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  1. I can’t speak for everybody, but a lot of my thought process into these final picks was about seeing where I could shuffle anybody else around if I had a personal cheeseball I wanted on my team. As these picks complete our rosters, let us know who you think did the best in the comments, and be on the lookout tomorrow for a full summary! If you missed the rest of the draft, you can view rounds 1-4 here, 5-8 here, and 9-12 here. A brief reminder: We're taking 16 players who still hold "prospect" or "rookie" status in the Twins organization. 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 each pick were made by the person making the selection.) Round 13 Seth Stohs - Taylor Grzelakowski, C “Gelly” had a tough 2019 season in Pensacola after a great 2018 in Ft. Myers. A lot of the issue was an ankle injury that he had previous surgery on. It wasn’t recovering well. There was a lot of pain which actually kept him from catching much. But that was taken care of and this spring he said he was feeling great. I’ll take this bat behind the plate. (Get to Know Taylor Grzelakowski) Steve Lein - Andrew Bechtold DH Hoped Gelly would slide to my next pick for the reasons Seth mentions, oh well! I'll take a similar potential bat with Bechtold. Gets on base at a good clip, finishing 2nd in the organization in walks in 2019 with a .359 OBP across Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers. (Get to Know Andrew Bechtold) Ted Schwerzler - Jake Reed RH RP Jake Reed had an awful 2019, no way around it. He’s got a new arm slot and the walk rate is ugly. Beyond that though, he’s got an electric fastball and can sit batters down in bunches. He keeps the ball in the yard and owned a sub 2.00 ERA in 2018. (Twins Prospect Spotlight: Jake Reed, 2019 Killebrew Award Winner – Jake Reed) Cody Christie - Steven Cruz, RH RP Cruz posted some big strikeout numbers last season with the E-Twins (13.9 K/9) and I need a strikeout arm to put in my bullpen. His walk rate could improve, but he’s only pitched a little over 86 professional innings so far. Hopefully, he can continue to strike out batters as he climbs the ladder. (Get to Know: Osiris German, Steve Cruz, and Frandy Torres) Jeremy Nygaard - Jared Akins DH Akins provides me a lefty bat (which I’m short in) with a little bit of pop (11 home runs last year). Akins also put up over 10 steals last year, which fits my theme to have a team that is active on the basepaths. Getting on base can be an issue for Akins, though, who had an OBP of .265 last year. (MiLB Hitter of the Month – May 2019: Jared Akins #5) Matt Braun - Tyler Webb, OF Considering the fact that Webb was a 40th round pick, the fact that he has already hit Cedar Rapids is kind of amazing. He brings a solid OBP to the lineup and can afford to pass on the power as there are other boppers who will make up for it. (Get to Know Tyler Webb) Round 14 Matt Braun - Cody Laweryson, Pitcher I saw that Cody wanted Laweryson so I took him instead. Laweryson was dominant with Elizabethton as he struck out nearly 40% of batters faced in his short time there. I’m banking on that immense strikeout potential to continue developing as he moves through the minors. (2019 MiLB Short Season Pitcher of the Year: Cody Laweryson) Jeremy Nygaard - Benjamin Dum RP Despite going undrafted and being signed out of the Indy League - hey, we’ve seen this before - Dum put up a stupid 20:0 K:BB ratio in 14 innings of affiliated ball. You may argue that a few of my picks may have “been dumb”; this one literally is, but I like his numbers albeit only in rookie ball. Cody Christie - Tyler Watson, LHP Watson came to the Twins in the Brandon Kintzler deal back at the 2017 deadline. He spent all of last season in Fort Myers and he’s still only 23-years old. I needed a left-handed arm for my pitching staff and he has posted some good numbers in his time with the Nationals and Twins. Ted Schwerzler - Ryan Mason RHP A 13th round pick in 2016, Ryan Mason took a big step forwards last season. He has consistently produced low ERA’s and avoided free passes since entering pro ball. In his first taste of Double-A action though, he posted a 2.35 ERA with an 11.0 K/9. If those numbers are substantiated in 2020 and beyond, he’ll be a legitimate contender for a big league bullpen spot. (MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Month – April 2019: Ryan Mason #1, 5 Prospects Who Could Be the Next Cody Stashak) Steve Lein - Andrew Vasquez RP I need a lefty in my bullpen, and despite his struggles in 2019 in part due to a shoulder injury, it's hard to ignore Vasquez's potential. He shot up the system in 2018 from Single-A to make his MLB debut while striking out nearly everybody along the way with his slider heavy approach. I like getting him here as a big time bounce back candidate. (Get to Know Andrew Vasquez, 2018 MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Year: Andrew Vasquez) Seth Stohs - Parker Phillips, 1B He was the Twins 27th round pick a year ago out of Austin Peay where he hit 56 homers over his three seasons (including 25 in 2019). He added six more home runs as a pro last year. Round 15 Seth Stohs - Charlie Barnes, LHP The Twins drafted Barnes in the 4th round of the 2017 draft out of Clemson. In 2019, he split time between Ft. Myers and Pensacola, and he also made four starts for Rochester. The Twins invited him to big league camp this spring. (Seth’s Twins On Deck Podcast – Episode 5) Steve Lein - Albee Weiss 1B At this point I'm looking for any big tools that are left, and Weiss has one with his power. He was fourth in the Appy League last year with a .604 slugging percentage. Lots of K's so far, but when he connects there's a good chance the ball is leaving the yard. This pick will slide Kirilloff into the outfield and complete my lineup. (2019 MiLB Short Season Hitter of the Year: Albee Weiss #5) Ted Schwerzler - Trevor Casanova C Taking my bench bat here and using it on a left-handed hitting catcher. Casanova hasn’t hit for power yet in pro ball, and he put up an ugly average last year as well. However, he showed a strong ability to draw walks and if he can better the bat to ball skills, this could be a key guy to work a good plate appearance. (Get to Know Trevor Casanova) (Seth Note - Back-to-Back Cal State-Northridge teammates in Weiss and Casanova) Cody Christie - Evan Gillespie, LH RP Gillespie was old for the GCL last season, but it’s hard to ignore the numbers he put up in his professional debut. My bullpen was lacking a lefty and he finished as an honorable mention in the Twins Daily Short Season Pitcher of the Year. Sign me up. Jeremy Nygaard - Austin Schulfer RHRP Went with a Wisconsin guy with my second-to-last pick. Schulfer strikes a lot of guys out, but he also issues a fair amount of walks as well. (Prospect Spotlight Series: Austin Schulfur, Get to Know Podcast: Austin Schulfur, Caleb Hamilton, Nick Anderson) Matt Braun - Adam Bray, RHRP Bray was great at AA last season but his peripherals dropped when he made the move to AAA. I’m banking on the major league ball being the problem there. Bray rounds out a relief corps that has no lefties but I’m banking on the three batter minimum making that shortcoming less impactful. (Spring Trade Brings Bray Back Home) Round 16 Matt Braun - Luis Baez, Hitter Did you know that Luis Baez had the 6th highest wRC+ among all hitters in the Twins system with at least 50 plate appearances? Yeah, I didn’t either until I did some research and I had to pick up that kind of offensive upside with my very last pick. Jeremy Nygaard - Kidany Salva C Switch-hitter who threw out over 30% of potential base stealers in 2019. Has a ways to go offensively. Cody Christie - Ricky De La Torre, UTL De La Torre had an OPS of 700+ in his first two professional seasons when he was over two year younger than the average age of the competition in the GCL and the Appy League. The Twins pushed him to Cedar Rapids last year and he had some offensive struggles for the first time in his career. He can play multiple defensive positions and I like how he completes my roster. Ted Schwerzler - Ben Gross RHP Gross was drafted in the 10th round of the 2019 draft. His college track record isn’t long and he was a senior sign out of Duke. Working as a starter in his pro debut, Gross could eventually transition to the pen. It looks like there’s strikeout stuff here, and that could help to accelerate his path to the majors. Steve Lein - Alex Phillips RP Phillips absolutely dominated the Florida State League (0.79 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 11.6 K/9) while being shuffled to and from Pensacola during last season, where he had some adjustments to make. But for his efforts overall he was an honorable mention in our Relief Pitcher of the Year voting. (MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Month – April 2019: Alex Phillips #2) Seth Stohs - Carlos Aguiar, Hitter Last pick, frankly, I am just going with my highest ranked prospect. Like Wander Valdez, Aguiar is incredibly impressive in person. He’s huge, strong, massive power potential, and incredibly young and has a long ways to go. I’ll take the upside. (Seth’s Spring Training Standouts: 2020 Edition) 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. The final four rounds of our draft were all about filling out our rosters and hoping to find those diamonds in the rough nobody else was looking at for positions of need. I’d wager there’s some names you had forgotten about in these final picks, and plenty of other guys you’ve read about in our Minor League reports.I can’t speak for everybody, but a lot of my thought process into these final picks was about seeing where I could shuffle anybody else around if I had a personal cheeseball I wanted on my team. As these picks complete our rosters, let us know who you think did the best in the comments, and be on the lookout tomorrow for a full summary! If you missed the rest of the draft, you can view rounds 1-4 here, 5-8 here, and 9-12 here. A brief reminder: We're taking 16 players who still hold "prospect" or "rookie" status in the Twins organization. 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 each pick were made by the person making the selection.) Round 13 Seth Stohs - Taylor Grzelakowski, C “Gelly” had a tough 2019 season in Pensacola after a great 2018 in Ft. Myers. A lot of the issue was an ankle injury that he had previous surgery on. It wasn’t recovering well. There was a lot of pain which actually kept him from catching much. But that was taken care of and this spring he said he was feeling great. I’ll take this bat behind the plate. (Get to Know Taylor Grzelakowski) Steve Lein - Andrew Bechtold DH Hoped Gelly would slide to my next pick for the reasons Seth mentions, oh well! I'll take a similar potential bat with Bechtold. Gets on base at a good clip, finishing 2nd in the organization in walks in 2019 with a .359 OBP across Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers. (Get to Know Andrew Bechtold) Ted Schwerzler - Jake Reed RH RP Jake Reed had an awful 2019, no way around it. He’s got a new arm slot and the walk rate is ugly. Beyond that though, he’s got an electric fastball and can sit batters down in bunches. He keeps the ball in the yard and owned a sub 2.00 ERA in 2018. (Twins Prospect Spotlight: Jake Reed, 2019 Killebrew Award Winner – Jake Reed) Cody Christie - Steven Cruz, RH RP Cruz posted some big strikeout numbers last season with the E-Twins (13.9 K/9) and I need a strikeout arm to put in my bullpen. His walk rate could improve, but he’s only pitched a little over 86 professional innings so far. Hopefully, he can continue to strike out batters as he climbs the ladder. (Get to Know: Osiris German, Steve Cruz, and Frandy Torres) Jeremy Nygaard - Jared Akins DH Akins provides me a lefty bat (which I’m short in) with a little bit of pop (11 home runs last year). Akins also put up over 10 steals last year, which fits my theme to have a team that is active on the basepaths. Getting on base can be an issue for Akins, though, who had an OBP of .265 last year. (MiLB Hitter of the Month – May 2019: Jared Akins #5) Matt Braun - Tyler Webb, OF Considering the fact that Webb was a 40th round pick, the fact that he has already hit Cedar Rapids is kind of amazing. He brings a solid OBP to the lineup and can afford to pass on the power as there are other boppers who will make up for it. (Get to Know Tyler Webb) Round 14 Matt Braun - Cody Laweryson, Pitcher I saw that Cody wanted Laweryson so I took him instead. Laweryson was dominant with Elizabethton as he struck out nearly 40% of batters faced in his short time there. I’m banking on that immense strikeout potential to continue developing as he moves through the minors. (2019 MiLB Short Season Pitcher of the Year: Cody Laweryson) Jeremy Nygaard - Benjamin Dum RP Despite going undrafted and being signed out of the Indy League - hey, we’ve seen this before - Dum put up a stupid 20:0 K:BB ratio in 14 innings of affiliated ball. You may argue that a few of my picks may have “been dumb”; this one literally is, but I like his numbers albeit only in rookie ball. Cody Christie - Tyler Watson, LHP Watson came to the Twins in the Brandon Kintzler deal back at the 2017 deadline. He spent all of last season in Fort Myers and he’s still only 23-years old. I needed a left-handed arm for my pitching staff and he has posted some good numbers in his time with the Nationals and Twins. Ted Schwerzler - Ryan Mason RHP A 13th round pick in 2016, Ryan Mason took a big step forwards last season. He has consistently produced low ERA’s and avoided free passes since entering pro ball. In his first taste of Double-A action though, he posted a 2.35 ERA with an 11.0 K/9. If those numbers are substantiated in 2020 and beyond, he’ll be a legitimate contender for a big league bullpen spot. (MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Month – April 2019: Ryan Mason #1, 5 Prospects Who Could Be the Next Cody Stashak) Steve Lein - Andrew Vasquez RP I need a lefty in my bullpen, and despite his struggles in 2019 in part due to a shoulder injury, it's hard to ignore Vasquez's potential. He shot up the system in 2018 from Single-A to make his MLB debut while striking out nearly everybody along the way with his slider heavy approach. I like getting him here as a big time bounce back candidate. (Get to Know Andrew Vasquez, 2018 MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Year: Andrew Vasquez) Seth Stohs - Parker Phillips, 1B He was the Twins 27th round pick a year ago out of Austin Peay where he hit 56 homers over his three seasons (including 25 in 2019). He added six more home runs as a pro last year. Round 15 Seth Stohs - Charlie Barnes, LHP The Twins drafted Barnes in the 4th round of the 2017 draft out of Clemson. In 2019, he split time between Ft. Myers and Pensacola, and he also made four starts for Rochester. The Twins invited him to big league camp this spring. (Seth’s Twins On Deck Podcast – Episode 5) Steve Lein - Albee Weiss 1B At this point I'm looking for any big tools that are left, and Weiss has one with his power. He was fourth in the Appy League last year with a .604 slugging percentage. Lots of K's so far, but when he connects there's a good chance the ball is leaving the yard. This pick will slide Kirilloff into the outfield and complete my lineup. (2019 MiLB Short Season Hitter of the Year: Albee Weiss #5) Ted Schwerzler - Trevor Casanova C Taking my bench bat here and using it on a left-handed hitting catcher. Casanova hasn’t hit for power yet in pro ball, and he put up an ugly average last year as well. However, he showed a strong ability to draw walks and if he can better the bat to ball skills, this could be a key guy to work a good plate appearance. (Get to Know Trevor Casanova) (Seth Note - Back-to-Back Cal State-Northridge teammates in Weiss and Casanova) Cody Christie - Evan Gillespie, LH RP Gillespie was old for the GCL last season, but it’s hard to ignore the numbers he put up in his professional debut. My bullpen was lacking a lefty and he finished as an honorable mention in the Twins Daily Short Season Pitcher of the Year. Sign me up. Jeremy Nygaard - Austin Schulfer RHRP Went with a Wisconsin guy