. Despite facing tougher pitchers, the move to Pensacola did wonders for Blankenhorn’s power production. After hitting 12 home runs in 139 total games for the Miracle, Blankenhorn needed just 49 games to reach a dozen bombas for the Blue Wahoos. He hit .298/.337/.521 (.857 OPS) in his first 70 Double-A games, but suffered an injury in mid-July and slumped upon his return. Blankenhorn also continued to display his athleticism in 2019. He spent most of his time at second base (70 starts), but played more outfield than he had in previous seasons, and had three outfield assists in just 24 starts in left field. He was also a perfect 11-for-11 in stolen base attempts. The Twins added Blankenhorn to the 40-man roster this offseason, so expect him to get plenty of looks during spring training. 17. Misael Urbina, OF Age: 17 (DOB 4/26/2002) 2019 Stats (FRk): 217 PA, .279/.382/.443 (.825 OPS), 2 HR, 6.5 K%, 10.6 BB% 2019 Ranking: NR This guy has a chance to be the Twins’ No. 1 prospect a few years from now. Urbina’s speed and overall athleticism were hyped when the Twins signed him to a $2.75 million bonus, but the Venezuelan dynamo also proved he can control his plate appearances in. Urbina’s 6.5 K% was the fourth lowest among the 343 hitters who logged at least 170 plate appearances in the Dominican Summer League. He paired that with a strong 10.6 BB%. He also slugged nearly 100 points better than the DSL average and stole 19 bases in 50 games, oh, by the way. DSL stats aren’t particularly sticky. Taking a look back at prior years you’ll find quite a few guys who shine and then fizzle once they reach full-season ball. Still, Urbina’s tools, pedigree and now performance makes for a tantalizing player to pin dreams on. 16. Edwar Colina, RHP Age: 22 (DOB 5/3/1997) 2019 Stats (A+/AA/AAA): 97 1/3 IP, 2.96 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 25.4 K%, 8.0 BB% 2019 Ranking: NR Colina’s talent was on full display throughout July, where gave up just two earned runs in 31 2/3 innings (0.57 ERA) and struck out 36 batters. He was named Twins Daily’s Minor League Pitcher of the Month for that performance. Colina made 10 starts for Fort Myers and four more for Pensacola. In those outings, he pitched to a 2.29 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and struck out 89 batters in 82 2/3 innings. His overall numbers were dragged down a bit by five relief outings that didn’t go nearly as well. The product of Venezuela has always had a knack for keeping the ball in the yard, and tied Cole Sands for the lowest HR/9 in the system (minimum 90 innings). Both of them surrendered just four homers in 97 1/3 innings pitched. Over his entire minor league career, Colina has given up a grand total of just 16 home runs in 324 2/3 innings pitched. Twins Daily 2020 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions Stop by tomorrow for prospects 11-15 MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  14. No award may be more fun to hand out than the starting pitcher of the year award. Up and down the minor league system there are arms full of life and promise who have just one goal in mind; make hitters miserable. That they did this year, as every affiliate ranked highly in their respective leagues for pitching strikeouts and high impact starters made their presence known on each squad. Here we will appreciate and celebrate those individual starters who had the best seasons in 2019.Previous Starting Pitcher of the Year Winners: 2018 winner - Tyler Wells 2017 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2016 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2015 winner - Jose Berrios 2014 winner - Jose Berrios 2013 winner - Taylor Rogers 2012 winner - BJ Hermsen Previous 2019 Winners: 2019 minor league relief pitcher of the year-Anthony Vizcaya 2019 short-season pitcher of the year-Cody Laweryson 2019 short-season hitter of the year-Matt Wallner The Twins’ minor league system has seen some large advancements recently in player development and the most impacted area has arguably been the starting pitching. New players have come in and seen their velocity gain a tick or two, recent draft picks have flourished quickly at each level, and great performances have come from unexpected areas. It has become almost astounding to look to each affiliate’s starting rotation and see how much talent there is in every single rotation. There were many great choices here and I know that I personally found this vote the most challenging one to make. Six Twins Daily Minor League writers voted for the various awards this year. For the starting pitcher of the year, we each voted for five players. The player who was voted as #1 received five points, #2 received four points and so on with the #5 vote receiving one point. Results were tabulated and can be found below. Others receiving votes: Luis Rijo - 19 GS, 5-8, 2.86 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 107 IP, 89 H, 23 BB, 99 KJhoan Duran - 22 GS, 5-12, 3.76 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 115 IP, 97 H, 40 BB, 136 KDevin Smeltzer - 19 GS, 4-5, 2.76 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 104 ⅓ IP, 87 H, 22 BB, 104 KJosh Winder - 21 GS, 7-2, 2.65 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 125 ⅔ IP, 93 H, 30 BB, 118 KStarting Pitcher of the Year: Here are the top five vote-getters voted on by the Twins Daily minor league crew. T-#4 - Cole Sands, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Fort Myers Miracle, Pensacola Blue Wahoos: 18 GS, 7-3, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 97 ⅓ IP, 81 H, 19 BB, 108 K Sands was taken by the Twins in thefifth round of the 2018 MLB draft out of Florida State University. He did not pitch in the Twins’ system that year which isn’t rare for college pitchers, so 2019 was his first year in professional baseball and what an impression he made. Splitting time between three levels of the minors, Sands dazzled with a 9.99 K/9, a 1.76 BB/9, and a 2.45 FIP. Injuries limited him to 97 1/3 innings pitched in 2019 but a strong season on the field made Sands one of the premier starters in the system and he may be up in the majors as soon as next year. T-#4 - Griffin Jax, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Rochester Red Wings: 23 GS, 5-7, 2.90 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 127 ⅓ IP, 117 H, 27 BB, 94 K Jax was a graduate of the Air Force and was granted the ability to pitch in the Twins system full-time in 2018 under the military’s World Class Athlete Program which allows active-duty personnel to to train full-time for the Olympics. Jax backs up his cool story with some cool pitching as he threw the third most innings in the Twins’ system in 2019 and held the third lowest ERA among those in the system with at least 100 innings pitched. Jax ended the season at AA, had a taste of AAA, and will need to be added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the rule 5 draft, so he may factor into the Twins’ starting rotation in 2020. #3-Bailey Ober, GCL Twins, Fort Myers Miracle, Pensacola Blue Wahoos: 13 GS, 8-0, 0.69 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 78 ⅔ IP, 55 H, 9 BB, 100 K Ober unfortunately was not able to throw as many innings as the other names on this list, but his numbers were absolutely eye-popping in 2019. Out of every minor league pitcher who had at least 70 innings pitched in 2019, Ober had the lowest ERA with his 0.69 mark (second place was 1.10). Ober’s K-BB% of 30.7% would be the second highest mark among qualified MLB starting pitchers with Gerrit Cole being the only starter with a better percentage. Really, this is all just me saying that Ober had a fantastic year and when healthy he is one of the best pitchers in the entire system. He discussed his 2019 season, his pitches and more in a Twins Daily interview earlier this week. #2-Jordan Balazovic, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Fort Myers Miracle: 18 GS, 8-5, 2.69 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 93 ⅔ IP, 67 H, 25 BB, 129 K As a cold-weather pitcher before the draft, Balazovic was a prime candidate for developing quickly when placed into a professional system...and that he did. Balazovic had a good 2018 and then followed it up with an absolutely phenomenal 2019 that saw his prospect stock rise to the top of the Twins’ system. Balazovic’s K% of 33.9% in 2019 would be the fifth highest among qualified MLB starters this year and his batting average allowed of .191 would the third lowest among qualified MLB starters. His 2019 was mostly spent at Fort Myers but he was promoted late in the season and was able to make a single playoff start for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in which seven of the 14 outs he made were by strikeout. #1-Randy Dobnak, Fort Myers Miracle, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Rochester Red Wings 21 GS, 12-4, 2.07 ERA, .98 WHIP, 135 IP, 104 H, 28 BB, 109 K Dobnak is the only starter in the top five to pitch for the Twins in 2019 and he very well may be the only one to pitch at four different levels in 2019 if you consider MLB as its own “level”. Nevertheless, Dobnak was an absolute horse in 2019 as he was first among all Twins’ minor league pitchers in innings pitched and his 2.07 ERA was the lowest among starters in the Twins’ system with more than 80 innings pitched. Dobnak was undrafted out of college and went to pitch in independent ball to start in 2017. Not long after the start of his career for the Utica Unicorns, Dobnak was picked up by the Twins on a minor league deal and he pitched for Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids that year. Beyond baseball, Dobnak was an Uber driver as recently as spring training in 2019 and he apparently was excellent as he had a rating of 4.99 stars out of 5. Man, these advanced stats are getting pretty weird even for me. Luckily for Dobnak, the major league paycheck is just a touch higher than the minor league one so he can retire from his Uber career. Dobnak’s professional career so far has been nothing short of incredible but he is much more than just a story. Dobnak’s wonderful 2019 season earned him a promotion to the majors where has allowed just two earned runs so far over his 11 major league innings. With some question marks in the Twins’ starting rotation at the moment, Dobnak will certainly get a few opportunities to prove that he belongs in the majors and that one’s draft position (or lack thereof) does not necessarily dictate how successful they will be in baseball. Dobnak has had a great 2019 in the minors and hopefully he will continue to have a great 2019 in the majors. The Ballots: Seth Stohs: 1) Randy Dobnak 2) Bailey Ober 3) Jordan Balazovic 4) Josh Winder 5) Luis Rijo Tom Froemming: 1) Jordan Balazovic 2) Randy Dobnak 3) Cole Sands 4) Bailey Ober 5) Luis Rijo Cody Christie: 1) Randy Dobnak 2) Griffin Jax 3) Devin Smeltzer 4) Jhoan Duran 5) Josh Winder Matt Braun: 1) Bailey Ober 2) Jordan Balazovic 3) Cole Sands 4) Jhoan Duran 5) Luis Rijo Ted Schwerzler: 1) Randy Dobnak 2) Bailey Ober 3) Griffin Jax 4) Jordan Balazovic 5) Devin Smeltzer Steve Lein: 1) Jordan Balazovic 2) Randy Dobnak 3) Josh Winder 4) Bailey Ober 5) Cole Sands Feel free to discuss our ballots! Who was completely wrong? Who needs a shout out because they were overlooked? What would your ballot look like? Click here to view the article
  15. Previous Starting Pitcher of the Year Winners: 2018 winner - Tyler Wells 2017 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2016 winner - Stephen Gonsalves 2015 winner - Jose Berrios 2014 winner - Jose Berrios 2013 winner - Taylor Rogers 2012 winner - BJ Hermsen Previous 2019 Winners: 2019 minor league relief pitcher of the year-Anthony Vizcaya 2019 short-season pitcher of the year-Cody Laweryson 2019 short-season hitter of the year-Matt Wallner The Twins’ minor league system has seen some large advancements recently in player development and the most impacted area has arguably been the starting pitching. New players have come in and seen their velocity gain a tick or two, recent draft picks have flourished quickly at each level, and great performances have come from unexpected areas. It has become almost astounding to look to each affiliate’s starting rotation and see how much talent there is in every single rotation. There were many great choices here and I know that I personally found this vote the most challenging one to make. Six Twins Daily Minor League writers voted for the various awards this year. For the starting pitcher of the year, we each voted for five players. The player who was voted as #1 received five points, #2 received four points and so on with the #5 vote receiving one point. Results were tabulated and can be found below. Others receiving votes: Luis Rijo - 19 GS, 5-8, 2.86 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 107 IP, 89 H, 23 BB, 99 K Jhoan Duran - 22 GS, 5-12, 3.76 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 115 IP, 97 H, 40 BB, 136 K Devin Smeltzer - 19 GS, 4-5, 2.76 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 104 ⅓ IP, 87 H, 22 BB, 104 K Josh Winder - 21 GS, 7-2, 2.65 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 125 ⅔ IP, 93 H, 30 BB, 118 K Starting Pitcher of the Year: Here are the top five vote-getters voted on by the Twins Daily minor league crew. T-#4 - Cole Sands, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Fort Myers Miracle, Pensacola Blue Wahoos: 18 GS, 7-3, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 97 ⅓ IP, 81 H, 19 BB, 108 K Sands was taken by the Twins in thefifth round of the 2018 MLB draft out of Florida State University. He did not pitch in the Twins’ system that year which isn’t rare for college pitchers, so 2019 was his first year in professional baseball and what an impression he made. Splitting time between three levels of the minors, Sands dazzled with a 9.99 K/9, a 1.76 BB/9, and a 2.45 FIP. Injuries limited him to 97 1/3 innings pitched in 2019 but a strong season on the field made Sands one of the premier starters in the system and he may be up in the majors as soon as next year. T-#4 - Griffin Jax, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Rochester Red Wings: 23 GS, 5-7, 2.90 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 127 ⅓ IP, 117 H, 27 BB, 94 K Jax was a graduate of the Air Force and was granted the ability to pitch in the Twins system full-time in 2018 under the military’s World Class Athlete Program which allows active-duty personnel to to train full-time for the Olympics. Jax backs up his cool story with some cool pitching as he threw the third most innings in the Twins’ system in 2019 and held the third lowest ERA among those in the system with at least 100 innings pitched. Jax ended the season at AA, had a taste of AAA, and will need to be added to the 40-man roster to protect him from the rule 5 draft, so he may factor into the Twins’ starting rotation in 2020. #3-Bailey Ober, GCL Twins, Fort Myers Miracle, Pensacola Blue Wahoos: 13 GS, 8-0, 0.69 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 78 ⅔ IP, 55 H, 9 BB, 100 K Ober unfortunately was not able to throw as many innings as the other names on this list, but his numbers were absolutely eye-popping in 2019. Out of every minor league pitcher who had at least 70 innings pitched in 2019, Ober had the lowest ERA with his 0.69 mark (second place was 1.10). Ober’s K-BB% of 30.7% would be the second highest mark among qualified MLB starting pitchers with Gerrit Cole being the only starter with a better percentage. Really, this is all just me saying that Ober had a fantastic year and when healthy he is one of the best pitchers in the entire system. He discussed his 2019 season, his pitches and more in a Twins Daily interview earlier this week. #2-Jordan Balazovic, Cedar Rapids Kernels, Fort Myers Miracle: 18 GS, 8-5, 2.69 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 93 ⅔ IP, 67 H, 25 BB, 129 K As a cold-weather pitcher before the draft, Balazovic was a prime candidate for developing quickly when placed into a professional system...and that he did. Balazovic had a good 2018 and then followed it up with an absolutely phenomenal 2019 that saw his prospect stock rise to the top of the Twins’ system. Balazovic’s K% of 33.9% in 2019 would be the fifth highest among qualified MLB starters this year and his batting average allowed of .191 would the third lowest among qualified MLB starters. His 2019 was mostly spent at Fort Myers but he was promoted late in the season and was able to make a single playoff start for the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in which seven of the 14 outs he made were by strikeout. #1-Randy Dobnak, Fort Myers Miracle, Pensacola Blue Wahoos, Rochester Red Wings 21 GS, 12-4, 2.07 ERA, .98 WHIP, 135 IP, 104 H, 28 BB, 109 K Dobnak is the only starter in the top five to pitch for the Twins in 2019 and he very well may be the only one to pitch at four different levels in 2019 if you consider MLB as its own “level”. Nevertheless, Dobnak was an absolute horse in 2019 as he was first among all Twins’ minor league pitchers in innings pitched and his 2.07 ERA was the lowest among starters in the Twins’ system with more than 80 innings pitched. Dobnak was undrafted out of college and went to pitch in independent ball to start in 2017. Not long after the start of his career for the Utica Unicorns, Dobnak was picked up by the Twins on a minor league deal and he pitched for Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids that year. Beyond baseball, Dobnak was an Uber driver as recently as spring training in 2019 and he apparently was excellent as he had a rating of 4.99 stars out of 5. Man, these advanced stats are getting pretty weird even for me. Luckily for Dobnak, the major league paycheck is just a touch higher than the minor league one so he can retire from his Uber career. Dobnak’s professional career so far has been nothing short of incredible but he is much more than just a story. Dobnak’s wonderful 2019 season earned him a promotion to the majors where has allowed just two earned runs so far over his 11 major league innings. With some question marks in the Twins’ starting rotation at the moment, Dobnak will certainly get a few opportunities to prove that he belongs in the majors and that one’s draft position (or lack thereof) does not necessarily dictate how successful they will be in baseball. Dobnak has had a great 2019 in the minors and hopefully he will continue to have a great 2019 in the majors. The Ballots: Seth Stohs: 1) Randy Dobnak 2) Bailey Ober 3) Jordan Balazovic 4) Josh Winder 5) Luis Rijo Tom Froemming: 1) Jordan Balazovic 2) Randy Dobnak 3) Cole Sands 4) Bailey Ober 5) Luis Rijo Cody Christie: 1) Randy Dobnak 2) Griffin Jax 3) Devin Smeltzer 4) Jhoan Duran 5) Josh Winder Matt Braun: 1) Bailey Ober 2) Jordan Balazovic 3) Cole Sands 4) Jhoan Duran 5) Luis Rijo Ted Schwerzler: 1) Randy Dobnak 2) Bailey Ober 3) Griffin Jax 4) Jordan Balazovic 5) Devin Smeltzer Steve Lein: 1) Jordan Balazovic 2) Randy Dobnak 3) Josh Winder 4) Bailey Ober 5) Cole Sands Feel free to discuss our ballots! Who was completely wrong? Who needs a shout out because they were overlooked? What would your ballot look like?
