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  1. Seth’s 2018 Breakout Prospects Tyler Jay, LH Relief Pitcher 2018 Stats: 4-5, 4.22 ERA, 38/2 G/GS, 1.58 WHIP, 49/20 K/BB, 59.2 IP Jay, a former first round pick, is still trying to live up to the potential the former Twins front office saw in him. He spent all of 2018 at Double-A and there were certainly some mixed results. At season’s end, he was left off the 40-man roster and was exposed to the Rule 5 Draft. He went unclaimed and will stay in the organization. Last year Kohl Stewart went through the same process and he ended the year in the big-league rotation. Can Jay follow a similar path to make his big league debut? Lewis Thorpe, LH Starting Pitcher 2018 Stats: 8-7, 3.54 ERA, 26/25 G/GS, 1.24 WHIP, 157/36 K/BB, 129.2 IP Thorpe pitched for Chattanooga and Rochester in 2018. He was named the 2018 Jim Rantz Award winner as the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Thorpe had the opportunity to represent the Twins organization in the MLB Future’s Game during the MLB All-Star break. The 22-year old missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons as he recovered from Tommy John surgery and an illness, but he seems to have things back on track. Cody’s 2018 Breakout Prospects Felix Jorge, RH Starting Pitcher 2018 Stats: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2/1 G/GS, 0.67 WHIP, 2/0 K/BB, 3.0 IP By looking at previous prospect rankings found in the Twins Prospect Handbook, it’s easy to see that I have been driving the Felix Jorge bandwagon for multiple seasons. Naming him a breakout prospect for 2018 was a last-ditch effort to keep that bandwagon on the road. He missed almost all of 2018 as he dealt with a triceps injury and he was removed from the team’s 40-man roster. Jacob Pearson, Outfield 2018 Stats: .237/.312/.376, 12 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR, 36 RBI, 22.1 K%, 9.3 BB%, 6/11 SB Pearson spent his first season in the organization roaming the outfield in Cedar Rapids. As a 20-year old, he was almost a year and a half younger than the competition in the Midwest League. Through the end of June (32 games), he was hitting .294/.359/.429 with 10 extra-base hits. His number dropped from there as he might have tired from the rigors of a full-season campaign. Pearson won’t make it into any 2019 Top-10 lists but that has more to do with the prospects being added to the system. He still has a chance to be a breakout prospect in the years to come. Tom’s 2018 Breakout Prospects Jose Miranda, Infielder 2018 Stats: .264/.319/.417, 27 2B, 1 3B, 16 HR, 82 RBI, 11.2 K%, 5.6 BB%, 0/3 SB Miranda’s season started in the MWL, where he was almost a year and a half younger than the competition. In over 100 games, .277/.326/.434 with 13 home runs and 22 doubles. His transition to the FSL wasn’t exactly smooth has his average dipped to .216. That being said, Miranda was a key cog in the Miracle’s playoff run. He hit .400 with two home runs and three doubles in six playoff games. He’s not quite a Top-10 prospect but he is trending in the right direction. Jermaine Palacios, Shortstop 2018 Stats: .217/.269/.306, 20 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 53 RBI, 19.4 K%, 6.5 BB%, 8/16 SB Palacios was traded from the Twins organization for Jake Odorizzi on February 17, 2018. He split time during the 2018 campaign between Tampa’s High-A and Double-A teams. When he got to Double-A, he was almost three years younger than the competition. His .575 OPS was the second lowest total of his career. Minnesota’s organizational depth, especially at shortstop, allowed for Palacios to be expendable last off-season. To read more about this year’s breakout prospects and much more about the Twins minor leagues, grab your copy (or copies) of the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. Paperback version PDF version
  2. 25. Tyler Jay – LHP Age: 24 ETA: 2018 2018 Stats (AA): 1-1, 3.64 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 29.2 IP, 35 H, 12 BB, 26 K 2018 Ranking: 19 | 2017 Ranking: 5 Seth: 30 | Tom: 26 | Cody: 26 Jay was Minnesota’s first-round pick back in 2015 and he was taken with the intention of turning him into a starting pitcher. That plan didn’t work and he has since shifted to a bullpen role. His first 10 appearances (16.2 IP) this season resulted in a 1.62 ERA with a 13 to 7 strikeout to walk ratio. Over his next eight appearances (13.0 IP), things haven’t gone as smoothly. He has allowed nine earned runs and opponents are hitting .321/.377/.571 against him. At the University of Illinois, Jay was a shutdown relief pitcher and he has the potential and pitches to get there again. However, fans haven’t seen that version of Jay in the Twins organization. 24. Felix Jorge – RHP Age: 24 ETA: 2017 2018 Stats (AA/GCL): 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K 2018 Ranking: 20 | 2017 Ranking: 12 Seth: 37 | Tom: 24 | Cody: 18 We compiled these rankings prior to Jorge being designated for assignment. He's since been released. 23. Kohl Stewart – RHP Age: 23 ETA: 2018 2018 Stats (AA): 3-4, 4.76 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 68.0 IP, 84 H, 21 BB, 71 K 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: 8 Seth: 31 | Tom: 22 | Cody: 25 Minnesota took Stewart with the fourth pick of the 2013 MLB draft with hopes of turning this strong athlete into an elite pitcher. He has been slowly making his way through the Twins system and he even made one start with Rochester last season. Consistency has been the biggest issue for Stewart. His pitching performance has been up and down and he currently sits on the temporary inactive list after being limited to four starts in June. Stewart has his highest strikeout per nine total since his professional debut season (9.4 K/9) and his walks per nine is lower than his career average (2.8 BB/9). Stewart is still only 23 and he might finally be showing signs of putting it all together. 22. Landon Leach – RHP Age: 18 ETA: 2022 2018 Stats (Rookie): Has Not Played 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 28 | Tom: 25 | Cody: 20 Leach, a Canadian native, was taken by the Twins in the second round of the 2017 MLB draft and he made his pro debut with the GCL Twins. In five appearances (13.1 IP), he allowed five earned runs and posted a 10 to 6 strikeout to walk ratio. He’s on the GCL Twins roster now but he is starting the season on the disabled list. He throws hard with a mid-90s fastball and multiple off-speed offerings including a curve and a changeup. His secondary pitches need some work but he was a multi-star athlete in high school and his natural athleticism make him very projectable. 21. Jose Miranda – 2B/3B Age: 20 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats (Low-A): .255/.308/.405 (.713), 16-2B, 1-3B, 7-HR 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 17 | Tom: 18 | Cody: 30 Miranda debuted in the GCL after being drafted in the second round of the 2016 MLB draft out of Puerto Rico. With the E-Twins last season, he hit .283/.340/.484 with 21 extra-base hits in 54 games. This season he has played the entire year at Cedar Rapids where he has continued his trend of being over a year younger than the competition. He started this season slowly with the Kernels as he hit .170/.230/.259 through the team’s first 30 games. As a right-handed hitter, his OPS is over .800 against left-handed pitching so most of his issues have come against righties. He has started to come on as of late and he has plenty of power potential. What are your thoughts on the latest set of rankings? Who’s ranked too high? Who’s ranked too low? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  3. First-round picks carry a lot of weight in any organization. Some teams are consistently making strong picks but the art of drafting players can be a tough endeavor. If a team misses out multiple first-round picks, there can be a void near the top of an organization’s prospect rankings. In Twins Daily’s updated top-40 prospect list, two former first-round picks fall into the 21-25 range. Each of them was a top-10 prospect as recently as 2017. Their fall in the rankings is connected to multiple factors but each of them has the potential to help the Twins at some point in the future.25. Tyler Jay – LHP Age: 24 ETA: 2018 2018 Stats (AA): 1-1, 3.64 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 29.2 IP, 35 H, 12 BB, 26 K 2018 Ranking: 19 | 2017 Ranking: 5 Seth: 30 | Tom: 26 | Cody: 26 Jay was Minnesota’s first-round pick back in 2015 and he was taken with the intention of turning him into a starting pitcher. That plan didn’t work and he has since shifted to a bullpen role. His first 10 appearances (16.2 IP) this season resulted in a 1.62 ERA with a 13 to 7 strikeout to walk ratio. Over his next eight appearances (13.0 IP), things haven’t gone as smoothly. He has allowed nine earned runs and opponents are hitting .321/.377/.571 against him. At the University of Illinois, Jay was a shutdown relief pitcher and he has the potential and pitches to get there again. However, fans haven’t seen that version of Jay in the Twins organization. 24. Felix Jorge – RHP Age: 24 ETA: 2017 2018 Stats (AA/GCL): 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 3.0 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 2 K 2018 Ranking: 20 | 2017 Ranking: 12 Seth: 37 | Tom: 24 | Cody: 18 We compiled these rankings prior to Jorge being designated for assignment. He's since been released. 23. Kohl Stewart – RHP Age: 23 ETA: 2018 2018 Stats (AA): 3-4, 4.76 ERA, 1.54 WHIP, 68.0 IP, 84 H, 21 BB, 71 K 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: 8 Seth: 31 | Tom: 22 | Cody: 25 Minnesota took Stewart with the fourth pick of the 2013 MLB draft with hopes of turning this strong athlete into an elite pitcher. He has been slowly making his way through the Twins system and he even made one start with Rochester last season. Consistency has been the biggest issue for Stewart. His pitching performance has been up and down and he currently sits on the temporary inactive list after being limited to four starts in June. Stewart has his highest strikeout per nine total since his professional debut season (9.4 K/9) and his walks per nine is lower than his career average (2.8 BB/9). Stewart is still only 23 and he might finally be showing signs of putting it all together. 22. Landon Leach – RHP Age: 18 ETA: 2022 2018 Stats (Rookie): Has Not Played 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 28 | Tom: 25 | Cody: 20 Leach, a Canadian native, was taken by the Twins in the second round of the 2017 MLB draft and he made his pro debut with the GCL Twins. In five appearances (13.1 IP), he allowed five earned runs and posted a 10 to 6 strikeout to walk ratio. He’s on the GCL Twins roster now but he is starting the season on the disabled list. He throws hard with a mid-90s fastball and multiple off-speed offerings including a curve and a changeup. His secondary pitches need some work but he was a multi-star athlete in high school and his natural athleticism make him very projectable. 21. Jose Miranda – 2B/3B Age: 20 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats (Low-A): .255/.308/.405 (.713), 16-2B, 1-3B, 7-HR 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 17 | Tom: 18 | Cody: 30 Miranda debuted in the GCL after being drafted in the second round of the 2016 MLB draft out of Puerto Rico. With the E-Twins last season, he hit .283/.340/.484 with 21 extra-base hits in 54 games. This season he has played the entire year at Cedar Rapids where he has continued his trend of being over a year younger than the competition. He started this season slowly with the Kernels as he hit .170/.230/.259 through the team’s first 30 games. As a right-handed hitter, his OPS is over .800 against left-handed pitching so most of his issues have come against righties. He has started to come on as of late and he has plenty of power potential. What are your thoughts on the latest set of rankings? Who’s ranked too high? Who’s ranked too low? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Click here to view the article
  4. No real surprises among this first group of players sent across the parking lot to minor league camp. Zack Littell has had a very strong camp including a win and two saves among his outings. Felix Jorge pitched well at times as well. He debuted with the Twins last year. Dietrich Enns and Lewis Thorpe didn't pitch a lot. With minor league camp starting today, there is definitely a need for more catchers in that camp, so two non-roster guys (Navarreto and Sawyer) find themselves back over there. Both are likely to play in Chattanooga in 2018. The spring training roster is now at 53 players. 26 pitchers (3 non-roster) 5 catchers (3 non-roster) 13 infielders (5 non-roster) 9 outfielders (4 non-roster)
  5. As minor league camp starts today, the Minnesota Twins made their first cuts from big league spring training. Pitchers Zack Littell and Lewis Thorpe were optioned to AA Chattanooga. Pitchers Felix Jorge and Dietrich Enns were optioned to AAA Rochester. Catchers Brian Navarreto and Wynston Sawyer were reassigned to minor league camp.No real surprises among this first group of players sent across the parking lot to minor league camp. Zack Littell has had a very strong camp including a win and two saves among his outings. Felix Jorge pitched well at times as well. He debuted with the Twins last year. Dietrich Enns and Lewis Thorpe didn't pitch a lot. With minor league camp starting today, there is definitely a need for more catchers in that camp, so two non-roster guys (Navarreto and Sawyer) find themselves back over there. Both are likely to play in Chattanooga in 2018. The spring training roster is now at 53 players. 26 pitchers (3 non-roster)5 catchers (3 non-roster)13 infielders (5 non-roster)9 outfielders (4 non-roster) Click here to view the article
  6. Through the 2018 Adopt-A-Prospect draft I drafted Felix Jorge with the 27th overall pick as my guy for the upcoming season. It will my objective to give you bi-weekly(ish) updates on the Twins prospect this season, but I wanted to start by providing some background information and project what we might see from him in the 2018 season. Profile Felix De Jesus Jorge is a 24 year old right handed pitcher who will be entering his 8th season in the Twins organization after being signed as an international free agent in 2011. He made is Major League debut on July 1st, 2017 against the Kansas City Royals. He pitched 5 solid, yet unspectacular innings before getting pulled and eventually shelled in his second and final Major League outing of the season against the Orioles. He enters the 2018 season currently ranked as the Twins 17th best prospect according to MLB and 7th rated pitching prospect. He is currently on the Twins 40 man roster and has been assigned to start the season at AAA Rochester. Scouting Report Jorge stands at 6' 2", 170 pounds which makes him on the smaller side for your standard Major League pitcher. He has four pitches in his repertoire with his fastball and change-up being his two best pitches followed by his slider and curveball, respectively. His fast ball sits low 90's and then he loses about 10 miles per hour on his change-up, which is a good change of speed. He's a classic Twins pitching prospect as he doesn't overpower hitters, is very hittable, yet has pretty good control averaging about 2.2 walks/9. His delivery is very clean and smooth and he throws from over the top as you can see below from Spring Training a year ago. Projection Being that we already saw him in 2017, I am confident that we will see him again sometime in 2018. That said, he has fallen down the prospect list in the last year and he will be competing with Fernando Romero and Stephen Gonsalves who are currently rated much higher than him. As it stands right now, I would put him third in the pecking order behind Romero and Gonsalves as those two have had pretty solid springs thus far. With injuries, double headers, and other factors it's hard to know exactly when we'll see him but worst case scenario he will be brought up when rosters are expanded on September 1st. Looking a little more long term, I don't think Jorge as the "stuff" to be a reliable starter at the Major League level. He's still young and has room to improve, but I think a #4 or #5 starter is the top end of what to expect from him. More realistically, I view him as being a guy who could come out of the bullpen as a long or middle reliever down the road.
