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  1. Shaun Anderson was a third-round draft pick out of the University of Florida by the Red Sox in 2016. He went to San Francisco in the 2017 Eduardo Nunez trade ahead of the deadline. Anderson debuted for the Giants in 2019, making 16 starts and 12 relief appearances with a 5.44 ERA. In 2020, the right-hander moved to a full-time relief role and had more success, with a 3.54 and 18 strikeouts over 15 ⅓ innings, although his 12 walks were concerning. Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing around 230 lbs, the 26-year-old Anderson leans heavily on a high-powered slider (surprise!), which he threw 53% of the time last year. The pitch limited opponents to a .108/.164/.243 slash line. Obviously it's the kind of project the Twins like to take on, and have had success with. The Matt Wisler comparisons are natural enough (especially given that Anderson is coming from the team that just signed Wisler), and it's easy to see a similar scenario playing out here. https://twitter.com/dohyoungpark/status/1357507395547709440 Anderson also throws a fastball in the mid-90s and has mixed in the occasional changeup, although it'd be no surprise if the Twins have him drop the third pitch. He has options, so there's no assurance he'll start on the big-league club. LaMonte Wade Jr. is a very solid player, capable of playing all three outfield positions and bringing exceptional discipline at the plate. Unfortunately he was hopelessly buried on the depth chart in Minnesota, even with Eddie Rosario out of the picture. In San Francisco he figures to get more of an opportunity, and reunite with former Twins farmhand Jaylin Davis. https://twitter.com/SethTweets/status/1357538628663009282 We'll have plenty more information and analysis soon, so be sure to check back. For now, let's hear your initial thoughts and reactions in the comments. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  2. Another day, another move. After agreeing to terms with free agents Nelson Cruz and Alex Colomé on successive days, the Twins struck their first trade of the offseason Thursday. The team announced that it has dealt outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr. to the Giants for right-handed relief pitcher Shaun Anderson.Shaun Anderson was a third-round draft pick out of the University of Florida by the Red Sox in 2016. He went to San Francisco in the 2017 Eduardo Nunez trade ahead of the deadline. Anderson debuted for the Giants in 2019, making 16 starts and 12 relief appearances with a 5.44 ERA. In 2020, the right-hander moved to a full-time relief role and had more success, with a 3.54 and 18 strikeouts over 15 ⅓ innings, although his 12 walks were concerning. Standing 6-foot-4 and weighing around 230 lbs, the 26-year-old Anderson leans heavily on a high-powered slider (surprise!), which he threw 53% of the time last year. The pitch limited opponents to a .108/.164/.243 slash line. Obviously it's the kind of project the Twins like to take on, and have had success with. The Matt Wisler comparisons are natural enough (especially given that Anderson is coming from the team that just signed Wisler), and it's easy to see a similar scenario playing out here. We'll have plenty more information and analysis soon, so be sure to check back. For now, let's hear your initial thoughts and reactions in the comments. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  3. In a traditional season I expected Minnesota to look for an arm, preferably of the starting category. I wrote about how Trevor Bauer made sense if the Reds made him available, but that would have been a high-risk rental. The only reason I like him is that it was a clear upgrade on their current options. It turned out the only arm of that ilk to move was the Indians Mike Clevinger, and a team-controlled asset from within the division would have come with an astronomical price tag. The fact that the Twins didn’t go get a bat, or even another relief arm, is defensible. Byron Buxton returns September 1, with Josh Donaldson set to follow him the next day. Cody Stashak is hopefully around the corner, and maybe even Zack Littell will make his way back. There are big league assets currently on the Injured List that have tickets for September and should still play a key part. If there’s an indefensible situation though, it’s not addressing the elephant in the outfield, a right-handed bat. Minnesota has one of those ready and waiting in St. Paul, and it’s been past time Brent Rooker was given a shot. Rooker was a 1st round pick back in 2017 and entered pro ball at 22. He’s now 25 and will be 26 this calendar year. He’s not a young prospect by any means, and having played over 250 games on the farm, he isn’t too green anymore either. Rooker spent 65 games with Triple-A Rochester in 2019, and while he missed time due to injury, he posted a .933 OPS. The Twins selected him based on his power bat profile and his 54 minor league home runs have brought the belief to fruition. While fans could be clamoring for top 100 prospect Alex Kirilloff, there’s two key differentiators at play with Rooker. First and foremost, he bats right-handed. Minnesota’s outfield is exclusively left-handed without Byron Buxton, and the duo of Jake Cave and LaMonte Wade are more than redundant. Adding to the lineup flexibility, it’s plenty clear a righty is necessary. Then there’s also the idea of playing time colliding with development. Kirilloff is a very high ceiling prospect but is just 22 and has yet to play above Double-A (94 games where he had just a .756 OPS). Making sure his bat is completely ready before throwing him to the wolves at the highest level is a must. Kirilloff is also transitioning to more of a first base role and continuing to work through all types of developmental skills is imperative for his long-term success. I don’t put any stock in the notion of a guy needing consistent playing time during 2020. Despite the fact that Rooker can spell both corners and routinely see three games per week, the reality is nothing taking place at MLB alternate sites constitutes “real” game action anyways. It’s not as though Rooker or Kirilloff can’t get the same level of drill work in at Target Field. At bats may be a bit more sporadic and travel is thrown in, but opportunity remains relatively consistent. There’s no telling whether or not Brent Rooker being promoted would immediately result in a rejuvenation of the Twins run scoring prowess. What he does do is give Rocco Baldelli a righty in the outfield that he’s been hamstrung without, and an opportunity for Minnesota’s front office to tag in a high-level prospect that you’re worried substantially less about a falling floor. Soon there will be a time for Alex Kirilloff, but right now is Brent Rooker’s turn. I’ll defend the front office over trusting in their internal talent at the deadline. There’s no defense for failing to utilize it after that. Let the Bulldog out. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  4. In this week's Get to Know 'Em podcast, Seth talked to prospect Travis Blankenhorn about his powerful 2019 season, his goals and his high school days as a three-sport athlete. Also, we talk to outfielder LaMonte Wade about his season, getting called up to the big leagues, getting hurt and contributing mightily in September.Travis Blankenhorn was a star, three-sport athlete in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, growing up. We discuss the sports he played and how good he was in all three sports. He had a very nice 2019 season and was named the 2019 Twins Daily Minor League All Star second baseman. He spent three weeks in Ft. Myers before being promoted to AA Pensacola where he hit 18 doubles and 18 home runs in 93 games. He is a candidate to be added to the Twins 40-man roster in November. He also talked about what analytics and statistics were most important to him. We discuss it all with him. LaMonte Wade was called up in late June and made his big-league debut in late June. He returned about a week later and got hurt. He rehabbed and was brought back to the Twins on September 1st. He played nearly every day for the Twins down the stretch. We talked about all of that, plus there was a section about his beloved Baltimore Ravens and their big match up coming up on Sunday night. Leave questions or comments below on this podcast. Send me names of people you would like to see interviewed in the future. And send your questions for Tyler Wells as well, as he will return to the show next week to answer your questions. You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to view the article
  5. Travis Blankenhorn was a star, three-sport athlete in Pottsville, Pennsylvania, growing up. We discuss the sports he played and how good he was in all three sports. He had a very nice 2019 season and was named the 2019 Twins Daily Minor League All Star second baseman. He spent three weeks in Ft. Myers before being promoted to AA Pensacola where he hit 18 doubles and 18 home runs in 93 games. He is a candidate to be added to the Twins 40-man roster in November. He also talked about what analytics and statistics were most important to him. We discuss it all with him. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_6.mp3 LaMonte Wade was called up in late June and made his big-league debut in late June. He returned about a week later and got hurt. He rehabbed and was brought back to the Twins on September 1st. He played nearly every day for the Twins down the stretch. We talked about all of that, plus there was a section about his beloved Baltimore Ravens and their big match up coming up on Sunday night. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_6.mp3 Leave questions or comments below on this podcast. Send me names of people you would like to see interviewed in the future. And send your questions for Tyler Wells as well, as he will return to the show next week to answer your questions. You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook.
  6. With Cleveland losing to the Philadelphia Phillies, the Minnesota Twins looked to do their part in lowering the magic number in game three of a four-game series against the Kansas City Royals. Jose Berrios was on the bump for Minnesota, looking to pitch his third straight great game. Things didn’t go as well as Berrios and the Twins would have hoped as he gave up five runs in six innings and Taylor Rogers and the Twins bullpen imploded in the ninth inning, turning a tied game into a seven-run deficit.Box Score Berrios: 6IP, 8H, 5 ER, 1BB, 5K, 68% strikes (66 of 97 pitches) Bullpen: 3IP, 8H, 7ER,2 BB, 2K Home Runs: Wade Jr. (2) Multi-Hit Games: Wade Jr. (2-for-3 HR, 3B, BB), Arraez (2-for-5, 2B), Cruz (2-for-5), Sano (2-for-4) Bottom 3 WPA: Rogers (-0.43), Berrios (-0.24), Rosario (-0.14) Kansas City Strikes First In the top of the second inning, with one out, Jose Berrios hit Alex Gordon in the foot. After a bloop single, Ryan O’Hearn doubled, scoring Gordon. Meibrys Viloria then hit a shallow fly ball to Eddie Rosario and Ryan McBroom tagged from third. Rosario’s throw was slightly off-line, but appeared good enough to get McBroom. However, after reaching across to tag McBroom the ball popped out of the webbing of Jason Castro’s mitt when it hit the ground. Berrios was able to strike out Brett Phillips and keep the score at 2-0. Rookies Spark the Offense, Man With Dick Bremer lamenting about how many first pitch fastballs Twins hitters were taking, LaMonte Wade Jr. came up in the bottom of the third and turned on the first pitch Glenn Sparkman had to offer. 416 feet later Kansas City’s lead was cut to one. The home run was the second of Wade Jr.’s young Twins MLB career. Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days. Click here to view the article
  7. Box Score Berrios: 6IP, 8H, 5 ER, 1BB, 5K, 68% strikes (66 of 97 pitches) Bullpen: 3IP, 8H, 7ER,2 BB, 2K Home Runs: Wade Jr. (2) Multi-Hit Games: Wade Jr. (2-for-3 HR, 3B, BB), Arraez (2-for-5, 2B), Cruz (2-for-5), Sano (2-for-4) Bottom 3 WPA: Rogers (-0.43), Berrios (-0.24), Rosario (-0.14) Kansas City Strikes First In the top of the second inning, with one out, Jose Berrios hit Alex Gordon in the foot. After a bloop single, Ryan O’Hearn doubled, scoring Gordon. Meibrys Viloria then hit a shallow fly ball to Eddie Rosario and Ryan McBroom tagged from third. Rosario’s throw was slightly off-line, but appeared good enough to get McBroom. However, after reaching across to tag McBroom the ball popped out of the webbing of Jason Castro’s mitt when it hit the ground. Berrios was able to strike out Brett Phillips and keep the score at 2-0. Rookies Spark the Offense, Man With Dick Bremer lamenting about how many first pitch fastballs Twins hitters were taking, LaMonte Wade Jr. came up in the bottom of the third and turned on the first pitch Glenn Sparkman had to offer. 416 feet later Kansas City’s lead was cut to one. The home run was the second of Wade Jr.’s young Twins MLB career. https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1175560833054588928 Broadcaster Latroy Hawkins claimed that he joked with Wade Jr. before the game that he hit like Reggie Jackson in batting practice, but like Michael Jackson in games. It appears that Wade Jr. took Hawkins' words to heart. In his next at-bat, Wade Jr. led off the bottom of the fifth with a triple. Luis Arraez followed Wade Jr.’s triple with his second hit of the game, a hustle double that scored Wade Jr. to tie the game. With the rookies doing their job, the anti-rookie, Nelson Cruz stepped up and singled in Arraez for his team-leading 104th RBI. That marked the end of the day for Sparkman. With runners on first and second and no outs, Eddie Rosario stepped up to the plate and did the most Eddie thing possible – he immediately popped out on the first pitch. But luckily for Minnesota Miguel Sano stepped up and singled in Jorge Polanco (who had earlier walked) to put the Twins up 4 – 2. Royals shortstop Adalberto Mondesi was kind enough to gift Minnesota another run by botching a Willians Astudillo groundball, allowing Nelson Cruz to come home and put the Twins momentarily ahead. Berrios stumbles, Royals Strike Back Things were looking good going into the sixth and Jose Berrios was able to induce a double play after allowing the first two Kansas City hitters of the inning to single. With a runner on third and two outs, McBroom singled to bring the score to 5 -3. The next batter, the other Ryan, took a Berrios’ changeup for a ride, tying the game up. Berrios was able to finish out the inning, but it marked the end of the day for Berrios. Rogers, Hildenberger Falter Both Kansas City and Minnesota got great efforts from their bullpens after Sparkman and Berrios left the game. However, after Tyler Duffy and Serio Romo went six up, six down in the seventh and eighth innings, Taylor Rogers struggled mightily in the ninth. Rogers managed to get only one out, giving up three hits, the most damaging one a two-run dinger coming off the bat of pinch-hitter Cheslor Cuthbert. It’s worth mentioning that it is the fourth time in the last six games that Rogers has pitched (although he hadn’t thrown more than 14 pitches in any of the appearances). Trevor Hildenberger relieved Rogers and the wheels really fell off. Hildenberger faced six batters and failed to record an out. It doesn’t get much uglier than that. By the time the top of the ninth finally ended the Twins were down 12 – 5 and the game had been lost. Jorge Alcala Debuts If you bothered to stick around after the meltdown, you were rewarded by getting to see Jorge Alcala make his MLB debut (and see a seemingly never ending, nearly 50-minute(!) top of the ninth). He came into the game with the bases loaded and one out and gave up a single that Marwin Gonzalez had a chance to catch but didn’t. His four-seam fastball topped out at 95. He would go on to walk in another run but finally ended the inning by retiring two Royals batters. Postgame With Baldelli https://twitter.com/fsnorth/status/1175607269620211712 Bullpen Usage Spreadsheet Click here for a review of the number of pitches thrown by each member of the bullpen over the past five days.