  16. Welcome to August! Many prospects throughout baseball can breathe a sigh of relief because they weren’t traded away by Wednesday’s trade deadline. Now it is time to buckle down and make a run for the postseason. Pensacola’s line-up includes Minnesota’s first-round picks from 2016-2018. This is the first time a trio of first rounders have been playing for Pensacola at the same time. Would any of these players impact Thursday’s games? Let’s find out.TRANSACTIONS OF Ramon Flores signed by Minnesota and assigned to Rochester. 3B Jake Hirabayashi assigned to Rochester from GCL Twins. RHP Anthony Vizcaya placed on the 7-day IL with Pensacola. RHP Marcos Diplan acquired in trade with/ MIL and assigned to Pensacola. RHP Kai-Wei Ten to SF as part of the Sam Dyson deal. RHP Carlos Suniaga on 7-day IL with Pensacola. RHP Josh Winder on 7-day IL with Pensacola. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Scranton/WB 3 Box Score Kohl Stewart got the nod for the Red Wings on Thursday afternoon. He pitched into the sixth inning (5 2/3 innings) and held the RailRiders to one run on six hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Jake Reed struggled in taking over for Stewart. He allowed two earned runs without allowing a hit. He struck out three and walked one in 1 1/3 innings. In the second inning, Alejandro De Aza got the scoring started with a solo-home run, his fourth long-ball of the year. Rochester added another in the fourth. De Aza and Zander Wiel both singled before Ramon Flores doubled in a run. De Aza was in the middle of the action in the fifth inning as well. Tomas Telis singled with two outs and De Aza cracked his second home run of the day. Jake Cave added his seventh home run in the seventh. Fernando Romero and Sam Clay finished off the game with two scoreless innings. Romero pitched 1 2/3 innings and limited Scranton/WB to one hit while striking out two and walking one. Clay was asked to get only one out and he recorded his first save. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 11, Birmingham 8 Box Score Pensacola needed every one of Alex Kirilloff’s five RBIs in this one as they battled through a slugfest. Kirilloff finished 2-for-5 with his 14th double and his fifth home run, a three-run shot. Ivan De Jesus Jr also had a big night at the plate by going 3-for-4 with four RBIs including a three-run home run. Ben Rortvedt drove in a pair of runs with two outs in the inning. Overall, the club went 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Griffin Jax started and got roughed up. He allowed five runs on 11 hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Jorge Alcala pitched out the of the bullpen and surrendered one run on two hits with a strikeout in 1 2/3 innings. Andrew Vasquez blew the save but was credited with the win. He allowed two runs in two innings and struck out three. Jonathan Cheshire earned his first save since joining the Twins organization with a perfect ninth inning. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Dunedin 0 (Game 1- 7 Innings) Box Score Cole Sands was outstanding even with a weather delay that impacted the start time of Game 1. He pitched six shutout innings and limited Dunedin to two hits. He struck out seven and walked one. Joe Record earned his third save with a perfect seventh inning. CJ Cron, on rehab assignment, got things started in the third inning with a solo home run. Jose Miranda also scored in that inning on a wild pitch. Miranda was also involved in the final run of the game. Jacob Pearson drove him in for an important insurance run in the bottom of the fifth. Andrew Bechtold reached base three times and was the lone Fort Myers batter with multiple hits. Ft. Myers 2, Dunedin 6 (Game 2- 7 Innings) Box Score Fort Myers got smoked for six runs in the third inning and it was tough to mount a comeback. Chris Vallimont was charged with all six earned runs as he couldn’t make it out of the third inning. Melvi Acosta pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings by striking out two. Gabriel Maciel got the Miracle on the scoreboard with a run-scoring triple in the fourth inning. Ernie De La Trinidad and Yelstin Encarnacion both doubled in the fifth to score another run but that was it for the Miracle. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Beloit 2 Box Score Cedar Rapids and Luis Rijo allowed two runs in the first inning but that’s where the scoring stopped for the Snappers. Rijo settled in after the first and threw five straight scoreless frames. He compiled three strikeouts and one walk. He has pitched six innings or more in every start since July 4. Alex Schick and Rickey Ramirez combined for three shutout innings to end the game. Schick picked up his fourth win as he recorded four strikeouts out of the six outs he was asked to collect. Ramirez pitched a perfect ninth inning and added a strikeout. Tyler Webb led off the third inning with a single before Daniel Ozoria knocked his first home run of the season. The game remained tied until the ninth inning. Webb struck out to start the inning but reached first on a wild pitch. Ricky De La Torre walked to move a runner into scoring position. Ozoria bunted both runners over and then two batters later Gabe Snyder doubled, his 20th, to plate two runs. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, GCL Braves 2 Box Score Brusdar Graterol continued his comeback by making his second appearance in the GCL. He faced the minimum in the first inning as he allowed a single and then erased that runner on a double play. He was able to hit over 100 mph again. In his second inning, the first batter flew out to center. Then he struck out each of the next two batters on three pitches and they were all swinging strikes. Would the Twins consider adding him to the bullpen for the stretch run? With two outs in the third inning, Taylor Grzelakowski walked before moving to second on a Jesus Feliz single. Victor Heredia doubled, his third of the year, to drive in both runners. The GCL Twins added to their lead in the fourth when Sergio Toribio singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. After a ground out moved him to third, Yunior Severino drove in what turned out to be the game winning run. Regi Grace took over from Graterol and was credited with his first win. He pitched four innings and allowed one run, a solo home run, with four strikeouts and three walks. Petru Balan came in for the top of the seventh, but he walked the first two batters and was removed. Bradley Hanner stepped in to finish the game with three shutout innings. He struck out two and walked one. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Cole Sands, Fort Myers (6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 7 K, BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Alejandro De Aza, Rochester (3-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) – 1-4, R, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 2-4, 5 RBI, HR, 2B, 2 R, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (GCL Twins- Rehab) – 2.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 2 K #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 0-4, 3 K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) – 1-4, 3 K #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-5 #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) – Did not play #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 1-6, R #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) – 1-4, R, RBI, BB, K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – 1-3, 2 RBI, R #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – 1.2 IP, ER, 2 H, K #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) – Did not play #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – Injured list FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Pawtucket (6:05 CST) – TBD Pensacola vs. Birmingham (6:35 CST) – RHP Jhoan Duran (3-9, 3.04 ERA) Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (1-4, 3.88 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:30 CST) – TBD Elizabethton vs. Bristol (5:30 CST) – TBD GCL Twins vs. GCL Red Sox (11:00 AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games. 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  17. TRANSACTIONS OF Ramon Flores signed by Minnesota and assigned to Rochester. 3B Jake Hirabayashi assigned to Rochester from GCL Twins. RHP Anthony Vizcaya placed on the 7-day IL with Pensacola. RHP Marcos Diplan acquired in trade with/ MIL and assigned to Pensacola. RHP Kai-Wei Ten to SF as part of the Sam Dyson deal. RHP Carlos Suniaga on 7-day IL with Pensacola. RHP Josh Winder on 7-day IL with Pensacola. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Scranton/WB 3 Box Score Kohl Stewart got the nod for the Red Wings on Thursday afternoon. He pitched into the sixth inning (5 2/3 innings) and held the RailRiders to one run on six hits with two strikeouts and two walks. Jake Reed struggled in taking over for Stewart. He allowed two earned runs without allowing a hit. He struck out three and walked one in 1 1/3 innings. In the second inning, Alejandro De Aza got the scoring started with a solo-home run, his fourth long-ball of the year. Rochester added another in the fourth. De Aza and Zander Wiel both singled before Ramon Flores doubled in a run. De Aza was in the middle of the action in the fifth inning as well. Tomas Telis singled with two outs and De Aza cracked his second home run of the day. Jake Cave added his seventh home run in the seventh. Fernando Romero and Sam Clay finished off the game with two scoreless innings. Romero pitched 1 2/3 innings and limited Scranton/WB to one hit while striking out two and walking one. Clay was asked to get only one out and he recorded his first save. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 11, Birmingham 8 Box Score Pensacola needed every one of Alex Kirilloff’s five RBIs in this one as they battled through a slugfest. Kirilloff finished 2-for-5 with his 14th double and his fifth home run, a three-run shot. Ivan De Jesus Jr also had a big night at the plate by going 3-for-4 with four RBIs including a three-run home run. Ben Rortvedt drove in a pair of runs with two outs in the inning. Overall, the club went 7-for-13 with runners in scoring position. Griffin Jax started and got roughed up. He allowed five runs on 11 hits with two strikeouts and a walk. Jorge Alcala pitched out the of the bullpen and surrendered one run on two hits with a strikeout in 1 2/3 innings. Andrew Vasquez blew the save but was credited with the win. He allowed two runs in two innings and struck out three. Jonathan Cheshire earned his first save since joining the Twins organization with a perfect ninth inning. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Dunedin 0 (Game 1- 7 Innings) Box Score Cole Sands was outstanding even with a weather delay that impacted the start time of Game 1. He pitched six shutout innings and limited Dunedin to two hits. He struck out seven and walked one. Joe Record earned his third save with a perfect seventh inning. CJ Cron, on rehab assignment, got things started in the third inning with a solo home run. Jose Miranda also scored in that inning on a wild pitch. Miranda was also involved in the final run of the game. Jacob Pearson drove him in for an important insurance run in the bottom of the fifth. Andrew Bechtold reached base three times and was the lone Fort Myers batter with multiple hits. Ft. Myers 2, Dunedin 6 (Game 2- 7 Innings) Box Score Fort Myers got smoked for six runs in the third inning and it was tough to mount a comeback. Chris Vallimont was charged with all six earned runs as he couldn’t make it out of the third inning. Melvi Acosta pitched 2 1/3 scoreless innings by striking out two. Gabriel Maciel got the Miracle on the scoreboard with a run-scoring triple in the fourth inning. Ernie De La Trinidad and Yelstin Encarnacion both doubled in the fifth to score another run but that was it for the Miracle. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Beloit 2 Box Score Cedar Rapids and Luis Rijo allowed two runs in the first inning but that’s where the scoring stopped for the Snappers. Rijo settled in after the first and threw five straight scoreless frames. He compiled three strikeouts and one walk. He has pitched six innings or more in every start since July 4. Alex Schick and Rickey Ramirez combined for three shutout innings to end the game. Schick picked up his fourth win as he recorded four strikeouts out of the six outs he was asked to collect. Ramirez pitched a perfect ninth inning and added a strikeout. Tyler Webb led off the third inning with a single before Daniel Ozoria knocked his first home run of the season. The game remained tied until the ninth inning. Webb struck out to start the inning but reached first on a wild pitch. Ricky De La Torre walked to move a runner into scoring position. Ozoria bunted both runners over and then two batters later Gabe Snyder doubled, his 20th, to plate two runs. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 3, GCL Braves 2 Box Score Brusdar Graterol continued his comeback by making his second appearance in the GCL. He faced the minimum in the first inning as he allowed a single and then erased that runner on a double play. He was able to hit over 100 mph again. In his second inning, the first batter flew out to center. Then he struck out each of the next two batters on three pitches and they were all swinging strikes. Would the Twins consider adding him to the bullpen for the stretch run? https://twitter.com/AndrewBern12/status/1156958794825555969 With two outs in the third inning, Taylor Grzelakowski walked before moving to second on a Jesus Feliz single. Victor Heredia doubled, his third of the year, to drive in both runners. The GCL Twins added to their lead in the fourth when Sergio Toribio singled and moved to second on a wild pitch. After a ground out moved him to third, Yunior Severino drove in what turned out to be the game winning run. Regi Grace took over from Graterol and was credited with his first win. He pitched four innings and allowed one run, a solo home run, with four strikeouts and three walks. Petru Balan came in for the top of the seventh, but he walked the first two batters and was removed. Bradley Hanner stepped in to finish the game with three shutout innings. He struck out two and walked one. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Cole Sands, Fort Myers (6.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 7 K, BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Alejandro De Aza, Rochester (3-for-4, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 3 R, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) – 1-4, R, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 2-4, 5 RBI, HR, 2B, 2 R, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (GCL Twins- Rehab) – 2.0 IP, H, 0 ER, 2 K #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 0-4, 3 K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) – 1-4, 3 K #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-5 #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) – Did not play #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 1-6, R #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) – 1-4, R, RBI, BB, K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – 1-3, 2 RBI, R #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – 1.2 IP, ER, 2 H, K #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) – Did not play #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – Injured list FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Pawtucket (6:05 CST) – TBD Pensacola vs. Birmingham (6:35 CST) – RHP Jhoan Duran (3-9, 3.04 ERA) Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (1-4, 3.88 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:30 CST) – TBD Elizabethton vs. Bristol (5:30 CST) – TBD GCL Twins vs. GCL Red Sox (11:00 AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games.
