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  1. Plenty of big bats can help the Twins in 2023, but Minnesota's best-hitting prospect is likely a few years away from Target Field. Let's explore Emmanuel Rodriguez and his professional career so far. Image courtesy of William Parmeter- Mighty Mussels Rightfully, Royce Lewis and Brooks Lee get much of the Twins organization's focus. An argument can be made for either player being the team's top prospect, but both may graduate off prospect lists by next offseason. Enter Emmanuel Rodriguez and a bat that might have the power to change the Twins organization. Rodriguez was considered one of the top available international prospects during the 2019-20 international signing period. Minnesota signed him for $2.75 million, but it took some time for the organization to know what they had in Rodriguez. During the 2019 and 2020 seasons, he participated in fall instructional leagues while dealing with a hand injury. His professional debut came in 2021, and he quickly made an impact. Many international prospects get their start in foreign summer leagues, but Rodriguez made his professional debut in the Florida Complex League. As an 18-year-old, he hit .214/.346/.524 (.870), including ten home runs in 37 games. After striking out 56 times in 126 at-bats, Minnesota worked to adjust his swing by keeping the bat in the zone longer so he could make consistent contact. These adjustments were evident during the 2022 season as he made his full-season debut. The 2022 campaign was a breakout season for Rodriguez. In 47 games, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with 17 extra-base hits and more walks (57) than strikeouts (52). He went 11-for-16 in stolen base attempts and made the majority of his defensive appearances in center field. His numbers were even more impressive considering he was a 19-year-old in the Florida State League. Only three of his at-bats came against younger pitchers. Unfortunately, his season ended in June after he tore his meniscus, which required surgery. It was a tough way for his season to end, but his ceiling continues to be among the highest in the Twins organization. Rodriguez had surgery in mid-June, and expectations were that he would follow that with 3-4 months of rehab. This timetable should put him on a path to easily be ready for the start of spring training in 2023. Minnesota's coaches worked to improve his swing, which impacted his breakout season, and now his rehab may allow him to continue making adjustments. He's very good at hitting the ball in the zone but has shown a tendency to chase pitches out of the zone. The injury may also give him time to add more muscle, giving him more power as he climbs the organizational ladder. Defensively, some question whether or not Rodriguez will be able to stick as a center fielder. Minnesota will continue to use him in center in the coming years, but he started four games in right field last season. His arm might be his best tool at this point, and that will play from any outfield position. As he returns from a knee injury, it will be interesting to see if his speed is impacted, especially if he has added more muscle to his frame. Rodriguez is a player that fans can get excited about, but he likely will make his debut in 2024 or later. There are a lot of steps left for him to climb, and some prospects can struggle in the minors' upper levels. For now, his ceiling is one of the highest in the organization as the Twins watch his big bat continue to develop. What are your expectations for Rodriguez? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  2. Rightfully, Royce Lewis and Brooks Lee get much of the Twins organization's focus. An argument can be made for either player being the team's top prospect, but both may graduate off prospect lists by next offseason. Enter Emmanuel Rodriguez and a bat that might have the power to change the Twins organization. Rodriguez was considered one of the top available international prospects during the 2019-20 international signing period. Minnesota signed him for $2.75 million, but it took some time for the organization to know what they had in Rodriguez. During the 2019 and 2020 seasons, he participated in fall instructional leagues while dealing with a hand injury. His professional debut came in 2021, and he quickly made an impact. Many international prospects get their start in foreign summer leagues, but Rodriguez made his professional debut in the Florida Complex League. As an 18-year-old, he hit .214/.346/.524 (.870), including ten home runs in 37 games. After striking out 56 times in 126 at-bats, Minnesota worked to adjust his swing by keeping the bat in the zone longer so he could make consistent contact. These adjustments were evident during the 2022 season as he made his full-season debut. The 2022 campaign was a breakout season for Rodriguez. In 47 games, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with 17 extra-base hits and more walks (57) than strikeouts (52). He went 11-for-16 in stolen base attempts and made the majority of his defensive appearances in center field. His numbers were even more impressive considering he was a 19-year-old in the Florida State League. Only three of his at-bats came against younger pitchers. Unfortunately, his season ended in June after he tore his meniscus, which required surgery. It was a tough way for his season to end, but his ceiling continues to be among the highest in the Twins organization. Rodriguez had surgery in mid-June, and expectations were that he would follow that with 3-4 months of rehab. This timetable should put him on a path to easily be ready for the start of spring training in 2023. Minnesota's coaches worked to improve his swing, which impacted his breakout season, and now his rehab may allow him to continue making adjustments. He's very good at hitting the ball in the zone but has shown a tendency to chase pitches out of the zone. The injury may also give him time to add more muscle, giving him more power as he climbs the organizational ladder. Defensively, some question whether or not Rodriguez will be able to stick as a center fielder. Minnesota will continue to use him in center in the coming years, but he started four games in right field last season. His arm might be his best tool at this point, and that will play from any outfield position. As he returns from a knee injury, it will be interesting to see if his speed is impacted, especially if he has added more muscle to his frame. Rodriguez is a player that fans can get excited about, but he likely will make his debut in 2024 or later. There are a lot of steps left for him to climb, and some prospects can struggle in the minors' upper levels. For now, his ceiling is one of the highest in the organization as the Twins watch his big bat continue to develop. What are your expectations for Rodriguez? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  3. The signing period for International Free Agency opens on January 15th, 2023. As a team who received a competitive balance pick in Round B of the MLB Draft, the Twins will have a signing bonus pool of $6,366,900. The Twins have a strong history in International Free Agency, both with higher end names (see Emmanuel Rodriguez), and lesser known prospects (see current batting champ, Luis Arraez). Minnesota has been closely tied to, and is expected to sign, three of the top 50 prospects, per MLB.com 11. Ariel Castro, OF, Cuba The White Sox are usually the AL Central players when is comes to Cuban prospects. Not this time. Castro is ranked as the eleventh overall prospect in International Free Agency, per MLB.com. Expect him to command a hefty bonus to reflect this ranking and projection. Castro is already 6’2, 180 lbs at just 16 years old and has one of the better left-handed swings in the class. As with any international free agent, its challenging to project a 16-year-old player, but Castro has the all-round profile that reads similar to Emmanuel Rodriguez, now a consensus top 100 global prospect. Castro has average speed and despite good instincts, is likely a corner outfielder at the professional level. The bat is the selling point here. He has the capability of developing plus hit and power tools, a combination that would make him an extremely valuable commodity at the next level. 31. Carlos Silva, C, Venezuela The Twins have a long, successful history of scouting in Venezuela and Silva is part of an impressive class of catchers in international free agency this year. He is 16, 5’9, listed at 150 lbs, and already has a balanced profile that blends a good approach at the plate with strong defensive skills. Behind the plate, Silva has a strong arm and a quick release and pop time. Offensively, he has good bat speed. Although he currently favors the pull side, he has the potential to develop an all-round offensive approach at the plate. Silva would bolster a position of need organizationally for the Twins. 38. Hendry Chivilli, SS, Dominican Republic Chivilli is one of 32 Dominican players in the top 50 international free agents and one of 20 infielders. Currently 17, Chivilli is 6’3 and 155 lbs. Chivilli fits the Twins mold in 2023, with no one standout tool. (He grades as a future 50 in all areas of his game). What is notable about Chivilli is his athleticism. He will add a ton of weight and muscle in the coming years, giving him a healthy level of projectability to add real offensive upside to his already solid defense as short. Which of these prospects excites you the most?
  4. The International Free Agent signing period opens on January 15th, 2023. The Twins have been linked to signing three of the top 50 prospects. Come and read up on an impressive crop of incoming players for Minnesota. The signing period for International Free Agency opens on January 15th, 2023. As a team who received a competitive balance pick in Round B of the MLB Draft, the Twins will have a signing bonus pool of $6,366,900. The Twins have a strong history in International Free Agency, both with higher end names (see Emmanuel Rodriguez), and lesser known prospects (see current batting champ, Luis Arraez). Minnesota has been closely tied to, and is expected to sign, three of the top 50 prospects, per MLB.com 11. Ariel Castro, OF, Cuba The White Sox are usually the AL Central players when is comes to Cuban prospects. Not this time. Castro is ranked as the eleventh overall prospect in International Free Agency, per MLB.com. Expect him to command a hefty bonus to reflect this ranking and projection. Castro is already 6’2, 180 lbs at just 16 years old and has one of the better left-handed swings in the class. As with any international free agent, its challenging to project a 16-year-old player, but Castro has the all-round profile that reads similar to Emmanuel Rodriguez, now a consensus top 100 global prospect. Castro has average speed and despite good instincts, is likely a corner outfielder at the professional level. The bat is the selling point here. He has the capability of developing plus hit and power tools, a combination that would make him an extremely valuable commodity at the next level. 31. Carlos Silva, C, Venezuela The Twins have a long, successful history of scouting in Venezuela and Silva is part of an impressive class of catchers in international free agency this year. He is 16, 5’9, listed at 150 lbs, and already has a balanced profile that blends a good approach at the plate with strong defensive skills. Behind the plate, Silva has a strong arm and a quick release and pop time. Offensively, he has good bat speed. Although he currently favors the pull side, he has the potential to develop an all-round offensive approach at the plate. Silva would bolster a position of need organizationally for the Twins. 38. Hendry Chivilli, SS, Dominican Republic Chivilli is one of 32 Dominican players in the top 50 international free agents and one of 20 infielders. Currently 17, Chivilli is 6’3 and 155 lbs. Chivilli fits the Twins mold in 2023, with no one standout tool. (He grades as a future 50 in all areas of his game). What is notable about Chivilli is his athleticism. He will add a ton of weight and muscle in the coming years, giving him a healthy level of projectability to add real offensive upside to his already solid defense as short. Which of these prospects excites you the most? View full article
  5. If the Minnesota Twins are going to bounce back next year, it will take more than savvy offseason moves from the front office. Impact veterans help but, as we've seen with Carlos Correa, they can't do it all. Internal help is crucial. The club was helped greatly this season – and saved perhaps from another all-out disaster – by key rookies making immediate contributions, including Jose Miranda, Jhoan Duran and Joe Ryan. Some positive developments in the minors offer hope that more impact help is soon on the way. Image courtesy of Ken Blaze, USA Today Sports Yesterday we assessed the damage from the most upsetting negative developments in the Twins system this year, with three of the organization's top six prospects experiencing calamitous setbacks that have sent them spiraling out of the Twins' plans. As a chaser to cleanse all those bad vibes, today we'll highlight some hugely positive developments on the farm, each propelling ascendent prospects more directly into the team's future. Best of all, we couldn't limit this list to just three. These five players have tremendously improved their stocks this year, setting the stage to potentially help the major-league team in the very near future (if they haven't already). Louie Varland backs up a big year. We've already seen the early returns on this breakout prospect star. Varland didn't exactly come out of nowhere – he was named the organization's minor-league pitcher of the year in 2021 – but there was still an air of skepticism around him, a former 15th-round draft pick out of a D-II college. Sure, he was amazing in A-ball last year, but plenty of collegiate draft picks have dominated those low levels only to get a reality check in the high minors. For Varland, that check never came. He translated his excellence to Double-A without missing a beat, earning a late-season promotion to Triple-A that quickly turned into a major-league debut. Stepping out under the lights of Yankee Stadium, Varland excelled and made a big impression. Things didn't quite as well his next time out, in Cleveland on Saturday, but this is a guy whose stated goal for this year was to reach St. Paul. He blew past it, and as a consequence, will find himself squarely in the MLB depth picture heading into next season. Matt Wallner mashes past his contact issues. Wallner is another prospect whose monster campaign has already paved the way for a sooner-than-expected MLB debut. And like Varland, he's a local kid, native to Forest Lake, MN. Unlike Varland, Wallner was not a late-round draft pick who emerged from low expectations to achieve top prospect status. He was a bona fide stud coming out of college, selected 39th overall in 2019. But he had his own set of doubts coming into this season, relating mainly to his contact and discipline issues. Even for someone with as much raw power as Wallner, it's really tough to project big-league success for a bat-first player who strikes out 33% of the time and barely walks – at Single-A as a 23-year-old, no less. Would upper-level pitchers chop him to bits? Turns out, it's been the other way around. Wallner obliterated Double-A pitching, posting a .299/.436/.597 slash line with 21 homers in 74 games. That earned him a trip to the Futures Game and a promotion to Triple-A soon after. Wallner got off to a slow start with the Saints, batting .105 with zero extra-base hits in his first 10 games. Then he flipped a switch. Since the beginning of August he's slashing .289/.414/.564. Walks are up, strikeouts are down, and that has a been an overall trend for him this year as he's shown the ability to actively improve his strike zone control and evolve his game. The huge breakout season, combined with desperation for help at the big-league level, led to Wallner getting called up in Cleveland this past weekend. He homered off Shane Bieber in his first MLB game. Wallner felt like a bit of a longshot at this time last year, but now looks like a guy you can confidently write into the team's plans going forward. The idea of both he and Varland, as hometown boys, turning into fixtures for the Twins over the next five years is pretty fun. Simeon Woods Richardson shows his true colors. A former second-round draft pick of the Mets, Woods Richardson has widely been viewed as one of the more prestigious pitching prospects in the minors, making both Baseball America's and MLB.com's Top 100 lists in 2020 and 2021. The Twins were thrilled to get him alongside Austin Martin in the trade that sent José Berríos to Toronto last summer. Looking at his 2021 season in isolation, fans might have been asking ... why? He had a 5.76 ERA in 11 starts with the Blue Jays' Double-A affiliate, and then put up a 6.75 ERA in a brief eight-inning September stint with Wichita. It was a weird year that saw him get aggressively assigned to Double-A at age 20, then take a bunch of time away from his team for the Olympics, where he didn't even pitch. The 6-foot-3, 210 lb right-hander has fully gotten back on track this year. He didn't allow a run in his first four starts en route to a 2.92 ERA over 71 innings at Wichita before moving up to St. Paul in mid-August. There he has continued to excel with a 2.55 ERA in 24 ⅔ frames. Between both levels, Woods Richardson has averaged well over a strikeout per inning, cut down significantly on the walks, and allowed only six home runs in 21 outings. Opponents have batted .206 against him. He's about three years younger than the average player at Triple-A. This reaffirming turnaround from Woods Richardson has been huge for two reasons, both tying to yesterday's article. First, it keeps the Berríos trade looking like a winner even with Martin falling off, and second, it keeps another high-caliber and near-ready pitching prospect in the wings even with Balazovic getting derailed. Emmanuel Rodriguez blossoms into prospect stardom. Unlike the others highlighted in this article, Rodriguez is probably not in line to make an MLB debut in the especially near future. He's a teenager who hasn't appeared above Low-A and his timeline was further delayed by a season-ending knee injury suffered in June. In spite of all that, his performance prior to that injury was so magnificent, and so incredibly encouraging, that he has to be included in this piece. Rodriguez ranked 15th on our preseason top prospects list, characterized as an intriguing yet distant international talent coming off an impressive showing in rookie ball. His follow-up at Single-A left no doubt as to the outfielder's sky-high potential: in 47 games before going down, he slashed .272/.493/.552 with nine homers, 11 steals, and 57 (!) walks. Yes, you read that right – nearly a .500 OBP and more walks than games played from a 19-year-old in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. Realistically, even if he comes back with gusto next year, Rodriguez is probably looking at a 2024 debut at the earliest, but his spectacular first half puts him in the "blue chip prospect" conversation and that's a hugely positive development for this system. Brooks Lee arrives and thrives. I honestly believe this will go down as THE biggest boost to the farm system over a span of many years: Lee, widely viewed as one of the premier talents in this year's MLB draft, somehow sliding to the Twins at No. 8 overall, where they were more than happy to take him. They may have landed a new franchise player. Quickly signed to a $5.7 million bonus, Lee has handled every assignment so far with aplomb. He went to rookie ball briefly where he batted .353 to earn a promotion to Single-A. Five weeks at Cedar Rapids was enough to convince the Twins he was ready for the next level, so over the weekend, Lee was called up to Wichita, reaching Double-A exactly two months after he was drafted. Touted for his "otherworldly bat-to-ball skills," Lee was one of the top hitters in college, an exceedingly advanced talent, and the Twins could barely contain their excitement when he fell into their laps. "It’s hard to say who made who fall to our pick," said scouting director Sean Johnson, "but regardless of who caused it, [for] the domino to trickle, we’re ecstatic." Their actions have backed up their words. Advanced talent or not, pushing a player to Double-A two months after drafting him makes an aggressive statement. Presumably billed to open back at Wichita in 2023, Lee will be in position to make a case for a big-league promotion next summer. It's almost as if the Twins are planning around that possibility. View full article
  6. Yesterday we assessed the damage from the most upsetting negative developments in the Twins system this year, with three of the organization's top six prospects experiencing calamitous setbacks that have sent them spiraling out of the Twins' plans. As a chaser to cleanse all those bad vibes, today we'll highlight some hugely positive developments on the farm, each propelling ascendent prospects more directly into the team's future. Best of all, we couldn't limit this list to just three. These five players have tremendously improved their stocks this year, setting the stage to potentially help the major-league team in the very near future (if they haven't already). Louie Varland backs up a big year. We've already seen the early returns on this breakout prospect star. Varland didn't exactly come out of nowhere – he was named the organization's minor-league pitcher of the year in 2021 – but there was still an air of skepticism around him, a former 15th-round draft pick out of a D-II college. Sure, he was amazing in A-ball last year, but plenty of collegiate draft picks have dominated those low levels only to get a reality check in the high minors. For Varland, that check never came. He translated his excellence to Double-A without missing a beat, earning a late-season promotion to Triple-A that quickly turned into a major-league debut. Stepping out under the lights of Yankee Stadium, Varland excelled and made a big impression. Things didn't quite as well his next time out, in Cleveland on Saturday, but this is a guy whose stated goal for this year was to reach St. Paul. He blew past it, and as a consequence, will find himself squarely in the MLB depth picture heading into next season. Matt Wallner mashes past his contact issues. Wallner is another prospect whose monster campaign has already paved the way for a sooner-than-expected MLB debut. And like Varland, he's a local kid, native to Forest Lake, MN. Unlike Varland, Wallner was not a late-round draft pick who emerged from low expectations to achieve top prospect status. He was a bona fide stud coming out of college, selected 39th overall in 2019. But he had his own set of doubts coming into this season, relating mainly to his contact and discipline issues. Even for someone with as much raw power as Wallner, it's really tough to project big-league success for a bat-first player who strikes out 33% of the time and barely walks – at Single-A as a 23-year-old, no less. Would upper-level pitchers chop him to bits? Turns out, it's been the other way around. Wallner obliterated Double-A pitching, posting a .299/.436/.597 slash line with 21 homers in 74 games. That earned him a trip to the Futures Game and a promotion to Triple-A soon after. Wallner got off to a slow start with the Saints, batting .105 with zero extra-base hits in his first 10 games. Then he flipped a switch. Since the beginning of August he's slashing .289/.414/.564. Walks are up, strikeouts are down, and that has a been an overall trend for him this year as he's shown the ability to actively improve his strike zone control and evolve his game. The huge breakout season, combined with desperation for help at the big-league level, led to Wallner getting called up in Cleveland this past weekend. He homered off Shane Bieber in his first MLB game. Wallner felt like a bit of a longshot at this time last year, but now looks like a guy you can confidently write into the team's plans going forward. The idea of both he and Varland, as hometown boys, turning into fixtures for the Twins over the next five years is pretty fun. Simeon Woods Richardson shows his true colors. A former second-round draft pick of the Mets, Woods Richardson has widely been viewed as one of the more prestigious pitching prospects in the minors, making both Baseball America's and MLB.com's Top 100 lists in 2020 and 2021. The Twins were thrilled to get him alongside Austin Martin in the trade that sent José Berríos to Toronto last summer. Looking at his 2021 season in isolation, fans might have been asking ... why? He had a 5.76 ERA in 11 starts with the Blue Jays' Double-A affiliate, and then put up a 6.75 ERA in a brief eight-inning September stint with Wichita. It was a weird year that saw him get aggressively assigned to Double-A at age 20, then take a bunch of time away from his team for the Olympics, where he didn't even pitch. The 6-foot-3, 210 lb right-hander has fully gotten back on track this year. He didn't allow a run in his first four starts en route to a 2.92 ERA over 71 innings at Wichita before moving up to St. Paul in mid-August. There he has continued to excel with a 2.55 ERA in 24 ⅔ frames. Between both levels, Woods Richardson has averaged well over a strikeout per inning, cut down significantly on the walks, and allowed only six home runs in 21 outings. Opponents have batted .206 against him. He's about three years younger than the average player at Triple-A. This reaffirming turnaround from Woods Richardson has been huge for two reasons, both tying to yesterday's article. First, it keeps the Berríos trade looking like a winner even with Martin falling off, and second, it keeps another high-caliber and near-ready pitching prospect in the wings even with Balazovic getting derailed. Emmanuel Rodriguez blossoms into prospect stardom. Unlike the others highlighted in this article, Rodriguez is probably not in line to make an MLB debut in the especially near future. He's a teenager who hasn't appeared above Low-A and his timeline was further delayed by a season-ending knee injury suffered in June. In spite of all that, his performance prior to that injury was so magnificent, and so incredibly encouraging, that he has to be included in this piece. Rodriguez ranked 15th on our preseason top prospects list, characterized as an intriguing yet distant international talent coming off an impressive showing in rookie ball. His follow-up at Single-A left no doubt as to the outfielder's sky-high potential: in 47 games before going down, he slashed .272/.493/.552 with nine homers, 11 steals, and 57 (!) walks. Yes, you read that right – nearly a .500 OBP and more walks than games played from a 19-year-old in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. Realistically, even if he comes back with gusto next year, Rodriguez is probably looking at a 2024 debut at the earliest, but his spectacular first half puts him in the "blue chip prospect" conversation and that's a hugely positive development for this system. Brooks Lee arrives and thrives. I honestly believe this will go down as THE biggest boost to the farm system over a span of many years: Lee, widely viewed as one of the premier talents in this year's MLB draft, somehow sliding to the Twins at No. 8 overall, where they were more than happy to take him. They may have landed a new franchise player. Quickly signed to a $5.7 million bonus, Lee has handled every assignment so far with aplomb. He went to rookie ball briefly where he batted .353 to earn a promotion to Single-A. Five weeks at Cedar Rapids was enough to convince the Twins he was ready for the next level, so over the weekend, Lee was called up to Wichita, reaching Double-A exactly two months after he was drafted. Touted for his "otherworldly bat-to-ball skills," Lee was one of the top hitters in college, an exceedingly advanced talent, and the Twins could barely contain their excitement when he fell into their laps. "It’s hard to say who made who fall to our pick," said scouting director Sean Johnson, "but regardless of who caused it, [for] the domino to trickle, we’re ecstatic." Their actions have backed up their words. Advanced talent or not, pushing a player to Double-A two months after drafting him makes an aggressive statement. Presumably billed to open back at Wichita in 2023, Lee will be in position to make a case for a big-league promotion next summer. It's almost as if the Twins are planning around that possibility.