  8. Quietly, Twins infield prospect Nick Gordon has put together some really strong numbers in 2019 for the Rochester Red Wings. Unfortunately, he has had a couple of stints on the injured list this season that have cost him almost half of the season. Recently, we caught up with Gordon, who is rehabbing in Ft. Myers, to talk about 2019, a new perspective, and several other topics.Nick Gordon had a strong spring training, but when teams broke camp to start their seasons, he found himself on the Rochester IL with a stomach ailment and missed all of April. He returned to the Red Wings at the start of May and began hitting right away. In 70 games this season, he has hit .298/.342/.459 (.801) with 29 doubles, three triples and four home runs. He also stole 14 based in 17 attempts. It was a terrific showing, especially after the struggles he endured in the second half of 2018 for Rochester when he hit just .212/.262/.283 (.544) in 99 games in the International League. Gordon has always worked hard to improve in the offseason. He continued to work out with his brother (Dee) and others such as Francisco Lindor under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Barry Larkin. However, he also took his struggles at minor league baseball’s highest level last year and learned from it. It has paid off with his much-improved stat line in 2019. Gordon said, “I’ve felt more like myself, knowing that last year I let a lot get to me and I changed a bunch of things. This year, it’s about trusting what I did (in the offseason) and what I’ve done.” Gordon, still just 23 years old, was competing with and against players several years older than him and many with big league service time. He continued, “Not getting into my own head. They (opponents) are going to be good, and I have to be good. You can’t just go out and beat up on everybody and then get down when you don’t. It doesn’t work that way. Just needed to stick to the things I worked with and the things I did during the offseason and stick with them, stick to a routine.” Unfortunately, as August started, Gordon was hit in the back leg by a pitch and was placed on the IL the next day.While it looked like a “normal” back-knee hit by pitch, it was anything but that. “I actually couldn’t walk. It was a little tough to walk for a week. It was difficult, a lot of pain. It was very unusual, kind of a freak accident.” As for a return, he hopes to get back “as soon as possible,” but he understands that it will be “however long it takes.” The reality is that Gordon has been very healthy for the most part since being the Twins first-round draft pick in 2014 out of high school in Orlando. By season, he has played in 120 games, 116 games, 122 games, and 141 games in 2018. It would be fair to say that he isn’t exactly enjoying his time on the IL either. “It isn’t a good feeling. The days are so much longer. It’s been tough.” But he has chosen not to sulk and to try to get some benefit from it, trying to make it into an opportunity for learning. “It’s been a lot of learning, a lot of self-time and picking up myself and paying attention to things around the game. I’ve taken the time and felt like I’ve learned, so I don’t feel like I wasted time but it’s been kind of frustrating not being out there.” Throughout the season, there have been very frequent Red Wing travelers on the flight between Rochester and Minneapolis. It’s been pretty exciting for him to see teammates get their call to the big leagues. One of his good friends in the Twins organization for several years is LaMonte Wade. They have played with each other each season since 2016. One night in late June, the two were hanging out together. “It was awesome. I was actually with him when he got called. It was a cool experience to see, knowing how hard he worked for it. He goes about it the right way. He wants to be better and he wants to win. When he got that call, that opportunity, I was so excited for him. I was really happy for him.” What did Gordon tell Wade? “I didn’t know what to tell him because I haven’t got that call. It was overwhelming. It was exciting. So I just told him to go up there and do your thing. Play your game. You’re there for a reason!” Has seeing several teammates get that call to the big leagues been motivating for Gordon, or has it been a source of frustration? “I don’t really believe much in being mad about things I can’t control. It doesn’t really frustrate me. Motivation? I mean, I’ve been motivated to get to the big leagues since I was a little kid. There is always more motivation there. When stuff like that happens, it’s more positive than negative (seeing teammates called up). It’s just so great seeing guys I’ve played with for years get a chance at the top level.” But through any frustrations and struggles, Gordon has had a very good support system. As we have discussed with him before, he gets a lot of support and encouragement from his family, including his father (Tom) and brother (Dee). But Nick spoke glowingly of the support players get from within the organization. “We were just talking about it today. There are a lot of guys in our organization that are good people, awesome human beings. It’s awesome to be around. In situations that are tough, your teammates are there.” In Rochester, Gordon is one of the youngest Red Wings. He is able to hear from older teammates who have spent time in the big leagues and experienced the highs and lows of this baseball life. In Ft. Myers, he is working and rehabbing with several other players who are injured. They are able to confide with and in each other. “Everybody understands that this game is hard. Everybody wants to be on the field. They are there for you, have your back. You can’t ask for more than that. I have a lot of guys that I’m close to. There are a lot of guys in the organization that are just awesome.” Gordon said that he stays away from rumors in the game as much as possible. While his name was occasionally mentioned in trade rumors, it was one of his teammates that ended up being traded at the deadline.. Regarding Jaylin Davis, Gordon noted, “He’s awesome. He’s just great. Every single time he steps in the box, a baseball is about to get hit hard. He’s getting an opportunity. He’s a great guy, a great hitter I’m happy for him.” He continued, “”But I didn’t want to see him go. I loved playing with him.” One thing is certain when speaking to Nick Gordon. He has a strong passion for the game of baseball. He speaks with such great perspective, and his perspective has changed to some degree since this time last year. Sure, the passion for baseball remains the same and his drive to play in the big leagues for a long time is still very strong. But he has other priorities in life too. At least one. Last September, Jaxon Nicholas Gordon was born. As excited as Gordon sounds when talking about baseball, you can hear the joy coming through the phone when he talks about his son. Has becoming a father changed his perspective or anything in his day-to-day life? “I would say it is more in my day-to-day. Having my son definitely does show me how to care and I feel like I care more for people. I’ve always loved kids, but I love this kid to an entirely different level. It’s a smile of joy. It’s everything that I wish for. I pray for him. I love him endlessly. It definitely drives me. I spend as much time as I can with him. It’s tough in the season. Down in Florida, I’ve seen him a lot more. He’s an awesome little man.” Congratulations to Nick and his family. Hopefully he can get healthy and get back on the field before season’s end, and maybe get a trip to Minneapolis in September. Click here to view the article
  9. Nick Gordon had a strong spring training, but when teams broke camp to start their seasons, he found himself on the Rochester IL with a stomach ailment and missed all of April. He returned to the Red Wings at the start of May and began hitting right away. In 70 games this season, he has hit .298/.342/.459 (.801) with 29 doubles, three triples and four home runs. He also stole 14 based in 17 attempts. It was a terrific showing, especially after the struggles he endured in the second half of 2018 for Rochester when he hit just .212/.262/.283 (.544) in 99 games in the International League. Gordon has always worked hard to improve in the offseason. He continued to work out with his brother (Dee) and others such as Francisco Lindor under the tutelage of Hall of Famer Barry Larkin. However, he also took his struggles at minor league baseball’s highest level last year and learned from it. It has paid off with his much-improved stat line in 2019. Gordon said, “I’ve felt more like myself, knowing that last year I let a lot get to me and I changed a bunch of things. This year, it’s about trusting what I did (in the offseason) and what I’ve done.” Gordon, still just 23 years old, was competing with and against players several years older than him and many with big league service time. He continued, “Not getting into my own head. They (opponents) are going to be good, and I have to be good. You can’t just go out and beat up on everybody and then get down when you don’t. It doesn’t work that way. Just needed to stick to the things I worked with and the things I did during the offseason and stick with them, stick to a routine.” Unfortunately, as August started, Gordon was hit in the back leg by a pitch and was placed on the IL the next day.While it looked like a “normal” back-knee hit by pitch, it was anything but that. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1157471405597974528 “I actually couldn’t walk. It was a little tough to walk for a week. It was difficult, a lot of pain. It was very unusual, kind of a freak accident.” As for a return, he hopes to get back “as soon as possible,” but he understands that it will be “however long it takes.” The reality is that Gordon has been very healthy for the most part since being the Twins first-round draft pick in 2014 out of high school in Orlando. By season, he has played in 120 games, 116 games, 122 games, and 141 games in 2018. It would be fair to say that he isn’t exactly enjoying his time on the IL either. “It isn’t a good feeling. The days are so much longer. It’s been tough.” But he has chosen not to sulk and to try to get some benefit from it, trying to make it into an opportunity for learning. “It’s been a lot of learning, a lot of self-time and picking up myself and paying attention to things around the game. I’ve taken the time and felt like I’ve learned, so I don’t feel like I wasted time but it’s been kind of frustrating not being out there.” Throughout the season, there have been very frequent Red Wing travelers on the flight between Rochester and Minneapolis. It’s been pretty exciting for him to see teammates get their call to the big leagues. One of his good friends in the Twins organization for several years is LaMonte Wade. They have played with each other each season since 2016. One night in late June, the two were hanging out together. “It was awesome. I was actually with him when he got called. It was a cool experience to see, knowing how hard he worked for it. He goes about it the right way. He wants to be better and he wants to win. When he got that call, that opportunity, I was so excited for him. I was really happy for him.” What did Gordon tell Wade? “I didn’t know what to tell him because I haven’t got that call. It was overwhelming. It was exciting. So I just told him to go up there and do your thing. Play your game. You’re there for a reason!” Has seeing several teammates get that call to the big leagues been motivating for Gordon, or has it been a source of frustration? “I don’t really believe much in being mad about things I can’t control. It doesn’t really frustrate me. Motivation? I mean, I’ve been motivated to get to the big leagues since I was a little kid. There is always more motivation there. When stuff like that happens, it’s more positive than negative (seeing teammates called up). It’s just so great seeing guys I’ve played with for years get a chance at the top level.” But through any frustrations and struggles, Gordon has had a very good support system. As we have discussed with him before, he gets a lot of support and encouragement from his family, including his father (Tom) and brother (Dee). But Nick spoke glowingly of the support players get from within the organization. “We were just talking about it today. There are a lot of guys in our organization that are good people, awesome human beings. It’s awesome to be around. In situations that are tough, your teammates are there.” In Rochester, Gordon is one of the youngest Red Wings. He is able to hear from older teammates who have spent time in the big leagues and experienced the highs and lows of this baseball life. In Ft. Myers, he is working and rehabbing with several other players who are injured. They are able to confide with and in each other. “Everybody understands that this game is hard. Everybody wants to be on the field. They are there for you, have your back. You can’t ask for more than that. I have a lot of guys that I’m close to. There are a lot of guys in the organization that are just awesome.” Gordon said that he stays away from rumors in the game as much as possible. While his name was occasionally mentioned in trade rumors, it was one of his teammates that ended up being traded at the deadline.. Regarding Jaylin Davis, Gordon noted, “He’s awesome. He’s just great. Every single time he steps in the box, a baseball is about to get hit hard. He’s getting an opportunity. He’s a great guy, a great hitter I’m happy for him.” He continued, “”But I didn’t want to see him go. I loved playing with him.” One thing is certain when speaking to Nick Gordon. He has a strong passion for the game of baseball. He speaks with such great perspective, and his perspective has changed to some degree since this time last year. Sure, the passion for baseball remains the same and his drive to play in the big leagues for a long time is still very strong. But he has other priorities in life too. At least one. Last September, Jaxon Nicholas Gordon was born. As excited as Gordon sounds when talking about baseball, you can hear the joy coming through the phone when he talks about his son. Has becoming a father changed his perspective or anything in his day-to-day life? “I would say it is more in my day-to-day. Having my son definitely does show me how to care and I feel like I care more for people. I’ve always loved kids, but I love this kid to an entirely different level. It’s a smile of joy. It’s everything that I wish for. I pray for him. I love him endlessly. It definitely drives me. I spend as much time as I can with him. It’s tough in the season. Down in Florida, I’ve seen him a lot more. He’s an awesome little man.” Congratulations to Nick and his family. Hopefully he can get healthy and get back on the field before season’s end, and maybe get a trip to Minneapolis in September.
