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  1. Only three of the Twins four full-season affiliates were in action on Tuesday, as the Chattanooga Lookouts enjoyed a much needed day off. They also got some good news for their already stalwart bullpen, as a top prospect was activated from the disabled list. A much talked about name in the offseason made an appearance in AAA, but Rochester’s starter made the bigger story. A couple of hitters also continued impressive showings in the last week with home runs.To find out who did what in the minor leagues on Tuesday night, read on! TRANSACTIONS There was a notable move in AA today even though the Lookouts didn’t play, as Todd Van Steensel and 2016 first-rounder Tyler Jay were activated. Randy LeBlanc was assigned back to Fort Myers to help make room. Also, Cam Booser was added to the Ft. Myers roster off of the DL. Van Steensel was dealing with a groin strain, while Jay has yet to pitch this year with tendinitis in his pitching arm. RED WINGS REPORT Durham 0, Rochester 4 Box Score The story of the game in this one for Twins fans may have been the fact it was Jose De Leon making the start for the Durham Bulls. Yep, that De Leon. He had missed all of April with an arm injury, and this was his third start of the season. The Red Wings got to him in the second inning for all the runs they would end up needing, as Jason Wheeler outdueled the top prospect. Singles from Byungho Park and Matt Hague led off the second inning, and they both scored on a double from J.B. Shuck. Engelb Vilema and Zach Granite added an RBI double and an RBI single, respectively, to cap the scoring. De Leon went just four innings, allowing eight hits and a walk. Wheeler pitched seven shutout frames in opposition, allowing just five hits while striking out nine. Durham did not send more than four hitters to the plate in any inning while Wheeler was on the mound, and didn’t cause trouble until he came out for the eighth inning. A lead-off single followed by a double put runners on second and third, leading to Trevor Hildenberger being called in from the bullpen. He got the first man to line into a double play, and then induced a pop-out in foul territory to snuff out the threat. He closed out the game in the ninth for his third save on the season, allowing just a two-out single. JB Shuck had two doubles and Engelb Vielma had two hits, including a double, to lead the rest of the offense. It was Vielma’s first double since moving up to AAA. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Scheduled day off. The Lookouts enjoyed an off day after a brutal stretch that was made worse by some early rain. They played 20 games in 20 days and went 12-8 over that stretch. They were 11-3 before the rigors caught up with them and they lost five in a row at the tail end before getting a needed victory yesterday. They are 24-21 on the season, and in fourth place in the Southern League North Division, though less than two games back of first. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Dunedin 3 Box score Aussie left-hander Lachlan Wells was on the mound for the Miracle, and it was opposing major leaguers who made his day worse than it actually was. In five innings, he allowed three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out four. Two of the three runs came courtesy of a Josh Donaldson RBI single in the second, and a Troy Tulowitzki solo-home run in the fifth. Fort Myers got back in the game in the sixth, scoring their only two runs of the game on a Zander Wiel home run, his sixth of the season. It was also his third in the last four nights. He was the only hitter in the Miracle lineup with multiple hits, adding a single to lead off the ninth as the game-tying run. He reached second base after a Tulowitzki throwing error, but a bunt attempt resulted in him being forced out at third. A liner to center field off the bat of Rafael Valera ended up turning into a double play, as the potential game-tying runner was doubled off second to end the game. The bullpen tandem of Cameron Booser (2IP, 2 BB) and Sam Clay (IP, H, BB, K) got them to that point, combining for three innings of scoreless baseball. It was Booser’s first appearance of the season, and he set the Blue Jays down one-two-three in his first inning. Daniel Kihle added a double for the offense, which went just 1-7 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base for the game. KERNELS NUGGETS Clinton 7, Cedar Rapids 1 Box Score Clinton got the jump on Cedar Rapids starter Domenick Carlini in the top of the first, as the lead-off man led off the game with a home run for an early 1-0 lead. They would extend that lead to 7-1 as they tacked on two runs in each of Carlini’s final three innings. He did make it through five innings, allowing the seven runs on eleven hits and a walk. He struck out two. Zach Tillery and Max Cordy each pitched two innings of relief and each struck out two LumberKings. Tillery allowed one hit in his two frames, Cordy went one-two-three in each. The Kernels got their lone run of the game in the fourth inning, as Jaylin Davis launched his tenth home run of the season. He leads the Midwest League in that category after his recent binge (six HR’s in seven days) and is hitting .375 in his last ten games. He finished this one 2-4. Caleb Hamilton added two hits and a walk to the effort, and Travis Blankenhorn added a double. The lineup was just 1-10 with runners in scoring position, leaving ten on base. At 26-19, the Kernels lead the Midwest League Western Division, a half-game in front of rival Kane County. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Jason Wheeler, Rochester Red Wings (W, 7 IP, 5 H’s, 9 K’s) Hitter of the Day – Zander Wiel, Fort Myers Miracle (2-3, HR, 2 RBI) WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Durham @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) – RHP Aaron Slegers (4-3, 3.83 ERA) Montgomery @ Chattanooga (6:15PM CST) – RHP Fernando Romero (2-5, 4.73 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (5:30PM CST) – RHP Brady Anderson (2-0, 3.42 ERA) Clinton @ Cedar Rapids (12:05PM CST) – RHP Clark Beeker (5-2, 2.76 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! Click here to view the article
  2. To find out who did what in the minor leagues on Tuesday night, read on! TRANSACTIONS There was a notable move in AA today even though the Lookouts didn’t play, as Todd Van Steensel and 2016 first-rounder Tyler Jay were activated. Randy LeBlanc was assigned back to Fort Myers to help make room. Also, Cam Booser was added to the Ft. Myers roster off of the DL. Van Steensel was dealing with a groin strain, while Jay has yet to pitch this year with tendinitis in his pitching arm. RED WINGS REPORT Durham 0, Rochester 4 Box Score The story of the game in this one for Twins fans may have been the fact it was Jose De Leon making the start for the Durham Bulls. Yep, that De Leon. He had missed all of April with an arm injury, and this was his third start of the season. The Red Wings got to him in the second inning for all the runs they would end up needing, as Jason Wheeler outdueled the top prospect. Singles from Byungho Park and Matt Hague led off the second inning, and they both scored on a double from J.B. Shuck. Engelb Vilema and Zach Granite added an RBI double and an RBI single, respectively, to cap the scoring. De Leon went just four innings, allowing eight hits and a walk. Wheeler pitched seven shutout frames in opposition, allowing just five hits while striking out nine. Durham did not send more than four hitters to the plate in any inning while Wheeler was on the mound, and didn’t cause trouble until he came out for the eighth inning. A lead-off single followed by a double put runners on second and third, leading to Trevor Hildenberger being called in from the bullpen. He got the first man to line into a double play, and then induced a pop-out in foul territory to snuff out the threat. He closed out the game in the ninth for his third save on the season, allowing just a two-out single. JB Shuck had two doubles and Engelb Vielma had two hits, including a double, to lead the rest of the offense. It was Vielma’s first double since moving up to AAA. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Scheduled day off. The Lookouts enjoyed an off day after a brutal stretch that was made worse by some early rain. They played 20 games in 20 days and went 12-8 over that stretch. They were 11-3 before the rigors caught up with them and they lost five in a row at the tail end before getting a needed victory yesterday. They are 24-21 on the season, and in fourth place in the Southern League North Division, though less than two games back of first. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Dunedin 3 Box score Aussie left-hander Lachlan Wells was on the mound for the Miracle, and it was opposing major leaguers who made his day worse than it actually was. In five innings, he allowed three runs on six hits and a walk while striking out four. Two of the three runs came courtesy of a Josh Donaldson RBI single in the second, and a Troy Tulowitzki solo-home run in the fifth. Fort Myers got back in the game in the sixth, scoring their only two runs of the game on a Zander Wiel home run, his sixth of the season. It was also his third in the last four nights. He was the only hitter in the Miracle lineup with multiple hits, adding a single to lead off the ninth as the game-tying run. He reached second base after a Tulowitzki throwing error, but a bunt attempt resulted in him being forced out at third. A liner to center field off the bat of Rafael Valera ended up turning into a double play, as the potential game-tying runner was doubled off second to end the game. The bullpen tandem of Cameron Booser (2IP, 2 BB) and Sam Clay (IP, H, BB, K) got them to that point, combining for three innings of scoreless baseball. It was Booser’s first appearance of the season, and he set the Blue Jays down one-two-three in his first inning. Daniel Kihle added a double for the offense, which went just 1-7 with runners in scoring position and left five men on base for the game. KERNELS NUGGETS Clinton 7, Cedar Rapids 1 Box Score Clinton got the jump on Cedar Rapids starter Domenick Carlini in the top of the first, as the lead-off man led off the game with a home run for an early 1-0 lead. They would extend that lead to 7-1 as they tacked on two runs in each of Carlini’s final three innings. He did make it through five innings, allowing the seven runs on eleven hits and a walk. He struck out two. Zach Tillery and Max Cordy each pitched two innings of relief and each struck out two LumberKings. Tillery allowed one hit in his two frames, Cordy went one-two-three in each. The Kernels got their lone run of the game in the fourth inning, as Jaylin Davis launched his tenth home run of the season. He leads the Midwest League in that category after his recent binge (six HR’s in seven days) and is hitting .375 in his last ten games. He finished this one 2-4. Caleb Hamilton added two hits and a walk to the effort, and Travis Blankenhorn added a double. The lineup was just 1-10 with runners in scoring position, leaving ten on base. At 26-19, the Kernels lead the Midwest League Western Division, a half-game in front of rival Kane County. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Jason Wheeler, Rochester Red Wings (W, 7 IP, 5 H’s, 9 K’s) Hitter of the Day – Zander Wiel, Fort Myers Miracle (2-3, HR, 2 RBI) WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Durham @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) – RHP Aaron Slegers (4-3, 3.83 ERA) Montgomery @ Chattanooga (6:15PM CST) – RHP Fernando Romero (2-5, 4.73 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (5:30PM CST) – RHP Brady Anderson (2-0, 3.42 ERA) Clinton @ Cedar Rapids (12:05PM CST) – RHP Clark Beeker (5-2, 2.76 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  3. Continue on to find out all the specifics on a busy night in the Twins farm system. Be sure to go to the Minor League forum and check out the Adopt-a-Prospect. We’d love to have you adopt a Twins prospect or three and follow them throughout the season. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Charlotte 2 Box Score Jason Wheeler has never been described as a strikeout pitcher, but seemingly each year he reaches double digits in strikeouts once. He did so once each year from 2012 through 2015. He didn’t have a ten strikeout game in 2016, but on Friday night the left-hander struck out a career-high 11 batters in seven innings to improve to 2-1 on the season. He gave up two runs on five hits and walked two batters. Drew Rucinski got the first two outs of the eighth inning on strikeouts. Buddy Boshers recorded the third out of the inning. Alex Wimmers recorded his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth frame. The Red Wings tied the game at two in the fifth inning. A wild pitch on a strikeout with the bases loaded allowed the first run to score. Next, Matt Hague grounded out to score the game-tying run. Then in the eighth inning, Kennys Vargas walked for the second time. Bengie Gonzalez pinch ran for him. Daniel Palka doubled him to third base, and Leonardo Reginnato drove him in with a sacrifice fly. Reginnato went 2-3. JB Shuck went 2-4 with his third double. Palka and John Ryan Murphy added doubles. Former Twins starter Mike Pelfrey was supposed to start for Charlotte. Instead, he was called up and will make a start for the White Sox this weekend. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 6, Biloxi 3 Box Score Chattanooga was able to end their series against the Biloxi Shuckers with a nice win. The Lookouts got the majority of their offense from their top two hitters. Nick Gordon went 3-5 with his second double and three RBIs. In the sixth inning with the game tied at three, he hit a bases loaded single. He tried to stretch it into a double but was thrown out at second. In the meantime, the third runner scored all the way from first giving Gordon three RBI on that single. The second-spot hitter was Engelb Vielma. He went 3-5 with two RBIs. He gave the Lookouts the early lead when he hit a two-run single in the third inning. The other Lookouts run scored on an RBI single from Ryan Walker in the fourth inning. LaMonte Wade went 2-3 with a walk. Levi Michael, who made another start in center field, went 0-1 and walked twice. Paul Clemens was back on the mound for the Lookouts. The veteran right-hander gave up three runs (one earned) on three hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out seven. Todd Van Steensel came on and worked 2.1 scoreless innings. He gave up three hits, but no walks and struck out four. John Curtiss recorded the final two outs to earn his second save of the season. May have to do a little digging, but lefty Mason Melotakis was ejected from the game in the first inning. UPDATE: MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 10, Dunedin 4 Box Score A five-run third inning gave the Miracle a lead. They kept adding to it including three runs in the ninth inning to claim a big win. The bats have continued to hit after a very slow start. Ehire Adrianza played in his first game on rehab assignment. He started at shortstop and went 3-5 with a stolen base and three runs scored. Max Murphy was also 3-5. Zander Wiel hit his fourth and fifth doubles and drove in three runs. Nelson Molina went 2-4 with his first triple and two RBI. Chris Paul had just one hit, but his three-run homer was the big blow in that third inning. Keaton Steele was back on the mound. The right-hander gave up four runs on ten hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out four on his way to his first win of the season. Michael Theofanopoulos struck out four batters over two scoreless innings. Jonny Drozd came on and got the final three outs. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Kane County 3 (12 innings) Box Score Travis Blankenhorn led off the bottom of the 12th inning with a walk. Two wild pitches advanced Blankenhorn to third base. After Lewin Diaz was intentionally walks, Jaylin Davis singled in Blankenhorn, ending a long night in Cedar Rapids with a 4-3 Kernels win. Blankenhorn had the big hit early in the game when his double scored two runs for the Kernels. Jermaine Palacios went 3-6 with his second double. Brandon Lopez was 3-5 in the game. Davis went 2-6. Sean Poppen was back on the mound and provided the Kernels with another quality start. The right-hander from Harvard gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out seven. Logan Lombana struck out four over 2.2 scoreless innings. Thomas Hackimer picked up the win with 3.1 scoreless innings, with three strikeouts. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Jason Wheeler, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Nick Gordon, Chattanooga Lookouts SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Charlotte (6:05 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers Tennessee @ Chattanooga - (6:15 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart Ft. Myers @ Dunedin (5:30 CST) - RHP Randy LeBlanc Kane County @ Cedar Rapids (5:05 CST) - LHP Domenick Carlini Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday night’s games.
