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  1. Throughout this week, Twins Daily has handed out our 2019 minor league awards. Today we continue the series by looking at the top hitters in the Twins organization this season. There were a lot of strong performances, and unlike last year, the vote was not unanimous. In fact, it was closer than you probably think and has a chance to create a lot of discussion. Previous 2019 Awards Short-Season Minor League Hitter of the Year: Matt Wallner Short-Season Minor League Hitter of the Year: Cody Laweryson Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year: Anthony Vizcaya Today: Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Year: Randy Dobnak Minor League Hitter of the Year: See below… Previous Twins Daily Minor League Hitters of the Year: 2012 - Oswaldo Arcia 2013 - Miguel Sano 2014 - Mitch Garver 2015 - Max Kepler 2016 - Daniel Palka 2017 - Mitch Garver 2018 - Alex KirilloffBefore we get to the Top Eight, let’s take a look at the others who received votes. This year’s group is interesting. You’ll see players who spent time at a couple of levels. You’ll see a couple of players who finished the season elsewhere. We have some minor league veterans who signed, looking for an opportunity, and there are a few of the top prospects. The six Twins Daily Minor League writers were asked to vote for the various awards. For the hitter of the year, we each voted for eight players. The player who was voted as #1 received eight points, #2 received seven points and so on with the #8 vote receiving one point. Results were tabulated and can be found below. Short profiles of our top eight are to follow, but first, some players worthy of honorable mention. These players also received votes. Honorable Mention Tomas Telis - Rochester Red Wings - 82 games, 101-306, .330/.364/.490 (.946), 21-2B, 2-3B, 8 HR, 44 R, 46 RBITravis Blankenhorn - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 108 games, 122-440, .277/.321/.466 (.787) with 22-2B, 2-3B, 19 HR, 56 R, 54 RBILuis Arraez - Rochester Red Wings - 54 games, 73-212, .344/.409/.401 (.810) with 10-2B, 1-3B, 0 HR, 26 R, 22 RBI.Jake Cave - Rochester Red Wings, 48 games, 69-146, .352/.393/.592 (.984) with 18-2B, 4-3B, 7 HR, 37 R, 39 RBISpencer Steer - Elizabethton Twins/Cedar Rapids Kernels, 64 games, 70-250, .280/.385/.424 (.809) with 18-2B, 3-3B, 4 HR, 40 R, 33 RBINick Gordon - Rochester Red Wings, 70 games, 87-292, .298/.342/.459 (.801) with 29-2B, 3-3B, 4 HR, 49 R, 40 RBIGilberto Celestino - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle, 125 games, 133-480, .277/.349/.410 (.759) with 28-2B, 3-3B, 10 HR, 58 R, 54 RBI.Minor League Hitter of the Year Here are the top eight vote getters for Twins Minor League Hitter of the Year: 8. Gabe Snyder – Cedar Rapids Kernels - 114 games, 110-424, .259/.338/.462 (.800), 21-2B, 4-3B, 19 HR, 63 R, 58 RBI Snyder really had an impressive season. He was a Midwest League All-Star at the midseason and for the postseason. The burly first baseman was relatively consistent and quite productive at the top of in the middle of the Kernels lineup most of the year, but he was not on the team’s opening-day roster. That said, he was called up very quickly and made his debut on April 11th, the team’s eighth game. At 6-5 and 235 pounds, Snyder looks the part at first base and has the power to hit the ball a long way. The 24-year-old was the #MNTwins 21st-round pick in 2018 out of Wright State. 7. Ryan Jeffers – Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos – 103 games, 97-368, .264/.341/.421 (.762) with 16-2B, 14 HR, 48 R, 49 RBI. Jeffers was a surprise (to many) second-round pick for the Twins in 2018 out of UNC-Wilmington. He dominated at Elizabethton before ending his 2018 with 36 games in Cedar Rapids. Despite limited time in the Midwest League, Jeffers made the jump to Ft. Myers to start the 2019 season. After a slow start, he really got things going. In 79 games with the Miracle, he hit .256/.330/.402 (.732) with 11 doubles and ten homers. He earned a promotion to Double-A Pensacola where he hit .287/.374/.483 (.856) with five doubles and four homers in 24 games. The night that he was promoted to Pensacola, he didn’t start, but in the 14-inning game, he hit a walk-off double. 6. Wilin Rosario – Rochester Red Wings – 105 games, 124-413, .300/.339/.504 (.843) with 24-2B, 20 HR, 71 R, 91 RBI From 2011 through 2015, Rosario hit 71 home runs for the Colorado Rockies. He hit 28 homers in 2012 and another 21 homers in 2013. He spent some time in Korea and then in Japan. This past offseason, he wanted to get back to playing in affiliated ball and the Twins gave him an opportunity. He made the best of it by putting up fantastic numbers in Rochester. He hit for average. He hit for power. The Red Wings named him their team MVP this season. He did some catching early in the season, but he was mostly the team's DH. 5. Brent Rooker – Rochester Red Wings – 65 games, 64-228, .281/.398/.535 (.933) with 16-2B, 14 HR After a strong showing at Double-A Chattanooga in 2018, Rooker got his first big league spring training invitation and started the season at Triple-A Rochester, just one step away from the big leagues. It is fair to say that things started slowly for the slugger. In 16 April games, he hit just .214 and struck out 28 times in 56 at bats. After that, things changed. In 49 games from May 1st on, he hit .302/.432/.558 (.990) with 14 doubles and 10 homers. Along with the improved hitting, walk rate and power, he also reduced his strikeout rate from 45.9% in that first month to just 31.5% the rest of the season. Unfortunately, a mid-July injury prematurely ended his season. 4. Lewin Diaz – Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos – 90 games, 100-340, .294/.336/.553 (.889) with 27-2B, 2-3B, 19 HR, 46 R, 62 RBI 2018 was a frustrating year for Diaz. He had worked really hard and lost some weight, but he struggled in Ft. Myers until his season ended with a wrist injury. In 2019, he came to camp in even better shape and the work paid off. He returned to the Miracle where he hit .290/.333/.533 (.860) with 11 doubles and 13 homers in 57 games. He was again named a Florida State League All-Star and soon moved up to Pensacola. In 33 games, he hit .302/.341/.587 (.928) with 16 doubles and six homers. Then came the trade deadline and he was dealt to the Miami Marlins in exchange for RH RP Sergio Romo, RHP Chris Vallimont and Cash. In 31 more games for Jacksonville, he added six doubles and eight home runs. 3. Zander Wiel - Rochester Red Wings – 126 games, 119-469, .254/.320/.514 (.834) with 40-2B, 5-3B, 24 HR, 86 R, 78 RBI Zander Wiel has quietly put together a strong resume, moving up one level each year. While he ended the 2018 season with a few games with the Red Wings, he was a very productive hitting in their lineup in 2019. As you can see, the Vanderbilt product (12th-round pick in 2015) was an extra-base machine. He plays a good first base and generally puts together good at-bats, though he will strike out a lot. 2. Jaylin Davis - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings – 99 games, 109-366, .298/.391/.563 (.954) with 20-2B, 1-3B, 25 HR, 73 R, 67 RBI Jaylin Davis had an incredible 2019 season, and it will continue through the end of the MLB season. His season began in Pensacola with the Blue Wahoos. In 58 games, he hit .274/.382/.458 (.840) with nine doubles and ten home runs. He was promoted to Rochester and just took off. In 41 games, he hit .331/.405/.708 (1.112) with 11 doubles, a triple and 15 home runs. The Twins wanted to add bullpen, and Davis headlined a trade in which the Twins sent three prospects to the Giants for Sam Dyson. He went to AAA Sacramento where he hit .333/.419/.686 (1.105) with six doubles and ten homers in just 27 games. And then, he got The Call. He joined the Giants in St. Louis and singled in his first at-bat. Obviously for this Twins award, only his numbers with the Twins were to be considered, and those numbers were incredible. Davis was the Twins 24th-round draft pick in 2015. Hitter of the Year Trevor Larnach – Ft. Myers/Pensacola Blue Wahoos – 127 games, 147-476, .309/.384, 458 (.842) with 30-2B, 1-3B, 13 HR, 59 R, 66 RBI. Trevor Larnach was named the Florida State League Player of the Year last week. As we end our week of Twins Daily Minor League awards, he has now been named the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year by our panel. I’m sure the honor are pretty equivalent. But it is very deserved. Trevor Larnach grew up in California. Following his high school career, he was the 40th-round pick in the 2015 draft by the Padres by chose to attend Oregon State. It was a decision that proved wise for him. Three years later, he had the opportunity to play hero and win a College World Series title. In June 2018, he was also the 20th overall draft pick of the Minnesota Twins. He split the remainder of that season between the Elizabethton Twins and Cedar Rapids Kernels. Despite just 24 games with the Kernels, he began 2019 with the Ft. Myers Miracle. Larnach put together a strong season. In 84 games with Ft. Myers, he hit .316/.382/.459 (842) with 26 doubles, a triple and six home runs. He was promoted to the Blue Wahoos where he hit .295/.387/.455 (.842) with four doubles and seven homers in 43 games. His 147 hits led the organization, as did his .309 batting average (for anyone with over 300 plate appearances). The Ballots In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs – 1) Jaylin Davis, 2) Trevor Larnach, 3) Zander Wiel, 4) Lewin Diaz, 5) Wilin Rosario, 6) Brent Rooker, 7) Spencer Steer, 8) Travis BlankenhornMatt Braun - 1) Jaylin Davis, 2) Lewin Diaz, 3) Trevor Larnach, 4) Luis Arraez, 5) Jake Cave, 6) Brent Rooker, 7) Ryan Jeffers, 8) Travis BlankenhornCody Christie – 1) Jaylin Davis, 2) Trevor Larnach, 3) Zander Wiel, 4) Wilin Rosario, 5) Lewin Diaz, 6) Brent Rooker, 7) Tomas Telis, 8) Gabe SnyderTom Froemming – 1) Jaylin Davis, 2) Trevor Larnach, 3) Lewin Diaz, 4) Ryan Jeffers, 5) Gabe Snyder, 6) Zander Wiel, 7) Wilin Rosario, 8) Travis BlankenhornSteve Lein – 1) Trevor Larnach, 2) Jaylin Davis, 3) Zander Wiel, 4) Lewin Diaz, 5) Brent Rooker, 6) Gabe Snyder, 7) Travis Blankenhorn, 8) Gilberto CelestinoTed Schwerzler – 1) Brent Rooker, 2) Zander Wiel, 3) Wilin Rosario, 4) Tomas Telis, 5) Travor Larnach, 6) Ryan Jeffers, 7) Nick Gordon, 8) Gabe SnyderFeel free to discuss. What do you think? Do you agree with our rankings? How would your ballot look? Click here to view the article
