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  1. Today we get back to my Twins Top 30 Hitting Prospect rankings with Part 2, prospects 21 through 25. Today's list includes more names that you have heard of, however, it still presents a group of players at various levels in the organization, and players at various levels of development. Do you agree with these rankings. A quick reminder. These prospect rankings are meant as a fun look at prospects throughout the Twins organization. In Part 2 today, you'll read about some hitters at various levels of development which can make it difficult to rank and differentiate. After reading about this group of players, enjoy the comments. Participate by asking questions or discussing the players mentioned. When we finish the rankings, I'd like to know your thoughts and your rankings. Let's get started with Twins hitting prospects ranked 21-25. #25 Jermaine Palacios 2021 STATS: .259/.340/.439, 17 2B, 19 HR, 54 RBI, 23.3 K%, 9.8 BB%, 18/26 SB Jermaine Palacios originally signed with the Twins way back in 2013 from Venezuela. By 2017, he had become a very solid Twins prospect, reaching into some Top 10 lists. Before the 2018 season, he was traded to the Rays for Jake Odorizzi. He really struggled in 2019 and 2020, especially in Double-A. He didn’t play in 2020 and became a free agent. He had other options, but he chose to come back to the Twins organization. The plan for him was to play all over the infield, but when Royce Lewis’s season came to an end, he became the almost-everyday shortstop. He was a very stabilizing factor in the Wind Surge infield, a fantastic defensively shortstop with a strong arm and range. In addition, he hit. He got on base, and he really showed a lot of power. Following the season, he very quickly signed to remain with the Twins organization on a minor league contract. He is currently hitting .349/.431/.563 (.994) with 11 doubles and four homers in 40 games in the Venezuelan Winter League. He will not turn 26 until mid-July. #24 Charlie Mack 2021 STATS: .229/.370/.368, 7 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 21 RBI, 26.4 K%, 18.3 BB%, 2/2 SB Charlie Mack was the Twins sixth-round pick in 2018 out of high school. He spent time as an infielder but after the 2019 season, he was moved behind the plate. Unfortunately, there was no 2020 minor league season, but Mack continued to work at it and showed progress on defense in 2021 with the Mighty Mussels. His bat really came around in the second half too. Mack has a nice, pure, left-handed swing that should develop more power. He’s got a patient approach as well. He will be 22-years-old throughout the 2022 season and should spend it in Cedar Rapids. His brother Joe was the Marlins first-round pick in 2021. #23 Mark Contreras 2021 STATS: .251/.338/.485, 30 2B, 3 3B, 20 HR, 29.6 K%, 9.1 BB%, 15/20 SB Mark Contreras had a bit of a breakout season in 2021. The former minor league Gold Glove outfielder struggled with the bat in 2019. However, in 2021, he showed a good approach at the plate and really started to drive the ball, as you can see from 53 extra base hits. He remained strong in the outfield and played all three positions which is good since the Twins hope centerfield is pretty well set for awhile. Meanwhile, he will be 27 throughout the 2022 season and continuing to prepare himself in St. Paul for The Call. #22 Will Holland 2021 STATS: .214/.336/.401, 15 2B, 10 HR, 27 RBI, 33.1 K%, 11.0 BB%, 19/24 SB The Twins selected Will Holland in the 5th round of the 2019 draft. He was playing with Auburn in the College World Series. In 2021, he played in Ft. Myers. He missed a little time with injury and played in 76 games. He was a shortstop in college, but this year he spent a lot of time in centerfield. While he didn’t hit for average, as the season went on he took quality plate appearances and showed terrific power. Holland is a great athlete who can play all over the diamond. #21 Seth Gray 2021 STATS: .212/.321/.333, 13 2B, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 28.3 K%, 10.6 BB%, 5/6 SB Seth Gray certainly looks the part of a power-hitting third baseman. He is big and strong, yet he is pretty quick on his first at third base and plays the position pretty well. It was a disappointing season for him offensively. He wasn’t able to really find a run of consistency throughout the year. There were a lot of swings-and-misses, but he also has a patient approach at the plate. It’s important to also remember that with the missed season, he also jumped over Low-A ball. 2022 will be a big year for him, but the talent and strength are certainly there to move up this list rapidly. While Contreras and Palacios could be ready to fill a role in the big leagues in the right situation, Mack was a high school pick changing positions while moving up to the Mighty Mussels. Meanwhile Gray and Holland are college guys who have had their ups and downs but both remain filled with talent and tools to give hope that it can click. Let's not underestimate how much the lost season affected people differently. Discuss... and keep coming back every day throughout the holiday season as we continue to discuss these prospects. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 View full article
  2. A quick reminder. These prospect rankings are meant as a fun look at prospects throughout the Twins organization. In Part 2 today, you'll read about some hitters at various levels of development which can make it difficult to rank and differentiate. After reading about this group of players, enjoy the comments. Participate by asking questions or discussing the players mentioned. When we finish the rankings, I'd like to know your thoughts and your rankings. Let's get started with Twins hitting prospects ranked 21-25. #25 Jermaine Palacios 2021 STATS: .259/.340/.439, 17 2B, 19 HR, 54 RBI, 23.3 K%, 9.8 BB%, 18/26 SB Jermaine Palacios originally signed with the Twins way back in 2013 from Venezuela. By 2017, he had become a very solid Twins prospect, reaching into some Top 10 lists. Before the 2018 season, he was traded to the Rays for Jake Odorizzi. He really struggled in 2019 and 2020, especially in Double-A. He didn’t play in 2020 and became a free agent. He had other options, but he chose to come back to the Twins organization. The plan for him was to play all over the infield, but when Royce Lewis’s season came to an end, he became the almost-everyday shortstop. He was a very stabilizing factor in the Wind Surge infield, a fantastic defensively shortstop with a strong arm and range. In addition, he hit. He got on base, and he really showed a lot of power. Following the season, he very quickly signed to remain with the Twins organization on a minor league contract. He is currently hitting .349/.431/.563 (.994) with 11 doubles and four homers in 40 games in the Venezuelan Winter League. He will not turn 26 until mid-July. #24 Charlie Mack 2021 STATS: .229/.370/.368, 7 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 21 RBI, 26.4 K%, 18.3 BB%, 2/2 SB Charlie Mack was the Twins sixth-round pick in 2018 out of high school. He spent time as an infielder but after the 2019 season, he was moved behind the plate. Unfortunately, there was no 2020 minor league season, but Mack continued to work at it and showed progress on defense in 2021 with the Mighty Mussels. His bat really came around in the second half too. Mack has a nice, pure, left-handed swing that should develop more power. He’s got a patient approach as well. He will be 22-years-old throughout the 2022 season and should spend it in Cedar Rapids. His brother Joe was the Marlins first-round pick in 2021. #23 Mark Contreras 2021 STATS: .251/.338/.485, 30 2B, 3 3B, 20 HR, 29.6 K%, 9.1 BB%, 15/20 SB Mark Contreras had a bit of a breakout season in 2021. The former minor league Gold Glove outfielder struggled with the bat in 2019. However, in 2021, he showed a good approach at the plate and really started to drive the ball, as you can see from 53 extra base hits. He remained strong in the outfield and played all three positions which is good since the Twins hope centerfield is pretty well set for awhile. Meanwhile, he will be 27 throughout the 2022 season and continuing to prepare himself in St. Paul for The Call. #22 Will Holland 2021 STATS: .214/.336/.401, 15 2B, 10 HR, 27 RBI, 33.1 K%, 11.0 BB%, 19/24 SB The Twins selected Will Holland in the 5th round of the 2019 draft. He was playing with Auburn in the College World Series. In 2021, he played in Ft. Myers. He missed a little time with injury and played in 76 games. He was a shortstop in college, but this year he spent a lot of time in centerfield. While he didn’t hit for average, as the season went on he took quality plate appearances and showed terrific power. Holland is a great athlete who can play all over the diamond. #21 Seth Gray 2021 STATS: .212/.321/.333, 13 2B, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 28.3 K%, 10.6 BB%, 5/6 SB Seth Gray certainly looks the part of a power-hitting third baseman. He is big and strong, yet he is pretty quick on his first at third base and plays the position pretty well. It was a disappointing season for him offensively. He wasn’t able to really find a run of consistency throughout the year. There were a lot of swings-and-misses, but he also has a patient approach at the plate. It’s important to also remember that with the missed season, he also jumped over Low-A ball. 2022 will be a big year for him, but the talent and strength are certainly there to move up this list rapidly. While Contreras and Palacios could be ready to fill a role in the big leagues in the right situation, Mack was a high school pick changing positions while moving up to the Mighty Mussels. Meanwhile Gray and Holland are college guys who have had their ups and downs but both remain filled with talent and tools to give hope that it can click. Let's not underestimate how much the lost season affected people differently. Discuss... and keep coming back every day throughout the holiday season as we continue to discuss these prospects. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30
  3. We have come to the final week of the MLB schedule and the minor league schedule. The St. Paul Saints have five more games to play, their final Final Stretch. They concluded their home schedule last week. Meanwhile, both the Wichita Wind Surge and Cedar Rapids Kernels ended their seasons by playing in their leagues’ championship series. If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. With that, let's look at Week 21 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (4-1, hosting Iowa), overall (65-60) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Regular Season (69-51) Week (0-3 vs NW Arkansas in the Double-A Central League championship series) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Regular Season (67-53) Week (2-3 vs Quad Cities in the High-A Central League championship series) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Regular Season (60-54) Complex League FCL Twins: Regular Season (21-38) In Case You Missed It... Here are the week's Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Playoff Time for Wind Surge, Kernels Tuesday: Playoffs?! Yes, We’re Talking About Playoffs! Unsung Heroes of Lowertown: The St. Paul Saints Grounds Crew Wednesday: Game Twos and an 0-fer Thursday: Saints Ride the High of the Long Ball Prospect Retrospective: Justin Morneau Friday: Wind Surge Swept, Kernels Take Control Saturday: River Bandits Force Decisive Game 5, Saints Beat Cubs Sunday: Eliminated Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year: Jose Miranda Highlights St. Paul Saints The Saints played their final home series of the season. CHS Field and the Saints hosted the Iowa Cubs in the first of two Final Stretch weeks in Triple-A. The Saints won four of the five games. BJ Boyd went 4-for-10 (.400) with three walks, a triple, a homer and three RBI. Ben Rortvedt played in four games. He went 5-for-12 (.417) with three walks, a double, a homer and four RBI. Of course, Jose Miranda had another terrific week. In five games, he went 9-for-20 (.450) with two walks, a double, a homer and six RBI. Finally, David Banuelos played in just one game, but in that game, he went 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, a homer and three RBI. That’s a solid 2.100 OPS day! On the mound, Beau Burrows pitched the fifth through ninth innings. In five scoreless innings, he gave up just two hits, walked one and struck out six batters. Edgar Garcia had a four-inning outing. He gave up no runs on just one hit and one walk. Ian Gibaut pitched twice in the five-game set. He struck out four batters over two perfect innings. Lefty Chris Nunn struck out three batters over three scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit. Chandler Shepherd struck out four batters over 3 2/3 scoreless frames. He gave up just one hit and one walk. Andrew Albers had another strong start. He gave up one run on four hits and two walks over five innings. He struck out seven batters. Wichita Wind Surge The Wind Surge went into the championship series as the #1 see which meant the first two games on the road. Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of positives in their three-game sweep at the hands of NW Arkansas. But there were a couple… Austin Martin went 6-for-12 (.500) with two walks. He had two-hit games in all three games. Likewise, Jermaine Palacios had three multi-hit games. All told, he was 7-11 (.636) with a walk, a double and two home runs. Cedar Rapids Kernels The Kernels jumped out to a 2-1 lead after three games, but the River Bandits won games four and five. As you would expect, there were a few more positives. Sawyer Gipson-Long gave up one run and struck out nine batters over 4 2/3 innings in his start. Louie Varland continued to throw well. He gave up just one run on six hits over seven innings in Game 1. Osiris German pitched twice out of the bullpen. He pitched a perfect inning in Game 1 and was credited with the Win. In Game four, he gave up just one hit over three scoreless innings. No walks. Five strikeouts. Zach Featherstone struck out three batters in the ninth inning to record the save in Game 1. In Game 1, Jair Camargo was the hitting star. He went 2-for-3 with a double and a late-inning homer to give the Kernels a lead. After going 0-for-7 in the first two games, Edouard Julien went 2-for-4 with a walk and two home runs in Game 3. He had two more hits in Game 4. In the series, Alex Isola had four walks, two doubles and a three-run homer. DaShawn Keirsey had two doubles and a homer in the series. PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our updated Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings. #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 37 games, .254/.399/.381 (.779) with 8 doubles, 3 home runs, 19 RBI, 23 BB, 30 K. #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 20 GS, 97.0 IP, 98 H, 38 BB, 102 K, 3.62 ERA, 1.40 WHIP #4 - Simeon Woods-Richardson (Wichita) - 4 G, 3 GS, 8.0 IP, 6 H, 8 BB, 10 K, 6.75 ERA, 1.75 WHIP. #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 122 games, .342/.400/.568 (.968) with 29 doubles, 29 homers, 92 RBI, 41 BB, 73 K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - St. Paul (2 GS, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 17 K, 2.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP), Minnesota (4 GS, 22.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 25 K, 2.45 ERA, 0.59 WHIP) #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 5 GS, 21.0 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 43 K, 0.86 ERA, 0.67 WHIP (IL, elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - 2 G, 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 5.40 ERA, 1.40 WHIP. #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 60 games, .233/.296/.301 (.597) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 24 RBI, 18 BB, 89 K, 5 SB (Temporary Inactive List) #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP (IL, shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 66 games, .264/.350/.508 (.858) with 14 doubles, 2 triples, 15 homers, 47 RBI, 28 BB, 98 K. #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (44 games, .296/.397/.457 (.854) with 11 doubles, 5 homers, 24 RBI, 23 BB, 38 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 11 GS, 53.0 IP, 63 H, 26 BB, 41 K, 6.96 ERA, 1.68 WHIP. #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 22 games, .238/.316/.369 (.685) with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers, 14 RBI, 9 BB, 26 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (52 games, .201/.294/.397 (.691) with 10 doubles, 8 homers, 15 RBI, 15 BB, 64 K) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #18 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 101 games, .191/.299/.286 (.585) with 12 doubles, 4 triples, 5 homers, 52 RBI, 54 BB, 82 K, 16 SB) #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 19 G, 18 GS, 80.1 IP, 59 H, 35 BB, 96 K, 2.46 ERA, 1.17 WHIP #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 110 games, .254/.348/.484 (.833) with 18 doubles, 3 triples, 24 homers, 66 RBI, 55 BB, 105 K) LOOKING AHEAD FCL Twins Season is Complete. Ft. Myers Season is Complete. Cedar Rapids Season is Complete. Wichita Season is Complete. St. Paul @ Toledo: (Jason Garcia, Derek Law, Beau Burrows, Drew Strotman, Andrew Albers): Also, Instructional League/camp began last Tuesday. Feel free to ask any questions you like. View full article
  4. If you missed it, read Nick's Twins Week in Review after you've read about the minor league week. With that, let's look at Week 21 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (4-1, hosting Iowa), overall (65-60) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Regular Season (69-51) Week (0-3 vs NW Arkansas in the Double-A Central League championship series) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Regular Season (67-53) Week (2-3 vs Quad Cities in the High-A Central League championship series) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Regular Season (60-54) Complex League FCL Twins: Regular Season (21-38) In Case You Missed It... Here are the week's Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Playoff Time for Wind Surge, Kernels Tuesday: Playoffs?! Yes, We’re Talking About Playoffs! Unsung Heroes of Lowertown: The St. Paul Saints Grounds Crew Wednesday: Game Twos and an 0-fer Thursday: Saints Ride the High of the Long Ball Prospect Retrospective: Justin Morneau Friday: Wind Surge Swept, Kernels Take Control Saturday: River Bandits Force Decisive Game 5, Saints Beat Cubs Sunday: Eliminated Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year: Jose Miranda Highlights St. Paul Saints The Saints played their final home series of the season. CHS Field and the Saints hosted the Iowa Cubs in the first of two Final Stretch weeks in Triple-A. The Saints won four of the five games. BJ Boyd went 4-for-10 (.400) with three walks, a triple, a homer and three RBI. Ben Rortvedt played in four games. He went 5-for-12 (.417) with three walks, a double, a homer and four RBI. Of course, Jose Miranda had another terrific week. In five games, he went 9-for-20 (.450) with two walks, a double, a homer and six RBI. Finally, David Banuelos played in just one game, but in that game, he went 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, a homer and three RBI. That’s a solid 2.100 OPS day! On the mound, Beau Burrows pitched the fifth through ninth innings. In five scoreless innings, he gave up just two hits, walked one and struck out six batters. Edgar Garcia had a four-inning outing. He gave up no runs on just one hit and one walk. Ian Gibaut pitched twice in the five-game set. He struck out four batters over two perfect innings. Lefty Chris Nunn struck out three batters over three scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit. Chandler Shepherd struck out four batters over 3 2/3 scoreless frames. He gave up just one hit and one walk. Andrew Albers had another strong start. He gave up one run on four hits and two walks over five innings. He struck out seven batters. Wichita Wind Surge The Wind Surge went into the championship series as the #1 see which meant the first two games on the road. Unfortunately, there weren’t a lot of positives in their three-game sweep at the hands of NW Arkansas. But there were a couple… Austin Martin went 6-for-12 (.500) with two walks. He had two-hit games in all three games. Likewise, Jermaine Palacios had three multi-hit games. All told, he was 7-11 (.636) with a walk, a double and two home runs. Cedar Rapids Kernels The Kernels jumped out to a 2-1 lead after three games, but the River Bandits won games four and five. As you would expect, there were a few more positives. Sawyer Gipson-Long gave up one run and struck out nine batters over 4 2/3 innings in his start. Louie Varland continued to throw well. He gave up just one run on six hits over seven innings in Game 1. Osiris German pitched twice out of the bullpen. He pitched a perfect inning in Game 1 and was credited with the Win. In Game four, he gave up just one hit over three scoreless innings. No walks. Five strikeouts. Zach Featherstone struck out three batters in the ninth inning to record the save in Game 1. In Game 1, Jair Camargo was the hitting star. He went 2-for-3 with a double and a late-inning homer to give the Kernels a lead. After going 0-for-7 in the first two games, Edouard Julien went 2-for-4 with a walk and two home runs in Game 3. He had two more hits in Game 4. In the series, Alex Isola had four walks, two doubles and a three-run homer. DaShawn Keirsey had two doubles and a homer in the series. PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our updated Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings. #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 37 games, .254/.399/.381 (.779) with 8 doubles, 3 home runs, 19 RBI, 23 BB, 30 K. #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 20 GS, 97.0 IP, 98 H, 38 BB, 102 K, 3.62 ERA, 1.40 WHIP #4 - Simeon Woods-Richardson (Wichita) - 4 G, 3 GS, 8.0 IP, 6 H, 8 BB, 10 K, 6.75 ERA, 1.75 WHIP. #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 122 games, .342/.400/.568 (.968) with 29 doubles, 29 homers, 92 RBI, 41 BB, 73 K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - St. Paul (2 GS, 9.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 17 K, 2.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP), Minnesota (4 GS, 22.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 25 K, 2.45 ERA, 0.59 WHIP) #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 5 GS, 21.0 IP, 10 H, 4 BB, 43 K, 0.86 ERA, 0.67 WHIP (IL, elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - 2 G, 1 GS, 5.0 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 6 K, 5.40 ERA, 1.40 WHIP. #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 60 games, .233/.296/.301 (.597) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 24 RBI, 18 BB, 89 K, 5 SB (Temporary Inactive List) #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP (IL, shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 66 games, .264/.350/.508 (.858) with 14 doubles, 2 triples, 15 homers, 47 RBI, 28 BB, 98 K. #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (44 games, .296/.397/.457 (.854) with 11 doubles, 5 homers, 24 RBI, 23 BB, 38 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 11 GS, 53.0 IP, 63 H, 26 BB, 41 K, 6.96 ERA, 1.68 WHIP. #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 22 games, .238/.316/.369 (.685) with 3 doubles, 1 triple, 2 homers, 14 RBI, 9 BB, 26 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (52 games, .201/.294/.397 (.691) with 10 doubles, 8 homers, 15 RBI, 15 BB, 64 K) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #18 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 101 games, .191/.299/.286 (.585) with 12 doubles, 4 triples, 5 homers, 52 RBI, 54 BB, 82 K, 16 SB) #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 19 G, 18 GS, 80.1 IP, 59 H, 35 BB, 96 K, 2.46 ERA, 1.17 WHIP #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 110 games, .254/.348/.484 (.833) with 18 doubles, 3 triples, 24 homers, 66 RBI, 55 BB, 105 K) LOOKING AHEAD FCL Twins Season is Complete. Ft. Myers Season is Complete. Cedar Rapids Season is Complete. Wichita Season is Complete. St. Paul @ Toledo: (Jason Garcia, Derek Law, Beau Burrows, Drew Strotman, Andrew Albers): Also, Instructional League/camp began last Tuesday. Feel free to ask any questions you like.
