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  1. The doldrums of August have arrived, the Minnesota Twins are firmly outside of the playoff picture, and fans' eyes have begun to aim their gaze with increasing amounts of intensity towards the offseason. While free agency and trades most often dominate the conversation during the winter, another topic of conversation quietly drums on in the background: the 40-man roster. The Twins will be faced with several decisions during the offseason concerning the makeup of their roster, beginning with who's placed on and removed from the 40-man. While it may seem as though the team will be confronted with many impossible decisions, the fact of the matter is that the Twins are well-positioned to add critical prospects to the 40-man without losing much in the way of established talent and productivity. Below is a discussion of the Twins 40-man roster, primarily regarding their top prospects. Twins Daily's most recent Top 30 prospect list was used for reference. Already on the 40-man Jordan Balazovic, RHP Jhoan Duran, RHP Drew Strotman, RHP Gilberto Celestino, OF Edwar Colina, RHP Brent Rooker, OF/DH Nick Gordon, UTIL Of the players listed above, only Rooker's future with the team appears to be dubious. Perhaps Gordon's as well. If the Twins were to try to drop them from the 40-man — something that I don't consider to be particularly likely — they both would be claimed. While Rooker and Gordon may not remain as Twins for the long haul, Minnesota likely won't just give them away for free. The remainder of the athletes above will probably fill critical roles with the Twins, if not next summer, then in the summers to follow. Not eligible for Rule 5 Draft or Minor League Free Agency Matt Canterino, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Austin Martin, OF/SS Aaron Sabato, 1B/DH Keoni Cavaco, INF Misael Urbina, OF Matt Wallner, OF/DH Alerick Soulaire, UTIL Will Holland, INF Marco Raya, RHP Spencer Steer, INF Steve Hajjar, LHP Louie Varland, RHP Noah Miller, INF Chase Petty, RHP All of these guys are going to be sticking around for at least one more season, if not longer. To be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, a player must have spent at least five seasons with the same team if they were signed or drafted during or after high school or at least four seasons if drafted out of college. To be eligible for minor league free agency, an athlete must have spent at least six full seasons with the same team. None of the players above meet the criteria, so they aren't going anywhere unless traded. Additionally, save for perhaps Austin Martin and Matt Canterino, it's unlikely that any of the above athletes will be promoted to the majors at any point next season. The majority are still fairly young or lack professional experience, meaning some more seasoning in the minor leagues is more than warranted. 40-man Locks Jose Miranda, INF Joe Ryan, RHP Josh Winder, RHP Cole Sands, RHP Royce Lewis, SS/OF Jovani Moran, LHP There's no chance that the Twins will risk losing any of these guys. Miranda has been the most impressive minor league player in the system — if not all of MiLB — and will likely slot in somewhere in the infield next season. Joe Ryan and Josh Winder will probably be among those competing for a starting rotation spot next spring. Cole Sands has dominated the minors when healthy. Royce Lewis is a potential franchise cornerstone. Jovani Moran is already an MLB-caliber reliever. While all five athletes may not make the Opening Day roster, they will all accumulate service time beginning next summer, if not sooner. 50/50 Chance Blayne Enlow, RHP Chris Vallimont, RHP Yennier Cano, RHP Ian Hamilton, RHP Yunior Severino, INF Jermaine Palacios, INF Here's where the Twins need to make some decisions. Enlow was a third-round pick in 2017 out of high school and has been phenomenal during his minor league career. However, he will miss a good chunk of next season — if not the entire season — after undergoing Tommy John surgery earlier this summer. While that may seem to disqualify him from Rule 5 consideration, a team could select Enlow and easily keep him on the 60-day IL for the entire season. Doing so would save his 40-man roster spot for another athlete and effectively eliminate the chance for Enlow to be returned to the Twins. Because of this, I would not be surprised if the Twins placed him on the 40-man rather than risk losing him for nothing. As I have discussed frequently, Vallimont is an enigma. He has fantastic raw stuff and strikeout numbers, but he lacks command and gives up too many free passes and runs. While he may eventually become an MLB pitcher, he isn't particularly close to being one at the moment. For this reason, I think it would be unlikely that a team would select him in the Rule 5 Draft, and, as such, I could see the Twins keeping him off their 40-man. Cano is an electric bullpen arm that dominated the lower minor leagues but has struggled a little bit since being promoted to Triple-A. That said, he has the raw stuff to carve out a major league career. He's already 27-years-old, but has only spent two seasons in the minors after signing as a free agent in 2019. So while he isn't eligible for the Rule 5 Draft or minor league free agency, one figures that if he's going to make it to the big leagues, he'll likely have to do it soon. I'd be surprised if we don't see him in Minneapolis at some point next season. Odds are that he won't be added to the 40-man until next season if he isn't by the end of this one. Both Severino and Palacios were former highly-touted prospects who failed to live up to expectations, though both have been performing exceptionally well as of late. As was the case with Vallimont, neither are ready to face MLB pitchers consistently. However, both still have a fair amount of potential, especially if their recent output remains. Palacios would be eligible for free agency if he is not rostered, while Severino would be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft. If I'm the Twins, I place Severino on the 40-man and hope I can re-sign Palacios. Hamilton's situation is akin to that of Palacios. He's a former highly-regarded prospect who will be eligible for free agency if not added to the 40-man. He's shown promise this season at the Triple-A level, hitting 100 mph with his fastball on multiple occasions. Frankly, it's a little surprising that the Twins haven't given him a shot to this point, and, who knows, maybe they'll do so before the summer is over. Regardless, Hamilton has shown that he still has MLB talent and simply letting him walk could prove to be a poor decision. Rather Unlikely Notable Prospects Wander Javier, SS Trey Cabbage, OF/DH Both Javier and Cabbage will be eligible for minor league free agency following the season, though I doubt that the Twins will use that fact as motivation to put them on the 40-man. Javier has been too inconsistent at the plate to justify a roster spot, while Cabbage is a power-hitting corner outfielder/1B/DH-type. Cabbage is in the midst of a career year and does have some value; however, the Twins are loaded with young, power-hitting outfield talent. He could probably fetch something like a potential bullpen arm in a trade, but the odds of a team trading for him when they could try to sign him away from the Twins are low. Impending Free Agents Michael Pineda, RHP Alexander Colome, RHP Andrelton Simmons, SS The Twins may try to re-sign Pineda and Colome this coming winter, but Simmons seems highly unlikely to return, especially with Lewis's arrival right around the corner. I'd put the over/under on open 40-man roster spots from this group at 1.5. 40-Man Spots That May Be Up For Grabs Charlie Barnes, LHP Devin Smeltzer, LHP Beau Burrows, RHP Danny Coulombe, LHP Luke Farrell, RHP Edgar Garcia, RHP Ralph Garza Jr., RHP Juan Minaya, RHP Cody Stashak, RHP Lewis Thorpe, LHP Nick Vincent, RHP Derek Law, RHP Willians Astudillo, UTIL Jake Cave, OF Kyle Garlick, OF Rob Refsnyder, OF The Twins have a bevy of bullpen arms, bench players, and trade candidates that could be on the move this offseason. As such, the team has at least 16 40-man spots — and that may be an underestimate — to play with. Add in the impending free agents, and that number jumps to 19. Subtract the locks, and that number falls to 14. So while it may seem as though the Twins are on the cusp of a roster crunch at first blush, the reality is that the team has plenty of room to play with this coming winter. If the team loses anyone to the Rule 5 Draft or minor league free agency, it's because the team determined that they were of little value to them moving forward. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Read more of Lucas's minor league prospect coverage here View full article
  2. The Twins will be faced with several decisions during the offseason concerning the makeup of their roster, beginning with who's placed on and removed from the 40-man. While it may seem as though the team will be confronted with many impossible decisions, the fact of the matter is that the Twins are well-positioned to add critical prospects to the 40-man without losing much in the way of established talent and productivity. Below is a discussion of the Twins 40-man roster, primarily regarding their top prospects. Twins Daily's most recent Top 30 prospect list was used for reference. Already on the 40-man Jordan Balazovic, RHP Jhoan Duran, RHP Drew Strotman, RHP Gilberto Celestino, OF Edwar Colina, RHP Brent Rooker, OF/DH Nick Gordon, UTIL Of the players listed above, only Rooker's future with the team appears to be dubious. Perhaps Gordon's as well. If the Twins were to try to drop them from the 40-man — something that I don't consider to be particularly likely — they both would be claimed. While Rooker and Gordon may not remain as Twins for the long haul, Minnesota likely won't just give them away for free. The remainder of the athletes above will probably fill critical roles with the Twins, if not next summer, then in the summers to follow. Not eligible for Rule 5 Draft or Minor League Free Agency Matt Canterino, RHP Simeon Woods Richardson, RHP Austin Martin, OF/SS Aaron Sabato, 1B/DH Keoni Cavaco, INF Misael Urbina, OF Matt Wallner, OF/DH Alerick Soulaire, UTIL Will Holland, INF Marco Raya, RHP Spencer Steer, INF Steve Hajjar, LHP Louie Varland, RHP Noah Miller, INF Chase Petty, RHP All of these guys are going to be sticking around for at least one more season, if not longer. To be eligible for the Rule 5 Draft, a player must have spent at least five seasons with the same team if they were signed or drafted during or after high school or at least four seasons if drafted out of college. To be eligible for minor league free agency, an athlete must have spent at least six full seasons with the same team. None of the players above meet the criteria, so they aren't going anywhere unless traded. Additionally, save for perhaps Austin Martin and Matt Canterino, it's unlikely that any of the above athletes will be promoted to the majors at any point next season. The majority are still fairly young or lack professional experience, meaning some more seasoning in the minor leagues is more than warranted. 40-man Locks Jose Miranda, INF Joe Ryan, RHP Josh Winder, RHP Cole Sands, RHP Royce Lewis, SS/OF Jovani Moran, LHP There's no chance that the Twins will risk losing any of these guys. Miranda has been the most impressive minor league player in the system — if not all of MiLB — and will likely slot in somewhere in the infield next season. Joe Ryan and Josh Winder will probably be among those competing for a starting rotation spot next spring. Cole Sands has dominated the minors when healthy. Royce Lewis is a potential franchise cornerstone. Jovani Moran is already an MLB-caliber reliever. While all five athletes may not make the Opening Day roster, they will all accumulate service time beginning next summer, if not sooner. 50/50 Chance Blayne Enlow, RHP Chris Vallimont, RHP Yennier Cano, RHP Ian Hamilton, RHP Yunior Severino, INF Jermaine Palacios, INF Here's where the Twins need to make some decisions. Enlow was a third-round pick in 2017 out of high school and has been phenomenal during his minor league career. However, he will miss a good chunk of next season — if not the entire season — after undergoing Tommy John surgery earlier this summer. While that may seem to disqualify him from Rule 5 consideration, a team could select Enlow and easily keep him on the 60-day IL for the entire season. Doing so would save his 40-man roster spot for another athlete and effectively eliminate the chance for Enlow to be returned to the Twins. Because of this, I would not be surprised if the Twins placed him on the 40-man rather than risk losing him for nothing. As I have discussed frequently, Vallimont is an enigma. He has fantastic raw stuff and strikeout numbers, but he lacks command and gives up too many free passes and runs. While he may eventually become an MLB pitcher, he isn't particularly close to being one at the moment. For this reason, I think it would be unlikely that a team would select him in the Rule 5 Draft, and, as such, I could see the Twins keeping him off their 40-man. Cano is an electric bullpen arm that dominated the lower minor leagues but has struggled a little bit since being promoted to Triple-A. That said, he has the raw stuff to carve out a major league career. He's already 27-years-old, but has only spent two seasons in the minors after signing as a free agent in 2019. So while he isn't eligible for the Rule 5 Draft or minor league free agency, one figures that if he's going to make it to the big leagues, he'll likely have to do it soon. I'd be surprised if we don't see him in Minneapolis at some point next season. Odds are that he won't be added to the 40-man until next season if he isn't by the end of this one. Both Severino and Palacios were former highly-touted prospects who failed to live up to expectations, though both have been performing exceptionally well as of late. As was the case with Vallimont, neither are ready to face MLB pitchers consistently. However, both still have a fair amount of potential, especially if their recent output remains. Palacios would be eligible for free agency if he is not rostered, while Severino would be exposed to the Rule 5 Draft. If I'm the Twins, I place Severino on the 40-man and hope I can re-sign Palacios. Hamilton's situation is akin to that of Palacios. He's a former highly-regarded prospect who will be eligible for free agency if not added to the 40-man. He's shown promise this season at the Triple-A level, hitting 100 mph with his fastball on multiple occasions. Frankly, it's a little surprising that the Twins haven't given him a shot to this point, and, who knows, maybe they'll do so before the summer is over. Regardless, Hamilton has shown that he still has MLB talent and simply letting him walk could prove to be a poor decision. Rather Unlikely Notable Prospects Wander Javier, SS Trey Cabbage, OF/DH Both Javier and Cabbage will be eligible for minor league free agency following the season, though I doubt that the Twins will use that fact as motivation to put them on the 40-man. Javier has been too inconsistent at the plate to justify a roster spot, while Cabbage is a power-hitting corner outfielder/1B/DH-type. Cabbage is in the midst of a career year and does have some value; however, the Twins are loaded with young, power-hitting outfield talent. He could probably fetch something like a potential bullpen arm in a trade, but the odds of a team trading for him when they could try to sign him away from the Twins are low. Impending Free Agents Michael Pineda, RHP Alexander Colome, RHP Andrelton Simmons, SS The Twins may try to re-sign Pineda and Colome this coming winter, but Simmons seems highly unlikely to return, especially with Lewis's arrival right around the corner. I'd put the over/under on open 40-man roster spots from this group at 1.5. 40-Man Spots That May Be Up For Grabs Charlie Barnes, LHP Devin Smeltzer, LHP Beau Burrows, RHP Danny Coulombe, LHP Luke Farrell, RHP Edgar Garcia, RHP Ralph Garza Jr., RHP Juan Minaya, RHP Cody Stashak, RHP Lewis Thorpe, LHP Nick Vincent, RHP Derek Law, RHP Willians Astudillo, UTIL Jake Cave, OF Kyle Garlick, OF Rob Refsnyder, OF The Twins have a bevy of bullpen arms, bench players, and trade candidates that could be on the move this offseason. As such, the team has at least 16 40-man spots — and that may be an underestimate — to play with. Add in the impending free agents, and that number jumps to 19. Subtract the locks, and that number falls to 14. So while it may seem as though the Twins are on the cusp of a roster crunch at first blush, the reality is that the team has plenty of room to play with this coming winter. If the team loses anyone to the Rule 5 Draft or minor league free agency, it's because the team determined that they were of little value to them moving forward. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email — Read more of Lucas's minor league prospect coverage here
  3. On Tuesday, we revealed prospects 16-20 in our new, post-deadline update. Today, we will announce our next five prospects in rank. 15. Noah Miller - INF Age: 18 ETA: 2025 2021 Stats: n/a 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: n/a There is little to say about Noah Miller considering the fact that he is just 18, and has not played a game of professional baseball yet. The Twins decided to select Miller with the final pick in the 1st round of the 2021 MLB Draft as they believe in his immense potential as a switch-hitting, athletic shortstop. Oh, and also because he hit .608 as a high school senior. No, that is not a typo. Miller will certainly require a significant amount of time to develop, but the end result could be a truly dynamic middle-infielder who could anchor the top of a lineup for years. Just make sure to keep his name tucked away for future reference. 14. Drew Strotman - RHSP Age: 24 ETA: 2021 2021 Stats: 67 ⅔ IP, 3.59 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 4.14 FIP, 22.8 K%, 13.1 BB% 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: n/a Drew Strotman is perhaps the most polarizing prospect the Twins received at the trade deadline. Fangraphs has him placed optimistically as the team’s 7th best prospect (and on the edge of the top 100 prospect list), while MLB.com ranked him as the franchise's 15th best prospect-a number much closer to what we decided. At any rate, Strotman is an exciting combination of talent and seasoning. A brand new cutter has deepened what was already an intriguing repertoire of major league quality. He has already been added to the 40-man roster so his promotion to the major league club is simply a formality at this point. The walks are high, but Eric Longenhagen wrote that Strotman is “likely a big league starter”. Lord knows that the Twins need as many of those as they can get. 13. Gilberto Celestino - OF Age: 22 ETA: 2021 2021 Stats: (MLB): .136 AVG, .177 OBP, .288 SLG, 23 wRC+ (AA/AAA): .259 AVG, .338 OBP, .431 SLG, 107 WRC+ 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 7 Gilberto Celestino is the only player from this part of the list to play at the major league level and, well, he certainly seemed overwhelmed. The young outfielder was acquired by the Twins in the Ryan Pressly trade three years ago (holy bleep, it’s been three years already?), and it is quite clear that, while Celestino possesses quality tools, he needs more seasoning before he can succeed in the show. But fear not. Celestino is still just 22 years old and, as we all have seen over the past few years, toolsy center fielders often require an extended amount of time to realize their full potential. Celestino will play out the rest of 2021 at AAA (where he owns a 130 wRC+ in a small sample) and will be better prepared to potentially etch out a role on the 2022 Twins. 12. Matt Wallner - OF Age: 23 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (A+): .281 AVG, .338 OBP, .548 SLG, 135 wRC+ 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 10 Matt Wallner was plucked from the backwoods of Minnesota by the Twins with the 39th overall pick of the 2019 draft. Well, that is not entirely accurate as the Twins neither physically plucked him, like one would with an apple, nor was he taken directly from the state (he played college ball at the University of Southern Mississippi), but the sentence sounds cool so it shall stay. (Editor's Note: Ummmm....) Anyways, Wallner was drafted as a high-strikeout guy with “light tower power,” and so far in his minor league career he has played… like a high strikeout guy with light tower power. He has been frustratingly limited to just over 30 games in 2021 due to a pesky wrist injury that proved to be more serious than previously believed. He had surgery on his hamate bone. But in the time he has played, Wallner has mashed. His nine homers over 148 plate appearances gives him about a 36 home run pace over 600 plate appearances (a typical full season), while his .548 slugging percentage would make him the 11th best qualified major leaguer by that stat. Simply put, a healthy Wallner can absolutely crush. 11. Josh Winder - RHSP Age: 24 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (AA/AAA): 72 IP, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 3.41 FIP, 29.1 K%, 4.7 BB% 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 8 Perhaps no prospect throughout the Twins’ system has seen his stock rise higher in 2021 than Josh Winder. Even the noted, uh, “strong opinion-holder”, Keith Law, admitted that he was anticipating watching Winder pitch in 2021. So far, Winder has not disappointed. He saw a tangible uptick in velocity while working out in 2020, and the upgrade has rippled throughout his entire pitch mix. The result was an utterly dominant stint at AA Wichita that saw him strike out more than 30% of the hitters he faced, walk less than 5% of them, and earn a trip to the MLB Futures Game. Batters hit a paltry .207 against him, and I can only imagine that hitters in the AA-Central North division threw an absolute rager of a party to celebrate his promotion to AAA. A shoulder injury has cut Winder’s playtime in AAA to just four meager starts, and it appears that the team is in no rush to bring Winder back in 2021; a mix of injuries and a desire to limit his innings total is the culprit here. In any case, Winder should be on everyone's radar as a starter who will make an impact in 2022. View full article
