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  1. TRANSACTIONS INF Tzu-Wei Lin transferred from 7-day IL to 60-day IL Saints Sentinel St. Paul 3, Omaha 1 Box Score Andrew Albers: 5 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: Drew Maggi (11) Multi-hit games: Tomás Telis (2-for-4, 2 RBI) The Saints took down the Omaha powerhouse on Saturday. Andrew Albers was brilliant in his start. The 35-year-old lefty almost completely shut down an offense powered by some serious prospect talent. I hope that some grateful teammates took him out for a nice steak dinner afterwards. Drew Maggi continued his power surge as he blasted his 11th homer of the year in the 6th inning. The blast gave him a new career high in home runs in any given season over his extensive minor league career. He may end up with the Twins if (when) Andrelton Simmons is traded. The big hit of the night came off the bat of Tomás Telis. His 7th inning single added two extra-crucial runs for the Saints. Jovani Moran threw a pair of scoreless innings with three strikeouts. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where he is not pitching for the Twins by September at the latest. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 5, Arkansas 4 Box Score Adam Lau: 3 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: Jermaine Palacios (12) Multi-hit games: Roy Morales (2-for-5, R, RBI), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-4), D.J. Burt (2-for-4) Wichita played an absolute dog fight of a game on Saturday. Adam Lau kicked off the game with an impressive start. He was not meant to get many outs, but the ones he got were efficient. It’s hard to criticize a guy who allowed just two baserunners over 11 outs. The offense was there for Wichita early as Roy Morales singled home the first run of the game in the 3rd inning and Jermaine Palacios bashed a three-run homer in the 5th. If Palacios is not the outright most surprising minor leaguer of the year, he’s at least in the conversation. He quietly returned to the Twins after the Rays were unable to work their magic on him. 2021 has been nothing but a rake fest as he came into Saturday with a 120 wRC+. It has been a good year for Palacios. It was looking like Wichita could set the game to cruise control on their way to an easy W, but things did not shake out that way. Some shenanigans in the 7th inning by Arkansas knotted the game and suddenly upped the stakes. The game went into extras where the Wind Surge were able to take advantage of Manfredball an honest runner in scoring position with a sacrifice fly by Aaron Whitefield. Zach Neff and Ryan Mason combined forces to hold the Travelers scoreless in the bottom of the inning, and Wichita was able to walk away with a win. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 10, Beloit 4 Box Score Ben Gross: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K HR: Michael Helman (9), Matt Wallner (6) Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, RBI), Michael Helman (3-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, RBI, BB), Kyle Schmidt (3-for-5, R), Gabriel Maciel (3-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI, BB), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-5, RBI) Something, something, beware the 7th inning, something, something. Ben Gross, was, uhh, gross in his start on Saturday. The righty struck out eight batters over five shutout innings and was generally the man in charge. I mean, how can a pitcher not succeed when he has such an appropriate last name? He proves the theory of nominative determinism. The Kernels supported Gross early as Gabriel Maciel knocked home the first run of the game in the 2nd inning, and Michael Helman added on in the 5th frame with a solo shot. Oh, but did things ever get wacky after that. The Snappers responded in the 7th inning with four runs off a sacrifice fly and a bases-clearing double. Suddenly, the game was tilted four to two in favor of Beloit. The Kernels were having none of it. In the bottom half of the inning, a wild pitch brought the game to within a run. Maciel then doubled home two runs to gain the lead before Edouard Julien doubled home two more runs for posterity sake. Matt Wallner homered in the 8th inning just for giggles (and for scoring, I guess). Daniel Ozoria singled home yet another run, and Julien walked in the tenth (and final) run for good measure. Eight hitters for the Kernels reached base multiple times on Saturday. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 1, Daytona 4 Box Score Orlando Rodriguez: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (2-for-3, RBI, BB) Fort Myers attempted a tribute to the Twins on Saturday, as they also could not find much offense on the day. Starter Orlando Rodriguez did his job well as he allowed just a pair of earned runs over his five innings of work. He walked three, which is a bit much, but he also struck out seven batters, which is also a bit much. So it evened out in the end. The offense just could not find anything, however. Will Holland and Nick Anderson were both able to work a pair of walks, and Yunior Severino got on base three times. Outside of them, the box score is quite dusty. Aaron Sabato and Misael Urbina both had especially rough games as they combined for seven strikeouts without a hit. You tend not to win many games when your three and four hitters put up lines like that. Matthew Swain and Steven Cruz combined for three shutout innings in relief of Rodriguez. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 4, FCL Red Sox 7 Box Score Juan Mendez: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Kala’i Rosario (2) Multi-hit games: None The FCL Twins lost on Saturday, but not without a vicious comeback attempt. The game was even through four as Juan Mendez did his best to support his team on the mound. He would end with the best line of any FCL Twins pitcher on Saturday. A double by what I can only assume is someone’s superhero alter-ego, a man named Blaze Jordan, kicked off a run of, well, runs for the Red Sox. They would plate seven over three innings in what ended up being the dagger. The FCL Twins did not go gentle into that good night. Kala’i Rosario blasted a 9th inning grand slam that, while awesome, was not enough to turn the game around. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Ben Gross Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Michael Helman PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, K #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 0-4 #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – 0-3, 3 K #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 0-3, BB, 3 K #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 3-5, HR, 2 R, RBI #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-4, 3 K #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-4, 4 K #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-1, K #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Daytona @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) LHP Zarion Sharpe Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (1:05 PM) RHP Cody Laweryson Wichita @ Arkansas (1:10 PM) RHP Jordan Balazovic St. Paul @ Omaha (4:05 PM) RHP Griffin Jax
  2. The Twins’ minor league teams won more than they lost on Saturday, and most teams did better on offense than the Twins. Of course, that isn’t much of a bar to clear, but I digress. Read all about that and more in this edition of the minor league report. TRANSACTIONS INF Tzu-Wei Lin transferred from 7-day IL to 60-day IL Saints Sentinel St. Paul 3, Omaha 1 Box Score Andrew Albers: 5 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: Drew Maggi (11) Multi-hit games: Tomás Telis (2-for-4, 2 RBI) The Saints took down the Omaha powerhouse on Saturday. Andrew Albers was brilliant in his start. The 35-year-old lefty almost completely shut down an offense powered by some serious prospect talent. I hope that some grateful teammates took him out for a nice steak dinner afterwards. Drew Maggi continued his power surge as he blasted his 11th homer of the year in the 6th inning. The blast gave him a new career high in home runs in any given season over his extensive minor league career. He may end up with the Twins if (when) Andrelton Simmons is traded. The big hit of the night came off the bat of Tomás Telis. His 7th inning single added two extra-crucial runs for the Saints. Jovani Moran threw a pair of scoreless innings with three strikeouts. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where he is not pitching for the Twins by September at the latest. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 5, Arkansas 4 Box Score Adam Lau: 3 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: Jermaine Palacios (12) Multi-hit games: Roy Morales (2-for-5, R, RBI), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-4), D.J. Burt (2-for-4) Wichita played an absolute dog fight of a game on Saturday. Adam Lau kicked off the game with an impressive start. He was not meant to get many outs, but the ones he got were efficient. It’s hard to criticize a guy who allowed just two baserunners over 11 outs. The offense was there for Wichita early as Roy Morales singled home the first run of the game in the 3rd inning and Jermaine Palacios bashed a three-run homer in the 5th. If Palacios is not the outright most surprising minor leaguer of the year, he’s at least in the conversation. He quietly returned to the Twins after the Rays were unable to work their magic on him. 2021 has been nothing but a rake fest as he came into Saturday with a 120 wRC+. It has been a good year for Palacios. It was looking like Wichita could set the game to cruise control on their way to an easy W, but things did not shake out that way. Some shenanigans in the 7th inning by Arkansas knotted the game and suddenly upped the stakes. The game went into extras where the Wind Surge were able to take advantage of Manfredball an honest runner in scoring position with a sacrifice fly by Aaron Whitefield. Zach Neff and Ryan Mason combined forces to hold the Travelers scoreless in the bottom of the inning, and Wichita was able to walk away with a win. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 10, Beloit 4 Box Score Ben Gross: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K HR: Michael Helman (9), Matt Wallner (6) Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, RBI), Michael Helman (3-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, RBI, BB), Kyle Schmidt (3-for-5, R), Gabriel Maciel (3-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI, BB), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-5, RBI) Something, something, beware the 7th inning, something, something. Ben Gross, was, uhh, gross in his start on Saturday. The righty struck out eight batters over five shutout innings and was generally the man in charge. I mean, how can a pitcher not succeed when he has such an appropriate last name? He proves the theory of nominative determinism. The Kernels supported Gross early as Gabriel Maciel knocked home the first run of the game in the 2nd inning, and Michael Helman added on in the 5th frame with a solo shot. Oh, but did things ever get wacky after that. The Snappers responded in the 7th inning with four runs off a sacrifice fly and a bases-clearing double. Suddenly, the game was tilted four to two in favor of Beloit. The Kernels were having none of it. In the bottom half of the inning, a wild pitch brought the game to within a run. Maciel then doubled home two runs to gain the lead before Edouard Julien doubled home two more runs for posterity sake. Matt Wallner homered in the 8th inning just for giggles (and for scoring, I guess). Daniel Ozoria singled home yet another run, and Julien walked in the tenth (and final) run for good measure. Eight hitters for the Kernels reached base multiple times on Saturday. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 1, Daytona 4 Box Score Orlando Rodriguez: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (2-for-3, RBI, BB) Fort Myers attempted a tribute to the Twins on Saturday, as they also could not find much offense on the day. Starter Orlando Rodriguez did his job well as he allowed just a pair of earned runs over his five innings of work. He walked three, which is a bit much, but he also struck out seven batters, which is also a bit much. So it evened out in the end. The offense just could not find anything, however. Will Holland and Nick Anderson were both able to work a pair of walks, and Yunior Severino got on base three times. Outside of them, the box score is quite dusty. Aaron Sabato and Misael Urbina both had especially rough games as they combined for seven strikeouts without a hit. You tend not to win many games when your three and four hitters put up lines like that. Matthew Swain and Steven Cruz combined for three shutout innings in relief of Rodriguez. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 4, FCL Red Sox 7 Box Score Juan Mendez: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Kala’i Rosario (2) Multi-hit games: None The FCL Twins lost on Saturday, but not without a vicious comeback attempt. The game was even through four as Juan Mendez did his best to support his team on the mound. He would end with the best line of any FCL Twins pitcher on Saturday. A double by what I can only assume is someone’s superhero alter-ego, a man named Blaze Jordan, kicked off a run of, well, runs for the Red Sox. They would plate seven over three innings in what ended up being the dagger. The FCL Twins did not go gentle into that good night. Kala’i Rosario blasted a 9th inning grand slam that, while awesome, was not enough to turn the game around. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Ben Gross Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Michael Helman PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, K #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 0-4 #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – 0-3, 3 K #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 0-3, BB, 3 K #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 3-5, HR, 2 R, RBI #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-4, 3 K #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-4, 4 K #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-1, K #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Daytona @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) LHP Zarion Sharpe Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (1:05 PM) RHP Cody Laweryson Wichita @ Arkansas (1:10 PM) RHP Jordan Balazovic St. Paul @ Omaha (4:05 PM) RHP Griffin Jax View full article
  3. Current Center Fielder: Byron Buxton Since he made his debut, there have been times when Byron Buxton was the best player on the Twins roster. His elite defensive abilities, speed, and offensive talent make him the true definition of a five-tool player. Unfortunately, he has played fewer than 92 games in all but one professional season. Buxton is a second-year arbitration eligible player, so the Twins have team control over him for the next two seasons. Would the Twins be willing to extend him this winter? 40-Man Options Jake Cave, LaMonte Wade Jr. and even Max Kepler have seen time in centerfield. Cave and Wade might be a little stretched up the middle, but Kepler has shown the ability to fill-in nicely for Buxton when needed. All three fit into the team’s corner outfield projections with Kepler and Cave line-up to be the Opening Day starters if the club wants to hold off on having Alex Kirilloff make his regular season debut. Outside of Buxton, Gilberto Celestino might be one of the purest centerfielders in the Twins organization. He was acquired from the Astros as part of the Ryan Pressly trade and he was added to the 40-man roster after a breakout season in 2019. He has always been a strong defender, but he hit .303/.374/.464 with 38 extra-base hits over his last 98 games that season. If Buxton suffers an injury, Celestino’s defense is big-league ready and his bat might not be far behind. On the Farm Options Outside of the options mentioned above, there are other corner options in the minor leagues including some strong prospects. Kerrigan is an interesting story as he went undrafted after four-years of college and started playing independent baseball. He’s got a good power and speed, but he might be a little stretched defensively in center field. Whitefield got a brief taste of the big leagues last season as he appeared in three games, but the Twins removed him from the 40-man roster. He’s one of the best defensive outfielders in the system. Maciel came to the Twins as part of the Eduardo Escobar trade and he split time between Low- and High-A back in 2019. He can drive the ball to all fields and he’s not overmatched in center. Keirsey was a fourth-round pick back in 2018 and he topped out at Cedar Rapids in 2019. His speed and college experience should help him play all over the outfield. Urbina is an intriguing prospect with lightening fast speed. He was signed as part of the 2018 international signing period out of Venezuela and he made his first professional starts in the 2019 Dominican Summer League. He has all the tools, and he is a prospect to watch in the years ahead. Garry Jr. was young for the E-Twins back in 2019, but he showed that he can hold his own. He continues to improve on both sides of the ball. What do you think about the future of centerfield in Minnesota? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES -Corner Outfield -Catcher -Second Base -First Base -Third Base -Shortstop MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  4. Time can change the view of a trade, so here’s what was said back in 2018 at the time of the deal. What Did People Say at the Time of the Trade? Arizona’s manager Torey Lovullo said, “We’re really excited about Eduardo Escobar. He’s got a tremendous track record in this game, he’s a great teammate, he’s a great player. He’ll fit right in.” At the time, Twins general manager Thad Levine said, both scouts and data analysts found the team’s haul in the deal “very exciting.” When referencing the Escobar trade and the Ryan Pressly deal, he said, “I believe four of them will go right into our top 30 prospects, and that’s meaningful. What we were able to accomplish yesterday may not pay dividends tomorrow, but on the horizon, that just got brighter.” Baseball America was very high on Duran at the time of the deal as he was the 10th ranked prospect in the Diamondback organization. They wrote, “He's coveted for his size, projectability and arm strength. His four-seam fastball reaches into the upper 90s and has peaked at 98 mph this season, and he's also shown a two-seam fastball in the low 90s that has flashed plus at low Class A Kane County. He has feel to spin his curveball, but the pitch still needs further refinement to keep hitters from picking it up early. His changeup is well below-average.” The other two players acquire along with Duran were Gabriel Maciel and Ernie De La Trinidad. Baseball America said, “Maciel is a touch undersized but has shown the ability to spray the ball around the park. Even so, scouts see well below-average power with plus speed. He plays an average center field right now, but with his speed has a chance to develop into an above-average defender.” Regarding De La Trinidad, Baseball America said, “De La Trinidad has plenty of power for a player listed at just 5-foot-9 and 165 pounds. His eight home runs are second on Kane County, behind only Jazz Chisholm… He plays hard and gets the most out of his ability, but there is no single carrying tool on his card and he does not project as a big league regular.” Escobar’s Arizona Time The Diamondbacks were trading for only a partial season of Escobar even though they did go on to resign him. In those 54 games in 2018, he hit .268/.320/.444 with eight home runs and 11 doubles. At the time of the trade the Diamondbacks were trailing the Los Angeles Dodgers by 1.5 games in the NL West and they were a half-game behind the Atlanta Braves in the NL wild-card race. Things didn’t go well down the stretch as Arizona ended the season with an 82-80 record which was 9.5 games back in the division. Escobar resigned with the Diamondbacks for three years and $21 million, so he has one more year remaining on that current contract. In 2019, he hit .269/.320/.511 with 35 home runs, 29 doubles, and a league leading 10 triples. The 2020 seasons didn’t go as well for him as his OPS dropped by over 200 points. Minnesota’s Trade Return Back in 2019, Duran was able to reach Double-A as a 21-year-old and the Twins added him to the 40-man roster following the season. His fastball is his key to getting to the big leagues as he can hit triple-digits on the radar gun. His best secondary pitch, a splitter/sinker hybrid pitch, is one that Baseball America has written multiple articles about. This pitch typically sits in the 88-94 mph range and he adds in a curveball that continues to improve. Maciel split the 2019 season between Low- and High-A where he hit .283/.366/.366 with 18 extra-base hits and a 61 to 44 strikeout to walk ratio. Also, he played all three outfield positions. De La Trinidad split the 2019 season between High- and Double-A where he hit .228/.309/.320 with 15 extra base hits and a 68 to 31 strikeout to walk ratio. Without any minor league games, it’s hard to know what kind of improvements any of these players made in 2020. Duran got to work the entire year at the team’s alternate site and the Twins continue to be very high on his potential. Who Won the Trade? Any value the Twins could get for Escobar is positive since he was essential a rental player. Minnesota has a deep farm system and Duran is one of the organization’s top pitching prospects. At best, he should fit into the Twins rotation for the better part of the next decade. If he can’t make it as a starter, his pitch combination could make him a lethal bullpen option. Maciel and De La Trinidad have an outside shot at making the big leagues, but the Twins clearly won with their acquisition of Duran. Looking back, what do you think about the trade? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  5. Duran signed with the Diamondbacks in February of 2015, shortly after his 17th birthday. That summer in the Dominican Summer League, he went 4-1 with a 3.25 ERA in 12 starts. The next year, he came to the States and pitched at two rookie-league levels. The Diamondbacks kept moving him slowly. In 2017, he played for Hillsboro in the advanced short-season Northwest League. He went 6-3 with a 4.24 ERA in 11 starts. The Diamondbacks didn’t move him up real quickly, and for good reason. Last month, the Twins announced that they had hired Mike Bell to be their new Bench Coach, replacing Derek Shelton who had been named the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bell has spent the past 27 years in professional baseball. He was a player who got a brief cup of coffee in the big leagues. He became a coach and a manager in the minor leagues upon his retirement as a player. However, he has spent the last eight seasons as the Vice President of Player Development for the Arizona Diamondbacks. In other words, he was their Minor League Director. Mike Bell was ultimately in charge of the development of each of the Diamondbacks minor leaguers, including Jhoan Duran. Bell said, “When we saw him, he had a real heavy sinker. We took some baby steps with him. We knew the kind of talent he was, so we were playing it pretty safe with him in rookie ball. We saw a fastball up to 99 with heavy sink, and he is around the strike zone with command.” He began 2018 with Kane County in the Midwest League. He was 5-4 with a 4.73 ERA in 15 starts. Then came July 27th, 2018. He found out that afternoon that he had been traded, along with outfielders Gabriel Maciel and Ernie de la Trinidad, in exchange for infielder Eduardo Escobar. Regarding the trade, Bell noted, “It was a painful trade, being on that side of it, watching him go.” He continued, “I was definitely in the room. I think it was a good trade for both teams. Escy’s a very good player, and a good teammate. I’ll tell you what, Duran is an incredible talent. I think he’s going to do a lot of good things here in the organization. I’m super-excited to reconnect with him.” From Duran’s perspective, it was something new. He had obviously never been traded before then. He said he knew no one in the Twins organization at the time of the trade. But he took it as a positive. He said (through Twins translator Elvis Martinez), “It was actually a good experience. I got to meet new people, new staff.” And he made a nice first impression in the new organization. In his first Kernels start, he threw seven no-hit, one-walk innings and struck out seven batters. He faced the minimum, 21 batters. In his fourth Kernels start, he struck out nine batters and gave up just one run over seven innings. The next start, he faced his old teammates from the Kane County Cougars. He gave up just one hit and struck out ten batters over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. In his six Kernels starts, he went 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA and had 44 strikeouts in 36 innings. Duran spoke of it being nice to get off to a good start in his new organization, “It was a learning process. I think it was more mental than physical. I was just trying to get better every outing.” Duran began the 2019 season in Ft. Myers. With the Miracle, he went just 2-9 despite an impressive 3.23 ERA. He also had 95 strikeouts (and 31 walks) over his 78 innings in the Florida State League. He never gave up more than three earned runs in any of his 16 outings. He moved up to Double-A Pensacola and made seven more starts. He went 3-3 with a 4.86 ERA. He struck out 41 batters, and walked just nine, over his 37 innings there. In his penultimate start of the season, he struck out 11 batters (and walked just one) over eight innings of two-hit, shutout baseball against the Jackson Generals. The soft-spoken Duran said of his 2019 season, “I felt really good overall, however, I feel I can do better.” The Twins obviously believe there is much more in there as well. In November, he was an easy choice to add to the team’s 40-man roster. Of course, it wasn’t as obvious to him. “Actually, it was something that took me by surprise, but I was really happy. I was not expecting it, but it was one of my goals.” Duran stands 6-5 and while he is lean, he is strong, weighing in at about 230 pounds. He has always been projectable. That 99 mph he was showing in rookie ball and now crept into the triple-digits often. His fastball averaged 97 mph in 2019. Duran briefly spoke about his best pitch and the pitches that he feels most comfortable with right now. “Obviously I feel most comfortable with my fastball, but I also have another pitch that I really like to use and feel really comfortable with, and that’s my sinker.” He also has a pretty good breaking ball or two that he continues to work on and hopes to make more consistent. Jhoan Duran is on the 40-man roster. He’s been to Twins Fest. He now has his Dominican high school diploma. And to top things off, he is on the cover of the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook. As he looks toward 2020, Duran has a couple of goals in mind. “My main goal is to go out there and keep working, to get better and to try to make the team.” And being on the roster means he is just one phone call away from reaching a lifelong dream, the big leagues. He notes, “It will mean a lot. It will be a dream come true.” His former farm director Mike Bell could become his bench coach with that big-league promotion, and I think his final comments on Duran echo those of Twins fans. “I’m excited to see what he can do here.” No, I won't be giving away the whole book, but here is the Jhoan Duran profile page to show you what you will find in the pages of the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. It is available in paperback or PDF (for immediate download). Order your copies today!
