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  1. There’s no denying that the Minnesota Twins cycled through pitchers like crazy in 2022. Needing a franchise-record 37 to get through the season, more than a handful of players saw their first opportunity. Knowing the farm has some options is also a great reality. Image courtesy of Rob Thompson, St. Paul Saints (graphics by Thieres Rabelo) Starting pitching will always be the focal point of a Major League franchise, but we’ve seen how impactful having a dominant bullpen can be. After retooling the relief unit on the fly this year, Minnesota will look to have stronger internal options for 2023 and beyond. This group of up-and-comers could certainly factor into the equation. Before getting to the winner, here are a few pitchers were in the running: Honorable Mention - Bobby Milacki (Cedar Rapids) - 36 G 2.83 ERA 1.194 WHIP 9.6 K/9 3.1 BB/9 Malik Barrington (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 33 G 3.61 ERA 1.186 WHIP 11.5 K/9 3.9 BB/9 Matt Mullenbach (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 30 G 1.60 ERA 1.111 WHIP 9.2 K/9 2.2 BB/9 #5 Jackson Hicks (Fort Myers) - 36 G 51.1 IP 2.98 ERA 1.305 WHIP 10.2 K/9 3.9 BB/9 Hicks was signed by the Twins in July 2021 after going undrafted out of the University of North Carolina and pitching in Indy Ball. Working solely as a reliever this year for Fort Myers, Hicks racked up strikeouts in bunches. Across over 50 innings of work, Hicks only got beat for a homer three times. His command still has room for improvement, and at 24 years old he was well above the average age in the Florida State League, but Hicks certainly earned himself the opportunity to compete at the next level in 2023. #4 Hunter McMahon (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids/Wichita) - 43 G 73.2 IP 2.81 ERA 0.896 WHIP 9.3 K/9 2.0 BB/9 McMahon was a 9th-round selection by the Washington Nationals in the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. Minnesota acquired him in 2020 when they sent reliever Ryne Harper to Washington following his DFA to make room for Josh Donaldson. He pitched at three levels this season but predominantly split time between High and Low-A. His 76 strikeouts to just 16 walks were a result of an ability to pound the zone and dictate at-bats to hitters. McMahon routinely worked the highest leverage innings and also picked up seven saves. #3 Austin Schulfer (Wichita/St. Paul) - 43 G 55.1 IP 3.09 ERA 1.012 WHIP 9.9 K/9 2.6 BB/9 A 19th-round pick during the 2018 Major League Baseball draft from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Schulfer has continually elevated his stock since. This season the talented righty compiled a 0.39 ERA across 23 innings at Double-A to earn his promotion. Schulfer scuffled some in his first taste at Triple-A, but the strikeouts remained. He was burned a bit by walks and a jump in H/9, but adjustments are something he’s shown an aptitude to make. This was Schulfer’s first season working as a reliever, and he racked up eight saves in the process. Runner-Up - Cody Laweryson (Cedar Rapids/Wichita) - 35 G 94.2 IP 0.982 WHIP 10.6 K/9 2.6 BB/9 Laweryson was taken in the 14th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft from the University of Maine. He worked primarily as a starter throughout the start of his professional career until transitioning into a relief role this season. The 2.57 ERA at High-A Cedar Rapids earned him a promotion, and a 1.06 ERA in just shy of 60 innings at Double-A was an eye-opener. Over the entirety of the year Laweryson gave up just two home runs, and his 111/27 K/BB indicates how much command and stuff he possesses. 2022 Minnesota Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year - Evan Sisk (Wichita/St. Paul) - 46 G 57.0 IP 1.58 ERA 1.053 WHIP 10.4 K/9 4.4 BB/9 Last summer the Minnesota Twins sent veteran starter J.A. Happ to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Evan Sisk. Minnesota was going downhill and had no need for the veteran to keep taking the mound, and Sisk represented an opportunity to net something in return. Since the deal, the Twins have morphed Sisk into a promising weapon in the pen. During the 2021 season, Sisk posted a 3.91 ERA but it came with a 5.9 BB/9. Topping out at the Double-A level, that frequency of free passes was never going to be