  5. The Wichita Wind Surge and Cedar Rapids Kernels began their championship playoff series on Tuesday, each with their top pitcher Jordan Balazovic and Louie Varland taking the mound. Would either of them be able to lead their team to victory? Keep reading to find out! TRANSACTIONS There were no transactions in the system in advance of the Cedar Rapids Kernels and Wichita Wind Surge starting their league championship series on Tuesday. SAINTS SENTINEL Scheduled Day Off The Saints got an extra day off on their schedule, as they begin the Final Stretch of games happening across the Triple-A level to end the season. They will play five games against the Iowa Cubs at home starting on Wednesday, and then five on the road against Toledo next week. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1: Wichita 5, NW Arkansas 7 Box Score The Wichita Wind Surge had to feel good about themselves heading into game one against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, with top prospect Jordan Balazovic lined up to start. It didn’t go as well as they hoped, but was a back and forth affair throughout with several lead changes and big plays on both sides. Wichita had a two-out threat in the top of the first after singles from Roy Morales and Spencer Steer put runners on the corners, but Jermaine Palacios grounded out to keep them off the scoreboard in the opening frame. That changed in the second inning when Leobaldo Cabrera clubbed a home run to left field for a 1-0 lead. Balazovic got two quick outs in the bottom of the frame, but the Naturals struck back with a single followed by a triple to tie the game at one. In the third inning, it was a D.J. Burt homer that put the Wind Surge back out front, but another two-out rally from the Naturals brought in two runs of their own that made the score 3-2 after three innings. The fourth inning was much of the same as the teams again traded single runs, with Wichita getting an RBI double from Cabrera in the top half before the Naturals chased Balazovic in the bottom half after a pair of two-out walks loaded the bases. Melvi Acosta was summoned from the bullpen and issued a walk of his own that made the score 4-3 for Northwest Arkansas. The fifth inning was finally a scoreless frame on both sides, though the Wind Surge had a chance as Austin Martin doubled to lead off the inning, but he was stranded on third base. In the sixth inning, it was one swing of the bat from Palacios that again tied the game at four. With two outs in the top of the seventh and Spencer Steer at-bat, a pivotal play was made that may have finally swung the momentum of the game one way. Steer laced a 2-1 pitch deep into the gap in left-center, but the Naturals left fielder tracked it down at full speed before crashing hard into the wall, likely saving a run. That same fielder, Brewer Hicklen, of course was up the next inning, and with that adrenaline still running through his veins, took Erik Manoah Jr. deep to center for a 5-4 lead. The home team added two insurance runs in the eighth for a 7-4 lead that would turn out to be enough for the Naturals to take game one. Wichita threatened in the ninth with three singles that scored one run, but couldn’t get the big hit to bring them all the way back. On the pitching front, Balazovic went 3 2/3 innings in the start, allowing four runs on six hits and four walks while picking up three strikeouts. Acosta went the next 1 1/3 innings, allowing no runs of his own on one hit and one walk. Kody Funderburk went 2/3 of an inning and allowed a hit and walk. Manoah Jr. was tagged with the loss by allowing the go-ahead home run in the seventh. He pitched one inning, allowed two hits, and struck out one. Evan Sisk and Adam Lau each recording two outs, with Sisk allowing two insurance runs on two hits while striking out one. Lau allowed one hit, walked two, and struck out one. The Wind Surge got multiple hits on the night from Martin (2-for-4, 2B, BB), Morales (2-for-5, RBI), Palacios (2-for-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, K), and Cabrera (2-for-4, R, 2B, HR) and the team's three home runs on the night were not enough. Wichita will look to even the series at one with Cole Sands taking the hill tomorrow before heading back home to the ICT to finish off the series. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1 Box Score The Kernels were able to fend off the teams on their heels to grab their league’s final playoff spot, and they sent a big reason why in Louie Varland to the mound in game one. He didn’t disappoint, though it looked shaky for a minute in the second inning. After picking up a groundout for the first out of the frame, Varland allowed a double and the game’s first run on a single that followed. He then walked a batter and surrendered another single to load the bases before a mound visit was in order to get him back in rhythm. After that, he got a grounder to first that forced the runner out at home, then a pop out to escape that jam. His lineup got that run back for him in the bottom of the inning, as consecutive two-out doubles from Jair Camargo and DaShawn Keirsey tied the game at one. That mound visit was definitely what the doctor ordered, as Varland was locked in from then on. He retired nine in a row from the third through the sixth inning, and gave up just two singles to bookend that streak. In all, he finished seven fantastic innings, tying his mark for longest outing of the season, and allowed just the one run on six total hits and one walk. He struck out four River Bandits in the outing and of his 98 pitches, 68 went for strikes (69.4%), along with getting 14 swinging strikes. Varland was matched, however, by the pitching staff of Quad Cities. The game remained tied while he was on the mound. The Kernels were unable to cash in any of their scoring chances, including a bases-loaded opportunity in the sixth. In the seventh inning, the Kernels struck out four times, but nonetheless had an opportunity as one of those K’s resulted in a wild pitch that allowed Edouard Julien to reach base. Another wild pitch moved him to second before the River Bandits played the percentages and intentionally walked Aaron Sabato to get the lefty-lefty matchup against Matt Wallner. It worked, as the pitcher got his fourth K of the inning and kept the game tied at 1-1. In the top of the eighth, the Kernels went to reliever Osiris German, and he delivered a one-two-three inning to bring his team back into the dugout looking to finally break through. Jair Camargo did just that, sending a two-out home run over the wall in right field to give the Kernels the lead. With the lead in hand, Cedar Rapids called on one of the best relievers in the system this year in Zach Featherstone to close out the game. He allowed a one-out single but like he had all season, also racked up the strikeouts, getting three of them to pick up the save and take game one for the Kernels. Camargo (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, K) was the only batter in the lineup with multiple hits on the night while Sabato and Julien each reached base twice. They were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position compared to 2-for-4 for the River Bandits, but it was enough behind Varland. It’s worth noting that the Kernels were just 7-17 against the River Bandits during the regular season, but that means nothing in a playoff series they now lead 1-0 with Sean Mooney taking the mound in game two tomorrow night. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels (7 IP, 6 H, ER, BB, 4 K) Hitter of the Day - Jair Camargo, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-4, 2B #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 2 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-1 (pinch hit appearance) #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-5, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Derek Law (1-0, 2.66 ERA) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (4-2, 2.46 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 6.23 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the playoff games from Tuesday! View full article
  6. TRANSACTIONS There were no transactions in the system in advance of the Cedar Rapids Kernels and Wichita Wind Surge starting their league championship series on Tuesday. SAINTS SENTINEL Scheduled Day Off The Saints got an extra day off on their schedule, as they begin the Final Stretch of games happening across the Triple-A level to end the season. They will play five games against the Iowa Cubs at home starting on Wednesday, and then five on the road against Toledo next week. WIND SURGE WISDOM Game 1: Wichita 5, NW Arkansas 7 Box Score The Wichita Wind Surge had to feel good about themselves heading into game one against the Northwest Arkansas Naturals, with top prospect Jordan Balazovic lined up to start. It didn’t go as well as they hoped, but was a back and forth affair throughout with several lead changes and big plays on both sides. Wichita had a two-out threat in the top of the first after singles from Roy Morales and Spencer Steer put runners on the corners, but Jermaine Palacios grounded out to keep them off the scoreboard in the opening frame. That changed in the second inning when Leobaldo Cabrera clubbed a home run to left field for a 1-0 lead. Balazovic got two quick outs in the bottom of the frame, but the Naturals struck back with a single followed by a triple to tie the game at one. In the third inning, it was a D.J. Burt homer that put the Wind Surge back out front, but another two-out rally from the Naturals brought in two runs of their own that made the score 3-2 after three innings. The fourth inning was much of the same as the teams again traded single runs, with Wichita getting an RBI double from Cabrera in the top half before the Naturals chased Balazovic in the bottom half after a pair of two-out walks loaded the bases. Melvi Acosta was summoned from the bullpen and issued a walk of his own that made the score 4-3 for Northwest Arkansas. The fifth inning was finally a scoreless frame on both sides, though the Wind Surge had a chance as Austin Martin doubled to lead off the inning, but he was stranded on third base. In the sixth inning, it was one swing of the bat from Palacios that again tied the game at four. With two outs in the top of the seventh and Spencer Steer at-bat, a pivotal play was made that may have finally swung the momentum of the game one way. Steer laced a 2-1 pitch deep into the gap in left-center, but the Naturals left fielder tracked it down at full speed before crashing hard into the wall, likely saving a run. That same fielder, Brewer Hicklen, of course was up the next inning, and with that adrenaline still running through his veins, took Erik Manoah Jr. deep to center for a 5-4 lead. The home team added two insurance runs in the eighth for a 7-4 lead that would turn out to be enough for the Naturals to take game one. Wichita threatened in the ninth with three singles that scored one run, but couldn’t get the big hit to bring them all the way back. On the pitching front, Balazovic went 3 2/3 innings in the start, allowing four runs on six hits and four walks while picking up three strikeouts. Acosta went the next 1 1/3 innings, allowing no runs of his own on one hit and one walk. Kody Funderburk went 2/3 of an inning and allowed a hit and walk. Manoah Jr. was tagged with the loss by allowing the go-ahead home run in the seventh. He pitched one inning, allowed two hits, and struck out one. Evan Sisk and Adam Lau each recording two outs, with Sisk allowing two insurance runs on two hits while striking out one. Lau allowed one hit, walked two, and struck out one. The Wind Surge got multiple hits on the night from Martin (2-for-4, 2B, BB), Morales (2-for-5, RBI), Palacios (2-for-4, 2 R, HR, RBI, K), and Cabrera (2-for-4, R, 2B, HR) and the team's three home runs on the night were not enough. Wichita will look to even the series at one with Cole Sands taking the hill tomorrow before heading back home to the ICT to finish off the series. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Quad Cities 1 Box Score The Kernels were able to fend off the teams on their heels to grab their league’s final playoff spot, and they sent a big reason why in Louie Varland to the mound in game one. He didn’t disappoint, though it looked shaky for a minute in the second inning. After picking up a groundout for the first out of the frame, Varland allowed a double and the game’s first run on a single that followed. He then walked a batter and surrendered another single to load the bases before a mound visit was in order to get him back in rhythm. After that, he got a grounder to first that forced the runner out at home, then a pop out to escape that jam. His lineup got that run back for him in the bottom of the inning, as consecutive two-out doubles from Jair Camargo and DaShawn Keirsey tied the game at one. That mound visit was definitely what the doctor ordered, as Varland was locked in from then on. He retired nine in a row from the third through the sixth inning, and gave up just two singles to bookend that streak. In all, he finished seven fantastic innings, tying his mark for longest outing of the season, and allowed just the one run on six total hits and one walk. He struck out four River Bandits in the outing and of his 98 pitches, 68 went for strikes (69.4%), along with getting 14 swinging strikes. Varland was matched, however, by the pitching staff of Quad Cities. The game remained tied while he was on the mound. The Kernels were unable to cash in any of their scoring chances, including a bases-loaded opportunity in the sixth. In the seventh inning, the Kernels struck out four times, but nonetheless had an opportunity as one of those K’s resulted in a wild pitch that allowed Edouard Julien to reach base. Another wild pitch moved him to second before the River Bandits played the percentages and intentionally walked Aaron Sabato to get the lefty-lefty matchup against Matt Wallner. It worked, as the pitcher got his fourth K of the inning and kept the game tied at 1-1. In the top of the eighth, the Kernels went to reliever Osiris German, and he delivered a one-two-three inning to bring his team back into the dugout looking to finally break through. Jair Camargo did just that, sending a two-out home run over the wall in right field to give the Kernels the lead. With the lead in hand, Cedar Rapids called on one of the best relievers in the system this year in Zach Featherstone to close out the game. He allowed a one-out single but like he had all season, also racked up the strikeouts, getting three of them to pick up the save and take game one for the Kernels. Camargo (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, K) was the only batter in the lineup with multiple hits on the night while Sabato and Julien each reached base twice. They were 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position compared to 2-for-4 for the River Bandits, but it was enough behind Varland. It’s worth noting that the Kernels were just 7-17 against the River Bandits during the regular season, but that means nothing in a playoff series they now lead 1-0 with Sean Mooney taking the mound in game two tomorrow night. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels (7 IP, 6 H, ER, BB, 4 K) Hitter of the Day - Jair Camargo, Cedar Rapids Kernels (2-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI, BB, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-4, 2B #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 3 K #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, 2 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-1 (pinch hit appearance) #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-5, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Derek Law (1-0, 2.66 ERA) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands (4-2, 2.46 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 6.23 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the playoff games from Tuesday!