with my second-to-last pick. Schulfer strikes a lot of guys out, but he also issues a fair amount of walks as well. (Prospect Spotlight Series: Austin Schulfur, Get to Know Podcast: Austin Schulfur, Caleb Hamilton, Nick Anderson) Matt Braun - Adam Bray, RHRP Bray was great at AA last season but his peripherals dropped when he made the move to AAA. I’m banking on the major league ball being the problem there. Bray rounds out a relief corps that has no lefties but I’m banking on the three batter minimum making that shortcoming less impactful. (Spring Trade Brings Bray Back Home) Round 16 Matt Braun - Luis Baez, Hitter Did you know that Luis Baez had the 6th highest wRC+ among all hitters in the Twins system with at least 50 plate appearances? Yeah, I didn’t either until I did some research and I had to pick up that kind of offensive upside with my very last pick. Jeremy Nygaard - Kidany Salva C Switch-hitter who threw out over 30% of potential base stealers in 2019. Has a ways to go offensively. Cody Christie - Ricky De La Torre, UTL De La Torre had an OPS of 700+ in his first two professional seasons when he was over two year younger than the average age of the competition in the GCL and the Appy League. The Twins pushed him to Cedar Rapids last year and he had some offensive struggles for the first time in his career. He can play multiple defensive positions and I like how he completes my roster. Ted Schwerzler - Ben Gross RHP Gross was drafted in the 10th round of the 2019 draft. His college track record isn’t long and he was a senior sign out of Duke. Working as a starter in his pro debut, Gross could eventually transition to the pen. It looks like there’s strikeout stuff here, and that could help to accelerate his path to the majors. Steve Lein - Alex Phillips RP Phillips absolutely dominated the Florida State League (0.79 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 11.6 K/9) while being shuffled to and from Pensacola during last season, where he had some adjustments to make. But for his efforts overall he was an honorable mention in our Relief Pitcher of the Year voting. (MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Month – April 2019: Alex Phillips #2) Seth Stohs - Carlos Aguiar, Hitter Last pick, frankly, I am just going with my highest ranked prospect. Like Wander Valdez, Aguiar is incredibly impressive in person. He’s huge, strong, massive power potential, and incredibly young and has a long ways to go. I’ll take the upside. (Seth’s Spring Training Standouts: 2020 Edition) 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 winner of the day in the Twins minor league system was the rain. Well, Rochester and Pensacola had scheduled off days. Rains in southwest Florida caused postponements in the Gulf Coast League and for the Ft. Myers Miracle. However, the Twins beat the Yankees… in the Appalachian League thanks to a great start and a big inning. And there was a great, late inning rally in Cedar Rapids.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Ft. Myers put RHP Blayne Enlow on the 7-Day IL (hamstring).The Miracle activated RHPs Cole Sands and Johan Quezada.RHP Owen Griffith was activated by the Elizabethton Twins.RED WINGS REPORTRochester Box Score No Game Scheduled. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Pensacola Box Score No game scheduled. Bailey Ober is scheduled to make his AA debut on Tuesday. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers , St. Lucie Box Score Game was rained out. Doubleheader on Tuesday. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Beloit 4 Box Score Josh Winder started for the Kernels. He gave up one run on five hits over the first five innings. He walked one and struck out three batters. In the sixth inning, Alex Schick came in and gave up two runs on two hits. Ricky Ramirez took over in the seventh inning and threw two perfect innings. Down 3-0 going into the bottom of the eighth, the Kernels made their comeback. With Daniel Ozoria on base, Gilberto Celestino’s 24th double drove in the team’s first run. Gabe Snyder followed with his 16th home run to tie the game. Ramirez went back out for the ninth inning. With one out, he gave up back-to-back singles. With runners on the corners, he got a ground ball to third, but they were unable to turn the double play and the go-ahead run scored. Ramirez got the third out. The Kernels got an Ozoria single in the bottom of the ninth inning, but that was it and they fell 4-3. Ozoria led the offense as he went 3-for-4. Snyder went 2-for-4 with the home run. Jared Akins went 2-for-4 with his eighth double. Kyle Schmidt recorded his first double with the Kernels. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 4, Pulaski 2 Box Score Andriu Marin signed with the Twins way back in November of 2014 out of Venezuela. After three seasons in the DSL, he came to the States and pitched in the GCL last year. He’s been in the E-Twins rotation all season, and on Monday night he put together the best start of his season. He gave up an unearned run in the first inning. However, that was the only run he allowed over six innings. Marin gave up just four hits, walked none and struck out 11. Owen Griffith returned from the IL to work a perfect seventh inning. Frandy Torres got the eighth inning and gave up a run on two hits. He then worked a perfect ninth inning to record his second save. The Twins offense all came in the fourth inning when they put up a four- spot. With two runners on, Matt Wallner knocked his Appy League-leading 17th double to drive in the first run. With two on now, Parker Phillips drilled his fifth home run since joining the Twins, a three-run blast. Charles Mack and Max Smith each had two hits in the game. It’s always fun to beat the Yankees! GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins, GCL Rays Box Score The GCL Twins were postponed by rain… again. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Andriu Marin, Elizabethton Twins Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, 3K #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 1-4, 2B(17), R, RBI, K #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 0-4, BB TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Indianapolis (6:05 CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (5-4, 4.68 ERA) Chattanooga @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - RHP Bailiey Ober (First Blue Wahoos start) St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - TBD (2-4, 4.66 ERA) Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled. Pulaski @ Elizabethton (5:30 CST) - LHP Cody Laweryson (0-0, 1.80 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (DH @ 0:00 CST) - TBD, TBD 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 Ft. Myers put RHP Blayne Enlow on the 7-Day IL (hamstring). The Miracle activated RHPs Cole Sands and Johan Quezada. RHP Owen Griffith was activated by the Elizabethton Twins. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester Box Score No Game Scheduled. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Pensacola Box Score No game scheduled. Bailey Ober is scheduled to make his AA debut on Tuesday. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers , St. Lucie Box Score Game was rained out. Doubleheader on Tuesday. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Beloit 4 Box Score Josh Winder started for the Kernels. He gave up one run on five hits over the first five innings. He walked one and struck out three batters. In the sixth inning, Alex Schick came in and gave up two runs on two hits. Ricky Ramirez took over in the seventh inning and threw two perfect innings. Down 3-0 going into the bottom of the eighth, the Kernels made their comeback. With Daniel Ozoria on base, Gilberto Celestino’s 24th double drove in the team’s first run. Gabe Snyder followed with his 16th home run to tie the game. Ramirez went back out for the ninth inning. With one out, he gave up back-to-back singles. With runners on the corners, he got a ground ball to third, but they were unable to turn the double play and the go-ahead run scored. Ramirez got the third out. The Kernels got an Ozoria single in the bottom of the ninth inning, but that was it and they fell 4-3. Ozoria led the offense as he went 3-for-4. Snyder went 2-for-4 with the home run. Jared Akins went 2-for-4 with his eighth double. Kyle Schmidt recorded his first double with the Kernels. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 4, Pulaski 2 Box Score Andriu Marin signed with the Twins way back in November of 2014 out of Venezuela. After three seasons in the DSL, he came to the States and pitched in the GCL last year. He’s been in the E-Twins rotation all season, and on Monday night he put together the best start of his season. He gave up an unearned run in the first inning. However, that was the only run he allowed over six innings. Marin gave up just four hits, walked none and struck out 11. Owen Griffith returned from the IL to work a perfect seventh inning. Frandy Torres got the eighth inning and gave up a run on two hits. He then worked a perfect ninth inning to record his second save. The Twins offense all came in the fourth inning when they put up a four- spot. With two runners on, Matt Wallner knocked his Appy League-leading 17th double to drive in the first run. With two on now, Parker Phillips drilled his fifth home run since joining the Twins, a three-run blast. Charles Mack and Max Smith each had two hits in the game. It’s always fun to beat the Yankees! GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins, GCL Rays Box Score The GCL Twins were postponed by rain… again. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Andriu Marin, Elizabethton Twins Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, 3K #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 1-4, 2B(17), R, RBI, K #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 0-4, BB TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Indianapolis (6:05 CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (5-4, 4.68 ERA) Chattanooga @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - RHP Bailiey Ober (First Blue Wahoos start) St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - TBD (2-4, 4.66 ERA) Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled. Pulaski @ Elizabethton (5:30 CST) - LHP Cody Laweryson (0-0, 1.80 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Rays (DH @ 0:00 CST) - TBD, TBD 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 The Twins announced that LHP Andrew Vasquez had been outrirghted from the team’s 40-man roster to the Red Wings. The Kernels announced that OF Tyler Webb had been added to their roster with infielder Estamy Urena released. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 11, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 1 Box Score This was a great all-around game for the Red Wings. They got strong pitching and the team scored its 11 runs on 20 hits. All nine Red Wings had at least one hit. Seven of the nine had at least two hits. The top two hitters, Nick Gordon and Drew Maggi each had three hits while the team’s #3 hitter, Jake Cave, had four hits. Gordon, Cave and Zander Wiel each hit a double. Cave added a triple. Sean Poppen was the beneficiary of the run support, but he was really good too, to improve to 5-0 with the Red Wings. The right-hander gave up just one run over seven innings of work. Gabriel Moya and Andrew Vasquez each threw a scoreless inning as well. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 5, Birmingham 8 Box Score The Blue Wahoos clawed back after falling behind early to force an extra inning, but the game ended in the tenth on a three-run walk off home run. Caleb Hamilton led the offense with a single, his 12th double and his second triple of the year. Alex Kirilloff also had two hits in the effort. Joe Cronin was 3-for-4 in the game. Griffin Jax started and gave up four runs on eight hits over the game’s first six innings. His ERA jumped to 2.04 on the season. Anthony Vizcaya gave up a run over his two innings to bump his ERA up to 0.86 since joining Pensacola. Zack Weiss worked a scoreless ninth but gave up the home run in the bottom of the 10th. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers , Palm Beach Box Score The Miracle game was postponed by rain. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Burlington 2 Box Score The Kernels got another great start from Luis Rijo and a huge home run and held on for another win. Luis Rijo went the first seven innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out ten. He needed just 71 pitches and 56 of them were strikes. Jose Martinez gave up two runs in the ninth but they held on for a 4-2 win. Jared Akins provided the big hit for Kernels. His sixth-inning home run came with two runners on base and gave the Kernels a 3-0 lead. It was his ninth home run of the season. Gilberto Celestino went 2-for-3 with a walk and a triple. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 6, Kingsport 2 Box Score The E-Twins powered their way to this victory on Thursday. Alex Isola got things going with his first pro home run, a two-run shot in the second inning. In the seventh frame, Willie Joe Garry hit his first professional homer. Albee Weiss added his fourth of the 2019 season. Those three homers accounted for 60% of the E-Twins hits in this game. Ben Gross made the start. The Duke right-hander gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits over the first six innings. He walked one and struck out four batters. Stephen Cruz struck out two batters over his two scoreless innings, and Nathan Hadley struck out two in the ninth inning. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 4, GCL Braves 5 Box Score The Twins got out to an early lead with a three-run first inning, but were unable to hold the lead. Jeferson Morales had the big first-inning hit with a two-run homer. The Twins had just three hits. Keoni Cavaco (3rd) and Jesus Feliz (2nd) each doubled. Niklas Rimmel started and gave up just one run on two hits over the first five innings. The German right-hander walked two and struck out four batters. Niall Windeler came on for his pro debut. He gave up three runs on three hits and a walk in his inning. Bradley Hanner gave up one run on four hits over the final three innings. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Luis Rijo, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jake Cave, Rochester Red Wings PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Rained out #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 2-5, RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Rained out #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, 2K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) -Rained out #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - 1-2, 2B(3), R, RBI #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 2-6, RBI #9 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Rained out #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Rained out #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 3-6, 2B(20) 2 R, 2 RBI, K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Rained out #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - 1-5 #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 0-3, K, R #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did not play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 0-0 (just came in as last-inning defensive replacement) #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 1-5, 2B(13), RBI FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Scranton/Wilkes Barre (DH @ 5:05 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart (5-4, 5.64 ERA), LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-4, 5.71 ERA) Pensacola @ Birmingham (7:05 CST) - TBD Palm Beach @ Ft. Myers (DH @ 4:30 CST) - RHP Blayne Enlow (3-2, 3.09 ERA), LHP Tyler Watson (1-4, 4.56 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Burlington (6:35 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (6-1, 2.40 ERA) Kingsport @ Elizabethton (5:30 CST) - RHP Andriu Marin (1-1, 4.00 ERA) GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Thursday games or any other minor league topics you would like.