  7. In recent days, we have begun to see many Twins players and Twins minor leaguers getting to Ft. Myers. MLB camp is less than two weeks away, and minor league camp gets going in about a month. But the academy is starting to fill up.Today, we begin our list of the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects with a look at prospects 16-20. Tomorrow, we’ll post prospects 11-15. At that point, we will post one prospect each day.Let’s get to the list, and please feel free to discuss our choices and how they may rank on your personal top 10 or top 20 lists. 20. Felix Jorge - RHP Age: 24 2017 MiLB Stats (AA/AAA): 10-4, 3.68 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 149.0 IP, 161 H, 40 BB, 108 K 2017 MLB Stats (MLB): 1-0, 10.57 ERA, 2.08 WHIP, 7.2 IP, 14 H, 2 BB, 4 K ETA: 2017 2017 Ranking: 12 Signed in February of 2011 Jorge has gradually worked his way up the Twins system. The last few years, he has turned himself from a suspect to a prospect. On the 40-man roster, Jorge was given an opportunity to make his MLB debut for the Twins when they had a need for a starter in July. Jorge was promoted directly from Chattanooga. In his debut, he gave up three runs in five innings and picked up his first MLB win. Five days later, he made another start. It didn’t go as well. He ended the regular season with starts in Rochester before pitching for Chattanooga in the Southern League playoffs. Jorge’s got a nice fastball in the 92-94 range. He’s got great poise and calm on the mound. He’s got a nice changeup and an improving curveball. In 2018, he should spend the year in Rochester and potentially get more opportunities to make starts for the Twins. 19. Tyler Jay - LH RP Age: 23 2017 Stats (AA/AAA): 3-0, 3.09 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 11 H, 4 BB, 19 K ETA: 2018 2017 Ranking: 5 Jay was the Twins first-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Illinois. While he was a reliever in college, many teams believed that he had the pitches and the makeup to be a starter. That’s what he did in 2016, and he did well. However, he managed just 83.2 innings. This past spring, the Twins announced that Jay was being moved to the bullpen. It is a role that he should thrive in. Unfortunately, he missed nearly the entire 2017 season with biceps tendinitis. As you can see, he got good strikeout numbers. He went to the Arizona Fall League to make up for some of the lost time. However, when healthy, Jay has the ability and the potential to be a dominant relief options, and soon. 18. Yunior Severino Age: 18 2017 Stats (Rookie): .286/.345/.444 (.789), 17-2B, 2-3B, 3-HR ETA: 2022 2017 Ranking: NR The Braves had a dozen minor leaguers declared free agents due to violations by their front office. Those players were then allowed to sign with other teams using international pool money from 2017 or 2018. Top prospect Kevin Maitan signed for $2.2 million with the Angels, though there were reports that the Twins offered him more than the Angels but he saw a quicker route to the majors with the Angels. The Twins didn’t worry about it. Instead, they signed Severino for $2.5 million of 2018 pool money. Severino had signed with the Braves in 2016 for $1.9 million. After spending ten games with the Braves DSL team last summer, he moved up to the GCL. Severino was signed as a shortstop, but he was already moved to second base due to his range. He is a switch-hitter. He has more power from the right-side now, but he has a lot of potential to add power. 17. Travis Blankenhorn - 2B/3B Age: 21 2017 Stats (Low-A): .251/.343/.441 (.784), 12-2B, 11-3B, 13-HR, 13-SB ETA: 2021 2017 Ranking: 9 Signed as the Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Pennsylvania, Blankenhorn spent the entire 2017 season in Cedar Rapids. He had ended the 2016 season with 25 games for the Kernels. Blankenhorn had some ups and downs throughout the 2017 season. By month, his OPS were .776, .604, 1.048, .449, and 1.023. You can see the upside in those numbers. You can also see the inconsistency that you might expect from a 21-year-old. But Blankenhorn can fill a stat sheet. He’s got a good approach at the plate. He can use the whole field. He has extra base pop with the speed to turn doubles into triples. He’s got power now, and he’s got the size to develop even more home run power. He also is a good base runner who can steal bases. Twice in 2017 he stole home. Defensively, Blankenhorn spent the first half of the season at third base (.916 fielding percentage). After the All Star break, he moved over to second base for the second half (.989 fielding percentage). He’s still working at both positions and now feels comfortable at both, but he’s happy to play anywhere as long as he’s in the lineup. 16. Ben Rortvedt - C Age: 20 2017 Stats (Low A): .224/.284/.315 (.599), 16-2B, 4-HR ETA: 2022 2017 Ranking: 19 Rortvedt was the Twins second-round pick in 2016 out of high school in Wisconsin. After splitting 2016 between the GCL and Elizabethton, Rortvedt was one of the younger players in the Midwest League in 2017. He struggled early in the season. Through May, he was hitting just .187/.234/.174 (.388), but the Twins believed in him and Rortvedt responded very well. Over his final 54 games, he hit a very respectable .273/.324/.397 (.721). While the bat remains a work-in-progress for the 20-year-old, his defense is already very good. He works well with pitchers. He’s a very good athlete which helps him with blocking pitches and with his footwork so he’s able to show off his very strong, accurate arm. Click here to view the article
  8. Let’s get to the list, and please feel free to discuss our choices and how they may rank on your personal top 10 or top 20 lists. 20. Felix Jorge - RHP Age: 24 2017 MiLB Stats (AA/AAA): 10-4, 3.68 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 149.0 IP, 161 H, 40 BB, 108 K 2017 MLB Stats (MLB): 1-0, 10.57 ERA, 2.08 WHIP, 7.2 IP, 14 H, 2 BB, 4 K ETA: 2017 2017 Ranking: 12 Signed in February of 2011 Jorge has gradually worked his way up the Twins system. The last few years, he has turned himself from a suspect to a prospect. On the 40-man roster, Jorge was given an opportunity to make his MLB debut for the Twins when they had a need for a starter in July. Jorge was promoted directly from Chattanooga. In his debut, he gave up three runs in five innings and picked up his first MLB win. Five days later, he made another start. It didn’t go as well. He ended the regular season with starts in Rochester before pitching for Chattanooga in the Southern League playoffs. Jorge’s got a nice fastball in the 92-94 range. He’s got great poise and calm on the mound. He’s got a nice changeup and an improving curveball. In 2018, he should spend the year in Rochester and potentially get more opportunities to make starts for the Twins. 19. Tyler Jay - LH RP Age: 23 2017 Stats (AA/AAA): 3-0, 3.09 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 11 H, 4 BB, 19 K ETA: 2018 2017 Ranking: 5 Jay was the Twins first-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Illinois. While he was a reliever in college, many teams believed that he had the pitches and the makeup to be a starter. That’s what he did in 2016, and he did well. However, he managed just 83.2 innings. This past spring, the Twins announced that Jay was being moved to the bullpen. It is a role that he should thrive in. Unfortunately, he missed nearly the entire 2017 season with biceps tendinitis. As you can see, he got good strikeout numbers. He went to the Arizona Fall League to make up for some of the lost time. However, when healthy, Jay has the ability and the potential to be a dominant relief options, and soon. 18. Yunior Severino Age: 18 2017 Stats (Rookie): .286/.345/.444 (.789), 17-2B, 2-3B, 3-HR ETA: 2022 2017 Ranking: NR The Braves had a dozen minor leaguers declared free agents due to violations by their front office. Those players were then allowed to sign with other teams using international pool money from 2017 or 2018. Top prospect Kevin Maitan signed for $2.2 million with the Angels, though there were reports that the Twins offered him more than the Angels but he saw a quicker route to the majors with the Angels. The Twins didn’t worry about it. Instead, they signed Severino for $2.5 million of 2018 pool money. Severino had signed with the Braves in 2016 for $1.9 million. After spending ten games with the Braves DSL team last summer, he moved up to the GCL. Severino was signed as a shortstop, but he was already moved to second base due to his range. He is a switch-hitter. He has more power from the right-side now, but he has a lot of potential to add power. 17. Travis Blankenhorn - 2B/3B Age: 21 2017 Stats (Low-A): .251/.343/.441 (.784), 12-2B, 11-3B, 13-HR, 13-SB ETA: 2021 2017 Ranking: 9 Signed as the Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Pennsylvania, Blankenhorn spent the entire 2017 season in Cedar Rapids. He had ended the 2016 season with 25 games for the Kernels. Blankenhorn had some ups and downs throughout the 2017 season. By month, his OPS were .776, .604, 1.048, .449, and 1.023. You can see the upside in those numbers. You can also see the inconsistency that you might expect from a 21-year-old. But Blankenhorn can fill a stat sheet. He’s got a good approach at the plate. He can use the whole field. He has extra base pop with the speed to turn doubles into triples. He’s got power now, and he’s got the size to develop even more home run power. He also is a good base runner who can steal bases. Twice in 2017 he stole home. Defensively, Blankenhorn spent the first half of the season at third base (.916 fielding percentage). After the All Star break, he moved over to second base for the second half (.989 fielding percentage). He’s still working at both positions and now feels comfortable at both, but he’s happy to play anywhere as long as he’s in the lineup. 16. Ben Rortvedt - C Age: 20 2017 Stats (Low A): .224/.284/.315 (.599), 16-2B, 4-HR ETA: 2022 2017 Ranking: 19 Rortvedt was the Twins second-round pick in 2016 out of high school in Wisconsin. After splitting 2016 between the GCL and Elizabethton, Rortvedt was one of the younger players in the Midwest League in 2017. He struggled early in the season. Through May, he was hitting just .187/.234/.174 (.388), but the Twins believed in him and Rortvedt responded very well. Over his final 54 games, he hit a very respectable .273/.324/.397 (.721). While the bat remains a work-in-progress for the 20-year-old, his defense is already very good. He works well with pitchers. He’s a very good athlete which helps him with blocking pitches and with his footwork so he’s able to show off his very strong, accurate arm.
