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  1. The Twins pitching staff as a whole had a solid first month of the season, but the starting rotation really shined. Check out who the Twins Daily writers voted as the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month. When the Twins Daily Writers sat down to review the minor league relief pitchers, it was a tough decision with all the strong numbers from this month. Who would be the pitcher of the month? Especially with it being so early, the four minor league affiliates: The St. Paul Saints (12-10), Wichita Wind Surge (12-8), Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (11-7) and Cedar Rapids Kernels (15-4) are teams Major League pipelines dream of. Stacked with talent and above .500 in early April, the relievers chosen this month have been responsible for a lot of the success of their teams. The Minor Leagues have implemented the pitch clock which has put a little more pressure on pitching, but these pitchers aren’t letting that phase them. The pitching is solid in the minor leagues, and pitchers like Osiris German, Evan Sisk, and Hunter McMahon continue to grow in their potential while others take a commanding lead in the first month of the season. With so many outstanding choices on the mound, let's see how Twins Daily writers voted. Honorable Mention #2: Denny Bentley LHP 6G, 0.96 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 9.1 IP, 4H, 2BB, 13K Bentley is back in Iowa after splitting his time between Iowa and Florida last season and was on the opening day roster. Bentley has been impressive in his just 9 1/3 innings pitched with two saves and 0.96 ERA. In his second game of the season, he got his first win versus the Quad City River Bandits after relieving Sean Mooney. In his following appearance, Bentley’s a top 3 reliever for the month, he’s had several 1-2-3 innings, or at least zero-run innings. His ERA and WHIP have dropped considerably in 2022 compared to 2021. His discipline continues to grow, and his stats continue to be strong. Bentley was drafted in 2018 by the Twins in the 33rd round of the 2018 draft out of Howard College, a Junior College in Big Springs, Texas. With the exception of not playing baseball in 2020 along with the rest of the minor leagues, he has been with the Twins since being drafted. Honorable Mention #1: Austin Schulfer RHP 7G, 0.00 ERA, .71 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 5H, 3BB, 14K Austin is in his second season with the Surge but has been making an impact on minor league baseball since his time with the Kernels in 2019. Early in that season, he and teammate Jose Martinez recorded the 15th combined no-no in Cedar Rapids history. Last year, he was in the Wind Surge starting rotation and led the Twins minor leagues in innings pitched has given him experience and confidence. Schulfer’s April is off to a great start, registering one of the lowest WHIP’s among the other April award contenders at 0.71 and striking out 14 hitters in 11 innings. He also recorded three saves in his seven games pitched. Schulfer was the only UW-Milwaukee player drafted in 2018. He was picked by the Twins in the 19th round, 574th overall. Before coming to the Twins he left UWM in 2018 leading his college team in innings pitched (91.1) and wins (6). Relief Pitcher of the Month: Tyler Viza 12G, 0.97 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 9H, 3BB, 21K Tyler Viza’s first month with the Twins has been nothing short of spectacular. Viza has pitched in only six games for the Surge and is already making an impact. He has three wins and struck out 21 hitters in just over 12 innings. Viza was drafted in 2013 by the Phillies in the 32nd round. He stayed with them through 2019 when he became a free agent. He signed with the Padres who were hurting for starting pitching. Viza was signed as a free agent on March 20 to the Twins, just two weeks before opening day, out of the independent American Association. The bullpen pitching of the minor league teams has been a huge asset to the Twins affiliates so far in April. If you were to rank your top 3 for the month of April, are these the three you would have ranked? In the same order? Who are you looking forward to making the Minor League Awards next month? View full article
  2. When the Twins Daily Writers sat down to review the minor league relief pitchers, it was a tough decision with all the strong numbers from this month. Who would be the pitcher of the month? Especially with it being so early, the four minor league affiliates: The St. Paul Saints (12-10), Wichita Wind Surge (12-8), Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (11-7) and Cedar Rapids Kernels (15-4) are teams Major League pipelines dream of. Stacked with talent and above .500 in early April, the relievers chosen this month have been responsible for a lot of the success of their teams. The Minor Leagues have implemented the pitch clock which has put a little more pressure on pitching, but these pitchers aren’t letting that phase them. The pitching is solid in the minor leagues, and pitchers