  4. It was a busy night in the Twins minor league system. One starting pitcher recorded a career-high in strikeouts. Six hitters recorded three hits on the day as well. There were two one-run games, one of which finished in 12 innings with a walkoff. Hey the Twins beat Justin Verlander on Friday night which is a good reminder that in this great game of baseball, anything can happen.Continue on to find out all the specifics on a busy night in the Twins farm system. Be sure to go to the Minor League forum and check out the Adopt-a-Prospect. We’d love to have you adopt a Twins prospect or three and follow them throughout the season. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Charlotte 2 Box Score Jason Wheeler has never been described as a strikeout pitcher, but seemingly each year he reaches double digits in strikeouts once. He did so once each year from 2012 through 2015. He didn’t have a ten strikeout game in 2016, but on Friday night the left-hander struck out a career-high 11 batters in seven innings to improve to 2-1 on the season. He gave up two runs on five hits and walked two batters. Drew Rucinski got the first two outs of the eighth inning on strikeouts. Buddy Boshers recorded the third out of the inning. Alex Wimmers recorded his first save of the season with a scoreless ninth frame. The Red Wings tied the game at two in the fifth inning. A wild pitch on a strikeout with the bases loaded allowed the first run to score. Next, Matt Hague grounded out to score the game-tying run. Then in the eighth inning, Kennys Vargas walked for the second time. Bengie Gonzalez pinch ran for him. Daniel Palka doubled him to third base, and Leonardo Reginnato drove him in with a sacrifice fly. Reginnato went 2-3. JB Shuck went 2-4 with his third double. Palka and John Ryan Murphy added doubles. Former Twins starter Mike Pelfrey was supposed to start for Charlotte. Instead, he was called up and will make a start for the White Sox this weekend. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 6, Biloxi 3 Box Score Chattanooga was able to end their series against the Biloxi Shuckers with a nice win. The Lookouts got the majority of their offense from their top two hitters. Nick Gordon went 3-5 with his second double and three RBIs. In the sixth inning with the game tied at three, he hit a bases loaded single. He tried to stretch it into a double but was thrown out at second. In the meantime, the third runner scored all the way from first giving Gordon three RBI on that single. The second-spot hitter was Engelb Vielma. He went 3-5 with two RBIs. He gave the Lookouts the early lead when he hit a two-run single in the third inning. The other Lookouts run scored on an RBI single from Ryan Walker in the fourth inning. LaMonte Wade went 2-3 with a walk. Levi Michael, who made another start in center field, went 0-1 and walked twice. Paul Clemens was back on the mound for the Lookouts. The veteran right-hander gave up three runs (one earned) on three hits in six innings. He walked four and struck out seven. Todd Van Steensel came on and worked 2.1 scoreless innings. He gave up three hits, but no walks and struck out four. John Curtiss recorded the final two outs to earn his second save of the season. May have to do a little digging, but lefty Mason Melotakis was ejected from the game in the first inning. UPDATE: MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 10, Dunedin 4 Box Score A five-run third inning gave the Miracle a lead. They kept adding to it including three runs in the ninth inning to claim a big win. The bats have continued to hit after a very slow start. Ehire Adrianza played in his first game on rehab assignment. He started at shortstop and went 3-5 with a stolen base and three runs scored. Max Murphy was also 3-5. Zander Wiel hit his fourth and fifth doubles and drove in three runs. Nelson Molina went 2-4 with his first triple and two RBI. Chris Paul had just one hit, but his three-run homer was the big blow in that third inning. Keaton Steele was back on the mound. The right-hander gave up four runs on ten hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out four on his way to his first win of the season. Michael Theofanopoulos struck out four batters over two scoreless innings. Jonny Drozd came on and got the final three outs. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Kane County 3 (12 innings) Box Score Travis Blankenhorn led off the bottom of the 12th inning with a walk. Two wild pitches advanced Blankenhorn to third base. After Lewin Diaz was intentionally walks, Jaylin Davis singled in Blankenhorn, ending a long night in Cedar Rapids with a 4-3 Kernels win. Blankenhorn had the big hit early in the game when his double scored two runs for the Kernels. Jermaine Palacios went 3-6 with his second double. Brandon Lopez was 3-5 in the game. Davis went 2-6. Sean Poppen was back on the mound and provided the Kernels with another quality start. The right-hander from Harvard gave up three runs (two earned) on six hits and a walk in six innings. He struck out seven. Logan Lombana struck out four over 2.2 scoreless innings. Thomas Hackimer picked up the win with 3.1 scoreless innings, with three strikeouts. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Jason Wheeler, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Nick Gordon, Chattanooga Lookouts SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Charlotte (6:05 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers Tennessee @ Chattanooga - (6:15 CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart Ft. Myers @ Dunedin (5:30 CST) - RHP Randy LeBlanc Kane County @ Cedar Rapids (5:05 CST) - LHP Domenick Carlini Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday night’s games. Click here to view the article
  5. There are five Twins minor league players who were drafted by the Twins in 2011 who have yet to reach the big leagues. Could they be called up sometime during the 2017 season? Could they be added to the 40-man roster following the season, before the World Series is complete and become free agents? 2010 draft pick Niko Goodrum spent the first half of the 2016 season on the disabled list. Following the season he could have become a minor league free agent, but instead, he quickly re-signed with the Twins. Fellow 2010 draft pick Alex Wimmers could have become a free agent after the Twins took him off of their 40-man roster following the season. Instead, he quickly returned to the Twins on a minor league contract. Both are playing well in spring training. So while it would be great for these five players to have big seasons in 2017 and force the Twins hand, doors could open up for them after the season via free agency, or they could choose to stay in the Twins organization. LEVI MICHAEL The Twins had the 30th overall pick in the 2011 draft. The Twins selected North Carolina shortstop Levi Michael. In his three years with the Tar Heels, he spent a season at each of three infield positions. Many scouting sources had Michael ranked higher than 30th, and the Twins needed middle infielders in the system. The pick made sense. Unfortunately, he missed the rest of that season with injury, and he has fought a variety of injuries throughout his career. He has spent parts of the last three seasons at AA. In 2016, he played in 95 games and hit just .215/.293/.291 (.584) and lost playing time as the season went on. He recently turned 26, and it would be nice to see him get some AAA time in 2017. TRAVIS HARRISON The Twins took Harrison with the 50th overall pick in 2011 out of high school in California. He quickly moved up one level each year until 2016 when he returned for a second season in AA Chattanooga. In 120 games, he hit .230 but had a .338 on-base percentage and a .339 slugging percentage. He had 22 doubles, seven homers and stole 15 bases. He has been in the outfield the last three seasons, though he has moved from left to right and back and forth a couple of times. No one questions Harrison’s work ethic, and anyone who has watched him knows that he has tremendous power potential and strength. He will still be just 24 years old through the 2017 season. DERECK RODRIGUEZ Dereck Rodriguez, as you know, is the son of recently-named Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez. The Twins drafted him in the sixth round in 2011 out of high school in Florida. They drafted him as a potential five-tool outfielder, but when he was unable to hit in the rookie leagues for three seasons, the decision was pretty easy to give him the option of pitching. He’s progressed slowly up the ladder as a pitcher. In 2015, he was the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year. He began 2016 really struggling in Cedar Rapids, but in the middle of June, he started pitching much better. He earned a promotion to Ft. Myers where he pitched well too. He pitched very well this winter in Puerto Rico and helped the team win the Caribbean Series. He now is part of Team Puerto Rico in the WBC. He’ll continue to start as the season begins, but the 24-year-old could be a solid bullpen arm. JASON WHEELER Wheeler is the one player on this list who has been on the Twins 40-man roster. Two years ago, he was added to the roster and went to spring training with the big club. He really struggled in 2015 and by season’s end, he was removed from the 40-man roster. After that point, he went on to lead the Chattanooga Lookouts to the 2015 Southern League championship (he was named MVP, won a game and recorded a four-inning save). 2016 was a very good year for Wheeler. He began in Chattanooga again, but he moved up to Rochester quickly. And, he put up terrific numbers, good enough to be named the starting pitcher for the International League team in the AAA All-Star game. The left-hander doesn’t throw real hard, but he is generally around the plate and uses his defense. The 26-year-old was the Twins eighth-round pick in 2011 out of Loyola Marymount. DAVID HURLBUT The Twins liked Hurlbut enough to draft him twice. He was the team’s 35th-round pick in 2009 out of junior college. Two years later, the Twins took him in the 28th round out of Cal State-Fullerton. He missed some time at the start of 2016 with a shoulder issue, but he pitched well once he got on the mound. He went 7-7 with a 3.51 ERA in 23 starts in AA. He finished the season with five starts in Rochester. The 27-year-old is a soft-throwing left-hander, occasionally touching 90, but he has pinpoint control and a good changeup. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Obviously all five of these guys are “prospects’ as they have yet to play in the big leagues. The two 24-year-olds are the two that would fit into the “prospect” category meaning there is still a lot of potential with them. It’s a big year for each of them. Not only are they working for a big league opportunity with the Twins, but they will have another season to be monitored by scouts and coaching staffs from the other 29 organizations too. So what are your hopes or expectations for these five? Will any of them get to the big leagues in 2017? Could any be found on the 40-man roster after the 2017 season?
  6. There are so many minor league stories to follow in 2017. Yesterday we talked about what could be a very intriguing starting staff in Chattanooga throughout the season. Today’s article is more about the business of baseball. A player can become a minor league free agent after he has played six full seasons of minor league ball, unless added to the 40-man roster. So it is fair to say that this is a big year for a handful of Twins minor leaguers.There are five Twins minor league players who were drafted by the Twins in 2011 who have yet to reach the big leagues. Could they be called up sometime during the 2017 season? Could they be added to the 40-man roster following the season, before the World Series is complete and become free agents? 2010 draft pick Niko Goodrum spent the first half of the 2016 season on the disabled list. Following the season he could have become a minor league free agent, but instead, he quickly re-signed with the Twins. Fellow 2010 draft pick Alex Wimmers could have become a free agent after the Twins took him off of their 40-man roster following the season. Instead, he quickly returned to the Twins on a minor league contract. Both are playing well in spring training. So while it would be great for these five players to have big seasons in 2017 and force the Twins hand, doors could open up for them after the season via free agency, or they could choose to stay in the Twins organization. LEVI MICHAEL The Twins had the 30th overall pick in the 2011 draft. The Twins selected North Carolina shortstop Levi Michael. In his three years with the Tar Heels, he spent a season at each of three infield positions. Many scouting sources had Michael ranked higher than 30th, and the Twins needed middle infielders in the system. The pick made sense. Unfortunately, he missed the rest of that season with injury, and he has fought a variety of injuries throughout his career. He has spent parts of the last three seasons at AA. In 2016, he played in 95 games and hit just .215/.293/.291 (.584) and lost playing time as the season went on. He recently turned 26, and it would be nice to see him get some AAA time in 2017. TRAVIS HARRISON The Twins took Harrison with the 50th overall pick in 2011 out of high school in California. He quickly moved up one level each year until 2016 when he returned for a second season in AA Chattanooga. In 120 games, he hit .230 but had a .338 on-base percentage and a .339 slugging percentage. He had 22 doubles, seven homers and stole 15 bases. He has been in the outfield the last three seasons, though he has moved from left to right and back and forth a couple of times. No one questions Harrison’s work ethic, and anyone who has watched him knows that he has tremendous power potential and strength. He will still be just 24 years old through the 2017 season. DERECK RODRIGUEZ Dereck Rodriguez, as you know, is the son of recently-named Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez. The Twins drafted him in the sixth round in 2011 out of high school in Florida. They drafted him as a potential five-tool outfielder, but when he was unable to hit in the rookie leagues for three seasons, the decision was pretty easy to give him the option of pitching. He’s progressed slowly up the ladder as a pitcher. In 2015, he was the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Year. He began 2016 really struggling in Cedar Rapids, but in the middle of June, he started pitching much better. He earned a promotion to Ft. Myers where he pitched well too. He pitched very well this winter in Puerto Rico and helped the team win the Caribbean Series. He now is part of Team Puerto Rico in the WBC. He’ll continue to start as the season begins, but the 24-year-old could be a solid bullpen arm. JASON WHEELER Wheeler is the one player on this list who has been on the Twins 40-man roster. Two years ago, he was added to the roster and went to spring training with the big club. He really struggled in 2015 and by season’s end, he was removed from the 40-man roster. After that point, he went on to lead the Chattanooga Lookouts to the 2015 Southern League championship (he was named MVP, won a game and recorded a four-inning save). 2016 was a very good year for Wheeler. He began in Chattanooga again, but he moved up to Rochester quickly. And, he put up terrific numbers, good enough to be named the starting pitcher for the International League team in the AAA All-Star game. The left-hander doesn’t throw real hard, but he is generally around the plate and uses his defense. The 26-year-old was the Twins eighth-round pick in 2011 out of Loyola Marymount. DAVID HURLBUT The Twins liked Hurlbut enough to draft him twice. He was the team’s 35th-round pick in 2009 out of junior college. Two years later, the Twins took him in the 28th round out of Cal State-Fullerton. He missed some time at the start of 2016 with a shoulder issue, but he pitched well once he got on the mound. He went 7-7 with a 3.51 ERA in 23 starts in AA. He finished the season with five starts in Rochester. The 27-year-old is a soft-throwing left-hander, occasionally touching 90, but he has pinpoint control and a good changeup. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Obviously all five of these guys are “prospects’ as they have yet to play in the big leagues. The two 24-year-olds are the two that would fit into the “prospect” category meaning there is still a lot of potential with them. It’s a big year for each of them. Not only are they working for a big league opportunity with the Twins, but they will have another season to be monitored by scouts and coaching staffs from the other 29 organizations too. So what are your hopes or expectations for these five? Will any of them get to the big leagues in 2017? Could any be found on the 40-man roster after the 2017 season? Click here to view the article
  7. Below, you’ll find short profiles of our top five starting pitchers, but first, some players worthy of honorable mention. Honorable Mention Randy LeBlanc, Cedar Rapids/Fort Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts: 24 G, 23 GS, 12-9, 1 Save, 2.64 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 140.0 IP, 123 H, 37 BB, 87 K. Aaron Slegers, Chattanooga Lookouts: 25 GS, 10-7, 3.41 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 145.1 IP, 137 H, 46 BB, 104 K. Kohl Stewart, Fort Myers Miracle, Chattanooga Lookouts: 25 GS, 12-8, 2.88 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 143.2 IP, 130 H, 63 BB, 91 K. DJ Baxendale, Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings: 37 G, 14 GS, 8-8, 2.79 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 116.0 IP, 110 H, 24 BB, 99 K. Pitcher of the Year Here are the top six vote getters for Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. #5 – Jason Wheeler, Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings: 28 GS, 12-7, 3.30 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 169.1 IP, 157 H, 40 BB, 135 K. If there were such a thing, Jason Wheeler might be the comeback minor league player of the year in the Twins system. Added to the 40-man roster after the 2014 season, he struggled mightily in 2015 in AAA before being sent down to AA and later taken off the 40-man roster. But really, since then he has pitched very well. He was the MVP of the Southern League championship series in 2015. He began this year in Chattanooga where he walked three and struck out 22 in 24 innings over four starts. He was promoted to Rochester where he was terrific. In fact, he was chosen to start the AAA All Star game for the International League. While he slowed later in the year, he went 11-6 with a 3.53 ERA. Wheeler will turn 26 in October. I’m a little surprised that he wasn’t promoted to make a few more starts for the Twins in September. He was the Twins eighth-round pick in 2011 out of Loyola-Marymount. #4 – Fernando Romero, Cedar Rapids Kernels/Fort Myers Miracle: 16 GS, 9-3, 1.89 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 90.1 IP, 66 H, 15 BB, 90 K. It was a long road to recovery, but Romero came back as strong (OK, probably stronger) than ever. In May of 2014, Romero was a 19-year-old flame thrower promoted to Cedar Rapids. He made just three starts for the Kernels before being shut down. Soon after, he had Tommy John surgery. He missed the remainder of that season and all of 2015, in part due to needing a knee surgery too. The Twins had him start this year in extended spring before promoting him to the Kernels in mid-May, almost exactly two years after he went there the first time. In five starts (and 28 innings) for the Kernels, he posted a 1.93 ERA and 25/5 K/BB rate. He was quickly promoted to Ft. Myers where he continued to pitch very well. In 11 starts (62.1 innings), he posted an ERA of 1.88 with a 65/10 K/BB rate. Romero has very good control of a fastball that sits 95-97 and touches 98 at times. His secondary stuff is a work-in-progress, but doing well. He’s got a good changeup and a slider with real potential. When it comes to potential, Romero has the ability to be a future ace. Romero needs to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason or he will likely be selected in the Rule 5 draft. #3 – Felix Jorge, Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts: 25 GS, 12-8, 2.69 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 167.1 IP, 159 H, 23 BB, 109 K. As you recall, Jorge’s first stint in Cedar Rapids in 2014 did not go well. He returned to EST and was the Appy League Pitcher of the Year that year. He returned to Cedar Rapids in 2015 and was good again. In fact, he finished fifth in last year’s Starting Pitcher voting. He took that success to another level in 2016. While Jorge doesn’t yet get a lot of strikeouts, he is a strike-throwing machine who hits 92-94 on his fastball and has a good changeup and curve ball. He was fantastic with the Miracle. In 14 starts (93 innings), he went 9-3 with a 1.55 ERA. Over his final seven starts with the Miracle, he was 7-0 with a 1.13 ERA. He earned his promotion to AA, though he found some rougher times with the Lookouts. After a slow start, however, he had a stretch of seven games in which he gave up three runs or fewer. And, he ended the season giving up one run over nine innings. In 11 starts, 74.1 innings with the Lookouts, he went 3-5 with a 4.12 ERA. His 167.1 innings was just two behind Jason Wheeler for the organization lead. The Twins were able to get away with not putting Jorge on the 40-man roster last offseason, but one would have to wonder if he would be lost if left unprotected again. #2 – Jose Berrios, Rochester Red Wings: 17 GS, 10-5, 2.51 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 111.1 IP, 74 H, 36 BB, 125 K. While Jose Berrios has struggled to a 9+ ERA in his three stints with the Twins in 2016, he showed again that he is capable of dominating AAA hitters. Berrios, who was our choice for Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2014 and 2015, struggled some with command and control at times, even in AAA, but a quick look at his numbers reminds us of how good he could be when he is in complete control. Berrios went to spring training with a real opportunity to make the big league starting rotation. Things would have had to play out almost perfectly, but control issues pushed him to AAA. He made three starts before being summoned to the big leagues, weeks before his 22nd birthday. After four starts, he was optioned to Rochester where he had three real good starts and two poor starts before catching fire. Over his next eight starts, he posted a 1.46 ERA in 55.1 innings. In that time, he struck out 60 and walked 15. He earned another promotion to the Twins but again struggled mightily. He was sent back to Rochester and in one start he walked one and struck out 14 over eight innings. He’s back with the Twins and looking to figure things out in the big leagues. There’s no real question that he’ll be a quality major league starting pitcher, but the 22-year-old needs to work through a few things (like most pitchers) before he gets there. Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year – Stephen Gonsalves, Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts: 24 GS, 13-5, 2.06 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 140.0 IP, 86 H, 57 BB, 155 K. A year ago, Stephen Gonsalves finished runner-up to Jose Berrios for Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. That’s certainly nothing to sneeze at. In 2015, Gonsalves went 13-3 with a 2.01 ERA between Low-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Ft. Myers. He pitched to very similar numbers in 2016 only he split the time between Ft. Myers and AA Chattanooga. Coming into the minor league season, we talked a lot about the starting rotation in Ft. Myers. Gonsalves was the Miracle Opening Day starter, but Kohl Stewart, Tyler Jay, Felix Jorge and Randy Rosario were also part of the rotation. In the first inning of his Opening Day start, Gonsalves gave up a three-run homer. He gave up a total of three earned runs over his next 41.2 innings. Gonsalves was selected to the Florida State League All-Star team and worked a scoreless second inning. He was promoted to Chattanooga in late June. In his first two starts with the Lookouts, he was charged with eight runs in 8.2 innings. He then gave up just seven earned runs over his final 11 starts (65.2 innings). Over the weekend he was named our August Starting Pitcher of the Month. In that month, he went 4-0 with a 0.28 ERA. He had also won that award in April. Recently we learned that he will represent the Twins in the Arizona Fall League where he should be able to work another 25 innings or so, getting him to 165 on the season. That would mean that he could be ready for 180-190 innings in 2017, when he will be vying for a rotation spot in the big leagues at some point. In chatting with Gonsalves in spring training, he had again worked out with the likes of James Shields and Stephen Strasburg in San Diego. One thing that was very important to him was finding an improved breaking ball. He worked on a cutter/slider type of pitch that he’s now able to use at a couple of different speeds, depending upon the situation. That pitch really helped him boost his strikeout rate. Right-handed batters hit just .174 (.511) off of him while left-handers hit .194 (.582). Overall, opponents hit just .179/.269/.258 (.527) against him. Gonsalves was the Twins 4th round pick in 2014 out of high school in San Diego. He turned 22 in July, and it’s possible he could be in the big leagues by the time he’s 23. There were some fantastic starting pitcher performances from Twins minor leaguers throughout the system in 2016, even more than you see above. That said, Gonsalves was the clear-cut choice for this award. Congrats to all these pitchers on a fantastic season that was loads of fun to follow. The Ballots These awards were voted on by the Twins Daily minor league report writers. In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs – 1) Stephen Gonsalves, 2) Fernando Romero, 3) Jose Berrios, 4) Felix Jorge, 5) Jason Wheeler, 6) Randy LeBlanc Jeremy Nygaard – 1) Stephen Gonsalves, 2) Fernando Romero, 3) Jose Berrios, 4) Jason Wheeler, 5) Felix Jorge, 6) Randy LeBlanc Cody Christie – 1) Stephen Gonsalves, 2) Jose Berrios, 3) Felix Jorge, 4) Jason Wheeler, 5) Randy LeBlanc, 6) DJ Baxendale Steve Lein – 1) Stephen Gonsalves, 2) Fernando Romero, 3) Felix Jorge, 4) Jose Berrios, 5) Jason Wheeler, 6) Kohl Stewart Eric Pleiss – 1) Jose Berrios, 2) Stephen Gonsalves, 3) Jason Wheeler, 4) Felix Jorge, 5) Aaron Slegers 6) Kohl Stewart. Feel free to discuss. How would your ballot look?