  7. Minnesota Twins High-A minor league affiliate Cedar Rapids won Game 1 of their championship series 2-1. The Kernels benefitted from a strong start from Louie Varland and a late home run from Jair Camargo. Double-A Wichita lost their playoff game 7-5 as Jordan Balazovic had an underwhelming outing. Leobaldo Cabrera, D.J. Burt and Jermaine Palacios all hit home runs for the Wind Surge.
  8. Minnesota Twins High-A minor league affiliate Cedar Rapids won Game 1 of their championship series 2-1. The Kernels benefitted from a strong start from Louie Varland and a late home run from Jair Camargo. Double-A Wichita lost their playoff game 7-5 as Jordan Balazovic had an underwhelming outing. Leobaldo Cabrera, D.J. Burt and Jermaine Palacios all hit home runs for the Wind Surge. View full video
  9. Teams are often considered to be on the losing end of trades when dealing with the Tampa Bay Rays. The brass in St. Pete does more with less, and players seem to get better when going to Florida. Did the Twins just get them for a second time though? Derek Falvey and Thad Levine made a deal with Tampa prior to the 2018 season. They sent infield prospect Jermaine Palacios out in exchange for starting pitcher Jake Odorizzi. After a solid but mediocre debut season, Odorizzi was an All-Star in 2019 and posted a career best 10.1 K/9 bolstering his 3.51 ERA. Palacios had a .575 OPS as a 21-year-old during his debut season in the Tampa organization, and dropped to a .542 OPS as a 22-year-old repeating Double-A. Now back at Double-A for Minnesota, he’s 24 and owns a .745 mark at the level. Regardless of what happens with Palacios, it’s hard not to see how Odorizzi worked out a win. Could that be happening again in terms of Nelson Cruz and Joe Ryan? The Twins had to deal their designated hitter. Cruz is 41-years-old and it’s more than evident this season was lost for Minnesota. Despite his .907 OPS here, Cruz needed to be flipped for any semblance of a return at the deadline. Getting a pitcher like Ryan, capable of fitting into the top-half of a rotation, seemed like a coup for the front office. It’s far too early to make determinations on what Ryan will be, but Tampa has to be underwhelmed in what they received. Cruz just recently surpassed the .700 OPS mark (thanks in part to facing his former club), and has just a .219 average with a .273 on-base percentage. It plays for a team that needed a big bat, but Nelson hasn’t been close to the Boomstick the Twins knew him as. Minnesota must be pleased with what they’ve seen from Ryan. In 9.0 IP for St. Paul he had a 17/2 K/BB and allowed just two earned runs. After returning from the Olympics as Team USA’s ace, that was enough to earn his first big league promotion. Across five innings he surrendered three runs while punching out five and walking one. The book that was suggested at Triple-A continued to read correctly at the Major League level, and it’s a step away from what has become tradition. Ryan is not a fireballer. His average fastball velocity for the Twins sat at just 90.8 mph. In a league focused on hitting triple-digits, it’s an uphill battle for a ball like that to play. His four-seam generated an average of 2,100 RPM and is used up in the zone. Twins Daily’s Parker Hagemen broke down the success of locating that pitch, and why it should be believed that the lesser velocity can still have a tremendous effect at the highest level. One start is entirely too soon to crown Ryan as Minnesota’s next ace. From my vantage point, I’m not even sure his stuff has that type of ceiling. What I do know is that the Twins getting this much control over Ryan in exchange for two month of an aging Cruz on a bad big league team is a steal in every sense of the word. Derek Falvey and Thad Levine don’t have a good track record on the free agent market, and their trades could even be questioned at times. When they’ve dealt with Tampa though, it’s hard not to consider the front office a resounding two-for-two. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  10. For both Wichita and Cedar Rapids the scoring was the highlight tonight, but that’s not to overshadow a strong pitching performance and a rout led by the bats down in the complex league. TRANSACTIONS: The Twins traded Saints LH RP Andrew Vasquez to the Dodgers for minor league catcher Stevie Berman. RHP Jason Garcia promoted from Double-A to St. Paul C Kyle Schmidt promoted from High-A to St. Paul RHP Ben Gross promoted from High-A to Wichita IF Andrew Bechtold placed on 7-day IL SAINTS SENTINEL Postponed (Rain) WIND SURGE WISDOM Wind Surge 10, Travelers 3 Box Score Twins pitching prospect Jordan Balazovic threw tonight for the Wind Surge, and it was a bit of a mixed bag. He gave up nine hits in just 4 2/3 innings, but he also limited the damage to just three runs (two earned) while walking two and striking out three. Hardly dominant, but he did work around danger. After getting down in the 1st inning, Wichita took the lead in the 4th inning and never looked back. Leobaldo Cabrera tallied his fifth double of the season scoring Austin Martin and Roy Morales. D.J. Burt then singled to drive in Trey Cabbage and Cabrera, doubling the tally to four. Arkansas made noise in the 5th inning, but Jermaine Palacios lifted his 19th homer of the year in the top of the 6th inning to make it a 5-3 lead. Aaron Whitefield then singled in the 7th inning scoring Burt and extending the lead before Cabrera, Burt, and Whitefield drove in runs on a trio of singles in the 8th inning. Palacios pushed across Wichita’s 10th run scoring Cabbage in the 9th on a single, and the 17 hits for the Wind Surge resulted in double-digit runs. Arkansas used a 9th inning grand slam in an effort to make things interesting, but the 10-7 score held strong. Morales and Burt both recorded three hits on the evening, while Palacios picked up a four-hit effort. Cabbage, Cabrera, and Whitefield all had two-hit nights for Wichita in the rout. KERNELS NUGGETS Kernels 12, River Bandits 2 Box Score It was a Louie Varland start tonight for the Kernels, and that’s good news when you’re looking for a win. The righty went five strong innings and allowed just one run on three hits. He struck out eight and worked around three walks. His ERA drops to 1.85 since the promotion to High-A Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids gave up the first run tonight on a 4th inning single, but they quickly erased the deficit with a crooked number in the bottom half. Aaron Sabato recorded his third Kernels double to score Alex Isola before a Michael Helman single plated Matt Wallner. Wander Javier then grounded into a fielder’s choice that featured a Quad Cities throwing error, and Sabato was able to scamper home. Before the inning ended, Seth Gray hit a two-run single driving in both Helman and Javier. Tacking on in a big way again, it was a seven-spot in the 6th inning for the home team. Javier’s 14th double drove in Helman before a Gray single brought Wander across the plate. Edouard Julien crushed his ninth dinger with the Kernels, a three-run blast, making it 10-1. Isola followed up with a solo shot of his own, his 12th of the year, and Helman picked up another RBI on a single to score Wallner. With 12 hits recorded by the Kernels tonight, there was a trio of hitters putting up multi-hit efforts. Isola and Gray both recorded two while Michael Helman went 3-for-5 on the evening. MUSSEL MATTERS Tortugas 9, Mussels 1 Box Score A.J. Labas made his first start for the Mighty Mussels tonight, just his second appearance for the club. The recently-signed righty from LSU recorded just two outs, however, and gave up five runs on six hits while both walking and striking out a single batter. After the Tortugas put up a five spot in the home half of the 1st inning, Fort Myers was going to be up against it all night. Daytona added another run in the 2nd inning and then two more in the 4th inning. Trailing 8-0, the Mussels needed a response. Christian Encarnacion-Strand provided the first offense for Fort Myers. His 7th inning single scored Will Holland and they finally found themselves with a tally in the run column. Encarnacion-Strand compiled two hits on the evening and was joined with that designation by Jake Rucker. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 15, FCL Orioles Orange 2 Box Score Niklas Rimmel took the ball for the Twins FCL squad today and worked two innings giving up a single run on two hits. Brandon Koch started his rehab stint and came on in relief punching out two. Juan Mendez worked three innings and earned his second win of the season. DaShawn Keirsey also kicked off his rehab while leading off. He went 1-for-3 with two runs scored before being lifted. Three runs crossed in the first as Noah Miller roped his third double of the season to score Keirsey. A Rubel Cespedes single then scored both Emmanuel Rodriguez and Kala’i Rosario. Entering the 4th inning leading 4-1, the Twins added in some less conventional ways. Miller and Rodriguez both drew RBI on bases loaded hit by pitches and then Keirsey scored on a wild pitch with the bases still chucked. Leading 7-1, Rosario drove in another on a ground out, and it wasn’t until a Carlos Aguiar single that a run scored on a hit. Another goofy run scored in the 7th inning when Rodriguez came home on an Orioles balk. The tally stood at 11-2 going into the 9th inning. Because this one wasn’t enough of a laugher yet, Aguiar crushed a grand slam that pushed the final total to 15-2. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Louie Varland (Cedar Rapids) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios (Wichita) - 4-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, HR(19) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-4, R, BB, K #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 4.2 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - No game #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 0-3, BB, 3 K #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-3, 2 R, 2B, BB, 2 K #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - No game #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - No game #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 2-4, 2 R, RBI, 2B, BB #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-2, K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-2, 2 BB, K #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-4, BB, 2 TRANSACTIONS RHP Miguel Rodriguez reinstated from 7-day IL at A Fort Myers RHP Ramon Pineda transferred from FCL Twins to A Fort Myers Saints Sentinel St. Paul 9, Toledo 9 (Paused game) Box Score Drew Strotman: 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Well, I had a write-up here, but apparently the game ran so late that it was paused due to a curfew. I'll leave the box score link so that people can check it out as they please, but know that the game is not technically finished. Also know that this is the first time I have ever seen something like this happen in a minor league game. Weird stuff. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 13, Tulsa 4 Box Score Cole Sands: 3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K HR: Leobaldo Cabrera (8), Andrew Bechtold (16), Austin Martin (2), Spencer Steer (13) Multi-hit games: Spencer Steer (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB), Austin Martin (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI), Wichita gave Tulsa the business on Saturday. ...Oh, I need to say more? (Editor's Note: Yes, please.) Here are a few questions: Is it a good thing when eight out of nine of your batters get a hit? Is it a good thing when six different hitters earn an RBI? Is it a good thing when your 1-2 hitters combine for six runs? I’m not a baseball expert, but I tend to think that the answer to all of those questions is yes. Tulsa actually had the first lead of the game but a homer by Leobaldo Cabrera put the lead firmly in Wichita’s grasp. They would not let go. With five runs already on the board, Andrew Bechtold demolished a three-run homerun to make it a cruel seven-run lead. With a nine-run lead, Austin Martin clobbered a homer to make it an evil 11-run lead. Finally, with 12 runs on the board, Spencer Steer obliterated a solo shot to add a cherry on top of this battered cake. Tulsa actually out-hit the Wind Surge on Saturday which is objectively hilarious. Cabrera: Bechtold: Martin: Steer: Cole Sands allowed only one run over three innings but was inefficient as he tossed 80 pitches in order to do so. From there the combination of Kody Funderburk, Zach Neff, and Hector Lujan took Wichita to the finish line on Saturday. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 1, Beloit 6 Box Score Ben Gross: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Daniel Ozoria (2-for-3, RBI) Cedar Rapids had the lone offensive dud on Saturday. Ben Gross brought the strikeouts, but the Snappers proved resilient, and dropped 10 hits on the starter. It was an all-or-nothing approach that netted Beloit six extra-base hits off of Gross en route to a lead that would never really be challenged. The lone Kernels run came thanks to a Daniel Ozoria infield single in the 5th inning. The team put together just six hits on the night, but oddly enough, three of those hits were doubles. In another odd turn, both teams had matching one walk, 14 strikeout performances by their respective pitching staffs (and lineups, technically). But, Beloit bunching their extra-base hits proved to be a wise strategy as they easily beat Cedar Rapids on Saturday. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 8 Box Score Miguel Rodriguez: 1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 K HR: Jesus Feliz (7) Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (2-for-5, 3 R), Will Holland (3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) Fort Myers was unable to recover from a 4-0 deficit on Saturday. Starter Miguel Rodriguez had one to forget. The righty was activated just before the game and more than a bit rusty on Saturday. Allowing three walks over just a single inning more or less speaks for itself. Let’s hope that Rodriguez can get back on the horse the next time he’s called upon. To their credit, the Mighty Mussels did not lie down and let the Marauders win this game without a fight. They were down by a score of 7-1 before a burning offensive spirit took hold across the dugout. Jesus Feliz kicked off the rebuttal with a solo homer in the 7th while Will Holland doubled home a run later in the inning. This would be just the first attack. Kyler Fedko unloaded the bases in the 8th with a double that was followed by the classic double error on the part of the Marauders. Unfortunately, the fight would end there. Bradenton plated one more run in the 9th, and Fort Myers fell narrowly short of a victory. Casey Legumina provided a strong effort in the loss. He was able to siphon off the bleeding over five strong innings of one-run ball in relief of Rodriguez. Complex Chronicles The FCL Twins game was suspended in the 8th inning on Saturday. Nash will have the update for you on this game when it is completed on Sunday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Casey Legumina Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, K #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - Suspended game #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - Suspended game #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 1-3, RBI, BB, 2 K #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-1, R, BB, K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-3, 2 BB #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - 3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (5:15CT PM) RHP Bryan Sammons (0-2, 5.86 ERA) Wichita @ Arkansas (7:10CT PM) TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35CT PM) RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (2-1, 2.12 ERA) Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05CT PM) RHP Matthew Swain (6-2, 4.99 ERA) If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask below. 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  11. TRANSACTIONS: The Twins traded Saints LH RP Andrew Vasquez to the Dodgers for minor league catcher Stevie Berman. RHP Jason Garcia promoted from Double-A to St. Paul C Kyle Schmidt promoted from High-A to St. Paul RHP Ben Gross promoted from High-A to Wichita IF Andrew Bechtold placed on 7-day IL SAINTS SENTINEL Postponed (Rain) WIND SURGE WISDOM Wind Surge 10, Travelers 3 Box Score Twins pitching prospect Jordan Balazovic threw tonight for the Wind Surge, and it was a bit of a mixed bag. He gave up nine hits in just 4 2/3 innings, but he also limited the damage to just three runs (two earned) while walking two and striking out three. Hardly dominant, but he did work around danger. After getting down in the 1st inning, Wichita took the lead in the 4th inning and never looked back. Leobaldo Cabrera tallied his fifth double of the season scoring Austin Martin and Roy Morales. D.J. Burt then singled to drive in Trey Cabbage and Cabrera, doubling the tally to four. Arkansas made noise in the 5th inning, but Jermaine Palacios lifted his 19th homer of the year in the top of the 6th inning to make it a 5-3 lead. Aaron Whitefield then singled in the 7th inning scoring Burt and extending the lead before Cabrera, Burt, and Whitefield drove in runs on a trio of singles in the 8th inning. Palacios pushed across Wichita’s 10th run scoring Cabbage in the 9th on a single, and the 17 hits for the Wind Surge resulted in double-digit runs. Arkansas used a 9th inning grand slam in an effort to make things interesting, but the 10-7 score held strong. Morales and Burt both recorded three hits on the evening, while Palacios picked up a four-hit effort. Cabbage, Cabrera, and Whitefield all had two-hit nights for Wichita in the rout. KERNELS NUGGETS Kernels 12, River Bandits 2 Box Score It was a Louie Varland start tonight for the Kernels, and that’s good news when you’re looking for a win. The righty went five strong innings and allowed just one run on three hits. He struck out eight and worked around three walks. His ERA drops to 1.85 since the promotion to High-A Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids gave up the first run tonight on a 4th inning single, but they quickly erased the deficit with a crooked number in the bottom half. Aaron Sabato recorded his third Kernels double to score Alex Isola before a Michael Helman single plated Matt Wallner. Wander Javier then grounded into a fielder’s choice that featured a Quad Cities throwing error, and Sabato was able to scamper home. Before the inning ended, Seth Gray hit a two-run single driving in both Helman and Javier. Tacking on in a big way again, it was a seven-spot in the 6th inning for the home team. Javier’s 14th double drove in Helman before a Gray single brought Wander across the plate. Edouard Julien crushed his ninth dinger with the Kernels, a three-run blast, making it 10-1. Isola followed up with a solo shot of his own, his 12th of the year, and Helman picked up another RBI on a single to score Wallner. With 12 hits recorded by the Kernels tonight, there was a trio of hitters putting up multi-hit efforts. Isola and Gray both recorded two while Michael Helman went 3-for-5 on the evening. MUSSEL MATTERS Tortugas 9, Mussels 1 Box Score A.J. Labas made his first start for the Mighty Mussels tonight, just his second appearance for the club. The recently-signed righty from LSU recorded just two outs, however, and gave up five runs on six hits while both walking and striking out a single batter. After the Tortugas put up a five spot in the home half of the 1st inning, Fort Myers was going to be up against it all night. Daytona added another run in the 2nd inning and then two more in the 4th inning. Trailing 8-0, the Mussels needed a response. Christian Encarnacion-Strand provided the first offense for Fort Myers. His 7th inning single scored Will Holland and they finally found themselves with a tally in the run column. Encarnacion-Strand compiled two hits on the evening and was joined with that designation by Jake Rucker. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 15, FCL Orioles Orange 2 Box Score Niklas Rimmel took the ball for the Twins FCL squad today and worked two innings giving up a single run on two hits. Brandon Koch started his rehab stint and came on in relief punching out two. Juan Mendez worked three innings and earned his second win of the season. DaShawn Keirsey also kicked off his rehab while leading off. He went 1-for-3 with two runs scored before being lifted. Three runs crossed in the first as Noah Miller roped his third double of the season to score Keirsey. A Rubel Cespedes single then scored both Emmanuel Rodriguez and Kala’i Rosario. Entering the 4th inning leading 4-1, the Twins added in some less conventional ways. Miller and Rodriguez both drew RBI on bases loaded hit by pitches and then Keirsey scored on a wild pitch with the bases still chucked. Leading 7-1, Rosario drove in another on a ground out, and it wasn’t until a Carlos Aguiar single that a run scored on a hit. Another goofy run scored in the 7th inning when Rodriguez came home on an Orioles balk. The tally stood at 11-2 going into the 9th inning. Because this one wasn’t enough of a laugher yet, Aguiar crushed a grand slam that pushed the final total to 15-2. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Louie Varland (Cedar Rapids) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios (Wichita) - 4-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, HR(19) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-4, R, BB, K #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 4.2 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - No game #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 0-3, BB, 3 K #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-3, 2 R, 2B, BB, 2 K #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - No game #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - No game #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 2-4, 2 R, RBI, 2B, BB #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-2, K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-2, 2 BB, K #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-4, BB, 2 TRANSACTIONS RHP Miguel Rodriguez reinstated from 7-day IL at A Fort Myers RHP Ramon Pineda transferred from FCL Twins to A Fort Myers Saints Sentinel St. Paul 9, Toledo 9 (Paused game) Box Score Drew Strotman: 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Well, I had a write-up here, but apparently the game ran so late that it was paused due to a curfew. I'll leave the box score link so that people can check it out as they please, but know that the game is not technically finished. Also know that this is the first time I have ever seen something like this happen in a minor league game. Weird stuff. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 13, Tulsa 4 Box Score Cole Sands: 3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K HR: Leobaldo Cabrera (8), Andrew Bechtold (16), Austin Martin (2), Spencer Steer (13) Multi-hit games: Spencer Steer (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB), Austin Martin (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI), Wichita gave Tulsa the business on Saturday. ...Oh, I need to say more? (Editor's Note: Yes, please.) Here are a few questions: Is it a good thing when eight out of nine of your batters get a hit? Is it a good thing when six different hitters earn an RBI? Is it a good thing when your 1-2 hitters combine for six runs? I’m not a baseball expert, but I tend to think that the answer to all of those questions is yes. Tulsa actually had the first lead of the game but a homer by Leobaldo Cabrera put the lead firmly in Wichita’s grasp. They would not let go. With five runs already on the board, Andrew Bechtold demolished a three-run homerun to make it a cruel seven-run lead. With a nine-run lead, Austin Martin clobbered a homer to make it an evil 11-run lead. Finally, with 12 runs on the board, Spencer Steer obliterated a solo shot to add a cherry on top of this battered cake. Tulsa actually out-hit the Wind Surge on Saturday which is objectively hilarious. Cabrera: Bechtold: Martin: Steer: Cole Sands allowed only one run over three innings but was inefficient as he tossed 80 pitches in order to do so. From there the combination of Kody Funderburk, Zach Neff, and Hector Lujan took Wichita to the finish line on Saturday. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 1, Beloit 6 Box Score Ben Gross: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Daniel Ozoria (2-for-3, RBI) Cedar Rapids had the lone offensive dud on Saturday. Ben Gross brought the strikeouts, but the Snappers proved resilient, and dropped 10 hits on the starter. It was an all-or-nothing approach that netted Beloit six extra-base hits off of Gross en route to a lead that would never really be challenged. The lone Kernels run came thanks to a Daniel Ozoria infield single in the 5th inning. The team put together just six hits on the night, but oddly enough, three of those hits were doubles. In another odd turn, both teams had matching one walk, 14 strikeout performances by their respective pitching staffs (and lineups, technically). But, Beloit bunching their extra-base hits proved to be a wise strategy as they easily beat Cedar Rapids on Saturday. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 8 Box Score Miguel Rodriguez: 1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 K HR: Jesus Feliz (7) Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (2-for-5, 3 R), Will Holland (3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) Fort Myers was unable to recover from a 4-0 deficit on Saturday. Starter Miguel Rodriguez had one to forget. The righty was activated just before the game and more than a bit rusty on Saturday. Allowing three walks over just a single inning more or less speaks for itself. Let’s hope that Rodriguez can get back on the horse the next time he’s called upon. To their credit, the Mighty Mussels did not lie down and let the Marauders win this game without a fight. They were down by a score of 7-1 before a burning offensive spirit took hold across the dugout. Jesus Feliz kicked off the rebuttal with a solo homer in the 7th while Will Holland doubled home a run later in the inning. This would be just the first attack. Kyler Fedko unloaded the bases in the 8th with a double that was followed by the classic double error on the part of the Marauders. Unfortunately, the fight would end there. Bradenton plated one more run in the 9th, and Fort Myers fell narrowly short of a victory. Casey Legumina provided a strong effort in the loss. He was able to siphon off the bleeding over five strong innings of one-run ball in relief of Rodriguez. Complex Chronicles The FCL Twins game was suspended in the 8th inning on Saturday. Nash will have the update for you on this game when it is completed on Sunday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Casey Legumina Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, K #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - Suspended game #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - Suspended game #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 1-3, RBI, BB, 2 K #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-1, R, BB, K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-3, 2 BB #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - 3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (5:15CT PM) RHP Bryan Sammons (0-2, 5.86 ERA) Wichita @ Arkansas (7:10CT PM) TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35CT PM) RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (2-1, 2.12 ERA) Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05CT PM) RHP Matthew Swain (6-2, 4.99 ERA) If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask below.
  12. It was a good week on the road for the Twins. In the minor leagues, there were some new prospects making their first impressions, some walk-off wins, multi-homer games, transactions, and some graduations. Find out more in this week’s Twins Minor League Week in Review. Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the FCL Twins game and the transactions from Monday. TRANSACTIONS RHPs Tyler Beck and Erik Manoah, Jr. were promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 1, FCL Braves 5 Box Score The FCL Twins managed just five hits on Monday. Alerick Soularie had three of them including his first double. Shouldn’t be long before he joins the Mighty Mussels. A rehabbing Anthony Prato had one hit as well. Juan Mendez made the start. He went 3 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on one hit and one walk. He struck out six batters. John Wilson got the next five outs and gave up just one hit. Jackson Hicks made his affiliated-ball debut. He gave up two runs (1 earned) on two hits over three innings. He struck out three. Hicks signed with the team last month out of the USPBL. Rafael Feliz gave up an unearned run in his inning. With that, let’s look at Week 14 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (4-2, hosting Louisville), overall (44-39) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (5-1, hosting Midland), overall (49-35) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (1-5, hosting Quad Cities), overall (45-39) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (3-3, hosting Dunedin), overall (43-38) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-1), overall (7-19) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Complex Struggles but Success Everywhere Else The Twins Bought Low on Austin Martin Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month - July 2021 Tuesday: Austin Martin Makes Twins Debut Twins Claim RHP Ralph Garza Jr. Wednesday: Sabato’s Blasts, Martin’s Heroics Thursday: Shootout in Wichita, Pitcher’s Duel in St. Paul Friday: Affiliates Feast on Home Cooking Scouting Twins Prospects: Cole Sands St. Paul to Stardom: Louie Varland is the Real Deal Saturday: Walk-off Winners Sunday: (Gonna Make You Sweat) Everybody Pitch Now TD Top Twins Prospects (Post Draft and Post Trade Deadline): 26-30 HIGHLIGHTS We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 14 performances Twins Player of the Week: Jermaine Palacios, Wichita Wind Surge A former Twins top prospect, Palacios was sent to the Rays in exchange for Jake Odorizzi. He struggled with Tampa, especially in Double-A. The Twins outbid teams to bring back Palacios this offseason. He signed with the Twins with the understanding that Royce Lewis would be the Wichita shortstop to start the season, and he would need to move around the diamond. Instead, Lewis hurt his knee and Palacios played shortstop nearly every day. He plays great defense there, and he has provided strong offense as well. Then last week, the Twins acquired shortstop/center fielder Austin Martin from the Rays, and Palacios needed to move around the infield. He played a game at second base. Then he played a game at third base. Then Martin moved out to center, and Palacios got to play some games at shortstop. It’s fair to say that Palacios handled it well, and was out to prove something. In six games, he hit .304/.385/.783 (1.167) with two doubles, three homers and seven RBI. He also stole two bases. In 76 games this season, he has hit .261/.351/.467 (.818) with 12 doubles and 16 home runs. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Jovani Moran, St. Paul Saints Moran has had a terrific season, and his adjustment to Triple-A has gone swimmingly. This past week, he tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings over two games. He gave up no hits. He issued zero walks. He did hit a batter. He also struck out six batters. In seven games since joining the Saints, he is 1-0 with a save. He’s got a 1.80 ERA and a 0.47 WHIP. In 15 innings, he has four walks and 23 strikeouts. (13.8 K/9) That is after he worked 20 games in Double-A Wichita to start the season. There, he went 2-1 with two saves and a 1.91 ERA and 0.74 WHIP. In 37 2/3 innings, he walked 14 and struck out 64 batters (15.3 K/9). So, overall, he’s got a 1.88 ERA, a 0.67 WHIP, just 3.1 BB/9 and 14.9 K/9. Yes, in his 52 2/3 innings, he has 87 strikeouts. The 2015 seventh round pick from Puerto Rico appears to be ready for one more promotion this season. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints Ben Rortvedt is getting much more playing time now with the Saints, and he’s performing. This past week, he played in five games and hit .357/.400/.857 (1.257) with a double and two home runs including a pinch-hit, extra-innings, walk-off, two-run homer. Mark Contreras played in five games. He hit .294/.316/.706 (1.022) with a double and two home runs, including a game-tying home run in the ninth inning of the Rortvedt Walkoff Game. The Saints also got some very nice bullpen work. Kyle Barraclough struck out six batters over five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit. Edgar Garcia also worked in three games. He threw four scoreless innings and gave up two hits and a walk. Chandler Shepherd had a terrific start, tossing six shutout innings. He gave up just four hits and walked none. Andrew Albers gave up one run over seven innings in his start. Drew Strotman gave up just one run on four hits over five innings in his start. Wichita Wind Surge Trey Cabbage had a big week. He played in all six games and hit .375/.423/.875 (1.298) with a double, triple and three home runs. In his first week with the Twins organization, Austin Martin played in all six games and hit .400/.571/.500 (1.071) with two doubles. He also walked six times and struck out just once. BJ Boyd played just twice and went 3-for-7 (.429) with a double and a home run. Caleb Hamilton played in three games and had a double, triple and home run. Martin and Hamilton each had a walkoff this week. Jordan Gore worked three scoreless, hitless innings and gave up only a walk. He struck out four. Austin Schulfer provided a solid start. He gave up one run on five hits and two walks over five innings. He struck out six. Cole Sands struck out 11 batters over 8 2/3 innings in his two starts while posting a 3.12 ERA. Cedar Rapids Kernels Max Smith had a strong week again. He played in five games and hit .357/.471/.571 (1.042) with a home run and three walks. DaShawn Keirsey, Jr, hit two home runs. Yunior Severino went 9-for-24 (.375) with a double over his six games. Breckin Williams worked three innings over two relief appearances. He gave up only an unearned run and struck out four. Osiris German struck out four batters over three innings over two games. In addition, he also received his high school equivalency through the Twins academy on Monday. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Aaron Sabato played in four games this past week. He went 2-for-11 (.182), but the two hits were both home runs, one in each game of a doubleheader. The highlight for the organization was the return of Matt Canterino. He worked two perfect innings on Sunday in his first rehab appearance. Matthew Swain struck out five batters over a three-inning performance. Bobby Milacki made one start and gave up just one earned run over four innings. He struck out five batters. Aaron Rozek worked twice out of the bullpen and gave up just one run over four innings. He also struck out five batters. FCL Twins Emmanuel Rodriguez had just seven at bats, but he had four hits including two doubles and a home run. Alerick Soularie finally got to make his professional debut after hurting his foot in spring training. In his three rehab games, he is 5-for-9 (.555) with a double and a home run. Ricardo Olivar also hit a home run. Lowlights We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints Nick Gordon will finally get every day playing time. In his return to the Saints, he played four games and went 2-for-15 (.133). Keon Broxton went 1-for-10 (.100). JT Riddle played in three games and went 0-for-8. Rafael Garza’s first appearance with a Twins affiliate didn’t go great. He gave up three runs on two hits and two walks and recorded just two outs. Wichita Wind Surge Both Aaron Whitefield and Andrew Bechtold went 3-for-20 (.150), though each had a home run, and Bechtold also had a double. Sean Gilmartin gave up four runs on four hits in his innings of work before going on the Injured List. Jordan Balazovic went 4 2/3 innings in his start. He gave up six runs on eight hits, two walks and a hit batter. Alex Phillips gave up four runs on four hits (2 HR) over 3 2/3 innings over two appearances. Cedar Rapids Kernels Seth Gray went 3-for-23 (.130). Michael Helman went 2-for-18 (.111). Gabriel Maciel went 1-for-9 (.111). Edouard Julien went 1-for-10 (.100). Matt Wallner went 2-for-22 (.091). Tyler Watson has been really good this season, but he had a rough one this past week. The lefty gave up six runs on four hits and two walks over 3 1/3 innings in his start. Cody Laweryson gave up four runs on six hits and three walks over just 2 2/3 innings in his start. Even Ben Gross had an off start. He gave up seven runs on eight hits (3 HR) and a walk in 4 1/3 innings. He’s been pretty terrific of late. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Ruben Santana played in all six games and went 0-for-16. Misael Urbina went 1-for-18 (.056) over his six games. The one hit was a home run. Keoni Cavaco played in five games and went 2-for-19 (.105). Will Holland was 2-for-16 (.125) though he had a home run. TRENDING STORYLINE One very cool benefit of the Twins academies both in Ft. Myers and in the Dominican Republic is that beyond baseball work, they are able to take classes. There is a program which allows players to take classes and receive their high school equivalency and graduate. On Monday, there was a virtual celebration of the graduates from 2020 (were not able to celebrate in person) and 2021. Here is the list of Twins players who have received their diplomas. 2021 Graduating Class Carlos Aguiar Luis Baez Miguelangel Boadas Rubel Céspedes Gregory Durán Osiris Germán Oscar Paredes Alexander Peña Emmanuel Rodríguez Endy Rodríguez Malfrin Sosa 2020 Graduating Class Develson Aria Rafael Feliz Giovahniey Germán Argenis Jiménez Jeferson Morales Juan Pichardo Breilin Ramírez Wilker Reyes Carlos Suniaga Wander Valdez Join us in congratulating each of these, well, student-athletes. PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our Midseason Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings. As you have seen, we have started to share the Twins Daily Top 30 Prospect rankings after the draft and trade deadline. Here is Part 1. #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 12 GS, 57.1 IP, 55 H, 21 BB, 68 K, 4.24 ERA, 1.33 WHIP #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4 GS, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 35 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP (went on the IL with right elbow strain, made first rehab appearance for Ft. Myers, 2 perfect innings) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 82 games, .337/.401/.587 (.987) with 19 doubles, 22 homers, 63 RBI, 30 BB, 52 K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 45 games, .249/.323/.341 (.664) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 19 RBI, 17 BB, 57 K, 5 SB #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (7 games, .250/.276/.464 (.740) with 2 homers, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 75 games, .185/.364/.309 (.674) with 13 doubles, 6 homers, 32 RBI, 67 BB, 101 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 33 games, .279/.338/.558 (.896) with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 9 homers, 23 RBI, 10 BB, 49 K. #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (12 GS, 52.1 IP, 53 H, 15 BB, 56 K, 4.99 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 12 G, 11 GS, 49.1 IP, 33 H, 21 BB, 64 K, 2.79 ERA, 1.12 WHIP #14 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (23 games, .176/.235/.374 (.608) with 6 doubles, 4 homers, 6 RBI, 6 BB, 27 K) #15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 73 games, .193/.295/.294 (589) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 4 homer, 46 RBI, 37 BB, 60 K, 12 SB) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 79 games, .255/.363/.497 (.860) with 11 doubles, 2 triples, 19 homers, 48 RBI, 45 BB, 67 K) #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 77 games, .219/.273/.415 (.688) with 12 doubles, 9 triples, 10 homers, 41 RBI, 20 BB, 112 K) #18 - Alerick Soularie (FCL Twins) – 3 games, .556/.636/1.000 (1.636) with 1 doubles, 1 homer, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K) #19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 15 GS, 64.1 IP, 60 H, 40 BB, 102 K, 4.76 ERA, 1.55 WHIP LOOKING AHEAD Ft. Myers @ Bradenton (Sean Mooney, Landon Leach, Casey Legumina, Miguel Rodriguez, Bobby Milacki, Aaron Rozek): Cedar Rapids @ Peoria:(Ben Gross, Louie Varland, TBD, Jon Olsen, Sawyer Gipson-Long, TBD) Wichita @ Tulsa: (Jordan Balazovic, Bryan Sammons, Chris Vallmont, Austin Schulfer, Cole Sands, Jordan Balazovic) St. Paul @ Indianapolis: (Andrew Albers, Drew Strotman, Chandler Shepherd, TBD, TBD, TBD) Feel free to ask any questions you like. View full article
  13. Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the FCL Twins game and the transactions from Monday. TRANSACTIONS RHPs Tyler Beck and Erik Manoah, Jr. were promoted from Cedar Rapids to Wichita. RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 1, FCL Braves 5 Box Score The FCL Twins managed just five hits on Monday. Alerick Soularie had three of them including his first double. Shouldn’t be long before he joins the Mighty Mussels. A rehabbing Anthony Prato had one hit as well. Juan Mendez made the start. He went 3 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on one hit and one walk. He struck out six batters. John Wilson got the next five outs and gave up just one hit. Jackson Hicks made his affiliated-ball debut. He gave up two runs (1 earned) on two hits over three innings. He struck out three. Hicks signed with the team last month out of the USPBL. Rafael Feliz gave up an unearned run in his inning. With that, let’s look at Week 14 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (4-2, hosting Louisville), overall (44-39) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (5-1, hosting Midland), overall (49-35) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (1-5, hosting Quad Cities), overall (45-39) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (3-3, hosting Dunedin), overall (43-38) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-1), overall (7-19) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Complex Struggles but Success Everywhere Else The Twins Bought Low on Austin Martin Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month - July 2021 Tuesday: Austin Martin Makes Twins Debut Twins Claim RHP Ralph Garza Jr. Wednesday: Sabato’s Blasts, Martin’s Heroics Thursday: Shootout in Wichita, Pitcher’s Duel in St. Paul Friday: Affiliates Feast on Home Cooking Scouting Twins Prospects: Cole Sands St. Paul to Stardom: Louie Varland is the Real Deal Saturday: Walk-off Winners Sunday: (Gonna Make You Sweat) Everybody Pitch Now TD Top Twins Prospects (Post Draft and Post Trade Deadline): 26-30 HIGHLIGHTS We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 14 performances Twins Player of the Week: Jermaine Palacios, Wichita Wind Surge A former Twins top prospect, Palacios was sent to the Rays in exchange for Jake Odorizzi. He struggled with Tampa, especially in Double-A. The Twins outbid teams to bring back Palacios this offseason. He signed with the Twins with the understanding that Royce Lewis would be the Wichita shortstop to start the season, and he would need to move around the diamond. Instead, Lewis hurt his knee and Palacios played shortstop nearly every day. He plays great defense there, and he has provided strong offense as well. Then last week, the Twins acquired shortstop/center fielder Austin Martin from the Rays, and Palacios needed to move around the infield. He played a game at second base. Then he played a game at third base. Then Martin moved out to center, and Palacios got to play some games at shortstop. It’s fair to say that Palacios handled it well, and was out to prove something. In six games, he hit .304/.385/.783 (1.167) with two doubles, three homers and seven RBI. He also stole two bases. In 76 games this season, he has hit .261/.351/.467 (.818) with 12 doubles and 16 home runs. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Jovani Moran, St. Paul Saints Moran has had a terrific season, and his adjustment to Triple-A has gone swimmingly. This past week, he tossed 5 1/3 scoreless innings over two games. He gave up no hits. He issued zero walks. He did hit a batter. He also struck out six batters. In seven games since joining the Saints, he is 1-0 with a save. He’s got a 1.80 ERA and a 0.47 WHIP. In 15 innings, he has four walks and 23 strikeouts. (13.8 K/9) That is after he worked 20 games in Double-A Wichita to start the season. There, he went 2-1 with two saves and a 1.91 ERA and 0.74 WHIP. In 37 2/3 innings, he walked 14 and struck out 64 batters (15.3 K/9). So, overall, he’s got a 1.88 ERA, a 0.67 WHIP, just 3.1 BB/9 and 14.9 K/9. Yes, in his 52 2/3 innings, he has 87 strikeouts. The 2015 seventh round pick from Puerto Rico appears to be ready for one more promotion this season. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints Ben Rortvedt is getting much more playing time now with the Saints, and he’s performing. This past week, he played in five games and hit .357/.400/.857 (1.257) with a double and two home runs including a pinch-hit, extra-innings, walk-off, two-run homer. Mark Contreras played in five games. He hit .294/.316/.706 (1.022) with a double and two home runs, including a game-tying home run in the ninth inning of the Rortvedt Walkoff Game. The Saints also got some very nice bullpen work. Kyle Barraclough struck out six batters over five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit. Edgar Garcia also worked in three games. He threw four scoreless innings and gave up two hits and a walk. Chandler Shepherd had a terrific start, tossing six shutout innings. He gave up just four hits and walked none. Andrew Albers gave up one run over seven innings in his start. Drew Strotman gave up just one run on four hits over five innings in his start. Wichita Wind Surge Trey Cabbage had a big week. He played in all six games and hit .375/.423/.875 (1.298) with a double, triple and three home runs. In his first week with the Twins organization, Austin Martin played in all six games and hit .400/.571/.500 (1.071) with two doubles. He also walked six times and struck out just once. BJ Boyd played just twice and went 3-for-7 (.429) with a double and a home run. Caleb Hamilton played in three games and had a double, triple and home run. Martin and Hamilton each had a walkoff this week. Jordan Gore worked three scoreless, hitless innings and gave up only a walk. He struck out four. Austin Schulfer provided a solid start. He gave up one run on five hits and two walks over five innings. He struck out six. Cole Sands struck out 11 batters over 8 2/3 innings in his two starts while posting a 3.12 ERA. Cedar Rapids Kernels Max Smith had a strong week again. He played in five games and hit .357/.471/.571 (1.042) with a home run and three walks. DaShawn Keirsey, Jr, hit two home runs. Yunior Severino went 9-for-24 (.375) with a double over his six games. Breckin Williams worked three innings over two relief appearances. He gave up only an unearned run and struck out four. Osiris German struck out four batters over three innings over two games. In addition, he also received his high school equivalency through the Twins academy on Monday. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Aaron Sabato played in four games this past week. He went 2-for-11 (.182), but the two hits were both home runs, one in each game of a doubleheader. The highlight for the organization was the return of Matt Canterino. He worked two perfect innings on Sunday in his first rehab appearance. Matthew Swain struck out five batters over a three-inning performance. Bobby Milacki made one start and gave up just one earned run over four innings. He struck out five batters. Aaron Rozek worked twice out of the bullpen and gave up just one run over four innings. He also struck out five batters. FCL Twins Emmanuel Rodriguez had just seven at bats, but he had four hits including two doubles and a home run. Alerick Soularie finally got to make his professional debut after hurting his foot in spring training. In his three rehab games, he is 5-for-9 (.555) with a double and a home run. Ricardo Olivar also hit a home run. Lowlights We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints Nick Gordon will finally get every day playing time. In his return to the Saints, he played four games and went 2-for-15 (.133). Keon Broxton went 1-for-10 (.100). JT Riddle played in three games and went 0-for-8. Rafael Garza’s first appearance with a Twins affiliate didn’t go great. He gave up three runs on two hits and two walks and recorded just two outs. Wichita Wind Surge Both Aaron Whitefield and Andrew Bechtold went 3-for-20 (.150), though each had a home run, and Bechtold also had a double. Sean Gilmartin gave up four runs on four hits in his innings of work before going on the Injured List. Jordan Balazovic went 4 2/3 innings in his start. He gave up six runs on eight hits, two walks and a hit batter. Alex Phillips gave up four runs on four hits (2 HR) over 3 2/3 innings over two appearances. Cedar Rapids Kernels Seth Gray went 3-for-23 (.130). Michael Helman went 2-for-18 (.111). Gabriel Maciel went 1-for-9 (.111). Edouard Julien went 1-for-10 (.100). Matt Wallner went 2-for-22 (.091). Tyler Watson has been really good this season, but he had a rough one this past week. The lefty gave up six runs on four hits and two walks over 3 1/3 innings in his start. Cody Laweryson gave up four runs on six hits and three walks over just 2 2/3 innings in his start. Even Ben Gross had an off start. He gave up seven runs on eight hits (3 HR) and a walk in 4 1/3 innings. He’s been pretty terrific of late. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Ruben Santana played in all six games and went 0-for-16. Misael Urbina went 1-for-18 (.056) over his six games. The one hit was a home run. Keoni Cavaco played in five games and went 2-for-19 (.105). Will Holland was 2-for-16 (.125) though he had a home run. TRENDING STORYLINE One very cool benefit of the Twins academies both in Ft. Myers and in the Dominican Republic is that beyond baseball work, they are able to take classes. There is a program which allows players to take classes and receive their high school equivalency and graduate. On Monday, there was a virtual celebration of the graduates from 2020 (were not able to celebrate in person) and 2021. Here is the list of Twins players who have received their diplomas. 2021 Graduating Class Carlos Aguiar Luis Baez Miguelangel Boadas Rubel Céspedes Gregory Durán Osiris Germán Oscar Paredes Alexander Peña Emmanuel Rodríguez Endy Rodríguez Malfrin Sosa 2020 Graduating Class Develson Aria Rafael Feliz Giovahniey Germán Argenis Jiménez Jeferson Morales Juan Pichardo Breilin Ramírez Wilker Reyes Carlos Suniaga Wander Valdez Join us in congratulating each of these, well, student-athletes. PROSPECT SUMMARY This Prospect Summary shows our Midseason Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings. As you have seen, we have started to share the Twins Daily Top 30 Prospect rankings after the draft and trade deadline. Here is Part 1. #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 12 GS, 57.1 IP, 55 H, 21 BB, 68 K, 4.24 ERA, 1.33 WHIP #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4 GS, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 35 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP (went on the IL with right elbow strain, made first rehab appearance for Ft. Myers, 2 perfect innings) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 82 games, .337/.401/.587 (.987) with 19 doubles, 22 homers, 63 RBI, 30 BB, 52 K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 45 games, .249/.323/.341 (.664) with 6 doubles, 2 triples, 2 homers, 19 RBI, 17 BB, 57 K, 5 SB #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (7 games, .250/.276/.464 (.740) with 2 homers, 6 RBI, 1 BB, 6 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 75 games, .185/.364/.309 (.674) with 13 doubles, 6 homers, 32 RBI, 67 BB, 101 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 33 games, .279/.338/.558 (.896) with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 9 homers, 23 RBI, 10 BB, 49 K. #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (12 GS, 52.1 IP, 53 H, 15 BB, 56 K, 4.99 ERA, 1.30 WHIP) #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 12 G, 11 GS, 49.1 IP, 33 H, 21 BB, 64 K, 2.79 ERA, 1.12 WHIP #14 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (23 games, .176/.235/.374 (.608) with 6 doubles, 4 homers, 6 RBI, 6 BB, 27 K) #15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 73 games, .193/.295/.294 (589) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 4 homer, 46 RBI, 37 BB, 60 K, 12 SB) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 79 games, .255/.363/.497 (.860) with 11 doubles, 2 triples, 19 homers, 48 RBI, 45 BB, 67 K) #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 77 games, .219/.273/.415 (.688) with 12 doubles, 9 triples, 10 homers, 41 RBI, 20 BB, 112 K) #18 - Alerick Soularie (FCL Twins) – 3 games, .556/.636/1.000 (1.636) with 1 doubles, 1 homer, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K) #19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 15 GS, 64.1 IP, 60 H, 40 BB, 102 K, 4.76 ERA, 1.55 WHIP LOOKING AHEAD Ft. Myers @ Bradenton (Sean Mooney, Landon Leach, Casey Legumina, Miguel Rodriguez, Bobby Milacki, Aaron Rozek): Cedar Rapids @ Peoria:(Ben Gross, Louie Varland, TBD, Jon Olsen, Sawyer Gipson-Long, TBD) Wichita @ Tulsa: (Jordan Balazovic, Bryan Sammons, Chris Vallmont, Austin Schulfer, Cole Sands, Jordan Balazovic) St. Paul @ Indianapolis: (Andrew Albers, Drew Strotman, Chandler Shepherd, TBD, TBD, TBD) Feel free to ask any questions you like.