  6. We certainly hope you had a fantastic Fourth of July, and maybe you were even able to catch a ball game. It was a busy game day in the Twins farm system. Not as busy as Friday night will be (due to two doubleheaders) but busy nonetheless. Luis Rijo and Sean Poppen were really good on the mound. The Red Wings offense all showed up. There were extra innings for Pensacola. Jared Akins powered the Kernels to a win. A couple of transactions. And, a partridge in a pear tree. Enjoy tonight’s Minor League Report.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS The Twins announced that LHP Andrew Vasquez had been outrirghted from the team’s 40-man roster to the Red Wings.The Kernels announced that OF Tyler Webb had been added to their roster with infielder Estamy Urena released.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 11, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 1 Box Score This was a great all-around game for the Red Wings. They got strong pitching and the team scored its 11 runs on 20 hits. All nine Red Wings had at least one hit. Seven of the nine had at least two hits. The top two hitters, Nick Gordon and Drew Maggi each had three hits while the team’s #3 hitter, Jake Cave, had four hits. Gordon, Cave and Zander Wiel each hit a double. Cave added a triple. Sean Poppen was the beneficiary of the run support, but he was really good too, to improve to 5-0 with the Red Wings. The right-hander gave up just one run over seven innings of work. Gabriel Moya and Andrew Vasquez each threw a scoreless inning as well. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 5, Birmingham 8 Box Score The Blue Wahoos clawed back after falling behind early to force an extra inning, but the game ended in the tenth on a three-run walk off home run. Caleb Hamilton led the offense with a single, his 12th double and his second triple of the year. Alex Kirilloff also had two hits in the effort. Joe Cronin was 3-for-4 in the game. Griffin Jax started and gave up four runs on eight hits over the game’s first six innings. His ERA jumped to 2.04 on the season. Anthony Vizcaya gave up a run over his two innings to bump his ERA up to 0.86 since joining Pensacola. Zack Weiss worked a scoreless ninth but gave up the home run in the bottom of the 10th. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers , Palm Beach Box Score The Miracle game was postponed by rain. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Burlington 2 Box Score The Kernels got another great start from Luis Rijo and a huge home run and held on for another win. Luis Rijo went the first seven innings. He gave up just one hit, walked none and struck out ten. He needed just 71 pitches and 56 of them were strikes. Jose Martinez gave up two runs in the ninth but they held on for a 4-2 win. Jared Akins provided the big hit for Kernels. His sixth-inning home run came with two runners on base and gave the Kernels a 3-0 lead. It was his ninth home run of the season. Gilberto Celestino went 2-for-3 with a walk and a triple. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 6, Kingsport 2 Box Score The E-Twins powered their way to this victory on Thursday. Alex Isola got things going with his first pro home run, a two-run shot in the second inning. In the seventh frame, Willie Joe Garry hit his first professional homer. Albee Weiss added his fourth of the 2019 season. Those three homers accounted for 60% of the E-Twins hits in this game. Ben Gross made the start. The Duke right-hander gave up two runs (one earned) on five hits over the first six innings. He walked one and struck out four batters. Stephen Cruz struck out two batters over his two scoreless innings, and Nathan Hadley struck out two in the ninth inning. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 4, GCL Braves 5 Box Score The Twins got out to an early lead with a three-run first inning, but were unable to hold the lead. Jeferson Morales had the big first-inning hit with a two-run homer. The Twins had just three hits. Keoni Cavaco (3rd) and Jesus Feliz (2nd) each doubled. Niklas Rimmel started and gave up just one run on two hits over the first five innings. The German right-hander walked two and struck out four batters. Niall Windeler came on for his pro debut. He gave up three runs on three hits and a walk in his inning. Bradley Hanner gave up one run on four hits over the final three innings. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Luis Rijo, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jake Cave, Rochester Red Wings PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Rained out #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 2-5, RBI #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Rained out #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB, 2K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) -Rained out #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - 1-2, 2B(3), R, RBI #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 2-6, RBI #9 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Rained out #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Rained out #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 3-6, 2B(20) 2 R, 2 RBI, K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Rained out #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - 1-5 #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 0-3, K, R #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did not play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 0-0 (just came in as last-inning defensive replacement) #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - 1-5, 2B(13), RBI FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Scranton/Wilkes Barre (DH @ 5:05 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart (5-4, 5.64 ERA), LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-4, 5.71 ERA) Pensacola @ Birmingham (7:05 CST) - TBD Palm Beach @ Ft. Myers (DH @ 4:30 CST) - RHP Blayne Enlow (3-2, 3.09 ERA), LHP Tyler Watson (1-4, 4.56 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Burlington (6:35 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (6-1, 2.40 ERA) Kingsport @ Elizabethton (5:30 CST) - RHP Andriu Marin (1-1, 4.00 ERA) GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Thursday games or any other minor league topics you would like. Click here to view the article
  7. Happy Father’s Day to all of those across Minnesota Twins Territory! For myself on Father’s Day, I’m thankful that my dad introduced me to the outdoors, hunting, fishing, and appreciating what hard work is while growing up. Also, for putting up with all of my shenanigans. I hope you’re catching some fish up at the cabin and I can’t wait to join you several more times through the summer! In the minor leagues on Sunday afternoon there was extra baseball(!) for all those fathers bringing their families to the games in Rochester and Cedar Rapids. Those teams each won both of their games, and in the process one of them clinched a wild card behind the big bat of an outfielder. In addition, a lefty who Twins fans got familiar with not long ago struck out double-digit hitters in his outing.To find out how all of that went down and what happened in the rest of the action in the minors on Sunday, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS The following transactions were made after the Kernels doubleheader (and subsequent celebration): AWARDS The Twins on Sunday also announced their minor league player of the week awards: Willians Astudillo was named the hitter of the week after demolishing triple-A after being optioned from the bigs. He went 15-25 in six games on the week with three home runs, nine RBI, six runs scored and a 1.553 OPS.For the second week in a row, Sean Poppen was named the pitcher of the week after striking out nine and allowing just one earned run on five hits in six innings on Thursday against the Columbus Clippers.RED WINGS REPORT Charlotte 5, Rochester 11 (completion of game suspended 6/15) Box Score The bats for both teams got going early in this one before it was suspended in the bottom of the third inning yesterday. The Knights knocked around Red Wings Starter Chase De Jong for five runs on five hits in his three innings, including a solo home run. De Jong struck out four. On the flip side Rochester’s lineup responded with a six-run bottom of the inning before the rains took over with two outs and a runner still on base. Four singles were followed by consecutive doubles from Winston Sawyer and Jordany Valdespin that led to the outburst and 7-5 lead for the home team. When play resumed on Sunday Ryan Eades was the pitcher and it was his first action since being optioned back to Triple-A. He was perfect in two innings, striking out three along the way and as he completed the fifth inning he was in line for the win. Fernando Romero then went three innings to get his team through the eighth, and he allowed two hits and walked two, but no runs along with striking out one. He threw 46 pitches with 29 of them going for strikes (63%). Preston Guilmet finished the game with a one-two-three ninth, including a strikeout to punctuate the victory. The Red Wings offense added plenty of insurance in the bottom of the seventh as LaMonte Wade and Tomas Telis each clubbed a two-run homer, leading to the final score of 11-5. Valdespin (3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI) and Willians Astudillo (3-for-5, 2 R) paced the offense with three hits apiece. Every hitter in the lineup collected a base hit and they struck out only four times. Charlotte 2, Rochester 3 (regularly scheduled game, 7 innings) Box Score With the extra game being played on the day, this one went only seven innings, and it was just the right amount for the home team. Down 2-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Red Wings put together a rally capped off by RBI single from Luis Arraez that walked it off. Jake Cave got the rally started by leading off the inning with his fifth home run. LaMonte Wade later tied the game at two with a sacrifice fly before Arraez stepped in with two outs and a runner on third. Arraez (2-for-4, RBI) and Drew Maggi (2-for-3, 2B) each had multiple hits while the team finished 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position to capitalize on their chances when it counted as they left only five men on base for the game. Making the start for Rochester was lefthander Devin Smeltzer, and he finished one out shy of another quality outing. In 5 2/3 he allowed two runs on five hits while cutting down 10 Knights hitters. He gave up a leadoff home run in the sixth that was followed by a double but buckled down to strike the next two men out (including #OldFriend Daniel Palka) before his day was done. Jake Reed came on for the final out of the sixth and finished the seventh to pick up his third win of the year. He allowed no hits, walked one, and struck out one. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Tennessee 3, Pensacola 2 Box Score Griffin Jax took the mound for the Blue Wahoos on Father’s Day and cruised through the first three innings. But the Smokies chipped away at him to start the fourth with three straight singles and a sac bunt led to his exit after picking up a strikeout for the second out. Jax finished 3 2/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits and striking out just one. Andro Cutura came on and walked a batter to load the bases before getting a strikeout to escape the jam. Cutura would finish the next four innings and ended up allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk while striking out two. Anthony Vizcaya pitched a one-two-three ninth, striking out one, and gave a chance to his team in the bottom of the ninth down by just one. Penscola closed the lead in this game to 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning as three singles, a walk, and a sac fly led to two runs scored. But that was just about all for the Blue Wahoos on the day as they combined for just six hits (all singles) and three walks. They finished 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left only seven men on base. First baseman Randy Cesar was 2-for-4 with a run scored while Tanner English went 2-for-4 with an RBI. MIRACLE MATTERS Scheduled day off The Fort Myers Miracle had the day off on Sunday as the Florida State League All- Star break comes to a close. The defending champions were the South Division first half winners, so they have already clinched a playoff spot at the end of the year to defend that title. They will open up the second half of the season against the Charlotte Stone Crabs at home on Monday. KERNELS NUGGETS Clinton 1, Cedar Rapids 4 (completion of game suspended 6/15) Box Score Like their friends in Triple-A, the Kernels also had their game from yesterday suspended early, this one in the top of the second with Cedar Rapids up 2-0. They had taken that lead in the bottom of the first thanks to a two-run bomb from left fielder Jared Akins, his eighth of the year that would prove to be enough for the home team. Andrew Cabezas had started the game and walked one and struck out one. When play resumed, Kai-Wei Teng was on the mound for the Kernels. He went 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run while scattering three hits and three walks and striking out six. His day was done after a one-out hit-by-pitch that was followed by a single, bringing in Jose Martinez from the bullpen. He finished the sixth and the seventh, walking one and striking out one. With the score then 4-1 Cedar Rapids went to Moises Gomez to finish the game. In two innings he struck out five of the six hitters he faced, including all three in the bottom of the ninth to pick up his fourth save of the season. In his