  8. I think it would be fair to say that the biggest issue for the Minnesota Twins in 2016 (and well, since like 2011) has been starting pitching. As the majority of the Twins hitting prospects have reached the big leagues, most of the top prospects in the Twins system are starting pitchers. There is a lot of talent and most of them had very good seasons in 2016. Today, we hand out our award for 2016 Minnesota Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year.Below, you’ll find short profiles of our top five starting pitchers, but first, some players worthy of honorable mention. Honorable Mention Randy LeBlanc, Cedar Rapids/Fort Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts: 24 G, 23 GS, 12-9, 1 Save, 2.64 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 140.0 IP, 123 H, 37 BB, 87 K.Aaron Slegers, Chattanooga Lookouts: 25 GS, 10-7, 3.41 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 145.1 IP, 137 H, 46 BB, 104 K.Kohl Stewart, Fort Myers Miracle, Chattanooga Lookouts: 25 GS, 12-8, 2.88 ERA, 1.34 WHIP, 143.2 IP, 130 H, 63 BB, 91 K.DJ Baxendale, Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings: 37 G, 14 GS, 8-8, 2.79 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 116.0 IP, 110 H, 24 BB, 99 K.Pitcher of the Year Here are the top six vote getters for Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. #5 – Jason Wheeler, Chattanooga Lookouts/Rochester Red Wings: 28 GS, 12-7, 3.30 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 169.1 IP, 157 H, 40 BB, 135 K. If there were such a thing, Jason Wheeler might be the comeback minor league player of the year in the Twins system. Added to the 40-man roster after the 2014 season, he struggled mightily in 2015 in AAA before being sent down to AA and later taken off the 40-man roster. But really, since then he has pitched very well. He was the MVP of the Southern League championship series in 2015. He began this year in Chattanooga where he walked three and struck out 22 in 24 innings over four starts. He was promoted to Rochester where he was terrific. In fact, he was chosen to start the AAA All Star game for the International League. While he slowed later in the year, he went 11-6 with a 3.53 ERA. Wheeler will turn 26 in October. I’m a little surprised that he wasn’t promoted to make a few more starts for the Twins in September. He was the Twins eighth-round pick in 2011 out of Loyola-Marymount. #4 – Fernando Romero, Cedar Rapids Kernels/Fort Myers Miracle: 16 GS, 9-3, 1.89 ERA, 0.90 WHIP, 90.1 IP, 66 H, 15 BB, 90 K. It was a long road to recovery, but Romero came back as strong (OK, probably stronger) than ever. In May of 2014, Romero was a 19-year-old flame thrower promoted to Cedar Rapids. He made just three starts for the Kernels before being shut down. Soon after, he had Tommy John surgery. He missed the remainder of that season and all of 2015, in part due to needing a knee surgery too. The Twins had him start this year in extended spring before promoting him to the Kernels in mid-May, almost exactly two years after he went there the first time. In five starts (and 28 innings) for the Kernels, he posted a 1.93 ERA and 25/5 K/BB rate. He was quickly promoted to Ft. Myers where he continued to pitch very well. In 11 starts (62.1 innings), he posted an ERA of 1.88 with a 65/10 K/BB rate. Romero has very good control of a fastball that sits 95-97 and touches 98 at times. His secondary stuff is a work-in-progress, but doing well. He’s got a good changeup and a slider with real potential. When it comes to potential, Romero has the ability to be a future ace. Romero needs to be added to the 40-man roster this offseason or he will likely be selected in the Rule 5 draft. #3 – Felix Jorge, Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts: 25 GS, 12-8, 2.69 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 167.1 IP, 159 H, 23 BB, 109 K. As you recall, Jorge’s first stint in Cedar Rapids in 2014 did not go well. He returned to EST and was the Appy League Pitcher of the Year that year. He returned to Cedar Rapids in 2015 and was good again. In fact, he finished fifth in last year’s Starting Pitcher voting. He took that success to another level in 2016. While Jorge doesn’t yet get a lot of strikeouts, he is a strike-throwing machine who hits 92-94 on his fastball and has a good changeup and curve ball. He was fantastic with the Miracle. In 14 starts (93 innings), he went 9-3 with a 1.55 ERA. Over his final seven starts with the Miracle, he was 7-0 with a 1.13 ERA. He earned his promotion to AA, though he found some rougher times with the Lookouts. After a slow start, however, he had a stretch of seven games in which he gave up three runs or fewer. And, he ended the season giving up one run over nine innings. In 11 starts, 74.1 innings with the Lookouts, he went 3-5 with a 4.12 ERA. His 167.1 innings was just two behind Jason Wheeler for the organization lead. The Twins were able to get away with not putting Jorge on the 40-man roster last offseason, but one would have to wonder if he would be lost if left unprotected again. #2 – Jose Berrios, Rochester Red Wings: 17 GS, 10-5, 2.51 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 111.1 IP, 74 H, 36 BB, 125 K. While Jose Berrios has struggled to a 9+ ERA in his three stints with the Twins in 2016, he showed again that he is capable of dominating AAA hitters. Berrios, who was our choice for Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year in 2014and 2015, struggled some with command and control at times, even in AAA, but a quick look at his numbers reminds us of how good he could be when he is in complete control. Berrios went to spring training with a real opportunity to make the big league starting rotation. Things would have had to play out almost perfectly, but control issues pushed him to AAA. He made three starts before being summoned to the big leagues, weeks before his 22nd birthday. After four starts, he was optioned to Rochester where he had three real good starts and two poor starts before catching fire. Over his next eight starts, he posted a 1.46 ERA in 55.1 innings. In that time, he struck out 60 and walked 15. He earned another promotion to the Twins but again struggled mightily. He was sent back to Rochester and in one start he walked one and struck out 14 over eight innings. He’s back with the Twins and looking to figure things out in the big leagues. There’s no real question that he’ll be a quality major league starting pitcher, but the 22-year-old needs to work through a few things (like most pitchers) before he gets there. Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year – Stephen Gonsalves, Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts: 24 GS, 13-5, 2.06 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 140.0 IP, 86 H, 57 BB, 155 K. A year ago, Stephen Gonsalves finished runner-up to Jose Berrios for Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year. That’s certainly nothing to sneeze at. In 2015, Gonsalves went 13-3 with a 2.01 ERA between Low-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Ft. Myers. He pitched to very similar numbers in 2016 only he split the time between Ft. Myers and AA Chattanooga. Coming into the minor league season, we talked a lot about the starting rotation in Ft. Myers. Gonsalves was the Miracle Opening Day starter, but Kohl Stewart, Tyler Jay, Felix Jorge and Randy Rosario were also part of the rotation. In the first inning of his Opening Day start, Gonsalves gave up a three-run homer. He gave up a total of three earned runs over his next 41.2 innings. Gonsalves was selected to the Florida State League All-Star team and worked a scoreless second inning. He was promoted to Chattanooga in late June. In his first two starts with the Lookouts, he was charged with eight runs in 8.2 innings. He then gave up just seven earned runs over his final 11 starts (65.2 innings). Over the weekend he was named our August Starting Pitcher of the Month. In that month, he went 4-0 with a 0.28 ERA. He had also won that award in April. Recently we learned that he will represent the Twins in the Arizona Fall League where he should be able to work another 25 innings or so, getting him to 165 on the season. That would mean that he could be ready for 180-190 innings in 2017, when he will be vying for a rotation spot in the big leagues at some point. In chatting with Gonsalves in spring training, he had again worked out with the likes of James Shields and Stephen Strasburg in San Diego. One thing that was very important to him was finding an improved breaking ball. He worked on a cutter/slider type of pitch that he’s now able to use at a couple of different speeds, depending upon the situation. That pitch really helped him boost his strikeout rate. Right-handed batters hit just .174 (.511) off of him while left-handers hit .194 (.582). Overall, opponents hit just .179/.269/.258 (.527) against him. Gonsalves was the Twins 4th round pick in 2014 out of high school in San Diego. He turned 22 in July, and it’s possible he could be in the big leagues by the time he’s 23. There were some fantastic starting pitcher performances from Twins minor leaguers throughout the system in 2016, even more than you see above. That said, Gonsalves was the clear-cut choice for this award. Congrats to all these pitchers on a fantastic season that was loads of fun to follow. The Ballots These awards were voted on by the Twins Daily minor league report writers. In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs – 1) Stephen Gonsalves, 2) Fernando Romero, 3) Jose Berrios, 4) Felix Jorge, 5) Jason Wheeler, 6) Randy LeBlancJeremy Nygaard – 1) Stephen Gonsalves, 2) Fernando Romero, 3) Jose Berrios, 4) Jason Wheeler, 5) Felix Jorge, 6) Randy LeBlancCody Christie – 1) Stephen Gonsalves, 2) Jose Berrios, 3) Felix Jorge, 4) Jason Wheeler, 5) Randy LeBlanc, 6) DJ BaxendaleSteve Lein – 1) Stephen Gonsalves, 2) Fernando Romero, 3) Felix Jorge, 4) Jose Berrios, 5) Jason Wheeler, 6) Kohl StewartEric Pleiss – 1) Jose Berrios, 2) Stephen Gonsalves, 3) Jason Wheeler, 4) Felix Jorge, 5) Aaron Slegers 6) Kohl Stewart.Feel free to discuss. How would your ballot look? Click here to view the article
  9. It was a low-scoring night throughout the system Tuesday, but that means there were several good pitching performances for the Twins affiliates. As an organization, they combined for just 19 runs (2.7 per game) on the day, but because of those performance went 5-2 on the day in the minor leagues.To see which other starting pitchers came through besides the dominating effort from lefty Jason Wheeler at AAA, keep reading! But first, congratulations to Twins first-round draft pick, Alex Kirilloff, who was named the Appalachian League's Player of the Yearon Tuesday. He was joined by Lewin Diaz and Patrick McGuff on the league's postseason All-Star team. In the Midwest League, Luis Arraez was named to their postseason All-Star team. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Norfolk 0 Box Score Rochester’s offense scored three runs before they played any defense thanks to a three-run homer from Kennys Vargas, and thanks to their starting pitcher, that would be all they needed and more. Byron Buxton led off the game with a double and Reynaldo Rodriguez drew a walk before the Vargas blast to account for the other two runs scored. It was the Jason Wheeler show after that. Wheeler went the game’s first eight innings, shutting out the Tides in the process. He allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out eight. He retired the last ten batters he faced and from the third inning on the only two base runners allowed were on a walk that was erased by a double-play ball, and a throwing error from shortstop Tommy Field. Wheeler’s twelfth victory of the season ties him with Stephen Gonsalves for the organizational lead in wins. D.J. Baxendale came on for the ninth and kept the shutout intact with a scoreless inning. He allowed one hit and struck out one. To begin the third inning, five consecutive hits from Vargas (single), Adam Walker (RBI triple), Daniel Palka (RBI single), Mitch Garver (single), and James Beresford (single) scored two runs and had the bases loaded, but a shallow fly out and double play ended the threat of further damage. Leonardo Reginatto drove in Garver, who had doubled, with an RBI single in the eighth for the Red Wings final run. Vargas (2-4, 2 R’s, HR, 3 RBIs, BB), Garver (4-4, R, 2B), and Reginatto (3-4, RBI) had multiple hits for the majority of Rochester’s thirteen as a team on the game. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Jacksonville 3 Box Score Aaron Slegers made the start for the Lookouts in this one and pitched into the seventh inning. The damage came on a two-run home run in the third inning to give the Suns the lead, but Slegers left the game with it tied at two and two runners on in the seventh.. Zack Jones was summoned and gave up a single to load the bases, but struck out the next two batters to close the door and keep the game tied going into the eighth. Slegers allowed just two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three in his 6.1 innings pitched. Chattanooga tied the game at two in the sixth inning thanks to an error that allowed Levi Michael to score (he had led off with a double), and an RBI groundout from Ryan Walker to score Zach Granite who also stole his forty-eighth base of the season. Jones added a scoreless eighth inning, and came on for the ninth as well. Unfortunately, it was probably a decision manager Doug Mientkiewitz would like to take back. Four base-on-balls later (including one intentional) and the Suns would send their fans home happy with a literal walk-off win. Jones finished with the loss, and one run allowed on two hits and four walks in his 2.1 innings. He struck out four as well. Engelb Vielma and Travis Harrison each had two hits in the game, but Michael’s double was the Lookouts only extra-base hit. MIRACLE MATTERS Palm Beach 1, Fort Myers 2 Box score Fort Myers got an excellent performance from their starting pitcher at Hammond Stadium in this one, as Randy LeBlanc picked up his fifth win with the Miracle. LeBlanc has been going through some struggles, having allowed fifteen earned runs, twenty-seven hits, and five walks in his last three starts in just ten innings pitched, but that didn’t matter in this one. He allowed just three hits, one walk and struck out six in his seven innings. He held the Cardinals hitless the first time through the order before a walk and a single started the fourth inning, and then then retired nine in a row again before a single in the seventh inning. The Miracle took a 1-0 lead in the sixth thanks to a two-out RBI single from Alex Perez that scored Joe Maloney who had doubled leading off the frame. They added a needed insurance run in the eighth on a costly throwing error from the Palm Beach first baseman on a bunt attempt trying to catch the lead runner at third. Michael Theofanopoulos pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one, before John Curtiss was brought in for the save opportunity in the ninth. He made it interesting by allowing three singles to score one for the Cardinals, but two strikeouts helped him escape with his third save with Fort Myers. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 1, Cedar Rapids 2 Box Score Cedar Rapids took the early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with a two-out rally from Zander Wiel and Luis Arreaz. (This seems like the opposite of how the typical 3/4 spots in the lineup should be occupied by these two, but I’m not complaining.) Weil knocked his twenty-sixth double of the season (the 48th XBH of his 112 hits), and Arreaz drove him in with his 118th single of the year (he has 33 XBH’s). Starter Eduardo Del Rosario gave that run back in the top of the second thanks to a solo home run, but he was impressive the rest of the way. He scattered six hits over six innings and earned a no-decision for his effort. He struck out six and lowered his ERA on the season to under four after peaking at 6.58 after a six-run outing on June 30th. Williams Ramirez pitched two perfect innings in relief, striking out three in the process. In the bottom of the seventh, Manuel Guzman led off with a single and a wild pitch moved him into scoring position before Nelson Molina’s clutch two-out RBI single to put the Kernels out front. Anthony McIver came on for the ninth, and matched Ramirez with a one-two-three inning of his own for his tenth save. He struck out one. Arreaz was the only hitter with multiple hits as he went 2-3 with a walk and leads the Midwest League with a .349 average. E-TWINS E-NOTES Game 1: Elizabethton 0, Bristol 1 Box Score Thanks to a rain out back on July 29th, the E-Twins got to play a seven-inning double-header on Tuesday. In the regularly scheduled game, they may have been happy it lasted only one hour and twenty-seven minutes given that they had to play a second game, but they won’t be proud of why that happened. As a team they managed just two hits and were 0-2 with runners in scoring position. When they were given extra base runners by two errors on the Pirates, they were quickly erased by double-plays. Bristol took the lead for good in the fourth inning against Elizabethton starter Domenick Carlini thanks to three singles. They didn’t manage much more than that as Carlini finished all six innings and allowed just the one run by scattering the other four hits and walking only one. He struck out five and falls to 1-6 on the year. Game 2 (makeup of 7/29 postponement): Elizabethton 4, Bristol 2 (9 innings) Box Score The reason the E-Twins might have been happy was because game two went two extra innings instead of the scheduled seven (even given this, this game lasted just 2 hours and 19 minutes). The pace in this one was largely due to nearly forty percent of the game's outs coming via strikeout. Bristol had ten as a team, with Elizabethton outpacing them with eleven. The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the second inning thanks to Lewin Diaz’s ninth home run of the year. The Pirates tied it at one in the third thanks to a home run of their own off starter Clark Beeker. He allowed only that run on three hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out six. Colton Davis pitched a scoreless sixth inning despite allowing three hits. His defense came through by cutting down a stolen base attempt and a runner at home for two of his three outs. Elizabethton took the lead again in the sixth on an RBI ground ball from Alex Kirilloff, then gave it right back again in the seventh. It was Patrick McGuff’s fault this time and he was charged with the blown save. But as happens sometimes, he came back out for a second inning and recorded three K’s to pick up the win thanks to a two-run ninth inning from his offense. A sac fly from Bryant Hayman and wild pitch led to those two runs. Hector Lujan came on for his save opportunity, and went one-two-three to end the game. Diaz was 2-3 with the home run, and Caleb Hamilton was the only other Twins batter with a hit. They scored four runs on three hits and four Bristol errors that contributed to the win. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Orioles 2, GCL Twins 3 Box Score In another close game in the system on the day, the GCL Twins scored early and late to pick up the victory. Lean Marrero (2-4, 2 R’s, 2B), Justin Hazard (3-4, R, 2B, RBI), Jose Miranda (2-4, 2 RBI), and Akil Baddoo (2-4, 3B) each collected multiple hits to lead the offense. They scored two in the first and one in the seventh for just enough offense. Starter Tyler Fox went the first five innings and did not factor into the decision. He allowed two runs (zero earned) on four hits and three walks while striking out three. Garrett Kelly pitched the next three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk with two strikeouts. Zach Strecker picked up his fifth save with a perfect ninth, striking out two. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Jason Wheeler, Rochester Red Wings (W, 8.0 IP, 2 H’s, BB, 8 K’s) Hitter of the Day – Kennys Vargas, Rochester Red Wings (2-4, 2 R’s, HR, BB, 3 RBI) WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Buffalo (6:05PM CST) – LHP David Hurlut (0-1, 3.46 ERA) Chattanooga @ Jacksonville (6:05PM CST) – RHP Kohl Stewart (7-6, 3.04 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:05PM CST) – RHP Fernando Romero (4-2, 2.11 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM PM CST) – RHP Sean Poppen (0-0, 1.80 ERA) Burlington @ Elizabethton (6:00PM CST) – TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Tuesday’s games. Click here to view the article