  4. 15. Noah Miller - INF Age: 18 ETA: 2025 2021 Stats: n/a 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: n/a There is little to say about Noah Miller considering the fact that he is just 18, and has not played a game of professional baseball yet. The Twins decided to select Miller with the final pick in the 1st round of the 2021 MLB Draft as they believe in his immense potential as a switch-hitting, athletic shortstop. Oh, and also because he hit .608 as a high school senior. No, that is not a typo. Miller will certainly require a significant amount of time to develop, but the end result could be a truly dynamic middle-infielder who could anchor the top of a lineup for years. Just make sure to keep his name tucked away for future reference. 14. Drew Strotman - RHSP Age: 24 ETA: 2021 2021 Stats: 67 ⅔ IP, 3.59 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 4.14 FIP, 22.8 K%, 13.1 BB% 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: n/a Drew Strotman is perhaps the most polarizing prospect the Twins received at the trade deadline. Fangraphs has him placed optimistically as the team’s 7th best prospect (and on the edge of the top 100 prospect list), while MLB.com ranked him as the franchise's 15th best prospect-a number much closer to what we decided. At any rate, Strotman is an exciting combination of talent and seasoning. A brand new cutter has deepened what was already an intriguing repertoire of major league quality. He has already been added to the 40-man roster so his promotion to the major league club is simply a formality at this point. The walks are high, but Eric Longenhagen wrote that Strotman is “likely a big league starter”. Lord knows that the Twins need as many of those as they can get. 13. Gilberto Celestino - OF Age: 22 ETA: 2021 2021 Stats: (MLB): .136 AVG, .177 OBP, .288 SLG, 23 wRC+ (AA/AAA): .259 AVG, .338 OBP, .431 SLG, 107 WRC+ 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 7 Gilberto Celestino is the only player from this part of the list to play at the major league level and, well, he certainly seemed overwhelmed. The young outfielder was acquired by the Twins in the Ryan Pressly trade three years ago (holy bleep, it’s been three years already?), and it is quite clear that, while Celestino possesses quality tools, he needs more seasoning before he can succeed in the show. But fear not. Celestino is still just 22 years old and, as we all have seen over the past few years, toolsy center fielders often require an extended amount of time to realize their full potential. Celestino will play out the rest of 2021 at AAA (where he owns a 130 wRC+ in a small sample) and will be better prepared to potentially etch out a role on the 2022 Twins. 12. Matt Wallner - OF Age: 23 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (A+): .281 AVG, .338 OBP, .548 SLG, 135 wRC+ 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 10 Matt Wallner was plucked from the backwoods of Minnesota by the Twins with the 39th overall pick of the 2019 draft. Well, that is not entirely accurate as the Twins neither physically plucked him, like one would with an apple, nor was he taken directly from the state (he played college ball at the University of Southern Mississippi), but the sentence sounds cool so it shall stay. (Editor's Note: Ummmm....) Anyways, Wallner was drafted as a high-strikeout guy with “light tower power,” and so far in his minor league career he has played… like a high strikeout guy with light tower power. He has been frustratingly limited to just over 30 games in 2021 due to a pesky wrist injury that proved to be more serious than previously believed. He had surgery on his hamate bone. But in the time he has played, Wallner has mashed. His nine homers over 148 plate appearances gives him about a 36 home run pace over 600 plate appearances (a typical full season), while his .548 slugging percentage would make him the 11th best qualified major leaguer by that stat. Simply put, a healthy Wallner can absolutely crush. 11. Josh Winder - RHSP Age: 24 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (AA/AAA): 72 IP, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 3.41 FIP, 29.1 K%, 4.7 BB% 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 8 Perhaps no prospect throughout the Twins’ system has seen his stock rise higher in 2021 than Josh Winder. Even the noted, uh, “strong opinion-holder”, Keith Law, admitted that he was anticipating watching Winder pitch in 2021. So far, Winder has not disappointed. He saw a tangible uptick in velocity while working out in 2020, and the upgrade has rippled throughout his entire pitch mix. The result was an utterly dominant stint at AA Wichita that saw him strike out more than 30% of the hitters he faced, walk less than 5% of them, and earn a trip to the MLB Futures Game. Batters hit a paltry .207 against him, and I can only imagine that hitters in the AA-Central North division threw an absolute rager of a party to celebrate his promotion to AAA. A shoulder injury has cut Winder’s playtime in AAA to just four meager starts, and it appears that the team is in no rush to bring Winder back in 2021; a mix of injuries and a desire to limit his innings total is the culprit here. In any case, Winder should be on everyone's radar as a starter who will make an impact in 2022.
  5. Josh Winder pitched like a future MLB starter en route to being named the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month for June. Honorable Mentions: LHP Brent Headrick, Low-A: 1-1, 1.71 ERA, 21 IP, 30 K, 10 BB, 1.24 WHIP RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, Low-A, 3-0, 2.91 ERA, 21 2/3 IP, 31 K, 5 BB, 1.25 WHIP Number 5: RHP Chris Vallimont, Double-A Stats: 2-2, 3.22 ERA, 22 1/3 IP, 34 K, 10 BB, 1.39 WHIP On the surface, Vallimont's numbers from May are arguably better than the ones he posted in June. However, the big difference was his uptick in innings. Vallimont faced exactly twice as many batters in June as he did in May - 96 versus 48 - and essentially maintained his strikeout rate. While he wasn't fantastic, he was good, which was enough to come in fifth in the vote. Number 4: RHP Ben Gross, High-A Stats: 2-0, 1.54 ERA, 23 1/3 IP, 29 K, 10 BB, 1.37 WHIP Gross will be 25-years-old before the end of the season meaning the odds that he ever reaches the majors are dwindling with each passing day. That said, his performance during the month of June was rather encouraging. Compared to May, Gross pitched six more innings, struck out seven more batters, allowed four fewer runs, and dropped his overall ERA from 4.15 to 2.66. Number 3: RHP Austin Schulfer, Double-A Stats: 1-1, 1.75 ERA, 25 2/3 IP, 28 K, 8 BB, 1.29 WHIP Like Gross, Schulfer saw his performance improve dramatically as the calendar turned from May to June. A 19th-round pick in the 2018 draft, Schulfer dropped his ERA from 5.31 to 3.33 after allowing seven less earned runs and striking out twice as many batters in 5 1/3 more innings. Again, his future may not be in the majors as he is already 25-years-old and owns a FIP north of 3.50 in his minor league career, however, it's always intriguing anytime a player posts a month as successful as Schulfer. Number 2: RHP Louie Varland, Low-A Stats: 1-0, 0.40 ERA, 22 1/3 IP, 29 K, 5 BB, 0.90 WHIP For as mediocre as Varland's May was, his June was absolutely superb. Piling up strikeouts has never been an issue for the former Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bear, but what changed for the 23-year-old in June was his ability to combine his punch outs with preventing the long ball. Varland struck out 29 batters in June compared to his 28 in May while seeing his home runs allowed (0 versus 2) and walks issued (5 versus 10) drop precipitously subsequent to a 59% increase in innings pitched (22 1/3 versus 14). Varland owns the raw stuff to be a contributor in some capacity at the major league level. The key with him, as is the case with many minor league pitchers, is improving his command to the point he did in June. If he can keep the walks low and and long ball few and far between, he could find himself pitching at Target Field someday. Number 1: RHP Josh Winder, Double-A (recently promoted to Triple-A) Stats: 2-0, 2.37 ERA, 30 1/3 IP, 35 K, 4 BB, 0.96 WHIP In a Twins' farm system that is replete with talent, perhaps no pitching prospect is more under-appreciated than Josh Winder. Winder, who did not even crack Twins Daily's Top 20 prospect list prior to the start of the season, finished in second place during last month's Starting Pitcher of the Month race after posting some ridiculous numbers and he continued his streak of dominance as spring turned to summer en route to winning this past month's honors. Unlike contemporaries Matt Canterino and Jhoan Duran, Winder possesses fluid mechanics with a consistent, repeatable motion. He get's good push off from his back leg which reduces the strain placed on his shoulder and elbow. He's only been placed on the injured list once in his minor league career, a stint that lasted exactly one week. Winder's owns a classic pitch arsenal consisting of a four-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and change-up. His fastball sits in the low- to mid-90s, though it can touch as high as 96 mph, and is graded as a 50-55 on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale according to FanGraphs. While he doesn't have one pitch that stands out as more impressive than the others, all four are at least average offerings, which has the benefit of raising his floor as a prospect. It this fact, along with his string of consistent positive performances, that drove Winder to be named to the 2021 Futures Game alongside a host of top-tier MLB prospects. Winder may never find himself among the Twins' top-10 prospects, however, arguably no pitcher in the system has risen their stock more than he has compared to prior to the season beginning. 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
  6. Honorable Mentions: LHP Brent Headrick, Low-A: 1-1, 1.71 ERA, 21 IP, 30 K, 10 BB, 1.24 WHIP RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long, Low-A, 3-0, 2.91 ERA, 21 2/3 IP, 31 K, 5 BB, 1.25 WHIP Number 5: RHP Chris Vallimont, Double-A Stats: 2-2, 3.22 ERA, 22 1/3 IP, 34 K, 10 BB, 1.39 WHIP On the surface, Vallimont's numbers from May are arguably better than the ones he posted in June. However, the big difference was his uptick in innings. Vallimont faced exactly twice as many batters in June as he did in May - 96 versus 48 - and essentially maintained his strikeout rate. While he wasn't fantastic, he was good, which was enough to come in fifth in the vote. Number 4: RHP Ben Gross, High-A Stats: 2-0, 1.54 ERA, 23 1/3 IP, 29 K, 10 BB, 1.37 WHIP Gross will be 25-years-old before the end of the season meaning the odds that he ever reaches the majors are dwindling with each passing day. That said, his performance during the month of June was rather encouraging. Compared to May, Gross pitched six more innings, struck out seven more batters, allowed four fewer runs, and dropped his overall ERA from 4.15 to 2.66. Number 3: RHP Austin Schulfer, Double-A Stats: 1-1, 1.75 ERA, 25 2/3 IP, 28 K, 8 BB, 1.29 WHIP Like Gross, Schulfer saw his performance improve dramatically as the calendar turned from May to June. A 19th-round pick in the 2018 draft, Schulfer dropped his ERA from 5.31 to 3.33 after allowing seven less earned runs and striking out twice as many batters in 5 1/3 more innings. Again, his future may not be in the majors as he is already 25-years-old and owns a FIP north of 3.50 in his minor league career, however, it's always intriguing anytime a player posts a month as successful as Schulfer. Number 2: RHP Louie Varland, Low-A Stats: 1-0, 0.40 ERA, 22 1/3 IP, 29 K, 5 BB, 0.90 WHIP For as mediocre as Varland's May was, his June was absolutely superb. Piling up strikeouts has never been an issue for the former Concordia-St. Paul Golden Bear, but what changed for the 23-year-old in June was his ability to combine his punch outs with preventing the long ball. Varland struck out 29 batters in June compared to his 28 in May while seeing his home runs allowed (0 versus 2) and walks issued (5 versus 10) drop precipitously subsequent to a 59% increase in innings pitched (22 1/3 versus 14). Varland owns the raw stuff to be a contributor in some capacity at the major league level. The key with him, as is the case with many minor league pitchers, is improving his command to the point he did in June. If he can keep the walks low and and long ball few and far between, he could find himself pitching at Target Field someday. Number 1: RHP Josh Winder, Double-A (recently promoted to Triple-A) Stats: 2-0, 2.37 ERA, 30 1/3 IP, 35 K, 4 BB, 0.96 WHIP In a Twins' farm system that is replete with talent, perhaps no pitching prospect is more under-appreciated than Josh Winder. Winder, who did not even crack Twins Daily's Top 20 prospect list prior to the start of the season, finished in second place during last month's Starting Pitcher of the Month race after posting some ridiculous numbers and he continued his streak of dominance as spring turned to summer en route to winning this past month's honors. Unlike contemporaries Matt Canterino and Jhoan Duran, Winder possesses fluid mechanics with a consistent, repeatable motion. He get's good push off from his back leg which reduces the strain placed on his shoulder and elbow. He's only been placed on the injured list once in his minor league career, a stint that lasted exactly one week. Winder's owns a classic pitch arsenal consisting of a four-seam fastball, curveball, slider, and change-up. His fastball sits in the low- to mid-90s, though it can touch as high as 96 mph, and is graded as a 50-55 on the traditional 20-80 scouting scale according to FanGraphs. While he doesn't have one pitch that stands out as more impressive than the others, all four are at least average offerings, which has the benefit of raising his floor as a prospect. It this fact, along with his string of consistent positive performances, that drove Winder to be named to the 2021 Futures Game alongside a host of top-tier MLB prospects. Winder may never find himself among the Twins' top-10 prospects, however, arguably no pitcher in the system has risen their stock more than he has compared to prior to the season beginning. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  7. To find out everything that happened with your favorite Twins prospects on MiLB opening day, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS The Minnesota Twins recalled infielder Nick Gordon to take the place of Luis Arraez who was placed on the 7-day concussion injured list. LHP Lachlan Wells was assigned to the Cedar Rapids Kernels. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 2, Omaha 8 Box Score The Saints debut as a major league and Twins affiliate didn’t quite go to plan, but count me as one who is super excited they are in the fold instead of an independent. Starter Andrew Albers went the first four innings but was touched up for a single run in three of them, and four in the other as the Saints fell behind 7-0 while he was on the mound. He allowed eight hits total and struck out six. Glenn Sparkman came on for the fifth and allowed a solo home run, Omaha’s fourth of the game, but struck out five in his two innings. Lefty Andrew Vasquez came on for the seventh and flummoxed Omaha hitters with his slider that the broadcaster compared to “those wiffle ball pitches you see in your backyard.” He went 1-2-3 in both his innings, striking out three. Saints hitters were also flummoxed by Storm Chasers pitching throughout the game, striking out 15 times and collecting only five hits and two walks. Zander Wiel and Ryan Jeffers led the way with two hits apiece, and Jeffers delivered the first two runs as an affiliate for St. Paul with a two-run homer in the seventh. https://twitter.com/KSTPSports/status/1389756806965174275 WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 2, Springfield 0 Box Score Another new affiliate for the Twins, Wichita got their season off on the right foot defeating the Springfield Cardinals 2-0. It's fun for me to see this matchup at Hammons Field in Springfield, MO as it is one of the MiLB stadiums I have had the pleasure of attending, and reminds me of their parent club’s Busch Stadium in mini form. As for this game, it was a pitcher’s duel throughout with the teams trading zeroes until the top of the eighth, when the Wind Surge struck for two runs. Singles from Damek Tomscha and Jose Miranda started the inning, then Mark Contreras and Andrew Bechtold finished it with consecutive RBI singles with two outs to account for the scoring. Josh Winder made the start for Wichita and went the first 4 2/3’s, allowing no runs on five hits and a walk while striking out six. He threw 81 pitches with 57 of them going for strikes (70.4%), including 14 swinging strikes. Left-hander Jovani Moran got the last out of the fifth with a K, then struck out two more in a scoreless sixth. Sidewinder Tom Hackimer was next out of the bullpen and added two more scoreless frames, allowing two hits and striking out three. International signing out of Cuba in 2019, Yennier Cano, came on for the ninth and bookended a single with a pair of strikeouts to close out the victory. Aaron Whitefield, batting ninth, led the Wind Surge offense with two hits including a double and a stolen base. Contreras finished 1-for-2 with a pair of walks in addition to the RBI. Gilberto Celestino led off the game with a single and finished 1-for-5. KERNELS NUGGETS Peoria 0, Cedar Rapids 7 Box Score In the Kernels first game as a high-A affiliate, they got the job done on opening night in convincing fashion. They chased Chiefs starter Ian Bedell from the game before he could complete one inning, scoring three runs on four hits and a walk in the opening frame. They would add two more in the second and one each in the third and fourth innings to jump out to a 7-0 lead that was more than enough. Kernels pitchers cruised throughout the game, allowing just three hits to Peoria hitters and scattering five walks. Kody Funderburk made the start and went the first three innings, allowing one hit, two walks, and striking out two. Andrew Cabezas went the next four innings and picked up the win, allowing one hit, two walks, and striking out two. Melvi Acosta finished the game with two scoreless frames, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out two. Leadoff man Spencer Steer (2-for-4, 2 R, BB, SB) was the only Kernels batter with multiple hits, while Matt Wallner, Jair Camargo, and Seth Gray each clubbed a double. Gabe Snyder had an RBI triple in the first and was hit by a pitch twice. While the lineup had just seven hits, they also drew eight walks. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 3 Box Score Newly minted as the Twins low-A affiliate and renamed the Mighty Mussels before last year’s MiLB season was cancelled, Fort Myers opened their new era with a 6-3 win over Bradenton. Willie Joe Garry Jr. got the scoring started three pitches into the game, launching a home run to right-center for the early 1-0 lead. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1389715977990852609 Fort Myers would leave the bases loaded without adding another run in the opening frame and from there until the seventh inning the pitchers were the story. Mussels starter Regi Grace went 4 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on four hits and a walk while striking out six. Though he struck out the first two hitters of the fifth, he was lifted as his pitch count reached its limit at 75. He was relieved by Louie Varland who was drafted in the 15th round of the 2019 draft out of Concordia-St. Paul, and he would finish the game’s final 4 1/3 with some eye-popping numbers. He gave up two earned runs on two hits and a walk among his 16 batters faced, but struck out TEN(!) of them. The runs given up came on a two-run home run that gave the Marauders a 3-2 lead after seven, but the bats would pick him up in the ninth to give him the win. Will Holland led off the top of the ninth with a double and a few walks (one intentional to Garry Jr.) around a strikeout kept the bases loaded for the bulk of it. The first two runs would score on wild pitches, then with two outs Edouard Julien delivered the finishing blow with a two-run single. Garry Jr. (1-for-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB), Holland (1-for-3, 2B, 2 R, BB), Keoni Cavaco (1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB, SB), and Julien (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB) led the way for the offense in the win. Aaron Sabato was 0-for-5 with 3 K’s in his minor league debut. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Louie Varland, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (4.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, BB, 10 K) Hitter of the Day – Ryan Jeffers, St. Paul Saints (2-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – Did not play #2 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #3 - Trevor Larnach (St. Paul) – 0-for-3, BB, K #4 - Ryan Jeffers (St. Paul) – 2-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, K #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Injured List (back) #7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB, SB #8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-5, 3 K #9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Wichita) – 1-for-5, 2 K #12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 0-for-4, 3 K #13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5, R, 2B, K #14 - Misael Urbina (Complex) – N/A #15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - 60-Day IL (elbow) #17 - Ben Rortvedt (Minnesota) – Did not play #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A #19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) – 1-for-3, R, BB #20 - Bailey Ober (St. Paul) – Did not pitch WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Omaha (12:05PM CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes Wichita @ Springfield (6:35PM CST) – TBD Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Ben Gross Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:05PM CST) – RHP Casey Legumina Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  8. It sure has been a while, but holy cow are we glad to be back with your Minnesota Twins Minor League Reports! Plus, so much has changed! The St. Paul Saints are the triple-A affiliate, a new team with a new stadium is on-board in double-A, the Cedar Rapids Kernels’ whole team got a promotion, and the Fort Myers squad has a new name.To find out everything that happened with your favorite Twins prospects on MiLB opening day, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS The Minnesota Twins recalled infielder Nick Gordon to take the place of Luis Arraez who was placed on the 7-day concussion injured list.LHP Lachlan Wells was assigned to the Cedar Rapids Kernels.SAINTS SENTINELSt. Paul 2, Omaha 8 Box Score The Saints debut as a major league and Twins affiliate didn’t quite go to plan, but count me as one who is super excited they are in the fold instead of an independent. Starter Andrew Albers went the first four innings but was touched up for a single run in three of them, and four in the other as the Saints fell behind 7-0 while he was on the mound. He allowed eight hits total and struck out six. Glenn Sparkman came on for the fifth and allowed a solo home run, Omaha’s fourth of the game, but struck out five in his two innings. Lefty Andrew Vasquez came on for the seventh and flummoxed Omaha hitters with his slider that the broadcaster compared to “those wiffle ball pitches you see in your backyard.” He went 1-2-3 in both his innings, striking out three. Saints hitters were also flummoxed by Storm Chasers pitching throughout the game, striking out 15 times and collecting only five hits and two walks. Zander Wiel and Ryan Jeffers led the way with two hits apiece, and Jeffers delivered the first two runs as an affiliate for St. Paul with a two-run homer in the seventh. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 2, Springfield 0 Box Score Another new affiliate for the Twins, Wichita got their season off on the right foot defeating the Springfield Cardinals 2-0. It's fun for me to see this matchup at Hammons Field in Springfield, MO as it is one of the MiLB stadiums I have had the pleasure of attending, and reminds me of their parent club’s Busch Stadium in mini form. As for this game, it was a pitcher’s duel throughout with the teams trading zeroes until the top of the eighth, when the Wind Surge struck for two runs. Singles from Damek Tomscha and Jose Miranda started the inning, then Mark Contreras and Andrew Bechtold finished it with consecutive RBI singles with two outs to account for the scoring. Josh Winder made the start for Wichita and went the first 4 2/3’s, allowing no runs on five hits and a walk while striking out six. He threw 81 pitches with 57 of them going for strikes (70.4%), including 14 swinging strikes. Left-hander Jovani Moran got the last out of the fifth with a K, then struck out two more in a scoreless sixth. Sidewinder Tom Hackimer was next out of the bullpen and added two more scoreless frames, allowing two hits and striking out three. International signing out of Cuba in 2019, Yennier Cano, came on for the ninth and bookended a single with a pair of strikeouts to close out the victory. Aaron Whitefield, batting ninth, led the Wind Surge offense with two hits including a double and a stolen base. Contreras finished 1-for-2 with a pair of walks in addition to the RBI. Gilberto Celestino led off the game with a single and finished 1-for-5. KERNELS NUGGETS Peoria 0, Cedar Rapids 7 Box Score In the Kernels first game as a high-A affiliate, they got the job done on opening night in convincing fashion. They chased Chiefs starter Ian Bedell from the game before he could complete one inning, scoring three runs on four hits and a walk in the opening frame. They would add two more in the second and one each in the third and fourth innings to jump out to a 7-0 lead that was more than enough. Kernels pitchers cruised throughout the game, allowing just three hits to Peoria hitters and scattering five walks. Kody Funderburk made the start and went the first three innings, allowing one hit, two walks, and striking out two. Andrew Cabezas went the next four innings and picked up the win, allowing one hit, two walks, and striking out two. Melvi Acosta finished the game with two scoreless frames, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out two. Leadoff man Spencer Steer (2-for-4, 2 R, BB, SB) was the only Kernels batter with multiple hits, while Matt Wallner, Jair Camargo, and Seth Gray each clubbed a double. Gabe Snyder had an RBI triple in the first and was hit by a pitch twice. While the lineup had just seven hits, they also drew eight walks. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 3 Box Score Newly minted as the Twins low-A affiliate and renamed the Mighty Mussels before last year’s MiLB season was cancelled, Fort Myers opened their new era with a 6-3 win over Bradenton. Willie Joe Garry Jr. got the scoring started three pitches into the game, launching a home run to right-center for the early 1-0 lead. Fort Myers would leave the bases loaded without adding another run in the opening frame and from there until the seventh inning the pitchers were the story. Mussels starter Regi Grace went 4 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on four hits and a walk while striking out six. Though he struck out the first two hitters of the fifth, he was lifted as his pitch count reached its limit at 75. He was relieved by Louie Varland who was drafted in the 15th round of the 2019 draft out of Concordia-St. Paul, and he would finish the game’s final 4 1/3 with some eye-popping numbers. He gave up two earned runs on two hits and a walk among his 16 batters faced, but struck out TEN(!) of them. The runs given up came on a two-run home run that gave the Marauders a 3-2 lead after seven, but the bats would pick him up in the ninth to give him the win. Will Holland led off the top of the ninth with a double and a few walks (one intentional to Garry Jr.) around a strikeout kept the bases loaded for the bulk of it. The first two runs would score on wild pitches, then with two outs Edouard Julien delivered the finishing blow with a two-run single. Garry Jr. (1-for-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB), Holland (1-for-3, 2B, 2 R, BB), Keoni Cavaco (1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB, SB), and Julien (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB) led the way for the offense in the win. Aaron Sabato was 0-for-5 with 3 K’s in his minor league debut. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Louie Varland, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (4.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, BB, 10 K) Hitter of the Day – Ryan Jeffers, St. Paul Saints (2-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – Did not play #2 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #3 - Trevor Larnach (St. Paul) – 0-for-3, BB, K #4 - Ryan Jeffers (St. Paul) – 2-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, K #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Injured List (back) #7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB, SB #8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-5, 3 K #9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Wichita) – 1-for-5, 2 K #12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 0-for-4, 3 K #13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5, R, 2B, K #14 - Misael Urbina (Complex) – N/A #15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - 60-Day IL (elbow) #17 - Ben Rortvedt (Minnesota) – Did not play #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A #19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) – 1-for-3, R, BB #20 - Bailey Ober (St. Paul) – Did not pitch WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Omaha (12:05PM CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes Wichita @ Springfield (6:35PM CST) – TBD Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Ben Gross Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:05PM CST) – RHP Casey Legumina Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! Click here to view the article
  9. Teams were allowed to invite up to 75 players to spring training this year. 40 of the players were on the roster. Approximately 20 more players were official Non-Roster Invites. But as a means to allow teams to ease their players back into their springs and properly prepare for their seasons, another 14 to 15 players were invited to participate in the depth camp. As spring training started in February, a writer asked manager Rocco Baldelli on Zoom about the depth camp and what they would be doing. The Twins manager said, “The players in depth camp are going to be extremely important to what we do.” He continued, “They will be taking part in a lot of our fundamentals when we need them too. They’re going to be getting their work done by themselves otherwise. But, they’re going to be playing in a lot of games as well. So when these games start, I think we’re going to see our depth camp.” The Twins played 28 spring training games. Aaron Sabato, the team’s first-round draft pick last June, played in 22 of those games. He made a start or two, but in general, he came in during the middle or late innings and played first base and maybe got a plate appearance. Especially early in camp, it’s important to have a lot of pitchers to eat innings in games when the pitchers are all going just an inning or so. I recently chatted with a few of the depth camp pitchers about their experiences. Ryan Mason, a 26-year-old right-hander, went 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA and seven saves at Double-A Pensacola in 2019 before his season ended with an arm injury. Healthy, he was thrilled to be invited to big-league spring training. He said, “First and foremost, the experience was unforgettable. I enjoyed every moment getting the opportunity to spend time with the big-league club. The highlight for myself was obviously being able to throw in a couple of games and experience the nerves of pitching again, which was long overdue due to the circumstances of last season.” Mason finished out two innings for the Twins during spring training. He faced two batters and struck one of them out. He even recorded a Win. Matt Canterino is one of the Twins top pitching prospects. The 23-year-old was the team’s second-round draft pick in 2019 out of Rice University. He was able to work 4 2/3 innings over four games. He gave up only an unearned run on two hits. He walked five batters but struck out seven and certainly showed the stuff, including a 98 mph fastball, that makes him so intriguing. Canterino said, “ I really enjoyed my time on the big league side of things. The highlight for me was definitely just being able to get in some games again against really good competition. I hadn’t faced another squad since the summer of 2019, so seeing a big leaguer with a different uniform on in the batter’s box when I was pitching really got my competitive juices flowing again.” Josh Winder has seen his prospect status skyrocket since hitting 96 and 97 mph at Instructional League last October. The 6-5 right-hander was the Twins seventh round draft pick in 2018 out of Virginia Military Institute. In 2019, he went 7-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 21 starts in Cedar Rapids during his first full professional season. Winder enjoyed being around the big leaguers and observing. “It was awesome to rub shoulders with the established big league guys and see how they went about their business. The commitment and dedication to their routine/craft was the big thing that stood out to me and motivated me to make some adjustments in my approach to the game.” He also worked in four games including making one start. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up three runs on five hits, three walks and struck out five batters. For Tom Hackimer, the team’s fourth round pick in 2016 from St. John’s, he enjoyed doing something that a lot of big league pitchers haven’t been able to do. “The highlight of my spring was managing to strike out Luis Arraez during a live BP one day.” Hackimer knows many of the players on the Twins roster and has been teammates at times with several of them, including Miguel Sano. Hackimer shared a fun story from this spring. “Miguel Sanó has been making fun of how long my arms are since 2018 when he was sent down to the Miracle, then again in 2019 in Fort Myers and Pensacola while he was rehabbing. One day we were doing PFPs, and he made me stop so that he could point out to Nelson Cruz how long my arms are.” Spring Training fun! But the opportunity to observe and learn from the big league veterans and coaching staff is immensely valuable. Mason took advantage of the opportunity. “I tried to connect with as many players as possible and just talk about pretty normal stuff to reaffirm what I already knew, which is big-league players are normal and all-around great people with their own stories. Also, there is not one way to make it. Everyone paved their own path to success.” It might surprise you to read which player Winder and Canterino mentioned when asked about their surreal moment of spring. Winder noted, “Facing Josh Donaldson is Live BP was a surreal moment for me. I’ve watched him on TV for so long it was really weird seeing him up close in the box.” Canterino had a similar experience that turned into an opportunity he will never forget. He said, “One of my coolest experiences with some of the veterans came after I threw a live bullpen to some of the big league hitters. After I finished my outing, I approached Josh Donaldson and asked what he saw when I threw to him. Andrelton Simmons joined the conversation too after a little while. So the three of us ended up talking about hitting approaches and how to attack hitters for about a half hour after that.” David Banuelos, a catcher the Twins acquired in a trade with the Mariners before the 2018 season. He is known as a defense-first catcher, but he considered his first big league spring training (as a Non-Roster Invite) a “great experience,” one he learned a lot from. Banuelos also mentioned the Twins third baseman and former AL MVP.. “Listening to Donaldson talk about hitting was really cool. I had the opportunity to pick his brain a bit.” One of his two spring hits was a long home run on a Donaldsonic swing. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1375611075970875392 Spencer Steer was the Twins third round pick in 2019 from the University of Oregon. He was not on the original spring roster, but when Chris Williams hurt his shoulder in one of the first spring games, Steer was added to the depth group. He said, “The entire experience was incredible. I went from not knowing when I was reporting to minor league camp, to working out alongside big leaguers within a couple of days. It was a lot of fun to be able to watch the best of the best up close. I was able to learn a lot by just watching how they went about their work everyday.” In 11 games played, he had two hits in eight at bats including a long, opposite field home run. Starting pitchers Winder and Canterino are now in Ft. Myers, working to prepare and stretch out for their 2021 minor league seasons. Banuelos and Steer will be playing their first spring training games today in Ft. Myers. Relievers Mason and Hackimer are in St. Paul at the Twins alternate site preparing for their seasons and preparing themselves and others to possibly help the big-league club as we await the start of the season. More Minor League Notes Just a couple quick Twins minor league notes: Royce Lewis on Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlander This week, Twins shortstop prospect Royce Lewis was on the FOX Sports Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlander show. Lewis talked about a number of topics from the roles that guys like Torii Hunter and Nelson Cruz have played in his life and development. He talked some about his recovery from ACL surgery. He also talks about wine, and many other topics. It’s a fun interview. Twins Sign More International Free Agents When the international signing period opened on January 15th, the Twins signed several players including top shortstop prospects Danny De Andrade and Fredy LaFlor. In the past weeks, the Twins have signed a few more players including right-handed pitcher Jose Olivares. Baseball America’s Ben Badler wrote this of Oliveres: “For a while, Olivares trained as an outfielder in Venezuela, but he took off once he moved to the mound, with his velocity popping at games in the Dominican Republic last year. Previously eligible to sign in 2019, Olivares is now an 18-year-old righthander with a sturdy, physically mature frame and a fastball that has been up to 96 mph with lively riding life up in the zone. He pairs it with a good curveball that's more advanced than his changeup.” More Twins minor league coverage to come. Keep checking back.