  7. Before hopping into the list, I wanted to say a few things about this process: I started these writeups to kill time, but I’ve found them fun to write, and the community has responded with great support. My system lacks the professionalism of scouts, but I want to strive toward respectability; this edition is the one I’m most proud of. Previous write-ups lacked consistency, and I failed to consider crucial aspects of a player’s performance. Reminder: tier matters more than specific ranking. Royce Lewis (Prev: 1) I think Royce Lewis is a legitimate franchise-altering player with a greater potential influence than any other prospect. He still has questions—his ability at shortstop remains in flux—but no one can deny his aura, a baseball and personal sense innate in his spirit. He also hit like a machine before suffering his injury in 2022. Brooks Lee (Prev: 2) Brooks Lee could fall out of bed and hit. Since the last writeup, the 2022 1st round pick packed his bags for Cedar Rapids and—while still being younger than the average hitter at the level—has continued to hit. The switch-hitter is walking 9.3% of the time while striking out in just 17.3% of plate appearances. Is Lee a shortstop long-term? Probably not; his clumsiness at the position has already shown, but the bat is such a lock that his position barely matters. Lee could legitimately start at 3rd base for the Twins in 2023 if they desire to push him. ------------------------- Noah Miller (Prev: 3) Noah Miller’s numbers have declined since his white-hot start, but I remain high on the 19-year-old for two reasons: he’s a virtual lock to play shortstop, which is rare and vital, and his hitting peripherals remain solid. The extra-base authority isn’t there, but his elite 15.8% walk rate and stomachable 23.5% strikeout rate reflect a deep understanding of the strike zone. The power should come later, but even if it doesn’t, Miller could stick around for a while as a glove-first shortstop; that’s a piece many teams could use. Emmanuel Rodriguez (Prev: 4) You could flip-flop Emmanuel Rodriguez and Miller without hearing a peep from me; the young outfielder steamrolled low-A with an athletic force unique amongst Twins prospects at that level. Naturally, he suffered a brutal knee injury that curtailed his season, but I don’t anticipate a drop-off for Rodriguez when he returns in 2023. Expect big things from him once he’s healthy. Connor Prielipp (Prev: 5) Professional baseball has still not yet seen Connor Prielipp on the mound, but that barely affects his prospect stock; the college lefty possesses immense “boom” ability if he can return from Tommy John surgery. He owns arguably the best slider of anyone drafted in 2022; his fastball is a plus pitch as well. There have been whispers—a tweet here and there—about Prielipp pitching before the season ends, but nothing is official yet. He will be a name to remember for 2023. Simeon Woods Richardson (Prev: 7) This is where I admit a past error in these lists: I failed to consider Simeon Woods Richardson’s league while evaluating him. The Texas League tilts towards hitters, so while Woods Richardson’s numbers looked fine, they reflected an impressive ability to thrive in a competitive context built to suffocate him. His play with St. Paul since his promotion proves this; the young righty made two excellent starts, showcasing an elevated strikeout rate of 34.3%. Woods Richardson should impact the Twins soon, and he may become a rotation staple for years. Edouard Julien (Prev: 10) The lack of support for Edouard Julien as a genuine top prospect is baffling to me; the French-Canadian is a walking machine with pop; do people understand how rare that is? August was another dominant month, as he slashed .290/.426/.473 with three stolen bases (and three caught attempts). Sure, he’s a defender in name only, but the Twins could stomach merely passable defense at 2nd base to go with a tremendous bat—they’re already doing that with Jorge Polanco. I earnestly think Julien could be the starting 2nd baseman sooner than later—or at least he should be. ------------------------- Marco Raya (Prev: 9) Marco Raya only pitched twice in August—probably due to injury, but I couldn’t confirm this—yet, he remains a marvel through his raw stuff. “Electric” is the only word that can accurately describe him; his slider, curveball, and fastball possess desirable traits; whether he can put it all together is the big question. The Twins treated the youngster with kid gloves, so he will end 2022 with fewer innings than other, older prospects. Still, Raya remains a talented and intriguing arm. Matt Wallner (Prev: 11) I was low on Matt Wallner to start the season—even while he crushed the ball, his strikeouts always caused me to hesitate when considering his prospect status. What changed? Wallner has shaved points of his strikeout rate—it now sits at 26.9% in August, which I can live with. He’s still an on-base wizard and owns a bazooka out in right field; these tools add up to a volatile player, but one with more impact than I gave him credit for earlier in the season. If it all clicks, we’re looking at a consistent ~3-win player who could crack a few All-Star games. Louie Varland (Prev: 13) Like Woods Richardson, my failure to consider the context of Louie Varland’s league caused me to rank him far too low on these lists. Varland isn’t just a cute hometown kid story; the righty owns a deadly fastball that overpowers hitters and sets a strong foundation from which his other pitches can grow. Those secondary offerings remain iffy, but Joe Ryan has proved that a great fastball can lead to success early in one’s major league career while other pitches develop in the background. Varland has struck out 27.5% of hitters at AAA. Yasser Mercedes (Prev: 19) Of all the young players on this list, Yasser Mercedes possess the best chance of becoming a dynamic star; the 17-year-old—yes, he still needs an adult in the car while driving in the United States—lit the DSL on fire, stealing 30 bags while slashing .355/.420/.555. He played 41 games. If that’s a sign of things to come—and that’s a major “if” given his age—the Twins could have a future superstar. Misael Urbina (Prev: 23) Misael Urbina is growing into some power and looks like a much finer prospect because of it. In 2021, the athletic outfielder couldn’t find a double if someone pointed it out on a map, but he’s now slugging .506 with a slightly worse BB/K rate; I think both he and the Twins are ok with that. There’s still a lot of development in front of Urbina, but 2022 is an excellent step in the right direction. Austin Martin (Prev: 6) I’ve been downright mean to Austin Martin on these lists, and I think that needs a slight correction. He’s not a shortstop, and his lack of power still scares me, but you don’t see guys who walk about as often as they strike out every day, and he could carve out a niche as a super-utility guy in the mold of Nick Gordon. Such a role represents a step-down from his potential when coming out of Vanderbilt, but that type of player is still valuable for a major-league team. His drop on my list results from other players rising, not necessarily him falling. ------------------------- Brent Headrick (Prev: 15) Brent Headrick spent all of August at AA and posted impressive numbers; he struck out 36.8% of batters against just a 6.3% walk rate. The lefty is creeping up on 100 innings pitched in 2022, and I imagine the Twins will strongly consider protecting him from the rule 5 draft after the season. Jordan Balazovic (Prev: 8 ) Jordan Balazovic might be the hardest player to rank in the system; the righty crushed his competition in previous years, but AAA batters have taken him to town, and I have no clue what to make of it. August was another rough month for Balazovic, and I’m left wondering if his stuff fell off a cliff or if the team is forcing him to pitch through an obviously debilitating injury; batters have hit 16 homers against him in just 49 ⅔ innings. Cole Sands (Prev: 16) I have a soft spot for Cole Sands; the righty commands one of the finest sweeping breaking balls in the system, and his new split-change could aid him against left-handed batters. Unfortunately, a right elbow contusion halted his great run in the majors, but he’s set to start a rehab assignment soon. The timing of his injury could not have been worse as Sands had pitched seven scoreless innings with eight strikeouts since re-joining the Twins in August. Ronny Henriquez (Prev: 17) On the surface, Ronny Henriquez’s 2022 season looks like a disaster; the righty owns a 5.79 ERA after all, but promising signs are hiding underneath the surface; he’s a 22-year-old with very little professional experience coming off a month where he punched out 28% of batters. I think the Twins will sit on him for a while, instead choosing to let Henriquez develop at AAA for most of 2023 before giving him the call. Noah Cardenas (Prev: 21) Much like his Noah brethren—the one with “Miller” as his surname—Noah Cardenas represents my favorite kind of position-playing prospect: a lock at a demanding defensive position with a chance to provide above-average value through their bat. Cardenas is smoking A ball as an old-for-the-level hitter—he’s walking more than he’s striking out—so the real challenge will begin once he sees more advanced pitching. For now, he’s a great piece to dream on. Jose Rodriguez (Prev: Unranked) As a 17-year-old, Jose Rodriguez bashed 13 homers in 55 games in the DSL. Yes, we should all be wary of hyping up literal teenagers, but that total led the league, and Rodriguez did it as a well-touted prospect who also batted .289 with a palatable strikeout rate of 23.7%. Like Mercedes, Rodriguez’s development will be a slow burn, but his initial impression has been excellent. David Festa (Prev: 12) David Festa has cooled significantly since his excellent start to the season, enough, in fact, that it raises questions about whether he was playing over his head. The college arm had a great ERA in August (1.15), but a dreadful FIP (5.27) thanks to a mediocre strikeout rate and an inflated walk rate (20.6% and 11.8%, respectively). I believe he can turn it around—he’s younger than the average A+ pitcher—but September will be crucial for Festa. Blayne Enlow (Prev: 14) August was a fine month for Blayne Enlow; he worked almost entirely in relief, striking out 20.5% of hitters against a high but still palatable 9.5% walk rate. The move to the pen raises some eyebrows—is this a long-term move or perhaps a play to shuffle him upwards towards the majors quickly? I believe in the latter, so Enlow remains a well-regarded prospect. Chris Williams (Prev: 20) Hiding behind the word “interesting” is a soft move, but I’m not sure any other word can more precisely describe what Chris Williams is. The 25-year-old popped out of his bed one day earlier in the season, started mashing, and hasn’t slowed down since. A promotion to AAA has only fueled his fire as he’s slashing .241/.368/.667 since joining the Saints and has hit seven homers in 17 games. ------------------------- Cody Laweryson (Prev: Unranked) There’s something irresistibly intriguing about Cody Laweryson; the righty doesn’t throw hard and has never impacted major prospect lists, but his equal parts graceful and aggressive delivery has befuddled AA hitters. Laweryson carried a 2.13 FIP in August, buoyed by a monstrous 31.9% K rate; he split time as a starter and a reliever. It’s low-hanging fruit, but one is reminded of Joe Ryan when Laweryson is at his best. Alex Isola (Prev: Unranked) 29th-round picks don’t usually stick around as Alex Isola has; the righty has more than held his own at AA and could find himself in promotion conversations soon. You don’t see catchers with a 12.3% walk rate and a sub-20% K rate too often. Yunior Severino (Prev: 25) Yunior Severino brewed as a prospect for years before annihilating A+ ball to start 2022; the Twins were so impressed that they promoted him to AA a few days after the start of August. The higher competition level has stifled Severino—the walks and strikeouts have each trended in directions hitters don’t like—but the sample is so small that I’m willing to overlook it for now. September will be an important month for Severino. Alerick Soularie (Prev: 24) Alerick Soularie was in the process of melting A+ ball pitchers in August before the Kernels suddenly stopped playing him halfway through the month. If he’s injured—and I don’t see another answer—then I hope it doesn’t steal too much playing time; Soularie is already an old-for-his-level hitter with serious strikeout problems; he needs at-bats. Tanner Schobel (Prev: Unranked) The Twins drafted Tanner Schobel in the 2nd round of the 2022 draft. He has all of 81 plate appearances, so judging him off his stats is unwise; he’ll need more time to marinate before his prospect picture becomes clearer. Cesar Lares (Prev: 22) Cesar Lares is a DSL statistical outlier to whom I attached myself and will refuse to ignore. He led the DSL in K% amongst pitchers with at least 40 innings (37.6%) and, I mean, that’s an impressive number! Lares just turned 19, so his early dominance is an encouraging sign; next season will be important for the lefty. Aaron Sabato (Prev: 26) I’ve been harsh on Sabato—perhaps unfairly; maybe justified—but I may need to change my tune; he has now twice bounced back from dreadful starts at a level to match expectations drawn from his 1st round pedigree. It’s been no different at Wichita; the righty’s slash line is unsightly, but he’s walked a hearty amount since his promotion (11.3%), and his BABIP is dirt-low. There’s a good chance he turns it around in September. Jair Camargo (Prev: Unranked) A number of players could have claimed this spot, but I chose Jair Camargo, the hitting machine. Camargo has slashed a lopsided .275/.320/.514 throughout a few levels of the minors in 2022, perhaps revealing legitimate power from the catching position. He’s still younger than the average AA hitter.
