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  1. After a one-year hiatus, the Arizona Fall League is back. This league combines some of baseball’s best prospects, so who are Minnesota’s top five prospects heading to the AFL? The Arizona Fall League started in 1992 as an off-season league where some of baseball’s best up-and-coming prospects can take the field together. Six teams make up the AFL, and each club plays a 30-game schedule. According to MLB.com, “Nearly 60 percent of all AFL players make a Major League roster, with the league boasting 321 All-Stars, 21 MVPs, six Cy Young Award winners, eight World Series MVPs, 103 Silver Sluggers, 96 Gold Gloves and 32 Rookies of the Year.” Will any of the names mentioned below be able to add to the accolades mentioned above? Here are the top five Twins prospects heading to the 2021 Arizona Fall League: 5. Michael Helman, 2B/OF 2021 Stats: .246/.336/.462 (.798), 19 HR, 21 2B, 4 3B, 87 K, 51 BB (111 G) Helman ended the 2019 season at High-A, and he spent all of 2021 at the same level. He was over 2.5 years older than the average age of the competition at that level. During the 2021 season, he was among the organization leaders in homers. He is listed as a second baseman on the AFL rosters, even though he primarily played in the outfield this season. This might be an opportunity to get him more reps in the infield. 4. Kody Funderburk, LHP 2021 Stats: 2.55 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 82 K, 28 BB (67.0 IP) Minnesota selected Funderburk with their 15th round pick back in 2018. During the 2019 season, he struggled at Low-A as he posted a 4.68 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP in 13 appearances (10 starts). Funderburk posted strong numbers between High- and Double-A this season while being used as a starter and a reliever. He has only pitched 155 innings as a professional, so this is likely an opportunity for him to get more innings under his belt. 3. Zach Featherstone, LHP 2021 Stats: 2.13 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 93 K, 42 BB (55.0 IP) Entering 2021, Featherstone was limited to 18 1/3 innings since the Twins drafted him as a position player in 2016. None of those innings came above the rookie leagues. Minnesota pushed him to High-A this season, where the 25-year old was 1.7 years older than the average age of the competition. Featherstone posted an eye-popping 15.2 K/9 out of the bullpen this season. Unfortunately, he also walked nearly seven batters per nine. This is likely an opportunity to get Featherstone some more innings so he can work on his control. 2. Andrew Bechtold, 3B 2021 Stats: .239/.328/.459 (.786), 18 HR, 23 2B, 131 K, 45 BB (99 Games) Originally, Bechtold was a fifth-round pick by the Twins back in 2017. His college experience at Maryland helped him post an .829 OPS at Elizabethton. He struggled in 2018 at Low-A as his OPS dropped by 236 points. The Twins sent him back to Low-A in 2019, and he split time between Low- and High-A with a .738 OPS. Like Helman, he was among the organization leaders in homers this season. Defensively, he continues to play at third base with some time at first. 1. Matt Wallner, OF 2021 Stats: .265/.350/.504 (.854), 15 HR, 14 2B, 2 3B, 100 K, 28 BB (68 Games) Wallner strikes out a bunch, but he has light-tower power, which puts him at the top of this list. He came in as the organization’s 12th best prospect in the most recent Twins Daily prospect rankings. A broken hamate bone limited him to 68 games, so sending him to the AFL to recoup some last at-bats makes sense. In a third of his plate appearances this season, he struck out, so that will be something to watch in Arizona. How would you rank these players? What will you be looking for in the AFL? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 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
  2. The Arizona Fall League started in 1992 as an off-season league where some of baseball’s best up-and-coming prospects can take the field together. Six teams make up the AFL, and each club plays a 30-game schedule. According to MLB.com, “Nearly 60 percent of all AFL players make a Major League roster, with the league boasting 321 All-Stars, 21 MVPs, six Cy Young Award winners, eight World Series MVPs, 103 Silver Sluggers, 96 Gold Gloves and 32 Rookies of the Year.” Will any of the names mentioned below be able to add to the accolades mentioned above? Here are the top five Twins prospects heading to the 2021 Arizona Fall League: 5. Michael Helman, 2B/OF 2021 Stats: .246/.336/.462 (.798), 19 HR, 21 2B, 4 3B, 87 K, 51 BB (111 G) Helman ended the 2019 season at High-A, and he spent all of 2021 at the same level. He was over 2.5 years older than the average age of the competition at that level. During the 2021 season, he was among the organization leaders in homers. He is listed as a second baseman on the AFL rosters, even though he primarily played in the outfield this season. This might be an opportunity to get him more reps in the infield. 4. Kody Funderburk, LHP 2021 Stats: 2.55 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 82 K, 28 BB (67.0 IP) Minnesota selected Funderburk with their 15th round pick back in 2018. During the 2019 season, he struggled at Low-A as he posted a 4.68 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP in 13 appearances (10 starts). Funderburk posted strong numbers between High- and Double-A this season while being used as a starter and a reliever. He has only pitched 155 innings as a professional, so this is likely an opportunity for him to get more innings under his belt. 3. Zach Featherstone, LHP 2021 Stats: 2.13 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 93 K, 42 BB (55.0 IP) Entering 2021, Featherstone was limited to 18 1/3 innings since the Twins drafted him as a position player in 2016. None of those innings came above the rookie leagues. Minnesota pushed him to High-A this season, where the 25-year old was 1.7 years older than the average age of the competition. Featherstone posted an eye-popping 15.2 K/9 out of the bullpen this season. Unfortunately, he also walked nearly seven batters per nine. This is likely an opportunity to get Featherstone some more innings so he can work on his control. 