  6. On Wednesday afternoon, Jhoan Duran added another key achievement in his life. He was one of eight Twins minor leaguers to graduate and receive their high school diploma through the club’s Dominican Baseball Academy in Boca Chica. Get to know a little more about one of the Twins top pitching prospects.Duran signed with the Diamondbacks in February of 2015, shortly after his 17th birthday. That summer in the Dominican Summer League, he went 4-1 with a 3.25 ERA in 12 starts. The next year, he came to the States and pitched at two rookie-league levels. The Diamondbacks kept moving him slowly. In 2017, he played for Hillsboro in the advanced short-season Northwest League. He went 6-3 with a 4.24 ERA in 11 starts. The Diamondbacks didn’t move him up real quickly, and for good reason. Last month, the Twins announced that they had hired Mike Bell to be their new Bench Coach, replacing Derek Shelton who had been named the manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Bell has spent the past 27 years in professional baseball. He was a player who got a brief cup of coffee in the big leagues. He became a coach and a manager in the minor leagues upon his retirement as a player. However, he has spent the last eight seasons as the Vice President of Player Development for the Arizona Diamondbacks. In other words, he was their Minor League Director. Mike Bell was ultimately in charge of the development of each of the Diamondbacks minor leaguers, including Jhoan Duran. Bell said, “When we saw him, he had a real heavy sinker. We took some baby steps with him. We knew the kind of talent he was, so we were playing it pretty safe with him in rookie ball. We saw a fastball up to 99 with heavy sink, and he is around the strike zone with command.” He began 2018 with Kane County in the Midwest League. He was 5-4 with a 4.73 ERA in 15 starts. Then came July 27th, 2018. He found out that afternoon that he had been traded, along with outfielders Gabriel Maciel and Ernie de la Trinidad, in exchange for infielder Eduardo Escobar. Regarding the trade, Bell noted, “It was a painful trade, being on that side of it, watching him go.” He continued, “I was definitely in the room. I think it was a good trade for both teams. Escy’s a very good player, and a good teammate. I’ll tell you what, Duran is an incredible talent. I think he’s going to do a lot of good things here in the organization. I’m super-excited to reconnect with him.” From Duran’s perspective, it was something new. He had obviously never been traded before then. He said he knew no one in the Twins organization at the time of the trade. But he took it as a positive. He said (through Twins translator Elvis Martinez), “It was actually a good experience. I got to meet new people, new staff.” And he made a nice first impression in the new organization. In his first Kernels start, he threw seven no-hit, one-walk innings and struck out seven batters. He faced the minimum, 21 batters. In his fourth Kernels start, he struck out nine batters and gave up just one run over seven innings. The next start, he faced his old teammates from the Kane County Cougars. He gave up just one hit and struck out ten batters over 6 2/3 scoreless innings. In his six Kernels starts, he went 2-1 with a 2.00 ERA and had 44 strikeouts in 36 innings. Duran spoke of it being nice to get off to a good start in his new organization, “It was a learning process. I think it was more mental than physical. I was just trying to get better every outing.” Duran began the 2019 season in Ft. Myers. With the Miracle, he went just 2-9 despite an impressive 3.23 ERA. He also had 95 strikeouts (and 31 walks) over his 78 innings in the Florida State League. He never gave up more than three earned runs in any of his 16 outings. He moved up to Double-A Pensacola and made seven more starts. He went 3-3 with a 4.86 ERA. He struck out 41 batters, and walked just nine, over his 37 innings there. In his penultimate start of the season, he struck out 11 batters (and walked just one) over eight innings of two-hit, shutout baseball against the Jackson Generals. The soft-spoken Duran said of his 2019 season, “I felt really good overall, however, I feel I can do better.” The Twins obviously believe there is much more in there as well. In November, he was an easy choice to add to the team’s 40-man roster. Of course, it wasn’t as obvious to him. “Actually, it was something that took me by surprise, but I was really happy. I was not expecting it, but it was one of my goals.” Duran stands 6-5 and while he is lean, he is strong, weighing in at about 230 pounds. He has always been projectable. That 99 mph he was showing in rookie ball and now crept into the triple-digits often. His fastball averaged 97 mph in 2019. Duran briefly spoke about his best pitch and the pitches that he feels most comfortable with right now. “Obviously I feel most comfortable with my fastball, but I also have another pitch that I really like to use and feel really comfortable with, and that’s my sinker.” He also has a pretty good breaking ball or two that he continues to work on and hopes to make more consistent. Jhoan Duran is on the 40-man roster. He’s been to Twins Fest. He now has his Dominican high school diploma. And to top things off, he is on the cover of the 2020 Twins Prospect Handbook. As he looks toward 2020, Duran has a couple of goals in mind. “My main goal is to go out there and keep working, to get better and to try to make the team.” And being on the roster means he is just one phone call away from reaching a lifelong dream, the big leagues. He notes, “It will mean a lot. It will be a dream come true.” His former farm director Mike Bell could become his bench coach with that big-league promotion, and I think his final comments on Duran echo those of Twins fans. “I’m excited to see what he can do here.” No, I won't be giving away the whole book, but here is the Jhoan Duran profile page to show you what you will find in the pages of the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. It is available in paperback or PDF(for immediate download). Order your copies today! Click here to view the article
  7. Chronologically, the first trade was the Eduardo Escobar trade. Escobar was a beloved by Twins fans but trading him made loads of sense because he was an impending free agent and seemed unlikely to resign with the Twins. In return for Escobar the Twins received RHP Jhoan Duran, OF Gabriel Maciel, and OF Ernie De La Trinidad from the Arizona Diamondbacks. At the time of the trade it seemed like a pretty good return as Duran and Maciel were intriguing prospects with some upside. After one year the trade is looking even better. Jhoan Duran has been really good since joining the Twins. After the trade, Duran pitched for Cedar Rapids for the remainder of the 2018 season and was dominant. In 36 innings Duran struck out 44 batters while walking only 10. He finished with a 2.00 ERA and .81 WHIP and opponents hit just .154 off him. It has been more of the same this year, as Durant started in High-A Fort Myers and has pitched to a 3.23 ERA with 95 strikeouts in 78 innings pitched. In the past week Duran was called up to AA Pensacola and is inching closer and closer to the big leagues. He can hit triple digits with his heater and certainly appears to be the top dog of the 2018 trade acquisitions. Duran looks like he may make it as a starter but would certainly be enticing at the back end of a bullpen as well. Duran is 21-years-old. Gabriel Maciel has also done well early in his time with the organization. The Brazilian is a center fielder who has elite speed but has yet to develop much power and is listed as 5’10” and 170 pounds. He held his own last year at Cedar Rapids and began 2019 there as well. After 45 games and an impressive .309/.395/.377 triple slash, Maciel was promoted to High-A Fort Myers. He has done well since joining the Miracle, hitting .288/.366/.360, and is an ideal leadoff hitter with his speed and ability to get on base. Maciel has stolen 20 bases so far this year and is still just 20 years old. Ernie De La Trinidad was more of a throw in and has struggled to a .228/.314/.300 triple slash between Fort Meyers and Pensacola in 2019. He actually started the year in AA Pensacola but was sent back down to Single-A where he played in 2018. He is rather small in stature, has limited upside, and is already 23-years-old. Overall this trade is looking really good as Duran has become one of Minnesota’s top pitching prospects and Maciel has done quite well while flying a bit under the radar. Either one of these two could become important trade chips and have a good chance of reaching the majors. The Twins quickly made another big trade when they traded Ryan Pressly to the Houston Astros for RHP Jorge Alcala and OF Gilberto Celestino. Pressly was having a solid 2018 for Minnesota pitching to a 3.40 ERA (2.95 FIP) and was striking out 13/9 IP. He still had one year of team control left. Pressly has become one of the best relievers in all of baseball since joining the Astros. Pressly has pitched to a 1.60 ERA (2.31 FIP) with a WHIP of .768 for Houston. He has been absolutely filthy and would obviously be really, really nice to have in the current Twins pen. Like Duran, Jorge Alcala is another guy who tops out at over 100 mph. He too joined the Twins organization as a starter but many questioned whether he would remain so. Alcala pitched exclusively as a starter since joining the Twins but very recently shifted to the pen. Alcala has pitched in AA in both seasons with Minnesota and the results have not been pretty. In 2019 he has an ERA of 6.22 with a WHIP of 1.51 but he still gets strikeouts (98 in 94 IP). Walks have always been an issue with Alcala but hopefully Alcala will be able to tone things down in the pen and reach his full potential. Alcala just turned 24. Gilberto Celestino was a big international signing for Houston in 2015. Like Maciel, Celestino is a centerfielder but has a better chance to hit for power than Maciel. After joining the Twins, Celestino spent 2018 playing short season ball in Elizabethton and has played for Cedar Rapids in 2019. Celestino’s numbers on the year are not overly impressive (.249/.324/.366) but he has shown improvement month by month and has really heated up of late (.322/.390/.500 in July). Like Maciel, Celestino will only be 20 for the remainder of the season and contains plenty of upside. Although Alcala and Celestino have plenty of upside, this is probably a trade the Twins would like to take back. Pressly would make quite a 1-2 combo with Taylor Rogers and had the front office known the Twins would be contenders in 2019 this trade likely would not have been made. Next, the Twins traded Zach Duke to the Seattle Mariners for RHP Chase De Jong and 1B/3B Ryan Costello. As a lefty specialist, Duke was unlikely to bring back much and so far the results of this return have been fairly underwhelming. Chase De Jong split time between the minors and the major league club and was not particularly effective in either. For the Twins he did okay it 2018 as he posted a 3.57 ERA in four starts but the outings were short and his FIP was 4.92. 2019 has been a complete disaster for De Jong. He pitched one inning for the big league club and gave up four runs. Unfortunately, he wasn’t much better in Rochester, as he was 0-5 with a 9.73 ERA in 45.1 innings. He was released by the Red Wings on July 12. Ryan Costello is another player without a ton of upside but he did show some “pop” by hitting 20 home runs in 2018 (16 of them came with in low-A ball with Seattle). 2019 has been a struggle for Costello. Between High-A and AA he has hit just .212/.337/.361 for an OPS of .698 with eight long balls. Costello spends the majority of his time at first base so he will need to hit to further his career. He is 23-years-old. On the same day that Duke was traded, Minnesota traded Lance Lynn to the New York Yankees for 1B Tyler Austin and RHP Luis Rijo. Minnesota’s haul in this trade seemed pretty impressive as Lynn had struggled with the Twins and was a rental player. Austin was traded again from the Twins to the San Francisco Giants early this season. His time with the Twins was brief, but he made sense as a depth piece at first base with Joe Mauer’s looming retirement. With the Twins picking up C.J. Cron off of waivers and signing Nelson Cruz to DH, there was no room for Austin in 2019. Austin hit .236/.294/.488 with 9 home runs in 35 games for the Twins last season and since joining San Francisco he has hit just .181/.278/.402 in 68 games. The second piece of this trade is looking really good so far for Minnesota. Luis Rijo finished 2018 pitching for Elizabethton in rookie ball and his numbers were impressive as he was 2-0 with a 1.27 ERA in five starts. He has built upon that success in Low-A Cedar Rapids this year with a 2.55 ERA and 1.09 WHIP in 77.2 innings. Rijo’s fastball now sits in the mid-90s and he also throws a curve and changeup. With his success this year and added velocity, Rijo is sure to continue moving up the prospect lists. Rijo is 20-years-old. On the last day of the trade deadline the Twins sent fan favorite Brian Dozier to the Los Angeles Dodgers for 2B Logan Forsythe, OF/1B Luke Raley, and LHP Devin Smeltzer. Dozier was having a down year for the Twins and was also in the last year of his contract so his trade value had greatly diminished. Forsythe, who like Dozier was in the last year of his contract, was thrown in to offset Dozier’s salary and is no longer a Twin. Luke Raley is a strong and athletic outfielder who has raked since joining the organization. He hit .276/.371/.449 in AA for the remained of his 2018 season and joined AAA Rochester for the start of 2019. This year Raley was turning heads by hitting .302/.362/.516 but suffered a dislocated tendon in his left ankle that required surgery and has been out since mid-May. The Twins will need to decide whether or not to add Raley to the 40-man roster this off season as he will be eligible for the Rule-5 draft. Raley is 24-years-old. The other prospect acquired in the Dozier trade is one that Twins fans have become quite familiar with this year. Devin Smeltzer was moved to the bullpen in 2018 while in the Dodger’s minor league system and finished last season in the bullpen after joining the Twins organization as well. However, Smeltzer wanted one more chance to remain a starter and the Twins granted him his wish. In 2019, between AA and AAA Smeltzer has pitched to a 2.21 ERA and .993 WHIP with 92 Ks in 89.2 innings. Smetzer has been up with the Twins three times this season, making two starts and a total of four appearances. So far Smeltzer has done well with the big league club, pitching to a 2.91 ERA and 1.015 WHIP in 21.2 innings of work. Smeltzer is likely to see more time with the Twins this season either as a spot starter or out of the pen. Smeltzer is 23-years-old. The MLB has done away with the August waiver wire trade deadline but the Twins did make one August trade last season. The Twins traded closer Fernando Rodney to the Oakland A’s for Dakota Chalmers. Rodney had a team option for 2019, but exercising the option was far from certain due to Rodney’s age and performance (he has not been good in 2019). Dakota Chalmers is another high upside player who has struggled with control throughout his career. The former third-round pick ($1.2 million signing bonus) recently returned from Tommy John surgery and joined High-A Fort Meyers after a short rehab assignment in the Gulf Coast League. Chalmers struck out 19 batters in 13.1 innings in the GCL but also walked eight. Chalmers is more of a lottery ticket at this point, but if he is able to put it all together he could be another player with the potential to shoot up the prospect lists. Overall, the 2018 trade return looks pretty solid. Duran, Maciel, Rijo, Raley, and Smeltzer have all had great starts in their first full year in the organization and Celestino, Alcala, and Chalmers still offer plenty of upside. The Twins were able to add great depth to an already good farm system and the only significant loss was not having Ryan Pressly in the 2019 bullpen. The Twins would love to have Pressly now but they were able to gain plenty of prospect capital and depth. This makes it easier to deal prospects without decimating the farm as well as giving the Twins plenty of hope for the future. Looking back a year later, how do you think the FO did for the 2018 trade deadline? Did all the additions make the loss of Pressly worthwhile? Which of the additions has most impressed you since joining the Twins organization?