  8. Identifying a team's top prospect can be challenging, but looking forward can provide even more excitement for a franchise's future. Here are the names that will be in consideration for the team's top prospect in 2024. Image courtesy of William Parmeter Currently, one can make an argument for both Royce Lewis and Brooks Lee being Minnesota's top prospect. By 2024, both will have graduated from prospect lists and should be helping the Twins at the big-league level. In recent years, Minnesota's farm system has dropped in national rankings, but it's hard not to get excited about the talent level of the players listed below. 1. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF ETA: 2024 Rodriguez's stock has significantly risen this season as many national outlets included him in their updated top-100 rankings. As a 19-year-old, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. He only faced younger pitchers in four plate appearances during the 2022 campaign. Unfortunately, a knee injury ended his season prematurely. Minnesota can have him repeat Fort Myers to start 2023, and he has plenty of development to do before he reaches Target Field. 2. Connor Prielipp, LHP ETA: 2025 The Twins took Prielipp with their second-round pick in 2022 from the University of Alabama. He was initially projected as a top-10 pick but missed the 2022 collegiate season due to Tommy John surgery. Minnesota will likely hold off on his professional debut until 2023, but he is already in the conversation as one of the team's top pitching prospects. By 2024, Prielipp has the potential to be the team's top prospect if he can return to his pre-injury form. 3. Marco Raya, RHP ETA: 2024 Like Rodriguez, Raya is another player that has put himself on the prospect map as a teenager in the Florida State League. In 61 innings, he has posted a 3.25 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP and a 69-to-22 strikeout to walk ratio. Over 81% of his at-bats have come against older batters who Raya has held to a .592 OPS. He has three terrific secondary pitches that should allow him to continue as a starter as he moves up the organizational ladder. 4. David Festa, RHP ETA: 2024 The Twins drafted Festa in the 13th round of the 2021 MLB Draft. It's exciting when a team can find value late in the draft and develop a prospect in the organization. His velocity has significantly jumped since joining the Twins organization, as he can consistently hit in the upper-90s. In 100 2/3 innings, he has a 2.43 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP and a 108-to-34 strikeout to walk ratio. In 2023, he should get a chance to pitch in the upper minors with a chance to prove he is part of the team's long-term plans. 5. Noah Miller, SS ETA: 2025 Minnesota has traded away much of their 2021 draft class, and Miller is the highest pick still with the organization. The Twins sent him to Fort Myers this season, where he has hit .212/.347/.281 (.628) with 108 strikeouts in 106 games. As a 19-year-old, he still has offensive development to accomplish, especially as he adds weight to his body. His baseball instincts should allow him to stick at shortstop, a position the Twins have previously struggled to fill. Which player will be the team's top prospect in 2024? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  9. Currently, one can make an argument for both Royce Lewis and Brooks Lee being Minnesota's top prospect. By 2024, both will have graduated from prospect lists and should be helping the Twins at the big-league level. In recent years, Minnesota's farm system has dropped in national rankings, but it's hard not to get excited about the talent level of the players listed below. 1. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF ETA: 2024 Rodriguez's stock has significantly risen this season as many national outlets included him in their updated top-100 rankings. As a 19-year-old, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs in 47 games. He only faced younger pitchers in four plate appearances during the 2022 campaign. Unfortunately, a knee injury ended his season prematurely. Minnesota can have him repeat Fort Myers to start 2023, and he has plenty of development to do before he reaches Target Field. 2. Connor Prielipp, LHP ETA: 2025 The Twins took Prielipp with their second-round pick in 2022 from the University of Alabama. He was initially projected as a top-10 pick but missed the 2022 collegiate season due to Tommy John surgery. Minnesota will likely hold off on his professional debut until 2023, but he is already in the conversation as one of the team's top pitching prospects. By 2024, Prielipp has the potential to be the team's top prospect if he can return to his pre-injury form. 3. Marco Raya, RHP ETA: 2024 Like Rodriguez, Raya is another player that has put himself on the prospect map as a teenager in the Florida State League. In 61 innings, he has posted a 3.25 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP and a 69-to-22 strikeout to walk ratio. Over 81% of his at-bats have come against older batters who Raya has held to a .592 OPS. He has three terrific secondary pitches that should allow him to continue as a starter as he moves up the organizational ladder. 4. David Festa, RHP ETA: 2024 The Twins drafted Festa in the 13th round of the 2021 MLB Draft. It's exciting when a team can find value late in the draft and develop a prospect in the organization. His velocity has significantly jumped since joining the Twins organization, as he can consistently hit in the upper-90s. In 100 2/3 innings, he has a 2.43 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP and a 108-to-34 strikeout to walk ratio. In 2023, he should get a chance to pitch in the upper minors with a chance to prove he is part of the team's long-term plans. 5. Noah Miller, SS ETA: 2025 Minnesota has traded away much of their 2021 draft class, and Miller is the highest pick still with the organization. The Twins sent him to Fort Myers this season, where he has hit .212/.347/.281 (.628) with 108 strikeouts in 106 games. As a 19-year-old, he still has offensive development to accomplish, especially as he adds weight to his body. His baseball instincts should allow him to stick at shortstop, a position the Twins have previously struggled to fill. Which player will be the team's top prospect in 2024? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  10. The Twins farm system continues to drop in national rankings, so should fans be concerned about the organization's future? Here are three reasons why the system continues to drop. National rankings of a team's farm systems can be taken with a grain of salt. A lot of hope and high expectations are tied to the team's top prospects, but most fans will focus on whether or not the big-league team is consistently winning. Front offices must find a balance between building homegrown talent and trading for pieces that can help the current roster. Baseball America updated its farm system rankings based on changes from this year's draft and the trade deadline. Minnesota's system ranked 25th, the team's lowest ranking since 2017. Baseball American and MLB Pipeline have three Twins prospects in their top 100, including Brooks Lee, Royce Lewis, and Emmanuel Rodriguez. So, why did the Twins drop so much? Trades Minnesota was active at the 2022 trade deadline by dealing away some of the organization's most improved prospects. Spencer Steer, Cade Povich, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and Steven Hajjar were all top-30 prospects in the system. Last winter, the Twins also traded Chase Petty, the team's 2021 first-round pick, to acquire Sonny Gray. Losing that kind of talent will hurt any organization's farm system ranking. Luckily, there are some obvious reasons why Minnesota's ranking dropped. Under 25 Big-League Players When looking at the health of an organization, it's essential to look at young players that are no longer prospects but are impacting the big-league roster. The Twins have gotten plenty of production this season from players that are 25 years old or younger. During his rookie campaign, Jose Miranda emerged as a middle-of-the-order bat. On the pitching side, Jhoan Duran completely altered how the team approaches late-inning pitching situations. However, the list of players that are 25 or younger doesn't stop there. Gilberto Celestino, a 23-year-old, has allowed the Twins to give Byron Buxton more regular days off from center field. Cole Sands, Josh Winder, and Jovani Moran have impacted the team's rotation and bullpen. Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff have shown how good their bats can be when they are healthy. Even regulars like Ryan Jeffers and Luis Arraez are in their age-25 season. Obviously, the Twins will need to continue to see continued development from these players while they help the team win. Injuries and Underperformance Injuries to key prospects are another reason the team's ranking continues to drop. Royce Lewis, Emmanuel Rodriguez, and Matt Canterino are all out for the year. Lewis was already impacting the big-league roster before undergoing his second ACL surgery in the last two seasons. Rodriguez had a breakout season before suffering a knee injury on a slide. Canterino's elbow health has been an issue throughout his professional career, and the hope is that Tommy John surgery will get him back on track. All three players should return at some point during the 2023 season. Multiple top prospects have also underperformed during the 2022 campaign. Austin Martin was widely considered one of the organization's top prospects after he was acquired as part of the Jose Berrios trade. In 65 Double-A games, he is hitting .244/.372/.306 (.678) with 11 extra-base hits. Minnesota added Jordan Balazovic to the 40-man roster last winter, but he has struggled throughout the 2022 season. In 15 Triple-A appearances, he has a 9.26 ERA with a 2.17 WHIP across 45 2/3 innings. Both of these players have seen their prospect stock drop significantly. Luckily, the Twins are keeping their winning window open despite the perceived talent drop in the farm system. Minnesota's trades have added controllable talent to the big-league roster, and the team has plenty of young talent up-and-down the roster. Are you concerned about the farm system's drop in national rankings? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  11. National rankings of a team's farm systems can be taken with a grain of salt. A lot of hope and high expectations are tied to the team's top prospects, but most fans will focus on whether or not the big-league team is consistently winning. Front offices must find a balance between building homegrown talent and trading for pieces that can help the current roster. Baseball America updated its farm system rankings based on changes from this year's draft and the trade deadline. Minnesota's system ranked 25th, the team's lowest ranking since 2017. Baseball American and MLB Pipeline have three Twins prospects in their top 100, including Brooks Lee, Royce Lewis, and Emmanuel Rodriguez. So, why did the Twins drop so much? Trades Minnesota was active at the 2022 trade deadline by dealing away some of the organization's most improved prospects. Spencer Steer, Cade Povich, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, and Steven Hajjar were all top-30 prospects in the system. Last winter, the Twins also traded Chase Petty, the team's 2021 first-round pick, to acquire Sonny Gray. Losing that kind of talent will hurt any organization's farm system ranking. Luckily, there are some obvious reasons why Minnesota's ranking dropped. Under 25 Big-League Players When looking at the health of an organization, it's essential to look at young players that are no longer prospects but are impacting the big-league roster. The Twins have gotten plenty of production this season from players that are 25 years old or younger. During his rookie campaign, Jose Miranda emerged as a middle-of-the-order bat. On the pitching side, Jhoan Duran completely altered how the team approaches late-inning pitching situations. However, the list of players that are 25 or younger doesn't stop there. Gilberto Celestino, a 23-year-old, has allowed the Twins to give Byron Buxton more regular days off from center field. Cole Sands, Josh Winder, and Jovani Moran have impacted the team's rotation and bullpen. Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff have shown how good their bats can be when they are healthy. Even regulars like Ryan Jeffers and Luis Arraez are in their age-25 season. Obviously, the Twins will need to continue to see continued development from these players while they help the team win. Injuries and Underperformance Injuries to key prospects are another reason the team's ranking continues to drop. Royce Lewis, Emmanuel Rodriguez, and Matt Canterino are all out for the year. Lewis was already impacting the big-league roster before undergoing his second ACL surgery in the last two seasons. Rodriguez had a breakout season before suffering a knee injury on a slide. Canterino's elbow health has been an issue throughout his professional career, and the hope is that Tommy John surgery will get him back on track. All three players should return at some point during the 2023 season. Multiple top prospects have also underperformed during the 2022 campaign. Austin Martin was widely considered one of the organization's top prospects after he was acquired as part of the Jose Berrios trade. In 65 Double-A games, he is hitting .244/.372/.306 (.678) with 11 extra-base hits. Minnesota added Jordan Balazovic to the 40-man roster last winter, but he has struggled throughout the 2022 season. In 15 Triple-A appearances, he has a 9.26 ERA with a 2.17 WHIP across 45 2/3 innings. Both of these players have seen their prospect stock drop significantly. Luckily, the Twins are keeping their winning window open despite the perceived talent drop in the farm system. Minnesota's trades have added controllable talent to the big-league roster, and the team has plenty of young talent up-and-down the roster. Are you concerned about the farm system's drop in national rankings? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  12. Minnesota's farm system ranks in the middle of the pack compared to the rest of baseball. That makes this year's key prospect injuries even tougher to withstand. Injuries impact every farm system, but the Twins have had three of their top-10 prospects suffer season-ending injuries. All three players should return over the next year with various timelines to impact the big-league level. Matt Canterino, SP Injury: Tommy John surgery Expected Return: Fall 2023 On Wednesday, it was announced that Matt Canterino would undergo Tommy John surgery which usually has a 12-month recovery timeline. Canterino has missed significant time throughout his professional career, and there's hope that this surgery will be able to solve those issues. In three minor league seasons, he has posted a 1.48 ERA with 13.8 K/9, but injuries have limited him to 85 innings. Canterino has a chance to get into game action at the end of 2023, and the Twins have to decide whether or not to add him to the 40-man roster before this winter's Rule 5 Draft. Royce Lewis, SS/OF Injury: ACL surgery Expected Return: June 2023 Lewis has already gone through this surgery and has shown a positive mindset throughout the process. Last month, he was already ahead of schedule in his rehab, so that is a positive sign for when he may return in 2023. ACL surgery is typically a 12-month recovery, but Lewis told MLB.com that he hopes to be ready in 10-11 months. During his debut, Lewis was fantastic as he hit .300/.317/.550 (.867) with four doubles and two home runs. What made it even more impressive was the fact Lewis hadn't appeared in a game throughout the 2020 or 2021 seasons. At Twins Daily, Lewis is still considered the organization's top prospect, so his health is critical to the team's future success. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF Injury: Knee surgery Expected Return: Spring 2023 Rodriguez was in the midst of a breakout season at Low-A before suffering a knee injury on a slide. In 47 games, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs. He did all of this while being over two years younger than the average age of the competition in the Florida State League. Throughout the season, he only faced younger pitchers in four plate appearances. His surgery puts him on track to be back on the field early next season, so he will still be young for the FSL if the team sends him back to that level. Injuries have also impacted other young players that have graduated from prospect lists. Alex Kirilloff, one of the team's former top prospects, is out for the year after having wrist surgery. His wrist had been bothering him over the last two seasons, so the hope is this will put him back on track for 2023. Not every prospect pans out at the big-league level, but the Twins are hoping all of these players have healthy careers moving forward. Which recovery worries you the most? Who will be back earlier than expected? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  13. Injuries impact every farm system, but the Twins have had three of their top-10 prospects suffer season-ending injuries. All three players should return over the next year with various timelines to impact the big-league level. Matt Canterino, SP Injury: Tommy John surgery Expected Return: Fall 2023 On Wednesday, it was announced that Matt Canterino would undergo Tommy John surgery which usually has a 12-month recovery timeline. Canterino has missed significant time throughout his professional career, and there's hope that this surgery will be able to solve those issues. In three minor league seasons, he has posted a 1.48 ERA with 13.8 K/9, but injuries have limited him to 85 innings. Canterino has a chance to get into game action at the end of 2023, and the Twins have to decide whether or not to add him to the 40-man roster before this winter's Rule 5 Draft. Royce Lewis, SS/OF Injury: ACL surgery Expected Return: June 2023 Lewis has already gone through this surgery and has shown a positive mindset throughout the process. Last month, he was already ahead of schedule in his rehab, so that is a positive sign for when he may return in 2023. ACL surgery is typically a 12-month recovery, but Lewis told MLB.com that he hopes to be ready in 10-11 months. During his debut, Lewis was fantastic as he hit .300/.317/.550 (.867) with four doubles and two home runs. What made it even more impressive was the fact Lewis hadn't appeared in a game throughout the 2020 or 2021 seasons. At Twins Daily, Lewis is still considered the organization's top prospect, so his health is critical to the team's future success. Emmanuel Rodriguez, OF Injury: Knee surgery Expected Return: Spring 2023 Rodriguez was in the midst of a breakout season at Low-A before suffering a knee injury on a slide. In 47 games, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with five doubles, three triples, and nine home runs. He did all of this while being over two years younger than the average age of the competition in the Florida State League. Throughout the season, he only faced younger pitchers in four plate appearances. His surgery puts him on track to be back on the field early next season, so he will still be young for the FSL if the team sends him back to that level. Injuries have also impacted other young players that have graduated from prospect lists. Alex Kirilloff, one of the team's former top prospects, is out for the year after having wrist surgery. His wrist had been bothering him over the last two seasons, so the hope is this will put him back on track for 2023. Not every prospect pans out at the big-league level, but the Twins are hoping all of these players have healthy careers moving forward. Which recovery worries you the most? Who will be back earlier than expected? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  14. Studs: Royce Lewis Nothing has changed here; Royce Lewis is a phenomenally talented shortstop on the mend with his second ACL tear. All we can do is hope he’ll return quickly enough next season to impact the team meaningfully. Brooks Lee It’s a miracle that Brooks Lee fell to the Twins at 8. We should thank the Cubs and Mets every day—the former for reaching on a pop-up college arm; the latter for turning their noses at Kumar Rocker in 2021, allowing the Rangers to snag him, re-creating the Vanderbilt 1-2 punch. Lee is a great prospect, checking all the offensive boxes with a pedigree as a coach’s son. Sure, he may not stick at shortstop, but people have said that about every infielder ever drafted; only time will prove whether he will have to switch positions. Until then, we can cherish having a guy who slashed .357/.462/.664 in 2022. ------------------------- Guys I love: Noah Miller I don’t like placing Noah Miller this high; either Austin Martin or Jordan Balazovic should be here, but they have underperformed so drastically that I can’t, in good conscience, continue to act like nothing is wrong with them. Miller’s defense remains elite, but his bat has lost its early-season thunder; he slugged .270 in July. I don’t know when I saw a slugging percent that low. Nick Punto slugged .323 over his career. Miller cut down on the Ks, but he’ll need to re-find his power before this placement reflects his ability instead of needing someone to be here. Emmanuel Rodriguez Emmanuel Rodriguez hasn’t played since his brutal injury, but not playing means he couldn’t tank his value by performing poorly. It’s funny how prospect evaluation can work like that; he’s like Schrödinger's baseball player. His strikeouts were still high, but we’re talking about a 19-year-old who walked 28.6% of the time while slugging .551 during his first stint at A-ball; beggars can’t be choosers. Connor Prielipp The pessimist would point out that a freshly-drafted pitcher being the best pitching prospect in the Twins system is a bad sign, but I choose to look at it in another way: Connor Prielipp had a legitimate claim to go first overall before undergoing Tommy John surgery. The procedure is still a severe setback, but modern health advancements have prettied up its boogeyman face, and all reports point towards his stuff returning to previous levels. I’m incredibly excited to see what Prielipp can do in the Twins organization. ------------------------- Guys I like with reservations: Austin Martin Checking Austin Martin’s slash line is like learning that a childhood hero is a scumbag; it’s depressing, and a harsh reminder that the world sucks. Martin’s strikeout rate has plummeted to an impressive rate (13.8%), but he has 11 extra-base hits on the year. 11. It’s August. Martin hasn’t played since the month’s opening game—perhaps the Twins have him locked away deep in the chasms of Fort Myers until he builds more than Jamey Carrollian power—but maybe the reset helps him find his old groove. Until that happens, I have to drop him down the list. Simeon Woods Richardson Simeon Woods Richardson quietly slid to the IL in June—the Wind Surge never announced the move, which I thought was odd—but has finally returned. I remain a skeptic; his high walk rate, low BABIP, and low home run rate all scream vicious regression, but Woods Richardson has avoided that trap, and given that every other top pitching arm has capitulated, he’ll remain here by default. I wouldn’t be surprised if the team calls him up out of desperation for somebody, anybody who can save this pitching staff. Jordan Balazovic Jordan Balazovic’s AAA numbers don’t even make sense, and not in a good way; he’s walking a batter every two innings, and his HR/FB rate is a cartoonish 38.9%. Let me put it in another way: over 34 ⅔ innings, Balazovic has allowed 14 home runs. It’s clear that he isn’t healthy, and I have little clue as to why the team continues to let him die on the mound when he can’t net outs in his current state. I’ll keep Balazovic at this spot because he has dominated hitters in a way I have not seen in a post-José Berríos landscape. Marco Raya The Twins still refuse to let Marco Raya pitch longer than four innings in a game—yes, I know that’s how teams deal with young pitchers these days, but it still feels ridiculous, especially since no research exists that proves this strategy works—but he has crushed his competition. Raya struck out 24.3% of batters he faced in July, and he has been almost untouchable since mid-June. I don’t anticipate a promotion soon, but Raya is well-positioned for a big 2023 if he can stay healthy. Edouard Julien Edouard Julien keeps chugging, taking walks, and putting up impressive slash lines. Julien hit .287/.443/.517 in July, a healthy line that will play in any environment. He also walked as much as he struck out. The worry with Julien is still this: where is his position, and will he have enough power to sustain production there? If he’s a second baseman, that answer becomes more straightforward, but we will have to wait and see. He should be in St. Paul soon. Matt Wallner I previously said that a player needs to have legendary power to offset a strikeout rate like Matt Wallner’s, and he may have that jolt. Wallner’s homer in the Future Games was comical, and it’s easy to imagine his exit velocities translating well in the major leagues. AAA has not been kind to Wallner, but he struggled during his first taste of AA also, so that could just be how the big guy operates. Is he Joey Gallo 2.0? Is that something the Twins want? We shall see. David Festa David Festa is holding his own at A+ ball; the righty is 3rd in the system in innings and owns an ERA/FIP/xFIP slash line of 2.24/2.83/3.39. He struggled with command in July, walking 11.8% of batters, but I believe that to be a blip, not a worrisome trend. He also picked off three straight baserunners during a game in July, which I’ve never seen before in a baseball match. ------------------------- Guys I’m intrigued by: Louie Varland I’ve been one of the low-men on Louie Varland for a while. His peripherals weren’t great last season, and he’s continued that trend at AA ball in 2022. Varland’s July was good (3.91 ERA, 18.6 K-BB%), but those numbers are inflated by an eight-strikeout performance at the end of the month; the rest of his starts were inconsistent and a little sloppy. Blayne Enlow I’m still cutting Blayne Enlow an enormous amount of slack. The righty is trying to pitch his first mostly-full season since 2019, and getting him accustomed to pitching again is the goal for 2022. July was remarkable for his ERA—he allowed two runs over 13 innings—but the walk rate was elevated, and, well, it was just a 13-inning sample. Hopefully, we can see more dominant performances, like his three-inning, five strikeout relief outing to conclude the month. Brent Headrick Brent Headrick crushed A+ ball and earned a promotion to AAin July. He made one disastrous outing—seriously, don’t look it up—but I can chalk that up to jitters around making his first AA appearance. Headrick has the potential to fly up this list even further as the season continues, and he’s now undoubtedly the best left-handed pitching prospect in the system after Cade Povich and Steve Hajjar found new homes. Cole Sands Given the Twins’ inability to pitch at even a watchable level, I’m surprised that Cole Sands hasn’t earned an extended leash in the majors. He sometimes struggles with command, but his sweeper is deadly enough to coax an extra strikeout or two when he really needs it. Sands struck out 30.4% of batters at AAA in July; I think the team could use that. Ronny Henriquez In July, Ronny Henriquez secretly turned a corner; the newly acquired ex-Ranger farmhand put up an ERA of 3.05 with a healthy K-BB% of 20.9. Henriquez had struggled—and I mean struggled—at AAA to begin the season, but this great month could prove to be the launching point for the 22-year-old. Add him to the list of arms the team could look to in their pursuit of pitching. Matt Canterino Matt Canterino is a reliever who can’t stay healthy. I don’t care about stuff or anything else; a pitcher with a James Paxton-level of durability should not rank highly on any prospect list. If Canterino returns to AA and throws strikes, the team should move him to the major league bullpen before August ends. ------------------------- Possible diamonds in the rough: Yasser Mercedes It’s typically unwise to rank DSL players, but Yasser Mercedes commanded a signing bonus of $1.7 million; we aren’t dealing with a random Joe here. As a 17-year-old, Mercedes is hitting well during his first stint in professional baseball; he’s currently good for a .324/.394/.532 slash line. Chris Williams Missing Chris Williams was the most glaring mistake in my previous ranking. I’ve had my eye on Williams since he put together some powerful stretches in 2019, but his play has been dreadfully inconsistent. The 25-year-old slumped during an injury-plagued 2021 season, but he’s evolved into the Terminator recently, slugging a truly absurd .708 in July. He may be somewhat positionless, but you’ll move heaven and earth to find a place for that bat. Noah Cardenas Noah Cardenas is walking 18.2% of the time at A ball, and I feel like no one has mentioned it. Cardenas can already field the position well, so the newfound offensive boost could give his game a new, exciting wrinkle. I would suggest keeping your eye on him. Cesar Lares Cesar Lares is striking out 44.2% of hitters faced at the DSL. This concludes fun facts with Cesar Lares. Misael Urbina Misael Urbina had a late start to the season—visa issues limited his movement—but it seems like that problem is far behind Urbina. The talented outfielder slugged .589 at A ball in July, a good sign considering that power was his most prominent issue in 2021. Urbina could quickly move up a tier or two if he continues to smoke the ball well. Alerick Soularie Alerick Soularie shed the strike-out problems that clouded his prospect status; he punched out in just 19.8% of plate appearances in July while hitting for a solid 123 wRC+. His power output is still low, but that feels like a nitpick in an otherwise excellent hitting package. Yunior Severino Post-post-hype can still exist for a ballplayer; a statement never more true than with Yunior Severino. After the Twins snagged the infielder when the Braves got caught with their hand in the cookie jar, it seemed that Severino had greatness in his future. That timeline branched off into a far more boring story, but Severino did slug .690 in July, so he may still have a chance. ------------------------- Guys: Aaron Sabato The first spot in my “guys” list goes to one of the more frustrating prospects in the Twins’ system. Aaron Sabato has not yet put together an extended period of excellent performance–at least not in my eyes—but he did slug .709 in July while bringing home a Midwest League Hitter of the Week award. Is this a hot streak or a sign of things to come? I’m pessimistic, but we will see. Keoni Cavaco Keoni Cavaco remaining on this list is the baseball equivalent of the lifetime achievement award; he hasn’t impressed since the team took him in the 1st round in 2019, and he’s only here because of that pedigree. He did crawl above a league-average hitting line in July (110 wRC+), but his strikeout problem is still critical. Michael Helman Is Michael Helman just a feel-good story? Maybe. He’s 26 and is just holding his own at AAA, not dominating. No one attribute sticks out about Helman, but there’s a slight chance he’s called up in a pinch and proves enough to stick around. Kala’i Rosario Kala’i Rosario’s hitting peripherals—walks and strikeouts especially—look gross and not in a good way: a 5.8% walk rate compared to a 35.8% K rate. Still, the young, athletic outfielder has serious power potential, which could lead him to future success. Brayan Medina I still don’t know what to make of Brayan Medina, and he’s walking a small village in the low minors. He has almost no professional innings to his name, though, so I’m willing to wait before critically analyzing him. This group of names looked a lot better a few days ago when I started this writeup; of course, the team was always going to lose crucial players if they wanted to buy enough to offset their major league weaknesses. Still, I don’t feel like they lost major foundational pieces; Spencer Steer hurts, but he had no immediate fit on the Twins’ roster; Cade Povich is the primary, painful loss in my eyes. I think Povich will continue to evolve and become a valuable starting pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles. I’m lower than a lot on Christian Encarnacion-Strand—he’s a butcher on the field, and that’s difficult for a major league team to hide—Steve Hajjar has command and shoulder issues, and Sawyer Gipson-Long feels replaceable. This system still isn’t great, but I think it’s in a better spot than it was last month—and that’s while considering the players they lost at the deadline.
  15. Prospect lists can be exciting, especially as the trade deadline approaches at the beginning of August. Contending teams must part with some of the top-rated prospects so they can add veteran pieces to their roster. Minnesota expects to be active in the trade market, and these are the prospects considered the best in the system. Royce Lewis, SS Minnesota saw the type of impact Royce Lewis could have on the big-league roster during his first call-up in 2022. In 12 games, he hit .300/.317/.550 (.867) with four doubles and two home runs. He was also destroying the baseball at Triple-A with a .940 OPS, which is tremendous considering the amount of time he missed during the 2020-21 seasons. He also made some solid defensive plays at shortstop, which may quiet some of his critics. Unfortunately, another knee injury means he is out until late June or July 2023. Lewis has gone through this rehab before, and the hope is he can return next season and look just as strong. Austin Martin, SS/OF Around this time last season, the Twins acquired Austin Martin as the centerpiece of a trade for Jose Berrios. He was a top-5 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft and considered the best college bat in his draft class. Martin's stock has dropped over the last two seasons as he has failed to showcase the power he had at Vanderbilt. He is repeating Double-A this season, but he is putting up career lows in nearly every category. In 63 games, he is hitting .249/.378/.313 (.691) with 11 extra-base hits. Martin is still over a year younger than the average age of the competition at his level. Emmanuel Rodriguez, CF Emmanuel Rodriguez was off to a tremendous start to the 2022 season as he firmly established himself as a breakout prospect. As a 19-year-old, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with 17 extra-base hits in 47 games. What makes his performance even more impressive is the fact that Rodriguez was over two years younger than the average age of the competition in the Florida State League. Unfortunately, he tore the meniscus in his right knee when sliding into a base in the middle of June. Rodriguez is out for the season, but he's certainly in the conversation as one of the team's best overall prospects. Brooks Lee, SS Minnesota's front office was ecstatic when the draft board played out in their favor, and Brooks Lee was still on the board. Baseball America ranked Lee as the second-best prospect in the draft, and the Twins snagged him with the eighth overall pick. He has tremendous bat-to-ball skills as he hit .357/.462/.644 (1.106) with 15 homers and 25 doubles in 58 games during his junior season. Defensively, there are questions about whether he can stick at shortstop, but his bat will play at any defensive position. Lee is similar to Martin in their draft position and strong hitting reputations from college. As he enters the Twins system, few prospects will compare to Lee and his overall potential. Other names are certainly in the conversation at the top of the Twins system. Second-round pick Connor Prielipp was the potential number one pick in this year's draft before missing the season due to Tommy John surgery. Spencer Steer has been dominating the upper levels of the minors as he is a frontrunner for the team's minor league player of the year. Cody's Current Top-5 Twins Prospects 1. Royce Lewis 2. Brooks Lee 3. Austin Martin 4. Emmanuel Rodriguez 5. Connor Prielipp How would you rank the names listed above? Does a different prospect make your top-5 list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  16. Minnesota added a top-10 draft pick to a farm system that included multiple highly regarded prospects. Who is in the conversation for the organization's top prospect following the 2022 MLB Draft? Prospect lists can be exciting, especially as the trade deadline approaches at the beginning of August. Contending teams must part with some of the top-rated prospects so they can add veteran pieces to their roster. Minnesota expects to be active in the trade market, and these are the prospects considered the best in the system. Royce Lewis, SS Minnesota saw the type of impact Royce Lewis could have on the big-league roster during his first call-up in 2022. In 12 games, he hit .300/.317/.550 (.867) with four doubles and two home runs. He was also destroying the baseball at Triple-A with a .940 OPS, which is tremendous considering the amount of time he missed during the 2020-21 seasons. He also made some solid defensive plays at shortstop, which may quiet some of his critics. Unfortunately, another knee injury means he is out until late June or July 2023. Lewis has gone through this rehab before, and the hope is he can return next season and look just as strong. Austin Martin, SS/OF Around this time last season, the Twins acquired Austin Martin as the centerpiece of a trade for Jose Berrios. He was a top-5 pick in the 2020 MLB Draft and considered the best college bat in his draft class. Martin's stock has dropped over the last two seasons as he has failed to showcase the power he had at Vanderbilt. He is repeating Double-A this season, but he is putting up career lows in nearly every category. In 63 games, he is hitting .249/.378/.313 (.691) with 11 extra-base hits. Martin is still over a year younger than the average age of the competition at his level. Emmanuel Rodriguez, CF Emmanuel Rodriguez was off to a tremendous start to the 2022 season as he firmly established himself as a breakout prospect. As a 19-year-old, he hit .272/.493/.552 (1.044) with 17 extra-base hits in 47 games. What makes his performance even more impressive is the fact that Rodriguez was over two years younger than the average age of the competition in the Florida State League. Unfortunately, he tore the meniscus in his right knee when sliding into a base in the middle of June. Rodriguez is out for the season, but he's certainly in the conversation as one of the team's best overall prospects. Brooks Lee, SS Minnesota's front office was ecstatic when the draft board played out in their favor, and Brooks Lee was still on the board. Baseball America ranked Lee as the second-best prospect in the draft, and the Twins snagged him with the eighth overall pick. He has tremendous bat-to-ball skills as he hit .357/.462/.644 (1.106) with 15 homers and 25 doubles in 58 games during his junior season. Defensively, there are questions about whether he can stick at shortstop, but his bat will play at any defensive position. Lee is similar to Martin in their draft position and strong hitting reputations from college. As he enters the Twins system, few prospects will compare to Lee and his overall potential. Other names are certainly in the conversation at the top of the Twins system. Second-round pick Connor Prielipp was the potential number one pick in this year's draft before missing the season due to Tommy John surgery. Spencer Steer has been dominating the upper levels of the minors as he is a frontrunner for the team's minor league player of the year. Cody's Current Top-5 Twins Prospects 1. Royce Lewis 2. Brooks Lee 3. Austin Martin 4. Emmanuel Rodriguez 5. Connor Prielipp How would you rank the names listed above? Does a different prospect make your top-5 list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. View full article