  14. TRANSACTIONS RHP Ryan Mason promoted to AAA St. Paul LHP Evan Sisk added to AA Wichita (received from St. Louis in the J.A. Happ trade) RHP Simeon Woods Richardson added to AA Wichita and placed on the Temporary Inactive list (he is pitching for team USA in the Tokyo Olympics) RHP Alex Scherff added to AA Wichita and placed on the IL OF Gilberto Celestino optioned to AAA St. Paul as Luis Arraez was activated from the IL Saints Sentinel St. Paul 5, Indianapolis 6 Box Score Drew Strotman: 4 ⅓ IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Mark Contreras (2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI) A much anticipated prospect made his Saints debut on Saturday. RHP Drew Strotman, one of the pitchers received by the Twins in the Nelson Cruz trade, started for St. Paul for the first time. It was not smooth sailing for Strotman who gave up four runs while striking out just a single batter. It was not the best of first impressions, but Strotman will certainly have more opportunities to impress in the future. The Saints offense did its best to back Strotman. The 1-2 punch of Jose Miranda and Mark Contreras combined for two runs and three RBIs as both players bugged Indianapolis’ pitching staff all night. Oh, and Miranda is casually chilling with a AAA batting average in the .350’s. Just FYI. A few notable relievers threw scoreless outings on Saturday. Ian Hamilton tossed 1 ⅔ innings with no earned runs, Jovani Moran threw 1 ⅓ IP with no earned runs, and Yennier Cano, uh, hurled a single inning without any earned runs. At least one (if not all) of those players will certainly be on the Twins sometime soon. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 4, NW Arkansas 8 Box Score Adam Lau: 2 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: B.J. Boyd (7), Jermaine Palacios (13) Multi-hit games: B.J. Boyd (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI), Jermaine Palacios (2-for-3, HR, 2B, 3 RBI) Wichita could not hold on to the lead on Saturday. B.J. Boyd kicked off the scoring quickly by blasting a lead-off homerun before fans could even reach their seats. It was Boyd’s seventh homer of the season and the hit, yet again, has proved Boyd to be a worthy and useful addition to the Twins’ minor league system. Boyd was not the only hitter to get in on the homer fun. Jermaine Palacios continued on his path of destruction by sending his 13th shot of the year over the wall in the 4th inning. Last week, I wrote about Palacios as one of, if not the single most pleasantly surprising player in the minor league system. Today was no exception. Unfortunately, Boyd and Palacios were essentially the entire Wind Surge offense. Trey Cabbage was the only other player to net a hit in the game, and all four RBIs were the result of either Boyd or Palacios. It was no more smooth for Wichita on the pitching side of the equation. All four of their pitchers allowed at least one earned run, with Zach Neff acting as the guiltiest culprit (four earned runs allowed over seven outs). All in all, it was a rather forgettable night for the Wind Surge as they are waiting until the massive prospect reinforcements finally reach Kansas. Evan Sisk, acquired in the J.A. Happ/John Gant trade, made his debut in the Twins organization. He gave up one run over two innings. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 2, Wisconsin 12 Box Score Cody Laweryson: ⅔ IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (2-for-3, 2B, R, BB), DaShawn Kiersey (2-for-3, 3B) Things could have gone better for Cedar Rapids on Saturday. The first sign that today would not end up being the day for the Kernels occurred in the very first inning. Cody Laweryson was unable to finish his first frame of work due to an apparent injury and had to be replaced by Tyler Palm. Wisconsin took advantage of the unpredicted short start by plating seven runs in the first two innings. That more or less stood to be the end of the Kernels’ odds of winning. They were able to plate two runs in an attempt to regain something of a lead, but it was to no avail. For the sake of having some food news, Breckin Williams and Ryan Shreve combined to allow just a single earned run over three innings of relief. In total, they struck out seven batters. Mussel Matters The game between Fort Myers and Clearwater was canceled as Clearwater has been struck by a COVID-19 outbreak. Tomorrow’s match between the two teams has been canceled as well. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 6, FCL Red Sox 4 Box Score Juan Mendez: 3 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Kala’i Rosario (2-for-3, R, RBI, BB), Yonardy Soto (3-for-4, RBI) The FCL Twins turned around their luck and beat the FCL Red Sox on Saturday. Juan Mendez did his job by holding the Red Sox in check over his 3 2/3 innings of work. Yeah, walking more than you strike out is not generally ideal, but zero earned runs is zero earned runs. You take those. Samuel Perez was even more impressive as he pitched for four innings to finish off the game, and struck out five while allowing just two baserunners. Now that is a well-earned win. The win was actually well within hand for the Red Sox. They had put up a four-spot in the 6th inning while holding the Twins scoreless up until that point. However, the Twins broke out for a pair of runs in the 7th, and followed that up with their own four-spot in the 8th. Somehow, they ended up with six runs off of just one extra-base hit. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Samuel Perez Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-5, 2 R, 2 K #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – No game #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Did not play #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – No game #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-5, 2 R, K #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – No game #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-2, 2 BB #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4, 2 K #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (12:05 PM) RHP Tyler Beck Indianapolis @ St. Paul (1:05 PM) RHP Chandler Shephard Wichita @ NW Arkansas (1:05 PM) TBD Fort Myers @ Clearwater Canceled
  15. The Twins saw the first impact of their recent trades on Saturday as Drew Strotman made his St. Paul debut on Saturday. Read all about that and more in this edition of the minor league report. TRANSACTIONS RHP Ryan Mason promoted to AAA St. Paul LHP Evan Sisk added to AA Wichita (received from St. Louis in the J.A. Happ trade) RHP Simeon Woods Richardson added to AA Wichita and placed on the Temporary Inactive list (he is pitching for team USA in the Tokyo Olympics) RHP Alex Scherff added to AA Wichita and placed on the IL OF Gilberto Celestino optioned to AAA St. Paul as Luis Arraez was activated from the IL Saints Sentinel St. Paul 5, Indianapolis 6 Box Score Drew Strotman: 4 ⅓ IP, 3 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Mark Contreras (2-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI) A much anticipated prospect made his Saints debut on Saturday. RHP Drew Strotman, one of the pitchers received by the Twins in the Nelson Cruz trade, started for St. Paul for the first time. It was not smooth sailing for Strotman who gave up four runs while striking out just a single batter. It was not the best of first impressions, but Strotman will certainly have more opportunities to impress in the future. The Saints offense did its best to back Strotman. The 1-2 punch of Jose Miranda and Mark Contreras combined for two runs and three RBIs as both players bugged Indianapolis’ pitching staff all night. Oh, and Miranda is casually chilling with a AAA batting average in the .350’s. Just FYI. A few notable relievers threw scoreless outings on Saturday. Ian Hamilton tossed 1 ⅔ innings with no earned runs, Jovani Moran threw 1 ⅓ IP with no earned runs, and Yennier Cano, uh, hurled a single inning without any earned runs. At least one (if not all) of those players will certainly be on the Twins sometime soon. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 4, NW Arkansas 8 Box Score Adam Lau: 2 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: B.J. Boyd (7), Jermaine Palacios (13) Multi-hit games: B.J. Boyd (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI), Jermaine Palacios (2-for-3, HR, 2B, 3 RBI) Wichita could not hold on to the lead on Saturday. B.J. Boyd kicked off the scoring quickly by blasting a lead-off homerun before fans could even reach their seats. It was Boyd’s seventh homer of the season and the hit, yet again, has proved Boyd to be a worthy and useful addition to the Twins’ minor league system. Boyd was not the only hitter to get in on the homer fun. Jermaine Palacios continued on his path of destruction by sending his 13th shot of the year over the wall in the 4th inning. Last week, I wrote about Palacios as one of, if not the single most pleasantly surprising player in the minor league system. Today was no exception. Unfortunately, Boyd and Palacios were essentially the entire Wind Surge offense. Trey Cabbage was the only other player to net a hit in the game, and all four RBIs were the result of either Boyd or Palacios. It was no more smooth for Wichita on the pitching side of the equation. All four of their pitchers allowed at least one earned run, with Zach Neff acting as the guiltiest culprit (four earned runs allowed over seven outs). All in all, it was a rather forgettable night for the Wind Surge as they are waiting until the massive prospect reinforcements finally reach Kansas. Evan Sisk, acquired in the J.A. Happ/John Gant trade, made his debut in the Twins organization. He gave up one run over two innings. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 2, Wisconsin 12 Box Score Cody Laweryson: ⅔ IP, 2 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (2-for-3, 2B, R, BB), DaShawn Kiersey (2-for-3, 3B) Things could have gone better for Cedar Rapids on Saturday. The first sign that today would not end up being the day for the Kernels occurred in the very first inning. Cody Laweryson was unable to finish his first frame of work due to an apparent injury and had to be replaced by Tyler Palm. Wisconsin took advantage of the unpredicted short start by plating seven runs in the first two innings. That more or less stood to be the end of the Kernels’ odds of winning. They were able to plate two runs in an attempt to regain something of a lead, but it was to no avail. For the sake of having some food news, Breckin Williams and Ryan Shreve combined to allow just a single earned run over three innings of relief. In total, they struck out seven batters. Mussel Matters The game between Fort Myers and Clearwater was canceled as Clearwater has been struck by a COVID-19 outbreak. Tomorrow’s match between the two teams has been canceled as well. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 6, FCL Red Sox 4 Box Score Juan Mendez: 3 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Kala’i Rosario (2-for-3, R, RBI, BB), Yonardy Soto (3-for-4, RBI) The FCL Twins turned around their luck and beat the FCL Red Sox on Saturday. Juan Mendez did his job by holding the Red Sox in check over his 3 2/3 innings of work. Yeah, walking more than you strike out is not generally ideal, but zero earned runs is zero earned runs. You take those. Samuel Perez was even more impressive as he pitched for four innings to finish off the game, and struck out five while allowing just two baserunners. Now that is a well-earned win. The win was actually well within hand for the Red Sox. They had put up a four-spot in the 6th inning while holding the Twins scoreless up until that point. However, the Twins broke out for a pair of runs in the 7th, and followed that up with their own four-spot in the 8th. Somehow, they ended up with six runs off of just one extra-base hit. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Samuel Perez Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-5, 2 R, 2 K #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – No game #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Did not play #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – No game #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – 4 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 1-5, 2 R, K #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – No game #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-2, 2 BB #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4, 2 K #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (12:05 PM) RHP Tyler Beck Indianapolis @ St. Paul (1:05 PM) RHP Chandler Shephard Wichita @ NW Arkansas (1:05 PM) TBD Fort Myers @ Clearwater Canceled View full article
  16. The reality for the Minnesota Twins is that they’re facing a selloff come the 2021 Major League Baseball trade deadline. That’s because they’ve been a bad team to this point. In an effort to become more interesting down the stretch, who should get some at bats? Yesterday we looked at how the Minnesota Twins can shuffle their pitching in order to figure out what's left for 2022 and beyond. Today we turn to Rocco Baldelli's lineups and question where at bats can be doled out amongst the organization, and what players should be in line for a look. On the hitting side, here are some names to consider: Before doing individual deep dives here, it should be all but guaranteed Brent Rooker is on his way to take over Nelson Cruz’s at-bats when the veteran is ultimately traded. Rooker has to prove it at the big league level, but it’s clear he’s mastered Triple-A. Teammate Jose Miranda should also be heavily considered to be a lock for a big-league promotion at some point down the stretch as the jump to St. Paul has done nothing to slow down his torrid 2021. This is in conjunction with a continued run for players like Nick Gordon and Gilberto Celestino. Drew Maggi If there’s an organizational type of guy you want to reward in 2021, then Maggi might define that. He joined the Twins system in 2019 and has played over 1,000 minor league games without a big-league debut. At 32, he’s having a career year with an .806 OPS for the Saints. A true utility man who can play all over the diamond, this would be a hat tip type of move more than anything. Mark Contreras Selected in the 9th round of the 2017 MLB draft, Contreras is now 27 and at Triple-A. In 36 games for St. Paul, he owns an .852 OPS while playing a solid defensive outfield. There’s not much in the form of on-base skills here, but the bat has plenty of pop, and there’s some modest stolen base ability. Contreras probably isn’t the first choice for a fourth outfield spot, but he could certainly factor into the mix and is worth getting a look at. Andrew Bechtold Minnesota took Bechtold in the 5th round of the 2017 draft from Chipola College. His calling card was the bat, and it’s taken some time to get going. At Double-A now as a 25-year-old, Bechtold owns a .781 OPS in 55 games this season. He’s got the first double-digit homer tally of his pro career, and there are some solid walk skills for a power guy. Across his last 34 games since June 1, Bechtold owns a .906 OPS. Bumping him up a level makes sense from a progression and age standpoint. There’s not an immediate reason to make a big-league debut, but finding out what the bat can do may bring enough intrigue. Jermaine Palacios A light-hitting infield prospect, Palacios was flipped to the Tampa Bay Rays for Jake Odorizzi. After re-signing with the Twins this offseason, he’s having a breakout season at Double-A to the tune of a career-best .802 OPS. His 10 homers this year account for nearly one-third of his career total across more than 550 pro games. Palacios is just 24, and if this season is to be believed, a late-blooming guy up the middle is never a bad development. Aaron Whitefield Playing in three games for the Twins a season ago after spending time at the Alternate Site, Whitefield has spent all of 2021 at Double-A. His .761 OPS is a career-high, and it comes bolstered by average and on-base skills. Capable of playing a good center field, his bat-to-ball skills make him an ideal bench outfielder type. Given how many bodies the Twins have gone through in center alone, it’s somewhat surprising we haven’t seen his name called yet. Ernie De La Trinidad The other piece of the Eduardo Escobar trade, De La Trinidad is having a career year. The 25-year-old is at Double-A, and his .905 OPS will play just fine. In 40 games and 167 plate appearances, De La Trinidad has struck out just 29 times while batting .319. Power isn’t his forte, but this is another guy that could factor into an additional outfielder situation. With what Minnesota has run through this season, there’s little harm in getting him a step closer and seeing what translates. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  17. Yesterday we looked at how the Minnesota Twins can shuffle their pitching in order to figure out what's left for 2022 and beyond. Today we turn to Rocco Baldelli's lineups and question where at bats can be doled out amongst the organization, and what players should be in line for a look. On the hitting side, here are some names to consider: Before doing individual deep dives here, it should be all but guaranteed Brent Rooker is on his way to take over Nelson Cruz’s at-bats when the veteran is ultimately traded. Rooker has to prove it at the big league level, but it’s clear he’s mastered Triple-A. Teammate Jose Miranda should also be heavily considered to be a lock for a big-league promotion at some point down the stretch as the jump to St. Paul has done nothing to slow down his torrid 2021. This is in conjunction with a continued run for players like Nick Gordon and Gilberto Celestino. Drew Maggi If there’s an organizational type of guy you want to reward in 2021, then Maggi might define that. He joined the Twins system in 2019 and has played over 1,000 minor league games without a big-league debut. At 32, he’s having a career year with an .806 OPS for the Saints. A true utility man who can play all over the diamond, this would be a hat tip type of move more than anything. Mark Contreras Selected in the 9th round of the 2017 MLB draft, Contreras is now 27 and at Triple-A. In 36 games for St. Paul, he owns an .852 OPS while playing a solid defensive outfield. There’s not much in the form of on-base skills here, but the bat has plenty of pop, and there’s some modest stolen base ability. Contreras probably isn’t the first choice for a fourth outfield spot, but he could certainly factor into the mix and is worth getting a look at. Andrew Bechtold Minnesota took Bechtold in the 5th round of the 2017 draft from Chipola College. His calling card was the bat, and it’s taken some time to get going. At Double-A now as a 25-year-old, Bechtold owns a .781 OPS in 55 games this season. He’s got the first double-digit homer tally of his pro career, and there are some solid walk skills for a power guy. Across his last 34 games since June 1, Bechtold owns a .906 OPS. Bumping him up a level makes sense from a progression and age standpoint. There’s not an immediate reason to make a big-league debut, but finding out what the bat can do may bring enough intrigue. Jermaine Palacios A light-hitting infield prospect, Palacios was flipped to the Tampa Bay Rays for Jake Odorizzi. After re-signing with the Twins this offseason, he’s having a breakout season at Double-A to the tune of a career-best .802 OPS. His 10 homers this year account for nearly one-third of his career total across more than 550 pro games. Palacios is just 24, and if this season is to be believed, a late-blooming guy up the middle is never a bad development. Aaron Whitefield Playing in three games for the Twins a season ago after spending time at the Alternate Site, Whitefield has spent all of 2021 at Double-A. His .761 OPS is a career-high, and it comes bolstered by average and on-base skills. Capable of playing a good center field, his bat-to-ball skills make him an ideal bench outfielder type. Given how many bodies the Twins have gone through in center alone, it’s somewhat surprising we haven’t seen his name called yet. Ernie De La Trinidad The other piece of the Eduardo Escobar trade, De La Trinidad is having a career year. The 25-year-old is at Double-A, and his .905 OPS will play just fine. In 40 games and 167 plate appearances, De La Trinidad has struck out just 29 times while batting .319. Power isn’t his forte, but this is another guy that could factor into an additional outfielder situation. With what Minnesota has run through this season, there’s little harm in getting him a step closer and seeing what translates. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  18. According to multiple reports, the Twins have acquired RHP Jake Odorizzi from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for shortstop prospect Jermaine Palacios. Michael Pineda moved to 60-Day Disabled List to make room on the 40-man roster to make room for Odorizzi.One day after Twins fans were frustrated by the signing of Anibal Sanchez, the Twins have acquired a hard-throwing right-hander from the Tampa Bay Rays. Odorizzi went 10-8 in 2017 with a 4.14 ERA for the Rays. In his four full major league seasons, he has had ERAs between 3.35 and 4.14. After compiling a 9.3 K/9 rate in his first full season, he has averaged 8.0 K/9 exactly in his last three seasons. The Twins acquired a guy who will be fit well at the top of the Twins rotation with Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios. Tweet from Twins PR director Dustin Morse: One day after the Sanchez signing frustrated Twins fans, the Derek Falvey/Thad Levine Twins pulled off what appears to be a very good trade on its surface. What are your thoughts? Click here to view the article
  19. One day after Twins fans were frustrated by the signing of Anibal Sanchez, the Twins have acquired a hard-throwing right-hander from the Tampa Bay Rays. Odorizzi went 10-8 in 2017 with a 4.14 ERA for the Rays. In his four full major league seasons, he has had ERAs between 3.35 and 4.14. After compiling a 9.3 K/9 rate in his first full season, he has averaged 8.0 K/9 exactly in his last three seasons. The Twins acquired a guy who will be fit well at the top of the Twins rotation with Ervin Santana and Jose Berrios. Tweet from Twins PR director Dustin Morse: https://twitter.com/morsecode/status/965059891277762560 The Twins gave up shortstop Jermaine Palacios. The shortstop had a return to prospect status in 2017 after a disappointing and injury-plagued 2016 season. He was just outside of the Twins Daily Top 20 prospect rankings, but was in most Top 30s. But the Twins have strong shortstop depth throughout the organization. Jorge Polanco is in the big leagues. Nick Gordon should spend most of 2018 in Rochester. And Royce Lewis and Wander Javier are high-ceiling prospects in the lower levels. Jermaine Palacios was appreciative of the Twins and excited about this trade. Here is what he told Mariana Guzman after the deal. One day after the Sanchez signing frustrated Twins fans, the Derek Falvey/Thad Levine Twins pulled off what appears to be a very good trade on its surface. What are your thoughts?