last 10 appearances, Gomez has gone 2+ innings seven times (1 2/3 IP in two others) while allowing just two runs in 19 innings. That’s good for a 0.95 ERA while allowing only seven hits and six walks but racking up 25 K’s. His WHIP is 0.94 on the season and I’d venture he has a good chance to be moving up to Fort Myers after the Midwest League All-Star break that starts on Monday. The Kernels offense added insurance runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings thanks to an error that allowed Gabriel Maciel to scamper home after stealing second base, and a sac fly from Andrew Bechtold that followed a triple from Akins. Bechtold and Gabe Snyder joined Akins with two hits on the day. Clinton 1, Cedar Rapids 8 (regularly scheduled game, 7 innings) Box Score The Kernels jumped out to an early 3-0 lead thanks to a big blast from Ben Rodriguez in the bottom of the first. His three-run shot scored Gabriel Maciel who had doubled to lead off the game for the home team and Gabe Snyder who drew a walk. Starting pitcher Austin Schulfur kept the LumberKings at bay for the first four innings. He allowed one run on a solo homer in the second inning, but otherwise allowed no other hits or walks while striking out three. Zach Neff went the next two innings, striking out three and allowing two hits. Derek Molina was summoned for the seventh inning and closed it out with a scoreless frame. He allowed one hit and struck out two. Cedar Rapids’ lineup tacked on three more runs in the fifth thanks to an RBI triple from Maciel, a fielder’s choice ground ball from Snyder that scored another, and an RBI single from Wander Javier. In the sixth, a two-RBI double from Snyder capped off the scoring for the Kernels. The victory clinched a first-half wild card for the Kernels, so they will join the Fort Myers Miracle in postseason action in the Twins system. Congratulations fellas! TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Devin Smeltzer, Rochester Red Wings (5.2IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 10 K) Hitter of the Day – Jared Akins, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-4, 2 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured list #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break) #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-8, RBI, 3 K (2 games) #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 2-for-7, 2 R RBI, BB, 3 K (2 games) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - No game (All Star Break) #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured list (Tommy John surgery) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-for-3, 2 K #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break) #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 0-for-4, K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured list #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-7, R, 3 K (2 games) #17 - Zack Littell (Minnesota via Rochester) - Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade Jr. (Rochester) - 2-for-6, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, K (2 games) #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break) MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pensacola Blue Wahoos - Southern League All Star Break Charlotte @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids Kernels - Midwest League All Star Break Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games! Click here to view the article
  8. To find out how all of that went down and what happened in the rest of the action in the minors on Sunday, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS The following transactions were made after the Kernels doubleheader (and subsequent celebration): https://twitter.com/jeje66/status/1140417265550147584 https://twitter.com/jeje66/status/1140423043350761478 AWARDS The Twins on Sunday also announced their minor league player of the week awards: Willians Astudillo was named the hitter of the week after demolishing triple-A after being optioned from the bigs. He went 15-25 in six games on the week with three home runs, nine RBI, six runs scored and a 1.553 OPS. For the second week in a row, Sean Poppen was named the pitcher of the week after striking out nine and allowing just one earned run on five hits in six innings on Thursday against the Columbus Clippers. RED WINGS REPORT Charlotte 5, Rochester 11 (completion of game suspended 6/15) Box Score The bats for both teams got going early in this one before it was suspended in the bottom of the third inning yesterday. The Knights knocked around Red Wings Starter Chase De Jong for five runs on five hits in his three innings, including a solo home run. De Jong struck out four. On the flip side Rochester’s lineup responded with a six-run bottom of the inning before the rains took over with two outs and a runner still on base. Four singles were followed by consecutive doubles from Winston Sawyer and Jordany Valdespin that led to the outburst and 7-5 lead for the home team. When play resumed on Sunday Ryan Eades was the pitcher and it was his first action since being optioned back to Triple-A. He was perfect in two innings, striking out three along the way and as he completed the fifth inning he was in line for the win. Fernando Romero then went three innings to get his team through the eighth, and he allowed two hits and walked two, but no runs along with striking out one. He threw 46 pitches with 29 of them going for strikes (63%). Preston Guilmet finished the game with a one-two-three ninth, including a strikeout to punctuate the victory. The Red Wings offense added plenty of insurance in the bottom of the seventh as LaMonte Wade and Tomas Telis each clubbed a two-run homer, leading to the final score of 11-5. Valdespin (3-for-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI) and Willians Astudillo (3-for-5, 2 R) paced the offense with three hits apiece. Every hitter in the lineup collected a base hit and they struck out only four times. Charlotte 2, Rochester 3 (regularly scheduled game, 7 innings) Box Score With the extra game being played on the day, this one went only seven innings, and it was just the right amount for the home team. Down 2-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh, the Red Wings put together a rally capped off by RBI single from Luis Arraez that walked it off. https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1140357437440045063 Jake Cave got the rally started by leading off the inning with his fifth home run. LaMonte Wade later tied the game at two with a sacrifice fly before Arraez stepped in with two outs and a runner on third. Arraez (2-for-4, RBI) and Drew Maggi (2-for-3, 2B) each had multiple hits while the team finished 3-for-6 with runners in scoring position to capitalize on their chances when it counted as they left only five men on base for the game. Making the start for Rochester was lefthander Devin Smeltzer, and he finished one out shy of another quality outing. In 5 2/3 he allowed two runs on five hits while cutting down 10 Knights hitters. He gave up a leadoff home run in the sixth that was followed by a double but buckled down to strike the next two men out (including #OldFriend Daniel Palka) before his day was done. Jake Reed came on for the final out of the sixth and finished the seventh to pick up his third win of the year. He allowed no hits, walked one, and struck out one. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Tennessee 3, Pensacola 2 Box Score Griffin Jax took the mound for the Blue Wahoos on Father’s Day and cruised through the first three innings. But the Smokies chipped away at him to start the fourth with three straight singles and a sac bunt led to his exit after picking up a strikeout for the second out. Jax finished 3 2/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits and striking out just one. Andro Cutura came on and walked a batter to load the bases before getting a strikeout to escape the jam. Cutura would finish the next four innings and ended up allowing two runs (one earned) on four hits and a walk while striking out two. Anthony Vizcaya pitched a one-two-three ninth, striking out one, and gave a chance to his team in the bottom of the ninth down by just one. Penscola closed the lead in this game to 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh inning as three singles, a walk, and a sac fly led to two runs scored. But that was just about all for the Blue Wahoos on the day as they combined for just six hits (all singles) and three walks. They finished 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position and left only seven men on base. First baseman Randy Cesar was 2-for-4 with a run scored while Tanner English went 2-for-4 with an RBI. MIRACLE MATTERS Scheduled day off The Fort Myers Miracle had the day off on Sunday as the Florida State League All- Star break comes to a close. The defending champions were the South Division first half winners, so they have already clinched a playoff spot at the end of the year to defend that title. They will open up the second half of the season against the Charlotte Stone Crabs at home on Monday. KERNELS NUGGETS Clinton 1, Cedar Rapids 4 (completion of game suspended 6/15) Box Score Like their friends in Triple-A, the Kernels also had their game from yesterday suspended early, this one in the top of the second with Cedar Rapids up 2-0. They had taken that lead in the bottom of the first thanks to a two-run bomb from left fielder Jared Akins, his eighth of the year that would prove to be enough for the home team. Andrew Cabezas had started the game and walked one and struck out one. When play resumed, Kai-Wei Teng was on the mound for the Kernels. He went 4 1/3 innings, allowing one run while scattering three hits and three walks and striking out six. His day was done after a one-out hit-by-pitch that was followed by a single, bringing in Jose Martinez from the bullpen. He finished the sixth and the seventh, walking one and striking out one. With the score then 4-1 Cedar Rapids went to Moises Gomez to finish the game. In two innings he struck out five of the six hitters he faced, including all three in the bottom of the ninth to pick up his fourth save of the season. In his last 10 appearances, Gomez has gone 2+ innings seven times (1 2/3 IP in two others) while allowing just two runs in 19 innings. That’s good for a 0.95 ERA while allowing only seven hits and six walks but racking up 25 K’s. His WHIP is 0.94 on the season and I’d venture he has a good chance to be moving up to Fort Myers after the Midwest League All-Star break that starts on Monday. The Kernels offense added insurance runs in each of the fifth and sixth innings thanks to an error that allowed Gabriel Maciel to scamper home after stealing second base, and a sac fly from Andrew Bechtold that followed a triple from Akins. Bechtold and Gabe Snyder joined Akins with two hits on the day. Clinton 1, Cedar Rapids 8 (regularly scheduled game, 7 innings) Box Score The Kernels jumped out to an early 3-0 lead thanks to a big blast from Ben Rodriguez in the bottom of the first. His three-run shot scored Gabriel Maciel who had doubled to lead off the game for the home team and Gabe Snyder who drew a walk. Starting pitcher Austin Schulfur kept the LumberKings at bay for the first four innings. He allowed one run on a solo homer in the second inning, but otherwise allowed no other hits or walks while striking out three. Zach Neff went the next two innings, striking out three and allowing two hits. Derek Molina was summoned for the seventh inning and closed it out with a scoreless frame. He allowed one hit and struck out two. Cedar Rapids’ lineup tacked on three more runs in the fifth thanks to an RBI triple from Maciel, a fielder’s choice ground ball from Snyder that scored another, and an RBI single from Wander Javier. In the sixth, a two-RBI double from Snyder capped off the scoring for the Kernels. The victory clinched a first-half wild card for the Kernels, so they will join the Fort Myers Miracle in postseason action in the Twins system. Congratulations fellas! https://twitter.com/JimCrikket/status/1140414781981155328 TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Devin Smeltzer, Rochester Red Wings (5.2IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 10 K) Hitter of the Day – Jared Akins, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-4, 2 R, 3B, HR, 2 RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured list #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break) #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-8, RBI, 3 K (2 games) #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 2-for-7, 2 R RBI, BB, 3 K (2 games) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - No game (All Star Break) #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured list (Tommy John surgery) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-for-3, 2 K #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break) #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 0-for-4, K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured list #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-7, R, 3 K (2 games) #17 - Zack Littell (Minnesota via Rochester) - Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade Jr. (Rochester) - 2-for-6, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, K (2 games) #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - No game (All Star Break) MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pensacola Blue Wahoos - Southern League All Star Break Charlotte @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids Kernels - Midwest League All Star Break Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games!