  9. We begin a review of our Top 20 Minnesota Twins prospects with prospects 16-20. Below you’ll find five more intriguing prospects with big potential. #20 SS Jermaine Palacios After a disappointing 2016, his debut with a full-season league in Cedar Rapids, Palacios returned in 2017 and put himself in position to move up prospect lists again. He returned to the Kernels where he .320/.362/.544 (.907) with 13 doubles, six triples and a surprising 11 home runs in 62 games. He earned a mid-season promotion to Ft. Myers and hit .269/.303/.359 (.662) with eight doubles, four triples and two homers in 62 games. Palacios signed with the Twins after the 2013 season so he doesn’t need to be added to the Twins 40-man roster until after the 2018 season. He turned 21 in July. He should spend most of the 2018 season with the Miracle. #19 2B Jose Miranda Miranda was the first of two consecutive compensatory following the second round of the 2016 draft. He is a 19-year-old drafted out of the Leadership Christian Academy in Puerto Rico. He spent 2016 in the Gulf Coast League. In 2017, he made the move across the diamond to second base though many still believe that he could eventually move over to third place. With the E-Twins, he hit .283/.340/.484 (.824) with eight doubles, two triples and 11 home runs in 54 games. Miranda is a good athlete with room to grow and continue to add power. #18 RHP Felix Jorge In 2017, Felix Jorge received the call every ballplayer dreams of, the call to the big leagues. On July 1st, he made his MLB debut. Through five innings, he gave up two runs. He gave up a single to lead off the 6th inning and was replaced by Buddy Boshers who gave up a two-run homer to Eric Hosmer. So, three runs in five innings in his debut was pretty good. He made a second start that didn’t go quite as well. The 23-year-old went back to Chattanooga and later ended the regular season with a promotion to AAA. In Chattanooga, he went 10-3 with a 3.54 ERA. He made three starts in AAA which is where he’ll begin the 2017 season. He was added to the 40-man roster a year ago, so he has used one option year. #17 2B/3B Travis Blankenhorn Blankenhorn was the Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. A year ago, he began the season in extended spring training before posting a .900 OPS in 34 games in Elizabethton. That earned him a promotion to Cedar Rapids where he spent the final 25 games and playoffs. He spent the full 2017 season with the Kernels and hit .251/.343/.441 (.784) with 22 doubles, 11 triples and 13 home runs. He also stole 13 bases, including home twice. He just turned 21 in August, and he doesn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2019 season. He played third base the first half of the season and then moved over to second base in the second half. He could see time in the outfield too. #16 RHP John Curtiss Curtiss needed to be added to the Twins 40-man roster before Monday (Nov 20). Instead of wondering for the next few days, the Twins called him up in late August to work out of their bullpen over the final month. Curtiss was the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. He began the season at AA Chattanooga where he didn’t give up an earned run until June 13th. A week later, he was pitching in AAA Rochester. Overall in 49.1 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 68 before getting The Call. The Twins sixth-round pick in 2014. He struggled some in the big leagues, but the 24-year-old showed his repertoire which includes a mid-90s fastball and a potentially great breaking ball. He’ll likely start next season in Rochester, though he will compete for a spot in the big leagues from day one. So there are my choices for Twins prospects 16-20. Just three more parts coming next week and we’ll reach #1. Feel free to discuss these players, ask questions and start contemplating the Top 15. Part 1: Prospects 41-50 Part 2: Prospects 31-40 Part 3: Prospects 26-30 Part 4: Prospects 21-25
  10. Today we enter the Top 20 of my postseason Minnesota Twins Prospect rankings. Since we started, two ranked players are no longer in the organization. Dereck Rodriguez signed with the Giants, and the Twins voided their deal with Jelfry Marterecently. The group below contains a couple of players that we saw in a big league uniform and likely will again in 2018. The other three players are infielders who have several levels to go, but the talent needed to get there.We begin a review of our Top 20 Minnesota Twins prospects with prospects 16-20. Below you’ll find five more intriguing prospects with big potential. #20 SS Jermaine Palacios After a disappointing 2016, his debut with a full-season league in Cedar Rapids, Palacios returned in 2017 and put himself in position to move up prospect lists again. He returned to the Kernels where he .320/.362/.544 (.907) with 13 doubles, six triples and a surprising 11 home runs in 62 games. He earned a mid-season promotion to Ft. Myers and hit .269/.303/.359 (.662) with eight doubles, four triples and two homers in 62 games. Palacios signed with the Twins after the 2013 season so he doesn’t need to be added to the Twins 40-man roster until after the 2018 season. He turned 21 in July. He should spend most of the 2018 season with the Miracle. #19 2B Jose Miranda Miranda was the first of two consecutive compensatory following the second round of the 2016 draft. He is a 19-year-old drafted out of the Leadership Christian Academy in Puerto Rico. He spent 2016 in the Gulf Coast League. In 2017, he made the move across the diamond to second base though many still believe that he could eventually move over to third place. With the E-Twins, he hit .283/.340/.484 (.824) with eight doubles, two triples and 11 home runs in 54 games. Miranda is a good athlete with room to grow and continue to add power. #18 RHP Felix Jorge In 2017, Felix Jorge received the call every ballplayer dreams of, the call to the big leagues. On July 1st, he made his MLB debut. Through five innings, he gave up two runs. He gave up a single to lead off the 6th inning and was replaced by Buddy Boshers who gave up a two-run homer to Eric Hosmer. So, three runs in five innings in his debut was pretty good. He made a second start that didn’t go quite as well. The 23-year-old went back to Chattanooga and later ended the regular season with a promotion to AAA. In Chattanooga, he went 10-3 with a 3.54 ERA. He made three starts in AAA which is where he’ll begin the 2017 season. He was added to the 40-man roster a year ago, so he has used one option year. #17 2B/3B Travis Blankenhorn Blankenhorn was the Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. A year ago, he began the season in extended spring training before posting a .900 OPS in 34 games in Elizabethton. That earned him a promotion to Cedar Rapids where he spent the final 25 games and playoffs. He spent the full 2017 season with the Kernels and hit .251/.343/.441 (.784) with 22 doubles, 11 triples and 13 home runs. He also stole 13 bases, including home twice. He just turned 21 in August, and he doesn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2019 season. He played third base the first half of the season and then moved over to second base in the second half. He could see time in the outfield too. #16 RHP John Curtiss Curtiss needed to be added to the Twins 40-man roster before Monday (Nov 20). Instead of wondering for the next few days, the Twins called him up in late August to work out of their bullpen over the final month. Curtiss was the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. He began the season at AA Chattanooga where he didn’t give up an earned run until June 13th. A week later, he was pitching in AAA Rochester. Overall in 49.1 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 68 before getting The Call. The Twins sixth-round pick in 2014. He struggled some in the big leagues, but the 24-year-old showed his repertoire which includes a mid-90s fastball and a potentially great breaking ball. He’ll likely start next season in Rochester, though he will compete for a spot in the big leagues from day one. So there are my choices for Twins prospects 16-20. Just three more parts coming next week and we’ll reach #1. Feel free to discuss these players, ask questions and start contemplating the Top 15. Part 1: Prospects 41-50 Part 2: Prospects 31-40 Part 3: Prospects 26-30 Part 4: Prospects 21-25 Click here to view the article
  11. They’re all big games in the playoffs, but Friday was a fun night to be a fan of the Twins minor league teams. Elizabethton had a chance to win another Appalachian League title. The Lookouts looked to regain home-field advantage on the road. The Cedar Rapids Kernels learned that their Midwest League Western Division championship series will start on Saturday in Davenport against Quad Cities.Both of the Friday games were close. A two-run game and a one-run game… nail-biters, to be sure, especially given the playoff implications. Be sure to read through today’s article for everything about these two games and what is next. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Montgomery 0 Box Score There isn’t a lot to write about this game, but that’s OK if you’re a Twins or Lookouts fan. The important thing to know is that they have regained the home-field advantage with a big win in Montgomery. Felix Jorge returned to the Lookouts and he worked six scoreless innings. He gave up just three hits, walked one and struck out four to earn the win. Todd Van Steensel did what Todd Van Steensel does. He threw two scoreless innings, striking out three batters. The offense? I’m glad you asked. Jonathan Rodriguez was on first base in the fourth inning when TJ White came to the plate. White hit his third home run in as many games in this series to give the Lookouts a 2-0 lead. That’s all they’d need. Gabriel Moya got a strikeout to end a 1-2-3 ninth inning to record the save. SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Montgomery @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - TBD (likely a rehabbing Adalberto Mejia) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:35 CST) - LHP Tyler Watson Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Elizabethton’s championship, the Lookouts taking back home field advantage or the Kernels starting their second round playoff series. Check back on Saturday night for another night of Twins minor league playoff action. Click here to view the article
  12. Both of the Friday games were close. A two-run game and a one-run game… nail-biters, to be sure, especially given the playoff implications. Be sure to read through today’s article for everything about these two games and what is next. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Montgomery 0 Box Score There isn’t a lot to write about this game, but that’s OK if you’re a Twins or Lookouts fan. The important thing to know is that they have regained the home-field advantage with a big win in Montgomery. Felix Jorge returned to the Lookouts and he worked six scoreless innings. He gave up just three hits, walked one and struck out four to earn the win. Todd Van Steensel did what Todd Van Steensel does. He threw two scoreless innings, striking out three batters. The offense? I’m glad you asked. Jonathan Rodriguez was on first base in the fourth inning when TJ White came to the plate. White hit his third home run in as many games in this series to give the Lookouts a 2-0 lead. That’s all they’d need. Gabriel Moya got a strikeout to end a 1-2-3 ninth inning to record the save. https://twitter.com/ChattLookouts/status/906337511642890242 The Lookouts now lead the best-of-five series 2-1. They’ll play Game 4 in Montgomery on Saturday. They will face #OldFriend Logan Darnell. The winner of this series will be co-champions of the Southern League with Pensacola who finished out their series against Jacksonville on Friday night. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 8, Pulaski 7 Box Score After winning Game 1 at Elizabethton on Thursday night, the series shifted to Pulaski for Game 2. The Twins fell behind 1-0 in the bottom of the first inning. However, starting in the second inning, the Twins put up three straight crooked numbers. In the second, Mark Contreras singled. With two outs, Carson Crites doubled to score Contreras. That was followed by an RBI single from TJ Dixon. Dixon then scored on a triple off the bat of Akil Baddoo. In the third inning, Mark Contreras came to the plate with two runners on base. For the second straight night, he knocked a big home run that gave the Twins 6-1 lead. The E-Twins got a little help from the Pulaski defense in the fourth frame. TJ Dixon singled and advanced to third on an Akil Baddoo double. With one out, Jose Miranda walked to load the bases. JJ Robinson hit a ground ball that probably should have ended the inning, but on the fielder’s choice, a throwing error allowed two runners to score and give the Twins an 8-1 lead. Moises Gomez started for the Twins. He gave up two runs in the bottom of the fourth, but when he completed five innings, he had just allowed three runs on four hits. He walked three and struck out six. Jose Martinez came on and threw a scoreless sixth inning, but things got interesting in the seventh. Martinez got a strikeout to lead off the inning, but he then gave up back-to-back solo home runs to cut the lead to 8-5. He was replaced by Jared Finkel. The first batter he faced reached on an error. Finkel got the second out on a strikeout, but it was followed by an RBI double and an RBI single to cut the Twins lead to 8-7. Ray Smith, who came into the game with 1,001 career wins, went to his closer. Jovani Moran came on and got the final out of the 7th inning on a strikeouts. In fact, he got all seven batters he faced out, four of them on strikeouts to record the save. https://twitter.com/ETwinsBaseball/status/906339592583962624 The Elizabethton Twins won the game 8-7, and they won the Appalachian League title. It was the team’s 11th championship, and the seventh this millennium. Jovani Moran, well, it’s fair to say he had a pretty strong season for Elizabethton after missing the 2016 season after getting bone chips removed from his elbow. https://twitter.com/SethTweets/status/906352422058119169 SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Montgomery @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - TBD (likely a rehabbing Adalberto Mejia) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:35 CST) - LHP Tyler Watson Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Elizabethton’s championship, the Lookouts taking back home field advantage or the Kernels starting their second round playoff series. Check back on Saturday night for another night of Twins minor league playoff action.
  13. Let’s start with the transactions of the day. It’s incredible how many transactions there have been this season, particularly this late in the season. And, there’s more to come... The Twins announced following the Tuesday night game that RHP Tim Melville had been DFAd. On Wednesday morning, the subsequent move became official. RHP John Curtiss has been promoted and will join the Twins bullpen. As noted last night, Felix Jorge was promoted to Rochester (and started on Wednesday). Nik Turley also arrived and is back on the Red Wings roster. Chattanooga added a couple of pitchers to their mix. RHP Keaton Steele and LHP Anthony McIver were promoted to the Lookouts. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 4 (Completion of suspended game) Box Score Before the rains fell in Rochester, these teams played to a 4-4 game through just three innings. Aaron Slegers went 3.1 innings and was charged with four runs on eight hits (including two homers) and a walk. He struck out two. Offensively, Byungho Park had driven in all four runs. One came on an RBI single in the first inning. In the third frame, he hit his 12th homer, a three-run shot. When play began on Wednesday, Drew Rucinski took over on the mound. He threw 3.1 scoreless innings, striking out five and giving up a hit and a walk. Buddy Boshers came on, gave up a hit and a walk and got just one out. Alex Wimmers struck out two over the final two innings to improve to 7-3 on the season. Leonardo Reginnato led the offense. He went 3-4 with his 11th double. Park was 2-4 with his 13th homer and four RBI. JB Shuck was 2-4 with his 25th double. Matt Hague was 1-3 with a walk and his 27th double. Daniel Palka was 1-3 with a walk and his 11th double. Rochester 1, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 0 (Regularly-Scheduled game) Box Score Game 2 of the night was just what the teams wanted, a fast-paced, quick, seven inning game. It was Felix Jorge’s AAA debut, and he gave the Red Wings exactly what they needed. The right-hander threw six shutout innings. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out seven. Unfortunately, when he left, the score was still tied at zero, so he got a no-decision. Michael Tonkin pitched the seventh, and he struck out all three batters he faced. As you would expect from a game that had no runs scored through six and a half innings, there was little offense. Zack Granite went 2-3 with his 16th double, and Leonard Reginnato played hero. He stepped to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and delivered his third home run to end the game. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 7, Mississippi 2 Box Score Felix Jorge was supposed to start for the Lookouts on Wednesday, but instead he was up in Rochester. So this was a bullpen game for the Lookouts. DJ Baxendale started and worked through four innings. He gave up one run on two hits. He walked two and struck out three. Anthony McIver picked up his first AA win with two shutout innings. He walked one and struck out one. Next, Keaton Steele made his AA debut and gave up one run on three hits in two innings. He struck out two. Gabriel Moya came on and gave up a hit and struck one out in a scoreless inning. TJ White led the offense again. He went 3-3. Max Murphy’s ninth double drove in two runs. LaMonte Wade was 1-3 with a walk and two RBI. Ryan Walker and Levi Michael were both 1-3 with a walk. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 6, Clearwater 4 Box Score It was a long night for the Miracle. Sean Poppen made the start. He got two outs, gave up a hit, and then threw a wild pitch. And then the rains came and there was a delay. That was the end of Poppen’s night. Andrew Vasquez came on and went 2.1 innings. He gave up one run on one hit. He walked three and struck out four. Alex Robinson then gave up three runs on five hits and two walks in his two innings. He struck out three. Sam Clay struck out two over his two scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and hit a batter. Michael Kohn worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Tom Hackimer picked up his fifth save with the Miracle. He struck out one, and hit one, in a scoreless ninth inning. Jaylin Davis led the offense. He went 3-4 in the game. Tanner English and Brent Rooker each had an RBI double. Zander Wiel had a big homer, his 12th of the year. The Miracle’s top two hitters, Brandon Lopez and Jermaine Palacios, went 0-5 but they combined for five walks as well. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Kane County 3 Box Score The game was tied going into the 10th inning. With one out, Shane Carrier was hit by a pitch and then Shane Kennedy was hit by a pitch. Aaron Whitefield pinch ran for Carrier at that point, and the move worked. He scored right away when Trey Cabbage singled him in. Joe Cronin was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Royce Lewis and Travis Blankenhorn each walked in another run to add a couple of insurance runs. Tyler Watson put together easily the best start of his short Twins career. The southpaw gave up just one run in six innings. He gave up four hits, walked none, and struck out four. Ryan Mason gave up the tying run on four hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. He struck out one. Max Cordy came on and kept the game tied through the ninth. He did give up a run in the 10th inning, but that one didn’t hurt. Cabbage led the offense. He went 3-5 with that game-winning RBI. Along with his RBI walk in the 10th, Blankenhorn hit his 10th home run. Shane Carrier went 2-5. Lewis went 0-4, but he had a sacrifice earlier in the game to go with the 10th inning walk. Joe Cronin and Jimmy Kerrigan each doubled. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 10, Bristol 2 Box Score The E-Twins bats certainly showed up again in this game. They were led by Wander Javier who went 4-5 with his 13th double and third home run. Akil Baddoo was also a triple shy of the cycle. He went 3-4 with his 13th double and second home run. JJ Robinson went 2-4 with his third double and eighth home run. Ariel Montesino went 2-4 with a triple. Andrew Bechtold went 2-4 with a walk. Colton Waltner went 1-3 with two walks. Matt Albanese went 2-5. Randy Dobnak improved to 2-0. He was the recipient of all the run support, but he still pitched well too. He gave up one run on seven hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out four. Blair Lakso worked the final three innings to record his first save. He gave up one run on two hits. He walked three and struck out three. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 9, GCL Orioles 6 Box Score This was a back-and -forth game until the bottom of the eighth when the Twins scored five runs to take the lead. Things started well in the first inning. Ben Rodriguez knocked in three runs with his fourth home run of the season. In the eighth inning, Jean Carlos Arias added a three-run homer to give the Twins the lead. It’s his fifth homer of the year. Soon after, Twins manager Ramon Borrego was ejected for arguing a third strike. Immediately after that, Victor Tademo provided some insurance with a two-run single. Landon Leach made the start. The right-hander was charged with three unearned runs over 2.2 innings. He gave up just one hit, walked three and struck out two. In the second, a run scored due to a passed ball. Leach got the first two outs of the third inning, but then issued a walk followed by a single. Pedro Garcia came on and got a grounder, but an error kept the inning alive. Those inherited runners (and one more) scored. Garcia went four innings. He was charged with three runs (2 earned) on four hits. He walked three and struck out two. Austin Bizzle came on got the final seven outs to record his first pro win. He struck out one. Jean Carlos Arias went 2-3 with a walk, his sixth double and his fifth homer. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Felix Jorge, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Leonardo Reginnato, Rochester Red Wings THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Scranton/Wilkes Barre @ Rochester (12:35 CST) - TBD Mississippi @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (6:00 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) - LHP Anthony Marzi Bristol @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) - RHP Bailey Ober GCL Twins @ GCL O’s (11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Wednesday’s games.