  8. To find out everything that happened with all your favorite Minnesota Twins prospects on the day, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS There were a few transactions in the upper levels of the minor leagues with RHP Sam Dyson’s activation from the injured list into for the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday: The Rochester Red Wings activated C Wynston Sawyer from the seven-day injured list while placing RHP Sean Poppen on it with a right elbow contusion. RHP Cody Stashak was also optioned to AAA in a corresponding move with Dyson’s activation. C Caleb Hamilton was assigned to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos from AAA with the placement of SS Jordan Gore on the seven-day injured list. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Indianapolis 6 Box Score The Red Wings plated single runs in third, seventh, and eighth innings but that was all they could muster as the Indians doubled them up with two crooked innings on the scoreboard. Rochester got their runs in the form of a balk after Zander Wiel led off the third with a triple, an RBI single from Mike Miller in the seventh, and Brandon Barnes’ 26home run on the year in the International League in the eighth. Each of Wiel (2-for-4, 2 R, 3B), Ronald Torreyes (2-for-4), and Barnes (2-for-4, R, HR, RBI) had two hits on the game while Tomas Telis added a double. Lefty Lewis Thorpe got the start in this one and in what one might consider major league roster strategic fashion, went just three innings. This despite throwing only 42 pitches (29 for strikes) and allowing only one earned run on a solo homer and striking out four hitters. Adam Bray came on for the fourth and went the next two innings, giving up one hit and one walk with two strikeouts. Fernando Romero got the sixth and was charged with three unearned runs after an infield error was followed by a two-out bases-clearing triple. He walked one, allowed two hits, and struck out two. Jeremy Bleich finished out the final two innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits while striking out four. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Chattanooga 6, Pensacola 3 Box Score The Twins former Southern League affiliate used a big third inning to take it to the Blue Wahoos on Tuesday, while also doubling them up on the hit tally, twelve to six. Top prospect Jhoan Duran took the mound for Pensacola but ran into trouble in multiple frames as the Lookouts had his number early and often. In just 2+ innings Duran was charged with six earned runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out two and left the game in the third after loading the bases with a hit-by-pitch and two walks, a wild pitch, then allowing two run-scoring singles before being lifted in favor of Jovani Moran. Moran went 1 1/3, allowing a hit and walk along with striking out one. Andrew Vasquez went the next 1 2/3 scoreless, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out three. Jonathan Cheshire and Alex Phillips combined for four scoreless innings to close the game. Cheshire struck out two and Phillips K'd four. Big-name prospects got it started on the right foot with two runs in the bottom of the first when Alex Kirilloff led off with a double and scored on a Royce Lewis single before Trevor Larnach brought Lewis around with a double. From there the next fourteen Blue Wahoos hitters were retired and a Lewis sac fly in the eight was all the offense they could muster on the game. Ryan Jeffers and Jimmy Kerrigan also added doubles to the effort. MIRACLE MATTERS Game 1: St. Lucie 7, Fort Myers 4 (7 innings) Box Score After their rainout yesterday, the Miracle had a doubleheader on Tuesday that also got started a bit late due to the weather. This one went back and forth until the Mets broke it open with a three-run sixth inning to take the lead for good, 6-4. Cole Sands made the start and left in line for the win after five innings. He allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out four. Melvi Acosta was summoned in for the sixth when things went south. He allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and a walk in his inning, striking out one. Cuban signee Yennier Cano allowed an insurance run for the Mets in the seventh when he gave up a solo home run. He walked one and struck out one otherwise to finish the game. The lineup responded to the Mets in the second inning thanks to a two-RBI single from David Banuelos to tie it, then took their first lead in the fourth when he brought in another runner with a double. Tied at three going into the bottom of the fifth, the Miracle took their last lead of the game on an RBI-double from Trey Cabbage before the Mets' rally in the sixth. Game 2: St. Lucie 2, Fort Myers 3 (9 innings) Box Score The Miracle got back at the Mets in game 2, but it took extra innings as part of their shortened game doubleheader. Starter Dakota Chalmers was brilliant for the first six innings, allowing just one run (unearned) on three hits and a walk, while punching out nine St. Lucie hitters. Of his 88 pitches, 59 went for strikes (67%) and he racked up 15 swinging strikes. Zach Neff came on and took Fort Myers into extra innings, picking up his third win for his efforts. He allowed an unearned run on two hits and a walk, notching three K’s in three innings pitched. The Miracle got on the scoreboard first in the second inning when Taylor Grezalowski drove in Jacob Pearson with a single. The score remained tied until the top of the ninth when St. Lucie went up 2-1, but the home team answered in the bottom half with a two-out rally. Yeltsin Encarnacion brought in the tying run with a single, then Gabriel Maciel followed with an RBI single of his own to walk it off in Hammond Stadium. Grezalakowski was the only batter with multiple hits, finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI and a double. They drew six walks as a team and in the end took advantage when they needed to by finishing 4-13 with runners in scoring position compared to 1-for-7 for the Mets. KERNELS NUGGETS Scheduled Day Off The Kernels just finished off the start of August by winning eight games in a row and will look to extend that perfect month against the Los Angeles Dodgers-affiliated Great Lake Loons on Wednesday at home. Lefthander Kody Funderbunk is scheduled to start the game. E-TWINS E-NOTES Pulaski 1, Elizabethton 0 (8+ innings) Box Score Hits were at a premium in this one as the teams combined for just five hits on the game. The only run of the game scored when Twins catcher Jonigson Villalobos’ attempted to pick a runner off third base and his throw got into the outfield in the fourth inning. Elizabethton left nine men on base compared to Pulaski’s three. As the leadoff man Willie Joe Garry Jr. finished 1-for-3 with a walk. He ended up stranded on third in the first inning when the Twins were unable to capitalize on loading the bases with two-outs. That was their best threat of the game despite four walks and three hit-by-pitches. Parker Phillips and Max Smith picked up the other singles while Seth Gray drew two of those four walks. 2019 fourth-round draft pick Cody Laweryson got he start for Elizabethton and was brilliant four five innings. His only run allowed was unearned, surrendering only two hits and a walk while striking out five. It was his fourth appearance (three starts) in a row without allowing an earned run, and seventh of nine appearances in his professional career. As a professional he’s pitched 35 innings with a 1.29 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and 40 strikeouts to just nine walks. Unfortunately, this game was made official after two-outs were recorded in the top of the ninth inning thanks to rain, so Elizabethon never got their final chance at pulling out a victory. GCL TWINS TAKES Game 1: GCL Rays 2, GCL Twins 3 (8 innings) Box Score In the early morning game of their doubleheader, the Rays and Twins needed an “extra” inning to close it out, with the Twins coming out on top in walk-off fashion. Making his second rehab appearance since hitting the injured list all the way back on May 25th, left-hander Stephen Gonsalves got the first inning in this one and set the Rays down in order, including striking out the first two hitters of the game. Another rehabber followed him for the second in the form of Trevor Hildenberger, who gave up a run on two hits while striking out one. From there, primary pitcher Miguel Rodriguez shouldered the rest of the game's load. In six bulldog innings, he allowed just one run on four hits and a walk along with striking out five to pick up his second win in the Gulf Coast League. The Twins scored first in this one thanks to an error by the Rays to the leadoff man in the bottom of the opening frame. Victor Heredia drove him in with a single two batters later. Down 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth Jesus Feliz tied the game with his third home run of the season. In the extra frame it was a two-out RBI single from Wander Valdez that brought in the walk-off run for the Twins. The home team collected just five hits on the game but made them count by finishing 2-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Alec Craig scored two runs out of the leadoff spot and nine-man Jake Hirabayashi drew two walks. Game 2: GCL Twins 3, GCL Rays 0 (6+ innings) Box Score The teams made up for that extra inning in game one by finishing only six innings in game two thanks to the rain that also delayed the Miracle’s start. The teams combined for just seven hits in this one, but the advantage went to the Twins by finishing 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position while the Rays went 0-for-5. The Twins scored all three of their runs in the second inning, with Luis Milla driving in one with a single through the right side, and Erick Rivera following later with a two-RBI single to center. Francisco Martinez finished his day 1-for-1 with a run scored and a pair of walks. On the bump in this one was right-hander Niklas Rimmel and he took it to the Rays hitters. In five innings he scattered four hits and allowed zero runs while striking out four. Steve Theetge came out for the sixth inning but before he could record an out the rains came and the contest was ruled official. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Dakota Chalmers, Fort Myers Miracle (6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, BB, 9 K) Honorable Mention: Miguel Rodriguez, GCL Twins (W, 6.0 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 5 K) Niklas Rimmel, GCL Twins (W, 5.0 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 4 K) Cody Laweryson, Elizabethton Twins (L, 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, BB, 5 K) Hitter of the Day – Gabriel Maciel, Fort Myers Miracle (1-for-4, RBI, BB, walk-off single in extra innings) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 1-for-3, R, 2 RBI, SF #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, R, 2B #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, 2B, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - No game #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) - Did not play #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured List (groin) #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - 2.0+ IP, 6 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 2 K #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 4 K #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (leg contusion) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - 1-for-3, 2B, BB #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - Game in progress #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 0-for-3, K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did not play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) - No game #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 0-for-4 WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Indianapolis (12:35PM CST) - RHP Griffin Jax (1-0, 6.00 ERA) Chattanooga @ Pensacola (6:35PM CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (4-5, 4.60 ERA) St. Lucie @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (1-5, 3.87 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (7:05PM CST) - LHP Kody Funderburk (0-2, 4.45 ERA) GCL Braves @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  9. Two different Minnesota Twins affiliates had doubleheaders scheduled on Tuesday as rain wreaked havoc on the Florida panhandle on Monday. Rain continued to affect the schedule in the Florida State and Gulf Coast Leagues on Tuesday, but both teams managed to get both games official when all was said and done. Pitching lines owned the box scores on the night, but there were also multiple walk-off games, and a couple that may have gone that way if not for being completed early.To find out everything that happened with all your favorite Minnesota Twins prospects on the day, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS There were a few transactions in the upper levels of the minor leagues with RHP Sam Dyson’s activation from the injured list into for the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday: The Rochester Red Wings activated C Wynston Sawyer from the seven-day injured list while placing RHP Sean Poppen on it with a right elbow contusion. RHP Cody Stashak was also optioned to AAA in a corresponding move with Dyson’s activation.C Caleb Hamilton was assigned to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos from AAA with the placement of SS Jordan Gore on the seven-day injured list.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 3, Indianapolis 6 Box Score The Red Wings plated single runs in third, seventh, and eighth innings but that was all they could muster as the Indians doubled them up with two crooked innings on the scoreboard. Rochester got their runs in the form of a balk after Zander Wiel led off the third with a triple, an RBI single from Mike Miller in the seventh, and Brandon Barnes’ 26home run on the year in the International League in the eighth. Each of Wiel (2-for-4, 2 R, 3B), Ronald Torreyes (2-for-4), and Barnes (2-for-4, R, HR, RBI) had two hits on the game while Tomas Telis added a double. Lefty Lewis Thorpe got the start in this one and in what one might consider major league roster strategic fashion, went just three innings. This despite throwing only 42 pitches (29 for strikes) and allowing only one earned run on a solo homer and striking out four hitters. Adam Bray came on for the fourth and went the next two innings, giving up one hit and one walk with two strikeouts. Fernando Romero got the sixth and was charged with three unearned runs after an infield error was followed by a two-out bases-clearing triple. He walked one, allowed two hits, and struck out two. Jeremy Bleich finished out the final two innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits while striking out four. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Chattanooga 6, Pensacola 3 Box Score The Twins former Southern League affiliate used a big third inning to take it to the Blue Wahoos on Tuesday, while also doubling them up on the hit tally, twelve to six. Top prospect Jhoan Duran took the mound for Pensacola but ran into trouble in multiple frames as the Lookouts had his number early and often. In just 2+ innings Duran was charged with six earned runs on seven hits and two walks. He struck out two and left the game in the third after loading the bases with a hit-by-pitch and two walks, a wild pitch, then allowing two run-scoring singles before being lifted in favor of Jovani Moran. Moran went 1 1/3, allowing a hit and walk along with striking out one. Andrew Vasquez went the next 1 2/3 scoreless, allowing two hits and a walk while striking out three. Jonathan Cheshire and Alex Phillips combined for four scoreless innings to close the game. Cheshire struck out two and Phillips K'd four. Big-name prospects got it started on the right foot with two runs in the bottom of the first when Alex Kirilloff led off with a double and scored on a Royce Lewis single before Trevor Larnach brought Lewis around with a double. From there the next fourteen Blue Wahoos hitters were retired and a Lewis sac fly in the eight was all the offense they could muster on the game. Ryan Jeffers and Jimmy Kerrigan also added doubles to the effort. MIRACLE MATTERS Game 1: St. Lucie 7, Fort Myers 4 (7 innings) Box Score After their rainout yesterday, the Miracle had a doubleheader on Tuesday that also got started a bit late due to the weather. This one went back and forth until the Mets broke it open with a three-run sixth inning to take the lead for good, 6-4. Cole Sands made the start and left in line for the win after five innings. He allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and two walks while striking out four. Melvi Acosta was summoned in for the sixth when things went south. He allowed three runs (two earned) on two hits and a walk in his inning, striking out one. Cuban signee Yennier Cano allowed an insurance run for the Mets in the seventh when he gave up a solo home run. He walked one and struck out one otherwise to finish the game. The lineup responded to the Mets in the second inning thanks to a two-RBI single from David Banuelos to tie it, then took their first lead in the fourth when he brought in another runner with a double. Tied at three going into the bottom of the fifth, the Miracle took their last lead of the game on an RBI-double from Trey Cabbage before the Mets' rally in the sixth. Game 2: St. Lucie 2, Fort Myers 3 (9 innings) Box Score The Miracle got back at the Mets in game 2, but it took extra innings as part of their shortened game doubleheader. Starter Dakota Chalmers was brilliant for the first six innings, allowing just one run (unearned) on three hits and a walk, while punching out nine St. Lucie hitters. Of his 88 pitches, 59 went for strikes (67%) and he racked up 15 swinging strikes. Zach Neff came on and took Fort Myers into extra innings, picking up his third win for his efforts. He allowed an unearned run on two hits and a walk, notching three K’s in three innings pitched. The Miracle got on the scoreboard first in the second inning when Taylor Grezalowski drove in Jacob Pearson with a single. The score remained tied until the top of the ninth when St. Lucie went up 2-1, but the home team answered in the bottom half with a two-out rally. Yeltsin Encarnacion brought in the tying run with a single, then Gabriel Maciel followed with an RBI single of his own to walk it off in Hammond Stadium. Grezalakowski was the only batter with multiple hits, finishing 2-for-4 with an RBI and a double. They drew six walks as a team and in the end took advantage when they needed to by finishing 4-13 with runners in scoring position compared to 1-for-7 for the Mets. KERNELS NUGGETS Scheduled Day Off The Kernels just finished off the start of August by winning eight games in a row and will look to extend that perfect month against the Los Angeles Dodgers-affiliated Great Lake Loons on Wednesday at home. Lefthander Kody Funderbunk is scheduled to start the game. E-TWINS E-NOTES Pulaski 1, Elizabethton 0 (8+ innings) Box Score Hits were at a premium in this one as the teams combined for just five hits on the game. The only run of the game scored when Twins catcher Jonigson Villalobos’ attempted to pick a runner off third base and his throw got into the outfield in the fourth inning. Elizabethton left nine men on base compared to Pulaski’s three. As the leadoff man Willie Joe Garry Jr. finished 1-for-3 with a walk. He ended up stranded on third in the first inning when the Twins were unable to capitalize on loading the bases with two-outs. That was their best threat of the game despite four walks and three hit-by-pitches. Parker Phillips and Max Smith picked up the other singles while Seth Gray drew two of those four walks. 2019 fourth-round draft pick Cody Laweryson got he start for Elizabethton and was brilliant four five innings. His only run allowed was unearned, surrendering only two hits and a walk while striking out five. It was his fourth appearance (three starts) in a row without allowing an earned run, and seventh of nine appearances in his professional career. As a professional he’s pitched 35 innings with a 1.29 ERA, 0.80 WHIP, and 40 strikeouts to just nine walks. Unfortunately, this game was made official after two-outs were recorded in the top of the ninth inning thanks to rain, so Elizabethon never got their final chance at pulling out a victory. GCL TWINS TAKES Game 1: GCL Rays 2, GCL Twins 3 (8 innings) Box Score In the early morning game of their doubleheader, the Rays and Twins needed an “extra” inning to close it out, with the Twins coming out on top in walk-off fashion. Making his second rehab appearance since hitting the injured list all the way back on May 25th, left-hander Stephen Gonsalves got the first inning in this one and set the Rays down in order, including striking out the first two hitters of the game. Another rehabber followed him for the second in the form of Trevor Hildenberger, who gave up a run on two hits while striking out one. From there, primary pitcher Miguel Rodriguez shouldered the rest of the game's load. In six bulldog innings, he allowed just one run on four hits and a walk along with striking out five to pick up his second win in the Gulf Coast League. The Twins scored first in this one thanks to an error by the Rays to the leadoff man in the bottom of the opening frame. Victor Heredia drove him in with a single two batters later. Down 2-1 in the bottom of the sixth Jesus Feliz tied the game with his third home run of the season. In the extra frame it was a two-out RBI single from Wander Valdez that brought in the walk-off run for the Twins. The home team collected just five hits on the game but made them count by finishing 2-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Alec Craig scored two runs out of the leadoff spot and nine-man Jake Hirabayashi drew two walks. Game 2: GCL Twins 3, GCL Rays 0 (6+ innings) Box Score The teams made up for that extra inning in game one by finishing only six innings in game two thanks to the rain that also delayed the Miracle’s start. The teams combined for just seven hits in this one, but the advantage went to the Twins by finishing 2-for-6 with runners in scoring position while the Rays went 0-for-5. The Twins scored all three of their runs in the second inning, with Luis Milla driving in one with a single through the right side, and Erick Rivera following later with a two-RBI single to center. Francisco Martinez finished his day 1-for-1 with a run scored and a pair of walks. On the bump in this one was right-hander Niklas Rimmel and he took it to the Rays hitters. In five innings he scattered four hits and allowed zero runs while striking out four. Steve Theetge came out for the sixth inning but before he could record an out the rains came and the contest was ruled official. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Dakota Chalmers, Fort Myers Miracle (6.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 H, BB, 9 K) Honorable Mention: Miguel Rodriguez, GCL Twins (W, 6.0 IP, ER, 4 H, BB, 5 K) Niklas Rimmel, GCL Twins (W, 5.0 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 4 K) Cody Laweryson, Elizabethton Twins (L, 5.