  9. Let’s take a look at the Top 5 hitters for the month of May, but first here are some players deserving of honorable mention. HONORABLE MENTION Andrew Bechtold - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 35-112, .241/.382/.425 (.807) with five doubles, one triple and three home runs. Yeltsin Encarnacion - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 30-99, .303/.384/364 (.748) with one double, one triple, one homer. Nick Gordon - Rochester Red Wings - 20-66, .303/.338/.485 (.823) with seven doubles, one triple, and one home run. Jaylin Davis - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 20-85, .235/.398/.400 (.798) with two doubles, four homers. Drew Maggi - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings - 25-86, .291/.404/.407 (.811) with four doubles and two homers. Luke Raley - Rochester Red Wings -20-52, .385/.429/.596 (1.025) with two doubles and three homers. Aaron Whitefield - Ft. Myers Miracle - 22-79, .278/.344/.481 (.825) with seven doubles and three homers. Ben Rortvedt - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 17-57, .298/.379/.509 (.888) with three doubles and three homers. THE TOP FIVE HITTERS Number 5 - Cedar Rapids Kernels - OF Jared Akins - ..328/.365/.707 (1.072), 19-58 with three doubles, two triples and five home runs. While Akins has fewer at-bats than the others in the Top 5, it’s impossible not to look at his May numbers and be impressed. Consider this. The 22-year-old was in extended spring training until May 14th when he made his 2019 Kernels debut. And all he has done since then is hit, and provide the Kernels with big power. He’s hit for average and more than half of his hits have gone for extra bases. He was the Twins 13th-round pick out of Fresno State in 2017. Number 4 – Ft. Myers Miracle - C Ryan Jeffers - .325/.385/.506 (.891). 29-92 with six doubles, four home runs and 13 RBI. Since starting the season by going 1-for-17 in his first five games, Jeffers has hit over .300. He was very good, and very consistent, throughout the month of May. He hit for average, took some walks, kept his K-Rate down and showed some good extra base power. The Twins surprised the draft experts when Jeffers was their second-round pick a year ago out of UNC-Wilmington. He signed quickly and dominated the Appalachian League before jumping to Cedar Rapids for the final month of the season. The Twins pushed him to Ft. Myers this year and he has responded well. He was named a Florida State League All-Star. Number 3 - Pensacola Blue Wahoos – 2B Travis Blankenhorn - .308/.339/.525 (.864), 37-120 with five doubles, seven homers and 19 RBI. Normally when you move up a level, it is supposed to get more difficult. However, after a year and a month in Ft. Myers with the Miracle, Travis Blankenhorn has been really good in his first month in Pensacola. He has struck out a bit, but he has provided power near the top of the Blue Wahoos lineup. The Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Pennsylvania, Blankenhorn is one of the best athletes in the organization . Number 2 - Ft. Myers Miracle – OF Trevor Larnach - .371/.456/.619 (1.075), 36-97 with 10 doubles, one triple, four homers and 17 RBI. The Twins' first-round pick a year ago had a fantastic month in Ft. Myers in May. He began the season by going 3-for-23 through his first six games. Since then, he has been remarkably consistent. Since that time, only once has he had back-to-back 0-fers. He has added the power to his game in May. On May 7th, he hit his first and second homers of the year. He added two more late in the month. He had 11 multi-hit games in May. He had three, three-hit games and two four-hit games. He was named to the Florida State League All-Star team, which is likely when he could see a promotion to Double-A. And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is: Ft. Myers Miracle – 1B Lewin Diaz - .317/.351/.702 (1.053), 33-104 with eight doubles, one triple and ten homers and 22 RBI. It was a power-filled month for Lewin Diaz. He set the Miracle franchise record for home runs in a month with ten. That surpassed the previous record of nine which had been set by Kennys Vargas and Miguel Sano. Diaz was a big prospect signed by the Twins out of the Dominican Republic. He was the Twins Daily choice for short-season Hitter of the year in 2016 when he hit over .300 and added 15 doubles and nine homers in Elizabethton. He had a solid 2017 season in Cedar Rapids when he hit .292 with 33 doubles and 12 homers. He began 2018 in Ft. Myers, and struggled through the first half of the season. Then he broke his wrist and missed the rest of the season. He continued to work on his body and showed up to spring training looking long and lean, probably actually in the “best shape of his life.” And he has been hitting well ever since. He’s pretty mobile around first base. But his bat remains very strong. He uses the whole field very well. And, he’s still got the power as he illustrated in May. He also was named to the Florida State League All-Star Game and could get to Pensacola this season. We would like to congratulate Lewin Diaz, Twins Daily’s choice for Minor League Hitter of the Month for May 2019. Feel free to share your thoughts and ask questions.
  10. Wow! Two months of the minor league season is already complete. The draft is nigh. It’s time to hand out some more hardware (unfortunately not actual hardware, but virtual hardware). Today we start by looking at the hitters in the Twins organization who had strong showings in the month of May. There were some great offensive performances by some of the Twins top prospects. Previous 2019 Hitters of the Month: April - Trey CabbageLet’s take a look at the Top 5 hitters for the month of May, but first here are some players deserving of honorable mention. HONORABLE MENTION Andrew Bechtold - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 35-112, .241/.382/.425 (.807) with five doubles, one triple and three home runs.Yeltsin Encarnacion - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 30-99, .303/.384/364 (.748) with one double, one triple, one homer.Nick Gordon - Rochester Red Wings - 20-66, .303/.338/.485 (.823) with seven doubles, one triple, and one home run.Jaylin Davis - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 20-85, .235/.398/.400 (.798) with two doubles, four homers.Drew Maggi - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings - 25-86, .291/.404/.407 (.811) with four doubles and two homers.Luke Raley - Rochester Red Wings -20-52, .385/.429/.596 (1.025) with two doubles and three homers.Aaron Whitefield - Ft. Myers Miracle - 22-79, .278/.344/.481 (.825) with seven doubles and three homers.Ben Rortvedt - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 17-57, .298/.379/.509 (.888) with three doubles and three homers.THE TOP FIVE HITTERS Number 5 - Cedar Rapids Kernels - OF Jared Akins - ..328/.365/.707 (1.072), 19-58 with three doubles, two triples and five home runs. While Akins has fewer at-bats than the others in the Top 5, it’s impossible not to look at his May numbers and be impressed. Consider this. The 22-year-old was in extended spring training until May 14th when he made his 2019 Kernels debut. And all he has done since then is hit, and provide the Kernels with big power. He’s hit for average and more than half of his hits have gone for extra bases. He was the Twins 13th-round pick out of Fresno State in 2017. Number 4 – Ft. Myers Miracle - C Ryan Jeffers - .325/.385/.506 (.891). 29-92 with six doubles, four home runs and 13 RBI. Since starting the season by going 1-for-17 in his first five games, Jeffers has hit over .300. He was very good, and very consistent, throughout the month of May. He hit for average, took some walks, kept his K-Rate down and showed some good extra base power. The Twins surprised the draft experts when Jeffers was their second-round pick a year ago out of UNC-Wilmington. He signed quickly and dominated the Appalachian League before jumping to Cedar Rapids for the final month of the season. The Twins pushed him to Ft. Myers this year and he has responded well. He was named a Florida State League All-Star. Number 3 - Pensacola Blue Wahoos – 2B Travis Blankenhorn - .308/.339/.525 (.864), 37-120 with five doubles, seven homers and 19 RBI. Normally when you move up a level, it is supposed to get more difficult. However, after a year and a month in Ft. Myers with the Miracle, Travis Blankenhorn has been really good in his first month in Pensacola. He has struck out a bit, but he has provided power near the top of the Blue Wahoos lineup. The Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Pennsylvania, Blankenhorn is one of the best athletes in the organization . Number 2 - Ft. Myers Miracle – OF Trevor Larnach - .371/.456/.619 (1.075), 36-97 with 10 doubles, one triple, four homers and 17 RBI. The Twins' first-round pick a year ago had a fantastic month in Ft. Myers in May. He began the season by going 3-for-23 through his first six games. Since then, he has been remarkably consistent. Since that time, only once has he had back-to-back 0-fers. He has added the power to his game in May. On May 7th, he hit his first and second homers of the year. He added two more late in the month. He had 11 multi-hit games in May. He had three, three-hit games and two four-hit games. He was named to the Florida State League All-Star team, which is likely when he could see a promotion to Double-A. And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is: Ft. Myers Miracle – 1B Lewin Diaz - .317/.351/.702 (1.053), 33-104 with eight doubles, one triple and ten homers and 22 RBI. It was a power-filled month for Lewin Diaz. He set the Miracle franchise record for home runs in a month with ten. That surpassed the previous record of nine which had been set by Kennys Vargas and Miguel Sano. Diaz was a big prospect signed by the Twins out of the Dominican Republic. He was the Twins Daily choice for short-season Hitter of the year in 2016 when he hit over .300 and added 15 doubles and nine homers in Elizabethton. He had a solid 2017 season in Cedar Rapids when he hit .292 with 33 doubles and 12 homers. He began 2018 in Ft. Myers, and struggled through the first half of the season. Then he broke his wrist and missed the rest of the season. He continued to work on his body and showed up to spring training looking long and lean, probably actually in the “best shape of his life.” And he has been hitting well ever since. He’s pretty mobile around first base. But his bat remains very strong. He uses the whole field very well. And, he’s still got the power as he illustrated in May. He also was named to the Florida State League All-Star Game and could get to Pensacola this season. We would like to congratulate Lewin Diaz, Twins Daily’s choice for Minor League Hitter of the Month for May 2019. Feel free to share your thoughts and ask questions. Click here to view the article
  11. “I kind of like cleaning my room,” Winder explained in an interview a day after his most recent start (a seven-inning/seven-strikeout outing on Sunday in which he held Peoria to one earned run on four hits and one walk). “Making sure everything’s in order, kind of clearing my mind out while I’m doing it. Kind of therapeutic almost. I like laying everything out before my start, getting into that mindset on the day of my start, as opposed to going to the game kind of scatterbrained.” That may seem unusual, but then Winder didn’t come to professional baseball via quite the same path as most other college pitchers. When you consider that the Twins drafted him in the seventh round of last June’s amateur draft out of Virginia Military Institute, a habit of cleaning his room shouldn’t be unexpected at all. Winder admits he didn’t choose to attend VMI with the goal of a military career in mind, but primarily to play baseball and get a good education. (He accomplished both, by the way. After last season ended, he returned to school and got his degree in Economics and Business in December.) So how does a guy without a definitive interest in the military end up at Virginia Military Institute? Of course, the obvious answer is that they offered him a baseball scholarship, but there must be more to it than that. “It’s actually a funny story,” the 6’ 5” right-hander said. “We played a travel ball showcase tournament up there. I remember saying to my dad when we were driving away from the campus, ‘I have no idea why anybody would ever come here.’ A couple years later, I ended up going on a visit there. “The coaches saw me at a camp and liked my stuff, liked the way I pitched and everything. They got me on campus, showed me around. Really sold me on all the benefits of the place, all the good attributes and traits you acquire, almost by default, by being around that kind of environment. “Also, I fell in love with the coaching staff and fell in love with the atmosphere, the brotherhood and camaraderie in the locker room. It was something I really wanted to be a part of, and I made that decision, committed in my junior year and honestly, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t make that decision because it ended up being the best place for me.” It was certainly a more structured and disciplined environment than most college campuses and it had immediate effects on Winder. “It kind of changes you without you even realizing it,” he explained. “I remember going home for Christmas break my freshman year. Once I got home, I probably slept the whole first day because I was exhausted. But then after that, I’m cleaning my room, making my bed, kind of like setting out each day and making plans, not even realizing it had changed me into (being) much more disciplined, more on top of things. Planning things out.” Asked if his mother wondered who this stranger was and what he had done with her son, Winder didn’t hesitate. “She wasn’t complaining,” he said. “I was folding all the laundry. Yeah, she wasn’t too upset about it.” On the mound this season, Winder has been working with Kernels pitching coach Virgil Vasquez to rediscover the secrets of how to consistently miss bats and felt that Sunday’s outing might have been his best of the season. “Really good game (Sunday). That’s probably the best I’ve felt on the mound this year,” Winder said. “I’ve kind of been searching for that feeling and really feeling like I can beat guys and get the swings I wanted.” After notching nine strikeouts in a five-inning outing on April 13 against Burlington, the record holder for strikeouts per nine-innings at VMI failed to average a strikeout per inning pitched over his next five starts leading into Sunday’s performance, though most of his other stats were more than acceptable. In fact, in three of his four starts during May, Winder completed seven or more innings of work. “Definitely been very efficient the last few weeks, getting ahead,” he said. “Been working really well with my catchers.” As for the strikeouts… “I’ve been kind of struggling to put guys away,” he conceded. “Haven’t struggled to get to two strikes, but as far as striking people out and putting them away, I’ve kind of struggled. That’s something me and Virgil worked on this week and obviously the work paid off. Seven strikeouts yesterday, so we did a much better job kind of throwing pitches in tougher places to hit with two strikes.” Winder has an effective three-pitch repertoire and his primary focus this spring has been to add a more effective change-up to the mix. “I actually went down to Florida a month early for spring training to work on that change-up,” he said. “Work on that grip and (develop) a consistent pitch for me to add to my curveball. And then I have a cutter-slider, as well, in addition to the four-seam fastball. “So, we’re looking to develop that change-up to keep lefties off balance as well as throw it to righties some the second or third time through the lineup. Get them off my fastball. Just get something else in their head. Keep them off balance, so it