  14. A tough loss on the South Side of Chicago for the Twins on Wednesday, but plenty of excitement in the minor league system. A couple of very young prospects had near-cycles. A newly acquired starter had his best appearance as a Twins prospect. Although he’s made two big league starts, Felix Jorge made his AAA debut on Wednesday. The game ended in walk-off fashion. The Kernels found an interesting way to win in extra innings. And one of the organization’s great names, Leonardo Reginnato, got a chance to play hero. All that and much more in today’s minor league report.Let’s start with the transactions of the day. It’s incredible how many transactions there have been this season, particularly this late in the season. And, there’s more to come... The Twins announced following the Tuesday night game that RHP Tim Melville had been DFAd.On Wednesday morning, the subsequent move became official. RHP John Curtiss has been promoted and will join the Twins bullpen.As noted last night, Felix Jorge was promoted to Rochester (and started on Wednesday). Nik Turley also arrived and is back on the Red Wings roster.Chattanooga added a couple of pitchers to their mix. RHP Keaton Steele and LHP Anthony McIver were promoted to the Lookouts.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 5, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 4 (Completion of suspended game) Box Score Before the rains fell in Rochester, these teams played to a 4-4 game through just three innings. Aaron Slegers went 3.1 innings and was charged with four runs on eight hits (including two homers) and a walk. He struck out two. Offensively, Byungho Park had driven in all four runs. One came on an RBI single in the first inning. In the third frame, he hit his 12th homer, a three-run shot. When play began on Wednesday, Drew Rucinski took over on the mound. He threw 3.1 scoreless innings, striking out five and giving up a hit and a walk. Buddy Boshers came on, gave up a hit and a walk and got just one out. Alex Wimmers struck out two over the final two innings to improve to 7-3 on the season. Leonardo Reginnato led the offense. He went 3-4 with his 11th double. Park was 2-4 with his 13th homer and four RBI. JB Shuck was 2-4 with his 25th double. Matt Hague was 1-3 with a walk and his 27th double. Daniel Palka was 1-3 with a walk and his 11th double. Rochester 1, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 0 (Regularly-Scheduled game) Box Score Game 2 of the night was just what the teams wanted, a fast-paced, quick, seven inning game. It was Felix Jorge’s AAA debut, and he gave the Red Wings exactly what they needed. The right-hander threw six shutout innings. He gave up five hits, walked one and struck out seven. Unfortunately, when he left, the score was still tied at zero, so he got a no-decision. Michael Tonkin pitched the seventh, and he struck out all three batters he faced. As you would expect from a game that had no runs scored through six and a half innings, there was little offense. Zack Granite went 2-3 with his 16th double, and Leonard Reginnato played hero. He stepped to the plate with two outs in the bottom of the seventh and delivered his third home run to end the game. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 7, Mississippi 2 Box Score Felix Jorge was supposed to start for the Lookouts on Wednesday, but instead he was up in Rochester. So this was a bullpen game for the Lookouts. DJ Baxendale started and worked through four innings. He gave up one run on two hits. He walked two and struck out three. Anthony McIver picked up his first AA win with two shutout innings. He walked one and struck out one. Next, Keaton Steele made his AA debut and gave up one run on three hits in two innings. He struck out two. Gabriel Moya came on and gave up a hit and struck one out in a scoreless inning. TJ White led the offense again. He went 3-3. Max Murphy’s ninth double drove in two runs. LaMonte Wade was 1-3 with a walk and two RBI. Ryan Walker and Levi Michael were both 1-3 with a walk. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 6, Clearwater 4 Box Score It was a long night for the Miracle. Sean Poppen made the start. He got two outs, gave up a hit, and then threw a wild pitch. And then the rains came and there was a delay. That was the end of Poppen’s night. Andrew Vasquez came on and went 2.1 innings. He gave up one run on one hit. He walked three and struck out four. Alex Robinson then gave up three runs on five hits and two walks in his two innings. He struck out three. Sam Clay struck out two over his two scoreless innings. He gave up one hit and hit a batter. Michael Kohn worked a 1-2-3 eighth inning. Tom Hackimer picked up his fifth save with the Miracle. He struck out one, and hit one, in a scoreless ninth inning. Jaylin Davis led the offense. He went 3-4 in the game. Tanner English and Brent Rooker each had an RBI double. Zander Wiel had a big homer, his 12th of the year. The Miracle’s top two hitters, Brandon Lopez and Jermaine Palacios, went 0-5 but they combined for five walks as well. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Kane County 3 Box Score The game was tied going into the 10th inning. With one out, Shane Carrier was hit by a pitch and then Shane Kennedy was hit by a pitch. Aaron Whitefield pinch ran for Carrier at that point, and the move worked. He scored right away when Trey Cabbage singled him in. Joe Cronin was then hit by a pitch to load the bases. Royce Lewis and Travis Blankenhorn each walked in another run to add a couple of insurance runs. Tyler Watson put together easily the best start of his short Twins career. The southpaw gave up just one run in six innings. He gave up four hits, walked none, and struck out four. Ryan Mason gave up the tying run on four hits and a walk in 1.1 innings. He struck out one. Max Cordy came on and kept the game tied through the ninth. He did give up a run in the 10th inning, but that one didn’t hurt. Cabbage led the offense. He went 3-5 with that game-winning RBI. Along with his RBI walk in the 10th, Blankenhorn hit his 10th home run. Shane Carrier went 2-5. Lewis went 0-4, but he had a sacrifice earlier in the game to go with the 10th inning walk. Joe Cronin and Jimmy Kerrigan each doubled. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 10, Bristol 2 Box Score The E-Twins bats certainly showed up again in this game. They were led by Wander Javier who went 4-5 with his 13th double and third home run. Akil Baddoo was also a triple shy of the cycle. He went 3-4 with his 13th double and second home run. JJ Robinson went 2-4 with his third double and eighth home run. Ariel Montesino went 2-4 with a triple. Andrew Bechtold went 2-4 with a walk. Colton Waltner went 1-3 with two walks. Matt Albanese went 2-5. Randy Dobnak improved to 2-0. He was the recipient of all the run support, but he still pitched well too. He gave up one run on seven hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out four. Blair Lakso worked the final three innings to record his first save. He gave up one run on two hits. He walked three and struck out three. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 9, GCL Orioles 6 Box Score This was a back-and -forth game until the bottom of the eighth when the Twins scored five runs to take the lead. Things started well in the first inning. Ben Rodriguez knocked in three runs with his fourth home run of the season. In the eighth inning, Jean Carlos Arias added a three-run homer to give the Twins the lead. It’s his fifth homer of the year. Soon after, Twins manager Ramon Borrego was ejected for arguing a third strike. Immediately after that, Victor Tademo provided some insurance with a two-run single. Landon Leach made the start. The right-hander was charged with three unearned runs over 2.2 innings. He gave up just one hit, walked three and struck out two. In the second, a run scored due to a passed ball. Leach got the first two outs of the third inning, but then issued a walk followed by a single. Pedro Garcia came on and got a grounder, but an error kept the inning alive. Those inherited runners (and one more) scored. Garcia went four innings. He was charged with three runs (2 earned) on four hits. He walked three and struck out two. Austin Bizzle came on got the final seven outs to record his first pro win. He struck out one. Jean Carlos Arias went 2-3 with a walk, his sixth double and his fifth homer. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Felix Jorge, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Leonardo Reginnato, Rochester Red Wings THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Scranton/Wilkes Barre @ Rochester (12:35 CST) - TBD Mississippi @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (6:00 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) - LHP Anthony Marzi Bristol @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) - RHP Bailey Ober GCL Twins @ GCL O’s (11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Wednesday’s games. Click here to view the article
  15. To find out who did what in the minors on Tuesday, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS Before the games on Tuesday there were a few transactions in the system. Yohan Pino was assigned to Rochester and Ryan Strausborger was released from AAA. At Double-A the release of pitcher Raul Fernandez was also made official. In the Gulf Coast League pitcher Vadim Balan was placed on the seven-day disabled list retroactive to August 3rd. RED WINGS REPORT Columbus 2, Rochester 6 Box Score With Hector Santiago’s rehab start being pushed back a day, Nik Turley got the ball for the Red Wings and spotted the Clippers a 2-0 lead before his offense took an at- bat. A walk and three singles in the top of the first accounted for that scoring, but that was all Columbus would get for the rest of the game as Turley settled in from there. Rochester tied the game at two in the bottom of the third when Daniel Palka doubled in Zack Granite and Mitch Garver. Tommy Field had doubled earlier in the inning but was thrown out at home on Garver’s single. The big hit for the Wings came in the fourth, as Zack Granite slugged his fifth home run of the season, a grand slam to make it 6-2. Turley finished five innings to pick up his fifth win of the season. He allowed those two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out seven. His ERA is now at 2.89 at AAA. Luke Bard made his first appearance at AAA, and threw two scoreless frames of relief. He allowed two hits and struck out one. Jake Reed finished the final two innings, allowing one hit and picking up a K. Granite scored two runs and drew a walk in addition to the the big home run. Garver was 3-4 with a run scored and a double. Matt Hague was 2-4 with a double and a run scored and Tommy Field also had two hits including a double, in three at-bats. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Jackson 3, Chattanooga 0 Box Score In a theme that will continue throughout this report, there wasn’t much that happened on the offensive side of the game for the Lookouts in this one. Edgar Corcino (3-4, 2B), Jonathan Rodriguez (2-4, 2B), and T.J. White (2-4) accounted for six of the team's eight hits. The offense was just 1-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. Felix Jorge made the start for Chattanooga and was very good for most of the game. He ran into his biggest trouble in the eighth after a couple of singles, a sac bunt, and a sac fly made the score 2-0 Generals. The third run (unearned) came with runners on the corners after a throwing error and walk that caused him to be removed. The runner he was responsible for scored during a run-down on a steal attempt that also ended the inning. In 7.2 innings Jorge scattered ten hits and a walk while striking out three. Nick Anderson finished the final 1.1 innings, allowing one hit and striking out one. In his last 10 games, Anderson has allowed just one run on four hits in 11.1 innings, with 13 K’s. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 0, Palm Beach 6 Box Score The Miracle managed just four hits and didn’t have a single plate appearance with a runner in scoring position for the entire game. Brandon Lopez was 2-4 on the day and that’s all you really need to know on the offensive side. Brady Anderson was on the hill for Fort Myers and went the first 6+ innings. At the end of the sixth he had given up just two runs on five hits in the contest. He walked the first hitter of the seventh and gave up a single to the second before he was removed to account for his four runs allowed. He struck out one. Keaton Steele came on and proceeded to give up four consecutive singles before he got a double-play ball for the first two outs. By that time four runners had scored to make it the final tally of 6-0 Cardinals. Steele added a scoreless eighth to finish the game, having allowed two runs on five hits and two walks, with one K. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Wisconsin 1 Box Score Cedar Rapids took an early 1-0 lead after an RBI single from Hank Morrison in the top of the first. He scored Christian Caveness who had doubled to lead off the game. From there it was all about the pitching on both sides as the game remained 1-0 until the seventh inning. 