  17. Royce Lewis Royce Lewis is still the best prospect in the Twins’ system, but the soul refuses to accept that truth. Lewis will now miss extended time with another ACL surgery, and it’s impossible to feel anything but grief and sympathy for the man; he’s an elite talent that life continues to deal poor hands to maniacally. His major league performance proved that he’s capable of great things, and all we can do is hope that he’ll come back without missing a beat as he did before. ------------------------- Austin Martin .311. That number represents a crappy rock band from the 90s and Austin Martin’s season slugging percentage as of June 29th. It will be impossible for Martin to fulfill his destiny as a high-level number 2 hitter unless he—at the very least—finds his .380s slugging mark from last season. I’m not sure why he’s suddenly trying to put the ball in play with no regard for extra-base damage, but it is failing; he has 11 extra-base hits in 60 games. We knew Martin would never become Sammy Sosa at the plate, but he desperately needs a buoyant power level from which his excellent OBP skills can consistently launch upwards. Martin is also not a shortstop. Noah Miller Now we get to the messy part of the system. I like Noah Miller, but he has cooled off tremendously since his blistering May; this is the danger in trying to rank recently-drafted high school players. I’ll stick with my guns and say that he’s a future star—his defense and on-base abilities are still undeniably elite—but that statement carries less oomph than it did just a month ago. I believe he’ll grow into some power, but he probably will never be Fernando Tatís Jr. out there; instead, I see him as a jack-of-all-trades type of quality shortstop. Emmanuel Rodriguez Have you ever heard about the tragedy of Emmanuel Rodriguez the wise? Rodriguez was laying waste to low-A pitchers before he tore up his knee, costing him at least the rest of this season. Knee injuries for athletic marvels like Rodriguez are still scary, but Lewis’ success in returning from one proved that it might not be worrisome. It’s a shame, Rodriguez’s play was cartoonishly dominant, but we’ll have to wait a while before seeing him on the field again. The long-term outlook remains sturdy, but the short-term playing time loss hurts. Jordan Balazovic Aaron Gleeman recently noted that Jordan Balazovic is dealing with a knee issue that has curtailed his effectiveness this season. Maybe it’s weird to say this, but knowing that fact improves my opinion on Balazovic; his under-performance has to do with injury, not a sudden loss in ability. Still, he’s walking far too many hitters at AAA and gives up contact loud enough to break the sound barrier. I’ve knocked him down a few spots already, and the slide will continue unless he changes something quick. Spencer Steer Is Spencer Steer the only top name here with an unimpeachable performance in 2022? The Oregon product is slaying the ball, slashing .277/.360/.577 between AA and AAA with only a slight drop-off in production since his promotion; a low BABIP may be the culprit. He’s no defensive whizz, but he doesn’t need to be with that bat, and he should be firmly implanted in the Twins’ future infield plans. I debated placing him above Balazovic, but since Steer has less overall time as an elite player, I gave the nod to the pitcher for now. ------------------------- Simeon Woods Richardson Simeon Woods Richardson was pitching well, and then he got injured because of course he did. I was still deeply suspicious of his performance—4.87 xFIP and all—but he at least had a nice ERA, and that’s better than nothing. I don’t think he has unquestionably shed the narrative that he can’t pitch at AA; Woods Richardson is striking out fewer batters than he did at every other level in the minors before this season. Yet, he’s still just 21 years old, so it would be foolish to write him off yet. It’s strange that that team placed him on the IL with no explanation or announcement. Edouard Julien I’m uncomfortable placing Edouard Julien this high on the list, but I also don’t know who would reasonably overtake him. Julien is positionless, but who cares about that when you walk 20% of the time. He has had a suspicious drop-off in power (.138 ISO this season), which could be an ominous sign of future disappointment; until that shoe drops, he’ll remain a top-10 prospect on my list. Cade Povich Cade Povich is probably my new favorite Twins pitching prospect. The lefty has been dominant, striking out hitters at a 32.7% clip with an average walk rate and few homers; that’s a great combination, by the way. Povich has little left to prove at A+ and will be pitching in Wichita sooner than later. Just pray that his arm doesn’t fall off. Marco Raya I think the hype train on Marco Raya has accelerated a touch too quickly, but I can understand why. Raya combines the top-dog mentality needed in an ace with top-tier stuff; that’s an excellent combination for a pitching prospect. The drawback remains: Raya has 36 innings over 10 appearances and just recently left a start after netting two outs. Are the Twins using kid gloves to handle him? Probably, but I need a nice, unquestionably dominant run from Raya before I move him up any further; TINSTAAP and all that jazz. Cole Sands Yeah, I’m still too high on Cole Sands. His command needs tweaks that may be beyond his abilities—how many players suddenly drastically improve in their fourth year with a team—but that sweeper is what keeps Sands up here. His breaking ball is ridiculous, mimicking the great American migration of the early 1900s in how it moves from East to West with great efficiency. The rest of his profile is meh, but he’ll always have potential thanks to his vicious breaking ball. David Festa David Festa is the most pop-up-y pitching prospect in the system; as a 13th-round pick, he’s punching out hitters at a 30.4% mark over 54 ⅔ innings split between A and A+ ball. His status as an “un-prospect” may benefit him, as the team is less likely to baby him, instead throwing him to the wolves where he can prove his ability. Festa may reach AA this season—he’s pitched that well—and we should know more about him once he does. Christian Encarnacion-Strand It’s been a while since CES went berserk in April to the tune of a billion RBIs (at least that’s what it felt like). No, he’s not that good, but he is a solid hitter. Encarnacion-Strand’s beautiful slash line is .291/.357/.567, which will play in any league, which is good because he cannot field even a little bit. Errors are far from the end-all stat they used to be, but he has 21 of them in just over 400 innings at 3rd base this season; that’s bad. Being a future 1st base/DH type player curtails his upside, so his entire prospect pedigree rests on the power of his bat. ------------------------- Matt Wallner I think I was too harsh on Matt Wallner last month. I emphatically stated that a player with his strikeout numbers would need to be otherworldly in other aspects to offset the K. His response? Walk a lot. I still hold those reservations, but if his new monstrous walk rate (21.4% in June) is even slightly sticky, he has a solid shot at becoming a major league contributor. Also, he owns an absolute cannon in right field. Blayne Enlow Blayne Enlow is dipping his toes into the minor league waters after a missed year, so I find it difficult to evaluate him too harshly. The numbers aren’t great, but that barely matters; him just being on the mound is good enough for the moment. At some point, slack will no longer exist, but I’m okay with punting on criticizing him for now. Louie Varland In a season that has been chaotic for so many players, Louie Varland chugs along like nothing is wrong. The Minnesota native’s under-the-hood stats aren’t the best—he’s walking more batters than he did in his stellar 2021 campaign—but the rest of his profile appears solid. His 68 ⅓ innings leads the entire Twins minor league system. Brent Headrick Brent Headrick might be the biggest under-the-radar name in the Twins system. As a late-blooming 24-year-old in A+ ball, Headrick has utterly dominated with a 2.40 ERA and a strikeout rate above 30%. It’s hard to scout prospects in this vein; I give Headrick the benefit of the doubt until/if his numbers reverse. Ronny Henriquez What do we make of Ronny Henriquez? Sure, he’s still just 22 years old, but there’s little to latch onto regarding his AAA play so far. It seems that the Twins are okay with letting him die at that level, given that his ERA is 6.95 and his FIP isn’t far behind (6.07). At some point, I need performance to outweigh pedigree; that needs to change soon for Henriquez. Matt Canterino I’ll try to be as diplomatic as possible: Matt Canterino has not yet shown the ability to be a consistent, innings-eating top-level arm. He recently set his single-season record for innings pitched as a professional (34 ⅓) before another elbow injury sidelined him for a significant time. I don’t see real reasons for optimism; the Rice background combined with these injuries leaves little faith in him ever becoming the big front-of-the-rotation starter we expected of him. Steve Hajjar Steve Hajjar was following in the Cade Povich breakout mold until a shoulder injury in the middle of June stopped him in his tracks. Shoulder problems are not the death sentence they once were, but that ailment is still something to keep an eye on for the future. Sawyer Gipson-Long Sawyer Gipon-Long is shockingly similar to Brent Headrick; he is also an old-for-his-level breakout prospect looking to prove that he isn’t a fluke. The process is farther along for Gipson-Long as he recently enjoyed a promotion to AA Wichita; he has one clunker and two solid starts. The rest of the season will be essential to understand Gipson-Long more as a prospect. ------------------------- Kala’i Rosario Kala’i Rosario dropped three points off his strikeout rate since I last wrote about him, but that still leaves him at 36.0%. My view on players with a penchant for whiffing is well known; you must do something extraordinary to offset the Ks. Rosario has good power (.204 ISO) and is still just a teenager, so he still possesses the rare chance to evolve into an elite power threat. Michael Helman Not mentioning Michael Helman was probably my last ranking’s worst mistake. The 26-year-old has quietly hit well at every level in the minors and is now knocking on the Major’s door thanks to his 125 wRC+ at AAA. Is this just Brian Dinkelman 2.0? Maybe, and that’s not just because of how similar their last names are. Helman could debut soon if the Twins desperately smash the “break in case of emergency” glass if a few too many infielders suffer injuries. Brayan Medina Brayan Medina finally pitched in the Twins system for the first time this month. He’s thrown fewer than 10 innings, so who knows where he’s at in his development, but the stuff descriptions are good, so he’ll stay here until further notice. Aaron Sabato Aaron Sabato’s slash line is still not optimal for a great 1st base prospect. The walks are good (14.2%), but he doesn’t neutralize his strikeout tendencies with overwhelming power (.171 ISO). I remain skeptical that Sabato will develop into the type of player the Twins expected when they drafted him. Alerick Soularie I didn’t rank Alerick Soularie in my last write-up, but the guy put up a 144 wRC+ in June, and now here he is. His play rounded more into form; he struck out a little less, walked a little more, and ballooned his ISO from .114 to .167. If he’s genuinely backing his elite athletic ability with a more sound game, Soularie could rocket up this list. Misael Urbina Misael Urbina just recently popped back up in the Twins system after dealing with visa issues earlier in the year. He’s played a few games in the DSL; he’ll likely rejoin Fort Myers when he’s back in the groove. Keoni Cavaco Keoni Cavaco rebounded a little bit in June (101 wRC+), but his walk and strikeout rates remain heavily lopsided, and his power does not make up for it (.151 ISO). Maybe the play improvement will aid his confidence; he needs to improve his performance before people buy back into his prospect stock. Jake Rucker Jake Rucker recently earned a promotion to A+ ball after holding his own with Fort Myers (100 wRC+). He’s 22 years old, so the Twins might accelerate his movement through the system; keep an eye on him in the Michael Helman under-the-radar vein. Travis Adams All Travis Adams has done this season is pitch well for Fort Myers. The former 6th-round pick is crushing with a 3.10 ERA and peripherals to match. There’s still an unknown factor to his game that will only clear once he plays in A+ ball and beyond, which should be soon.
  18. Let’s see what else happened this Wednesday in the Twins organization. TRANSACTIONS SS Carlos Correa activated from the Covid IL Twins designated RHP Juan Minaya for assignment Twins selected the contract of RHP Jharel Cotton from St. Paul Twins returned SS Jermaine Palacios to St. Paul Wichita placed RHP Matt Canterino on 7-day IL CF Kennie Taylor assigned to Wichita from Cedar Rapids C Kyle Schmidt assigned to Wichita from Fort Myers SAINTS (AAA) St. Paul 12, Rochester 2 Box Score In the battle of the Twins AAA affiliates, the Saints came out on top as they won 12-2 Wednesday night. Former All-Star Aaron Sanchez made his first start for the Saints after being signed to a minor-league deal on Tuesday. Sanchez threw well in the first inning, allowing a walk but striking out two en route to putting up a zero in his first inning as a Saint. The Saints' offense welcomed Sanchez with some great run support, as they had an eight-run first inning. The scoring started when Tim Beckham singled, scoring Spencer Steer. The next batter was Jake Cave, who roped a triple off the wall in left-center field, scoring Beckham and Alex Kirilloff. Mark Contreras singled in Cave, and Michael Helman doubled in Contreras to make it a five-run lead. Later in the inning, Steer singled in a run in his second plate appearance of the inning, and one more run scored on an error to make it an eight-run inning. Sanchez went three innings, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out four batters. Tyler Thornburg came on in relief of Sanchez and pitched two great innings, not allowing any runs while striking out three. Thornburg picked up his first win of the year in only his second appearance for the Saints. In the bottom of the fourth, Cave hit his sixth homer of the year and Caleb Hamilton singled in Contreras, who doubled, to give the Saints a 10-2 lead. One inning later, the Saints scored two more runs thanks to a couple of walks, an RBI groundout from Beckham, and a single from Cave. Mario Sanchez pitched the last four innings for St. Paul to earn the rare four-inning save, his first save of the year. Sanchez didn’t allow any hits and struck out six in his four innings of work. With the win, the Saints improve to 26-29 on the year. Cave and Contreras had three hits apiece to lead the offense, while Steer and Beckham had two apiece. WIND SURGE (AA) The Wichita-Arkansas game was postponed due to rain. The two teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 5:05 PM CST on Thursday. KERNELS (HIGH-A) Cedar Rapids 12, South Bend 5 Box Score The Cedar Rapids Kernels rode some hot bats en route to a 12-5 victory over the South Bend Cubs on Wednesday. They got three runs in the first inning thanks to a solo home run by Christian Encarnacion-Strand and a two-run shot by Seth Gray. Starting pitcher John Stankiewicz took the mound with a three-run lead and did his part to ensure that the lead stayed intact. Stankiewicz went four innings for the Kernels, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five batters. In the top of the second, the Kernels continued their hot hitting as Dylan Neuse launched his first homer as a Kernel to give them a four-run lead. Two batters later, Encarnacion-Strand hit his second homer in as many innings to give them a six-run lead. After two scoreless innings for the Kernels, Wander Javier hit an RBI single in the top of the fifth and Charles Mack followed with a three-run homer to give the Kernels an eight-run lead. Cody Laweryson came on in relief of Stankiewicz and pitched two scoreless innings, skating around three hits while striking out two. Jeferson Morales hit a two-run bomb in the seventh to give the Kernels a ten-run advantage, his fourth of the year. After they took a ten-run lead, the Kernels put in Tyler Palm who threw an inning in relief, allowing two runs. After that, they called on Orlando Rodriguez to finish the game and he threw the eighth and ninth innings, allowing only one run. With the win, the Kernels improved to 35-18 on the year. Encarnacion-Strand and Gray each finished with two-hit games and combined to score five runs as they paced the offense in the victory. MIGHTY MUSSELS (LOW-A) Fort Myers 3, Daytona 2 Box Score Unlike the Saints and the Kernels, the Mighty Mussels won a low-scoring affair on Wednesday. Jaylen Nowlin got the start for the Mighty Mussels and was very good, throwing three scoreless innings while allowing one hit and striking out six. He now has 41 strikeouts in 24 and ⅔ innings this year. Jackson Hicks relieved him, throwing two scoreless innings while striking out two. The game was deadlocked at 0-0 until the top of the sixth when Rubel Cespedes reached on an error by the shortstop, scoring Noah Cardenas and Kala’i Rosario. The bigger news that inning happened when TwinsDaily’s #8 prospect Emmanuel Rodriguez sustained a lower-body injury attempting to advance to third on a dirt ball. He was taken out of the game and the trainer was seen transporting crutches to the dugout. After Hicks exited, the Mighty Mussels put in Regi Grace for the bottom of the sixth and he pitched out of a jam in the sixth but allowed two two-out runs in the bottom of the seventh. A third run was prevented from scoring when Noah Miller threw a runner out at the plate. The Mighty Mussels retook the lead for good in the top of the eighth when Rosario doubled in Mikey Perez, who doubled. Malik Barrington pitched the last two innings and dominated, striking out four while not allowing a baserunner. The Mighty Mussels improved to 35-17 on the year with the win. Rosario led the offense going 2-for-4 with two doubles, and Cardenas reached base three times in the win. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Mario Sanchez (St. Paul) - 4 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 6 K, Save(1) Hitter of the Day – Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-5, 2 HR (12), 2 R, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 3-for-4, R, 2B (7), 3 RBI #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, 2B (4), R, RBI, 2 BB #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-1, 2 BB #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4 #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-5, 2 HR (12), 2 R, 3 RBI THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ St. Paul (7:07 CST) - RHP Ronny Henriquez (0-2, 8.07 ERA) Game 1: Wichita @ Arkansas (5:05 CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (0-2, 8.82 ERA) Game 2: Wichita @ Arkansas (TBD) - Pitcher TBD; will be updated Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05 PM CST) - RHP David Festa (3-0, 2.63 ERA) Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Jordan Carr (0-0, 3.00 ERA) (First start with Ft. Myers) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! Thank you for reading, and Go Twins!
