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  1. If you missed the first round rounds, you can view them here. A brief primer: We're taking 16 players with "prospect" or "rookie" status. Positions on each team included: Catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, three outfielders, a bench player/hitter, three starting pitchers, three relief pitchers, and an extra pitcher. (Please note that comments under the picks were made by the person making the selection.) Round 9 Seth Stohs - DaShawn Keirsey, OF 2019 was a tough season for Keirsey. He struggled and he just wasn’t able to stay on the diamond for an extended period of time. But, he is as athletic as anyone in the organization, and he can play a very good defensive centerfield. Steve Lein - Moises Gomez, RP Happy to land the guy I voted for as Twins Daily's 2019 Relief Pitcher of the year. He led Twins minor leaguers in K/9 rate at 13.3 and held hitters to an average under .150. He finished his season by being sent to the Arizona Fall League. Ted Schwerzler - Chris Williams, C The bat wasn’t what it was in 2018 with Elizabethton, but Chris Williams put on a show during his pro debut year. He swatted 15 dingers right out of the gate, and even in a down 2019, reached double digits. Lots to like here, and while he may not be the ideal defender behind the plate, I’m banking on the offense. Cody Christie - Jacob Pearson, OF I’ve been a big fan of Pearson since the Twins acquired him from the Angels. The organization has been aggressive with him and he put up some of his best offensive numbers after getting to the FSL last season. If the Twins continue to be aggressive with him, I think there will be positive results. Jeremy Nygaard - Yennier Cano, RP The Twins signing MLB.com’s #2 international free agent didn’t make big news as it came at the close of the 2019 IFA period and amidst the Twins division pennant run. Cano struggled with control during his American debut, but has the chance to move very quickly (and be a steal at this point in the draft.) I should also note Thievin’ Ted took the other two guys I targeted for this pick. Matt Braun - Yeltsin Encarnacion, SS I needed a shortstop like a plant needs water. Encarnacion fills the role with a passable bat for the position and the opportunity to move as Royce Lewis moves through the minor league system. Plus, his name is “Yeltsin”, what isn’t to love? Round 10 Matt Braun - Gabe Snyder, 1B Snyder provides the standard 1st base pop that was needed in my lineup. He isn’t as flashy of an option as someone like Zander Wiel but a 131 wRC+ at Cedar Rapids is great no matter how you slice it. Jeremy Nygaard - Anthony Prato, 2B Had to reverse course after plans to add power in Julien or Wiliams was foiled. Prato, who lacks power, makes up for it with speed and on-base skills. Between the top three of Celestino-Prato-Wade, there will be plenty of guys on base (who can also pose a threat to steal) for Wiel. Now just need to find more power bats... Cody Christie - Charles Mack, 2B The Twins took Mack out of high school back in 2018 and he played all last season with the E-Twins. He’s been young for both levels he has played at so far and he has been able to hold his own. Defensively, he has split time between third and second base. I’ll pencil him at second since I already have Steer at third. Ted Schwerzler - Max Smith, OF Smith was a late round pick in 2019, and while he was old for the Appy League, he showed up nicely. Power isn’t something I’d expect from him, but he did put seven balls over the fence. Add in that he can play all three outfield positions and this is where I’ll build that group from. Steve Lein - Caleb Hamilton, C Lot of reliever arms still left I like here, but pitchers need someone to throw to, right? Hamilton has played all over the diamond, but I'll keep him at catcher to utilize his leadership. Hamilton also gets on base and flashes power. Seth Stohs - Jovani Moran, LHRP He struggled a bit in 2019, primarily with control, but Moran has a track record of dominance. In 34 innings in 2019, he struck out 50 batters. Then he struck out 14 batters in nine innings in the AFL. From a roster construction standpoint, it will be good to have a lefty in the bullpen too. Round 11 Seth Stohs - Wander Valdez, 3B In the GCL last summer, Valdez hit .323 with six doubles and four home runs. This spring training in Ft. Myers, Valdez was one of the most impressive young prospects that I saw. He’s big, strong and athletic and looks to have a ton of power potential. Steve Lein - Tom Hackimer, RP The sidewinding righty has been phenomenal in the Twins system thus far with a 2.77 ERA and K/9 rate north of 10 as a pro. Surgery held him back for most of the 2018 season, slowing his rise, but rebounded in 2019 and could be an option for the Twins bullpen in the near future. Ted Schwerzler - Ernie De La Trinidad OF Acquired in the Eduardo Escobar trade with the Diamondbacks, De La Trinidad brings it across the board. None of the tools are flashy, but all have a chance to be average or better. Another strong outfield type, he’ll fit nicely out there on my team. Cody Christie - Victor Heredia, 1B Heredia showed some power during his time in the DSL but that power didn’t follow him last year as he made his debut with the GCL Twins. With another year of experience under his belt, I think the power will return and he completes the right side of my infield. Jeremy Nygaard - Zach Neff, LHRP Neff was a late-round pick in 2018, but has impressed enough to get a post-2019 invite to the AFL. He’s not great against right-handed batters, but dominates lefties and has posted over 9.00 K/9s both seasons as a pro. Matt Braun - Hector Lujan, RHRP Lujan had an odd year in 2019 as he struck out less hitters than usual at Fort Myers but then walked more hitters than usual at Pensacola. He’s been remarkably consistent so far in his career and his miniscule homerun rate made him an attractive candidate for my first reliever spot. Round 12 Matt Braun - Ryan Shreve, RHRP Everyone has “their guy” in the system and Shreve is certainly mine. He struck out 29.9% of batters in rookie ball for his first taste of professional baseball and that will work at any level. Once his BABIP is under control, he should move quickly through the system. Jeremy Nygaard - Drew Maggi, 3B Adding a 31-year-old to provide veteran leadership to an infield that includes two guys making their full-season debut. Good for getting on base, I also expect Maggi to bring double digits home runs and stolen bases to the lineup. Cody Christie - Anthony Escobar, RHRP I need to fill up a bullpen with the rest of my picks and Escobar is a good starting point. The 19-year old made his GCL debut last season and was asked to finish games for the first time in his career. His strikeout numbers aren’t there yet, but he doesn’t walk a ton and he has the potential to add to his small frame. Ted Schwerzler - Jimmy Kerrigan, OF Kerrigan was undrafted and has spent time in Indy Ball, but he’s also flashed at different stops in the Twins system. There’s both power and speed potential here, and rounding out my outfield this is a safe pick. Steve Lein - Jordan Gore, SS Ted sniped me above with Kerrigan, but I've also been planning to start shuffling some prior picks around the diamond to accomodate what is left. I like Gore's defense at SS a bit more than Gordon's, so I'll shift Nick to 2B. There's not been much bat here yet, but is a switch hitter with some speed and arguably the best hair in the organization. Side Note - Gore has been moved to the mound and is 100% a pitcher in 2020, so Steve has a true dual threat on his hands! Seth Stohs - Michael Helman, 2B Helman had a fantastic college career, and the Twins made him their 11th round pick in 2018. After signing, he quickly moved up to Cedar Rapids. He was pushed very aggressively to Ft. Myers to start 2019 and really struggled with the bat until a season-ended wrist injury. But he could hit, and he is a terrific middle-infield glove. 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. We kick off the back-half of the draft with rounds nine through 12. By this point, each drafter is digging fairly deep into their minor league knowledge for their picks. Drafting at this point is not unlike searching for supplies during an apocalypse as you're really hoping that no one is looking where you're looking. Each snipe is even more brutal as there are generally very few players who can now replace the guy you were looking at. Let us know who you think is shaping up to have the best roster after 12 full rounds.If you missed the first round rounds, you can view them here. A brief primer: We're taking 16 players with "prospect" or "rookie" status. Positions on each team included: Catcher, first base, second base, third base, shortstop, three outfielders, a bench player/hitter, three starting pitchers, three relief pitchers, and an extra pitcher. (Please note that comments under the picks were made by the person making the selection.) Round 9 Seth Stohs - DaShawn Keirsey, OF 2019 was a tough season for Keirsey. He struggled and he just wasn’t able to stay on the diamond for an extended period of time. But, he is as athletic as anyone in the organization, and he can play a very good defensive centerfield. Steve Lein - Moises Gomez, RP Happy to land the guy I voted for as Twins Daily's 2019 Relief Pitcher of the year. He led Twins minor leaguers in K/9 rate at 13.3 and held hitters to an average under .150. He finished his season by being sent to the Arizona Fall League. Ted Schwerzler - Chris Williams, C The bat wasn’t what it was in 2018 with Elizabethton, but Chris Williams put on a show during his pro debut year. He swatted 15 dingers right out of the gate, and even in a down 2019, reached double digits. Lots to like here, and while he may not be the ideal defender behind the plate, I’m banking on the offense. Cody Christie - Jacob Pearson, OF I’ve been a big fan of Pearson since the Twins acquired him from the Angels. The organization has been aggressive with him and he put up some of his best offensive numbers after getting to the FSL last season. If the Twins continue to be aggressive with him, I think there will be positive results. Jeremy Nygaard - Yennier Cano, RP The Twins signing MLB.com’s #2 international free agent didn’t make big news as it came at the close of the 2019 IFA period and amidst the Twins division pennant run. Cano struggled with control during his American debut, but has the chance to move very quickly (and be a steal at this point in the draft.) I should also note Thievin’ Ted took the other two guys I targeted for this pick. Matt Braun - Yeltsin Encarnacion, SS I needed a shortstop like a plant needs water. Encarnacion fills the role with a passable bat for the position and the opportunity to move as Royce Lewis moves through the minor league system. Plus, his name is “Yeltsin”, what isn’t to love? Round 10 Matt Braun - Gabe Snyder, 1B Snyder provides the standard 1st base pop that was needed in my lineup. He isn’t as flashy of an option as someone like Zander Wiel but a 131 wRC+ at Cedar Rapids is great no matter how you slice it. Jeremy Nygaard - Anthony Prato, 2B Had to reverse course after plans to add power in Julien or Wiliams was foiled. Prato, who lacks power, makes up for it with speed and on-base skills. Between the top three of Celestino-Prato-Wade, there will be plenty of guys on base (who can also pose a threat to steal) for Wiel. Now just need to find more power bats... Cody Christie - Charles Mack, 2B The Twins took Mack out of high school back in 2018 and he played all last season with the E-Twins. He’s been young for both levels he has played at so far and he has been able to hold his own. Defensively, he has split time between third and second base. I’ll pencil him at second since I already have Steer at third. Ted Schwerzler - Max Smith, OF Smith was a late round pick in 2019, and while he was old for the Appy League, he showed up nicely. Power isn’t something I’d expect from him, but he did put seven balls over the fence. Add in that he can play all three outfield positions and this is where I’ll build that group from. Steve Lein - Caleb Hamilton, C Lot of reliever arms still left I like here, but pitchers need someone to throw to, right? Hamilton has played all over the diamond, but I'll keep him at catcher to utilize his leadership. Hamilton also gets on base and flashes power. Seth Stohs - Jovani Moran, LHRP He struggled a bit in 2019, primarily with control, but Moran has a track record of dominance. In 34 innings in 2019, he struck out 50 batters. Then he struck out 14 batters in nine innings in the AFL. From a roster construction standpoint, it will be good to have a lefty in the bullpen too. Round 11 Seth Stohs - Wander Valdez, 3B In the GCL last summer, Valdez hit .323 with six doubles and four home runs. This spring training in Ft. Myers, Valdez was one of the most impressive young prospects that I saw. He’s big, strong and athletic and looks to have a ton of power potential. Steve Lein - Tom Hackimer, RP The sidewinding righty has been phenomenal in the Twins system thus far with a 2.77 ERA and K/9 rate north of 10 as a pro. Surgery held him back for most of the 2018 season, slowing his rise, but rebounded in 2019 and could be an option for the Twins bullpen in the near future. Ted Schwerzler - Ernie De La Trinidad OF Acquired in the Eduardo Escobar trade with the Diamondbacks, De La Trinidad brings it across the board. None of the tools are flashy, but all have a chance to be average or better. Another strong outfield type, he’ll fit nicely out there on my team. Cody Christie - Victor Heredia, 1B Heredia showed some power during his time in the DSL but that power didn’t follow him last year as he made his debut with the GCL Twins. With another year of experience under his belt, I think the power will return and he completes the right side of my infield. Jeremy Nygaard - Zach Neff, LHRP Neff was a late-round pick in 2018, but has impressed enough to get a post-2019 invite to the AFL. He’s not great against right-handed batters, but dominates lefties and has posted over 9.00 K/9s both seasons as a pro. Matt Braun - Hector Lujan, RHRP Lujan had an odd year in 2019 as he struck out less hitters than usual at Fort Myers but then walked more hitters than usual at Pensacola. He’s been remarkably consistent so far in his career and his miniscule homerun rate made him an attractive candidate for my first reliever spot. Round 12 Matt Braun - Ryan Shreve, RHRP Everyone has “their guy” in the system and Shreve is certainly mine. He struck out 29.9% of batters in rookie ball for his first taste of professional baseball and that will work at any level. Once his BABIP is under control, he should move quickly through the system. Jeremy Nygaard - Drew Maggi, 3B Adding a 31-year-old to provide veteran leadership to an infield that includes two guys making their full-season debut. Good for getting on base, I also expect Maggi to bring double digits home runs and stolen bases to the lineup. Cody Christie - Anthony Escobar, RHRP I need to fill up a bullpen with the rest of my picks and Escobar is a good starting point. The 19-year old made his GCL debut last season and was asked to finish games for the first time in his career. His strikeout numbers aren’t there yet, but he doesn’t walk a ton and he has the potential to add to his small frame. Ted Schwerzler - Jimmy Kerrigan, OF Kerrigan was undrafted and has spent time in Indy Ball, but he’s also flashed at different stops in the Twins system. There’s both power and speed potential here, and rounding out my outfield this is a safe pick. Steve Lein - Jordan Gore, SS Ted sniped me above with Kerrigan, but I've also been planning to start shuffling some prior picks around the diamond to accomodate what is left. I like Gore's defense at SS a bit more than Gordon's, so I'll shift Nick to 2B. There's not been much bat here yet, but is a switch hitter with some speed and arguably the best hair in the organization. Side Note - Gore has been moved to the mound and is 100% a pitcher in 2020, so Steve has a true dual threat on his hands! Seth Stohs - Michael Helman, 2B Helman had a fantastic college career, and the Twins made him their 11th round pick in 2018. After signing, he quickly moved up to Cedar Rapids. He was pushed very aggressively to Ft. Myers to start 2019 and really struggled with the bat until a season-ended wrist injury. But he could hit, and he is a terrific middle-infield glove. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  3. The Twins used the sixth overall pick of the 2015 MLB Draft on left-handed pitcher Tyler Jay. The southpaw has dealt with a variety of injuries that cost him his velocity and the electricity on his pitches. He was back in Double-A for a fourth straight season. On Monday, the Twins cut ties with Jay, trading him to the Reds for cash. Hopefully a fresh start helps Jay find his stuff again.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Pensacola announced that RHP Griffin Jax has been activated from the IL. RHP Williams Ramirez has been placed on the 7 Day IL.Pensacola also announced that the Twins have traded LHP Tyler Jay, the teams 2015 first-round draft pick, to the Cincinnati Reds for cash considerations.LHP Adalberto Mejia began his rehab stint on Monday with the Ft. Myers Miracle.I saw that we missed the following transactions on Sunday: KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 10, Peoria 1 Box Score In a morning game, the Kernels scored four in the third inning and three more in the fourth inning and cruised to a 10-1 win in Peoria. They ended a 14-game road trip with a 9-5 record. However, let’s start with the pitching. Kai-Wei Teng started and gave up one run over six innings. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out eight batters to record his first Kernels win. Jose Martinez pitched a scoreless seventh frame. JT Perez made his Midwest League debut and tossed two scoreless innings. Jared Akins provided the power in the third inning with a three-run homer. It was his sixth of the season. In the fourth inning, Jacob Pearson hit his third homer of the season, a two-run shot, and Ricky De La Torre followed with his second Kernels homer. Pearson and De La Torre each had two hits. Ben Rodriguez went 3-for-5 with his seventh and eighth doubles. Andrew Bechtold went 2-for-4 with a walk and his 11th and 12th doubles. Gilberto Celestino went 2-for-4 with a walk and his eighth double. Yeltsin Encarnacion hit his second triple, and Estamy Urena added his fourth double. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Blayne Enlow, Ft. Myers Miracle Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ben Rodriguez, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 0-4 #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, BB, K #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled. #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch. #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - 6 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K (79 pitches, 49 strikes) #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled. #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List (elbow) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB, HR(6), R, RBI, K #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 1-3, BB #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (thumb) #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, BB, 2B(8), R #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, 2B(13), K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Columbus @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Devin Smeltzer (0-1, 1.82 ERA) Pensacola @ Biloxi (10:35 am CST) - RHP Andro Cutura (1-2 4.45 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Tampa (DH @ 3:30 CST) - TBD, TBD Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (4-3, 3.02 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games or any other minor league topics you would like. Click here to view the article