complements all my other pitches.” At times, pitchers coming out of college programs get anxious to move up the organizational ladder quickly, but Winder’s not about to be putting that kind of pressure on himself. “No, I really try to stay away from thinking like that,” he said. “It’s still my first full professional season. “My mindset going through this whole journey, this whole process, started last year when I was a junior and got drafted, decided to take the draft instead of going back to school. I just try to approach everything to become the best baseball player I can be and once I become the best baseball player I can be, I’ll see where I end up.” Kernels Notes Since returning from their road trip to the Midwest League’s Eastern Division on May 11, the Kernels have posted a 10-5 record and have moved up to 5th place in the MWL Western Division. They’ve also evened their record on the year at 25-25. They still stand 8 ½ games behind Division leading Quad Cities, but only 3 ½ games behind second place Burlington for the all-important second spot in the first half race, which also qualifies for the postseason. Wander Javier, ranked as the Twins’ #4 prospect by MLB Pipeline and Baseball America, joined the Kernels from Extended Spring Training on Saturday. The local fans haven’t had much of an opportunity to see him, yet, however. He played Saturday night, sat out Sunday’s game and Monday’s holiday matinee was rained out. The Kernels now begin a season-long 14 game road trip (while their home, Veteran’s Memorial Stadium, plays host to the NCAA Division III World Series). Hitting: Jared Akins arrived from EST on May 14 and went 0-3 in his first game. He hasn’t been held hitless since and now holds an 11-game hitting streak in which he has hit .419 with three doubles, two triples and four home runs. The streak is the longest of Akins’ career and the longest of any Kernels hitter this season. Andrew Bechtold has a streak of his own going on. He’s reached base in 17 straight games, going back to May 9. He’s hitting .333 in his last ten games and went 6-10 during the three-game series with Peoria over the weekend. Yeltsin Encarnacion has been hitting .318 in his last ten games, bringing his average for the year up to .270 and his OBP to .343. Pitching: Austin Schulfer and Jose Martinez combined to throw a no-hitter against Burlington on May 22 in the seven-inning nightcap of that day’s doubleheader. In Schulfer’s prior appearance, he struck out eight batters in three innings of relief work. Blayne Enlow held opponents to just three earned runs over a combined 18 innings of work in his last three starts, earning himself a promotion to Fort Myers. Reliever Zach Neff has allowed just two earned runs over 17 innings of work covering his last eight appearances. He has a 24/5 K/BB ratio in that stretch, including a 7K 3-inning performance on May 17. Derek Molina had a tough first couple of relief appearances to start 2019, but in the ten appearances since then, he’s surrendered a grand total of one earned run, striking out 18 in 13 innings of work. If you’d like to read more about the Kernels, check out these articles from The Gazette’s beat reporter Jeff Johnson: Emphatically Back to Break-Even for Cedar Rapids Kernels Jared Akins Just Keeps Raking Zach Neff - One Class Shy of Masters Degree
  12. Baseball players are a superstitious lot and pitchers perhaps more than the others. Don’t believe it? Count how often a pitcher steps on the first baseline on his way to or from the mound between innings. If you get to “one,” it would be a shock. So, when you hear that Cedar Rapids Kernels starting pitcher Josh Winder makes a practice of cleaning his room on the mornings of days he’s scheduled to start, you could assume he’s just another superstitious ballplayer. You could, but you’d be wrong.“I kind of like cleaning my room,” Winder explained in an interview a day after his most recent start (a seven-inning/seven-strikeout outing on Sunday in which he held Peoria to one earned run on four hits and one walk). “Making sure everything’s in order, kind of clearing my mind out while I’m doing it. Kind of therapeutic almost. I like laying everything out before my start, getting into that mindset on the day of my start, as opposed to going to the game kind of scatterbrained.” That may seem unusual, but then Winder didn’t come to professional baseball via quite the same path as most other college pitchers. When you consider that the Twins drafted him in the seventh round of last June’s amateur draft out of Virginia Military Institute, a habit of cleaning his room shouldn’t be unexpected at all. Winder admits he didn’t choose to attend VMI with the goal of a military career in mind, but primarily to play baseball and get a good education. (He accomplished both, by the way. After last season ended, he returned to school and got his degree in Economics and Business in December.) So how does a guy without a definitive interest in the military end up at Virginia Military Institute? Of course, the obvious answer is that they offered him a baseball scholarship, but there must be more to it than that. “It’s actually a funny story,” the 6’ 5” right-hander said. “We played a travel ball showcase tournament up there. I remember saying to my dad when we were driving away from the campus, ‘I have no idea why anybody would ever come here.’ A couple years later, I ended up going on a visit there. “The coaches saw me at a camp and liked my stuff, liked the way I pitched and everything. They got me on campus, showed me around. Really sold me on all the benefits of the place, all the good attributes and traits you acquire, almost by default, by being around that kind of environment. “Also, I fell in love with the coaching staff and fell in love with the atmosphere, the brotherhood and camaraderie in the locker room. It was something I really wanted to be a part of, and I made that decision, committed in my junior year and honestly, I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t make that decision because it ended up being the best place for me.” It was certainly a more structured and disciplined environment than most college campuses and it had immediate effects on Winder. “It kind of changes you without you even realizing it,” he explained. “I remember going home for Christmas break my freshman year. Once I got home, I probably slept the whole first day because I was exhausted. But then after that, I’m cleaning my room, making my bed, kind of like setting out each day and making plans, not even realizing it had changed me into (being) much more disciplined, more on top of things. Planning things out.” Asked if his mother wondered who this stranger was and what he had done with her son, Winder didn’t hesitate. “She wasn’t complaining,” he said. “I was folding all the laundry. Yeah, she wasn’t too upset about it.” On the mound this season, Winder has been working with Kernels pitching coach Virgil Vasquez to rediscover the secrets of how to consistently miss bats and felt that Sunday’s outing might have been his best of the season. “Really good game (Sunday). That’s probably the best I’ve felt on the mound this year,” Winder said. “I’ve kind of been searching for that feeling and really feeling like I can beat guys and get the swings I wanted.” After notching nine strikeouts in a five-inning outing on April 13 against Burlington, the record holder for strikeouts per nine-innings at VMI failed to average a strikeout per inning pitched over his next five starts leading into Sunday’s performance, though most of his other stats were more than acceptable. In fact, in three of his four starts during May, Winder completed seven or more innings of work. “Definitely been very efficient the last few weeks, getting ahead,” he said. “Been working really well with my catchers.” As for the strikeouts… “I’ve been kind of struggling to put guys away,” he conceded. “Haven’t struggled to get to two strikes, but as far as striking people out and putting them away, I’ve kind of struggled. That’s something me and Virgil worked on this week and obviously the work paid off. Seven strikeouts yesterday, so we did a much better job kind of throwing pitches in tougher places to hit with two strikes.” Winder has an effective three-pitch repertoire and his primary focus this spring has been to add a more effective change-up to the mix. “I actually went down to Florida a month early for spring training to work on that change-up,” he said. “Work on that grip and (develop) a consistent pitch for me to add to my curveball. And then I have a cutter-slider, as well, in addition to the four-seam fastball. “So, we’re looking to develop that change-up to keep lefties off balance as well as throw it to righties some the second or third time through the lineup. Get them off my fastball. Just get something else in their head. Keep them off balance, so it complements all my other pitches.” At times, pitchers coming out of college programs get anxious to move up the organizational ladder quickly, but Winder’s not about to be putting that kind of pressure on himself. “No, I really try to stay away from thinking like that,” he said. “It’s still my first full professional season. “My mindset going through this whole journey, this whole process, started last year when I was a junior and got drafted, decided to take the draft instead of going back to school. I just try to approach everything to become the best baseball player I can be and once I become the best baseball player I can be, I’ll see where I end up.” Kernels Notes Since returning from their road trip to the Midwest League’s Eastern Division on May 11, the Kernels have posted a 10-5 record and have moved up to 5th place in the MWL Western Division. They’ve also evened their record on the year at 25-25. They still stand 8 ½ games behind Division leading Quad Cities, but only 3 ½ games behind second place Burlington for the all-important second spot in the first half race, which also qualifies for the postseason. Wander Javier, ranked as the Twins’ #4 prospect by MLB Pipeline and Baseball America, joined the Kernels from Extended Spring Training on Saturday. The local fans haven’t had much of an opportunity to see him, yet, however. He played Saturday night, sat out Sunday’s game and Monday’s holiday matinee was rained out. The Kernels now begin a season-long 14 game road trip (while their home, Veteran’s Memorial Stadium, plays host to the NCAA Division III World Series). Hitting: Jared Akins arrived from EST on May 14 and went 0-3 in his first game. He hasn’t been held hitless since and now holds an 11-game hitting streak in which he has hit .419 with three doubles, two triples and four home runs. The streak is the longest of Akins’ career and the longest of any Kernels hitter this season. Andrew Bechtold has a streak of his own going on. He’s reached base in 17 straight games, going back to May 9. He’s hitting .333 in his last ten games and went 6-10 during the three-game series with Peoria over the weekend. Yeltsin Encarnacion has been hitting .318 in his last ten games, bringing his average for the year up to .270 and his OBP to .343. Pitching: Austin Schulfer and Jose Martinez combined to throw a no-hitter against Burlington on May 22 in the seven-inning nightcap of that day’s doubleheader. In Schulfer’s prior appearance, he struck out eight batters in three innings of relief work. Blayne Enlow held opponents to just three earned runs over a combined 18 innings of work in his last three starts, earning himself a promotion to Fort Myers. Reliever Zach Neff has allowed just two earned runs over 17 innings of work covering his last eight appearances. He has a 24/5 K/BB ratio in that stretch, including a 7K 3-inning performance on May 17. Derek Molina had a tough first couple of relief appearances to start 2019, but in the ten appearances since then, he’s surrendered a grand total of one earned run, striking out 18 in 13 innings of work. If you’d like to read more about the Kernels, check out these articles from The Gazette’s beat reporter Jeff Johnson: Emphatically Back to Break-Even for Cedar Rapids KernelsJared Akins Just Keeps RakingZach Neff - One Class Shy of Masters Degree Click here to view the article
  13. The Twins scored 18 runs. The two Twins minor league affiliates that have been very good this year both got shut out. The Red Wings got a good start. But most surprising, the Kernels had an offensive outburst, scoring eight runs. As impressive, three Kernels pitchers struck out 20 batters in nine innings. And, frequent Minor League Report star Luis Arraez made his major league debut late in the Twins game and recorded his first big-league hit, a double.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Saturday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Rochester announced the outfielder Brent Rooker has been placed on the injured list with a wrist injury. Taking his spot on the Red Wings roster is infielder Victor Tademo from extended spring training.As a non-transaction, but an interesting note, LHP Stephen Gonsalves joined the Red Wings in Durham on Sunday.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 3, Durham 4 Box Score The Red Wings took a 3-0 lead after scoring two runs in the top of the fifth inning. However, the Durham Bulls scored one run in each of their final four innings to take the win and push the Red Wings to 14-24 overall. Lewis Thorpe started and was good. He gave up one run on five hits and a walk over the first five innings. He struck out eight. Ryan Eades came on and gave up a solo home run in the sixth and seventh innings. Fernando Romero pitched the bottom of the eighth frame and gave up a run on one hit and two walks. Luke Raley went 2-for-3 and added his fourth stolen base. Tomas Telis went 2-for-4. LaMonte Wade was 1-or-3 with two walks. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 0, Mobile 3 Box Score The Southern League is unique among minor leagues in that it only has five-game series. Through their first eight series, the Blue Wahoos had yet to lose one. However, with their loss on Saturday, it assured their first losing series of the season. They fall to 26-17. Minnesotan Adam Bray was used as an opener for the second straight time. He gave up one run on two hits over two innings. He struck out three without issuing a walk. Jorge Alcala came on as the primary pitcher. He was charged with two runs over 4 2/3 innings. He gave up four hits and uncharacteristically walked four batters. He also struck out nine batters. Jeff Ames struck out three over two scoreless innings to end the game. The Wahoos, with partial owner Bubba Watson watching, managed just two hits in this game. Mitchell Kranson had a single, and Travis Blankenhorn went 1-for-3 with a walk. However, on the field things did not go well for the Miracle as they were shut out. Jose Miranda went 2-for-4. Ryan Jeffers had a single and a walk. Trevor Larnach walked twice. Aaron Whitefield walked three times. Melvi Acosta made another spot start. In 4 2/3 innings, he was charged with seven runs (just three earned) on seven hits, a walk and a hit batter. He struck out four. Kody Funderburk made his first Miracle appearance since being promoted from extended spring training on Friday. He threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and a walk while striking out two. Ricky Ramirez was charged with two runs on four hits in the final inning. The Miracle fell to 25-16 on their season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Clinton 2 Box Score In what has been a pretty rare occurrence, the Kernels had a big day offensively. Jared Akins kept hitting. He went 3-for-5, scored three runs and stole two bags. Gabriel Maciel went 3-for-5 with two RBI and his fifth stolen base. Andrew Bechtold hit his seventh double and his first triple. Albee Weiss went 2-for-4 with a walk. Cole Sands started and struck out ten batters in five innings. He gave up only one run despite eight hits. But he didn’t hurt himself with any walks. Austin Schulfer kept the theme going with eight strikeouts in three scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and walked one. Jose Martinez gave up a run on two hits in the ninth inning. He struck out two more batters, giving Kernels pitchers 20 strikeouts in the game. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Cole Sands, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jared Akins, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-4, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch. #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 0-2, 2 BB #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - Injured (quad), return...unknown #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured (wrist) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch. #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (90 pitches, 60 strikes) #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (adductor) #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List, late-May return possible #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did Not Play. #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, RBI, 2 K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch. #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-3, 2 BB, R, K #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 9 K (89 pitches, 53 strikes) #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 2-4 SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Durham (4:05 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (2-2, 4.50 ERA) Mobile @ Pensacola (1:05 CST) - RHP Brusdar Graterol (5-0, 1.69 ERA) St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (12:00 CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (1-4, 5.46 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (2:00 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (2-1, 2.97 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games. Click here to view the article