2017 eighth-round draft pick Bryan Sammons was making his first start since joining the Kernels early in August. The lefty was fantastic for the game's first five innings, picking up his first Midwest League win in the process. He allowed just three hits and walked one, while racking up eight K’s on just 65 pitches (46 for strikes). Evan Sanders came in for the sixth inning and kept the Timber Rattlers scoreless for the next 2.1 frames. He allowed two hits and struck out three. The Kernels added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh on a Trey Cabbage home run, his second of the year with in the Midwest League. Cabbage was also the only hitter in the lineup with two hits, as he finished 2-3. With the score 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth and after Sanders had struck out the leadoff man, in came Max Cordy from the bullpen. He got a ground out but then three consecutive leadoff singles scored one and put the tying run on base. Hector Lujan came on and snuffed out the threat with ground out to keep the Kernels in front 3-1. Lujan added a scoreless ninth to pick up his twelfth save. He gave up one hit and struck out one. E-TWINS E-NOTES Game 1: Elizabethton 5, Bluefield 7 (7 innings) Box Score In game one of their doubleheader, the Twins weren’t able to recover from an early Bluefield outburst and fell 7-5. Starter Melvi Acosta was charged with all seven runs in the first two innings. Two were unearned due to a throwing error in the first from Andrew Bechtold, but Acosta also threw three wild pitches to aid the Blue Jays. He gave up seven hits and three walks total, and did not strike out any in 2.0 innings. Juan Gamez came in for the third inning and stabilized it from there. He threw 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and three walks. He struck out one. Jared Finkel finished the game for the Twins with two strikeouts. Elizabethton scored two runs in the fourth inning on a wild pitch and a sac fly, then one in the fifth thanks to an RBI single from Jose Miranda. They added two more in the sixth with a RBI single from Mark Contreras and an RBI double from Akil Baddoo to account for all their scoring. Miranda (2-4, R, RBI), Kolton Kendrick (2-4, R), and Rainis Silva (2-2, R, RBI) each had two hits. Game 2: Elizabethton 12, Bluefield 3 Box Score In the makeup game from their postponement yesterday, the Elizabethton offense came alive to pound Bluefield into submission. Starter Nick Brown went the first six innings, and after two it was 2-0 Blue Jays. On the night he surrendered only three runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out seven. The Twins offense scored multiple runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings that put them well out front after five. Rainis Silva drove in two with a single which was followed by a Matt Albanese double for two more in a five-run third. Silva added an RBI double and scored again on a single from J.J. Robinson in a two-run fourth. They added four more in the fifth and another run in the sixth for their final tally of 12 runs. The offense as a whole made up for the lack of offense elsewhere in the system, as they outhit the Blue Jays 19-5 and were 9-21 with runners in scoring position. Seven hitters in the lineup had at least two hits led by Albanese who was 4-4 with two runs scored, two doubles, and two RBI. Silva drove in three, and Akil Baddoo scored three runs out of the leadoff spot with a 1-4 night including a walk. Reliever Jovani Moran finished off Bluefield with a one-two-three seventh, punctuating the blowout with a strikeout. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Orioles 8, GCL Twins 1 Box Score The Twins weren’t able to get much going on Tuesday afternoon as they managed just seven singles as a team and struck out twelve times. Overall they were 1-12 with runners in scoring position and left twelve men on base. The lone RBI came off the bat of Jean Carlos Arias in the bottom of the ninth inning to score Dane Hutcheon who had singled earlier. Ricky De La Torre went 2-5 on the game and Royce Lewis was 1-3 with a walk. Former major leaguer reliever Michael Kohn continued to work his way into game action after signing a minor league contract with the Twins on July 19th. He pitched a scoreless first inning and struck out two. Tyler Wells came on from there and went the next 3.2 innings. He allowed two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out five. He was replaced with two outs in the fifth after his second walk of the inning. David Gerics went two innings and allowed four runs on three hits and a walk. He struck out two. Petru Balan was the final pitcher of the day for the Twins, and gave up two runs on six hits and two walks in 2.1 innings to finish the game. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Bryan Sammons, Cedar Rapids Kernels (W, 5.0 IP, 3 H’s, BB, 8 K’s) Hitter(s) of the Day – Matt Albanese, Elizabethton Twins (4-4, 2 R’s, 2 2B’s, 2 RBI) WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Columbus @ Rochester (12:35PM CST) – LHP Hector Santiago (1-1, 3.55 ERA) Fort Myers @ Palm Beach (5:30PM CST) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-4, 2.79 ERA) Greenville @ Elizabethton (6:00PM CST) – TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  16. There was a ton of action in the system on Tuesday night as all of the affiliates were in play. The big hit of the night was delivered by an outfielder just getting back into AAA form after a month-long stint with the big league club and a 2017 top 10 round draft pick also was fantastic in his first start as a pro. Another team’s lineup pounded out hit after hit in game two of a double-header but there were also a few clunkers that provided little to talk about for the lineups of their teams.To find out who did what in the minors on Tuesday, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS Before the games on Tuesday there were a few transactions in the system. Yohan Pino was assigned to Rochester and Ryan Strausborger was released from AAA. At Double-A the release of pitcher Raul Fernandez was also made official. In the Gulf Coast League pitcher Vadim Balan was placed on the seven-day disabled list retroactive to August 3rd. RED WINGS REPORT Columbus 2, Rochester 6 Box Score With Hector Santiago’s rehab start being pushed back a day, Nik Turley got the ball for the Red Wings and spotted the Clippers a 2-0 lead before his offense took an at- bat. A walk and three singles in the top of the first accounted for that scoring, but that was all Columbus would get for the rest of the game as Turley settled in from there. Rochester tied the game at two in the bottom of the third when Daniel Palka doubled in Zack Granite and Mitch Garver. Tommy Field had doubled earlier in the inning but was thrown out at home on Garver’s single. The big hit for the Wings came in the fourth, as Zack Granite slugged his fifth home run of the season, a grand slam to make it 6-2. Turley finished five innings to pick up his fifth win of the season. He allowed those two runs on six hits and a walk while striking out seven. His ERA is now at 2.89 at AAA. Luke Bard made his first appearance at AAA, and threw two scoreless frames of relief. He allowed two hits and struck out one. Jake Reed finished the final two innings, allowing one hit and picking up a K. Granite scored two runs and drew a walk in addition to the the big home run. Garver was 3-4 with a run scored and a double. Matt Hague was 2-4 with a double and a run scored and Tommy Field also had two hits including a double, in three at-bats. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Jackson 3, Chattanooga 0 Box Score In a theme that will continue throughout this report, there wasn’t much that happened on the offensive side of the game for the Lookouts in this one. Edgar Corcino (3-4, 2B), Jonathan Rodriguez (2-4, 2B), and T.J. White (2-4) accounted for six of the team's eight hits. The offense was just 1-9 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. Felix Jorge made the start for Chattanooga and was very good for most of the game. He ran into his biggest trouble in the eighth after a couple of singles, a sac bunt, and a sac fly made the score 2-0 Generals. The third run (unearned) came with runners on the corners after a throwing error and walk that caused him to be removed. The runner he was responsible for scored during a run-down on a steal attempt that also ended the inning. In 7.2 innings Jorge scattered ten hits and a walk while striking out three. Nick Anderson finished the final 1.1 innings, allowing one hit and striking out one. In his last 10 games, Anderson has allowed just one run on four hits in 11.1 innings, with 13 K’s. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 0, Palm Beach 6 Box Score The Miracle managed just four hits and didn’t have a single plate appearance with a runner in scoring position for the entire game. Brandon Lopez was 2-4 on the day and that’s all you really need to know on the offensive side. Brady Anderson was on the hill for Fort Myers and went the first 6+ innings. At the end of the sixth he had given up just two runs on five hits in the contest. He walked the first hitter of the seventh and gave up a single to the second before he was removed to account for his four runs allowed. He struck out one. Keaton Steele came on and proceeded to give up four consecutive singles before he got a double-play ball for the first two outs. By that time four runners had scored to make it the final tally of 6-0 Cardinals. Steele added a scoreless eighth to finish the game, having allowed two runs on five hits and two walks, with one K. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Wisconsin 1 Box Score Cedar Rapids took an early 1-0 lead after an RBI single from Hank Morrison in the top of the first. He scored Christian Caveness who had doubled to lead off the game. From there it was all about the pitching on both sides as the game remained 1-0 until the seventh inning. 2017 eighth-round draft pick Bryan Sammons was making his first start since joining the Kernels early in August. The lefty was fantastic for the game's first five innings, picking up his first Midwest League win in the process. He allowed just three hits and walked one, while racking up eight K’s on just 65 pitches (46 for strikes). Evan Sanders came in for the sixth inning and kept the Timber Rattlers scoreless for the next 2.1 frames. He allowed two hits and struck out three. The Kernels added two insurance runs in the top of the seventh on a Trey Cabbage home run, his second of the year with in the Midwest League. Cabbage was also the only hitter in the lineup with two hits, as he finished 2-3. With the score 3-0 in the bottom of the eighth and after Sanders had struck out the leadoff man, in came Max Cordy from the bullpen. He got a ground out but then three consecutive leadoff singles scored one and put the tying run on base. Hector Lujan came on and snuffed out the threat with ground out to keep the Kernels in front 3-1. Lujan added a scoreless ninth to pick up his twelfth save. He gave up one hit and struck out one. E-TWINS E-NOTES Game 1: Elizabethton 5, Bluefield 7 (7 innings) Box Score In game one of their doubleheader, the Twins weren’t able to recover from an early Bluefield outburst and fell 7-5. Starter Melvi Acosta was charged with all seven runs in the first two innings. Two were unearned due to a throwing error in the first from Andrew Bechtold, but Acosta also threw three wild pitches to aid the Blue Jays. He gave up seven hits and three walks total, and did not strike out any in 2.0 innings. Juan Gamez came in for the third inning and stabilized it from there. He threw 3.1 scoreless innings, giving up one hit and three walks. He struck out one. Jared Finkel finished the game for the Twins with two strikeouts. Elizabethton scored two runs in the fourth inning on a wild pitch and a sac fly, then one in the fifth thanks to an RBI single from Jose Miranda. They added two more in the sixth with a RBI single from Mark Contreras and an RBI double from Akil Baddoo to account for all their scoring. Miranda (2-4, R, RBI), Kolton Kendrick (2-4, R), and Rainis Silva (2-2, R, RBI) each had two hits. Game 2: Elizabethton 12, Bluefield 3 Box Score In the makeup game from their postponement yesterday, the Elizabethton offense came alive to pound Bluefield into submission. Starter Nick Brown went the first six innings, and after two it was 2-0 Blue Jays. On the night he surrendered only three runs on five hits and three walks. He struck out seven. The Twins offense scored multiple runs in each of the third, fourth and fifth innings that put them well out front after five. Rainis Silva drove in two with a single which was followed by a Matt Albanese double for two more in a five-run third. Silva added an RBI double and scored again on a single from J.J. Robinson in a two-run fourth. They added four more in the fifth and another run in the sixth for their final tally of 12 runs. The offense as a whole made up for the lack of offense elsewhere in the system, as they outhit the Blue Jays 19-5 and were 9-21 with runners in scoring position. Seven hitters in the lineup had at least two hits led by Albanese who was 4-4 with two runs scored, two doubles, and two RBI. Silva drove in three, and Akil Baddoo scored three runs out of the leadoff spot with a 1-4 night including a walk. Reliever Jovani Moran finished off Bluefield with a one-two-three seventh, punctuating the blowout with a strikeout. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Orioles 8, GCL Twins 1 Box Score The Twins weren’t able to get much going on Tuesday afternoon as they managed just seven singles as a team and struck out twelve times. Overall they were 1-12 with runners in scoring position and left twelve men on base. The lone RBI came off the bat of Jean Carlos Arias in the bottom of the ninth inning to score Dane Hutcheon who had singled earlier. Ricky De La Torre went 2-5 on the game and Royce Lewis was 1-3 with a walk. Former major leaguer reliever Michael Kohn continued to work his way into game action after signing a minor league contract with the Twins on July 19th. He pitched a scoreless first inning and struck out two. Tyler Wells came on from there and went the next 3.2 innings. He allowed two runs on three hits and three walks while striking out five. He was replaced with two outs in the fifth after his second walk of the inning. David Gerics went two innings and allowed four runs on three hits and a walk. He struck out two. Petru Balan was the final pitcher of the day for the Twins, and gave up two runs on six hits and two walks in 2.1 innings to finish the game. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Bryan Sammons, Cedar Rapids Kernels (W, 5.0 IP, 3 H’s, BB, 8 K’s) Hitter(s) of the Day – Matt Albanese, Elizabethton Twins (4-4, 2 R’s, 2 2B’s, 2 RBI) WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Columbus @ Rochester (12:35PM CST) – LHP Hector Santiago (1-1, 3.55 ERA) Fort Myers @ Palm Beach (5:30PM CST) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-4, 2.79 ERA) Greenville @ Elizabethton (6:00PM CST) – TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! Click here to view the article