  4. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Pensacola announced that RHP Griffin Jax has been activated from the IL. RHP Williams Ramirez has been placed on the 7 Day IL. Pensacola also announced that the Twins have traded LHP Tyler Jay, the teams 2015 first-round draft pick, to the Cincinnati Reds for cash considerations. LHP Adalberto Mejia began his rehab stint on Monday with the Ft. Myers Miracle. I saw that we missed the following transactions on Sunday: AWARDS RHP Sean Poppen was named the International League’s Pitcher of the Week. ALL STARS On Monday, Cedar Rapids DH/1B/C Chris Williams will participate in the Home Run Derby at the Midwest League All Star game. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester Box Score No Game Scheduled. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 7, Biloxi 9 Box Score Griffin Jax returned to the mound after missing nearly a month with a strained shoulder. He gave up a first inning run but got through 2 2/3 innings before reaching his predetermined pitch count (41 pitches thrown). He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out two. Jeff Ames came on and went the next 1 2/3 innings. He gave up three runs (one earned) on four hits and two walks. Tom Hackimer went the next 1 2/3 innings and was charged with three runs (two earned) on three hits and a walk. He struck out one. Sam Clay worked the final two innings. He gave up two runs on three hits and a walk. Jaylin Davis put the Wahoos on the scoreboard right away with a leadoff home run, his 10th of the year. He went 2-for-5 and hit his eighth double. Travis Blankenhorn hit his 11th home run since joining Pensacola. Brian Navarreto went 1-for-1 with two walks, a sacrifice fly and an RBI double. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 1, Tampa 0 Box Score There wasn’t much offense, but the Miracle got one big hit and the pitching came through. Adalberto Mejia made his first rehab appearance with the Miracle. He “opened” and gave up a single in a scoreless first inning. He struck out two, and 11 of his 14 pitches were strikes. Blayne Enlow came on to start the second inning and completed six scoreless innings. The right-hander gave up seven hits, walked one and struck out three to earn the win and lower his Miracle ERA to 1.50. Hector Lujan threw two scoreless innings to record his sixth save of the season. Ryan Jeffers led off the second inning with a long, opposite field homer. It was his sixth homer of the year. And it accounted for the only run of the game. The Miracle had just two other hits. Jose Miranda hit his 13th doubles. Trey Cabbage singled, and then stole a base. The Miracle could clinch a playoff berth as early as Tuesday. https://twitter.com/MarshallKelner/status/1138270893854117889 KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 10, Peoria 1 Box Score In a morning game, the Kernels scored four in the third inning and three more in the fourth inning and cruised to a 10-1 win in Peoria. They ended a 14-game road trip with a 9-5 record. However, let’s start with the pitching. Kai-Wei Teng started and gave up one run over six innings. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out eight batters to record his first Kernels win. Jose Martinez pitched a scoreless seventh frame. JT Perez made his Midwest League debut and tossed two scoreless innings. Jared Akins provided the power in the third inning with a three-run homer. It was his sixth of the season. In the fourth inning, Jacob Pearson hit his third homer of the season, a two-run shot, and Ricky De La Torre followed with his second Kernels homer. Pearson and De La Torre each had two hits. Ben Rodriguez went 3-for-5 with his seventh and eighth doubles. Andrew Bechtold went 2-for-4 with a walk and his 11th and 12th doubles. Gilberto Celestino went 2-for-4 with a walk and his eighth double. Yeltsin Encarnacion hit his second triple, and Estamy Urena added his fourth double. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Blayne Enlow, Ft. Myers Miracle Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ben Rodriguez, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 0-4 #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, BB, K #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled. #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch. #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - 6 IP, 7 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 3 K (79 pitches, 49 strikes) #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled. #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List (elbow) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB, HR(6), R, RBI, K #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 1-3, BB #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (thumb) #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, BB, 2B(8), R #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - No Game Scheduled #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, 2B(13), K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Columbus @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Devin Smeltzer (0-1, 1.82 ERA) Pensacola @ Biloxi (10:35 am CST) - RHP Andro Cutura (1-2 4.45 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Tampa (DH @ 3:30 CST) - TBD, TBD Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (4-3, 3.02 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games or any other minor league topics you would like.
  5. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS None. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester, Pawtucket Box Score Game postponed by rain. https://twitter.com/JoshWhetzel/status/1126641617849466880 BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 4, Mississippi 0 Box Score Randy Dobnak went undrafted after four years of college. The Twins signed him in 2017. He spent all of 2018 in Cedar Rapids. After one month in Ft. Myers, he was promoted to Pensacola. On Thursday night, he made his second start for the Blue Wahoos. He threw six shutout innings. He gave up just one hit and walked one while striking out seven. Tyler Jay came on and struck out four batters in two scoreless innings. Alex Phillips threw a scoreless inning. Travis Blankenhorn led the offense. He went 3-for-4 and hit his third home run in 13 games since being promoted to the Wahoos. Mark Contreras went 1-for-2 with two walks. Luis Arraez was 1-for-3 with two walks. Miguel Sano went 0-for-5 in what is likely to be his final Double-A game before moving up to Rochester. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers, Tampa Box Score The game was postponed by rain. These teams will play a doubleheader on Friday. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, West Michigan 4 Box Score Blayne Enlow had a rough game in his previous outing, but he came back strong on Thursday night. The right-hander was charged with only an unearned run on four hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out six batters. Jose Martinez came in and gave up three runs in the seventh inning. Carlos Suniaga worked the final two innings. He struck out five batters in two scoreless innings. The Kernels got contributions from the middle of the lineup. Their second and third hitters, Gilberto Celestino and Chris Williams both went 2-for-6. Their fourth and fifth hitters, Gabe Snyder and David Banuelos, each went 2-for-5 with a walk. The biggest hit in the game came when their sixth hitter, Jacob Pearson, emptied the bases with a three-run double. Snyder and Celestino each had a double. Banuelos had two doubles in the game. The team’s sixth through ninth hitters showed good patience. Pearson, Andrew Bechtold, Estamy Urena and Yeltsin Encarnacion each walked twice. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Randy Dobnak, Pensacola Blue Wahoos Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Travis Blankenhorn, Pensacola Blue Wahoos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 1-4, BB, 2 K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out. #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - Injured, early May return #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Rained Out #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Rained Out #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (95 pitches, 61 strikes) #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Rained Out #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List, late-May return possible #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-6, 2B(4), SB(5) #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Rained Out #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Durham @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Chase De Jong (0-3, 16.20 ERA). Pensacola @ Mississippi (6:35 CST) - RHP Griffin Jax (2-0, 0.53 ERA) Tampa @ Ft. Myers (2:30 CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (1-3, 5.06 ERA), LHP Charlie Barnes (2-2, 7.99 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ West Michigan (6:05 CST) - RHP Tyler Palm (1-2, 2.60 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games.
  6. Unfortunately, rain won the night in both Rochester and Ft. Myers, but there were still two games played on Thursday night. The Blue Wahoos and the Kernels got strong pitching and some big offensive performances on their way to wins.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS None.RED WINGS REPORTRochester, Pawtucket Box Score Game postponed by rain. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 4, Mississippi 0 Box Score Randy Dobnak went undrafted after four years of college. The Twins signed him in 2017. He spent all of 2018 in Cedar Rapids. After one month in Ft. Myers, he was promoted to Pensacola. On Thursday night, he made his second start for the Blue Wahoos. He threw six shutout innings. He gave up just one hit and walked one while striking out seven. Tyler Jay came on and struck out four batters in two scoreless innings. Alex Phillips threw a scoreless inning. Travis Blankenhorn led the offense. He went 3-for-4 and hit his third home run in 13 games since being promoted to the Wahoos. Mark Contreras went 1-for-2 with two walks. Luis Arraez was 1-for-3 with two walks. Miguel Sano went 0-for-5 in what is likely to be his final Double-A game before moving up to Rochester. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers, Tampa Box Score The game was postponed by rain. These teams will play a doubleheader on Friday. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, West Michigan 4 Box Score Blayne Enlow had a rough game in his previous outing, but he came back strong on Thursday night. The right-hander was charged with only an unearned run on four hits over six innings. He walked one and struck out six batters. Jose Martinez came in and gave up three runs in the seventh inning. Carlos Suniaga worked the final two innings. He struck out five batters in two scoreless innings. The Kernels got contributions from the middle of the lineup. Their second and third hitters, Gilberto Celestino and Chris Williams both went 2-for-6. Their fourth and fifth hitters, Gabe Snyder and David Banuelos, each went 2-for-5 with a walk. The biggest hit in the game came when their sixth hitter, Jacob Pearson, emptied the bases with a three-run double. Snyder and Celestino each had a double. Banuelos had two doubles in the game. The team’s sixth through ninth hitters showed good patience. Pearson, Andrew Bechtold, Estamy Urena and Yeltsin Encarnacion each walked twice. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Randy Dobnak, Pensacola Blue Wahoos Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Travis Blankenhorn, Pensacola Blue Wahoos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 1-4, BB, 2 K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out. #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - Injured, early May return #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Rained Out #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Rained Out #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K (95 pitches, 61 strikes) #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Rained Out #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List, late-May return possible #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-6, 2B(4), SB(5) #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Rained Out #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - Rained Out MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Durham @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - RHP Chase De Jong (0-3, 16.20 ERA). Pensacola @ Mississippi (6:35 CST) - RHP Griffin Jax (2-0, 0.53 ERA) Tampa @ Ft. Myers (2:30 CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (1-3, 5.06 ERA), LHP Charlie Barnes (2-2, 7.99 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ West Michigan (6:05 CST) - RHP Tyler Palm (1-2, 2.60 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games. Click here to view the article
  7. 20-year-old Twins outfield prospect Jacob Pearson shares his story. He discusses the draft and his early career, but he also lets us inside and shares part of his life away from the game of baseball. Photography is a big passion for the outfielder from Louisiana. I've always enjoyed following minor league baseball players as they improve and work their way up the organizational ladder, sometimes all the way to the big leagues. But, beyond that, I thoroughly enjoy getting to know the minor league baseball players as people. Baseball is such a huge part of their lives. It has always been something they love and they are really good at, but it is also their job. It is their career. But they all have interests beyond the game, and it's fun to learn about that. What are their other passions.For today, Twins outfield prospect Jacob Pearson took time to let us get to know him a little bit more. He is a solid prospect, a former third-round draft pick who spent about half of the 2019 season with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Below, he penned some thoughts on his young career, but also about some of the things that he is very passionate about in his life. Look back at the Get To Know Jacob Pearson article we did last offseason after he was acquired from the Angels organization. With that, I turn the writing over to Jacob Pearson. Thank you Jacob for sharing a bit of your life and your story with Twins fans! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Many know me as a professional baseball player, but I am going to tell much more about me as a person and what I do inside and outside of baseball. LIFE OF BASEBALL Now this is what most people know about me, but I will share a couple stories of how my draft day and my first and second year of professional baseball went. Draft day was about as normal as draft day could go. I had no idea where I would go, or who would take me. The Twins were one of the first teams to call, followed by the Angels. The Angels ended up taking me before the Twins could, but everything works out how it is suppose to. Following my first year I was traded to the Twins. Now back track a bit, my first year was stunning to me. It was a whole other ball game at this level. I struggled and before I knew it, my first year was finished. I couldn’t grasp how fast it had gone by, but I knew I had some work to do in my first offseason. I showed up to Spring Training 2018 with the Twins following the trade. I was prepared to have a solid year. I was held down in extended spring training to work on my craft before making my way to Cedar Rapids to play with the Kernels. Full-Season ball is amazing, but I had no idea how to prepare as the season went on. The days started going by really fast again and before I knew it, I was headed into my second offseason following yet another rough year. Now all was not so bad, but it didn’t meet my expectations by a long shot. So this past offseason I worked on my craft harder and harder and figured out a way to approach the 2019 season. I am really excited for baseball to start again LIFE OUTSIDE OF BASEBALL For starters, I am currently engaged to my beautiful fiancé, Faith Guice. We will be getting married in November 2019. As a couple, we spend as much time as we can in the offseason hanging out with family, friends, and each other. Some activities include movie dates, traveling, and dominoes. Being home for several months at a time allows us to do almost anything we want. We spend Sunday mornings in Mt. Ararat Baptist Church. And if we ever have free time, Netflix fills the void. Jacob Pearson photo of his fiance My hobbies include hunting, fishing, and photography. Deer hunting will always be my favorite form of hunting because I have been doing it since I can remember, and I enjoy the peace of the outdoors. Over the last few years, I have picked up duck hunting, and I have found that to be very enjoyable. Going out to a blind at 5am with your buddies; there’s nothing better. Fishing is a hobby I take up during the season. Because it is not hunting season, summers allow me to be outside fishing and soaking up the sun. Hunting and fishing both bring excitement to me because there is the “what if” question. What if I see a big deer? What if I catch a large fish? Now photography needs its own paragraph because this is more than a hobby. I am very passionate about taking pictures and capturing the beauty of the earth. I started in photography in 2016 with a little camera from a pawn shop that my dad had bought me. Since then I have created my own business, taking pictures of people and their beauty. Now I mainly focus on astrophotography; capturing the beauty of the cosmos. A lot goes into taking pictures like this; the conditions have to be almost perfect. Luckily, I live in a place where the Milky Way is visible most of the time. A link to my Instagram and website will be listed below if you want to look further into this hobby of mine! Follow Jacob Pearson on Instagram. Follow Pearson Photos on Instagram. Follow Jacob Pearson on Twitter. Check out the Pearson Photos website (be sure to look in the Gallery. Here is a sampling: Click here to view the article