workable in the Majors. This season Sisk has shaved nearly two walks per nine off the total and continued to rack up strikeouts in droves. He’s a lefty with a funky delivery that works to get on hitters with a bit of deception. Repeating Double-A Wichita to start for Minnesota, Sisk owned a 33/11 K/BB across 28 1/3 innings. The free passes ballooned a bit at Triple-A St. Paul when he went 33/17 K/BB in 28 2/3 innings. There’s no doubt a big league reliever here, and the more he can command the zone while controlling the base paths, the higher his ceiling will grow. Past Winners of the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year Award 2021: Jovani Moran 2019: Anthony Vizcaya 2018: Andrew Vasquez 2017: John Curtiss 2015 & 2016: Trevor Hildenberger View full article
  2. Starting pitching will always be the focal point of a Major League franchise, but we’ve seen how impactful having a dominant bullpen can be. After retooling the relief unit on the fly this year, Minnesota will look to have stronger internal options for 2023 and beyond. This group of up-and-comers could certainly factor into the equation. Before getting to the winner, here are a few pitchers were in the running: Honorable Mention - Bobby Milacki (Cedar Rapids) - 36 G 2.83 ERA 1.194 WHIP 9.6 K/9 3.1 BB/9 Malik Barrington (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 33 G 3.61 ERA 1.186 WHIP 11.5 K/9 3.9 BB/9 Matt Mullenbach (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids) - 30 G 1.60 ERA 1.111 WHIP 9.2 K/9 2.2 BB/9 #5 Jackson Hicks (Fort Myers) - 36 G 51.1 IP 2.98 ERA 1.305 WHIP 10.2 K/9 3.9 BB/9 Hicks was signed by the Twins in July 2021 after going undrafted out of the University of North Carolina and pitching in Indy Ball. Working solely as a reliever this year for Fort Myers, Hicks racked up strikeouts in bunches. Across over 50 innings of work, Hicks only got beat for a homer three times. His command still has room for improvement, and at 24 years old he was well above the average age in the Florida State League, but Hicks certainly earned himself the opportunity to compete at the next level in 2023. #4 Hunter McMahon (Fort Myers/Cedar Rapids/Wichita) - 43 G 73.2 IP 2.81 ERA 0.896 WHIP 9.3 K/9 2.0 BB/9 McMahon was a 9th-round selection by the Washington Nationals in the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. Minnesota acquired him in 2020 when they sent reliever Ryne Harper to Washington following his DFA to make room for Josh Donaldson. He pitched at three levels this season but predominantly split time between High and Low-A. His 76 strikeouts to just 16 walks were a result of an ability to pound the zone and dictate at-bats to hitters. McMahon routinely worked the highest leverage innings and also picked up seven saves. #3 Austin Schulfer (Wichita/St. Paul) - 43 G 55.1 IP 3.09 ERA 1.012 WHIP 9.9 K/9 2.6 BB/9 A 19th-round pick during the 2018 Major League Baseball draft from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Schulfer has continually elevated his stock since. This season the talented righty compiled a 0.39 ERA across 23 innings at Double-A to earn his promotion. Schulfer scuffled some in his first taste at Triple-A, but the strikeouts remained. He was burned a bit by walks and a jump in H/9, but adjustments are something he’s shown an aptitude to make. This was Schulfer’s first season working as a reliever, and he racked up eight saves in the process. Runner-Up - Cody Laweryson (Cedar Rapids/Wichita) - 35 G 94.2 IP 0.982 WHIP 10.6 K/9 2.6 BB/9 Laweryson was taken in the 14th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft from the University of Maine. He worked primarily as a starter throughout the start of his professional career until transitioning into a relief role this season. The 2.57 ERA at High-A Cedar Rapids earned him a promotion, and a 1.06 ERA in just shy of 60 innings at Double-A was an eye-opener. Over the entirety of the year Laweryson gave up just two home runs, and his 111/27 K/BB indicates how much command and stuff he possesses. 