2. Andrew Bechtold, 3B 2021 Stats: .239/.328/.459 (.786), 18 HR, 23 2B, 131 K, 45 BB (99 Games) Originally, Bechtold was a fifth-round pick by the Twins back in 2017. His college experience at Maryland helped him post an .829 OPS at Elizabethton. He struggled in 2018 at Low-A as his OPS dropped by 236 points. The Twins sent him back to Low-A in 2019, and he split time between Low- and High-A with a .738 OPS. Like Helman, he was among the organization leaders in homers this season. Defensively, he continues to play at third base with some time at first. 1. Matt Wallner, OF 2021 Stats: .265/.350/.504 (.854), 15 HR, 14 2B, 2 3B, 100 K, 28 BB (68 Games) Wallner strikes out a bunch, but he has light-tower power, which puts him at the top of this list. He came in as the organization’s 12th best prospect in the most recent Twins Daily prospect rankings. A broken hamate bone limited him to 68 games, so sending him to the AFL to recoup some last at-bats makes sense. In a third of his plate appearances this season, he struck out, so that will be something to watch in Arizona. How would you rank these players? What will you be looking for in the AFL? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  3. Transactions Minnesota Twins select the contract of RHP Nick Vincent from Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins option LHP Andrew Albers to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins sent C Mitch Garver on a rehab assignment to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins promote IF Ernie Yake to Triple-A St. Paul from Twins Complex SAINTS SENTINEL Indianapolis 2, St. Paul 0 Box Score The Saints' never got in gear in this one, spoiling a solid pitching performance across the board. Jason Garcia got the start for Saint Paul and was effective over four full innings. He allowed four hits and walked one but did not allow a run and struck out one. Unfortunately, the Saints’ bats struggled early as well and this contest stayed scoreless until the fifth, when Indianapolis got on the board first. Now facing reliever Edgar Garcia, Indianapolis grabbed a run in the fifth off a Bligh Madris double and another in the sixth from an Ethan Paul single. Those turned out to be the only runs of the game, spurring Indianapolis to a 2-0 win. The Saints only managed multiple base runners in the first and ninth innings and didn’t score in either inning. Miguel Yajure sailed through six against St. Paul before turning it over to the bullpen that was just as effective. Gilberto Celestino had a big 3-for-3 night, but he was the only Saints hitter with more than one knock. Chris Nunn pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth innings but the damage was done during Edgar Garcia’s outing. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 2, Arkansas 1 Box Score Fresh off clinching a spot in the playoff, Wichita gave the ball to Cole Sands and Twins Daily’s #19 prospect was dominant, as he and Kody Funderburk keyed a pitcher’s duel victory. Sands went five full innings and only allowed three hits while striking out four. He did allow three walks but did not allow any of them to score. In fact he, didn’t allow anyone to score. From there, Funderburk took over and it was as if nothing changed. Kody cruised through three hitless innings, and though he ran into some trouble and allowed a run in the ninth, he still closed out the win. On the offensive end, the Surge didn’t do a lot, but it was just enough. The first run of the game came in the second, when a Jermaine Palacios single finished off a rally that brought Leobaldo Cabrera to the plate. Hours of scoreless baseball later, Ernie De La Trinidad blasted a shot into the bullpen to grab Wichita’s second run of the game. Those runs proved to be all the Surge needed, thanks to the dominant pitching. D.J Burt and Ernie De La Trinidad had the only multi-hit games for Wichita. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 6 Box Score With a playoff berth very much in the balance, Cedar Rapids turned to Casey Legumina tonight for his debut start for the Kernels. Legumina allowed three runs and struck out seven in 4 ⅔ innings, keeping the Kernels in it and allowing their late offensive explosion to carry the day. The Kernels didn’t wait to take the lead in this one as Michael Helman came to the plate on a throwing error from Peoria third baseman Jacob Buchberger. Peoria answered in the bottom of the third with a run coming in on a Jhon Torres double, but the Kernels took their lead right back off a massive solo homer from Aaron Sabato. Unfortunately, the Chiefs took the lead for themselves in the fifth with two runs, with Torres and Pedro Pages registering RBI singles. Cedar Rapids still trailed 3-2 heading in the eighth inning, but then they decided they’d had enough of that. The offense blasted three homers in the inning for four runs to take a strong three-run lead. The bombs came from Edouard Julien, Michael Helman, and Aaron Sabato for his second of the night. However, the Chiefs took that punch and responded with one of their own in their half of the eighth. They strung together four straight hits and put up three runs to tie the