  17. The big league team continues to disappoint, and while the first half of the season was pretty fun, the Twins are now just a pair of games ahead of the Tigers and have won just twice in their last 10 games. The stretch run could be pretty brutal, but that means we should see plenty of September call-ups. In the minors, we had some strong performances from Felix Jorge, a rehabbing Glen Perkins, and a big day at the plate from J.B. Shuck.Find out everything that happened in the Twins minor league system on Thursday. RED WINGS REPORT Lehigh Valley 2 @ Rochester 5 Box Score Hector Santiago struck out 9 over 5.2 innings. He gave up a run on five hits, the damage coming via a solo home run. He walked just one. Big league cast-off Michael Tonkin gave the Red Wings 1.2 innings of relief. He gave up a couple of hits and a run, but pitched well enough to earn a hold. John Curtiss came in for a five-out save, gave up a hit, and walked two to earn his sixth save of the season. J.B. Shuck led the way for the Red Wings with the bat, he was 3-4 with a double and a run scored. Daniel Palka was 2-4 with a home run, his 10th of the year. ByungHo Park was 2-5 with a run scored and has 13 hits in his last nine games, including a pair of home runs. He’s also struck out 15 times over that same span, so maybe he isn’t hitting his way back to the Twin Cities any time soon. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4 @ Montgomery 0 Box Score What a nice day from Felix Jorge. The little stud-muffin gave up just four hits over 7.2 innings, and kept the Montgomery Biscuits off the board. He walked two, and struck out five. After back to back starts in the middle of July when he gave up six earned runs, he’s turned in two great performances, including a complete game one-run game less than a week ago. Nick Anderson came in to help Jorge finish the eighth, and grabbed himself his fifth save of the year by making quick work of Montgomery over 1.1 innings, lowering his ERA to 1.19. Ryan Walker did most of the work for the Lookouts, with a run scoring single in the second, and a two-run double in the top of the ninth to extend the lead. Centerfielder Levi Michael added the other RBI for the Lookouts, going 1-4 with a K. He’s hitting well lately and has tallied 17 hits in his last 9 games, raising his average 25 points. MIRACLE MATTERS Jupiter 3 @ Fort Myers 4 Box Score The Miracle won on Thursday in a back and forth game that saw the Miracle take the lead in the fifth, again in the seventh after the game was tied, lose the lead in the top of the eighth, and then walked-off with a Nelson Molina home run to start the ninth! Molina was 2-4 with that home run and a pair of runs scored. Following the walk-off, Nelson Molina told Twins Daily, "It's a unique feeling. It's so great really. I just thank God for that great feeling." Recent draftee Brent Rooker was 1-4 with two strikeouts. On the bump, Glen Perkins pitched a clean first inning in his rehab start. He was replaced by Brady Anderson who gave the Miracle 5.0 innings of one-run baseball, giving up four hits, and he struck out two. Then it was an inning each from Tom Hackimer (one hit, no runs scored), Andrew Vasquez (one hit, two runs scored, a walk, and a blown save), and Alex Muren (a hit, two strikeouts, and the all-important W, thanks to Molina). In giving up a pair of runs, Vasquez broke a 24-inning scoreless streak to start his Miracle career. KERNELS NUGGETS Kane County 6 @ Cedar Rapids 1 Box Score The Kernels gave up 15 (FIFTEEN!) hits to Kane County and fell just 6-1 only because the Cougars were just 2-13 with men in scoring position. Tyler Watson was tagged with the loss after 5.1 innings of seven-hit, four-run baseball. He walked one and struck out four. He was replaced by Patrick McGuff who gave up a pair of runs over 1.2 innings. And Ryan Mason finished the game off with, 2.0 innings, four hits, and three strikeouts. Like the Cougars, the Kernels squandered some scoring chances. They were just 2-12 with RISP and stranded 11 runners. The Cedar Rapids 3-4-5 hitters were a combined 1-11 with no walks and three strikeouts. Jimmy Kerrigan was 2-5 at the top of the order, and Travis Blankenhorn was 2-4 with a walk, really the only bright spots on the night. E-Twins E-Notes Burlington 4 @ Elizabethton 1 Box Score The E-Town Twins were down 4-0 before they pushed a run across in the bottom of the seventh, but ultimately squandered too many chances on Thursday night, going 0-8 with runners in scoring position and stranding six runners. All eight of the Twins’ hits were singles, and they lost another out on the basepaths when Akil Baddoo was caught stealing in the bottom of the sixth. Baddoo, however, led the team offensively, going 2-4 with a walk, reaching three times. Starter Edwar Colina turned in a quality start, giving up three runs over 6.0 innings. HE gave up four hits, walked 3three and struck out six. He was replaced by Jared Finkel (or was it ?*), who gave up a run and two hits in 2.0 innings, also giving up a walk and striking out a pair. Jovani Moran pitched the ninth, giving up no hits, but he walked a pair and struck out a pair. GCL Twins Takes GCL Rays 2 @ GCL Twins 3 Box Score Tyler Wells started for the Twins and faced just nine batters over 3.0 perfect innings. He struck out three batters as a bonus. He was replaced by Matt Jones, who gave up an unearned run over 3.1 innings of two-hit baseball and collected the win. He walked three and struck out two. Amilcar Cruiz earned a hold and gave up an earned run without giving up a hit when one of his runners scored after he (Cruiz) was lifted from the game after walking the first two batters in the ninth. Zach Featherstone earned his second save of the year coming in for Cruiz in the ninth. He struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up a double that scored two runs to make it a 3-2 game with a man on second and one out. Featherstone promptly struck out the next two batters to preserve the save, and the victory, for the Twins. The Twins had just six hits on the night, and no one had more than a pair of hits. Luckily for the Twins, Jean Carlos Arias scored a pair of runs with a two-run home run in the sixth, and Colton Burns accounted for the third run on a solo shot in the seventh. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Felix Jorge, Chattanooga Lookouts Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – J.B. Shuck, Rochester Red Wings FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Syracuse (4:05pm, Double header) – Game 1: TBD, Game 2: Dietrich Enns (1-1, 2.29 Jackson @ Chattanooga (6:15pm) - Stephen Gonsalves (7-3, 2.90) Jupiter @ Fort Myers (6:05pm) – Lewis Thorpe (2-4, 3.06) Kane County @ Cedar Rapids (6:35pm) – Clark Beeker (10-3, 2.31) Elizabethton (6:00pm) – Brusdar Graterol (0-0, 4.50) GCL Twins (11:00am) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's games. Click here to view the article
  18. Find out everything that happened in the Twins minor league system on Thursday. RED WINGS REPORT Lehigh Valley 2 @ Rochester 5 Box Score Hector Santiago struck out 9 over 5.2 innings. He gave up a run on five hits, the damage coming via a solo home run. He walked just one. Big league cast-off Michael Tonkin gave the Red Wings 1.2 innings of relief. He gave up a couple of hits and a run, but pitched well enough to earn a hold. John Curtiss came in for a five-out save, gave up a hit, and walked two to earn his sixth save of the season. J.B. Shuck led the way for the Red Wings with the bat, he was 3-4 with a double and a run scored. Daniel Palka was 2-4 with a home run, his 10th of the year. ByungHo Park was 2-5 with a run scored and has 13 hits in his last nine games, including a pair of home runs. He’s also struck out 15 times over that same span, so maybe he isn’t hitting his way back to the Twin Cities any time soon. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4 @ Montgomery 0 Box Score What a nice day from Felix Jorge. The little stud-muffin gave up just four hits over 7.2 innings, and kept the Montgomery Biscuits off the board. He walked two, and struck out five. After back to back starts in the middle of July when he gave up six earned runs, he’s turned in two great performances, including a complete game one-run game less than a week ago. Nick Anderson came in to help Jorge finish the eighth, and grabbed himself his fifth save of the year by making quick work of Montgomery over 1.1 innings, lowering his ERA to 1.19. Ryan Walker did most of the work for the Lookouts, with a run scoring single in the second, and a two-run double in the top of the ninth to extend the lead. Centerfielder Levi Michael added the other RBI for the Lookouts, going 1-4 with a K. He’s hitting well lately and has tallied 17 hits in his last 9 games, raising his average 25 points. MIRACLE MATTERS Jupiter 3 @ Fort Myers 4 Box Score The Miracle won on Thursday in a back and forth game that saw the Miracle take the lead in the fifth, again in the seventh after the game was tied, lose the lead in the top of the eighth, and then walked-off with a Nelson Molina home run to start the ninth! Molina was 2-4 with that home run and a pair of runs scored. Following the walk-off, Nelson Molina told Twins Daily, "It's a unique feeling. It's so great really. I just thank God for that great feeling." Recent draftee Brent Rooker was 1-4 with two strikeouts. On the bump, Glen Perkins pitched a clean first inning in his rehab start. He was replaced by Brady Anderson who gave the Miracle 5.0 innings of one-run baseball, giving up four hits, and he struck out two. Then it was an inning each from Tom Hackimer (one hit, no runs scored), Andrew Vasquez (one hit, two runs scored, a walk, and a blown save), and Alex Muren (a hit, two strikeouts, and the all-important W, thanks to Molina). In giving up a pair of runs, Vasquez broke a 24-inning scoreless streak to start his Miracle career. KERNELS NUGGETS Kane County 6 @ Cedar Rapids 1 Box Score The Kernels gave up 15 (FIFTEEN!) hits to Kane County and fell just 6-1 only because the Cougars were just 2-13 with men in scoring position. Tyler Watson was tagged with the loss after 5.1 innings of seven-hit, four-run baseball. He walked one and struck out four. He was replaced by Patrick McGuff who gave up a pair of runs over 1.2 innings. And Ryan Mason finished the game off with, 2.0 innings, four hits, and three strikeouts. Like the Cougars, the Kernels squandered some scoring chances. They were just 2-12 with RISP and stranded 11 runners. The Cedar Rapids 3-4-5 hitters were a combined 1-11 with no walks and three strikeouts. Jimmy Kerrigan was 2-5 at the top of the order, and Travis Blankenhorn was 2-4 with a walk, really the only bright spots on the night. E-Twins E-Notes Burlington 4 @ Elizabethton 1 Box Score The E-Town Twins were down 4-0 before they pushed a run across in the bottom of the seventh, but ultimately squandered too many chances on Thursday night, going 0-8 with runners in scoring position and stranding six runners. All eight of the Twins’ hits were singles, and they lost another out on the basepaths when Akil Baddoo was caught stealing in the bottom of the sixth. Baddoo, however, led the team offensively, going 2-4 with a walk, reaching three times. Starter Edwar Colina turned in a quality start, giving up three runs over 6.0 innings. HE gave up four hits, walked 3three and struck out six. He was replaced by Jared Finkel (or was it ?*), who gave up a run and two hits in 2.0 innings, also giving up a walk and striking out a pair. Jovani Moran pitched the ninth, giving up no hits, but he walked a pair and struck out a pair.GCL Twins Takes GCL Rays 2 @ GCL Twins 3 Box Score Tyler Wells started for the Twins and faced just nine batters over 3.0 perfect innings. He struck out three batters as a bonus. He was replaced by Matt Jones, who gave up an unearned run over 3.1 innings of two-hit baseball and collected the win. He walked three and struck out two. Amilcar Cruiz earned a hold and gave up an earned run without giving up a hit when one of his runners scored after he (Cruiz) was lifted from the game after walking the first two batters in the ninth. Zach Featherstone earned his second save of the year coming in for Cruiz in the ninth. He struck out the first batter he faced, then gave up a double that scored two runs to make it a 3-2 game with a man on second and one out. Featherstone promptly struck out the next two batters to preserve the save, and the victory, for the Twins. The Twins had just six hits on the night, and no one had more than a pair of hits. Luckily for the Twins, Jean Carlos Arias scored a pair of runs with a two-run home run in the sixth, and Colton Burns accounted for the third run on a solo shot in the seventh. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Felix Jorge, Chattanooga Lookouts Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – J.B. Shuck, Rochester Red Wings FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Syracuse (4:05pm, Double header) – Game 1: TBD, Game 2: Dietrich Enns (1-1, 2.29 Jackson @ Chattanooga (6:15pm) - Stephen Gonsalves (7-3, 2.90) Jupiter @ Fort Myers (6:05pm) – Lewis Thorpe (2-4, 3.06) Kane County @ Cedar Rapids (6:35pm) – Clark Beeker (10-3, 2.31) Elizabethton (6:00pm) – Brusdar Graterol (0-0, 4.50) GCL Twins (11:00am) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's games.