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, BB, 5 K) Hitter of the Day – Gabriel Maciel, Fort Myers Miracle (1-for-4, RBI, BB, walk-off single in extra innings) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 1-for-3, R, 2 RBI, SF #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, R, 2B #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, 2B, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - No game #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) - Did not play #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured List (groin) #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - 2.0+ IP, 6 ER, 7 H, 2 BB, 2 K #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - 3.0 IP, 1 ER, 2 H, 4 K #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (leg contusion) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - 1-for-3, 2B, BB #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - Game in progress #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 0-for-3, K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did not play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) - No game #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 0-for-4 WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Indianapolis (12:35PM CST) - RHP Griffin Jax (1-0, 6.00 ERA) Chattanooga @ Pensacola (6:35PM CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (4-5, 4.60 ERA) St. Lucie @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (1-5, 3.87 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (7:05PM CST) - LHP Kody Funderburk (0-2, 4.45 ERA) GCL Braves @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! 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  10. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Sunday, starting with the awards of the week and the transactions of the day. AWARDS Hitter of the Week: Gilberto Celestino, OF, Cedar Rapids Kernels - Celestino is the choice for the second straight week. In his six games this week, he hit .458 with a double, a homer and an OPS of 1.144. He came to the Twins a year ago with Jorge Alcala in the Ryan Pressly trade. Pitcher of the Week: Bailey Ober, RHP, Ft. Myers Miracle - He went 1-0 on the week and gave up only an unearned run on six hits over 6 1/3 innings. He was the 12th-round pick of the Twins in 2017 out of the College of Charleston. TRANSACTIONS Devin Smeltzer was called up to the Twins (And he had a terrific game!). Sam Dyson to the injured list. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Pawtucket 7 Box Score With Devin Smeltzer getting called up to start for the Twins, it was a bullpen game for the Red Wings. Adam Bray started. He went three innings and gave up four hits and a walk. He gave up four runs in the second inning. Fernando Romero walked one and struck out three over two scoreless, no-hit innings. Jake Reed got the sixth inning and gave up three runs on three hits and a walk. Sam Clay and Jeremy Bleich each worked a scoreless in relief. Wilin Rosario continues to mash. He went 3-for-5 with his 16th home run. Ronald Torreyes went 2-or-4. Zander Wiel hit his 32nd double. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Pensacola 10, Birmingham 1 Box Score The lineup powered the Blue Wahoos to another win, but the pitching was really good too. Edwar Colina started and improved to 3-0 with a 1.25 ERA since his promotion to Pensacola last month. He gave up one run on two hits over five innings. He walked three and struck out five. Jovan Moran struck out two over two scoreless innings. Jorge Alcala gave up two hits over two scoreless innings to end the game. Trevor Larnach was perfect on the game. He went 3-for-3 and walked twice. Royce Lewis went 1-for-3 with two walks. He also stole a base. Alex Kirilloff hit his sixth Wahoos homer. Jordan Gore was 2-for-4 with his third home run. Ryan Costello provided some late-inning insurance with his fourth homer. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 7, Lakeland 8 Box Score The Miracle jumped out to a 7-1 lead after six innings, but Lakeland scored one in the seventh, three in the eighth and three more in the ninth to walk off the Miracle. Bailey Ober continued his fantastic-when-healthy season for the Miracle. He gave up one run on four hits over six innings. He struck out eight batters without issuing a walk. https://twitter.com/AndrewBern12/status/1158086367169175552 Moises Gomez came on and gave up four runs on five hits in 1 1/3 innings Three of the hits were home runs. Joe Record got three outs. He gave up three runs on four hits and a walk. With one out and runners on second and third in the bottom of the ninth, Melvi Acosta came in with the game tied. He intentionally walked a batter to load the bases. It is a fine strategy to try to set up an inning-ending (and game-continuing) double play. Unfortunately, Acosta also walked the next batter which ended the game. Gabriel Maciel was terrific out of the leadoff spot. He went 4-for-5 with his third homer. He also stole his 13th base. Andrew Bechtold and Jacob Pearson each went 2-for-4 with their fifth doubles. Jose Miranda was also 2-for-4. Trey Cabbage hit his sixth home run, and Chris Williams hit his first Miracle home run since his promotion last week. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 12, Burlington 4 Box Score The Kernels used big innings to help them in this one. They had a three-run inning, a four-run innings and a five-run bottom of the eighth to put this one away. In the second inning, Gilberto Celestino cleared the bases with his 21st double. In the fifth inning, Albee Weiss hit a three-run homer. In the eighth inning, Tyler Webb homered and Wander Javier had a two-run double. Weiss led the offense. He went 2-for-3 with his sixth double and third home run. Tyler Webb was also 2-for-3 with his second Kernels homer. Javier had a walk in addition to his fifth double. Leadoff man, Spencer Steer, got on base three times. He walked twice and was hit by a pitch. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 1, Bristol 4 Box Score Tyler Benninghoff put together a strong, quality start. The right-hander gave up three runs on seven this and a walk over six innings. He struck out four. Ryan Shreve came on and gave up one run over two innings. Steven Cruz struck out two in a one-hit inning. Max Smith led the offense. He went 2-for-4 with his seventh double. Seth Gray and Matt Wallner each added a double. DaShawn Keirsey and Trevor Jenson each went 1-for-3 with a walk. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins Box Score No Game Scheduled. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Bailey Ober, Ft. Myers Miracle Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Trevor Larnach, Pensacola Blue Wahoos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 1-3, 2 BB, 2 R, K, SB(2) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 1-4, BB, HR(6), R, 2 RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Rehabbing in GCL #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 3-3, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 RBI #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, BB, HBP, 2B(5), R, 3 RBI. #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Temporary Inactive List (Pan Am Games) #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - No Game Scheduled #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured List (groin). #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch. #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch. #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Did Not Play. #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - Did Not Play. #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - 2-3, BB, 2 R #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 1-4, 2B(15), K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 1-5, R, 2 K #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 2 IP #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - No Game Scheduled #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - Injured List MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester - No Game Scheduled. Birmingham @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - TBD Ft. Myers @ St. Lucie (5:30 CST) - LHP Lachlan Wells (1-2, 5.25 ERA) Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Andrew Cabezas (4-6, 3.93 ERA) Elizabethton @ Kingsport (5:30 CST) - RHP Ben Gross (3-1, 3.98 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Pirates (DH @ 9:00 CST) - TBD, TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Sunday games or any other minor league topics you would like.
  11. The Twins most certainly have been willing to go to their Triple-A players throughout the year, and few have performed as well as Devin Smeltzer. And he did it again on Sunday. Trevor Larnach led the potent Pensacola lineup on Sunday with a perfect day at the plate. Wilin Rosario is pushing for another opportunity in the big leagues. Gabriel Maciel and Bailey Ober were great for the Miracle.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Sunday, starting with the awards of the week and the transactions of the day. AWARDS Hitter of the Week: Gilberto Celestino, OF, Cedar Rapids Kernels - Celestino is the choice for the second straight week. In his six games this week, he hit .458 with a double, a homer and an OPS of 1.144. He came to the Twins a year ago with Jorge Alcala in the Ryan Pressly trade.Pitcher of the Week: Bailey Ober, RHP, Ft. Myers Miracle - He went 1-0 on the week and gave up only an unearned run on six hits over 6 1/3 innings. He was the 12th-round pick of the Twins in 2017 out of the College of Charleston.TRANSACTIONS Devin Smeltzer was called up to the Twins (And he had a terrific game!). Sam Dyson to the injured list.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 3, Pawtucket 7 Box Score With Devin Smeltzer getting called up to start for the Twins, it was a bullpen game for the Red Wings. Adam Bray started. He went three innings and gave up four hits and a walk. He gave up four runs in the second inning. Fernando Romero walked one and struck out three over two scoreless, no-hit innings. Jake Reed got the sixth inning and gave up three runs on three hits and a walk. Sam Clay and Jeremy Bleich each worked a scoreless in relief. Wilin Rosario continues to mash. He went 3-for-5 with his 16th home run. Ronald Torreyes went 2-or-4. Zander Wiel hit his 32nd double. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Pensacola 10, Birmingham 1 Box Score The lineup powered the Blue Wahoos to another win, but the pitching was really good too. Edwar Colina started and improved to 3-0 with a 1.25 ERA since his promotion to Pensacola last month. He gave up one run on two hits over five innings. He walked three and struck out five. Jovan Moran struck out two over two scoreless innings. Jorge Alcala gave up two hits over two scoreless innings to end the game. Trevor Larnach was perfect on the game. He went 3-for-3 and walked twice. Royce Lewis went 1-for-3 with two walks. He also stole a base. Alex Kirilloff hit his sixth Wahoos homer. Jordan Gore was 2-for-4 with his third home run. Ryan Costello provided some late-inning insurance with his fourth homer. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 7, Lakeland 8 Box Score The Miracle jumped out to a 7-1 lead after six innings, but Lakeland scored one in the seventh, three in the eighth and three more in the ninth to walk off the Miracle. Bailey Ober continued his fantastic-when-healthy season for the Miracle. He gave up one run on four hits over six innings. He struck out eight batters without issuing a walk. Moises Gomez came on and gave up four runs on five hits in 1 1/3 innings Three of the hits were home runs. Joe Record got three outs. He gave up three runs on four hits and a walk. With one out and runners on second and third in the bottom of the ninth, Melvi Acosta came in with the game tied. He intentionally walked a batter to load the bases. It is a fine strategy to try to set up an inning-ending (and game-continuing) double play. Unfortunately, Acosta also walked the next batter which ended the game. Gabriel Maciel was terrific out of the leadoff spot. He went 4-for-5 with his third homer. He also stole his 13th base. Andrew Bechtold and Jacob Pearson each went 2-for-4 with their fifth doubles. Jose Miranda was also 2-for-4. Trey Cabbage hit his sixth home run, and Chris Williams hit his first Miracle home run since his promotion last week. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 12, Burlington 4 Box Score The Kernels used big innings to help them in this one. They had a three-run inning, a four-run innings and a five-run bottom of the eighth to put this one away. In the second inning, Gilberto Celestino cleared the bases with his 21st double. In the fifth inning, Albee Weiss hit a three-run homer. In the eighth inning, Tyler Webb homered and Wander Javier had a two-run double. Weiss led the offense. He went 2-for-3 with his sixth double and third home run. Tyler Webb was also 2-for-3 with his second Kernels homer. Javier had a walk in addition to his fifth double. Leadoff man, Spencer Steer, got on base three times. He walked twice and was hit by a pitch. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 1, Bristol 4 Box Score Tyler Benninghoff put together a strong, quality start. The right-hander gave up three runs on seven this and a walk over six innings. He struck out four. Ryan Shreve came on and gave up one run over two innings. Steven Cruz struck out two in a one-hit inning. Max Smith led the offense. He went 2-for-4 with his seventh double. Seth Gray and Matt Wallner each added a double. DaShawn Keirsey and Trevor Jenson each went 1-for-3 with a walk. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins Box Score No Game Scheduled. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Bailey Ober, Ft. Myers Miracle Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Trevor Larnach, Pensacola Blue Wahoos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 1-3, 2 BB, 2 R, K, SB(2) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 1-4, BB, HR(6), R, 2 RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Rehabbing in GCL #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 3-3, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 RBI #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, BB, HBP, 2B(5), R, 3 RBI. #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Temporary Inactive List (Pan Am Games) #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - No Game Scheduled #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured List (groin). #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch. #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch. #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Did Not Play. #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - Did Not Play. #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - 2-3, BB, 2 R #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 1-4, 2B(15), K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 1-5, R, 2 K #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 2 IP #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - No Game Scheduled #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - Injured List MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester - No Game Scheduled. Birmingham @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - TBD Ft. Myers @ St. Lucie (5:30 CST) - LHP Lachlan Wells (1-2, 5.25 ERA) Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Andrew Cabezas (4-6, 3.93 ERA) Elizabethton @ Kingsport (5:30 CST) - RHP Ben Gross (3-1, 3.98 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Pirates (DH @ 9:00 CST) - TBD, TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Sunday games or any other minor league topics you would like. Click here to view the article
  12. The Twins have plenty of highly regarded outfielders in the system. Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Brent Rooker, Matt Wallner, Akil Baddoo, and Misael Urbina all made the top 20 of the 2019 Twins Daily midseason prospect rankings. The Twins also have Gilberto Celestino, Luke Raley and LaMonte Wade. Some are further along in their careers than others but they obviously won’t all end up playing in the outfield with the Twins. Some could end up at first (Rooker, Kirlloff and possibly Larnach or Wallner), some may be traded, and some may fizzle out completely. Even with all of the big names listed above, there are a few more lesser-known outfield prospects that are having nice seasons to date and today we will shine the spotlight on them for a change. The outfielders that we will look at are at different points in their Twins careers but all carry some similarities including the ability to play center and hit leadoff. Let’s start off with the prospect that is furthest along in his minor league career, Gabriel Maciel. Calling Maciel “under the radar” is a bit of a stretch as most Twins fans that follow prospects are surely familiar with him, but he is probably less well known than the previously mentioned outfield prospects. He came to the organization from the Arizona Diamondbacks as part of the trade package for Eduardo Escobar during the 2018 trade deadline and currently plays for High-A Fort Myers. Maciel is an interesting prospect as he signed with Arizona out of Brazil for a $90K signing bonus back in October 2015. Brazil is not exactly a hotbed for baseball talent, but Maciel apparently picked up baseball from some Japanese neighbors. Because of his background, Maciel was rawer than most international prospects, but he possesses great speed and has done a good job of controlling the strike zone through his minor league career. Considering his background, it is pretty impressive that Maciel is already playing High-A ball as a 20-year-old. Maciel is a good defender and should stick in center because of his speed. Between Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers Maciel has stolen 20 bases so far in 2019, while being thrown out six times. With his speed, he could certainly become an elite base stealer over time. Although Maciel has yet to hit for much power, he gets on base and controls the strike zone (he is also a switch-hitter). In 79 games this year, Maciel has a 36 walks with 53 strikeouts. Maciel has gotten on base at a .377 clip (.359 career), which combined with his speed makes him an ideal leadoff hitter. He can also put the ball in play as he’s hitting .296 (.292 career). With his small frame (listed at 5’11, 170 by milb.com) Maciel is unlikely to develop much power, but with some added muscle or mechanical changes he may hit for a bit more power. Maciel’s skill set could also lend itself to becoming an effective fourth outfielder. Overall in 2019, Maciel has hit .296/.377/.364, for a .741 OPS. Next we will look at another outfielder who came to the Twins in 2018; this time through the MLB draft. Minnesota selected Willie Joe Garry Jr. in the ninth round out of high school from Pascagoula, Miss. Garry Jr. signed over slot for a $225,000 bonus and played 2018 in the Gulf Coast League. He is listed at 6’1” and 170 lbs and bats and throws left handed. Garry Jr. struggled in his first taste of pro ball as he hit .160/.266/.210 in the Rookie League, but it is not uncommon for young players to struggle out of the gate as we have seen this year with first round pick Keoni Cavaco (currently slashing .169/.234/.237). In 2019 Garry Jr. has moved up to advanced rookie ball, playing for Elizabethton. The numbers have improved as Garry Jr. is hitting .269/.356/.429 for an OPS of.784 in 34 games. Garry Jr. has shown more power with six doubles, two triples, and three home runs after only four extra-base hits in 2018 (all doubles). Garry Jr. started the season batting ninth but has recently moved to leadoff. Despite not yet having shown a lot of prowess on the base paths in 2019 (4 SBs, 2 CS), Garry Jr. is athletic enough to have played all of his games in center field so far this season. It will certainly be interesting to see how Garry Jr. performs for the remainder of 2019. He turned 19 on May 29th and will likely spend the rest of the season in Elizabethton. If Garry Jr.’s numbers continue to improve with his first taste of full season ball in 2020, he should begin to creep up the Twins prospect lists. Finally, we will get really far out in prospect land and take a look at some Dominican Summer League prospects. The big Twins prospect in the DSL is Minnesota’s top international signing from 2018, Misael Urbina, is doing great, hitting .294/.398/.485 for an OPS of .883. The 17-year-old has walked 17 times to just 11 strikeouts and has stolen 17 bases, but today we will focus on a lesser known pair of DSL outfield prospects. Urbina will undoubtedly come stateside next year and a couple of his teammates in the outfield are making the case to come with him. Rhodery Diaz and Luis Baez are both listed at 5’11” and 170 lbs as center fielders, but Diaz plays in center more often than Baez (Urbina primarily plays center as well). Diaz comes from the same signing class as Urbina, so this is his first year of pro ball, but Baez is in his second season with the DSL Twins. Baez struggled last season, hitting .188/.320/.257 for an OPS of .577 as a 17-year-old, but he has been his team’s best hitter so far in 2019, with a team leading .976 OPS (.327/.455/.520). Baez has also stolen 13 bases and has walked 20 times with 23 strikeouts. Of course repeating the DSL and gaining another year in maturity undoubtedly aided Baez, but you can’t ask for a much better second season. Baez has played in 32 games this season. Diaz has hit the ground running in 2019. The 17-year-old switch-hitter has hit .313/.389/.464, good for an .854 OPS. Diaz has played all over the outfield, but has played the majority of his games in left (probably indicating that Urbina and Baez are the superior outfielders). Diaz hasn’t been as dangerous as his outfield counterparts on the base paths as he has stolen just four bags. Diaz has drawn 12 walks to 17 strikeouts and has played in 31 games. It would be foolhardy to take too much away from these players’ DSL numbers, as the season is short and the players are very young and inexperienced. Neither Baez nor Diaz have anywhere near the hype or prospect status of Misael Urbina, but if they keep hitting, they could be a couple more names that Twins fans hear about in the future. While none of the prospects discussed are near the top of any prospect lists and all have a long road to travel if they are to reach the majors, they have all had nice seasons to date and give the Twins a bit of organizational depth at center field. Twins fans should be enchanted with their current center fielder, but Buxton’s only under team control for three more seasons after 2019. A lot would have to go right for any of the “under the radar” outfielders to become a future starting center fielder, but the group’s speed could produce an ideal fourth outfielder. Regardless of what the future brings, it’s nice to shine a little light on some young and unheralded outfielders who have produced in 2019.