game, with RBI going to Tommy Jew (2) and Tyler Reichenborn. But, as if to spit in the face of Peoria’s comeback, Seth Gray hit a go-ahead bomb to dead center to lead off the ninth inning. And, though the bottom of the ninth inning didn't go smoothly for Cedar Rapids, no runs were scored and the Kernels secured a massive win. Coming into this game, the Kernels were tied with Lake County for the second playoff spot in High-A Central and both teams were just one game up on Great Lakes with three to play. With losses tonight from both of their playoff rivals, this Kernels win gives them a one-game lead over Lake County. Cedar Rapids trails both Lake County and Great Lakes in the playoff tiebreaker, so that one-game lead is crucial as they'll need it to secure a spot against Quad Cities in the playoff. MUSSEL MATTERS Tampa 0, Fort Myers 0 (postponed top first) Box Score The Mussels were scheduled to finish last night’s postponed game against Tampa tonight. Unfortunately, the rain continued to create problems in Fort Myers and no baseball could be played today. The game that had been scheduled for today has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled. The Mussels and Tarpons will play a doubleheader tomorrow, weather permitting. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Game 1: FCL Red Sox 10, FCL Twins 2 Box Score It’s Friday, so you already know that the FCL Twins lost to the Red Sox. In the first half of a scheduled doubleheader the Twins struggled on both sides of the ball, losing 10-2. The Twins only managed four hits in this one and no hitter had a multi-hit game. The runs scored on two solo homers, one from LaRon Smith in the second, and the other from Rubel Cespedes in the fifth. The Red Sox offense scored runs in all but two innings and built their substantial lead with a four-run second inning and a three-run second. On the mound for the Twins, Giovahniey German started the game and struggled, allowing five runs (four earned) in less than two innings. Control was an issue for German, as he walked three batters and allowed a run to score on a wild pitch. Danny Moreno took over from German and was better, allowing a run and striking out three in two innings of work. Cole Bellair’s 2 ⅔ innings was the longest outing of the night, though he was touched for four earned runs during his time on the bump. Ricardo Velez took care of the seventh and was the only Twins pitcher to not allow a run. Game 2: FCL Twins 2, FCL Red Sox 0 (postponed, bottom second) Box Score TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR (7) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4 #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-4 #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-5, 3 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 3-for-3, BB, 2B #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR (8) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Rained Out #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-3, BB, K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (1-2, 5.49 ERA) Arkansas @ Wichita (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (6-7, 4.37 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (2-3, 4.63 ERA) Tampa @ Fort Myers, Doubleheader (Game 1: 3:30 PM CST, Game 2 to follow) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games!
  4. In a wild game, the Cedar Rapids Kernels used five home runs to pull within a game of a playoff berth. Read more about that and the other affiliates in tonight's Minor League Report! Transactions Minnesota Twins select the contract of RHP Nick Vincent from Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins option LHP Andrew Albers to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins sent C Mitch Garver on a rehab assignment to Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins promote IF Ernie Yake to Triple-A St. Paul from Twins Complex SAINTS SENTINEL Indianapolis 2, St. Paul 0 Box Score The Saints' never got in gear in this one, spoiling a solid pitching performance across the board. Jason Garcia got the start for Saint Paul and was effective over four full innings. He allowed four hits and walked one but did not allow a run and struck out one. Unfortunately, the Saints’ bats struggled early as well and this contest stayed scoreless until the fifth, when Indianapolis got on the board first. Now facing reliever Edgar Garcia, Indianapolis grabbed a run in the fifth off a Bligh Madris double and another in the sixth from an Ethan Paul single. Those turned out to be the only runs of the game, spurring Indianapolis to a 2-0 win. The Saints only managed multiple base runners in the first and ninth innings and didn’t score in either inning. Miguel Yajure sailed through six against St. Paul before turning it over to the bullpen that was just as effective. Gilberto Celestino had a big 3-for-3 night, but he was the only Saints hitter with more than one knock. Chris Nunn pitched a scoreless seventh and eighth innings but the damage was done during Edgar Garcia’s outing. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 2, Arkansas 1 Box Score Fresh off clinching a spot in the playoff, Wichita gave the ball to Cole Sands and Twins Daily’s #19 prospect was dominant, as he and Kody Funderburk keyed a pitcher’s duel victory. Sands went five full innings and only allowed three hits while striking out four. He did allow three walks but did not allow any of them to score. In fact he, didn’t allow anyone to score. From there, Funderburk took over and it was as if nothing changed. Kody cruised through three hitless innings, and though he ran into some trouble and allowed a run in the ninth, he still closed out the win. On the offensive end, the Surge didn’t do a lot, but it was just enough. The first run of the game came in the second, when a Jermaine Palacios single finished off a rally that brought Leobaldo Cabrera to the plate. Hours of scoreless baseball later, Ernie De La Trinidad blasted a shot into the bullpen to grab Wichita’s second run of the game. Those runs proved to be all the Surge needed, thanks to the dominant pitching. D.J Burt and Ernie De La Trinidad had the only multi-hit games for Wichita. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Peoria 6 Box Score With a playoff berth very much in the balance, Cedar Rapids turned to Casey Legumina tonight for his debut start for the Kernels. Legumina allowed three runs and struck out seven in 4 ⅔ innings, keeping the Kernels in it and allowing their late offensive explosion to carry the day. The Kernels didn’t wait to take the lead in this one as Michael Helman came to the plate on a throwing error from Peoria third baseman Jacob Buchberger. Peoria answered in the bottom of the third with a run coming in on a Jhon Torres double, but the Kernels took their lead right back off a massive solo homer from Aaron Sabato. Unfortunately, the Chiefs took the lead for themselves in the fifth with two runs, with Torres and Pedro Pages registering RBI singles. Cedar Rapids still trailed 3-2 heading in the eighth inning, but then they decided they’d had enough of that. The offense blasted three homers in the inning for four runs to take a strong three-run lead. The bombs came from Edouard Julien, Michael Helman, and Aaron Sabato for his second of the night. However, the Chiefs took that punch and responded with one of their own in their half of the eighth. They strung together four straight hits and put up three runs to tie the game, with RBI going to Tommy Jew (2) and Tyler Reichenborn. But, as if to spit in the face of Peoria’s comeback, Seth Gray hit a go-ahead bomb to dead center to lead off the ninth inning. And, though the bottom of the ninth inning didn't go smoothly for Cedar Rapids, no runs were scored and the Kernels secured a massive win. Coming into this game, the Kernels were tied with Lake County for the second playoff spot in High-A Central and both teams were just one game up on Great Lakes with three to play. With losses tonight from both of their playoff rivals, this Kernels win gives them a one-game lead over Lake County. Cedar Rapids trails both Lake County and Great Lakes in the playoff tiebreaker, so that one-game lead is crucial as they'll need it to secure a spot against Quad Cities in the playoff. MUSSEL MATTERS Tampa 0, Fort Myers 0 (postponed top first) Box Score The Mussels were scheduled to finish last night’s postponed game against Tampa tonight. Unfortunately, the rain continued to create problems in Fort Myers and no baseball could be played today. The game that had been scheduled for today has been cancelled and will not be rescheduled. The Mussels and Tarpons will play a doubleheader tomorrow, weather permitting. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Game 1: FCL Red Sox 10, FCL Twins 2 Box Score It’s Friday, so you already know that the FCL Twins lost to the Red Sox. In the first half of a scheduled doubleheader the Twins struggled on both sides of the ball, losing 10-2. The Twins only managed four hits in this one and no hitter had a multi-hit game. The runs scored on two solo homers, one from LaRon Smith in the second, and the other from Rubel Cespedes in the fifth. The Red Sox offense scored runs in all but two innings and built their substantial lead with a four-run second inning and a three-run second. On the mound for the Twins, Giovahniey German started the game and struggled, allowing five runs (four earned) in less than two innings. Control was an issue for German, as he walked three batters and allowed a run to score on a wild pitch. Danny Moreno took over from German and was better, allowing a run and striking out three in two innings of work. Cole Bellair’s 2 ⅔ innings was the longest outing of the night, though he was touched for four earned runs during his time on the bump. Ricardo Velez took care of the seventh and was the only Twins pitcher to not allow a run. Game 2: FCL Twins 2, FCL Red Sox 0 (postponed, bottom second) Box Score TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 4 K Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 HR (7) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4 #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-4 #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-5, 3 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 3-for-3, BB, 2B #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 2-for-4, R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR (8) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Rained Out #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 4 K #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-3, BB, K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05 PM CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (1-2, 5.49 ERA) Arkansas @ Wichita (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (6-7, 4.37 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (2-3, 4.63 ERA) Tampa @ Fort Myers, Doubleheader (Game 1: 3:30 PM CST, Game 2 to follow) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Friday’s games! 