  10. Spring Training 2021 certainly was different than most years, but one of the interesting parts was the implementation of the depth camp. It gave several additional players an opportunity not only to get into a couple of spring games, but get more time with the big-league coaches and players too. Several Twins prospects discussed their first big-league spring training.Teams were allowed to invite up to 75 players to spring training this year. 40 of the players were on the roster. Approximately 20 more players were official Non-Roster Invites. But as a means to allow teams to ease their players back into their springs and properly prepare for their seasons, another 14 to 15 players were invited to participate in the depth camp. As spring training started in February, a writer asked manager Rocco Baldelli on Zoom about the depth camp and what they would be doing. The Twins manager said, “The players in depth camp are going to be extremely important to what we do.” He continued, “They will be taking part in a lot of our fundamentals when we need them too. They’re going to be getting their work done by themselves otherwise. But, they’re going to be playing in a lot of games as well. So when these games start, I think we’re going to see our depth camp.” The Twins played 28 spring training games. Aaron Sabato, the team’s first-round draft pick last June, played in 22 of those games. He made a start or two, but in general, he came in during the middle or late innings and played first base and maybe got a plate appearance. Especially early in camp, it’s important to have a lot of pitchers to eat innings in games when the pitchers are all going just an inning or so. I recently chatted with a few of the depth camp pitchers about their experiences. Ryan Mason, a 26-year-old right-hander, went 2-0 with a 2.35 ERA and seven saves at Double-A Pensacola in 2019 before his season ended with an arm injury. Healthy, he was thrilled to be invited to big-league spring training. He said, “First and foremost, the experience was unforgettable. I enjoyed every moment getting the opportunity to spend time with the big-league club. The highlight for myself was obviously being able to throw in a couple of games and experience the nerves of pitching again, which was long overdue due to the circumstances of last season.” Mason finished out two innings for the Twins during spring training. He faced two batters and struck one of them out. He even recorded a Win. Matt Canterino is one of the Twins top pitching prospects. The 23-year-old was the team’s second-round draft pick in 2019 out of Rice University. He was able to work 4 2/3 innings over four games. He gave up only an unearned run on two hits. He walked five batters but struck out seven and certainly showed the stuff, including a 98 mph fastball, that makes him so intriguing. Canterino said, “ I really enjoyed my time on the big league side of things. The highlight for me was definitely just being able to get in some games again against really good competition. I hadn’t faced another squad since the summer of 2019, so seeing a big leaguer with a different uniform on in the batter’s box when I was pitching really got my competitive juices flowing again.” Josh Winder has seen his prospect status skyrocket since hitting 96 and 97 mph at Instructional League last October. The 6-5 right-hander was the Twins seventh round draft pick in 2018 out of Virginia Military Institute. In 2019, he went 7-2 with a 2.65 ERA in 21 starts in Cedar Rapids during his first full professional season. Winder enjoyed being around the big leaguers and observing. “It was awesome to rub shoulders with the established big league guys and see how they went about their business. The commitment and dedication to their routine/craft was the big thing that stood out to me and motivated me to make some adjustments in my approach to the game.” He also worked in four games including making one start. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up three runs on five hits, three walks and struck out five batters. For Tom Hackimer, the team’s fourth round pick in 2016 from St. John’s, he enjoyed doing something that a lot of big league pitchers haven’t been able to do. “The highlight of my spring was managing to strike out Luis Arraez during a live BP one day.” Hackimer knows many of the players on the Twins roster and has been teammates at times with several of them, including Miguel Sano. Hackimer shared a fun story from this spring. “Miguel Sanó has been making fun of how long my arms are since 2018 when he was sent down to the Miracle, then again in 2019 in Fort Myers and Pensacola while he was rehabbing. One day we were doing PFPs, and he made me stop so that he could point out to Nelson Cruz how long my arms are.” Spring Training fun! But the opportunity to observe and learn from the big league veterans and coaching staff is immensely valuable. Mason took advantage of the opportunity. “I tried to connect with as many players as possible and just talk about pretty normal stuff to reaffirm what I already knew, which is big-league players are normal and all-around great people with their own stories. Also, there is not one way to make it. Everyone paved their own path to success.” It might surprise you to read which player Winder and Canterino mentioned when asked about their surreal moment of spring. Winder noted, “Facing Josh Donaldson is Live BP was a surreal moment for me. I’ve watched him on TV for so long it was really weird seeing him up close in the box.” Canterino had a similar experience that turned into an opportunity he will never forget. He said, “One of my coolest experiences with some of the veterans came after I threw a live bullpen to some of the big league hitters. After I finished my outing, I approached Josh Donaldson and asked what he saw when I threw to him. Andrelton Simmons joined the conversation too after a little while. So the three of us ended up talking about hitting approaches and how to attack hitters for about a half hour after that.” David Banuelos, a catcher the Twins acquired in a trade with the Mariners before the 2018 season. He is known as a defense-first catcher, but he considered his first big league spring training (as a Non-Roster Invite) a “great experience,” one he learned a lot from. Banuelos also mentioned the Twins third baseman and former AL MVP.. “Listening to Donaldson talk about hitting was really cool. I had the opportunity to pick his brain a bit.” One of his two spring hits was a long home run on a Donaldsonic swing. Spencer Steer was the Twins third round pick in 2019 from the University of Oregon. He was not on the original spring roster, but when Chris Williams hurt his shoulder in one of the first spring games, Steer was added to the depth group. He said, “The entire experience was incredible. I went from not knowing when I was reporting to minor league camp, to working out alongside big leaguers within a couple of days. It was a lot of fun to be able to watch the best of the best up close. I was able to learn a lot by just watching how they went about their work everyday.” In 11 games played, he had two hits in eight at bats including a long, opposite field home run. Starting pitchers Winder and Canterino are now in Ft. Myers, working to prepare and stretch out for their 2021 minor league seasons. Banuelos and Steer will be playing their first spring training games today in Ft. Myers. Relievers Mason and Hackimer are in St. Paul at the Twins alternate site preparing for their seasons and preparing themselves and others to possibly help the big-league club as we await the start of the season. More Minor League Notes Just a couple quick Twins minor league notes: Royce Lewis on Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlander This week, Twins shortstop prospect Royce Lewis was on the FOX Sports Flippin’ Bats with Ben Verlandershow. Lewis talked about a number of topics from the roles that guys like Torii Hunter and Nelson Cruz have played in his life and development. He talked some about his recovery from ACL surgery. He also talks about wine, and many other topics. It’s a fun interview. Twins Sign More International Free Agents When the international signing period opened on January 15th, the Twins signed several players including top shortstop prospects Danny De Andrade and Fredy LaFlor. In the past weeks, the Twins have signed a few more players including right-handed pitcher Jose Olivares. Baseball America’s Ben Badler wrote this of Oliveres: “For a while, Olivares trained as an outfielder in Venezuela, but he took off once he moved to the mound, with his velocity popping at games in the Dominican Republic last year. Previously eligible to sign in 2019, Olivares is now an 18-year-old righthander with a sturdy, physically mature frame and a fastball that has been up to 96 mph with lively riding life up in the zone. He pairs it with a good curveball that's more advanced than his changeup.” More Twins minor league coverage to come. Keep checking back. Click here to view the article
  11. 5. Cole Sands, RHP Current/Future Fastball: 50/55 Sands gets a lot of life in the upper half of the strike zone. Typically, he is in the low-90s, but he has the ability to hit 95-96 mph. According to FanGraphs, “his fastball will creep into the mid-90s with big time tail, the kind that can run off the hip of left-handed hitters and back over the plate.” His control has improved during his professional career and there is still room for him to make improvements moving forward. 4. Jordan Balazovic, RHP Current/Future Fastball: 55/55 Outside of Jhoan Duran (see below), Balazovic is the other pitcher in contention for being the team’s top pitching prospect. His fastball doesn’t have quite the velocity as others on this list, but he typically sits in the low- to mid-90s while topping out at 96 mph. His fastball plays up because hitters have a tough time picking it up out of his hand. He uses it a lot at the top of the zone and that means that the strikeouts will continue to pile up. 3. Josh Winder, RHP Current/Future Fastball: 60/60 During last year’s shutdown, Winder might have earned the award for most improved pitcher in the Twins organization. During the 2019 season, his fastball sat in the low-90s, but he can now hit 98 mph consistently and he proved this during instructs. There is good movement on the pitch too, which helps his off-speed pitches to play up. During the 2021 season, he needs to prove his 2020 development is for real. If he does, fans better be prepared for how fast Winder will fly up prospect lists next off-season. 2. Edwar Colina, RHP Current/Future Fastball: 65/65 Colina might not be as well known as some of the other names on this list, because he is destined for a role in the bullpen. His fastball consistently sits in the mid- to upper-90s and he can touch 100 mph. Even with this big velocity, his fastball doesn’t have a ton of movement, so hitters have a better chance of putting it in play. There’s a good chance he is part of the Twins bullpen at some point in 2021 and he can fill a late inning role in the years to come. 1. Jhoan Duran, RHP Current/Future Fastball: 70/70 Minnesota acquired Duran as part of the Eduardo Escobar trade and now he is considered one of the team’s best pitching prospects. He has grown into his frame throughout his time in the Twins organization as he now sits at 6-foot-5 and 230 pounds. His fastball consistently hits in the high 90’s and he can hit triple digits on a regular basis. His four-seam fastball might not even be his best fastball as he has a hybrid “splinker” pitch that can also reach into the mid-90s. His velocity is elite, and the Twins hope he can mix-in more strikeouts as he gets closer to the big leagues this season. How would you rank these players? Does someone else make the list? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THIS SERIES -Speed Tool Prospects -Hit Tool Prospects -Power Tool Prospects MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  12. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 3, Biloxi 2 (Biloxi leads best of five series 2-1) Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 73.2% strikes (52 of 71 pitches) HR: Alex Kirilloff, Ryan Costello Multi-hit games: Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR) Facing elimination tonight, Pensacola turned to a pair of pitchers making their Double-A debuts. The element of surprise paid off. Jordan Balazovic struck out seven batters in his 4 2/3 innings of work, allowing two runs on three hits. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1170147185297678336 Dakota Chalmers finished off the fifth inning for Balazovic and ended up pitching 3 1/3 no-hit innings while striking out four batters. Quite the first impressions in Pensacola for Balazovic and Chalmers. https://twitter.com/matthew_btwins/status/1170146789753647104 ALex Kirilloff opened the scoring with a solo home run in the third inning, his third homer in as many postseason games for the Blue Wahoos. https://twitter.com/MLBPipeline/status/1170135891937046534 Ryan Costello added a solo homer of his own in the fourth inning. Biloxi tied the game in the top of the fifth inning, but Travis Blankenhorn delivered a key two-out, go-ahead single that plated Royce Lewis and would prove to be the difference in this game. Anthony Vizcaya struck out the side in the ninth inning to earn the save and keep the Blue Wahoo’s 2019 season alive. They still trail in the series 2-1, so they’ll have to win the next two games in order to advance. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 2 (Cedar Rapids wins series 2-1) Box Score Josh Winder: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 71.4% strikes (55 of 77 pitches) HR: Gabe Snyder Multi-hit games: Snyder (2-for-4, HR, 2B), Wander Javier (2-for-4, 3B), DaShawn Keirsey (2-for-4, 2B) Behind big efforts from familiar faces, the Kernels won Friday night to advance in the Midwest League playoffs. Starting pitcher Josh Winder and first baseman Gabe Snyder set the tone in this game. Winder provided Cedar Rapids with six shutout innings. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter. This is the fourth time in 2019 Winder has gone at least six innings and surrendered zero runs. Winder was pitching with a lead the entire night thanks to Snyder’s home run in the top of the first inning. He added a double in the fourth inning and came around to score on a Chris Williams hit. Winder led the Kernels in virtually every pitching stat while Snyder was the top dog on the team in nearly every hitting stat, so it seemed fitting those two were the catalysts who pushed Cedar Rapids' season into the next round. Wander Javier had a two-hit night that included a triple and an RBI single. DaShawn Kerisey led off the top of the ninth inning with a double and scored a huge insurance run on a Tyler Webb RBI single. Austin Schulfer pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to earn the save. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Josh Winder, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis (PNS): 1-for-4, R, K, E (fielding) 2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 2-for-4, HR, R, RBI 4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 1-for-3, 3B, BB, K 5. Wander Javier (CR): 2-for-4, 3B, R, RBI, K, E (fielding) 6. Jordan Balazovic (PNS): 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 73.2% strikes (52 of 71 pitches) 13. Ryan Jeffers (PNS): 0-for-4 15. Matt Wallner (CR): 0-for-4, 3 K 20. Travis Blankenhorn (PNS): 1-for-3, BB, RBI SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pensacola at Biloxi, 6:35 pm CT (TBD) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  13. They’re alive! Both Pensacola and Cedar Rapids were facing elimination tonight, but both Twins affiliates managed to survive. A couple of new faces shined in their Double-A debuts for the Blue Wahoos to force a game 4 in the Southern League semifinals. Meanwhile, a few familiar faces pushed the Kernels ahead to clinch a series victory in the Midwest League Quarterfinals.BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 3, Biloxi 2 (Biloxi leads best of five series 2-1) Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 73.2% strikes (52 of 71 pitches) HR: Alex Kirilloff, Ryan Costello Multi-hit games: Kirilloff (2-for-4, HR) Facing elimination tonight, Pensacola turned to a pair of pitchers making their Double-A debuts. The element of surprise paid off. Jordan Balazovic struck out seven batters in his 4 2/3 innings of work, allowing two runs on three hits. Ryan Costello added a solo homer of his own in the fourth inning. Biloxi tied the game in the top of the fifth inning, but Travis Blankenhorn delivered a key two-out, go-ahead single that plated Royce Lewis and would prove to be the difference in this game. Anthony Vizcaya struck out the side in the ninth inning to earn the save and keep the Blue Wahoo’s 2019 season alive. They still trail in the series 2-1, so they’ll have to win the next two games in order to advance. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 2 (Cedar Rapids wins series 2-1) Box Score Josh Winder: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 71.4% strikes (55 of 77 pitches) HR: Gabe Snyder Multi-hit games: Snyder (2-for-4, HR, 2B), Wander Javier (2-for-4, 3B), DaShawn Keirsey (2-for-4, 2B) Behind big efforts from familiar faces, the Kernels won Friday night to advance in the Midwest League playoffs. Starting pitcher Josh Winder and first baseman Gabe Snyder set the tone in this game. Winder provided Cedar Rapids with six shutout innings. He struck out seven and did not walk a batter. This is the fourth time in 2019 Winder has gone at least six innings and surrendered zero runs. Winder was pitching with a lead the entire night thanks to Snyder’s home run in the top of the first inning. He added a double in the fourth inning and came around to score on a Chris Williams hit. Winder led the Kernels in virtually every pitching stat while Snyder was the top dog on the team in nearly every hitting stat, so it seemed fitting those two were the catalysts who pushed Cedar Rapids' season into the next round. Wander Javier had a two-hit night that included a triple and an RBI single. DaShawn Kerisey led off the top of the ninth inning with a double and scored a huge insurance run on a Tyler Webb RBI single. Austin Schulfer pitched the final 2 1/3 innings to earn the save. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Josh Winder, Cedar Rapids Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Gabe Snyder, Cedar Rapids TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis (PNS): 1-for-4, R, K, E (fielding) 2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 2-for-4, HR, R, RBI 4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 1-for-3, 3B, BB, K 5. Wander Javier (CR): 2-for-4, 3B, R, RBI, K, E (fielding) 6. Jordan Balazovic (PNS): 4.2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 0 BB, 7 K, 73.2% strikes (52 of 71 pitches) 13. Ryan Jeffers (PNS): 0-for-4 15. Matt Wallner (CR): 0-for-4, 3 K 20. Travis Blankenhorn (PNS): 1-for-3, BB, RBI SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pensacola at Biloxi, 6:35 pm CT (TBD) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games. Click here to view the article