  10. Aaron and John talk about the state of the Twins heading into the All-Star break with a 5.5-game lead, injuries for Jake Odorizzi, C.J. Cron, and Eddie Rosario, LaMonte Wade's very brief edge over Jake Cave, whether there's any reason to have faith in Adalberto Mejia, and highlighting a possible under-the-radar trade target. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, iHeartRadio or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link.PLAY THE PODCAST Want more Twins talk? Subscribe to our midweek "Off The Record" episodes via Patreon.com/Gleeman. Click here to view the article
  11. PLAY THE PODCAST Want more Twins talk? Subscribe to our midweek "Off The Record" episodes via Patreon.com/Gleeman.
  12. Let’s take a look at the Top 5 hitters for the month of June, but first here are some players deserving of honorable mention. HONORABLE MENTION Andrew Bechtold - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 22-74, .297/.404/.405 (.810) with 5 doubles, 1 home run. Travis Blankenhorn - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 28-108, .259/.308/.491 (.798) with 7 doubles, 6 home runs. Ryan Jeffers - Ft. Myers Miracle - 16-65, .246/.320/.477 (.797) with five home runs. Trevor Larnach - Ft. Myers Miracle - 28-92, .304/.360/.424 (.784) with 3 doubles, 1 triple. Gabriel Maciel - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 25-82, .309/.378/.395 (.773) with 3 doubles, 2 triples. Wilin Rosario - Rochester Red Wings - 30-94, .319/.354/.489 (.843) with 7 doubles, 3 home runs. (27 RBI) Tomas Telis - Rochester Red Wings - 18-52, .346/.382/.500 (.882) with 5 doubles, 1 home run. THE TOP FIVE HITTERS Number 5 - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos – 1B Lewin Diaz - 24-94, .255/.297/.521 (.818) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs. It’s been a terrific season for the Dominican first baseman. He has put in the work over the last couple of years to improve his body, to improve his tools and his talents, and it has to be rewarding to see the results. He was the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month in May and had a big June too. He played in his second straight Florida State League All-Star game, and when that was done, he made the move up to Double-A Pensacola where he got off to a fast start. In his first dozen games with the Blue Wahoos, he had nine doubles, a triple and two home runs. Number 4 - Rochester Red Wings - 1B Zander Wiel - 26-101, .257/.315/.505 (.820), 7 doubles, 6 home runs. Wiel just continues to fly under the radar, but he has been a quality, consistent contributor for the Red Wings all season. He continues to play most every day. He may not hit for average, but he does a nice job around the plate. He also has really increased his extra-base hit power, including home runs. Through June, Wiel had an .834 OPS, 19 doubles and 13 home runs. And to make his month better, Vanderbilt won the College World Series. Number 3 – Rochester Red Wings - OF LaMonte Wade, Jr. - 23-81, .284/.429/.432 (.861) with 6 doubles, 2 home runs. Wade got off to a slow start in 2019, but he had a real strong month in June. The key seemed to be regaining his on-base percentage. He did a great job of getting on base in June, and that seemed to help him find more pitches to drive for extra-base hits. Late in the month, Wade received The Call every ballplayer dreams of. He was called up to the Twins. He watched one game, and then he made his big league debut over the weekend. He came to the plate twice. He was hit by the first pitch thrown to him. He was then robbed of a hit in his second plate appearance by a diving catch in center field. He returned to the Red Wings the next day, but he will be back. Number 2 - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings – OF Jaylin Davis - 28-105, .267/.366/.543 (.909) with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 7 home runs. Another Twins prospect that just doesn’t get talked about as much as he should. However, Jaylin Davis has consistently produced and worked his way up the Twins organizational ladder. In mid-June, Davis was promoted to the Red Wings where he has hit five home runs in his last nine games. Drafted out of Appalachian State in 2016, Davis big tool is his power, but he has made improvements this season, particularly an improved approach at the plate which has created more contact. He’s also made big strides in the outfield. And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is: Rochester Red Wings – LF Brent Rooker - .337/.507/.612 (1.120) with 9 doubles, 6 homers. There were a lot of Twins minor league hitters that had strong months in June, but the choice for the minor league hitter of the month was pretty easy. Rooker has been one of the best hitters in the entire minor leagues. He has hit for average. He got on base more than half of his plate appearances. He showed the power that makes him such an impressive power prospect coming out of Mississippi State when the Twins drafted him with the 35th overall pick in 2017. He was named to the International League All-Star team last week. Rooker got off to a slow start. In April, he hit just .214/.279/.464 (.743). Not horrible numbers, but he had 28 strikeouts in 61 plate appearances (45.9% K-rate). In June, he struck out 39 times in 134 plate appearances (29.1%). When Rooker hits the ball, good things happen. But Rooker also walked 27 times (20.1%), a great rate. Will we see Rooker at some point in 2019? That is a question that comes up often. The Twins have an outfield of Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler. Marwin Gonzalez can play the corners. If there is a short-term outfield need (as there has been recently), Jake Cave and LaMonte Wade, Jr., are already on the 40-man roster. If there were a long-term need, Rooker could be an option. He also plays first base and DH. The Twins have CJ Cron and Nelson Cruz. If one of them were to be hurt for a long period of time, Rooker could be an option. Rooker doesn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2020 season. However, I can also see a scenario in mid-to-late August where the Twins want to start considering a playoff roster. If they want to add a big bat off the bench, Rooker could be an option at that time. Of course, the other question being asked more frequently now is if Rooker could be a trade target for other teams. The obvious answer is Yes, teams will be asking about Rooker. However, Rooker fits into a category where you better get something really good (and long-term) to give up his bat for the next six or seven seasons. We would like to congratulate Brent Rooker, Twins Daily’s choice for Minor League Hitter of the Month for June 2019. Feel free to share your thoughts and ask questions.
  13. June is always an interesting month in the minor leagues. The short-season teams get started. Three affiliates play in half-season leagues, so playoff spots are up for grab. Those same affiliates also were well represented in their league All-Star games. And, there are a lot of players that received promotions during the month of June. So, there can be transitions. But there were still some great hitting performances in the Twins system in June! Previous 2019 Hitters of the Month: April - Trey Cabbage May - Lewin Diaz June - Keep Reading (or just look at the graphic of this article…)Let’s take a look at the Top 5 hitters for the month of June, but first here are some players deserving of honorable mention. HONORABLE MENTION Andrew Bechtold - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 22-74, .297/.404/.405 (.810) with 5 doubles, 1 home run.Travis Blankenhorn - Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 28-108, .259/.308/.491 (.798) with 7 doubles, 6 home runs.Ryan Jeffers - Ft. Myers Miracle - 16-65, .246/.320/.477 (.797) with five home runs.Trevor Larnach - Ft. Myers Miracle - 28-92, .304/.360/.424 (.784) with 3 doubles, 1 triple.Gabriel Maciel - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 25-82, .309/.378/.395 (.773) with 3 doubles, 2 triples.Wilin Rosario - Rochester Red Wings - 30-94, .319/.354/.489 (.843) with 7 doubles, 3 home runs. (27 RBI)Tomas Telis - Rochester Red Wings - 18-52, .346/.382/.500 (.882) with 5 doubles, 1 home run.THE TOP FIVE HITTERS Number 5 - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos – 1B Lewin Diaz - 24-94, .255/.297/.521 (.818) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 5 home runs. It’s been a terrific season for the Dominican first baseman. He has put in the work over the last couple of years to improve his body, to improve his tools and his talents, and it has to be rewarding to see the results. He was the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month in May and had a big June too. He played in his second straight Florida State League All-Star game, and when that was done, he made the move up to Double-A Pensacola where he got off to a fast start. In his first dozen games with the Blue Wahoos, he had nine doubles, a triple and two home runs. Number 4 - Rochester Red Wings - 1B Zander Wiel - 26-101, .257/.315/.505 (.820), 7 doubles, 6 home runs. Wiel just continues to fly under the radar, but he has been a quality, consistent contributor for the Red Wings all season. He continues to play most every day. He may not hit for average, but he does a nice job around the plate. He also has really increased his extra-base hit power, including home runs. Through June, Wiel had an .834 OPS, 19 doubles and 13 home runs. And to make his month better, Vanderbilt won the College World Series. Number 3 – Rochester Red Wings - OF LaMonte Wade, Jr. - 23-81, .284/.429/.432 (.861) with 6 doubles, 2 home runs. Wade got off to a slow start in 2019, but he had a real strong month in June. The key seemed to be regaining his on-base percentage. He did a great job of getting on base in June, and that seemed to help him find more pitches to drive for extra-base hits. Late in the month, Wade received The Call every ballplayer dreams of. He was called up to the Twins. He watched one game, and then he made his big league debut over the weekend. He came to the plate twice. He was hit by the first pitch thrown to him. He was then robbed of a hit in his second plate appearance by a diving catch in center field. He returned to the Red Wings the next day, but he will be back. Number 2 - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings – OF Jaylin Davis - 28-105, .267/.366/.543 (.909) with 6 doubles, 1 triple, 7 home runs. Another Twins prospect that just doesn’t get talked about as much as he should. However, Jaylin Davis has consistently produced and worked his way up the Twins organizational ladder. In mid-June, Davis was promoted to the Red Wings where he has hit five home runs in his last nine games. Drafted out of Appalachian State in 2016, Davis big tool is his power, but he has made improvements this season, particularly an improved approach at the plate which has created more contact. He’s also made big strides in the outfield. And the Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month is: Rochester Red Wings – LF Brent Rooker - .337/.507/.612 (1.120) with 9 doubles, 6 homers. There were a lot of Twins minor league hitters that had strong months in June, but the choice for the minor league hitter of the month was pretty easy. Rooker has been one of the best hitters in the entire minor leagues. He has hit for average. He got on base more than half of his plate appearances. He showed the power that makes him such an impressive power prospect coming out of Mississippi State when the Twins drafted him with the 35th overall pick in 2017. He was named to the International League All-Star team last week. Rooker got off to a slow start. In April, he hit just .214/.279/.464 (.743). Not horrible numbers, but he had 28 strikeouts in 61 plate appearances (45.9% K-rate). In June, he struck out 39 times in 134 plate appearances (29.1%). When Rooker hits the ball, good things happen. But Rooker also walked 27 times (20.1%), a great rate. Will we see Rooker at some point in 2019? That is a question that comes up often. The Twins have an outfield of Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler. Marwin Gonzalez can play the corners. If there is a short-term outfield need (as there has been recently), Jake Cave and LaMonte Wade, Jr., are already on the 40-man roster. If there were a long-term need, Rooker could be an option. He also plays first base and DH. The Twins have CJ Cron and Nelson Cruz. If one of them were to be hurt for a long period of time, Rooker could be an option. Rooker doesn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster until after the 2020 season. However, I can also see a scenario in mid-to-late August where the Twins want to start considering a playoff roster. If they want to add a big bat off the bench, Rooker could be an option at that time. Of course, the other question being asked more frequently now is if Rooker could be a trade target for other teams. The obvious answer is Yes, teams will be asking about Rooker. However, Rooker fits into a category where you better get something really good (and long-term) to give up his bat for the next six or seven seasons. We would like to congratulate Brent Rooker, Twins Daily’s choice for Minor League Hitter of the Month for June 2019. Feel free to share your thoughts and ask questions. Click here to view the article
  14. Willians Astudillo has been a fan favorite and although he’s produced a negative fWAR tally there’s value in what he’s brought to the table. His defensive flexibility is more happenstance than it is desired reality, and the approach offensively has gotten him in trouble, but Minnesota has been better off having him at their disposal. After a strong debut season Jake Cave hasn’t seen the same success in 2019, but he’s been a necessary body for the Twins weathering a depleted outfield. LaMonte Wade is now up and awaiting his chance, and if more things make it necessary, Brent Rooker could join the fray as well. Having hit for average across every level of the system, Luis Arraez is making his presence felt. He’s got 22 hits in 49 at bats and consistently puts together great plate appearances. With a similar profile to Astudillo it’s Arraez that takes it up a notch. He doesn’t swing and miss, he doesn’t chase, and the balls he does attack are ones that he can do something with. If there’s an area of depth that hasn’t been tested it’s on the pitching side. From a starting perspective Minnesota has a few options that have been easy to turn to. Zack Littell has thrown big league innings, as has Kohl Stewart. Devin Smeltzer earned a shot and held his own through a couple of turns as well. None of these guys look like front of the rotation arms, but they’ve all allowed the Twins to stay in games that required someone to step up. We’ve all but exhausted the bullpen possibilities, and that’s a direct reflection of players like Ian Kroll, Carlos Torres, and Cody Allen being brought into the fray. The front office obviously needs to make an impact move or two there, but the record has been compiled with players like Poppen, Eades, Morin and Duffey giving Wes Johnson serviceable innings. There’s a real need for the Twins to make some moves. The 40-man roster is going to get tight this offseason and needing to make decisions ahead of time is a real thing. For now, though, the Twins front office has seen minor league guys come up and contribute amidst the team's overall success. Although the injury need hasn’t been significant, the call has been answered when opportunity has presented itself.