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  5. AWARDS The Twins announced their weekly Hitter and Pitcher of the Week Hitter of the Week: Zander Wiel, Rochester In seven games for the Red Wings, Wiel hit .370 (10-for-27) with four doubles, three home runs, seven RBI, three walks and a 1.271 OPS. Wiel was selected in the 12th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Vanderbilt University. Pitcher of the Week: Cody Laweryson, Elizabethton Laweryson made the start on Monday vs. Greeneville, pitching 6.0 shutout innings with three hits allowed, no walks and 15 strikeouts. He was selected out fo the 14th round of the 2019 MLB Draft out of the University of Main at Orono. TRANSACTIONS OF Ian Miller had contracted selected by Minnesota. RHP Brusdar Graterol had contracted selected by Minnesota. RHP Zack Littell recalled by Minnesota. RHP Kohl Stewart recalled by Minnesota LHP Devin Smeltzer recalled by Minnesota LHP Lewis Thorpe recalled by Minnesota. C Willians Astudillo ended MLB rehab assignment and returned to Minnesota. RHP Sean Poppen returned from rehab assignment, recalled by Minnesota, and placed on the MLB 60-day Injured List. INF Yeltsin Encarnacion transferred from Ft. Myers to Rochester. RHP Alex Schick transferred from Cedar Rapids to Rochester. LHP Denny Bentley transferred from Elizabethton to Rochester. LHP Jeremy Bleich reinstated from the IL with Rochester. INF Anthony Prato promoted from Elizabethton to Cedar Rapids OF Byron Buxton has ended his rehab assignment with the Kernels RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Syracuse 7 (Final- 9 Innings, Rain) Box Score Rochester scored three runs in the seventh inning to tie the game before allowing four runs in the eighth inning to relinquish their advantage. In the seventh inning, Rochester plated three runs thanks to a double from Alejandro De Aza. Wilin Rosario would score in the next at-bat thanks to a wild pitch. Rochester tied the game at 3-3, but the bullpen saw that lead evaporate. With all of the roster shuffling, Preston Guilmet started and was asked to record only nine outs. He allowed three runs on four hits with three strikeouts. Denny Pentley took over and didn’t allow a hit in two innings of work. He struck out two and walked one. Ryan O’Rourke coughed up two of the late-inning runs and Jeremy Bleich also added another two runs allowed as Syracuse stretched their lead to 7-3. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 7, Montgomery 11 Box Score Pensacola’s potent offense tried to mount a late-inning comeback, but it wasn’t enough with the hole the pitching staff had dug. Charlie Barnes struggled through five innings for his fourth loss of the year at Double-A. He surrendered seven runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and two walks. The bullpen didn’t exactly help the situation for Barnes. Jonathan Cheshire did fine in his one inning of work. He didn’t allow any runs and he walked one and struck out one. Stephen Gonsalves struggled with three earned runs on two hits with the biggest hit being a home run. Alex Phillips didn’t stop the bleeding as he surrendered one run on two hits to end the eighth inning. Pensacola has already clinched a playoff spot, but the bullpen is going to need to have better outings if the club wants to find success in the postseason. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Beloit 1 Box Score Cedar Rapids plated four runs in the third inning and that turned out to be enough against the Beloit lineup that went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Kody Funderburk scattered five hits and allowed one earned run for his first Midwest League win. He struck out eight and walked two to lower his ERA to 4.68. Rickey Ramirez pitched the final three frames and limited the Snappers to two hits. He walked two and struck out one without allowing a run. Matt Wallner had the only extra-base hit of the night for the Kernels. He collected his third double since being promoted and drove in a run. In the third inning, Trevor Casanova was hit by a pitch before a Daniel Ozoria single moved him into scoring position. Gabe Snyder drove in the first run of the game before Wallner’s important double. A passed ball and a Seth Gray single plated enough runs to put the Kernels in the driver’s seat. The Midwest League playoffs begin on Wednesday night as Cedar Rapids hosts the Quad Cities River Bandits. First pitch on September 4 begins at 6:35 p.m. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Kody Funderburk, Cedar Rapids (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8 K, 2 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Ryan Costello, Pensacola (2-3, 3B, 3 RBI, R, BB) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) – 0-5, 2 K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – Did not play #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Minnesota) – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, K, 0 BB #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 2-4, 2 R, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 2-5, R, K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) – 1-4 #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 2-5, 2B, 2 R #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 K #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – 2-5, R, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Syracuse (12:05 CST) – TBD Pensacola @ Montgomery (12:05 CST) – RHP Bailey Ober (8-0, 0.71 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (2:00 CST) – RHP Luis Rijo (5-8, 2.86 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