2022 Minnesota Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year - Evan Sisk (Wichita/St. Paul) - 46 G 57.0 IP 1.58 ERA 1.053 WHIP 10.4 K/9 4.4 BB/9 Last summer the Minnesota Twins sent veteran starter J.A. Happ to the St. Louis Cardinals in exchange for Evan Sisk. Minnesota was going downhill and had no need for the veteran to keep taking the mound, and Sisk represented an opportunity to net something in return. Since the deal, the Twins have morphed Sisk into a promising weapon in the pen. During the 2021 season, Sisk posted a 3.91 ERA but it came with a 5.9 BB/9. Topping out at the Double-A level, that frequency of free passes was never going to be workable in the Majors. This season Sisk has shaved nearly two walks per nine off the total and continued to rack up strikeouts in droves. He’s a lefty with a funky delivery that works to get on hitters with a bit of deception. Repeating Double-A Wichita to start for Minnesota, Sisk owned a 33/11 K/BB across 28 1/3 innings. The free passes ballooned a bit at Triple-A St. Paul when he went 33/17 K/BB in 28 2/3 innings. There’s no doubt a big league reliever here, and the more he can command the zone while controlling the base paths, the higher his ceiling will grow. Past Winners of the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year Award 2021: Jovani Moran 2019: Anthony Vizcaya 2018: Andrew Vasquez 2017: John Curtiss 2015 & 2016: Trevor Hildenberger
  3. There were multiple shutouts from the pitching staffs of Minnesota Twins affiliates on Tuesday, including one in a triple-A doubleheader, and another down in Fort Myers that was started by a rehabbing Bailey Ober. TRANSACTIONS In Triple-A on Sunday, the St. Paul Saints activated RHP Brock Stewart, who had been down in Fort Myers working his way back. In addition, RHPs Ben Heller, Juan Minaya, and Tyler Thornburg were released. 2022 draft pick, OF Alec Sayre was placed on the 7-Day IL. The Wichita Wind Surge released LHP Bryan Sammons on Monday, and RHP Hunter McMahon was promoted to them from Cedar Rapids. They also transferred RHP Andrew Cabezas to the development list and received RHP Jordan Brink from the FCL Twins on Tuesday. RHP Malik Barrington was promoted from Fort Myers to Cedar Rapids along with RHP Regi Grace. In Fort Myers, RHP Anthony Escobar was released, while the Mighty Mussels received RHP Kyle Jones, LHP Develson Aria, and RHP Zebby Matthews from the FCL Twins. SAINTS SENTINEL Game 1: Toledo 1, St. Paul 2 (completion of game suspended July 17th) Box Score This game was suspended over a month ago in the first inning, so there were a lot of changes to the lineups for each team when it resumed on Tuesday. Cole Sands had started the game back then, and allowed one run while recording two outs. Ariel Jurado took over on this night, and got them through the fourth, allowing just one hit and striking out four in 3 1/3 innings. Devin Smeltzer was just as good for the next three innings, also allowing just one hit and striking out four, and would get the credit for the win. Michael Feliz picked up a hold with a one-two-three eighth, striking out two before Brad Peacock picked up his eighth save by striking out two in the ninth as well. Four consecutive singles in the bottom of the second led to the first run of the game for St. Paul, tying it at one. Mark Contreras tallied the third of those singles, driving in Michael Helman who had led off the frame with a base knock of his own. Chris Williams led off the fifth inning with a home run, which actually gets credited as his first of the season in Triple-A when looking at the box score, as well as the second game he played on this day. It is of course his ninth home run with St. Paul, and 27th of the season overall. That was enough to secure the victory as Saints pitching held the Mud Hens to just three hits in the game. Braden Bishop had two hits to lead the lineup, and also drew a walk. Game 2: St. Paul 1, Toledo 0 (7 innings) Box Score In Game 2, Saints pitching again held Toledo to just three hits, and with the result being a shutout the five hits of their own were enough to pull out another victory. Mario Sanchez made the start and went the first four innings. He gave up just one hit and struck out three. Drew Strotman pitched a one-two-three fifth to pick up the win, and Jharel Cotton picked up a two-inning save, allowing two hits, a walk, and striking out four. St. Paul scored the only run of the game in the top of the sixth after Mark Contreras drew a walk, moved into scoring position on an errant pickoff attempt, then scampered home on a single from Cole Sturgeon. Michael Helman added a single, a walk, and his 29th stolen base of