  2. Before we get to the Top Eight, let’s take a look at the others who received votes. This year’s group is interesting. You’ll see players who spent time at a couple of levels. You’ll see a couple of players who finished the season elsewhere. We have some minor league veterans who signed, looking for an opportunity, and there are a few of the top prospects. The six Twins Daily Minor League writers were asked to vote for the various awards. For the hitter of the year, we each voted for eight players. The player who was voted as #1 received eight points, #2 received seven points and so on with the #8 vote receiving one point. Results were tabulated and can be found below. Short profiles of our top eight are to follow, but first, some players worthy of honorable mention. These players also received votes. Honorable Mention Tomas Telis - Rochester Red Wings - 82 games, 101-306, .330/.364/.490 (.946), 21-2B, 2-3B, 8 HR, 44 R, 46 RBI Travis Blankenhorn - Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos - 108 games, 122-440, .277/.321/.466 (.787) with 22-2B, 2-3B, 19 HR, 56 R, 54 RBI Luis Arraez - Rochester Red Wings - 54 games, 73-212, .344/.409/.401 (.810) with 10-2B, 1-3B, 0 HR, 26 R, 22 RBI. Jake Cave - Rochester Red Wings, 48 games, 69-146, .352/.393/.592 (.984) with 18-2B, 4-3B, 7 HR, 37 R, 39 RBI Spencer Steer - Elizabethton Twins/Cedar Rapids Kernels, 64 games, 70-250, .280/.385/.424 (.809) with 18-2B, 3-3B, 4 HR, 40 R, 33 RBI Nick Gordon - Rochester Red Wings, 70 games, 87-292, .298/.342/.459 (.801) with 29-2B, 3-3B, 4 HR, 49 R, 40 RBI Gilberto Celestino - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle, 125 games, 133-480, .277/.349/.410 (.759) with 28-2B, 3-3B, 10 HR, 58 R, 54 RBI. Minor League Hitter of the Year Here are the top eight vote getters for Twins Minor League Hitter of the Year: 8. Gabe Snyder – Cedar Rapids Kernels - 114 games, 110-424, .259/.338/.462 (.800), 21-2B, 4-3B, 19 HR, 63 R, 58 RBI Snyder really had an impressive season. He was a Midwest League All-Star at the midseason and for the postseason. The burly first baseman was relatively consistent and quite productive at the top of in the middle of the Kernels lineup most of the year, but he was not on the team’s opening-day roster. That said, he was called up very quickly and made his debut on April 11th, the team’s eighth game. At 6-5 and 235 pounds, Snyder looks the part at first base and has the power to hit the ball a long way. The 24-year-old was the #MNTwins 21st-round pick in 2018 out of Wright State. 7. Ryan Jeffers – Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos – 103 games, 97-368, .264/.341/.421 (.762) with 16-2B, 14 HR, 48 R, 49 RBI. Jeffers was a surprise (to many) second-round pick for the Twins in 2018 out of UNC-Wilmington. He dominated at Elizabethton before ending his 2018 with 36 games in Cedar Rapids. Despite limited time in the Midwest League, Jeffers made the jump to Ft. Myers to start the 2019 season. After a slow start, he really got things going. In 79 games with the Miracle, he hit .256/.330/.402 (.732) with 11 doubles and ten homers. He earned a promotion to Double-A Pensacola where he hit .287/.374/.483 (.856) with five doubles and four homers in 24 games. The night that he was promoted to Pensacola, he didn’t start, but in the 14-inning game, he hit a walk-off double. https://twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall/status/1154599156989792256 6. Wilin Rosario – Rochester Red Wings – 105 games, 124-413, .300/.339/.504 (.843) with 24-2B, 20 HR, 71 R, 91 RBI From 2011 through 2015, Rosario hit 71 home runs for the Colorado Rockies. He hit 28 homers in 2012 and another 21 homers in 2013. He spent some time in Korea and then in Japan. This past offseason, he wanted to get back to playing in affiliated ball and the Twins gave him an opportunity. He made the best of it by putting up fantastic numbers in Rochester. He hit for average. He hit for power. The Red Wings named him their team MVP this season. He did some catching early in the season, but he was mostly the team's DH. 5. Brent Rooker – Rochester Red Wings – 65 games, 64-228, .281/.398/.535 (.933) with 16-2B, 14 HR After a strong showing at Double-A Chattanooga in 2018, Rooker got his first big league spring training invitation and started the season at Triple-A Rochester, just one step away from the big leagues. It is fair to say that things started slowly for the slugger. In 16 April games, he hit just .214 and struck out 28 times in 56 at bats. After that, things changed. In 49 games from May 1st on, he hit .302/.432/.558 (.990) with 14 doubles and 10 homers. Along with the improved hitting, walk rate and power, he also reduced his strikeout rate from 45.9% in that first month to just 31.5% the rest of the season. Unfortunately, a mid-July injury prematurely ended his season. 4. Lewin Diaz – Ft. Myers Miracle/Pensacola Blue Wahoos – 90 games, 100-340, .294/.336/.553 (.889) with 27-2B, 2-3B, 19 HR, 46 R, 62 RBI 2018 was a frustrating year for Diaz. He had worked really hard and lost some weight, but he struggled in Ft. Myers until his season ended with a wrist injury. In 2019, he came to camp in even better shape and the work paid off. He returned to the Miracle where he hit .290/.333/.533 (.860) with 11 doubles and 13 homers in 57 games. He was again named a Florida State League All-Star and soon moved up to Pensacola. In 33 games, he hit .302/.341/.587 (.928) with 16 doubles and six homers. Then came the trade deadline and he was dealt to the Miami Marlins in exchange for RH RP Sergio Romo, RHP Chris Vallimont and Cash. In 31 more games for Jacksonville, he added six doubles and eight home runs. 3. Zander Wiel - Rochester Red Wings – 126 games, 119-469, .254/.320/.514 (.834) with 40-2B, 5-3B, 24 HR, 86 R, 78 RBI Zander Wiel has quietly put together a strong resume, moving up one level each year. While he ended the 2018 season with a few games with the Red Wings, he was a very productive hitting in their lineup in 2019. As you can see, the Vanderbilt product (12th-round pick in 2015) was an extra-base machine. He plays a good first base and generally puts together good at-bats, though he will strike out a lot. 2. Jaylin Davis - Pensacola Blue Wahoos/Rochester Red Wings – 99 games, 109-366, .298/.391/.563 (.954) with 20-2B, 1-3B, 25 HR, 73 R, 67 RBI Jaylin Davis had an incredible 2019 season, and it will continue through the end of the MLB season. His season began in Pensacola with the Blue Wahoos. In 58 games, he hit .274/.382/.458 (.840) with nine doubles and ten home runs. He was promoted to Rochester and just took off. In 41 games, he hit .331/.405/.708 (1.112) with 11 doubles, a triple and 15 home runs. The Twins wanted to add bullpen, and Davis headlined a trade in which the Twins sent three prospects to the Giants for Sam Dyson. He went to AAA Sacramento where he hit .333/.419/.686 (1.105) with six doubles and ten homers in just 27 games. And then, he got The Call. He joined the Giants in St. Louis and singled in his first at-bat. Obviously for this Twins award, only his numbers with the Twins were to be considered, and those numbers were incredible. Davis was the Twins 24th-round draft pick in 2015. Hitter of the Year Trevor Larnach – Ft. Myers/Pensacola Blue Wahoos – 127 games, 147-476, .309/.384, 458 (.842) with 30-2B, 1-3B, 13 HR, 59 R, 66 RBI. Trevor Larnach was named the Florida State League Player of the Year last week. As we end our week of Twins Daily Minor League awards, he has now been named the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year by our panel. I’m sure the honor are pretty equivalent. But it is very deserved. Trevor Larnach grew up in California. Following his high school career, he was the 40th-round pick in the 2015 draft by the Padres by chose to attend Oregon State. It was a decision that proved wise for him. Three years later, he had the opportunity to play hero and win a College World Series title. In June 2018, he was also the 20th overall draft pick of the Minnesota Twins. He split the remainder of that season between the Elizabethton Twins and Cedar Rapids Kernels. Despite just 24 games with the Kernels, he began 2019 with the Ft. Myers Miracle. Larnach put together a strong season. In 84 games with Ft. Myers, he hit .316/.382/.459 (842) with 26 doubles, a triple and six home runs. He was promoted to the Blue Wahoos where he hit .295/.387/.455 (.842) with four doubles and seven homers in 43 games. His 147 hits led the organization, as did his .309 batting average (for anyone with over 300 plate appearances). The Ballots In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs – 1) Jaylin Davis, 2) Trevor Larnach, 3) Zander Wiel, 4) Lewin Diaz, 5) Wilin Rosario, 6) Brent Rooker, 7) Spencer Steer, 8) Travis Blankenhorn Matt Braun - 1) Jaylin Davis, 2) Lewin Diaz, 3) Trevor Larnach, 4) Luis Arraez, 5) Jake Cave, 6) Brent Rooker, 7) Ryan Jeffers, 8) Travis Blankenhorn Cody Christie – 1) Jaylin Davis, 2) Trevor Larnach, 3) Zander Wiel, 4) Wilin Rosario, 5) Lewin Diaz, 6) Brent Rooker, 7) Tomas Telis, 8) Gabe Snyder Tom Froemming – 1) Jaylin Davis, 2) Trevor Larnach, 3) Lewin Diaz, 4) Ryan Jeffers, 5) Gabe Snyder, 6) Zander Wiel, 7) Wilin Rosario, 8) Travis Blankenhorn Steve Lein – 1) Trevor Larnach, 2) Jaylin Davis, 3) Zander Wiel, 4) Lewin Diaz, 5) Brent Rooker, 6) Gabe Snyder, 7) Travis Blankenhorn, 8) Gilberto Celestino Ted Schwerzler – 1) Brent Rooker, 2) Zander Wiel, 3) Wilin Rosario, 4) Tomas Telis, 5) Travor Larnach, 6) Ryan Jeffers, 7) Nick Gordon, 8) Gabe Snyder Feel free to discuss. What do you think? Do you agree with our rankings? How would your ballot look?