  6. Welcome to the final Sunday of the minor league season. Granted multiple affiliates of the Twins could be playing postseason. However, there is still work to get done in the regular season and rosters took on a very different feel after September call-ups were made on Sunday. Can the higher levels of the minor league’s survive without some of their key players? You will have to read on to find out.AWARDS The Twins announced their weekly Hitter and Pitcher of the Week Hitter of the Week: Zander Wiel, RochesterIn seven games for the Red Wings, Wiel hit .370 (10-for-27) with four doubles, three home runs, seven RBI, three walks and a 1.271 OPS. Wiel was selected in the 12th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Vanderbilt University.Pitcher of the Week: Cody Laweryson, ElizabethtonLaweryson made the start on Monday vs. Greeneville, pitching 6.0 shutout innings with three hits allowed, no walks and 15 strikeouts. He was selected out fo the 14th round of the 2019 MLB Draft out of the University of Main at Orono. TRANSACTIONS OF Ian Miller had contracted selected by Minnesota. RHP Brusdar Graterol had contracted selected by Minnesota. RHP Zack Littell recalled by Minnesota. RHP Kohl Stewart recalled by Minnesota LHP Devin Smeltzer recalled by Minnesota LHP Lewis Thorpe recalled by Minnesota. C Willians Astudillo ended MLB rehab assignment and returned to Minnesota. RHP Sean Poppen returned from rehab assignment, recalled by Minnesota, and placed on the MLB 60-day Injured List. INF Yeltsin Encarnacion transferred from Ft. Myers to Rochester. RHP Alex Schick transferred from Cedar Rapids to Rochester. LHP Denny Bentley transferred from Elizabethton to Rochester. LHP Jeremy Bleich reinstated from the IL with Rochester. INF Anthony Prato promoted from Elizabethton to Cedar Rapids OF Byron Buxton has ended his rehab assignment with the Kernels RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Syracuse 7 (Final- 9 Innings, Rain) Box Score Rochester scored three runs in the seventh inning to tie the game before allowing four runs in the eighth inning to relinquish their advantage. In the seventh inning, Rochester plated three runs thanks to a double from Alejandro De Aza. Wilin Rosario would score in the next at-bat thanks to a wild pitch. Rochester tied the game at 3-3, but the bullpen saw that lead evaporate. With all of the roster shuffling, Preston Guilmet started and was asked to record only nine outs. He allowed three runs on four hits with three strikeouts. Denny Pentley took over and didn’t allow a hit in two innings of work. He struck out two and walked one. Ryan O’Rourke coughed up two of the late-inning runs and Jeremy Bleich also added another two runs allowed as Syracuse stretched their lead to 7-3. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 7, Montgomery 11 Box Score Pensacola’s potent offense tried to mount a late-inning comeback, but it wasn’t enough with the hole the pitching staff had dug. Charlie Barnes struggled through five innings for his fourth loss of the year at Double-A. He surrendered seven runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and two walks. The bullpen didn’t exactly help the situation for Barnes. Jonathan Cheshire did fine in his one inning of work. He didn’t allow any runs and he walked one and struck out one. Stephen Gonsalves struggled with three earned runs on two hits with the biggest hit being a home run. Alex Phillips didn’t stop the bleeding as he surrendered one run on two hits to end the eighth inning. Pensacola has already clinched a playoff spot, but the bullpen is going to need to have better outings if the club wants to find success in the postseason. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Beloit 1 Box Score Cedar Rapids plated four runs in the third inning and that turned out to be enough against the Beloit lineup that went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Kody Funderburk scattered five hits and allowed one earned run for his first Midwest League win. He struck out eight and walked two to lower his ERA to 4.68. Rickey Ramirez pitched the final three frames and limited the Snappers to two hits. He walked two and struck out one without allowing a run. Matt Wallner had the only extra-base hit of the night for the Kernels. He collected his third double since being promoted and drove in a run. In the third inning, Trevor Casanova was hit by a pitch before a Daniel Ozoria single moved him into scoring position. Gabe Snyder drove in the first run of the game before Wallner’s important double. A passed ball and a Seth Gray single plated enough runs to put the Kernels in the driver’s seat. The Midwest League playoffs begin on Wednesday night as Cedar Rapids hosts the Quad Cities River Bandits. First pitch on September 4 begins at 6:35 p.m. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Kody Funderburk, Cedar Rapids (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8 K, 2 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Ryan Costello, Pensacola (2-3, 3B, 3 RBI, R, BB) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) – 0-5, 2 K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – Did not play #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Minnesota) – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, K, 0 BB #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 2-4, 2 R, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 2-5, R, K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) – 1-4 #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 2-5, 2B, 2 R #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 K #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – 2-5, R, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Syracuse (12:05 CST) – TBD Pensacola @ Montgomery (12:05 CST) – RHP Bailey Ober (8-0, 0.71 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (2:00 CST) – RHP Luis Rijo (5-8, 2.86 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games. 