Jump to content
  • Create Account

Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'hector lujan'.

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Categories

  • Twins
  • Minors
  • Saints
  • Just For Fun
  • Twins Daily

Categories

  • Unregistered Help Files
  • All Users Help Files

Categories

  • Twins & Minors
  • Vintage
  • Retrospective
  • Twins Daily

Forums

  • Baseball Forums
    • Minnesota Twins Talk
    • Twins Minor League Talk
    • Twins Daily Front Page News
    • Other Baseball
    • Archived Game Threads
  • MinnCentric Forums
    • The Sports Bar
    • Minnesota Vikings Talk
    • Minnesota Wild Talk
    • Minnesota Timberwolves Talk
  • Current Affairs's Politics and Human Rights
  • Current Affairs's Non-political current affairs
  • Twins Daily's Questions About The Site

Blogs

  • Blog awstafki
  • The Lurker's Annual
  • Mike Sixel's Blog
  • Twins fan in Texas
  • highlander's Blog
  • Patrick Wozniak's Blog
  • Blog dennyhocking4HOF
  • From the Plaza
  • The Special Season
  • Twins Daily's Blog
  • Blog Twins best friend
  • Kyle Eliason's Blog
  • Extra Innings
  • SkinCell Pro: How Does Remove Mole & Skin Tag Work?
  • Blog Badsmerf
  • mikelink45's Blog
  • MT Feelings
  • Keto Burn Max Benefits
  • Blog crapforks
  • Off The Baggy
  • VikingTwinTwolf's Blog
  • A Blog to Be Named Later
  • Cormac's Corner
  • Blog MaureenHill
  • Halsey Hall Chapter of SABR
  • Road Tripping with the Twins
  • Greg Allen
  • Classic Minnesota Twins
  • The Line of Mendoza
  • BombazoMLB
  • Blog Twins Daily Admin
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • What if the Twins had drafted Prior or Teixeira instead of Mauer?
  • the_brute_squad's Blog
  • Better Baseball Is Ahead
  • Nick's Twins Blog
  • Blog jianfu
  • joshykid1's Blog
  • The PTBNL
  • Levi Hansen
  • SethSpeaks.net
  • Blog leshaadawson
  • Underwriting the Twins
  • Small Sample Size
  • parkerb's Blog
  • Tim
  • TwinsGeek.com
  • Blog Roaddog
  • Mauerpower's Blog
  • SotaPop's Blog
  • Face facts!!!
  • Over the Baggy
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Heezy1323's Blog
  • LA Vikes Fan
  • North Dakota Twins Fan
  • Blog Reginald Maudling's Shin
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Miller1234's Blog
  • Twins Curmudgeon
  • Blog Kirsten Brown
  • if we aint spendin 140 million
  • Boone's Blog
  • Rounding Third
  • Kirilloff & Co.
  • Shallow Thoughts - bean5302
  • The Hanging SL
  • Red Wing Squawk
  • Distraction via Baseball
  • Nine of twelve's Blog
  • Blog Lindsay Guentzel
  • Blog Karl
  • Vance_Christianson's Blog
  • Curveball Blog
  • waltomeal's Blog
  • Knuckleballs - JC
  • Blog jrzf713
  • The Minor League Lifestyle
  • Jason Kubel is America
  • weneedjackmorris' Blog
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog freightmaster
  • Playin' Catch
  • Sethmoko's Blog
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Blog Scott Povolny
  • Blog COtwin
  • Hrbowski's Blog
  • Minnesota Twins Whine Line
  • Bomba Blog
  • Blog Chad Jacobsen
  • Blog ScottyBroco
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Back Office Twins Baseball Blog
  • DannySD's Blog
  • nobitadora's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1812
  • Blog Adam Krueger
  • Hammered (adj.) Heavily inebriated, though to a lesser extent than ****faced.
  • Thegrin's Blog
  • 3rd Inning Stretch's Blog
  • Jeremy Nygaard
  • The W.A.R. room
  • Christopher Fee's Blog
  • Postma Posts
  • Rolondo's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1814
  • Blog Fanatic Jack
  • Dominican Adventure
  • Cory Engelhardt's Blog
  • markthomas' Blog
  • blogs_blog_1815
  • Blog AJPettersen
  • Blog AllhopeisgoneMNTWINS
  • BW on the Beat
  • jfeyereisn17's Blog
  • 2020 Offseason Blueprint
  • Blog TimShibuya
  • Fumi Saito's Blog
  • This Twins Fans Thoughts
  • Long Live La Tortuga
  • Blog TonyDavis
  • Blog Danchat
  • sdtwins37's Blog
  • Thinking Outside the Box
  • dbminn
  • Blog travistwinstalk
  • jokin's Blog
  • Thoughts from The Catch
  • BlakeAsk's Blog
  • Tom Schreier's Blog
  • less cowBlog
  • Hansen101's Blog
  • The Gopher Hole
  • 2020 Twins BluePrint - HotDish Surprise
  • Blog bkucko
  • The Circleback Blog
  • All Things Twins
  • Blog iTwins
  • Drinking at the 573
  • The Thirsty Crow and the google boy from peepeganj
  • Catching Some Zs
  • Blog TCAnelle
  • Singles off the Wall
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • A View From The Roof
  • The Blog Days of Summer
  • Jordan1212's Blog
  • You Shouldn't Have Lost
  • TwinsTakes.com Blog on TwinsDaily.com - Our Takes, Your Takes, TwinsTakes.com!
  • Blog SgtSchmidt11
  • Dantes929's Blog
  • Critical Thinking
  • Blog Matt VS
  • Blog RickPrescott
  • The Dollar Dome Dog
  • Travis M's Blog
  • Diamond Dollars
  • Blog jorgenswest
  • Twinsfan4life
  • Travis M's Interviews
  • whatyouknowtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog righty8383
  • Blog TwinsWolvesLynxBlog
  • Supfin99's Blog
  • tarheeltwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog glunn
  • Blog yumen0808
  • Unkind Bounces
  • Doctor Gast's Blog
  • One Man's View From Section 231
  • Don't Feed the Greed? What does that mean...
  • Diesel's Blog
  • Blog denarded
  • Blog zymy0813
  • Twins Peak
  • Minnesota Twins Health and Performance: A Blog by Lucas Seehafer PT
  • Blog kirbyelway
  • Blog JP3700
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Ports on Sports Blog
  • Blog Twins Fan From Afar
  • Blog E. Andrew
  • The 10th Inning Stretch
  • Hans Birkleberry's Blog
  • Blog twinsarmchairgm
  • Pitz Hits
  • samthetwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog JB (the Original)
  • soofootinsfan37's Blog
  • You Can Read This For Free
  • One Post Blog
  • Blog Dez Tobin
  • South Dakota Tom's Blog
  • hrenlazar2019's Blog
  • MNSotaSportsGal Twins Takes
  • Blog kemics
  • Blog AM.
  • DerektheDOM's Blog
  • Twins Tunes
  • Blog jtrinaldi
  • Blog Bill
  • Not Another Baseball Blog
  • Down on the Farm
  • Most likely pitchers making their MLB debut in 2021 for Twins.
  • Blog Wookiee of the Year
  • mike8791's Blog
  • Pensacola Blue Wahoos: Photo-A-Day
  • Puckets Pond
  • Blog Jim H
  • A trade for the off season
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Kasota Gold
  • The POSTseason
  • Blog guski
  • Blog rickyriolo
  • SgtSchmidt11's Blog
  • Twinternationals
  • Blog birdwatcher
  • Blog acrozelle
  • Axel Kohagen's Catastrophic Overreactions
  • Bashwood12's Blog
  • Spicer's Baseball Movie Reviews
  • Beyond the Metrodome
  • Blog yangxq0827
  • The Pat-Man Saga
  • TheTeufelShuffle's Blog
  • ebergdib's blog
  • Blog Thegrin
  • Zachary's Blog
  • scottyc35
  • Danchat's Aggregated Prospect Rankings
  • Thrylos' Blog - select Tenth Inning Stretch posts
  • Blog taune
  • scottyc35's Blog
  • World's Greatest Online Magazine
  • Blog tweety2012
  • DRizzo's Blog
  • mrtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog asmus_ndsu
  • Otto Gets Blotto
  • Betsy Twins Report
  • Blog shawntheroad
  • Blog David-14
  • Blog Buddy14
  • Blog keithanderson
  • Blog Topperanton
  • Blog lightfoot789
  • Blog Axel Kohagen
  • Blog Lesser Dali
  • Blog Neinstein
  • Blog Bob Sacamento
  • Blog J-Dog Dungan
  • Thoughts of a Bullpen Catcher
  • Blog Dilligaf69
  • blogs_blog_1599
  • Twin Minds
  • My Opening Day Poem
  • Blog Teflon
  • Blog yanking it out...
  • Blog Anare
  • Blog Charlie Beattie
  • Blog Coach J
  • What to do with Morneau?
  • Peanuts from Heaven
  • Blog Physics Guy
  • Twins Adjacent
  • Field of Twins
  • Martin Schlegel's Blog
  • The Long View
  • Blog grumpyrob
  • Off The Mark
  • Blog Jeff A
  • Blog jwestbrock
  • by Matt Sisk
  • Blog Sarah
  • Blog RodneyKline
  • Blog JeffB
  • Anorthagen's Twins Daily Blogs
  • Low Profile MI Trade
  • Blog CC7
  • Blog dwintheiser
  • Blog Docsilly
  • Blog cmathewson
  • Blog mnfireman
  • Blog twinsfanstl
  • Blog dave_dw
  • Blog MN_Twins_Live
  • Standing Room Only
  • Blog gkasper
  • Blog puck34
  • Blog Old Twins Cap
  • Blog diehardtwinsfan
  • Blog Twinfan & Dad
  • Blog LimestoneBaggy
  • Blog Brian Mozey
  • vqt94648's Blog
  • Blog Loosey
  • Blog fairweather
  • World Series Champions 2088
  • Blog Drtwins
  • Blog peterb18
  • Blog LindaU
  • Kevin Slowey was Framed!
  • Blog Christopher Fee
  • Very Well Then
  • Pitch2Contact.com
  • A View from the Slot
  • Blog severson09
  • Blog husker brian
  • Blog Ray Tapajna
  • Sell high?
  • Blog bogeypepsi
  • Blog tshide
  • Blog Gene Larkin Fan Club
  • Blog jimbo92107
  • Blog DefinitelyNotVodkaDave
  • Blog Cap'n Piranha
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Frank Vantur's Blog
  • Blog Ricola
  • Blog AScheib50
  • SamGoody's Blog
  • Blog clutterheart
  • Blog Trent Condon
  • Blog bwille
  • blogs_blog_1635
  • Blog strumdatjag
  • Blog huhguy
  • blogs_blog_1636
  • Blog 3rd Inning Stretch
  • Blog 10PagesOfClearBlueSky
  • blogs_blog_1637
  • Blog Tyomoth
  • SD Buhr/Jim Crikket
  • blogs_blog_1638
  • Blog bear333
  • Blog sln477
  • Blog abbylucy
  • Blog Gernzy
  • Troy's Twins Thoughts
  • Blog OtherHoward219
  • blogs_blog_1642
  • Blog ScrapTheNickname
  • Blog TicketKing
  • Blog sotasports9
  • Twins Rubes
  • Blog goulik
  • Hosken's Blog
  • Blog one_eyed_jack
  • Blog joelindell
  • Blog rikker49
  • Blog nickschubert
  • Blog DreInWA
  • You're Not Reading This
  • Blog Hugh Morris
  • The Blog Formerly Known as Undomed
  • Kottke's Cuts
  • Blog Dakota Watts
  • Blog markroehl
  • Blog jjswol
  • Blog Tibs
  • blogs_blog_1654
  • Blog jlovren
  • Blog Boone
  • Puckmen's Blog
  • Minnesota native to attend Twins predraft workout
  • Blog obryaneu
  • Blog JohnFoley
  • Blog TwinsArmChairGM_Jon
  • Bloop Singles
  • Blog Ryan Atkins
  • Blog the blade
  • Blog Lonestar
  • Blog jdotmcmahon
  • Blog WayneJimenezubc
  • Blog Sconnie
  • Blog PogueBear
  • Blog pierre75275
  • cHawk Talks Baseball
  • Blog Paul Bebus
  • flyballs in orbit
  • Blog A33bates
  • Blog lunchboxhero_4
  • lidefom746's Blog
  • Blog coddlenomore
  • Blog Trevor0333
  • Blog lee_the_twins_fan
  • Blog StreetOfFire
  • Blog clark47dorsey
  • Texastwinsfan blog
  • Blog KCasey
  • Blog Joey Lindseth
  • Blog jakelovesgolf
  • Blog mchokozie
  • Thoughts from the Stands
  • cHawk’s Blog
  • Blog best game in the world
  • Heather's thoughts
  • Blog sammy0eaton
  • HitInAPinch's Blog
  • Blog Mauerpower
  • Blog Jdosen
  • Blog twinsfanohio
  • Beyond the Limestone
  • Blog dougkoebernick
  • Get to know 'em
  • 5 Tool Blog
  • Cole Trace
  • Blog Sunglasses
  • Blog CTB_NickC
  • Blog Colin.O'Donnell
  • "And we'll see ya' ... tomorrow night."
  • Blog richardkr34
  • Gopher Baseball with Luke Pettersen
  • Blog KelvinBoyerxrg
  • Blog twinsfan34
  • Blog CaryMuellerlib
  • Blog jtkoupal
  • FunnyPenguin's Blog
  • Blog Sierra Szeto
  • Blog ExiledInSeattle
  • A Realistic Fix to the 2014 Twins
  • Blog naksh
  • Blog bellajelcooper
  • rickymartin's Blog
  • Blog twinsajsf
  • Blog keeth
  • Blog Murphy Vasterling Cannon
  • Twins Winter Caravan
  • Blog tracygame
  • Blog rjohnso4
  • Half a Platoon
  • Blog jangofelixak
  • Blog SirClive
  • tooslowandoldnow's Blog
  • Blog Troy Larson
  • Blog thetank
  • nicksaviking blog
  • Blog iekfWjnrxb
  • Blog SouthDakotaFarmer
  • Bill Parker
  • East Coast Bias
  • Blog tobi0040
  • Lee-The-Twins-Fan's Blog
  • Blog foe-of-nin
  • Blog cocosoup
  • Minnesota Groan
  • Blog wRenita5
  • rgvtwinstalk
  • Major Minnesotans
  • Blog Aaron 12
  • Blog janewong
  • The Twins Almanac
  • Blog boys
  • Blog bennep
  • Hambino the Great's Blog
  • Blog JadaKingg25
  • Jesse Lund's Blog
  • Blog Brabes1987
  • RealStoriesMN
  • Blog sanal101
  • Blog Spikecurveball
  • Blog Devereaux
  • D-mac's Blog
  • Blog tarheeltwinsfan
  • kakakhan's Blog
  • Blog Oliver
  • Blog travis_aune
  • Twins and Losses
  • In My Opinion
  • Blog ieveretgte4f
  • Blog Sam Morley
  • Pinto's Perspective
  • Blog curt1965
  • VeryWellThen's Blog
  • Extcs
  • The Foul Play-by-Play Twins Blog
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog winunaarec
  • Negativity Police's Blog
  • Blog Robb Jeffries
  • Adam Houck's Blog
  • SaintsTrain
  • Loosey's Blog
  • Blog EE in Big D
  • Talkin' Twins with Jonathon
  • Steve Penz's Blog
  • Blog jtequilabermeah
  • The Tenth Inning Stretch
  • Apathy for the Game
  • Dave The Dastardly's Blog
  • Blog hmariloustarkk
  • Car detailing
  • Blog Brendan Kennealy
  • Twins Fan From Afar's Blog
  • Visit500
  • Blog totocc
  • SD Buhr's Blog
  • KirbyHawk75's Blog
  • Blog Bark's Lounge
  • huhguy's Blog
  • Blog TwinsFanLV
  • NumberThree's Blog
  • Blog pandorajewelry
  • The Go Gonzo Journal Twins Blog
  • Twinsnerd123's Blog
  • Blog cClevelandSmialekp
  • Talk to Contact
  • Boo-urns
  • Blog silverslugger
  • jtkoupal's Blog
  • Broker's Blog
  • Blog Twinsoholic
  • diehardtwinsfan's Blog
  • Brad's Blog
  • Javier Maschrano - the rising star of Argentina
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • Blog Salazar
  • curt1965's Blog
  • Be Always in Fashion &in Trendy Look
  • ThejacKmp's Blog
  • Blog vMaymeHansone
  • stringer bell's Blog
  • Blog brvama
  • AJPettersen's Blog
  • WiscoTwin
  • Rants (not Rantz)
  • iec23966's Blog
  • Blog loisebottorf83
  • CodyB's Blog
  • Staying Positive
  • Target Field of Dreams' Blog
  • Intentional Balk
  • Blog rodmccray11282
  • ReturnOfShaneMack's Blog
  • Blog SksippSvefdklyn
  • A blog about the Twins & more
  • Thome the Moneyball
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Lefty74's Blog
  • USAFChief's Blog
  • tobi0040's Blog
  • Tony Nato's Blog
  • Clear's Blog
  • Blog LeeStevensonuuf
  • Waking up the Twins
  • Blog GrahamCharleshqr
  • First Base and the legacy of Kent Hrbek
  • carly148
  • Blog MWLFan
  • Minnie Paul and Mary
  • twinstarheelsfan's Blog
  • This game's fun, OK?
  • Blog TimeAgreell
  • Tsuyoshi's Island
  • NASCAR Steve's Blog
  • Kevin Horner's Blog
  • blogs_blog_1742
  • Blog CDog
  • Hold for the Batter
  • John the Analytics Guy
  • mrmpls' Blog
  • Zlog
  • samberry's Blog
  • nmtwinsfan's Blog
  • Under Teflon Skies
  • Views from the road
  • St. Paul Saints
  • Blog tkyokoperkinsn
  • Alskn's Northern Lights
  • Talkin' Turnstiles
  • Find Stats Elsewhere
  • Blog LaBombo
  • hugelycat's Blog
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • Milldaddy35's Blog Area
  • Blog Fire Dan Gladden
  • Baseball Intelligence
  • framedoctor's Blog
  • Blog Riverbrian
  • Blog Brandon
  • Organizational Depth Chart
  • Left Field Gap
  • gtkilla
  • Hicks' Left-Handed Helmets
  • MauerState7's Blog
  • 80MPH Changeup
  • Twins Pitch Breakdown
  • What you know about that blog
  • Blog DaTwins
  • positive1's Blog
  • rikker49's Blog
  • baxterpope15's Blog
  • Blog ThejacKmp
  • Random Thoughts About Baseball
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Run Prevention
  • Blog ericchri
  • pierre75275's Blog
  • Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Blog
  • Cargo Cult Sabermetrics
  • Blog 81Exposruledbaseball
  • Deduno Abides' Blog
  • David Howell's Blog
  • Blog daanderson20
  • Twin Billing
  • sorney's Blog
  • TCAnelle's Blog
  • Blog shs_59
  • rikker49's Blog
  • Crackin' Wax's Cardboard Corner
  • Blog jm3319
  • jsteve96's Blog
  • The Always Fashionable; Uncle Charlie
  • Blog stringer bell
  • twinssouth's Blog
  • Baseball Good
  • Blog everettegalr
  • twinsfan34's Blog
  • menthmike's Blog
  • Blog Obie
  • B Richard's Blog
  • Brazilian Twins Territory
  • The Hidden Baseball
  • Blog SpinnesotaGirl
  • Marthaler
  • InfieldFlyRuled
  • Coopcarlson3's Blog
  • Blog SoDakTwinsFan5
  • Blog LastOnePicked
  • Bob Sacamento's Blog
  • MnTwinsTalk's Blog
  • Blog Top Gun
  • Twinfan & Dad's Blog
  • Nebtwinsfan's Blog
  • Blog TKGuy
  • GLO Blog
  • Ben Fadden's Blog
  • ajcondon's Blog
  • Blog TheMind07
  • Daily Twins Daily
  • TwinkiePower's Blog
  • Blog Michael Blomquist
  • VeryWellThen
  • MN_ExPat's Blog
  • Channing1964's Blog
  • Blog Darin Bratsch
  • Twin's Organizational News
  • Around The Horn
  • Blog beckmt
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • BeantownTwinsFan's Blog
  • Blog YourHouseIsMyHouse
  • jjswol's Twins Trivia Blog
  • Blog jay
  • SF Twins Fan's Blog
  • Morneau
  • TNTwinsFan's Blog
  • Musings from Twins Territory
  • Original Twin
  • Blog El Guapo
  • Doubles' Blog
  • Kirbek's Leaps and Pulls
  • Blog jokin
  • Brandon's Blog
  • A Look Back
  • Science of Baseball
  • Blog IdahoPilgrim
  • Sam Morley's Blog
  • oregontwin's Blog
  • Rounding Second
  • Blog Lyric53
  • The Curse of the Trees
  • gagu's Blog
  • Twins in CA
  • Blog Oldgoat_MN
  • Giant Baseball Cards
  • Blog twinfan49
  • docsillyseth's Blog
  • Kirby O'Connor's Blog
  • dfklgkoc
  • Blog ContinuumGuy
  • Wille's Way
  • Minnesota Sports Statistics Analysis
  • Ryan Stephan's Twinpinions
  • blogs_blog_2805
  • Blog tradingadvantage
  • brvama's Blog
  • Minnesota SSA's Blog
  • Danchat's Strat-O-Matic Blog
  • Blog Chance
  • NoCryingInBaseball's Blog
  • It Takes All Kinds
  • TFRazor's Blog
  • Blog twinslover
  • Sarah's Blog
  • theJemmer's Blog
  • Spikecurveball's Blog
  • Four Six Three
  • blogs_blog_2809
  • 2012 Draft.
  • travistwinstalk's Blog
  • Seth Stohs' Blog
  • Through a Child's Eyes
  • Colexalean Supplement Reviews
  • Blog jiamay
  • Dome Dogg's Blog
  • Fanspeak's Twins and AL Central Blog
  • In Pursuit of Pennants
  • minnesotasportsunlimited's Blog
  • Jacob Booth Blogs
  • Blog stewthornley
  • mickeymental's Blog
  • Baseball Bat's Offseason Blueprint
  • AJswarley's Blog
  • Twins Outsider's Blog
  • Blog h2oface
  • Iowa Twins Fan
  • Twinkie Talk
  • Battle Your Tail Off
  • JackWhite's Blog
  • bikram's Blog
  • Twins Nation Podcast

Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


Website URL


Personal Blog Name


Personal Blog URL


Location:


Biography


Occupation


Interests


Twitter

  1. Rocco Baldelli came into this season expecting to compete for a third straight division title. Between injuries and ineffectiveness, that reality isn’t going to play out. The second half now should be about evaluation for Minnesota. As 40-man and 26-man roster spots open up, it will be imperative for the Twins to look at fresh faces and see what they have. On the pitching side, here are some names to consider: Before individual deep dives, I think the trio of Josh Winder, Jordan Balazovic, and Cole Sands all fit here. Winder needs to debut, having already made his way to Triple-A. I can understand not starting the clock on Balazovic and Sands missed time due to injury. Of the names in this article, though, these are all the premier prospect types. There's also the recent call ups and guys with little time that need extended run. Throw Bailey Ober, Griffin Jax, and now Charlie Barnes into this category. Randy Dobnak and Lewis Thorpe (when healthy) would join them as well. Beau Burrows A former first-round pick and solid prospect for the Tigers, Burrows is now a reclamation project for the Twins. He was blown up in his Major League debut, and he was awful at Triple-A Toledo. Still just 24, Burrows is the exact type of prospect a team like the Twins should be taking a flier on. Strikeouts haven’t ever followed him in large quantities, but a new development infrastructure could bear fruit. He’ll need to accumulate a more substantial sample size at Triple-A St. Paul before getting a call but putting him out there with a tweaked repertoire may make for an interesting acquisition. Yennier Cano Signed by Minnesota back in 2019, Cano is now 27 and not a prospect. He was slow-played but has finally made his way to Triple-A St. Paul. The stuff has been legit at each professional level, and he’s currently rocking a 2.37 ERA across 30 1/3 innings between Double and Triple-A this season. With a 12.5 K/9 and just a 3.3 BB/9, that’s shaping up like an arm both Wes Johnson and Rocco Baldelli could utilize in relief. There’s not much reason to continue holding him back at this point, and Cano could resemble a late-blooming pen arm. Ian Hamilton Having been through injury, a car accident, and many hurdles halting his big league career, Hamilton is one of the few waiver claims from this winter that hasn’t shown up in Minnesota. He owns a 1.08 ERA across 25 innings for the Saints, but it comes with a gaudy 18 walks. The strikeouts are there (35), and he’s allowed just three homers which have helped limit the damage. With a high-velocity fastball, this is an arm the Twins need to take a look at before allowing him a new landing spot in 2022. Hector Lujan A 35th round pick back in 2016, Lujan has earned every single opportunity he’s been provided in pro ball. Now at Double-A Wichita, the 26-year-old owns a 2.49 ERA in 25 1/3 innings. His strikeout numbers are modest by today’s standards, but he’s been tremendous at limiting free passes (1.8 career BB/9). He pitched at Double-A back in 2019 and should already be getting run for the Saints. Maybe there isn’t a ton of upside here, but there’s also a seemingly safe floor that could factor in as a nice middle relief piece. Ryan Mason Picked in the 13th round of the 2016 draft, Mason has consistently climbed the ladder for the Twins. He’s at Double-A now and has compiled a 2.67 ERA in 30 1/3 innings. It’s been time for a promotion to Triple-A, and the 4.2 BB/9 in 2021 is uncharacteristic for a guy with a 1.9 BB/9 career mark. He gets his strikeouts, and Mason has never had an ERA north of 2.77 as a reliever. He’ll be 27 in 2022 and is already well above the average age of his current level. You’re probably not getting a high leverage guy here, but there’s no reason Mason can’t be seen as a middle innings gap guy. Jovani Moran Drafted out of school in Puerto Rico back in 2015, Moran is now 24 and playing at Double-A Wichita. It’s his second turn through the level, and he’s been dominant with a 1.91 ERA across 37 2/3 innings. He’s striking out over 15 batters per nine, and the career 4.1 BB/9 is workable in relief. Moran should get a bump to Triple-A in short order, and with some final tweaks, it could be a nice success story through a longer progression for the Twins. Chris Vallimont Minnesota acquired Vallimont alongside Sergio Romo back in 2019. He was a former 5th round draft pick and is now 24 at Double-A. The strikeout stuff has always been good, and while the walks are higher than you’d like for a starter, he’s done well to avoid damage. Vallimont owns a 3.96 ERA for Wichita this year, and despite throwing less than 40 innings, a promotion to Triple-A could make sense soon. Maybe he debuts in the bullpen for Minnesota, but I think this is an arm you’d like to see get some big-league run. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  2. A selloff is coming for the 2021 Minnesota Twins, and that's in large part because they've been a bad baseball team. To capitalize on being interesting down the stretch, there's some names that belong on the bump. Rocco Baldelli came into this season expecting to compete for a third straight division title. Between injuries and ineffectiveness, that reality isn’t going to play out. The second half now should be about evaluation for Minnesota. As 40-man and 26-man roster spots open up, it will be imperative for the Twins to look at fresh faces and see what they have. On the pitching side, here are some names to consider: Before individual deep dives, I think the trio of Josh Winder, Jordan Balazovic, and Cole Sands all fit here. Winder needs to debut, having already made his way to Triple-A. I can understand not starting the clock on Balazovic and Sands missed time due to injury. Of the names in this article, though, these are all the premier prospect types. There's also the recent call ups and guys with little time that need extended run. Throw Bailey Ober, Griffin Jax, and now Charlie Barnes into this category. Randy Dobnak and Lewis Thorpe (when healthy) would join them as well. Beau Burrows A former first-round pick and solid prospect for the Tigers, Burrows is now a reclamation project for the Twins. He was blown up in his Major League debut, and he was awful at Triple-A Toledo. Still just 24, Burrows is the exact type of prospect a team like the Twins should be taking a flier on. Strikeouts haven’t ever followed him in large quantities, but a new development infrastructure could bear fruit. He’ll need to accumulate a more substantial sample size at Triple-A St. Paul before getting a call but putting him out there with a tweaked repertoire may make for an interesting acquisition. Yennier Cano Signed by Minnesota back in 2019, Cano is now 27 and not a prospect. He was slow-played but has finally made his way to Triple-A St. Paul. The stuff has been legit at each professional level, and he’s currently rocking a 2.37 ERA across 30 1/3 innings between Double and Triple-A this season. With a 12.5 K/9 and just a 3.3 BB/9, that’s shaping up like an arm both Wes Johnson and Rocco Baldelli could utilize in relief. There’s not much reason to continue holding him back at this point, and Cano could resemble a late-blooming pen arm. Ian Hamilton Having been through injury, a car accident, and many hurdles halting his big league career, Hamilton is one of the few waiver claims from this winter that hasn’t shown up in Minnesota. He owns a 1.08 ERA across 25 innings for the Saints, but it comes with a gaudy 18 walks. The strikeouts are there (35), and he’s allowed just three homers which have helped limit the damage. With a high-velocity fastball, this is an arm the Twins need to take a look at before allowing him a new landing spot in 2022. Hector Lujan A 35th round pick back in 2016, Lujan has earned every single opportunity he’s been provided in pro ball. Now at Double-A Wichita, the 26-year-old owns a 2.49 ERA in 25 1/3 innings. His strikeout numbers are modest by today’s standards, but he’s been tremendous at limiting free passes (1.8 career BB/9). He pitched at Double-A back in 2019 and should already be getting run for the Saints. Maybe there isn’t a ton of upside here, but there’s also a seemingly safe floor that could factor in as a nice middle relief piece. Ryan Mason Picked in the 13th round of the 2016 draft, Mason has consistently climbed the ladder for the Twins. He’s at Double-A now and has compiled a 2.67 ERA in 30 1/3 innings. It’s been time for a promotion to Triple-A, and the 4.2 BB/9 in 2021 is uncharacteristic for a guy with a 1.9 BB/9 career mark. He gets his strikeouts, and Mason has never had an ERA north of 2.77 as a reliever. He’ll be 27 in 2022 and is already well above the average age of his current level. You’re probably not getting a high leverage guy here, but there’s no reason Mason can’t be seen as a middle innings gap guy. Jovani Moran Drafted out of school in Puerto Rico back in 2015, Moran is now 24 and playing at Double-A Wichita. It’s his second turn through the level, and he’s been dominant with a 1.91 ERA across 37 2/3 innings. He’s striking out over 15 batters per nine, and the career 4.1 BB/9 is workable in relief. Moran should get a bump to Triple-A in short order, and with some final tweaks, it could be a nice success story through a longer progression for the Twins. Chris Vallimont Minnesota acquired Vallimont alongside Sergio Romo back in 2019. He was a former 5th round draft pick and is now 24 at Double-A. The strikeout stuff has always been good, and while the walks are higher than you’d like for a starter, he’s done well to avoid damage. Vallimont owns a 3.96 ERA for Wichita this year, and despite throwing less than 40 innings, a promotion to Triple-A could make sense soon. Maybe he debuts in the bullpen for Minnesota, but I think this is an arm you’d like to see get some big-league run. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  3. In 2011, the Minnesota Twins announced that legend Harmon Killebrew’s health was deteriorating and he was entering hospice care. Fans around the country, and especially in the Upper Midwest, chimed in to tell tales of Killebrew. I recall finding it interesting that very few of those stories had anything to do with anything that occurred on a baseball field. Most of these stories involved something he had told a kid, shaking hands with fans, his impeccably legible autograph, or some charitable event that he came to and inspired masses. People talked about how great he was as a person. His baseball prowess was hardly mentioned. His 573 home runs. His 1,584 RBI. His MVP. His six AL home run championships. His 11 All Star appearances. Those are all part of his story, but the stories people told were of Harmon Killebrew, the great human being. Following Killebrew’s death, the Minnesota Twins established the Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service, and each year, the Twins have named one winner for each of their four full-season affiliates. Each affiliate’s GM nominated a recipient who exemplifies Killebrew through their work in the community.Yesterday, we announced that Brian Rapp was the 2019 Killebrew Award recipient for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Today, we’ll discuss the 2019 Killebrew Award recipient of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, right-hander Hector Lujan. Hector Lujan was the Twins 35th round pick in 2015 out of Westmont College. This isn’t his first Killebrew Award. He was the 2017 choice for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He began the 2019 season in Ft. Myers but was moved up to Pensacola by mid-June. Combined, he posted a 2.76 ERA over 58 2/3 innings with 55 strikeouts. However, it is off the field where Lujan has also had a huge effect. Anna Striano is the Blue Wahoos Community Relations Manager, and she thought that Lujan was a terrific choice. She told Twins Daily recently, “Hector was our choice for the award because he truly lived out our mission - to improve the quality of life for those in our community.” She continued, ‘A regular visitor to our ‘autograph alley,’ Hector made time both before and after games to make sure that each child not only got the autograph that they were after, but also left with a smile on their face. As one of our players with the most community hours volunteered this season. Hector was consistently engaging with members of our community from all different walks of life. Whether it be visiting sick children in the hospital or catching a ceremonial first pitch, he was always the first to jump in when we needed volunteers, and always did so with a smile on his face.” The award does mean a lot to Lujan, and he appreciates the opportunities he has as a professional ballplayer. “It's an honor to receive an award named after Hall of Famer, Harmon Killebrew. It is also an honor to be a part of an organization that has such an impact on their community. The focus that Pensacola and the Twins have on the community was great! Lots of community interaction between the players and the fans. Hearing about the community leader that Harmon Killebrew was, I can only hope that throughout my baseball career and life, I can leave a mark on the community as he did. I want to be known as someone that gave all I had, both on and off the field and do whatever I can to help make a change in a good way in kids lives or even adults.” Striano mentioned a couple of the events that Lujan participated in. “Over the season, Hector visited Nemours Children’s Hospital on three separate occasions and stopped by the Studer Family Children’s Hospital as well. Hector was also a part of the ‘Hit a Homerun for Early Literacy’ program. During this event he read Clifford Makes the Team to an audience of about 50 children ranging in age from infancy to kindergarten. During each event Hector was always engaging and approachable – often going the extra mile to make these experiences truly memorable by creating personal interactions with each fan, patient, or person he encountered.” Lujan spoke of a couple of his favorite activities. “Two of my favorite things that I got to do were hospital visits and a boys and girls club baseball game.” Let’s start with his thoughts on visiting the local hospitals, bringing smiles to the kids and also listening to parents.. “Some of the activities that were great that I and some players were involved in were hospital visits to kids. Seeing the faces lit up on the kids when walking into the room really made our day. Talking to them and being able to hangout with them and have conversations with them was also fun being able to learn all sorts of things from them. The conversations with the parents and seeing how grateful they were when spending time with their kids was also great and it made us feel very grateful to see them happy by spending time with their kids and family.” Regarding the baseball games, Lujan noted, “The boys and girls club baseball game was a BLAST! Some police and fire department staff were there too which made it even more entertaining being able to play with them and have great conversations. ” Again, this is not new to Lujan. He not only has been doing work in the communities in which he has played as a pro baseball player but was involved in community in college and earlier. “It was a great time all around being able to participate in the community and represent the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and the Twins.” Striano summarize Lujan’s impact quite well in saying “To me, Hector is the embodiment of ‘it’s bigger than baseball,’ and we are proud to recognize and thank him for the work he did in the Pensacola community.” -------------------------------------------------------------- Previous Twins Double-A Killebrew Award winners: 2011 - Bobby Lanigan 2012 - Shawn Roof 2013 - Dan Rohlfing 2014 - Tony Thomas 2015 - Tim Shibuya 2016 - David Hurlbut 2017 - Travis Harrison 2018 - Chris Paul Other 2019 Killebrew Award Recipients Rochester Red Wings - Coming Soon Pensacola Blue Wahoos - Hector Lujan Fort Myers Miracle - Coming Soon Cedar Rapids Kernels - Brian Rapp Congratulations to Hector Lujan on earning the 2019 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for the Blue Wahoos. Click here to view the article
  4. Yesterday, we announced that Brian Rapp was the 2019 Killebrew Award recipient for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Today, we’ll discuss the 2019 Killebrew Award recipient of the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, right-hander Hector Lujan. Hector Lujan was the Twins 35th round pick in 2015 out of Westmont College. This isn’t his first Killebrew Award. He was the 2017 choice for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. He began the 2019 season in Ft. Myers but was moved up to Pensacola by mid-June. Combined, he posted a 2.76 ERA over 58 2/3 innings with 55 strikeouts. However, it is off the field where Lujan has also had a huge effect. Anna Striano is the Blue Wahoos Community Relations Manager, and she thought that Lujan was a terrific choice. She told Twins Daily recently, “Hector was our choice for the award because he truly lived out our mission - to improve the quality of life for those in our community.” She continued, ‘A regular visitor to our ‘autograph alley,’ Hector made time both before and after games to make sure that each child not only got the autograph that they were after, but also left with a smile on their face. As one of our players with the most community hours volunteered this season. Hector was consistently engaging with members of our community from all different walks of life. Whether it be visiting sick children in the hospital or catching a ceremonial first pitch, he was always the first to jump in when we needed volunteers, and always did so with a smile on his face.” The award does mean a lot to Lujan, and he appreciates the opportunities he has as a professional ballplayer. “It's an honor to receive an award named after Hall of Famer, Harmon Killebrew. It is also an honor to be a part of an organization that has such an impact on their community. The focus that Pensacola and the Twins have on the community was great! Lots of community interaction between the players and the fans. Hearing about the community leader that Harmon Killebrew was, I can only hope that throughout my baseball career and life, I can leave a mark on the community as he did. I want to be known as someone that gave all I had, both on and off the field and do whatever I can to help make a change in a good way in kids lives or even adults.” Striano mentioned a couple of the events that Lujan participated in. “Over the season, Hector visited Nemours Children’s Hospital on three separate occasions and stopped by the Studer Family Children’s Hospital as well. Hector was also a part of the ‘Hit a Homerun for Early Literacy’ program. During this event he read Clifford Makes the Team to an audience of about 50 children ranging in age from infancy to kindergarten. During each event Hector was always engaging and approachable – often going the extra mile to make these experiences truly memorable by creating personal interactions with each fan, patient, or person he encountered.” Lujan spoke of a couple of his favorite activities. “Two of my favorite things that I got to do were hospital visits and a boys and girls club baseball game.” Let’s start with his thoughts on visiting the local hospitals, bringing smiles to the kids and also listening to parents.. “Some of the activities that were great that I and some players were involved in were hospital visits to kids. Seeing the faces lit up on the kids when walking into the room really made our day. Talking to them and being able to hangout with them and have conversations with them was also fun being able to learn all sorts of things from them. The conversations with the parents and seeing how grateful they were when spending time with their kids was also great and it made us feel very grateful to see them happy by spending time with their kids and family.” Regarding the baseball games, Lujan noted, “The boys and girls club baseball game was a BLAST! Some police and fire department staff were there too which made it even more entertaining being able to play with them and have great conversations. ” Again, this is not new to Lujan. He not only has been doing work in the communities in which he has played as a pro baseball player but was involved in community in college and earlier. “It was a great time all around being able to participate in the community and represent the Pensacola Blue Wahoos and the Twins.” Striano summarize Lujan’s impact quite well in saying “To me, Hector is the embodiment of ‘it’s bigger than baseball,’ and we are proud to recognize and thank him for the work he did in the Pensacola community.” -------------------------------------------------------------- Previous Twins Double-A Killebrew Award winners: 2011 - Bobby Lanigan 2012 - Shawn Roof 2013 - Dan Rohlfing 2014 - Tony Thomas 2015 - Tim Shibuya 2016 - David Hurlbut 2017 - Travis Harrison 2018 - Chris Paul Other 2019 Killebrew Award Recipients Rochester Red Wings - Coming Soon Pensacola Blue Wahoos - Hector Lujan Fort Myers Miracle - Coming Soon Cedar Rapids Kernels - Brian Rapp Congratulations to Hector Lujan on earning the 2019 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for the Blue Wahoos.
  5. Before we get to our Top 4 relievers in the Twins system in June, here are several Honorable Mentions. Adam Bray - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings - 7 G, 2.95 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 21.1 IP, 21 H, 4 BB, 18 K (.266/706) Melvi Acosta - Ft. Myers Miracle - 5 G, 2 GS, 2.20 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 12 H, 5 BB, 16 K (.203/550) Ryan Eades - Rochester Red Wings -8 G, 2.35 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 15.1 IP, 16 H, 6 BB, 21 K (.276/723) Anthony Vizcaya - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 8 G, 1 GS, 0.53 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 17.0 IP, 9 H, 10 BB, 18 K (.158/.529) THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - Alex Phillips - Ft. Myers Miracle - 7 G, 1.46 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 13 K Phillips finished up a long and windy college career at Baylor last June. It started at Arkansas but Tommy John surgery cost him about two seasons. He went to Baylor and pitched well yet still went undrafted. The Twins signed him very late last year and he helped the Miracle to an FSL title. The 24-year-old has spent most of this season dominating the Florida State League again. In fact, his June numbers are a little higher than his Miracle season numbers. He spent a couple of weeks pitching well in Pensacola in May. Opponents hit just .205 off of him this month with a .528 OPS. He pitched in the Florida State League All-Star game in June as well. #3 - Zach Neff - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 1 GS, 1.40 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 19.1 IP, 12 H, 5 BB, 24 K After three years at Austin Peay, Neff transferred to Mississippi State in 2018. The Twins made him their 31st-round pick in 2018. He spent time in Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids last year. He began 2019 with the Kernels and pitched very well. He was even better in June which earned him a promotion to Ft. Myers. Neff doesn’t throw real hard, but the lefty finds a way to avoid hard contact. #2 - Moises Gomez - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 8 G, 2.30 ERA, 0.51 WHIP, 7 H, 1 BB, 22 K Gomez is in his sixth season in the organization. Seems like he has been around forever and yet he is still just 22. He has been a work-in-progress all along, but in June, he put together a month to get noticed. Look again. One walk. 22 strikeouts. That is a pretty good ratio. Along with not walking anyone, he didn’t give up many hits either. Opponents hit just .132 with a .412 OPS off of him in the month. Overall this season, Gomez has 12 walks and 43 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Ft. Myers Miracle – RHP Derek Molina - 9 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 23 K Derek Molina began his college career at Cal-St. Nortridge, and he got some at-bats and did some pitching as a freshman. Wanting to play more, he transferred to Merced College where he was the team’s primary shortstop but also was a late-inning reliever. It was on the mound where he impressed Twins scouts (and scouts from other teams).They saw a strong, live arm with potential for good secondary pitches. The Twins drafted him in the 14th round of the 2017 draft. Now a pro ballplayer, Molina was ready for a career solely on the mound. He has been moved fairly patiently. He has had some moments where his control eludes him, but his progress has been steady. And so far in 2019, and especially in June, he’s been lights out. Mid-month, he had earned his promotion and continued to pitch very well. He has worked one inning, two innings or most recently three innings out of the bullpen. Overall in 2019, Molina had 57 strikeouts, and just ten walks, over 37 2/3 innings. Molina is a very good athlete, and as you would expect, he fields his position very well. While he may not be a household name, he is definitely an intriguing arm to watch over the next couple of seasons. As you can see, there were a few really strong relief pitcher performances in June. There guys are all worthy of some recognition. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today. Congratulations to Derek Molina, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for June 2019.