  13. There were only close games and blowouts throughout the Twins’ system on Saturday as for some reason no one wanted to win a game by a nice four run margin or something like that. Whatever, more for me to write about I guess. The offense took hold today as each squad had multiple hitters with multi-hit games and quite a few dingers were launched. All that and more in today’s edition of the minor league report.TRANSACTIONS RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Lehigh Valley 16 Box Score Kohl Stewart: 2 ⅔ IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 63.1% strikes (53 of 84 pitches) HR: Jaylin Davis (9), Brian Schales (2) Multi-hit games: Drew Maggi (2-for-5), Ronald Torreyes (3-for-5, 2 2B, R), Wilin Rosario (2-for-5, 2 RBI) The Rochester Red Wings were down early and could not recover against Lehigh Valley. Kohl Stewart’s line looks ugly, but he did not get much support from his defense as the Red Wings had five errors in the game. Much of the mess could have been avoided in the first had a double play been turned, but the old saying that “you can’t assume a double play” was at play there and the four runs scored in the first were all earned. Brent Rooker left the game early after he took an awkward slide while diving for a ball and the ball appeared to hit him in a place that you do not want baseballs to hit. I hope for his sake that it was just MiLB.tv’s quality that made it look that way because I would not wish that on anyone. Jaylin Davis blasted his ninth home run with the Red Wings and his 19th homer of the year between AA and AAA. The oppo taco helped push his AAA OPS to a tasty 1.066 through 25 games. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 5, Montgomery 3 Box Score Charlie Barnes: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 63.0% strikes (58 of 92 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (3-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Iván De Jesús Jr. (2-for-4, 2B, R), Lewin Diaz (2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI), Caleb Hamilton (2-for-4, RBI), Mark Contreras (2-for-4, 2B, R) The Blue Wahoos won a fairly straightforward game this Saturday against the Montgomery Biscuits. I saw straightforward because starter Charlie Barnes only gave up a single run over his six innings of work while the offense gave him five runs to work with. Generally, it is a good sign when your 2-6 hitters all have a multi-hit game and well, I would have to say it worked out well for the Blue Wahoos. Along with that, the Blue Wahoos had six extra-base hits and twelve hits total while only striking out three times. Alex Kirilloff continued his recent stretch of Alex Kirilloff-like hitting as he had yet another multi-hit game, a good sign as the young outfielder appears to have figured it out at AA. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 5, Bradenton 6 (11 innings) Box Score Lachlan Wells: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 68.6% strikes (59 of 86 pitches) HR: Andrew Bechtold (1) Multi-hit games: Gabriel Maciel (3-for-6, 3 R), Trevor Larnach (4-for-6, 3 RBI), Jose Miranda (2-for-6, RBI), Andrew Bechtold (3-for-5, HR, R, RBI) The Miracle lost an absolute heartbreaker that doubled as one of the wildest games that was played all year. Lachlan Wells and Tyler Watson imitated when Yoda rode on Luke’s back for training as Wells started the game (and went five innings) and Watson then went four innings afterwards. This was Watson’s first relief outing of the year. The Miracle dropped fourteen hits over the eleven innings they played yet Andrew Bechtold’s first A+ home run was the only hit that went for extra bases. In both the ninth and the 11th, the Miracle scored in the top half to take the lead but gave up run(s) in the bottom half. In the ninth it was one to tie the game and in the 11th it was two to lose it via a walk-off. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 12, Lansing 4 Box Score Andrew Cabezas: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 72.8% strikes (67 of 92 pitches) HR: Gabe Snyder (8) Multi-hit games: Gabe Snyder (3-for-5, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI), Trevor Casanova (2-for-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB) Wins that are close and full of thrills are fun and all, but nothing beats just destroying another team which is what the Kernels did this Saturday. Andrew Cabezas followed up his outstanding outing last week with a solid five inning showing. All three pitchers for the Kernels struck out three batters each which is some pretty cool symmetry. You might be scratching your head when you realize the Kernels scored twelve runs but only had nine hits, but they also walked eight times which gave their offense plenty of chances to knock in runs. Only two hitters failed to reach base. Gabe Snyder launched his eighth homer of the year and is now holding an OPS of .807 on the year at Cedar Rapids. I don’t know what is going on in the Twins’ system, but it seems like they have first basemen at every level who are absolutely destroying the ball... that’s good to see. E-Town E-Notes Elizabethton 3, Johnson City 2 Box Score Sawyer Gipson: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Ruben Santana (2-for-4, 2 2B, R, RBI), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-3, RBI) Recent draft pick Sawyer Gipson made his debut in professional baseball with the Elizabethton Twins on Saturday. He tossed a pair of scoreless innings that came with three strikeouts. Ryan Shreve relieved Gipson and threw five scoreless innings of his own while striking out an impressive nine hitters. Shreve’s K/9 coming into the game was an astounding 16.03 so he has settled in nicely with Elizabethton. The offense only put up four hits but two of those were doubles (both by Ruben Santana) and their six walks helped clog up the base paths. The final Ruben Santana double in the ninth proved to be the walk-off and the E-Town Twins squeaked out a win. GCL Twins Takes GCL Twins 1, GCL Red Sox 2 Box Score Matt Canterino: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, HR: None Multi-hit games: Jesus Feliz (2-for-4), Erick Rivera (2-for-3, BB), Bryson Gandy (2-for-3, BB) Matt Canterino made his professional baseball debut on Saturday as he allowed one run over his two innings of work. Keoni Cavaco was the DH and took a walk and hit a single. He also swiped a base. Jeferson Morales had the lone extra-base hit for the GCL Twins with his triple in the third. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Charlie Barnes Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Trevor Larnach PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-5, BB, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 3-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 4-for-6, 3 RBI #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - 1-for-4, BB, 2 K #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 0-for-1 (left early with an injury) #9 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-for-4, 2B #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-5, BB, 2 K #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) - 2-for-5, R #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 0-for-2, 2 BB, 2 K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did not play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not play #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - No game #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, 3B, R SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (12:05 A.M.) - RHP Drew Hutchison Montgomery @ Pensacola (5:05 P.M.) - RHP Jorge Alcala Fort Myers @ Bradenton (12:00 P.M.) - RHP Bailey Ober Lansing @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 P.M.) - RHP Kai-Wei Teng Johnson City @ Elizabethton (4:00 P.M.) - RHP Prelander Berroa Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games. Click here to view the article
  14. TRANSACTIONS RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Lehigh Valley 16 Box Score Kohl Stewart: 2 ⅔ IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 3 K, 63.1% strikes (53 of 84 pitches) HR: Jaylin Davis (9), Brian Schales (2) Multi-hit games: Drew Maggi (2-for-5), Ronald Torreyes (3-for-5, 2 2B, R), Wilin Rosario (2-for-5, 2 RBI) The Rochester Red Wings were down early and could not recover against Lehigh Valley. Kohl Stewart’s line looks ugly, but he did not get much support from his defense as the Red Wings had five errors in the game. Much of the mess could have been avoided in the first had a double play been turned, but the old saying that “you can’t assume a double play” was at play there and the four runs scored in the first were all earned. Brent Rooker left the game early after he took an awkward slide while diving for a ball and the ball appeared to hit him in a place that you do not want baseballs to hit. I hope for his sake that it was just MiLB.tv’s quality that made it look that way because I would not wish that on anyone. Jaylin Davis blasted his ninth home run with the Red Wings and his 19th homer of the year between AA and AAA. The oppo taco helped push his AAA OPS to a tasty 1.066 through 25 games. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 5, Montgomery 3 Box Score Charlie Barnes: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 63.0% strikes (58 of 92 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Alex Kirilloff (3-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI), Iván De Jesús Jr. (2-for-4, 2B, R), Lewin Diaz (2-for-3, 2 2B, 2 RBI), Caleb Hamilton (2-for-4, RBI), Mark Contreras (2-for-4, 2B, R) The Blue Wahoos won a fairly straightforward game this Saturday against the Montgomery Biscuits. I saw straightforward because starter Charlie Barnes only gave up a single run over his six innings of work while the offense gave him five runs to work with. Generally, it is a good sign when your 2-6 hitters all have a multi-hit game and well, I would have to say it worked out well for the Blue Wahoos. Along with that, the Blue Wahoos had six extra-base hits and twelve hits total while only striking out three times. Alex Kirilloff continued his recent stretch of Alex Kirilloff-like hitting as he had yet another multi-hit game, a good sign as the young outfielder appears to have figured it out at AA. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 5, Bradenton 6 (11 innings) Box Score Lachlan Wells: 5 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 68.6% strikes (59 of 86 pitches) HR: Andrew Bechtold (1) Multi-hit games: Gabriel Maciel (3-for-6, 3 R), Trevor Larnach (4-for-6, 3 RBI), Jose Miranda (2-for-6, RBI), Andrew Bechtold (3-for-5, HR, R, RBI) The Miracle lost an absolute heartbreaker that doubled as one of the wildest games that was played all year. Lachlan Wells and Tyler Watson imitated when Yoda rode on Luke’s back for training as Wells started the game (and went five innings) and Watson then went four innings afterwards. This was Watson’s first relief outing of the year. The Miracle dropped fourteen hits over the eleven innings they played yet Andrew Bechtold’s first A+ home run was the only hit that went for extra bases. In both the ninth and the 11th, the Miracle scored in the top half to take the lead but gave up run(s) in the bottom half. In the ninth it was one to tie the game and in the 11th it was two to lose it via a walk-off. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 12, Lansing 4 Box Score Andrew Cabezas: 5 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 72.8% strikes (67 of 92 pitches) HR: Gabe Snyder (8) Multi-hit games: Gabe Snyder (3-for-5, HR, 3 R, 2 RBI), Trevor Casanova (2-for-3, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB) Wins that are close and full of thrills are fun and all, but nothing beats just destroying another team which is what the Kernels did this Saturday. Andrew Cabezas followed up his outstanding outing last week with a solid five inning showing. All three pitchers for the Kernels struck out three batters each which is some pretty cool symmetry. You might be scratching your head when you realize the Kernels scored twelve runs but only had nine hits, but they also walked eight times which gave their offense plenty of chances to knock in runs. Only two hitters failed to reach base. Gabe Snyder launched his eighth homer of the year and is now holding an OPS of .807 on the year at Cedar Rapids. I don’t know what is going on in the Twins’ system, but it seems like they have first basemen at every level who are absolutely destroying the ball... that’s good to see. E-Town E-Notes Elizabethton 3, Johnson City 2 Box Score Sawyer Gipson: 2 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Ruben Santana (2-for-4, 2 2B, R, RBI), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-3, RBI) Recent draft pick Sawyer Gipson made his debut in professional baseball with the Elizabethton Twins on Saturday. He tossed a pair of scoreless innings that came with three strikeouts. Ryan Shreve relieved Gipson and threw five scoreless innings of his own while striking out an impressive nine hitters. Shreve’s K/9 coming into the game was an astounding 16.03 so he has settled in nicely with Elizabethton. The offense only put up four hits but two of those were doubles (both by Ruben Santana) and their six walks helped clog up the base paths. The final Ruben Santana double in the ninth proved to be the walk-off and the E-Town Twins squeaked out a win. GCL Twins Takes GCL Twins 1, GCL Red Sox 2 Box Score Matt Canterino: 2 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, HR: None Multi-hit games: Jesus Feliz (2-for-4), Erick Rivera (2-for-3, BB), Bryson Gandy (2-for-3, BB) Matt Canterino made his professional baseball debut on Saturday as he allowed one run over his two innings of work. Keoni Cavaco was the DH and took a walk and hit a single. He also swiped a base. Jeferson Morales had the lone extra-base hit for the GCL Twins with his triple in the third. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Charlie Barnes Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Trevor Larnach PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-5, BB, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 3-for-4, 2B, 2 R, RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 4-for-6, 3 RBI #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - 1-for-4, BB, 2 K #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 0-for-1 (left early with an injury) #9 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-for-4, 2B #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-5, BB, 2 K #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) - 2-for-5, R #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 0-for-2, 2 BB, 2 K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did not play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not play #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - No game #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, 3B, R SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (12:05 A.M.) - RHP Drew Hutchison Montgomery @ Pensacola (5:05 P.M.) - RHP Jorge Alcala Fort Myers @ Bradenton (12:00 P.M.) - RHP Bailey Ober Lansing @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 P.M.) - RHP Kai-Wei Teng Johnson City @ Elizabethton (4:00 P.M.) - RHP Prelander Berroa Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games.