  8. For today, Twins outfield prospect Jacob Pearson took time to let us get to know him a little bit more. He is a solid prospect, a former third-round draft pick who spent about half of the 2019 season with the Cedar Rapids Kernels. Below, he penned some thoughts on his young career, but also about some of the things that he is very passionate about in his life. Look back at the Get To Know Jacob Pearson article we did last offseason after he was acquired from the Angels organization. With that, I turn the writing over to Jacob Pearson. Thank you Jacob for sharing a bit of your life and your story with Twins fans! --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Many know me as a professional baseball player, but I am going to tell much more about me as a person and what I do inside and outside of baseball. LIFE OF BASEBALL Now this is what most people know about me, but I will share a couple stories of how my draft day and my first and second year of professional baseball went. Draft day was about as normal as draft day could go. I had no idea where I would go, or who would take me. The Twins were one of the first teams to call, followed by the Angels. The Angels ended up taking me before the Twins could, but everything works out how it is suppose to. Following my first year I was traded to the Twins. Now back track a bit, my first year was stunning to me. It was a whole other ball game at this level. I struggled and before I knew it, my first year was finished. I couldn’t grasp how fast it had gone by, but I knew I had some work to do in my first offseason. I showed up to Spring Training 2018 with the Twins following the trade. I was prepared to have a solid year. I was held down in extended spring training to work on my craft before making my way to Cedar Rapids to play with the Kernels. Full-Season ball is amazing, but I had no idea how to prepare as the season went on. The days started going by really fast again and before I knew it, I was headed into my second offseason following yet another rough year. Now all was not so bad, but it didn’t meet my expectations by a long shot. So this past offseason I worked on my craft harder and harder and figured out a way to approach the 2019 season. I am really excited for baseball to start again LIFE OUTSIDE OF BASEBALL For starters, I am currently engaged to my beautiful fiancé, Faith Guice. We will be getting married in November 2019. As a couple, we spend as much time as we can in the offseason hanging out with family, friends, and each other. Some activities include movie dates, traveling, and dominoes. Being home for several months at a time allows us to do almost anything we want. We spend Sunday mornings in Mt. Ararat Baptist Church. And if we ever have free time, Netflix fills the void. Jacob Pearson photo of his fiance My hobbies include hunting, fishing, and photography. Deer hunting will always be my favorite form of hunting because I have been doing it since I can remember, and I enjoy the peace of the outdoors. Over the last few years, I have picked up duck hunting, and I have found that to be very enjoyable. Going out to a blind at 5am with your buddies; there’s nothing better. Fishing is a hobby I take up during the season. Because it is not hunting season, summers allow me to be outside fishing and soaking up the sun. Hunting and fishing both bring excitement to me because there is the “what if” question. What if I see a big deer? What if I catch a large fish? Now photography needs its own paragraph because this is more than a hobby. I am very passionate about taking pictures and capturing the beauty of the earth. I started in photography in 2016 with a little camera from a pawn shop that my dad had bought me. Since then I have created my own business, taking pictures of people and their beauty. Now I mainly focus on astrophotography; capturing the beauty of the cosmos. A lot goes into taking pictures like this; the conditions have to be almost perfect. Luckily, I live in a place where the Milky Way is visible most of the time. A link to my Instagram and website will be listed below if you want to look further into this hobby of mine! Follow Jacob Pearson on Instagram. Follow Pearson Photos on Instagram. Follow Jacob Pearson on Twitter. Check out the Pearson Photos website (be sure to look in the Gallery. Here is a sampling:
  9. Starting tomorrow, Twins Daily will begin unveiling our choices for the Minnesota Twins Top 20 prospects. Today, we wanted to discuss several other players that fell just outside the Top 20. Call them Honorable Mentions, if you will, but I think this group will help illustrate the depth of the Twins organization right now. In fact, you can all likely name another dozen Twins prospects beyond this list who have big-league potential. Be sure to stop by every day as we count down (or up) the Twins Daily Top 20 Minnesota Twins Prospect Rankings. Prospect rankings are far from an exact science. We encourage questions. We encourage respectful debate.In the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook, Tom Froemming penned an article about all of the different methods in which the Twins have added prospects over the past two years. There is the draft. There are international signings. There have been several players added via trade especially over the final days of July. In addition, there are waiver claims and minor league signings. Today’s list of “Others Receiving Votes” illustrate several of those methods. For your information, as several of the Twins Daily writers submitted their personal prospect rankings and the ensuing conversation about the rankings, there was a clear cutoff between our #20 prospect at the #21 prospect. Today, we won’t put rankings on these players, only discuss those who also received votes. There are 12 players we will mention, which does show some depth. What is important to also note is there are several more prospects in the system who did not receive votes that have a legitimate chance to play in the big leagues in the future. Let’s discuss the other players who received votes yet finished just outside of the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects. OH CANADA! Two hard-throwing right-handed pitchers were mentioned. Jordan Balazovic was the Twins sixth-round pick in 2016. Landon Leach was the team’s second-round pick in 2017. Both were selected out of secondary schools in the Toronto area. Leach remained in the GCL in 2018. He is a hard thrower who is still quite raw as a pitcher after growing up primarily catching. He’s a big kid. Balazovic split time between the GCL and extended spring training. He has added velocity since being drafted and really stepped forward in 2018, matching his pitchability with his improved stuff. If you missed it, Keith Law ranked Balazovic as his 102nd prospect in baseball, with Brusdar Graterol at number 108. ALREADY DEBUTED It was a bit surprising when the Twins called up Kohl Stewart in August last year, but the former first-round pick made a good impression during the final six weeks. He has good velocity and gets a lot of movement. Not a lot of swing-and-miss, but the talent is clear. It was that talent that had him as a top ten Twins prospect for several years, and it is what we saw in his debut in 2018. Chase De Jong had pitched in the big leagues for Seattle in 2017. He was acquired in the Zack Duke trade. He made four starts for the Twins in September and showed that he can be a back-end of the rotation starter. He’s got good command and a good curveball. His smooth delivery helps allow pitches to jump on hitters at times. HIT MACHINE Luis Arraez gets his own category. While he isn’t a great athlete, doesn’t have great speed or power and profiles as maybe a second baseman, Arraez can flat-out hit. He has hit at every level. Even after missing most of the 2017 season with a knee injury, he raked in Ft. Myers before moving up to the Chattanooga Lookouts. The organization clearly likes him as he was added to the 40-man roster following the season. ATHLETES There are several great athletes in the Twins organization. Obviously you have heard a lot about Byron Buxton and Royce Lewis.When you talk to people in the organization, or you watch him play, you will be told that Travis Blankenhorn is right up there with the best athletes in the organization. He’s got good speed and power, and a lot more power potential. He has ranked as high as #9 in previous Twins Daily Top Prospect rankings and he continues to rise up the ranks including a nice showing in the Arizona Fall League last year. Gabriel Maciel came to the Twins in July from the Diamondbacks in the Eduardo Escobar trade. The outfielder has tremendous speed and a really good swing. He ended the season with the Kernels, usually leading off. Jacob Pearson was acquired last offseason from the Angels in exchange for international money which was used to sign Shohei Ohtani. While he was expected to spend the season in Elizabethton, he was promoted to Cedar Rapids in late May and spent the rest of the year there and more than held his own. PITCHER OF THE YEAR What does a guy have to do to get into the Top 20 prospect rankings at Twins Daily? Tyler Wells was the Twins 15th round draft pick in 2016. He’s been really good since signing. He began 2018 in Ft. Myers before ending the season in Chattanooga. He was very good and was named the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. He was also the Harmon Killebrew Award winner for the Miracle. He’s big, tall, and has exhibited a great work ethic. More than a strikeout an inning is always good too. STORY OF THE YEAR When the Twins drafted Griffin Jax in the third round of the 2016 draft out of the Air Force Academy, the thought was that he would be able to pitch soon. That didn’t happen, but when baseball was named an Olympic sport again, Jax applied for the military’s World Class Athlete Program. That allows him to play baseball full time in preparation for Olympic tryouts. Details were figured out and by April he was in Ft. Myers preparing for a season. He pitched well for the Miracle and worked some more innings in the Arizona Fall League. He impressed people with his stuff as well. TOUGH TO RANK On July 2nd, the Twins officially signed outfielder Misael Urbina. It’s always difficult to know where to rank a player who won’t even make his professional debut until this summer in the Dominican Summer League. The Twins signed Urbina for $2.75 million which alone makes him intriguing to Twins fans. But he has all of the tools that you look for in a prospect, speed, baseball instincts, arm, defense and room to grow. He will be one to watch. A year from now, he could be a Top 10 Twins prospect. POWER POTENTIAL Luke Raley came to the Twins in the Brian Dozier trade with the Dodgers. He finished the season in Chattanooga and ended the year with 20 home runs in AA. He was recently announced as a non-roster invite to spring training. Raley, like Brent Rooker, has a ton of power potential. AND MORE… The Twins system is very deep right now. There are several outside our top 20 who could reach the big leagues, many more than even just these honorable mentions. As I mentioned above, I really like Edwar Colina who spent most of the 2018 season in Cedar Rapids. DaShawn Keirsey was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2018. He and other draft picks from just last June could move up this list in 2019. Relievers such as Tyler Jay and Jake Reed still have upside. And I bet you could list a few of your own choices as guys that we missed in our Top 20 (or in his list of honorable mentions). Feel free to discuss below and ask questions. Click here to view the article
  10. In the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook, Tom Froemming penned an article about all of the different methods in which the Twins have added prospects over the past two years. There is the draft. There are international signings. There have been several players added via trade especially over the final days of July. In addition, there are waiver claims and minor league signings. Today’s list of “Others Receiving Votes” illustrate several of those methods. For your information, as several of the Twins Daily writers submitted their personal prospect rankings and the ensuing conversation about the rankings, there was a clear cutoff between our #20 prospect at the #21 prospect. Today, we won’t put rankings on these players, only discuss those who also received votes. There are 12 players we will mention, which does show some depth. What is important to also note is there are several more prospects in the system who did not receive votes that have a legitimate chance to play in the big leagues in the future. Let’s discuss the other players who received votes yet finished just outside of the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects. OH CANADA! Two hard-throwing right-handed pitchers were mentioned. Jordan Balazovic was the Twins sixth-round pick in 2016. Landon Leach was the team’s second-round pick in 2017. Both were selected out of secondary schools in the Toronto area. Leach remained in the GCL in 2018. He is a hard thrower who is still quite raw as a pitcher after growing up primarily catching. He’s a big kid. Balazovic split time between the GCL and extended spring training. He has added velocity since being drafted and really stepped forward in 2018, matching his pitchability with his improved stuff. If you missed it, Keith Law ranked Balazovic as his 102nd prospect in baseball, with Brusdar Graterol at number 108. ALREADY DEBUTED It was a bit surprising when the Twins called up Kohl Stewart in August last year, but the former first-round pick made a good impression during the final six weeks. He has good velocity and gets a lot of movement. Not a lot of swing-and-miss, but the talent is clear. It was that talent that had him as a top ten Twins prospect for several years, and it is what we saw in his debut in 2018. Chase De Jong had pitched in the big leagues for Seattle in 2017. He was acquired in the Zack Duke trade. He made four starts for the Twins in September and showed that he can be a back-end of the rotation starter. He’s got good command and a good curveball. His smooth delivery helps allow pitches to jump on hitters at times. HIT MACHINE Luis Arraez gets his own category. While he isn’t a great athlete, doesn’t have great speed or power and profiles as maybe a second baseman, Arraez can flat-out hit. He has hit at every level. Even after missing most of the 2017 season with a knee injury, he raked in Ft. Myers before moving up to the Chattanooga Lookouts. The organization clearly likes him as he was added to the 40-man roster following the season. ATHLETES There are several great athletes in the Twins organization. Obviously you have heard a lot about Byron Buxton and Royce Lewis.When you talk to people in the organization, or you watch him play, you will be told that Travis Blankenhorn is right up there with the best athletes in the organization. He’s got good speed and power, and a lot more power potential. He has ranked as high as #9 in previous Twins Daily Top Prospect rankings and he continues to rise up the ranks including a nice showing in the Arizona Fall League last year. Gabriel Maciel came to the Twins in July from the Diamondbacks in the Eduardo Escobar trade. The outfielder has tremendous speed and a really good swing. He ended the season with the Kernels, usually leading off. Jacob Pearson was acquired last offseason from the Angels in exchange for international money which was used to sign Shohei Ohtani. While he was expected to spend the season in Elizabethton, he was promoted to Cedar Rapids in late May and spent the rest of the year there and more than held his own. PITCHER OF THE YEAR What does a guy have to do to get into the Top 20 prospect rankings at Twins Daily? Tyler Wells was the Twins 15th round draft pick in 2016. He’s been really good since signing. He began 2018 in Ft. Myers before ending the season in Chattanooga. He was very good and was named the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. He was also the Harmon Killebrew Award winner for the Miracle. He’s big, tall, and has exhibited a great work ethic. More than a strikeout an inning is always good too. STORY OF THE YEAR When the Twins drafted Griffin Jax in the third round of the 2016 draft out of the Air Force Academy, the thought was that he would be able to pitch soon. That didn’t happen, but when baseball was named an Olympic sport again, Jax applied for the military’s World Class Athlete Program. That allows him to play baseball full time in preparation for Olympic tryouts. Details were figured out and by April he was in Ft. Myers preparing for a season. He pitched well for the Miracle and worked some more innings in the Arizona Fall League. He impressed people with his stuff as well. TOUGH TO RANK On July 2nd, the Twins officially signed outfielder Misael Urbina. It’s always difficult to know where to rank a player who won’t even make his professional debut until this summer in the Dominican Summer League. The Twins signed Urbina for $2.75 million which alone makes him intriguing to Twins fans. But he has all of the tools that you look for in a prospect, speed, baseball instincts, arm, defense and room to grow. He will be one to watch. A year from now, he could be a Top 10 Twins prospect. POWER POTENTIAL Luke Raley came to the Twins in the Brian Dozier trade with the Dodgers. He finished the season in Chattanooga and ended the year with 20 home runs in AA. He was recently announced as a non-roster invite to spring training. Raley, like Brent Rooker, has a ton of power potential. AND MORE… The Twins system is very deep right now. There are several outside our top 20 who could reach the big leagues, many more than even just these honorable mentions. As I mentioned above, I really like Edwar Colina who spent most of the 2018 season in Cedar Rapids. DaShawn Keirsey was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2018. He and other draft picks from just last June could move up this list in 2019. Relievers such as Tyler Jay and Jake Reed still have upside. And I bet you could list a few of your own choices as guys that we missed in our Top 20 (or in his list of honorable mentions). Feel free to discuss below and ask questions.