  19. Two Twins’ affiliates had huge offensive days. Christian Encarnacion-Strand continued his torrid season. Jake Cave had a big day. Spencer Steer reached base four times. Emmanuel Rodriguez suffered an injury. Let’s see what else happened this Wednesday in the Twins organization. TRANSACTIONS SS Carlos Correa activated from the Covid IL Twins designated RHP Juan Minaya for assignment Twins selected the contract of RHP Jharel Cotton from St. Paul Twins returned SS Jermaine Palacios to St. Paul Wichita placed RHP Matt Canterino on 7-day IL CF Kennie Taylor assigned to Wichita from Cedar Rapids C Kyle Schmidt assigned to Wichita from Fort Myers SAINTS (AAA) St. Paul 12, Rochester 2 Box Score In the battle of the Twins AAA affiliates, the Saints came out on top as they won 12-2 Wednesday night. Former All-Star Aaron Sanchez made his first start for the Saints after being signed to a minor-league deal on Tuesday. Sanchez threw well in the first inning, allowing a walk but striking out two en route to putting up a zero in his first inning as a Saint. The Saints' offense welcomed Sanchez with some great run support, as they had an eight-run first inning. The scoring started when Tim Beckham singled, scoring Spencer Steer. The next batter was Jake Cave, who roped a triple off the wall in left-center field, scoring Beckham and Alex Kirilloff. Mark Contreras singled in Cave, and Michael Helman doubled in Contreras to make it a five-run lead. Later in the inning, Steer singled in a run in his second plate appearance of the inning, and one more run scored on an error to make it an eight-run inning. Sanchez went three innings, allowing two runs on three hits and a walk while striking out four batters. Tyler Thornburg came on in relief of Sanchez and pitched two great innings, not allowing any runs while striking out three. Thornburg picked up his first win of the year in only his second appearance for the Saints. In the bottom of the fourth, Cave hit his sixth homer of the year and Caleb Hamilton singled in Contreras, who doubled, to give the Saints a 10-2 lead. One inning later, the Saints scored two more runs thanks to a couple of walks, an RBI groundout from Beckham, and a single from Cave. Mario Sanchez pitched the last four innings for St. Paul to earn the rare four-inning save, his first save of the year. Sanchez didn’t allow any hits and struck out six in his four innings of work. With the win, the Saints improve to 26-29 on the year. Cave and Contreras had three hits apiece to lead the offense, while Steer and Beckham had two apiece. WIND SURGE (AA) The Wichita-Arkansas game was postponed due to rain. The two teams will play a doubleheader beginning at 5:05 PM CST on Thursday. KERNELS (HIGH-A) Cedar Rapids 12, South Bend 5 Box Score The Cedar Rapids Kernels rode some hot bats en route to a 12-5 victory over the South Bend Cubs on Wednesday. They got three runs in the first inning thanks to a solo home run by Christian Encarnacion-Strand and a two-run shot by Seth Gray. Starting pitcher John Stankiewicz took the mound with a three-run lead and did his part to ensure that the lead stayed intact. Stankiewicz went four innings for the Kernels, allowing two runs on four hits and a walk while striking out five batters. In the top of the second, the Kernels continued their hot hitting as Dylan Neuse launched his first homer as a Kernel to give them a four-run lead. Two batters later, Encarnacion-Strand hit his second homer in as many innings to give them a six-run lead. After two scoreless innings for the Kernels, Wander Javier hit an RBI single in the top of the fifth and Charles Mack followed with a three-run homer to give the Kernels an eight-run lead. Cody Laweryson came on in relief of Stankiewicz and pitched two scoreless innings, skating around three hits while striking out two. Jeferson Morales hit a two-run bomb in the seventh to give the Kernels a ten-run advantage, his fourth of the year. After they took a ten-run lead, the Kernels put in Tyler Palm who threw an inning in relief, allowing two runs. After that, they called on Orlando Rodriguez to finish the game and he threw the eighth and ninth innings, allowing only one run. With the win, the Kernels improved to 35-18 on the year. Encarnacion-Strand and Gray each finished with two-hit games and combined to score five runs as they paced the offense in the victory. MIGHTY MUSSELS (LOW-A) Fort Myers 3, Daytona 2 Box Score Unlike the Saints and the Kernels, the Mighty Mussels won a low-scoring affair on Wednesday. Jaylen Nowlin got the start for the Mighty Mussels and was very good, throwing three scoreless innings while allowing one hit and striking out six. He now has 41 strikeouts in 24 and ⅔ innings this year. Jackson Hicks relieved him, throwing two scoreless innings while striking out two. The game was deadlocked at 0-0 until the top of the sixth when Rubel Cespedes reached on an error by the shortstop, scoring Noah Cardenas and Kala’i Rosario. The bigger news that inning happened when TwinsDaily’s #8 prospect Emmanuel Rodriguez sustained a lower-body injury attempting to advance to third on a dirt ball. He was taken out of the game and the trainer was seen transporting crutches to the dugout. After Hicks exited, the Mighty Mussels put in Regi Grace for the bottom of the sixth and he pitched out of a jam in the sixth but allowed two two-out runs in the bottom of the seventh. A third run was prevented from scoring when Noah Miller threw a runner out at the plate. The Mighty Mussels retook the lead for good in the top of the eighth when Rosario doubled in Mikey Perez, who doubled. Malik Barrington pitched the last two innings and dominated, striking out four while not allowing a baserunner. The Mighty Mussels improved to 35-17 on the year with the win. Rosario led the offense going 2-for-4 with two doubles, and Cardenas reached base three times in the win. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Mario Sanchez (St. Paul) - 4 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 BB, 6 K, Save(1) Hitter of the Day – Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-5, 2 HR (12), 2 R, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 3-for-4, R, 2B (7), 3 RBI #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, 2B (4), R, RBI, 2 BB #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-1, 2 BB #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4 #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-5, 2 HR (12), 2 R, 3 RBI THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ St. Paul (7:07 CST) - RHP Ronny Henriquez (0-2, 8.07 ERA) Game 1: Wichita @ Arkansas (5:05 CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (0-2, 8.82 ERA) Game 2: Wichita @ Arkansas (TBD) - Pitcher TBD; will be updated Cedar Rapids @ South Bend (6:05 PM CST) - RHP David Festa (3-0, 2.63 ERA) Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Jordan Carr (0-0, 3.00 ERA) (First start with Ft. Myers) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! Thank you for reading, and Go Twins! View full article
  20. In the past, the beginning of the short-season, rookie leagues was right near the time of the MLB Draft. However, now that the draft has been pushed back to July, Opening Day of the short-season leagues came up in a hurry. On Monday, the Florida Complex League and the Dominican Summer League seasons began. At Twins Daily, we will be providing reports on those teams in our daily Minor League Reports. Below you can see how the two Twins affiliates played on Monday. If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. TRANSACTIONS With no Monday Minor League Report, here are the transactions from later on Sunday and on Monday: RHP Ian Hamilton, RHP Jharel Cotton and OF Mark Contreras back to St. Paul. IF Daniel Robertson began rehab stint with FCL Twins. Twins signed RHP Aaron Sanchez to minor-league deal and assigned him to St. Paul. IF Ernie Yake was placed on the Wichita Injured List. RESULTS Previous Week in Review (5/24-5/30):Mighty Mussels Out-Muscle Marauders Tuesday: Another No-No in Ft. Myers and Stranger Things for St. Paul Wednesday: Offensive Fireworks in Cedar Rapids and Emmanuel Rodriguez is On Fire Thursday: Rodriguez Rakes as Mussels Mount Comeback Friday: Prato Paces the Kernels, Strong Pitching Turned In Saturday: Alerick Soularie Hits For the Cycle! Wind Surge Win in Walk-off! Sunday: Steer, Kirilloff, Hamilton Power Home Run Record for Saints MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT Prospect Retrospective: Jermaine Palacios Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month - May 2022 Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month - May 2022 Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month - May 2022 Reviewing the Jose Berrios Trade SHORT-SEASON RESULTS It was opening day in the short-season leagues on Monday as both the Dominican Summer League Twins and the Florida Complex League Twins played the first game of their seasons. We are going to include these teams in our daily Minor League Reports. FCL Twins 2, FCL Pirates 7 Box Score Starting Pitcher: Develson Aria (3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) Multi-Hit Games: Alexander Pena (2-for-2, R, 2 RBI), Ismael Perez (2-for-3, R, SB) 2B: Alexander Pena (1) HR: Alexander Pena (1) Rehab Players: Daniel Robertson (0-for-2, K) Top Prospects: Danny De Andrade (0-for-4), Fredy Michel (0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K, SB). DSL Twins 5, DSL Rockies 6 Box Score Starting Pitcher: Julio Bonilla (3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) Multi-Hit Games: Anderson Nova (2-for-4, RBI, K), Daniel Pena (2-for-4, R, RBI, K), Javier Roman (2-for-2, HBP) XBH: None. Top Prospects: Bryan Acuna (0-4) WEEK IN REVIEW Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week: 4-2, @ Iowa Season: 24-29 overall, 9th place out of ten teams in the International League West. They are 10 games behind Nashville. After putting up 49 runs in seven games the previous week, the Saints scored 57 runs in six games. Three times the Saints scored more than a dozen runs in a game. The Saints pitching staff gave up 50 runs in seven games the previous week. Last week, they gave up 41 runs in the six games. The Saints hit 18 home runs including a franchise-record seven homers on Sunday afternoon. Seven hitters had an OPS over .960. It was a good week for the Saints, and now they head home to take on the former Twins Triple-A affiliate, the best team in the whole International League. Get your tickets here! Alex Kirilloff was named the Twins Minor League Player of the Week and the International League Hitter of the Week. In four games, he went 8-for-17 and hit .471/.571/1.353 (1.924) with three doubles, four homers, and eight RBI. He walked four times with just three strikeouts. Caleb Hamilton played in three games and went 4-for-8. He hit .500/.667/1.375 (2.042) with a double, two home runs, and six RBI. He also had four walks. Tim Beckham finally made his way to St. Paul. He played in four games and went 8-for-17. He hit .471/.526/.882 (1.408) with a double, two homers, and seven RBI. Spencer Steer was one of two Saints to play in all six games. He went 7-for-30 and hit .233/.303/.700 (1.003) with two doubles, four homers, and 11 RBI. Jake Cave played in five games and went 8-for-22. He hit .364/.440/.682 (1.122) with two doubles, a triple, a homer, and three RBI. Elliot Soto went 4-for-16 in five games. He hit .250/.400/.563 (.963) with two doubles and a home run. He also walked four times. Michael Helman was the second Saint who played in all six games. He went 7-for-26 and hit .269/.367/.462 (.829) with two doubles, a home run and three RBI. The best start for a Saints pitcher last week came from Mario Sanchez. He gave up two runs on five hits over an impressive 7 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out two and deserves bonus points from the whole team and front office for getting through that many innings. Tyler Viza pitched in three games, and finished two of them. He gave up one run on two hits over five innings. He struck out six batters without a walk. Austin Schulfer worked 3 2/3 innings over two appearances. He allowed an unearned run on two hits. He walked two and struck out four batters. What’s Next? #OldFriend ALERT! The Rochester Red Wings, the long-time Twins Triple-A affiliate, will be making their first appearance at CHS FIeld to take on the Saints this week. The 35-19 Red Wings are managed by former Twins C/DH Matthew LeCroy. Pitching Probables (RHP Daniel Gossett, RHP Aaron Sanchez, RHP Ronny Henriquez, TBD, TBD, TBD) Double-A Wichita Wind Surge Week: 4-2, hosting Frisco Season: 30-19 overall, 1st place in the Texas League North Division. They remain just 1 1/2 game ahead of Tulsa (28-20). The Wind Surge continue to win and find different ways to do it. Sometimes they score. Sometimes they pitch. This week, the games were mostly low scoring, but Wichita had another winning week. Over the six games, they outscored Frisco 23-17. The pitching staff was fantastic. They gave up more than three runs only once during the week. Here are some of the top performances for the Wind Surge this past week: Matt Canterino tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked four and struck out four. Steven Cruz and Osiris German each pitched twice and worked 3 1/3 innings. German gave up just one hit and struck out five batters. Cruz gave up two unearned runs and struck out four batters. Kody Funderburk pitched twice, including one start. In six innings, he gave up just one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out six bases. Matt Wallner played in all six games. He went 8-for-22 and hit .364/.417/.545 (.962) with a double and a home run. He stole two bases. Jair Camargo played in three games before going on the IL. He went 3-for-12 (.250) with a double, two homers and five RBI. Likewise, Alex Isola went on the IL after just one game last week. He had a double and a homer, and he walked once. Chris Williams had just three hits and batted .188, but he had a double and two homers. 2021 draft pick Ernie Yake went 3-for-9 (.333) and hit two doubles, including a huge bases-clearing double on Sunday against Frisco. What’s Next? The Wind Surge travel to Arkansas for six games against the Mariners’ affiliate. The Travelers are 27-24 and in third place in the North Division. Pitching Probables (RHP Blayne Enlow, RHP Matt Canterino, RHP Casey Legumina, RHP Louie Varland, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Blayne Enlow) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels Week: 4-2, @ Lansing Season: 33-18 overall, 1st place in the Midwest League West Division, 2.0 games ahead of Wisconsin (31-20). They are 5.0 games ahead of South Bend (28-23). In the first half of the week, the Kernels went 1-2, though their win was by a score of 10-2. They went on to win the final three games of the series and scored eight or more runs in each game. Overall, they outscored the Lugnuts 39-28 and were able to increase their division lead by a game. Several Kernels’ hitters had big weeks. Pitching wasn’t quite as strong, but you just have to see what Sean Mooney did. Alerick Soularie has had a tough start to his 2022 season, but he had a big week last week. In five games, he went 6-for-17 and hit .353/.560/.882 (1.442) with a double, a triple, two homers, and six RBI. He also walked eight times. He hit for the cycle on Saturday. Aaron Sabato was named the Midwest League Hitter of the Week. He played in five games and went 8-for-16. He hit .500/.619/.813 (1.432) with two doubles, a homer, and five RBI. He also walked four times. Christian Encarnacion-Strand played in all six games. He went 8-for-27 and hit .296/.387/.704 (1.091) with five doubles, two homers, and four RBI. Yunior Severino returned to the field from the IL. In four games, he went 6-for-16 and hit .375/.474/.563 (.1.037) with a double and a triple. He also walked three times. Anthony Prato played in three games for the Kernels before being promoted to Wichita. In that time, he went 4-for-15 (.267) and had a double, triple, home run and four RBI. He also stole two bases. Sawyer Gipson-Long had the top start of the week for the Kernels. He gave up one run on three hits with two walks over six innings. He struck out three batters. Sean Mooney was the piggyback arm in one game. He tossed four shutout innings. He did not give up a hit. He walked one and struck out ten batters. Cody Laweryson also worked once out of the bullpen. In 2 2/3 scoreless innings, he gave up one hit, walked two and struck out three batters. What’s Next? The Kernels will travel to South Bend to take on the Cubs. Pitching Probables (RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP John Stankiewicz, RHP David Festa, LHP Brent Headrick, LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Week: 4-2, hosting Tampa Season: 34-16 overall, 1st place in the Florida State League West, 8.0 games ahead of Clearwater (26-24). Ft. Myers was able to increase their lead in the division with a 4-2 week. The Mussel bats outscored the Tarpons 33-17 on the week. It was a terrific week for the pitchers as well, with the team’s second no-hitter of the season on Tuesday. And Emmanuel Rodriguez put together arguably the greatest week of production that I can recall! Emmanuel Rodriguez had a huge week. In five games, he went 7-for-12 and hit .583/.700/1.500 (2.200) with a double, two triples, two homers, and six RBI. He also had seven walks to go with just one strikeout! And he stole a base. No surprise he was named the Florida State League Hitter of the Week. Luis Baez played in five games. He went 4-for-9 and hit .444/.545/.444 (.989) with two walks. He also stole two bases. Kala’i Rosario played in five games and went 6-for-16. He hit .375/.474/.500 (.974) with two doubles and two walks. Mike Paredes was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week. In his start, he tossed six scoreless innings. He gave up no hits, walked two, and struck out five batters. Pierson Ohl made a start and threw three scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and walked two batters. All nine outs he recorded came on strikeouts. Ariel Jurado made his first start, a rehab appearance after having Tommy John surgery. He gave up no runs on one hit. He walked two and struck out four batters. Hunter McMahon pitched two games and three innings. He gave up just one hit, walked two and struck out seven batters. Juan Mendez pitched twice and threw two perfect innings. Five of the six outs came on strikeouts. Matt Swain made two appearances with the Mussels before his late-week promotion to Cedar Rapids. In two innings, he struck out four batters. Travis Adams gave up one run in five innings in his start. He struck out eight batters without issuing a walk. What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels make the long trek to Daytona (19-31) for a six-game series. Pitching Probables (LHP Steve Hajjar, TBD, LHP Jaylen Nowlin (vs Chase Petty), TBD, TBD, TBD) PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week. The Prospect Tracker will be updated on the first of each month throughout the season. Notice that these pages now include stats and splits, as well as past article links, video and more. #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - Did Not Play (Season: 34 G, .313/.405/.534 (.940), 12-2B, 1-3B, 5-HR, 30 R, 14 RBI, 18 BB, 32 K) #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - Did Not Play (.000), 0-2B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (Season: 12 G, .300/.317/.550 (.867), 4-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 6 G, 4-for-23 (.174), 0-2B, 1-3B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K (Season: 46 G, .247/.361/.324 (.685), 7-2B, 2-3B, 1-HR, 34 R, 14 RBI, 23 BB, 28 K, 21 SB, 2 CS) #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - In MLB (Season: 21 G, .256/.295/.442 (.737), 10-2B, 2-HR, 10 R, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 14 K) #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 5 G, 5-for-18 (.278), 1-2B, 2-HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K (Season: 25 G, .202/.237/.405 (.641), 6-2B, 4-HR, 8 R, 11 RBI, 3 BB, 22 K) #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 3.1 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 5 K (Season: 5 GS, 16.1 IP, 21 R, 16 ER, 27 H, 12 BB, 17 K, 0-2, 8.82 ERA, 2.39 WHIP, 6.6 BB/9, 9.4 K/9) #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 2 GS, 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 8 K (Season: 10 GS, 48.0 IP, 17 R, 16 ER, 37 H, 17 BB, 50 K, 2-2, 3.00 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 9.4 K/9) #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 1 GS, 3.2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 4 BB, 4 K (Season: 11 G, 10 GS, 34.1 IP, 8 R, 7 ER, 17 H, 22 BB, 50 K, 0-1, 1.83 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 5.8 BB/9, 13.1 K/9) #7 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - (Season: 35 G, .307/.385/.591 (.976), 13-2B, 1-3B, 8-HR, 27 R, 30 RBI, 14 BB, 23 K) #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 6 G, 7-for-30 (.233), 2-2B, 4-HR, 11 RBI, 2 BB, 8 K (Season: 13 G, .255/.349/.636 (.986), 3-2B, 0-3B, 6-HR, 13 R, 15 RBI, 6 BB, 11 K) #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 5 G, 7-for-12 (.583), 1-2B, 2-3B, 2-HR, 6 RBI, 7 BB, 2 K (Season: 45 G, .280/.495/.568 (1.063), 5-2B, 3-3B, 9-HR, 35 R, 25 RBI, 54 BB, 51 K) #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 6 G, 1-for-22 (.045), 1-2B, 0-3B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K (Season: 45 G, .256/.387/.357 (.744), 7-2B, 2-3B, 2 HR, 33 R, 12 RBI, 34 BB, 51 K) #10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 1 GS, 3.2 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K (Season: 8 G, 7 GS, 32.2 IP, 15 R, 12 ER, 26 H, 12 BB, 35 K, 3-1, 3.31 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 3.3 BB/9, 9.6 K/9) #11 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 4 BB, 6 K (Season: 8 GS, 37.0 IP, 19 R, 17 ER, 30 H, 13 BB, 52 K, 3-4, 3.65 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 12.6 K/9) #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 9 K (Season: 10 G, 9 GS, 52.1 IP, 24 R, 21 ER, 43 H, 24 BB, 62 K, 4-1, 3.61 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 4.1 BB/9, 10.7 K/9) #13 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 5 K (Season: 8 G, 6 GS, 29.0 IP, 26 R, 37 H, 13 BB, 30 K, 0-2, 8.07 ERA, 1.72 WHIP, 4.0 BB/9, 9.3 K/9) #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 1 G, 2.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K (Season: 4 G, 3 GS, 13.1 IP, 10 R, 9 ER, 15 H, 7 BB, 19 K, 0-0, 6.08 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 4.7 BB/9, 12.8 K/9) #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 6 G, 8-for-22 (.364), 1-2B, 1-HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K (Season: 46 G, .273/.387/.527 (.914), 9-2B, 0-3B, 1-HR, 33 R, 39 RBI, 30 BB, 68 K) #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 5 G, 5-for-19 (.263), 0-2B, 1-HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K (Season: 29 G, .269/.417/.398 (.815), 4-2B, 1-3B, 2-HR, 17 R, 11 RBI, 25 BB, 28 K) #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch (Season: 6 G, 5 GS, 18.2 IP, 15 R, 23 H, 6 BB, 21 K, 0-4, 7.23 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 10.1 K/9) #17 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 4.0 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 4 BB, 4 K (Season: 3 G, 1 GS, 8.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 H, 4 BB, 10 K K, 0-1, 7.88 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 4.5 BB/9, 11.3 K/9) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 6 G, 8-for-27 (.296), 5-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K (Season: 49 G, .303/.368/.551 (.919), 13-2B, 3-3B, 10-HR, 33 R, 43 RBI, 19 BB, 55 K) #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K (Season: 1 G, 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K, (Season: 8 GS, 33.1 IP, 10 R, 8 ER, 17 H, 19 BB, 57 K, 2-1, 2.16 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 5.1 BB/9, 15.4 K/9) #20 - David Festa (Ft. Myers) - (Season: 2 G, 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K, (Season: 0-0, 6.75 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 0.0 BB/9, 13.5 K/9) #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 5 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K (Season: 3 G, 1 GS, 13.2 IP, 4 ER, 10 H, 3 BB, 14 K, 3-0, 2.63 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 9.2 K/9) PLAYERS OF THE WEEK Hitter of the Week: Outfielder Emmanuel Rodriguez, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels This is the second consecutive, and third overall player of the week honor for Rodriguez this season. He was the choice for Hitter of the Month in April. He was solid again in May, and he has started June on fire. Two weeks ago, he went 0-for-12 for the week, but he walked 10 times, continuing to show his much-improved strike zone management. In the two weeks since then, he has played in ten games. He had gone 13-for-30 and hit .433/.591/1.000 (1.591) with a double, two triples, four home runs and 11 RBI. He has also walked 13 times and struck out ten times. Rodriguez played in five games last week at Hammond Stadium against Tampa. He went 7-for-12 and hit .583/.700/1.500 (2.200) with a doubles, two triples, two home runs, and six RBI. He also had seven walks to go with just two strikeouts. Those numbers are just crazy! Overall, he has played in 45 games for Ft. Myers in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. He has hit .280/.495/.568 (1.063) with five doubles, three triples, nine home runs, and 25 RBI. He is also 11-for-15 in stolen base attempts, and plays a solid center field. Rodriguez signed with the Twins in July 2019 for $2.5 million out of Santiago. He was unable to make his debut until 2021. Last year, in 37 FCL Twins games, he hit .214/346/.524 (.870) with five doubles, two triples, and 10 home runs. He also stole nine bases. Pitcher of the Week: RHP Mike Paredes, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Mike Paredes was the Twins 18th round draft pick in 2021 out of San Diego State University. He went to college about 10 miles from where he went to high school, San Diego High School where he was a strong two-way player. As a freshman, he worked mostly out of the bullpen and struck out 56 batters in 51 innings. He also went 1-for-2 with an RBI double. He made four starts in the shortened 2020 season. In 2021, he went 4-0. Upon signing, he pitched in two games for the FCL Twins. He gave up one run on one hit and one walk in four innings. He struck out six batters. This season, he began the season in the Ft. Myers bullpen. Gradually he got extended and then did some piggybacking before entering the team’s rotation. He has made four starts now. Overall, he is 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA. In 31 1/3 innings, he has walked just five batters while striking out 31 batters. In his start last week against Tampa, he struck out five batters over six scoreless, hitless innings. He walked two. Hunter McMahon got the final three outs to keep the no-hitter, the Mussels third no-no over the past nine months, and second this season. In his four starts, he has gradually worked more and more. In his first start, he threw three no-hit innings. In his second start, he threw four, one-hit innings. He went five innings in his third start (two runs on three hits). And, six innings of no-hit ball in his fourth start. What is next for the 21-year-old right-hander? Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the players and the teams in the COMMENTS below.