  15. Over the next two weeks, Twins Daily will be revealing the Twins Daily Midseason Top 40 Prospects rankings. Our preseason Top Prospect rankings go 20 deep. Our midseason rankings double that output and give some recognition to twice as many players. Several of our minor league writers provided player rankings. They were consolidated Continue reading, and then discussing, the Twins Daily choices for 36th through 40th prospects of the Minnesota Twins below. 40. Sean Poppen – RHP Age: 25 ETA: 2019 2019 Stats MLB: 4.0 IP, 6.75 ERA, 2.25 WHIP, 4.5 K/9, 9.0 BB/9, 0.50 K/BB MILB (AA/AAA): 57.2 IP, 2.97 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 11.4 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 2.52 K/BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: NR Seth: 23 | Tom: NR | Cody: NR | Ted: NR | Steve: NR From a timing standpoint, we couldn’t ask for anything more. If you watched Poppen in his Major League debut on Wednesday night, you saw why he has impressed coaches and decision-makers in the organization over the last couple of months. The fastball is consistently 95 to 97 mph with movement. His mid-80s slider is sharp. He showed a few changeups as well, which is his clear third pitch. He struggled with control, something that he has done the last year or two, but if he can relax and throw more strikes with his stuff, he can be successful. Look at his strikeout numbers. They have increased dramatically the last year or so. The changeup may determine whether his future is in the bullpen or as a starter. Poppen was the Twins 19th-round pick in 2016 out of Harvard. 39. Zander Wiel - LF Age: 26 ETA: 2019 2019 Stats (AAA): .252/335/.472 (.807 OPS), 13 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, 76 K, 23 BB 2019 Ranking: NR Seth: 42 | Tom: 35 | Cody: 47 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR Wiel was the Twins 12th-round draft pick in 2015 out of Vanderbilt University. He has gradually worked his way up the ladder, approximately one year at a time and continuing to be productive. He leads the 2019 Red Wings in home runs this season with ten. Wiel isn’t afraid to work a count, though he does strike out quite a bit. He has mostly played first base in 2019 after splitting his time in left field the past couple of seasons. Wiel is big and strong, but he has made himself a little more athletic in the last year or two and he runs well. He finds himself in a tough spot with CJ Cron as the primary first baseman but with the likes of Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza and Willians Astudillo also getting time at first base. The Twins also have strong depth in the corner outfield positions. 38. Bailey Ober - RHP Age: 23 ETA: 2022 2019 Stats (High-A): 24.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 9.8 K/9, 1.1 BB/9, 8.67 K/BB 2019 Ranking: NR Seth: 30 | Tom: 39 | Cody: 44 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR Ober was the Twins 12th-round draft pick in 2017 out of the College of Charleston. He was the national freshman of the year his first year of college. Unfortunately injuries cost him much of the next two seasons, but the Twins saw enough to draft him. When the 6-9 right-hander has been healthy, he’s been really good. In 2018 in Cedar Rapids, he went 7-1 with a 3.84 ERA in 75 innings. His season began late and then ended early. His numbers (above) are from April when he was the runner-up in Starting Pitcher of the Month voting. But when the month ended, Ober went back on the IL with an elbow injury. 37. Kohl Stewart - RHP Age: 24 ETA: 2021 2019 Stats: MLB: 12.0 IP, 6.00 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 2.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 0.60 K/BB MILB (AAA): 51.1 IP, 4.56 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 4.6 BB/9, 1.88 K/BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: HM Seth: 44 | Tom: 37 | Cody: 30 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR The fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft out of high school, Stewart worked his way up the ladder. It was a surprise when he was called up last August, he showed some glimpses, and the same can be said with his two MLB starts so far in 2019. In late April, he gave up five runs over six innings at Houston. In mid-May, he earned a win with a quality start (6 IP, 3 ER) against Detroit. Stewart is approaching a career crossroads of sorts now. He could be a back-of-the-rotation MLB starter for some teams, or he could move to the bullpen and see what he can do in shorter stints. 36. Gabriel Maciel - OF ETA: 2018 Age: 20 2019 Stats (Low-A): ..309/.395/.377 (.771 OPS), 3 2B, 4 3B, 0 HR, 31 K, 23 BB. 2019 Ranking: HM Seth: 46 | Tom: 40 | Cody: 24 | Ted: 30 | Steve: 27 The Twins acquired Gabriel Maciel from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Eduardo Escobar trade last July. He joined the Cedar Rapids Kernels and hit .263 (.683) with four doubles, two triples and two homers in 30 games. He began this season on the injured list. He returned to the Kernels and he has taken a step forward. He is not a big guy, but the Brazilian has a real solid approach at the plate and terrific speed. He has primarily played in center field this year but has seen quite a bit of time in right field too. That's it for now. Feel free to ask questions and leave comments below. Learn about another five pack of Twins prospects tomorrow.
  16. Yes, it is that time again!! It’s time to revisit our top Minnesota Twins prospect rankings. (Be sure to look back at the preseason 2019 Top 20 Prospects.) Sure, it’s a lot more fun to follow the Minnesota Twins big league club this year than it has been much of the decade, but it’s still important to know the minor leaguers as well. Already this season we have seen several prospects make their major-league debuts. Some are top prospects, but the Twins farm system is deep and several players that many hadn’t even heard of are getting an opportunity.Over the next two weeks, Twins Daily will be revealing the Twins Daily Midseason Top 40 Prospects rankings. Our preseason Top Prospect rankings go 20 deep. Our midseason rankings double that output and give some recognition to twice as many players. Several of our minor league writers provided player rankings. They were consolidated Continue reading, and then discussing, the Twins Daily choices for 36th through 40th prospects of the Minnesota Twins below. 40. Sean Poppen – RHP Age: 25 ETA: 2019 2019 Stats MLB: 4.0 IP, 6.75 ERA, 2.25 WHIP, 4.5 K/9, 9.0 BB/9, 0.50 K/BB MILB (AA/AAA): 57.2 IP, 2.97 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 11.4 K/9, 4.5 BB/9, 2.52 K/BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: NR Seth: 23 | Tom: NR | Cody: NR | Ted: NR | Steve: NR From a timing standpoint, we couldn’t ask for anything more. If you watched Poppen in his Major League debut on Wednesday night, you saw why he has impressed coaches and decision-makers in the organization over the last couple of months. The fastball is consistently 95 to 97 mph with movement. His mid-80s slider is sharp. He showed a few changeups as well, which is his clear third pitch. He struggled with control, something that he has done the last year or two, but if he can relax and throw more strikes with his stuff, he can be successful. Look at his strikeout numbers. They have increased dramatically the last year or so. The changeup may determine whether his future is in the bullpen or as a starter. Poppen was the Twins 19th-round pick in 2016 out of Harvard. 39. Zander Wiel - LF Age: 26 ETA: 2019 2019 Stats (AAA): .252/335/.472 (.807 OPS), 13 2B, 2 3B, 10 HR, 76 K, 23 BB 2019 Ranking: NR Seth: 42 | Tom: 35 | Cody: 47 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR Wiel was the Twins 12th-round draft pick in 2015 out of Vanderbilt University. He has gradually worked his way up the ladder, approximately one year at a time and continuing to be productive. He leads the 2019 Red Wings in home runs this season with ten. Wiel isn’t afraid to work a count, though he does strike out quite a bit. He has mostly played first base in 2019 after splitting his time in left field the past couple of seasons. Wiel is big and strong, but he has made himself a little more athletic in the last year or two and he runs well. He finds himself in a tough spot with CJ Cron as the primary first baseman but with the likes of Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza and Willians Astudillo also getting time at first base. The Twins also have strong depth in the corner outfield positions. 38. Bailey Ober - RHP Age: 23 ETA: 2022 2019 Stats (High-A): 24.0 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 9.8 K/9, 1.1 BB/9, 8.67 K/BB 2019 Ranking: NR Seth: 30 | Tom: 39 | Cody: 44 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR Ober was the Twins 12th-round draft pick in 2017 out of the College of Charleston. He was the national freshman of the year his first year of college. Unfortunately injuries cost him much of the next two seasons, but the Twins saw enough to draft him. When the 6-9 right-hander has been healthy, he’s been really good. In 2018 in Cedar Rapids, he went 7-1 with a 3.84 ERA in 75 innings. His season began late and then ended early. His numbers (above) are from April when he was the runner-up in Starting Pitcher of the Month voting. But when the month ended, Ober went back on the IL with an elbow injury. 37. Kohl Stewart - RHP Age: 24 ETA: 2021 2019 Stats: MLB: 12.0 IP, 6.00 ERA, 1.58 WHIP, 2.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9, 0.60 K/BB MILB (AAA): 51.1 IP, 4.56 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 8.6 K/9, 4.6 BB/9, 1.88 K/BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: HM Seth: 44 | Tom: 37 | Cody: 30 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR The fourth overall pick in the 2014 draft out of high school, Stewart worked his way up the ladder. It was a surprise when he was called up last August, he showed some glimpses, and the same can be said with his two MLB starts so far in 2019. In late April, he gave up five runs over six innings at Houston. In mid-May, he earned a win with a quality start (6 IP, 3 ER) against Detroit. Stewart is approaching a career crossroads of sorts now. He could be a back-of-the-rotation MLB starter for some teams, or he could move to the bullpen and see what he can do in shorter stints. 36. Gabriel Maciel - OF ETA: 2018 Age: 20 2019 Stats (Low-A): ..309/.395/.377 (.771 OPS), 3 2B, 4 3B, 0 HR, 31 K, 23 BB. 2019 Ranking: HM Seth: 46 | Tom: 40 | Cody: 24 | Ted: 30 | Steve: 27 The Twins acquired Gabriel Maciel from the Arizona Diamondbacks in the Eduardo Escobar trade last July. He joined the Cedar Rapids Kernels and hit .263 (.683) with four doubles, two triples and two homers in 30 games. He began this season on the injured list. He returned to the Kernels and he has taken a step forward. He is not a big guy, but the Brazilian has a real solid approach at the plate and terrific speed. He has primarily played in center field this year but has seen quite a bit of time in right field too. That's it for now. Feel free to ask questions and leave comments below. Learn about another five pack of Twins prospects tomorrow. Click here to view the article
  17. It was an interesting day in the Twins minor league system. Sure, there was the seemingly mandatory rainout of the day (Rochester), but there were some impressive performances. Lewin Diaz continued his historic month. A couple of sluggers crushed two homers each for the Blue Wahoos. Another starter made his first start for the Kernels, and it went well. Sure, the Twins game wasn’t fun, but the minor leaguers made up for itFind out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Pensacola placed RHP Ryan Mason on the 7-day injured list.RHP Anthony Vizcaya was promoted from the Miracle to the Blue Wahoos.RED WINGS REPORTRochester, Scranton/Wilkes Barre Box Score The Red Wings game in Scranton was rained out. It will be made up in July. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 4, Mississippi 6 Box Score They say that solo home runs don’t hurt you too much, and on this night, that was true for Mississippi. The Blue Wahoos scored four runs on four solo homers but it wasn’t enough. Jaylin Davis and Ben Rortvedt each hit two home runs for the Wahoos. Rortvedt has now played in ten games for Pensacola. He is hitting .382/.488/.647 (1.135). Jose Miranda went 2-for-4, and Aaron Whitefield went 2-for-5 in the game. Whitefield stole his 13th base of the season. Michael Helman added a double. Lefty Tyler Watson had a really nice start. He gave up just two runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out just one batter, but he didn’t issue any walks. Alex Phillips came on and went the final 2 2/3 innings. He gave up just one hit and struck out six opponents. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1 - Cedar Rapids 5, Burlington 7 Box Score The Kernels have been trying to get a doubleheader in the last couple of days in Burlington. On Wednesday, they got their first game in but the second was suspended in the bottom of the first inning. This is the continuation of that game. Austin Schulfer began the game for the Kernels. Because just half an inning was played on Wednesday, he started in the bottom of the first inning, as he was supposed to on Wednesday. He gave up three runs on six hits in just three innings. He walked one and struck out six. Carlos Suniaga came on and gave up three runs on four hits in just 2/3 of an inning. He walked one and struck one out. Brian Rapp worked the final 2 1/3 innings. He gave up one run on two hits and two walks. Estamy Urena had a strong game in a losing effort. He went 2-for-4 in the game. He had a two-run double (his third with the Kernels) in the third inning. He then added his first Kernels homer in the sixth inning. MIchael Davis went 2-for-3 and stole a bag. Gabriel Maciel went 0-for-1 but walked three times. Game 2 - Cedar Rapids 4, Burlington 0 Box Score Lefty Kody Funderburk, a 2018 draftee, made his Kernels debut tonight. He gave up just one hit over four scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out four batters. Derek Molina came on and threw three scoreless innings to complete the shutout. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out six batters. The offense was more spread out. Yeltsin Encarnacion was 2-for-3 with a walk. He stole his sixth base. Jacob Pearson went 2-for-4 with his seventh double and his ninth stolen base. Gabriel Maciel went 2-for-3 and stole his seventh base. Wander Javier went 1-for-3 with a walk. Jared Akins provided a little insurance in the ninth with his fifth home run since joining the team. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Kody Funderburk, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ben Rortvedt, Pensacola Blue Wahoos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-4 #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play. #5 - Wander Javier (CR) - Game 1 (1-4, RBI, 2 K), Game 2 (1-3, BB) #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured (wrist) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Rained Out. #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch. #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Rained Out. #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List (elbow) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 0-4 #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 3-3, BB, 2-HR(3), 2 R, 2 RBI #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (thumb) #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - Game 1 (1-3, BB), Game 2 (0-3, BB, K, SB(8) #17 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) - Don’t Ask… OK, fine. 4.1 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (77 pitches, 50 strikes) #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Rained Out. #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (87 pitches, 52 strikes) #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 2-4 FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Buffalo @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-0, 6.31 ERA) Mississippi @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - RHP Andro Cutura (0-2, 6.87 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (3-0, 2.25 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:30 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Thursday games or any other minor league topics you would like. Click here to view the article
  18. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Pensacola placed RHP Ryan Mason on the 7-day injured list. RHP Anthony Vizcaya was promoted from the Miracle to the Blue Wahoos. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester, Scranton/Wilkes Barre Box Score The Red Wings game in Scranton was rained out. It will be made up in July. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 4, Mississippi 6 Box Score They say that solo home runs don’t hurt you too much, and on this night, that was true for Mississippi. The Blue Wahoos scored four runs on four solo homers but it wasn’t enough. Jaylin Davis and Ben Rortvedt each hit two home runs for the Wahoos. Rortvedt has now played in ten games for Pensacola. He is hitting .382/.488/.647 (1.135). https://twitter.com/TCAnelle/status/1134278306583343104 https://twitter.com/TCAnelle/status/1134280984864600065 The Wahoos utilized an opener on Thursday night. Williams Ramirez started and gave up two runs on three hits in the first inning. Jorge Alcala came on and worked the next five innings. He gave up three runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out six batters. Sam Clay struck out six over the final three innings. He gave up a run on four hits. As scheduled, Mitch Garver DHd in this game. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts before exiting the game for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. Rortvedt went 3-for-3 with a walk and his second and third home runs. Davis was 2-for-3 with a walk and his sixth and seventh home runs. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Florida 2 Box Score It was an afternoon game for the Miracle and both Royce Lewis and Trevor Larnach were given the game off. However, a familiar name led the Miracle to another win. With the game tied at two going into the eighth inning, Diaz launched his 10th home run of the season to give the Miracle a lead they were able to hold on to. Diaz went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .319, and he drove in two of the three Miracle runs. https://twitter.com/MarshallKelner/status/1134162727834988544 Jose Miranda went 2-for-4, and Aaron Whitefield went 2-for-5 in the game. Whitefield stole his 13th base of the season. Michael Helman added a double. Lefty Tyler Watson had a really nice start. He gave up just two runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out just one batter, but he didn’t issue any walks. Alex Phillips came on and went the final 2 2/3 innings. He gave up just one hit and struck out six opponents. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1 - Cedar Rapids 5, Burlington 7 Box Score The Kernels have been trying to get a doubleheader in the last couple of days in Burlington. On Wednesday, they got their first game in but the second was suspended in the bottom of the first inning. This is the continuation of that game. Austin Schulfer began the game for the Kernels. Because just half an inning was played on Wednesday, he started in the bottom of the first inning, as he was supposed to on Wednesday. He gave up three runs on six hits in just three innings. He walked one and struck out six. Carlos Suniaga came on and gave up three runs on four hits in just 2/3 of an inning. He walked one and struck one out. Brian Rapp worked the final 2 1/3 innings. He gave up one run on two hits and two walks. Estamy Urena had a strong game in a losing effort. He went 2-for-4 in the game. He had a two-run double (his third with the Kernels) in the third inning. He then added his first Kernels homer in the sixth inning. MIchael Davis went 2-for-3 and stole a bag. Gabriel Maciel went 0-for-1 but walked three times. Game 2 - Cedar Rapids 4, Burlington 0 Box Score Lefty Kody Funderburk, a 2018 draftee, made his Kernels debut tonight. He gave up just one hit over four scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out four batters. Derek Molina came on and threw three scoreless innings to complete the shutout. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out six batters. The offense was more spread out. Yeltsin Encarnacion was 2-for-3 with a walk. He stole his sixth base. Jacob Pearson went 2-for-4 with his seventh double and his ninth stolen base. Gabriel Maciel went 2-for-3 and stole his seventh base. Wander Javier went 1-for-3 with a walk. Jared Akins provided a little insurance in the ninth with his fifth home run since joining the team. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Kody Funderburk, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ben Rortvedt, Pensacola Blue Wahoos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-4 #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play. #5 - Wander Javier (CR) - Game 1 (1-4, RBI, 2 K), Game 2 (1-3, BB) #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured (wrist) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Rained Out. #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch. #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Rained Out. #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List (elbow) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 0-4 #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 3-3, BB, 2-HR(3), 2 R, 2 RBI #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (thumb) #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - Game 1 (1-3, BB), Game 2 (0-3, BB, K, SB(8) #17 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) - Don’t Ask… OK, fine. 4.1 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (77 pitches, 50 strikes) #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Rained Out. #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (87 pitches, 52 strikes) #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 2-4 FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Buffalo @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-0, 6.31 ERA) Mississippi @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - RHP Andro Cutura (0-2, 6.87 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (3-0, 2.25 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:30 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Thursday games or any other minor league topics you would like.