  14. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Six Starters for August, there were some other strong starting performers that just missed the cut. There are two pitchers in the Honorable Mention category who had K:BB ratios of 30:2 and 23:3! You can certainly agree or disagree with the rankings. Let’s discuss the top starting pitchers in the organization in August. HONORABLE MENTION Kohl Stewart - Rochester Red Wings - 6 G, 5 GS, 27.2 IP, 2.93 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 18 H, 11 BB, 21 K Dakota Chalmers - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 20.1 IP, 1.77 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 10 H, 13 BB, 29 K Blayne Enlow - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 22.0 IP, 2.45 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 16 H, 10 BB, 17 K Cole Sands - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 3 GS, 15.0 IP, 2.55 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 22 H, 2 BB, 23 K Andrew Cabezas - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 GS, 27.1 IP, 2.30 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 21 H, 12 BB, 15 K Luis Rijo - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 GS, 29.1 IP, 3.68 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 12 H, 2 BB, 30 K Donny Breek - GCL Twins - 4 G, 2 GS, 17.1 IP, 0.52 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 10 H, 5 BB, 21 K Niklas Rimmel - GCL Twins - 3 G, 2 GS, 13.0 IP, 0.69 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 8 H, 1 BB, 13 K THE TOP SIX STARTING PITCHERS #6 - RHP Chris Vallimont - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 22.1 IP, 3.63 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 15 H, 4 BB, 28 K Chris Vallimont came to the Twins in the trade deadline deal with the Marlins in which the Twins also received Sergio Romo and Cash in exchange for Lewin Diaz. Vallimont had a strong first month in the Twins organization despite a rough first start in which he gave up six earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings. However, in three starts since, he has been remarkable. His next two starts came against his former teammates, the Jupiter Hammerheads. In both games, he had a no-hitter into the late innings and completed seven in both games. So, while his ERA is a bit high because of the first start, his ability to limit base runners and that strikeout-to-walk ratio are both quite impressive. We caught up with Vallimont for this story shortly after his trade to the Twins. #5 - RHP Josh Winder- Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 GS, 25.2 IP, 1.40 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 20 H, 6 BB, 28 K Winder was the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month in June, and he’s been really consistent all season with the Kernels. He was the Twins seventh-round pick in 2018 out of Virginia Military Institute. In August, he worked innings, limited runs and base runners. He also missed bats. Opponents hit just .206 with a .528 OPS against him. Overall this season, Winder went 7-2 with a 2.65 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP over 21 starts and 125 2/3 innings. Steve Buhr wrote about Winder earlier this season. #4 - RHP Jordan Balazovic - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 19.1 IP, 2.33 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 12 H, 5 BB, 28 K Balazovic began the month in Lima, Peru, where he helped Team Canada to a silver medal at the Pan Am Games. He returned to the MIracle and was very good. In his first start back, he struck out nine batters in five shutout, two-hit innings. In his final start of the month, he struck out nine batters in five shutout, two-hit innings. Along with the above numbers (which are very impressive), opponents hit just .169 off of him (with a .460 OPS). The lanky right-hander was the Twins fifth-round pick in 2016 out of high school in Ontario. #3 - RHP Cody Laweryson - Elizabethton Twins - 5 GS, 24.0 IP, 1.13 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 12 H, 4 BB, 34 K We all remember that 15 strikeout game that Laweryson tossed last week for the E-Twins, but the Twins 14th-round pick from the University of Maine in June was good all month. He began with a spot start in Cedar Rapids where he tossed five shutout innings. In his four E-Twins starts, he gave up earned runs in just one of them. Opponents hit just .143 with a .414 OPS against him in the month. Pretty good first impression for the right-hander. #2 - RHP Matt Canterino - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 GS, 20.0 IP, 1.35 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, 6 H, 7 BB, 25 K Canterino was the Twins’ second-round pick in 2019 out of Rice University. After tossing 99 1/3 innings this spring for the Owls, the Twins have wisely eased him into pro ball. After some time away from the mound, he went to the GCL where he worked five innings over two games. He moved up to Cedar Rapids at the beginning of the month and they continued to monitor his innings. He averaged just four innings per start and hasn’t thrown more than 72 pitches in any outing. Nevertheless, he has been really impressive. He gave up just three runs, recorded strikeouts and opponents hit just .091 off of him in the month. Learn more about Canterino in this week’s article from Steve Buhr. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - RHP Bailey Ober - 4 GS, 27.0 IP, 0.67 ERA, 0.56 HIP, 13 H, 2 BB, 39 K Bailey Ober has put up eye-popping numbers in 2019. Overall, he is 8-0 with a 0.69 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP. In April, he was a very close runner up in our monthly Starting Pitcher of the Month voting. Unfortunately, he ended the month on the Injured List and didn’t return until early July when he made a couple of rehab appearances before rejoining the Ft. Myers Miracle. However, after just four starts there, he earned his promotion to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in early August. He continued to dominate. In his first start, he gave up two hits and one run over seven innings. In his second Blue Wahoos start, he struck out 12 batters over seven shutout innings. His third start? 11 strikeouts and only an unearned run in seven innings. In his final start of the month, and of the regular season, he gave up one hit over three innings in preparations for the playoffs. For the month, opponents hit just .141 with a .351 OPS against him. Ober was the Twins 13th-round pick in 2017 out of the College of Charleston. In college and as a pro, he has been very good on the mound when healthy. The 6-9 right-hander has a strong four-pitch mix and is certainly one to watch in 2020! Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of August, Pensacola Blue Wahoos right-hander Bailey Ober. Feel free to discuss and ask questions.
  15. Earlier this week, Twins Daily named Zander Wiel the Hitter of the Month for August. Today, we announce our choice for the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month. While the choice was ultimately pretty easy, I was in awe of how much strong pitching there was in the season’s final month. It’s really exciting to see. Next week, we will start handing out our 2019 season awards, but let’s take a quick look back at the Twins Minor League Starting Pitchers of the Month from earlier this season. Previous 2019 Starting Pitchers of the Month: April - Devin Smeltzer - Pensacola Blue Wahoos May - Jordan Balazovic - Ft. Myers Miracle June - Josh Winder - Cedar Rapids Kernels July - Edwar Colina - Pensacola Blue Wahoos August -Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Six Starters for August, there were some other strong starting performers that just missed the cut. There are two pitchers in the Honorable Mention category who had K:BB ratios of 30:2 and 23:3! You can certainly agree or disagree with the rankings. Let’s discuss the top starting pitchers in the organization in August. HONORABLE MENTION Kohl Stewart - Rochester Red Wings - 6 G, 5 GS, 27.2 IP, 2.93 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 18 H, 11 BB, 21 KDakota Chalmers - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 20.1 IP, 1.77 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 10 H, 13 BB, 29 KBlayne Enlow - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 22.0 IP, 2.45 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 16 H, 10 BB, 17 KCole Sands - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 3 GS, 15.0 IP, 2.55 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 22 H, 2 BB, 23 KAndrew Cabezas - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 GS, 27.1 IP, 2.30 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 21 H, 12 BB, 15 KLuis Rijo - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 GS, 29.1 IP, 3.68 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 12 H, 2 BB, 30 KDonny Breek - GCL Twins - 4 G, 2 GS, 17.1 IP, 0.52 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 10 H, 5 BB, 21 KNiklas Rimmel - GCL Twins - 3 G, 2 GS, 13.0 IP, 0.69 ERA, 0.69 WHIP, 8 H, 1 BB, 13 KTHE TOP SIX STARTING PITCHERS #6 - RHP Chris Vallimont - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 22.1 IP, 3.63 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 15 H, 4 BB, 28 K Chris Vallimont came to the Twins in the trade deadline deal with the Marlins in which the Twins also received Sergio Romo and Cash in exchange for Lewin Diaz. Vallimont had a strong first month in the Twins organization despite a rough first start in which he gave up six earned runs in just 2 1/3 innings. However, in three starts since, he has been remarkable. His next two starts came against his former teammates, the Jupiter Hammerheads. In both games, he had a no-hitter into the late innings and completed seven in both games. So, while his ERA is a bit high because of the first start, his ability to limit base runners and that strikeout-to-walk ratio are both quite impressive. We caught up with Vallimont for this story shortly after his trade to the Twins. #5 - RHP Josh Winder- Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 GS, 25.2 IP, 1.40 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 20 H, 6 BB, 28 K Winder was the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month in June, and he’s been really consistent all season with the Kernels. He was the Twins seventh-round pick in 2018 out of Virginia Military Institute. In August, he worked innings, limited runs and base runners. He also missed bats. Opponents hit just .206 with a .528 OPS against him. Overall this season, Winder went 7-2 with a 2.65 ERA and a 0.98 WHIP over 21 starts and 125 2/3 innings. Steve Buhr wrote about Winder earlier this season. #4 - RHP Jordan Balazovic - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 GS, 19.1 IP, 2.33 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 12 H, 5 BB, 28 K Balazovic began the month in Lima, Peru, where he helped Team Canada to a silver medal at the Pan Am Games. He returned to the MIracle and was very good. In his first start back, he struck out nine batters in five shutout, two-hit innings. In his final start of the month, he struck out nine batters in five shutout, two-hit innings. Along with the above numbers (which are very impressive), opponents hit just .169 off of him (with a .460 OPS). The lanky right-hander was the Twins fifth-round pick in 2016 out of high school in Ontario. #3 - RHP Cody Laweryson - Elizabethton Twins - 5 GS, 24.0 IP, 1.13 ERA, 0.67 WHIP, 12 H, 4 BB, 34 K We all remember that 15 strikeout game that Laweryson tossed last week for the E-Twins, but the Twins 14th-round pick from the University of Maine in June was good all month. He began with a spot start in Cedar Rapids where he tossed five shutout innings. In his four E-Twins starts, he gave up earned runs in just one of them. Opponents hit just .143 with a .414 OPS against him in the month. Pretty good first impression for the right-hander. #2 - RHP Matt Canterino - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 GS, 20.0 IP, 1.35 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, 6 H, 7 BB, 25 K Canterino was the Twins’ second-round pick in 2019 out of Rice University. After tossing 99 1/3 innings this spring for the Owls, the Twins have wisely eased him into pro ball. After some time away from the mound, he went to the GCL where he worked five innings over two games. He moved up to Cedar Rapids at the beginning of the month and they continued to monitor his innings. He averaged just four innings per start and hasn’t thrown more than 72 pitches in any outing. Nevertheless, he has been really impressive. He gave up just three runs, recorded strikeouts and opponents hit just .091 off of him in the month. Learn more about Canterino in this week’s articlefrom Steve Buhr. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - RHP Bailey Ober - 4 GS, 27.0 IP, 0.67 ERA, 0.56 HIP, 13 H, 2 BB, 39 K Bailey Ober has put up eye-popping numbers in 2019. Overall, he is 8-0 with a 0.69 ERA and a 0.81 WHIP. In April, he was a very close runner up in our monthly Starting Pitcher of the Month voting. Unfortunately, he ended the month on the Injured List and didn’t return until early July when he made a couple of rehab appearances before rejoining the Ft. Myers Miracle. However, after just four starts there, he earned his promotion to the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in early August. He continued to dominate. In his first start, he gave up two hits and one run over seven innings. In his second Blue Wahoos start, he struck out 12 batters over seven shutout innings. His third start? 11 strikeouts and only an unearned run in seven innings. In his final start of the month, and of the regular season, he gave up one hit over three innings in preparations for the playoffs. For the month, opponents hit just .141 with a .351 OPS against him. Ober was the Twins 13th-round pick in 2017 out of the College of Charleston. In college and as a pro, he has been very good on the mound when healthy. The 6-9 right-hander has a strong four-pitch mix and is certainly one to watch in 2020! Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of August, Pensacola Blue Wahoos right-hander Bailey Ober. Feel free to discuss and ask questions. Click here to view the article
  16. TRANSACTIONS RHP D.J. Baxendale activated from the 7 day IL at AAA Rochester RHP Edwar Colina transferred to AA Pensacola RHP Adam Bray placed on the 7 day IL at AA Pensacola 1B Chris Williams assigned to A Cedar Rapids from A+ Fort Myers C Kyle Schmidt placed on the 7 day IL at A Cedar Rapids OF Ian Miller will reportedly be called up by the Twins https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/1167892292977360897 RHP Brusdar Graterol will reportedly be called up by the Twins sometime in September https://twitter.com/StribSports/status/1167813663543234560 RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Syracuse 3 Box Score D.J. Baxendale: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Ramón Flores (2-for-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI), Tomás Telis (4-for-5, 2B, R), Wilin Rosario (2-for-5, R), Alejandro De Aza (2-for-5, 2B, RBI), Ronald Torreyes (2-for-3, R), Mike Miller (2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) The Red Wings ran a bullpen game against the Syracuse Mets who also ran a bullpen game. I’m sure every reliever got their steps in with all the pitching changes made in the game. Baxendale started the game and was able to go three innings for his first outing off the IL. Jake Reed picked up after him and was able to net seven outs with just one earned run. After Reed, potential call-ups Jorge Alcala and Fernando Romero combined for 11 outs and no earned runs to put the finishing touches on a well- pitched game. While the offense only scored five runs, there were many opportunities to expand that for the Red Wings as they had 16 hits total in the game. Telis was the big winner at the plate with his four hits but there were five other hitters with multi-hit games and every hitter except one had a hit. In total, the only thing that could stop the Red Wings from scoring was themselves as they had a runner on base in every inning except for the ninth. Naturally, there was no ninth because they were the home team and had the lead following the top of the ninth so the bottom of the ninth did not exist, a shame. BLUE WAHOO BITES No game MIRACLE MATTERS Season cancelled KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Beloit 1 Box Score Josh Winder: 4 ⅔ IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (2-for-4, 3B, 2 R) In the only other game that was played in the Twins’ system, their affiliate won again. How’s that for a clean sweep? Josh Winder started the game and continued his excellent season with just one lone earned run given up. His ERA on the year now stands at an excellent 2.65 and he should get a fair amount of consideration for the Twins Daily minor league pitcher of the year. The offense was not loud for the Kernels but it got the job done. A DaShawn Kiersey ground out in the fourth plated their first run of the game and a passed ball in the sixth scored Matt Wallner following his triple earlier in the inning. The lone run scoring base hit came from a seventh inning Spencer Steer single which gave the Kernels an insurance run that was not needed. Not to be out-shined by Winder’s start, Dylan Thomas and Jose Martinez worked in relief and nailed down the game with 4 1/3 scoreless innings combined. As a whole, Winder, Thomas, and Martinez combined for just one earned run and 13 strikeouts on the night. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Josh Winder Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Tomás Telis PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - No game #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - No Game #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Rochester) - Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - No game #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Cancelled season #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Cancelled season #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - No game #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Cancelled season #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - No game #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) - 0-for-1, K #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, 2 K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - No game #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) - 1 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - Season over #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - No game SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Syracuse @ Rochester (5:05 P.M.) - TBD Pensacola @ Montgomery (5:05 P.M.) - LHP Charlie Barnes Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (2:00 P.M.) - LHP Kody Funderburk Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games.