the season. WIND SURGE WISDOM NW Arkansas 5, Wichita 1 Box Score The Kansas City Royals #9 prospect (per MLB.com), outfielder Tyler Gentry, took the Wind Surge to task late on Tuesday, tallying all five of the Naturals' RBI thanks to a two-run homer in the eighth, and a bases-clearing double in the ninth. To that point, Wichita pitchers had been great, as Cody Laweryson made the start and allowed no runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out five in the first four innings. Michael Boyle, Osiris German, and Jordan Brink then were able to add a scoreless inning each, allowing two hits, a walk, and striking out three between them before the eighth. Hunter McMahon was the victim of the home run in the eighth before Blayne Enlow got tagged with the double in the ninth. McMahon gave up three hits and struck out one, while Enlow gave up three free passes in front of the double, but did strike out two as well. The Wind Surge’s lone run came in the bottom of the eighth when Yunior Severino delivered a bases loaded single to score Edouard Julien, who had led off the inning with a single of his own. With the bases still loaded and nobody out, a strikeout preceded an inning-ending double play ball to kill their late rally. Julien finished 2-for-5 with a run scored and stolen bases, Aaron Sabato chipped in a double, and Austin Martin was 1-for-4 with a walk and his 32nd stolen base to lead the offense, and also made an athletic tag at second on a steal attempt. KERNELS NUGGETS South Bend 6, Cedar Rapids 8 Box Score This one got crazy late, as a six-run inning from the Kernels almost wasn’t enough to hold off a five-run rally from the Cubs in a battle of teams who ended the night with identical 71-56 records on the season. While the Kernels took the West Division first-half title, South Bend looks poised to take the second-half, so this could be a playoff preview series. Orlando Rodriguez took the mound for Cedar Rapids and was fantastic for six innings. He allowed just one run on three hits and a walk, while punching out four Cubs. Matt Mullenbach pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out two before the Kernels came to bat in the bottom of the eighth. With the score 2-1 in favor of the good guys at that point, the Kernels broke it open thanks to some wildness to start the inning (two walks and a hit-by-pitch), and loud contact to end it. With the bases loaded Willie Joe Garry Jr. clubbed a double to score two, Dylan Neuse delivered a two-RBI single, and Jake Rucker put the exclamation point on it with a two-run home run, making it 8-1 Cedar Rapids. Then it was time for Regi Grace’s Midwest League debut in the ninth, and it was one he’ll want to forget quickly. While recording two outs, he would be charged with four runs on three hits and walk, and Tyler Palm would be called upon to stop the bleeding. Palm also gave up two hits and a run of his own, but managed to keep the tying run off the basepaths to secure a win. Neuse led the way for the Kernels with three hits in four at-bats, scoring a run and driving in two. In addition to his double, Garry Jr. also drew a walk, scored a run, and stole a base. Brooks Lee was 1-for-5 and scored a run, while Mikey Perez scored two runs and stole two bases. MUSSEL MATTERS St. Lucie 0, Fort Myers 5 Box Score Bailey Ober made his second rehab appearance with the Mighty Mussels, and was in command for all four of his innings. He allowed one hit, walked one, and struck out three in the outing, and should be ready for St. Paul and/or the Minnesota Twins soon. Of his 52 pitches, 38 went for strikes (73%) in the game, and he faced just one hitter over the minimum in the outing. Develson Aria made his debut in full-season ball after Ober’s exit, and threw two scoreless frames, walking two and striking out three. Jackson Hicks then finished off the shutout with three scoreless innings to pick up his fifth win of the season. He allowed just one hit and struck out five Mets hitters, including all three in the ninth. Of note in this one is the 11th overall pick in this year's draft, catcher Kevin Parada, was 0-for-4 and struck out against each Mighty Mussels pitcher. Fort Myers did all their damage in the seventh inning, with the first two runs coming on Keoni Cavaco’s tenth home run of the year, and Noah Cardenas unloading the bases with a double for their final three. Cavaco was 2-for-4 on the night and also stole base in addition to his go-ahead homer. Tanner Schobel added a double, two walks, stolen base, and scored a run. Noah Miller finished 1-for-4 with a run scored, walk, and his 23rd stolen base of the year. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Jackson Hicks, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (W, 3 IP, H, 5 K) Hitter of the Day - Dylan Neuse, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-for-4, R, 2 RBI, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Brooks Lee (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-5, R, 2B, 2 K #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4, BB, SB #7 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4, R, BB, SB #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 1-for-7, BB, K (2 games) #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-for-5, R, K, SB #15 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 1 IP, H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K #18 - Tanner Schobel (Fort Myers) - 1-for-2, R, 2B, 2 BB, SB #20 - Kala’i Rosario (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, 3 K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Minnesota Twins @ New York Yankees (2:05 PM CDT) - RHP Louie Varland (MLB Debut), Game 2 (Joe Ryan) St. Paul @ Toledo (5:35 PM CDT) - RHP Ronny Henriquez (2-4, 5.94 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CDT) - LHP Kody Funderburk (8-5, 3.24 ERA) South Bend @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CDT) - RHP David Festa (7-3, 2.59 ERA) St. Lucie @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CDT) - RHP Pierson Ohl (6-7, 3.53 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! 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  4. TRANSACTIONS In Triple-A on Sunday, the St. Paul Saints activated RHP Brock Stewart, who had been down in Fort Myers working his way back. In addition, RHPs Ben Heller, Juan Minaya, and Tyler Thornburg were released. 2022 draft pick, OF Alec Sayre was placed on the 7-Day IL. The Wichita Wind Surge released LHP Bryan Sammons on Monday, and RHP Hunter McMahon was promoted to them from Cedar Rapids. They also transferred RHP Andrew Cabezas to the development list and received RHP Jordan Brink from the FCL Twins on Tuesday. RHP Malik Barrington was promoted from Fort Myers to Cedar Rapids along with RHP Regi Grace. In Fort Myers, RHP Anthony Escobar was released, while the Mighty Mussels received RHP Kyle Jones, LHP Develson Aria, and RHP Zebby Matthews from the FCL Twins. SAINTS SENTINEL Game 1: Toledo 1, St. Paul 2 (completion of game suspended July 17th) Box Score This game was suspended over a month ago in the first inning, so there were a lot of changes to the lineups for each team when it resumed on Tuesday. Cole Sands had started the game back then, and allowed one run while recording two outs. Ariel Jurado took over on this night, and got them through the fourth, allowing just one hit and striking out four in 3 1/3 innings. Devin Smeltzer was just as good for the next three innings, also allowing just one hit and striking out four, and would get the credit for the win. Michael Feliz picked up a hold with a one-two-three eighth, striking out two before Brad Peacock picked up his eighth save by striking out two in the ninth as well. Four consecutive singles in the bottom of the second led to the first run of the game for St. Paul, tying it at one. Mark Contreras tallied the third of those singles, driving in Michael Helman who had led off the frame with a base knock of his own. Chris Williams led off the fifth inning with a home run, which actually gets credited as his first of the season in Triple-A when looking at the box score, as well as the second game he played on this day. It is of course his ninth home run with St. Paul, and 27th of the season overall. That was enough to secure the victory as Saints pitching held the Mud Hens to just three hits in the game. Braden Bishop had two hits to lead the lineup, and also drew a walk. Game 2: St. Paul 1, Toledo 0 (7 innings) Box Score In Game 2, Saints pitching again held Toledo to just three hits, and with the result being a shutout the five hits of their own were enough to pull out another victory. Mario Sanchez made the start and went the first four innings. He