  15. The Minnesota Twins own the best record in the American League and while they’ve been great in all phases of the game, it shouldn’t be overlooked how integral the replacements have been. Thankfully this club hasn’t seen a run of injuries, and outside of the outfield going down in tandem, a clean bill of health has generally been the case this season. When Rocco Baldelli has needed new faces to step up, he’s found willing and able contributors to the task.Willians Astudillo has been a fan favorite and although he’s produced a negative fWAR tally there’s value in what he’s brought to the table. His defensive flexibility is more happenstance than it is desired reality, and the approach offensively has gotten him in trouble, but Minnesota has been better off having him at their disposal. After a strong debut season Jake Cave hasn’t seen the same success in 2019, but he’s been a necessary body for the Twins weathering a depleted outfield. LaMonte Wade is now up and awaiting his chance, and if more things make it necessary, Brent Rooker could join the fray as well. Having hit for average across every level of the system, Luis Arraez is making his presence felt. He’s got 22 hits in 49 at bats and consistently puts together great plate appearances. With a similar profile to Astudillo it’s Arraez that takes it up a notch. He doesn’t swing and miss, he doesn’t chase, and the balls he does attack are ones that he can do something with. If there’s an area of depth that hasn’t been tested it’s on the pitching side. From a starting perspective Minnesota has a few options that have been easy to turn to. Zack Littell has thrown big league innings, as has Kohl Stewart. Devin Smeltzer earned a shot and held his own through a couple of turns as well. None of these guys look like front of the rotation arms, but they’ve all allowed the Twins to stay in games that required someone to step up. We’ve all but exhausted the bullpen possibilities, and that’s a direct reflection of players like Ian Kroll, Carlos Torres, and Cody Allen being brought into the fray. The front office obviously needs to make an impact move or two there, but the record has been compiled with players like Poppen, Eades, Morin and Duffey giving Wes Johnson serviceable innings. There’s a real need for the Twins to make some moves. The 40-man roster is going to get tight this offseason and needing to make decisions ahead of time is a real thing. For now, though, the Twins front office has seen minor league guys come up and contribute amidst the team's overall success. Although the injury need hasn’t been significant, the call has been answered when opportunity has presented itself. Click here to view the article
  16. Over the next two weeks, Twins Daily will be revealing the Twins Daily Midseason Top 40 Prospects rankings. Our preseason Top Prospect rankings go 20 deep. Our midseason rankings double that output and give some recognition to twice as many players. Several of our minor league writers provided player rankings. They were consolidated Continue reading, and then discussing, the Twins Daily choices for 35th through 31st prospects of the Minnesota Twins below. 35. Jaylin Davis – RF Age: 24 ETA: 2020 2019 Stats (AA): .274/.382/.458 (.840 OPS), 9 2B, 0 3B, 10 HR, 64 K, 36 BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: NR Seth: 38 | Tom: 36 | Cody: 34 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR Davis was taken by the Twins in the 24th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Appalachian State University. Davis got a brief taste of rookie ball that season, but the Twins have steadily moved him through the system over the last four years. In Pensacola this year, he is slightly older than the competition, but his OPS is higher than the last two years. After knocking 11 home runs in 120 games in 2018, he has already hit double-digit home runs this season. He’s played all three outfield positions, but the vast majority of his innings have come in right field. .34. Cole Sands - RHP Age: 21 ETA: 2021 2019 Stats (A+/A-): 52.2 IP, 3.08 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 10.6 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 5.17 K/BB 2019 Ranking: NR Seth: 33 | Tom: 24 | Cody: 40 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR Sands, a fifth-round pick in 2018, is making his professional debut this season. The Twins felt he had pitched enough in college last season, so he didn’t make any appearances in rookie ball. He started the year in Cedar Rapids and posted a 3.05 ERA with 49 strikeouts and 11 walks in 41 1/3 innings. At the beginning of June, he was moved to Fort Myers and made two starts. He allowed four earned runs and struck out 13 in 11 1/3 innings. Since then, he was placed on the IL with a blister on the third digit of his right hand. His fast ball usually sits in the low 90s, but he can reach the mid-90s when needed. His curveball and his change-up are his best secondary pitches. 33. Tyler Wells - RHP Age: 24 ETA: 2022 2019 Stats: Out for the Year (Tommy John Surgery) 2019 Ranking: HM Seth: 35 | Tom: 33 | Cody: 23 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR Wells found out near the end of May that he would need Tommy John surgery and he will miss all of 2019. He split time between High-A and Double-A last year and he was almost a year and a half younger than the competition in the Southern League. Wells posted a 2.49 ERA and a 121 to 31 strikeout to walk ratio in 119 1/3 innings during the 2018 campaign. He was named the Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year and he won the Harmon Killebrew Award for the Miracle. It was a breakout season for him and it’s tough to lose a year of development. However, he should be back at some point in the second half of 2020. Wells was originally a 15th round pick back in 2016. 32. Griffin Jax - RHP Age: 24 ETA: 2021 2019 Stats (AA): 51.2 IP, 1.92 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 5.9 K/9, 1.9 BB/9, 3.09 K/BB 2019 Preseason Ranking: HM Seth: 26 | Tom: 34 | Cody: 31 | Ted: 28 | Steve: 24 Jax was the highest player ever taken from the United States Air Force Academy and that’s just part of his story. In order to pitch in the Twins system, he is taking part in the military’s World Class Athlete Program which allows active-duty military personnel to make training for the Olympics their full-time responsibility. Jax is taking full advantage of the opportunity as he is off to a tremendous start at Double-A. In eight of his ten appearances, he has allowed one earned run or less. He doesn’t strike out a ton of batters (5.9 K/9), but he’s been efficient at getting outs. Jax pitched in last year’s Arizona Fall League and allowed nine earned runs on 21 hits in 21 innings (3.86 ERA). His fastball sits in the low 90s and he has a great change-up and an improving slider. 31. LaMonte Wade - OF ETA: 2019 Age: 25 2019 Stats (AAA): .232/.374/.332 (.706 OPS), 7 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 38 K, 42 BB. 2019 Ranking: NR Seth: 29 | Tom: 32 | Cody: 29 | Ted: 23 | Steve: 25 Wade was the Twins 9th-round pick in 2015 out of the University of Maryland. He’s worked his way through the Twins system over the last five seasons and he’s spent parts of the last two seasons in Rochester. Wade doesn’t strikeout. Well, that might not be completely true. Throughout his professional career, he has 283 walks compared to 263 strikeouts. He has a great approach at the plate and he has the ability to attack the strike zone. He can play all three outfield positions, but he probably fits better in a corner outfield spot. Wade could make his way to Minnesota at some point this season, even if it comes as a September call-up. Who’s ranked too high? Who’s ranked too low? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. Also, check back next week to see who made the top-30 prospects. Twins Daily 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings Prospects 36-40 Prospects 31-35 (Today) Prospects 26-30 Coming Soon
  17. To find out everything that happened in the minor leagues for Twins affiliates on Tuesday, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS Pensacola Blue Wahoos place CF Jimmy Kerrigan on 7-day IL and assigned C Kidany Salva from GCL Twins RED WINGS REPORT Scranton/Wilkes-Barre 1, Rochester 8 Box Score Left-hander Lewis Thorpe toed the rubber for the Red Wings and after giving up a solo home run in the top of the first, derailed Scranton/Wilkes-Barre the rest of the way. After that blip, he retired eighteen men in a row, including a stretch of five straight strikeouts on his way to totaling 12 K’s on the game. He picked up his first win of the year by going eight innings, allowing just the lone run on three hits and zero walks. He was a strike throwing machine on the game, with 71 of his 95 pitches going for strikes, including an #Elite 21 swings and misses. After having some trouble by allowing 15 earned runs in his first two starts of the year, Thorpe has dialed it in in his last two, allowing just three runs in 13 2/3 innings while striking out 24 against just one walk. Rochester’s offense got on the board in the third inning to tie the game at one thanks to a LaMonte Wade single that drove in Ronald Torreyes, who had doubled earlier. They took control of the game in the fourth in part thanks to Brent Rooker’s fourth home run of the year: https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1120855586839646210 After that smash doubles from Tomas Telis and Torreyes around an Adam Rosales walk made the score 4-1 in favor of the home team. Another Telis double and RBI single from Wade in the sixth made it 5-1, before they tacked on three more in the eighth thanks to a Wade double and Randy Cesar 2-RBI single. Reliever Preston Guilmet came in for Thorpe in the ninth, delivering a one-two-three ninth and punctuating the victory with a strikeout. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Mobile 1, Pensacola 0 Box Score The only things that can stop Pensacola’s starter Devin Smeltzer so far on the year, are apparently when a line drive back at him takes him out of the game (his last start) or his offense abandons him (this one). Luckily after that scary sequence in his last start, he checked out fine and didn’t miss a beat on Tuesday. The lefthander went seven innings in this one, allowing just one run on six hits while picking up nine more strikeouts that puts him in the Southern League lead in that category. Mobile scored in the third inning thanks to some small ball, as a single, stolen base, and another single with two outs accounted for the game’s only run. The Blue Wahoos collected just three hits on the game and were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Luis Arraez, Jaylin Davis, and Brian Navarreto each singled, while Ernie De La Trinidad drew two walks. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Bradenton 1 Box Score The middle of the Miracle lineup got the game started off on the right foot as number three hitter Trevor Larnach and cleanup man Jose Miranda swapped places at second base with consecutive doubles in the top of the first for a 1-0 lead. Bradenton knotted the game at one in the second, as they managed to score the first run of the year on Fort Myers starter Bryan Sammons thanks to a two-out double and RBI single. That’s all they’d manage, and Sammons ended the game with a 0.42 ERA on the season after finishing 5 1/3 innings. He allowed just three hits and walked three while striking out four to pick up his third win of the year. The Miracle took the lead back in the sixth when leadoff man Akil Baddoo launched his third home run of the season. After Sammons' exit Calvin Faucher went the next 2 1/3, walking one and striking out two. Tom Hackimer recorded the final out of the eighth with a strikeout, then finished the ninth by striking out three in a row after a leadoff walk to pick up his first save. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1: Cedar Rapids 0, Wisconsin 9 Box Score In the first game of their doubleheader, the Kernels were in danger of being no-hit going into the top of the sixth inning, as the Timber Rattlers and their starter Aaron Ashby had built a 5-0 lead. Luckily, Michael Davis ended that effort with a leadoff double after Ashby’s day was done but that would be their only hit on the game. Gabriel Maciel drew two walks and Trey Cabbage one to account for the only baserunners on the day. Andrew Cabezas got the start for Cedar Rapids and went the first four innings. He allowed four earned runs on six hits and a walk but did strike out five. Carlos Suniaga went the next 1 2/3 and was unable to make it through the sixth. He surrendered five runs on four hits and two walks. Derek Molina inherited a runner who would score the final tally for Wisconsin when he gave up a single but got the final out with a strikeout to end the bleeding. The Kernels went down in order in the seventh and prepped for game two. Game 2: Cedar Rapids 7, Wisconsin 6 Box Score Cedar Rapids turned to their bullpen in game two, and while each of their first three pitchers surrendered at least one run, the offense was there in this one to pick them up. Brian Rapp got the start and pitched into the third inning when a walk and a single ended his day. In total he was charged with three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four. Austin Schulfer did his best to keep his team in the game, tallying three innings and allowing one run on two hits and three walks while striking out seven. He would be credited with his third win on the year when it was all said and done. Zach Neff came on for the sixth with a 7-4 lead for the Kernels but allowed two runs on two walks and a double before Joe Record was brought in to close out the game. Record retired all four hitters he faced, including two strikeouts in the seventh, to pick up his first save. Cedar Rapids did most of their damage in a four-run fourth inning started by a home run from Hunter Lee, his first hit of the season. That was followed by three straight singles from Gabriel Maciel, Gabe Snyder, and Trey Cabbage before a two-out single from Gilberto Celestino put the Kernels up 7-3. Cabbage added his sixth home run of the young season in the third inning and ended the day tied for the Midwest League lead in bombs. Catcher Ben Rodriguez followed Cabbage’s shot with a back-to-back blast of his own for his first home run of the year. Andrew Bechtold (2-for-4, 2B), Cabbage (3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI), and Maciel (2-for-3, BB) had multiple hits. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Lewis Thorpe, Rochester Red Wings (W, 8 IP, ER, 3 H, 12 K) Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Trey Cabbage, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-for-6, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, BB, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4 #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-3, R, 2B, SB, K #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 2-for-5, R, HR, 3 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - W, 8 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 12 K #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, HR, K #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3, BB, K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, RBI, K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 3-for-4, R, 2B, 3 RBI, BB #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, 2B, RBI, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Scranton/Wilkes-Barre @ Rochester (5:05PM CST) – RHP Kohl Stewart (1-2, 6.00 ERA) Mobile @ Pensacola (6:35PM CST) - RHP Griffin Jax (1-0, 0.54 ERA) Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:30PM CST) – RHP Jhoan Duran (0-2, 3.65 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35PM CST) – RHP Luis Rijo (0-2, 4.35 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  18. With the Cedar Rapids Kernels being rained out on Monday, there was some extra baseball for Twins affiliates on Tuesday. While the Kernels managed a split, it was the starting pitching in a couple of the other games that made the headlines. Lewis Thorpe struck out a bunch of hitters for his second start in a row, while another pitcher who exited his last game after being struck by a line drive, picked up where he left off without missing a beat, ending the night leading his league in K’s.To find out everything that happened in the minor leagues for Twins affiliates on Tuesday, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS Pensacola Blue Wahoos place CF Jimmy Kerrigan on 7-day IL and assigned C Kidany Salva from GCL TwinsRED WINGS REPORTScranton/Wilkes-Barre 1, Rochester 8 Box Score Left-hander Lewis Thorpe toed the rubber for the Red Wings and after giving up a solo home run in the top of the first, derailed Scranton/Wilkes-Barre the rest of the way. After that blip, he retired eighteen men in a row, including a stretch of five straight strikeouts on his way to totaling 12 K’s on the game. He picked up his first win of the year by going eight innings, allowing just the lone run on three hits and zero walks. He was a strike throwing machine on the game, with 71 of his 95 pitches going for strikes, including an #Elite 21 swings and misses. After having some trouble by allowing 15 earned runs in his first two starts of the year, Thorpe has dialed it in in his last two, allowing just three runs in 13 2/3 innings while striking out 24 against just one walk. Rochester’s offense got on the board in the third inning to tie the game at one thanks to a LaMonte Wade single that drove in Ronald Torreyes, who had doubled earlier. They took control of the game in the fourth in part thanks to Brent Rooker’s fourth home run of the year: After that smash doubles from Tomas Telis and Torreyes around an Adam Rosales walk made the score 4-1 in favor of the home team. Another Telis double and RBI single from Wade in the sixth made it 5-1, before they tacked on three more in the eighth thanks to a Wade double and Randy Cesar 2-RBI single. Reliever Preston Guilmet came in for Thorpe in the ninth, delivering a one-two-three ninth and punctuating the victory with a strikeout. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Mobile 1, Pensacola 0 Box Score The only things that can stop Pensacola’s starter Devin Smeltzer so far on the year, are apparently when a line drive back at him takes him out of the game (his last start) or his offense abandons him (this one). Luckily after that scary sequence in his last start, he checked out fine and didn’t miss a beat on Tuesday. The lefthander went seven innings in this one, allowing just one run on six hits while picking up nine more strikeouts that puts him in the Southern League lead in that category. Mobile scored in the third inning thanks to some small ball, as a single, stolen base, and another single with two outs accounted for the game’s only run. The Blue Wahoos collected just three hits on the game and were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position. Luis Arraez, Jaylin Davis, and Brian Navarreto each singled, while Ernie De La Trinidad drew two walks. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Bradenton 1 Box Score The middle of the Miracle lineup got the game started off on the right foot as number three hitter Trevor Larnach and cleanup man Jose Miranda swapped places at second base with consecutive doubles in the top of the first for a 1-0 lead. Bradenton knotted the game at one in the second, as they managed to score the first run of the year on Fort Myers starter Bryan Sammons thanks to a two-out double and RBI single. That’s all they’d manage, and Sammons ended the game with a 0.42 ERA on the season after finishing 5 1/3 innings. He allowed just three hits and walked three while striking out four to pick up his third win of the year. The Miracle took the lead back in the sixth when leadoff man Akil Baddoo launched his third home run of the season. After Sammons' exit Calvin Faucher went the next 2 1/3, walking one and striking out two. Tom Hackimer recorded the final out of the eighth with a strikeout, then finished the ninth by striking out three in a row after a leadoff walk to pick up his first save. KERNELS NUGGETS Game 1: Cedar Rapids 0, Wisconsin 9 Box Score In the first game of their doubleheader, the Kernels were in danger of being no-hit going into the top of the sixth inning, as the Timber Rattlers and their starter Aaron Ashby had built a 5-0 lead. Luckily, Michael Davis ended that effort with a leadoff double after Ashby’s day was done but that would be their only hit on the game. Gabriel Maciel drew two walks and Trey Cabbage one to account for the only baserunners on the day. Andrew Cabezas got the start for Cedar Rapids and went the first four innings. He allowed four earned runs on six hits and a walk but did strike out five. Carlos Suniaga went the next 1 2/3 and was unable to make it through the sixth. He surrendered five runs on four hits and two walks. Derek Molina inherited a runner who would score the final tally for Wisconsin when he gave up a single but got the final out with a strikeout to end the bleeding. The Kernels went down in order in the seventh and prepped for game two. Game 2: Cedar Rapids 7, Wisconsin 6 Box Score Cedar Rapids turned to their bullpen in game two, and while each of their first three pitchers surrendered at least one run, the offense was there in this one to pick them up. Brian Rapp got the start and pitched into the third inning when a walk and a single ended his day. In total he was charged with three runs on five hits and two walks while striking out four. Austin Schulfer did his best to keep his team in the game, tallying three innings and allowing one run on two hits and three walks while striking out seven. He would be credited with his third win on the year when it was all said and done. Zach Neff came on for the sixth with a 7-4 lead for the Kernels but allowed two runs on two walks and a double before Joe Record was brought in to close out the game. Record retired all four hitters he faced, including two strikeouts in the seventh, to pick up his first save. Cedar Rapids did most of their damage in a four-run fourth inning started by a home run from Hunter Lee, his first hit of the season. That was followed by three straight singles from Gabriel Maciel, Gabe Snyder, and Trey Cabbage before a two-out single from Gilberto Celestino put the Kernels up 7-3. Cabbage added his sixth home run of the young season in the third inning and ended the day tied for the Midwest League lead in bombs. Catcher Ben Rodriguez followed Cabbage’s shot with a back-to-back blast of his own for his first home run of the year. Andrew Bechtold (2-for-4, 2B), Cabbage (3-for-4, HR, 2 RBI), and Maciel (2-for-3, BB) had multiple hits. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Lewis Thorpe, Rochester Red Wings (W, 8 IP, ER, 3 H, 12 K) Twins Daily Hitter(s) of the Day – Trey Cabbage, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-for-6, 2 R, 2 RBI, HR, BB, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4 #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-3, R, 2B, SB, K #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 2-for-5, R, HR, 3 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - W, 8 IP, 1 ER, 3 H, 12 K #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, HR, K #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3, BB, K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, RBI, K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 3-for-4, R, 2B, 3 RBI, BB #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, 2B, RBI, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Scranton/Wilkes-Barre @ Rochester (5:05PM CST) – RHP Kohl Stewart (1-2, 6.00 ERA) Mobile @ Pensacola (6:35PM CST) - RHP Griffin Jax (1-0, 0.54 ERA) Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:30PM CST) – RHP Jhoan Duran (0-2, 3.65 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35PM CST) – RHP Luis Rijo (0-2, 4.35 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! Click here to view the article
  19. TRANSACTIONS ACTIVATED: C David Banuelos from the 7-day injured list for Cedar Rapids RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Lehigh Valley 6 Box Score Rochester outhit the IronPigs (10 to 7) and scored a late run to make things interesting, but it wasn’t enough. The club didn’t take advantage of some opportunities as they left eight runners on base and went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Kohl Stewart took his bumps and bruises in this one as he couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning. He allowed six runs on six hits including two home runs. He struggled to find the zone for most of the night as he threw 100 pitches and only 52 of them were for strikes. After a promising first start of the season, Stewart has thrown clunkers his last two times out. Rochester continued to rely on the long ball in this game. With three solo shots on Thursday, Rochester has hit 22 home runs to produce 33 of the 62 total runs scored this season. LaMonte Wade, Tomas Telis, and Jordany Valdespin joined the home run parade. Also, Telis and Valdespin each added a double. DJ Baxendale pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings by only allowing one hit. He struck out six and walked one. Matt Magill took the final frame and didn’t allow a runner. He had one strikeout and he has yet to allow a run this season. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola --, Biloxi – (Postponed-Rain) The Blue Wahoos and the Schuckers were postponed on Thursday due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a double-header on Friday, April 19 with first pitch scheduled for 5:35 CST. Pensacola currently has a 9-4 record and they are in first place by two games in the Southern League South. In other news, the Blue Wahoos have teamed up with Silver Airways for a Kazoo- themed airplane. Kazoo is the name of the Blue Wahoos mascot. Silver Airways has flights from Pensacola to Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Orlando. https://twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall/status/1118889858456530944 MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Charlotte 6 Box Score Fort Myers rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth, but a six-run deficit was too much to overcome. Tyler Watson started and pitched into the sixth inning for the second consecutive game. He allowed two runs on three hits while striking out five and walking one. Anthony Vizcaya took over for Watson and struggled in parts of two innings. He allowed four runs on four hits as Charlotte pushed their lead to 6-0. Calvin Faucher had a very nice bounce back game. In his last appearance, he allowed three runs while only recording one out. Tonight, he pitched 2 2/3 shutout innings with a pair of strikeouts and two walks. In the bottom of the ninth, Akil Baddoo lead off with a triple and was driven home on a Lewin Diaz groundout. Jose Miranda followed with a double before Trevor Larnach singled to put runners on the corners. A double from Ryan Jeffers scored a run and there were still runners on the corners. Ben Rortvedt would ground out to score another run and Michael Helman recorded the game’s final out. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Beloit 2 Box Score Cedar Rapids jumped out to an early 4-0 thanks to some miscues by the Snappers. With one out, Gabe Snyder was hit by a pitch. Trey Cabbage followed and reached base on an error by the shortstop. Jacob Pearson struck out for the second out of the inning and it looked like Beloit might get out without allowing a run. However, Gilberto Celestino and Andrew Bechtold knocked back-to-back singles to push across a pair of runs. Celestino then stole third but it wouldn’t matter because David Banuelos tripled to score two more runs and put Cedar Rapids up 4-0. Cedar Rapids allowed a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning, but the club got those runs back in the bottom of the frame. The Kernels were able to do this without recording a hit. Celestino and Bechtold walked to start the inning. With Banuelos batting, an error by the third baseman loaded up the bases. Michael Davis drew a walk to score one run and a wild pitch put the score at 6-2. Jordan Balazovic pitched five strong innings. He struck out eight, walked one, and limited the Snappers to two runs (one earned). He has allowed two runs or fewer in every start this season. His eight strikeouts tonight were the fewest he’s had all year (nine strikeouts in both previous starts). Jose Martinez pitched two shutout innings and struck out one. Joe Record collected the final six outs with four strikeouts. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Jordan Balazovic, Cedar Rapids (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 8 K, 1 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Tomas Telis, Rochester (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, R) 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) - Injured List #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - No Game #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, R #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Did not play #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) – 1-3, 3B, R, K #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, 2B, RBI, K #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, RBI #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – 1-3, RBI, 2 K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) – Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 2-4, HR, R, RBI, BB #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – No Game #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, 2B, R, K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) – RHP Zack Littell (0-2, 7.71 ERA) Pensacola @ Biloxi (5:35 CST) – RHP Griffin Jax (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Pensacola @ Biloxi (Game 2) – TBD Fort Myers vs. Charlotte (5:30 CST) – RHP Bailey Ober (1-0, 0.00 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Beloit (6:35 CST) – RHP Cole Sands (0-0, 3.00 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games.