  17. Just two games in the system tonight as Pensacola prepares for their playoff push and the two Florida-based leagues were cancelled. Still, there was some action in the system and some potential theories regarding who will be called up to the majors with the expanded rosters. All that and more in this edition of the Minor League Report.TRANSACTIONS RHP D.J. Baxendale activated from the 7 day IL at AAA Rochester RHP Edwar Colina transferred to AA Pensacola RHP Adam Bray placed on the 7 day IL at AA Pensacola 1B Chris Williams assigned to A Cedar Rapids from A+ Fort Myers C Kyle Schmidt placed on the 7 day IL at A Cedar Rapids OF Ian Miller will reportedly be called up by the Twins RHP Brusdar Graterol will reportedly be called up by the Twins sometime in September RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Syracuse 3 Box Score D.J. Baxendale: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Ramón Flores (2-for-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI), Tomás Telis (4-for-5, 2B, R), Wilin Rosario (2-for-5, R), Alejandro De Aza (2-for-5, 2B, RBI), Ronald Torreyes (2-for-3, R), Mike Miller (2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) The Red Wings ran a bullpen game against the Syracuse Mets who also ran a bullpen game. I’m sure every reliever got their steps in with all the pitching changes made in the game. Baxendale started the game and was able to go three innings for his first outing off the IL. Jake Reed picked up after him and was able to net seven outs with just one earned run. After Reed, potential call-ups Jorge Alcala and Fernando Romero combined for 11 outs and no earned runs to put the finishing touches on a well- pitched game. While the offense only scored five runs, there were many opportunities to expand that for the Red Wings as they had 16 hits total in the game. Telis was the big winner at the plate with his four hits but there were five other hitters with multi-hit games and every hitter except one had a hit. In total, the only thing that could stop the Red Wings from scoring was themselves as they had a runner on base in every inning except for the ninth. Naturally, there was no ninth because they were the home team and had the lead following the top of the ninth so the bottom of the ninth did not exist, a shame. BLUE WAHOO BITES No game MIRACLE MATTERS Season cancelled KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Beloit 1 Box Score Josh Winder: 4 ⅔ IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (2-for-4, 3B, 2 R) In the only other game that was played in the Twins’ system, their affiliate won again. How’s that for a clean sweep? Josh Winder started the game and continued his excellent season with just one lone earned run given up. His ERA on the year now stands at an excellent 2.65 and he should get a fair amount of consideration for the Twins Daily minor league pitcher of the year. The offense was not loud for the Kernels but it got the job done. A DaShawn Kiersey ground out in the fourth plated their first run of the game and a passed ball in the sixth scored Matt Wallner following his triple earlier in the inning. The lone run scoring base hit came from a seventh inning Spencer Steer single which gave the Kernels an insurance run that was not needed. Not to be out-shined by Winder’s start, Dylan Thomas and Jose Martinez worked in relief and nailed down the game with 4 1/3 scoreless innings combined. As a whole, Winder, Thomas, and Martinez combined for just one earned run and 13 strikeouts on the night. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Josh Winder Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Tomás Telis PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - No game #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - No Game #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Rochester) - Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - No game #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Cancelled season #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Cancelled season #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - No game #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Cancelled season #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - No game #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) - 0-for-1, K #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, 2 K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - No game #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) - 1 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - Season over #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - No game SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Syracuse @ Rochester (5:05 P.M.) - TBD Pensacola @ Montgomery (5:05 P.M.) - LHP Charlie Barnes Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (2:00 P.M.) - LHP Kody Funderburk Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games. Click here to view the article
  18. AWARDS The Twins announced their weekly Hitter and Pitcher of the Week Hitter of the Week: Alex Kirilloff, Pensacola Kirilloff, 21, played in seven games for Double-A Pensacola this week, hitting .444 (12-for-27) with one double, one home run, five RBI and a 1.075 OPS. Kirilloff was drafted by the Twins 15th overall in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft and represented the Twins at the SiriusXM Futures Game in Cleveland this summer Pitcher of the Week: Bailey Ober, Pensacola Ober, 24, made one start for the Blue Wahoos on Wednesday at Mississippi, pitching 7.0 shutout innings with three hits, no walks and 12 strikeouts. Ober was drafted by the Twins in the 12th round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of College of Charleston. TRANSACTIONS LHP Gabriel Moya placed on the IL for Pensacola. OF Byron Buxton began MLB rehab assignment with Cedar Rapids. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Syracuse 11 Box Score Rochester took an early 1-0 lead in this one before falling behind in the middle innings. Wilin Rosario collected an RBI-double in the top of the first to score Ramon Flores. The Red Wings wouldn’t score again until the fourth inning when Brandon Barnes drilled his 29th home run of the year. Zander Wiel lead off the seventh inning with his 37th double and came around to score on a one-out single from Wynston Sawyer. Devin Smeltzer started for Rochester and couldn’t make it out of the fourth frame. He was charged with five earned runs on five hits including three home runs. He struck out five and walked one. Edwar Colina made his Triple-A debut and didn’t find much success. He allowed five runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings. Jorge Alcala limited Syracuse to one hit in almost two innings and he struck out three. Zack Littell walked a pair of batters in the eighth and saw one runner come around to score. Rochester had a chance to gain ground on first-place Scranton/WB. Unfortunately, the Red Wings are four games back with just eight remaining in the season. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 1, Jackson 4 Box Score Griffin Jax was cruising along in a pitcher’s duel before Jackson was able to break things open in the mid to late innings. He pitched six innings and was charged with one earned run (three total runs) with seven strikeouts and one walk. Following Jax, Tom Hackimer gave up one earned run on two hits over two frames. Andrew Vasquez finished off the game with a hitless ninth inning. Fresh off his Player of the Week honors (see above), Alex Kirilloff continued his hot hitting. Kirilloff and LaMonte Wade both finished 2-for-4. Wade added his second double as part of his MLB rehab assignment. Ryan Costello reached base twice and Mark Contreras knocked in a run with his 12th double. Pensacola matched Jackson with six hits but finished 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers --, Palm Beach – (Cancelled) Rain forced the cancellation of the final game of the three-game series between the Miracle and the Cardinals. Fort Myers won the first two games in the series to stretch their winning streak to five games. Currently, the team is a season high 18 games over .500 (73-55). KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Peoria 9 Box Score Byron Buxton made a quick impression back in Low-A as he stretched what looked like a routine single into a hustle double. He was left at second base, but he would make it around the bases in his second at-bat. With two outs in the third inning, Buxton drew a walk in front of Matt Walner’s second home runs since being promoted from Elizabethton. He would get one more at-bat and he struck out. https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/1165759211529297920?s=20 There was more to this game than Buxton cruising around the bases. Josh Winder started and put together another strong outing. He limited Peoria to four hits over six shutout innings with five strikeouts and two walks. His season ERA dropped to 2.68 to go along with a sub-1.00 WHIP. It was his team-high 11th quality start. Dylan Thomas kept the shutout alive by tossing two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out one. Brian Rapp and Austin Schulfer each had a tough time at the end of the game. Rapp couldn’t record an out and was charged with four earned runs on three hits. Schulfer took the loss and the blown save after allowing five earned runs on three hits. Cedar Rapids loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth but couldn’t mount a comeback. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 1, Danville 7 Box Score After allowing seven earned runs in his last start, Andriu Marin did much better as he limited Danville to four hits and two runs. He struck out four and walked two. Frandy Torres got hit around in his inning of work. He allowed three earned runs (four total) on four hits with a walk and a strikeout. Steven Cruz and Benjamin Dum combined to allow one earned run over the final three innings. Cruz struck out the side in both innings he worked. The E-Twins didn’t have much to speak of on the offensive side of the ball as the team was limited to three hits. Trevor Jensen had the team’s lone extra-base hit, a double. Charles Mack reached base twice and had the team’s only RBI. Overall, the team went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Josh Winder, Cedar Rapids (6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5 K, 2 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Tyler Webb, Cedar Rapids (2-3, 3B, 2 R, BB) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) – 0-3, BB, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 2-4, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Rochester) – Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 1-4 #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 2-5, R, K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) – Game cancelled #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) – No scheduled game #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) – Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) – Game cancelled #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Minnesota) – 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, K #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – Did not play #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) – 0-4, K #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 0-2, BB #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – Did not play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, H, 3 K, 0 BB #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) – No scheduled game #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – 0-4, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Buffalo (6:05 CST) – TBD Pensacola vs. Jackson (6:35 CST) – TBD Fort Myers @ Dunedin (4:00 CST) – LHP Lachlan Wells (2-5, 4.30 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (Game 2) – TBD Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria (6:35 CST) – LHP Kody Funderburk (0-3, 4.85 ERA) Elizabethton vs. Greeneville (5:30 CST) – TBD GCL Twins vs. GCL Braves (11:00 am CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
  19. Byron Buxton hadn’t been in a Cedar Rapids uniform since he was a 19-year old, but that changed on Sunday afternoon as he began his MLB rehab assignment. He was penciled into the line-up as the DH with the plan for him to play in center field on Monday. If everything goes to plan, he could be back with the Twins as early as Tuesday. Was Buxton able to help the Kernels? Read on to find out.AWARDS The Twins announced their weekly Hitter and Pitcher of the Week Hitter of the Week: Alex Kirilloff, PensacolaKirilloff, 21, played in seven games for Double-A Pensacola this week, hitting .444 (12-for-27) with one double, one home run, five RBI and a 1.075 OPS. Kirilloff was drafted by the Twins 15th overall in the 2016 First-Year Player Draft and represented the Twins at the SiriusXM Futures Game in Cleveland this summerPitcher of the Week: Bailey Ober, PensacolaOber, 24, made one start for the Blue Wahoos on Wednesday at Mississippi, pitching 7.0 shutout innings with three hits, no walks and 12 strikeouts. Ober was drafted by the Twins in the 12th round of the 2017 MLB Draft out of College of Charleston. TRANSACTIONS LHP Gabriel Moya placed on the IL for Pensacola. OF Byron Buxton began MLB rehab assignment with Cedar Rapids. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Syracuse 11 Box Score Rochester took an early 1-0 lead in this one before falling behind in the middle innings. Wilin Rosario collected an RBI-double in the top of the first to score Ramon Flores. The Red Wings wouldn’t score again until the fourth inning when Brandon Barnes drilled his 29th home run of the year. Zander Wiel lead off the seventh inning with his 37th double and came around to score on a one-out single from Wynston Sawyer. Devin Smeltzer started for Rochester and couldn’t make it out of the fourth frame. He was charged with five earned runs on five hits including three home runs. He struck out five and walked one. Edwar Colina made his Triple-A debut and didn’t find much success. He allowed five runs on four hits in 1 2/3 innings. Jorge Alcala limited Syracuse to one hit in almost two innings and he struck out three. Zack Littell walked a pair of batters in the eighth and saw one runner come around to score. Rochester had a chance to gain ground on first-place Scranton/WB. Unfortunately, the Red Wings are four games back with just eight remaining in the season. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 1, Jackson 4 Box Score Griffin Jax was cruising along in a pitcher’s duel before Jackson was able to break things open in the mid to late innings. He pitched six innings and was charged with one earned run (three total runs) with seven strikeouts and one walk. Following Jax, Tom Hackimer gave up one earned run on two hits over two frames. Andrew Vasquez finished off the game with a hitless ninth inning. Fresh off his Player of the Week honors (see above), Alex Kirilloff continued his hot hitting. Kirilloff and LaMonte Wade both finished 2-for-4. Wade added his second double as part of his MLB rehab assignment. Ryan Costello reached base twice and Mark Contreras knocked in a run with his 12th double. Pensacola matched Jackson with six hits but finished 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers --, Palm Beach – (Cancelled) Rain forced the cancellation of the final game of the three-game series between the Miracle and the Cardinals. Fort Myers won the first two games in the series to stretch their winning streak to five games. Currently, the team is a season high 18 games over .500 (73-55). KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Peoria 9 Box Score Byron Buxton made a quick impression back in Low-A as he stretched what looked like a routine single into a hustle double. He was left at second base, but he would make it around the bases in his second at-bat. With two outs in the third inning, Buxton drew a walk in front of Matt Walner’s second home runs since being promoted from Elizabethton. He would get one more at-bat and he struck out. There was more to this game than Buxton cruising around the bases. Josh Winder started and put together another strong outing. He limited Peoria to four hits over six shutout innings with five strikeouts and two walks. His season ERA dropped to 2.68 to go along with a sub-1.00 WHIP. It was his team-high 11th quality start. Dylan Thomas kept the shutout alive by tossing two scoreless innings. He allowed two hits and struck out one. Brian Rapp and Austin Schulfer each had a tough time at the end of the game. Rapp couldn’t record an out and was charged with four earned runs on three hits. Schulfer took the loss and the blown save after allowing five earned runs on three hits. Cedar Rapids loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth but couldn’t mount a comeback. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 1, Danville 7 Box Score After allowing seven earned runs in his last start, Andriu Marin did much better as he limited Danville to four hits and two runs. He struck out four and walked two. Frandy Torres got hit around in his inning of work. He allowed three earned runs (four total) on four hits with a walk and a strikeout. Steven Cruz and Benjamin Dum combined to allow one earned run over the final three innings. Cruz struck out the side in both innings he worked. The E-Twins didn’t have much to speak of on the offensive side of the ball as the team was limited to three hits. Trevor Jensen had the team’s lone extra-base hit, a double. Charles Mack reached base twice and had the team’s only RBI. Overall, the team went 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position and left eight men on base. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Josh Winder, Cedar Rapids (6.0 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5 K, 2 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Tyler Webb, Cedar Rapids (2-3, 3B, 2 R, BB) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) – 0-3, BB, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 2-4, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Rochester) – Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 1-4 #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 2-5, R, K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) – Game cancelled #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) – No scheduled game #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) – Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) – Game cancelled #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Minnesota) – 1.0 IP, 2 ER, 3 H, K #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – Did not play #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) – 0-4, K #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 0-2, BB #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – Did not play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) – 1.2 IP, 0 ER, H, 3 K, 0 BB #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) – No scheduled game #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – 0-4, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Buffalo (6:05 CST) – TBD Pensacola vs. Jackson (6:35 CST) – TBD Fort Myers @ Dunedin (4:00 CST) – LHP Lachlan Wells (2-5, 4.30 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (Game 2) – TBD Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria (6:35 CST) – LHP Kody Funderburk (0-3, 4.85 ERA) Elizabethton vs. Greeneville (5:30 CST) – TBD GCL Twins vs. GCL Braves (11:00 am CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games. 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  20. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with some awards and the transactions of the day. AWARDS RHP Chris Vallimont was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week. RHP Luis Rijo was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week RHP Andriu Marin was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week. https://twitter.com/AppyLeague/status/1163536494893645830 TRANSACTIONS DH Nelson Cruz was activated from the injured list by the Twins, and they optioned RHP Zack Littell to Rochester. Rochester officially announced that RHPs Brusdar Graterol and Jorge Alcala are now on their roster. To make room for the two new pitchers, RHP Adam Bray was sent down to Pensacola. Also DJ Baxendale was placed on the IL. RHP Cole Sands was promoted to Pensacola and started Game 2 of their doubleheader. C Cole Donaldson and OF Bryson Gandy were placed on the GCL IL. CF Luis Baez was promoted from the Dominican Summer League to the GCL. The Twins also returned to the United Shores Professional Baseball League to sign 3B/C Eric Jones who had played at Davidson University. https://twitter.com/DavidsonBASE/status/1163572156766097408 RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 0, Buffalo 3 Box Score In this game recap, we start with the Red Wings offense… On to the pitching… Griffin Jax was really good for the Red Wings. The righty gave up just one run on four hits over six innings. He walked one, hit two and struck out seven. Sam Clay came on and was charged with two runs on three hits over 1 1/3 innings. Fernando Romero got the final five outs. He walked one and struck out one . Clay and Romero each hit a batter. Back to the Red Wings offense. The story was Buffalo starter who worked all nine innings and did not give up a hit. In fact, only a Mike Miller walk and hitting Zander Wiel with a pitch kept him from a perfect game. https://twitter.com/JoshWhetzel/status/1163628572470382592 BLUE WAHOOS BITES Game 1 - Pensacola 0, Mississippi 1 Box Score Bryan Sammons has quietly put together another really solid season, and he showed that again on Monday night. He tossed a complete game for the Blue Wahoos. The left-hander gave up just one hit. Unfortunately, that one hit came off the bat of Braves prospect Riley Unroe and it left the yard. It was the lone run of the game. Sammons worked six innings and walked two and struck out five. Pensacola managed just two hits in the game, one by Willians Astudillo (who DHd) and one by Alex Kirilloff. Over the past five weeks, Sammons has dropped his ERA from 5.26 down to 4.20. Just once in his past seven starts has he given up more than two earned runs. Game 2 - Pensacola 4, Mississippi 2 Box Score Trevor Larnach had a tough Game 1, striking out in each of his three at-bats. But this was Game 2, a new game, and in his first at-bat, he crushed his sixth Pensacola homer. He went 1-for-2 with a walk, and he was hit by a pitch. Larnach hit six home runs in 320 at-bats in Ft. Myers. His sixth homer with the Blue Wahoos came in just his 109th at-bat. Alex Kirilloff went 2-for-4 with his 16th double, and Ryan Jeffers went 2-for-3 with a walk and his third double. Cole Sands made his first Double-A start. The right-hander gave up two runs on four hits over four innings. He walked just one and struck out six batters. Gabriel Moya tossed three shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out three batters. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers Box Score No Game Scheduled. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Quad Cities 2 Box Score The Kernels headed south to Davenport to take on the River Bandits again. Josh Winder got the start and pitched well. He gave up two runs on five hits over six innings. He struck out nine and did not issue a walk. He passed the 100 strikeout mark on the season, becoming the second Kernels pitcher to reach that number this year. The other pitcher on that list is Austin Schulfer who came out of the bullpen in relief. He gave up one hit, walked and and struck out three batters over two scoreless innings. Dylan Thomas worked a perfect ninth which included a strikeout. The Kernels gave Winder some good run support. OF Tyler Webb led the way by going 4-for-5 with two RBI. Trevor Casanova went 3-for-5 with his eighth and ninth doubles. Spencer Steer went 2-for-4 with a walk and his eighth double. LaMonte Wade, continuing his rehab, went 1-for-4 and walked once. Gilberto Celestino walked twice. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 2, Princeton 8 Box Score As shown above, E-Twins starter Andriu Marin was named the Appy League Pitcher of the Week on Monday. How did he do as a follow up to his fantastic start? Well, the youngster gave up eight runs (seven earned) on 12 hits over just 4 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out four. Osiris German came in and worked the final 3 1/3 innings. He gave up just one hit, hit a batter and struck out three. Parker Phillips led the offense. He went 2-for-3 with a walk. Ricky De La Torre hit his first E-Twins double of the season. GCL TWINS TAKES Game 1 - GCL Twins 1, GCL Pirates 0 Box Score Right-hander Miguel Rodriguez threw three shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked two, hit one and struck out three. On the year, he now has a 0.90 ERA over 30 innings and has 34 strikeouts. Junior Navas struck out five batters over the next three innings. He gave up just one hit and hit a batter. Evan Gillespie picked up the save with a scoreless seventh inning. The Twins managed just three hits. Jeferson Morales hit his third triple and later scored the game’s lone run on an error. Alec Craig had a walk and a single. Game 2 - Twins 7, GCL Pirates 2 Box Score German-born Niklas Rimmel improved to 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA. He tossed five shutout innings and gave up just three hits. He struck out seven and walked just one. Petru Balan gave up a run on two hits in the sixth inning. Bradley Hanner gave up a run on two hits in the seventh inning, but he struck out three. Luis Milla went 3-for-3 with his second double. Jake Hirabayashi went 2-for-3 with his second home run. Sergio Toribia went 2-for-3 as well. Also, playing his just his second GCL game since being promoted from the DSL, Luis Baez picked up his first stateside hit and stole a base. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Josh Winder, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Tyler Webb, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - Game 1 (Did Not Play), Game 2 (0-4, K) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Game 1 (1-3), Game 2 (2-4, 2B(16), R, RBI, K) #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - Game 1 (0-3, 3 K), Game 2 (1-2, BB, HR(6), HBP, R, 2 RBI) #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-5, R, 3 K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Did Not Play (quad) #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Injured List (hamstring) #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (lower leg contusion) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - Game 1 (Did Not Play), Game 2 (2-3, BB, 2B(3), R) #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - 3-5, 2B(8), R #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 0-3, BB #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Injured List #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 0-4, BB #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - Game 1 (0-3, K), Game 2 (0-4) TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Buffalo @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Devin Smeltzer (1-3, 3.45 ERA) Pensacola @ Mississippi (6:35 CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (4-0, 2.25 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Charlotte (5:30 CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6;35 CST) - LHP Kody Funderburk (0-2, 4.37 ERA) Elizabethton @ Princeton (5:30 CST) - TBD GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games or any other minor league topics you would like.