  20. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gleemangeek/Ep_356_Jake_Odorizzi_and_Anibal_Sanchez.mp3?dest-id=74590
  21. Aaron and John talk about the Minnesota Twins signing Jake Odorizzi and Anibal Sanchez, not signing Yu Darvish, Jermaine Palacios' scouting report, the value of reverse splits, old friends Trevor Plouffe and Hector Santiago finding new MLB homes, projected payroll levels, the impact of Josh Kalk, and the state of the Twins' starting rotation. Sponsored by Pick and Shovel Wear and Casper Matresses. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Stitcher or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link.http://traffic.libsy...3?dest-id=74590 Click here to view the article
  22. We begin a review of our Top 20 Minnesota Twins prospects with prospects 16-20. Below you’ll find five more intriguing prospects with big potential. #20 SS Jermaine Palacios After a disappointing 2016, his debut with a full-season league in Cedar Rapids, Palacios returned in 2017 and put himself in position to move up prospect lists again. He returned to the Kernels where he .320/.362/.544 (.907) with 13 doubles, six triples and a surprising 11 home runs in 62 games. He earned a mid-season promotion to Ft. Myers and hit .269/.303/.359 (.662) with eight doubles, four triples and two homers in 62 games. Palacios signed with the Twins after the 2013 season so he doesn’t need to be added to the Twins 40-man roster until after the 2018 season. He turned 21 in July. He should spend most of the 2018 season with the Miracle. #19 2B Jose Miranda Miranda was the first of two consecutive compensatory following the second round of the 2016 draft. He is a 19-year-old drafted out of the Leadership Christian Academy in Puerto Rico. He spent 2016 in the Gulf Coast League. In 2017, he made the move across the diamond to second base though many still believe that he could eventually move over to third place. With the E-Twins, he hit .283/.340/.484 (.824) with eight doubles, two triples and 11 home runs in 54 games. Miranda is a good athlete with room to grow and continue to add power. #18 RHP Felix Jorge In 2017, Felix Jorge received the call every ballplayer dreams of, the call to the big leagues. On July 1st, he made his MLB debut. Through five innings, he gave up two runs. He gave up a single to lead off the 6th inning and was replaced by Buddy Boshers who gave up a two-run homer to Eric Hosmer. So, three runs in five innings in his debut was pretty good. He made a second start that didn’t go quite as well. The 23-year-old went back to Chattanooga and later ended the regular season with a promotion to AAA. In Chattanooga, he went 10-3 with a 3.54 ERA. He made three starts in AAA which is where he’ll begin the 2017 season. He was added to the 40-man roster a year ago, so he has used one option year. #17 2B/3B Travis Blankenhorn Blankenhorn was the Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. A year ago, he began the season in extended spring training before posting a .900 OPS in 34 games in Elizabethton. That earned him a promotion to Cedar Rapids where he spent the final 25 games and playoffs. He spent the full 2017 season with the Kernels and hit .251/.343/.441 (.784) with 22 doubles, 11 triples and 13 home runs. He also stole 13 bases, including home twice. He just turned 21 in August, and he doesn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2019 season. He played third base the first half of the season and then moved over to second base in the second half. He could see time in the outfield too. #16 RHP John Curtiss Curtiss needed to be added to the Twins 40-man roster before Monday (Nov 20). Instead of wondering for the next few days, the Twins called him up in late August to work out of their bullpen over the final month. Curtiss was the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. He began the season at AA Chattanooga where he didn’t give up an earned run until June 13th. A week later, he was pitching in AAA Rochester. Overall in 49.1 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 68 before getting The Call. The Twins sixth-round pick in 2014. He struggled some in the big leagues, but the 24-year-old showed his repertoire which includes a mid-90s fastball and a potentially great breaking ball. He’ll likely start next season in Rochester, though he will compete for a spot in the big leagues from day one. So there are my choices for Twins prospects 16-20. Just three more parts coming next week and we’ll reach #1. Feel free to discuss these players, ask questions and start contemplating the Top 15. Part 1: Prospects 41-50 Part 2: Prospects 31-40 Part 3: Prospects 26-30 Part 4: Prospects 21-25
  23. Today we enter the Top 20 of my postseason Minnesota Twins Prospect rankings. Since we started, two ranked players are no longer in the organization. Dereck Rodriguez signed with the Giants, and the Twins voided their deal with Jelfry Marterecently. The group below contains a couple of players that we saw in a big league uniform and likely will again in 2018. The other three players are infielders who have several levels to go, but the talent needed to get there.We begin a review of our Top 20 Minnesota Twins prospects with prospects 16-20. Below you’ll find five more intriguing prospects with big potential. #20 SS Jermaine Palacios After a disappointing 2016, his debut with a full-season league in Cedar Rapids, Palacios returned in 2017 and put himself in position to move up prospect lists again. He returned to the Kernels where he .320/.362/.544 (.907) with 13 doubles, six triples and a surprising 11 home runs in 62 games. He earned a mid-season promotion to Ft. Myers and hit .269/.303/.359 (.662) with eight doubles, four triples and two homers in 62 games. Palacios signed with the Twins after the 2013 season so he doesn’t need to be added to the Twins 40-man roster until after the 2018 season. He turned 21 in July. He should spend most of the 2018 season with the Miracle. #19 2B Jose Miranda Miranda was the first of two consecutive compensatory following the second round of the 2016 draft. He is a 19-year-old drafted out of the Leadership Christian Academy in Puerto Rico. He spent 2016 in the Gulf Coast League. In 2017, he made the move across the diamond to second base though many still believe that he could eventually move over to third place. With the E-Twins, he hit .283/.340/.484 (.824) with eight doubles, two triples and 11 home runs in 54 games. Miranda is a good athlete with room to grow and continue to add power. #18 RHP Felix Jorge In 2017, Felix Jorge received the call every ballplayer dreams of, the call to the big leagues. On July 1st, he made his MLB debut. Through five innings, he gave up two runs. He gave up a single to lead off the 6th inning and was replaced by Buddy Boshers who gave up a two-run homer to Eric Hosmer. So, three runs in five innings in his debut was pretty good. He made a second start that didn’t go quite as well. The 23-year-old went back to Chattanooga and later ended the regular season with a promotion to AAA. In Chattanooga, he went 10-3 with a 3.54 ERA. He made three starts in AAA which is where he’ll begin the 2017 season. He was added to the 40-man roster a year ago, so he has used one option year. #17 2B/3B Travis Blankenhorn Blankenhorn was the Twins third-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. A year ago, he began the season in extended spring training before posting a .900 OPS in 34 games in Elizabethton. That earned him a promotion to Cedar Rapids where he spent the final 25 games and playoffs. He spent the full 2017 season with the Kernels and hit .251/.343/.441 (.784) with 22 doubles, 11 triples and 13 home runs. He also stole 13 bases, including home twice. He just turned 21 in August, and he doesn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2019 season. He played third base the first half of the season and then moved over to second base in the second half. He could see time in the outfield too. #16 RHP John Curtiss Curtiss needed to be added to the Twins 40-man roster before Monday (Nov 20). Instead of wondering for the next few days, the Twins called him up in late August to work out of their bullpen over the final month. Curtiss was the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. He began the season at AA Chattanooga where he didn’t give up an earned run until June 13th. A week later, he was pitching in AAA Rochester. Overall in 49.1 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 68 before getting The Call. The Twins sixth-round pick in 2014. He struggled some in the big leagues, but the 24-year-old showed his repertoire which includes a mid-90s fastball and a potentially great breaking ball. He’ll likely start next season in Rochester, though he will compete for a spot in the big leagues from day one. So there are my choices for Twins prospects 16-20. Just three more parts coming next week and we’ll reach #1. Feel free to discuss these players, ask questions and start contemplating the Top 15. Part 1: Prospects 41-50 Part 2: Prospects 31-40 Part 3: Prospects 26-30 Part 4: Prospects 21-25 Click here to view the article
  24. When your organization has as much success as the Minnesota Twins affiliates had during the 2017 season, there’s a good chance there were a lot of strong offensive performers at every level. That was certainly the case when going through the candidates for this award, as several names who had big seasons couldn’t crack the list. Especially amazing when researching this, was the lineup of the 2017 Southern League Co-Champion Chattanooga Lookouts. Names from their roster litter the Southern League leader board for just about every offensive category. But when it came down to it, there was one guy who stood out on almost everyone’s ballot, and he’s no stranger to this award having won it once already in his MiLB career.Seven Twins Daily Minor League writers were asked to vote for the various awards. For the hitter of the year, we each voted for eight players. The player who was voted as #1 received eight points, #2 received seven points and so on with the #8 vote receiving one point. Results were tabulated and can be found below. Short profiles of our top nine are to follow, but first, some players worthy of honorable mention. These players also received votes. Honorable Mention Wander Javier – Elizabethton Twins – 41 games, 47-157 – .299/.383/.471 (.855) – 13 2B’s, 3B, 4 HRs, 34 R’s, 22 RBI, 4 SB. Was #4 in our Short Season Hitter of the Year rankings and displayed the plethora of tools that made him an attractive big money international signing in his first year in the states.Max Murphy – Fort Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts – 130 games, 144-506 – .285/.361/.401, (.762) – 29 2B’s, 6 3B’s, 6 HRs, 80 R’s, 62 RBI, 9 SB. Played 78 games with the Miracle to start his season, slashing .307/.390/.430 before being promoted to Chattanooga for his final 52 games.Daniel Palka – Rochester Red Wings – 84 games, 96-350 – .274/.329/.431 (.759) – 13 2B’s, 3 3B’s, 11 HR, 47 R’s, 42 RBI. Also played in six games with the GCL Twins while rehabbing, and had another home run in those 20 plate appearances. Missed time with an injury, otherwise he might have earned a spot on the Twins September roster.Nick Gordon – Chattanooga Lookouts – 122 games, 140-519 – .270/.341/.408 (.749) – 29 2B’s, 8 3B’s, 9 HRs, 80 R’s, 66 RBI, 13 SB. Was a tale of two seasons for Gordon, as he was scorching hot in the first half of the season (.880 OPS), but wasn’t able to keep that up in the second half (.609 OPS). Despite all that, he ranked third in the Southern League in hits and runs scored, fourth in total bases, and led the circuit in triples.Chris Paul – Fort Myers Miracle – 61 games, 80-238 – .328/.380/.471 (.851) – 18 2B’s, 2 3B’s, 4 HR, 35 R’s, 32 RBI. Missed the months of June and July and the first week of August with a broken hamate bone. In the month of May before that injury, he slashed an impressive .383/.459/.585 (1.044) in 26 games.Minor League Hitter of the Year Here are the top nine vote getters for Twins Minor League Hitter of the Year. 9. Travis Blankenhorn – Cedar Rapids Kernels – 118 games, 110-438 – .251/.343/.441 (.784) – 22 2B’s, 11 3B’s, 13 HRs, 68 R’s, 69 RBI, 13 SBs. Blankenhorn spent the entirety of the 2017 season in Cedar Rapids after amassing a .774 OPS in 25 games with the team in 2016 as a 19 year old. He largely repeated that performance with a .784 mark this season, but got there a different way. His average fell by .035 points, but he increased his slugging percentage by .023 because he racked up 46 extra-base hits to lead the Kernels (tied with Lewin Diaz). That total included double digits in every category (22 2Bs, 11 3Bs, 13 HRs) which is very hard to do. He also led the team with 69 RBI. If you’re into advanced hitting statistics, his weighted runs created (wRC) mark of 72 ranked eighth in the Midwest League on the season and he created 21% more runs than the league average hitter (wRC+, per Fangraphs). Just shy of 15% of his plate appearances in 2017 came against pitchers who were younger than he is and he was selected as a Midwest League All-Star. 8. Lewin Diaz – Cedar Rapids Kernels – 122 games, 136-466 – .292/.329/.444 (.773) – 33 2B’s, 1 3B, 12 HRs, 47 R’s, 68 RBI. Diaz was 20 years old for the entirety of the 2017 season with the Kernels, and 90% of his plate appearances were against pitchers older than he is. What did he do against that competition? He led the Midwest League in doubles with 33. In 2016 he hit .310 with Elizabethton, and didn’t slow down much in Cedar Rapids with a mark of .292, placing him sixth in the circuit. He also led the Kernels with 207 total bases. While the batting average was great for Diaz and he struck out just 80 times in 122 games, he will continue to need to work on his patience as he drew just 25 walks as primarily the #3 hitter in the lineup. Diaz also represented Cedar Rapids in the Midwest League All-Star Game. 7. T.J. White – Chattanooga Lookouts – 96 games, 101-366 – .276/.358/.484 (.842) – 26 2B’s, 4 3B’s, 14 HR’s, 44 R’s, 65 RBI. After missing the opening month of the season with an injury, White proved to be a steady presence in the Lookouts lineup from May 15th onward. His OPS was .912 in the month of June, and 1.010 in August. When patrolling Fangraphs, you’ll find that his wRC+ mark of 144 ranked fifth in the Southern League and trailed only another hitter on this list for the Lookouts team lead. If you’re looking for a “clutch” hitter, White also came through big in that category this year, as his .325/.429/.571 mark with two outs and runners in scoring position was stellar. 6. Brent Rooker – Elizabethton Twins/Fort Myers Miracle – 62 games, 64-228 – .281/.364/.566 (.930) – 11 2B’s, 18 HR’s, 42 R’s, 52 RBI. On the surface Rooker’s numbers are especially eye-popping considering he was just drafted at #35 overall in the 2017 MLB draft on June 12th. In an organizational sense, his 18 HRs on the season ranked second in all of the minors for the Twins despite him playing in only half the games. When you have some #FunWithNumbers after he was promoted to Fort Myers, his 11 home runs in 40 games rivals the pace that Miguel Sano put up with the Miracle in 2013 before he was promoted to Chattanooga. There was some strikeout to his game in his first taste of the pros (26.5% of his plate appearances), but it wasn’t an egregious rate and he also showed an ability to draw a walk (11.3% mark). After being a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award as best college player and his initial success as a pro, Rooker is an intriguing name for me to be added to the Twins stable of players being sent to the Arizona Fall League. The only question might be whether the Twins think he’s all ready played enough baseball this year. 5. Jermaine Palacios – Cedar Rapids Kernels/Fort Myers Miracle – 124 games, 149-504 – .296/.333/.454 (.788) – 21 2B’s, 10 3B’s, 13 HRs, 82 R’s, 67 RBI, 20 SBs. Palacios spent all of his 2016 season with Cedar Rapids, and wasn’t able to match the immense potential he showed in his first season in the States, when he hit .370 in the rookie leagues. He made up for that in 2017 with the Kernels by batting .320/.362/.544 before being promoted to Fort Myers. Like Blankenhorn, he also racked up double-digits in all extra-base hit categories on the season. He wasn’t as successful in the Florida State League (.662 OPS vs .907 OPS), but it’s hard to ignore season-long totals like his as a middle-infield prospect. For his output in the MWL before being promoted, he too, was selected as an All-Star for the Kernels. 4. LaMonte Wade – Chattanooga Lookouts – 117 games, 124-424 – .292/.397/.408 (.805) – 22 2B’s, 3 3B’s, 7 HRs, 74 R’s, 67 RBI, 9 SBs. All Wade has done since becoming a professional is get on base. In fact, he’s walked more than he has struck out in his career (177 vs. 151) and in each of his first three seasons. 2017 was no different, as his .397 on-base percentage and 76 walks ranked third in the Southern League. He also ranked seventh in RBI with 67 on the year alongside a host of other Lookouts players. He also set a career high in extra-base hits with 32 on the season. Wade spent a majority of the season batting #3 in the lineup of the best offense in the Southern League and was especially deadly with runners in scoring position (.955 OPS) and late in close games (1.092 OPS). For his efforts in 2017, Wade was selected as a Southern League All-Star at the midseason break. 3. Zack Granite – Rochester Red Wings – 76 games, 103-303 – .340/.394/.479 (.872) – 17 2B’s, 5 3B’s, 5 HR’s, 48 R’s, 30 RBI, 18 SB’s. Granite followed a breakout 2016 season in which he hit .295/.347/.382 for Chattanooga with an even better 2017 that led to his promotion to the Twins in early July. After having his average fall to .237 on May 31st, Granite went on one of the hottest streaks you will ever see in the month of June. He slashed an otherworldly .470/.527/.667 and raised his average on the season to a high of .371 on June 27th before his promotion. Another impressive stat is he struck out just 36 times in 76 games, a rate of only 11.8% of his plate appearances. His 144 wRC+ ranked sixth in the International League (44% more runs created than average hitter) and he found himself on the ballots of both the midseason and postseason All-Star teams. In his time with the Twins, he’s also shown fans what he is capable of as an outfielder, displaying range more than adequate to back up Byron Buxton in center field. 