gave up just one hit and struck out three. Drew Strotman pitched a one-two-three fifth to pick up the win, and Jharel Cotton picked up a two-inning save, allowing two hits, a walk, and striking out four. St. Paul scored the only run of the game in the top of the sixth after Mark Contreras drew a walk, moved into scoring position on an errant pickoff attempt, then scampered home on a single from Cole Sturgeon. Michael Helman added a single, a walk, and his 29th stolen base of the season. WIND SURGE WISDOM NW Arkansas 5, Wichita 1 Box Score The Kansas City Royals #9 prospect (per MLB.com), outfielder Tyler Gentry, took the Wind Surge to task late on Tuesday, tallying all five of the Naturals' RBI thanks to a two-run homer in the eighth, and a bases-clearing double in the ninth. To that point, Wichita pitchers had been great, as Cody Laweryson made the start and allowed no runs on two hits and a walk, while striking out five in the first four innings. Michael Boyle, Osiris German, and Jordan Brink then were able to add a scoreless inning each, allowing two hits, a walk, and striking out three between them before the eighth. Hunter McMahon was the victim of the home run in the eighth before Blayne Enlow got tagged with the double in the ninth. McMahon gave up three hits and struck out one, while Enlow gave up three free passes in front of the double, but did strike out two as well. The Wind Surge’s lone run came in the bottom of the eighth when Yunior Severino delivered a bases loaded single to score Edouard Julien, who had led off the inning with a single of his own. With the bases still loaded and nobody out, a strikeout preceded an inning-ending double play ball to kill their late rally. Julien finished 2-for-5 with a run scored and stolen bases, Aaron Sabato chipped in a double, and Austin Martin was 1-for-4 with a walk and his 32nd stolen base to lead the offense, and also made an athletic tag at second on a steal attempt. KERNELS NUGGETS South Bend 6, Cedar Rapids 8 Box Score This one got crazy late, as a six-run inning from the Kernels almost wasn’t enough to hold off a five-run rally from the Cubs in a battle of teams who ended the night with identical 71-56 records on the season. While the Kernels took the West Division first-half title, South Bend looks poised to take the second-half, so this could be a playoff preview series. Orlando Rodriguez took the mound for Cedar Rapids and was fantastic for six innings. He allowed just one run on three hits and a walk, while punching out four Cubs. Matt Mullenbach pitched two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out two before the Kernels came to bat in the bottom of the eighth. With the score 2-1 in favor of the good guys at that point, the Kernels broke it open thanks to some wildness to start the inning (two walks and a hit-by-pitch), and loud contact to end it. With the bases loaded Willie Joe Garry Jr. clubbed a double to score two, Dylan Neuse delivered a two-RBI single, and Jake Rucker put the exclamation point on it with a two-run home run, making it 8-1 Cedar Rapids. Then it was time for Regi Grace’s Midwest League debut in the ninth, and it was one he’ll want to forget quickly. While recording two outs, he would be charged with four runs on three hits and walk, and Tyler Palm would be called upon to stop the bleeding. Palm also gave up two hits and a run of his own, but managed to keep the tying run off the basepaths to secure a win. Neuse led the way for the Kernels with three hits in four at-bats, scoring a run and driving in two. In addition to his double, Garry Jr. also drew a walk, scored a run, and stole a base. Brooks Lee was 1-for-5 and scored a run, while Mikey Perez scored two runs and stole two bases. MUSSEL MATTERS St. Lucie 0, Fort Myers 5 Box Score Bailey Ober made his second rehab appearance with the Mighty Mussels, and was in command for all four of his innings. He allowed one hit, walked one, and struck out three in the outing, and should be ready for St. Paul and/or the Minnesota Twins soon. Of his 52 pitches, 38 went for strikes (73%) in the game, and he faced just one hitter over the minimum in the outing. Develson Aria made his debut in full-season ball after Ober’s exit, and threw two scoreless frames, walking two and striking out three. Jackson Hicks then finished off the shutout with three scoreless