  10. To see which other starting pitchers came through besides the dominating effort from lefty Jason Wheeler at AAA, keep reading! But first, congratulations to Twins first-round draft pick, Alex Kirilloff, who was named the Appalachian League's Player of the Year on Tuesday. He was joined by Lewin Diaz and Patrick McGuff on the league's postseason All-Star team. In the Midwest League, Luis Arraez was named to their postseason All-Star team. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Norfolk 0 Box Score Rochester’s offense scored three runs before they played any defense thanks to a three-run homer from Kennys Vargas, and thanks to their starting pitcher, that would be all they needed and more. Byron Buxton led off the game with a double and Reynaldo Rodriguez drew a walk before the Vargas blast to account for the other two runs scored. It was the Jason Wheeler show after that. Wheeler went the game’s first eight innings, shutting out the Tides in the process. He allowed just two hits and one walk while striking out eight. He retired the last ten batters he faced and from the third inning on the only two base runners allowed were on a walk that was erased by a double-play ball, and a throwing error from shortstop Tommy Field. Wheeler’s twelfth victory of the season ties him with Stephen Gonsalves for the organizational lead in wins. D.J. Baxendale came on for the ninth and kept the shutout intact with a scoreless inning. He allowed one hit and struck out one. To begin the third inning, five consecutive hits from Vargas (single), Adam Walker (RBI triple), Daniel Palka (RBI single), Mitch Garver (single), and James Beresford (single) scored two runs and had the bases loaded, but a shallow fly out and double play ended the threat of further damage. Leonardo Reginatto drove in Garver, who had doubled, with an RBI single in the eighth for the Red Wings final run. Vargas (2-4, 2 R’s, HR, 3 RBIs, BB), Garver (4-4, R, 2B), and Reginatto (3-4, RBI) had multiple hits for the majority of Rochester’s thirteen as a team on the game. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Jacksonville 3 Box Score Aaron Slegers made the start for the Lookouts in this one and pitched into the seventh inning. The damage came on a two-run home run in the third inning to give the Suns the lead, but Slegers left the game with it tied at two and two runners on in the seventh.. Zack Jones was summoned and gave up a single to load the bases, but struck out the next two batters to close the door and keep the game tied going into the eighth. Slegers allowed just two runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out three in his 6.1 innings pitched. Chattanooga tied the game at two in the sixth inning thanks to an error that allowed Levi Michael to score (he had led off with a double), and an RBI groundout from Ryan Walker to score Zach Granite who also stole his forty-eighth base of the season. Jones added a scoreless eighth inning, and came on for the ninth as well. Unfortunately, it was probably a decision manager Doug Mientkiewitz would like to take back. Four base-on-balls later (including one intentional) and the Suns would send their fans home happy with a literal walk-off win. Jones finished with the loss, and one run allowed on two hits and four walks in his 2.1 innings. He struck out four as well. Engelb Vielma and Travis Harrison each had two hits in the game, but Michael’s double was the Lookouts only extra-base hit. MIRACLE MATTERS Palm Beach 1, Fort Myers 2 Box score Fort Myers got an excellent performance from their starting pitcher at Hammond Stadium in this one, as Randy LeBlanc picked up his fifth win with the Miracle. LeBlanc has been going through some struggles, having allowed fifteen earned runs, twenty-seven hits, and five walks in his last three starts in just ten innings pitched, but that didn’t matter in this one. He allowed just three hits, one walk and struck out six in his seven innings. He held the Cardinals hitless the first time through the order before a walk and a single started the fourth inning, and then then retired nine in a row again before a single in the seventh inning. The Miracle took a 1-0 lead in the sixth thanks to a two-out RBI single from Alex Perez that scored Joe Maloney who had doubled leading off the frame. They added a needed insurance run in the eighth on a costly throwing error from the Palm Beach first baseman on a bunt attempt trying to catch the lead runner at third. Michael Theofanopoulos pitched a scoreless inning, walking one and striking out one, before John Curtiss was brought in for the save opportunity in the ninth. He made it interesting by allowing three singles to score one for the Cardinals, but two strikeouts helped him escape with his third save with Fort Myers. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 1, Cedar Rapids 2 Box Score Cedar Rapids took the early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first inning with a two-out rally from Zander Wiel and Luis Arreaz. (This seems like the opposite of how the typical 3/4 spots in the lineup should be occupied by these two, but I’m not complaining.) Weil knocked his twenty-sixth double of the season (the 48th XBH of his 112 hits), and Arreaz drove him in with his 118th single of the year (he has 33 XBH’s). Starter Eduardo Del Rosario gave that run back in the top of the second thanks to a solo home run, but he was impressive the rest of the way. He scattered six hits over six innings and earned a no-decision for his effort. He struck out six and lowered his ERA on the season to under four after peaking at 6.58 after a six-run outing on June 30th. Williams Ramirez pitched two perfect innings in relief, striking out three in the process. In the bottom of the seventh, Manuel Guzman led off with a single and a wild pitch moved him into scoring position before Nelson Molina’s clutch two-out RBI single to put the Kernels out front. Anthony McIver came on for the ninth, and matched Ramirez with a one-two-three inning of his own for his tenth save. He struck out one. Arreaz was the only hitter with multiple hits as he went 2-3 with a walk and leads the Midwest League with a .349 average. E-TWINS E-NOTES Game 1: Elizabethton 0, Bristol 1 Box Score Thanks to a rain out back on July 29th, the E-Twins got to play a seven-inning double-header on Tuesday. In the regularly scheduled game, they may have been happy it lasted only one hour and twenty-seven minutes given that they had to play a second game, but they won’t be proud of why that happened. As a team they managed just two hits and were 0-2 with runners in scoring position. When they were given extra base runners by two errors on the Pirates, they were quickly erased by double-plays. Bristol took the lead for good in the fourth inning against Elizabethton starter Domenick Carlini thanks to three singles. They didn’t manage much more than that as Carlini finished all six innings and allowed just the one run by scattering the other four hits and walking only one. He struck out five and falls to 1-6 on the year. Game 2 (makeup of 7/29 postponement): Elizabethton 4, Bristol 2 (9 innings) Box Score The reason the E-Twins might have been happy was because game two went two extra innings instead of the scheduled seven (even given this, this game lasted just 2 hours and 19 minutes). The pace in this one was largely due to nearly forty percent of the game's outs coming via strikeout. Bristol had ten as a team, with Elizabethton outpacing them with eleven. The Twins took a 1-0 lead in the second inning thanks to Lewin Diaz’s ninth home run of the year. The Pirates tied it at one in the third thanks to a home run of their own off starter Clark Beeker. He allowed only that run on three hits and a walk in five innings. He struck out six. Colton Davis pitched a scoreless sixth inning despite allowing three hits. His defense came through by cutting down a stolen base attempt and a runner at home for two of his three outs. Elizabethton took the lead again in the sixth on an RBI ground ball from Alex Kirilloff, then gave it right back again in the seventh. It was Patrick McGuff’s fault this time and he was charged with the blown save. But as happens sometimes, he came back out for a second inning and recorded three K’s to pick up the win thanks to a two-run ninth inning from his offense. A sac fly from Bryant Hayman and wild pitch led to those two runs. Hector Lujan came on for his save opportunity, and went one-two-three to end the game. Diaz was 2-3 with the home run, and Caleb Hamilton was the only other Twins batter with a hit. They scored four runs on three hits and four Bristol errors that contributed to the win. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Orioles 2, GCL Twins 3 Box Score In another close game in the system on the day, the GCL Twins scored early and late to pick up the victory. Lean Marrero (2-4, 2 R’s, 2B), Justin Hazard (3-4, R, 2B, RBI), Jose Miranda (2-4, 2 RBI), and Akil Baddoo (2-4, 3B) each collected multiple hits to lead the offense. They scored two in the first and one in the seventh for just enough offense. Starter Tyler Fox went the first five innings and did not factor into the decision. He allowed two runs (zero earned) on four hits and three walks while striking out three. Garrett Kelly pitched the next three scoreless innings, allowing one hit and one walk with two strikeouts. Zach Strecker picked up his fifth save with a perfect ninth, striking out two. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Jason Wheeler, Rochester Red Wings (W, 8.0 IP, 2 H’s, BB, 8 K’s) Hitter of the Day – Kennys Vargas, Rochester Red Wings (2-4, 2 R’s, HR, BB, 3 RBI) WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Buffalo (6:05PM CST) – LHP David Hurlut (0-1, 3.46 ERA) Chattanooga @ Jacksonville (6:05PM CST) – RHP Kohl Stewart (7-6, 3.04 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:05PM CST) – RHP Fernando Romero (4-2, 2.11 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM PM CST) – RHP Sean Poppen (0-0, 1.80 ERA) Burlington @ Elizabethton (6:00PM CST) – TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Tuesday’s games.
  11. One of the fun things about following the minor league season each year and over several years is to see which players take the biggest strides forward from year to year. That can mean different things to different people, of course. It not only can mean jumping up prospect rankings, but it could mean guys who needed to play well to remain in the organization for another year. For instance, a guy like Lachlan Wells was ranked in the high 30s or low 40s in many Top 50 Twins prospect lists. Now, he should be in most people’s Top 25 Twins prospects after pitching very well since his promotion to Cedar Rapids as a 19 year old.My focus is going to be on eight guys, four hitters and four pitchers, who have gone from relative unknowns before the season to guys who may find themselves in the Twins future. Please feel free to add other names to this list, guys who have taken a big step forward in 2016. FOUR HITTERS LUIS ARRAEZ - 19 - 2B As an 18 year old in the GCL last year, Arraez hit .306/.377/.388 (.765) with 15 doubles. It was a solid season and MiLB.com listed him as the second baseman on their Twins post-season all-star team. He played in the Venezuelan Winter League. My assumption was that he would spend the 2016 season in extended spring training before going to Elizabethton. Instead, he began the season in Cedar Rapids. He began the season playing one in three games. It took about a week for him to be in the lineup almost every day. He has just kept hitting. In fact, now he’s hitting third or fourth in the Kernels lineup every game. He hasn’t stopped hitting. He’s now hitting .344/.383/.450 (.833) with 27 doubles, three triples and three home runs. He doesn’t walk a lot, but he also doesn’t strike out often. Before the season, he would have ranked in the 40s in my prospect lists, and now he’s easily in the Top 25 prospects or so. ZACH GRANITE - 23 - OF Granite has always been thought of as a professional, top-of-the-order type of hitter. He had a difficult, injury-plagued 2014 season in Cedar Rapids and played in just 21 games. That’s where he started 2015, but he moved up to Ft. Myers on May 1st because he had a great month. He did all right at Ft. Myers, but he hit .249/.328/.304 (.632) with ten doubles, four triples and a home run. He began 2016 in AA Chattanooga, maybe due to injury to others, but he has been the team’s leadoff hitter from day one. He has hit .295/.351/.385 (.736) with 14 doubles, seven triples and four home runs. He leads the Southern League in stolen bases with 42. He has as many walks as strikeouts. He has put himself into consideration for a 40-man roster spot this offseason. NELSON MOLINA - 21 - IF Molina was the Twins 11th round pick in 2013 draft out of high school in Puerto Rico. He spent two years in the Gulf Coast League where he hit .110 and .243.Last year in Elizabethton, he hit .207. There are rules that say an organization can only have so many players in the rookie leagues for a fourth year, so this was an important year for Molina. He began the season in extended spring training, but the Kernels needed an infielder in late April so he was summoned to Iowa. I’ve always said, at 6-3 and 175 pounds, he looks the part. Molina looks like what you would envision a professional shortstop to look like. At the plate, he has a balanced stance with a nice swing. It just didn’t come together offensively for him in the rookie leagues. However, he has grown both in terms of strength and maturity, and he is seeing the benefits on the field. In 74 games with the Kernels, he is hitting .304/.378/.375 (.754) with 11 doubles, two triples and a home run. He’s still got room to grow, but experiencing the success has to be a huge boost in confidence. RYAN WALKER - 23 - IF He was the Twins 18th round pick in 2013 out of Texas-Arlington. He spent most of that year in E-Town, though he moved up to Cedar Rapids for a week or so at the end of the season. In 76 games in 2014 in Cedar Rapids, he hit .239/.296/.299 (.595). In 2015, he played 83 games in Ft. Myers and hit .269/.311/.312 (.623). He began this year in Ft. Myers and hit just .262 in 24 games before being promoted to AA Chattanooga. He’s played all three infield positions and hit .287/.357/.368 (.725). In talking to him before the season, he pointed out that he worked really hard to add a lot of weight in the offseason. He got up to 185 and hoped to maintain it throughout the season, something players struggle to do. He has always been above average defensively in the infield, but he has improved offensively as he has moved up to AA this year. FOUR PITCHERS DJ BAXENDALE - 25 - RHP Baxendale was the Twins 12th round pick in 2012 out of Arkansas. He’s primarily been a starter. He moved quickly from the Midwest League to the Florida State League. He moved quickly to AA, but he experienced a lot of struggles in AA the last coupele of seasons. This year, he made 14 starts for the Lookouts and went 6-7 with a 3.44 ERA and made the All-Star team. Immediately following the game, he moved up to AAA Rochester. He was put into the bullpen and has been very good since. He has a 1.61 ERA in 17 appearances for the Red Wings. His pitches work very well out of the bullpen. He can add a couple of ticks to his fastball, and his slider can be devastating. He can be a decent starter, but he has a chance to be a quality relief pitcher. SAM CLAY - 23 - LHP Clay was the Twins 4th round pick in 2014 out of Georgia Tech. He began last season in Cedar Rapids, but he really struggled. Through nine games and 18 innings pitched, he had 19 strikeouts but 18 walks. He was sent back to EST where he worked on his control as a starter. He ended the season with three appearances in Cedar Rapids. Clay was much improved when the 2016 season started. In 14 starts for the Kernels, he went 5-4 with a 3.39 ERA. He still is walking too many, but he is striking out over a batter per inning. After starting the All-Star Game in the Midwest League, he was promoted to Ft. Myers where he’s had some ups and downs, some good starts and some bad starts but he continues to get strikeouts. FERNANDO ROMERO - 21 - RHP Romero became a prospect in 2013 when he posted a 1.60 ERA in the Gulf Coast League as an 18-year-old. Reports had him throwing a fastball in the mid-90s. In 2014, he began in EST, but he was promoted to Cedar Rapids where he made three starts. Unfortunately, he experienced elbow pain and needed Tommy John. He had the surgery in 2014, and during his rehab in 2015, he needed knee surgery which cost him more time. This spring, he was hitting 94 and 95 consistently. In mid-May, he was sent back to Cedar Rapids. He needed just five starts before he was promoted to Ft. Myers where he posted a 2.39 ERA in nine starts (49 innings). His fastball is touching 97 and 98 mph with regularity. He’s got three quality pitches that have a chance to be plus pitches. He gets strikeouts. He has really good control. He was a Top 30 prospect coming into the season. He was my #7 Twins prospect at midseason, and he will most likely be a Top 5 Twins prospect following the season. JASON WHEELER - 25 - LHP Wheeler was the Twins eighth-round pick in 2011 out of Loyola-Marymount. He worked up the system, one year at a time. Following the 2014 season, the left-hander was added to the Twins 40 man roster. He began 2015 in Rochester, but when he was 1-7 with a 6.58 ERA in 15 starts before being sent back to Chattanooga. He went 4-3 with a 3.92 ERA with the Lookouts and was removed from the 40-man roster. After that, he was really good. In fact, he was the MVP of the Southern League Championship series. He began this season in AA, but after posting a 1.88 ERA in four starts, he moved up to Rochester. He has gone 9-4 with a 3.44 ERA and was the International League’s Starting Pitcher in the AAA All-Star Game. As frustrating as 2015 was for Wheeler, 2016 puts him back on the radar. He’s warranted consideration for a September call up. So there are eight players who have made the most out of their 2016 season and have taken a step forward in their careers. Not all of these guys will show up on Top 30 prospect lists, but they have had very strong seasons. Which prospects make your list? Click here to view the article
  12. My focus is going to be on eight guys, four hitters and four pitchers, who have gone from relative unknowns before the season to guys who may find themselves in the Twins future. Please feel free to add other names to this list, guys who have taken a big step forward in 2016. FOUR HITTERS LUIS ARRAEZ - 19 - 2B As an 18 year old in the GCL last year, Arraez hit .306/.377/.388 (.765) with 15 doubles. It was a solid season and MiLB.com listed him as the second baseman on their Twins post-season all-star team. He played in the Venezuelan Winter League. My assumption was that he would spend the 2016 season in extended spring training before going to Elizabethton. Instead, he began the season in Cedar Rapids. He began the season playing one in three games. It took about a week for him to be in the lineup almost every day. He has just kept hitting. In fact, now he’s hitting third or fourth in the Kernels lineup every game. He hasn’t stopped hitting. He’s now hitting .344/.383/.450 (.833) with 27 doubles, three triples and three home runs. He doesn’t walk a lot, but he also doesn’t strike out often. Before the season, he would have ranked in the 40s in my prospect lists, and now he’s easily in the Top 25 prospects or so. ZACH GRANITE - 23 - OF Granite has always been thought of as a professional, top-of-the-order type of hitter. He had a difficult, injury-plagued 2014 season in Cedar Rapids and played in just 21 games. That’s where he started 2015, but he moved up to Ft. Myers on May 1st because he had a great month. He did all right at Ft. Myers, but he hit .249/.328/.304 (.632) with ten doubles, four triples and a home run. He began 2016 in AA Chattanooga, maybe due to injury to others, but he has been the team’s leadoff hitter from day one. He has hit .295/.351/.385 (.736) with 14 doubles, seven triples and four home runs. He leads the Southern League in stolen bases with 42. He has as many walks as strikeouts. He has put himself into consideration for a 40-man roster spot this offseason. NELSON MOLINA - 21 - IF Molina was the Twins 11th round pick in 2013 draft out of high school in Puerto Rico. He spent two years in the Gulf Coast League where he hit .110 and .243.Last year in Elizabethton, he hit .207. There are rules that say an organization can only have so many players in the rookie leagues for a fourth year, so this was an important year for Molina. He began the season in extended spring training, but the Kernels needed an infielder in late April so he was summoned to Iowa. I’ve always said, at 6-3 and 175 pounds, he looks the part. Molina looks like what you would envision a professional shortstop to look like. At the plate, he has a balanced stance with a nice swing. It just didn’t come together offensively for him in the rookie leagues. However, he has grown both in terms of strength and maturity, and he is seeing the benefits on the field. In 74 games with the Kernels, he is hitting .304/.378/.375 (.754) with 11 doubles, two triples and a home run. He’s still got room to grow, but experiencing the success has to be a huge boost in confidence. RYAN WALKER - 23 - IF He was the Twins 18th round pick in 2013 out of Texas-Arlington. He spent most of that year in E-Town, though he moved up to Cedar Rapids for a week or so at the end of the season. In 76 games in 2014 in Cedar Rapids, he hit .239/.296/.299 (.595). In 2015, he played 83 games in Ft. Myers and hit .269/.311/.312 (.623). He began this year in Ft. Myers and hit just .262 in 24 games before being promoted to AA Chattanooga. He’s played all three infield positions and hit .287/.357/.368 (.725). In talking to him before the season, he pointed out that he worked really hard to add a lot of weight in the offseason. He got up to 185 and hoped to maintain it throughout the season, something players struggle to do. He has always been above average defensively in the infield, but he has improved offensively as he has moved up to AA this year. FOUR PITCHERS DJ BAXENDALE - 25 - RHP Baxendale was the Twins 12th round pick in 2012 out of Arkansas. He’s primarily been a starter. He moved quickly from the Midwest League to the Florida State League. He moved quickly to AA, but he experienced a lot of struggles in AA the last coupele of seasons. This year, he made 14 starts for the Lookouts and went 6-7 with a 3.44 ERA and made the All-Star team. Immediately following the game, he moved up to AAA Rochester. He was put into the bullpen and has been very good since. He has a 1.61 ERA in 17 appearances for the Red Wings. His pitches work very well out of the bullpen. He can add a couple of ticks to his fastball, and his slider can be devastating. He can be a decent starter, but he has a chance to be a quality relief pitcher. SAM CLAY - 23 - LHP Clay was the Twins 4th round pick in 2014 out of Georgia Tech. He began last season in Cedar Rapids, but he really struggled. Through nine games and 18 innings pitched, he had 19 strikeouts but 18 walks. He was sent back to EST where he worked on his control as a starter. He ended the season with three appearances in Cedar Rapids. Clay was much improved when the 2016 season started. In 14 starts for the Kernels, he went 5-4 with a 3.39 ERA. He still is walking too many, but he is striking out over a batter per inning. After starting the All-Star Game in the Midwest League, he was promoted to Ft. Myers where he’s had some ups and downs, some good starts and some bad starts but he continues to get strikeouts. FERNANDO ROMERO - 21 - RHP Romero became a prospect in 2013 when he posted a 1.60 ERA in the Gulf Coast League as an 18-year-old. Reports had him throwing a fastball in the mid-90s. In 2014, he began in EST, but he was promoted to Cedar Rapids where he made three starts. Unfortunately, he experienced elbow pain and needed Tommy John. He had the surgery in 2014, and during his rehab in 2015, he needed knee surgery which cost him more time. This spring, he was hitting 94 and 95 consistently. In mid-May, he was sent back to Cedar Rapids. He needed just five starts before he was promoted to Ft. Myers where he posted a 2.39 ERA in nine starts (49 innings). His fastball is touching 97 and 98 mph with regularity. He’s got three quality pitches that have a chance to be plus pitches. He gets strikeouts. He has really good control. He was a Top 30 prospect coming into the season. He was my #7 Twins prospect at midseason, and he will most likely be a Top 5 Twins prospect following the season. JASON WHEELER - 25 - LHP Wheeler was the Twins eighth-round pick in 2011 out of Loyola-Marymount. He worked up the system, one year at a time. Following the 2014 season, the left-hander was added to the Twins 40 man roster. He began 2015 in Rochester, but when he was 1-7 with a 6.58 ERA in 15 starts before being sent back to Chattanooga. He went 4-3 with a 3.92 ERA with the Lookouts and was removed from the 40-man roster. After that, he was really good. In fact, he was the MVP of the Southern League Championship series. He began this season in AA, but after posting a 1.88 ERA in four starts, he moved up to Rochester. He has gone 9-4 with a 3.44 ERA and was the International League’s Starting Pitcher in the AAA All-Star Game. As frustrating as 2015 was for Wheeler, 2016 puts him back on the radar. He’s warranted consideration for a September call up. So there are eight players who have made the most out of their 2016 season and have taken a step forward in their careers. Not all of these guys will show up on Top 30 prospect lists, but they have had very strong seasons. Which prospects make your list?