  21. We have been covering four full-season Twins affiliates for the past two months now. From this point until September, we will be covering six Twins affiliates as the short-season affiliates in Florida and the Dominican Republic started their seasons. It was a good week for the affiliates. All four finished with a 4-2 record for the week. A few hitters put up crazy, monster numbers that you just have to see to believe. Find out more below. In the past, the beginning of the short-season, rookie leagues was right near the time of the MLB Draft. However, now that the draft has been pushed back to July, Opening Day of the short-season leagues came up in a hurry. On Monday, the Florida Complex League and the Dominican Summer League seasons began. At Twins Daily, we will be providing reports on those teams in our daily Minor League Reports. Below you can see how the two Twins affiliates played on Monday. If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. TRANSACTIONS With no Monday Minor League Report, here are the transactions from later on Sunday and on Monday: RHP Ian Hamilton, RHP Jharel Cotton and OF Mark Contreras back to St. Paul. IF Daniel Robertson began rehab stint with FCL Twins. Twins signed RHP Aaron Sanchez to minor-league deal and assigned him to St. Paul. IF Ernie Yake was placed on the Wichita Injured List. RESULTS Previous Week in Review (5/24-5/30):Mighty Mussels Out-Muscle Marauders Tuesday: Another No-No in Ft. Myers and Stranger Things for St. Paul Wednesday: Offensive Fireworks in Cedar Rapids and Emmanuel Rodriguez is On Fire Thursday: Rodriguez Rakes as Mussels Mount Comeback Friday: Prato Paces the Kernels, Strong Pitching Turned In Saturday: Alerick Soularie Hits For the Cycle! Wind Surge Win in Walk-off! Sunday: Steer, Kirilloff, Hamilton Power Home Run Record for Saints MORE TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE CONTENT Prospect Retrospective: Jermaine Palacios Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month - May 2022 Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month - May 2022 Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month - May 2022 Reviewing the Jose Berrios Trade SHORT-SEASON RESULTS It was opening day in the short-season leagues on Monday as both the Dominican Summer League Twins and the Florida Complex League Twins played the first game of their seasons. We are going to include these teams in our daily Minor League Reports. FCL Twins 2, FCL Pirates 7 Box Score Starting Pitcher: Develson Aria (3 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K) Multi-Hit Games: Alexander Pena (2-for-2, R, 2 RBI), Ismael Perez (2-for-3, R, SB) 2B: Alexander Pena (1) HR: Alexander Pena (1) Rehab Players: Daniel Robertson (0-for-2, K) Top Prospects: Danny De Andrade (0-for-4), Fredy Michel (0-for-3, 1 BB, 2 K, SB). DSL Twins 5, DSL Rockies 6 Box Score Starting Pitcher: Julio Bonilla (3 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K) Multi-Hit Games: Anderson Nova (2-for-4, RBI, K), Daniel Pena (2-for-4, R, RBI, K), Javier Roman (2-for-2, HBP) XBH: None. Top Prospects: Bryan Acuna (0-4) WEEK IN REVIEW Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week: 4-2, @ Iowa Season: 24-29 overall, 9th place out of ten teams in the International League West. They are 10 games behind Nashville. After putting up 49 runs in seven games the previous week, the Saints scored 57 runs in six games. Three times the Saints scored more than a dozen runs in a game. The Saints pitching staff gave up 50 runs in seven games the previous week. Last week, they gave up 41 runs in the six games. The Saints hit 18 home runs including a franchise-record seven homers on Sunday afternoon. Seven hitters had an OPS over .960. It was a good week for the Saints, and now they head home to take on the former Twins Triple-A affiliate, the best team in the whole International League. Get your tickets here! Alex Kirilloff was named the Twins Minor League Player of the Week and the International League Hitter of the Week. In four games, he went 8-for-17 and hit .471/.571/1.353 (1.924) with three doubles, four homers, and eight RBI. He walked four times with just three strikeouts. Caleb Hamilton played in three games and went 4-for-8. He hit .500/.667/1.375 (2.042) with a double, two home runs, and six RBI. He also had four walks. Tim Beckham finally made his way to St. Paul. He played in four games and went 8-for-17. He hit .471/.526/.882 (1.408) with a double, two homers, and seven RBI. Spencer Steer was one of two Saints to play in all six games. He went 7-for-30 and hit .233/.303/.700 (1.003) with two doubles, four homers, and 11 RBI. Jake Cave played in five games and went 8-for-22. He hit .364/.440/.682 (1.122) with two doubles, a triple, a homer, and three RBI. Elliot Soto went 4-for-16 in five games. He hit .250/.400/.563 (.963) with two doubles and a home run. He also walked four times. Michael Helman was the second Saint who played in all six games. He went 7-for-26 and hit .269/.367/.462 (.829) with two doubles, a home run and three RBI. The best start for a Saints pitcher last week came from Mario Sanchez. He gave up two runs on five hits over an impressive 7 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out two and deserves bonus points from the whole team and front office for getting through that many innings. Tyler Viza pitched in three games, and finished two of them. He gave up one run on two hits over five innings. He struck out six batters without a walk. Austin Schulfer worked 3 2/3 innings over two appearances. He allowed an unearned run on two hits. He walked two and struck out four batters. What’s Next? #OldFriend ALERT! The Rochester Red Wings, the long-time Twins Triple-A affiliate, will be making their first appearance at CHS FIeld to take on the Saints this week. The 35-19 Red Wings are managed by former Twins C/DH Matthew LeCroy. Pitching Probables (RHP Daniel Gossett, RHP Aaron Sanchez, RHP Ronny Henriquez, TBD, TBD, TBD) Double-A Wichita Wind Surge Week: 4-2, hosting Frisco Season: 30-19 overall, 1st place in the Texas League North Division. They remain just 1 1/2 game ahead of Tulsa (28-20). The Wind Surge continue to win and find different ways to do it. Sometimes they score. Sometimes they pitch. This week, the games were mostly low scoring, but Wichita had another winning week. Over the six games, they outscored Frisco 23-17. The pitching staff was fantastic. They gave up more than three runs only once during the week. Here are some of the top performances for the Wind Surge this past week: Matt Canterino tossed 3 2/3 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits, walked four and struck out four. Steven Cruz and Osiris German each pitched twice and worked 3 1/3 innings. German gave up just one hit and struck out five batters. Cruz gave up two unearned runs and struck out four batters. Kody Funderburk pitched twice, including one start. In six innings, he gave up just one run on four hits. He walked two and struck out six bases. Matt Wallner played in all six games. He went 8-for-22 and hit .364/.417/.545 (.962) with a double and a home run. He stole two bases. Jair Camargo played in three games before going on the IL. He went 3-for-12 (.250) with a double, two homers and five RBI. Likewise, Alex Isola went on the IL after just one game last week. He had a double and a homer, and he walked once. Chris Williams had just three hits and batted .188, but he had a double and two homers. 2021 draft pick Ernie Yake went 3-for-9 (.333) and hit two doubles, including a huge bases-clearing double on Sunday against Frisco. What’s Next? The Wind Surge travel to Arkansas for six games against the Mariners’ affiliate. The Travelers are 27-24 and in third place in the North Division. Pitching Probables (RHP Blayne Enlow, RHP Matt Canterino, RHP Casey Legumina, RHP Louie Varland, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Blayne Enlow) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels Week: 4-2, @ Lansing Season: 33-18 overall, 1st place in the Midwest League West Division, 2.0 games ahead of Wisconsin (31-20). They are 5.0 games ahead of South Bend (28-23). In the first half of the week, the Kernels went 1-2, though their win was by a score of 10-2. They went on to win the final three games of the series and scored eight or more runs in each game. Overall, they outscored the Lugnuts 39-28 and were able to increase their division lead by a game. Several Kernels’ hitters had big weeks. Pitching wasn’t quite as strong, but you just have to see what Sean Mooney did. Alerick Soularie has had a tough start to his 2022 season, but he had a big week last week. In five games, he went 6-for-17 and hit .353/.560/.882 (1.442) with a double, a triple, two homers, and six RBI. He also walked eight times. He hit for the cycle on Saturday. Aaron Sabato was named the Midwest League Hitter of the Week. He played in five games and went 8-for-16. He hit .500/.619/.813 (1.432) with two doubles, a homer, and five RBI. He also walked four times. Christian Encarnacion-Strand played in all six games. He went 8-for-27 and hit .296/.387/.704 (1.091) with five doubles, two homers, and four RBI. Yunior Severino returned to the field from the IL. In four games, he went 6-for-16 and hit .375/.474/.563 (.1.037) with a double and a triple. He also walked three times. Anthony Prato played in three games for the Kernels before being promoted to Wichita. In that time, he went 4-for-15 (.267) and had a double, triple, home run and four RBI. He also stole two bases. Sawyer Gipson-Long had the top start of the week for the Kernels. He gave up one run on three hits with two walks over six innings. He struck out three batters. Sean Mooney was the piggyback arm in one game. He tossed four shutout innings. He did not give up a hit. He walked one and struck out ten batters. Cody Laweryson also worked once out of the bullpen. In 2 2/3 scoreless innings, he gave up one hit, walked two and struck out three batters. What’s Next? The Kernels will travel to South Bend to take on the Cubs. Pitching Probables (RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, RHP John Stankiewicz, RHP David Festa, LHP Brent Headrick, LHP Aaron Rozek, LHP Cade Povich) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Week: 4-2, hosting Tampa Season: 34-16 overall, 1st place in the Florida State League West, 8.0 games ahead of Clearwater (26-24). Ft. Myers was able to increase their lead in the division with a 4-2 week. The Mussel bats outscored the Tarpons 33-17 on the week. It was a terrific week for the pitchers as well, with the team’s second no-hitter of the season on Tuesday. And Emmanuel Rodriguez put together arguably the greatest week of production that I can recall! Emmanuel Rodriguez had a huge week. In five games, he went 7-for-12 and hit .583/.700/1.500 (2.200) with a double, two triples, two homers, and six RBI. He also had seven walks to go with just one strikeout! And he stole a base. No surprise he was named the Florida State League Hitter of the Week. Luis Baez played in five games. He went 4-for-9 and hit .444/.545/.444 (.989) with two walks. He also stole two bases. Kala’i Rosario played in five games and went 6-for-16. He hit .375/.474/.500 (.974) with two doubles and two walks. Mike Paredes was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week. In his start, he tossed six scoreless innings. He gave up no hits, walked two, and struck out five batters. Pierson Ohl made a start and threw three scoreless innings. He gave up three hits and walked two batters. All nine outs he recorded came on strikeouts. Ariel Jurado made his first start, a rehab appearance after having Tommy John surgery. He gave up no runs on one hit. He walked two and struck out four batters. Hunter McMahon pitched two games and three innings. He gave up just one hit, walked two and struck out seven batters. Juan Mendez pitched twice and threw two perfect innings. Five of the six outs came on strikeouts. Matt Swain made two appearances with the Mussels before his late-week promotion to Cedar Rapids. In two innings, he struck out four batters. Travis Adams gave up one run in five innings in his start. He struck out eight batters without issuing a walk. What’s Next? The Mighty Mussels make the long trek to Daytona (19-31) for a six-game series. Pitching Probables (LHP Steve Hajjar, TBD, LHP Jaylen Nowlin (vs Chase Petty), TBD, TBD, TBD) PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our current Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings and how they performed last week. The Prospect Tracker will be updated on the first of each month throughout the season. Notice that these pages now include stats and splits, as well as past article links, video and more. #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - Did Not Play (Season: 34 G, .313/.405/.534 (.940), 12-2B, 1-3B, 5-HR, 30 R, 14 RBI, 18 BB, 32 K) #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - Did Not Play (.000), 0-2B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 0 BB, 0 K (Season: 12 G, .300/.317/.550 (.867), 4-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 5 R, 5 RBI, 1 BB, 5 K) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 6 G, 4-for-23 (.174), 0-2B, 1-3B, 0-HR, 0 RBI, 1 BB, 3 K (Season: 46 G, .247/.361/.324 (.685), 7-2B, 2-3B, 1-HR, 34 R, 14 RBI, 23 BB, 28 K, 21 SB, 2 CS) #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - In MLB (Season: 21 G, .256/.295/.442 (.737), 10-2B, 2-HR, 10 R, 12 RBI, 5 BB, 14 K) #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 5 G, 5-for-18 (.278), 1-2B, 2-HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, 8 K (Season: 25 G, .202/.237/.405 (.641), 6-2B, 4-HR, 8 R, 11 RBI, 3 BB, 22 K) #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 3.1 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 5 H, 4 BB, 5 K (Season: 5 GS, 16.1 IP, 21 R, 16 ER, 27 H, 12 BB, 17 K, 0-2, 8.82 ERA, 2.39 WHIP, 6.6 BB/9, 9.4 K/9) #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 2 GS, 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 8 H, 3 BB, 8 K (Season: 10 GS, 48.0 IP, 17 R, 16 ER, 37 H, 17 BB, 50 K, 2-2, 3.00 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 9.4 K/9) #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 1 GS, 3.2 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 4 BB, 4 K (Season: 11 G, 10 GS, 34.1 IP, 8 R, 7 ER, 17 H, 22 BB, 50 K, 0-1, 1.83 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 5.8 BB/9, 13.1 K/9) #7 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - (Season: 35 G, .307/.385/.591 (.976), 13-2B, 1-3B, 8-HR, 27 R, 30 RBI, 14 BB, 23 K) #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 6 G, 7-for-30 (.233), 2-2B, 4-HR, 11 RBI, 2 BB, 8 K (Season: 13 G, .255/.349/.636 (.986), 3-2B, 0-3B, 6-HR, 13 R, 15 RBI, 6 BB, 11 K) #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 5 G, 7-for-12 (.583), 1-2B, 2-3B, 2-HR, 6 RBI, 7 BB, 2 K (Season: 45 G, .280/.495/.568 (1.063), 5-2B, 3-3B, 9-HR, 35 R, 25 RBI, 54 BB, 51 K) #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 6 G, 1-for-22 (.045), 1-2B, 0-3B, 0-HR, 1 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K (Season: 45 G, .256/.387/.357 (.744), 7-2B, 2-3B, 2 HR, 33 R, 12 RBI, 34 BB, 51 K) #10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 1 GS, 3.2 IP, 4 R, 3 H, 3 BB, 4 K (Season: 8 G, 7 GS, 32.2 IP, 15 R, 12 ER, 26 H, 12 BB, 35 K, 3-1, 3.31 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 3.3 BB/9, 9.6 K/9) #11 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 2 R, 3 H, 4 BB, 6 K (Season: 8 GS, 37.0 IP, 19 R, 17 ER, 30 H, 13 BB, 52 K, 3-4, 3.65 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 3.2 BB/9, 12.6 K/9) #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 2 BB, 9 K (Season: 10 G, 9 GS, 52.1 IP, 24 R, 21 ER, 43 H, 24 BB, 62 K, 4-1, 3.61 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 4.1 BB/9, 10.7 K/9) #13 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 5 ER, 10 H, 1 BB, 5 K (Season: 8 G, 6 GS, 29.0 IP, 26 R, 37 H, 13 BB, 30 K, 0-2, 8.07 ERA, 1.72 WHIP, 4.0 BB/9, 9.3 K/9) #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 1 G, 2.2 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 3 BB, 4 K (Season: 4 G, 3 GS, 13.1 IP, 10 R, 9 ER, 15 H, 7 BB, 19 K, 0-0, 6.08 ERA, 1.65 WHIP, 4.7 BB/9, 12.8 K/9) #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 6 G, 8-for-22 (.364), 1-2B, 1-HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K (Season: 46 G, .273/.387/.527 (.914), 9-2B, 0-3B, 1-HR, 33 R, 39 RBI, 30 BB, 68 K) #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 5 G, 5-for-19 (.263), 0-2B, 1-HR, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 7 K (Season: 29 G, .269/.417/.398 (.815), 4-2B, 1-3B, 2-HR, 17 R, 11 RBI, 25 BB, 28 K) #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch (Season: 6 G, 5 GS, 18.2 IP, 15 R, 23 H, 6 BB, 21 K, 0-4, 7.23 ERA, 1.55 WHIP, 2.9 BB/9, 10.1 K/9) #17 - Cole Sands (Minnesota) - 1 GS, 4.0 IP, 4 R, 5 H, 4 BB, 4 K (Season: 3 G, 1 GS, 8.0 IP, 7 ER, 9 H, 4 BB, 10 K K, 0-1, 7.88 ERA, 1.63 WHIP, 4.5 BB/9, 11.3 K/9) #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 6 G, 8-for-27 (.296), 5-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 7 K (Season: 49 G, .303/.368/.551 (.919), 13-2B, 3-3B, 10-HR, 33 R, 43 RBI, 19 BB, 55 K) #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - 1 GS, 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K (Season: 1 G, 4.1 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 2 BB, 7 K, (Season: 8 GS, 33.1 IP, 10 R, 8 ER, 17 H, 19 BB, 57 K, 2-1, 2.16 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 5.1 BB/9, 15.4 K/9) #20 - David Festa (Ft. Myers) - (Season: 2 G, 4.0 IP, 3 ER, 4 H, 0 BB, 6 K, (Season: 0-0, 6.75 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 0.0 BB/9, 13.5 K/9) #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - 1 GS, 5 IP, 2 R, 5 H, 2 BB, 5 K (Season: 3 G, 1 GS, 13.2 IP, 4 ER, 10 H, 3 BB, 14 K, 3-0, 2.63 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 2.0 BB/9, 9.2 K/9) PLAYERS OF THE WEEK Hitter of the Week: Outfielder Emmanuel Rodriguez, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels This is the second consecutive, and third overall player of the week honor for Rodriguez this season. He was the choice for Hitter of the Month in April. He was solid again in May, and he has started June on fire. Two weeks ago, he went 0-for-12 for the week, but he walked 10 times, continuing to show his much-improved strike zone management. In the two weeks since then, he has played in ten games. He had gone 13-for-30 and hit .433/.591/1.000 (1.591) with a double, two triples, four home runs and 11 RBI. He has also walked 13 times and struck out ten times. Rodriguez played in five games last week at Hammond Stadium against Tampa. He went 7-for-12 and hit .583/.700/1.500 (2.200) with a doubles, two triples, two home runs, and six RBI. He also had seven walks to go with just two strikeouts. Those numbers are just crazy! Overall, he has played in 45 games for Ft. Myers in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League. He has hit .280/.495/.568 (1.063) with five doubles, three triples, nine home runs, and 25 RBI. He is also 11-for-15 in stolen base attempts, and plays a solid center field. Rodriguez signed with the Twins in July 2019 for $2.5 million out of Santiago. He was unable to make his debut until 2021. Last year, in 37 FCL Twins games, he hit .214/346/.524 (.870) with five doubles, two triples, and 10 home runs. He also stole nine bases. Pitcher of the Week: RHP Mike Paredes, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels Mike Paredes was the Twins 18th round draft pick in 2021 out of San Diego State University. He went to college about 10 miles from where he went to high school, San Diego High School where he was a strong two-way player. As a freshman, he worked mostly out of the bullpen and struck out 56 batters in 51 innings. He also went 1-for-2 with an RBI double. He made four starts in the shortened 2020 season. In 2021, he went 4-0. Upon signing, he pitched in two games for the FCL Twins. He gave up one run on one hit and one walk in four innings. He struck out six batters. This season, he began the season in the Ft. Myers bullpen. Gradually he got extended and then did some piggybacking before entering the team’s rotation. He has made four starts now. Overall, he is 2-1 with a 2.30 ERA. In 31 1/3 innings, he has walked just five batters while striking out 31 batters. In his start last week against Tampa, he struck out five batters over six scoreless, hitless innings. He walked two. Hunter McMahon got the final three outs to keep the no-hitter, the Mussels third no-no over the past nine months, and second this season. In his four starts, he has gradually worked more and more. In his first start, he threw three no-hit innings. In his second start, he threw four, one-hit innings. He went five innings in his third start (two runs on three hits). And, six innings of no-hit ball in his fourth start. What is next for the 21-year-old right-hander? Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the players and the teams in the COMMENTS below. View full article
  22. Nick Gordon was making plays both in the field and at the plate but it wasn't enough to lift the Minnesota Twins, as they fell to the Tigers Thursday. Down on the farm, Matt Canterino delivered another short but scoreless start. I briefly discussed what I think should be the plan for him going forward. Also, Roy Morales had a grand performance in extra innings for the Saints and Christian Encarnacion-Strand had another highlight-worthy performance.