  20. Have you ever wanted your own airplane? Well, the Twins’ Double-A affiliate was sort of able to accomplish this on Thursday. There’s more to the story below. Also, there was plenty of action throughout the Twins’ system. Two teams tried to mount comebacks, while another took advantage of the opportunities provided by the other team.TRANSACTIONS ACTIVATED: C David Banuelos from the 7-day injured list for Cedar Rapids RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Lehigh Valley 6 Box Score Rochester outhit the IronPigs (10 to 7) and scored a late run to make things interesting, but it wasn’t enough. The club didn’t take advantage of some opportunities as they left eight runners on base and went 1-for-5 with runners in scoring position. Kohl Stewart took his bumps and bruises in this one as he couldn’t make it out of the fifth inning. He allowed six runs on six hits including two home runs. He struggled to find the zone for most of the night as he threw 100 pitches and only 52 of them were for strikes. After a promising first start of the season, Stewart has thrown clunkers his last two times out. Rochester continued to rely on the long ball in this game. With three solo shots on Thursday, Rochester has hit 22 home runs to produce 33 of the 62 total runs scored this season. LaMonte Wade, Tomas Telis, and Jordany Valdespin joined the home run parade. Also, Telis and Valdespin each added a double. DJ Baxendale pitched 2 2/3 scoreless innings by only allowing one hit. He struck out six and walked one. Matt Magill took the final frame and didn’t allow a runner. He had one strikeout and he has yet to allow a run this season. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola --, Biloxi – (Postponed-Rain) The Blue Wahoos and the Schuckers were postponed on Thursday due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a double-header on Friday, April 19 with first pitch scheduled for 5:35 CST. Pensacola currently has a 9-4 record and they are in first place by two games in the Southern League South. In other news, the Blue Wahoos have teamed up with Silver Airways for a Kazoo- themed airplane. Kazoo is the name of the Blue Wahoos mascot. Silver Airways has flights from Pensacola to Fort Lauderdale, Tampa, and Orlando. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 3, Charlotte 6 Box Score Fort Myers rallied for three runs in the bottom of the ninth, but a six-run deficit was too much to overcome. Tyler Watson started and pitched into the sixth inning for the second consecutive game. He allowed two runs on three hits while striking out five and walking one. Anthony Vizcaya took over for Watson and struggled in parts of two innings. He allowed four runs on four hits as Charlotte pushed their lead to 6-0. Calvin Faucher had a very nice bounce back game. In his last appearance, he allowed three runs while only recording one out. Tonight, he pitched 2 2/3 shutout innings with a pair of strikeouts and two walks. In the bottom of the ninth, Akil Baddoo lead off with a triple and was driven home on a Lewin Diaz groundout. Jose Miranda followed with a double before Trevor Larnach singled to put runners on the corners. A double from Ryan Jeffers scored a run and there were still runners on the corners. Ben Rortvedt would ground out to score another run and Michael Helman recorded the game’s final out. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 8, Beloit 2 Box Score Cedar Rapids jumped out to an early 4-0 thanks to some miscues by the Snappers. With one out, Gabe Snyder was hit by a pitch. Trey Cabbage followed and reached base on an error by the shortstop. Jacob Pearson struck out for the second out of the inning and it looked like Beloit might get out without allowing a run. However, Gilberto Celestino and Andrew Bechtold knocked back-to-back singles to push across a pair of runs. Celestino then stole third but it wouldn’t matter because David Banuelos tripled to score two more runs and put Cedar Rapids up 4-0. Cedar Rapids allowed a pair of runs in the top of the fifth inning, but the club got those runs back in the bottom of the frame. The Kernels were able to do this without recording a hit. Celestino and Bechtold walked to start the inning. With Banuelos batting, an error by the third baseman loaded up the bases. Michael Davis drew a walk to score one run and a wild pitch put the score at 6-2. Jordan Balazovic pitched five strong innings. He struck out eight, walked one, and limited the Snappers to two runs (one earned). He has allowed two runs or fewer in every start this season. His eight strikeouts tonight were the fewest he’s had all year (nine strikeouts in both previous starts). Jose Martinez pitched two shutout innings and struck out one. Joe Record collected the final six outs with four strikeouts. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Jordan Balazovic, Cedar Rapids (5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 8 K, 1 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Tomas Telis, Rochester (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, R) 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) - Injured List #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - No Game #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, R #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Did not play #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) – 1-3, 3B, R, K #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, 2B, RBI, K #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 0-4, RBI #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – 1-3, RBI, 2 K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) – Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) – 2-4, HR, R, RBI, BB #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – No Game #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) – 1-4, 2B, R, K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) – RHP Zack Littell (0-2, 7.71 ERA) Pensacola @ Biloxi (5:35 CST) – RHP Griffin Jax (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Pensacola @ Biloxi (Game 2) – TBD Fort Myers vs. Charlotte (5:30 CST) – RHP Bailey Ober (1-0, 0.00 ERA) Cedar Rapids vs. Beloit (6:35 CST) – RHP Cole Sands (0-0, 3.00 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games. Click here to view the article
  21. Find out everything that happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the Transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS There were no transactions in the Twins system on Thursday. Maybe some of you saw that in the past week a couple of Twins minor league pitchers, Colton Davis and Anthony Marzi, chose to retire. Here are the Opening Day Roster Previews for each of the Twins full-season affiliates, in case you missed them on Monday. Rochester Red Wings Pensacola Blue Wahoos Ft. Myers Miracle Cedar Rapids Kernels RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 4, Lehigh Valley 2 Box Score Ronald Torreyes knows how to start a season. He was the Red Wings second batter in the first inning, and he launched a long home run. It was the first hit in the organization in 2019, the first home run, the first run and the first RBI. Kohl Stewart got the Opening Night call for the Red Wings. Things didn’t go well early for the right-hander. He went walk, strikeout, walk, strikeout with the first four batters of the first inning. He then gave up a bloop single to score run. Then a wild pitch scored a second run. He needed 34 pitches to complete the first frame. The Twins have a rule that if a pitcher throws 35 or more pitches in an inning, he will be done for the night. Stewart was one pitch from being done. He went on to throw four zeroes on the scoreboard and earned the Win in this contest. In his five innings, he gave up the two runs (1 earned) on just three hits. He walked two, hit one and struck out eight batters. Ryan Eades came on and struck out four over two perfect innings. He needed just 18 pitches. Then Tyler Duffey came on and earned the save with two scoreless innings. He struck out four as well, though he did hit one batter. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1113977187953258496 LaMonte Wade led the offense. He went 3-for-4 with a walk in the game. Wilin Rosario went 2-for-5 with a home run. Randy Cesar had a walk and a big, two-run homer that gave the Red Wings the two-run lead late in the game. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola , Mobile Box Score Opening Night was pushed back a day as rains came to Mobile. For Mobile, it means that they will get to face Jorge Alcala and Brusdar Graterol on Friday! MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 11, Charlotte 3 Box Score Hard to believe that in the sixth inning, Jeff Smith’s Charlotte squad tied the game at three. The potent Miracle took off at that point, led by the return of Lewin Diaz. Diaz played half of last season with the Miracle but unfortunately needed wrist surgery and missed the rest of the season. He continued his body transformation in the offseason and his work paid off on Opening Night. The now-slender slugger went 4-for-5 with a double and three RBI to lead the offense. Bryan Sammons gave up an unearned run in the first inning, but he was able to escape danger several times. He gave up just the unearned run on seven hits and two walks over just 4 1/3 innings. He left the game with the bases loaded and one out in the fifth. Anthony Vizcaya came on and struck out the fourth and fifth batters of Charlotte. It was Vizcaya’s first game with an affiliated team since 2014. The Miracle got on the board in the 2nd inning when Lewin Diaz doubled off of the wall in right field to score Travis Blankenhorn. Ben Rortvedt followed with a single to right that scored Diaz. Following the Vizcaya strikeouts in the top of the 5th, the Miracle got back on the board in the bottom of the inning. Akil Baddoo homered to the berm in left field for the first Miracle homer of the season. But as mentioned, the Stone Crabs tied it up in the sixth. The Miracle regained the lead 4-3 and then Royce Lewis put together a long at-bat that culminated in a two-run single that broke the game open. In the bottom of the eighth inning, the Miracle really broke things open with a five-run inning. https://twitter.com/HalOstrow/status/1113966209307901954 The loaded Miracle lineup got production from more than just Lewin Diaz. Ben Rortvedt went 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI singles. Akil Baddoo added a triple late in the game to go with his homer. Travis Blankenhorn had a walk and a double, and he scored three runs. Vizcaya was clutch to end the fifth inning, but he gave up two runs on two hits and a walk the next inning. Alex Phillips came on and struck out four batters over two scoreless, one-hit innings. He was hitting 95 and 96 mph consistently. Johan Quezada pitched a scoreless ninth frame, and he was hitting 97 a couple of times in the inning. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Peoria 10 Box Score Blayne Enlow returned to the Kernels after a solid showing in his first full pro season in 2018. He earned the Opening Night call for the team this year. Things went all right the first couple of innings. He gave up leadoff walks in the first two innings, but neither came back to hurt him. He did give up a solo homer in the second inning. But then came the third inning. Enlow faced seven batters. He walked one and the other six got hits, the final was a double. Austin Schulfer came on and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. However, he then struck out the next three batters to end the inning. Schulfer was good. He struck out five batters over three scoreless, two-hit innings. Jose Martinez came on next and was charged with four runs on six hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Carlos Suniaga got the final seven outs for the Kernels.He gave up two hits and struck out three. There wasn’t much offense for the Kernels. The team scored two runs in the sixth inning, on RBI singles from Andrew Bechtold and David Banuelos. Yunior Severino led the team with a 2-for-4 game. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day –Ryan Eades, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Lewin Diaz, Ft. Myers Miracle (hat tip to LaMonte Wade - Red Wings - as well) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, 2 BB, R, 2 RBI #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - No Game #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, SF, RBI, K #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 0-4, BB, 3 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Pitches Friday #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 2.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, 3B, HR, 2 K #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB, 2B, K, R, 2 RBI, #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, BB, R, 2 RBI, 2 K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, R #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 3-4, BB, #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Rained out. #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-2, 2 BB, HBP, R, K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) - RHP Chase De Jong Pensacola @ Mobile (DH starting at 4:05 CST) - RHP, Jorge Alcala, RHP Brusdar Graterol Charlotte @ Ft. Myers (5:30 CST) - RHP Jhoan Duran Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games.