  6. Over the weekend, we handed out our choices for the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month (Lewin Diaz) and Starting Pitcher of the Month (Jordan Balazovic). Today, we will discuss the relief pitchers. Which bullpen arms had a strong June? Previous 2019 Relief Pitchers of the Month: April: Ryan Mason, Pensacola Blue Wahoos May: Hector Lujan, Ft. Myers MiracleBefore we get to our Top 4 relievers in the Twins system in June, here are several Honorable Mentions. Adam Bray - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings - 7 G, 2.95 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 21.1 IP, 21 H, 4 BB, 18 K (.266/706)Melvi Acosta - Ft. Myers Miracle - 5 G, 2 GS, 2.20 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 12 H, 5 BB, 16 K (.203/550)Ryan Eades - Rochester Red Wings -8 G, 2.35 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 15.1 IP, 16 H, 6 BB, 21 K (.276/723)Anthony Vizcaya - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 8 G, 1 GS, 0.53 ERA, 1.12 WHIP, 17.0 IP, 9 H, 10 BB, 18 K (.158/.529)THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - Alex Phillips - Ft. Myers Miracle - 7 G, 1.46 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 13 K Phillips finished up a long and windy college career at Baylor last June. It started at Arkansas but Tommy John surgery cost him about two seasons. He went to Baylor and pitched well yet still went undrafted. The Twins signed him very late last year and he helped the Miracle to an FSL title. The 24-year-old has spent most of this season dominating the Florida State League again. In fact, his June numbers are a little higher than his Miracle season numbers. He spent a couple of weeks pitching well in Pensacola in May. Opponents hit just .205 off of him this month with a .528 OPS. He pitched in the Florida State League All-Star game in June as well. #3 - Zach Neff - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 1 GS, 1.40 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 19.1 IP, 12 H, 5 BB, 24 K After three years at Austin Peay, Neff transferred to Mississippi State in 2018. The Twins made him their 31st-round pick in 2018. He spent time in Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids last year. He began 2019 with the Kernels and pitched very well. He was even better in June which earned him a promotion to Ft. Myers. Neff doesn’t throw real hard, but the lefty finds a way to avoid hard contact. #2 - Moises Gomez - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 8 G, 2.30 ERA, 0.51 WHIP, 7 H, 1 BB, 22 K Gomez is in his sixth season in the organization. Seems like he has been around forever and yet he is still just 22. He has been a work-in-progress all along, but in June, he put together a month to get noticed. Look again. One walk. 22 strikeouts. That is a pretty good ratio. Along with not walking anyone, he didn’t give up many hits either. Opponents hit just .132 with a .412 OPS off of him in the month. Overall this season, Gomez has 12 walks and 43 strikeouts in 29 2/3 innings. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Ft. Myers Miracle – RHP Derek Molina - 9 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 23 K Derek Molina began his college career at Cal-St. Nortridge, and he got some at-bats and did some pitching as a freshman. Wanting to play more, he transferred to Merced College where he was the team’s primary shortstop but also was a late-inning reliever. It was on the mound where he impressed Twins scouts (and scouts from other teams).They saw a strong, live arm with potential for good secondary pitches. The Twins drafted him in the 14th round of the 2017 draft. Now a pro ballplayer, Molina was ready for a career solely on the mound. He has been moved fairly patiently. He has had some moments where his control eludes him, but his progress has been steady. And so far in 2019, and especially in June, he’s been lights out. Mid-month, he had earned his promotion and continued to pitch very well. He has worked one inning, two innings or most recently three innings out of the bullpen. Overall in 2019, Molina had 57 strikeouts, and just ten walks, over 37 2/3 innings. Molina is a very good athlete, and as you would expect, he fields his position very well. While he may not be a household name, he is definitely an intriguing arm to watch over the next couple of seasons. As you can see, there were a few really strong relief pitcher performances in June. There guys are all worthy of some recognition. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today. Congratulations to Derek Molina, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for June 2019. Click here to view the article
  7. Even with a roster about half full of organizational top prospects at his disposal, it’s pretty easy for the manager to pencil in two first-round draft picks sandwiched around a top-10 international signing in those top three spots in the batting order. Royce Lewis, baseball’s first overall draft pick in 2017 generally leads off for Gardenhire’s club, followed by Lewin Diaz, who was MLB.com’s tenth-ranked international prospect in 2013 when he signed with the Twins as a 16-year-old. The third spot in the order is most often anchored by 2018 first round pick Trevor Larnach. That’s over $10 million worth of talent if you measure that sort of thing by the size of their signing bonuses. Of course, that’s not how you measure baseball talent once the players have to suit up and perform on the field, but all three of these players have shown why Twins fans have good reason to feel confident that, down the road, they’ll eventually fit very nicely onto a Twins roster seemingly poised to open an extended window of competitiveness among the American League’s top teams. Lewin Diaz Lewin Diaz had four hits for the Miracle on Opening Day and hasn’t looked back. He hit in April. He hit in May. He’s hitting in June. Heading into a scheduled double-header with Tampa on Tuesday evening, he leads the Florida State League in slugging percentage (.557) and OPS (.903). His 13 home runs rank him second in the league in that category. No player among the top 20 home run hitters in the FSL has fewer strikeouts than Diaz. “He’s been probably the best hitter in the league,” Gardenhire said. Already this season, Diaz has set a couple of Miracle franchise power records. On May 16, he became the first Miracle hitter to swat three home runs in a game. He also set a franchise record for home runs in a month. His ten dingers left former co-leaders Miguel Sano and Matt LeCroy one behind him in the record books. From a guy who saw his OPS drop below the .600 mark by the end of the 2018 season, that’s a remarkable turn-around. You could almost say he’s a whole new man. In fact, if you saw Diaz play last year in Fort Myers or even the season before in Cedar Rapids, you couldn’t be faulted for not recognizing him this season. The change hasn’t just been statistical, it’s physical as well. “I have like 25 less pounds,” he said, with a smile, in an interview last week. “I just ate good food. Go work out.” Described by one scouting service in 2013 as a “thickly built outfielder,” Diaz now looks absolutely svelte in uniform, but he’s lost none of his strength. Through teammate/interpreter Hector Lujan, Diaz explained why he undertook the physical transformation. Diaz said he, “just wanted to take the road of the new program. Try something different. See if it would work out for me. I feel it was the right choice for me. I feel a lot better. I move a lot better, feel stronger.” Diaz said he told himself, “If I’m going to lose weight, I’ve got to keep my power, so I started lifting more weight, getting stronger because then you’ve got to substitute more strength for less weight. It’s working out for me.” Diaz said he started the program during the offseason in his native Dominican Republic, then, in January, came back to Fort Myers and, “worked on it some more.” While in the DR, Diaz said he, "worked on getting strength and not really focusing on losing weight.” Once he got to Florida, he began his new program and, “continued losing weight and building more power. Coming here was a way easier transition because the food here that they provide for us is very healthy.” So, no McDonalds? “No, no McDonalds!” Diaz also has made some perhaps subtle changes to his hitting approach. Previously, Diaz said, he would, “always just tell myself, ‘I want to hit the ball up the middle hard.’” Now he focuses on, “wherever the ball is pitched, that’s where I want to hit it hard, whether it’s left field, center or right field. I don’t just want to focus on one certain area of driving the ball. I want to be able to drive it everywhere.” “Lewin’s doing a really good job,” Gardenhire said of Diaz. “He had a tough year last year, he had some injuries. It’s really good to see him come out this year and do the things he’s doing. He’s got a ton more confidence and he’s swinging the bat great. “He’s very strong. You know he broke his wrist last year. When you break your wrist, you lose a lot of strength. You can’t do anything with your upper half. And he’s starting to gain that back a lot now. You can see how strong he is by how hard he hits the ball. It’s been pretty impressive to watch. I’m really happy for that kid.” Trevor Larnach With the Major League draft just completed a week ago, it’s worthwhile to take note of the performance the Miracle are getting out of last year’s first round selection. The Twins drafted college outfielder Trevor Larnach and, after signing, he split the rest of the summer between rookie level Elizabethton and Class A Cedar Rapids, hitting .303 combined between the two levels while hitting 13 doubles and five home runs. Larnach got off to a bit of a slow start in April this season with the Miracle, but he’s more than made up for it with his performance in May and June. He’s leading the FSL in hitting at .308, sits third in on-base percentage (.381) and third in OPS (.855). He also has a league-leading 20 doubles to go with five home runs. Larnach is, “just continuing to rake,” his manager said. “He’s very smart and he knows his swing really well. “Going into the year, I kind of questioned whether he was going to be able to make adjustments because that’s always one of the biggest things. He can hit. You saw him hit in college. But in pro ball, you have to learn and you have to make adjustments as you go because (opponents) make adjustments on you. “So, I knew they were going to make adjustments against him and he’s really done a good job of being able to make the adjustments that he needs to make to be able to hit pitchers that are making adjustments against him. That takes a special hitter to do it and he’s really been able to prove that he’s a special guy. “With all the preparation, all the video, all the scouting that we have here, I mean we know everything about everybody now. To be able to go up there and hit when they know all your weaknesses and they know exactly how they’re planning to attack you, it’s hard and it takes a good hitter. And Larnach really knows how to (make) adjustments. He knows what they’re trying to do to him and he works on how he’s going to battle that. He’s pretty good.” Larnach acknowledged that he got off to a bit of a slow start in April and had to adjust some, but says he’s a, “process guy,” and had confidence in his process. “Yeah, my first month here, I was hitting the ball hard almost every game and some of it just didn’t seem to fall,” he said. “That’s just part of it. Baseball is all mental, really. Ninety per cent mental and ten per cent physical and in the back of my mind, I know that if I’m hitting the ball hard and I’m getting out, then they’ll come. You’ve just got to stick with it and you can’t get too down and you can’t get too up.” Larnach talked about how goes about making adjustments, when necessary. “I think, for me, personally, video has always been my go-to. That shows everything that the pitcher’s doing, it shows what he’s missing. Yeah, in statistics and analytics, you have spin rate and how much the pitch moves and all that stuff, but video is showing what he’s been doing. “Video shows what the hitter’s been doing mechanically, all that kind of stuff. So that’s been one of my favorite things, is looking at video.” Drafted just a year ago out after an NCAA National Championship run at Oregon State, memories of that draft day remain fresh in Larnach’s mind. “Yeah, I remember I was nervous. I remember I was just really anxious to get picked,” he recalled. “I’ve worked my tail off my whole life and my parents have done that even more so for me. It’s kind of a really big deal for you and your life. It’s a changing stage and a new chapter. Everything that you’ve done pays off and now you have another step to go through. “I was talking to all my college teammates and wishing them the best and congratulating them and all that, so I was happy for everyone that got picked and hopefully I’d see them at some point in the minors.” Asked if there was any advice he’d like to go back in time a year to give himself on that day, Larnach paused briefly in thought before responding. “I’m not sure it would be draft day because that’s kind of its own kind of category. That’s a day for celebration. But, when I was in college, yeah, there’s a lot I would say to myself. But those are the times that I’ve learned and have gotten me to the point where I am today. “Take that into account sometimes, you see young guys in the system with you. You know, Royce is younger, Jose (Miranda) and there’s plenty of guys that are younger. You kind of just want to let them know that, hey, you’ve got 400 at bats, you don’t need to get too down on yourself, because there’s going to be 300 more coming. “Just stuff like that. Helping mindset and mechanically and just little stuff. I don’t want to just look at myself and be ‘I wish I had told myself this.’ I want to kind of spread what I’ve learned to other guys, too.” Royce Lewis You need to look a little further down the leader boards to find Royce Lewis’ name in most offensive categories this year than has been the case in the past. The 2017 first-overall draft pick is hitting just .221 with an OPS hovering just over the .600 mark. You’ll find his name among the top ten in the Florida State League in doubles (13) and stolen bases (11 in 16 attempts), but this is a young player who has been accustomed to seeing hitting-related numbers much higher than he’s sporting currently. His manager isn’t concerned about the numbers. He’s seeing progress in Lewis’ development and that’s the important thing, in particular for a player who just turned 20 years old earlier this month. “Yeah, he’s doing a good job,” Gardenhire said, almost chuckling at the question concerning Lewis’ performance to-date. “You know, he’s a kid. He’s young, he’s still learning. He was only in high school two years ago. This is a league with a lot of older guys and it’s tough. It’s not an easy league, so Royce is trying to figure some things out with his swing. He’s figuring a lot of things out defensively. He’s doing a good job with everything he’s doing. “I don’t have any thoughts in my mind that Royce isn’t going to be a big leaguer someday. He’s going to be a big leaguer. He’s got all the tools. It’s just a matter of figuring it out. Everyone figures it out at a different pace.” The discussion turned to a play at shortstop that Lewis made a couple of nights earlier, laying all the way out to snag a sharp ground ball up the middle, then popping up and throwing a strike to Diaz at first base. “He does things that other people can’t do out there,” the manager said. “When you have guys that can do that, it’s pretty special. It’s fun to watch. It’s fun for me to just see him improve and keep getting better and better because you know someday, you’re going to see him on TV and he’s going to be doing those things in front of everybody.” For his part, Lewis doesn’t come across concerned, either, that he’s not hitting the way that his performance over the first two years of his professional career have conditioned fans to expect. He’s never going to hit .425, after all. “If I could hit .425, that would be a miracle,” Lewis said, with the smile that seemingly never leaves his face when you’re talking baseball with him. “I’m just happy to be on the Miracle team and on a winning team and making that playoff push early in the first half. It’s different than a full year (pennant race), you’ve got first half and second half. We might be able to win and make a playoff push for that first half spot already.” Watching him hit for a week, it did appear he was squaring up a lot of balls that just weren’t all falling in for hits. He and his teammates (not to mention opposing batters) had a lot of balls seeming to come up just short of the Hammond Stadium outfield wall. “It’s like that every day, pretty much,” he concurred. “Every day we’re sitting there saying either someone on the opposing team or on our team hit a ball to the track where most likely it’s a home run anywhere else. At the same time, you learn to hit here. “I think it’s just a tough league. A lot of our guys, we’ve been barreling the ball up as a team. You know, we’ve got a lot of good hitters on this team, so it’s fun to be a part of this lineup. As long as we’re always consistently barreling the ball up, that’s what turns into wins.” As with his manager, Lewis feels he’s making the progress developmentally he needs to be focusing on. “Yeah, it’s a long minor league career. You don’t expect to go straight to the big leagues out of high school or out of college. When that happens, it’s pretty spectacular and you hear a lot about it because it’s so rare. So, to me, it’s just a long process. Just the whole compound effect of each and every day I put in the grind and the work is going to end up making me a better player.” Lewis received a non-roster invitation to participate in the Twins’ big league spring training before this season and is enjoying watching the parent club’s success this year. He also feels some of that Twins chemistry is rubbing off on the minor league teams. “For sure. I mean every year the goal is to win, and to see them winning and having fun up there is really cool. To me, it all started in spring training, the chemistry they all started to grow. Being lucky enough to be in the dugout and watch that was pretty special. And I feel like for all of us minor leaguers that were in the dugout and participated and were watching that, being a part of that, we brought that to all of our teams and as you can see in the minor leagues, we’re all pretty much doing good and at the top of our divisions.” Miracle Notes: (Note that stats were before playing on Tuesday, June 11) Beyond Diaz, Larnach and Lewis, there’s no shortage of star-level performances happening with the Miracle this season, offensively and on the mound. Not surprisingly, the Miracle have outpaced the league in home runs, with 51 on the season. They also have the top slugging percentage (.383) and sit third in OPS as a team (.696). Catcher Ryan Jeffers is sporting a .782 OPS with nine doubles and six home runs. Aaron Whitefield’s 19 stolen bases is good enough for the second spot on the Florida State League leaderboard in that category. On the pitching side of the ledger, the team ERA of 3.03 is second best in the FSL, they have the best WHIP (1.17) and the second highest number of strikeouts (588), averaging 1.07 Ks per inning, as a staff. The back of the Miracle bullpen has been virtually lights-out: Alex Phillips has put up a 0.34 ERA in 15 appearances covering 26 1/3 innings, striking out 36 and walking seven. His WHIP is just 0.65. Phillips has allowed earned runs in just three of his 15 appearances. Hector Lujan has a 2.04 ERA in 20 relief appearances over 39 2/3 innings. He’s K’d 35 and walked seven while posting a 0.96 WHIP. He allowed earned runs in four of his 20 appearances, including a string of 12 straight games without an ER that was snapped on June 5. There’s been plenty of talent on display in the Miracle rotation, as well. Jordan Balazovic is 4-0 and has a 2.03 ERA over six starts since his promotion, striking out 42 and walking 6 in 31 innings. Blayne Enlow’s record in his three starts since being promoted is 2-1, while posting a 1.50 ERA over 18 innings. He’s struck out 13 and walked four. Edwar Colina started the season on the Injured List and has made just six starts for the Miracle. The last five, however, have been of the Quality Start variety, holding opponents to three or fewer earned runs and completing at least six innings on the mound. The workhorses of the rotation this season have been Tyler Watson and Jhoan Duran, who have ten starts each and have thrown 56 and 49 1/3 innings, respectively. Duran struggled some in early to mid May, but is now working on a three-start Quality Start streak which began on May 26 with a 14 K/2 BB effort.
  8. “Triple-L,” “Give ‘em HeLLL,” however you want to say it, “Lewis, Lewin and Larnach” is all Fort Myers Miracle manager Toby Gardenhire has to remember when it comes to filling out the top of his lineup card as his team makes a drive to lock up a postseason spot by winning the South Division of the Florida State League this week.Even with a roster about half full of organizational top prospects at his disposal, it’s pretty easy for the manager to pencil in two first-round draft picks sandwiched around a top-10 international signing in those top three spots in the batting order. Royce Lewis, baseball’s first overall draft pick in 2017 generally leads off for Gardenhire’s club, followed by Lewin Diaz, who was MLB.com’s tenth-ranked international prospect in 2013 when he signed with the Twins as a 16-year-old. The third spot in the order is most often anchored by 2018 first round pick Trevor Larnach. That’s over $10 million worth of talent if you measure that sort of thing by the size of their signing bonuses. Of course, that’s not how you measure baseball talent once the players have to suit up and perform on the field, but all three of these players have shown why Twins fans have good reason to feel confident that, down the road, they’ll eventually fit very nicely onto a Twins roster seemingly poised to open an extended window of competitiveness among the American League’s top teams. Lewin Diaz Lewin Diaz had four hits for the Miracle on Opening Day and hasn’t looked back. He hit in April. He hit in May. He’s hitting in June. Heading into a scheduled double-header with Tampa on Tuesday evening, he leads the Florida State League in slugging percentage (.557) and OPS (.903). His 13 home runs rank him second in the league in that category. No player among the top 20 home run hitters in the FSL has fewer strikeouts than Diaz. “He’s been probably the best hitter in the league,” Gardenhire said. Already this season, Diaz has set a couple of Miracle franchise power records. On May 16, he became the first Miracle hitter to swat three home runs in a game. He also set a franchise record for home runs in a month. His ten dingers left former co-leaders Miguel Sano and Matt LeCroy one behind him in the record books. From a guy who saw his OPS drop below the .600 mark by the end of the 2018 season, that’s a remarkable turn-around. You could almost say he’s a whole new man. In fact, if you saw Diaz play last year in Fort Myers or even the season before in Cedar Rapids, you couldn’t be faulted for not recognizing him this season. The change hasn’t just been statistical, it’s physical as well. “I have like 25 less pounds,” he said, with a smile, in an interview last week. “I just ate good food. Go work out.” Described by one scouting service in 2013 as a “thickly built outfielder,” Diaz now looks absolutely svelte in uniform, but he’s lost none of his strength. Through teammate/interpreter Hector Lujan, Diaz explained why he undertook the physical transformation. Diaz said he, “just wanted to take the road of the new program. Try something different. See if it would work out for me. I feel it was the right choice for me. I feel a lot better. I move a lot better, feel stronger.” Diaz said he told himself, “If I’m going to lose weight, I’ve got to keep my power, so I started lifting more weight, getting stronger because then you’ve got to substitute more strength for less weight. It’s working out for me.” Diaz said he started the program during the offseason in his native Dominican Republic, then, in January, came back to Fort Myers and, “worked on it some more.” While in the DR, Diaz said he, "worked on getting strength and not really focusing on losing weight.” Once he got to Florida, he began his new program and, “continued losing weight and building more power. Coming here was a way easier transition because the food here that they provide for us is very healthy.” So, no McDonalds? “No, no McDonalds!” Diaz also has made some perhaps subtle changes to his hitting approach. Previously, Diaz said, he would, “always just tell myself, ‘I want to hit the ball up the middle hard.’” Now he focuses on, “wherever the ball is pitched, that’s where I want to hit it hard, whether it’s left field, center or right field. I don’t just want to focus on one certain area of driving the ball. I want to be able to drive it everywhere.” “Lewin’s doing a really good job,” Gardenhire said of Diaz. “He had a tough year last year, he had some injuries. It’s really good to see him come out this year and do the things he’s doing. He’s got a ton more confidence and he’s swinging the bat great. “He’s very strong. You know he broke his wrist last year. When you break your wrist, you lose a lot of strength. You can’t do anything with your upper half. And he’s starting to gain that back a lot now. You can see how strong he is by how hard he hits the ball. It’s been pretty impressive to watch. I’m really happy for that kid.” Trevor Larnach With the Major League draft just completed a week ago, it’s worthwhile to take note of the performance the Miracle are getting out of last year’s first round selection. The Twins drafted college outfielder Trevor Larnach and, after signing, he split the rest of the summer between rookie level Elizabethton and Class A Cedar Rapids, hitting .303 combined between the two levels while hitting 13 doubles and five home runs. Larnach got off to a bit of a slow start in April this season with the Miracle, but he’s more than made up for it with his performance in May and June. He’s leading the FSL in hitting at .308, sits third in on-base percentage (.381) and third in OPS (.855). He also has a league-leading 20 doubles to go with five home runs. Larnach is, “just continuing to rake,” his manager said. “He’s very smart and he knows his swing really well. “Going into the year, I kind of questioned whether he was going to be able to make adjustments because that’s always one of the biggest things. He can hit. You saw him hit in college. But in pro ball, you have to learn and you have to make adjustments as you go because (opponents) make adjustments on you. “So, I knew they were going to make adjustments against him and he’s really done a good job of being able to make the adjustments that he needs to make to be able to hit pitchers that are making adjustments against him. That takes a special hitter to do it and he’s really been able to prove that he’s a special guy. “With all the preparation, all the video, all the scouting that we have here, I mean we know everything about everybody now. To be able to go up there and hit when they know all your weaknesses and they know exactly how they’re planning to attack you, it’s hard and it takes a good hitter. And Larnach really knows how to (make) adjustments. He knows what they’re trying to do to him and he works on how he’s going to battle that. He’s pretty good.” Larnach acknowledged that he got off to a bit of a slow start in April and had to adjust some, but says he’s a, “process guy,” and had confidence in his process. “Yeah, my first month here, I was hitting the ball hard almost every game and some of it just didn’t seem to fall,” he said. “That’s just part of it. Baseball is all mental, really. Ninety per cent mental and ten per cent physical and in the back of my mind, I know that if I’m hitting the ball hard and I’m getting out, then they’ll come. You’ve just got to stick with it and you can’t get too down and you can’t get too up.” Larnach talked about how goes about making adjustments, when necessary. “I think, for me, personally, video has always been my go-to. That shows everything that the pitcher’s doing, it shows what he’s missing. Yeah, in statistics and analytics, you have spin rate and how much the pitch moves and all that stuff, but video is showing what he’s been doing. “Video shows what the hitter’s been doing mechanically, all that kind of stuff. So that’s been one of my favorite things, is looking at video.” Drafted just a year ago out after an NCAA National Championship run at Oregon State, memories of that draft day remain fresh in Larnach’s mind. “Yeah, I remember I was nervous. I remember I was just really anxious to get picked,” he recalled. “I’ve worked my tail off my whole life and my parents have done that even more so for me. It’s kind of a really big deal for you and your life. It’s a changing stage and a new chapter. Everything that you’ve done pays off and now you have another step to go through. “I was talking to all my college teammates and wishing them the best and congratulating them and all that, so I was happy for everyone that got picked and hopefully I’d see them at some point in the minors.” Asked if there was any advice he’d like to go back in time a year to give himself on that day, Larnach paused briefly in thought before responding. “I’m not sure it would be draft day because that’s kind of its own kind of category. That’s a day for celebration. But, when I was in college, yeah, there’s a lot I would say to myself. But those are the times that I’ve learned and have gotten me to the point where I am today. “Take that into account sometimes, you see young guys in the system with you. You know, Royce is younger, Jose (Miranda) and there’s plenty of guys that are younger. You kind of just want to let them know that, hey, you’ve got 400 at bats, you don’t need to get too down on yourself, because there’s going to be 300 more coming. “Just stuff like that. Helping mindset and mechanically and just little stuff. I don’t want to just look at myself and be ‘I wish I had told myself this.’ I want to kind of spread what I’ve learned to other guys, too.” Royce Lewis You need to look a little further down the leader boards to find Royce Lewis’ name in most offensive categories this year than has been the case in the past. The 2017 first-overall draft pick is hitting just .221 with an OPS hovering just over the .600 mark. You’ll find his name among the top ten in the Florida State League in doubles (13) and stolen bases (11 in 16 attempts), but this is a young player who has been accustomed to seeing hitting-related numbers much higher than he’s sporting currently. His manager isn’t concerned about the numbers. He’s seeing progress in Lewis’ development and that’s the important thing, in particular for a player who just turned 20 years old earlier this month. “Yeah, he’s doing a good job,” Gardenhire said, almost chuckling at the question concerning Lewis’ performance to-date. “You know, he’s a kid. He’s young, he’s still learning. He was only in high school two years ago. This is a league with a lot of older guys and it’s tough. It’s not an easy league, so Royce is trying to figure some things out with his swing. He’s figuring a lot of things out defensively. He’s doing a good job with everything he’s doing. “I don’t have any thoughts in my mind that Royce isn’t going to be a big leaguer someday. He’s going to be a big leaguer. He’s got all the tools. It’s just a matter of figuring it out. Everyone figures it out at a different pace.” The discussion turned to a play at shortstop that Lewis made a couple of nights earlier, laying all the way out to snag a sharp ground ball up the middle, then popping up and throwing a strike to Diaz at first base. “He does things that other people can’t do out there,” the manager said. “When you have guys that can do that, it’s pretty special. It’s fun to watch. It’s fun for me to just see him improve and keep getting better and better because you know someday, you’re going to see him on TV and he’s going to be doing those things in front of everybody.” For his part, Lewis doesn’t come across concerned, either, that he’s not hitting the way that his performance over the first two years of his professional career have conditioned fans to expect. He’s never going to hit .425, after all. “If I could hit .425, that would be a miracle,” Lewis said, with the smile that seemingly never leaves his face when you’re talking baseball with him. “I’m just happy to be on the Miracle team and on a winning team and making that playoff push early in the first half. It’s different than a full year (pennant race), you’ve got first half and second half. We might be able to win and make a playoff push for that first half spot already.” Watching him hit for a week, it did appear he was squaring up a lot of balls that just weren’t all falling in for hits. He and his teammates (not to mention opposing batters) had a lot of balls seeming to come up just short of the Hammond Stadium outfield wall. “It’s like that every day, pretty much,” he concurred. “Every day we’re sitting there saying either someone on the opposing team or on our team hit a ball to the track where most likely it’s a home run anywhere else. At the same time, you learn to hit here. “I think it’s just a tough league. A lot of our guys, we’ve been barreling the ball up as a team. You know, we’ve got a lot of good hitters on this team, so it’s fun to be a part of this lineup. As long as we’re always consistently barreling the ball up, that’s what turns into wins.” As with his manager, Lewis feels he’s making the progress developmentally he needs to be focusing on. “Yeah, it’s a long minor league career. You don’t expect to go straight to the big leagues out of high school or out of college. When that happens, it’s pretty spectacular and you hear a lot about it because it’s so rare. So, to me, it’s just a long process. Just the whole compound effect of each and every day I put in the grind and the work is going to end up making me a better player.” Lewis received a non-roster invitation to participate in the Twins’ big league spring training before this season and is enjoying watching the parent club’s success this year. He also feels some of that Twins chemistry is rubbing off on the minor league teams. “For sure. I mean every year the goal is to win, and to see them winning and having fun up there is really cool. To me, it all started in spring training, the chemistry they all started to grow. Being lucky enough to be in the dugout and watch that was pretty special. And I feel like for all of us minor leaguers that were in the dugout and participated and were watching that, being a part of that, we brought that to all of our teams and as you can see in the minor leagues, we’re all pretty much doing good and at the top of our divisions.” Miracle Notes: (Note that stats were before playing on Tuesday, June 11) Beyond Diaz, Larnach and Lewis, there’s no shortage of star-level performances happening with the Miracle this season, offensively and on the mound. Not surprisingly, the Miracle have outpaced the league in home runs, with 51 on the season. They also have the top slugging percentage (.383) and sit third in OPS as a team (.696). Catcher Ryan Jeffers is sporting a .782 OPS with nine doubles and six home runs. Aaron Whitefield’s 19 stolen bases is good enough for the second spot on the Florida State League leaderboard in that category. On the pitching side of the ledger, the team ERA of 3.03 is second best in the FSL, they have the best WHIP (1.17) and the second highest number of strikeouts (588), averaging 1.07 Ks per inning, as a staff. The back of the Miracle bullpen has been virtually lights-out: Alex Phillips has put up a 0.34 ERA in 15 appearances covering 26 1/3 innings, striking out 36 and walking seven. His WHIP is just 0.65. Phillips has allowed earned runs in just three of his 15 appearances. Hector Lujan has a 2.04 ERA in 20 relief appearances over 39 2/3 innings. He’s K’d 35 and walked seven while posting a 0.96 WHIP. He allowed earned runs in four of his 20 appearances, including a string of 12 straight games without an ER that was snapped on June 5. There’s been plenty of talent on display in the Miracle rotation, as well. Jordan Balazovic is 4-0 and has a 2.03 ERA over six starts since his promotion, striking out 42 and walking 6 in 31 innings. Blayne Enlow’s record in his three starts since being promoted is 2-1, while posting a 1.50 ERA over 18 innings. He’s struck out 13 and walked four. Edwar Colina started the season on the Injured List and has made just six starts for the Miracle. The last five, however, have been of the Quality Start variety, holding opponents to three or fewer earned runs and completing at least six innings on the mound. The workhorses of the rotation this season have been Tyler Watson and Jhoan Duran, who have ten starts each and have thrown 56 and 49 1/3 innings, respectively. Duran struggled some in early to mid May, but is now working on a three-start Quality Start streak which began on May 26 with a 14 K/2 BB effort. Click here to view the article
  9. When you look through this summer’s Fort Myers Miracle roster, you can see it’s packed with several of the Minnesota Twins’ top prospects. At least ten players were selected within the top five rounds of the annual MLB amateur entry draft and others were international players that garnered hefty signing bonuses. Eight players among MLB.com’s pre-season top 30 Twins prospects are currently toiling in the Florida heat for the Miracle and another is currently on the Fort Myers Injured List.One name you won’t find on many list of high round picks or consensus top-ranked prospects is Hector Lujan. You would have to go to some kind of top “performers” list to find Lujan and, when you do, you’re likely to find the relief pitcher’s name near the top of that list. Lujan got off to a sluggish start this season, surrendering six runs, all earned, in his first five appearances out of the Miracle bullpen, covering 12 2/3 innings from opening day through April 22. Over the six-plus weeks that followed, however, Lujan threw 22 innings during 12 appearances without giving up another earned run, while notching a 28/4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His performance earned him Twins Daily’s Relief Pitcher of the Month award for May. The Corona, California, native was selected by the Twins with their 35th round pick in the 2015 draft out of Westmont College, just three rounds after the Twins selected his college teammate, Andrew Vasquez with their 32nd round pick. As you can imagine, the draft week experience for Lujan was perhaps somewhat different than it was for those Miracle teammates that were selected among the top few rounds of the draft. Lujan knew he’d be waiting until the final day of the draft to learn his fate. “I remember getting a text (early) in the morning,” he recalled in an interview last week. “My scout texted me, ‘you ready for this?’ I was like, ‘whatever opportunity you give me, I’m ready.’ Right then and there, I woke up. It was like 5:45 in the morning. I’d just gotten the text and I woke up. I just couldn’t go back to sleep. I woke up, my hands were sweating the entire day. “Rounds were going through, they hit 20, I decided to go for a drive, try to relax. I could see all the names of my buddies going and I was getting excited. Then I decided to come back home, it was like the 30th round. I sat down, relaxed, and then I saw Vasquez go. Texted him and as soon as I texted him, I got a message from him saying ‘thank you,’ and right then I looked at my phone again and my scout’s saying, ‘hey, we took you in the 35th round. Welcome to the Twins.’ “Right then and there, I just jumped up, almost hit the ceiling fan. My parents were excited, so it was an awesome moment.” The 35th round. And the right-hander wears the number 35 on the back of his Fort Myers jersey. Just a coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. Being selected with just five rounds remaining in the 40-round draft could make you question your chances of professional success on the field, but that wasn’t Lujan’s mindset. “Honestly, at the time for me, it was just like, you know what? I’m excited whether I was the very last pick or the very first pick, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “I just wanted an opportunity to play. Just, you know what, I’m going to make the most out of it. However long my career is, whether it’s five, ten, twenty years. It was just an exciting moment. I was like, I’ve got to take advantage of it as best I can.” After moderate success with the Twins’ rookie league teams in his draft year and 2016, Lujan appeared to find his stride at Cedar Rapids in 2017 where he notched a 1.33 ERA and 0.91 WHIP over 42 appearances, all in relief, and converted 17 of 19 save opportunities for the Kernels. His results weren’t as strong a year ago in his first season at class High-A in Fort Myers, but he did finish the campaign with a very strong August, striking out 16 and walking only two batters in 12 1/3 innings of work. His WHIP that month was a stingy 0.63 and batters hit just .133 against him. The six-plus week of near perfection beginning in late April this spring came to a crashing end on June 5 when the Florida Fire Frogs touched him up for three runs on six hits in two innings of work. After that hiccup, Lujan was philosophical about things. “I try to just take the positives and negatives and kind of just flush it after,” he said the next day. “Then the next day, just carry on. There’s plenty more outings for me.” What does a pitcher think about when he’s out there experiencing that kind of outing after several weeks of nothing but success? “When I was out there, I felt like I was making good pitches and the results just weren’t going my way,” he said. “I just kept telling myself, ‘hey you know what, you got yourself into this mess, you can keep getting yourself out.’ “Sometimes, my thing, I go out there and try to get everybody out. Put up zeros and help our team win. Everybody has those outings where things aren’t just falling your way. Whether it’s a bloop hit, if you’re getting hit, if you’re walking guys, not getting calls. I just kept telling myself, ‘you know what? It is what it is. Let’s go, keep attacking the zone. Make the guy put the ball in play and get some outs.’ I’ve got my defense behind me; I’m just going to keep letting them work and make good pitches and let the rest play out.” And when it’s all played out? “You’ve just got to flush it and once the inning’s over, ‘right, that happened,’ and just focus on your next inning.” That poise has been noticed by manager Toby Gardenhire. “That’s part of growing up as a pitcher. Part of growing up as a player, in general,” Gardenhire noted. “Lujan’s done a really good job with that, where he doesn’t let things affect him that much. He’s got a really good split-change thing that he’s throwing right now. Has a good breaking ball. He attacks hitters. He doesn’t get flustered out there. He’s got a lot of things that you want in a reliever. He’s doing really good.” Lujan’s next inning came three nights later against Jupiter, when he hung a zero on the board in his inning of work to preserve a 4-2 win for his club and tally his fifth save of the season. Heading into the final series of the first half of the Florida State League season, the Miracle owned a slim one-game lead in the South Division standings and Lujan sounded like he’s enjoying the playoff race with his teammates. “Overall yeah, Awesome teammates, the team chemistry right now is fantastic. We’re lucky enough to be in a playoff race, to clinch the first half. I wouldn’t want any other guys behind me, so it’s pretty awesome.” Manager Toby Gardenhire OK’d Lujan hitting ground balls to infielders during batting practice. “He always comes out and hits fungos. He doesn’t want to shag out in the outfield with the outfielders, so I said, ‘whatever you want to do, just don’t get hurt.’” Click here to view the article
  10. One name you won’t find on many list of high round picks or consensus top-ranked prospects is Hector Lujan. You would have to go to some kind of top “performers” list to find Lujan and, when you do, you’re likely to find the relief pitcher’s name near the top of that list. Lujan got off to a sluggish start this season, surrendering six runs, all earned, in his first five appearances out of the Miracle bullpen, covering 12 2/3 innings from opening day through April 22. Over the six-plus weeks that followed, however, Lujan threw 22 innings during 12 appearances without giving up another earned run, while notching a 28/4 strikeout-to-walk ratio. His performance earned him Twins Daily’s Relief Pitcher of the Month award for May. The Corona, California, native was selected by the Twins with their 35th round pick in the 2015 draft out of Westmont College, just three rounds after the Twins selected his college teammate, Andrew Vasquez with their 32nd round pick. As you can imagine, the draft week experience for Lujan was perhaps somewhat different than it was for those Miracle teammates that were selected among the top few rounds of the draft. Lujan knew he’d be waiting until the final day of the draft to learn his fate. “I remember getting a text (early) in the morning,” he recalled in an interview last week. “My scout texted me, ‘you ready for this?’ I was like, ‘whatever opportunity you give me, I’m ready.’ Right then and there, I woke up. It was like 5:45 in the morning. I’d just gotten the text and I woke up. I just couldn’t go back to sleep. I woke up, my hands were sweating the entire day. “Rounds were going through, they hit 20, I decided to go for a drive, try to relax. I could see all the names of my buddies going and I was getting excited. Then I decided to come back home, it was like the 30th round. I sat down, relaxed, and then I saw Vasquez go. Texted him and as soon as I texted him, I got a message from him saying ‘thank you,’ and right then I looked at my phone again and my scout’s saying, ‘hey, we took you in the 35th round. Welcome to the Twins.’ “Right then and there, I just jumped up, almost hit the ceiling fan. My parents were excited, so it was an awesome moment.” The 35th round. And the right-hander wears the number 35 on the back of his Fort Myers jersey. Just a coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. Being selected with just five rounds remaining in the 40-round draft could make you question your chances of professional success on the field, but that wasn’t Lujan’s mindset. “Honestly, at the time for me, it was just like, you know what? I’m excited whether I was the very last pick or the very first pick, it doesn’t matter,” he said. “I just wanted an opportunity to play. Just, you know what, I’m going to make the most out of it. However long my career is, whether it’s five, ten, twenty years. It was just an exciting moment. I was like, I’ve got to take advantage of it as best I can.” After moderate success with the Twins’ rookie league teams in his draft year and 2016, Lujan appeared to find his stride at Cedar Rapids in 2017 where he notched a 1.33 ERA and 0.91 WHIP over 42 appearances, all in relief, and converted 17 of 19 save opportunities for the Kernels. His results weren’t as strong a year ago in his first season at class High-A in Fort Myers, but he did finish the campaign with a very strong August, striking out 16 and walking only two batters in 12 1/3 innings of work. His WHIP that month was a stingy 0.63 and batters hit just .133 against him. The six-plus week of near perfection beginning in late April this spring came to a crashing end on June 5 when the Florida Fire Frogs touched him up for three runs on six hits in two innings of work. After that hiccup, Lujan was philosophical about things. “I try to just take the positives and negatives and kind of just flush it after,” he said the next day. “Then the next day, just carry on. There’s plenty more outings for me.” What does a pitcher think about when he’s out there experiencing that kind of outing after several weeks of nothing but success? “When I was out there, I felt like I was making good pitches and the results just weren’t going my way,” he said. “I just kept telling myself, ‘hey you know what, you got yourself into this mess, you can keep getting yourself out.’ “Sometimes, my thing, I go out there and try to get everybody out. Put up zeros and help our team win. Everybody has those outings where things aren’t just falling your way. Whether it’s a bloop hit, if you’re getting hit, if you’re walking guys, not getting calls. I just kept telling myself, ‘you know what? It is what it is. Let’s go, keep attacking the zone. Make the guy put the ball in play and get some outs.’ I’ve got my defense behind me; I’m just going to keep letting them work and make good pitches and let the rest play out.” And when it’s all played out? “You’ve just got to flush it and once the inning’s over, ‘right, that happened,’ and just focus on your next inning.” That poise has been noticed by manager Toby Gardenhire. “That’s part of growing up as a pitcher. Part of growing up as a player, in general,” Gardenhire noted. “Lujan’s done a really good job with that, where he doesn’t let things affect him that much. He’s got a really good split-change thing that he’s throwing right now. Has a good breaking ball. He attacks hitters. He doesn’t get flustered out there. He’s got a lot of things that you want in a reliever. He’s doing really good.” Lujan’s next inning came three nights later against Jupiter, when he hung a zero on the board in his inning of work to preserve a 4-2 win for his club and tally his fifth save of the season. Heading into the final series of the first half of the Florida State League season, the Miracle owned a slim one-game lead in the South Division standings and Lujan sounded like he’s enjoying the playoff race with his teammates. “Overall yeah, Awesome teammates, the team chemistry right now is fantastic. We’re lucky enough to be in a playoff race, to clinch the first half. I wouldn’t want any other guys behind me, so it’s pretty awesome.” Manager Toby Gardenhire OK’d Lujan hitting ground balls to infielders during batting practice. “He always comes out and hits fungos. He doesn’t want to shag out in the outfield with the outfielders, so I said, ‘whatever you want to do, just don’t get hurt.’”
  11. Before we get to our Top 4 relievers in the Twins system in May, here are several Honorable Mentions. Adam Bray - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 9 G, 2.53 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 21.1 IP, 17 H, 4 BB, 22 K Sam Clay - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 10 G, 1.10 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 11 H, 6 BB, 18 K Zach Neff - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 8 G, 1.15 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 15.2 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 22 K THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - Derek Molina - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 7 G, 0.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 19 K Molina was the Twins 14th-round pick in 2017 out of Merced College where he was a two-way player. He was the team’s shortstop and pitched as well. The Twins liked his arm a lot and drafted him as a pitcher only. He throws hard and has a good breaking ball. After a slow start to his season, Molina was fantastic in May. Opponents hit just .167/.255/.190 (.446). When he throws strikes consistently, good things happen. #3 - Tom Hackimer - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 7 H, 6 BB, 20 K After four seasons at St. Johns, Hackimer was the Twins fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft. He was promoted fairly quickly and even pitched in the Arizona Fall League. However, he was sidelined by injury through much of 2018 and his season ended early with a biceps surgery. He returned in 2019 and has been great. He began with the Miracle, however, after one May outing, he was promoted to Double-A Pensacola where he remained nearly unhittable. Opponents hit just .156/.296/.156 (.452) off of him in the month. He had 20 strikeouts in just 13 1/3 innings and he could advance another level this season. #2 - Anthony Vizcaya - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 7 G, 1.59 ERA, 0.62 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 4 H, 3 BB,14 K Vizcaya is potentially one of those feel-good stories that we all enjoy so much. He was originally signed in 2011 by Cleveland. He was in their organization through the 2014 season, peaking in the advanced rookie New York-Penn League. And then he was out of affiliated baseball until the Twins signed him this spring. He pitched some in the Venezuelan Winter League, but not a lot. However, he throws hard and has proven it was worth a shot for the Twins. He began the season in Ft. Myers and was promoted to Double-A Pensacola late in May. For the month, opponents hit just .160/.189/.200 (.389) off of the right-hander. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Ft. Myers Miracle – RHP Hector Lujan - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 16 K Lujan was the Twins 35th-round pick in 2015 out of Division III Westmont College in California where he teamed with the Twins 32nd-round pick that year, Andrew Vasquez. Lujan has really improved since signing with the Twins. He now has a fastball that reaches to 95-96 mph and much improved breaking pitches. He took off late in the 2017 season when he became the Cedar Rapids closer and led the organization in saves. He was also the recipient of the 2017 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for Cedar Rapids. He pitched well in 2018 in Ft. Myers. He posted a 2.64 ERA over 71 2/3 innings. Almost inexplicably, he remains with the Miracle. Through another 36 2/3 innings this year, he has a 2.21 ERA. In May, opponents hit just .151/.179/.219 (.398) against him. He walked three batters in the month, and all three were intentional. There were some really solid relief pitcher performances in May throughout the Twins minor league system.There were several players with 0.00 ERAs. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today. Congratulations to Hector Lujan, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for May 2019.