  3. Last Saturday, we heard that the Minnesota Twins had acquired reliever Sergio Romo from the Miami Marlins. Soon after, news trickled in that the Twins had dealt 1B Lewin Diaz to the Marlins. But it didn’t take long for us to learn that the Twins had also acquired a minor league pitcher and a player to be named later. That pitcher is Chris Vallimont, and recently we were able to chat with the hard-throwing right-hander.On Saturday night, the Jupiter Hammerheads were playing in Tampa against the Yankees’ Florida State League affiliate. Jupiter’s manager, former long-time big league catcher Todd Pratt, called Vallimont over and told him that he had just been traded to the Twins. “At first, it caught me off guard. I really didn’t know what to think. But then I realized that it was going to be a better for me in the long run.” Vallimont said his goodbyes, and the next 24 hours were a bit hectic. He noted, “That night, I had to Uber from Tampa to Jupiter. The next morning, I packed up my car and drove to Ft. Myers.” He got to the Miracle game in the seventh inning. He was able to meet his new teammates and coaches. After the game, he met the rest of the team. And maybe the best thing that could have happened, the Miracle had an off day on Monday so he could kind of catch his bearings. On Thursday night, he made his first Miracle start in Game 2 of a doubleheader. ------------------------------------------------------ Chris Vallimont was born in 1997 in Erie, Pennsylvania. And Twins fans probably won’t want to hear about which team he liked as he grew up. “Erie is right in the middle of Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Buffalo. My grandparents and members of my family great up as Cleveland fans. Also with them having pro baseball, football and basketball, it made it easy to cheer for one city.” We won’t discuss the Cleveland baseball team here, but Vallimont excitedly said, “I’m so excited for the Browns this year!” That isn’t something heard nationally often, at least not until this year. But Vallimont and his family have been life-long fans, not just fair-weather fans. “It’s been rough for a little bit, but I’m very excited to be at the stadium to watch some games this year. ------------------------------------------------------ At Mercyhurst Prep, Vallimont played football his freshman year. He played basketball and baseball all four years. He wasn’t a big prospect coming out of high school. He went to a couple of showcases, but he was unable to garner much attention from college baseball coaches. He received scholarship offers from his hometown school, Mercyhurst, and two other Division II colleges in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. He recalls, “Other schools just weren’t interested and didn’t offer anything. When I committed (to Mercyhurst), they were already 15-0. I couldn’t be more have to go there.” As a junior, Vallimont went 10-3 with a 2.58 ERA. In 80 1/3 innings, he struck out 147 batters and led his team to the Division II World Series. The team went 0-2 in the tournament, but the experience is one he will never forget. “It was an unbelievable experience, going down there with all of my brothers. We played in Cary, North Carolina, at the Team USA facilities.” That June (2018), he was watching the MLB draft with his parents, with his college coach Joe Spano and some friends. In the 5th round, he heard his name taken by the Miami Marlins. “I was kind of expecting it, from talking to coach Joe Spano, and talking with Dan Altavilla. But even having that idea, it still was an unforgettable moment.” Altavilla has pitched in parts of the past four seasons with the Seattle Mariners. He was a fifth-round draft pick in 2014 out of Mercyhurst, a couple of years before Vallimont arrived. He has been helpful to Vallimont. “I have his number. When I need anything, I text him and he’ll help me out. He has been a mentor through that draft process and since.” At Mercyhurst, Vallimont played one season with RHP Colin McKee. He was the Astros 18th round pick in 2016. He has worked his way up to their Triple-A affiliate. “He has been my biggest mentor… ----------------------------------------------------- During his three summers, Vallimont played summer college baseball. The first two years, he played in the Perfect Game Collegiate League. He said that he played about 50 minutes from his home in Erie. He also pitched briefly in the Cape Cod League. Of those experiences, he said, “It got me ready for the upcoming seasons at Mercyhurst, facing a lot of D1 players and a lot of good prospects, “ After his first season at Mercyhurst, Vallimont decided to visit and workout at Driveline Baseball. “Me and a couple of buddies went out there to learn a couple of the throws. It was awesome, just learning from them and from the technology.” Vallimont has continued to go to Driveline as a pro and intends to go back every year.. “I think it formed me into having the mentality that I have. In high school, I didn’t really throw that hard. Once I started doing it, I saw a jump in velo every year. It gave me the mentality that I was going to go out and throw hard. I think it made me a better pitcher overall, not just with velocity but tunneling my pitches. I think it cleaned up some mechanics as well.” ----------------------------------------------------- Vallimont has immense talent and some really good stuff. He stands 6-5 and about 230 pounds. He can be an intimidating presence on the mound. When asked to describe himself as a pitcher, Vallimont was clear that is about “the right mentality for a pitcher where it’s always Attack Mode. I will go after you with whatever I have working that day. I don’t care who is in the box, I am going to go after you with my best stuff.” He later added, “I have a bulldog mentality. I’ll go after you with my best stuff.” He throws four pitches. Fastball - It sits 95-96 mph, but he has been able to touch 98. “I’m very confident with my fastball.” Curveball - “I am also confident in my curveball.” Vallimont added, “It’s a 12-6 curveball with some depth.” Changeup - His changeup was a work-in-progress, but he has become much more confident in it this year. “I”ve been getting a lot more confident with it just by throwing it more and using it in the right situations. I really worked on it this offseason, figuring out new ways to throw it and finding a consistent grip that I like. This season, it’s come a long way. Now I find myself on the mounce actually shaking to a changeup.” Slider - “It’s a little hit-and-miss. I just throw it hard and hope it moves.” While confident, he understands. “Everything is still a work in progress at this point.” Like most power-armed starting pitcher prospects, the easy thing to say is that he will likely move to the bullpen at some point. We see that in many prospect rankings and from every outlet. That may be determined in the coming years and likely will be dependent upon further development of his third and fourth pitches. One person with the Twins organization said of Vallimont, “We think he can start.” And he will get that opportunity, starting with the Miracle. ---------------------------------------------- Away from the game of baseball, Vallimont is a sports junkie, but he also is a video game player. “Really, NHL and Fortnite.” “Other than that, I watch sports. I follow sports. Football, baseball and basketball. I think basketball is my favorite sport, other than baseball. I’m pretty big into that. ----------------------------------------------- The remainder of the 2019 season will be a good learning experience for Chris Vallimont. Coming to a new organization means that he will meet a lot of new people. He noted that the only player that he knew from the Twins organization was catcher/first baseman Chris Williams. The two met in mid-June at the Midwest League All Star weekend in South Bend. “It made it easier just knowing someone here.” But it is an exciting time for the hard-throwing right-hander, and he’s ready and excited for the opportunity. “This is a great situation for me to move around and get into my routine and work. I couldn’t be more happy to be with the Twins.” Welcome Chris Vallimont to the Minnesota Twins organization! Feel free to welcome him in the Comments and ask questions if you have any. You can follow Chris Vallimont on Twitter at @Valli_Swag7. Click here to view the article
  4. On Saturday night, the Jupiter Hammerheads were playing in Tampa against the Yankees’ Florida State League affiliate. Jupiter’s manager, former long-time big league catcher Todd Pratt, called Vallimont over and told him that he had just been traded to the Twins. “At first, it caught me off guard. I really didn’t know what to think. But then I realized that it was going to be a better for me in the long run.” Vallimont said his goodbyes, and the next 24 hours were a bit hectic. He noted, “That night, I had to Uber from Tampa to Jupiter. The next morning, I packed up my car and drove to Ft. Myers.” He got to the Miracle game in the seventh inning. He was able to meet his new teammates and coaches. After the game, he met the rest of the team. And maybe the best thing that could have happened, the Miracle had an off day on Monday so he could kind of catch his bearings. On Thursday night, he made his first Miracle start in Game 2 of a doubleheader. ------------------------------------------------------ Chris Vallimont was born in 1997 in Erie, Pennsylvania. And Twins fans probably won’t want to hear about which team he liked as he grew up. “Erie is right in the middle of Cleveland, Pittsburgh and Buffalo. My grandparents and members of my family great up as Cleveland fans. Also with them having pro baseball, football and basketball, it made it easy to cheer for one city.” We won’t discuss the Cleveland baseball team here, but Vallimont excitedly said, “I’m so excited for the Browns this year!” That isn’t something heard nationally often, at least not until this year. But Vallimont and his family have been life-long fans, not just fair-weather fans. “It’s been rough for a little bit, but I’m very excited to be at the stadium to watch some games this year. ------------------------------------------------------ At Mercyhurst Prep, Vallimont played football his freshman year. He played basketball and baseball all four years. He wasn’t a big prospect coming out of high school. He went to a couple of showcases, but he was unable to garner much attention from college baseball coaches. He received scholarship offers from his hometown school, Mercyhurst, and two other Division II colleges in the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference. He recalls, “Other schools just weren’t interested and didn’t offer anything. When I committed (to Mercyhurst), they were already 15-0. I couldn’t be more have to go there.” As a junior, Vallimont went 10-3 with a 2.58 ERA. In 80 1/3 innings, he struck out 147 batters and led his team to the Division II World Series. The team went 0-2 in the tournament, but the experience is one he will never forget. “It was an unbelievable experience, going down there with all of my brothers. We played in Cary, North Carolina, at the Team USA facilities.” That June (2018), he was watching the MLB draft with his parents, with his