like Osiris German, Evan Sisk, and Hunter McMahon continue to grow in their potential while others take a commanding lead in the first month of the season. With so many outstanding choices on the mound, let's see how Twins Daily writers voted. Honorable Mention #2: Denny Bentley LHP 6G, 0.96 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 9.1 IP, 4H, 2BB, 13K Bentley is back in Iowa after splitting his time between Iowa and Florida last season and was on the opening day roster. Bentley has been impressive in his just 9 1/3 innings pitched with two saves and 0.96 ERA. In his second game of the season, he got his first win versus the Quad City River Bandits after relieving Sean Mooney. In his following appearance, Bentley’s a top 3 reliever for the month, he’s had several 1-2-3 innings, or at least zero-run innings. His ERA and WHIP have dropped considerably in 2022 compared to 2021. His discipline continues to grow, and his stats continue to be strong. Bentley was drafted in 2018 by the Twins in the 33rd round of the 2018 draft out of Howard College, a Junior College in Big Springs, Texas. With the exception of not playing baseball in 2020 along with the rest of the minor leagues, he has been with the Twins since being drafted. Honorable Mention #1: Austin Schulfer RHP 7G, 0.00 ERA, .71 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 5H, 3BB, 14K Austin is in his second season with the Surge but has been making an impact on minor league baseball since his time with the Kernels in 2019. Early in that season, he and teammate Jose Martinez recorded the 15th combined no-no in Cedar Rapids history. Last year, he was in the Wind Surge starting rotation and led the Twins minor leagues in innings pitched has given him experience and confidence. Schulfer’s April is off to a great start, registering one of the lowest WHIP’s among the other April award contenders at 0.71 and striking out 14 hitters in 11 innings. He also recorded three saves in his seven games pitched. Schulfer was the only UW-Milwaukee player drafted in 2018. He was picked by the Twins in the 19th round, 574th overall. Before coming to the Twins he left UWM in 2018 leading his college team in innings pitched (91.1) and wins (6). Relief Pitcher of the Month: Tyler Viza 12G, 0.97 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 9H, 3BB, 21K Tyler Viza’s first month with the Twins has been nothing short of spectacular. Viza has pitched in only six games for the Surge and is already making an impact. He has three wins and struck out 21 hitters in just over 12 innings. Viza was drafted in 2013 by the Phillies in the 32nd round. He stayed with them through 2019 when he became a free agent. He signed with the Padres who were hurting for starting pitching. Viza was signed as a free agent on March 20 to the Twins, just two weeks before opening day, out of the independent American Association. The bullpen pitching of the minor league teams has been a huge asset to the Twins affiliates so far in April. If you were to rank your top 3 for the month of April, are these the three you would have ranked? In the same order? Who are you looking forward to making the Minor League Awards next month?
  3. Following a non-existent 2020 minor league season, the line between reliever and starter continues to be blurred for prospects. That being said, a few pitchers were used more regularly out of the bullpen and were able to separate themselves statistically. Before exploring the top four relievers, here are three Honorable Mentions: Jordan Gore, Cedar Rapids Kernels/Wichita Wind Surge - 8 G, 2.77 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 8 H, 8 walks, 21 strikeouts Osiris German, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels/Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 2.40 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 9 H, 6 walks, 23 strikeouts Ryan Mason, Wichita Wind Surge - 9 G, 0.82 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 10 H, 5 walks, 14 strikeouts. THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - RHP Derek Molina - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 8 G, 3.06 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 17.2 IP, 12 H, 5 BB, 22 K Molina was drafted by the Twins in the 14th round back in 2017. He ended the 2019 season at High-A and that’s where he’s spent all of 2021. Things didn’t start off great for him during the 2021 campaign as he entered the month of July with a 5.46 ERA with opponents getting on base over 33% of the time against him. There were some positive signs as his strikeout totals were high (40 K in 29 2/3 innings). He seemed to put it all together in July as was asked to pitch two innings or more in every appearance. Opponents were only able to hit .190/.257/.286 (.543), and his five walks were the fewest he’s had in any month. Righties really struggle against Molina as he has held them to a .190 average with 35 strikeouts in 100 at-bats this season. His numbers could have looked even better if he hadn’t allowed two earned runs on the last day of the month. #3 - LHP Jovani