innings to pick up his fifth win of the season. He allowed just one hit and struck out five Mets hitters, including all three in the ninth. Of note in this one is the 11th overall pick in this year's draft, catcher Kevin Parada, was 0-for-4 and struck out against each Mighty Mussels pitcher. Fort Myers did all their damage in the seventh inning, with the first two runs coming on Keoni Cavaco’s tenth home run of the year, and Noah Cardenas unloading the bases with a double for their final three. Cavaco was 2-for-4 on the night and also stole base in addition to his go-ahead homer. Tanner Schobel added a double, two walks, stolen base, and scored a run. Noah Miller finished 1-for-4 with a run scored, walk, and his 23rd stolen base of the year. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Jackson Hicks, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (W, 3 IP, H, 5 K) Hitter of the Day - Dylan Neuse, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-for-4, R, 2 RBI, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Brooks Lee (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-5, R, 2B, 2 K #4 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4, BB, SB #7 - Noah Miller (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4, R, BB, SB #9 - Matt Wallner (St. Paul) - 1-for-7, BB, K (2 games) #14 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-for-5, R, K, SB #15 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - 1 IP, H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K #18 - Tanner Schobel (Fort Myers) - 1-for-2, R, 2B, 2 BB, SB #20 - Kala’i Rosario (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, 3 K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Minnesota Twins @ New York Yankees (2:05 PM CDT) - RHP Louie Varland (MLB Debut), Game 2 (Joe Ryan) St. Paul @ Toledo (5:35 PM CDT) - RHP Ronny Henriquez (2-4, 5.94 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CDT) - LHP Kody Funderburk (8-5, 3.24 ERA) South Bend @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CDT) - RHP David Festa (7-3, 2.59 ERA) St. Lucie @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CDT) - RHP Pierson Ohl (6-7, 3.53 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  5. Honorable Mention Wladimir Pinto (St. Paul Saints) 6 G, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.88 WHIP Drew Strotman (St. Paul Saints) 6 G, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 7 K, 1.35 ERA, 1.20 WHIP Andrew Cabezas (Wichita) 8 G, 10.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 9 K, 0.87 ERA, 0.79 WHIP Jackson Hicks (Fort Myers) 8 G, 11.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 14 K, 1.59 ERA, 0.90 WHIP Number Three: Matt Mullenbach (Cedar Rapids) 6 G, 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.98 WHIP Mullenbach was transferred back to High-A Cedar Rapids at the beginning of July after spending most of May and all of June down in Fort Myers. He worked as a late-inning reliever for the Kernels and proved to be a useful arm at the back end of the bullpen. Old for the level at 25, Mullenbach could push for a move to Double-A if he replicates this month through August. Mullenbach was originally in the Mets system back in 2019 and joined the Minnesota organization last year. He did have a Triple-A appearance in 2021, and while these types of minor league adds generally wind up being organizational depth, there’s no reason why noteworthy outliers can’t exist. Number Two: Cody Laweryson (Wichita) 7 G, 16.1 IP, 13 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 15 K, 0.55 ERA, 1.10 WHIP Maybe a bit unfair in racking up additional innings, Laweryson did make a spot start this month for the Wind Surge. Even with the additional opportunity, he continued a very solid year. Working almost exclusively as a reliever now, Laweryson has taken a sizeable step forward from where he was in 2021. The strikeouts continue to come in bunches and he does a good job limiting walks. Minnesota selected Lawyerson in the 14th round of the 2019 draft from the University of Maine. He pitched in the Arizona Fall League for Minnesota last season and the additional challenge against heightened competition seems to have served him well. Just 23 years old, Minnesota has to be happy with how the start of his pro career has gone. Number One: Hunter McMahon (Cedar Rapids) 8 G, 14.