  23. Nick Gordon was making plays both in the field and at the plate but it wasn't enough to lift the Minnesota Twins, as they fell to the Tigers Thursday. Down on the farm, Matt Canterino delivered another short but scoreless start. I briefly discussed what I think should be the plan for him going forward. Also, Roy Morales had a grand performance in extra innings for the Saints and Christian Encarnacion-Strand had another highlight-worthy performance. View full video
  24. Transactions: OF Cole Sturgeon activated from Paternity List by St. Paul OF Derek Fisher placed on Injured List (shoulder sprain) by St. Paul RHP Matthew Swain promoted to Cedar Rapids from Fort Myers RHP Andrew Cabezas promoted to Wichita from Cedar Rapids RHP Melvi Acosta promoted to Wichita from Cedar Rapids SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 12, Iowa 5 Box Score The St. Paul Saints turned to Mario Sanchez today in a matinee affair against the Iowa Cubs. He was brilliant working 7 2/3 innings allowing just two runs on five hits. Sanchez only struck out two but issued just a single free pass. Recently beginning his career in the Twins organization, Tim Beckham got on the board with his first home run today. A two-run blast in the top of the 2nd inning, Curtis Terry also came around to score on the big fly. Iowa tied things in the bottom half of the 2nd inning and that’s where things stood until the 9th inning. Recently returning from the Paternity List, Cole Sturgeon used dad power and singled with the bases loaded to drive in both Terry and Jake Cave. Doubling up the score, St. Paul finally had some breathing room. After allowing Iowa to square things up in the bottom of the 9th inning, St. Paul made this one a laugher in the 10th inning. Runner on second base or not, eight runs was going to be enough to get it done. Alex Kirilloff started the inning with a double to score Roy Morales. Then Beckham singled with the bases loaded to score Kirilloff. A Michael Helman walk plated Jake Cave, and Sturgeon pushed across Elliot Soto on a fielder’s choice. Thanks to a throwing error the bases remained loaded, and Morales cleared them with a grand slam for his first homer of the season. Iowa scored their free runner in the bottom half, but down seven still, it was of little consequence. The recently promoted Austin Schulfer earned his first Triple-A win. It is of note that Kirilloff returned to the Saints lineup in this one. Despite having been with Minnesota in Detroit on the taxi squad for most of the week, he rejoined the Triple-A club in Iowa for this contest. He may not have been eligible to travel to Toronto for the next series, or the Twins wanted to get him back in games and generate at-bats. He went 1-for-5 with a double, run scored, run batted in, walk, and a strikeout in this one. Even with the offensive explosion, only Beckham and Cave recorded multi-hit contests for the Saints today. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 2, Frisco 1 Box Score Looking to continue a good run, Matt Canterino took the ball and avoided damage tonight for Wichita. He worked 3 2/3 innings as Minnesota continues to be wary of his pitch counts. Canterino allowed just two hits, gave up no runs, and walked four while striking out the same number. Melvi Acosta came on in relief making his Double-A debut. He did allow one run but gave up just two hits and a walk while working two innings. Matt Wallner has drawn plenty of attention for his power this season, but he made an amazing catch for the Turbo Tubs in the 2nd inning. Wichita scored first as Jair Camargo continued to stay hot. His first double of the season scored Edouard Julien before Chris Williams ripped his 7th double to plate Camargo. In the 5th inning, Frisco halved the lead but that's where things stood. Acosta was given the win and recorded that result in his Double-A debut. KERNELS NUGGETS Lansing 7, Cedar Rapids 3 Box Score John Stankiewicz made the start tonight for Cedar Rapids but he was able to work just 2 2/3 innings before being lifted after two runs on five hits. Stankiewicz did strike out three but also walked two on the evening. Wander Javier got the Kernels on the board first with a 2nd inning single that plated Yunior Severino. Unfortunately that’s the last lead Cedar Rapids experienced tonight. After two runs coming across for the Lugnuts in both the 3rd and 4th innings, Cedar Rapids answered with a pair of their own in the 5th inning. Stepping in with Will Holland on base, Christian Encarnacion-Strand clubbed his 9th homer of the season to bring it within one. In the 8th inning Lansing added three for good measure and despite being even in hits, the Kernels couldn’t produce more with theirs. Jefferson Morales was the lone Cedar Rapids batter to produce a multi-hit game. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 7, Tampa 6 Box Score Star pitching prospect Marco Raya was on the bump tonight for the Mighty Mussels. This was not one of his stronger outings as he went just 3 1/3 innings while allowing four runs on three hits and three walks. Raya did punch out four tonight. All of the damage against him came on a 4th inning grand slam. Fort Myers tallied the first runs of the game in the bottom of the 1st inning. With Jake Rucker on, Emmanuel Rodriguez stepped in and laced a triple to drive him in. Rodriguez then scored on a wild pitch. The aforementioned grand slam in the 4th inning put Fort Myers behind, and they would stay there the rest of the night. After giving up two more runs in the top of the 5th inning, the Mighty Mussels got one back on Rodriguez’s second triple of the game, this time scoring Luis Baez in the bottom of the 5th inning. Down three with just three outs left, Keoni Cavaco sent a big fly to left field drawing the Mighty Mussels within two. It was his second dinger of the year. After a Kala’i Rosario single, and an advance to second on a wild pitch, Kyle Schmidt doubled bringing home a run and drawing Fort Myers within 180 feet of a tie ball game. Eventually loading the bases with two outs, Noah Cardenas took a hit by pitch to walk in the tying run and on to the 10th inning it went. Fort Myers started the inning with Mikey Perez at second base. After getting a second runner on, Perez stole third base. Dillon Tatum then stepped in. He hit a pop-up in front of the pitcher's mound. As the infielders converged, the ball dropped in. As Cavaco advanced to second, Tampa threw the ball to second for a force-out, but Perez took off and scored the winning run. The Mussels found themselves walk-off winners in one of the most unique endings you'll read about.. Rodriguez was joined by Baez as batters registering multiple hits on the evening. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K Hitter of the Day – Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 3-5, R, 2 RBI, 2 3B(3) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - Injured List #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-4 #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - Did Not Play #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-5, 2 K #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 3-5, R, 2 RBI, 2 3B(3) #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-5, 3 K #10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 3.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K #11 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #13 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, 2 K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-3, R, BB, K #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, R, 2 RBI, BB, HR(9) #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Iowa (7:08PM CST) - RHP Ronny Henriquez Frisco @ Wichita (6:15PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina Cedar Rapids @ Lansing (6:05PM CST) - RHP David Festa Tampa @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Jaylen Nowlin Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing.
  25. It's not often you record multiple triples in a game, but that happened for Emmanuel Rodriguez tonight. Matt Canterino had iffy command but still put his dominant stuff on cruise control. The Saints ripped off 12 runs in a total team effort. It was a busy day on the farm with more than a couple of promotions. Transactions: OF Cole Sturgeon activated from Paternity List by St. Paul OF Derek Fisher placed on Injured List (shoulder sprain) by St. Paul RHP Matthew Swain promoted to Cedar Rapids from Fort Myers RHP Andrew Cabezas promoted to Wichita from Cedar Rapids RHP Melvi Acosta promoted to Wichita from Cedar Rapids SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 12, Iowa 5 Box Score The St. Paul Saints turned to Mario Sanchez today in a matinee affair against the Iowa Cubs. He was brilliant working 7 2/3 innings allowing just two runs on five hits. Sanchez only struck out two but issued just a single free pass. Recently beginning his career in the Twins organization, Tim Beckham got on the board with his first home run today. A two-run blast in the top of the 2nd inning, Curtis Terry also came around to score on the big fly. Iowa tied things in the bottom half of the 2nd inning and that’s where things stood until the 9th inning. Recently returning from the Paternity List, Cole Sturgeon used dad power and singled with the bases loaded to drive in both Terry and Jake Cave. Doubling up the score, St. Paul finally had some breathing room. After allowing Iowa to square things up in the bottom of the 9th inning, St. Paul made this one a laugher in the 10th inning. Runner on second base or not, eight runs was going to be enough to get it done. Alex Kirilloff started the inning with a double to score Roy Morales. Then Beckham singled with the bases loaded to score Kirilloff. A Michael Helman walk plated Jake Cave, and Sturgeon pushed across Elliot Soto on a fielder’s choice. Thanks to a throwing error the bases remained loaded, and Morales cleared them with a grand slam for his first homer of the season. Iowa scored their free runner in the bottom half, but down seven still, it was of little consequence. The recently promoted Austin Schulfer earned his first Triple-A win. It is of note that Kirilloff returned to the Saints lineup in this one. Despite having been with Minnesota in Detroit on the taxi squad for most of the week, he rejoined the Triple-A club in Iowa for this contest. He may not have been eligible to travel to Toronto for the next series, or the Twins wanted to get him back in games and generate at-bats. He went 1-for-5 with a double, run scored, run batted in, walk, and a strikeout in this one. Even with the offensive explosion, only Beckham and Cave recorded multi-hit contests for the Saints today. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 2, Frisco 1 Box Score Looking to continue a good run, Matt Canterino took the ball and avoided damage tonight for Wichita. He worked 3 2/3 innings as Minnesota continues to be wary of his pitch counts. Canterino allowed just two hits, gave up no runs, and walked four while striking out the same number. Melvi Acosta came on in relief making his Double-A debut. He did allow one run but gave up just two hits and a walk while working two innings. Matt Wallner has drawn plenty of attention for his power this season, but he made an amazing catch for the Turbo Tubs in the 2nd inning. Wichita scored first as Jair Camargo continued to stay hot. His first double of the season scored Edouard Julien before Chris Williams ripped his 7th double to plate Camargo. In the 5th inning, Frisco halved the lead but that's where things stood. Acosta was given the win and recorded that result in his Double-A debut. KERNELS NUGGETS Lansing 7, Cedar Rapids 3 Box Score John Stankiewicz made the start tonight for Cedar Rapids but he was able to work just 2 2/3 innings before being lifted after two runs on five hits. Stankiewicz did strike out three but also walked two on the evening. Wander Javier got the Kernels on the board first with a 2nd inning single that plated Yunior Severino. Unfortunately that’s the last lead Cedar Rapids experienced tonight. After two runs coming across for the Lugnuts in both the 3rd and 4th innings, Cedar Rapids answered with a pair of their own in the 5th inning. Stepping in with Will Holland on base, Christian Encarnacion-Strand clubbed his 9th homer of the season to bring it within one. In the 8th inning Lansing added three for good measure and despite being even in hits, the Kernels couldn’t produce more with theirs. Jefferson Morales was the lone Cedar Rapids batter to produce a multi-hit game. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 7, Tampa 6 Box Score Star pitching prospect Marco Raya was on the bump tonight for the Mighty Mussels. This was not one of his stronger outings as he went just 3 1/3 innings while allowing four runs on three hits and three walks. Raya did punch out four tonight. All of the damage against him came on a 4th inning grand slam. Fort Myers tallied the first runs of the game in the bottom of the 1st inning. With Jake Rucker on, Emmanuel Rodriguez stepped in and laced a triple to drive him in. Rodriguez then scored on a wild pitch. The aforementioned grand slam in the 4th inning put Fort Myers behind, and they would stay there the rest of the night. After giving up two more runs in the top of the 5th inning, the Mighty Mussels got one back on Rodriguez’s second triple of the game, this time scoring Luis Baez in the bottom of the 5th inning. Down three with just three outs left, Keoni Cavaco sent a big fly to left field drawing the Mighty Mussels within two. It was his second dinger of the year. After a Kala’i Rosario single, and an advance to second on a wild pitch, Kyle Schmidt doubled bringing home a run and drawing Fort Myers within 180 feet of a tie ball game. Eventually loading the bases with two outs, Noah Cardenas took a hit by pitch to walk in the tying run and on to the 10th inning it went. Fort Myers started the inning with Mikey Perez at second base. After getting a second runner on, Perez stole third base. Dillon Tatum then stepped in. He hit a pop-up in front of the pitcher's mound. As the infielders converged, the ball dropped in. As Cavaco advanced to second, Tampa threw the ball to second for a force-out, but Perez took off and scored the winning run. The Mussels found themselves walk-off winners in one of the most unique endings you'll read about.. Rodriguez was joined by Baez as batters registering multiple hits on the evening. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K Hitter of the Day – Emmanuel Rodriguez (Fort Myers) - 3-5, R, 2 RBI, 2 3B(3) PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Minnesota) - Injured List #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-4 #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - Did Not Play #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #5 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 4 K #7 - Spencer Steer (St. Paul) - 0-5, 2 K #8 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 3-5, R, 2 RBI, 2 3B(3) #9 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-5, 3 K #10 - Marco Raya (Ft. Myers) - 3.2 IP, 3 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K #11 - Cade Povich (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch #12 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #13 - Ronny Hendriquez (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #14 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #15 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 1-4, 2 K #16 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 1-3, R, BB, K #17 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, R, 2 RBI, BB, HR(9) #19 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #20 - David Festa (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Iowa (7:08PM CST) - RHP Ronny Henriquez Frisco @ Wichita (6:15PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina Cedar Rapids @ Lansing (6:05PM CST) - RHP David Festa Tampa @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Jaylen Nowlin Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Thursday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates back and playing. View full article
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