  13. In baseball, as in life, the only constant is change. The Terry Ryan Era has come to an end and with Rob Antony in charge, it will be an interesting couple of weeks until the trade deadline. In the short term, the change should not have any impact on the Twins Minor League organizations or day to day business with the affiliates, but when a new General Manager arrives later this year or during the offseason, expect to see a slew of changes.Transaction Report: Brandon Peterson promoted to Chattanooga Lookouts from Fort Myers Miracle, Brian Olson promoted to Fort Myers Miracle from Cedar Rapids Kernels, Brian Navarreto placed on the disabled list for the Fort Myers Miracle. Continue reading to find out more details about Thursday in the Twins farm system: RED WINGS REPORT Durham Bulls @ Rochester Box Score The Red Wings fell behind 3-0 after an inning, but came back to tie the game at 4-4 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on a two-run single from Jorge Polanco. With one out and a man on first, the Wings had Daniel Palka up to bat and Adam Walker II on deck. They both struck out and play continued into the tenth inning, when manager Mike Quade was ejected and new pitcher Buddy Boshers gave up five runs, including a grand slam. Byung Ho Park was 3-5 with a double, a solo home run and a walk. Wilfredo Tovar also had a three-hit game, going 3-5 with a double. Jorge Polanco was 2-5 with a run scored, a solo home run, and the previously mentioned two-RBI single. Adam Walker was 2-5 with a solo home run and a walk. Jason Wheeler gave up four runs (one earned) on just five hits. He walked one and struck out seven. The Red Wings bullpen then went to work as D.J. Baxendale, Ryan O'Rourke and Alex Wimmers combined for 4.0 innings of scoreless ball. The trio of relievers struck out eight and gave up just three hits. And then Buddy Boshers came in and gave up five runs (all unearned), and was tagged with the loss. In 10 innings the Rochester staff struck out 17 batters and walked just 5. Final: Bulls 9, Red Wings 5 LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN Mobile BayBears @ Chattanooga Box Score The Lookouts didn't score until the bottom of the eighth inning, but they put 3 runs on the board which was enough to earn the win. Starter Stephen Gonsalves did not factor in the decision, but pitched a great game. He went 7.0 innings, gave up just a pair of hits, one run, walked two and he stuck out nine. Zack Jones earned the victory, pitching a scoreless eighth inning, and Trevor Hildenberger earned his 16th save of the year with a perfect ninth inning. The Lookouts were shut out for the first seven innings, and recorded just a handful of hits before that 3-run eight. Mitch Garver was 2-4 with a double and an RBI to lead the team. Edgar Corcino was 2-3 with a double and an RBI is of his own. Ryan Walker had the remaining RBI as part of an 0-3 night with 2 strike outs. Final: BayBears 1, Lookouts 3 MIRACLE MATTERS Lakeland Flying Tigers @ Fort Myers Box Score Down 5-2 after four innings of play, the Miracle made it as close as one run, but couldn't score late against the Flying Tigers' bullpen. Miracle Starter Miles Nordgren had a tough evening, giving up five runs (all earned) over 6.0 innings. He gave up eight hits, walked two, struck out three, and gave up a pair of home runs. Luke Westphal gave up an eighth inning run, and Todd Van Steensel finished the game with 1.2 innings of no-hit baseball, striking out a pair along the way. T.J. White had HALF of the Miracle hits on Thursday night, 3-5 with a double, a triple, two runs scored and a pair of strike outs. Not much else going on for the Miracle, but Tanner Witt and Trey Vavra each picked up an RBI, and Chris Paul hit a double. Final: Flying Tigers 6, Miracle 4 KERNELS KORNER Cedar Rapids @ Fort Wayne TinCaps Box Score In Fort Wayne the Kernels were tied 2-2 after six innings, and needed an extra frame of baseball to pick up the victory. In the top of the 10th, Luis Arraez circled the bases with a triple down the right field line, advancing home on a throwing error. Williams Ramirez locked things down in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the lead, earning his fourth save of the season. Miracle starter Cody Stashak gave the Kernels a quality start with 6.0 innings. He gave up 6 hits, two earned runs, walked one and struck out two. Andrew Vasquez was phenomenal in relief, earning the victory thanks to 3.0 innings of one-hit baseball. Vasquez gave up just one hit and struck out six, before turning things over to Ramirez in the 10th. The Kernels struck out 13 times on the night and we just 1-7 with runners in scoring position, but a win is a win. Luis Arraez led the team with three hits, 3-4 with a triple, two runs scored, and a walk. Casey Scoggins, J.J. Fernandez, and Chris Ibarra also added two hits apiece. Final: Kernels 3, TinCaps 2 E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton @ Princeton Rays Box Score In an absolute slug-fest at Hunnicutt Field in West Virginia, the Twins crawled their way back to a one-run deficit at 9-10 before giving up six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to put the game out of reach. Despite scoring nine runs, the Twins had zero extra-base hits. Mitchell Kranson led the team with four hits, 4-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Twins pitching struggled throughout, as you might expect. Starter Jose Martinez gave up six runs over 3.0 innings. Relievers Austin Tribby and Hector Lujan each pitched 2.0 innings, giving up four runs and six runs, respectively. Alex Robinson was the only pitcher, on either team, to leave the game unscathed, pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Final: E-Twins 9, Rays 16 GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins @ GCL Rays Box Score The Twins managed just six hits on the evening, two each from Jose Miranda (2-3 with a double, a run scored and a walk), and Gorge Munoz (2-2 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk). Starter Tyler Fox didn't make it out of the first inning, leaving the game after recording just one out. He was ultimately responsible for three runs, giving up four hits, walking one and striking out one. Taylor Clemensia came in and righted the ship, giving the Twins 3.2 innings of shutout baseball. He gave up no hits, walked one and struck out five. Clark Beeker gave up a pair of runs over 3.2 innings, and Onas Farfan recorded the final two outs of the game, one by strike out. Final: GCL Twins 2, GCL Rays 5 DSL TWINS TAKES DSL Twins @ DSL Cubs2 Box Score The Twins jumped out to an early lead and were up 5-0 before the Cubs2 were on the board. The Twins scored all five runs on just six hits. Edgar Herrera led the team with two hits, part of a 2-4 night that included an RBI. The Twins pitching staff did not allow a single earned run on the evening. Starter Juan Mojica earned his second win of the season with 5.0 scoreless innings. Amilcar Cruz pitched 3.0 innings of relief and was charged with a pair of unearned runs. Fredderi Soto earned the save with a quick 1-2-3 ninth. Final: DSL Twins 5, GCL Cubs2 2 TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day - Byung Ho Park, Rochester Pitcher of the Day - Stephen Gonsalves, Chattanooga TUESDAY'S PROBABLES Durham Bulls @ Rochester (6:05pm) - LHP Pat Dean Chattanooga - OFF Lakeland Flying Tigers @ Fort Myers (6:05pm) - Keaton Steele (4-8, 4.37) Cedar Rapids - OFF Kingsport Mets @ E-Twins (6:00pm) - Tyler Beardsley (0-0, 2.25) GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00am) - TBD DSL Cubs 2 @ DSL Twins (9:30am) - TBD Please ask questions and discuss the Monday games. Click here to view the article
  14. Transaction Report: Brandon Peterson promoted to Chattanooga Lookouts from Fort Myers Miracle, Brian Olson promoted to Fort Myers Miracle from Cedar Rapids Kernels, Brian Navarreto placed on the disabled list for the Fort Myers Miracle. Continue reading to find out more details about Thursday in the Twins farm system: RED WINGS REPORT Durham Bulls @ Rochester Box Score The Red Wings fell behind 3-0 after an inning, but came back to tie the game at 4-4 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on a two-run single from Jorge Polanco. With one out and a man on first, the Wings had Daniel Palka up to bat and Adam Walker II on deck. They both struck out and play continued into the tenth inning, when manager Mike Quade was ejected and new pitcher Buddy Boshers gave up five runs, including a grand slam. Byung Ho Park was 3-5 with a double, a solo home run and a walk. Wilfredo Tovar also had a three-hit game, going 3-5 with a double. Jorge Polanco was 2-5 with a run scored, a solo home run, and the previously mentioned two-RBI single. Adam Walker was 2-5 with a solo home run and a walk. Jason Wheeler gave up four runs (one earned) on just five hits. He walked one and struck out seven. The Red Wings bullpen then went to work as D.J. Baxendale, Ryan O'Rourke and Alex Wimmers combined for 4.0 innings of scoreless ball. The trio of relievers struck out eight and gave up just three hits. And then Buddy Boshers came in and gave up five runs (all unearned), and was tagged with the loss. In 10 innings the Rochester staff struck out 17 batters and walked just 5. Final: Bulls 9, Red Wings 5 LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN Mobile BayBears @ Chattanooga Box Score The Lookouts didn't score until the bottom of the eighth inning, but they put 3 runs on the board which was enough to earn the win. Starter Stephen Gonsalves did not factor in the decision, but pitched a great game. He went 7.0 innings, gave up just a pair of hits, one run, walked two and he stuck out nine. Zack Jones earned the victory, pitching a scoreless eighth inning, and Trevor Hildenberger earned his 16th save of the year with a perfect ninth inning. The Lookouts were shut out for the first seven innings, and recorded just a handful of hits before that 3-run eight. Mitch Garver was 2-4 with a double and an RBI to lead the team. Edgar Corcino was 2-3 with a double and an RBI is of his own. Ryan Walker had the remaining RBI as part of an 0-3 night with 2 strike outs. Final: BayBears 1, Lookouts 3 MIRACLE MATTERS Lakeland Flying Tigers @ Fort Myers Box Score Down 5-2 after four innings of play, the Miracle made it as close as one run, but couldn't score late against the Flying Tigers' bullpen. Miracle Starter Miles Nordgren had a tough evening, giving up five runs (all earned) over 6.0 innings. He gave up eight hits, walked two, struck out three, and gave up a pair of home runs. Luke Westphal gave up an eighth inning run, and Todd Van Steensel finished the game with 1.2 innings of no-hit baseball, striking out a pair along the way. T.J. White had HALF of the Miracle hits on Thursday night, 3-5 with a double, a triple, two runs scored and a pair of strike outs. Not much else going on for the Miracle, but Tanner Witt and Trey Vavra each picked up an RBI, and Chris Paul hit a double. Final: Flying Tigers 6, Miracle 4 KERNELS KORNER Cedar Rapids @ Fort Wayne TinCaps Box Score In Fort Wayne the Kernels were tied 2-2 after six innings, and needed an extra frame of baseball to pick up the victory. In the top of the 10th, Luis Arraez circled the bases with a triple down the right field line, advancing home on a throwing error. Williams Ramirez locked things down in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the lead, earning his fourth save of the season. Miracle starter Cody Stashak gave the Kernels a quality start with 6.0 innings. He gave up 6 hits, two earned runs, walked one and struck out two. Andrew Vasquez was phenomenal in relief, earning the victory thanks to 3.0 innings of one-hit baseball. Vasquez gave up just one hit and struck out six, before turning things over to Ramirez in the 10th. The Kernels struck out 13 times on the night and we just 1-7 with runners in scoring position, but a win is a win. Luis Arraez led the team with three hits, 3-4 with a triple, two runs scored, and a walk. Casey Scoggins, J.J. Fernandez, and Chris Ibarra also added two hits apiece. Final: Kernels 3, TinCaps 2 E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton @ Princeton Rays Box Score In an absolute slug-fest at Hunnicutt Field in West Virginia, the Twins crawled their way back to a one-run deficit at 9-10 before giving up six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to put the game out of reach. Despite scoring nine runs, the Twins had zero extra-base hits. Mitchell Kranson led the team with four hits, 4-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Twins pitching struggled throughout, as you might expect. Starter Jose Martinez gave up six runs over 3.0 innings. Relievers Austin Tribby and Hector Lujan each pitched 2.0 innings, giving up four runs and six runs, respectively. Alex Robinson was the only pitcher, on either team, to leave the game unscathed, pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Final: E-Twins 9, Rays 16 GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins @ GCL Rays Box Score The Twins managed just six hits on the evening, two each from Jose Miranda (2-3 with a double, a run scored and a walk), and Gorge Munoz (2-2 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk). Starter Tyler Fox didn't make it out of the first inning, leaving the game after recording just one out. He was ultimately responsible for three runs, giving up four hits, walking one and striking out one. Taylor Clemensia came in and righted the ship, giving the Twins 3.2 innings of shutout baseball. He gave up no hits, walked one and struck out five. Clark Beeker gave up a pair of runs over 3.2 innings, and Onas Farfan recorded the final two outs of the game, one by strike out. Final: GCL Twins 2, GCL Rays 5 DSL TWINS TAKES DSL Twins @ DSL Cubs2 Box Score The Twins jumped out to an early lead and were up 5-0 before the Cubs2 were on the board. The Twins scored all five runs on just six hits. Edgar Herrera led the team with two hits, part of a 2-4 night that included an RBI. The Twins pitching staff did not allow a single earned run on the evening. Starter Juan Mojica earned his second win of the season with 5.0 scoreless innings. Amilcar Cruz pitched 3.0 innings of relief and was charged with a pair of unearned runs. Fredderi Soto earned the save with a quick 1-2-3 ninth. Final: DSL Twins 5, GCL Cubs2 2 TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day - Byung Ho Park, Rochester Pitcher of the Day - Stephen Gonsalves, Chattanooga TUESDAY'S PROBABLES Durham Bulls @ Rochester (6:05pm) - LHP Pat Dean Chattanooga - OFF Lakeland Flying Tigers @ Fort Myers (6:05pm) - Keaton Steele (4-8, 4.37) Cedar Rapids - OFF Kingsport Mets @ E-Twins (6:00pm) - Tyler Beardsley (0-0, 2.25) GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00am) - TBD DSL Cubs 2 @ DSL Twins (9:30am) - TBD Please ask questions and discuss the Monday games.
  15. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Pawtucket 3 Box Score With Monday's trade deadline passing, there were a flurry of roster moves that impacted the Rochester roster. Newly acquired pitchers Adalberto Mejia and Pat Light were both assigned to the Red Wings. Trevor Plouffe also joined Rochester as part of his rehab assignment. On Tuesday, Jason Wheeler didn't have his best stuff but he was still able to put the Red Wings in position to come out on top. While pitching into the sixth frame, he gave up three runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and a walk. DJ Baxendale, Sean Burnett and JT Chargois put up zeros the rest of the way to close out the win. Chargois allowed two base runners in the ninth but still earned his ninth save. Trevor Plouffe helped get things started for Rochester as he singled to start the second frame. Adam Brett Walker followed with his 21st home run. Things kept moving with Logan Schafer singling before stealing second base. Wilfredo Tovar doubled in Schafer and John Ryan Murphy capped the four-run inning with an RBI single. Schafer had a three-hit night, reaching base in all four plate appearances. He also threw out a runner for his fourth outfield assist. Plouffe finished 2-for-4 with a run scored. Daniel Palka and Byung Ho Park each added a double as part of the Triple-P (Palka, Park, Plouffe) middle of the line-up. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga --, Mobile -- (Postponed- Rain) After being rained out on Tuesday, the Lookouts sit at 56-51 on the season and 20-17 in the second half. Kohl Stewart was a tough luck loser as he threw six innings and allowed one earned run but still took the loss. Monday's trade deadline impacted the Chattanooga roster as Alan Busenitz, the minor league player included with Hector Santiago, was assigned to the Lookouts. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Burlington 11 Box Score The Kernels tied things up in the top of the seventh inning at 5-5 but the bullpen imploded in the bottom half of the frame. Kuo Hua Lo allowed nine runs, six earned, on eight hits including two home runs. Sam Gibbons started and scattered six hits while limiting the Bees to two earned runs. He struck out two and walked three. Tom Hackimer pitched 1.1 scoreless innings to end the game. Even in victory, the Bees couldn't get Luiz Arraez out in this game. Arraez finished with a career-high five hits along with two RBIs. He is hitting .335 with the Kernels this year. JJ Fernandez collected his 22nd double as part of a two-hit effort. Chris Ibarra also had a double and those were the only extra-base hits for Cedar Rapids. E-TOWN E-NOTES Elizabethton 6, Princeton 12 Box Score The E-Twins offense had plenty of opportunities with runners in scoring position but the club went 2-for-16 in those situations and left nine runners on base. Shane Carrier led the way offensively by going 3-for-5 with a home run, a double and two RBIs. Alex Kirilloff, Amaurys Minier and Travis Blankenhorn all went 2-for-5 with each player adding a double. It was Kirilloff's eighth double and he's up to 21 RBIs. Blankenhorn had a very rough night in the field as he was charged with three errors, one fielding and two throwing. Add an Ariel Montesino throwing error and there were seven unearned runs scored against the E-Twins pitching staff. Tyler Wells couldn't make it through four innings and allowed six earned runs on eight hits. Alex Robinson pitched 2.1 innings and limited the Rays to one run on a solo home run. Austin Tribby was asked to get a few extra outs as four unearned runs were scored with him on the mound. Quin Grogan finished the game with a pair of strikeouts in 1.1 innings of work. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 6, GCL Orioles 1 Box Score Huascar Ynoa put the GCL Twins in a great position to win after hurling five shutout frames. He limited the Rays to one hit with five strikeouts and one walk. Onas Fanfar kept the shutout going with three scoreless frames while striking out three. Moises Gomez ran into a little trouble in the ninth by giving up a run on two hits and two walks. Garrett Kelly finished off the final frame for his second save. Every Twins hitter reached base at least once but the club didn't manage a single extra-base hit. Gorge Munoz drove in two runs as part of a two-hit effort. He also stole his fifth base. Aaron Whitefield scored three runs out of the the lead-off spot. The win moves the GCL Twins to two games over .500 and the team is in the midst of a three game winning streak. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Huascar Ynoa, GCL Twins Hitter of the Day – Shane Carrier, Elizabethton Twins WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs Pawtucket (6:05 CST) - LHP Pat Dean (4-6, 5.29 ERA) Chattanooga @ Mobile (5:05 CST) - TBD (Rain delay could alter rotation) Chattanooga @ Mobile (Game 2) - TBD Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:30 CST) -LHP Randy Rosario (6-6, 3.60 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs Clinton (6:35 CST) - TBD GCL Twins vs GCL Rays (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Tuesday’s games.