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 11 K, 0.64 ERA, 0.50 WHIP McMahon was promoted from Low-A Fort Myers to High-A Cedar Rapids at the end of June. He responded by being lights out and finishing four games for the Kernels. Having collected six saves this season between the two levels, McMahon has shown an ability to work late in games and get big outs. His 9.3 K/9 this season is a bit lower than 2021, but he’s continued to issue virtually no free passes. The Washington Nationals took McMahon in the 9th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. Now 24, McMahon joined the Twins organization in 2021 when they traded reliever Ryne Harper. He was little more than a lottery ticket, but pitching like this could certainly give him future promise for a pitcher they were going to instead lose for nothing. Congratulations to each of these relievers on a fantastic month!
  6. Starters and hitters often get the glory, but there’s been plenty of solid relief performances on the farm over the past month as well. Given a constant need for pitching help, any of these performances could translate to future opportunity. Honorable Mention Wladimir Pinto (St. Paul Saints) 6 G, 8.0 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 6 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.88 WHIP Drew Strotman (St. Paul Saints) 6 G, 6.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 3 BB, 7 K, 1.35 ERA, 1.20 WHIP Andrew Cabezas (Wichita) 8 G, 10.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 4 BB, 9 K, 0.87 ERA, 0.79 WHIP Jackson Hicks (Fort Myers) 8 G, 11.1 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 4 BB, 14 K, 1.59 ERA, 0.90 WHIP Number Three: Matt Mullenbach (Cedar Rapids) 6 G, 6.1 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 7 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.98 WHIP Mullenbach was transferred back to High-A Cedar Rapids at the beginning of July after spending most of May and all of June down in Fort Myers. He worked as a late-inning reliever for the Kernels and proved to be a useful arm at the back end of the bullpen. Old for the level at 25, Mullenbach could push for a move to Double-A if he replicates this month through August. Mullenbach was originally in the Mets system back in 2019 and joined the Minnesota organization last year. He did have a Triple-A appearance in 2021, and while these types of minor league adds generally wind up being organizational depth, there’s no reason why noteworthy outliers can’t exist. Number Two: Cody Laweryson (Wichita) 7 G, 16.1 IP, 13 H, 1 R, 5 BB, 15 K, 0.55 ERA, 1.10 WHIP Maybe a bit unfair in racking up additional innings, Laweryson did make a spot start this month for the Wind Surge. Even with the additional opportunity, he continued a very solid year. Working almost exclusively as a reliever now, Laweryson has taken a sizeable step forward from where he was in 2021. The strikeouts continue to come in bunches and he does a good job limiting walks. Minnesota selected Lawyerson in the 14th round of the 2019 draft from the University of Maine. He pitched in the Arizona Fall League for Minnesota last season and the additional challenge against heightened competition seems to have served him well. Just 23 years old, Minnesota has to be happy with how the start of his pro career has gone. Number One: Hunter McMahon (Cedar Rapids) 8 G, 14.0 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 11 K, 0.64 ERA, 0.50 WHIP McMahon was promoted from Low-A Fort Myers to High-A Cedar Rapids at the end of June. He responded by being lights out and finishing four games for the Kernels. Having collected six saves this season between the two levels, McMahon has shown an ability to work late in games and get big outs. His 9.3 K/9 this season is a bit lower than 2021, but he’s continued to issue virtually no free passes. The Washington Nationals took McMahon in the 9th round of the 2019 Major League Baseball draft. Now 24, McMahon joined the Twins organization in 2021 when they traded reliever Ryne Harper. He was little more than a lottery ticket, but pitching like this could certainly give him future promise for a pitcher they were going to instead lose for nothing. Congratulations to each of these relievers on a fantastic month! View full article
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