  19. With two months gone in the season, the Minnesota Twins big league club has the best record in baseball. In the minors, unfortunately, many big prospects are injured, some for a long period including Brusdar Graterol, Akil Baddoo, Stephen Gonsalves, Tyler Wells and Yunior Severino. However, there have been a number of bright spots in the minor league system. Many players have deservedly been already promoted this season. This list is for the players who should be moved up, and likely will be sometime relatively soon. In this list, I avoided putting players in their first year with the level. Because of that, I did not put either Austin Schulfer or Gabe Snyder on this list, even though they have dominated at Low-A Cedar Rapids. Maybe they’ll make my August edition, if they are still with the Kernels at that time. Honorable Mentions: Michael Davis, SS, Cedar Rapids Jared Akins, RF, Cedar Rapids 5. Gabriel Maciel, CF, Cedar Rapids Maciel arrived in a July trade last season that sent Eduardo Escobar to Arizona. The 20-year-old is in the midst of his best year of full-season baseball. In his 30 games with the Kernels after the trade last season, he hit .263 and had an OPS of .683. He isn’t a power hitter, so his OPS will never be super high, but his OBP is .389, which is the best of his pro career, and his .728 OPS is the second-highest of his career. As a matter of fact, his OBP is the among the best in the Twins system, just behind Luis Arraez and Kernels teammate Gabe Snyder. Part of that strong OBP is his ability to draw walks, having coaxed 17 already this season. If Maciel keeps it up, I see him in Fort Myers sooner rather than later. 4. Jaylin Davis, RF, Pensacola Davis is having one of his best seasons of pro ball. Not only is he hitting for power, his OBP is by far the best of his pro career at .386. That is helped by him cutting down on his strikeouts a bit and walking a lot more this season. In Fort Myers and Chattanooga last season, he combined to walk 44 times in 439 at-bats. However, in 142 at-bats this season, he already has 22 walks. Not only that, but his .430 slugging percentage is the best since he put up a .486 slugging percentage in 66 games with Cedar Rapids in the first half of 2017. He has a good batting average of .282 as well. Last year, in those 439 ABs, he had 11 homers, and he already has five this season. His numbers are up across the board, and should make an appearance in Rochester this season. However, Rochester is loaded at OF, so he might be blocked for the time being with Brent Rooker, LaMonte Wade, Luke Raley, Zander Wiel and Jake Cave all in New York. 3. Bryan Sammons, LHP, Fort Myers Sammons has pitched extremely well in his first full season with the Miracle. Last year, he started the year in Cedar Rapids and dominated, going 5-5 with a 2.32 ERA, before being promoted to Fort Myers. In his first stint with the Miracle, he struggled, going 1-2 with an 8.49 ERA. He got a start with the Chattanooga Lookouts, but was knocked around there as well. He returned to Fort Myers to start 2019, and has been virtually unhittable. In his eight starts, he has given up four runs.....total. Sammons is 4-0 with a sparkling 0.94 ERA. He keeps the ball in the yard, having allowed just nine in his minor league career in 201.1 innings, and has given up just one in 38.1 innings this season. His strikeouts per nine innings is really good, as well, with 46 strikeouts in those 38.1 frames (10.8 K/9). Sammons’ .227 opposing batting average is impressive, and it is only a matter of time before he takes his talents to Pensacola to join the Blue Wahoos. 2. Hector Lujan, RHP, Fort Myers Lujan got off to a slow start in 2019, as he allowed three runs in three innings in his first appearance of the season, and he allowed five in his first eight innings. Since then, he has been lights out. In his last 11 outings (21.1 innings), he has allowed just one earned run (0.43 ERA). Last season, he had a solid showing for the Miracle, going 5-5 with a 2.64 ERA. Although his numbers were solid across the board last year, he has improved significantly upon those numbers. He has a 1.84 ERA in 14 appearances. His strikeouts per nine innings rate has improved from 8.5 to nearly nine strikeouts per nine and from a 3.09/1 strikeout-to-walk ratio to 4.14/1. His batting average against has gone down significantly, from .248 in 2018 to .198 in 2019, and his WHIP has improved from 1.26 in 2018 to 0.95 in 2019. It is time for a challenge for Lujan, and I expect him to get that sometime in June. 1. Lewin Diaz, 1B, Fort Myers Diaz was a big International Free Agent signing, and has had an up-and-down career so far with the Twins. He is just 22 years old, and doesn’t turn 23 until November. After a down season with the Miracle in 2018, he has turned the Florida State League into his personal launching pad. Diaz hasn’t put up numbers like this since his time in Rookie ball with Elizabethton. He already has more homers this year (9) than he had all 2018 (6) in half the at-bats. Diaz is still strikeout prone, but he has drawn more walks this season (8) and he drew 10 in all of 2018. I don’t know what has clicked, but numbers are so much better than 2018, even in a pitcher-friendly league. His OPS was just .598 last season, but that has sky-rocketed to an outstanding .911 this season. Diaz has shown he can be dominant, and he should move up to Pensacola relatively soon, especially with Taylor Grzelakowski struggling at first.
  20. The Red Wings had the day off and announced that one of the Twins top pitching prospects will be making his first start of the season on Tuesday. The Blue Wahoos got another solid start and some key hits. A Miracle slugger continued to blast baseballs, though rain suspended their game in the fourth inning. Cedar Rapids had a well-played game with some strong pitching after getting an early lead.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS While not officially making the transaction (that will come on Tuesday), Rochester announced that LHP Stephen Gonsalves will make the start for the Red Wings on Tuesday.After his one game for the Red Wings, infielder Victor Tademo was sent back to extended spring training.RHP Griffin Jax was placed on the injured list for Pensacola, and RHP Williams Ramirez was activated.1B Gabe Snyder was activated from Cedar Rapids’ temporary inactive list with 1B Albee Weiss sent back to EST.RED WINGS REPORTRochester Box Score Stephen Gonsalves will make his first start of the season on Tuesday for the Red Wings. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 4, Mobile 2 Box Score The Blue Wahoos got some nice pitching and some big hits and pulled out a 4-2 win. Randy Dobnak started and threw the first five innings. He gave up two runs on five hits. He struck out seven without walking a batter. Tyler Jay got the win. He threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Williams Ramirez, fresh off the IL, struck out three batters in 1 2/3 innings of work. Cody Stashak came on for the ninth and recorded his fourth save. He gave up one hit, but he struck out two batters. Mitchell Kranson got Pensacola on the board first. He singled in Travis Blankenhorn in the first inning. Mobile got on the board with a solo homer in the top of the second inning, but Ernie De La Trinidad responded in the bottom of the inning with his second of the season to reclaim the lead. In the fourth inning, another solo homer off of Dobnak tied the score at two. In the sixth inning, Joe Cronin gave the team a lead with an RBI single. It was followed directly by another RBI single from De La Trinidad. Cronin and De La Trinidad were each 2-for-3. Kranson went 2-for-4. MIRACLE MATTERS (Game suspended in 4th inning) Ft. Myers, Bradenton Box Score This game was suspended in the fourth inning with the Miracle down 3-1. Much more will be written about this game when it concludes on Tuesday morning as part of a doubleheader. Here are two or three quick notes: First, Jhoan Duran started and gave up three runs on five hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings. When the game was suspended, there were still two runners on base. Second, Lewin Diaz stayed hot. He hit a first-inning home run, his eighth of the season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Burlington 0 Box Score The Kernels scored four runs in the first inning. Gilberto Celestino doubled in a run then scored on a Gabe Snyder single. Gabriel Maciel then drove in two more runs with another single. Celestino drove in another run with a single in the second inning. Luis Rijo was the beneficiary of the early offense and did a nice job of holding that lead. Rijo, who came to the Twins from the Yankees in the Lance Lynn deal, threw five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit, walked three and struck out six. Moises Gomez and Carlos Suniaga each threw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. They both struck out four batters. Yeltsin Encarnacion went 2-for-5 in the game. He had an RBI triple in the eighth inning to round out the Kernels scoring. Celestino went 2-for-4 with a walk and his fifth double. Gabriel Maciel went 2-for-3 with a walk. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Luis Rijo, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ernie De La Trinidad, Pensacola Blue Wahoos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Game Suspended in 4th. #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-4, 2 K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch. #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Game Suspended in 4th. #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - Injured (quad), return...unknown #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured (wrist) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Game Suspended in 4th (his line incomplete, will update tomorrow) #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch. #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (adductor) #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - making first start on Tuesday #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 0-3, BB, R #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, BB, 2B(5), R, 2 RBI, 2 K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Buffalo @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves (season debut) Pensacola - No Game Scheduled. Bradenton @ Ft. Myers (DH @ 10:00 a.m. CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (1-1, 5.91 ERA) Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Andrew Cabezas (1-3, 3.31 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s games. Click here to view the article
  21. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS While not officially making the transaction (that will come on Tuesday), Rochester announced that LHP Stephen Gonsalves will make the start for the Red Wings on Tuesday. After his one game for the Red Wings, infielder Victor Tademo was sent back to extended spring training. RHP Griffin Jax was placed on the injured list for Pensacola, and RHP Williams Ramirez was activated. 1B Gabe Snyder was activated from Cedar Rapids’ temporary inactive list with 1B Albee Weiss sent back to EST. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester Box Score Stephen Gonsalves will make his first start of the season on Tuesday for the Red Wings. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 4, Mobile 2 Box Score The Blue Wahoos got some nice pitching and some big hits and pulled out a 4-2 win. Randy Dobnak started and threw the first five innings. He gave up two runs on five hits. He struck out seven without walking a batter. Tyler Jay got the win. He threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings. Williams Ramirez, fresh off the IL, struck out three batters in 1 2/3 innings of work. Cody Stashak came on for the ninth and recorded his fourth save. He gave up one hit, but he struck out two batters. Mitchell Kranson got Pensacola on the board first. He singled in Travis Blankenhorn in the first inning. Mobile got on the board with a solo homer in the top of the second inning, but Ernie De La Trinidad responded in the bottom of the inning with his second of the season to reclaim the lead. In the fourth inning, another solo homer off of Dobnak tied the score at two. In the sixth inning, Joe Cronin gave the team a lead with an RBI single. It was followed directly by another RBI single from De La Trinidad. Cronin and De La Trinidad were each 2-for-3. Kranson went 2-for-4. MIRACLE MATTERS (Game suspended in 4th inning) Ft. Myers, Bradenton Box Score This game was suspended in the fourth inning with the Miracle down 3-1. Much more will be written about this game when it concludes on Tuesday morning as part of a doubleheader. Here are two or three quick notes: First, Jhoan Duran started and gave up three runs on five hits and two walks in 3 2/3 innings. When the game was suspended, there were still two runners on base. Second, Lewin Diaz stayed hot. He hit a first-inning home run, his eighth of the season. https://twitter.com/AndrewBern12/status/1130609225162534912 Finally, when the game was delayed, rehabbing LHP Lachlan Wells, Miracle outfielder Aaron Whitefield and Bradenton infielder Robbie Glendinning met with an Australian National team playing in the States. https://twitter.com/PG_Scouting/status/1130642182082314243 KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Burlington 0 Box Score The Kernels scored four runs in the first inning. Gilberto Celestino doubled in a run then scored on a Gabe Snyder single. Gabriel Maciel then drove in two more runs with another single. Celestino drove in another run with a single in the second inning. Luis Rijo was the beneficiary of the early offense and did a nice job of holding that lead. Rijo, who came to the Twins from the Yankees in the Lance Lynn deal, threw five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit, walked three and struck out six. Moises Gomez and Carlos Suniaga each threw two scoreless innings out of the bullpen. They both struck out four batters. Yeltsin Encarnacion went 2-for-5 in the game. He had an RBI triple in the eighth inning to round out the Kernels scoring. Celestino went 2-for-4 with a walk and his fifth double. Gabriel Maciel went 2-for-3 with a walk. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Luis Rijo, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ernie De La Trinidad, Pensacola Blue Wahoos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Game Suspended in 4th. #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-4, 2 K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch. #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Game Suspended in 4th. #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - Injured (quad), return...unknown #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured (wrist) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Game Suspended in 4th (his line incomplete, will update tomorrow) #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch. #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (adductor) #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - making first start on Tuesday #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 0-3, BB, R #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, BB, 2B(5), R, 2 RBI, 2 K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Buffalo @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Stephen Gonsalves (season debut) Pensacola - No Game Scheduled. Bradenton @ Ft. Myers (DH @ 10:00 a.m. CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (1-1, 5.91 ERA) Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Andrew Cabezas (1-3, 3.31 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Monday’s games.