  22. It was Minor League Opening Day on Thursday, one of my favorite days of the year. Instead of just following the MInnesota Twins, we now will have updated from the Rochester Red Wings, the Pensacola Blue Wahoos, the Ft. Myers Miracle and the Cedar Rapids Kernels most days for the next five months. And, every day until the end fo the season, we will post the Twins Minor League Report. Our goal with these reports is to provide Twins Daily readers with a one-spot stop to find everything from the Twins system that day, transactions, notes and game updates. We will highlight how the pitchers perform. We’ll note multi-hit games and extra base hits and provide some other highlights from the game. Please feel free to ask questions if you have any in the comments. If you were at the game, be sure to leave your observations as well.Find out everything that happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the Transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS There were no transactions in the Twins system on Thursday. Maybe some of you saw that in the past week a couple of Twins minor league pitchers, Colton Davis and Anthony Marzi, chose to retire. Here are the Opening Day Roster Previews for each of the Twins full-season affiliates, in case you missed them on Monday. Rochester Red WingsPensacola Blue WahoosFt. Myers MiracleCedar Rapids KernelsRED WINGS REPORTRochester 4, Lehigh Valley 2 Box Score Ronald Torreyes knows how to start a season. He was the Red Wings second batter in the first inning, and he launched a long home run. It was the first hit in the organization in 2019, the first home run, the first run and the first RBI. Kohl Stewart got the Opening Night call for the Red Wings. Things didn’t go well early for the right-hander. He went walk, strikeout, walk, strikeout with the first four batters of the first inning. He then gave up a bloop single to score run. Then a wild pitch scored a second run. He needed 34 pitches to complete the first frame. The Twins have a rule that if a pitcher throws 35 or more pitches in an inning, he will be done for the night. Stewart was one pitch from being done. He went on to throw four zeroes on the scoreboard and earned the Win in this contest. In his five innings, he gave up the two runs (1 earned) on just three hits. He walked two, hit one and struck out eight batters. Ryan Eades came on and struck out four over two perfect innings. He needed just 18 pitches. Then Tyler Duffey came on and earned the save with two scoreless innings. He struck out four as well, though he did hit one batter. The loaded Miracle lineup got production from more than just Lewin Diaz. Ben Rortvedt went 2-for-4 with a walk and two RBI singles. Akil Baddoo added a triple late in the game to go with his homer. Travis Blankenhorn had a walk and a double, and he scored three runs. Vizcaya was clutch to end the fifth inning, but he gave up two runs on two hits and a walk the next inning. Alex Phillips came on and struck out four batters over two scoreless, one-hit innings. He was hitting 95 and 96 mph consistently. Johan Quezada pitched a scoreless ninth frame, and he was hitting 97 a couple of times in the inning. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Peoria 10 Box Score Blayne Enlow returned to the Kernels after a solid showing in his first full pro season in 2018. He earned the Opening Night call for the team this year. Things went all right the first couple of innings. He gave up leadoff walks in the first two innings, but neither came back to hurt him. He did give up a solo homer in the second inning. But then came the third inning. Enlow faced seven batters. He walked one and the other six got hits, the final was a double. Austin Schulfer came on and walked the first batter he faced to load the bases. However, he then struck out the next three batters to end the inning. Schulfer was good. He struck out five batters over three scoreless, two-hit innings. Jose Martinez came on next and was charged with four runs on six hits and two walks in 1 2/3 innings. Carlos Suniaga got the final seven outs for the Kernels.He gave up two hits and struck out three. There wasn’t much offense for the Kernels. The team scored two runs in the sixth inning, on RBI singles from Andrew Bechtold and David Banuelos. Yunior Severino led the team with a 2-for-4 game. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day –Ryan Eades, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Lewin Diaz, Ft. Myers Miracle (hat tip to LaMonte Wade - Red Wings - as well) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, 2 BB, R, 2 RBI #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - Injured List #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - No Game #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, SF, RBI, K #5 - Wander Javier (EST) - No Game #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 0-4, BB, 3 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Pitches Friday #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - 2.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1 HBP #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - 2-5, 3B, HR, 2 K #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured List #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB, 2B, K, R, 2 RBI, #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - 2-4, BB, R, 2 RBI, 2 K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, R #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 1-5, K #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 3-4, BB, #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Rained out. #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-2, 2 BB, HBP, R, K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05 CST) - RHP Chase De Jong Pensacola @ Mobile (DH starting at 4:05 CST) - RHP, Jorge Alcala, RHP Brusdar Graterol Charlotte @ Ft. Myers (5:30 CST) - RHP Jhoan Duran Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games. Click here to view the article
  23. Today we look at the Rochester Red Wings players and coaching staff. We try to figure out a solid everyday lineup, and discuss the top prospects. Feel free to share any thoughts you may have on the team or roster, and ask as many questions as you would like. COACHING STAFF Joel Skinner returns to the Red Wings for his second season as their manager. Stu Cliburn returns for his 28th year in the organization and his seventh as the Red Wings pitching coach (fourth in a row). Michael McCarthy enters his second season as the team’s bullpen coach. Former Twins catcher Javier Valentin moves up from Double-A to be hitting coach for the Red Wings. ROSTER Here is a look at the Red Wings Opening Day roster. 17 of these 28 players have spent at least some time in the big leagues. 14 of the players spent at least some time with the Red Wings last year. Nine players are on the 40-man roster. Note that this is a tentative roster and will be updated before their season starts on Thursday. In particular, a couple of players will be placed on the Injured List. HITTERS (13) Catchers: Tomas Telis, Wynston Sawyer Infielders: Wilin Rosario, Adam Rosales, Nick Gordon (IL), Ronald Torreyes, Jordany Valdespin, Randy Cesar Outfielders: Brent Rooker, LaMonte Wade, Luke Raley, John Andreoli, Zander Wiel PITCHERS (15) Starting Pitchers: Lewis Thorpe, Justin Nicolino, Zack Littell, Chase De Jong, Kohl Stewart. Stephen Gonsalves (IL) Relief Pitchers: Andrew Vasquez, Austin Adams, Tyler Duffey, Ryan Eades, Preston Guilmet, Mike Morin, Jake Reed, Fernando Romero. DJ Baxendale (IL), Zack Weiss (IL) POTENTIAL LINEUP 3B - Ronald Torreyes LF - Brent Rooker CF - LaMonte Wade SS - Adam Rosales 1B - Zander Wiel RF - Luke Raley DH - Wilin Rosario C - Tomas Telis 2B - Jordany Valdespin TOP PROSPECTS Brent Rooker (Twins Daily #6 Prospect) - Powerful slugger hit 32 doubles and 22 homers in 2018 in Chattanooga. He received his first big league spring training invitation this year and could be in line to make his major league debut. Nick Gordon (Twins Daily #11 Prospect) - Gordon made his AAA debut in 2018s second half and struggled, but he still is one to watch and should make his major league debut in 2019. Stephen Gonsalves (Twins Daily #12 Prospect) - Gonsalves has long been one of the best Twins pitching prospects. He made his MLB debut in 2018 and struggled with his control. Control and command, along with a couple more ticks of velocity, and Gonsalves should help the Twins in 2019. Zack Littell (Twins Daily #17 Prospect) - Littell debuted in 2018 with the Twins as well and also struggled. But he has done well in the upper levels of the minors the last two years and will likely get several more opportunities in 2019. LaMonte Wade (Twins Daily #18 Prospect) - Like Gordon, Wade made his AAA debut in 2019 and things didn’t come easy. However, he maintained his strong plate discipline and approach and continued to increase his power output. Another player who should make his debut with the Twins in 2019. Kohl Stewart - The 2013 first-round pick make his big league debut in August last year after and showed well for himself, especially against the Tigers. Andrew Vasquez - Vasquez began 2018 in Ft. Myers where he pitched in the Florida State League All-Star Game in June. He was promoted to AA Chattanooga after that game and spent a little over a month there. He moved up to Rochester for one week and then received a promotion to the big league on September 1st. He posted 108 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings in the minors and then seven strikeouts in five innings for the Twins. Luke Raley - Raley came to the Twins at the deadline last year from the Dodgers as part of the Brian Dozier trade. A big, strong guy, Raley has a lot of power potential. Combined at AA in 2018, Raley hit .275/.350/.471 (.821) with 19 doubles, eight triples and 20 home runs. He was a non-roster invitation to spring training. Zander Wiel - Quietly, the former Vanderbilt star had a terrific season in 2018. He spent the majority of the year at Chattanooga before ending the season with the Red Wings. In the second-to-last game of the year, Wiel hit a walk-off homer for the Red Wings. STORIES TO WATCH The Twins are starting the season with just 11 pitchers. At some point in a couple of weeks, they are likely to add a pitcher, unless one of the Injured List relievers (Addison Reed, Gabriel Moya, Matt Magill) is ready. Nick Gordon, second base or shortstop? That story will likely continue in 2019, and in playing with Adam Rosales and Ronald Torreyes, he can pick their brain on the subject. The Twins have their five-man starting rotation to start the season. There is certainly depth at AAA. Stephen Gonsalves, Kohl Stewart, Zack Littell and Chase De Jong all made starts for the Twins last year (and hopefully made some adjustments). Justin Nicolino has made 33 big-league starts (and 17 relief appearances) as well. Lewis Thorpe is the one without the big-league service time, but he may have the most potential. Please feel free to discuss this roster. Ask lots of questions and check back often. What stories will you be following?