  12. Over the weekend, we handed out our choices for the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month (Lewin Diaz) and Starting Pitcher of the Month (Jordan Balazovic). Today, we will discuss the relief pitchers. Which bullpen arms had a strong May? Previous 2019 Relief Pitchers of the Month: April: Ryan Mason, Pensacola Blue WahoosBefore we get to our Top 4 relievers in the Twins system in May, here are several Honorable Mentions. Adam Bray - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 9 G, 2.53 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 21.1 IP, 17 H, 4 BB, 22 KSam Clay - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 10 G, 1.10 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 11 H, 6 BB, 18 KZach Neff - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 8 G, 1.15 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 15.2 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 22 K THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - Derek Molina - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 7 G, 0.77 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 19 K Molina was the Twins 14th-round pick in 2017 out of Merced College where he was a two-way player. He was the team’s shortstop and pitched as well. The Twins liked his arm a lot and drafted him as a pitcher only. He throws hard and has a good breaking ball. After a slow start to his season, Molina was fantastic in May. Opponents hit just .167/.255/.190 (.446). When he throws strikes consistently, good things happen. #3 - Tom Hackimer - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 7 H, 6 BB, 20 K After four seasons at St. Johns, Hackimer was the Twins fourth-round pick in the 2016 draft. He was promoted fairly quickly and even pitched in the Arizona Fall League. However, he was sidelined by injury through much of 2018 and his season ended early with a biceps surgery. He returned in 2019 and has been great. He began with the Miracle, however, after one May outing, he was promoted to Double-A Pensacola where he remained nearly unhittable. Opponents hit just .156/.296/.156 (.452) off of him in the month. He had 20 strikeouts in just 13 1/3 innings and he could advance another level this season. #2 - Anthony Vizcaya - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 7 G, 1.59 ERA, 0.62 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 4 H, 3 BB,14 K Vizcaya is potentially one of those feel-good stories that we all enjoy so much. He was originally signed in 2011 by Cleveland. He was in their organization through the 2014 season, peaking in the advanced rookie New York-Penn League. And then he was out of affiliated baseball until the Twins signed him this spring. He pitched some in the Venezuelan Winter League, but not a lot. However, he throws hard and has proven it was worth a shot for the Twins. He began the season in Ft. Myers and was promoted to Double-A Pensacola late in May. For the month, opponents hit just .160/.189/.200 (.389) off of the right-hander. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Ft. Myers Miracle – RHP Hector Lujan - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.60 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 16 K Lujan was the Twins 35th-round pick in 2015 out of Division III Westmont College in California where he teamed with the Twins 32nd-round pick that year, Andrew Vasquez. Lujan has really improved since signing with the Twins. He now has a fastball that reaches to 95-96 mph and much improved breaking pitches. He took off late in the 2017 season when he became the Cedar Rapids closer and led the organization in saves. He was also the recipient of the 2017 Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service for Cedar Rapids. He pitched well in 2018 in Ft. Myers. He posted a 2.64 ERA over 71 2/3 innings. Almost inexplicably, he remains with the Miracle. Through another 36 2/3 innings this year, he has a 2.21 ERA. In May, opponents hit just .151/.179/.219 (.398) against him. He walked three batters in the month, and all three were intentional. There were some really solid relief pitcher performances in May throughout the Twins minor league system.There were several players with 0.00 ERAs. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today. Congratulations to Hector Lujan, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for May 2019. Click here to view the article
  13. 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.
  14. Morning Updates (The Rule 5 draft just started. Players selected by the Twins or from the Twins will be mentioned here): Only 14 total players were selected in the MLB portion of the Rule 5 draft. The Twins did not lose any players. In the AAA portion, the Twins selected RHP Dusten Knight from the Giants. The team lost no one in the AAA portion. -------------------------------------------------- Stop by this article throughout the morning on Thursday for any updates regarding the Rule 5 draft. Again, reports from the Twins beat writers on hand in Las Vegas noted that Derek Falvey said the Twins are not likely to make a selection in the Rule 5 draft. The roster is currently at 40, so potentially they could remove a player before the draft to make a pick. The other side of that is that the Twins could lose players in the Major League Rule 5 draft. Who are players that have a chance to be selected? Here's a quick list: Tyler Jay - LH RP Jay is one of several former first-round picks, ,and a few top 10 picks, who went unprotected and are eligible. The Twins top pick in 2015 out of Illinois has had several injuries and struggled in his roles (starter and then reliever). The potential is still there for him to be a quality late-inning reliever if he can be healthy. Jake Reed - RH RP Jake Reed was incredible over the final three months of the 2018 season, so it was very surprising (disappointing) that he didn't receive a September call up. He was left unprotected from the Rule 5 draft for the third straight year. His stuff is still really good, and he put up the strong numbers to back it. He's done everything he can in AAA. If I was a team with a spot, I'd strongly consider him. But I said the same thing the last two years. Johan Quezada - RH RP Definitely the sleeper of the group since he has less than ten innings in his professional career above the rookie leagues, and that was late last season in Cedar Rapids. He missed all of 2017 with a shoulder injury. However, he was hitting 98 late last year. Would he be able to stick on a big league roster all year? Seems unlikely, but there are teams that might be willing to take a shot on the flame thrower. Hector Lujan - RH RP Lujan has been really good the last couple of seasons. He led the organization (minor leagues) in saves in 2017 in Cedar Rapids. He finished very strong for Ft. Myers in 2018 and then pitched in the Arizona Fall League. Lujan played in college at UC-Santa Barbara and then at Westmont College with Andrew Vasquez. He throws hard, 94-96 mph, and he's been great in the community. Lewin Diaz - 1B Diaz was coming off of a strong season in Cedar Rapids in 2017, hitting doubles and home runs. He went undrafted in the Rule 5 draft. 2018 was not a good year for the Dominican slugger. He didn't hit well, and then he broke his wrist and missed the rest of the season. It's probably less likely that he gets drafted, but not out of the realm of possibility. He was a big, big man when he was signed, but he has worked really hard. He is now down to 220 pounds and when he gets out of the Florida State League, his power could really start to show. Other Twins Players Potentially Selected: RH SP Andro Cutura, OF/1B Zander Wiel, RH RP Ryan Eades, C Brian Navarreto, OF Jaylin Davis, RH RP Cody Stashak, 3B Brian Schales, IF Randy Cesar, RHP Preston Guilmet and RHP Zack Weiss. JJ Cooper of Baseball America posted a list of many of the players who are available in the MLB Rule 5 draft on Thursday. Check out his list and see if there are any players that the Twins should be interested in. As you know, it costs $100,000 to make a Rule 5 selection. Then that player must remain on the draft team's active roster all year or be offered back to the original team for $50,000. Trades can be worked out as well Minor League Rule 5 Draft While we can spend hours going over a list of which players are eligible for the MLB Rule 5 draft, there is no way to prepare for the minor league portion. Those rosters aren't made public. Unlike the MLB portion, players selected in the minor league Rule 5 draft go to the other team. They can be placed anywhere in the system and do not have to be offered back. The Twins selected Yancarlos Baez last year in the minor league portion. He didn't pitch after having Tommy John surgery, but he should return to the mound in 2019. Feel free to discuss the Rule 5 draft here as it happens or rumors before and after. The article will be updated after the MLB portion of the Rule 5 and after the Minor League portion of the Rule 5.
  15. The Winter Meetings in Las Vegas have been fairly quiet against in 2018. Certainly there are meetings, but there haven't been a lot of signings or trades. Thursday is the final day of the Winter Meetings. The highlight of the final day of the Winter Meetings is the Rule 5 draft (11:00 central time). The Twins have stated publicly that it is unlikely that they will make a Rule 5 selection, but could they lose players? What will happen in the minor league portion of the Rule 5 draft. Check back to this article throughout the morning for more updates. This article will be update throughout the Rule 5 draft.Morning Updates (The Rule 5 draft just started. Players selected by the Twins or from the Twins will be mentioned here): Only 14 total players were selected in the MLB portion of the Rule 5 draft. The Twins did not lose any players. In the AAA portion, the Twins selected RHP Dusten Knight from the Giants. The team lost no one in the AAA portion. -------------------------------------------------- Stop by this article throughout the morning on Thursday for any updates regarding the Rule 5 draft. Again, reports from the Twins beat writers on hand in Las Vegas noted that Derek Falvey said the Twins are not likely to make a selection in the Rule 5 draft. The roster is currently at 40, so potentially they could remove a player before the draft to make a pick. The other side of that is that the Twins could lose players in the Major League Rule 5 draft. Who are players that have a chance to be selected? Here's a quick list: Tyler Jay - LH RP Jay is one of several former first-round picks, ,and a few top 10 picks, who went unprotected and are eligible. The Twins top pick in 2015 out of Illinois has had several injuries and struggled in his roles (starter and then reliever). The potential is still there for him to be a quality late-inning reliever if he can be healthy. Jake Reed - RH RP Jake Reed was incredible over the final three months of the 2018 season, so it was very surprising (disappointing) that he didn't receive a September call up. He was left unprotected from the Rule 5 draft for the third straight year. His stuff is still really good, and he put up the strong numbers to back it. He's done everything he can in AAA. If I was a team with a spot, I'd strongly consider him. But I said the same thing the last two years. Johan Quezada - RH RP Definitely the sleeper of the group since he has less than ten innings in his professional career above the rookie leagues, and that was late last season in Cedar Rapids. He missed all of 2017 with a shoulder injury. However, he was hitting 98 late last year. Would he be able to stick on a big league roster all year? Seems unlikely, but there are teams that might be willing to take a shot on the flame thrower. Hector Lujan - RH RP Lujan has been really good the last couple of seasons. He led the organization (minor leagues) in saves in 2017 in Cedar Rapids. He finished very strong for Ft. Myers in 2018 and then pitched in the Arizona Fall League. Lujan played in college at UC-Santa Barbara and then at Westmont College with Andrew Vasquez. He throws hard, 94-96 mph, and he's been great in the community. Lewin Diaz - 1B Diaz was coming off of a strong season in Cedar Rapids in 2017, hitting doubles and home runs. He went undrafted in the Rule 5 draft. 2018 was not a good year for the Dominican slugger. He didn't hit well, and then he broke his wrist and missed the rest of the season. It's probably less likely that he gets drafted, but not out of the realm of possibility. He was a big, big man when he was signed, but he has worked really hard. He is now down to 220 pounds and when he gets out of the Florida State League, his power could really start to show. Other Twins Players Potentially Selected: RH SP Andro Cutura, OF/1B Zander Wiel, RH RP Ryan Eades, C Brian Navarreto, OF Jaylin Davis, RH RP Cody Stashak, 3B Brian Schales, IF Randy Cesar, RHP Preston Guilmet and RHP Zack Weiss. JJ Cooper of Baseball America posted a list of many of the players who are available in the MLB Rule 5 draft on Thursday. Check out his list and see if there are any players that the Twins should be interested in. As you know, it costs $100,000 to make a Rule 5 selection. Then that player must remain on the draft team's active roster all year or be offered back to the original team for $50,000. Trades can be worked out as well Minor League Rule 5 Draft While we can spend hours going over a list of which players are eligible for the MLB Rule 5 draft, there is no way to prepare for the minor league portion. Those rosters aren't made public. Unlike the MLB portion, players selected in the minor league Rule 5 draft go to the other team. They can be placed anywhere in the system and do not have to be offered back. The Twins selected Yancarlos Baez last year in the minor league portion. He didn't pitch after having Tommy John surgery, but he should return to the mound in 2019. Feel free to discuss the Rule 5 draft here as it happens or rumors before and after. The article will be updated after the MLB portion of the Rule 5 and after the Minor League portion of the Rule 5. Click here to view the article
  16. The Salt Rivers Rafters finished week two of the Arizona Fall League season with a 3-3 record, including going 2-1 in games decided by just one run. Their lone starting pitching representative made his first start of the AFL season, each reliever saw action in two games, and an infielder got his bat going. But along with Brent Rooker, another outfielder has ended up missing in action.As a staff the Twins pitchers combined for a 1.80 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 10 total innings pitched, while the hitters managed only a .153/.214/.192 slash line with three RBI, two walks, and eight K’s on the week. To find out everything that happened in week two of the AFL season for the Twins prospects, keep reading! (links provided to each player’s overall AFL stats by clicking their name) Brent Rooker: Did not play (ankle injury). I haven’t heard any updates on Rooker’s status since the injury news broke before opening day last week, so we’ll still have to wait and see if he gets healthy enough to play some games in Arizona. Griffin Jax: 1 start, Loss, 3.0 IP, 3 H, BB, 1 ER, K; 4.50 ERA, 1.75 WHIP (overall). After making a single relief appearance in week one, Jax got a starting opportunity on Friday of week two. He did well as far as the box score goes, but nonetheless was charged with the loss as he allowed the only run of the game in Salt River’s 1-0 loss to Glendale. He went one-two-three in the first inning, but the Desert Dogs got a two-out double to score a runner from first for the 1-0 lead in the second, and that would be enough as the Rafters were only able to muster five singles as a team. Back out for the third inning Jax allowed a single, but then finished his day with a double play ball. In the outing 26 of his 44 pitches went for strikes including three swinging, and he walked one and struck out one. Luke Raley: 1 game, 0-for-2, R, BB, K; .214/.333/.357 (overall). Raley began the week for Salt River on the right foot by leading off their game on Monday with a walk and scoring the game’s first run, but from there it went sideways for him and his team in a 13-4 loss to Peoria. After reaching first base, two wild pitches put him on third and a sacrifice fly brought him in for a 1-0 lead. The Rafters would stretch that to 4-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth, but it was all Javelina’s from there. Raley got two more at-bats including a strikeout and a ground out before he would be removed the game heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. There has been no status update I’ve been able to find, but since then Raley has not appeared in any more games. Whatever ails him, hopefully he is back in the Rafter’s lineup soon! Hector Lujan: 2 appearances, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, K; 10.13 ERA, 2.63 WHIP (overall). Lujan bounced back well from his first appearance in the AFL last week, delivering scoreless outings in both of his appearances during week two. The first of those came in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over the Mesa Solar Sox. He pitched the bottom of the seventh inning with the game tied at one, setting down the opposition in order. Of his 12 pitches, nine went for strikes and he struck out the final batter he faced. His second outing of the week came on Friday against Glendale, and he pitched a scoreless sixth inning to keep his team within one run. He did allow singles to the first two hitters he faced but got a lineout and a double-play ball to erase the threat. He also threw just eight pitches to the four batters he faced, with seven of them going for strikes. Of interesting note for me, is the Twins relief pitchers each appeared in the same games on the week with Adam Bray going before Lujan, and Devin Smeltzer after, each time. Travis Blankenhorn: 4 games, 3-for-13, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K; .150/.261/.200 (overall). The infielder was a busy man in week two as he appeared in four of Salt River’s six games on the week, including three in a row from Thursday through Saturday. In Tuesday’s game against Mesa, Blankenhorn played second base and hit in the seventh spot in the order. He finished 0-for-3 with a walk and stole a base, but was still looking for his first hit of the fall after their win. He did get close, as his final at-bat of the day was a deep fly ball to center field that got run down, but also advanced runners to second and third. He would finally get that hit on Thursday in his first at-bat against Glendale in their 2-1 extra-inning win, a single up the middle with one out in the third inning. He’d go 0-for-2 including a strikeout in his other at-bats, but he got things moving in the right direction on this day. He was also the man in the batters box when the Desert Dogs pitcher balked in the winning run. The entire Rafter lineup was pitiful on Friday, but Blankenhorn did collect one of their five singles on the day in the 1-0 loss. He also stole his second base of the AFL season to put himself as one of the only runners to get in to scoring position on the game. Blankenhorn would make it a hitting streak on Saturday batting out of the leadoff spot, and nearly was able to tie the game for his team in the bottom of the ninth. With the score 6-3 in Peoria’s favor and a couple ducks on the pond with nobody out, he lined a double into left field to score them both and make it 6-5. In scoring position representing the tying run, he unfortunately was left stranded as the next three hitters went strikeout, fly out, fly out to end the game. I’m watching to see if he can continue the momentum he built in week 3. Devin Smeltzer: 2 appearances, 2.0 IP, H, BB, 2 K; 0.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP (overall). As mentioned above, Smeltzer followed Lujan out of the bullpen in the Rafter’s games on Tuesday and Friday. In the win on Tuesday against Mesa, that meant he came on for the eighth inning with the game still tied at one. After two quick outs it got a little interesting as he gave up a single and a walk, but got the next batter to fly out to right field to give his offense the chance they needed in the ninth. Smeltzer threw 15 pitches in his inning of work, with nine going for strikes. He also picked up the win thanks to his offense in the top of the ninth. Following Lujan in Friday’s pitcher’s duel in Glendale, Smeltzer delivered a dominant one-two-three seventh inning. He needed just 10 pitches (seven for strikes) and struck out the first two batters he faced swinging before getting an infield popup on his first pitch to his final batter. Jaylin Davis: 3 games, 1-for-11, R, RBI, 5 K; .250/.250/.250 (overall). Week 2 didn’t go nearly as well for Davis as week 1, but he still made a big impact in one his games. On Monday Davis got the start as the designated hitter batting seventh in the lineup. He ended up 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, but there wasn’t much to talk about all around in the 13-4 blowout loss to Peoria where Salt River collected just three hits as a team and struck out 13 times. It was better for Davis and the Rafter’s on Thursday, as he singled in the eighth inning before being stranded on second with the score knotted at zero, before getting another opportunity in the tenth. With the bases loaded, one out, and his team now down 1-0, Davis managed to tie the game at one with an RBI grounder to short. It was of the RBI variety because he beat the double-play turn to first that would have ended the game. The balk with Blankenhorn at the plate to win it for Salt River came next. Friday’s 1-0 loss against Glendale was again a tough one for all the Rafter’s lineup, with Davis contributing an 0-for-3 effort along with two more strikeouts. Davis will look to get back to his early hitting ways in week three. Adam Bray: 2 appearances, 3.0 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 K; 1.80 ERA, 1.00 WHIP (overall). Bray’s first appearance on the week preceded Lujan and Smeltzer in Wednesday’s 2-1 win against the Solar Sox. He was the first reliever summoned with a 1-0 Salt River lead after their starter went five innings. He ended up charged with a blown save as a one-out triple was followed by a single to tie the game before he got the next two hitters. Of his 11 pitches, eight went for strikes and he also threw a wild pitch. It was nearly an all-Twins-pitchers game on Friday with Jax making the start and the relievers following him, and they were all very good, but the Glendale staff was just a little better in the 1-0 loss. Bray came on in relief of Jax for the fourth inning and went the next two frames. He allowed just one hit and struck out two. He retired the side in order in the fourth and faced only seven hitters total in his two innings. 20 of his 28 pitches went for strikes, including five swinging. Other AFL and Minor League Links: - The highly regarded John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com, has started his offseason top 20 prospects lists like he always does, by leading off with his look at the Minnesota Twins. Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff get A grades. Also higher on 2018 first round pick Trevor Larnach than I’ve seen elsewhere and mentions that the system is loaded. - Travis Blankenhorn talks about working on his consistency in the AFL with MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. Also some unfortunate updates on a couple of players included in that link: Luke Raley has been removed from the Rafters roster but the reason is not specified (I would assume an injury). The Twins have also decided to shut down Brent Rooker, so he will not participate as hoped. Please feel free to ask questions about the AFL and the players who are there! Click here to view the article