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  7. It was an interesting day in the Twins minor league system. Sure, there was the seemingly mandatory rainout of the day (Rochester), but there were some impressive performances. Lewin Diaz continued his historic month. A couple of sluggers crushed two homers each for the Blue Wahoos. Another starter made his first start for the Kernels, and it went well. Sure, the Twins game wasn’t fun, but the minor leaguers made up for itFind out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Pensacola placed RHP Ryan Mason on the 7-day injured list.RHP Anthony Vizcaya was promoted from the Miracle to the Blue Wahoos.RED WINGS REPORTRochester, Scranton/Wilkes Barre Box Score The Red Wings game in Scranton was rained out. It will be made up in July. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 4, Mississippi 6 Box Score They say that solo home runs don’t hurt you too much, and on this night, that was true for Mississippi. The Blue Wahoos scored four runs on four solo homers but it wasn’t enough. Jaylin Davis and Ben Rortvedt each hit two home runs for the Wahoos. Rortvedt has now played in ten games for Pensacola. He is hitting .382/.488/.647 (1.135). Jose Miranda went 2-for-4, and Aaron Whitefield went 2-for-5 in the game. Whitefield stole his 13th base of the season. Michael Helman added a double. Lefty Tyler Watson had a really nice start. He gave up just two runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out just one batter, but he didn’t issue any walks. Alex Phillips came on and went the final 2 2/3 innings. He gave up just one hit and struck out six opponents. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1 - Cedar Rapids 5, Burlington 7 Box Score The Kernels have been trying to get a doubleheader in the last couple of days in Burlington. On Wednesday, they got their first game in but the second was suspended in the bottom of the first inning. This is the continuation of that game. Austin Schulfer began the game for the Kernels. Because just half an inning was played on Wednesday, he started in the bottom of the first inning, as he was supposed to on Wednesday. He gave up three runs on six hits in just three innings. He walked one and struck out six. Carlos Suniaga came on and gave up three runs on four hits in just 2/3 of an inning. He walked one and struck one out. Brian Rapp worked the final 2 1/3 innings. He gave up one run on two hits and two walks. Estamy Urena had a strong game in a losing effort. He went 2-for-4 in the game. He had a two-run double (his third with the Kernels) in the third inning. He then added his first Kernels homer in the sixth inning. MIchael Davis went 2-for-3 and stole a bag. Gabriel Maciel went 0-for-1 but walked three times. Game 2 - Cedar Rapids 4, Burlington 0 Box Score Lefty Kody Funderburk, a 2018 draftee, made his Kernels debut tonight. He gave up just one hit over four scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out four batters. Derek Molina came on and threw three scoreless innings to complete the shutout. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out six batters. The offense was more spread out. Yeltsin Encarnacion was 2-for-3 with a walk. He stole his sixth base. Jacob Pearson went 2-for-4 with his seventh double and his ninth stolen base. Gabriel Maciel went 2-for-3 and stole his seventh base. Wander Javier went 1-for-3 with a walk. Jared Akins provided a little insurance in the ninth with his fifth home run since joining the team. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Kody Funderburk, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ben Rortvedt, Pensacola Blue Wahoos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-4 #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play. #5 - Wander Javier (CR) - Game 1 (1-4, RBI, 2 K), Game 2 (1-3, BB) #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured (wrist) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Rained Out. #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch. #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Rained Out. #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List (elbow) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 0-4 #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 3-3, BB, 2-HR(3), 2 R, 2 RBI #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (thumb) #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - Game 1 (1-3, BB), Game 2 (0-3, BB, K, SB(8) #17 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) - Don’t Ask… OK, fine. 4.1 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (77 pitches, 50 strikes) #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Rained Out. #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (87 pitches, 52 strikes) #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 2-4 FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Buffalo @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-0, 6.31 ERA) Mississippi @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - RHP Andro Cutura (0-2, 6.87 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (3-0, 2.25 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:30 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Thursday games or any other minor league topics you would like. Click here to view the article