  11. Seth’s 2018 Breakout Prospects Tyler Jay, LH Relief Pitcher 2018 Stats: 4-5, 4.22 ERA, 38/2 G/GS, 1.58 WHIP, 49/20 K/BB, 59.2 IP Jay, a former first round pick, is still trying to live up to the potential the former Twins front office saw in him. He spent all of 2018 at Double-A and there were certainly some mixed results. At season’s end, he was left off the 40-man roster and was exposed to the Rule 5 Draft. He went unclaimed and will stay in the organization. Last year Kohl Stewart went through the same process and he ended the year in the big-league rotation. Can Jay follow a similar path to make his big league debut? Lewis Thorpe, LH Starting Pitcher 2018 Stats: 8-7, 3.54 ERA, 26/25 G/GS, 1.24 WHIP, 157/36 K/BB, 129.2 IP Thorpe pitched for Chattanooga and Rochester in 2018. He was named the 2018 Jim Rantz Award winner as the Twins Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Thorpe had the opportunity to represent the Twins organization in the MLB Future’s Game during the MLB All-Star break. The 22-year old missed the 2015 and 2016 seasons as he recovered from Tommy John surgery and an illness, but he seems to have things back on track. Cody’s 2018 Breakout Prospects Felix Jorge, RH Starting Pitcher 2018 Stats: 1-0, 0.00 ERA, 2/1 G/GS, 0.67 WHIP, 2/0 K/BB, 3.0 IP By looking at previous prospect rankings found in the Twins Prospect Handbook, it’s easy to see that I have been driving the Felix Jorge bandwagon for multiple seasons. Naming him a breakout prospect for 2018 was a last-ditch effort to keep that bandwagon on the road. He missed almost all of 2018 as he dealt with a triceps injury and he was removed from the team’s 40-man roster. Jacob Pearson, Outfield 2018 Stats: .237/.312/.376, 12 2B, 3 3B, 7 HR, 36 RBI, 22.1 K%, 9.3 BB%, 6/11 SB Pearson spent his first season in the organization roaming the outfield in Cedar Rapids. As a 20-year old, he was almost a year and a half younger than the competition in the Midwest League. Through the end of June (32 games), he was hitting .294/.359/.429 with 10 extra-base hits. His number dropped from there as he might have tired from the rigors of a full-season campaign. Pearson won’t make it into any 2019 Top-10 lists but that has more to do with the prospects being added to the system. He still has a chance to be a breakout prospect in the years to come. Tom’s 2018 Breakout Prospects Jose Miranda, Infielder 2018 Stats: .264/.319/.417, 27 2B, 1 3B, 16 HR, 82 RBI, 11.2 K%, 5.6 BB%, 0/3 SB Miranda’s season started in the MWL, where he was almost a year and a half younger than the competition. In over 100 games, .277/.326/.434 with 13 home runs and 22 doubles. His transition to the FSL wasn’t exactly smooth has his average dipped to .216. That being said, Miranda was a key cog in the Miracle’s playoff run. He hit .400 with two home runs and three doubles in six playoff games. He’s not quite a Top-10 prospect but he is trending in the right direction. Jermaine Palacios, Shortstop 2018 Stats: .217/.269/.306, 20 2B, 5 3B, 2 HR, 53 RBI, 19.4 K%, 6.5 BB%, 8/16 SB Palacios was traded from the Twins organization for Jake Odorizzi on February 17, 2018. He split time during the 2018 campaign between Tampa’s High-A and Double-A teams. When he got to Double-A, he was almost three years younger than the competition. His .575 OPS was the second lowest total of his career. Minnesota’s organizational depth, especially at shortstop, allowed for Palacios to be expendable last off-season. To read more about this year’s breakout prospects and much more about the Twins minor leagues, grab your copy (or copies) of the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. Paperback version PDF version
  12. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Pawtucket 3 Box Score With Rochester attempting to employ an “opener,” Pawtucket jumped out early against Alan Busenitz as he allowed a three-run home run in the first inning. From there, Fernando Romero had things on lock-down. Over eight shutout innings, he limited the Red Sox to four hits and struck out eight without walking a batter. https://twitter.com/JoshWhetzel/status/1026202218595332097 In the third inning, the Red Wings started their comeback. With one out in the frame, Gregorio Petit singled and that was followed by walks to Taylor Motter and Nick Gordon to load the bases. Newly acquired Tyler Austin drove in two with his 11th double on the season. Following a Willians Astudillo walk, Andy Wilkins singled to drive in Gordon and the game was tied at three. The top of the ninth saw Rochester take the lead for good. Johnny Field singled before a walk to Jeremy Hazelbaker and a hit by pitch for Juan Graterol. Petit singled to drive in the go-ahead run. After a strikeout by Taylor Motter, Gordon laced a single off the shortstop’s glove to plate two insurance runs. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 9, Mississippi 2 Box Score The Lookouts out-hit the Braves by only one but the team collected six hits with runners in scoring position including a big seven-run inning. Chattanooga loaded the bases in the second with an Alex Perez walk, a Jordan Gore walk, and a Zander Wiel single. Brent Rooker picked up an RBI after drawing a walk. Luke Raley pushed across another run with a force out to put the team up 2-0. In the fourth inning, every batter in the line-up reached base with a walk, a hit or through a fielding error. Without the use of an extra-base hit, the club piled up six singles and a pair of walks to score seven runs. Every batter reached base safely at some point in the game. Alex Perez finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Luis Arraez and Jaylin Davis each reached base four times. Sean Poppen earned his fifth victory after pitching five innings. He allowed two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Andrew Vasquez and Cody Stashak each tossed two scoreless frames. Vasquez struck out four while allowing only one hit. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Florida 7 Box Score Florida was in the midst of a 10-game losing streak and Fort Myers had won five straight but both of those streaks came to an end on Sunday. Bryan Sammons ran into some early trouble as he allowed five runs on five hits including a three-run home run. He struck out four and walked two but he was able to pitch only three innings. Dylan Stowell went 2 2/3 innings but allowed a home run. Alex Robinson was strong in relief as he was asked to collect seven outs and he got six of them via strikeout. Royce Lewis reached base three times out of the lead-off spot. Alex Kirilloff had another multi-hit game (2-for-5). Taylor Grzelakowski and Ryan Costello both went 2-for-4. Costello scored two runs and had his first double since joining the Twins organization. Even with the loss, the Miracle won the series from Florida. Fort Myers has won six consecutive series. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Beloit 10 Box Score Cedar Rapids saw an early lead disappear in this one after the Snappers scored seven runs in the eighth inning. Jhoan Duran started and pitched into the seventh inning (6 1/3 IP). He struck out nine and scattered three runs on five hits. https://twitter.com/jeje66/status/1026208188465668096 Calvin Faucher and Rickey Ramirez ran into some issues out of the bullpen. Faucher allowed three runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning. Ramirez only collected one out and he allowed four runs on four hits. Moises Gomez stopped the bleeding as he allowed only one hit over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Gabriel Maciel had two doubles and two RBI. Jacob Pearson and Trey Cabbage each went 2-for-4 with a double. Akil Baddoo and Ben Rodriguez both went 2-for-5 with two RBIs each. Ryan Jeffers knocked his third home run. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 5, Pulaski 6 (10 Innings) Box Score Josh Winder took the mound for the E-Twins and pitched five innings. He struck out eight and allowed three runs on four hits. Juan Gamez coughed up a pair of runs and was credited with only one out. From there, things calmed down. Tanner Howell pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Johan Quezada was saddled with the loss after the runner starting at second scored in extra-innings. Colton Burns led the offensive charge by going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored. Chris Williams added to his home run total (12 HR) with a two-run shot in the third. He also reached base three times. Andrew Cosgrove drove in a run and added his third double on the season. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Gabriel Maciel, Cedar Rapids (2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Fernando Romero, Rochester (8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 8 K, 0 BB) TOP 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 (FM): 1-for-3, 2 BB 2. Alex Kirilloff (FM): 2-for-5 3. Brusdar Graterol (FM): Did not play. 4. Nick Gordon (ROC): 1-for-4, BB, 2 RBI, R 5. Stephen Gonsalves (ROC): Did not play. 6. Trevor Larnach (ET): 0-for-4, BB, 2 R, 2 K 7. Brent Rooker (CHAT): 1-for-3, R, RBI, BB, K 8. Akil Baddoo (CR): 2-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 K 9. Wander Javier: Out of for the season 10. Zack Littell (ROC): Did not play. 11. Blayne Enlow (CR): Did not play. 12. LaMonte Wade (ROC): Did not play. 13. Travis Blankenhorn (FM): 0-for-4, K 14. Lewis Thorpe (CHAT): Did not play. 15. Ben Rortvedt (FM): 1-for-4, RBI, K 16. Yunior Severino (ET): 1-for-4, BB, 3 K 17. Lewin Diaz (FM): Did not play. 18. Ryan Jeffers (ET): Did not play. 19. Jacob Pearson (CR): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 K 20. Luis Arraez (CHAT): 2-for-3, RBI, R, BB MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester – Scheduled Off-Day ***Rochester Red Wings players will join groups of golfers at the third annual Swing with the Wings golf tournament to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association*** Chattanooga vs. Mississippi (6:15 CST) – TBD Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes (5-5, 2.81 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Beloit (12:05 CST) – RHP Edwar Colina (5-3, 2.93 ERA) Elizabethton vs. Kingsport (6:00 CST) – LHP Kody Funderburk (1-0, 4.58 ERA) GCL Twins vs. GCL Rays (11:00 AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  13. Where has summer gone? Here we are in the August heat with some playoff races heating up. Rochester is 19 games out of first place and nine games back in the wild card race. Chattanooga is in last place in the Southern League North Division but trail the leader by only 5.5 games. Fort Myers is only percentage points behind Charlotte for first place in the Florida State League South Division. Cedar Rapids is in a virtual tie for first in the Midwest League Western Division. The top two teams in the division make the playoffs. Elizabethton is three games up in the Apply League West Division. Let’s dive in and see how Sunday’s action played out.RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Pawtucket 3 Box Score With Rochester attempting to employ an “opener,” Pawtucket jumped out early against Alan Busenitz as he allowed a three-run home run in the first inning. From there, Fernando Romero had things on lock-down. Over eight shutout innings, he limited the Red Sox to four hits and struck out eight without walking a batter. In the third inning, the Red Wings started their comeback. With one out in the frame, Gregorio Petit singled and that was followed by walks to Taylor Motter and Nick Gordon to load the bases. Newly acquired Tyler Austin drove in two with his 11th double on the season. Following a Willians Astudillo walk, Andy Wilkins singled to drive in Gordon and the game was tied at three. The top of the ninth saw Rochester take the lead for good. Johnny Field singled before a walk to Jeremy Hazelbaker and a hit by pitch for Juan Graterol. Petit singled to drive in the go-ahead run. After a strikeout by Taylor Motter, Gordon laced a single off the shortstop’s glove to plate two insurance runs. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 9, Mississippi 2 Box Score The Lookouts out-hit the Braves by only one but the team collected six hits with runners in scoring position including a big seven-run inning. Chattanooga loaded the bases in the second with an Alex Perez walk, a Jordan Gore walk, and a Zander Wiel single. Brent Rooker picked up an RBI after drawing a walk. Luke Raley pushed across another run with a force out to put the team up 2-0. In the fourth inning, every batter in the line-up reached base with a walk, a hit or through a fielding error. Without the use of an extra-base hit, the club piled up six singles and a pair of walks to score seven runs. Every batter reached base safely at some point in the game. Alex Perez finished 3-for-5 with two runs scored. Luis Arraez and Jaylin Davis each reached base four times. Sean Poppen earned his fifth victory after pitching five innings. He allowed two runs on six hits with four strikeouts and three walks. Andrew Vasquez and Cody Stashak each tossed two scoreless frames. Vasquez struck out four while allowing only one hit. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Florida 7 Box Score Florida was in the midst of a 10-game losing streak and Fort Myers had won five straight but both of those streaks came to an end on Sunday. Bryan Sammons ran into some early trouble as he allowed five runs on five hits including a three-run home run. He struck out four and walked two but he was able to pitch only three innings. Dylan Stowell went 2 2/3 innings but allowed a home run. Alex Robinson was strong in relief as he was asked to collect seven outs and he got six of them via strikeout. Royce Lewis reached base three times out of the lead-off spot. Alex Kirilloff had another multi-hit game (2-for-5). Taylor Grzelakowski and Ryan Costello both went 2-for-4. Costello scored two runs and had his first double since joining the Twins organization. Even with the loss, the Miracle won the series from Florida. Fort Myers has won six consecutive series. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Beloit 10 Box Score Cedar Rapids saw an early lead disappear in this one after the Snappers scored seven runs in the eighth inning. Jhoan Duran started and pitched into the seventh inning (6 1/3 IP). He struck out nine and scattered three runs on five hits. Calvin Faucher and Rickey Ramirez ran into some issues out of the bullpen. Faucher allowed three runs on three hits in two-thirds of an inning. Ramirez only collected one out and he allowed four runs on four hits. Moises Gomez stopped the bleeding as he allowed only one hit over 1 2/3 scoreless innings. Gabriel Maciel had two doubles and two RBI. Jacob Pearson and Trey Cabbage each went 2-for-4 with a double. Akil Baddoo and Ben Rodriguez both went 2-for-5 with two RBIs each. Ryan Jeffers knocked his third home run. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 5, Pulaski 6 (10 Innings) Box Score Josh Winder took the mound for the E-Twins and pitched five innings. He struck out eight and allowed three runs on four hits. Juan Gamez coughed up a pair of runs and was credited with only one out. From there, things calmed down. Tanner Howell pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings. Johan Quezada was saddled with the loss after the runner starting at second scored in extra-innings. Colton Burns led the offensive charge by going 3-for-4 with two doubles and a run scored. Chris Williams added to his home run total (12 HR) with a two-run shot in the third. He also reached base three times. Andrew Cosgrove drove in a run and added his third double on the season. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Gabriel Maciel, Cedar Rapids (2-for-4, 2 2B, 2 RBI, R) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Fernando Romero, Rochester (8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 8 K, 0 BB) TOP 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 (FM): 1-for-3, 2 BB 2. Alex Kirilloff (FM): 2-for-5 3. Brusdar Graterol (FM): Did not play. 4. Nick Gordon (ROC): 1-for-4, BB, 2 RBI, R 5. Stephen Gonsalves (ROC): Did not play. 6. Trevor Larnach (ET): 0-for-4, BB, 2 R, 2 K 7. Brent Rooker (CHAT): 1-for-3, R, RBI, BB, K 8. Akil Baddoo (CR): 2-for-5, 2 RBI, 2 K 9. Wander Javier: Out of for the season 10. Zack Littell (ROC): Did not play. 11. Blayne Enlow (CR): Did not play. 12. LaMonte Wade (ROC): Did not play. 13. Travis Blankenhorn (FM): 0-for-4, K 14. Lewis Thorpe (CHAT): Did not play. 15. Ben Rortvedt (FM): 1-for-4, RBI, K 16. Yunior Severino (ET): 1-for-4, BB, 3 K 17. Lewin Diaz (FM): Did not play. 18. Ryan Jeffers (ET): Did not play. 19. Jacob Pearson (CR): 2-for-4, 2B, 2 R, 2 K 20. Luis Arraez (CHAT): 2-for-3, RBI, R, BB MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester – Scheduled Off-Day ***Rochester Red Wings players will join groups of golfers at the third annual Swing with the Wings golf tournament to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Association*** Chattanooga vs. Mississippi (6:15 CST) – TBD Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes (5-5, 2.81 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Beloit (12:05 CST) – RHP Edwar Colina (5-3, 2.93 ERA) Elizabethton vs. Kingsport (6:00 CST) – LHP Kody Funderburk (1-0, 4.58 ERA) GCL Twins vs. GCL Rays (11:00 AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  14. 