  24. The 2018 Red Wings went 64-76 and finished tied for fourth place in the International League’s North division. In 2019, Joel Skinner will be tasked with leading a young pitching staff along with a mix of veteran infielders and young outfielders. Of course, more important than the Red Wings record is helping those prospects prepare to be more ready for the big leagues when called upon.Today we look at the Rochester Red Wings players and coaching staff. We try to figure out a solid everyday lineup, and discuss the top prospects. Feel free to share any thoughts you may have on the team or roster, and ask as many questions as you would like. COACHING STAFF Joel Skinner returns to the Red Wings for his second season as their manager. Stu Cliburn returns for his 28th year in the organization and his seventh as the Red Wings pitching coach (fourth in a row). Michael McCarthy enters his second season as the team’s bullpen coach. Former Twins catcher Javier Valentin moves up from Double-A to be hitting coach for the Red Wings. ROSTER Here is a look at the Red Wings Opening Day roster. 17 of these 28 players have spent at least some time in the big leagues. 14 of the players spent at least some time with the Red Wings last year. Nine players are on the 40-man roster. Note that this is a tentative roster and will be updated before their season starts on Thursday. In particular, a couple of players will be placed on the Injured List. HITTERS (13) Catchers: Tomas Telis, Wynston Sawyer Infielders: Wilin Rosario, Adam Rosales, Nick Gordon (IL), Ronald Torreyes, Jordany Valdespin, Randy Cesar Outfielders: Brent Rooker, LaMonte Wade, Luke Raley, John Andreoli, Zander Wiel PITCHERS (15) Starting Pitchers: Lewis Thorpe, Justin Nicolino, Zack Littell, Chase De Jong, Kohl Stewart. Stephen Gonsalves (IL) Relief Pitchers: Andrew Vasquez, Austin Adams, Tyler Duffey, Ryan Eades, Preston Guilmet, Mike Morin, Jake Reed, Fernando Romero. DJ Baxendale (IL), Zack Weiss (IL) POTENTIAL LINEUP 3B - Ronald Torreyes LF - Brent Rooker CF - LaMonte Wade SS - Adam Rosales 1B - Zander Wiel RF - Luke Raley DH - Wilin Rosario C - Tomas Telis 2B - Jordany Valdespin TOP PROSPECTS Brent Rooker (Twins Daily #6 Prospect) - Powerful slugger hit 32 doubles and 22 homers in 2018 in Chattanooga. He received his first big league spring training invitation this year and could be in line to make his major league debut.Nick Gordon (Twins Daily #11 Prospect) - Gordon made his AAA debut in 2018s second half and struggled, but he still is one to watch and should make his major league debut in 2019.Stephen Gonsalves (Twins Daily #12 Prospect) - Gonsalves has long been one of the best Twins pitching prospects. He made his MLB debut in 2018 and struggled with his control. Control and command, along with a couple more ticks of velocity, and Gonsalves should help the Twins in 2019.Zack Littell (Twins Daily #17 Prospect) - Littell debuted in 2018 with the Twins as well and also struggled. But he has done well in the upper levels of the minors the last two years and will likely get several more opportunities in 2019.LaMonte Wade (Twins Daily #18 Prospect) - Like Gordon, Wade made his AAA debut in 2019 and things didn’t come easy. However, he maintained his strong plate discipline and approach and continued to increase his power output. Another player who should make his debut with the Twins in 2019.Kohl Stewart - The 2013 first-round pick make his big league debut in August last year after and showed well for himself, especially against the Tigers.Andrew Vasquez - Vasquez began 2018 in Ft. Myers where he pitched in the Florida State League All-Star Game in June. He was promoted to AA Chattanooga after that game and spent a little over a month there. He moved up to Rochester for one week and then received a promotion to the big league on September 1st. He posted 108 strikeouts in 69 1/3 innings in the minors and then seven strikeouts in five innings for the Twins.Luke Raley - Raley came to the Twins at the deadline last year from the Dodgers as part of the Brian Dozier trade. A big, strong guy, Raley has a lot of power potential. Combined at AA in 2018, Raley hit .275/.350/.471 (.821) with 19 doubles, eight triples and 20 home runs. He was a non-roster invitation to spring training.Zander Wiel - Quietly, the former Vanderbilt star had a terrific season in 2018. He spent the majority of the year at Chattanooga before ending the season with the Red Wings. In the second-to-last game of the year, Wiel hit a walk-off homer for the Red Wings.STORIES TO WATCHThe Twins are starting the season with just 11 pitchers. At some point in a couple of weeks, they are likely to add a pitcher, unless one of the Injured List relievers (Addison Reed, Gabriel Moya, Matt Magill) is ready.Nick Gordon, second base or shortstop? That story will likely continue in 2019, and in playing with Adam Rosales and Ronald Torreyes, he can pick their brain on the subject.The Twins have their five-man starting rotation to start the season. There is certainly depth at AAA. Stephen Gonsalves, Kohl Stewart, Zack Littell and Chase De Jong all made starts for the Twins last year (and hopefully made some adjustments). Justin Nicolino has made 33 big-league starts (and 17 relief appearances) as well. Lewis Thorpe is the one without the big-league service time, but he may have the most potential.Please feel free to discuss this roster. Ask lots of questions and check back often. What stories will you be following? Click here to view the article
  25. It’s not easy for a prospect to crack the Twins top 20 rankings these days. This system has been picking up steam in recent years, and as you’ll see in this segment of our list, trades have helped make significant strides. Three of the five players we’ll look at today were acquired via trades. Let’s get into it ...20. Jose Miranda, 2B/3B Age: 20 (DOB 6/29/1998) 2018 Stats (A/+A): 552 PA, .264/.319/.417, 16 HR, 82 RBI ETA: 2021 2018 Ranking: NR Since joining the Twins as the 73rd overall pick in 2016 draft, Miranda has been getting his feet wet all around the infield. This past season, the product of Puerto Rico basically split time between second base and third base with a couple appearances at shortstop mixed in. At the plate, Miranda provides an intriguing mix of power and contact skills. He actually had the lowest strikeout rate of any Midwest League hitter with at least 400 plate appearances last season. The really crazy thing is he struck out even less after he was promoted to Fort Myers, dropping from 11.62 K% to a 9.73 K%. “No, I don’t like striking out,” Miranda emphatically told SD Buhr in June. “I hate it. Since I was little, I’ve tried to battle.” And it’s not like he sacrifices power to do it, as Miranda finished fourth in the system in both doubles (27) and home runs (16). He was second to Alex Kirilloff in RBIs with 82 and even ranked second in the system by getting hit with 12 pitches. Miranda capped the season by making a huge impact in Fort Myers’ championship run, going 10-for-25 with three doubles and two home runs in the postseason. 19. Jorge Alcala, RHP Age: 23 (DOB 7/28/1995) 2018 Stats (AA/+A): 99.1 IP, 3.81 ERA, 9.4 K/9, 4.4 BB/9, 1.34 WHIP ETA: 2020 2018 Ranking: NR Alcala came to the Twins this July in the trade that sent Ryan Pressly to Houston. Prior to the deal, Alcala had a 3.29 ERA and 1.21 WHIP over 79 1/3 innings in the Astros’ system, but finished things out in Chattanooga pitching to a 5.85 ERA and 1.85 WHIP in 20 innings. So, not the best first impression. Armed with a fastball that’s been clocked as high as 102 mph, his slider doesn’t give batters much time to react either. That’s a late-breaking pitch ranging in the upper 80s. He seemed to learn how to put batters away last season, boosting his strikeout rate from 7.8 K/9 in 2017 to 9.4 K/9 last year. Alcala’s secondary offerings have some work to do in terms of consistency, which has put some uncertainty around his future role. Of his 24 outings on the season, 13 were for four innings or fewer. Even if the consistency with the full repertoire doesn’t develop, Alcala could make for a very exciting relief prospect. 18. LaMonte Wade, OF Age: 25 (DOB 1/1/1994) 2018 Stats (AAA/AA): 495 PA, .257/.360/.380, 11 HR, 48 RBI ETA: 2019 2018 Ranking: 14 Wade doesn’t have any especially loud tools but he also lacks any clear weaknesses. His true calling card is the ability to grind out at bats. He actually had more strikeouts (74) than walks (64) for the first time in his career last season, but he certainly makes pitchers earn it. His two-strike approach is outstanding and he’s not above choking up on the bat. Here’s a look back at one of his impressive plate appearances from spring training last year: Wade was hitting .278/.388/.419 (.807 OPS) through July, then had a really tough final 25 games of the season that put a damper on his final year-end numbers. He gave right-handed pitchers all kinds of trouble, hitting .281/.391/.409 (.800 OPS), but had just a .563 OPS against same-sided pitching. Wade has seen a fair amount of time in center field over his pro career, but he seemed to settle into left field with some right field mixed in last season. He also played some first base back in college. Wade was added to the 40-man roster this offseason, and while he’s a bit buried on the current depth chart, there’s a chance we’ll see him at Target Field in 2019. 17. Zack Littell, RHP Age: 23 (DOB 10/5/1995) 2018 Stats (MLB/AAA/AA): 149.1 IP, 8.7 K/9, 3.5 BB/9, 1.31 WHIP ETA: Debuted in 2018 2018 Ranking: 11 Littell got knocked around in his first taste of the big leagues, posting a 6.20 ERA in 20 1/3 innings for the Twins, but he put together a strong season down on the farm. Only Lewis Thorpe racked up more strikeouts among Twins minor league pitchers. Littell boosted his K/9 rate a full strikeout from 8.1 in 2017 to 9.1 during his time in the minor leagues in 2018. Littell was the youngest player to surface with the Twins last season and faced batters who were older than him 96 percent of the time through the course of the year (629 of 655 plate appearances). He's never picked up much steam in prospect circles due to a relative lack of velocity, but Littell actually topped out at 96 mph during his time with the Twins, per Baseball Savant. It's rare for him to reach back with that kind of heat, he typically sits more like 92, but it appears he could be on the verge of unlocking something extra. Littell lacks a true plus secondary offering, but the curveball can really shine some days and he has enough of a changeup to keep hitters off balance. Wrap in solid command and you’ve got an excellent baseline package to continue to build upon. 16. Gilberto Celestino, CF Age: 19 (DOB 2/13/1999) 2018 Stats (AA/-A/Rk): 268 PA, .287/.341/.406, 5 HR, 34 RBI ETA: 2022 2018 Ranking: NR Speaking of the Ryan Pressly trade, Celestino was the other piece to the deal that was simply just too good for the Twins to turn down. A premiere athlete, this Dominican import is considered among the top defensive outfielders in the minor leagues. He’s regarded as having excellent instincts, good range and a strong arm. Celestino also uses his speed effectively on the basepaths. He’s 47-for-54 in stolen base attempts in his career, an 87 percent success rate. In addition to his athleticism, he also already has an idea of what he’s doing at the plate. He has a career .345 on-base percentage, a strikeout rate under 19 percent and a walk rate of over nine percent. Pretty solid stuff coming from a guy who’s faced older pitchers in nearly 95 percent of his plate appearances. Similar to Alcala, Celestino didn’t make the greatest first impression with the Twins. Luckily he had the opportunity to more than make up for it in the postseason. After posting a .656 OPS in 27 regular games with Elizabethton, Celestino reached base safely 12 times in five postseason games, going 7-for-19 with four walks and a hit-by-pitch. Twins Daily 2019 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions Prospects 11-15 Coming Soon Get to know more about these five Minnesota Twins prospects and much more in the 2019 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. It’s available in paperback or as an eBook. Click here to view the article
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