  16. Not every prospect is going to make it to their ultimate goal. That's the nature of baseball. However, last year's Southern League MVP Max Kepler is sure making hitting at the big league level look pretty easy. A night after becoming the fifth Twins player with three home runs in a game, Kepler cranked another one out in Cleveland. His 13 home runs since June 26 are the most in the American League (two ahead of Brian Dozier). Minnesota's 49 home runs are the most during that same stretch. Are any players following in Kepler's footsteps? Read on to find out.RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 6, Pawtucket 3 Box Score With Monday's trade deadline passing, there were a flurry of roster moves that impacted the Rochester roster. Newly acquired pitchers Adalberto Mejia and Pat Light were both assigned to the Red Wings. Trevor Plouffe also joined Rochester as part of his rehab assignment. On Tuesday, Jason Wheeler didn't have his best stuff but he was still able to put the Red Wings in position to come out on top. While pitching into the sixth frame, he gave up three runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and a walk. DJ Baxendale, Sean Burnett and JT Chargois put up zeros the rest of the way to close out the win. Chargois allowed two base runners in the ninth but still earned his ninth save. Trevor Plouffe helped get things started for Rochester as he singled to start the second frame. Adam Brett Walker followed with his 21st home run. Things kept moving with Logan Schafer singling before stealing second base. Wilfredo Tovar doubled in Schafer and John Ryan Murphy capped the four-run inning with an RBI single. Schafer had a three-hit night, reaching base in all four plate appearances. He also threw out a runner for his fourth outfield assist. Plouffe finished 2-for-4 with a run scored. Daniel Palka and Byung Ho Park each added a double as part of the Triple-P (Palka, Park, Plouffe) middle of the line-up. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga --, Mobile -- (Postponed- Rain) After being rained out on Tuesday, the Lookouts sit at 56-51 on the season and 20-17 in the second half. Kohl Stewart was a tough luck loser as he threw six innings and allowed one earned run but still took the loss. Monday's trade deadline impacted the Chattanooga roster as Alan Busenitz, the minor league player included with Hector Santiago, was assigned to the Lookouts. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Burlington 11 Box Score The Kernels tied things up in the top of the seventh inning at 5-5 but the bullpen imploded in the bottom half of the frame. Kuo Hua Lo allowed nine runs, six earned, on eight hits including two home runs. Sam Gibbons started and scattered six hits while limiting the Bees to two earned runs. He struck out two and walked three. Tom Hackimer pitched 1.1 scoreless innings to end the game. Even in victory, the Bees couldn't get Luiz Arraez out in this game. Arraez finished with a career-high five hits along with two RBIs. He is hitting .335 with the Kernels this year. JJ Fernandez collected his 22nd double as part of a two-hit effort. Chris Ibarra also had a double and those were the only extra-base hits for Cedar Rapids. E-TOWN E-NOTES Elizabethton 6, Princeton 12 Box Score The E-Twins offense had plenty of opportunities with runners in scoring position but the club went 2-for-16 in those situations and left nine runners on base. Shane Carrier led the way offensively by going 3-for-5 with a home run, a double and two RBIs. Alex Kirilloff, Amaurys Minier and Travis Blankenhorn all went 2-for-5 with each player adding a double. It was Kirilloff's eighth double and he's up to 21 RBIs. Blankenhorn had a very rough night in the field as he was charged with three errors, one fielding and two throwing. Add an Ariel Montesino throwing error and there were seven unearned runs scored against the E-Twins pitching staff. Tyler Wells couldn't make it through four innings and allowed six earned runs on eight hits. Alex Robinson pitched 2.1 innings and limited the Rays to one run on a solo home run. Austin Tribby was asked to get a few extra outs as four unearned runs were scored with him on the mound. Quin Grogan finished the game with a pair of strikeouts in 1.1 innings of work. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 6, GCL Orioles 1 Box Score Huascar Ynoa put the GCL Twins in a great position to win after hurling five shutout frames. He limited the Rays to one hit with five strikeouts and one walk. Onas Fanfar kept the shutout going with three scoreless frames while striking out three. Moises Gomez ran into a little trouble in the ninth by giving up a run on two hits and two walks. Garrett Kelly finished off the final frame for his second save. Every Twins hitter reached base at least once but the club didn't manage a single extra-base hit. Gorge Munoz drove in two runs as part of a two-hit effort. He also stole his fifth base. Aaron Whitefield scored three runs out of the the lead-off spot. The win moves the GCL Twins to two games over .500 and the team is in the midst of a three game winning streak. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Huascar Ynoa, GCL Twins Hitter of the Day – Shane Carrier, Elizabethton Twins WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs Pawtucket (6:05 CST) - LHP Pat Dean (4-6, 5.29 ERA) Chattanooga @ Mobile (5:05 CST) - TBD (Rain delay could alter rotation) Chattanooga @ Mobile (Game 2) - TBD Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:30 CST) -LHP Randy Rosario (6-6, 3.60 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs Clinton (6:35 CST) - TBD GCL Twins vs GCL Rays (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Tuesday’s games. Click here to view the article
  17. In baseball, and in life, the only constant is change. The Terry Ryan era has come to an end and with Rob Antony in charge, it will be an interesting couple of weeks until the trade deadline. In the short term, the change should not have any impact on the Twins Minor League organizations or day to day business with the affiliates, but when a new General Manager arrives later this year or during the offseason, expect to see a slew of changes. Transaction Report: Brandon Peterson promoted to Chattanooga Lookouts from Fort Myers Miracle, Brian Olson promoted to Fort Myers Miracle from Cedar Rapids Kernels, Brian Navarreto placed on the disabled list for the Fort Myers Miracle. Continue reading to find out more detail about Thursday in the Twins farm system: RED WINGS REPORT Durham Bulls @ Rochester Box Score The Red Wings fell behind 3-0 after an inning, but came back to tie the game at 4-4 with a pair of runs in the bottom of the ninth inning on a two-run single from Jorge Polanco. With one out and a man on first, the Wings had Daniel Palka up to bat and Adam Walker II on deck. They both struck out and play continued into the tenth inning, where manager Mike Quade was ejected and new pitcher Buddy Boshers gave up five runs, including a grand slam. Byung Ho Park was 3-5 with a double, a solo home run, and a walk. Wilfredo Tovar also had a three-hit game, going 3-5 with a double. Jorge Polanco was 2-5 with a run scored, a solo home run, and the previously mentioned two-RBI single. Adam Walker was 2-5 with a solo home run and a walk. Jason Wheeler gave up four runs (one earned) on just five hits. He walked one and struck out seven. The Red Wings bullpen then went to work as D.J. Baxendale, Ryan O'Rourke and Alex Wimmers combined for 4.0 innings of scoreless ball. The trio of relievers struck out eight and gave up just three hits. And then Buddy Boshers came in and gave up five runs (all unearned), and was tagged with the loss. In 10 innings the Rochester staff struck out 17 batters and walked just 5. Final: Bulls 9, Red Wings 5 LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN Mobile BayBears @ Chattanooga Box Score The Lookouts didn't score until the bottom of the eighth inning, but they put 3 runs on the board which was enough to earn the win. Starter Stephen Gonsalves did not factor in the decision, but pitched a great game. He went 7.0 innings, gave up just a pair of hits, one run, walked two and he stuck out nine. Zack Jones earned the victory, pitching a scoreless eighth inning, and Trevor Hildenberger earned his 16th save of the year with a perfect ninth inning. The Lookouts were shut out for the first seven innings, and record just a handful of hits before that 3-run eight. Mitch Garer was 2-4 with a double and an RBI to lead the team. Edgar Corcino was 2-3 with a double and an RBI is of his own. Ryan Walker had the remaining RBI as part of an 0-3 night with 2 strike outs. Final: BayBears 1, Lookouts 3 MIRACLE MATTERS Lakeland Flying Tigers @ Fort Myers Box Score Down 5-2 after four innings of play, the Miracle made it as close as one run, but couldn't score late against the Flying Tigers' bullpen. Miracle Starter Miles Nordgren had a tough evening, giving up five runs (all earned) over 6.0 innings. He gave up eight hits, walked two, struck out three, and gave up a pair of home runs. Luke Westphal gave up an eighth inning run, and Todd Van Steensel finished the game with 1.2 innings of no-hit baseball, striking out a pair along the way. Firstbasemen T.J. White had HALF of the Miracle hits on Thursday night, 3-5 with a double, a triple, two runs scored, and a pair of strike outs. Not much else going on for the Miracle, but Tanner Witt, and Trey Vavra each picked up an RBI, and Chris Paul hit a double. Final: Flying Tigers 6, Miracle 4 KERNELS KORNER Cedar Rapids @ Fort Wayne TinCaps Box Score In Fort Wayne, the Kernels were tied 2-2 after six innings, and needed an extra frame of baseball to pick up the victory. In the top of the 10th, Luis Arraez circled the bases with a triple down the right field line, advancing home on a throwing error. Williams Ramirez locked things down in the bottom half of the inning to preserve the lead, earning his fourth save of the season. Miracle starter Cody Stashak gave the Kernels a quality start with 6.0 innings. He gave up 6 hits, two earned runs, walked one, and struck out two. Andrew Vasquez was phenomenal in relief, earning the victory thanks to 3.0 innings of one-hit baseball. Vasquez gave up just one hit and struck out 6, before turning things over to Ramirez in the 10th. The Kernels struck out 13 times on the night and we just 1-7 with runners in scoring position, but a win is a win. Luis Arraez led the team with 3 hits, 3-4 with a triple, two runs scored, and a walk. Casey Scoggins, J.J. Fernandez, and Chris Ibarra also added two hits apiece. Final: Kernels 3, TinCaps 2 E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton @ Princeton Rays Box Score In an absolute slug-fest at Hunnicutt Field in West Virginia, the Twins crawled their way back to a one-run deficit at 9-10 before giving up six runs in the bottom of the seventh inning to put the game out of reach. Despite scoring nine runs, the Twins had zero extra base hits. Mitchell Kranson led the team with four hits, 4-5 with two RBI and two runs scored. Twins pitching struggled throughout, as you might expect. Starter Jose Martinez gave up six runs over 3.0 innings. Relievers Austin Tribby and Hector Lujan each pitched 2.0 innings, giving up four runs and six runs, respectively. Alex Robinson was the only pitcher, on either team, to leave the game unscathed, pitching a scoreless eighth inning. Final: E-Twins 9, Rays 16 GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins @ GCL Rays Box Score The Twins managed just six hits on the evening, two each from Jose Miranda (2-3 with a double, a run scored and a walk), and Gorge Munoz (2-2 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk). Starter Tyler Fox didn't make it out of the first inning, leaving the game after recording just one out. He was ultimately responsible for three runs, giving up four hits, walking one, and striking out one. Taylor Clemensia came in and righted the ship, giving the Twins 3.2 innings of shut out baseball. He gave up no hits, walked one, and struck out five. Clark Beeker gave up a pair of runs over 3.2 innings, and Onas Farfan recorded the final two outs of the game, one by strike out. Final: GCL Twins 2, GCL Rays 5 DSL TWINS TAKES DSL Twins @ DSL Cubs2 Box Score The Twins jumped out to an early lead and were up 5-0 before the Cubs2 were on the board. The Twins scored all five runs on just six hits. Edgar Herrera led the team with two his, part of a 2-4 night that included an RBI. The Twins pitching staff did not allow a single earned run on the evening. Starter Juan Mojica earned his second win of the season with 5.0 scoreless innings. Amilcar Cruz pitched 3.0 innings of relief and was charged with a pair of unearned runs. Fredderi Soto earned the save with a quick 1-2-3 ninth. Final: DSL Twins 5, GCL Cubs2 2 TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day - Byung Ho Park, Rochester Pitcher of the Day - Stephen Gonsalves, Chattanooga FRIDAY'S PROBABLES Durham Bulls @ Rochester (6:05pm) - TBD Chattanooga - OFF Lakeland Flying Tigers @ Fort Myers (6:05pm) - Keaton Steele (4-8, 4.37) Cedar Rapids - OFF Kingsport Mets @ E-Twins (6:00pm) - Tyler Beardsley (0-0, 2.25) GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00am) - TBD DSL Cubs 2 @ DSL Twins (9:30am) - TBD Please ask questions and discuss the Monday games. -ERolf
  18. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 0, Lehigh Valley 2 Box Score Jason Wheeler put together yet another quality start for the Red Wings. The left-hander went six innings and gave up two runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out six. Buddy Boshers came on and got the first two outs of the seventh inning. Marcus Walden got the final four outs without allowing a run. He gave up a hit and walked a batter. The Red Wings were just not able to muster any offense. They had just four hits. Adam Brett Walker went 1-3 with a walk and his 13th double. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 6, Birmingham 0 Box Score The Lookouts had a morning game on Wednesday, and they came ready to play. Stephen Gonsalves was a little wild, but he was able to avoid allowing runs and recorded his second AA win. The left-hander went the first six innings. He gave up no runs on just three hits. He walked five and struck out five. Jake Reed came on and was perfect for two innings. He struck out two. Trevor Hildenberger worked an uneventful ninth to drop his AA ERA to just 0.92. The Lookouts were able get a couple of runs off White Sox 2015 top pick Carson Fulmer. The scored two runs off of him despite his ten strikeouts. Fulmer falls to 4-9 with a 4.76 ERA. Zack Burdi, the White Sox #1 pick this June and younger brother of Twins prospect Nick Burdi, made his AA debut in the 6th inning. It didn’t go well. He faced five batters. He gave up one hit and walked four before being removed. He was charged with four runs. He walked Leonardo Reginnato and Stuart Turner to start the inning. He then gave up a single to Engelb Vielma. Zach Granite and Ryan Walker both walked to each drive in a run. After a pitching change and a Daniel Palka strikeout, Mitch Garver singled in Vielma and Dalton Hicks scored Granite on a sacrifice fly. Zach Granite went 2-4 with a walk in the game to push his season average to .301. Mitch Garver went 2-5. Stuart Turner added his 12th double. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, St. Lucie 4 Box Score Keaton Steele gave the Miracle six innings, but there was not enough offense. Steele fell to 4-7. He was charged with four runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out three. Yorman Landa threw two perfect inning of relief. The Miracle offense only managed five hits. Edgar Corcino hit his 13th double. AJ Murray drove one in with his fifth double. Joe Maloney hit a two-run homer, his first, with the Miracle. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Wisconsin 8 (12 innings) Box Score In the 12th inning, Luis Arraez led off with a walk. It was the fifth time he had reached base in the game. Zander Wiel moved him to second base on a bunt. It was followed by an intentional walk of Nelson Molina. JJ Fernandez grounded out which brought up Jaylin Davis with the opportunity to play hero in his first game with the Kernels. On the second pitch, the ball went to the backstop. Arraez scored and the Kernels won. Arraez led the way. He went 4-5 with a walk and four RBI. Sean Miller went 3-6 with his 14th double and third home run, a three-run blast that gave the Kernels a 7-5 lead in the 8th inning. Rainis Silva went 2-4 with a walk and three runs scored. Daniel Kihle and Jermaine Palacios were both 2-5. Eduardo Del Rosario went the first 5.2 innings. He gave up three runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out two. Anthony McIver came on and before getting the final out of the sixth, he gave up two more runs. He did strike out three in 1.1 innings. Michael Cederoth threw a scoreless inning. He walked one and gave up one hit. Kuo Hua Lo gave up a three-run homer that put the Kernels behind in the 9th inning. However, he worked three innings and gave up the three runs on two hits and four walks. Williams Ramirez pitched a scoreless 12th inning to pick up the win. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton, Bristol Box Score This game was postponed by rain. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 4, GCL Rays 2 Box Score This game was scoreless through the first five innings. Both starters tossed five shutout innings before the game was handed to the bullpens. For the Twins, it was right-hander Tyler Fox, an undrafted free agent from Nebraska-Omaha. He gave up just two hits and didn’t issue a walk in his five scoreless innings. He struck out four. The Twins manufactured a couple of runs in the sixth inning. Lean Marrero led off with a single and stole second base. He advanced to third base on a ground out. Dane Hutcheon walked and stole second. With runners now on second and third, Jorge Munoz singled to left to score both runners. The team added two more runs in the seventh inning. With one out, Tyree Davis hit his first home run of the season. After Juan Gamez and Lean Marrero walked, Jean Carlos Arias walked to load the bases. A Hutcheon ground out to the pitcher allowed Gamez to score the Twins fourth run of the game. Matz Schutte threw scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh. He gave up just an unearned run in the eighth inning. He struck out three. Callan Pearce recorded the save. He gave up an unearned run on two hits in the ninth. He struck out two. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Fox, GCL Twins Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Luis Arraez, Cedar Rapids Kernels THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) - LHP Pat Dean Birmingham @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers Bradenton @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) - LHP Randy Rosario (completion of a suspended game in the 4th inning from earlier this season first though) Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) – RHP Cody Stashak Elizabethton @ Bristol (DH @ 5:00 CST) - RHP Domenick Carlini, TBD GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00am CST) - LHP Bo Hellquist Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Wednesday's games.