20. Luis Arraez – 2B Age: 21 ETA: 2020 2018 Stats (AA/A+): .321/.371/.416 (.786), 14 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 28 K, 19 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 19 | Tom: 19 | Cody: 23 Arraez tore his ACL in just his fourth game of 2017 and was forced to miss the entire rest of the season. He came out of the gates this season struggling badly, hitting .205/.266/.248 (.514) over his first 32 games. With the turn of the calendar from May to June, Luis appeared to have worked off the rust and so began an incredible run. From the start of June to when he was promoted to Chattanooga on the Fourth of July, Arraez hit .441/.484/.604 (1.087) over a span of 28 games. That streak helped earn him the title of Twins Daily’s Minor League Hitter Of The Month for June. Arraez is the youngest player to appear for the Lookouts so far this season. 19. Jacob Pearson – LF Age: 20 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats (A): .298/.373/.444 (.816), 7 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 28 K, 18 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 22 | Tom: 27 | Cody: 11 The Twins traded for Pearson over the winter, sending international bonus pool slot money over to the Angels. His batting line for the Kernels has been impressive (see above), but what’s particularly attractive about his offensive skill set is the fact that he’s posted a walk rate in the double digits (10.7 percent) while maintaining a strikeout rate under 17 percent (16.6, to be exact). To put that into perspective, only seven other Midwest League hitters can boast that same accomplishment of the 162 who have at least 150 plate appearances this season. Defensively, Pearson has played 78.6 percent of his games as a professional in left field with the rest of the time coming in center. 18. Ryan Jeffers – C Age: 21 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats (Rk): .361/.480/.426 (.906), 4 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 11 K, 9 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 15 | Tom: 20 | Cody: 19 The Twins selected Jeffers with the No. 59 overall pick in this year’s draft after he hit .323/.445/.620 (1.065) with more walks (85) than strikeouts (78) in his three years at UNC Wilmington. Listed at 6-for-4 and 228 pounds, Jeffers is a big, powerful guy. Only time will tell if he sticks behind the plate, but the Twins are clearly believers. Even if he eventually moves to another position, it’s possible he has enough bat to play just about anywhere. In his first 75 plate appearances as a pro, Jeffers has reached safely 36 times (22 hits, nine walks and five HBPs). He’s made six starts at catcher and another 11 at DH, as the E-Twins are also trying to get catching reps in for Andy Cosgrove and Trevor Casanova. 17. Lewin Diaz – 1B Age: 21 ETA: 2020 2018 Stats (A+): .240/.271/.376 (.647), 11 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 43 K, 8 BB 2018 Ranking: 13 | 2017 Ranking: 10 Seth: 23 | Tom: 16 | Cody: 12 There’s no way around it, Diaz is having a rough go of things in 2018. It appears the Florida State League All-Star break came at the perfect time, however, as Diaz has hit .333/.380/.470 (.850) in 17 games since. The FSL can be a brutal place for a power hitter, and adjusting to a league that suppresses offense can be a mental hurdle, as well. Diaz has continued to put the ball in play a lot, but he’s having a much harder time finding hits. After posting a .322 BABIP last season in Cedar Rapids, that number has dropped all the way down to .268 this season. Diaz’s prospect stock is on the decline, but there are still some national media outlets that list him inside the system’s top 10. 16. Yunior Severino – 2B Age: 18 ETA: 2022 2018 Stats (Rk): .333/.340/.444 (.785), 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 10 K, 1 BB 2018 Ranking: 18 | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 16 | Tom: 17 | Cody: 17 Yet another relative newcomer to the organization, Severino was signed as a free agent for $2.5 million this December after the Braves were forced to forfeit him as a penalty for violating international signing rules. To put that into some perspective, the Twins recently signed this year’s first-round pick Trevor Larnach for $2.55 million. Yunior is the youngest player to appear for Elizabethton this season, so as you could expect, he’s still very raw. In 69 games as a professional, Severino has hit .280/.344/.424 (.769) with a 25.8 K% and 8.4 BB%. He’s been a second baseman so far, but how he fills out physically could ultimately determine his future position. If he continues to get bigger and stronger, he’ll likely have enough arm for third base. What are your thoughts on the latest set of rankings? Who’s ranked too high? Who’s ranked too low? Leave a comment and start the discussion. Make sure to check back tomorrow for Nos. 11-15. Haven’t been flowing along? Well here’s how we’ve ranked the prospects so far: 40. Aaron Whitefield, 39. Jaylin Davis, 38. Ricky De La Torre, 37. Lachlan Wells, 36. Aaron Slegers 35. Tyler Watson, 34. DaShawn Keirsey Jr., 33. Gabriel Moya, 32. Andrew Bechtold, 31. Jordan Balazovic 30. John Curtiss, 29. Zack Granite, 28. Jake Cave, 27. Tyler Wells, 26. Griffin Jax 25. Tyler Jay, 24. Felix Jorge, 23. Kohl Stewart, 22. Landon Leach, 21. Jose Miranda For anyone wondering, these rankings were compiled prior to the official announcement that the Twins had singed 16-year-old Venezuelan Misael Urbina to a $2.75 million bonus, so he is not included in the rankings.
  15. Change happens slowly when it comes to a team’s minor league system. Of the previous 20 players unveiled in our midseason prospect list up to this point, 13 were brought into the organization prior to Derek Falvey taking over as Chief Baseball Officer of the Twins. This next sample of five prospects includes a couple of holdovers from the previous regime, but also features a trio of players that have been added to the organization within the last seven months. Even more interesting, each of those three newcomers was acquired via a different avenue: One via trade, one through the draft and the other as (technically) an international free agent.20. Luis Arraez – 2B Age: 21 ETA: 2020 2018 Stats (AA/A+): .321/.371/.416 (.786), 14 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 28 K, 19 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 19 | Tom: 19 | Cody: 23 Arraez tore his ACL in just his fourth game of 2017 and was forced to miss the entire rest of the season. He came out of the gates this season struggling badly, hitting .205/.266/.248 (.514) over his first 32 games. With the turn of the calendar from May to June, Luis appeared to have worked off the rust and so began an incredible run. From the start of June to when he was promoted to Chattanooga on the Fourth of July, Arraez hit .441/.484/.604 (1.087) over a span of 28 games. That streak helped earn him the title of Twins Daily’s Minor League Hitter Of The Month for June. Arraez is the youngest player to appear for the Lookouts so far this season. 19. Jacob Pearson – LF Age: 20 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats (A): .298/.373/.444 (.816), 7 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 28 K, 18 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 22 | Tom: 27 | Cody: 11 The Twins traded for Pearson over the winter, sending international bonus pool slot money over to the Angels. His batting line for the Kernels has been impressive (see above), but what’s particularly attractive about his offensive skill set is the fact that he’s posted a walk rate in the double digits (10.7 percent) while maintaining a strikeout rate under 17 percent (16.6, to be exact). To put that into perspective, only seven other Midwest League hitters can boast that same accomplishment of the 162 who have at least 150 plate appearances this season. Defensively, Pearson has played 78.6 percent of his games as a professional in left field with the rest of the time coming in center. 18. Ryan Jeffers – C Age: 21 ETA: 2021 2018 Stats (Rk): .361/.480/.426 (.906), 4 2B, 0 3B, 0 HR, 11 K, 9 BB 2018 Ranking: NR | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 15 | Tom: 20 | Cody: 19 The Twins selected Jeffers with the No. 59 overall pick in this year’s draft after he hit .323/.445/.620 (1.065) with more walks (85) than strikeouts (78) in his three years at UNC Wilmington. Listed at 6-for-4 and 228 pounds, Jeffers is a big, powerful guy. Only time will tell if he sticks behind the plate, but the Twins are clearly believers. Even if he eventually moves to another position, it’s possible he has enough bat to play just about anywhere. In his first 75 plate appearances as a pro, Jeffers has reached safely 36 times (22 hits, nine walks and five HBPs). He’s made six starts at catcher and another 11 at DH, as the E-Twins are also trying to get catching reps in for Andy Cosgrove and Trevor Casanova. 17. Lewin Diaz – 1B Age: 21 ETA: 2020 2018 Stats (A+): .240/.271/.376 (.647), 11 2B, 3 3B, 6 HR, 43 K, 8 BB 2018 Ranking: 13 | 2017 Ranking: 10 Seth: 23 | Tom: 16 | Cody: 12 There’s no way around it, Diaz is having a rough go of things in 2018. It appears the Florida State League All-Star break came at the perfect time, however, as Diaz has hit .333/.380/.470 (.850) in 17 games since. The FSL can be a brutal place for a power hitter, and adjusting to a league that suppresses offense can be a mental hurdle, as well. Diaz has continued to put the ball in play a lot, but he’s having a much harder time finding hits. After posting a .322 BABIP last season in Cedar Rapids, that number has dropped all the way down to .268 this season. Diaz’s prospect stock is on the decline, but there are still some national media outlets that list him inside the system’s top 10. 16. Yunior Severino – 2B Age: 18 ETA: 2022 2018 Stats (Rk): .333/.340/.444 (.785), 2 2B, 0 3B, 1 HR, 10 K, 1 BB 2018 Ranking: 18 | 2017 Ranking: NR Seth: 16 | Tom: 17 | Cody: 17 Yet another relative newcomer to the organization, Severino was signed as a free agent for $2.5 million this December after the Braves were forced to forfeit him as a penalty for violating international signing rules. To put that into some perspective, the Twins recently signed this year’s first-round pick Trevor Larnach for $2.55 million. Yunior is the youngest player to appear for Elizabethton this season, so as you could expect, he’s still very raw. In 69 games as a professional, Severino has hit .280/.344/.424 (.769) with a 25.8 K% and 8.4 BB%. He’s been a second baseman so far, but how he fills out physically could ultimately determine his future position. If he continues to get bigger and stronger, he’ll likely have enough arm for third base. What are your thoughts on the latest set of rankings? Who’s ranked too high? Who’s ranked too low? Leave a comment and start the discussion. Make sure to check back tomorrow for Nos. 11-15. Haven’t been flowing along? Well here’s how we’ve ranked the prospects so far: 40. Aaron Whitefield, 39. Jaylin Davis, 38. Ricky De La Torre, 37. Lachlan Wells, 36. Aaron Slegers 35. Tyler Watson, 34. DaShawn Keirsey Jr., 33. Gabriel Moya, 32. Andrew Bechtold, 31. Jordan Balazovic 30. John Curtiss, 29. Zack Granite, 28. Jake Cave, 27. Tyler Wells, 26. Griffin Jax 25. Tyler Jay, 24. Felix Jorge, 23. Kohl Stewart, 22. Landon Leach, 21. Jose Miranda For anyone wondering, these rankings were compiled prior to the official announcement that the Twins had singed 16-year-old Venezuelan Misael Urbina to a $2.75 million bonus, so he is not included in the rankings. Click here to view the article
  16. The big league club found another way to lose a game. It’s a good thing we all have the minor league box scores and games to watch and follow, right? The Red Wings had a big night against a rehabbing big leaguer. A couple of the Twins’ big power hitting prospects had big games. Royce Lewis. Alex Kirilloff. Brent Rooker. Byron Buxton. Each of them had a noteworthy night.Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Monday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS The Twins activated SS Jorge Polanco from the restricted list.To make room for Polanco on the 40-man roster OF Ryan LaMarre was designated for assignment.To make room for Polanco on the 25-man roster, SS Ehire Adrianza was placed on the disabled listIn addition, Adalberto Mejia was optioned back to Rochester with RHP Zack Littell being recalled from the Red Wings.Following the game, the Twins optioned Littell to Rochester. Another arm will be brought up for Tuesday's game.Monday was July 2nd, the first day of the 2018-19 international signing period. The Twins already used $2.5 million of their cap to sign Yunior Severino. On Monday, they signed OF Misael Urbina from Venezuela for $2.75 million AWARDS Lewis Thorpe was named the Pitcher of the Week in the Southern League.Jordan Balazovic was named the Pitcher of the Week in the Midwest League.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 6, Pawtucket 2 Box Score The Red Wings went with a bullpen game on the mound, and the bullpen did very well. Four pitchers combined to give up just two runs on the way to a Red Wings win. DJ Baxendale made the start. He gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in the first three innings. He struck out three. Luke Bard tossed the next three innings. He gave up two hits, but no runs, while striking out one. Jake Reed was next and he walked one and struck one out over two scoreless innings. John Curtiss finished with a scoreless ninth inning. He both walked and struck out one batter. Most of the Red Wings offense came in the first three innings when they scored five runs off of rehabbing Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz. Byron Buxton got things going with a leadoff home run. In the second inning, Edgar Corcino hit his first Triple-A home run, and LaMonte Wade added a solo home run in the third inning. Vargas went 2-for-5 on the game. He added his ninth double to this tenth home run and drove in three runs. Corcino went 2-for-4. Gregorio Petit went 2-for-4 with a walk. Buxton went 1-for-4 with a walk and his second home run of the Red Wings season. He also struck out twice. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4, Tennessee 5 (10 innings) Box Score The Lookouts scored a run in the top of the 10th inning. Unfortunately, they gave up two runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a loss. Lewis Thorpe was back on the mound the day that the Southern League named him its pitcher of the week. The southpaw gave up one run on three hits and a walk over the first 2 2/3 innings. He struck out three. Unfortunately, the rains came, and Thorpe’s night was done. Andrew Vasquez, another talented left-hander, came on and got the team through the fifth inning. He gave up just one hit and struck out four. Cody Stashak was very impressive in his outing. He got six outs and five came via the strikeout. Williams Ramirez did not have an impressive outing. He faced three batters. Two got hits and one walked. He was replaced by Ryne Harper, but two of Ramirez’s runs scored. Harper went 2 2/3 innings. He didn’t give up a run until the two runs in the 10th inning. Brent Rooker led the offense. He hit his 14th home run and his 18th double. Alex Perez went 2-for-5. Tanner English was 2-for-4 with his second home run of the season. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 11, Charlotte 3 Box Score The Miracle bats were busy on Monday night. Alex Kirilloff led the way. He went 3-for-5 with his first Miracle triple. He drove in three runs. He also stole his first base with the Miracle. Mark Contreras had two hits, a walk and his 11th double. He stole his eighth base. Travis Blankenhorn had two hits including his 16th double. Miguel Sano went 2-for-4 with a walk. Aaron Whitefield was 2-for-4 with his fourth steal and scored three runs. Andro Cutura went the first three innings for the Miracle. He gave up one run on two hits and a walk. Hector Lujan went the middle three innings. He gave up two hits and a walk, but no runs. Ryan Mason recorded his fourth save. He gave up two runs on four hits over three innings. He walked one and struck one out. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Wisconsin 9 Box Score Tyler Watson returned to the Kernels from the Miracle. He threw two scoreless innings to start, but then he gave up six runs (five earned) in the third inning. In total, he gave up six hits and walked two in 2 2/3 innings. Melvi Acosta gave up an unearned run on three hits over 3 1/3 innings. He struck out six without walking any. Jared Finkel went the final two innings. He gave up two runs on three hits and a walk. He struck out three. Jacob Pearson got the Kernels off to a good start. He homered in the top of the first inning to give the team a 1-0 lead. It was his third homer. He added a single as well. Royce Lewis extended his on-base streak to 15 games. He went 2-for-5. Jean Carlos Arias hit his 10th double. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton , Princeton Box Score This game has been postponed by rain. The teams will try to play two games on Tuesday. GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins 12, GCL Orioles 2 Box Score The GCL Twins improved to 7-5 with a big win against the Orioles. Six Twins had multi-hit games. Yeltsin Encarnacion led off and went 2-for-5 with a walk. Tyler Webb went 2-for-4 with a walk. He scored three runs. Janigson Villalobos went 2-for-4 with two walks and his second double. Victor Tademo had a single and a double. Edgar Herrera went 2-for-4 with a walk. Estamy Urena went 2-for-5 with his second and third doubles. Zach Featherstone returned to the mound and started with a 1-2-3 first inning. Michael Montero came on and threw the next four innings. He gave up two runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out one. Dylan Stowell threw two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. He struck one out. Osiris German struck out three over the final two innings. He walked just one. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Alex Kirilloff, Ft. Myers Miracle (3-5, 3B(1), 3 RBI, SB(1)) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Cody Stashak, Chattanooga Lookouts (2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that we will be updating our Top Prospect rankings so this list will be updated soon. #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 2-5, K #2 - Fernando Romero (Rochester) - Did not pitch #3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-5 #4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 3-5, 3B(1), 3 RBI, K, SB(1) #6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 2-5, 2B(18), HR(14), R, 2 RBI, K #8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #9 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, 2B(13), BB #11 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) - 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, BB #14 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-4, HR(2), R, RBI #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, R, K #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 2-6, 2B(16), 2 RBI, K #18 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) - Did Not Play #19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch #20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - Disabled List, began rehab on June 19. DFAd over the weekend. TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Pawtucket (5:15 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero (1-1, 2.33 ERA) Chattanooga @ Tennessee (6:00 CST) - RHP Omar Bencomo (5-2, 3.19 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Charlotte (5:35 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker (3-5, 3.63 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35 CST) - RHP Randy Dobnak (5-2, 4.14 ERA) Elizabethton @ Princeton (6:00 CST) - RHP Pedro Garcia (1-1, 9.00 ERA) GCL Orioles @ GCL Twins (11:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  17. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Monday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS The Twins activated SS Jorge Polanco from the restricted list. To make room for Polanco on the 40-man roster OF Ryan LaMarre was designated for assignment. To make room for Polanco on the 25-man roster, SS Ehire Adrianza was placed on the disabled list In addition, Adalberto Mejia was optioned back to Rochester with RHP Zack Littell being recalled from the Red Wings. Following the game, the Twins optioned Littell to Rochester. Another arm will be brought up for Tuesday's game. Monday was July 2nd, the first day of the 2018-19 international signing period. The Twins already used $2.5 million of their cap to sign Yunior Severino. On Monday, they signed OF Misael Urbina from Venezuela for $2.75 million https://twitter.com/MLBPipeline/status/1013825554137669637 AWARDS Lewis Thorpe was named the Pitcher of the Week in the Southern League. Jordan Balazovic was named the Pitcher of the Week in the Midwest League. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Pawtucket 2 Box Score The Red Wings went with a bullpen game on the mound, and the bullpen did very well. Four pitchers combined to give up just two runs on the way to a Red Wings win. DJ Baxendale made the start. He gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in the first three innings. He struck out three. Luke Bard tossed the next three innings. He gave up two hits, but no runs, while striking out one. Jake Reed was next and he walked one and struck one out over two scoreless innings. John Curtiss finished with a scoreless ninth inning. He both walked and struck out one batter. Most of the Red Wings offense came in the first three innings when they scored five runs off of rehabbing Red Sox starter Drew Pomeranz. Byron Buxton got things going with a leadoff home run. In the second inning, Edgar Corcino hit his first Triple-A home run, and LaMonte Wade added a solo home run in the third inning. Vargas went 2-for-5 on the game. He added his ninth double to this tenth home run and drove in three runs. Corcino went 2-for-4. Gregorio Petit went 2-for-4 with a walk. Buxton went 1-for-4 with a walk and his second home run of the Red Wings season. He also struck out twice. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4, Tennessee 5 (10 innings) Box Score The Lookouts scored a run in the top of the 10th inning. Unfortunately, they gave up two runs in the bottom half of the inning to take a loss. Lewis Thorpe was back on the mound the day that the Southern League named him its pitcher of the week. The southpaw gave up one run on three hits and a walk over the first 2 2/3 innings. He struck out three. Unfortunately, the rains came, and Thorpe’s night was done. Andrew Vasquez, another talented left-hander, came on and got the team through the fifth inning. He gave up just one hit and struck out four. Cody Stashak was very impressive in his outing. He got six outs and five came via the strikeout. Williams Ramirez did not have an impressive outing. He faced three batters. Two got hits and one walked. He was replaced by Ryne Harper, but two of Ramirez’s runs scored. Harper went 2 2/3 innings. He didn’t give up a run until the two runs in the 10th inning. Brent Rooker led the offense. He hit his 14th home run and his 18th double. Alex Perez went 2-for-5. Tanner English was 2-for-4 with his second home run of the season. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 11, Charlotte 3 Box Score The Miracle bats were busy on Monday night. Alex Kirilloff led the way. He went 3-for-5 with his first Miracle triple. He drove in three runs. He also stole his first base with the Miracle. Mark Contreras had two hits, a walk and his 11th double. He stole his eighth base. Travis Blankenhorn had two hits including his 16th double. Miguel Sano went 2-for-4 with a walk. Aaron Whitefield was 2-for-4 with his fourth steal and scored three runs. Andro Cutura went the first three innings for the Miracle. He gave up one run on two hits and a walk. Hector Lujan went the middle three innings. He gave up two hits and a walk, but no runs. Ryan Mason recorded his fourth save. He gave up two runs on four hits over three innings. He walked one and struck one out. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Wisconsin 9 Box Score Tyler Watson returned to the Kernels from the Miracle. He threw two scoreless innings to start, but then he gave up six runs (five earned) in the third inning. In total, he gave up six hits and walked two in 2 2/3 innings. Melvi Acosta gave up an unearned run on three hits over 3 1/3 innings. He struck out six without walking any. Jared Finkel went the final two innings. He gave up two runs on three hits and a walk. He struck out three. Jacob Pearson got the Kernels off to a good start. He homered in the top of the first inning to give the team a 1-0 lead. It was his third homer. He added a single as well. Royce Lewis extended his on-base streak to 15 games. He went 2-for-5. Jean Carlos Arias hit his 10th double. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton , Princeton Box Score This game has been postponed by rain. The teams will try to play two games on Tuesday. GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins 12, GCL Orioles 2 Box Score The GCL Twins improved to 7-5 with a big win against the Orioles. Six Twins had multi-hit games. Yeltsin Encarnacion led off and went 2-for-5 with a walk. Tyler Webb went 2-for-4 with a walk. He scored three runs. Janigson Villalobos went 2-for-4 with two walks and his second double. Victor Tademo had a single and a double. Edgar Herrera went 2-for-4 with a walk. Estamy Urena went 2-for-5 with his second and third doubles. Zach Featherstone returned to the mound and started with a 1-2-3 first inning. Michael Montero came on and threw the next four innings. He gave up two runs on five hits and a walk. He struck out one. Dylan Stowell threw two scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. He struck one out. Osiris German struck out three over the final two innings. He walked just one. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Alex Kirilloff, Ft. Myers Miracle (3-5, 3B(1), 3 RBI, SB(1)) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Cody Stashak, Chattanooga Lookouts (2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 5 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. Please note that we will be updating our Top Prospect rankings so this list will be updated soon. #1 - Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) - 2-5, K #2 - Fernando Romero (Rochester) - Did not pitch #3 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-5 #4 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch #5 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 3-5, 3B(1), 3 RBI, K, SB(1) #6 - Wander Javier - out of for the season #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - 2-5, 2B(18), HR(14), R, 2 RBI, K #8 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #9 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, 2B(13), BB #11 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) - 0.1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP #12 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - 2.2 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K #13 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, BB #14 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-4, HR(2), R, RBI #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, R, K #17 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 2-6, 2B(16), 2 RBI, K #18 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton Twins) - Did Not Play #19 - Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) - Did not pitch #20 - Felix Jorge (Chattanooga) - Disabled List, began rehab on June 19. DFAd over the weekend. TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Pawtucket (5:15 CST) - RHP Fernando Romero (1-1, 2.33 ERA) Chattanooga @ Tennessee (6:00 CST) - RHP Omar Bencomo (5-2, 3.19 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Charlotte (5:35 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker (3-5, 3.63 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35 CST) - RHP Randy Dobnak (5-2, 4.14 ERA) Elizabethton @ Princeton (6:00 CST) - RHP Pedro Garcia (1-1, 9.00 ERA) GCL Orioles @ GCL Twins (11:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  18. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Scranton/WB 4 (Suspended in 4th Inning) Sunday’s contest between the Red Wings and the RailRiders was suspended in the fourth inning with Scranton/WB up 4-1. This game will continue on Monday starting at 4:05 CST before playing tomorrow’s regularly scheduled game. The suspended game will go nine innings and be followed by a seven inning game. Before the weather came, Jake Cave hit a solo-home run in the first inning with two outs. Dietrich Enns pitched four innings and allowed four runs on five hits. Byron Buxton continued his rehab assignment and went 0-for-2 out of the lead-off spot. Check back on Monday for a full game report. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 3, Biloxi 6 Box Score Anthony Marzi started for Chattanooga and allowed two earned runs with both coming on solo- home runs. He struck out five and walked two but he won’t figure into the decision in this one. Ryan Eades took over for Mariz and allowed two earned runs in 1 2/3 innings. He struck out three and walked one as he saw his ERA rise to 5.36. Todd Van Steensel tossed 1 1/3 shutout innings before Cody Stashak allowed a couple of insurance runs to score in the ninth. The Lookouts only had four opportunities to bat with runners in scoring position and the team never recorded a hit in those situations. Jaylin Davis cracked a two-run home run in the fourth inning as part of a three hit day. For the second straight day, Andy Wilkins went 2-for-4 with a triple and scored a run. Besides those two, no other batters reached base multiple times. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 0, Bradenton 5 (8 Innings) Box Score Miracle players got to see an abbreviated no-hitter on Sunday but they were the team not collecting any hits. Oddy Nunez pitched eight no-hitting innings before the game was called due to rain. Joe Cronin and Shane Carrier both reached base on walks and Alex Kirilloff was hit by a pitch. Those were all of the base runners for the Miracle. Jorge Polanco went 0-for-3 with a strikeout as he gets ready to get back from suspension. Andro Cutura took the loss but he pitched into the sixth inning and only allowed two earned runs. He carried a no-hitter of his own into the fifth. Overall, he pitched 5 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts and two walks. Tom Hackimer allowed three runs on two hits over 1 1/3 innings. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 14, Wisconsin 1 Box Score A 10-run inning and a big offensive day from Jacob Pearson helped the Kernels finish off a four-game sweep of the Timber Rattlers. Pearson had a career-high four hits, scored three runs, drove in three runs and finished a double shy of the cycle. The 10 run-inning was the most runs Cedar Rapids scored in one frame since 2015. Pearson wasn’t the only offensive star. Robby Rinn reached base four times and collected three hits. Jose Miranda drove in a team-high five runs and added his 14th double of the season. Andrew Bechtold and Jordan Gore added home runs. Every batter besides Trey Cabbage reached base at some point in the blowout win. Brusdar Graterol was able to cruise through five shutout innings while only allowing two hits. He struck out nine and walked three. He reached triple digits on the radar five times on Sunday including a 101 mph fastball in the first inning. Jose Martinez allowed one run on two hits in two innings of work. Tanner Kiest finished off the game with two shutout frames. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 9, Bristol 2 Box Score Elizabethton pushed across nine runs in the sixth inning to cruise to their fifth win in six games to start the season. Jared Akins went 3-for-5 with a home run and two runs scored. Alex Robles reached base three times and added two RBI. Chris Williams and DeShawn Keirsey also had multi-hit games. Three E-Twins pitchers all were asked to pitch three innings. Kody Funderburk and Blair Lakso each pitched three shutout innings. Funderburk struck out three and walked one. Lakso earned his second win after not allowing a hit. He struck out four and walked one. Derek Molina earned his first save but he allowed two runs in the final frame. He struck out four. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Jacob Pearson, Cedar Rapids (4-5, HR, 3B, 3 RBI, 3 R) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Brusdar Graterol, Cedar Rapids (5 IP, 0 ER, 9 K, 3 BB) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #3 – Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-2 #5 – Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 0-2 #7 – Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 1-4, 2 K #9 – Brusdar Graterol (Cedar Rapids) – 5 IP, 0 ER, 9 K, 3 BB #10 – Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 0-3, 2 BB, 2 K #14 – LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 1-1, 2B #17 – Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 0-3, 2 K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Syracuse (3:05 CST) – LHP Adalberto Mejia (3-2, 2.91 ERA) Rochester @ Syracuse (Game 2) – TBD Chattanooga vs. Biloxi (6:15 CST) – RHP Kohl Stewart (3-4, 5.11 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Beloit (6:35 CST) – LHP Bryan Sammons (3-4, 3.05 ERA) Elizabethton vs. Johnson City (6:00 CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (11:00 AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  19. Life as a minor league player can be tough. Few players ever get to live out their dream as a regular player at the big league level. For every player who realizes their dream, another player is forced to be released or find another organization to keep his dream alive. Right-handed pitcher Zack Jones was released from the Twins organization on Sunday. The 27-year old was drafted by the organization in the fourth round of the 2012 MLB Draft. He pitched seven years in the minor leagues and reached Triple-A once in 2016. This actually came in the Brewers organization after being taken by Milwaukee in the Rule 5 Draft. This year with the Lookouts he had a 2.49 ERA in 25.1 innings with a 39 to 25 strikeout to walk ratio. He was over 2.5 years older than the competition in the Southern League.RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Buffalo 3 Box Score Rochester jumped out to a 1-0 lead without recording a hit in the second inning. With one out, Jake Cave and Kennys Vargas coaxed back-to-back walks. Cameron Rupp moved both runners into scoring position with a groundout. Then with Gregorio Petit batting, a wild pitch allowed Cave to scamper home. Aaron Slegers started for the Red Wings and he saw the lead disappear in the bottom half of the second. With two outs, Slegers allowed a solo home run. He walked the following batter and then a throwing error by third baseman Taylor Featherston allowed an unearned run to score. Overall, Slegers lasted five frames, struck out four and walked two. The Red Wings tied the game in the top of the fifth. Zack Granite led off the inning with a walk before moving to second on a LaMonte Wade single. Nick Gordon grounded out into a near double play to allow Granite to score. However, his hustle down the line forced the pitcher to drop the ball while covering first. Jake Reed took over for Slegers in the sixth and promptly gave up a lead-off double. After a ground out and a sacrifice fly, Bufflo had taken a 3-2 lead. Tyler Duffey and Nick Anderson combined for two shutout innings. Anderson pitched a perfect ninth with a pair of strikeouts. Vargas was the lone Rochester hitter with multiple hits. He finished 2-for-3 with a walk and a double. Granite and Wade both reached base twice. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga --, Birmingham – (Cancelled – Rain) Chattanooga and Birmingham sat in a rain delay before the game was eventually cancelled. The Lookouts finished the first half with a record of 36-33. The club will return home on Thursday to face the Biloxi Shuckers to kick off the second half. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 12 Box Score Cedar Rapids took a first inning lead thanks to back-to-back hits from Jacob Pearson and Alex Kirilloff. Pearson singled with one out before Kirilloff cracked his 19th double of the season. Pearson came all the way around from first to score. Later in the game, Kirilloff collected his 20th double. Jordan Balazovic took his first loss after allowing three earned runs on eight hits. He struck out six and walked two. In relief of Balazovic, Jose Martinez surrendered three earned runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings. Tanner Kiest ran into a little trouble in the late innings as he allowed six earned runs on five hits while recording only two outs. Calvin Fauchers finished off the final two outs for the Kernels and without allowing a run. Pearson and Kirilloff got the offense started again in the sixth. With two outs, both batters walked before a Jose Miranda single singled to drive in Pearson. Cedar Rapids loaded the bases the bottom of the ninth but only pushed across one run. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Alex Kirilloff, Cedar Rapids (2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Aaron Slegers, Rochester (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 2 BB) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #3 – Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-4, K #5 – Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 2-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB #10 – Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 0-5, BB, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Fort Myers vs. Tampa (6:00 CST) – TBD GCL Twins vs. GCL Orioles (11:00 AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  20. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Buffalo 3 Box Score Rochester jumped out to a 1-0 lead without recording a hit in the second inning. With one out, Jake Cave and Kennys Vargas coaxed back-to-back walks. Cameron Rupp moved both runners into scoring position with a groundout. Then with Gregorio Petit batting, a wild pitch allowed Cave to scamper home. Aaron Slegers started for the Red Wings and he saw the lead disappear in the bottom half of the second. With two outs, Slegers allowed a solo home run. He walked the following batter and then a throwing error by third baseman Taylor Featherston allowed an unearned run to score. Overall, Slegers lasted five frames, struck out four and walked two. The Red Wings tied the game in the top of the fifth. Zack Granite led off the inning with a walk before moving to second on a LaMonte Wade single. Nick Gordon grounded out into a near double play to allow Granite to score. However, his hustle down the line forced the pitcher to drop the ball while covering first. Jake Reed took over for Slegers in the sixth and promptly gave up a lead-off double. After a ground out and a sacrifice fly, Bufflo had taken a 3-2 lead. Tyler Duffey and Nick Anderson combined for two shutout innings. Anderson pitched a perfect ninth with a pair of strikeouts. Vargas was the lone Rochester hitter with multiple hits. He finished 2-for-3 with a walk and a double. Granite and Wade both reached base twice. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga --, Birmingham – (Cancelled – Rain) Chattanooga and Birmingham sat in a rain delay before the game was eventually cancelled. The Lookouts finished the first half with a record of 36-33. The club will return home on Thursday to face the Biloxi Shuckers to kick off the second half. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 12 Box Score Cedar Rapids took a first inning lead thanks to back-to-back hits from Jacob Pearson and Alex Kirilloff. Pearson singled with one out before Kirilloff cracked his 19th double of the season. Pearson came all the way around from first to score. Later in the game, Kirilloff collected his 20th double. Jordan Balazovic took his first loss after allowing three earned runs on eight hits. He struck out six and walked two. In relief of Balazovic, Jose Martinez surrendered three earned runs on four hits in 2 2/3 innings. Tanner Kiest ran into a little trouble in the late innings as he allowed six earned runs on five hits while recording only two outs. Calvin Fauchers finished off the final two outs for the Kernels and without allowing a run. Pearson and Kirilloff got the offense started again in the sixth. With two outs, both batters walked before a Jose Miranda single singled to drive in Pearson. Cedar Rapids loaded the bases the bottom of the ninth but only pushed across one run. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Alex Kirilloff, Cedar Rapids (2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Aaron Slegers, Rochester (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 K, 2 BB) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #3 – Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-4, K #5 – Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 2-4, 2 2B, RBI, BB #10 – Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 0-5, BB, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Fort Myers vs. Tampa (6:00 CST) – TBD GCL Twins vs. GCL Orioles (11:00 AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  21. Less than five years later, “Dink” is in his third season as the Cedar Rapids Kernels’ hitting coach and he and Kernels manager Toby Gardenhire are seeing the infield shift deployed several times on a nightly basis – both against their team’s hitters and by their own infielders. The times, they are a changin’. Any regular observer at Class A Midwest League games would likely tell you that the Quad Cities River Bandits probably employ shifts more than any other team in the league. It’s not a coincidence that Quad Cities is the Class A affiliate of the Astros. The Seattle Mariners’ MWL affiliate, the Clinton Lumber Kings, on the other hand, play a comparatively normal infield alignment against virtually every opposing hitter. The Kernels fall somewhere in the middle of those extremes, but the shift is something that has clearly been an increasingly apparent part of their defensive strategy over the course of Dinkelman’s tenure as the club’s hitting coach. And that’s fine with him. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing for baseball.” Dinkelman said in an interview during his club’s latest homestand, “Because teams are studying other teams and they’re playing the chances of where they think the hitter’s going to hit the ball, where his tendency to hit the ball is. Now, if that gives your team an advantage to play your players in that sort of position, then I’m all for it, because you’re looking for any advantage for your team to be better than the other team.” It may just be part of the natural cycle of teams trying to find the best way to win a baseball game, but infield shifts certainly have given hitting coaches like Dinkelman one more thing to think about as they help the next generation of position players to achieve their big league dreams. So far, though, it’s not causing a dramatic change in how he and the Twins are teaching the art of hitting a baseball. “We’ve addressed it a little bit,” he said. “I don’t think we’re going to change the way that we approach it or our swing, to try to hit around the shift. Some guys just are not able to do that with their swing. I’d rather have a guy who can hit the ball hard and hit it right through the shift. Because if you hit the ball hard enough, you’re still going to be able to hit the ball through the shift, for the most part, most of the time.” Lou Boudreau, as the manager of the Cleveland Indians, famously implemented the infield shift to try to contain Red Sox Hall of Fame slugger Ted Williams, but even Boudreau admitted later that his hope was that the shift would get into Williams’ head. Whether or not that strategy worked against Williams is open to debate, but Dinkelman indicated that, as they’ve begun implementing the shift themselves, the Kernels have seen evidence that the mental aspect of facing the shift can’t be discounted. “Where guys fall in trouble, and we’ve seen it even here at this level, is whenever they see a shift on, guys try to manipulate their swing to try to hit it where the guys aren’t and they end up making just weak contact or swinging and missing. http://knuckleballsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/DinkelmanGardenhire052718-600x400.jpg Brian Dinkelman and Toby Gardenhire (Photo by SD Buhr) “Toby and I talked about that. You see (an opposing hitter) swing and he’s trying to shoot it the other way because he sees that everybody’s on (the other side of the infield) and that’s just not part of his swing and he can’t do that. So that’s kind of an advantage for us because he’s taking a swing that he doesn’t want to take.” If that’s the case, would it make sense then to coach players to make that kind of swing a regular part of their game, in order to beat the shift? Are we on the verge of returning to the days where every hitter is coached to, “use the whole field?” Not necessarily, but some attempt to broaden a player’s range is only logical, given the current defensive trends. “There are still guys that use the whole field and there are still a handful of guys who are more one side of the field oriented,” Dinkelman explained. “If we can work on them to try to get them to use, say even the middle of the field, so it doesn’t have to just be all pull side. If they use the middle of the field, then their shift that (opponents are) playing against them won’t be as extreme and it’ll still open up a few more holes in the infield.” And what about bunting? Bunting has become a favorite target for ridicule from some of the more ardent supporters of more statistical metrics-based strategies who argue that giving up an out almost never improves a team’s chances of scoring runs. But would bunting more, especially into an almost open side of the infield, make bunting once again become a more important skill? “I think it is,” Dinkelman agreed. “I think that bunting still needs to be used if it’s the right situation in the game. If a guy’s leading off an inning and you need a baserunner or two and they’re playing a shift on you, giving you the whole left side of the infield for a bunt, I’m all for that. Because if you start bunting, they’re going to have to make an adjustment (to their shift) if you keep getting hit after hit.” It’s not a strategy that they’re going to encourage every hitter to employ, however. “Now, if you’ve got a guy who is a complete home run threat, then I’ll probably want to let him go ahead and swing the bat. Because if he hits a home run, that’s one run for us, where if he bunts and just gets a single, it may not do us a whole lot of good. “I think it depends on the player, but I think the bunt is still part of the game, if that’s part of your game, a way to get on base to help produce offense for our team, then I’m all for it.” This season, the Twins have entrusted millions of dollars’ worth of highly regarded young hitting prospects, including successive first round picks Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff, to Dinkelman’s tutelage. While Lewis, Kirilloff and infielder Jordan Gore have been producing at the plate with batting averages staying above .300 and only rare and short periods of anything that could be considered close to a slump, many of the other hitters in the lineup have been slower to come around. After the Kernels’ 16-hit onslaught in their 15-4 win over Wisconsin on Wednesday, Cedar Rapids sports the fourth highest team batting average in the league. But taking away the stats of Lewis, Kirilloff and Gore, you’re left with a team batting average of just .234. Granted, if you take away three .300+ stat lines from any team, the remaining team BA isn’t likely to be terribly strong. Regardless, however, Dinkelman remains bullish on the rest of his offensive unit. http://knuckleballsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Dinkelman052718-600x400.jpg Brian Dinkelman (Photo by SD Buhr) “They’re all making progress, they’re all learning the game,” he said. “The thing with our roster is we’re so young. We work on things, work on approach and set up, stuff like that. Try to help get them through a daily routine of being a professional baseball player. But they’re coming along nicely.” Nine of the 13 position players on the Cedar Rapids roster are 21 years old or younger and, even after Jacob Pearson’s 20th birthday party on June 1, three will still be teenagers. These guys weren’t facing 94 mph fastballs and 86 mph sliders from every pitcher who stepped out of an opponent’s bullpen before they put on a Kernels’ uniform for the first time. But that’s what they’re getting accustomed to seeing in today’s Midwest League. “These guys are new to this league or to pro baseball, so it takes a little bit of adjustment to get used to it, but they’re coming along,” Dinkelman said. “We’re about two months in now, so I think they’re starting to get the feel or understanding of a daily routine and what they’re going to face daily from the opposing team. “It’s not always about the numbers right now at this level, it’s more about your mindset and making progress and building that routine so as the season goes along or as the seasons go on, you have that to fall back on.”