college coach Joe Spano and some friends. In the 5th round, he heard his name taken by the Miami Marlins. “I was kind of expecting it, from talking to coach Joe Spano, and talking with Dan Altavilla. But even having that idea, it still was an unforgettable moment.” Altavilla has pitched in parts of the past four seasons with the Seattle Mariners. He was a fifth-round draft pick in 2014 out of Mercyhurst, a couple of years before Vallimont arrived. He has been helpful to Vallimont. “I have his number. When I need anything, I text him and he’ll help me out. He has been a mentor through that draft process and since.” At Mercyhurst, Vallimont played one season with RHP Colin McKee. He was the Astros 18th round pick in 2016. He has worked his way up to their Triple-A affiliate. “He has been my biggest mentor… ----------------------------------------------------- During his three summers, Vallimont played summer college baseball. The first two years, he played in the Perfect Game Collegiate League. He said that he played about 50 minutes from his home in Erie. He also pitched briefly in the Cape Cod League. Of those experiences, he said, “It got me ready for the upcoming seasons at Mercyhurst, facing a lot of D1 players and a lot of good prospects, “ After his first season at Mercyhurst, Vallimont decided to visit and workout at Driveline Baseball. “Me and a couple of buddies went out there to learn a couple of the throws. It was awesome, just learning from them and from the technology.” Vallimont has continued to go to Driveline as a pro and intends to go back every year.. “I think it formed me into having the mentality that I have. In high school, I didn’t really throw that hard. Once I started doing it, I saw a jump in velo every year. It gave me the mentality that I was going to go out and throw hard. I think it made me a better pitcher overall, not just with velocity but tunneling my pitches. I think it cleaned up some mechanics as well.” https://twitter.com/drivelinebases/status/1155346225010360320 ----------------------------------------------------- Vallimont has immense talent and some really good stuff. He stands 6-5 and about 230 pounds. He can be an intimidating presence on the mound. When asked to describe himself as a pitcher, Vallimont was clear that is about “the right mentality for a pitcher where it’s always Attack Mode. I will go after you with whatever I have working that day. I don’t care who is in the box, I am going to go after you with my best stuff.” He later added, “I have a bulldog mentality. I’ll go after you with my best stuff.” He throws four pitches. Fastball - It sits 95-96 mph, but he has been able to touch 98. “I’m very confident with my fastball.” Curveball - “I am also confident in my curveball.” Vallimont added, “It’s a 12-6 curveball with some depth.” Changeup - His changeup was a work-in-progress, but he has become much more confident in it this year. “I”ve been getting a lot more confident with it just by throwing it more and using it in the right situations. I really worked on it this offseason, figuring out new ways to throw it and finding a consistent grip that I like. This season, it’s come a long way. Now I find myself on the mounce actually shaking to a changeup.” Slider - “It’s a little hit-and-miss. I just throw it hard and hope it moves.” While confident, he understands. “Everything is still a work in progress at this point.” Like most power-armed starting pitcher prospects, the easy thing to say is that he will likely move to the bullpen at some point. We see that in many prospect rankings and from every outlet. That may be determined in the coming years and likely will be dependent upon further development of his third and fourth pitches. One person with the Twins organization said of Vallimont, “We think he can start.” And he will get that opportunity, starting with the Miracle. ---------------------------------------------- Away from the game of baseball, Vallimont is a sports junkie, but he also is a video game player. “Really, NHL and Fortnite.” “Other than that, I watch sports. I follow sports. Football, baseball and basketball. I think basketball is my favorite sport, other than baseball. I’m pretty big into that. ----------------------------------------------- The remainder of the 2019 season will be a good learning experience for Chris Vallimont. Coming to a new organization means that he will meet a lot of new people. He noted that the only player that he knew from the Twins organization was catcher/first baseman Chris Williams. The two met in mid-June at the Midwest League All Star weekend in South Bend. “It made it easier just knowing someone here.” But it is an exciting time for the hard-throwing right-hander, and he’s ready and excited for the opportunity. “This is a great situation for me to move around and get into my routine and work. I couldn’t be more happy to be with the Twins.” Welcome Chris Vallimont to the Minnesota Twins organization! Feel free to welcome him in the Comments and ask questions if you have any. You can follow Chris Vallimont on Twitter at @Valli_Swag7.
  5. According to Jeff Passan of ESPN.com (And now many others), the Twins and Marlins are nearing a deal that would bring veteran relief pitcher Sergio Romo to the Minnesota Twins. Twins first base prospect Lewin Diaz is heading to the Marlins in return. The Twins will also receive a minor league pitcher Chris Vallimont and a Player to be Named Later in return.The Twins and Marlins reached an agreement. The Twins will send 1B Lewin Diaz to the Miami Marlins in exchange for veteran Sergio Romo. Per Passan: "The Minnesota Twins are deep into talks with the Miami Marlins on a deal that would send reliever Sergio Romo to Minnesota, sources with knowledge of the situation tell ESPN. The expectation is a trade will soon be finalized." Moments later, Passan tweeted: "One Marlins source says the deal should be completed soon. It would add a much-needed bullpen piece to the Twins, who continue to be aggressive in pursuit of help to their pitching staff." The 36-year-old Romo is in his 12th MLB season. He has 17 saves this season in 18 opportunities and a 3.58 ERA. Want a Winner? Romo was part of three World Series championship teams with the San Francisco Giants. Romo is excited to join a team that is making a pennant push. Chris Vallimont is a 22-year-old right-handed pitcher who was 4-4 with a 2.99 ERA in 13 starts with the Clinton LumberKings. He has now made six starts for Jupiter, the Marlins High-A Florida State League affiliate, and is 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA. Combined, he has 122 strikeouts in 105+ innings this year. He is likely to join the Kernels in Cedar Rapids. He was the Marlins 5th round pick in 2018 out of Mercyhurst. ANALYSIS... OK, Opinion While I believe that Lewin Diaz can be a solid MLB 1B starting sometime in 2020, I don't have any problem with this trade. Diaz has had a nice bounce-back season in 2019 after a disappointing 2018 ended early with an injury. However, he is behind CJ Cron, Miguel Sano, Brent Rooker, Zander Wiel and Alex Kirilloff in the Future 1B pecking order. Sergio Romo isn't dominant, by any means, but he is a successful veteran who has won a lot of games and even three World Series championships (if you think that matters anymore). He's not a hard-thrower anymore, but he is crafty and gets the job done, especially lately. Chris Villamont is an intriguing prospect. He can throw pretty hard, especially if he were to be moved to the bullpen at some point. He may be a similar prospect (Ranking-Wise) to Diaz, and yet he doesn't need to be added to the 40-man roster for two more years. And hey, if he goes to the Miracle, it's possible that they could lose a starting pitcher or two over the next four days. Finally, the Twins will also get a Player to be Named Later, a lottery pick, if you like. So to summarize, for Diaz (who likely wouldn't have been added to the 40-man roster this coming offseason), the Twins will get 2+ months of a competent, quality veteran reliever, a hard-throwing pitcher currently starting in the Florida State League after being drafted just a year ago, and another minor leaguer. Hard to argue with that. Click here to view the article
  6. The Twins and Marlins reached an agreement. The Twins will send 1B Lewin Diaz to the Miami Marlins in exchange for veteran Sergio Romo. Per Passan: "The Minnesota Twins are deep into talks with the Miami Marlins on a deal that would send reliever Sergio Romo to Minnesota, sources with knowledge of the situation tell ESPN. The expectation is a trade will soon be finalized." Moments later, Passan tweeted: "One Marlins source says the deal should be completed soon. It would add a much-needed bullpen piece to the Twins, who continue to be aggressive in pursuit of help to their pitching staff." The 36-year-old Romo is in his 12th MLB season. He has 17 saves this season in 18 opportunities and a 3.58 ERA. Want a Winner? Romo was part of three World Series championship teams with the San Francisco Giants. Romo is excited to join a team that is making a pennant push. https://twitter.com/DaniAlvarez_16/status/1155291606402179072 Lewin Diaz had a tremendous 2019 season, returning to his prospect status. He began the year in Ft. Myers and has continued to mash since being promoted to the AA Pensacola Blue Wahoos. https://twitter.com/MarianaGuzzy/status/1155289081351430145 Chris Vallimont is a 22-year-old right-handed pitcher who was 4-4 with a 2.99 ERA in 13 starts with the Clinton LumberKings. He has now made six starts for Jupiter, the Marlins High-A Florida State League affiliate, and is 2-3 with a 3.75 ERA. Combined, he has 122 strikeouts in 105+ innings this year. He is likely to join the Kernels in Cedar Rapids. He was the Marlins 5th round pick in 2018 out of Mercyhurst. ANALYSIS... OK, Opinion While I believe that Lewin Diaz can be a solid MLB 1B starting sometime in 2020, I don't have any problem with this trade. Diaz has had a nice bounce-back season in 2019 after a disappointing 2018 ended early with an injury. However, he is behind CJ Cron, Miguel Sano, Brent Rooker, Zander Wiel and Alex Kirilloff in the Future 1B pecking order. Sergio Romo isn't dominant, by any means, but he is a successful veteran who has won a lot of games and even three World Series championships (if you think that matters anymore). He's not a hard-thrower anymore, but he is crafty and gets the job done, especially lately. Chris Villamont is an intriguing prospect. He can throw pretty hard, especially if he were to be moved to the bullpen at some point. He may be a similar prospect (Ranking-Wise) to Diaz, and yet he doesn't need to be added to the 40-man roster for two more years. And hey, if he goes to the Miracle, it's possible that they could lose a starting pitcher or two over the next four days. Finally, the Twins will also get a Player to be Named Later, a lottery pick, if you like. So to summarize, for Diaz (who likely wouldn't have been added to the 40-man roster this coming offseason), the Twins will get 2+ months of a competent, quality veteran reliever, a hard-throwing pitcher currently starting in the Florida State League after being drafted just a year ago, and another minor leaguer. Hard to argue with that.