  19. The Kernels needed extra innings to pick up a big win on Wednesday night. It may not have been the most exciting way to win, but it works. The winning run was scored by a young man who reached base five times on the evening. A top prospect threw six shutout innings. Another starter put together a quality start. One pitcher, in his second professional start, threw five shutout innings. And there was much more throughout the system. And hey, within a period of 14 hours, the Twins earned two wins! With that, let’s get to the scores and highlights of the day in the Twins minor league system. But first, at around 11:00 p.m., Mike Berardino posted the following: Well earned, I think we can all agree.RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 0, Lehigh Valley 2 Box Score Jason Wheeler put together yet another quality start for the Red Wings. The left-hander went six innings and gave up two runs on nine hits. He walked two and struck out six. Buddy Boshers came on and got the first two outs of the seventh inning. Marcus Walden got the final four outs without allowing a run. He gave up a hit and walked a batter. The Red Wings were just not able to muster any offense. They had just four hits. Adam Brett Walker went 1-3 with a walk and his 13th double. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 6, Birmingham 0 Box Score The Lookouts had a morning game on Wednesday, and they came ready to play. Stephen Gonsalves was a little wild, but he was able to avoid allowing runs and recorded his second AA win. The left-hander went the first six innings. He gave up no runs on just three hits. He walked five and struck out five. Jake Reed came on and was perfect for two innings. He struck out two. Trevor Hildenberger worked an uneventful ninth to drop his AA ERA to just 0.92. The Lookouts were able get a couple of runs off White Sox 2015 top pick Carson Fulmer. The scored two runs off of him despite his ten strikeouts. Fulmer falls to 4-9 with a 4.76 ERA. Zack Burdi, the White Sox #1 pick this June and younger brother of Twins prospect Nick Burdi, made his AA debut in the 6th inning. It didn’t go well. He faced five batters. He gave up one hit and walked four before being removed. He was charged with four runs. He walked Leonardo Reginnato and Stuart Turner to start the inning. He then gave up a single to Engelb Vielma. Zach Granite and Ryan Walker both walked to each drive in a run. After a pitching change and a Daniel Palka strikeout, Mitch Garver singled in Vielma and Dalton Hicks scored Granite on a sacrifice fly. Zach Granite went 2-4 with a walk in the game to push his season average to .301. Mitch Garver went 2-5. Stuart Turner added his 12th double. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, St. Lucie 4 Box Score Keaton Steele gave the Miracle six innings, but there was not enough offense. Steele fell to 4-7. He was charged with four runs on six hits. He walked one and struck out three. Yorman Landa threw two perfect inning of relief. The Miracle offense only managed five hits. Edgar Corcino hit his 13th double. AJ Murray drove one in with his fifth double. Joe Maloney hit a two-run homer, his first, with the Miracle. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Wisconsin 8 (12 innings) Box Score In the 12th inning, Luis Arraez led off with a walk. It was the fifth time he had reached base in the game. Zander Wiel moved him to second base on a bunt. It was followed by an intentional walk of Nelson Molina. JJ Fernandez grounded out which brought up Jaylin Davis with the opportunity to play hero in his first game with the Kernels. On the second pitch, the ball went to the backstop. Arraez scored and the Kernels won. Arraez led the way. He went 4-5 with a walk and four RBI. Sean Miller went 3-6 with his 14th double and third home run, a three-run blast that gave the Kernels a 7-5 lead in the 8th inning. Rainis Silva went 2-4 with a walk and three runs scored. Daniel Kihle and Jermaine Palacios were both 2-5. Eduardo Del Rosario went the first 5.2 innings. He gave up three runs on eight hits. He walked one and struck out two. Anthony McIver came on and before getting the final out of the sixth, he gave up two more runs. He did strike out three in 1.1 innings. Michael Cederoth threw a scoreless inning. He walked one and gave up one hit. Kuo Hua Lo gave up a three-run homer that put the Kernels behind in the 9th inning. However, he worked three innings and gave up the three runs on two hits and four walks. Williams Ramirez pitched a scoreless 12th inning to pick up the win. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton, Bristol Box Score This game was postponed by rain. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 4, GCL Rays 2 Box Score This game was scoreless through the first five innings. Both starters tossed five shutout innings before the game was handed to the bullpens. For the Twins, it was right-hander Tyler Fox, an undrafted free agent from Nebraska-Omaha. He gave up just two hits and didn’t issue a walk in his five scoreless innings. He struck out four. The Twins manufactured a couple of runs in the sixth inning. Lean Marrero led off with a single and stole second base. He advanced to third base on a ground out. Dane Hutcheon walked and stole second. With runners now on second and third, Jorge Munoz singled to left to score both runners. The team added two more runs in the seventh inning. With one out, Tyree Davis hit his first home run of the season. After Juan Gamez and Lean Marrero walked, Jean Carlos Arias walked to load the bases. A Hutcheon ground out to the pitcher allowed Gamez to score the Twins fourth run of the game. Matz Schutte threw scoreless innings in the sixth and seventh. He gave up just an unearned run in the eighth inning. He struck out three. Callan Pearce recorded the save. He gave up an unearned run on two hits in the ninth. He struck out two. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Tyler Fox, GCL Twins Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Luis Arraez, Cedar Rapids Kernels THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) - LHP Pat Dean Birmingham @ Chattanooga (6:15 CST) - RHP Aaron Slegers Bradenton @ Ft. Myers (6:05 CST) - LHP Randy Rosario (completion of a suspended game in the 4th inning from earlier this season first though) Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) – RHP Cody Stashak Elizabethton @ Bristol (DH @ 5:00 CST) - RHP Domenick Carlini, TBD GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00am CST) - LHP Bo Hellquist Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Wednesday's games. Click here to view the article
  20. RED WINGS REPORT Columbus Clippers @ Rochester Box Score The Red Wings held the Clippers scoreless for the first seven innings while building a 4-0 lead, before trading two runs in the top of the eight for two runs in the bottom. Danny Santana, making his final rehab start, was 2-4 with a strikeout and two runs scored. Wilfredo Tovar (I just love that name, Wilfredo) was 2-3 with a walk and a run scored, the only other Wings player with multiple hits. Jorge Polanco hit a three-run dinger in the fifth as part of a 1-4 night, and Tommy Field hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth, also as part of a 1-4 night. Rochester Starter Jason Wheeler went 7.2 innings, giving up just those two late runs, giving up four hits, and two walks. Wheeler struck out seven. He was replaced by J.T. Chargois, giving up a hit and recording two strikeouts to finish the game. Final: Clippers 2, Red Wings 6 LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN Chattanooga @ Montgomery Biscuits Box Score Lots of Lookouts news on Thursday before the game even started, ASG starters were announced and Daniel Palka will start at DH, and Mitch Garver will be behind the plate (Trevor Hildenberger, D.J. Baxendale, Travis Harrison will be subs). Also Thursday morning Daniel Palka was named the Southern League hitter of the week. Engelb Vielma came into Thursday's game riding a 10-game hitting streak but stumbed to an 0-3 evening. Daniel Palka didn't hit any home runs, so that's weird. He was 1-4 with two strikeouts. The aforementioned All-Star starter Mitch Garver was held without a hit, 0-3 with a walk and a K. The Lookouts were held to just four hits, but scored an unearned run in the second inning, which was enough for the victory, thanks to great pitching performances from Eades, Reed and Hildenberger. Starter Ryan Eades went 7.0 innings, giving up just three hits, walking a batter and striking out three. His ERA is now down to 3.66 and he's given up just one earned run in three starts since coming off of the disabled list on June 6. Jake Reed replaced Eades for the eighth and walked one and struck out one. Trevor Hildenberger picked up his tenth save of the season, with a perfect 1-2-3 inning with a pair of strike outs. Final: Lookouts 1, Biscuits 0 MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers @ Bradenton Marauders Box Score The Miracle lost the last game of the first half of their season, and the last game of a nine-game road trip, falling behind in the fourth inning and staying there. The Miracle had seven hits on the night, with two coming from lead-off man T.J. White, 2-4 with a double, an RBI, a walk and a strikeout. No other Fort Myers hitter had multiple hits, but both Edgar Corcino and Nick Gordon picked up doubles. Miracle Starter Keaton Steele gave up five runs (two earned) over 6.0 innings. He struck out five, walked one, and gave up a home run. Steele falls to 2-6 on the year with the loss. John Curtiss pitched the seventh, giving up a trio of hits, but managing to strike out three as well and only gave up one run. Yorman Landa pitched a bumpy ninth, but kept the Marauders off the board, giving up a pair of walks and picking up a pair of strikeouts. Not a great way to head into the All-Star break. Final: Miracle 2, Marauders 6 KERNELS KORNER Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities River Bandits Box Score Cody Stashak had a career high 6.2 shutout innings, taking a perfect game into the fourth inning, putting down the first ten batters of the game. Stashak earned the win to move to 4-4 on the year and lowered his ERA to 2.73. Stashak was replaced by Juo Hua Lo who went 2.1 innings earning his first save of the year. He gave up a run on two hits, struck a batter out and gave up a home run. The Kernels had just five hits on the night, but put them together when it counted, scoring three runs in the second, and three more in the top of the ninth. Right fielder J.J. Fernandez was 1-3 with a walk, two runs scored, a home run and four RBIs, leading the way for Cedar Rapids. The other four Kernels hits were all singles, spread among Luis Arraez, Sean Miler, Nelson Molina and Daniel Kihle. Final: Kernels 6, River Bandits 1 DSL Twins Takes DSL Twins @ DSL D-backs2 Box Score Nothing remarkable to report from the DSL Twins batters, but starter Pedro Garcia had a very nice game. He pitched 6.0 innings of one-hit baseball. He walked two and struck out four and left the game with a lead that was promptly squandered by Fredderi Soto in the seventh. The game slogged on into the 12th inning when the DSL Twins loaded the bases via a walk, a sacrifice bunt that resulted in a reached on error, and a hit battsmen to load the bases with no outs. Antonio Tovar singled home a run in the next at bat and Darling Cuesto singled home another run immediately after. The DSL Twins held on in the bottom of the 12th to take home the victory. Final: DSL Twins 3, DSL D-backs2 1 TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day - J.J. Fernandez, Cedar Rapids Kernels Pitcher of the Day - Ryan Eades, Chattanooga Lookouts FRIDAY'S PROBABLES Rochester @ Toledo Mud Hens (6:05pm) - Jose Berrios vs. Daniel Norris Chattanooga @ Montgomery Biscuits (7:05pm) - David Hurlbut (4-3, 4.09) vs. Hunter Wood Fort Myers - OFF - All-Star Break - All-Star Game at Fort Myers on Saturday Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities River Bandits (7:00pm) - Eduardo Del Rosario (0-1, 8.64) vs. Franklin Perez DSL D-backs2 @ DSL Twins (9:30am) - TBD vs. TBD Please ask questions and discuss the Thursday games.
  21. The Twins were way out on the left coast, and now that they are back at home, they lost to a bad Yankees team. Yuck-o. After the game the Twins activated Danny Santana from the disable list and to make room for him the Twins decided that they could not solve the riddle of Oswaldo Arcia and designated him for assignment. Seth Stohs has more on that. Continue reading to find out more detail about Thursday in the Twins farm system.RED WINGS REPORT Columbus Clippers @ Rochester Box Score The Red Wings held the Clippers scoreless for the first seven innings while building a 4-0 lead, before trading two runs in the top of the eight for two runs in the bottom. Danny Santana, making his final rehab start, was 2-4 with a strikeout and two runs scored. Wilfredo Tovar (I just love that name, Wilfredo) was 2-3 with a walk and a run scored, the only other Wings player with multiple hits. Jorge Polanco hit a three-run dinger in the fifth as part of a 1-4 night, and Tommy Field hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth, also as part of a 1-4 night. Rochester Starter Jason Wheeler went 7.2 innings, giving up just those two late runs, giving up four hits, and two walks. Wheeler struck out seven. He was replaced by J.T. Chargois, giving up a hit and recording two strikeouts to finish the game. Final: Clippers 2, Red Wings 6 LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN Chattanooga @ Montgomery Biscuits Box Score Lots of Lookouts news on Thursday before the game even started, ASG starters were announced and Daniel Palka will start at DH, and Mitch Garver will be behind the plate (Trevor Hildenberger, D.J. Baxendale, Travis Harrison will be subs). Also Thursday morning Daniel Palka was named the Southern League hitter of the week. Engelb Vielma came into Thursday's game riding a 10-game hitting streak but stumbed to an 0-3 evening. Daniel Palka didn't hit any home runs, so that's weird. He was 1-4 with two strikeouts. The aforementioned All-Star starter Mitch Garver was held without a hit, 0-3 with a walk and a K. The Lookouts were held to just four hits, but scored an unearned run in the second inning, which was enough for the victory, thanks to great pitching performances from Eades, Reed and Hildenberger. Starter Ryan Eades went 7.0 innings, giving up just three hits, walking a batter and striking out three. His ERA is now down to 3.66 and he's given up just one earned run in three starts since coming off of the disabled list on June 6. Jake Reed replaced Eades for the eighth and walked one and struck out one. Trevor Hildenberger picked up his tenth save of the season, with a perfect 1-2-3 inning with a pair of strike outs. Final: Lookouts 1, Biscuits 0 MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers @ Bradenton Marauders Box Score The Miracle lost the last game of the first half of their season, and the last game of a nine-game road trip, falling behind in the fourth inning and staying there. The Miracle had seven hits on the night, with two coming from lead-off man T.J. White, 2-4 with a double, an RBI, a walk and a strikeout. No other Fort Myers hitter had multiple hits, but both Edgar Corcino and Nick Gordon picked up doubles. Miracle Starter Keaton Steele gave up five runs (two earned) over 6.0 innings. He struck out five, walked one, and gave up a home run. Steele falls to 2-6 on the year with the loss. John Curtiss pitched the seventh, giving up a trio of hits, but managing to strike out three as well and only gave up one run. Yorman Landa pitched a bumpy ninth, but kept the Marauders off the board, giving up a pair of walks and picking up a pair of strikeouts. Not a great way to head into the All-Star break. Final: Miracle 2, Marauders 6 KERNELS KORNER Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities River Bandits Box Score Cody Stashak had a career high 6.2 shutout innings, taking a perfect game into the fourth inning, putting down the first ten batters of the game. Stashak earned the win to move to 4-4 on the year and lowered his ERA to 2.73. Stashak was replaced by Juo Hua Lo who went 2.1 innings earning his first save of the year. He gave up a run on two hits, struck a batter out and gave up a home run. The Kernels had just five hits on the night, but put them together when it counted, scoring three runs in the second, and three more in the top of the ninth. Right fielder J.J. Fernandez was 1-3 with a walk, two runs scored, a home run and four RBIs, leading the way for Cedar Rapids. The other four Kernels hits were all singles, spread among Luis Arraez, Sean Miler, Nelson Molina and Daniel Kihle. Final: Kernels 6, River Bandits 1 DSL Twins Takes DSL Twins @ DSL D-backs2 Box Score Nothing remarkable to report from the DSL Twins batters, but starter Pedro Garcia had a very nice game. He pitched 6.0 innings of one-hit baseball. He walked two and struck out four and left the game with a lead that was promptly squandered by Fredderi Soto in the seventh. The game slogged on into the 12th inning when the DSL Twins loaded the bases via a walk, a sacrifice bunt that resulted in a reached on error, and a hit battsmen to load the bases with no outs. Antonio Tovar singled home a run in the next at bat and Darling Cuesto singled home another run immediately after. The DSL Twins held on in the bottom of the 12th to take home the victory. Final: DSL Twins 3, DSL D-backs2 1 TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day - J.J. Fernandez, Cedar Rapids Kernels Pitcher of the Day - Ryan Eades, Chattanooga Lookouts FRIDAY'S PROBABLES Rochester @ Toledo Mud Hens (6:05pm) - Jose Berrios vs. Daniel Norris Chattanooga @ Montgomery Biscuits (7:05pm) - David Hurlbut (4-3, 4.09) vs. Hunter Wood Fort Myers - OFF - All-Star Break - All-Star Game at Fort Myers on Saturday Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities River Bandits (7:00pm) - Eduardo Del Rosario (0-1, 8.64) vs. Franklin Perez DSL D-backs2 @ DSL Twins (9:30am) - TBD vs. TBD Please ask questions and discuss the Thursday games. Click here to view the article
  22. The Twins were way out on the left coast, and now that they are back at home, they lost to a bad Yankees team. Yuck-o. After the game the Twins activated Danny Santana from the Disable List and to make room for him the Twins decided that they could not solve the riddle of Oswaldo Arcia and designated him for assignment. Seth Stohs has more on that. Continue reading to find out more detail about Thursday in the Twins farm system: RED WINGS REPORT Columbus Clippers @ Rochester Box Score The Redwings held the Clippers scoreless fir the first seven innings while building a 4-0, before trading two runs in the top of the eight for two runs in the bottom. Danna Santana, making his final rehab start, was 2-4 with a strike out and two runs scored. Wilfredo Tovar (I just love that name, Wilfredo) was 2-3 with a walk and a run scored, the only other Wings player with multiple hits. Jorge Polanco hit a three-run dinger in the fifth as part of a 1-4 night, and Tommy Field hit a two-run shot in the bottom of the eighth, also as part of a 1-4 night. Rochester Starter Jason Wheeler went 7.2 innings, giving up just those two late runs, giving up four hits, and two walks. Wheeler struck out seven. He was replaced by J.T. Chargois, giving up a hit and recording two strike outs to finish the game. Final: Clippers 2, Red Wings 6 LOOKOUTS LOOK-IN Chattanooga @ Montgomery Biscuits Box Score Lots of Lookouts news on Thursday before the game even started, ASG starters were announced and Daniel Palka will start at DH, and Mitch Garver will be behind the plate (Trevor Hildenberger, D.J. Baxendale, Travis Harrison will be subs). Also Thursday morning Daniel Palka was named the Southern League hitter of the week. Engelb Vielma came in to Thursday's game riding a 10-game hitting streak but stumbed to an 0-3 evening. Daniel Palka didn't hit any home runs, so that's weird. He was 1-4 with two strike outs. The afore mentioned All-Star starter Mitch Garver was held without a hit, 0-3 with a walk and a K. The Lookouts were held to just four hits, but scored an unearned run in the second inning, which was enough for the victory, thanks to great pitching performances from Eades, Reed and Hildenberger. Starter Ryan Eades went 7.0 innings, giving up just three hits, walking a batter, and striking out three. His ERA is now down to 3.66 and he's giving up just one earned run in three starts since coming off of the Disabled List on June 6. Jake Reed replaced Eades for the eighth and walked one and struck out one. Trevor Hildenberger picked up his tenth save of the season, with a perfect 1-2-3 inning with a pair of strike outs. Final: Lookouts 1, Biscuits 0 MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers @ Bradenton Marauders Box Score The Miracle lost the last game of the first half of their seasons, and the last game of a nine-game road trip, falling behind in the fourth inning and staying there. The Miracle had seven hits on the night, with two coming from lead-off man T.J. White, 2-4 with a double, and RBI, a walk and a strike out. No other Fort Myers hitter had multiple hits, but both Edgar Corcino and Nick Gordon picked up doubles. Miracle Starter Keaton Steele gave up five runs (two earned) over 6.0 innings. He struck out five, walked one, and gave up a home run. Steele falls to 2-6 on the year with the loss. John Curtiss pitched the seventh, giving up a trip of hits, but managing to strike out three as well and only gave up one run. Yorman Landa pitched a bumpy ninth, but kept the Marauders off the board, giving up a pair of walks, and picking up a pair of strike outs. Not a great way to head into the All-Star break. Final: Miracle 2, Marauders 6 KERNELS KORNER Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities River Bandits Box Score Cody Stashak with a career high 6.2 shutout innings, taking a perfect game into the fourth inning, putting down the first ten batters of the game. Stashak earned the win to move to 4-4 on the year and lowered his ERA to 2.73. Stashak was replaced by Juo Hua Lo who went 2.1 innings earning his first save of the year. He gave up a run on two hits, struck a batter out, and gave up a home run. The Kernels had just five hits on the night, but put them together when it counted, scoring three runs in the second, and three more in the top of the ninth. Right fielder J.J. Fernandez was 1-3 with a walk, two runs scored, a home run, and four RBIs, leading the way for Cedar Rapids. The other four Kernels hits were all singles, spread among Luis Arraez, Sean Miler, Nelson Molina and Daniel Kihle. Final: Kernels 6, River Bandits 1 DSL Twins Takes DSL Twins @ DSL D-backs2 Box Score Nothing remarkable to report from the DSL Twins batters, but starter Pedro Garcia had a very nice game. He pitched 6.0 innings of one-hit baseball. He walked two and struck out four and left the game with a lead that was promptly squandered by Fredderi Soto in the seventh. The game slogged on into the 12th inning when the DSL Twins loaded the bases via a walk, a sacrifice bunt that resulted in a reached on error, and a hit battsmen to load the basest with no outs. Antonio Tovar singled home a run in the next at bat and Darling Cuesto singled home another run immediately after. The DSL Twins held on in the bottom of the 12th to take home the victory. Final: DSL Twins 3, DSL D-backs2 1 TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day - J.J. Fernandez, Cedar Rapids Kernels Pitcher of the Day - Ryan Eades, Chattanooga Lookouts FRIDAY'S PROBABLES Rochester @ Toledo Mud Hens (6:05pm) - TBD vs. Daniel Norris Chattanooga @ Montgomery Biscuits (7:05pm) - David Hurlbut (4-3, 4.09) vs. Hunter Wood Fort Myers - OFF - All-Star Break - All-Star Game at Fort Myers on Saturday Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities River Bandits (7:00pm) - Eduardo Del Rosario (0-1, 8.64) vs. Franklin Perez DSL D-backs2 @ DSL Twins (9:30am) - TBD vs. TBD Please ask questions and discuss the Thursday games. -ERolf