  22. The Twins scored 18 runs. The two Twins minor league affiliates that have been very good this year both got shut out. The Red Wings got a good start. But most surprising, the Kernels had an offensive outburst, scoring eight runs. As impressive, three Kernels pitchers struck out 20 batters in nine innings. And, frequent Minor League Report star Luis Arraez made his major league debut late in the Twins game and recorded his first big-league hit, a double.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Saturday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Rochester announced the outfielder Brent Rooker has been placed on the injured list with a wrist injury. Taking his spot on the Red Wings roster is infielder Victor Tademo from extended spring training.As a non-transaction, but an interesting note, LHP Stephen Gonsalves joined the Red Wings in Durham on Sunday.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 3, Durham 4 Box Score The Red Wings took a 3-0 lead after scoring two runs in the top of the fifth inning. However, the Durham Bulls scored one run in each of their final four innings to take the win and push the Red Wings to 14-24 overall. Lewis Thorpe started and was good. He gave up one run on five hits and a walk over the first five innings. He struck out eight. Ryan Eades came on and gave up a solo home run in the sixth and seventh innings. Fernando Romero pitched the bottom of the eighth frame and gave up a run on one hit and two walks. Luke Raley went 2-for-3 and added his fourth stolen base. Tomas Telis went 2-for-4. LaMonte Wade was 1-or-3 with two walks. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 0, Mobile 3 Box Score The Southern League is unique among minor leagues in that it only has five-game series. Through their first eight series, the Blue Wahoos had yet to lose one. However, with their loss on Saturday, it assured their first losing series of the season. They fall to 26-17. Minnesotan Adam Bray was used as an opener for the second straight time. He gave up one run on two hits over two innings. He struck out three without issuing a walk. Jorge Alcala came on as the primary pitcher. He was charged with two runs over 4 2/3 innings. He gave up four hits and uncharacteristically walked four batters. He also struck out nine batters. Jeff Ames struck out three over two scoreless innings to end the game. The Wahoos, with partial owner Bubba Watson watching, managed just two hits in this game. Mitchell Kranson had a single, and Travis Blankenhorn went 1-for-3 with a walk. However, on the field things did not go well for the Miracle as they were shut out. Jose Miranda went 2-for-4. Ryan Jeffers had a single and a walk. Trevor Larnach walked twice. Aaron Whitefield walked three times. Melvi Acosta made another spot start. In 4 2/3 innings, he was charged with seven runs (just three earned) on seven hits, a walk and a hit batter. He struck out four. Kody Funderburk made his first Miracle appearance since being promoted from extended spring training on Friday. He threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and a walk while striking out two. Ricky Ramirez was charged with two runs on four hits in the final inning. The Miracle fell to 25-16 on their season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Clinton 2 Box Score In what has been a pretty rare occurrence, the Kernels had a big day offensively. Jared Akins kept hitting. He went 3-for-5, scored three runs and stole two bags. Gabriel Maciel went 3-for-5 with two RBI and his fifth stolen base. Andrew Bechtold hit his seventh double and his first triple. Albee Weiss went 2-for-4 with a walk. Cole Sands started and struck out ten batters in five innings. He gave up only one run despite eight hits. But he didn’t hurt himself with any walks. Austin Schulfer kept the theme going with eight strikeouts in three scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and walked one. Jose Martinez gave up a run on two hits in the ninth inning. He struck out two more batters, giving Kernels pitchers 20 strikeouts in the game. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Cole Sands, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jared Akins, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-4, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch. #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 0-2, 2 BB #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - Injured (quad), return...unknown #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured (wrist) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch. #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (90 pitches, 60 strikes) #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (adductor) #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List, late-May return possible #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did Not Play. #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, RBI, 2 K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch. #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-3, 2 BB, R, K #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 9 K (89 pitches, 53 strikes) #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 2-4 SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Durham (4:05 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (2-2, 4.50 ERA) Mobile @ Pensacola (1:05 CST) - RHP Brusdar Graterol (5-0, 1.69 ERA) St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (12:00 CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (1-4, 5.46 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (2:00 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (2-1, 2.97 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games. Click here to view the article
  23. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Saturday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Rochester announced the outfielder Brent Rooker has been placed on the injured list with a wrist injury. Taking his spot on the Red Wings roster is infielder Victor Tademo from extended spring training. As a non-transaction, but an interesting note, LHP Stephen Gonsalves joined the Red Wings in Durham on Sunday. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Durham 4 Box Score The Red Wings took a 3-0 lead after scoring two runs in the top of the fifth inning. However, the Durham Bulls scored one run in each of their final four innings to take the win and push the Red Wings to 14-24 overall. Lewis Thorpe started and was good. He gave up one run on five hits and a walk over the first five innings. He struck out eight. Ryan Eades came on and gave up a solo home run in the sixth and seventh innings. Fernando Romero pitched the bottom of the eighth frame and gave up a run on one hit and two walks. Luke Raley went 2-for-3 and added his fourth stolen base. Tomas Telis went 2-for-4. LaMonte Wade was 1-or-3 with two walks. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 0, Mobile 3 Box Score The Southern League is unique among minor leagues in that it only has five-game series. Through their first eight series, the Blue Wahoos had yet to lose one. However, with their loss on Saturday, it assured their first losing series of the season. They fall to 26-17. Minnesotan Adam Bray was used as an opener for the second straight time. He gave up one run on two hits over two innings. He struck out three without issuing a walk. Jorge Alcala came on as the primary pitcher. He was charged with two runs over 4 2/3 innings. He gave up four hits and uncharacteristically walked four batters. He also struck out nine batters. Jeff Ames struck out three over two scoreless innings to end the game. The Wahoos, with partial owner Bubba Watson watching, managed just two hits in this game. Mitchell Kranson had a single, and Travis Blankenhorn went 1-for-3 with a walk. https://twitter.com/bubbawatson/status/1129890842196361216 MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 0, St. Lucie 9 Box Score The Miracle celebrates Major League as Roger Dorn (or maybe you prefer Corbin Bernsen was in attendance on Saturday night to sign autographs and take pictures with fans. https://twitter.com/MiracleBaseball/status/1129804061220454402 However, on the field things did not go well for the Miracle as they were shut out. Jose Miranda went 2-for-4. Ryan Jeffers had a single and a walk. Trevor Larnach walked twice. Aaron Whitefield walked three times. Melvi Acosta made another spot start. In 4 2/3 innings, he was charged with seven runs (just three earned) on seven hits, a walk and a hit batter. He struck out four. Kody Funderburk made his first Miracle appearance since being promoted from extended spring training on Friday. He threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and a walk while striking out two. Ricky Ramirez was charged with two runs on four hits in the final inning. The Miracle fell to 25-16 on their season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Clinton 2 Box Score In what has been a pretty rare occurrence, the Kernels had a big day offensively. Jared Akins kept hitting. He went 3-for-5, scored three runs and stole two bags. Gabriel Maciel went 3-for-5 with two RBI and his fifth stolen base. Andrew Bechtold hit his seventh double and his first triple. Albee Weiss went 2-for-4 with a walk. Cole Sands started and struck out ten batters in five innings. He gave up only one run despite eight hits. But he didn’t hurt himself with any walks. Austin Schulfer kept the theme going with eight strikeouts in three scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and walked one. Jose Martinez gave up a run on two hits in the ninth inning. He struck out two more batters, giving Kernels pitchers 20 strikeouts in the game. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Cole Sands, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jared Akins, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-4, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch. #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 0-2, 2 BB #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - Injured (quad), return...unknown #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured (wrist) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch. #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (90 pitches, 60 strikes) #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (adductor) #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List, late-May return possible #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did Not Play. #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, RBI, 2 K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch. #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-3, 2 BB, R, K #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 9 K (89 pitches, 53 strikes) #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 2-4 SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Durham (4:05 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (2-2, 4.50 ERA) Mobile @ Pensacola (1:05 CST) - RHP Brusdar Graterol (5-0, 1.69 ERA) St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (12:00 CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (1-4, 5.46 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (2:00 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (2-1, 2.97 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games.
  24. “The dragon is like, you enter in this attack mode. We call it the dragon spirit,” Vasquez explained. “All your preparation, all your determination, all your belief in yourself, all the love you have for the game and everything you do.” The approach seems to be working. Through their first 16 games of this young season, Kernels pitchers are setting down batters at a remarkable clip of 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings. How impressive is that? The franchise record for a season, set in 1964 by the Cedar Rapids Red Raiders, is 9.2 Ks per nine innings. Since the team became the Kernels in 1993, the best rate a team has recorded for a season was 8.7, a mark set just last season. It’s not just a couple of guys racking up all the strikeouts, either. Ten of the 14 pitchers who have appeared for Cedar Rapids (not including infielder Joe Cronin, who made a one-inning mop up appearance) have struck out batters at a rate of at least one per inning pitched, with reliever Joe Record (21.2 K/9 IP) and starter Jordan Balazovic (16.0 K/9 IP) leading the way. It’s early in the season, of course, but if it seems like the increase in strikeouts might be part of a philosophical approach to the art of pitching, there’s a reason for that. Coach Vasquez explains. “The strikeout is the best outcome for a pitcher, right? It takes out luck on balls in play, because when a ball’s in play, the average (for the batter reaching base) is .300. So, if we can get more strikeouts, we’re going to keep the game in our control more. “Everybody on our (staff) has weapons for strikeouts, so it’s about how do I use them? Where do I use them? So yeah there’s an emphasis (on strikeouts) for our guys.” Trying to strike everybody out can run up the pitch count, however. That’s not something any organization wants to do with its young arms. photo by Steve Buhr of Derek Molina As a result, Vasquez points out that there’s a time for getting quick outs and a time to… well… unleash the dragon and go for that strikeout. “Early in the count, the mindset is ‘end the at-bat with every pitch you throw.’ You get strike one, control the count, finish the hitter,” he pointed out. “And then, as you get to 0-2, 1-2, let’s finish him! You own him. 2-2, let’s finish him! Either way, you have to throw a pitch, so why not throw a pitch where you’re going to get a swing and miss? So, understanding your swing and miss percentage, understanding where that is in the zone with those certain pitches, it’s a real benefit for you.” Just thinking about all those strikeouts gets Vasquez smiling. “It’s so much fun! Like, what good is a hitter when they strike out? Go back to the dugout, you’re no good! Thank you very much! And it’s been a lot of fun to watch them. We have this aggressive mindset as a staff and they all encourage each other.” With Game of Thrones being arguably the most talked-about program currently running on television, one might think the pitching staff’s dragon-themed motto is tied to the popular HBO series in which dragons play a major role. But the reality is that the motto has an old-school origin. Vasquez said he saw the 1973 Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon over the offseason and that provided the genesis of the staff’s motto. “(The movie) was very philosophical and there’s this warrior spirit to him. I kind of resonated with that,” Vasquez recalled. “I’m always trying to help them create a feeling of what they’re going to be like when they accomplish that feeling, not just the thing, but what’s the feeling? “There’s this feeling that goes along with it and we’re all embodying it and I think that goes along with the strikeouts that we’re getting. It’s just attacking and trusting and believing and doing it for your team because you know what’s good for your team is also good for you.” Cedar Rapids ranks third in the Midwest League in pitching staff strikeouts and second among teams in the league’s Western Division. Still, the team sits fifth in the standings of their eight-team division with a 7-9 record, as they start a road trip Monday night. photo by Steve Buhr (Virgil Vasquez with hitting coach Ryan Smith) Vasquez doesn’t sound concerned about that, however. “Our record doesn’t reflect who we are,” he said. “Because the first few series, we were getting to know each other. You come into the season, you played together for five days or seven days in spring training, there’s a little, ‘who are we?’ kind of thing.” He may have a point. The Kernels are 6-4 in their past ten games after getting off to a slow 1-5 record the first week of the season. “We had communication, we kept preparing, we kept going and then all of a sudden, it’s like, this is what we do. As that’s happened, we’ve won more games. Ryan (Smith, the team’s hitting coach) has done a great job, too. We just kept improving that process and kept saying, ‘this is what we do.’ But changing it and adapting it so works better and more efficient. It’s a lot more fluid now. “This is my first year being my own pitching coach and the feeling I have with the team, my heart feels so good just to have these guys connect the way they do with each other and how tight we are as a group. I feel like we’re seeing who we are now. Everybody’s been working hard. I hope all my seasons are like this.” Kernels Notes The Kernels have pulled up out of the MWL Western Division cellar and sit in 5th place with a 7-9 record. They lead the MWL in stolen base efficiency (92.9%), successfully nabbing 13 stolen bases while being caught just once. Gilberto Celestino’s 4 SB lead the team, with the rest of the thefts spread among seven other Kernels. Hitting: Trey Cabbage continues to swing a hot bat, now with 5 HR (tied for 2nd in MWL), 1 3B, 1 2B and slashing .346/.443/.692 (1.135 OPS is 3rd in MWL) Gabriel Maciel is off to a scorching start in his first 4 games with CR. .312/.500/.588 (1.088) Gabe Snyder, through his first 8 games, has 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR and is slashing .379/.457/.621 (1.078) Pitching: Joe Record, in 4 relief appearances covering 4.2 IP, has surrendered 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB and struck out 11 with a 0.43 WHIP Reliever Brian Rapp has thrown 9 IP over 4 appearances, striking out 9. Since giving up 1 ER on April 5, he has not given up another run, earned or otherwise. Austin Schulfer has been dominant in 3 of his 4 bullpen appearances, primarily in long relief. 3 shutout IP on April 4, 4 scoreless IP on April 12 and most recently, 3 shutout innings on April 18. Starter Jordan Balazovic has struck out 9, 9 and 8 in his three starts this season, totaling 14.2 IP. He has a 2-1 record, a 1.02 WHIP and a 2.45 ERA. His 26 K ranks him 1st in the MWL. Cole Sands has a 0-0 record but has shutout opponents in 2 of his 3 starts, throwing 5 innings in each of those 2 starts. He’s struck out 18 over 14 IP. Want to read more about the Kernels? Click the links to read Cedar Rapids Gazette’s beat reporter, Jeff Johnson. Trey Cabbage's Hot Start Continues Jordan Balazovic Continues His Progression
  25. Their jerseys may say Kernels on the outside, but underneath, the guys on Cedar Rapids pitching coach Virgil Vasquez’s staff have adopted a more burning mindset. The pitching staff has adopted an “Enter the Dragon” motto that is reflected not only on the back of the T-shirts they wear under their uniforms, but in the intensity with which they attack opposing batters.“The dragon is like, you enter in this attack mode. We call it the dragon spirit,” Vasquez explained. “All your preparation, all your determination, all your belief in yourself, all the love you have for the game and everything you do.” The approach seems to be working. Through their first 16 games of this young season, Kernels pitchers are setting down batters at a remarkable clip of 10.8 strikeouts per nine innings. How impressive is that? The franchise record for a season, set in 1964 by the Cedar Rapids Red Raiders, is 9.2 Ks per nine innings. Since the team became the Kernels in 1993, the best rate a team has recorded for a season was 8.7, a mark set just last season. It’s not just a couple of guys racking up all the strikeouts, either. Ten of the 14 pitchers who have appeared for Cedar Rapids (not including infielder Joe Cronin, who made a one-inning mop up appearance) have struck out batters at a rate of at least one per inning pitched, with reliever Joe Record (21.2 K/9 IP) and starter Jordan Balazovic (16.0 K/9 IP) leading the way. It’s early in the season, of course, but if it seems like the increase in strikeouts might be part of a philosophical approach to the art of pitching, there’s a reason for that. Coach Vasquez explains. “The strikeout is the best outcome for a pitcher, right? It takes out luck on balls in play, because when a ball’s in play, the average (for the batter reaching base) is .300. So, if we can get more strikeouts, we’re going to keep the game in our control more. “Everybody on our (staff) has weapons for strikeouts, so it’s about how do I use them? Where do I use them? So yeah there’s an emphasis (on strikeouts) for our guys.” Trying to strike everybody out can run up the pitch count, however. That’s not something any organization wants to do with its young arms. photo by Steve Buhr of Derek Molina As a result, Vasquez points out that there’s a time for getting quick outs and a time to… well… unleash the dragon and go for that strikeout. “Early in the count, the mindset is ‘end the at-bat with every pitch you throw.’ You get strike one, control the count, finish the hitter,” he pointed out. “And then, as you get to 0-2, 1-2, let’s finish him! You own him. 2-2, let’s finish him! Either way, you have to throw a pitch, so why not throw a pitch where you’re going to get a swing and miss? So, understanding your swing and miss percentage, understanding where that is in the zone with those certain pitches, it’s a real benefit for you.” Just thinking about all those strikeouts gets Vasquez smiling. “It’s so much fun! Like, what good is a hitter when they strike out? Go back to the dugout, you’re no good! Thank you very much! And it’s been a lot of fun to watch them. We have this aggressive mindset as a staff and they all encourage each other.” With Game of Thrones being arguably the most talked-about program currently running on television, one might think the pitching staff’s dragon-themed motto is tied to the popular HBO series in which dragons play a major role. But the reality is that the motto has an old-school origin. Vasquez said he saw the 1973 Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon over the offseason and that provided the genesis of the staff’s motto. “(The movie) was very philosophical and there’s this warrior spirit to him. I kind of resonated with that,” Vasquez recalled. “I’m always trying to help them create a feeling of what they’re going to be like when they accomplish that feeling, not just the thing, but what’s the feeling? “There’s this feeling that goes along with it and we’re all embodying it and I think that goes along with the strikeouts that we’re getting. It’s just attacking and trusting and believing and doing it for your team because you know what’s good for your team is also good for you.” Cedar Rapids ranks third in the Midwest League in pitching staff strikeouts and second among teams in the league’s Western Division. Still, the team sits fifth in the standings of their eight-team division with a 7-9 record, as they start a road trip Monday night. photo by Steve Buhr (Virgil Vasquez with hitting coach Ryan Smith) Vasquez doesn’t sound concerned about that, however. “Our record doesn’t reflect who we are,” he said. “Because the first few series, we were getting to know each other. You come into the season, you played together for five days or seven days in spring training, there’s a little, ‘who are we?’ kind of thing.” He may have a point. The Kernels are 6-4 in their past ten games after getting off to a slow 1-5 record the first week of the season. “We had communication, we kept preparing, we kept going and then all of a sudden, it’s like, this is what we do. As that’s happened, we’ve won more games. Ryan (Smith, the team’s hitting coach) has done a great job, too. We just kept improving that process and kept saying, ‘this is what we do.’ But changing it and adapting it so works better and more efficient. It’s a lot more fluid now. “This is my first year being my own pitching coach and the feeling I have with the team, my heart feels so good just to have these guys connect the way they do with each other and how tight we are as a group. I feel like we’re seeing who we are now. Everybody’s been working hard. I hope all my seasons are like this.” Kernels Notes The Kernels have pulled up out of the MWL Western Division cellar and sit in 5th place with a 7-9 record.They lead the MWL in stolen base efficiency (92.9%), successfully nabbing 13 stolen bases while being caught just once. Gilberto Celestino’s 4 SB lead the team, with the rest of the thefts spread among seven other Kernels.Hitting:Trey Cabbage continues to swing a hot bat, now with 5 HR (tied for 2nd in MWL), 1 3B, 1 2B and slashing .346/.443/.692 (1.135 OPS is 3rd in MWL)Gabriel Maciel is off to a scorching start in his first 4 games with CR. .312/.500/.588 (1.088)Gabe Snyder, through his first 8 games, has 2 2B, 1 3B, 1 HR and is slashing .379/.457/.621 (1.078)Pitching:Joe Record, in 4 relief appearances covering 4.2 IP, has surrendered 0 ER, 1 H, 1 BB and struck out 11 with a 0.43 WHIPReliever Brian Rapp has thrown 9 IP over 4 appearances, striking out 9. Since giving up 1 ER on April 5, he has not given up another run, earned or otherwise.Austin Schulfer has been dominant in 3 of his 4 bullpen appearances, primarily in long relief. 3 shutout IP on April 4, 4 scoreless IP on April 12 and most recently, 3 shutout innings on April 18.Starter Jordan Balazovic has struck out 9, 9 and 8 in his three starts this season, totaling 14.2 IP. He has a 2-1 record, a 1.02 WHIP and a 2.45 ERA. His 26 K ranks him 1st in the MWL.Cole Sands has a 0-0 record but has shutout opponents in 2 of his 3 starts, throwing 5 innings in each of those 2 starts. He’s struck out 18 over 14 IP.Want to read more about the Kernels? Click the links to read Cedar Rapids Gazette’s beat reporter, Jeff Johnson.Trey Cabbage's Hot Start ContinuesJordan Balazovic Continues His Progression Click here to view the article
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