  17. As a staff the Twins pitchers combined for a 1.80 ERA and 1.10 WHIP in 10 total innings pitched, while the hitters managed only a .153/.214/.192 slash line with three RBI, two walks, and eight K’s on the week. To find out everything that happened in week two of the AFL season for the Twins prospects, keep reading! (links provided to each player’s overall AFL stats by clicking their name) Brent Rooker: Did not play (ankle injury). I haven’t heard any updates on Rooker’s status since the injury news broke before opening day last week, so we’ll still have to wait and see if he gets healthy enough to play some games in Arizona. Griffin Jax: 1 start, Loss, 3.0 IP, 3 H, BB, 1 ER, K; 4.50 ERA, 1.75 WHIP (overall). After making a single relief appearance in week one, Jax got a starting opportunity on Friday of week two. He did well as far as the box score goes, but nonetheless was charged with the loss as he allowed the only run of the game in Salt River’s 1-0 loss to Glendale. He went one-two-three in the first inning, but the Desert Dogs got a two-out double to score a runner from first for the 1-0 lead in the second, and that would be enough as the Rafters were only able to muster five singles as a team. Back out for the third inning Jax allowed a single, but then finished his day with a double play ball. In the outing 26 of his 44 pitches went for strikes including three swinging, and he walked one and struck out one. Luke Raley: 1 game, 0-for-2, R, BB, K; .214/.333/.357 (overall). Raley began the week for Salt River on the right foot by leading off their game on Monday with a walk and scoring the game’s first run, but from there it went sideways for him and his team in a 13-4 loss to Peoria. After reaching first base, two wild pitches put him on third and a sacrifice fly brought him in for a 1-0 lead. The Rafters would stretch that to 4-0 heading into the bottom of the fifth, but it was all Javelina’s from there. Raley got two more at-bats including a strikeout and a ground out before he would be removed the game heading into the bottom of the sixth inning. There has been no status update I’ve been able to find, but since then Raley has not appeared in any more games. Whatever ails him, hopefully he is back in the Rafter’s lineup soon! Hector Lujan: 2 appearances, 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 BB, 0 ER, K; 10.13 ERA, 2.63 WHIP (overall). Lujan bounced back well from his first appearance in the AFL last week, delivering scoreless outings in both of his appearances during week two. The first of those came in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over the Mesa Solar Sox. He pitched the bottom of the seventh inning with the game tied at one, setting down the opposition in order. Of his 12 pitches, nine went for strikes and he struck out the final batter he faced. His second outing of the week came on Friday against Glendale, and he pitched a scoreless sixth inning to keep his team within one run. He did allow singles to the first two hitters he faced but got a lineout and a double-play ball to erase the threat. He also threw just eight pitches to the four batters he faced, with seven of them going for strikes. Of interesting note for me, is the Twins relief pitchers each appeared in the same games on the week with Adam Bray going before Lujan, and Devin Smeltzer after, each time. Travis Blankenhorn: 4 games, 3-for-13, 2B, 2 RBI, BB, 2 K; .150/.261/.200 (overall). The infielder was a busy man in week two as he appeared in four of Salt River’s six games on the week, including three in a row from Thursday through Saturday. In Tuesday’s game against Mesa, Blankenhorn played second base and hit in the seventh spot in the order. He finished 0-for-3 with a walk and stole a base, but was still looking for his first hit of the fall after their win. He did get close, as his final at-bat of the day was a deep fly ball to center field that got run down, but also advanced runners to second and third. He would finally get that hit on Thursday in his first at-bat against Glendale in their 2-1 extra-inning win, a single up the middle with one out in the third inning. He’d go 0-for-2 including a strikeout in his other at-bats, but he got things moving in the right direction on this day. He was also the man in the batters box when the Desert Dogs pitcher balked in the winning run. The entire Rafter lineup was pitiful on Friday, but Blankenhorn did collect one of their five singles on the day in the 1-0 loss. He also stole his second base of the AFL season to put himself as one of the only runners to get in to scoring position on the game. Blankenhorn would make it a hitting streak on Saturday batting out of the leadoff spot, and nearly was able to tie the game for his team in the bottom of the ninth. With the score 6-3 in Peoria’s favor and a couple ducks on the pond with nobody out, he lined a double into left field to score them both and make it 6-5. In scoring position representing the tying run, he unfortunately was left stranded as the next three hitters went strikeout, fly out, fly out to end the game. I’m watching to see if he can continue the momentum he built in week 3. Devin Smeltzer: 2 appearances, 2.0 IP, H, BB, 2 K; 0.00 ERA, 1.25 WHIP (overall). As mentioned above, Smeltzer followed Lujan out of the bullpen in the Rafter’s games on Tuesday and Friday. In the win on Tuesday against Mesa, that meant he came on for the eighth inning with the game still tied at one. After two quick outs it got a little interesting as he gave up a single and a walk, but got the next batter to fly out to right field to give his offense the chance they needed in the ninth. Smeltzer threw 15 pitches in his inning of work, with nine going for strikes. He also picked up the win thanks to his offense in the top of the ninth. Following Lujan in Friday’s pitcher’s duel in Glendale, Smeltzer delivered a dominant one-two-three seventh inning. He needed just 10 pitches (seven for strikes) and struck out the first two batters he faced swinging before getting an infield popup on his first pitch to his final batter. Jaylin Davis: 3 games, 1-for-11, R, RBI, 5 K; .250/.250/.250 (overall). Week 2 didn’t go nearly as well for Davis as week 1, but he still made a big impact in one his games. On Monday Davis got the start as the designated hitter batting seventh in the lineup. He ended up 0-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, but there wasn’t much to talk about all around in the 13-4 blowout loss to Peoria where Salt River collected just three hits as a team and struck out 13 times. It was better for Davis and the Rafter’s on Thursday, as he singled in the eighth inning before being stranded on second with the score knotted at zero, before getting another opportunity in the tenth. With the bases loaded, one out, and his team now down 1-0, Davis managed to tie the game at one with an RBI grounder to short. It was of the RBI variety because he beat the double-play turn to first that would have ended the game. The balk with Blankenhorn at the plate to win it for Salt River came next. Friday’s 1-0 loss against Glendale was again a tough one for all the Rafter’s lineup, with Davis contributing an 0-for-3 effort along with two more strikeouts. Davis will look to get back to his early hitting ways in week three. Adam Bray: 2 appearances, 3.0 IP, 3 H, ER, 2 K; 1.80 ERA, 1.00 WHIP (overall). Bray’s first appearance on the week preceded Lujan and Smeltzer in Wednesday’s 2-1 win against the Solar Sox. He was the first reliever summoned with a 1-0 Salt River lead after their starter went five innings. He ended up charged with a blown save as a one-out triple was followed by a single to tie the game before he got the next two hitters. Of his 11 pitches, eight went for strikes and he also threw a wild pitch. It was nearly an all-Twins-pitchers game on Friday with Jax making the start and the relievers following him, and they were all very good, but the Glendale staff was just a little better in the 1-0 loss. Bray came on in relief of Jax for the fourth inning and went the next two frames. He allowed just one hit and struck out two. He retired the side in order in the fourth and faced only seven hitters total in his two innings. 20 of his 28 pitches went for strikes, including five swinging. Other AFL and Minor League Links: - The highly regarded John Sickels of MinorLeagueBall.com, has started his offseason top 20 prospects lists like he always does, by leading off with his look at the Minnesota Twins. Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff get A grades. Also higher on 2018 first round pick Trevor Larnach than I’ve seen elsewhere and mentions that the system is loaded. - Travis Blankenhorn talks about working on his consistency in the AFL with MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. Also some unfortunate updates on a couple of players included in that link: Luke Raley has been removed from the Rafters roster but the reason is not specified (I would assume an injury). The Twins have also decided to shut down Brent Rooker, so he will not participate as hoped. Please feel free to ask questions about the AFL and the players who are there!
  18. I spent an autumn night this time last year at Target Field with all my friends watching the Minnesota Twins fall to the New York Yankees in the Wild Card game, but unfortunately the team didn’t continue trending upward as they fell well-short of the playoffs in 2018. The young guys on the team that were supposed to boost them forward never seemed got their footing during the season, and so we’ll have to wait at least another year to get back to that place. It’s still those young players that will get them there however, and for many of the game’s prospects the fall brings with it more than just the start of their offseason vacations. Many of them will keep playing in the various winter leagues, and they begin with the Arizona Fall League where many of the game’s top players once played. The list of current Twins players who have appeared in the AFL includes the likes of Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, Mitch Garver, Taylor Rogers, Trevor Hildenberger, and most recently Stephen Gonsalves and Andrew Vasquez. The 2018 season kicks off at 1:35 CST this afternoon and eight Twins prospects will be participating. For anyone who doesn’t know, the AFL is a short season league where every team in Major League Baseball sends some of their prospects in October. It is often used as a proving ground for players looking to take the final steps to their MLB dreams. Many of the top prospects in baseball are sent here to make a final impression for a call-up next year, but there are also many experienced minor leaguers on the doorstep who are evaluated for protection on the 40-man roster, or those trying to make up some development time after an injury. These minor league games in October can determine a lot going into the next MLB season for these players, and that’s why I love following the league so closely. Each MLB team typically sends around seven players to the AFL, and they are split up among the six teams that make up the league. This year the Minnesota Twins prospects will be represented on the roster of the Salt River Rafters, with pitchers Adam Bray, Griffin Jax, Hector Lujan, and Devin Smeltzer; and position players Brent Rooker, Travis Blankenhorn, Jaylin Davis, and Luke Raley. They will join prospects from the rosters of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Miami Marlins, and Washington Nationals. In a little bit of extra-fun news for Twins aficionados, Chattanooga Lookouts manager Tommy Watkins will also make the trip and serve as the Rafters manager. Of the seven players sent to the AFL last year for Minnesota, only one managed to make their MLB debut with the Twins during the 2018 season. That was reliever Andrew Vasquez, who was also named Twins Daily’s 2018 Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. That was a low total for Twins prospects in the AFL making their MLB debut the next season in recent history, but hopefully 2018’s group can get that back on track. Each week I’ll be recapping the action for all the Twins representatives during their time in the desert of Arizona, so who are the players they sent? How have their careers gone thus far and what will I be looking for from each of them in the AFL this October? 2018 Minnesota Twins Prospects in the AFL: — Brent Rooker, OF/1B/DH (23 years old) Drafted at number 35 overall in 2017 after a collegiate season in which he won the SEC triple crown, Rooker continued his power surge as a pro by clubbing 18 homers in 62 games between Elizabethton and Fort Myers. His prospect helium followed him to Chattanooga this year with high expectations. He started out slow but heated up with the weather by OPS-ing over 1.000 in the months of June and July. His 22 home runs ranked second in the Southern League, while his 79 RBIs paced the circuit. Although he didn’t really improve his strikeout rate as the year wore on, he did start connecting with more authority and drawing more walks. Despite the power he possesses, he batted number two in the lineup for basically the entire season with the Lookouts. Rooker will look to get back toward those midsummer numbers, as he hit below .200 over his final 30 games on the year with just two home runs. Despite that, Rooker is likely the most highly regarded of the Twins prospects participating in the AFL this year and could slot in the middle of the Rafters lineup. Twins Daily ranked him at #7 in our Midseason Top Prospect List and is a shoe-in for a spring training invite and promotion to Triple A to start in 2019. This is where the AFL season could be interesting for the slugger. The Twins have opportunities at all the positions Rooker has played as a professional including the outfield, first base, and designated hitter. A strong showing in the desert could only help his cause in relation to an early MLB debut next year. Something I’ll be watching for is if he can cut down a little on his strikeouts in a six-week sample size, while also continuing to provide some of his prodigious power. — Griffin Jax, RHP (23) The Twins selected Jax in the third round of the 2016 draft out of the Air Force Academy in Colorado. This made his professional development somewhat of a challenge in his first two seasons. He was able to appear in just four games with Elizabethton after being drafted before he was required to fulfill service obligations, and then in 2017 the Department of Defense reversed a policy that allowed graduates to pursue professional sports after graduating, putting his career back on hold after just five games. Fortunately for him and the Twins, that changed early in the 2018 season. Jax was accepted into the military’s “World Class Athlete Program,” which meant his job with the Air Force became training for the Olympics in baseball which would be coming back for the 2020 games. Jax reported to extended spring training in late April and made his debut with the Fort Myers Miracle on June 1st. That was one of only 3 games through the end of the year where he did not complete at least five innings. His next seven starts were all of the quality variety, and overall 11 of his 15 games were of that type (he went the final six innings in an Ervin Santana rehab start for one of those games). He finished the year with a 3.70 ERA and 66/15 K to BB ratio in 87 2/3 innings for the Miracle. The AFL season will help Jax make up some of the development time he’s had to miss and could also be a strong barometer to determine where he’ll start the 2019 season in the state of Florida —back with Fort Myers on the gulf side of the peninsula or along the northern panhandle in Pensacola. I’ll want to see Jax continue to post a strong walk-rate against what could be the best competition he’s faced to this point, as well as continuing the consistency start-to-start that he showed with the Miracle to make his case. — Travis Blankenhorn, IF (22) Selected in the third round of the 2015 draft out of Pottsville High School in Pennsylvania, Blankenhorn came in at number 13 in Twins Daily’s 2018 midseason top prospect list. Over the past two seasons with Cedar Rapids in 2017 and Fort Myers in 2018 he has split his time almost equally between third base and second base on defense. Touted for future power potential when drafted, Blankenhorn looks the part and even won the Florida State League home run derby this year, but hasn’t quite manifested it in games as much as he’d like yet. He hit 13 home runs in 118 games with the Kernels and added 11 homers this year with the Miracle. Unfortunately, his slugging percentage dipped from .441 to .387 in 2018, and his OPS fell below the .700 mark in the pitcher friendly confines of the FSL. He started the year off quite well, hitting .305/.347/.537 in April, but from there he only hit over .250 in one other month and his highest monthly OPS was just .645. Surprisingly, Blankenhorn did still lead the Miracle in doubles, triples, home runs, and RBI. The 2019 season will be Blankenhorn’s fifth in the organization and his time in the AFL could have a bearing on if he moves up to AA to start the year or finds himself back in Fort Myers looking to improve upon his prior year in the opening months. During his time in the AFL it will be interesting to see if he sticks at just one position or continues to be moved around. I’ll also be paying attention to his extra-base hit totals for an indication that his slugging numbers will rebound whenever he is promoted out of the FSL. — Hector Lujan, RHP (24) Like Blankenhorn, Lujan came to the Twins organization courtesy of the 2015 draft when he was selected in the 35th round. He was drafted out of Westmont College, where he was teammates with Andrew Vasquez who pitched in the AFL last year before making his major league debut with the Twins in 2018. Lujan will hope to follow that same path during the 2019 campaign. Lujan spent the 2017 season entirely with the Cedar Rapids Kernels and was a standout in their bullpen. In 54 innings he amassed 17 saves while posting a 1.33 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. He struck out a hitter per inning and was stingy with walks as he allowed just eight on the year. Moving on to Fort Myers for the 2018 campaign, Lujan was used more as a multi-inning weapon, as he appeared in four fewer games but pitched 17 2/3 more innings. He saved four games along with striking out 68 in 71 2/3 total innings pitched. He walked more hitters and raised his WHIP to 1.26 in the FSL, but still posted a solid 2.64 ERA with the Miracle. The competition inthe AFL will be a solid test for Lujan, but no matter how he fares he should find himself ticketed for AA to start in 2019. I’ll be watching to see if his career neutral splits against lefties (.625 OPS against in 2018) and righties (.641 OPS against) hold true in the AFL and if he’s used for multiple innings to try to maximize that trait. Lujan is also eligible for the Rule 5 draft this offseason, so could be making his case to be protected on the 40-man roster. — Devin Smeltzer, LHP (23) Smeltzer was one of the pieces that came to the Twins organization in the Brian Dozier swap with the Dodgers at the deadline. He was drafted by the Dodgers in the fifth round of the 2015 draft and while he’s struck out over a hitter per inning in his career, he’s also given up a bunch of hits to limit his upside. Midway through the 2018 season L.A. transitioned him to the bullpen in AA, and that is where he remained after coming over to Minnesota. With Chattanooga he made 10 appearances totaling 12 innings pitched, logging a 3.00 ERA and 1.33 WHIP while striking out sixteen and walking just two. Since he is so new to the relief pitching routine, the AFL will be a fantastic environment for him to learn any tricks of the trade from a bevy of new coaches and teammates. As a former starter he had also been using a full pitching repertoire, so I’ll be curious to see if I can pick out whether he has dumped any pitches to focus on his best ones, which includes a plus changeup. — Luke Raley, OF (24) Also coming over from the Dodgers in that same trade, was outfielder Luke Raley who had an excellent season at the AA level in 2018. His .822 OPS ranked seventh in the Texas League and he started at DH in their All-Star Game, where he was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He didn’t come over to the Twins early enough to be considered for our midseason prospect list, but MLB.com has slotted him at number 19 in their updated top 30. In 27 games after being placed on the Lookouts roster, Raley slashed .276/.371/.449 with three homers and 16 RBI. Before that he hit 17 home runs with the Tulsa Drillers, but he’s not all just home run power either. His 47 extra-base hits on the year included 19 doubles and 8 triples, helping him rack up 80 runs scored on the season after totaling 102 in the California League the year prior (ranked second). He’s also a solid outfielder with a strong arm who with can handle center field if needed and has also played first base. He strikes me as having the makeup and profile that could turn into leadoff hitter with some power in the future which sounds a lot like the guy the Twins traded away to get him, but to reach that type of ceiling Raley is going to have to cut down some on the strikeouts while also drawing a few more walks. I’ll be very interested to see how Raley follows up his excellent 2018 season in Arizona as he readies himself for triple-A next season and establishes himself in the organizational depth chart. — Jaylin Davis, OF (24) Davis was selected in the 24th round of the 2015 draft but didn’t make his debut until the following season as he recovered from a torn labrum he suffered during the college season with Appalachian State. He started his professional career with an astounding seven home runs in just twelve games with Elizabethton before they bumped him up to Cedar Rapids. He finished the year with an .808 OPS with the Kernels and continued that success the next year, earning his way to Fort Myers where he finally had some struggles. He started the 2018 season back with the Miracle but again earned himself a midseason promotion as he upped his OPS significantly by both drawing more walks and clubbing more extra-base hits. With the Chattanooga Lookouts he kept that same theme going, finishing with a better OPS than he had in Fort Myers. I’d venture Davis will start next year back in AA, but a strong showing in the AFL could accelerate his timeline to AAA. As a corner outfielder who has played almost exclusively right field the past two seasons, the pop he’s shown thus far is going to have to continue trending upward to crack a crowded Twins outfield situation and that is what I’ll be looking for from Davis in the AFL. — Adam Bray, RHP (25) Another one of the several 2015 draftees who will be eligible in the Rule 5 draft this winter, Bray does hold a distinction that none of the others do: He is #OneOfUs. He went to high school in Eden Prairie and was part of their 2011 team that won the American Legion National Championship. He also was the winning pitcher on the team that won the 2010 State Championship at Target Field. He went to college at South Dakota State University and is now the record holder in several categories there as a pitcher. Seth Stohs also caught up with him earlier this year to talk about those things and the rest of his career to that point, so be sure to check that out. Bray finally got on the mound in late June with the Fort Myers Miracle and was fantastic through the end of the season. He made 19 appearances totaling 38 1/3 innings out of the bullpen, posting a 1.88 ERA and 1.10 WHIP while striking out 9.4 per nine innings pitched. He also surrendered just seven walks as he maintained the upper echelon control and command he’s been known for (1.5BB/9IP for his career). Since he was on the disabled list for the first three months of the season Bray will be looking to make up some development time in the AFL and could also be a good gauge to determine his readiness for AA. I’ll want to see him maintain that low walk-rate along with striking out at least a hitter an inning. That’s a good formula for anybody, but it’s one Bray will need to keep up with due to his command and control profile as he continues his climb up the minor league ladder. Good luck to all the Twins players in the AFL this season, and I’m looking forward to following along with everyone at Twins Daily! Also, if there is anything specific you would like to see included in these recaps, let me know and I’ll see if I can work any such ideas into these recaps. Here is a link to last year’s final one to get an idea of what to expect! Other AFL and Minor League Links: -If you haven't already checked it out, Seth's conversations with all these guys playing in the AFL is must read material. -The Minnesota Twins announced their 2018 Minor League players of the year, with Alex Kirilloff taking home the player award, and Lewis Thorpe the pitcher. Congratulations to both! -MLB.com went through the biggest movers in their end of year prospect rankings, and Kirilloff tops the list as he moved from number 30 all the way to the top 10. -With the AFL season kicking off, MLB.com also picked out the top prospect from each team going, with Brent Rooker checking that box for the Twins. They did the same for sleeper prospects, with Griffin Jax the Twins selection. -After partnering with the Chattanooga Lookouts for the past four seasons, the Twins will be moving their double-A affiliation for the 2019 season to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, also of the Southern League. It sounds like a good step up in facilities for the organization, as the stadium was built in 2012 and is located on the harbor of the Gulf of Mexico. Please feel free to ask any questions about the AFL or the players who are there!