2. Jonathan Rodriguez – Chattanooga Lookouts – 124 games, 137-452 – .303/.408/.518 (.926) – 31 2B’s, 22 HR’s, 89 R’s, 78 RBI. The 28-year-old first baseman came to the Twins organization in 2017 after spending the first eight years of his career in the St. Louis Cardinals system. He was quite the addition to an already potent Chattanooga Lookouts lineup. He took home the Lookouts Triple Crown as well as leading them in doubles, average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. In the Southern League, he tied for the league lead in average (.309), led in on-base percentage (.414), slugging (.525), and OPS (.939). His 21 home runs ranked second and his 31 doubles ranked third. You really don’t have to go far down the list in many categories to find his name. Although he did not play in the Southern League All-Star Game at midseason after getting off to a slow start in April, he was named as the postseason All-Star at DH. Rodriguez always seemed to come up in the minor league reports as the season wore on, and it was because he kept delivering big time hits. In the second half of the Southern League season he crushed to the tune of a .346/.449/.632 slash line, good for a 1.081 OPS. He was the most valuable hitter in the International League by the measures of wRC, wRC+, weighted runs above average (wRAA), and weighted on-base average (wOBA) per Fangraphs. His wRC+ mark of 173 meant he created an astonishing 73% more runs than the average hitter on the season. In many years it would be hard for anyone to best what Rodriguez accomplished this year, but that just makes this awards winner even more impressive. Hitter of the Year Mitch Garver – Rochester Red Wings – 88 games, 93-320 – .291/.387/.541 (.928) – 29 2B’s, 17 HRs, 56 R’s, 45 RBI. The 2017 award marks the second time Garver has taken home Twins Daily’s metaphorical hardware, as he also won the voting in 2014 while playing for Cedar Rapids. Drafted in the ninth round of the 2013 draft as a fourth-year senior, Garver’s age (26) may be a barrier for some in considering him as a prospect, but it’s hard to argue with the development path he undertook in making his MLB debut on August 19th. He was on the raw side of the catcher position when he was drafted, but has developed those skills along with his bat as he’s moved up the ladder. He spent all of his time in the minors this year with the Rochester Red Wings, playing primarily catcher but also got time in left field (14 games) and at first base (five games) as the organization made it a priority to add versatility to his game. The reason being, they’re going to have to find a place for his bat. In that sense, Garver was as consistent as you could possibly be, amassing a .928 OPS in the first half of the International League season, then a .927 mark afterward before his call-up to the Twins. For his exploits on the season, Garver was named the IL’s postseason All-Star at catcher. His on-base percentage (.387) and slugging percentage (.541) marks ranked second in the league, while he also shows up on the leader board for doubles and home runs despite having about 100+ fewer at-bats than those around him. His .291 batting average also ranked in the top five among his peers. Also impressive for Garver when you dig into his numbers, were his lack of platoon splits as he hit .304/.427/.557 against lefties and .286/.373/.535 against right-handers. With two outs his OPS was over 1.000. When you venture over to Fangraphs his 166 wRC+ ranked third in the International League, behind only the league MVP Rhys Hoskins (who if you haven’t noticed, has 17 HRs in just 33 MLB games thus far to start his career) and Yandy Diaz, who both also made their MLB debuts this season. It’s quite easy to see how exceptional Garver was during the 2017 season at the highest rung of the minor league ladder, and it made him an almost unanimous selection in the award’s voting. But perhaps the greatest reward of all for him after his stellar season is that now all he has left to look forward to is making his impact in the major leagues instead of the minors. Congratulations Mitch! The Ballots In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) Jonathan Rodriguez, 3) Zack Granite, 4) LaMonte Wade, 5) Jermaine Palacios, 6) T.J. White, 7) Travis Blankenhorn, 8) Lewin DiazJeremy Nygaard – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) LaMonte Wade, 3) Jonathan Rodriguez, 4) Brent Rooker, 5) Jermaine Palacios, 6) Zack Granite, 7) Travis Blankenhorn, 8) Lewin DiazCody Christie – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) Jonathan Rodriguez, 3) Zack Granite, 4) Brent Rooker, 5) Jermaine Palacios, 6) Chris Paul, 7) T.J. White, 8) Max MurphyTom Froemming – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) Brent Rooker, 3) Zack Granite, 4) Jonathan Rodriguez, 5) LaMonte Wade, 6) T.J. White, 7) Jermaine Palacios, 8) Travis BlankenhornSteve Lein – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) Zack Granite, 3) Jermaine Palacios, 4) LaMonte Wade, 5) T.J. White, 6) Nick Gordon, 7) Brent Rooker, 8) Jonathan RodriguezEric Pleiss – 1) Jonathan Rodriguez, 2) Mitch Garver, 3) T.J. White, 4) Lewin Diaz, 5) Jermaine Palacios, 6) LaMonte Wade, 7) Zack Granite, 8) Wander JavierTed Schwerzler – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) Zack Granite, 3) Jonathan Rodriguez, 4) Travis Blankenhorn, 5) Lewin Diaz, 6) LaMonte Wade, 7) Daniel Palka, 8) Jermaine PalaciosFeel free to discuss. What do you think? Do you agree with our rankings? How would your ballot look? Click here to view the article
  25. Seven Twins Daily Minor League writers were asked to vote for the various awards. For the hitter of the year, we each voted for eight players. The player who was voted as #1 received eight points, #2 received seven points and so on with the #8 vote receiving one point. Results were tabulated and can be found below. Short profiles of our top nine are to follow, but first, some players worthy of honorable mention. These players also received votes. Honorable Mention Wander Javier – Elizabethton Twins – 41 games, 47-157 – .299/.383/.471 (.855) – 13 2B’s, 3B, 4 HRs, 34 R’s, 22 RBI, 4 SB. Was #4 in our Short Season Hitter of the Year rankings and displayed the plethora of tools that made him an attractive big money international signing in his first year in the states. Max Murphy – Fort Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts – 130 games, 144-506 – .285/.361/.401, (.762) – 29 2B’s, 6 3B’s, 6 HRs, 80 R’s, 62 RBI, 9 SB. Played 78 games with the Miracle to start his season, slashing .307/.390/.430 before being promoted to Chattanooga for his final 52 games. Daniel Palka – Rochester Red Wings – 84 games, 96-350 – .274/.329/.431 (.759) – 13 2B’s, 3 3B’s, 11 HR, 47 R’s, 42 RBI. Also played in six games with the GCL Twins while rehabbing, and had another home run in those 20 plate appearances. Missed time with an injury, otherwise he might have earned a spot on the Twins September roster. Nick Gordon – Chattanooga Lookouts – 122 games, 140-519 – .270/.341/.408 (.749) – 29 2B’s, 8 3B’s, 9 HRs, 80 R’s, 66 RBI, 13 SB. Was a tale of two seasons for Gordon, as he was scorching hot in the first half of the season (.880 OPS), but wasn’t able to keep that up in the second half (.609 OPS). Despite all that, he ranked third in the Southern League in hits and runs scored, fourth in total bases, and led the circuit in triples. Chris Paul – Fort Myers Miracle – 61 games, 80-238 – .328/.380/.471 (.851) – 18 2B’s, 2 3B’s, 4 HR, 35 R’s, 32 RBI. Missed the months of June and July and the first week of August with a broken hamate bone. In the month of May before that injury, he slashed an impressive .383/.459/.585 (1.044) in 26 games. Minor League Hitter of the Year Here are the top nine vote getters for Twins Minor League Hitter of the Year. 9. Travis Blankenhorn – Cedar Rapids Kernels – 118 games, 110-438 – .251/.343/.441 (.784) – 22 2B’s, 11 3B’s, 13 HRs, 68 R’s, 69 RBI, 13 SBs. Blankenhorn spent the entirety of the 2017 season in Cedar Rapids after amassing a .774 OPS in 25 games with the team in 2016 as a 19 year old. He largely repeated that performance with a .784 mark this season, but got there a different way. His average fell by .035 points, but he increased his slugging percentage by .023 because he racked up 46 extra-base hits to lead the Kernels (tied with Lewin Diaz). That total included double digits in every category (22 2Bs, 11 3Bs, 13 HRs) which is very hard to do. He also led the team with 69 RBI. If you’re into advanced hitting statistics, his weighted runs created (wRC) mark of 72 ranked eighth in the Midwest League on the season and he created 21% more runs than the league average hitter (wRC+, per Fangraphs). Just shy of 15% of his plate appearances in 2017 came against pitchers who were younger than he is and he was selected as a Midwest League All-Star. 8. Lewin Diaz – Cedar Rapids Kernels – 122 games, 136-466 – .292/.329/.444 (.773) – 33 2B’s, 1 3B, 12 HRs, 47 R’s, 68 RBI. Diaz was 20 years old for the entirety of the 2017 season with the Kernels, and 90% of his plate appearances were against pitchers older than he is. What did he do against that competition? He led the Midwest League in doubles with 33. In 2016 he hit .310 with Elizabethton, and didn’t slow down much in Cedar Rapids with a mark of .292, placing him sixth in the circuit. He also led the Kernels with 207 total bases. While the batting average was great for Diaz and he struck out just 80 times in 122 games, he will continue to need to work on his patience as he drew just 25 walks as primarily the #3 hitter in the lineup. Diaz also represented Cedar Rapids in the Midwest League All-Star Game. 7. T.J. White – Chattanooga Lookouts – 96 games, 101-366 – .276/.358/.484 (.842) – 26 2B’s, 4 3B’s, 14 HR’s, 44 R’s, 65 RBI. After missing the opening month of the season with an injury, White proved to be a steady presence in the Lookouts lineup from May 15th onward. His OPS was .912 in the month of June, and 1.010 in August. When patrolling Fangraphs, you’ll find that his wRC+ mark of 144 ranked fifth in the Southern League and trailed only another hitter on this list for the Lookouts team lead. If you’re looking for a “clutch” hitter, White also came through big in that category this year, as his .325/.429/.571 mark with two outs and runners in scoring position was stellar. 6. Brent Rooker – Elizabethton Twins/Fort Myers Miracle – 62 games, 64-228 – .281/.364/.566 (.930) – 11 2B’s, 18 HR’s, 42 R’s, 52 RBI. On the surface Rooker’s numbers are especially eye-popping considering he was just drafted at #35 overall in the 2017 MLB draft on June 12th. In an organizational sense, his 18 HRs on the season ranked second in all of the minors for the Twins despite him playing in only half the games. When you have some #FunWithNumbers after he was promoted to Fort Myers, his 11 home runs in 40 games rivals the pace that Miguel Sano put up with the Miracle in 2013 before he was promoted to Chattanooga. There was some strikeout to his game in his first taste of the pros (26.5% of his plate appearances), but it wasn’t an egregious rate and he also showed an ability to draw a walk (11.3% mark). After being a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award as best college player and his initial success as a pro, Rooker is an intriguing name for me to be added to the Twins stable of players being sent to the Arizona Fall League. The only question might be whether the Twins think he’s all ready played enough baseball this year. 5. Jermaine Palacios – Cedar Rapids Kernels/Fort Myers Miracle – 124 games, 149-504 – .296/.333/.454 (.788) – 21 2B’s, 10 3B’s, 13 HRs, 82 R’s, 67 RBI, 20 SBs. Palacios spent all of his 2016 season with Cedar Rapids, and wasn’t able to match the immense potential he showed in his first season in the States, when he hit .370 in the rookie leagues. He made up for that in 2017 with the Kernels by batting .320/.362/.544 before being promoted to Fort Myers. Like Blankenhorn, he also racked up double-digits in all extra-base hit categories on the season. He wasn’t as successful in the Florida State League (.662 OPS vs .907 OPS), but it’s hard to ignore season-long totals like his as a middle-infield prospect. For his output in the MWL before being promoted, he too, was selected as an All-Star for the Kernels. 4. LaMonte Wade – Chattanooga Lookouts – 117 games, 124-424 – .292/.397/.408 (.805) – 22 2B’s, 3 3B’s, 7 HRs, 74 R’s, 67 RBI, 9 SBs. All Wade has done since becoming a professional is get on base. In fact, he’s walked more than he has struck out in his career (177 vs. 151) and in each of his first three seasons. 2017 was no different, as his .397 on-base percentage and 76 walks ranked third in the Southern League. He also ranked seventh in RBI with 67 on the year alongside a host of other Lookouts players. He also set a career high in extra-base hits with 32 on the season. Wade spent a majority of the season batting #3 in the lineup of the best offense in the Southern League and was especially deadly with runners in scoring position (.955 OPS) and late in close games (1.092 OPS). For his efforts in 2017, Wade was selected as a Southern League All-Star at the midseason break. 3. Zack Granite – Rochester Red Wings – 76 games, 103-303 – .340/.394/.479 (.872) – 17 2B’s, 5 3B’s, 5 HR’s, 48 R’s, 30 RBI, 18 SB’s. Granite followed a breakout 2016 season in which he hit .295/.347/.382 for Chattanooga with an even better 2017 that led to his promotion to the Twins in early July. After having his average fall to .237 on May 31st, Granite went on one of the hottest streaks you will ever see in the month of June. He slashed an otherworldly .470/.527/.667 and raised his average on the season to a high of .371 on June 27th before his promotion. Another impressive stat is he struck out just 36 times in 76 games, a rate of only 11.8% of his plate appearances. His 144 wRC+ ranked sixth in the International League (44% more runs created than average hitter) and he found himself on the ballots of both the midseason and postseason All-Star teams. In his time with the Twins, he’s also shown fans what he is capable of as an outfielder, displaying range more than adequate to back up Byron Buxton in center field. 2. Jonathan Rodriguez – Chattanooga Lookouts – 124 games, 137-452 – .303/.408/.518 (.926) – 31 2B’s, 22 HR’s, 89 R’s, 78 RBI. The 28-year-old first baseman came to the Twins organization in 2017 after spending the first eight years of his career in the St. Louis Cardinals system. He was quite the addition to an already potent Chattanooga Lookouts lineup. He took home the Lookouts Triple Crown as well as leading them in doubles, average, on-base percentage and slugging percentage. In the Southern League, he tied for the league lead in average (.309), led in on-base percentage (.414), slugging (.525), and OPS (.939). His 21 home runs ranked second and his 31 doubles ranked third. You really don’t have to go far down the list in many categories to find his name. Although he did not play in the Southern League All-Star Game at midseason after getting off to a slow start in April, he was named as the postseason All-Star at DH. Rodriguez always seemed to come up in the minor league reports as the season wore on, and it was because he kept delivering big time hits. In the second half of the Southern League season he crushed to the tune of a .346/.449/.632 slash line, good for a 1.081 OPS. He was the most valuable hitter in the International League by the measures of wRC, wRC+, weighted runs above average (wRAA), and weighted on-base average (wOBA) per Fangraphs. His wRC+ mark of 173 meant he created an astonishing 73% more runs than the average hitter on the season. In many years it would be hard for anyone to best what Rodriguez accomplished this year, but that just makes this awards winner even more impressive. Hitter of the Year Mitch Garver – Rochester Red Wings – 88 games, 93-320 – .291/.387/.541 (.928) – 29 2B’s, 17 HRs, 56 R’s, 45 RBI. The 2017 award marks the second time Garver has taken home Twins Daily’s metaphorical hardware, as he also won the voting in 2014 while playing for Cedar Rapids. Drafted in the ninth round of the 2013 draft as a fourth-year senior, Garver’s age (26) may be a barrier for some in considering him as a prospect, but it’s hard to argue with the development path he undertook in making his MLB debut on August 19th. He was on the raw side of the catcher position when he was drafted, but has developed those skills along with his bat as he’s moved up the ladder. He spent all of his time in the minors this year with the Rochester Red Wings, playing primarily catcher but also got time in left field (14 games) and at first base (five games) as the organization made it a priority to add versatility to his game. The reason being, they’re going to have to find a place for his bat. In that sense, Garver was as consistent as you could possibly be, amassing a .928 OPS in the first half of the International League season, then a .927 mark afterward before his call-up to the Twins. For his exploits on the season, Garver was named the IL’s postseason All-Star at catcher. His on-base percentage (.387) and slugging percentage (.541) marks ranked second in the league, while he also shows up on the leader board for doubles and home runs despite having about 100+ fewer at-bats than those around him. His .291 batting average also ranked in the top five among his peers. Also impressive for Garver when you dig into his numbers, were his lack of platoon splits as he hit .304/.427/.557 against lefties and .286/.373/.535 against right-handers. With two outs his OPS was over 1.000. When you venture over to Fangraphs his 166 wRC+ ranked third in the International League, behind only the league MVP Rhys Hoskins (who if you haven’t noticed, has 17 HRs in just 33 MLB games thus far to start his career) and Yandy Diaz, who both also made their MLB debuts this season. It’s quite easy to see how exceptional Garver was during the 2017 season at the highest rung of the minor league ladder, and it made him an almost unanimous selection in the award’s voting. But perhaps the greatest reward of all for him after his stellar season is that now all he has left to look forward to is making his impact in the major leagues instead of the minors. Congratulations Mitch! The Ballots In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) Jonathan Rodriguez, 3) Zack Granite, 4) LaMonte Wade, 5) Jermaine Palacios, 6) T.J. White, 7) Travis Blankenhorn, 8) Lewin Diaz Jeremy Nygaard – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) LaMonte Wade, 3) Jonathan Rodriguez, 4) Brent Rooker, 5) Jermaine Palacios, 6) Zack Granite, 7) Travis Blankenhorn, 8) Lewin Diaz Cody Christie – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) Jonathan Rodriguez, 3) Zack Granite, 4) Brent Rooker, 5) Jermaine Palacios, 6) Chris Paul, 7) T.J. White, 8) Max Murphy Tom Froemming – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) Brent Rooker, 3) Zack Granite, 4) Jonathan Rodriguez, 5) LaMonte Wade, 6) T.J. White, 7) Jermaine Palacios, 8) Travis Blankenhorn Steve Lein – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) Zack Granite, 3) Jermaine Palacios, 4) LaMonte Wade, 5) T.J. White, 6) Nick Gordon, 7) Brent Rooker, 8) Jonathan Rodriguez Eric Pleiss – 1) Jonathan Rodriguez, 2) Mitch Garver, 3) T.J. White, 4) Lewin Diaz, 5) Jermaine Palacios, 6) LaMonte Wade, 7) Zack Granite, 8) Wander Javier Ted Schwerzler – 1) Mitch Garver, 2) Zack Granite, 3) Jonathan Rodriguez, 4) Travis Blankenhorn, 5) Lewin Diaz, 6) LaMonte Wade, 7) Daniel Palka, 8) Jermaine Palacios Feel free to discuss. What do you think? Do you agree with our rankings? How would your ballot look?
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