  8. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Pensacola placed RHP Ryan Mason on the 7-day injured list. RHP Anthony Vizcaya was promoted from the Miracle to the Blue Wahoos. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester, Scranton/Wilkes Barre Box Score The Red Wings game in Scranton was rained out. It will be made up in July. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 4, Mississippi 6 Box Score They say that solo home runs don’t hurt you too much, and on this night, that was true for Mississippi. The Blue Wahoos scored four runs on four solo homers but it wasn’t enough. Jaylin Davis and Ben Rortvedt each hit two home runs for the Wahoos. Rortvedt has now played in ten games for Pensacola. He is hitting .382/.488/.647 (1.135). https://twitter.com/TCAnelle/status/1134278306583343104 https://twitter.com/TCAnelle/status/1134280984864600065 The Wahoos utilized an opener on Thursday night. Williams Ramirez started and gave up two runs on three hits in the first inning. Jorge Alcala came on and worked the next five innings. He gave up three runs on five hits and two walks. He struck out six batters. Sam Clay struck out six over the final three innings. He gave up a run on four hits. As scheduled, Mitch Garver DHd in this game. He went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts before exiting the game for a pinch hitter in the eighth inning. Rortvedt went 3-for-3 with a walk and his second and third home runs. Davis was 2-for-3 with a walk and his sixth and seventh home runs. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Florida 2 Box Score It was an afternoon game for the Miracle and both Royce Lewis and Trevor Larnach were given the game off. However, a familiar name led the Miracle to another win. With the game tied at two going into the eighth inning, Diaz launched his 10th home run of the season to give the Miracle a lead they were able to hold on to. Diaz went 3-for-5 to raise his average to .319, and he drove in two of the three Miracle runs. https://twitter.com/MarshallKelner/status/1134162727834988544 Jose Miranda went 2-for-4, and Aaron Whitefield went 2-for-5 in the game. Whitefield stole his 13th base of the season. Michael Helman added a double. Lefty Tyler Watson had a really nice start. He gave up just two runs on seven hits over 6 1/3 innings. He struck out just one batter, but he didn’t issue any walks. Alex Phillips came on and went the final 2 2/3 innings. He gave up just one hit and struck out six opponents. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1 - Cedar Rapids 5, Burlington 7 Box Score The Kernels have been trying to get a doubleheader in the last couple of days in Burlington. On Wednesday, they got their first game in but the second was suspended in the bottom of the first inning. This is the continuation of that game. Austin Schulfer began the game for the Kernels. Because just half an inning was played on Wednesday, he started in the bottom of the first inning, as he was supposed to on Wednesday. He gave up three runs on six hits in just three innings. He walked one and struck out six. Carlos Suniaga came on and gave up three runs on four hits in just 2/3 of an inning. He walked one and struck one out. Brian Rapp worked the final 2 1/3 innings. He gave up one run on two hits and two walks. Estamy Urena had a strong game in a losing effort. He went 2-for-4 in the game. He had a two-run double (his third with the Kernels) in the third inning. He then added his first Kernels homer in the sixth inning. MIchael Davis went 2-for-3 and stole a bag. Gabriel Maciel went 0-for-1 but walked three times. Game 2 - Cedar Rapids 4, Burlington 0 Box Score Lefty Kody Funderburk, a 2018 draftee, made his Kernels debut tonight. He gave up just one hit over four scoreless innings. He walked one and struck out four batters. Derek Molina came on and threw three scoreless innings to complete the shutout. He gave up two hits, walked one and struck out six batters. The offense was more spread out. Yeltsin Encarnacion was 2-for-3 with a walk. He stole his sixth base. Jacob Pearson went 2-for-4 with his seventh double and his ninth stolen base. Gabriel Maciel went 2-for-3 and stole his seventh base. Wander Javier went 1-for-3 with a walk. Jared Akins provided a little insurance in the ninth with his fifth home run since joining the team. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Kody Funderburk, Cedar Rapids Kernels Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Ben Rortvedt, Pensacola Blue Wahoos PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-4 #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Play. #5 - Wander Javier (CR) - Game 1 (1-4, RBI, 2 K), Game 2 (1-3, BB) #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured (wrist) #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Rained Out. #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch. #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Rained Out. #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List (elbow) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 0-4 #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 3-3, BB, 2-HR(3), 2 R, 2 RBI #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (thumb) #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - Game 1 (1-3, BB), Game 2 (0-3, BB, K, SB(8) #17 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) - Don’t Ask… OK, fine. 4.1 IP, 10 H, 8 ER, 1 BB, 3 K (77 pitches, 50 strikes) #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Rained Out. #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - 5 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 6 K (87 pitches, 52 strikes) #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 2-4 FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Buffalo @ Rochester (6:05 CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-0, 6.31 ERA) Mississippi @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - RHP Andro Cutura (0-2, 6.87 ERA) Ft. Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (3-0, 2.25 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (6:30 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Thursday games or any other minor league topics you would like.
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