Moran - Wichita Wind Surge/St. Paul Saints - 8 G, 2.41 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 18.2 IP, 6 H, 7 BB, 34 K Moran joined the Twins in 2015 as a 7th round pick from Puerto Rico, and the development of his dominant changeup have made him a reliever to keep an eye on. He made his first five appearances at Triple-A during July, where he is over three years younger than the average age of the competition. He posted some dominant numbers during the month as he faced a total of 71 batters and compiled 34 strikeouts. Yes, he struck out nearly 50% of the batters he faced during the month. Also, he was asked to pitch more than one inning in every appearance during July. Batters struggled to do anything against him as he held them to a .094/.183/.203 slash line. With him now in St. Paul, it is not hard to imagine him making his big league debut before season’s end. #2 - LHP Denny Bentley - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels - 11 G, 1.65 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 8 H, 8 BB, 21 K Bentley, a 33rd round pick back in 2018, was the June Relief Pitcher of the Month, so it’s no surprise to see his name back near the top of the list. For the second straight month, batters hit under .145 against him and got on base only 25% of the time. All three of his earned runs this month came in one appearance as he was asked to make a spot start back on July 6. That means he ended the month with eight straight scoreless appearances. Even as a lefty, Bentley allows a .705 OPS against left-handed hitters, which is nearly 240 points higher than his OPS versus righties. Since he’s pitched at Low-A for the entire season, one has to wonder if he will make the jump to High-A during the season’s second half. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: RHP Erik Manoah Jr. - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 0.60 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 20 K Manoah might not be a familiar name to Twins fans because he wasn’t even in the organization at season’s start. He began the year pitching in independent baseball as part of the Atlantic League, but he impressed enough to catch the eye of the Twins organization. Originally, he was a 13th round pick of the Mets and he pitched parts of three seasons for that organization before joining the Angels organization. He topped out at High-A with Los Angeles and ended 2019 pitching in the American Association. As the calendar turned to July, Manoah was promoted to Cedar Rapids where he made an immediate impact. Across nine appearances, he only allowed one run and he held batters to hitting .140/.241/.180 (.421). Lefties have only been able to combine for a .313 OPS when facing Manoah. Also, he seems to buckle down in pressure situations as he has 24 strikeouts in 43 at-bats with runners on base. Because of his stints in independent leagues, all but one of his at-bats this season has come against younger batters. Other players might have quit after multiple years in independent leagues, but now he is back on the professional map. And yes, his younger brother Alek pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays. As the Twins have seen this year, an organization can never have too much relief pitching. All of these players had strong month and some may be worthy of promotions in the weeks ahead. Congratulations to Erik Manoah Jr., the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for July 2021.
  4. Over the last two days, Twins Daily announced the writer’s picks for top minor league hitter and starting pitcher for July. Now it’s time to discuss the relief pitchers that shined during the season’s third month. Following a non-existent 2020 minor league season, the line between reliever and starter continues to be blurred for prospects. That being said, a few pitchers were used more regularly out of the bullpen and were able to separate themselves statistically. Before exploring the top four relievers, here are three Honorable Mentions: Jordan Gore, Cedar Rapids Kernels/Wichita Wind Surge - 8 G, 2.77 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 8 H, 8 walks, 21 strikeouts Osiris German, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels/Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 2.40 ERA, 1.07 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 9 H, 6 walks, 23 strikeouts Ryan Mason, Wichita Wind Surge - 9 G, 0.82 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 10 H, 5 walks, 14 strikeouts. THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - RHP Derek Molina - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 8 G, 3.06 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 17.2 IP, 12 H, 5 BB, 22 K Molina was drafted by the Twins in the 14th round back in 2017. He ended the 2019 season at High-A and that’s where he’s spent all of 2021. Things didn’t start off great for him during the 2021 campaign as he entered the month of July with a 5.46 ERA with opponents getting on base over 33% of the time against him. There were some positive signs as his strikeout totals