  7. That means that, for the first time in the professional baseball careers of virtually every Twins minor leaguer, there’s a chance that any one of them could find themselves packing their bags this week and moving on to another organization. Fort Myers Miracle pitcher Blayne Enlow knows the score. “No one is safe,” Enlow said on Sunday. “Not even Royce (Lewis), who is their number one prospect. If he’s not safe, no one’s safe. You can always get traded.” Enlow, the 2017 third round draft choice of the Twins, is the organization’s 12th ranked prospect, according to MLB.com, making him just about as likely to be a name on the lips of GMs talking trades with Twins brass Derek Falvey and Thad Levine this week as any other Twins prospect. Enlow said that he doesn’t feel like the trade possibilities are at the forefront of players’ minds, even as Lewin Diaz, their teammate with the Miracle until a promotion sent him up to Double-A Pensacola a few weeks ago, got the news Saturday night that he had been traded to the Marlins organization in return for reliever Sergio Romo, minor league arm Chris Vallimont and a player to be named later. “It is what it is. You get a lot of relationships and you become close to a lot of guys, but at any moment you could be traded,” he said. “So, do you (let it) get into your head? No. It’s not like you’re always thinking about (getting) traded, but if it happens, you’ve got to accept it. What are you going to do? You can’t do nothing. The Twins have got a really, really good season going. They’re trying to chase that ring and they’re going to do whatever is necessary to get it.” His manger in Fort Myers, Toby Gardenhire, agrees. “I don’t think it’s an issue at all,” he said. “The players deal with it the way they deal with it. They don’t really honestly know whether you’re buyers or sellers.” With a smile, Gardenhire added, “These guys haven’t been in pro ball long enough to really realize what that means. So, every year at the trade deadline, they all think they’re going to get traded and it doesn’t happen. “This year’s a little bit different,” he conceded. “The Twins are trying to get guys this year, so we know, as a staff, there’s a chance that some of these guys might get traded. But I don’t really think it affects them as players. I think they just go out there and play the game.” For a young player, getting traded can be a mixed bag. On the one hand, you’re having to leave the teammates, coaches and development staff you’ve been working and playing with, perhaps, as with Diaz, for your entire professional career. On the other hand, as may also be the case with Diaz, the trade could open up a door to accelerate your opportunity to get to the big leagues. And in the end, that’s the ultimate goal of every minor leaguer. The Diaz trade also brought out mixed emotions for Gardenhire, who managed the first baseman during the first half of the 2019 season. “It’s tough because I really like that kid and he did a really good job. I think he’s got a very bright future,” he said. “But at the same time, I do know that the Twins got a pitcher that they desperately needed. We got some other guys in return. So, it’s a good thing for the organization. “I think for Lewin it’s going to be a good thing, also. He’s got a chance to go over there, he might be in the big leagues by the end of the year. So, it’s tough because I really like the kid and I’m happy for him. But I know he’s got mixed feelings, too, because he liked the organization and he wanted to be around, too. So, it’s tough. “I hope he goes over there and gets plenty of opportunities, which I’m sure he will. When you trade for somebody like that and you trade away a couple of guys, you want to see what you have. Hopefully, (the Marlins) will give him a shot up there and hopefully, he’ll be up there (to the big leagues) this year.” Enlow is also a big fan of his former teammate. “It don’t matter what’s coming, Lewin Diaz is unreal with the bat,” Enlow said. “He’s got incredible hand-eye coordination and he can just put it wherever he wants. Just ridiculous. I’ve seen him put balls, (that I thought) ‘how is that even hittable?’, four hundred feet out. He’s a really gifted hitter and he’s a really good dude. You never want to see one of your teammates go, but I want to see him succeed. Hopefully, it does bring him closer (to the big leagues).” For his part, the 20-year-old Enlow has had the kind of season that is almost certainly being noticed by scouts and GMs across baseball. After opening the season in Cedar Rapids and putting up a 4-3 record in eight starts for the Kernels, Enlow was promoted to Class High-A Fort Myers near the end of May. His first five starts in a Miracle uniform were quality starts. The sixth start, though, was problematic. Enlow took a comebacker off his throwing elbow in the first inning and came out of the game. He returned to the mound for his next start seven days later, but lasted just three innings. He surrendered four earned runs in five innings in his following start and gave up five earned in his most recent start on Friday. He did work a full seven innings Friday, however, facing just the minimum nine batters in the final three innings. Enlow dismissed the suggestion that maybe his elbow has had some residual effect on his mound performances this month. “I think everything’s perfectly fine,” he said. “It hit the elbow, so it was going to hurt. But nothing terrible happened. Michael Helman (Miracle infielder) got hit in the forearm the other day and broke his bone, so I’m just blessed it wasn’t something too serious. I don’t think (the elbow) has affected me. It’s just like, it happens. It’s baseball. You’re going to get hit some days and you’re going to do good (other days). Just got to keep on keeping on.” The right-hander has had some dramatic splits this season in one area. He’s notched a 2.08 ERA and .204 Batting Average Against when he faces right-handed hitters, while lefties have touched him for a .302 BAA and 5.91 ERA. Interestingly, a year ago, he had far more success against left-handers than righties. Asked about the splits, Enlow had an explanation ready “I didn’t really have a curve ball last year, so the righties felt more comfortable,” he explained. “And I had a really good change up last year which had the lefties uncomfortable at the plate. This year I’ve got my curve ball and now I’m just dominating the righties more so. But the lefties, I’ve been leaving a lot of stuff right down the middle and if you make a mistake, they’re going to punish you for it.” Gardenhire, who also managed Enlow in Cedar Rapids in 2018, is in his pitcher’s corner and likes what he’s seen out of him since he joined the Miracle. “He’s made big strides from last year with the way he goes about his business,” the manager said. “He’s still a kid. He’s only 20. So, learning how to be a professional pitcher, I think, has been the most important part for him and he’s definitely getting there. He’s making big strides, big improvements. He’s got good stuff. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to use that and how to be ready to use it all on a day to day basis is his biggest thing. So, like I said, big strides this year.” Now, we all just have to sit back and see if Enlow’s still making those strides as a member of the Twins organization come August 1.