  18. With games in the Southern and Gulf Coast Leagues being affected by rains, there were only four games played in the minors on Tuesday despite one team having a doubleheader. You will have a hard time finding a hitter that has had a better day this entire season, than one slugger in particular had in triple-A by clubbing three homers. There was also a couple of solid starting performances, including one in Rochester from a pitcher who started the season in Fort Myers.To find out everything that happened with your favorite prospects on Tuesday, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS Southern League All-Star Catcher Caleb Hamilton was promoted to Rochester from Pensacola as the Red Wings placed 3B Brian Schales on the temporarily inactive list.As a replacement for Hamilton, the Blue Wahoos received 1B Ryan Costello from Fort Myers.The Miracle were assigned IF Yeltsin Encarnacion from Cedar Rapids.RED WINGS REPORTNorfolk 3, Rochester 16 Box Score The Rochester lineup bludgeoned Norfolk on Tuesday, where if this were an amateur game the mercy rule would have come into play after the fifth inning. Drew Maggi started the bottom of the first with a home run to set the tone for everyone else, and Wilin Rosario added a trifecta of two-run blasts, and seven RBI in total, to break it wide open. The just promoted (again) Randy Dobnak took the mound for the Red Wings and did his thing, which is outfoxing and dominating opposing lineups. In six innings he gave up no runs on four hits and two walks to stem the Tides, while also striking out six to lower his triple-A ERA on the season to below 2.00 in 23 2/3 total innings. His ERA on the year is at 2.11 across 18 starts (20 games) with Fort Myers, Pensacola, and Rochester. In this one 54 of his 87 pitches went for strikes (62%), including 13 swinging as he picked up his ninth win of the year. Also this: The big inning for the Red Wings lineup was the second, where they scored six runs as they sent nine men to the plate and was punctuated by Rosario’s first blast. The top four hitters in the lineup combined to go 14-for-20 with 10 runs scored, four doubles, four home runs, and 10 RBI. Jaylin Davis had three of those doubles and scored four runs in a 5-for-5 night. Ronald Torreyes added two doubles and scored two runs, while Tomas Telis added a triple. The team combined for 22 hits and were 7-12 with runners in scoring position. Cody Allen came on for the seventh and had a one-two-three inning, striking out one. Sam Clay allowed a run on one hit in the eighth, while Preston Guilmet struck out two but also gave up a two-run homer in the ninth to account for the final score. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Mobile @ Pensacola - Postponed The Blue Wahoos matchup with the BayBears Tuesday night was affected by the weather and postponed. They’ll play a doubleheader on Thursday to make it up. MIRACLE MATTERS Game 1: Fort Myers 5, Dunedin 4 Box Score The Miracle struck first in game one of their doubleheader as Royce Lewis led off the inning with his ninth home run on the season for a 1-0 lead. Starting pitcher Cole Sands had breezed through the first three innings of his outing, but a two-out rally of the bloop and a blast variety got to him in the bottom of the fourth to put the Blue Jays up 2-1. His offense picked him back up right away though with a run in the fifth after three singles, and three more in the sixth when Ernie De La Trinidad connected for his first home run of the year to put them up for good at 5-2. Sands later would strike out the first two hitters he faced in the sixth before giving up a solo home run to end his day. He went 5 2/3 innings to pick up his fourth win, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out five. Zach Neff finished the final 1 1/3, allowing one run on a hit and a walk to pick up his third save. He struck out three. Game 2: Fort Myers 0, Dunedin 2 Box Score It was an even better pitcher’s duel in game two with the Miracle’s Jhoan Duran facing off against Maximo Castillo of the Blue Jays. A couple of walks from Duran in the second inning loaded the bases for a single to bring in two for Dunedin, and that would be it for the game. Duran went the first four innings, allowing those two runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out five. Joe Record would finish the game, striking out two in two innings. Both teams managed only five hits in the contest, but the Blue Jays went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position while the Miracle went hitless in seven of their own opportunities, leaving eight men on base for the game. Lewis and Jose Miranda each contributed a double to the effort. KERNELS NUGGETS Scheduled Day Off The Kernels had Tuesday off after a six-game road trip where they went 3-3 against the Lake County Captains and Fort Wayne TinCaps. They will begin a six-game homestand against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Wednesday with right-hander Josh Winder on the mound looking to get back on the dominating track after a rough outing last time out. E-TWINS E-NOTES Princeton 8, Elizabethton 3 Box Score Elizabethton was unable to solve Princeton’s pitching for most of this one, as they managed just two hits and a walk as a team through the first eight innings. Both hits to that point were doubles off the bats of Parker Phillips and Trevor Jensen. They finally got on the board in the ninth when Seth Gray drew a two-out walk, and Phillips followed with his first home run in the Appalachian League. Max Smith then followed with one of his own to make the game at least appear closer when looking at only the box score. Taking the hill for the E-Twins was righthander Tyler Benninghoff, who was able to limit the damage against him through 5 2/3 by striking out eleven Rays hitters. He allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk but was saddled with the loss. Ryan Shreve got them through the eighth inning, but at the expense of four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk. He struck out two in 2 1/3. Erik Cha came on for the ninth and allowed a run on two hits and a walk, striking out one. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Pirates @ GCL Twins - Postponed Four games in the Gulf Coast League were affected by rain on Tuesday, including the Pirates facing the Twins at the Lee County Sports Complex. They will host the Orioles Wednesday morning looking to improve their record to .500 on the season. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Randy Dobnak, Rochester Red Wings (W, 6.0 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K) Hitter of the Day – Wilin Rosario, Rochester Red Wings (4-for-5, 3 R, 2B, 3 HR (13), 7 RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Fort Myers) - 2-for-8, R, 2B (17), HR (9), 3 K (2 games) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Game postponed #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - Game postponed #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - No game #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) - Game postponed #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured List (groin) #9 - Jhoan Duran (Fort Myers) - L (2-9), 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Minnesota) - Game in progress #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-for-5, K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Fort Myers) - 1-for-3, K #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - Game in progress #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - Did not play #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Game postponed #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Game postponed #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) - No game #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - Game postponed WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Norfolk @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) - RHP Drew Hutchison (6-6, 5.88 ERA) Mobile @ Pensacola (6:35PM CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (0-0, 4.50 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (12:00PM CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (1-4, 4.10 ERA) Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Josh Winder (6-2, 2.86 ERA) Princeton @ Elizabethton (5:30PM CST) - RHP Ben Gross (3-1, 2.08 ERA) GCL Orioles @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! 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  19. To find out everything that happened with your favorite prospects on Tuesday, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS Southern League All-Star Catcher Caleb Hamilton was promoted to Rochester from Pensacola as the Red Wings placed 3B Brian Schales on the temporarily inactive list. As a replacement for Hamilton, the Blue Wahoos received 1B Ryan Costello from Fort Myers. The Miracle were assigned IF Yeltsin Encarnacion from Cedar Rapids. RED WINGS REPORT Norfolk 3, Rochester 16 Box Score The Rochester lineup bludgeoned Norfolk on Tuesday, where if this were an amateur game the mercy rule would have come into play after the fifth inning. Drew Maggi started the bottom of the first with a home run to set the tone for everyone else, and Wilin Rosario added a trifecta of two-run blasts, and seven RBI in total, to break it wide open. https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1153851619915763713 The just promoted (again) Randy Dobnak took the mound for the Red Wings and did his thing, which is outfoxing and dominating opposing lineups. In six innings he gave up no runs on four hits and two walks to stem the Tides, while also striking out six to lower his triple-A ERA on the season to below 2.00 in 23 2/3 total innings. His ERA on the year is at 2.11 across 18 starts (20 games) with Fort Myers, Pensacola, and Rochester. In this one 54 of his 87 pitches went for strikes (62%), including 13 swinging as he picked up his ninth win of the year. Also this: https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1153835384066887681 The big inning for the Red Wings lineup was the second, where they scored six runs as they sent nine men to the plate and was punctuated by Rosario’s first blast. The top four hitters in the lineup combined to go 14-for-20 with 10 runs scored, four doubles, four home runs, and 10 RBI. Jaylin Davis had three of those doubles and scored four runs in a 5-for-5 night. Ronald Torreyes added two doubles and scored two runs, while Tomas Telis added a triple. The team combined for 22 hits and were 7-12 with runners in scoring position. Cody Allen came on for the seventh and had a one-two-three inning, striking out one. Sam Clay allowed a run on one hit in the eighth, while Preston Guilmet struck out two but also gave up a two-run homer in the ninth to account for the final score. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Mobile @ Pensacola - Postponed The Blue Wahoos matchup with the BayBears Tuesday night was affected by the weather and postponed. They’ll play a doubleheader on Thursday to make it up. https://twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall/status/1153822527015145474 MIRACLE MATTERS Game 1: Fort Myers 5, Dunedin 4 Box Score The Miracle struck first in game one of their doubleheader as Royce Lewis led off the inning with his ninth home run on the season for a 1-0 lead. https://twitter.com/MiracleBaseball/status/1153723835495211008 Starting pitcher Cole Sands had breezed through the first three innings of his outing, but a two-out rally of the bloop and a blast variety got to him in the bottom of the fourth to put the Blue Jays up 2-1. His offense picked him back up right away though with a run in the fifth after three singles, and three more in the sixth when Ernie De La Trinidad connected for his first home run of the year to put them up for good at 5-2. Sands later would strike out the first two hitters he faced in the sixth before giving up a solo home run to end his day. He went 5 2/3 innings to pick up his fourth win, allowing three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out five. Zach Neff finished the final 1 1/3, allowing one run on a hit and a walk to pick up his third save. He struck out three. Game 2: Fort Myers 0, Dunedin 2 Box Score It was an even better pitcher’s duel in game two with the Miracle’s Jhoan Duran facing off against Maximo Castillo of the Blue Jays. A couple of walks from Duran in the second inning loaded the bases for a single to bring in two for Dunedin, and that would be it for the game. Duran went the first four innings, allowing those two runs on four hits and three walks, while striking out five. Joe Record would finish the game, striking out two in two innings. Both teams managed only five hits in the contest, but the Blue Jays went 2-for-7 with runners in scoring position while the Miracle went hitless in seven of their own opportunities, leaving eight men on base for the game. Lewis and Jose Miranda each contributed a double to the effort. KERNELS NUGGETS Scheduled Day Off The Kernels had Tuesday off after a six-game road trip where they went 3-3 against the Lake County Captains and Fort Wayne TinCaps. They will begin a six-game homestand against the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers on Wednesday with right-hander Josh Winder on the mound looking to get back on the dominating track after a rough outing last time out. E-TWINS E-NOTES Princeton 8, Elizabethton 3 Box Score Elizabethton was unable to solve Princeton’s pitching for most of this one, as they managed just two hits and a walk as a team through the first eight innings. Both hits to that point were doubles off the bats of Parker Phillips and Trevor Jensen. They finally got on the board in the ninth when Seth Gray drew a two-out walk, and Phillips followed with his first home run in the Appalachian League. Max Smith then followed with one of his own to make the game at least appear closer when looking at only the box score. Taking the hill for the E-Twins was righthander Tyler Benninghoff, who was able to limit the damage against him through 5 2/3 by striking out eleven Rays hitters. He allowed three runs (two earned) on five hits and a walk but was saddled with the loss. Ryan Shreve got them through the eighth inning, but at the expense of four runs (three earned) on six hits and a walk. He struck out two in 2 1/3. Erik Cha came on for the ninth and allowed a run on two hits and a walk, striking out one. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Pirates @ GCL Twins - Postponed Four games in the Gulf Coast League were affected by rain on Tuesday, including the Pirates facing the Twins at the Lee County Sports Complex. They will host the Orioles Wednesday morning looking to improve their record to .500 on the season. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Randy Dobnak, Rochester Red Wings (W, 6.0 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 2 BB, 6 K) Hitter of the Day – Wilin Rosario, Rochester Red Wings (4-for-5, 3 R, 2B, 3 HR (13), 7 RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Fort Myers) - 2-for-8, R, 2B (17), HR (9), 3 K (2 games) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Game postponed #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - Game postponed #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - No game #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) - Game postponed #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured List (groin) #9 - Jhoan Duran (Fort Myers) - L (2-9), 4.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Minnesota) - Game in progress #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-for-5, K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Fort Myers) - 1-for-3, K #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - Game in progress #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - Did not play #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Game postponed #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Game postponed #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) - No game #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - Game postponed WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Norfolk @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) - RHP Drew Hutchison (6-6, 5.88 ERA) Mobile @ Pensacola (6:35PM CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (0-0, 4.50 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (12:00PM CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (1-4, 4.10 ERA) Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Josh Winder (6-2, 2.86 ERA) Princeton @ Elizabethton (5:30PM CST) - RHP Ben Gross (3-1, 2.08 ERA) GCL Orioles @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  20. TRANSACTIONS There was a flurry of moves in the system on Tuesday, including some injuries to some notable names and a flurry of corresponding moves after a big promotion for a top prospect: In unfortunate injury news, OF Brent Rooker was placed on the injured list retroactive to July 14th. In Double-A the Blue Wahoos placed IF Travis Blankenhorn on the injured list retroactive to July 14th as well, but in his place recieved OF Trevor Larnach, the Florida State League leader in doubles, batting average, and OPS. OF Jacob Pearson was promoted to Fort Myers from Cedar Rapids to take the place of Larnach After laying waste to the Appalachian League with nine home runs in 23 games, OF Albee Weiss was promoted to Cedar Rapids. 1B Parker Phillips was transferred to Elizabethton from the Gulf Coast League RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Norfolk 6 Box Score Cody Allen made his third appearance with the Red Wings, serving as the opener in this one and throwing 19 pitches (12 for strikes, 3 swinging). A leadoff double was followed by a one-out version and the Red Wings were down 1-0 early. Left-hander Sean Poppen then served as the primary and went the next five innings. He allowed a three-run homer in the third that extended the Tides lead to 4-0, but otherwise was solid. He surrendered three hits, walked two, and struck out five. Of his 97 pitches, 64 went for strikes (66%). In the top of the sixth the Red Wings closed within one thanks to a three-run blast of their own from the scorching hot Zander Wiel, his fifth in his last four games, and now 18th on the season. Unfortunately for Rochester, that would be all they could muster on the day. Gabriel Moya finished the final two innings, allowing two insurance runs for Norfolk on three hits and a walk. He struck out one. Wilin Rosario (2-for-3, 2B, R) and Tomas Telis (2-for-4, 2B) added multiple hits for the Red Wings. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Montgomery 4, Pensacola 2 Box Score Just like on Monday, Pensacola got an opposite-field home run from their first baseman Lewin Diaz, this one a two-run shot, but it again was not enough to propel them to a victory. https://twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall/status/1151334693943566336 They were unable to take advantage of their opportunities as they finished just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position on the game, leaving nine men on base. Diaz finished 2-for-4 to lead the offense as they collected only four other hits and three walks. Out of the leadoff spot former major leaguer Ivan De Je Jeusus Jr. drew a pair of walks. In his Southern League debut, outfielder Trevor Larnach made a good first impression, collecting a single in his first at-bat and reaching base on an error in front of Diaz's home run. https://twitter.com/billvilonaPNJ/status/1151290812287901697 Making the start for the Blue Wahoos was left-hander Bryan Sammons and he went the first two innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk while striking out three. Edwar Colina then made his Blue Wahoos debut by coming on for the next four innings and found the primary-ish role not to his liking. He allowed two runs on four hits and four walks, striking out two. Jovani Moran allowed one run on a hit and a walk in the seventh, before Adam Bray finished out the game with two scoreless innings. MIRACLE MATTERS Tampa 2, Fort Myers 4 Box Score Both teams struck early with crooked numbers in the first inning but the Miracle came out on top with three for the early lead. Three consecutive singles from Royce Lewis, Ryan Jeffers, and Ryan Costello loaded the bases, before a sac fly from Jose Miranda scored one and was followed by a two-run double from Trey Cabbage. Starter Cole Sands allowed two runs (one earned) in the opening frame, but was fantastic from then on, tacking on six more scoreless innings to his line. He picked up his third win with the seven-inning effort by scattering seven hits and walking none. He punctuated his outing with a one-two-three seventh inning, including two of his six strikeouts. In the bottom of the seventh Jacob Pearson, fresh off his promotion, delivered an RBI double to tack on an insurance run for Fort Myers. Melvi Acosta went the final two innings to pick up his second save, allowing one hit and striking out three. On offense the number three and four hitters for the Miracle, Jeffers and Costello, each finished 2-for-4 and Gabriel Maciel stole his ninth base. KERNELS NUGGETS Scheduled Day Off Cedar Rapids had the day off on Tuesday as they hit the road to face the Lake County Captains in Eastlake, Ohio. They are coming off a 2-4 homestand and will look to get back on track away from Veterans Memorial Stadium with right-hander Tyler Palm on the mound. The Kernels are 14-10 in the second half of the Midwest League Season, sitting three games back in fourth place of the Western Division. E-TWINS E-NOTES Johnson City 5, Elizabethton 7 Box Score The Twins got a quality start from right-hander Tyler Benninghoff who went the first six innings, his longest outing of the year, and allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out six. The three runs charged to him were of the unearned variety thanks to errors in the second and fourth innings. When his day was done Elizabethton held a 6-3 lead thanks in most part to a five-run bottom of the third. Two one-out singles got the inning started, then three consecutive two-out hits broke it open, with the biggest knock a double from Matt Wallner to score two. A throwing error also allowed two more runs to score as the teams combined for six errors on the game. Max Smith added a solo home run in the fourth and Kidany Salva an RBI single in the seventh to account for all the Twins scoring. Reliver Frandy Torres was back with Elizabethton after a brief stint in Cedar Rapids and went the next 1 2/3 after Benninghoff. He allowed two runs on two hits and two walks, but also struck out four. Dylan Thomas picked up his third save by finishing the final 1 1/3, allowing only one hit. Smith (4-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI), Parker Phillips (2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB), Wallner (2-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB), and Trevor Jensen (2-for-4, R) all had multiple hits on the day. Shorstop Will Holland stole two bases despite finishing 0-for-4. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Rays 1, GCL Twins 2 Box Score Pitching owned the day in the Gulf Coast League matchup as pitchers from both teams combined to allow just three runs on 13 hits and four walks combined, while striking out 20. Dakota Chalmers was on the mound for the Twins and went the first four innings. He worked around singles in the first and third before a couple of doubles in the fourth allowed the Rays to tie it. He struck out four and walked none in his four innings. The Twins had taken the first lead in the bottom of the second thanks to a bases- loaded walk, and then the lineup picked him up in the bottom of the fourth when Sergio Toribio led off with a triple and would score on a single from Erick Rivera. Relievers Williams Ramirez, Niall Windeler, and Anthony Escobar combined to shut out the Rays the rest of the way, allowing no runs on four hits and zero walks over the final five innings. Escobar did the bulk of the work, finishing the final three innings and striking out two. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Cole Sands, Fort Myers Miracle (W, 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 6 K) Hitter of the Day – Max Smith, Elizabethton Twins (4-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, R, 2 K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 1-for-5, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 1-for-4, R, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - No game #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) - 0-for-4, 3 K #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-for-5, 2 K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Fort Myers) – 2-for-4, R, K #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 0-for-0, BB (incredible at-bat in replacing Schoop) #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) – 2-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – Did no tplay #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) - Did not play #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – Injured list WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Norfolk (6:05PM CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (4-4, 5.22 ERA) Pensacola - Scheduled day off Tampa @ Fort Myers (11AM CST) - RHP Jhoan Duran (1-8, 3.44 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Lake County (6:00PM CST) - RHP Tyler Palm (1-5, 4.21 ERA) Elizabethton @ Greeneville (5:30PM CST) - RHP Ben Gross (2-1, 2.70 ERA) GCL Braves @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  21. It was a newsworthy day in the minor leagues on Sunday, though the biggest story may have been in the form of a promotion rather than from any of the games that were played. That's not to say there wasn't any noteworthy performances though, as a couple of pitchers had strong outings, a 2019 breakout prospect continued slugging, and the hitter of the day racked up four hits including a home run to lead his team to victory. To find out everything that happend on Tuesday in the minor leagues, including that promotion for a top prospect, keep reading!TRANSACTIONS There was a flurry of moves in the system on Tuesday, including some injuries to some notable names and a flurry of corresponding moves after a big promotion for a top prospect: In unfortunate injury news, OF Brent Rooker was placed on the injured list retroactive to July 14th.In Double-A the Blue Wahoos placed IF Travis Blankenhorn on the injured list retroactive to July 14th as well, but in his place recieved OF Trevor Larnach, the Florida State League leader in doubles, batting average, and OPS.OF Jacob Pearson was promoted to Fort Myers from Cedar Rapids to take the place of LarnachAfter laying waste to the Appalachian League with nine home runs in 23 games, OF Albee Weiss was promoted to Cedar Rapids.1B Parker Phillips was transferred to Elizabethton from the Gulf Coast LeagueRED WINGS REPORTRochester 3, Norfolk 6 Box Score Cody Allen made his third appearance with the Red Wings, serving as the opener in this one and throwing 19 pitches (12 for strikes, 3 swinging). A leadoff double was followed by a one-out version and the Red Wings were down 1-0 early. Left-hander Sean Poppen then served as the primary and went the next five innings. He allowed a three-run homer in the third that extended the Tides lead to 4-0, but otherwise was solid. He surrendered three hits, walked two, and struck out five. Of his 97 pitches, 64 went for strikes (66%). In the top of the sixth the Red Wings closed within one thanks to a three-run blast of their own from the scorching hot Zander Wiel, his fifth in his last four games, and now 18th on the season. Unfortunately for Rochester, that would be all they could muster on the day. Gabriel Moya finished the final two innings, allowing two insurance runs for Norfolk on three hits and a walk. He struck out one. Wilin Rosario (2-for-3, 2B, R) and Tomas Telis (2-for-4, 2B) added multiple hits for the Red Wings. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Montgomery 4, Pensacola 2 Box Score Just like on Monday, Pensacola got an opposite-field home run from their first baseman Lewin Diaz, this one a two-run shot, but it again was not enough to propel them to a victory. They were unable to take advantage of their opportunities as they finished just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position on the game, leaving nine men on base. Diaz finished 2-for-4 to lead the offense as they collected only four other hits and three walks. Out of the leadoff spot former major leaguer Ivan De Je Jeusus Jr. drew a pair of walks. In his Southern League debut, outfielder Trevor Larnach made a good first impression, collecting a single in his first at-bat and reaching base on an error in front of Diaz's home run. Making the start for the Blue Wahoos was left-hander Bryan Sammons and he went the first two innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk while striking out three. Edwar Colina then made his Blue Wahoos debut by coming on for the next four innings and found the primary-ish role not to his liking. He allowed two runs on four hits and four walks, striking out two. Jovani Moran allowed one run on a hit and a walk in the seventh, before Adam Bray finished out the game with two scoreless innings. MIRACLE MATTERS Tampa 2, Fort Myers 4 Box Score Both teams struck early with crooked numbers in the first inning but the Miracle came out on top with three for the early lead. Three consecutive singles from Royce Lewis, Ryan Jeffers, and Ryan Costello loaded the bases, before a sac fly from Jose Miranda scored one and was followed by a two-run double from Trey Cabbage. Starter Cole Sands allowed two runs (one earned) in the opening frame, but was fantastic from then on, tacking on six more scoreless innings to his line. He picked up his third win with the seven-inning effort by scattering seven hits and walking none. He punctuated his outing with a one-two-three seventh inning, including two of his six strikeouts. In the bottom of the seventh Jacob Pearson, fresh off his promotion, delivered an RBI double to tack on an insurance run for Fort Myers. Melvi Acosta went the final two innings to pick up his second save, allowing one hit and striking out three. On offense the number three and four hitters for the Miracle, Jeffers and Costello, each finished 2-for-4 and Gabriel Maciel stole his ninth base. KERNELS NUGGETS Scheduled Day Off Cedar Rapids had the day off on Tuesday as they hit the road to face the Lake County Captains in Eastlake, Ohio. They are coming off a 2-4 homestand and will look to get back on track away from Veterans Memorial Stadium with right-hander Tyler Palm on the mound. The Kernels are 14-10 in the second half of the Midwest League Season, sitting three games back in fourth place of the Western Division. E-TWINS E-NOTES Johnson City 5, Elizabethton 7 Box Score The Twins got a quality start from right-hander Tyler Benninghoff who went the first six innings, his longest outing of the year, and allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out six. The three runs charged to him were of the unearned variety thanks to errors in the second and fourth innings. When his day was done Elizabethton held a 6-3 lead thanks in most part to a five-run bottom of the third. Two one-out singles got the inning started, then three consecutive two-out hits broke it open, with the biggest knock a double from Matt Wallner to score two. A throwing error also allowed two more runs to score as the teams combined for six errors on the game. Max Smith added a solo home run in the fourth and Kidany Salva an RBI single in the seventh to account for all the Twins scoring. Reliver Frandy Torres was back with Elizabethton after a brief stint in Cedar Rapids and went the next 1 2/3 after Benninghoff. He allowed two runs on two hits and two walks, but also struck out four. Dylan Thomas picked up his third save by finishing the final 1 1/3, allowing only one hit. Smith (4-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI), Parker Phillips (2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB), Wallner (2-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB), and Trevor Jensen (2-for-4, R) all had multiple hits on the day. Shorstop Will Holland stole two bases despite finishing 0-for-4. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Rays 1, GCL Twins 2 Box Score Pitching owned the day in the Gulf Coast League matchup as pitchers from both teams combined to allow just three runs on 13 hits and four walks combined, while striking out 20. Dakota Chalmers was on the mound for the Twins and went the first four innings. He worked around singles in the first and third before a couple of doubles in the fourth allowed the Rays to tie it. He struck out four and walked none in his four innings. The Twins had taken the first lead in the bottom of the second thanks to a bases- loaded walk, and then the lineup picked him up in the bottom of the fourth when Sergio Toribio led off with a triple and would score on a single from Erick Rivera. Relievers Williams Ramirez, Niall Windeler, and Anthony Escobar combined to shut out the Rays the rest of the way, allowing no runs on four hits and zero walks over the final five innings. Escobar did the bulk of the work, finishing the final three innings and striking out two. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Cole Sands, Fort Myers Miracle (W, 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 6 K) Hitter of the Day – Max Smith, Elizabethton Twins (4-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, R, 2 K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 1-for-5, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 1-for-4, R, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - No game #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) - 0-for-4, 3 K #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-for-5, 2 K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Fort Myers) – 2-for-4, R, K #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 0-for-0, BB (incredible at-bat in replacing Schoop) #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) – 2-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – Did no tplay #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) - Did not play #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – Injured list WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Norfolk (6:05PM CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (4-4, 5.22 ERA) Pensacola - Scheduled day off Tampa @ Fort Myers (11AM CST) - RHP Jhoan Duran (1-8, 3.44 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Lake County (6:00PM CST) - RHP Tyler Palm (1-5, 4.21 ERA) Elizabethton @ Greeneville (5:30PM CST) - RHP Ben Gross (2-1, 2.70 ERA) GCL Braves @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! 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  22. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Blake Parker was activated from the Paternity List. Following Sunday’s game, Devin Smeltzer was optioned to Rochester. Yeltsin Encarnacion was returned to Cedar Rapids from Rochester. Royce Lewis was activated by the Miracle from the temporary inactive list (Futures Game). Cody Allen was placed on the temporary inactive list by the Miracle. No issue, just giving him his All-Star break. RHP Sawyer Gipson was placed on the Elizabethton roster. The Twins signed RHP Steve Theetge, a non-drafted player out of Bryant University. https://twitter.com/SethTweets/status/1148436150673186817 AWARDS Jaylin Davis was named the International League Hitter of the Week. Andrew Cabezas was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester Box Score The Red Wings are on their All-Star break… well, except for Brent Rooker and Tomas Telis who will be participating in the game. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 1, Birmingham 2 Box Score There weren’t a lot of runs scored in this game, but unfortunately, the Wahoos lost on a walk-off homer in the ninth. Jorge Alcala put together his first really good start in a while. In six scoreless innings, he gave up just four hits and one walk. He struck out seven batters. Jeff Ames came on and was charged with an unearned run on two hits and a walk over two innings. Anthony Vizcaya came on for the ninth but gave up a leadoff homer to end the game. Alex Kirilloff led the offense. He went 3-for-4 with his second triple. Joe Cronin walked, hit his fourth double and stole his sixth base. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 1, Daytona 6 Box Score Cole Sands put together another quality start for the Miracle, but the offense didn’t provide enough run support. Sands gave up three runs on six hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out five batters. Ricky Ramirez came on and gave up three runs on two hits over two innings. He walked three and hit a batter while striking out two. Derek Molina pitched a scoreless ninth. Gabriel Maciel provided the offense. He hit his second home run since joining the Miracle. Royce Lewis returned directly from Cleveland and went 1-for-3 with a walk. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Quad Cities 5 Box Score In his first game with the Kernels (and his first game with the E-Twins this year), Tyler Wells hit a walk-off double. On this night, he singled in two runs to cap a four-run top of the ninth for the Kernels. Earlier in the game, Gilberto Celestino had a two-run single. He was 2-for-4 with a walk in the game. Austin Schulfer started for Cedar Rapids. He gave up three runs on seven hits in five innings. He struck out five without issuing a walk. Tanner Howell gave up two hits but no runs in the sixth inning. Brian Rapp gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in the seventh inning. JT Perez struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning, and Jose Martinez struck out one in a perfect ninth for the save. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 3, Johnson City 4 Box Score Matt Wallner led the offense. He went 2-for-4 with his fifth double. Ruben Santana was also 2-for-4 in the game. Anthony Prato went 1-for-3 with a walk. Ryley Widell started. The left gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out seven batters. Steven Cruz walked two and struck oune out in a scoreless 1 2/3 innings. Frandy Torres worked two innings. He gave up a run on two hits and struck out three. Dylan Thomas started the ninth, but he gave up a run on two hits before recording an out to take the loss. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 1, GCL Pirates 4 Box Score Bailey Ober was back on the mound for his second rehab start. The lanky right-hander gave up an unearned run on two hits, a walk and a hit batter in five innings. He struck out eight. Niall Windeler came on for the sixth inning and gave up two runs on three hits in the inning. Donny Breek pitched the last two innings. He gave up one run on one hit. He walked three and struck out five. Wander Valdez went 2-for-3. LaRon Smith hit his second double. Francisco Martinez provided the one run with his first homer of the season. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Jorge Alcala, Pensacola Blue Wahoos Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Alex Kirilloff, Pensacola Blue Wahoos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 3-4, 3B(2), R #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-4 #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, 3 K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Did Not Play #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - All Star Break #9 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - All Star Break #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - All Star Break #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-4 #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - All Star Break #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 204, 2B(5), R, RBI #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did Not Play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K (82 pitches, 57 strikes) #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 3-4, R, 2 RBI, 2 SB(13) #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 0-4, 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester - All Star Break Pensacola @ Birmingham (7:05 CST) - TBD Daytona @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled Elizabethton - No Game Scheduled GCL Twins @ GCL Pirates (11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games or any other minor league topics you would like.
  23. The All-Star break is upon us for both the big leagues and Triple-A. Pensacola got a great start from a key pitching prospect, and three hits from its top hitting prospect. The Miracle starter provided a quality start. Tyler Webb played hero again for Cedar Rapids. Matt Wallner provided the offense in E-Town, and a rehabbing starter was strong again in the GCL and could be returning to the Miracle soon.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Blake Parker was activated from the Paternity List.Following Sunday’s game, Devin Smeltzer was optioned to Rochester.Yeltsin Encarnacion was returned to Cedar Rapids from Rochester.Royce Lewis was activated by the Miracle from the temporary inactive list (Futures Game).Cody Allen was placed on the temporary inactive list by the Miracle. No issue, just giving him his All-Star break.RHP Sawyer Gipson was placed on the Elizabethton roster.The Twins signed RHP Steve Theetge, a non-drafted player out of Bryant University. AWARDS Jaylin Davis was named the International League Hitter of the Week.Andrew Cabezas was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week.RED WINGS REPORTRochester Box Score The Red Wings are on their All-Star break… well, except for Brent Rooker and Tomas Telis who will be participating in the game. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 1, Birmingham 2 Box Score There weren’t a lot of runs scored in this game, but unfortunately, the Wahoos lost on a walk-off homer in the ninth. Jorge Alcala put together his first really good start in a while. In six scoreless innings, he gave up just four hits and one walk. He struck out seven batters. Jeff Ames came on and was charged with an unearned run on two hits and a walk over two innings. Anthony Vizcaya came on for the ninth but gave up a leadoff homer to end the game. Alex Kirilloff led the offense. He went 3-for-4 with his second triple. Joe Cronin walked, hit his fourth double and stole his sixth base. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 1, Daytona 6 Box Score Cole Sands put together another quality start for the Miracle, but the offense didn’t provide enough run support. Sands gave up three runs on six hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out five batters. Ricky Ramirez came on and gave up three runs on two hits over two innings. He walked three and hit a batter while striking out two. Derek Molina pitched a scoreless ninth. Gabriel Maciel provided the offense. He hit his second home run since joining the Miracle. Royce Lewis returned directly from Cleveland and went 1-for-3 with a walk. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Quad Cities 5 Box Score In his first game with the Kernels (and his first game with the E-Twins this year), Tyler Wells hit a walk-off double. On this night, he singled in two runs to cap a four-run top of the ninth for the Kernels. Earlier in the game, Gilberto Celestino had a two-run single. He was 2-for-4 with a walk in the game. Austin Schulfer started for Cedar Rapids. He gave up three runs on seven hits in five innings. He struck out five without issuing a walk. Tanner Howell gave up two hits but no runs in the sixth inning. Brian Rapp gave up two runs on two hits and a walk in the seventh inning. JT Perez struck out two in a scoreless eighth inning, and Jose Martinez struck out one in a perfect ninth for the save. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 3, Johnson City 4 Box Score Matt Wallner led the offense. He went 2-for-4 with his fifth double. Ruben Santana was also 2-for-4 in the game. Anthony Prato went 1-for-3 with a walk. Ryley Widell started. The left gave up two runs (one earned) on four hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked three and struck out seven batters. Steven Cruz walked two and struck oune out in a scoreless 1 2/3 innings. Frandy Torres worked two innings. He gave up a run on two hits and struck out three. Dylan Thomas started the ninth, but he gave up a run on two hits before recording an out to take the loss. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 1, GCL Pirates 4 Box Score Bailey Ober was back on the mound for his second rehab start. The lanky right-hander gave up an unearned run on two hits, a walk and a hit batter in five innings. He struck out eight. Niall Windeler came on for the sixth inning and gave up two runs on three hits in the inning. Donny Breek pitched the last two innings. He gave up one run on one hit. He walked three and struck out five. Wander Valdez went 2-for-3. LaRon Smith hit his second double. Francisco Martinez provided the one run with his first homer of the season. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Jorge Alcala, Pensacola Blue Wahoos Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Alex Kirilloff, Pensacola Blue Wahoos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 3-4, 3B(2), R #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-4 #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, 3 K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Did Not Play #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - All Star Break #9 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - All Star Break #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - All Star Break #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-4 #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - All Star Break #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 204, 2B(5), R, RBI #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did Not Play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 7 K (82 pitches, 57 strikes) #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 3-4, R, 2 RBI, 2 SB(13) #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 0-4, 2 K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester - All Star Break Pensacola @ Birmingham (7:05 CST) - TBD Daytona @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled Elizabethton - No Game Scheduled GCL Twins @ GCL Pirates (11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games or any other minor league topics you would like. Click here to view the article