were high (40 K in 29 2/3 innings). He seemed to put it all together in July as was asked to pitch two innings or more in every appearance. Opponents were only able to hit .190/.257/.286 (.543), and his five walks were the fewest he’s had in any month. Righties really struggle against Molina as he has held them to a .190 average with 35 strikeouts in 100 at-bats this season. His numbers could have looked even better if he hadn’t allowed two earned runs on the last day of the month. #3 - LHP Jovani Moran - Wichita Wind Surge/St. Paul Saints - 8 G, 2.41 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 18.2 IP, 6 H, 7 BB, 34 K Moran joined the Twins in 2015 as a 7th round pick from Puerto Rico, and the development of his dominant changeup have made him a reliever to keep an eye on. He made his first five appearances at Triple-A during July, where he is over three years younger than the average age of the competition. He posted some dominant numbers during the month as he faced a total of 71 batters and compiled 34 strikeouts. Yes, he struck out nearly 50% of the batters he faced during the month. Also, he was asked to pitch more than one inning in every appearance during July. Batters struggled to do anything against him as he held them to a .094/.183/.203 slash line. With him now in St. Paul, it is not hard to imagine him making his big league debut before season’s end. #2 - LHP Denny Bentley - Fort Myers Mighty Mussels - 11 G, 1.65 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 8 H, 8 BB, 21 K Bentley, a 33rd round pick back in 2018, was the June Relief Pitcher of the Month, so it’s no surprise to see his name back near the top of the list. For the second straight month, batters hit under .145 against him and got on base only 25% of the time. All three of his earned runs this month came in one appearance as he was asked to make a spot start back on July 6. That means he ended the month with eight straight scoreless appearances. Even as a lefty, Bentley allows a .705 OPS against left-handed hitters, which is nearly 240 points higher than his OPS versus righties. Since he’s pitched at Low-A for the entire season, one has to wonder if he will make the jump to High-A during the season’s second half. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: RHP Erik Manoah Jr. - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 0.60 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 20 K Manoah might not be a familiar name to Twins fans because he wasn’t even in the organization at season’s start. He began the year pitching in independent baseball as part of the Atlantic League, but he impressed enough to catch the eye of the Twins organization. Originally, he was a 13th round pick of the Mets and he pitched parts of three seasons for that organization before joining the Angels organization. He topped out at High-A with Los Angeles and ended 2019 pitching in the American Association. As the calendar turned to July, Manoah was promoted to Cedar Rapids where he made an immediate impact. Across nine appearances, he only allowed one run and he held batters to hitting .140/.241/.180 (.421). Lefties have only been able to combine for a .313 OPS when facing Manoah. Also, he seems to buckle down in pressure situations as he has 24 strikeouts in 43 at-bats with runners on base. Because of his stints in independent leagues, all but one of his at-bats this season has come against younger batters. Other players might have quit after multiple years in independent leagues, but now he is back on the professional map. And yes, his younger brother Alek pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays. As the Twins have seen this year, an organization can never have too much relief pitching. All of these players had strong month and some may be worthy of promotions in the weeks ahead. Congratulations to Erik Manoah Jr., the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for July 2021. View full article
  5. In May, many, if not most, of the pitchers in the system were piggybacking, so it was hard to distinguish ‘starters’ from ‘relievers,’ and that made sense. In June, there were a few more pitchers who were used more consistently out of the bullpen and a few really distinguished this month. Here are four relief pitchers who were great in June, but let’s start with some Honorable Mentions: RHP Steven Cruz, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 6 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 2 hits, 5 walks, 22 strikeouts. RHP Matthew Swain, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 8 G, 1.93 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 14.0 IP, 7 hits, 4 walks, 19 strikeouts. LHP Zach Neff, Wichita Wind Surge - 9 G, 1.98 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 13.2 IP, 9 hits, 2 walks, 20 strikeouts. LHP Jovani Moran, Wichita Wind Surge - 9 G, 2.51 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 5 hits, 5 walks, 27 strikeouts. LHP Andrew Vasquez, St. Paul Saints - 9 G, 3.21 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 14.0 IP, 7 hits, 7 walks, 25 