  19. On Tuesday, I wrote about the Twins Core Four (Sano, Buxton, Kepler and Berrios) and how their first half should give Twins fans hope for 2017 and beyond. While those four have already been joined by a few more young players, there are several more minor leaguers that could get an opportunity as early as 2017. If not, they should get an opportunity in 2018. Yesterday, Nick wrote an article asking whether the Twins should consider using Nick Gordon in potential trades later this month in an attempt to bring in some top-level starting pitching.What if the Twins front office is unwilling to meet the high asking price of teams selling off high-end pitchers with years remaining on their contracts? What if they believe that they have some minor league talent that can help them right now in the second half? If so, that allows those players an opportunity to help. It also gives them valuable experience as we look toward 2018 and beyond. With series against the Astros, Tigers, Yankees and Dodgers in the next couple of weeks, we will soon know whether the Twins should be buyers or sellers at the July trade deadline. Today we consider which minor leaguers could help in 2017 or 2018. The purpose of this is to provide readers with the names of prospects who are close to contributing in the big leagues at some point in the not-too-distant future to some degree. Some of these guys may be able to help the Twins in a potential playoff push. Others may be guys you’ll hear about in trade rumors. Pitching It all starts with pitching, and starting pitching remains a concern for the Twins. While Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios have been mostly reliable, there are question marks after that. Adalberto Mejia has been pretty solid his last four starts. Kyle Gibson’s been OK since his return from the minors. Bartolo Colon is the latest in a string of veterans brought in. The front office has said it isn’t particularly interested in trading assets for short-term guys. They may, however, be interested in guys who will be around for awhile. Those names include the likes of Chris Archer, Sonny Gray, Jose Quintana, Marcus Stroman, Dan Straily and others. There is, of course, a wide range of talent in that group, and we have no way of knowing exactly what it would take to acquire any one of them. So who are the options that are relatively close. Several weeks ago, I wrote an article saying that three AA pitchers were probably the next in line internally. We’ve seen Felix Jorge make two starts, and as you would expect from a guy from Double-A, one was pretty solid, and the other didn’t go so well. Fernando Romero has the biggest ceiling of the group. Right now, his innings are being closely monitored, likely in an attempt to keep him on the mound through the season. He could come up to make a couple of starts, or he could be used in the bullpen late, providing a 95-99 mph fastball with two other pitches. The guy who may be the most ready to contribute is Stephen Gonsalves. While he doesn’t reach into the upper 90s, he is consistently between 91 and 94 with a high knowledge of how to pitch. He, however, is not currently on the 40 man roster. The team would hate to call him up only to use an option, so they would want to be pretty certain. At Triple-A, there are the likes of Tim Melville, Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, journeyman minor leagues. One pitcher who has not yet had an opportunity with the Twins is Aaron Slegers, and that tells me that they believe he has a chance to be a mid-to-back end of the rotation type. He’s been inconsistent, but he’s had some really terrific games too. He may be a sleeper later in the season. Two other guys fit into the sleeper category, more likely options for 2018. Kohl Stewart got off to a terrible start this year, went on the DL for six weeks and has returned to form since his return. That means not a ton of strikeouts, but good control and a lot of weak contact. Dereck Rodriguez has made a handful of starts for the Lookouts as well. He can become a free agent following the season and will receive some consideration for a 40-man spot. They may try to sign him to a minor league deal and hope he isn’t selected in the Rule 5 draft. Lewis Thorpe is back and pitching well. He’ll be an interesting case this offseason and looking to 2018. The Bullpen has also had its issues at times this year. It can be solid, but every couple of weeks, it has a complete clunker. When the starter provides six of seven innings, Taylor Rogers and Brandon Kintzler have been really reliable. Tyler Duffey was solid too in his transition to the bullpen, though he struggled and needed the All Star break late. I would contend that Buddy Boshers has been quite solid most of the time. There are, as always, a bunch of relievers from sub-.500 teams that will find themselves available. Minnesotans Pat Neshek and Brad Handwere all stars this year, and are at varying ends of the available relief pitcher spectrum. Neshek is in his upper-30s, having a great year, but a free agent at the end of the season. He could be a good stop gap for the rest of this season. Hand is just 27 and has come into his own in the Padres bullpen the last two years. He has two years of arbitration remaining after this season. Because of that, the prospect return from each is very different. There are many other relievers in between those two. However, there are also several bullpen options in the minor leagues that are at least intriguing and may deserve an opportunity already in 2017. Certainly a few could help the bullpen moving forward. We have already seen guys like Michael Tonkin and Alex Wimmers. Alan Busenitz has been back and forth between Rochester and the big leagues a couple of times in the last month. Trevor Hildenberger is now with the team and performing well. There is a group of pitchers with big arms and bright futures that are hurt. Nick Burdi had Tommy John surgery. JT Chargois has a stress reaction near his elbow. Tyler Jay had surgery for Thoracic Outlet syndrome. Zack Jones had shoulder surgery last fall and is just now getting into games in the GCL as rehab. Meanwhile, John Curtiss has given up three runs on the entire season. He recently moved up to AAA. He has a big fastball and a barrage of secondary pitches that make him intriguing. Jake Reed started his season late due to an injury, but he’s been pitching well of take for the Red Wings. Luke Bard missed a lot of time early in his career, but he came back last year and was good. He’s been even better this year at AA, putting up silly strikeout numbers. Mason Melotakis was DFAd recently and went unclaimed, but he’s still got a chance to be a quality lefty option. We saw young Randy Rosario get into a couple of games for the Twins in early June. It didn’t go real well for him, but he’s got potential to be a really good fastball-slider lefty. The Nik Turley experiment didn’t work as a starter, but he has the kind of stuff that could work well in short bursts out of the bullpen. Todd Van Steensel has been in the organization for a long time, and a couple of times. He apparently isn’t a big prospect despite the fact that he continues to put up strong numbers year after year, and now in Chattanooga. At some point, that might get him an opportunity. Nick Anderson, signed out of indy ball late in the 2015 season, has been dominant, now at AA as well. Looking toward midseason 2018, Tom Hackimer and Andrew Vasquez are two names to watch as they have good stuff and could move quickly. Hitters Zack Granite is up, and while I don’t know exactly how long he’ll be here or how Paul Molitor will use him, he’s a good guy to have. While he may fit the role of fourth outfielder perfectly behind Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler, he needs to keep playing most every day. Either Molitor needs to find a way to do that, or Granite needs to go back to AAA and wait for an opportunity. Daniel Palka may have been an option at some point this season, but a broken finger has cost him time. He could return in the coming weeks and be an option in September. At Chattanooga, LaMonte Wade continues to define what a professional hitter looks like. He has more walks than strikeouts while providing a lot of doubles power and good defense. These two may be 2018 guys. A sleeper option for fourth outfielder might be Puerto Rican Edgar Corcino who recently was promoted to AAA Rochester. In the infield, it would be interesting to see what might happen should an injury occur. If they need a shortstop, would they go with the great glove of Engelb Vielma, or jump right to Nick Gordon, who has been strong this year in Chattanooga. If they were to need a utility guy, Niko Goodrum has jumped back into the prospect discussion with a solid showing in Rochester this year. Of course, Tommy Field and his defense may be perfect for the role of utility infielder if that is what is needed. In my opinion, the best overall catcher in the Twins system right now is Mitch Garver. His defense may not be on par with Jason Castro, Chris Gimenez or John Ryan Murphy, but he has become a solid defender with a very strong arm. And, he’s probably got the biggest bat of the three. I say "probably" only because we never know what that transition to the big leagues will be like for any player. But he takes a very professional at bat, walks a lot, and has double and home run power. Now he just waits for an opportunity. Meanwhile, he has become more versatile by getting some time at first base and in left field. So the question that the Twins front office has to be how to incorporate these younger, minor leaguers into the big leagues. What their chances are of contributing to the Twins in a pennant, playoff push in 2017 compared to trading some of these assets for short or long term help. Can both strategies work? Can they get short-term help without losing big prospects to help them this year? Are they willing to give up high-ceiling prospects for long-term help at various positions? Or, can they push their prospects to the big leagues and hope for a boost? Maybe some of both can be done. What do you think? Click here to view the article
  20. What if the Twins front office is unwilling to meet the high asking price of teams selling off high-end pitchers with years remaining on their contracts? What if they believe that they have some minor league talent that can help them right now in the second half? If so, that allows those players an opportunity to help. It also gives them valuable experience as we look toward 2018 and beyond. With series against the Astros, Tigers, Yankees and Dodgers in the next couple of weeks, we will soon know whether the Twins should be buyers or sellers at the July trade deadline. Today we consider which minor leaguers could help in 2017 or 2018. The purpose of this is to provide readers with the names of prospects who are close to contributing in the big leagues at some point in the not-too-distant future to some degree. Some of these guys may be able to help the Twins in a potential playoff push. Others may be guys you’ll hear about in trade rumors. Pitching It all starts with pitching, and starting pitching remains a concern for the Twins. While Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios have been mostly reliable, there are question marks after that. Adalberto Mejia has been pretty solid his last four starts. Kyle Gibson’s been OK since his return from the minors. Bartolo Colon is the latest in a string of veterans brought in. The front office has said it isn’t particularly interested in trading assets for short-term guys. They may, however, be interested in guys who will be around for awhile. Those names include the likes of Chris Archer, Sonny Gray, Jose Quintana, Marcus Stroman, Dan Straily and others. There is, of course, a wide range of talent in that group, and we have no way of knowing exactly what it would take to acquire any one of them. So who are the options that are relatively close. Several weeks ago, I wrote an article saying that three AA pitchers were probably the next in line internally. We’ve seen Felix Jorge make two starts, and as you would expect from a guy from Double-A, one was pretty solid, and the other didn’t go so well. Fernando Romero has the biggest ceiling of the group. Right now, his innings are being closely monitored, likely in an attempt to keep him on the mound through the season. He could come up to make a couple of starts, or he could be used in the bullpen late, providing a 95-99 mph fastball with two other pitches. The guy who may be the most ready to contribute is Stephen Gonsalves. While he doesn’t reach into the upper 90s, he is consistently between 91 and 94 with a high knowledge of how to pitch. He, however, is not currently on the 40 man roster. The team would hate to call him up only to use an option, so they would want to be pretty certain. At Triple-A, there are the likes of Tim Melville, Bartolo Colon, Dillon Gee, journeyman minor leagues. One pitcher who has not yet had an opportunity with the Twins is Aaron Slegers, and that tells me that they believe he has a chance to be a mid-to-back end of the rotation type. He’s been inconsistent, but he’s had some really terrific games too. He may be a sleeper later in the season. Two other guys fit into the sleeper category, more likely options for 2018. Kohl Stewart got off to a terrible start this year, went on the DL for six weeks and has returned to form since his return. That means not a ton of strikeouts, but good control and a lot of weak contact. Dereck Rodriguez has made a handful of starts for the Lookouts as well. He can become a free agent following the season and will receive some consideration for a 40-man spot. They may try to sign him to a minor league deal and hope he isn’t selected in the Rule 5 draft. Lewis Thorpe is back and pitching well. He’ll be an interesting case this offseason and looking to 2018. The Bullpen has also had its issues at times this year. It can be solid, but every couple of weeks, it has a complete clunker. When the starter provides six of seven innings, Taylor Rogers and Brandon Kintzler have been really reliable. Tyler Duffey was solid too in his transition to the bullpen, though he struggled and needed the All Star break late. I would contend that Buddy Boshers has been quite solid most of the time. There are, as always, a bunch of relievers from sub-.500 teams that will find themselves available. Minnesotans Pat Neshek and Brad Hand were all stars this year, and are at varying ends of the available relief pitcher spectrum. Neshek is in his upper-30s, having a great year, but a free agent at the end of the season. He could be a good stop gap for the rest of this season. Hand is just 27 and has come into his own in the Padres bullpen the last two years. He has two years of arbitration remaining after this season. Because of that, the prospect return from each is very different. There are many other relievers in between those two. However, there are also several bullpen options in the minor leagues that are at least intriguing and may deserve an opportunity already in 2017. Certainly a few could help the bullpen moving forward. We have already seen guys like Michael Tonkin and Alex Wimmers. Alan Busenitz has been back and forth between Rochester and the big leagues a couple of times in the last month. Trevor Hildenberger is now with the team and performing well. There is a group of pitchers with big arms and bright futures that are hurt. Nick Burdi had Tommy John surgery. JT Chargois has a stress reaction near his elbow. Tyler Jay had surgery for Thoracic Outlet syndrome. Zack Jones had shoulder surgery last fall and is just now getting into games in the GCL as rehab. Meanwhile, John Curtiss has given up three runs on the entire season. He recently moved up to AAA. He has a big fastball and a barrage of secondary pitches that make him intriguing. Jake Reed started his season late due to an injury, but he’s been pitching well of take for the Red Wings. Luke Bard missed a lot of time early in his career, but he came back last year and was good. He’s been even better this year at AA, putting up silly strikeout numbers. Mason Melotakis was DFAd recently and went unclaimed, but he’s still got a chance to be a quality lefty option. We saw young Randy Rosario get into a couple of games for the Twins in early June. It didn’t go real well for him, but he’s got potential to be a really good fastball-slider lefty. The Nik Turley experiment didn’t work as a starter, but he has the kind of stuff that could work well in short bursts out of the bullpen. Todd Van Steensel has been in the organization for a long time, and a couple of times. He apparently isn’t a big prospect despite the fact that he continues to put up strong numbers year after year, and now in Chattanooga. At some point, that might get him an opportunity. Nick Anderson, signed out of indy ball late in the 2015 season, has been dominant, now at AA as well. Looking toward midseason 2018, Tom Hackimer and Andrew Vasquez are two names to watch as they have good stuff and could move quickly. Hitters Zack Granite is up, and while I don’t know exactly how long he’ll be here or how Paul Molitor will use him, he’s a good guy to have. While he may fit the role of fourth outfielder perfectly behind Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler, he needs to keep playing most every day. Either Molitor needs to find a way to do that, or Granite needs to go back to AAA and wait for an opportunity. Daniel Palka may have been an option at some point this season, but a broken finger has cost him time. He could return in the coming weeks and be an option in September. At Chattanooga, LaMonte Wade continues to define what a professional hitter looks like. He has more walks than strikeouts while providing a lot of doubles power and good defense. These two may be 2018 guys. A sleeper option for fourth outfielder might be Puerto Rican Edgar Corcino who recently was promoted to AAA Rochester. In the infield, it would be interesting to see what might happen should an injury occur. If they need a shortstop, would they go with the great glove of Engelb Vielma, or jump right to Nick Gordon, who has been strong this year in Chattanooga. If they were to need a utility guy, Niko Goodrum has jumped back into the prospect discussion with a solid showing in Rochester this year. Of course, Tommy Field and his defense may be perfect for the role of utility infielder if that is what is needed. In my opinion, the best overall catcher in the Twins system right now is Mitch Garver. His defense may not be on par with Jason Castro, Chris Gimenez or John Ryan Murphy, but he has become a solid defender with a very strong arm. And, he’s probably got the biggest bat of the three. I say "probably" only because we never know what that transition to the big leagues will be like for any player. But he takes a very professional at bat, walks a lot, and has double and home run power. Now he just waits for an opportunity. Meanwhile, he has become more versatile by getting some time at first base and in left field. So the question that the Twins front office has to be how to incorporate these younger, minor leaguers into the big leagues. What their chances are of contributing to the Twins in a pennant, playoff push in 2017 compared to trading some of these assets for short or long term help. Can both strategies work? Can they get short-term help without losing big prospects to help them this year? Are they willing to give up high-ceiling prospects for long-term help at various positions? Or, can they push their prospects to the big leagues and hope for a boost? Maybe some of both can be done. What do you think?