  19. As an avid outdoorsman and hunter who grew up and remains in Minnesota, there’s no question for me that autumn is the best season. The ducks begin migrating south, deer go into their rut, and the colors of the tree leaves come out in full force. There’s nothing like spending time up at the cabin or out in the woods with nature this time of year. But when you’re also an avid baseball fan like me, the month of October also means its pennant season in the major leagues. It’s really the best of both of those worlds.I spent an autumn night this time last year at Target Field with all my friends watching the Minnesota Twins fall to the New York Yankees in the Wild Card game, but unfortunately the team didn’t continue trending upward as they fell well-short of the playoffs in 2018. The young guys on the team that were supposed to boost them forward never seemed got their footing during the season, and so we’ll have to wait at least another year to get back to that place. It’s still those young players that will get them there however, and for many of the game’s prospects the fall brings with it more than just the start of their offseason vacations. Many of them will keep playing in the various winter leagues, and they begin with the Arizona Fall League where many of the game’s top players once played. The list of current Twins players who have appeared in the AFL includes the likes of Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler, Mitch Garver, Taylor Rogers, Trevor Hildenberger, and most recently Stephen Gonsalves and Andrew Vasquez. The 2018 season kicks off at 1:35 CST this afternoon and eight Twins prospects will be participating. For anyone who doesn’t know, the AFL is a short season league where every team in Major League Baseball sends some of their prospects in October. It is often used as a proving ground for players looking to take the final steps to their MLB dreams. Many of the top prospects in baseball are sent here to make a final impression for a call-up next year, but there are also many experienced minor leaguers on the doorstep who are evaluated for protection on the 40-man roster, or those trying to make up some development time after an injury. These minor league games in October can determine a lot going into the next MLB season for these players, and that’s why I love following the league so closely. Each MLB team typically sends around seven players to the AFL, and they are split up among the six teams that make up the league. This year the Minnesota Twins prospects will be represented on the roster of the Salt River Rafters, with pitchers Adam Bray, Griffin Jax, Hector Lujan, and Devin Smeltzer; and position players Brent Rooker, Travis Blankenhorn, Jaylin Davis, and Luke Raley. They will join prospects from the rosters of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Colorado Rockies, Miami Marlins, and Washington Nationals. In a little bit of extra-fun news for Twins aficionados, Chattanooga Lookouts manager Tommy Watkins will also make the trip and serve as the Rafters manager. Of the seven players sent to the AFL last year for Minnesota, only one managed to make their MLB debut with the Twins during the 2018 season. That was reliever Andrew Vasquez, who was also named Twins Daily’s 2018 Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. That was a low total for Twins prospects in the AFL making their MLB debut the next season in recent history, but hopefully 2018’s group can get that back on track. Each week I’ll be recapping the action for all the Twins representatives during their time in the desert of Arizona, so who are the players they sent? How have their careers gone thus far and what will I be looking for from each of them in the AFL this October? 2018 Minnesota Twins Prospects in the AFL: — Brent Rooker, OF/1B/DH (23 years old) Drafted at number 35 overall in 2017 after a collegiate season in which he won the SEC triple crown, Rooker continued his power surge as a pro by clubbing 18 homers in 62 games between Elizabethton and Fort Myers. His prospect helium followed him to Chattanooga this year with high expectations. He started out slow but heated up with the weather by OPS-ing over 1.000 in the months of June and July. His 22 home runs ranked second in the Southern League, while his 79 RBIs paced the circuit. Although he didn’t really improve his strikeout rate as the year wore on, he did start connecting with more authority and drawing more walks. Despite the power he possesses, he batted number two in the lineup for basically the entire season with the Lookouts. Rooker will look to get back toward those midsummer numbers, as he hit below .200 over his final 30 games on the year with just two home runs. Despite that, Rooker is likely the most highly regarded of the Twins prospects participating in the AFL this year and could slot in the middle of the Rafters lineup. Twins Daily ranked him at #7 in our Midseason Top Prospect List and is a shoe-in for a spring training invite and promotion to Triple A to start in 2019. This is where the AFL season could be interesting for the slugger. The Twins have opportunities at all the positions Rooker has played as a professional including the outfield, first base, and designated hitter. A strong showing in the desert could only help his cause in relation to an early MLB debut next year. Something I’ll be watching for is if he can cut down a little on his strikeouts in a six-week sample size, while also continuing to provide some of his prodigious power. — Griffin Jax, RHP (23) The Twins selected Jax in the third round of the 2016 draft out of the Air Force Academy in Colorado. This made his professional development somewhat of a challenge in his first two seasons. He was able to appear in just four games with Elizabethton after being drafted before he was required to fulfill service obligations, and then in 2017 the Department of Defense reversed a policy that allowed graduates to pursue professional sports after graduating, putting his career back on hold after just five games. Fortunately for him and the Twins, that changed early in the 2018 season. Jax was accepted into the military’s “World Class Athlete Program,” which meant his job with the Air Force became training for the Olympics in baseball which would be coming back for the 2020 games. Jax reported to extended spring training in late April and made his debut with the Fort Myers Miracle on June 1st. That was one of only 3 games through the end of the year where he did not complete at least five innings. His next seven starts were all of the quality variety, and overall 11 of his 15 games were of that type (he went the final six innings in an Ervin Santana rehab start for one of those games). He finished the year with a 3.70 ERA and 66/15 K to BB ratio in 87 2/3 innings for the Miracle. The AFL season will help Jax make up some of the development time he’s had to miss and could also be a strong barometer to determine where he’ll start the 2019 season in the state of Florida —back with Fort Myers on the gulf side of the peninsula or along the northern panhandle in Pensacola. I’ll want to see Jax continue to post a strong walk-rate against what could be the best competition he’s faced to this point, as well as continuing the consistency start-to-start that he showed with the Miracle to make his case. — Travis Blankenhorn, IF (22) Selected in the third round of the 2015 draft out of Pottsville High School in Pennsylvania, Blankenhorn came in at number 13 in Twins Daily’s 2018 midseason top prospect list. Over the past two seasons with Cedar Rapids in 2017 and Fort Myers in 2018 he has split his time almost equally between third base and second base on defense. Touted for future power potential when drafted, Blankenhorn looks the part and even won the Florida State League home run derby this year, but hasn’t quite manifested it in games as much as he’d like yet. He hit 13 home runs in 118 games with the Kernels and added 11 homers this year with the Miracle. Unfortunately, his slugging percentage dipped from .441 to .387 in 2018, and his OPS fell below the .700 mark in the pitcher friendly confines of the FSL. He started the year off quite well, hitting .305/.347/.537 in April, but from there he only hit over .250 in one other month and his highest monthly OPS was just .645. Surprisingly, Blankenhorn did still lead the Miracle in doubles, triples, home runs, and RBI. The 2019 season will be Blankenhorn’s fifth in the organization and his time in the AFL could have a bearing on if he moves up to AA to start the year or finds himself back in Fort Myers looking to improve upon his prior year in the opening months. During his time in the AFL it will be interesting to see if he sticks at just one position or continues to be moved around. I’ll also be paying attention to his extra-base hit totals for an indication that his slugging numbers will rebound whenever he is promoted out of the FSL. — Hector Lujan, RHP (24) Like Blankenhorn, Lujan came to the Twins organization courtesy of the 2015 draft when he was selected in the 35th round. He was drafted out of Westmont College, where he was teammates with Andrew Vasquez who pitched in the AFL last year before making his major league debut with the Twins in 2018. Lujan will hope to follow that same path during the 2019 campaign. Lujan spent the 2017 season entirely with the Cedar Rapids Kernels and was a standout in their bullpen. In 54 innings he amassed 17 saves while posting a 1.33 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. He struck out a hitter per inning and was stingy with walks as he allowed just eight on the year. Moving on to Fort Myers for the 2018 campaign, Lujan was used more as a multi-inning weapon, as he appeared in four fewer games but pitched 17 2/3 more innings. He saved four games along with striking out 68 in 71 2/3 total innings pitched. He walked more hitters and raised his WHIP to 1.26 in the FSL, but still posted a solid 2.64 ERA with the Miracle. The competition inthe AFL will be a solid test for Lujan, but no matter how he fares he should find himself ticketed for AA to start in 2019. I’ll be watching to see if his career neutral splits against lefties (.625 OPS against in 2018) and righties (.641 OPS against) hold true in the AFL and if he’s used for multiple innings to try to maximize that trait. Lujan is also eligible for the Rule 5 draft this offseason, so could be making his case to be protected on the 40-man roster. — Devin Smeltzer, LHP (23) Smeltzer was one of the pieces that came to the Twins organization in the Brian Dozier swap with the Dodgers at the deadline. He was drafted by the Dodgers in the fifth round of the 2015 draft and while he’s struck out over a hitter per inning in his career, he’s also given up a bunch of hits to limit his upside. Midway through the 2018 season L.A. transitioned him to the bullpen in AA, and that is where he remained after coming over to Minnesota. With Chattanooga he made 10 appearances totaling 12 innings pitched, logging a 3.00 ERA and 1.33 WHIP while striking out sixteen and walking just two. Since he is so new to the relief pitching routine, the AFL will be a fantastic environment for him to learn any tricks of the trade from a bevy of new coaches and teammates. As a former starter he had also been using a full pitching repertoire, so I’ll be curious to see if I can pick out whether he has dumped any pitches to focus on his best ones, which includes a plus changeup. — Luke Raley, OF (24) Also coming over from the Dodgers in that same trade, was outfielder Luke Raley who had an excellent season at the AA level in 2018. His .822 OPS ranked seventh in the Texas League and he started at DH in their All-Star Game, where he was 2-for-4 with a double and an RBI. He didn’t come over to the Twins early enough to be considered for our midseason prospect list, but MLB.com has slotted him at number 19 in their updated top 30. In 27 games after being placed on the Lookouts roster, Raley slashed .276/.371/.449 with three homers and 16 RBI. Before that he hit 17 home runs with the Tulsa Drillers, but he’s not all just home run power either. His 47 extra-base hits on the year included 19 doubles and 8 triples, helping him rack up 80 runs scored on the season after totaling 102 in the California League the year prior (ranked second). He’s also a solid outfielder with a strong arm who with can handle center field if needed and has also played first base. He strikes me as having the makeup and profile that could turn into leadoff hitter with some power in the future which sounds a lot like the guy the Twins traded away to get him, but to reach that type of ceiling Raley is going to have to cut down some on the strikeouts while also drawing a few more walks. I’ll be very interested to see how Raley follows up his excellent 2018 season in Arizona as he readies himself for triple-A next season and establishes himself in the organizational depth chart. — Jaylin Davis, OF (24) Davis was selected in the 24th round of the 2015 draft but didn’t make his debut until the following season as he recovered from a torn labrum he suffered during the college season with Appalachian State. He started his professional career with an astounding seven home runs in just twelve games with Elizabethton before they bumped him up to Cedar Rapids. He finished the year with an .808 OPS with the Kernels and continued that success the next year, earning his way to Fort Myers where he finally had some struggles. He started the 2018 season back with the Miracle but again earned himself a midseason promotion as he upped his OPS significantly by both drawing more walks and clubbing more extra-base hits. With the Chattanooga Lookouts he kept that same theme going, finishing with a better OPS than he had in Fort Myers. I’d venture Davis will start next year back in AA, but a strong showing in the AFL could accelerate his timeline to AAA. As a corner outfielder who has played almost exclusively right field the past two seasons, the pop he’s shown thus far is going to have to continue trending upward to crack a crowded Twins outfield situation and that is what I’ll be looking for from Davis in the AFL. — Adam Bray, RHP (25) Another one of the several 2015 draftees who will be eligible in the Rule 5 draft this winter, Bray does hold a distinction that none of the others do: He is #OneOfUs. He went to high school in Eden Prairie and was part of their 2011 team that won the American Legion National Championship. He also was the winning pitcher on the team that won the 2010 State Championship at Target Field. He went to college at South Dakota State University and is now the record holder in several categories there as a pitcher. Seth Stohs also caught up with him earlier this year to talk about those things and the rest of his career to that point, so be sure to check that out. Bray finally got on the mound in late June with the Fort Myers Miracle and was fantastic through the end of the season. He made 19 appearances totaling 38 1/3 innings out of the bullpen, posting a 1.88 ERA and 1.10 WHIP while striking out 9.4 per nine innings pitched. He also surrendered just seven walks as he maintained the upper echelon control and command he’s been known for (1.5BB/9IP for his career). Since he was on the disabled list for the first three months of the season Bray will be looking to make up some development time in the AFL and could also be a good gauge to determine his readiness for AA. I’ll want to see him maintain that low walk-rate along with striking out at least a hitter an inning. That’s a good formula for anybody, but it’s one Bray will need to keep up with due to his command and control profile as he continues his climb up the minor league ladder. Good luck to all the Twins players in the AFL this season, and I’m looking forward to following along with everyone at Twins Daily! Also, if there is anything specific you would like to see included in these recaps, let me know and I’ll see if I can work any such ideas into these recaps. Here is a link to last year’s final one to get an idea of what to expect! Other AFL and Minor League Links: -If you haven't already checked it out, Seth's conversations with all these guys playing in the AFL is must read material. -The Minnesota Twins announced their 2018 Minor League players of the year, with Alex Kirilloff taking home the player award, and Lewis Thorpe the pitcher. Congratulations to both! -MLB.com went through the biggest movers in their end of year prospect rankings, and Kirilloff tops the list as he moved from number 30 all the way to the top 10. -With the AFL season kicking off, MLB.com also picked out the top prospect from each team going, with Brent Rooker checking that box for the Twins. They did the same for sleeper prospects, with Griffin Jax the Twins selection. -After partnering with the Chattanooga Lookouts for the past four seasons, the Twins will be moving their double-A affiliation for the 2019 season to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, also of the Southern League. It sounds like a good step up in facilities for the organization, as the stadium was built in 2012 and is located on the harbor of the Gulf of Mexico. Please feel free to ask any questions about the AFL or the players who are there! Click here to view the article
  20. Earlier this week, we announced the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month (Alex Kirilloff). Today, we discuss some of the top relief pitchers in the Twins minor leagues in August. I’ll be honest, even with the honorable mentions, there could have been even more. But when we get to the top of the list, you’ll fully understand the choice. You’ll also get to learn a little more about some guys you may not know as much about. Previous Relief Pitchers of the Month for 2018: April 2018: Nick Anderson, Rochester Red Wings May 2018: Todd Van Steensel, Chattanooga Lookouts June 2018: Jovani Moran, Cedar Rapids Kernels July 2018: Jovani Moran, Ft. Myers Miracle August 2018:Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Relievers for August, here are some terrific bullpen performances that just missed the cut. HONORABLE MENTION Colton Davis, Ft. Myers Miracle, 8 G, 2.19 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 6 H, 8 BB, 17 K.Ryan Eades, Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings, 9 G, 3 GS, 1.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 18.0 IP, 15 H, 5 BB, 22 K.Moises Gomez, Cedar Rapids Kernels, 6 G, 2.19 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 10 H, 0 BB, 11 KRyne Harper, Rochester Red Wings, 9 G, 3.06 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 17.2 IP, 13 H, 3 BB, 21 K.Jose Martinez, Cedar Rapids Kernels, 5 G, 2.77 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 15 KMichael Montero, GCL Twins, 5 G, 0.71 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 8 H, 4 BB, 8 KJovani Moran, Ft. Myers Miracle, 8 G, 3.12 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 17.1 IP, 11 H, 8 BB, 23 K.Cody Stashak, Chattanooga Lookouts, 7 G, 0.84 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 10.2 IP, 10 H, 0 BB, 8 KTHE TOP FIVE RELIEF PITCHERS #5 - Johan Quezada - Elizabethton/Cedar Rapids Kernels - 6 G, 0.75 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 12.0 IP, 9 H, 3 BB, 15 K Quezada signed with the Twins way back in 2012. He was a skinny kid. Since then, he has grown to 6-8 and over 240 pounds. He was posting upper-90s velocities until shoulder problems cost him the 2017 season. He returned this year and got into some games in Elizabethton. However, he has done a nice job since joining the Kernels in the middle of August. Recent reports had him hitting 99 mph again. He is already 24. He signed a little later and the shoulder issues have cost him time, but he is certainly one to watch over the next year as he could move fast if he can stay healthy. In August, opponents hit just .209/.261/.233 (.493) off of him. #4 - Jake Reed - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 0.71 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 6 H, 5 BB,18 K Lots of talk about Byron Buxton, and deservingly so. Because he’s one of us and struck out a ton of batters in Rochester this year, we also hear a lot, wondering why Nick Anderson wasn’t promoted. However, it is inexplicable to me that Jake Reed didn’t get called up for September. They were fortunate that he wasn’t selected in the Rule 5 draft a year ago. After this season, it’s much more unlikely that he would again. His season started out slow, but since June 1st, he has a 1.43 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings. August was his best month as he didn’t give up runs, didn’t allow base runners and even walked less than he did over the course of the season. Opponents hit just .143/.234/.167 (.401) off of him in the month, and he missed a lot of bats. #3 - Derek Molina - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 6 G, 1.35 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 22 K While he can occasional struggle with his control, Derek Molina is very intriguing because he misses a lot of bats. And, he’s only been pitching full time since the Twins made him their 14th-round pick in the 2017 draft out of Merced College in California. In August, things came together nicely for him. Opponents hit just ..146/.196/.188 (.384) against him. Molina throws a good fastball, a solid curveball and an improving changeup. Check out this Q&A with Molina from earlier this season. #2 - Hector Lujan - Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 1.42 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 16 K Three rounds after taking this month’s top reliever, the Twins selected his Westmont College teammate Hector Lujan. Lujan had a terrific 2017 season in which he led the Twins minor leagues in saves for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. After a slow start with the Miracle this year, he really came on strong. August was easily his best month. His control improved and his stuff definitely helped him miss bats. For the month, opponents hit just .133/.170/.200 (.370) against him. He will participate in the Arizona Fall League this year. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings – LHP Andrew Vasquez - 9 G, 0.61 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 8 H, 5 BB, 30 K Andrew Vasquez pitched in the Florida State League All-Star Game in mid-June. Following the game, he was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. He spent almost exactly one month with the Lookouts before being promoted to Triple-A Rochester. He spent about eight days with the Red Wings, and following the August 31st game, he was told that he was heading to the big leagues. As we have seen in his two short appearances with the Twins, Vasquez is primarily a slider pitcher. His fastball sits 89-90 mph, but it is his breaking ball that can be absolutely devastating to opposing hitter. A quick look at his above-mentioned stat line for August, he averaged over two strikeouts per inning. In August, opponents hit just .157/.259/.176 (.435) off of him. Vasquez was the Twins 32nd-round pick in 2015 out of Westmont College (after three years at UC-Santa Barbara). He went to the GCL that year where he walked 15 batters (and struck out 22) in 12 1/3 innings. He was moved along slowly as he worked through his control issues. But once he had command of his control, he flew up the system. This year, he has 108 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings. He was an easy pick to be added to the 40-man roster in the offseason, so the Twins brought him up for September. There were several strong relief pitcher performances in August throughout the Twins minor league system, and at least another handful probably could have been mentioned. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today, but it was a great month, which culminated in his first big league call-up. Congratulations to Andrew Vasquez, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for August 2018. Click here to view the article
  21. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Relievers for August, here are some terrific bullpen performances that just missed the cut. HONORABLE MENTION Colton Davis, Ft. Myers Miracle, 8 G, 2.19 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 6 H, 8 BB, 17 K. Ryan Eades, Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings, 9 G, 3 GS, 1.00 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 18.0 IP, 15 H, 5 BB, 22 K. Moises Gomez, Cedar Rapids Kernels, 6 G, 2.19 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 10 H, 0 BB, 11 K Ryne Harper, Rochester Red Wings, 9 G, 3.06 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 17.2 IP, 13 H, 3 BB, 21 K. Jose Martinez, Cedar Rapids Kernels, 5 G, 2.77 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 15 K Michael Montero, GCL Twins, 5 G, 0.71 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 8 H, 4 BB, 8 K Jovani Moran, Ft. Myers Miracle, 8 G, 3.12 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 17.1 IP, 11 H, 8 BB, 23 K. Cody Stashak, Chattanooga Lookouts, 7 G, 0.84 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 10.2 IP, 10 H, 0 BB, 8 K THE TOP FIVE RELIEF PITCHERS #5 - Johan Quezada - Elizabethton/Cedar Rapids Kernels - 6 G, 0.75 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 12.0 IP, 9 H, 3 BB, 15 K Quezada signed with the Twins way back in 2012. He was a skinny kid. Since then, he has grown to 6-8 and over 240 pounds. He was posting upper-90s velocities until shoulder problems cost him the 2017 season. He returned this year and got into some games in Elizabethton. However, he has done a nice job since joining the Kernels in the middle of August. Recent reports had him hitting 99 mph again. He is already 24. He signed a little later and the shoulder issues have cost him time, but he is certainly one to watch over the next year as he could move fast if he can stay healthy. In August, opponents hit just .209/.261/.233 (.493) off of him. #4 - Jake Reed - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 0.71 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 6 H, 5 BB,18 K Lots of talk about Byron Buxton, and deservingly so. Because he’s one of us and struck out a ton of batters in Rochester this year, we also hear a lot, wondering why Nick Anderson wasn’t promoted. However, it is inexplicable to me that Jake Reed didn’t get called up for September. They were fortunate that he wasn’t selected in the Rule 5 draft a year ago. After this season, it’s much more unlikely that he would again. His season started out slow, but since June 1st, he has a 1.43 ERA and 38 strikeouts in 37 2/3 innings. August was his best month as he didn’t give up runs, didn’t allow base runners and even walked less than he did over the course of the season. Opponents hit just .143/.234/.167 (.401) off of him in the month, and he missed a lot of bats. #3 - Derek Molina - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 6 G, 1.35 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 22 K While he can occasional struggle with his control, Derek Molina is very intriguing because he misses a lot of bats. And, he’s only been pitching full time since the Twins made him their 14th-round pick in the 2017 draft out of Merced College in California. In August, things came together nicely for him. Opponents hit just ..146/.196/.188 (.384) against him. Molina throws a good fastball, a solid curveball and an improving changeup. Check out this Q&A with Molina from earlier this season. #2 - Hector Lujan - Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 1.42 ERA, 0.63 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 16 K Three rounds after taking this month’s top reliever, the Twins selected his Westmont College teammate Hector Lujan. Lujan had a terrific 2017 season in which he led the Twins minor leagues in saves for the Cedar Rapids Kernels. After a slow start with the Miracle this year, he really came on strong. August was easily his best month. His control improved and his stuff definitely helped him miss bats. For the month, opponents hit just .133/.170/.200 (.370) against him. He will participate in the Arizona Fall League this year. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings – LHP Andrew Vasquez - 9 G, 0.61 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 8 H, 5 BB, 30 K Andrew Vasquez pitched in the Florida State League All-Star Game in mid-June. Following the game, he was promoted to Double-A Chattanooga. He spent almost exactly one month with the Lookouts before being promoted to Triple-A Rochester. He spent about eight days with the Red Wings, and following the August 31st game, he was told that he was heading to the big leagues. As we have seen in his two short appearances with the Twins, Vasquez is primarily a slider pitcher. His fastball sits 89-90 mph, but it is his breaking ball that can be absolutely devastating to opposing hitter. A quick look at his above-mentioned stat line for August, he averaged over two strikeouts per inning. In August, opponents hit just .157/.259/.176 (.435) off of him. Vasquez was the Twins 32nd-round pick in 2015 out of Westmont College (after three years at UC-Santa Barbara). He went to the GCL that year where he walked 15 batters (and struck out 22) in 12 1/3 innings. He was moved along slowly as he worked through his control issues. But once he had command of his control, he flew up the system. This year, he has 108 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings. He was an easy pick to be added to the 40-man roster in the offseason, so the Twins brought him up for September. There were several strong relief pitcher performances in August throughout the Twins minor league system, and at least another handful probably could have been mentioned. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today, but it was a great month, which culminated in his first big league call-up. Congratulations to Andrew Vasquez, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for August 2018.