strikeouts. THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - RHP Jordan Gore - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 1.80 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 20.0 IP, 6 H, 9 BB, 27 K You know the story. Gore was the Twins 19th round pick in 2017 out of Coastal Carolina… as a shortstop. In fact, in 2019, he was the main starting shortstop until late in the season when Royce Lewis was called up. However, it was also at that time that Gore and the Twins started the conversation about moving to the mound. That transition started at the end of that season, but with the pandemic, he hasn’t been able to show off in his new position until this year. It took a little bit. In May, he struck out 22 batters in 13 2/3 innings, but he had a 4.61 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. In June, he was fantastic. He worked a lot. 20 innings for a reliever in the minors is a lot. He kept his strikeout rate over 12 per nine. Opponents hit just .098 off of him! As impressive as the numbers, his stuff has come along quickly. Yes, he throws a mid-90s fastball, but he knows he needs more than that. If you watch him throw, he throws a lot of changeups and sliders, and both appear to have some potential. #3 - LHP Zach Featherstone - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 5 H, 10 BB, 25 K Featherstone was the Twins 12th round pick in 2016 out of community college. Like Gore, he was a position player. After one season splitting time between first base and the outfield, he moved to the mound. He pitched in 12 games in the GCL in 2017. In 2018, he got hurt, and when the GCL season started, he worked in three games to see how he was progressing. It was determined that he needed Tommy John surgery. He missed the 2019 season. He was ready to work some in the GCL late in the season, but a hurricane ended that season early. 2020 pandemic meant another season lost. So this spring when he finally got the chance to pitch again, he was very excited. In fact, in his first inning with the Kernels, he threw one pitch at 97 mph. Again, it took him some time to get into a groove. In May, he posted a 5.40 ERA and a 2.40 WHIP in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out 11 but walked nine. In June, he found the strike zone and showed dominance. Batters hit just .106 off of him. He throws into the mid-90s and has a sharp slider. He’s left-handed and certainly is worth watching. #2 - RHP Osiris German - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 6 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 2 H, 5 BB, 22 K. German signed with the Twins back in 2016 from San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic. The 22-year-old has worked slowly up the ladder. He spent parts of 2017 and 2018 in the DSL. He ended the 2018 season in the GCL. In 2019, he posted a 3.11 ERA over 37 2/3 innings. He struck out 47. After missing the 2020 season, he made the move to the full season with the Mighty Mussels. In May, he posted a 6.55 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP over 11 innings. In June, he put up incredible numbers, several of them were zero, including the number of runs allowed. I mean, he gave up just two hits over the full month. Opponents hit just .053 against him. One report told me that he has a “Devin Williams-like changeup that is a plus-plus pitch.” That certainly is intriguing too. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: LHP Denny Bentley - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 7 G, 1.35 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 4 H, 5 BB, 25 K Denny Bentley was the Twins 33rd round draft pick in 2018 out of Howard College in Texas. He posted a 2.60 ERA over 17 1/3 innings. He struck out 21. In 2019, he moved up to Elizabethton and had some ups and downs. In 19 games, he went 2-3 with two saves. He had a 4.38 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. When the E-Twins season ended, the Triple-A Red Wings needed some help on the final weekend. Bentley got that opportunity and made the best of it. He tossed two scoreless innings and gave up only a walk. He also struck out two batters. He also pitched for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the playoffs. Like the others, Bentley did not pitch in 2020. As you might expect, it took Bentley a little while to get things going. In May, he posted a 7.15 ERA and a 2.29 WHIP over 11 1/3 innings. While he struck out 18 batters, he gave up 15 hits and 11 walks. However, it was night-and-day and Bentley earned the top spot on this list. Along with giving up just seven base runners over 13 1/3 innings, he was dominant striking out 25 batters (16.9 K/9). Opponents hit just .095/.184/.143 (.327). His control and command greatly and quickly improved. Also, his stuff just got much sharper. As you can see, there were several solid relief pitcher performances in June. These guys are all worthy of some recognition. It was a good month for each of these pitchers. Congratulations to Denny Bentley, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for June 2021.