  21. It was a night full of intrigue in the Twins minor leagues on Monday night. First, there were several interesting transactions. Pensacola played a doubleheader, and in one of the games they got a strong pitching performance and in the other, they got some big hits from top prospects. The GCL Twins were actually able to play and won two good games as they received one of the top prospects from the Dominican Summer League.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Monday, starting with some awards and the transactions of the day. AWARDS RHP Chris Vallimont was named the Florida State League Pitcher of the Week.RHP Luis Rijo was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the WeekRHP Andriu Marin was named the Appalachian League Pitcher of the Week. Alex Kirilloff went 2-for-4 with his 16th double, and Ryan Jeffers went 2-for-3 with a walk and his third double. Cole Sands made his first Double-A start. The right-hander gave up two runs on four hits over four innings. He walked just one and struck out six batters. Gabriel Moya tossed three shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out three batters. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers Box Score No Game Scheduled. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Quad Cities 2 Box Score The Kernels headed south to Davenport to take on the River Bandits again. Josh Winder got the start and pitched well. He gave up two runs on five hits over six innings. He struck out nine and did not issue a walk. He passed the 100 strikeout mark on the season, becoming the second Kernels pitcher to reach that number this year. The other pitcher on that list is Austin Schulfer who came out of the bullpen in relief. He gave up one hit, walked and and struck out three batters over two scoreless innings. Dylan Thomas worked a perfect ninth which included a strikeout. The Kernels gave Winder some good run support. OF Tyler Webb led the way by going 4-for-5 with two RBI. Trevor Casanova went 3-for-5 with his eighth and ninth doubles. Spencer Steer went 2-for-4 with a walk and his eighth double. LaMonte Wade, continuing his rehab, went 1-for-4 and walked once. Gilberto Celestino walked twice. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 2, Princeton 8 Box Score As shown above, E-Twins starter Andriu Marin was named the Appy League Pitcher of the Week on Monday. How did he do as a follow up to his fantastic start? Well, the youngster gave up eight runs (seven earned) on 12 hits over just 4 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out four. Osiris German came in and worked the final 3 1/3 innings. He gave up just one hit, hit a batter and struck out three. Parker Phillips led the offense. He went 2-for-3 with a walk. Ricky De La Torre hit his first E-Twins double of the season. GCL TWINS TAKES Game 1 - GCL Twins 1, GCL Pirates 0 Box Score Right-hander Miguel Rodriguez threw three shutout innings. He gave up two hits, walked two, hit one and struck out three. On the year, he now has a 0.90 ERA over 30 innings and has 34 strikeouts. Junior Navas struck out five batters over the next three innings. He gave up just one hit and hit a batter. Evan Gillespie picked up the save with a scoreless seventh inning. The Twins managed just three hits. Jeferson Morales hit his third triple and later scored the game’s lone run on an error. Alec Craig had a walk and a single. Game 2 - Twins 7, GCL Pirates 2 Box Score German-born Niklas Rimmel improved to 3-1 with a 2.15 ERA. He tossed five shutout innings and gave up just three hits. He struck out seven and walked just one. Petru Balan gave up a run on two hits in the sixth inning. Bradley Hanner gave up a run on two hits in the seventh inning, but he struck out three. Luis Milla went 3-for-3 with his second double. Jake Hirabayashi went 2-for-3 with his second home run. Sergio Toribia went 2-for-3 as well. Also, playing his just his second GCL game since being promoted from the DSL, Luis Baez picked up his first stateside hit and stole a base. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Josh Winder, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Tyler Webb, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - Game 1 (Did Not Play), Game 2 (0-4, K) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Game 1 (1-3), Game 2 (2-4, 2B(16), R, RBI, K) #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - Game 1 (0-3, 3 K), Game 2 (1-2, BB, HR(6), HBP, R, 2 RBI) #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-5, R, 3 K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Did Not Play (quad) #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Injured List (hamstring) #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (lower leg contusion) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - Game 1 (Did Not Play), Game 2 (2-3, BB, 2B(3), R) #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - 3-5, 2B(8), R #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 0-3, BB #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Injured List #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 0-4, BB #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - Game 1 (0-3, K), Game 2 (0-4) TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Buffalo @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Devin Smeltzer (1-3, 3.45 ERA) Pensacola @ Mississippi (6:35 CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (4-0, 2.25 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Charlotte (5:30 CST) - TBD Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6;35 CST) - LHP Kody Funderburk (0-2, 4.37 ERA) Elizabethton @ Princeton (5:30 CST) - TBD GCL Red Sox @ GCL Twins (11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games or any other minor league topics you would like. Click here to view the article
  22. Something so rare I don’t recall happening in the five years I’ve been writing MiLB reports for Twins Daily happened on Tuesday in the Minnesota Twins farm system. No, it wasn’t the grand slam from a former major leaguer that led his team to a victory, or the three games that ended in walk-off fashion on the night, but something…else. It’s really a testament to the amount of talent the system has at a certain level…I caught some flak for mentioning the reason on Twitter last night, but I’m going to leave it to you guys to see if you can figure it out after reading Tuesday’s minor league report! TRANSACTIONS There were a few transactions leading into the games on Tuesday: Griffin Jax was promoted to the Rochester Red Wings and would be on normal rest on Wednesday.The Fort Myers Miracle activated pitcher Jordan Balazovic from the temporary inactive list after winning a silver medal at the Pan Am Games with Team Canada. He may start on Wednesday.The Cedar Rapids Kernels activated RHP Josh Winder from the injured list and he made the start.In the Appalachian League, 2B Edouard Julien was also activated from the temporary inactive list after bringing home a silver medal in the Pan Am games.The GCL Twins placed RHP Seth Pinkerton and RHP Rogelio Reyes on the 7-day injured listRED WINGS REPORTGwinnett 3, Rochester 8 Box Score The Red Wings came out swinging and never looked back as a grand third inning propelled them to an 8-3 victory on Tuesday night. Although they were outhit 13-10 on the game, Rochester got the bigger hits in the form of a grand slam from Alejandro De Aza in that third inning, and a solo home run and two-run double from Ramon Flores. Recent trade acquisition from the Cleveland Indians organization, outfielder Brandon Barnes contributed two hits (2-for-4, R, 2B, BB) to the effort along with Flores (2-for-4, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB). De Aza drew a bases-loaded walk in the first inning to start the scoring. Sean Poppen gave the Red Wings 3 2/3 in the start, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks as he ran up his pitch count to 74 (44 strikes). He struck out six. Ryan Eades got the next 1 1/3, allowing one run on four hits and striking out three. Preston Guilmet picked up the win with two scoreless frames, allowing one hit and one walk along with three K’s. Ian Krol finished the game with two scoreless of his own, allowing two hits and striking out two. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Scheduled Day Off The Blue Wahoos took four of five games from the Birmingham Barons at home in the last week, and hit the road on Tuesday toward Mobile, Alabama to face the Southern League South Division bottom-dwelling BayBears on Wednesday. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers @ St. Lucie - Postponed: Wet Grounds Rains wreaked havoc on multiple games in the Florida State League on Tuesday, including the Miracle’s tilt against the Mets in St. Lucie. Dakota Chalmers will make the start in game one, with Jordan Balazovic originally scheduled on Wednesday though the MiLB.com schedule is “TBD” for game two. KERNELS NUGGETS Burlington 5, Cedar Rapids 6 Box Score Starting pitcher Josh Winder retired the first nine Bees hitters he faced, but when an error on first baseman Albee Weiss opened the fourth inning, the game went off the rails for the 2019 standout. Despite finishing the inning, before it was over he had allowed five unearned runs as two singles, a walk, a triple and a home run led to all those runs when three outs should have already been recorded. Those runs came on four hits and one walk while he punched out four. Just as quickly as his defense let him down, his bullpen and offense picked him up. Relievers J.T. Perez, Nate Hadley, and Austin Schulfer combined to shut Burlington out for the rest of the game. Perez allowed two hits and a walk in two innings, striking out two. Hadley walked one and struck out two in his two innings. Shulfer struck out one in a scoreless ninth. Down three runs after Winder’s exit, the lineup closed the gap to 5-4 in the fifth inning via a two-run blast from Wander Javier, his eighth of the season. It remained that way until the bottom of the ninth where Gabe Snyder led off the frame with his thirteenth home run of the season to tie the game at five and ignite a rally. Javier then reached on an error, moved to second on a Jared Akins single before Trevor Casanova drove him in with a double to snuff out the Bees. The Kernels got three hits from Snyder (3-for-5, 2 R, HR, RBI) and Casanova (3-for-4, R, 2B, RBI, BB). Gilberto Celestino also contributed a solo home run, his eighth of the season in the first inning to put the home team up 1-0 early. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 8, Kingsport 9 Box Score Elizabethton took a big early lead with a crooked number in the third inning as they strung together a walk, and error, three singles, a double, and a sac fly that put four runs on the scoreboard. Unfortunately, starter Andriu Marin ran into even bigger trouble in the bottom of the fourth as before it was all said and done, Kingsport had put seven runs of their own on the board. Marin went 3+ innings, allowing six runs (four earned) all in the fourth, on five total hits and four walks. He did strike out four. Frandy Torres came in to the game with runners on second and third and nobody out and did his best to limit further damage, but one inherited runner scored on a groundout before he gave up a two-run homer. Torres went go on to pitch 2 2/3, being charged with only one earned run. He allowed two hits and struck out two. The E-Twins were then able to mount a comeback, as they scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, then Will Holland delivered a two-run double to take back the lead 8-7 in the seventh. Tyler Beck got Elizabethton through the eighth inning with 2 1/3 scoreless innings, scattering three hits and striking out two, then Benjamin Dum was summoned for the bottom of the ninth and his first save opportunity. He struck out the first batter he faced, but a single followed by a double tied the game and saddled him with a blown save. After a mound visit led to a strikeout for the second out, he gave up a run-scoring single to also get charged with the loss. Anthony Prato led the batting order with three hits in five at-bats, including a triple, while scoring two runs. Parker Phillips (2-for-4, R, 2B, RBI, BB) and Kyle Schmidt (2-for-4, R, RBI) also added two hits in the loss. Willie Joe Garry Jr. also contributed a triple. GCL TWINS TAKES Game 1: GCL Twins 4, GCL Pirates 2 Box Score With yesterday’s game postponed, the Twins and Pirates faced off in a doubleheader hosted by Pirates, with the Twins the visitor in game one. The Twins got on the board in the first inning thanks to an RBI single from Victor Heredia that was followed by an RBI double from Wander Valdez that made it 2-0 early. Righthander Anthony Escobar held the Pirates down for the first four innings, allowing only one run on three hits and a walk, along with striking out three. The run came on a solo home run in his final inning. Niklas Rimmel finished off the game with three innings of work to pick up his first professional win. He allowed one run on one hit while striking out two. Heredia added two more runs in the top of the fifth with a two-run double to account for the final score. He led the way with two hits in four trips to the plate and three RBIs. Valdez and Jeferson Morales also contributed two hits apiece. Game 2: GCL Pirates 0, GCL Twins 1 Box Score It was even more of a pitcher’s duel in game two, as the teams metaphorically swapped dugouts with the Twins as the home team for this one. They got a fantastic start from Miguel Rodriguez, who went the first six scoreless innings, holding the Pirates to four singles while striking out nine. Rodriguez has made a strong initial impression in the States, having now pitched 21 total innings with a 26:6 strikeout to base-on-balls ratio, 1.00 WHIP, and .192 batting average against. He was done with the score still tied at zero in this one though. Bradley Hanner got the seventh inning and with a scoreless frame also picked up his first professional win. He walked one and struck out one. The Twins literally walked this one off thanks to a bases-loaded free pass drawn by Heredia in the bottom of the seventh. Keoni Cavaco and Luis Milla each had two hits to account for all hits on the game for the good guys. They did draw six walks as a team, with Morales drawing two. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Miguel Rodriguez, GCL Twins (6.0 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 9 K) Hitter of the Day – Alejandro De Aza, Rochester Red Wings (1-for-3, R, GS HR, 5 RBI, BB) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - No game #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - No game #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Rehab assignment with GCL #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - No game #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) - Game postponed #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) - 2-for-4, K #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured List (groin) #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Game postponed #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Game postponed #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Did not play #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - No game #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - Game in progress #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - Did not play #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - No game #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - No game #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) - Did not play #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - No game WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Gwinnett @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (5-4, 5.02 ERA) Pensacola @ Mobile (6:35PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ St. Lucie, Game 1 (3:00PM CST) - RHP Dakota Chalmers (0-0, 36.00 ERA) Fort Myers @ St. Lucie, Game 2 (makeup of 8/6 postponement) - TBD (Jordan Balazovic) Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30PM CST) - LHP Kody Funderbunk (0-2, 5.33 ERA) Elizabethton @ Kingsport (5:30PM CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles, Game 1 (9:00AM CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles, Game 2 (makeup of 7/25 postponement) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! 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  23. I caught some flak for mentioning the reason on Twitter last night, but I’m going to leave it to you guys to see if you can figure it out after reading Tuesday’s minor league report! TRANSACTIONS There were a few transactions leading into the games on Tuesday: Griffin Jax was promoted to the Rochester Red Wings and would be on normal rest on Wednesday. The Fort Myers Miracle activated pitcher Jordan Balazovic from the temporary inactive list after winning a silver medal at the Pan Am Games with Team Canada. He may start on Wednesday. The Cedar Rapids Kernels activated RHP Josh Winder from the injured list and he made the start. In the Appalachian League, 2B Edouard Julien was also activated from the temporary inactive list after bringing home a silver medal in the Pan Am games. https://twitter.com/SethTweets/status/1158197870627033094 The GCL Twins placed RHP Seth Pinkerton and RHP Rogelio Reyes on the 7-day injured list RED WINGS REPORT Gwinnett 3, Rochester 8 Box Score The Red Wings came out swinging and never looked back as a grand third inning propelled them to an 8-3 victory on Tuesday night. Although they were outhit 13-10 on the game, Rochester got the bigger hits in the form of a grand slam from Alejandro De Aza in that third inning, and a solo home run and two-run double from Ramon Flores. Recent trade acquisition from the Cleveland Indians organization, outfielder Brandon Barnes contributed two hits (2-for-4, R, 2B, BB) to the effort along with Flores (2-for-4, R, 2B, HR, 3 RBI, BB). De Aza drew a bases-loaded walk in the first inning to start the scoring. Sean Poppen gave the Red Wings 3 2/3 in the start, allowing two runs on six hits and two walks as he ran up his pitch count to 74 (44 strikes). He struck out six. Ryan Eades got the next 1 1/3, allowing one run on four hits and striking out three. Preston Guilmet picked up the win with two scoreless frames, allowing one hit and one walk along with three K’s. Ian Krol finished the game with two scoreless of his own, allowing two hits and striking out two. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Scheduled Day Off The Blue Wahoos took four of five games from the Birmingham Barons at home in the last week, and hit the road on Tuesday toward Mobile, Alabama to face the Southern League South Division bottom-dwelling BayBears on Wednesday. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers @ St. Lucie - Postponed: Wet Grounds Rains wreaked havoc on multiple games in the Florida State League on Tuesday, including the Miracle’s tilt against the Mets in St. Lucie. Dakota Chalmers will make the start in game one, with Jordan Balazovic originally scheduled on Wednesday though the MiLB.com schedule is “TBD” for game two. https://twitter.com/MiracleBaseball/status/1158844401319391233 KERNELS NUGGETS Burlington 5, Cedar Rapids 6 Box Score Starting pitcher Josh Winder retired the first nine Bees hitters he faced, but when an error on first baseman Albee Weiss opened the fourth inning, the game went off the rails for the 2019 standout. Despite finishing the inning, before it was over he had allowed five unearned runs as two singles, a walk, a triple and a home run led to all those runs when three outs should have already been recorded. Those runs came on four hits and one walk while he punched out four. Just as quickly as his defense let him down, his bullpen and offense picked him up. Relievers J.T. Perez, Nate Hadley, and Austin Schulfer combined to shut Burlington out for the rest of the game. Perez allowed two hits and a walk in two innings, striking out two. Hadley walked one and struck out two in his two innings. Shulfer struck out one in a scoreless ninth. Down three runs after Winder’s exit, the lineup closed the gap to 5-4 in the fifth inning via a two-run blast from Wander Javier, his eighth of the season. It remained that way until the bottom of the ninth where Gabe Snyder led off the frame with his thirteenth home run of the season to tie the game at five and ignite a rally. Javier then reached on an error, moved to second on a Jared Akins single before Trevor Casanova drove him in with a double to snuff out the Bees. The Kernels got three hits from Snyder (3-for-5, 2 R, HR, RBI) and Casanova (3-for-4, R, 2B, RBI, BB). Gilberto Celestino also contributed a solo home run, his eighth of the season in the first inning to put the home team up 1-0 early. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 8, Kingsport 9 Box Score Elizabethton took a big early lead with a crooked number in the third inning as they strung together a walk, and error, three singles, a double, and a sac fly that put four runs on the scoreboard. Unfortunately, starter Andriu Marin ran into even bigger trouble in the bottom of the fourth as before it was all said and done, Kingsport had put seven runs of their own on the board. Marin went 3+ innings, allowing six runs (four earned) all in the fourth, on five total hits and four walks. He did strike out four. Frandy Torres came in to the game with runners on second and third and nobody out and did his best to limit further damage, but one inherited runner scored on a groundout before he gave up a two-run homer. Torres went go on to pitch 2 2/3, being charged with only one earned run. He allowed two hits and struck out two. The E-Twins were then able to mount a comeback, as they scored single runs in the fifth and sixth innings, then Will Holland delivered a two-run double to take back the lead 8-7 in the seventh. Tyler Beck got Elizabethton through the eighth inning with 2 1/3 scoreless innings, scattering three hits and striking out two, then Benjamin Dum was summoned for the bottom of the ninth and his first save opportunity. He struck out the first batter he faced, but a single followed by a double tied the game and saddled him with a blown save. After a mound visit led to a strikeout for the second out, he gave up a run-scoring single to also get charged with the loss. Anthony Prato led the batting order with three hits in five at-bats, including a triple, while scoring two runs. Parker Phillips (2-for-4, R, 2B, RBI, BB) and Kyle Schmidt (2-for-4, R, RBI) also added two hits in the loss. Willie Joe Garry Jr. also contributed a triple. GCL TWINS TAKES Game 1: GCL Twins 4, GCL Pirates 2 Box Score With yesterday’s game postponed, the Twins and Pirates faced off in a doubleheader hosted by Pirates, with the Twins the visitor in game one. The Twins got on the board in the first inning thanks to an RBI single from Victor Heredia that was followed by an RBI double from Wander Valdez that made it 2-0 early. Righthander Anthony Escobar held the Pirates down for the first four innings, allowing only one run on three hits and a walk, along with striking out three. The run came on a solo home run in his final inning. Niklas Rimmel finished off the game with three innings of work to pick up his first professional win. He allowed one run on one hit while striking out two. Heredia added two more runs in the top of the fifth with a two-run double to account for the final score. He led the way with two hits in four trips to the plate and three RBIs. Valdez and Jeferson Morales also contributed two hits apiece. Game 2: GCL Pirates 0, GCL Twins 1 Box Score It was even more of a pitcher’s duel in game two, as the teams metaphorically swapped dugouts with the Twins as the home team for this one. They got a fantastic start from Miguel Rodriguez, who went the first six scoreless innings, holding the Pirates to four singles while striking out nine. Rodriguez has made a strong initial impression in the States, having now pitched 21 total innings with a 26:6 strikeout to base-on-balls ratio, 1.00 WHIP, and .192 batting average against. He was done with the score still tied at zero in this one though. Bradley Hanner got the seventh inning and with a scoreless frame also picked up his first professional win. He walked one and struck out one. The Twins literally walked this one off thanks to a bases-loaded free pass drawn by Heredia in the bottom of the seventh. Keoni Cavaco and Luis Milla each had two hits to account for all hits on the game for the good guys. They did draw six walks as a team, with Morales drawing two. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Miguel Rodriguez, GCL Twins (6.0 IP, 0 R, 4 H, 9 K) Hitter of the Day – Alejandro De Aza, Rochester Red Wings (1-for-3, R, GS HR, 5 RBI, BB) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - No game #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - No game #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Rehab assignment with GCL #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - No game #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) - Game postponed #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) - 2-for-4, K #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured List (groin) #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Game postponed #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Game postponed #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Did not play #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - No game #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - Game in progress #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - Did not play #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - No game #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - No game #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) - Did not play #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - No game WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Gwinnett @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (5-4, 5.02 ERA) Pensacola @ Mobile (6:35PM CST) - TBD Fort Myers @ St. Lucie, Game 1 (3:00PM CST) - RHP Dakota Chalmers (0-0, 36.00 ERA) Fort Myers @ St. Lucie, Game 2 (makeup of 8/6 postponement) - TBD (Jordan Balazovic) Cedar Rapids @ Kane County (6:30PM CST) - LHP Kody Funderbunk (0-2, 5.33 ERA) Elizabethton @ Kingsport (5:30PM CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles, Game 1 (9:00AM CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles, Game 2 (makeup of 7/25 postponement) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  24. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Starters for June, there were some other strong starting performers that just missed the cut. You can certainly agree or disagree with the rankings. Let’s discuss the top starting pitchers in the organization in June. HONORABLE MENTION Edwar Colina - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 4 GS, 24.0 IP, 2.63 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 23 H, 6 BB, 17 K (.253/601) Randy Dobnak - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 3 GS, 30.2 IP, 2.05 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 31 H, 6 BB, 26 K, (267/657) Kody Funderburk - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 3 G, 3 GS, 13.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 11 H, 3 BB, 18 K (.220/571) Griffin Jax - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 4 G, 4 GS, 19.1 IP, 1.40 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 13 H, 3 BB, 11 K, (183/399) Sean Poppen - Rochester Red Wings - 6 G, 4 GS, 31.0 IP, 2.90 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 26 H, 12 BB, 36 K (226/686) Luis Rijo - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 3 G, 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 0.61 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 7 H, 4 BB, 12 K (149/.418) Devin Smeltzer - Rochester Red Wings - 4 G, 4 GS, 20.0 IP, 3.60 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 19 H, 3 BB, 30 K (250/739) Kai-Wei Teng - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 3 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.57 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 19 H, 7 BB, 23 K (.235/.570) THE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS #5 - RHP Blayne Enlow - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 3 GS, 25.1 IP, 2.13 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 18 H, 7 BB, 20 K Enlow had a couple of tough, short starts for Cedar Rapids during the season’s first month, but he has been really good since then. He was a candidate for Starting Pitcher of the Month in May, and was promoted to Ft. Myers at the end of that month. He has been even better since joining the Miracle. He has produced a quality start in all five of his Miracle starts. Enlow is blessed with a low-90s fastball that occasionally pushes to 94 and even 95. He also is known for his breaking ball and ability to spin the ball. The Twins third-round pick in 2017 continues to grow as a pitcher which is exciting as he won’t turn 21 until next March. #4 - RHP Cole Sands - Ft. Myers Miracle - 3 GS, 16.1 IP, 2.20 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 8 H, 2 BB, 19 K Sands was the Twins fifth-round pick last year after three seasons at Florida State. The Twins just shut him down and didn’t have him pitch at all after the draft. He came to spring this year and pitched well in Cedar Rapids. In his first start of the season, he tossed five hitless innings. He was promoted to the Miracle right before June. He had a short IL stint, and when he returned, he threw five no-hit innings. He has given up just two hits in 11 innings over his past two starts. Sands also works in the low 90s with good secondary pitches as you would expect from a 21-year-old coming out of a quality college baseball program. In his three June starts, opponents hit just .145 off of him with a .409 OPS. #3 - RHP Austin Schulfer - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 4 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 11 H, 5 BB, 23 K Schulfer was the Twins 19th-round pick a year ago after four years at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He pitched in Elizabethton last year. This year, he began the season in the Cedar Rapids bullpen, though he usually worked multiple innings. He appeared in the April Relief Pitcher of the Month list, and then Brian Dinkelman moved him into the Kernels rotation where he has continued to pitch well. Schulfer doesn’t throw real hard, but he generally throws strikes and stays away from the middle of the plate with each of his pitches. Opponents hit just .151 with a .498 OPS against him in June. #2 - RHP Jhoan Duran - 4 G, 3 GS, 24.0 IP, 1.88 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 15 H, 10 BB, 31 K, Overall this season Jhoan Duran has a record of 1-7. You might think that he must not be pitching well, but that isn’t the case. He has a 3.48 ERA on the season and has 78 strikeouts in 62 innings (26 walks). He has been pretty consistent and his stuff has continued to improve. We often hear about him hitting triple-digits multiple times in his starts. Duran came to the Twins last July in the Eduardo Escobar trade from the Diamondbacks.In June, he went 1-3 with a 1.88 ERA. He gave up one run in three of his starts, and two runs in the other. Duran recently ranked #9 in our midseason Twins top prospect rankings. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Cedar Rapids Kernels - RHP Josh Winder - 5 G, 5 GS, 34.0 IP, 1.32 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 22 H, 6 BB, 28 K (190/520) At the end of May, Steve Buhr wrote an article on Josh Winder that profiled the talented right-hander drafted a year ago out of Virginia Military Academy. He talked about liking to keep his room clean and his head clear, especially on the mound. Winder was pitching well at the time, but he was tremendous in June. In 13 starts so far this season for the Kernels, Winder is 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. As you can see above, he was tremendous in five June starts. All five starts were quality starts. He had a seven-inning shutout performance early in the month at Peoria. He ended his month with eight innings of shutout baseball against Kane County. In that start, he gave up just three hits, walked none and struck out eight. Winder works with a low-90s fastball. He has a good curveball and has worked really hard to make his changeup an effective pitch. And it has become a really good pitch for him. One would think that a promotion to Ft. Myers should be in the near future for Winder. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of June, Cedar Rapids Kernels right-hander Josh Winder. Feel free to discuss and ask questions.
  25. In the last couple of days, we have announced our choices for Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month for June and Twins Relief Pitcher of the Month for June. Today, we will look at an extensive group of starting pitchers who were really good in June. The rankings were not easy at all, so be sure to add your rankings as well. As impressive as the top five were this month, there were another eight starters that received strong consideration and are listed among the honorable mentions. Previous 2019 Starting Pitchers of the Month: April - Devin Smeltzer - Pensacola Blue Wahoos May - Jordan Balazovic - Ft. Myers MiracleBefore we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Starters for June, there were some other strong starting performers that just missed the cut. You can certainly agree or disagree with the rankings. Let’s discuss the top starting pitchers in the organization in June. HONORABLE MENTION Edwar Colina - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 4 GS, 24.0 IP, 2.63 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 23 H, 6 BB, 17 K (.253/601)Randy Dobnak - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 3 GS, 30.2 IP, 2.05 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 31 H, 6 BB, 26 K, (267/657)Kody Funderburk - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 3 G, 3 GS, 13.1 IP, 2.70 ERA, 1.05 WHIP, 11 H, 3 BB, 18 K (.220/571)Griffin Jax - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 4 G, 4 GS, 19.1 IP, 1.40 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 13 H, 3 BB, 11 K, (183/399)Sean Poppen - Rochester Red Wings - 6 G, 4 GS, 31.0 IP, 2.90 ERA, 1.23 WHIP, 26 H, 12 BB, 36 K (226/686)Luis Rijo - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 3 G, 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 0.61 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 7 H, 4 BB, 12 K (149/.418)Devin Smeltzer - Rochester Red Wings - 4 G, 4 GS, 20.0 IP, 3.60 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 19 H, 3 BB, 30 K (250/739)Kai-Wei Teng - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 3 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.57 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 19 H, 7 BB, 23 K (.235/.570)THE TOP FIVE STARTING PITCHERS #5 - RHP Blayne Enlow - Ft. Myers Miracle - 4 G, 3 GS, 25.1 IP, 2.13 ERA, 0.99 WHIP, 18 H, 7 BB, 20 K Enlow had a couple of tough, short starts for Cedar Rapids during the season’s first month, but he has been really good since then. He was a candidate for Starting Pitcher of the Month in May, and was promoted to Ft. Myers at the end of that month. He has been even better since joining the Miracle. He has produced a quality start in all five of his Miracle starts. Enlow is blessed with a low-90s fastball that occasionally pushes to 94 and even 95. He also is known for his breaking ball and ability to spin the ball. The Twins third-round pick in 2017 continues to grow as a pitcher which is exciting as he won’t turn 21 until next March. #4 - RHP Cole Sands - Ft. Myers Miracle - 3 GS, 16.1 IP, 2.20 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 8 H, 2 BB, 19 K Sands was the Twins fifth-round pick last year after three seasons at Florida State. The Twins just shut him down and didn’t have him pitch at all after the draft. He came to spring this year and pitched well in Cedar Rapids. In his first start of the season, he tossed five hitless innings. He was promoted to the Miracle right before June. He had a short IL stint, and when he returned, he threw five no-hit innings. He has given up just two hits in 11 innings over his past two starts. Sands also works in the low 90s with good secondary pitches as you would expect from a 21-year-old coming out of a quality college baseball program. In his three June starts, opponents hit just .145 off of him with a .409 OPS. #3 - RHP Austin Schulfer - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 4 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, 0.76 WHIP, 11 H, 5 BB, 23 K Schulfer was the Twins 19th-round pick a year ago after four years at the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee. He pitched in Elizabethton last year. This year, he began the season in the Cedar Rapids bullpen, though he usually worked multiple innings. He appeared in the April Relief Pitcher of the Month list, and then Brian Dinkelman moved him into the Kernels rotation where he has continued to pitch well. Schulfer doesn’t throw real hard, but he generally throws strikes and stays away from the middle of the plate with each of his pitches. Opponents hit just .151 with a .498 OPS against him in June. #2 - RHP Jhoan Duran - 4 G, 3 GS, 24.0 IP, 1.88 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 15 H, 10 BB, 31 K, Overall this season Jhoan Duran has a record of 1-7. You might think that he must not be pitching well, but that isn’t the case. He has a 3.48 ERA on the season and has 78 strikeouts in 62 innings (26 walks). He has been pretty consistent and his stuff has continued to improve. We often hear about him hitting triple-digits multiple times in his starts. Duran came to the Twins last July in the Eduardo Escobar trade from the Diamondbacks.In June, he went 1-3 with a 1.88 ERA. He gave up one run in three of his starts, and two runs in the other. Duran recently ranked #9 in our midseason Twins top prospect rankings. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is: Cedar Rapids Kernels - RHP Josh Winder - 5 G, 5 GS, 34.0 IP, 1.32 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 22 H, 6 BB, 28 K (190/520) At the end of May, Steve Buhr wrote an article on Josh Winder that profiled the talented right-hander drafted a year ago out of Virginia Military Academy. He talked about liking to keep his room clean and his head clear, especially on the mound. Winder was pitching well at the time, but he was tremendous in June. In 13 starts so far this season for the Kernels, Winder is 6-1 with a 2.40 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. As you can see above, he was tremendous in five June starts. All five starts were quality starts. He had a seven-inning shutout performance early in the month at Peoria. He ended his month with eight innings of shutout baseball against Kane County. In that start, he gave up just three hits, walked none and struck out eight. Winder works with a low-90s fastball. He has a good curveball and has worked really hard to make his changeup an effective pitch. And it has become a really good pitch for him. One would think that a promotion to Ft. Myers should be in the near future for Winder. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of June, Cedar Rapids Kernels right-hander Josh Winder. Feel free to discuss and ask questions. Click here to view the article
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