  22. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Wednesday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS The Twins officially placed OF/DH Robbie Grossman on the disabled list. They recalled OF Johnny Field who they claimed last week from Cleveland. He had spent much of the first half with the Tampa Bay Rays. The Lookouts announced that RHP Jorge Alcala was activated from the DL. LHP Anthony Marzi was sent back to Ft. Myers. In moves that we mentioned here yesterday, the Cedar Rapids Kernels announced that infielder Jose Miranda had been promoted to Ft. Myers. Infielder and 2018 draft pick Michael Helman was promoted to the Kernels from Elizabethton. Ft. Myers announced the RHP Dylan Stowell was returned to the GCL Twins. Brandon Lopez was released by the Twins organization. The former 10th-round pick out of Miami was playing with the Miracle. Following the Elizabethton games, Dan Hayes reported on Twitter that OF Trevor Larnach has been promoted to Cedar Rapids. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester Box Score The Red Wings had a day off before beginning a series at home against Toledo. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga, Mississippi Box Score Jorge Alcala was one of two quality prospects acquired by the Twins from the Houston Astros in the July trade. Upon being added to the Lookouts roster, he was placed on the 7-day DL with a right trapezius strain. Seven days later, he came off of the DL to start on Monday night. Likely limited to 60 pitches, he reached that number with two outs in the third inning. The hard-throwing right-hander gave up three runs on two hits, but both hits went over the outfield wall for home runs. He also walked three and struck out two. Here is a tweet-sized scouting report from Chris Blessing who was on hand. https://twitter.com/C_Blessing/status/1026619915053277184 Tyler Jay came on next. He got the final out of the third inning, but he gave up four runs on six hits over 1 2/3 innings. He struck out two. Williams Ramirez gave up one run on three hits over 2 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out three. Ryan Eades got four outs, two on strikeouts. Devin Smeltzer gave up a run on a hit and a walk in his inning. The Lookouts had just five hits in the game. Luis Arraez drove in two runs. Jaylin Davis went 1-for-3 with a walk, his 11th double and an RBI. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 13, Lakeland 0 Box Score In the first of what will hopefully be many, many meetings, Royce Lewis won Round 1 of the Battle of #1 PIcks tonight against Tigers 2018 top pick Casey Mize. In his first at-bat against Mize, Lewis hit a solid single to left field. In the next at bat, Lewis launched a two-run homer. Mize went just three innings on this night, his Florida State League debut, and gave up three runs on five hits. Taylor Grzelakowski followed Lewis’s homer with one of his own. Lewis kept hitting. He went 4-for-6 with two home runs (he added a two-run homer in the ninth inning as well). https://twitter.com/JasonAtTheGame/status/1026658445246844933 Grzelakowski went 2-for-5 with his seventh homer. Alex Kirilloff went 2-for-5 and drove in two runs. Caleb Hamilton went 2-for-4 with a walk. Travis Blankenhorn added his 11th homer of the season. Charlie Barnes started and threw 4 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up six hits, walked one and struck out three batters, but he was at 81 pitches when he came out. Hector Lujan came on and kept the shutout intact for the next 3 2/3 innings.He gave up one hit and struck out four. He has not allowed a run since July 8, a run of 19 scoreless innings. Ryan Mason struck out one in a scoreless ninth inning. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Beloit 2 Box Score Edwar Colina had a tremendous start on Monday afternoon in Cedar Rapids. The right-hander threw eight innings and was charged with two unearned runs. He gave up four hits, walked none and struck out eight. He needed just 87 pitches as well. Kevin Marnon came on and struck out two in a perfect ninth to record his third Kernels save. Colina improved to 6-3. Michael Davis led off the bottom of the third with his third home run of his Kernels career. Ariel Montesino followed with a double. He later scored on a fielder’s choice. Michael Helman, making his first Kernels start, singled in his first two at-bats and ended the day 2-for-4. Montesino went 2-for-3 with his fourth double and first triple. Akil Baddoo added his ninth triple of the year. E-TWINS E-TALK Game 1 - Elizabethton 1, Kingsport 5 Box Score Kody Funderburk got the nod for the E-Twins in Game 1. The southpaw gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits in four innings. He struck out six and didn’t issue a walk. Blair Lakso went the final three innings. He gave up two runs (one earned) on two hits. He walked three and struck out three. Alex Robles provided most of the Twins offense. He went 3-for-3 with his second home run of the season. Yunior Severino added his sixth double, while Trevor Larnach doubled for the fourth time. Game 2 - Elizabethton 2, Kingsport 7 Box Score In the second game, the E-Twins went hitless until Yunior Severino dropped a single to right field with two outs in the sixth inning. Brian Rapp made the start and gave up two runs on seven hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out four. Seth Pinkerton gave up three runs on two hits and a walk in 1 2/3 innings.. He struck out four batters. Jacob Blank got the final out but not before allowing two runs on two hits and a walk. Down 7-0, the E-Twins tried to mount a comeback in the seventh inning but fell short. Trevor Larnach led off with a single which was followed by a walk by Chris Williams. Gilberto Celestino singled in a run, their first. Trevor Casanova followed with a sacrifice fly. But that is where the rally ended. GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins 4, GCL Rays 11 Box Score The big story in this game was the return of Michael Pineda. The tall, burly right-hander signed a two-year, $10 million deal with the Twins in the offseason despite having Tommy John surgery last summer. On Monday, he made his first rehab appearance in the Gulf Coast League game. In two scoreless innings, he gave up one hit, ,walked one and struck out three batters. https://twitter.com/RhettBollinger/status/1026575896675799040 Andriu Marin came on and threw scoreless innings up in the third and fourth frames. In the fifth, he was charged with six runs. Osiris German got the final two outs of that inning but not before giving up two more runs. German did work a scoreless sixth inning. Erik Cha came on and gave up two runs on four hits over two innings. He struck out three. Petru Balan gave up one run on two hits in his inning. He struck out two. Gabe Snyder led the offense. He hit his seventh double and third home run and drove in four runs. Janigson Vallalobos went 2-for-4 with his second triple. Victor Tademo was 2-for-4 with his fifth double. Hunter Lee had two hits, including his third double. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Royce Lewis, Ft. Myers Miracle (4-6, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI). Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Hector Lujan, Ft. Myers Miracle (3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that this Prospect Summary has been updated. #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 4-6, 2 HR(3), 3 R, 5 RBI, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, R, 2 RBI, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Did not play #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch #6 - Trevor Larnach (Elizabethton) - 1-3, 2B(4), K | 1-2, HBP, R #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-4, 2 K #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 1-2, 2 BB, K, 3B(9) #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not play #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Disabled List #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, BB, HR(11), R, 2 K #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Rained out. #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 1-4, 2B(6),K | 1-3, K #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - will have surgery on his wrist soon. Out for season. #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 2 K #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - 1-4, 2 RBI, R #21 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, BB, R, K *Since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list. TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Toledo @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (3-4, 3.58 ERA) Chattanooga - No Game Scheduled Ft. Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) - RHP Griffin Jax (2-1, 3.41 ERA) Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled Kingsport @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 am CST) - No Game Scheduled Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  23. It’s safe to say that the first Battle of #1 Picks went in favor of Royce Lewis. The Miracle were in Lakeland, the Florida State League affiliate of Detroit Tigers.On the mound to face the Miracle was 2018 #1 overall pick Casey Mize, a right-hander from Auburn. Lewis led off with a single, and in his second at-bat, he drilled a two-run homer. Mize went just three innings, and Lewis and the Miracle went on to a big win. Hopefully we'll be following Casey Mize/Royce Lewis at-bats for many years.Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Wednesday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS The Twins officially placed OF/DH Robbie Grossman on the disabled list. They recalled OF Johnny Field who they claimed last week from Cleveland. He had spent much of the first half with the Tampa Bay Rays.The Lookouts announced that RHP Jorge Alcala was activated from the DL. LHP Anthony Marzi was sent back to Ft. Myers.In moves that we mentioned here yesterday, the Cedar Rapids Kernels announced that infielder Jose Miranda had been promoted to Ft. Myers. Infielder and 2018 draft pick Michael Helman was promoted to the Kernels from Elizabethton.Ft. Myers announced the RHP Dylan Stowell was returned to the GCL Twins.Brandon Lopez was released by the Twins organization. The former 10th-round pick out of Miami was playing with the Miracle.Following the Elizabethton games, Dan Hayes reported on Twitter that OF Trevor Larnach has been promoted to Cedar Rapids. Andriu Marin came on and threw scoreless innings up in the third and fourth frames. In the fifth, he was charged with six runs. Osiris German got the final two outs of that inning but not before giving up two more runs. German did work a scoreless sixth inning. Erik Cha came on and gave up two runs on four hits over two innings. He struck out three. Petru Balan gave up one run on two hits in his inning. He struck out two. Gabe Snyder led the offense. He hit his seventh double and third home run and drove in four runs. Janigson Vallalobos went 2-for-4 with his second triple. Victor Tademo was 2-for-4 with his fifth double. Hunter Lee had two hits, including his third double. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Royce Lewis, Ft. Myers Miracle (4-6, 2 HR, 3 R, 5 RBI). Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Hector Lujan, Ft. Myers Miracle (3.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 4 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that this Prospect Summary has been updated. #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 4-6, 2 HR(3), 3 R, 5 RBI, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, R, 2 RBI, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Did not play #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch #6 - Trevor Larnach (Elizabethton) - 1-3, 2B(4), K | 1-2, HBP, R #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 0-4, 2 K #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 1-2, 2 BB, K, 3B(9) #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not play #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Disabled List #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, BB, HR(11), R, 2 K #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - Rained out. #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 1-4, 2B(6),K | 1-3, K #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - will have surgery on his wrist soon. Out for season. #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 2 K #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - 1-4, 2 RBI, R #21 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, BB, R, K *Since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list. TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Toledo @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (3-4, 3.58 ERA) Chattanooga - No Game Scheduled Ft. Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) - RHP Griffin Jax (2-1, 3.41 ERA) Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled Kingsport @ Elizabethton (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 am CST) - No Game Scheduled Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  24. It’s hard to believe that the minor league seasons are reaching their second half and the Twins have had some strong performances throughout the system. As we approach the 4th of July, it’s again time to celebrate with some awards. Tonight, we start our series of Twins Daily Minor League Monthly awards by looking at the top relief pitchers in the Twins system during the month of June. (Over the next few days, we’ll also announce our choices for the top starting pitchers and hitters for June. Also, be sure to stop back often throughout the Fourth of July week as we are about to begin our midseason Top 40 prospect rankings.) Previous Relief Pitchers of the Month for 2018: April 2018: Nick Anderson, Rochester Red Wings May 2018: Todd Van Steensel, Chattanooga Lookouts June 2018: Well, just keep reading (if you happened to not look at the graphic that you clicked on to read this story.Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Relievers for June, here are some terrific bullpen performances that just missed the cut. HONORABLE MENTION Tyler Duffey, Rochester Red Wings, 8 G, 2.03 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 12 H, 6 BB, 11 KJared Finkel, Cedar Rapids Kernels, 7 G, 3.75 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 12.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 5 KGabriel Moya, Rochester Red Wings, 10 G (3 GS), 1. 59, 1.06 WHIP, 17.0 IP, 15 H, 3 BB, 16 KTHE TOP FIVE RELIEF PITCHERS #5 - Hector Lujan - Ft. Myers Miracle - 6 G, 2.13 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 12 H, 2 BB, 13 K The Twins 35th round draft pick in 2016 out of Westmont College had a real solid month with the Miracle in June. After a breakout 2017 season in Cedar Rapids in which he posted a 1.13 ERA and 17 saves, 2018 has had some ups and downs. However, he now has a 3.18 in 39 2/3 innings. Opponents hit just .240/.283/.340 (623) off of him in June. #4 - Paco Rodriguez - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 7 G, 0.90 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 10.0 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 6 K Rodriguez was the second-round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012. Later that season, he made his big league debut and stayed in the big leagues through the 2015 season. Unfortunately, he fought several injuries. Fast-forward to this year, and after the season started, the Twins signed him as a free agent. Soon after, he spent a couple of weeks with the Miracle before moving up to Chattanooga in late May. The southpaw had a strong month for the Lookouts. Opponents hit just .206/.300/.294 (.594) off of the 27-year-old during the month. #3 - Alan Busenitz - Rochester Red Wings/Minnesota Twins - 8 G, 3.07 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 0 BB, 13 K Busenitz wasn’t as good in June as he was in April and May, but he was still quite good. While fans wanted him up soon, he did get called back up with a week left in June, though he was again optioned before the month’s end. Opponents hit just .228/.241/.333 (.575) off of him. Most impressive was 13 strikeouts and zero walks. Despite his 6.43 ERA with the Twins this year, he has a 12-2 strikeout to walk ratio. #2 - Andrew Vasquez - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 6 G, 2.79 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 9.2 IP, 3 H, 7 BB, 17 K Vasquez represented the Twins and the Miracle in the Florida State League All-Star game in June and threw a scoreless inning (if you want to add that to his above stats). As you can see, there are times that Vasquez can struggle with control, but he limits hits by utilizing a tremendous slider that can miss a lot of bats. Like Lujan, Vasquez was drafted out of Westmont College in 2016 in the 32nd round. Following the All-Star break, he was promoted to Chattanooga. He’s made two appearances and has 10 strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Cedar Rapids Kernels – LHP Jovani Moran - 6 G, 0.90 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 4 H, 7 BB, 23 K Moran was the Twins seventh-round draft pick in 2015 out of high school in Puerto Rico. He missed the 2016 season after having surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow. He returned strong in 2017, and he was the Twins Daily short-season Minor League Pitcher of the Year. For Elizabethton, he gave up just one run in 24 2/3 innings (0.36 ERA), and had just six walks to go with 45 strikeouts. Moran began the 2018 season in Cedar Rapids. He struggled with his control in April when he had 12 walks and 12 strikeouts in just 7 1/3 innings for the Kernels. Since then, he has been much improved. In May, he had 26 strikeouts and seven walks in 18 innings. As you see above, he had 23 strikeouts and seven walks in 15 innings. Still not great control, but his swing-and-miss stuff make the walks more bearable. Moran is not a big guy .He stands 6-foot-1 and weighs in at about 170 pounds. He’s got a good whip-like action and some deception in his delivery. His fastball reaches into the low-90s, and he’s got a good slider and changeup. He really just needs to keep working and developing, and gaining strength could help him add a little more velocity. He’s a really good athlete who fields the position well. There were several strong relief pitcher performances in June throughout the Twins minor league system. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today, but again, congratulations to the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for June 2018, Jovani Moran of the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Click here to view the article
  25. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Relievers for June, here are some terrific bullpen performances that just missed the cut. HONORABLE MENTION Tyler Duffey, Rochester Red Wings, 8 G, 2.03 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 12 H, 6 BB, 11 K Jared Finkel, Cedar Rapids Kernels, 7 G, 3.75 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 12.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 5 K Gabriel Moya, Rochester Red Wings, 10 G (3 GS), 1. 59, 1.06 WHIP, 17.0 IP, 15 H, 3 BB, 16 K THE TOP FIVE RELIEF PITCHERS #5 - Hector Lujan - Ft. Myers Miracle - 6 G, 2.13 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 12.2 IP, 12 H, 2 BB, 13 K The Twins 35th round draft pick in 2016 out of Westmont College had a real solid month with the Miracle in June. After a breakout 2017 season in Cedar Rapids in which he posted a 1.13 ERA and 17 saves, 2018 has had some ups and downs. However, he now has a 3.18 in 39 2/3 innings. Opponents hit just .240/.283/.340 (623) off of him in June. #4 - Paco Rodriguez - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 7 G, 0.90 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 10.0 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 6 K Rodriguez was the second-round pick of the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2012. Later that season, he made his big league debut and stayed in the big leagues through the 2015 season. Unfortunately, he fought several injuries. Fast-forward to this year, and after the season started, the Twins signed him as a free agent. Soon after, he spent a couple of weeks with the Miracle before moving up to Chattanooga in late May. The southpaw had a strong month for the Lookouts. Opponents hit just .206/.300/.294 (.594) off of the 27-year-old during the month. #3 - Alan Busenitz - Rochester Red Wings/Minnesota Twins - 8 G, 3.07 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 0 BB, 13 K Busenitz wasn’t as good in June as he was in April and May, but he was still quite good. While fans wanted him up soon, he did get called back up with a week left in June, though he was again optioned before the month’s end. Opponents hit just .228/.241/.333 (.575) off of him. Most impressive was 13 strikeouts and zero walks. Despite his 6.43 ERA with the Twins this year, he has a 12-2 strikeout to walk ratio. #2 - Andrew Vasquez - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 6 G, 2.79 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 9.2 IP, 3 H, 7 BB, 17 K Vasquez represented the Twins and the Miracle in the Florida State League All-Star game in June and threw a scoreless inning (if you want to add that to his above stats). As you can see, there are times that Vasquez can struggle with control, but he limits hits by utilizing a tremendous slider that can miss a lot of bats. Like Lujan, Vasquez was drafted out of Westmont College in 2016 in the 32nd round. Following the All-Star break, he was promoted to Chattanooga. He’s made two appearances and has 10 strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Cedar Rapids Kernels – LHP Jovani Moran - 6 G, 0.90 ERA, 0.73 WHIP, 15.0 IP, 4 H, 7 BB, 23 K Moran was the Twins seventh-round draft pick in 2015 out of high school in Puerto Rico. He missed the 2016 season after having surgery to remove bone spurs from his elbow. He returned strong in 2017, and he was the Twins Daily short-season Minor League Pitcher of the Year. For Elizabethton, he gave up just one run in 24 2/3 innings (0.36 ERA), and had just six walks to go with 45 strikeouts. Moran began the 2018 season in Cedar Rapids. He struggled with his control in April when he had 12 walks and 12 strikeouts in just 7 1/3 innings for the Kernels. Since then, he has been much improved. In May, he had 26 strikeouts and seven walks in 18 innings. As you see above, he had 23 strikeouts and seven walks in 15 innings. Still not great control, but his swing-and-miss stuff make the walks more bearable. Moran is not a big guy .He stands 6-foot-1 and weighs in at about 170 pounds. He’s got a good whip-like action and some deception in his delivery. His fastball reaches into the low-90s, and he’s got a good slider and changeup. He really just needs to keep working and developing, and gaining strength could help him add a little more velocity. He’s a really good athlete who fields the position well. There were several strong relief pitcher performances in June throughout the Twins minor league system. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today, but again, congratulations to the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for June 2018, Jovani Moran of the Cedar Rapids Kernels.
×
×
  • Create New...