  23. Wander Javier went just 1-5 in the Dominican on Friday, but that one hit was his first professional home run. The Miracle got back to .500 and in one of their two games, they had a tremendous pitching performance. Another day… Yes… Another Daniel Palka home run, but how did the Lookouts do? And it was a very special night in Rochester thanks to the efforts of one of their starting pitchers. Day 2 of the draft is complete. Be sure to read Jeremy’s thoughts on all eight Twins picks between rounds three and ten. Check back and we’ll update you on Saturday as the Twins make their 11th through 40th round draft picks. Jeremy joined John Bonnes for a special draft edition of Twins Weekly on Friday night. They discussed the first ten rounds of Twins picks and were able to spend a segment chatting with top pick Alex Kirilloff.With that, let’s get to Friday night’s minor league update. Please be sure to read the entire Rochester report, at least. The big news came mid-Friday afternoon when Mike Berardino tweeted that JT Chargois was on his way to Minneapolis to join the Twins. With Phil Hughes and Trevor May going on the DL, Chargois was summoned (and Kyle Gibson reinstated from the DL). RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 7, Toledo 9 Box Score Looking at the final score, you probably wouldn’t assume that the Red Wings got a quality start in this game. They did. Jason Wheeler continues his impressive season. He went the first six innings and gave up two runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out three. Marcus Walden came in and gave up three runs on two walks and two hits over just one inning. Sean Burnett started the eighth. He gave up two runs on two hits and got just one out. Alex Wimmers returned to the team and made his first appearance since becoming a first-time father. He got the next two outs, but not before giving up two more runs on three hits. Ryan O’Rourke struck out one in a perfect ninth. James Beresford was the Red Wings catalyst at the top of the order. He went 3-5 with his ninth double. Kennys Vargas was 1-3 with a walk. He drove in two runs in with a triple. Eddie Rosario went 2-3 with a WALK (this is not an error). He added his fourth home run. John Ryan Murphy went 1-2 with two walks. ------------------------------------------------------ It was a very special night in Rochester. For the second straight year Logan Darnell organized an Alzheimer’s Awareness Night. He personally ordered (and designed) new game jerseys for the Red Wings players that were auctioned off and handed over to the fans with the winning bids after the game. The Twins and others helped contribute other items that were auctioned off. Proceeds from the evening will go to the Alzheimer’s Association in Rochester and Alzheimer’s Research. If you would like to donate, you can do so here. June 10th is the birthday of Darnell’s mother. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2012. Darnell, who has received a Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service each of the last two years wanted to do something in her honor. The Red Wing and the Twins have been very supportive. Congratulations to Darnell on another successful, special event. First report from Rochester indicates that they made about $3800 just on the game-used jerseys and other collectibles. photo by Rochester Red Wings CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 6, Tennessee 2 Box Score Daniel Palka’s remarkable June continued on this night. He went 2-4 in this game with his third triple, and his 15th home run. In 10 games in June, Palka has hit eight home runs. Mitch Garver hit his fourth home run and it was a big one. Up 3-1 in the eighth, Garver hit a three run homer to put the game out of reach. Zach Granite and Stuart Turner each hit their seventh doubles of the season. DJ Baxendale put together another strong start, a quality start. He gave up one run on five hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out five.Jake Reed came on and struck out two over two perfect innings. Raul Fernandez gave up one run on three hits in his inning. He struck out one. Travis Harrison was 0-1 with three walks. MIRACLE MATTERS Game 1 - Ft. Myers 4, Brevard County 1 Box Score The Miracle got four runs in the first inning, all with two outs. Chris Paul drove in two with a single. Then Alex Perez and Logan Wade each added an RBI with singles. The team was able to hold that lead. Perez and Wade were each 2-4. Wade stole his fourth base of the year. Nick Gordon was 2-4 and stole his eighth base. Brian Olson hit his first Miracle double. Keaton Steele has struggled of late, but he was good on Friday night. The right-hander gave up just one run over the first five innings. He gave up six hits, walked two and struck out five. John Curtiss struck out two in a perfect sixth inning. Nick Anderson struck out one in a perfect seventh to record his first save with the Miracle. Game 2 - Ft. Myers 2, Brevard County 0 Box Score Fresh of finding out he was in my midseason Top Ten Twins Prospect rankings, Felix Jorge put in a tremendous outing. He went all seven innings. He gave up no runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out eight batters. He improved to 5-3 and dropped his ERA to 1.64. Trey Vavra went 2-3 with his fifth stolen base. Edgar Corcino walked twice. However, the big hit came in the top of the first inning when Joe Maloney knocked in Corcino and TJ White with a double, his first with the Miracle. The sweep pushed the Miracle record back to .500 at 30-30. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Peoria 5 Box Score Cody Stashak started for the Kernels. The righthander from St. Johns gave up three runs on seven hits over 6.1 innings. He walked two and struck out two. Anthony McIver came in and gave up two runs on three hits, including a home run. Nelson Molina went 2-3 and drove in a run. Daniel Kihle was 2-4. Zander Wiel walked twice. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Felix Jorge, Ft. Myers Miracle Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Daniel Palka, Chattanooga Lookouts SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Buffalo (6:05 p.m. CST) - RHP Jose Berrios Jacksonville @ Tennessee(6:05 CST) - RHP Ryan Eades Ft. Myers @ Brevard County (5:35 CST) – LHP Randy Rosario Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 CST) – RHP Eduardo Del Rosario Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday games. Click here to view the article
  24. With that, let’s get to Friday night’s minor league update. Please be sure to read the entire Rochester report, at least. The big news came mid-Friday afternoon when Mike Berardino tweeted that JT Chargois was on his way to Minneapolis to join the Twins. With Phil Hughes and Trevor May going on the DL, Chargois was summoned (and Kyle Gibson reinstated from the DL). RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 7, Toledo 9 Box Score Looking at the final score, you probably wouldn’t assume that the Red Wings got a quality start in this game. They did. Jason Wheeler continues his impressive season. He went the first six innings and gave up two runs on six hits. He walked two and struck out three. Marcus Walden came in and gave up three runs on two walks and two hits over just one inning. Sean Burnett started the eighth. He gave up two runs on two hits and got just one out. Alex Wimmers returned to the team and made his first appearance since becoming a first-time father. He got the next two outs, but not before giving up two more runs on three hits. Ryan O’Rourke struck out one in a perfect ninth. James Beresford was the Red Wings catalyst at the top of the order. He went 3-5 with his ninth double. Kennys Vargas was 1-3 with a walk. He drove in two runs in with a triple. Eddie Rosario went 2-3 with a WALK (this is not an error). He added his fourth home run. John Ryan Murphy went 1-2 with two walks. ------------------------------------------------------ It was a very special night in Rochester. For the second straight year Logan Darnell organized an Alzheimer’s Awareness Night. He personally ordered (and designed) new game jerseys for the Red Wings players that were auctioned off and handed over to the fans with the winning bids after the game. The Twins and others helped contribute other items that were auctioned off. Proceeds from the evening will go to the Alzheimer’s Association in Rochester and Alzheimer’s Research. If you would like to donate, you can do so here. June 10th is the birthday of Darnell’s mother. She was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2012. Darnell, who has received a Harmon Killebrew Award for Community Service each of the last two years wanted to do something in her honor. The Red Wing and the Twins have been very supportive. Congratulations to Darnell on another successful, special event. First report from Rochester indicates that they made about $3800 just on the game-used jerseys and other collectibles. photo by Rochester Red Wings CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 6, Tennessee 2 Box Score Daniel Palka’s remarkable June continued on this night. He went 2-4 in this game with his third triple, and his 15th home run. In 10 games in June, Palka has hit eight home runs. Mitch Garver hit his fourth home run and it was a big one. Up 3-1 in the eighth, Garver hit a three run homer to put the game out of reach. Zach Granite and Stuart Turner each hit their seventh doubles of the season. DJ Baxendale put together another strong start, a quality start. He gave up one run on five hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out five.Jake Reed came on and struck out two over two perfect innings. Raul Fernandez gave up one run on three hits in his inning. He struck out one. Travis Harrison was 0-1 with three walks. MIRACLE MATTERS Game 1 - Ft. Myers 4, Brevard County 1 Box Score The Miracle got four runs in the first inning, all with two outs. Chris Paul drove in two with a single. Then Alex Perez and Logan Wade each added an RBI with singles. The team was able to hold that lead. Perez and Wade were each 2-4. Wade stole his fourth base of the year. Nick Gordon was 2-4 and stole his eighth base. Brian Olson hit his first Miracle double. Keaton Steele has struggled of late, but he was good on Friday night. The right-hander gave up just one run over the first five innings. He gave up six hits, walked two and struck out five. John Curtiss struck out two in a perfect sixth inning. Nick Anderson struck out one in a perfect seventh to record his first save with the Miracle. Game 2 - Ft. Myers 2, Brevard County 0 Box Score Fresh of finding out he was in my midseason Top Ten Twins Prospect rankings, Felix Jorge put in a tremendous outing. He went all seven innings. He gave up no runs on three hits. He walked one and struck out eight batters. He improved to 5-3 and dropped his ERA to 1.64. Trey Vavra went 2-3 with his fifth stolen base. Edgar Corcino walked twice. However, the big hit came in the top of the first inning when Joe Maloney knocked in Corcino and TJ White with a double, his first with the Miracle. The sweep pushed the Miracle record back to .500 at 30-30. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Peoria 5 Box Score Cody Stashak started for the Kernels. The righthander from St. Johns gave up three runs on seven hits over 6.1 innings. He walked two and struck out two. Anthony McIver came in and gave up two runs on three hits, including a home run. Nelson Molina went 2-3 and drove in a run. Daniel Kihle was 2-4. Zander Wiel walked twice. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Felix Jorge, Ft. Myers Miracle Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Daniel Palka, Chattanooga Lookouts SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Buffalo (6:05 p.m. CST) - RHP Jose Berrios Jacksonville @ Tennessee(6:05 CST) - RHP Ryan Eades Ft. Myers @ Brevard County (5:35 CST) – LHP Randy Rosario Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 CST) – RHP Eduardo Del Rosario Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday games.
  25. Yesterday, we announced Byron Buxton as our Minnesota Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month for May. Today, we recognize the top starting pitchers in the Twins minor leagues. Determining this month’s top starter was the most difficult decision I’ve had to make for a monthly award. So, I went to some others to help vote. Even then, the vote was close. But you’ll have to keep reading to find out who we’re talking about. At the end, you can comment on who would get your vote.So before to our Top 5 starting pitchers for the month, here are a few others who deserve to be recognized for a strong month. LHP Andrew Albers (Rochester) - 5 GS, 3-1, 3.16 ERA, 1.37 WHIP, 31.1 IP, 33 H, 10 BB, 22 KRHP DJ Baxendale (Chattanooga) - 6 GS, 4-2, 3.55 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 38.0 IP, 38 H, 6 BB, 25 KLHP Stephen Gonsalves (Ft. Myers) - 5 GS, 3-1, 2.51 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 28.2 IP, 23 H, 12 BB, 26 KRHP Felix Jorge (Ft. Myers) - 4 GS, 2-1, 2.05 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 26.1 IP, 24 H, 5 BB, 21 KTHE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS Number 5 – Cedar Rapids – RHP Miles Nordgren - 5 G, 4 GS, 1-1, 2.39 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 26.1 IP, 25 H, 5 BB, 35 K Nordgren was the Twins 23rd-round draft pick in 2014 out of Birmingham Southern. He has pitched in long relief and as a starter at various times since signing. He was with the Kernels briefly in 2015 and began the 2016 season in extended spring training. In 2016, he has made nine appearances. The four out of the bullpen were at least two innings. For the month, Nordgren held opponents to a .240/.275/.269 (.544). His 12.0 K/9 is the highest on this list of starting pitchers. In his most recent start, he struck out twelve batters in seven innings thanks to an improved slider. When asked if he throws 90 mph, following the game, Nordgren said, “on a good day.” Number 4 - Rochester – LHP Tommy Milone - 4 GS, 2-0, 2.22 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 28.1 IP, 23 H, 0 BB, 24 K In late April, the Twins moved Milone to their bullpen. He made one big league appearance in long relief at the beginning of May before being placed on waivers. When he went unclaimed, he was outrighted to Rochester. As he did a year ago when he was optioned to the Red Wings, he pitched great. Milone was a strike-throwing machine. Opponents hit just .219/.219/.371 off of him in his four starts. He throws strikes and he misses bats. Then again, there’s no surprise in his AAA success. Milone is clearly a big league pitcher who now is just waiting for another opportunity whether it is with the Twins or elsewhere. Number 3 – Rochester – LHP Jason Wheeler - 6 GS, 4-1, 1.59 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 39.2 IP, 28 H, 7 BB, 36 K A year ago, Jason Wheeler was on the 40-man roster and began the season in AAA. He really struggled with AAA. In 15 starts, he went 1-7 with a 6.58 ERA. He returned to AA and pitched well again. That’s where he started the 2016 season, with the Lookouts. In four starts, he posted a 1.88 ERA. He was brought back up to AAA and he has been fantastic. For the month, Wheeler allowed opponents to hit .194/.237/.278 (.515) against him. More surprising yet, he has struck out 7.5 batters per nine innings after posting a career K/9 rate of just 6.0. At 6-6 and 250 pounds, Wheeler doesn’t throw real hard, but he knows how to pitch. Number 2 - Cedar Rapids – RHP Randy LeBlanc - 5 GS, 4-0, 0.24 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 37.0 IP, 24 H, 6 BB, 21 K I would guess that with LeBlanc’s May, he would win the Starting Pitcher of the Month award in at least 95% of months. This month, he comes in a close second. LeBlanc gave up one run all month, in 37 innings. At one time, he had a run of 37 innings between runs allowed. The 24-year-old was the Twins 10th-round pick in 2014 out of Tulane. In May, opponents hit just .185/.232/.208 (.440) off of him. Seemingly any time he had a base runner, he was able to use his sinker to coax a double play. According to Kernels pitching coach JP Martinez, “He’s basically got a ground ball whenever he needs it with that sinker he’s got.” While he doesn’t throw real hard, hitting 92 at times with a sinker, he’s able to work the fastball on both sides of the plate. He’s got a plus-changeup, and a harder, mid-80s slider. He’s got another slider in the lower-80s that drops more. Per Martinez, he’s got good stuff but just needed to develop it over innings, “He’s got hard-sink in the low-90s, a good slider and a really good changeup. I think the only thing they wanted to work on coming back was putting guys away. I don’t think that they thought he didn’t have an out pitch but they wanted him to develop it more. He’s got a great idea how to attack hitters.” Following eight shutout innings on the last day of the month, he was finally promoted from the Kernels to Ft. Myers. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Ft. Myers – LHP Tyler Jay - 5 GS, 3-2, 0.84 ERA, 0.84 WHIP, 32.1 IP, 20 H, 7 BB, 38 K For the second straight month, the choice for starting pitcher of the month is a left-hander from the Ft. Myers Miracle. In a very close vote, Jay was the selection over LeBlanc in large part due to his dominance. Ironically, Jay’s roommate with the Miracle is April’s SP of the Month, Stephen Gonsalves. The Twins top pick a year ago out of Illinois had a tremendous May, culminating with eight shutout innings on the final day of the month. While his overall numbers are very similar to LeBlanc’s, his strikeout tally is what puts him in that top spot. Opponents hit just .180/.229/.180 (.409) against him in the month. No extra-base hits. Blessed with a mid-90s fastball, Jay also has a devastating slider, a slower curveball and a change up. A reliever in college, Jay is making the transition to being a starter. With the exception for one start, and a couple of games with first inning struggles, Jay has made that transition smoothly. There was again several choices for starting pitcher performances in May, and two of them were very deserving of winning the award. Let’s discuss. Who would get your vote, Tyler Jay or Randy LeBlanc? And frankly, in most months, Jason Wheeler would win the award with the numbers he put up in May. Feel free to agree or disagree with the order, if you like, but congratulations these individuals on a terrific month. Congratulations to the May Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month for 2016, Tyler Jay. Click here to view the article
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