  24. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Starters for June, there were some other strong starting performers that just missed the cut. You can certainly agree or disagree with the rankings. Let’s discuss the top starting pitchers in the organization in June. HONORABLE MENTION Edwar Colina - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 4 GS, 24.0 IP, 2.63 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 23 H, 6 BB, 17 K (.253/601) Randy Dobnak - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 3 GS, 30.2 IP, 2.05 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 31 H, 6 BB, 26 K, (267/657) Kody Funderburk - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 3 G, 3 GS, 13.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 11 H, 3 BB, 18 K (.220/571) Griffin Jax - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 4 G, 4 GS, 19.1 IP, 1.40 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 13 H, 3 BB, 11 K, (183/399) Sean Poppen - Rochester Red Wings - 6 G, 4 GS, 31.0 IP, 2.90 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 26 H, 12 BB, 36 K (226/686) Luis Rijo - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 3 G, 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 0.61 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 7 H, 4 BB, 12 K (149/.418) Devin Smeltzer - Rochester Red Wings - 4 G, 4 GS, 20.0 IP, 3.60 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 19 H, 3 BB, 30 K (250/739) Kai-Wei Teng - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 3 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.57 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 19 H, 7 BB, 23 K (.235/.570) THE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS #5 - RHP Blayne Enlow - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 3 GS, 25.1 IP, 2.13 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 18 H, 7 BB, 20 K Enlow had a couple of tough, short starts for Cedar Rapids during the season’s first month, but he has been really good since then. He was a candidate for Starting Pitcher of the Month in May, and was promoted to Ft. Myers at the end of that month. He has been even better since joining the Miracle. He has produced a quality start in all five of his Miracle starts. Enlow is blessed with a low-90s fastball that occasionally pushes to 94 and even 95. He also is known for his breaking ball and ability to spin the ball. The Twins third-round pick in 2017 continues to grow as a pitcher which is exciting as he won’t turn 21 until next March. #4 - RHP Cole Sands - Ft. Myers Miracle - 3 GS, 16.1 IP, 2.20 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 8 H, 2 BB, 19 K Sands was the Twins fifth-round pick last year after three seasons at Florida State. The Twins just shut him down and didn’t have him pitch at all after the draft. He came to spring this year and pitched well in Cedar Rapids. In his first start of the season, he tossed five hitless innings. He was promoted to the Miracle right before June. He had a short IL stint, and when he returned, he threw five no-hit innings. He has given up just two hits in 11 innings over his past two starts. Sands also works in the low 90s with good secondary pitches as you would expect from a 21-year-old coming out of a quality college baseball program. In his three June starts, opponents hit just .145 off of him with a .409 OPS. #3 - RHP Austin Schulfer - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 4 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 11 H, 5 BB, 23 K Schulfer was the Twins 19th-round pick a year ago after four years at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He pitched in Elizabethton last year. This year, he began the season in the Cedar Rapids bullpen, though he usually worked multiple innings. He appeared in the April Relief Pitcher of the Month list, and then Brian Dinkelman moved him into the Kernels rotation where he has continued to pitch well. Schulfer doesn’t throw real hard, but he generally throws strikes and stays away from the middle of the plate with each of his pitches. Opponents hit just .151 with a .498 OPS against him in June. #2 - RHP Jhoan Duran - 4 G, 3 GS, 24.0 IP, 1.88 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 15 H, 10 BB, 31 K, Overall this season Jhoan Duran has a record of 1-7. You might think that he must not be pitching well, but that isn’t the case. He has a 3.48 ERA on the season and has 78 strikeouts in 62 innings (26 walks). He has been pretty consistent and his stuff has continued to improve. We often hear about him hitting triple-digits multiple times in his starts. Duran came to the Twins last July in the Eduardo Escobar trade from the Diamondbacks.In June, he went 1-3 with a 1.88 ERA. He gave up one run in three of his starts, and two runs in the other. Duran recently ranked #9 in our midseason Twins top prospect rankings. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Cedar Rapids Kernels - RHP Josh Winder - 5 G, 5 GS, 34.0 IP, 1.32 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 22 H, 6 BB, 28 K (190/520) At the end of May, Steve Buhr wrote an article on Josh Winder that profiled the talented right-hander drafted a year ago out of Virginia Military Academy. He talked about liking to keep his room clean and his head clear, especially on the mound. Winder was pitching well at the time, but he was tremendous in June. In 13 starts so far this season for the Kernels, Winder is 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. As you can see above, he was tremendous in five June starts. All five starts were quality starts. He had a seven-inning shutout performance early in the month at Peoria. He ended his month with eight innings of shutout baseball against Kane County. In that start, he gave up just three hits, walked none and struck out eight. Winder works with a low-90s fastball. He has a good curveball and has worked really hard to make his changeup an effective pitch. And it has become a really good pitch for him. One would think that a promotion to Ft. Myers should be in the near future for Winder. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of June, Cedar Rapids Kernels right-hander Josh Winder. Feel free to discuss and ask questions.
  25. In the last couple of days, we have announced our choices for Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month for June and Twins Relief Pitcher of the Month for June. Today, we will look at an extensive group of starting pitchers who were really good in June. The rankings were not easy at all, so be sure to add your rankings as well. As impressive as the top five were this month, there were another eight starters that received strong consideration and are listed among the honorable mentions. Previous 2019 Starting Pitchers of the Month: April - Devin Smeltzer - Pensacola Blue Wahoos May - Jordan Balazovic - Ft. Myers MiracleBefore we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Starters for June, there were some other strong starting performers that just missed the cut. You can certainly agree or disagree with the rankings. Let’s discuss the top starting pitchers in the organization in June. HONORABLE MENTION Edwar Colina - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 4 GS, 24.0 IP, 2.63 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 23 H, 6 BB, 17 K (.253/601)Randy Dobnak - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 3 GS, 30.2 IP, 2.05 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 31 H, 6 BB, 26 K, (267/657)Kody Funderburk - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 3 G, 3 GS, 13.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 11 H, 3 BB, 18 K (.220/571)Griffin Jax - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 4 G, 4 GS, 19.1 IP, 1.40 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 13 H, 3 BB, 11 K, (183/399)Sean Poppen - Rochester Red Wings - 6 G, 4 GS, 31.0 IP, 2.90 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 26 H, 12 BB, 36 K (226/686)Luis Rijo - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 3 G, 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 0.61 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 7 H, 4 BB, 12 K (149/.418)Devin Smeltzer - Rochester Red Wings - 4 G, 4 GS, 20.0 IP, 3.60 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 19 H, 3 BB, 30 K (250/739)Kai-Wei Teng - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 3 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.57 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 19 H, 7 BB, 23 K (.235/.570)THE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS #5 - RHP Blayne Enlow - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 3 GS, 25.1 IP, 2.13 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 18 H, 7 BB, 20 K Enlow had a couple of tough, short starts for Cedar Rapids during the season’s first month, but he has been really good since then. He was a candidate for Starting Pitcher of the Month in May, and was promoted to Ft. Myers at the end of that month. He has been even better since joining the Miracle. He has produced a quality start in all five of his Miracle starts. Enlow is blessed with a low-90s fastball that occasionally pushes to 94 and even 95. He also is known for his breaking ball and ability to spin the ball. The Twins third-round pick in 2017 continues to grow as a pitcher which is exciting as he won’t turn 21 until next March. #4 - RHP Cole Sands - Ft. Myers Miracle - 3 GS, 16.1 IP, 2.20 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 8 H, 2 BB, 19 K Sands was the Twins fifth-round pick last year after three seasons at Florida State. The Twins just shut him down and didn’t have him pitch at all after the draft. He came to spring this year and pitched well in Cedar Rapids. In his first start of the season, he tossed five hitless innings. He was promoted to the Miracle right before June. He had a short IL stint, and when he returned, he threw five no-hit innings. He has given up just two hits in 11 innings over his past two starts. Sands also works in the low 90s with good secondary pitches as you would expect from a 21-year-old coming out of a quality college baseball program. In his three June starts, opponents hit just .145 off of him with a .409 OPS. #3 - RHP Austin Schulfer - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 4 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 11 H, 5 BB, 23 K Schulfer was the Twins 19th-round pick a year ago after four years at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He pitched in Elizabethton last year. This year, he began the season in the Cedar Rapids bullpen, though he usually worked multiple innings. He appeared in the April Relief Pitcher of the Month list, and then Brian Dinkelman moved him into the Kernels rotation where he has continued to pitch well. Schulfer doesn’t throw real hard, but he generally throws strikes and stays away from the middle of the plate with each of his pitches. Opponents hit just .151 with a .498 OPS against him in June. #2 - RHP Jhoan Duran - 4 G, 3 GS, 24.0 IP, 1.88 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 15 H, 10 BB, 31 K, Overall this season Jhoan Duran has a record of 1-7. You might think that he must not be pitching well, but that isn’t the case. He has a 3.48 ERA on the season and has 78 strikeouts in 62 innings (26 walks). He has been pretty consistent and his stuff has continued to improve. We often hear about him hitting triple-digits multiple times in his starts. Duran came to the Twins last July in the Eduardo Escobar trade from the Diamondbacks.In June, he went 1-3 with a 1.88 ERA. He gave up one run in three of his starts, and two runs in the other. Duran recently ranked #9 in our midseason Twins top prospect rankings. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Cedar Rapids Kernels - RHP Josh Winder - 5 G, 5 GS, 34.0 IP, 1.32 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 22 H, 6 BB, 28 K (190/520) At the end of May, Steve Buhr wrote an article on Josh Winder that profiled the talented right-hander drafted a year ago out of Virginia Military Academy. He talked about liking to keep his room clean and his head clear, especially on the mound. Winder was pitching well at the time, but he was tremendous in June. In 13 starts so far this season for the Kernels, Winder is 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. As you can see above, he was tremendous in five June starts. All five starts were quality starts. He had a seven-inning shutout performance early in the month at Peoria. He ended his month with eight innings of shutout baseball against Kane County. In that start, he gave up just three hits, walked none and struck out eight. Winder works with a low-90s fastball. He has a good curveball and has worked really hard to make his changeup an effective pitch. And it has become a really good pitch for him. One would think that a promotion to Ft. Myers should be in the near future for Winder. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of June, Cedar Rapids Kernels right-hander Josh Winder. Feel free to discuss and ask questions. Click here to view the article
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