  14. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Saturday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Rochester announced the outfielder Brent Rooker has been placed on the injured list with a wrist injury. Taking his spot on the Red Wings roster is infielder Victor Tademo from extended spring training. As a non-transaction, but an interesting note, LHP Stephen Gonsalves joined the Red Wings in Durham on Sunday. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Durham 4 Box Score The Red Wings took a 3-0 lead after scoring two runs in the top of the fifth inning. However, the Durham Bulls scored one run in each of their final four innings to take the win and push the Red Wings to 14-24 overall. Lewis Thorpe started and was good. He gave up one run on five hits and a walk over the first five innings. He struck out eight. Ryan Eades came on and gave up a solo home run in the sixth and seventh innings. Fernando Romero pitched the bottom of the eighth frame and gave up a run on one hit and two walks. Luke Raley went 2-for-3 and added his fourth stolen base. Tomas Telis went 2-for-4. LaMonte Wade was 1-or-3 with two walks. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 0, Mobile 3 Box Score The Southern League is unique among minor leagues in that it only has five-game series. Through their first eight series, the Blue Wahoos had yet to lose one. However, with their loss on Saturday, it assured their first losing series of the season. They fall to 26-17. Minnesotan Adam Bray was used as an opener for the second straight time. He gave up one run on two hits over two innings. He struck out three without issuing a walk. Jorge Alcala came on as the primary pitcher. He was charged with two runs over 4 2/3 innings. He gave up four hits and uncharacteristically walked four batters. He also struck out nine batters. Jeff Ames struck out three over two scoreless innings to end the game. The Wahoos, with partial owner Bubba Watson watching, managed just two hits in this game. Mitchell Kranson had a single, and Travis Blankenhorn went 1-for-3 with a walk. https://twitter.com/bubbawatson/status/1129890842196361216 MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 0, St. Lucie 9 Box Score The Miracle celebrates Major League as Roger Dorn (or maybe you prefer Corbin Bernsen was in attendance on Saturday night to sign autographs and take pictures with fans. https://twitter.com/MiracleBaseball/status/1129804061220454402 However, on the field things did not go well for the Miracle as they were shut out. Jose Miranda went 2-for-4. Ryan Jeffers had a single and a walk. Trevor Larnach walked twice. Aaron Whitefield walked three times. Melvi Acosta made another spot start. In 4 2/3 innings, he was charged with seven runs (just three earned) on seven hits, a walk and a hit batter. He struck out four. Kody Funderburk made his first Miracle appearance since being promoted from extended spring training on Friday. He threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and a walk while striking out two. Ricky Ramirez was charged with two runs on four hits in the final inning. The Miracle fell to 25-16 on their season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Clinton 2 Box Score In what has been a pretty rare occurrence, the Kernels had a big day offensively. Jared Akins kept hitting. He went 3-for-5, scored three runs and stole two bags. Gabriel Maciel went 3-for-5 with two RBI and his fifth stolen base. Andrew Bechtold hit his seventh double and his first triple. Albee Weiss went 2-for-4 with a walk. Cole Sands started and struck out ten batters in five innings. He gave up only one run despite eight hits. But he didn’t hurt himself with any walks. Austin Schulfer kept the theme going with eight strikeouts in three scoreless innings. He gave up two hits and walked one. Jose Martinez gave up a run on two hits in the ninth inning. He struck out two more batters, giving Kernels pitchers 20 strikeouts in the game. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Cole Sands, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jared Akins, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, BB #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-4, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch. #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 0-2, 2 BB #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - Injured (quad), return...unknown #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured (wrist) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch. #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K (90 pitches, 60 strikes) #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (adductor) #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List, late-May return possible #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did Not Play. #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, RBI, 2 K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch. #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 1-3, 2 BB, R, K #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 4.2 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 9 K (89 pitches, 53 strikes) #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 2-4 SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Durham (4:05 CST) - RHP Zack Littell (2-2, 4.50 ERA) Mobile @ Pensacola (1:05 CST) - RHP Brusdar Graterol (5-0, 1.69 ERA) St. Lucie @ Ft. Myers (12:00 CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (1-4, 5.46 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (2:00 CST) - RHP Josh Winder (2-1, 2.97 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games.
  15. Apparently, those pushups paid off. A day after causing some controversy when he did pushups on the field after hitting a double, Royce Lewis muscled his first home run of the season. Come see what else happened across the system Friday night.TRANSACTIONS -Luis Arraez was recalled by the Twins, filling a roster spot opened up when Nelson Cruz was placed on the IL. -Kody Funderburk was activated from extended spring training and assigned to Fort Myers. -Albee Weiss was activated from extended spring and assigned to Cedar Rapids. The Kernels placed Gabe Snyder on the temporary inactive list. RED WINGS REPORT Durham 9, Rochester 5 Box Score Devin Smeltzer: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 65.3% strikes (49 of 75 pitches) HR: Drew Maggi (3), Jake Cave (1) Multi-hit games: LaMonte Wade (2-for-4), Cave (2-for-4, 2B, HR), Wilin Rosario (2-for-4) So Devin Smeltzer is human after all. He came into this start having given up just two earned runs over 45 innings between Pensacola and Rochester, but gave up four in this start. Trevor Hildenberger made his first minor league appearance since June 21, 2017. It did not go well. He gave up four runs on three hits, a walk and a wild pitch in his inning of work. All the scoring for the Red Wings came via the long ball. Jake Cave hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and Drew Maggi hit a three-run shot in the seventh. BLUE WAHOO BITES Mobile 8, Pensacola 2 Box Score Sean Poppen: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 68.3% (56 of 82 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: None How often does a team get assists from all three of its outfielders? That was an oddity that occured in tonight’s game, as left fielder Travis Blankenhorn and center fielder Jaylin Davis both cut down runners at the plate and right fielder Alex Kirilloff nailed a runner at third. The Pensacola lineup couldn’t make the most of their opportunities tonight. Despite drawing eight walks, the Blue Wahoos scored just two runs. They were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base. Alex Kirilloff had the team’s lone extra-base hit, his second double of the season. He also drew two of those walks. Sean Poppen held the BayBears to three runs over the first 5 2/3 innings, but things got a little sloppy in the final three innings. Three runs scored while Sam Clay was on the mound, though just one was earned, and Cody Stashak surrendered a pair of runs in his two innings of work. MIRACLE MATTERS St. Lucie 2, Fort Myers 1 (10 innings) Box Score Tyler Watson: 7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 63.2% strikes (55 of 87 pitches) HR: Royce Lewis (1) Multi-hit games: Lewin Diaz (2-for-4) In his 38th game of the season, Royce Lewis finally has a home run. That has to be a relief. The Florida State League can very tough on hitters, and No. 1 overall picks are no exception. Lewis, who was the DH today, hit a 1-1 pitch grooved right over the middle of the plate over the left field wall to put Fort Myers up in the top of the first inning. Unfortunately, that was the only run the Miracle scored all game. Tyler Watson pitched great, giving up just one run over 7 1/3 innings. Hector Lujan held on through the ninth, but he allowed the bonus runner to score on a double in the top of the 10th inning. The Fort Myers bats were retired in order in the bottom of the inning to end the game. Speaking of how the FSL can be tough on a hitter, how about that Lewin Diaz!? He followed up a monster game in which he went 4-for-5 with three homers by collecting a couple of singles. He’s 18-for-50 so far in May (.360). KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Clinton 5 (11 innings) Box Score Tyler Palm: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 64.9% strikes (61 of 94 pitches) HR: Jared Akins (3) Multi-hit games: The Kernels just wouldn’t go away in this one. Trailing 3-0 with two outs in the top of the eighth inning, Jared Akins hit a game-tying homer. He fell behind 1-2 in that at bat, battled back to work the count full and then unleashed on a pitch left over the plate. Cedar Rapids managed to scratch across a run in the top of the 10th. Clinton answered, but they were unable to finish things off despite having the bases loaded with one out. Zach Neff got the second out on a strikeout and induced a grounder to end the threat. Akins scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th on a wild pitch and Yeltsin Encarnacion plated what ended up being a massive insurance run with a single. Neff went back out for his third inning of work to try to secure a well-fought Kernels victory. Neff struck out the first batter he faced but allowed the bonus runner to score on a double. With Cedar Rapids now clinging to a one-run lead, Neff struck out the next two batters he faced to finish things off. He had seven strikeouts in his three innings of about the highest-leverage work you could imagine. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Zach Neff, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Jared Akins, Cedar Rapids TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 1-for-4, HR 2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 1-for-3, 2B, 2 BB, OF assist 4. Trevor Larnach (FM): 0-for-3, BB, 2 K 13. Ryan Jeffers (FM): 0-for-4, K 14. Ben Rortvedt (PNS): 1-for-4, R 16. Gilberto Celestino (CR): 1-for-6, 2 K 18. LaMonte Wade (ROC): 2-for-4, R 20. Jose Miranda (FM): 1-for-4, K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Durham, 5:35 pm CT (Lewis Thorpe) Pensacola vs. Mobile, 6:05 pm CT (Jorge Alcala) Fort Myers vs. St. Lucie, 5:00 pm CT (Melvi Acosta) Cedar Rapids at Clinton, 6:30 pm CT (Cole Sands) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games. Click here to view the article
  16. TRANSACTIONS -Luis Arraez was recalled by the Twins, filling a roster spot opened up when Nelson Cruz was placed on the IL. -Kody Funderburk was activated from extended spring training and assigned to Fort Myers. -Albee Weiss was activated from extended spring and assigned to Cedar Rapids. The Kernels placed Gabe Snyder on the temporary inactive list. RED WINGS REPORT Durham 9, Rochester 5 Box Score Devin Smeltzer: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 65.3% strikes (49 of 75 pitches) HR: Drew Maggi (3), Jake Cave (1) Multi-hit games: LaMonte Wade (2-for-4), Cave (2-for-4, 2B, HR), Wilin Rosario (2-for-4) So Devin Smeltzer is human after all. He came into this start having given up just two earned runs over 45 innings between Pensacola and Rochester, but gave up four in this start. Trevor Hildenberger made his first minor league appearance since June 21, 2017. It did not go well. He gave up four runs on three hits, a walk and a wild pitch in his inning of work. All the scoring for the Red Wings came via the long ball. Jake Cave hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning and Drew Maggi hit a three-run shot in the seventh. BLUE WAHOO BITES Mobile 8, Pensacola 2 Box Score Sean Poppen: 5.2 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 68.3% (56 of 82 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: None How often does a team get assists from all three of its outfielders? That was an oddity that occured in tonight’s game, as left fielder Travis Blankenhorn and center fielder Jaylin Davis both cut down runners at the plate and right fielder Alex Kirilloff nailed a runner at third. The Pensacola lineup couldn’t make the most of their opportunities tonight. Despite drawing eight walks, the Blue Wahoos scored just two runs. They were 0-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left 10 men on base. Alex Kirilloff had the team’s lone extra-base hit, his second double of the season. He also drew two of those walks. Sean Poppen held the BayBears to three runs over the first 5 2/3 innings, but things got a little sloppy in the final three innings. Three runs scored while Sam Clay was on the mound, though just one was earned, and Cody Stashak surrendered a pair of runs in his two innings of work. MIRACLE MATTERS St. Lucie 2, Fort Myers 1 (10 innings) Box Score Tyler Watson: 7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 63.2% strikes (55 of 87 pitches) HR: Royce Lewis (1) Multi-hit games: Lewin Diaz (2-for-4) In his 38th game of the season, Royce Lewis finally has a home run. That has to be a relief. The Florida State League can very tough on hitters, and No. 1 overall picks are no exception. Lewis, who was the DH today, hit a 1-1 pitch grooved right over the middle of the plate over the left field wall to put Fort Myers up in the top of the first inning. Unfortunately, that was the only run the Miracle scored all game. Tyler Watson pitched great, giving up just one run over 7 1/3 innings. Hector Lujan held on through the ninth, but he allowed the bonus runner to score on a double in the top of the 10th inning. The Fort Myers bats were retired in order in the bottom of the inning to end the game. Speaking of how the FSL can be tough on a hitter, how about that Lewin Diaz!? He followed up a monster game in which he went 4-for-5 with three homers by collecting a couple of singles. He’s 18-for-50 so far in May (.360). KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Clinton 5 (11 innings) Box Score Tyler Palm: 6.0 IP, 7 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 5 K, 64.9% strikes (61 of 94 pitches) HR: Jared Akins (3) Multi-hit games: The Kernels just wouldn’t go away in this one. Trailing 3-0 with two outs in the top of the eighth inning, Jared Akins hit a game-tying homer. He fell behind 1-2 in that at bat, battled back to work the count full and then unleashed on a pitch left over the plate. Cedar Rapids managed to scratch across a run in the top of the 10th. Clinton answered, but they were unable to finish things off despite having the bases loaded with one out. Zach Neff got the second out on a strikeout and induced a grounder to end the threat. Akins scored the go-ahead run in the top of the 11th on a wild pitch and Yeltsin Encarnacion plated what ended up being a massive insurance run with a single. Neff went back out for his third inning of work to try to secure a well-fought Kernels victory. Neff struck out the first batter he faced but allowed the bonus runner to score on a double. With Cedar Rapids now clinging to a one-run lead, Neff struck out the next two batters he faced to finish things off. He had seven strikeouts in his three innings of about the highest-leverage work you could imagine. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Zach Neff, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Jared Akins, Cedar Rapids TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 1-for-4, HR 2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 1-for-3, 2B, 2 BB, OF assist 4. Trevor Larnach (FM): 0-for-3, BB, 2 K 13. Ryan Jeffers (FM): 0-for-4, K 14. Ben Rortvedt (PNS): 1-for-4, R 16. Gilberto Celestino (CR): 1-for-6, 2 K 18. LaMonte Wade (ROC): 2-for-4, R 20. Jose Miranda (FM): 1-for-4, K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Durham, 5:35 pm CT (Lewis Thorpe) Pensacola vs. Mobile, 6:05 pm CT (Jorge Alcala) Fort Myers vs. St. Lucie, 5:00 pm CT (Melvi Acosta) Cedar Rapids at Clinton, 6:30 pm CT (Cole Sands) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  17. Find out everything and more that happened in the Twins system on Thursday. Let’s start with the transaction of the day: Glen Perkins was assigned to Chattanooga as part of his rehab. Chris Paul began his rehab in the GCL. He’s been out since late May with a broken hamate. Tyler Wells was taken off of the Kernels disabled list and assigned to the GCL. My assumption is that they want him to make one more appearance in the GCL before moving back to the Kernels. Or, maybe there’s more going on with the Kernels roster. We shall see. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 4, Norfolk 6 (11) Box Score Stephen Gonsalves made his much-anticipated Red Wings (err… Plates) debut on Thursday night. The left-hander was pretty impressive in this outing. Through three innings, he faced the minimum nine batters. He gave up one run in the fourth inning on three hits. One line drive was painful… and will likely be more painful tomorrow. As Gonsalves told Twins Daily following his outing, likely with a grimace, “That’s going to hurt tomorrow. 109 (mph) to the oblique.” That was the measurement that the Trackman system provided. As impressive, the lefty calmly reached down to grab the ball and throw the batter out at first base. He took a handful of warmup pitches and stayed in the game. One pitch later, with runners on second and third, he got the inning’s final out. He looked comfortable the first three innings, and he looked very comfortable over his final three innings. The lone mistake was falling behind big-league veteran Chris Johnson 3-0. Johnson hit a rocket into the left-field bleachers, but that was about it. In seven innings, Gonsalves gave up two runs on four hits. He struck out seven batters without issuing a walk. Throwing strikes was the key for the left-hander. In his own words, “All went well. Located all my pitches tonight. Was able to throw slider and curve behind in the count and that never happens. But something clicked in my bullpen in Chattanooga, and I've felt great since. Was able to get first pitch strikes on 18 of 25 (batters) and as along as you can get ahead, that's the name of the game. The guy I got behind was the home run.” Gonsalves left the game with a 4-2 lead and some very good relievers coming in behind him. Michael Tonkin got the eighth inning. He gave up one run on three hits. John Curtiss got the ninth, trying to protect a now-one-run lead. Norfolk tied the game at four when the first three batters reached base. Somehow, Curtiss escaped the ninth inning with the game tied. He pitched a scoreless tenth inning. Drew Rucinski pitched a scoreless 11th inning, but he gave up two runs in the 12th inning to take the loss. The Red Wings had plenty of base runners and plenty of opportunities. However, they stranded 17 players on base. The eight and nine hitters each had two hits. So did the lineup’s first five batters. Zack Granite went 2-6 with a double. Mitch Garver was 2-6 with a walk and his 25th double. Daniel Palka went 2-6 with a walk. Matt Hague went 2-6 with his 24th double. Byungho Park went 2-5 with a walk. JB Shuck went 2-5 with a walk. Leonardo Reginnato went 2-5 with a walk. He had a two-strike, two-out single to give the Red Wings a 4-2 lead. The Rochester Plates promotion was successful. Over 13,000 fans in the stands for the game and the special jersey giveaway. It was so successful, they’re going to do it again… every home game in 2018! https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/895811470948171776 CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 4, Birmingham 7 Box Score Kohl Stewart was on the mound for the Lookouts on Thursday night. The right-hander walked just one and struck out six over five innings. Those are certainly encouraging numbers, so maybe let’s just not mention the five runs on seven hits that were also in his line score. However, if Stewart has control and command of his pitches, that walk/strikeout rate could be a thing. Glen Perkins made his Lookouts debut in the sixth inning. He gave up a hit, but that’s it, in one inning. Then DJ Baxendale made his return to Chattanooga. He gave up two runs (one earned) on three hits in an inning. Gabriel Moya pitched one inning and struck out the side. Edgar Corcino went 2-4 with a walk. Max Murphy was 2-4 and included his third triple. TJ White was also 2-4. Carlos Paulino went 1-3 with a walk and two RBI. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers , Dunedin Box Score Rain postponed another Miracle game on Thursday night. The two teams will play two seven-inning games on Friday. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Quad Cities 7 Box Score The Kernels fell behind early and tried to come back but fell just short. Tyler Watson was back on the mound for his second Kernels start since coming from the Nationals organization in the Brandon Kintzler trade. He gave up one run through three innings, but he was charged with two runs in the fourth and the fifth innings. He gave up five runs on eight hits and two walks in five innings. He struck out one. Logan Lombana came on and gave up two unearned runs on three hits and a walk in two innings. Patrick McGuff struck out one over two scoreless innings. Jimmy Kerrigan had a big game. The recently-signed outfielder went 3-4 with a walk, his first triple and his second home run. Caleb Hamilton and Ben Rortvedt each had a single and two walks in the game. Christian Cavaness hit his sixth home run of the season and stole his ninth base. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 2, Greeneville 5 Box Score Brusdar Graterol had a tough start and the Twins were unable to make a comeback. The flame-throwing right-hander was charged with four runs on five hits over just 2.2 innings. He walked two and struck out four. He needed 69 pitches (just 43 were strikes). Randy Dobnak came on and needed just 64 pitches to work through the final 6.1 innings. He gave up one run on one hit and struck out four. Akil Baddoo went 2-4 from the leadoff spot. Carson Crites hit his third home run. Mark Contreras went 1-3 with a walk. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 4, GCL Orioles 6 Box Score The Twins got a lead, but the bullpen was unable to hold it late. Michael Kohn started again on his rehab stint. He walked one and struck one out in his inning. Blayne Enlow came on and threw four shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked two and struck out four. His ERA dropped to 1.29. Zack Featherstone threw two scoreless innings. Then came the eighth inning. Kevin Marnon gave up two unearned runs on two hits and a walk in that inning. Joe Rosenstein started the ninth inning. He gave up three runs on three walks and recorded just one out. Amilcar Cruz got the final two outs, but not before giving up one of his own runs and walking three. He did strike out two. Royce Lewis had an interesting line in the box score. He went 0-4 with a run and a walk and three stolen bases. In MLB history, that’s happened just four times! (Special note, one of the stolen bases was home.) https://twitter.com/MLBPipeline/status/895745743943720960 Jared Akins went 2-4 with three RBI. He knocked his first professional home run and fourth stolen base. Alex Robles went 2-4 with his sixth stolen base. Ricky De La Torre was 1-2 with two walks. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Stephen Gonsalves, Rochester Red Wings. Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jimmy Kerrigan, Cedar Rapids Kernels FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Norfolk @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP David Hurlbut Chattanooga @ Birmingham (7:05 CST) - RHP Zack Littell Dunedin @ Ft. Myers (DH @ 4:00 CST) - RHP Randy LeBlanc, RHP Sean Poppen Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker Greeneville @ Elizabethton (DH at 4:05 CST) - LHP Ryley Widell GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (11:00 am) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games.
  18. It was a night of debuts. Recently-acquired Dietrich Enns made his major league debut. And down in Rochester, Stephen Gonsalves made his first AAA start. Enns had a couple of highlights, like his first big league hit, despite a short start. Gonsalves was fantastic and looked very comfortable on the Red Wings mound, well, except when he got hit by a line drive at 109 mph. You’ll want to read more about that. Maybe it’s just me. The last time I wrote a Minor League Report, the Twins affiliates all lost. Yesterday, Jeremy got to write the report, and all of the teams won. Well, here I am writing the minor league report on Thursday, so you’ll have to see if these trends continued.Find out everything and more that happened in the Twins system on Thursday. Let’s start with the transaction of the day: Glen Perkins was assigned to Chattanooga as part of his rehab.Chris Paul began his rehab in the GCL. He’s been out since late May with a broken hamate.Tyler Wells was taken off of the Kernels disabled list and assigned to the GCL. My assumption is that they want him to make one more appearance in the GCL before moving back to the Kernels. Or, maybe there’s more going on with the Kernels roster. We shall see.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 4, Norfolk 6 (11) Box Score Stephen Gonsalves made his much-anticipated Red Wings (err… Plates) debut on Thursday night. The left-hander was pretty impressive in this outing. Through three innings, he faced the minimum nine batters. He gave up one run in the fourth inning on three hits. One line drive was painful… and will likely be more painful tomorrow. As Gonsalves told Twins Daily following his outing, likely with a grimace, “That’s going to hurt tomorrow. 109 (mph) to the oblique.” That was the measurement that the Trackman system provided. As impressive, the lefty calmly reached down to grab the ball and throw the batter out at first base. He took a handful of warmup pitches and stayed in the game. One pitch later, with runners on second and third, he got the inning’s final out. He looked comfortable the first three innings, and he looked very comfortable over his final three innings. The lone mistake was falling behind big-league veteran Chris Johnson 3-0. Johnson hit a rocket into the left-field bleachers, but that was about it. In seven innings, Gonsalves gave up two runs on four hits. He struck out seven batters without issuing a walk. Throwing strikes was the key for the left-hander. In his own words, “All went well. Located all my pitches tonight. Was able to throw slider and curve behind in the count and that never happens. But something clicked in my bullpen in Chattanooga, and I've felt great since. Was able to get first pitch strikes on 18 of 25 (batters) and as along as you can get ahead, that's the name of the game. The guy I got behind was the home run.” Gonsalves left the game with a 4-2 lead and some very good relievers coming in behind him. Michael Tonkin got the eighth inning. He gave up one run on three hits. John Curtiss got the ninth, trying to protect a now-one-run lead. Norfolk tied the game at four when the first three batters reached base. Somehow, Curtiss escaped the ninth inning with the game tied. He pitched a scoreless tenth inning. Drew Rucinski pitched a scoreless 11th inning, but he gave up two runs in the 12th inning to take the loss. The Red Wings had plenty of base runners and plenty of opportunities. However, they stranded 17 players on base. The eight and nine hitters each had two hits. So did the lineup’s first five batters. Zack Granite went 2-6 with a double. Mitch Garver was 2-6 with a walk and his 25th double. Daniel Palka went 2-6 with a walk. Matt Hague went 2-6 with his 24th double. Byungho Park went 2-5 with a walk. JB Shuck went 2-5 with a walk. Leonardo Reginnato went 2-5 with a walk. He had a two-strike, two-out single to give the Red Wings a 4-2 lead. The Rochester Plates promotion was successful. Over 13,000 fans in the stands for the game and the special jersey giveaway. It was so successful, they’re going to do it again… every home game in 2018! Jared Akins went 2-4 with three RBI. He knocked his first professional home run and fourth stolen base. Alex Robles went 2-4 with his sixth stolen base. Ricky De La Torre was 1-2 with two walks. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Stephen Gonsalves, Rochester Red Wings. Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jimmy Kerrigan, Cedar Rapids Kernels FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Norfolk @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP David Hurlbut Chattanooga @ Birmingham (7:05 CST) - RHP Zack Littell Dunedin @ Ft. Myers (DH @ 4:00 CST) - RHP Randy LeBlanc, RHP Sean Poppen Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker Greeneville @ Elizabethton (DH at 4:05 CST) - LHP Ryley Widell GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (11:00 am) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games. Click here to view the article
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