  21. We should know better by now than to count out this Twins team. Felix Jorge gave up homers to the first two batters he faced and Baltimore built a 6-0 lead. But despite not having the luxury of hitting a home run themselves, the Twins rallied back to score nine unanswered runs to snatch a victory from the jaws of defeat. Heck, they may have even pulled this one all the way back out from the belly of defeat.Win Expectancy & Top 5 Plays Per WPA (via Fangraphs) Download attachment: WinEx77.png Download attachment: TopPlays77.png Trailing by six runs with just a few days to go until the All-Star break, you could understand if maybe the Twins were going to ease up the rest of the night. Instead, they put together maybe their finest inning of the entire season. The fourth frame opened up with Miguel Sano making a diving stop to his left and firing to first for the out. Trevor Hildenberger, who earned his first major league victory tonight, retired the next two batters on strikeouts. In the bottom of that inning, the Twins strung together four-straight singles followed by a Chris Gimenez hit by pitch with the bases loaded. What was remarkable about the inning was how the team grinded out at-bats. When they were down by six runs. In early July. Robbie Grossman, Sano, Kennys Vargas, Eddie Rosario and Chris Gimenez all worked a full count in that inning. Vargas and Rosario each had eight-pitch at bats. But even with all that work, at the end of the inning the Orioles were still leading 6-2. Manny Machado led off the top of the fifth with a single, but Hildenberger induced a 5-4-3 double play. Jorge Polanco made a fielding error on the next batter, but Hildy managed to get him a second chance and Polanco responded by cleanly fielding a Mark Trumbo grounder and throwing to first for the third out. The fourth inning may have been their finest, but the fifth was the most fun. Brian Dozier hit a leadoff triple, Grossman doubled, Sano reached on an error and Kepler singled. Then Vargas, who was just called back up to replace an injured Joe Mauer, delivered a game-tying double. Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Download attachment: Pen77.png Saturday Twins (Adalberto Mejia) vs. Baltimore (Wade Miley), 1:10 pm CT Miley got rocked in his last start, as the Brewers lit him up for seven runs over 1.2 innings. Over his last six starts, Miley has an 11.69 ERA and hitters have compiled a .387/.468/.604 line (1.072 OPS). Over his last four starts, Mejia has a 2.01 ERA, but his WHIP is 1.39. He’s struggled to keep leadoff hitters off the bases this season, giving up a .443 OBP to the first batter of each inning. But he’s also been excellent at finishing off innings, as opponents have just a .552 OPS with two outs. He’s also been great with runners on, limiting opposing hitters to a .176/.258/.241 line (.499 OPS) with men on and a .173/.270/.231 line (.501 OPS) with runners in scoring position. Click here to view the article
  22. Win Expectancy & Top 5 Plays Per WPA (via Fangraphs) Trailing by six runs with just a few days to go until the All-Star break, you could understand if maybe the Twins were going to ease up the rest of the night. Instead, they put together maybe their finest inning of the entire season. The fourth frame opened up with Miguel Sano making a diving stop to his left and firing to first for the out. Trevor Hildenberger, who earned his first major league victory tonight, retired the next two batters on strikeouts. In the bottom of that inning, the Twins strung together four-straight singles followed by a Chris Gimenez hit by pitch with the bases loaded. What was remarkable about the inning was how the team grinded out at-bats. When they were down by six runs. In early July. Robbie Grossman, Sano, Kennys Vargas, Eddie Rosario and Chris Gimenez all worked a full count in that inning. Vargas and Rosario each had eight-pitch at bats. But even with all that work, at the end of the inning the Orioles were still leading 6-2. Manny Machado led off the top of the fifth with a single, but Hildenberger induced a 5-4-3 double play. Jorge Polanco made a fielding error on the next batter, but Hildy managed to get him a second chance and Polanco responded by cleanly fielding a Mark Trumbo grounder and throwing to first for the third out. The fourth inning may have been their finest, but the fifth was the most fun. Brian Dozier hit a leadoff triple, Grossman doubled, Sano reached on an error and Kepler singled. Then Vargas, who was just called back up to replace an injured Joe Mauer, delivered a game-tying double. https://twitter.com/BaseballByTom/status/883524941555134467 Big Kennys would come around to score the go-ahead run on a Gimenez single. Two insurance runs were later added in the eighth inning. Byron Buxton managed to score from first base on a ground ball that was hit to the shortstop. https://twitter.com/ParkerHageman/status/883536109610954752 Brandon Kintzler, who was added to the All-Star team earlier in the day, recorded his 24th save of the season. Hildenberger threw 2.1 innings followed by an inning each by Pressly, Belisle, Rogers and Kintzler. They did not surrender a run and only yielded five hits while not issuing a single walk. What a performance it was by the bullpen. Jorge’s Target Field debut didn’t last long. He lasted just 2.2 innings before getting the hook. Jorge is only 23-years-old. He’s made 25 starts at Double A, and hasn’t appeared at Triple A yet. These are important things to keep in mind when trying to evaluate his performance. Jorge gave up six runs on seven hits (three of them homers) and a walk. His ERA jumped to 10.57. Jorge was sent back to Chattanooga at the conclusion of the contest, with Zack Granite being called up from Rochester as his replacement. With the break looming, the Twins won’t need a fifth starter for awhile. Granite, who will be making his major league debut, was hitting .360/.412/.492 (.904 OPS) for the Red Wings. And that wasn’t the only big transaction. The next time the Twins do need a fifth starter, it’s possible big Bartolo Colon will fill that role. The Twins signed the 44-year-old to a minor league deal. He’s heading to Rochester for now. Postgame With Molitor https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/883535826059051008 Bullpen Usage Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days: Saturday Twins (Adalberto Mejia) vs. Baltimore (Wade Miley), 1:10 pm CT Miley got rocked in his last start, as the Brewers lit him up for seven runs over 1.2 innings. Over his last six starts, Miley has an 11.69 ERA and hitters have compiled a .387/.468/.604 line (1.072 OPS). Over his last four starts, Mejia has a 2.01 ERA, but his WHIP is 1.39. He’s struggled to keep leadoff hitters off the bases this season, giving up a .443 OBP to the first batter of each inning. But he’s also been excellent at finishing off innings, as opponents have just a .552 OPS with two outs. He’s also been great with runners on, limiting opposing hitters to a .176/.258/.241 line (.499 OPS) with men on and a .173/.270/.231 line (.501 OPS) with runners in scoring position.
  23. Rookie Leagues Jorge made his professional debut as a 17-year old in the Dominican Summer League. In nine appearances (five starts), he allowed eight earned runs (2.67 ERA) with 26 strikeouts and nine walks. He came stateside in 2012 and pitched for the GCL Twins. Across 34.2 innings, he allowed nine earned runs while improving his SO/9 from 8.7 to 9.6. He moved up the ladder again in 2013 as he headed to Elizabethton where he had a 2-2 record with a 2.95 ERA over 61 innings. Jorge was establishing himself as one of the Twins' top pitching prospects. 2014 Struggles The Twins organization continued to be aggressive with Jorge to start the 2014 campaign. He was sent to Cedar Rapids to start the season and he struggled for the first time in his professional career. Jorge was knocked around for 39 runs in 39 innings including nine home runs. The Kernels tried to move him to the bullpen to find some success but that plan didn't work. By the end of May, he was sent back to extended spring training with plenty of question marks surrounding his future. Bouncing Back It would be an understatement to say Jorge bounced back strongly from his early season struggles that year. Jorge finally had something click when he returned to Elizabethton for the second-half of the 2014 campaign. He was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year as he went 4-2 with a 2.59 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He posted a 61 to 14 strikeout to walk ratio over 66 innings. From this point forward, Jorge would become the most consistent starting pitcher in the Twins organization. During the 2015 campaign, Jorge spent the entire season at Cedar Rapids, the site of his biggest professional failure. While being almost a year younger than the competition, he posted a 2.79 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He posted career highs in innings pitched (142), strikeouts (114), wins (6) and starts (22). Upper Minors The 2016 season saw him take the next step as he split time between High-A and Double-A. Through his first seven starts, he posted a 2.00 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 45.0 IP. From May 26-July 5, he reeled off seven straight victories while averaging over six innings per start. During this stretch, he had a 1.13 ERA and held opponents to a .549 OPS. His impressive stretch meant he was named the starter for the FSL South Division All-Stars. His first six starts at Double-A saw him post an ERA north of 5.00. From there, he settled in with a 3.16 ERA while averaging more than seven innings per start in his last five appearances. Jorge was added to the 40-man roster leading into the 2017 season. This is one of the reasons he will be making a start on Saturday as the Twins needed someone to make a spot start. However, he has been doing well in his second stint at Double-A. Through 14 starts, he has a 3.26 ERA and a 61 to 22 strikeout to walk ratio. His eight wins are the second most in the entire Southern League. Scouting Report The Twins list Jorge at 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds so he doesn't exactly look overpowering on the mound. He can hit in the low 90s with his fastball which can surprise some hitters because of his size. He doesn't strike out a lot of batters but he always stays around the zone. Jorge prefers to pitch in the lower half of the zone so he can coax ground balls from the batters. He also uses a change-up and a late-breaking slider to help him get more ground ball outs. Overall, the hope is that he can develop into a mid-rotation starter who can help the Twins as they fight their way back into contention.
  24. Felix Jorge will be making his big league debut on Saturday but he's probably a name that isn't familiar to a lot of fans. The 23-year old right-handed pitcher has been in the Twins organization since 2011 when he signed out of the Dominican Republic. I recently named him the ninth best prospect in the Twins organization. As with any pitching prospect, there have been some ups and downs during the professional tenure of Mr. Jorge. Before he makes his big league debut, here's your opportunity to get to know Felix Jorge.Rookie Leagues Jorge made his professional debut as a 17-year old in the Dominican Summer League. In nine appearances (five starts), he allowed eight earned runs (2.67 ERA) with 26 strikeouts and nine walks. He came stateside in 2012 and pitched for the GCL Twins. Across 34.2 innings, he allowed nine earned runs while improving his SO/9 from 8.7 to 9.6. He moved up the ladder again in 2013 as he headed to Elizabethton where he had a 2-2 record with a 2.95 ERA over 61 innings. Jorge was establishing himself as one of the Twins' top pitching prospects. 2014 Struggles The Twins organization continued to be aggressive with Jorge to start the 2014 campaign. He was sent to Cedar Rapids to start the season and he struggled for the first time in his professional career. Jorge was knocked around for 39 runs in 39 innings including nine home runs. The Kernels tried to move him to the bullpen to find some success but that plan didn't work. By the end of May, he was sent back to extended spring training with plenty of question marks surrounding his future. Bouncing Back It would be an understatement to say Jorge bounced back strongly from his early season struggles that year. Jorge finally had something click when he returned to Elizabethton for the second-half of the 2014 campaign. He was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year as he went 4-2 with a 2.59 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. He posted a 61 to 14 strikeout to walk ratio over 66 innings. From this point forward, Jorge would become the most consistent starting pitcher in the Twins organization. During the 2015 campaign, Jorge spent the entire season at Cedar Rapids, the site of his biggest professional failure. While being almost a year younger than the competition, he posted a 2.79 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. He posted career highs in innings pitched (142), strikeouts (114), wins (6) and starts (22). Upper Minors The 2016 season saw him take the next step as he split time between High-A and Double-A. Through his first seven starts, he posted a 2.00 ERA with 38 strikeouts in 45.0 IP. From May 26-July 5, he reeled off seven straight victories while averaging over six innings per start. During this stretch, he had a 1.13 ERA and held opponents to a .549 OPS. His impressive stretch meant he was named the starter for the FSL South Division All-Stars. His first six starts at Double-A saw him post an ERA north of 5.00. From there, he settled in with a 3.16 ERA while averaging more than seven innings per start in his last five appearances. Jorge was added to the 40-man roster leading into the 2017 season. This is one of the reasons he will be making a start on Saturday as the Twins needed someone to make a spot start. However, he has been doing well in his second stint at Double-A. Through 14 starts, he has a 3.26 ERA and a 61 to 22 strikeout to walk ratio. His eight wins are the second most in the entire Southern League. Scouting Report The Twins list Jorge at 6-foot-2 and 170 pounds so he doesn't exactly look overpowering on the mound. He can hit in the low 90s with his fastball which can surprise some hitters because of his size. He doesn't strike out a lot of batters but he always stays around the zone. Jorge prefers to pitch in the lower half of the zone so he can coax ground balls from the batters. He also uses a change-up and a late-breaking slider to help him get more ground ball outs. Overall, the hope is that he can develop into a mid-rotation starter who can help the Twins as they fight their way back into contention. Click here to view the article
  25. 10. Daniel Palka, OF, 25-- Current Level: Triple-A Preseason Rank: 12 Palka hasn't been hitting for as much power as he did in his first season in the Twins organization. However, he has lowered his Triple-A strikeout percentage from 38.6% last year to 24.6% in 2017. The Twins added him to the 40-man roster this off-season so he could have been a call away from making his big league debut. Unfortunately, he broke his left index finger at the end of April which will keep him on the DL for a chunk of this season. His potential continues to be high but he is going to have to come back strong from this injury and fight his way on to the 2018 Twins roster. 9. Felix Jorge, RHP, 23-- Current Level: Double-A Preseason Rank: 10 Like Palka, Jorge was added to the Twins 40-man roster this past off-season. As a 23-year old, he is over a year younger than the competition in the Southern League. He's off to a tremendous start with an 8-1 record and the Lookouts have gone 12-1 in games he has started this season. Jorge isn't overpowering but he finds a way to get outs. Last year at Double-A, he posted a 3.9 SO/9 and he has improved that number to 6.2 in 2017. He's struck out over 100 batters in back-to-back seasons while being younger than the competition. Jorge might not be a front-line starter but he could settle into a very important pitching role on a future Twins roster. 8. Tyler Jay, LHP, 23-- Highest Level: Double-A Preseason Rank: 5 One of the most disappointing stories out of spring training this year was the Twins deciding to move Tyler Jay to the bullpen. When the Twins took Jay with a top-10 pick, they were hoping to shift him from the bullpen to a starting rotation. There were some ups and downs during his first two professional seasons and it sounds like both Jay and the new Twins front office felt like this was the best decision. He's only made a couple of appearances this season as he has dealt with bicep tendinitis. Baseball bullpens are evolving with players no longer being limited to one inning or one batter. Jay could develop into a late inning weapon much like Cleveland's Andrew Miller. 7. Lewin Diaz, 1B, 20-- Highest Level: Low-A Preseason Rank: 9 Diaz is making his mark during his first taste of full-season action. Though he's over a year younger than the competition in the Midwest League, Diaz is hitting .271/.314/.446 with a career-high 21 doubles. Even though he is a power-hitter, he has been able to control his strikeout numbers with 45 strikeouts in 274 plate appearances. Defense will never be his calling card but he can make the plays he needs to make at first base. While there might be some defensive struggles, Diaz has the bat to impact the game. The Kernels clinched a first-half playoff spot on Sunday and Diaz was one of the main cogs leading them to the postseason. 6. Wander Javier, SS, 18- Highest Level: Dominican Summer League Preseason Rank: 7 In July of 2015, Javier made a splash when the Twins signed him for $4 million dollars. He was limited to nine games during the 2016 season as he dealt with hamstring issues. In this very small sample he hit .308/.400/.654 with five of his eight hits being for extra bases. With the addition of first overall pick Royce Lewis, it will be interesting to see how at-bats are handled to start the year in the GCL. Both Javier and Lewis will need repetitions but who will be able to stand out above the crowd. All of the tools are there for Javier and he will need to showcase them this season as the Twins shortstop picture is starting to fill-up in the minor leagues. How would your rankings look? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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