  22. When Brian Dinkelman hung up his spikes as a player after the 2013 season, a defensive shift with three infielders on one side of second base was still a relative novelty being employed occasionally by the Houston Astros and perhaps one or two other teams at the Major League level. Less than five years later, “Dink” is in his third season as the Cedar Rapids Kernels’ hitting coach and he and Kernels manager Toby Gardenhire are seeing the infield shift deployed several times on a nightly basis – both against their team’s hitters and by their own infielders. The times, they are a changin’. Any regular observer at Class A Midwest League games would likely tell you that the Quad Cities River Bandits probably employ shifts more than any other team in the league. It’s not a coincidence that Quad Cities is the Class A affiliate of the Astros. The Seattle Mariners’ MWL affiliate, the Clinton Lumber Kings, on the other hand, play a comparatively normal infield alignment against virtually every opposing hitter. The Kernels fall somewhere in the middle of those extremes, but the shift is something that has clearly been an increasingly apparent part of their defensive strategy over the course of Dinkelman’s tenure as the club’s hitting coach. And that’s fine with him. “I don’t think it’s a bad thing for baseball.” Dinkelman said in an interview during his club’s latest homestand, “Because teams are studying other teams and they’re playing the chances of where they think the hitter’s going to hit the ball, where his tendency to hit the ball is. Now, if that gives your team an advantage to play your players in that sort of position, then I’m all for it, because you’re looking for any advantage for your team to be better than the other team.” It may just be part of the natural cycle of teams trying to find the best way to win a baseball game, but infield shifts certainly have given hitting coaches like Dinkelman one more thing to think about as they help the next generation of position players to achieve their big league dreams. So far, though, it’s not causing a dramatic change in how he and the Twins are teaching the art of hitting a baseball. “We’ve addressed it a little bit,” he said. “I don’t think we’re going to change the way that we approach it or our swing, to try to hit around the shift. Some guys just are not able to do that with their swing. I’d rather have a guy who can hit the ball hard and hit it right through the shift. Because if you hit the ball hard enough, you’re still going to be able to hit the ball through the shift, for the most part, most of the time.” Lou Boudreau, as the manager of the Cleveland Indians, famously implemented the infield shift to try to contain Red Sox Hall of Fame slugger Ted Williams, but even Boudreau admitted later that his hope was that the shift would get into Williams’ head. Whether or not that strategy worked against Williams is open to debate, but Dinkelman indicated that, as they’ve begun implementing the shift themselves, the Kernels have seen evidence that the mental aspect of facing the shift can’t be discounted. “Where guys fall in trouble, and we’ve seen it even here at this level, is whenever they see a shift on, guys try to manipulate their swing to try to hit it where the guys aren’t and they end up making just weak contact or swinging and missing. http://knuckleballsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/DinkelmanGardenhire052718-600x400.jpg Brian Dinkelman and Toby Gardenhire (Photo by SD Buhr) “Toby and I talked about that. You see (an opposing hitter) swing and he’s trying to shoot it the other way because he sees that everybody’s on (the other side of the infield) and that’s just not part of his swing and he can’t do that. So that’s kind of an advantage for us because he’s taking a swing that he doesn’t want to take.” If that’s the case, would it make sense then to coach players to make that kind of swing a regular part of their game, in order to beat the shift? Are we on the verge of returning to the days where every hitter is coached to, “use the whole field?” Not necessarily, but some attempt to broaden a player’s range is only logical, given the current defensive trends. “There are still guys that use the whole field and there are still a handful of guys who are more one side of the field oriented,” Dinkelman explained. “If we can work on them to try to get them to use, say even the middle of the field, so it doesn’t have to just be all pull side. If they use the middle of the field, then their shift that (opponents are) playing against them won’t be as extreme and it’ll still open up a few more holes in the infield.” And what about bunting? Bunting has become a favorite target for ridicule from some of the more ardent supporters of more statistical metrics-based strategies who argue that giving up an out almost never improves a team’s chances of scoring runs. But would bunting more, especially into an almost open side of the infield, make bunting once again become a more important skill? “I think it is,” Dinkelman agreed. “I think that bunting still needs to be used if it’s the right situation in the game. If a guy’s leading off an inning and you need a baserunner or two and they’re playing a shift on you, giving you the whole left side of the infield for a bunt, I’m all for that. Because if you start bunting, they’re going to have to make an adjustment (to their shift) if you keep getting hit after hit.” It’s not a strategy that they’re going to encourage every hitter to employ, however. “Now, if you’ve got a guy who is a complete home run threat, then I’ll probably want to let him go ahead and swing the bat. Because if he hits a home run, that’s one run for us, where if he bunts and just gets a single, it may not do us a whole lot of good. “I think it depends on the player, but I think the bunt is still part of the game, if that’s part of your game, a way to get on base to help produce offense for our team, then I’m all for it.” This season, the Twins have entrusted millions of dollars’ worth of highly regarded young hitting prospects, including successive first round picks Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff, to Dinkelman’s tutelage. While Lewis, Kirilloff and infielder Jordan Gore have been producing at the plate with batting averages staying above .300 and only rare and short periods of anything that could be considered close to a slump, many of the other hitters in the lineup have been slower to come around. After the Kernels’ 16-hit onslaught in their 15-4 win over Wisconsin on Wednesday, Cedar Rapids sports the fourth highest team batting average in the league. But taking away the stats of Lewis, Kirilloff and Gore, you’re left with a team batting average of just .234. Granted, if you take away three .300+ stat lines from any team, the remaining team BA isn’t likely to be terribly strong. Regardless, however, Dinkelman remains bullish on the rest of his offensive unit. http://knuckleballsblog.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/Dinkelman052718-600x400.jpg Brian Dinkelman (Photo by SD Buhr) “They’re all making progress, they’re all learning the game,” he said. “The thing with our roster is we’re so young. We work on things, work on approach and set up, stuff like that. Try to help get them through a daily routine of being a professional baseball player. But they’re coming along nicely.” Nine of the 13 position players on the Cedar Rapids roster are 21 years old or younger and, even after Jacob Pearson’s 20th birthday party on June 1, three will still be teenagers. These guys weren’t facing 94 mph fastballs and 86 mph sliders from every pitcher who stepped out of an opponent’s bullpen before they put on a Kernels’ uniform for the first time. But that’s what they’re getting accustomed to seeing in today’s Midwest League. “These guys are new to this league or to pro baseball, so it takes a little bit of adjustment to get used to it, but they’re coming along,” Dinkelman said. “We’re about two months in now, so I think they’re starting to get the feel or understanding of a daily routine and what they’re going to face daily from the opposing team. “It’s not always about the numbers right now at this level, it’s more about your mindset and making progress and building that routine so as the season goes along or as the seasons go on, you have that to fall back on.” Click here to view the article
  23. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Buffalo 11 (Game 1- 7 Innings) Box Score Trevor May is getting closer to returning to the big league roster but he certainly didn’t look ready based on what he did in this contest. May started and didn’t make it out of the third inning. He pitched 2 2/3 innings while allowing seven runs on five hits. He struck out five but he also walked four. There were some control issues as he threw 77 pitches in under three innings and 42 pitches were for strikes. D.J. Baxendale was pressed into service after May’s early exit. He pitched 2 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on five hits. He struck out four and didn’t allow a walk. Luke Bard finished the final 1 2/3 innings by surrendering one earned run. He compiled three strikeouts and no walks. Rochester didn’t have much offense to talk about. Zack Granite and Jake Cave each reached base twice. Willians Astudillo went 1-for-3 with the team’s lone extra-base hit, a double. Taylor Featherstone reached base twice, scored a run, and stole his seventh base. Recently promoted Nick Gordon went 0-for-3 with an RBI. Rochester 1, Buffalo 3 (Game 2- 7 Innings) Box Score Rochester’s offense continued its struggle in this one as the team put together only seven hits. Zack Granite went 2-for-4. Jermaine Curtis collected the team’s lone extra-base hit, his fourth double. After going hitless in the opening game, Nick Gordon went 1-for-4 with a single. On the mound, the Red Wings got five decent innings from Adalberto Mejia. He allowed three earned runs on eight hits while striking out four and walking two. John Curtiss finished the game with two shutout innings. He struck out four and walked one. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 1, Montgomery 7 Box Score Chattanooga almost matched Montgomery in hits (7 to 10) but the Biscuits managed to compile three extra-base hits including two home runs to get out with a comfortable win. Cody Stashak started and went three innings without allowing an earned run. He gave up only one hit and struck out three. Ryan Eades ran into some trouble. He allowed three runs on five hits in his three innings of work. Tyler Jay surrendered one run on two hits out of the bullpen. He last 1 2/3 innings and struck out one. Zack Jones tried to stop the bleeding but he allowed three runs, all unearned, on two hits with four strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings. After the error, he allowed a home run. Offensively, there wasn’t much to write home about either. Ryan Walker went 2-for-3 and was the only batter to have multiple hits. Tanner English collected the team’s only extra-base hit, a double. Brian Olson reached base twice and scored a run. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers --, Charlotte -- The Miracle were scheduled to play a doubleheader on Sunday but their games against Charlotte were cancelled due to rain. Both games were supposed to be played on Friday evening so weather has gotten in the way of these games on multiple occasions. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Clinton 9 (Game 1) Box Score It was a long time between home runs for Royce Lewis. His first home run of the season came in the team’s fifth game. Sunday’s first game of the doubleheader was game 35. He finally collected his second home run and fans wouldn’t have to wait long for his third long ball. In the first inning, he smack a one-out solo home run to give the Kernels the early lead. In the third inning, he collected his second homer of the game, a two-run bomb. https://twitter.com/SethTweets/status/1000830818351304704 Jacob Pearson lead-off for the Kernels and went 2-for-5 with a triple, his first extra-base hit since being promoted. He has multiple hits in three of his first five games with the Kernels. Alex Kirilloff crack his 14th double and reached base twice. Ben Rortvedt continued his hot hitting with a 2-for-4 effort. Edwar Colina struggled to find the plate as he walked six batters in five frames. He allowed three runs on two hits with five strikeouts. Jared Finkel pitched three innings and didn’t allow an earned run but he did allow an inherited runner to score. He struck out two and walked a pair. Moises Gomez took the loss as he allowed six runs, four earned in the tenth inning. Cedar Rapids 0, Clinton 1 (Game 2- 8 Innings) Box Score After a marathon in Game 1, the second game of the double header must have felt like a breeze. However, things would get dicey from there. Clinton scored quickly on Randy Dobnak by pushing across a run in the first frame. He settled in nicely from there and pitched seven strong innings. He allowed one run, a solo home run, on three hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Cedar Rapids waited until the seventh inning until they mounted their comeback. Jose Miranda and Jean Carlos Arias singled with one out in the inning. Ben Rodriguez then drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly. This sent the game to extra-innings. Clinton scored in the top of the eighth inning off of Nick Brown, who replaced Dobnak. But this day was reserved for Royce Lewis. Andrew Bechtold started the eighth with a walk to put two runners on base. David Banuelos bunted to move runners into scoring position. Jacob Pearson drove in the first run with a single. Royce Lewis capped off his day with a walk-off sacrifice fly. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Royce Lewis, Cedar Rapids (3-8, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Randy Dobnak, Cedar Rapids (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 K, 1 BB) MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Buffalo (12:05 CST) – TBD Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (2-2, 3.94 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  24. Welcome to summer! Nothing seems to go together quite like grilling out and watching a baseball game. Memorial Day weekend is typically the unofficial kick-off to summer. Most teams are starting to figure out if they are pretenders or contenders. There is a lot of baseball left to be played in the coming months but teams are starting to figure out their roles. Entering play on Sunday, almost every team in the system was within striking distance of a .500 record. Rochester had a scheduled doubleheader and sat four games above .500. Cedar Rapids also had a doubleheader and they started the day one game under .500. Chattanooga has the best winning percentage in the organization with a 30-19 record. So who was able to come out on top on Sunday?RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Buffalo 11 (Game 1- 7 Innings) Box Score Trevor May is getting closer to returning to the big league roster but he certainly didn’t look ready based on what he did in this contest. May started and didn’t make it out of the third inning. He pitched 2 2/3 innings while allowing seven runs on five hits. He struck out five but he also walked four. There were some control issues as he threw 77 pitches in under three innings and 42 pitches were for strikes. D.J. Baxendale was pressed into service after May’s early exit. He pitched 2 2/3 innings and allowed three runs on five hits. He struck out four and didn’t allow a walk. Luke Bard finished the final 1 2/3 innings by surrendering one earned run. He compiled three strikeouts and no walks. Rochester didn’t have much offense to talk about. Zack Granite and Jake Cave each reached base twice. Willians Astudillo went 1-for-3 with the team’s lone extra-base hit, a double. Taylor Featherstone reached base twice, scored a run, and stole his seventh base. Recently promoted Nick Gordon went 0-for-3 with an RBI. Rochester 1, Buffalo 3 (Game 2- 7 Innings) Box Score Rochester’s offense continued its struggle in this one as the team put together only seven hits. Zack Granite went 2-for-4. Jermaine Curtis collected the team’s lone extra-base hit, his fourth double. After going hitless in the opening game, Nick Gordon went 1-for-4 with a single. On the mound, the Red Wings got five decent innings from Adalberto Mejia. He allowed three earned runs on eight hits while striking out four and walking two. John Curtiss finished the game with two shutout innings. He struck out four and walked one. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 1, Montgomery 7 Box Score Chattanooga almost matched Montgomery in hits (7 to 10) but the Biscuits managed to compile three extra-base hits including two home runs to get out with a comfortable win. Cody Stashak started and went three innings without allowing an earned run. He gave up only one hit and struck out three. Ryan Eades ran into some trouble. He allowed three runs on five hits in his three innings of work. Tyler Jay surrendered one run on two hits out of the bullpen. He last 1 2/3 innings and struck out one. Zack Jones tried to stop the bleeding but he allowed three runs, all unearned, on two hits with four strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings. After the error, he allowed a home run. Offensively, there wasn’t much to write home about either. Ryan Walker went 2-for-3 and was the only batter to have multiple hits. Tanner English collected the team’s only extra-base hit, a double. Brian Olson reached base twice and scored a run. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers --, Charlotte -- The Miracle were scheduled to play a doubleheader on Sunday but their games against Charlotte were cancelled due to rain. Both games were supposed to be played on Friday evening so weather has gotten in the way of these games on multiple occasions. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Clinton 9 (Game 1) Box Score It was a long time between home runs for Royce Lewis. His first home run of the season came in the team’s fifth game. Sunday’s first game of the doubleheader was game 35. He finally collected his second home run and fans wouldn’t have to wait long for his third long ball. In the first inning, he smack a one-out solo home run to give the Kernels the early lead. In the third inning, he collected his second homer of the game, a two-run bomb. Jacob Pearson lead-off for the Kernels and went 2-for-5 with a triple, his first extra-base hit since being promoted. He has multiple hits in three of his first five games with the Kernels. Alex Kirilloff crack his 14th double and reached base twice. Ben Rortvedt continued his hot hitting with a 2-for-4 effort. Edwar Colina struggled to find the plate as he walked six batters in five frames. He allowed three runs on two hits with five strikeouts. Jared Finkel pitched three innings and didn’t allow an earned run but he did allow an inherited runner to score. He struck out two and walked a pair. Moises Gomez took the loss as he allowed six runs, four earned in the tenth inning. Cedar Rapids 0, Clinton 1 (Game 2- 8 Innings) Box Score After a marathon in Game 1, the second game of the double header must have felt like a breeze. However, things would get dicey from there. Clinton scored quickly on Randy Dobnak by pushing across a run in the first frame. He settled in nicely from there and pitched seven strong innings. He allowed one run, a solo home run, on three hits with seven strikeouts and one walk. Cedar Rapids waited until the seventh inning until they mounted their comeback. Jose Miranda and Jean Carlos Arias singled with one out in the inning. Ben Rodriguez then drove in the tying run with a sacrifice fly. This sent the game to extra-innings. Clinton scored in the top of the eighth inning off of Nick Brown, who replaced Dobnak. But this day was reserved for Royce Lewis. Andrew Bechtold started the eighth with a walk to put two runners on base. David Banuelos bunted to move runners into scoring position. Jacob Pearson drove in the first run with a single. Royce Lewis capped off his day with a walk-off sacrifice fly. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Royce Lewis, Cedar Rapids (3-8, 2 HR, 4 RBI, 2 R) Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Randy Dobnak, Cedar Rapids (7.0 IP, 1 ER, 7 K, 1 BB) MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Buffalo (12:05 CST) – TBD Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30 CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (2-2, 3.94 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions about Sunday’s games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  25. Who is Misael Urbina? Minnesota is considered the favorites to sign Misael Urbina. To give a brief answer to the question above, he is a 15-year old outfielder from Venezuela. Scouts have called him an advanced hitter with an above-average hit tool and plus speed. MLB.com ranks him as the third overall prospect in their international class and they have plenty of positive things to say about him. He is a “line-drive hitter with a high baseball IQ.” They went on to say, “he’s already an advanced defender for his age.” They praised his instincts and makeup. One of the reasons he has been able to vault to the top of the class is because of his international experience. He has been taking part in the Venezuelan Winter League’s parallel program. This allows the young outfielder to to compete against professional players with more experience than he has. Baseball America has been following Urbina for some time. In February, MLB held a Venezuelan Showcase and Urbina was the only player to hit the ball over the fence during batting practice. At 5-foot-11 and 175 pounds, there is room for him to grow into his frame. However, BA said “his swing gets in and out of the hitting zone quickly, but he has good bat speed.” In one of the games being scouted, Urbina beat out an infield single in 4.20 seconds. Other Baseball America scouts said, his “athleticism sticks out in center field. A plus runner, Urbina showed a quick first step, gliding around the outfield with good instincts.” The same person went on to say, he “isn’t a pure hitter, but he has good bat speed and drove the ball for hard contact to all fields during BP.” Baseball America has video of him hitting at an Expected to Be Aggressive MLB.com believes the Twins are one of a handful of teams that will “be aggressive” during this signing period. Minnesota’s bonus pool for the current year is $6,025,400. That total ties them with other clubs like Miami, Milwaukee, and Tampa Bay. Team can also trade for an additional 75 percent of their bonus pool allotment. Since the Twins have just over $6 million, they could trade and end up with $10,544,450 in their final pool amount. During the Shoehi Ohtani sweepstakes last winter, the Twins missed out on the big prize. However, they were able to make multiple deals to send some of their international bonus pool money to other teams. Minnesota acquired catcher David Banuelos from the Mariners in exchange for $1 million in international bonus pool cap space. They also acquired outfielder Jacob Pearson from the Angels for the same amount of space. Banuelos has played 12 games for Cedar Rapids, where he is four months younger than the competition. So far this season, he’s hit .143/.234/.214 with 16 strikeouts and 4 walks. His only extra-base hit was a home run. Jacob Pearson is in extended spring training and has yet to appear in a game for the Twins system. Are you excited about the Twins adding a highly ranked prospect like Urbina? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Around Twins Daily Week in Review: Down in the Dumps Twins Minor League Report (4/29): Diaz Delivers Walk-Off Home Run On Ryan Pressly’s Release Point, Pitch Mix
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