  6. The last couple of days, we announced our choices for the JuneTwins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month (Jose Miranda) and Starting Pitcher of the Month (Josh Winder). Today, we will discuss the relief pitchers who pitched well and dominated in the season’s second month. In May, many, if not most, of the pitchers in the system were piggybacking, so it was hard to distinguish ‘starters’ from ‘relievers,’ and that made sense. In June, there were a few more pitchers who were used more consistently out of the bullpen and a few really distinguished this month. Here are four relief pitchers who were great in June, but let’s start with some Honorable Mentions: RHP Steven Cruz, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 6 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 2 hits, 5 walks, 22 strikeouts. RHP Matthew Swain, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 8 G, 1.93 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 14.0 IP, 7 hits, 4 walks, 19 strikeouts. LHP Zach Neff, Wichita Wind Surge - 9 G, 1.98 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, 13.2 IP, 9 hits, 2 walks, 20 strikeouts. LHP Jovani Moran, Wichita Wind Surge - 9 G, 2.51 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 5 hits, 5 walks, 27 strikeouts. LHP Andrew Vasquez, St. Paul Saints - 9 G, 3.21 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 14.0 IP, 7 hits, 7 walks, 25 strikeouts. THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - RHP Jordan Gore - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 1.80 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 20.0 IP, 6 H, 9 BB, 27 K You know the story. Gore was the Twins 19th round pick in 2017 out of Coastal Carolina… as a shortstop. In fact, in 2019, he was the main starting shortstop until late in the season when Royce Lewis was called up. However, it was also at that time that Gore and the Twins started the conversation about moving to the mound. That transition started at the end of that season, but with the pandemic, he hasn’t been able to show off in his new position until this year. It took a little bit. In May, he struck out 22 batters in 13 2/3 innings, but he had a 4.61 ERA and a 1.32 WHIP. In June, he was fantastic. He worked a lot. 20 innings for a reliever in the minors is a lot. He kept his strikeout rate over 12 per nine. Opponents hit just .098 off of him! As impressive as the numbers, his stuff has come along quickly. Yes, he throws a mid-90s fastball, but he knows he needs more than that. If you watch him throw, he throws a lot of changeups and sliders, and both appear to have some potential. #3 - LHP Zach Featherstone - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 0.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 5 H, 10 BB, 25 K Featherstone was the Twins 12th round pick in 2016 out of community college. Like Gore, he was a position player. After one season splitting time between first base and the outfield, he moved to the mound. He pitched in 12 games in the GCL in 2017. In 2018, he got hurt, and when the GCL season started, he worked in three games to see how he was progressing. It was determined that he needed Tommy John surgery. He missed the 2019 season. He was ready to work some in the GCL late in the season, but a hurricane ended that season early. 2020 pandemic meant another season lost. So this spring when he finally got the chance to pitch again, he was very excited. In fact, in his first inning with the Kernels, he threw one pitch at 97 mph. Again, it took him some time to get into a groove. In May, he posted a 5.40 ERA and a 2.40 WHIP in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out 11 but walked nine. In June, he found the strike zone and showed dominance. Batters hit just .106 off of him. He throws into the mid-90s and has a sharp slider. He’s left-handed and certainly is worth watching. #2 - RHP Osiris German - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 6 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.57 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 2 H, 5 BB, 22 K. German signed with the Twins back in 2016 from San Cristobal in the Dominican Republic. The 22-year-old has worked slowly up the ladder. He spent parts of 2017 and 2018 in the DSL. He ended the 2018 season in the GCL. In 2019, he posted a 3.11 ERA over 37 2/3 innings. He struck out 47. After missing the 2020 season, he made the move to the full season with the Mighty Mussels. In May, he posted a 6.55 ERA and a 1.73 WHIP over 11 innings. In June, he put up incredible numbers, several of them were zero, including the number of runs allowed. I mean, he gave up just two hits over the full month. Opponents hit just .053 against him. One report told me that he has a “Devin Williams-like changeup that is a plus-plus pitch.” That certainly is intriguing too. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: LHP Denny Bentley - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 7 G, 1.35 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 4 H, 5 BB, 25 K Denny Bentley was the Twins 33rd round draft pick in 2018 out of Howard College in Texas. He posted a 2.60 ERA over 17 1/3 innings. He struck out 21. In 2019, he moved up to Elizabethton and had some ups and downs. In 19 games, he went 2-3 with two saves. He had a 4.38 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP. When the E-Twins season ended, the Triple-A Red Wings needed some help on the final weekend. Bentley got that opportunity and made the best of it. He tossed two scoreless innings and gave up only a walk. He also struck out two batters. He also pitched for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in the playoffs. Like the others, Bentley did not pitch in 2020. As you might expect, it took Bentley a little while to get things going. In May, he posted a 7.15 ERA and a 2.29 WHIP over 11 1/3 innings. While he struck out 18 batters, he gave up 15 hits and 11 walks. However, it was night-and-day and Bentley earned the top spot on this list. Along with giving up just seven base runners over 13 1/3 innings, he was dominant striking out 25 batters (16.9 K/9). Opponents hit just .095/.184/.143 (.327). His control and command greatly and quickly improved. Also, his stuff just got much sharper. As you can see, there were several solid relief pitcher performances in June. These guys are all worthy of some recognition. It was a good month for each of these pitchers. Congratulations to Denny Bentley, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for June 2021. View full article
  7. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS None KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Clinton 6 Box Score The Cedar Rapids Kernels season ended one win shy of participating in the Midwest League championship series. Congratulations to first-year manager Brian Dinkelman and his coaching staff. Brian Dinkelman sent RHP Tyler Palm to the mound to start, it was all hands on deck for the Kernels in the win or go home game. Unfortunately, Palm didn’t get through the first inning. He got two outs, but he was removed having given up three runs on three hits and a walk. Lefty Denny Bentley came on and gave the team length. He was able to work three scoreless innings and gave up just two hits. Jose Martinez got two outs but was charged with one run. Nate Hadley recorded five outs and gave up just one hit. JT Perez came on for the top of the seventh inning. He was charged with two unearned runs. Austin Schulfer worked the final two innings Tyler Webb continued to hit in the playoffs for the Kernels. His fifth inning single drove in a run and cut the Kernels deficit to 4-2 at the time. Webb went 10-for-17 (.588). On the other side of the spectrum, Matt Wallner went 0-for-24 with 10 strikeouts in the six Kernels playoff games. Wander Javier had a single and two doubles in the game as well. Jared Akins and Trevor Casanova each had a double for the Kernels as well. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Denny Bentley, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, 2-2B, R #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS No More Games! Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s Kernels game or any other minor league topics you would like.
  8. The Cedar Rapids Kernel take the title of Twins affiliate to last the longest in 2019. They faced another must-win game on Monday. With a win, the Kernels would advance to the Midwest League finals. Lose, and the players would be sent home on Tuesday.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS NoneKERNELS NUGGETSCedar Rapids 2, Clinton 6 Box Score The Cedar Rapids Kernels season ended one win shy of participating in the Midwest League championship series. Congratulations to first-year manager Brian Dinkelman and his coaching staff. Brian Dinkelman sent RHP Tyler Palm to the mound to start, it was all hands on deck for the Kernels in the win or go home game. Unfortunately, Palm didn’t get through the first inning. He got two outs, but he was removed having given up three runs on three hits and a walk. Lefty Denny Bentley came on and gave the team length. He was able to work three scoreless innings and gave up just two hits. Jose Martinez got two outs but was charged with one run. Nate Hadley recorded five outs and gave up just one hit. JT Perez came on for the top of the seventh inning. He was charged with two unearned runs. Austin Schulfer worked the final two innings Tyler Webb continued to hit in the playoffs for the Kernels. His fifth inning single drove in a run and cut the Kernels deficit to 4-2 at the time. Webb went 10-for-17 (.588). On the other side of the spectrum, Matt Wallner went 0-for-24 with 10 strikeouts in the six Kernels playoff games. Wander Javier had a single and two doubles in the game as well. Jared Akins and Trevor Casanova each had a double for the Kernels as well. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Denny Bentley, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, 2-2B, R #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS No More Games! Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s Kernels game or any other minor league topics you would like. Click here to view the article
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