  8. For the first time in perhaps a decade or more, the Minnesota Twins are a true “buyer” as the July 31 trade deadline approaches, looking for pitching help to solidify not only their bullpen, but also perhaps their starting rotation. They’ve been linked through media reports to virtually every top of the rotation starting pitcher that non-contenders may be making available.That means that, for the first time in the professional baseball careers of virtually every Twins minor leaguer, there’s a chance that any one of them could find themselves packing their bags this week and moving on to another organization. Fort Myers Miracle pitcher Blayne Enlow knows the score. “No one is safe,” Enlow said on Sunday. “Not even Royce (Lewis), who is their number one prospect. If he’s not safe, no one’s safe. You can always get traded.” Enlow, the 2017 third round draft choice of the Twins, is the organization’s 12th ranked prospect, according to MLB.com, making him just about as likely to be a name on the lips of GMs talking trades with Twins brass Derek Falvey and Thad Levine this week as any other Twins prospect. Enlow said that he doesn’t feel like the trade possibilities are at the forefront of players’ minds, even as Lewin Diaz, their teammate with the Miracle until a promotion sent him up to Double-A Pensacola a few weeks ago, got the news Saturday night that he had been traded to the Marlins organization in return for reliever Sergio Romo, minor league arm Chris Vallimont and a player to be named later. “It is what it is. You get a lot of relationships and you become close to a lot of guys, but at any moment you could be traded,” he said. “So, do you (let it) get into your head? No. It’s not like you’re always thinking about (getting) traded, but if it happens, you’ve got to accept it. What are you going to do? You can’t do nothing. The Twins have got a really, really good season going. They’re trying to chase that ring and they’re going to do whatever is necessary to get it.” His manger in Fort Myers, Toby Gardenhire, agrees. “I don’t think it’s an issue at all,” he said. “The players deal with it the way they deal with it. They don’t really honestly know whether you’re buyers or sellers.” With a smile, Gardenhire added, “These guys haven’t been in pro ball long enough to really realize what that means. So, every year at the trade deadline, they all think they’re going to get traded and it doesn’t happen. “This year’s a little bit different,” he conceded. “The Twins are trying to get guys this year, so we know, as a staff, there’s a chance that some of these guys might get traded. But I don’t really think it affects them as players. I think they just go out there and play the game.” For a young player, getting traded can be a mixed bag. On the one hand, you’re having to leave the teammates, coaches and development staff you’ve been working and playing with, perhaps, as with Diaz, for your entire professional career. On the other hand, as may also be the case with Diaz, the trade could open up a door to accelerate your opportunity to get to the big leagues. And in the end, that’s the ultimate goal of every minor leaguer. The Diaz trade also brought out mixed emotions for Gardenhire, who managed the first baseman during the first half of the 2019 season. “It’s tough because I really like that kid and he did a really good job. I think he’s got a very bright future,” he said. “But at the same time, I do know that the Twins got a pitcher that they desperately needed. We got some other guys in return. So, it’s a good thing for the organization. “I think for Lewin it’s going to be a good thing, also. He’s got a chance to go over there, he might be in the big leagues by the end of the year. So, it’s tough because I really like the kid and I’m happy for him. But I know he’s got mixed feelings, too, because he liked the organization and he wanted to be around, too. So, it’s tough. “I hope he goes over there and gets plenty of opportunities, which I’m sure he will. When you trade for somebody like that and you trade away a couple of guys, you want to see what you have. Hopefully, (the Marlins) will give him a shot up there and hopefully, he’ll be up there (to the big leagues) this year.” Enlow is also a big fan of his former teammate. “It don’t matter what’s coming, Lewin Diaz is unreal with the bat,” Enlow said. “He’s got incredible hand-eye coordination and he can just put it wherever he wants. Just ridiculous. I’ve seen him put balls, (that I thought) ‘how is that even hittable?’, four hundred feet out. He’s a really gifted hitter and he’s a really good dude. You never want to see one of your teammates go, but I want to see him succeed. Hopefully, it does bring him closer (to the big leagues).” For his part, the 20-year-old Enlow has had the kind of season that is almost certainly being noticed by scouts and GMs across baseball. After opening the season in Cedar Rapids and putting up a 4-3 record in eight starts for the Kernels, Enlow was promoted to Class High-A Fort Myers near the end of May. His first five starts in a Miracle uniform were quality starts. The sixth start, though, was problematic. Enlow took a comebacker off his throwing elbow in the first inning and came out of the game. He returned to the mound for his next start seven days later, but lasted just three innings. He surrendered four earned runs in five innings in his following start and gave up five earned in his most recent start on Friday. He did work a full seven innings Friday, however, facing just the minimum nine batters in the final three innings. Enlow dismissed the suggestion that maybe his elbow has had some residual effect on his mound performances this month. “I think everything’s perfectly fine,” he said. “It hit the elbow, so it was going to hurt. But nothing terrible happened. Michael Helman (Miracle infielder) got hit in the forearm the other day and broke his bone, so I’m just blessed it wasn’t something too serious. I don’t think (the elbow) has affected me. It’s just like, it happens. It’s baseball. You’re going to get hit some days and you’re going to do good (other days). Just got to keep on keeping on.” The right-hander has had some dramatic splits this season in one area. He’s notched a 2.08 ERA and .204 Batting Average Against when he faces right-handed hitters, while lefties have touched him for a .302 BAA and 5.91 ERA. Interestingly, a year ago, he had far more success against left-handers than righties. Asked about the splits, Enlow had an explanation ready “I didn’t really have a curve ball last year, so the righties felt more comfortable,” he explained. “And I had a really good change up last year which had the lefties uncomfortable at the plate. This year I’ve got my curve ball and now I’m just dominating the righties more so. But the lefties, I’ve been leaving a lot of stuff right down the middle and if you make a mistake, they’re going to punish you for it.” Gardenhire, who also managed Enlow in Cedar Rapids in 2018, is in his pitcher’s corner and likes what he’s seen out of him since he joined the Miracle. “He’s made big strides from last year with the way he goes about his business,” the manager said. “He’s still a kid. He’s only 20. So, learning how to be a professional pitcher, I think, has been the most important part for him and he’s definitely getting there. He’s making big strides, big improvements. He’s got good stuff. It’s just a matter of figuring out how to use that and how to be ready to use it all on a day to day basis is his biggest thing. So, like I said, big strides this year.” Now, we all just have to sit back and see if Enlow’s still making those strides as a member of the Twins organization come August 1. Click here to view the article
  9. For weeks it's been apparent that the Minnesota Twins need bullpen help. As we've gotten closer to the trade deadline the certainty that moves would be made has only become more clear. Tonight while in the midst of a battle with the Chicago White Sox, Derek Falvey was working the phones and landed RHP Sergio Romo from the Miami Marlins. Romo was a free agent this offseason and signed with Miami on a one-year, $2.5 million pact. He was someone I liked for the Twins but the front office decided to stand pat after the acquisition of Blake Parker. Romo was abysmal to start the season for Miami but has been lights out of late, and his dominant slider remains as good as it's ever been. Since May 22nd Romo has pitched in 22 games going 21.2 IP. He has a 2.49 ERA and a .585 OPS against. The strikeouts have been down this year and he was at just 16/3 K/BB over that stretch, but the stuff may be as good as it's ever been. Right now he owns a whiff rate near 14% in 2019 and his 40% chase rate is a career best. When you've been doing this for as long as Romo has, and without ever being a velocity pitcher, it's the offspeed stuff that must work. Sergio throws his slider nearly 60% of the time and it's continued to be an incredible offering. His slider posts an RPM of 2852 which is 9th best among sliders in baseball this season. Falvey obviously had to part with an asset in trade, and choosing Lewin Diaz makes a lot of sense here. He's a 22-year-old that posted a sub-.600 OPS at Fort Myers last season. Having put in significant work to get his body right this winter, he's having a breakout campaign with 19 HRs and an OPS north of .900 split between A+/AA. That's really where the good news for the Twins and Diaz ends however. Lewin would need to be added to the 40 man roster this winter or be subject to the Rule 5 draft. He went unprotected and unchosen last year, but that wasn't going to happen after the results this year. In that scenario the Twins lose him for nothing. He's a great defender at first and a nice power bat, but he's also behind at least Miguel Sano, Brent Rooker, and Alex Kirilloff for major league reps at first base in the not-so-distant future. This wasn't a one for one trade either. Minnesota also got back 2018 5th round pick Chris Vallimont from the Marlins. He's pitching at Low-A currently as a starter and the righty has been a high strikeout, low walk hurler in his young pro career. He too is 22-years-old but is not subject to 40 man necessity yet and gives the Twins depth on the mound, where they need it more. Reports have also suggested Minnesota picks up a PTBNL in the deal. It would be hard to see a Diaz for Vallimont swap as anything but a win for Minnesota. They get a more usable asset and the expiration date is pushed out. If the assumption was that Diaz could be packaged to net a bigger return that's one thing, but you'd have to imagine Falvey explored those options as well. This isn't going to be the Twins only move, and probably not even their only move for the pen. As a first deal though, they smashed this one out of the park. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  10. Ben Rortvedt had a four-hit game for Pensacola, including a walk-off base knock in extra innings, Lewin Diaz stayed hot, Jimmy Kerrigan slugged two homers for Rochester, Wander Javier had a couple of extra-base hits and 2019 draftee Matt Wallner had three hits for E-Town. Come see what else happened across the system Friday.TRANSACTIONS LHP Jeremy Bleich assigned to Rochester. The Twins acquired him from Boston for cash considerations. He had a 5.59 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 19 1/3 innings with the Red Sox’s Triple-A affiliate. RHP Jonathan Cheshire assigned to Pensacola. The Twins purchased his contract from the Atlantic League’s Somerset Patriots. He had a 0.55 ERA and 6.33 K:BB ratio in 16 1/3 innings pitched this year. Cedar Rapids activated RHP Carlos Suniaga from the IL. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 4, Indianapolis 1 Box Score Adam Bray: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 70.5% strikes (31 of 44 pitches) HR: Alejandro De Aza (1), Jimmy Kerrigan 2 (6) Multi-hit games: Kerrigan (2-for-3, 2 HR), Wilin Rosario (2-for-3, BB) Adam Bray, Sam Clay and Ian Krol managed to combine to hold Indianapolis to just one run, quite an accomplishment, considering the offensive boom in Triple-A this season. Bray set the tone, giving up just a pair of hits over the first four innings. The only run he allowed was on a solo homer. Clay followed with three perfect frames before Krol struck out five batters over the final two innings. Alejandro De Aza hit his first homer since joining the system and Kimmy Kerrigan added two home runs of his own. Kerrigan already has as many homers in 20 Triple-A games (6) as he had in 47 games in Pensacola this season. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 4, Mobile 3 Box Score Charlie Barnes: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 71.7% strikes (66 of 92 pitches) HR: Lewin Diaz (6) Multi-hit games: Ben Rortvedt (4-for-5, 2B), Diaz (3-for-4, 2B, HR, BB), Trevor Larnach (2-for-5) The Blue Wahoos scored the game-tying run in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks to a Lewin Diaz solo homer. This game remained knotted up until Ben Rortvedt walked it off in the 10th. Rortvedt had four hits and drove in a pair of runs tonight. Charlie Barnes had a great start, giving up seven hits and no walks over seven innings. He had six strikeouts and surrendered three runs, though only one was earned. Jorge Alcala followed with two perfect innings in his first appearance as a traditional reliever this season. Jovani Moran managed to navigate around the bonus runner who starts the extra innings at second base, setting up the walk off. In addition to the home run, Diaz also had a double, a single and a walk. He now has a .950 OPS in his first 32 games at the Double-A level. MIRACLE MATTERS Lakeland 6, Fort Myers 0 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 7.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 68.2% strikes (60 of 88 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (2-for-4) Miracle starter Blayne Enlow got knocked around a bit in this one, but on the positive side, he did complete seven innings for the third time this season. Moises Gomez finished things off by striking out four batters over two perfect innings. Jose Miranda had the only two Forty Myers hits on the evening, both singles. KERNELS NUGGETS Wisconsin 10, Cedar Rapids 5 Box Score Andrew Cabezas: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 64.6% stikes (42 of 65 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Wander Javier (2-for-4 2B, 3B) Rough start for Andrew Cabezas tonight. That put the Kernels in a deep hole they couldn’t dig themselves out of. Wander Javier had a big night, hitting a double and his first triple with Cedar Rapids. The Kernels entered the bottom of the ninth down 10-1, but scored three runs before the first out of the inning was recorded. It was an encouraging sign there’s still some fight left in this team. E-TWINS E-NOTES Bristol 3, Elizabethton 2 Box Score Cody Laweryson: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (3-for-5, 2 2B), Charles Mack (2-for-5), Seth Gray (2-for-5), Parker Phillips (2-for-5) Elizabethton entered the top of the ninth inning trailing 3-1 but put together a nice two-out rally. Carles Mack, Seth Gray and Parker Phillips all singled, scratching across a run. That brought up Matt Wallner, who already had three hits. Unfortunately, he hit a fly out to centerfield to end the game. Sawyer Gipson-Long gave up three runs over the first two innings, but the E-Twins pitching staff was outstanding after that. Cody Laweryson came in and covered the next five innings. He struck out eight batters. Dylan Thomas pitched a scoreless ninth. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Red Sox 10, GCL Twins 4 Box Score Regi Grace: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Luis Milla (2-for-3), Jake Hirabayashi (2-for-4) STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Cody Laweryson, Elizabethton Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Ben Rortvdet, Pensacola TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 0-for-4, E (throw) 2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 0-for-5, 2 K 4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 K 5. Wander Javier (CR): 2-for-4, 2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI, 2 K 10. Blayne Enlow (FM): 7.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 68.2% strikes (60 of 88 pitches), E (pickoff) 12. Nick Gordon (ROC): 0-for-4, K 15. Matt Wallner (ELZ): 3-for-5, 2 2B, RBI (assist, threw a runner out at home) 16. Ben Rortvedt (PNS): 4-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI 18. Jorge Alcala (PNS): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 68.4% strikes (13 of 19 pitches) 19. Misael Urbina (DSL): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Indianapolis, 6:05 pm CT (TBD) Pensacola at Jacksonville, 5:35 pm CT (Griffin Jax) Fort Myers vs. Lakeland, 5:00 pm CT (Lachlan Wells) Cedar Rapids vs. Clinton, 6:35 pm CT (TBD) Elizabethton at Bristol, 5:30 pm CT (Prelander Berroa) GCL Twins vs. GCL Red Sox, 9:00 am CT (TBD) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games. Click here to view the article
  11. TRANSACTIONS LHP Jeremy Bleich assigned to Rochester. The Twins acquired him from Boston for cash considerations. He had a 5.59 ERA and 1.50 WHIP in 19 1/3 innings with the Red Sox’s Triple-A affiliate. RHP Jonathan Cheshire assigned to Pensacola. The Twins purchased his contract from the Atlantic League’s Somerset Patriots. He had a 0.55 ERA and 6.33 K:BB ratio in 16 1/3 innings pitched this year. Cedar Rapids activated RHP Carlos Suniaga from the IL. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 4, Indianapolis 1 Box Score Adam Bray: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K, 70.5% strikes (31 of 44 pitches) HR: Alejandro De Aza (1), Jimmy Kerrigan 2 (6) Multi-hit games: Kerrigan (2-for-3, 2 HR), Wilin Rosario (2-for-3, BB) Adam Bray, Sam Clay and Ian Krol managed to combine to hold Indianapolis to just one run, quite an accomplishment, considering the offensive boom in Triple-A this season. Bray set the tone, giving up just a pair of hits over the first four innings. The only run he allowed was on a solo homer. Clay followed with three perfect frames before Krol struck out five batters over the final two innings. Alejandro De Aza hit his first homer since joining the system and Kimmy Kerrigan added two home runs of his own. Kerrigan already has as many homers in 20 Triple-A games (6) as he had in 47 games in Pensacola this season. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 4, Mobile 3 Box Score Charlie Barnes: 7.0 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K, 71.7% strikes (66 of 92 pitches) HR: Lewin Diaz (6) Multi-hit games: Ben Rortvedt (4-for-5, 2B), Diaz (3-for-4, 2B, HR, BB), Trevor Larnach (2-for-5) The Blue Wahoos scored the game-tying run in the bottom of the fifth inning thanks to a Lewin Diaz solo homer. This game remained knotted up until Ben Rortvedt walked it off in the 10th. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1154943287494623232 Rortvedt had four hits and drove in a pair of runs tonight. Charlie Barnes had a great start, giving up seven hits and no walks over seven innings. He had six strikeouts and surrendered three runs, though only one was earned. Jorge Alcala followed with two perfect innings in his first appearance as a traditional reliever this season. Jovani Moran managed to navigate around the bonus runner who starts the extra innings at second base, setting up the walk off. In addition to the home run, Diaz also had a double, a single and a walk. He now has a .950 OPS in his first 32 games at the Double-A level. MIRACLE MATTERS Lakeland 6, Fort Myers 0 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 7.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 68.2% strikes (60 of 88 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (2-for-4) Miracle starter Blayne Enlow got knocked around a bit in this one, but on the positive side, he did complete seven innings for the third time this season. Moises Gomez finished things off by striking out four batters over two perfect innings. Jose Miranda had the only two Forty Myers hits on the evening, both singles. KERNELS NUGGETS Wisconsin 10, Cedar Rapids 5 Box Score Andrew Cabezas: 3.0 IP, 7 H, 6 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 64.6% stikes (42 of 65 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Wander Javier (2-for-4 2B, 3B) Rough start for Andrew Cabezas tonight. That put the Kernels in a deep hole they couldn’t dig themselves out of. Wander Javier had a big night, hitting a double and his first triple with Cedar Rapids. The Kernels entered the bottom of the ninth down 10-1, but scored three runs before the first out of the inning was recorded. It was an encouraging sign there’s still some fight left in this team. E-TWINS E-NOTES Bristol 3, Elizabethton 2 Box Score Cody Laweryson: 5.0 IP, 5 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (3-for-5, 2 2B), Charles Mack (2-for-5), Seth Gray (2-for-5), Parker Phillips (2-for-5) Elizabethton entered the top of the ninth inning trailing 3-1 but put together a nice two-out rally. Carles Mack, Seth Gray and Parker Phillips all singled, scratching across a run. That brought up Matt Wallner, who already had three hits. Unfortunately, he hit a fly out to centerfield to end the game. Sawyer Gipson-Long gave up three runs over the first two innings, but the E-Twins pitching staff was outstanding after that. Cody Laweryson came in and covered the next five innings. He struck out eight batters. Dylan Thomas pitched a scoreless ninth. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Red Sox 10, GCL Twins 4 Box Score Regi Grace: 3.0 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Luis Milla (2-for-3), Jake Hirabayashi (2-for-4) STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Cody Laweryson, Elizabethton Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Ben Rortvdet, Pensacola TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis (FM): 0-for-4, E (throw) 2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 0-for-5, 2 K 4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 2-for-5, 2 R, 2 K 5. Wander Javier (CR): 2-for-4, 2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI, 2 K 10. Blayne Enlow (FM): 7.0 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 68.2% strikes (60 of 88 pitches), E (pickoff) 12. Nick Gordon (ROC): 0-for-4, K 15. Matt Wallner (ELZ): 3-for-5, 2 2B, RBI (assist, threw a runner out at home) 16. Ben Rortvedt (PNS): 4-for-5, 2B, 2 RBI 18. Jorge Alcala (PNS): 2.0 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 68.4% strikes (13 of 19 pitches) 19. Misael Urbina (DSL): 3-for-4, 2B, 2 3B, 2 R, 3 RBI, BB SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Indianapolis, 6:05 pm CT (TBD) Pensacola at Jacksonville, 5:35 pm CT (Griffin Jax) Fort Myers vs. Lakeland, 5:00 pm CT (Lachlan Wells) Cedar Rapids vs. Clinton, 6:35 pm CT (TBD) Elizabethton at Bristol, 5:30 pm CT (Prelander Berroa) GCL Twins vs. GCL Red Sox, 9:00 am CT (TBD) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  12. TRANSACTIONS There was a flurry of moves in the system on Tuesday, including some injuries to some notable names and a flurry of corresponding moves after a big promotion for a top prospect: In unfortunate injury news, OF Brent Rooker was placed on the injured list retroactive to July 14th. In Double-A the Blue Wahoos placed IF Travis Blankenhorn on the injured list retroactive to July 14th as well, but in his place recieved OF Trevor Larnach, the Florida State League leader in doubles, batting average, and OPS. OF Jacob Pearson was promoted to Fort Myers from Cedar Rapids to take the place of Larnach After laying waste to the Appalachian League with nine home runs in 23 games, OF Albee Weiss was promoted to Cedar Rapids. 1B Parker Phillips was transferred to Elizabethton from the Gulf Coast League RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Norfolk 6 Box Score Cody Allen made his third appearance with the Red Wings, serving as the opener in this one and throwing 19 pitches (12 for strikes, 3 swinging). A leadoff double was followed by a one-out version and the Red Wings were down 1-0 early. Left-hander Sean Poppen then served as the primary and went the next five innings. He allowed a three-run homer in the third that extended the Tides lead to 4-0, but otherwise was solid. He surrendered three hits, walked two, and struck out five. Of his 97 pitches, 64 went for strikes (66%). In the top of the sixth the Red Wings closed within one thanks to a three-run blast of their own from the scorching hot Zander Wiel, his fifth in his last four games, and now 18th on the season. Unfortunately for Rochester, that would be all they could muster on the day. Gabriel Moya finished the final two innings, allowing two insurance runs for Norfolk on three hits and a walk. He struck out one. Wilin Rosario (2-for-3, 2B, R) and Tomas Telis (2-for-4, 2B) added multiple hits for the Red Wings. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Montgomery 4, Pensacola 2 Box Score Just like on Monday, Pensacola got an opposite-field home run from their first baseman Lewin Diaz, this one a two-run shot, but it again was not enough to propel them to a victory. https://twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall/status/1151334693943566336 They were unable to take advantage of their opportunities as they finished just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position on the game, leaving nine men on base. Diaz finished 2-for-4 to lead the offense as they collected only four other hits and three walks. Out of the leadoff spot former major leaguer Ivan De Je Jeusus Jr. drew a pair of walks. In his Southern League debut, outfielder Trevor Larnach made a good first impression, collecting a single in his first at-bat and reaching base on an error in front of Diaz's home run. https://twitter.com/billvilonaPNJ/status/1151290812287901697 Making the start for the Blue Wahoos was left-hander Bryan Sammons and he went the first two innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk while striking out three. Edwar Colina then made his Blue Wahoos debut by coming on for the next four innings and found the primary-ish role not to his liking. He allowed two runs on four hits and four walks, striking out two. Jovani Moran allowed one run on a hit and a walk in the seventh, before Adam Bray finished out the game with two scoreless innings. MIRACLE MATTERS Tampa 2, Fort Myers 4 Box Score Both teams struck early with crooked numbers in the first inning but the Miracle came out on top with three for the early lead. Three consecutive singles from Royce Lewis, Ryan Jeffers, and Ryan Costello loaded the bases, before a sac fly from Jose Miranda scored one and was followed by a two-run double from Trey Cabbage. Starter Cole Sands allowed two runs (one earned) in the opening frame, but was fantastic from then on, tacking on six more scoreless innings to his line. He picked up his third win with the seven-inning effort by scattering seven hits and walking none. He punctuated his outing with a one-two-three seventh inning, including two of his six strikeouts. In the bottom of the seventh Jacob Pearson, fresh off his promotion, delivered an RBI double to tack on an insurance run for Fort Myers. Melvi Acosta went the final two innings to pick up his second save, allowing one hit and striking out three. On offense the number three and four hitters for the Miracle, Jeffers and Costello, each finished 2-for-4 and Gabriel Maciel stole his ninth base. KERNELS NUGGETS Scheduled Day Off Cedar Rapids had the day off on Tuesday as they hit the road to face the Lake County Captains in Eastlake, Ohio. They are coming off a 2-4 homestand and will look to get back on track away from Veterans Memorial Stadium with right-hander Tyler Palm on the mound. The Kernels are 14-10 in the second half of the Midwest League Season, sitting three games back in fourth place of the Western Division. E-TWINS E-NOTES Johnson City 5, Elizabethton 7 Box Score The Twins got a quality start from right-hander Tyler Benninghoff who went the first six innings, his longest outing of the year, and allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out six. The three runs charged to him were of the unearned variety thanks to errors in the second and fourth innings. When his day was done Elizabethton held a 6-3 lead thanks in most part to a five-run bottom of the third. Two one-out singles got the inning started, then three consecutive two-out hits broke it open, with the biggest knock a double from Matt Wallner to score two. A throwing error also allowed two more runs to score as the teams combined for six errors on the game. Max Smith added a solo home run in the fourth and Kidany Salva an RBI single in the seventh to account for all the Twins scoring. Reliver Frandy Torres was back with Elizabethton after a brief stint in Cedar Rapids and went the next 1 2/3 after Benninghoff. He allowed two runs on two hits and two walks, but also struck out four. Dylan Thomas picked up his third save by finishing the final 1 1/3, allowing only one hit. Smith (4-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI), Parker Phillips (2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB), Wallner (2-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB), and Trevor Jensen (2-for-4, R) all had multiple hits on the day. Shorstop Will Holland stole two bases despite finishing 0-for-4. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Rays 1, GCL Twins 2 Box Score Pitching owned the day in the Gulf Coast League matchup as pitchers from both teams combined to allow just three runs on 13 hits and four walks combined, while striking out 20. Dakota Chalmers was on the mound for the Twins and went the first four innings. He worked around singles in the first and third before a couple of doubles in the fourth allowed the Rays to tie it. He struck out four and walked none in his four innings. The Twins had taken the first lead in the bottom of the second thanks to a bases- loaded walk, and then the lineup picked him up in the bottom of the fourth when Sergio Toribio led off with a triple and would score on a single from Erick Rivera. Relievers Williams Ramirez, Niall Windeler, and Anthony Escobar combined to shut out the Rays the rest of the way, allowing no runs on four hits and zero walks over the final five innings. Escobar did the bulk of the work, finishing the final three innings and striking out two. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Cole Sands, Fort Myers Miracle (W, 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 6 K) Hitter of the Day – Max Smith, Elizabethton Twins (4-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, R, 2 K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 1-for-5, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 1-for-4, R, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - No game #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) - 0-for-4, 3 K #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-for-5, 2 K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Fort Myers) – 2-for-4, R, K #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 0-for-0, BB (incredible at-bat in replacing Schoop) #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) – 2-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – Did no tplay #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) - Did not play #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – Injured list WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Norfolk (6:05PM CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (4-4, 5.22 ERA) Pensacola - Scheduled day off Tampa @ Fort Myers (11AM CST) - RHP Jhoan Duran (1-8, 3.44 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Lake County (6:00PM CST) - RHP Tyler Palm (1-5, 4.21 ERA) Elizabethton @ Greeneville (5:30PM CST) - RHP Ben Gross (2-1, 2.70 ERA) GCL Braves @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  13. It was a newsworthy day in the minor leagues on Sunday, though the biggest story may have been in the form of a promotion rather than from any of the games that were played. That's not to say there wasn't any noteworthy performances though, as a couple of pitchers had strong outings, a 2019 breakout prospect continued slugging, and the hitter of the day racked up four hits including a home run to lead his team to victory. To find out everything that happend on Tuesday in the minor leagues, including that promotion for a top prospect, keep reading!TRANSACTIONS There was a flurry of moves in the system on Tuesday, including some injuries to some notable names and a flurry of corresponding moves after a big promotion for a top prospect: In unfortunate injury news, OF Brent Rooker was placed on the injured list retroactive to July 14th.In Double-A the Blue Wahoos placed IF Travis Blankenhorn on the injured list retroactive to July 14th as well, but in his place recieved OF Trevor Larnach, the Florida State League leader in doubles, batting average, and OPS.OF Jacob Pearson was promoted to Fort Myers from Cedar Rapids to take the place of LarnachAfter laying waste to the Appalachian League with nine home runs in 23 games, OF Albee Weiss was promoted to Cedar Rapids.1B Parker Phillips was transferred to Elizabethton from the Gulf Coast LeagueRED WINGS REPORTRochester 3, Norfolk 6 Box Score Cody Allen made his third appearance with the Red Wings, serving as the opener in this one and throwing 19 pitches (12 for strikes, 3 swinging). A leadoff double was followed by a one-out version and the Red Wings were down 1-0 early. Left-hander Sean Poppen then served as the primary and went the next five innings. He allowed a three-run homer in the third that extended the Tides lead to 4-0, but otherwise was solid. He surrendered three hits, walked two, and struck out five. Of his 97 pitches, 64 went for strikes (66%). In the top of the sixth the Red Wings closed within one thanks to a three-run blast of their own from the scorching hot Zander Wiel, his fifth in his last four games, and now 18th on the season. Unfortunately for Rochester, that would be all they could muster on the day. Gabriel Moya finished the final two innings, allowing two insurance runs for Norfolk on three hits and a walk. He struck out one. Wilin Rosario (2-for-3, 2B, R) and Tomas Telis (2-for-4, 2B) added multiple hits for the Red Wings. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Montgomery 4, Pensacola 2 Box Score Just like on Monday, Pensacola got an opposite-field home run from their first baseman Lewin Diaz, this one a two-run shot, but it again was not enough to propel them to a victory. They were unable to take advantage of their opportunities as they finished just 1-for-6 with runners in scoring position on the game, leaving nine men on base. Diaz finished 2-for-4 to lead the offense as they collected only four other hits and three walks. Out of the leadoff spot former major leaguer Ivan De Je Jeusus Jr. drew a pair of walks. In his Southern League debut, outfielder Trevor Larnach made a good first impression, collecting a single in his first at-bat and reaching base on an error in front of Diaz's home run. Making the start for the Blue Wahoos was left-hander Bryan Sammons and he went the first two innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk while striking out three. Edwar Colina then made his Blue Wahoos debut by coming on for the next four innings and found the primary-ish role not to his liking. He allowed two runs on four hits and four walks, striking out two. Jovani Moran allowed one run on a hit and a walk in the seventh, before Adam Bray finished out the game with two scoreless innings. MIRACLE MATTERS Tampa 2, Fort Myers 4 Box Score Both teams struck early with crooked numbers in the first inning but the Miracle came out on top with three for the early lead. Three consecutive singles from Royce Lewis, Ryan Jeffers, and Ryan Costello loaded the bases, before a sac fly from Jose Miranda scored one and was followed by a two-run double from Trey Cabbage. Starter Cole Sands allowed two runs (one earned) in the opening frame, but was fantastic from then on, tacking on six more scoreless innings to his line. He picked up his third win with the seven-inning effort by scattering seven hits and walking none. He punctuated his outing with a one-two-three seventh inning, including two of his six strikeouts. In the bottom of the seventh Jacob Pearson, fresh off his promotion, delivered an RBI double to tack on an insurance run for Fort Myers. Melvi Acosta went the final two innings to pick up his second save, allowing one hit and striking out three. On offense the number three and four hitters for the Miracle, Jeffers and Costello, each finished 2-for-4 and Gabriel Maciel stole his ninth base. KERNELS NUGGETS Scheduled Day Off Cedar Rapids had the day off on Tuesday as they hit the road to face the Lake County Captains in Eastlake, Ohio. They are coming off a 2-4 homestand and will look to get back on track away from Veterans Memorial Stadium with right-hander Tyler Palm on the mound. The Kernels are 14-10 in the second half of the Midwest League Season, sitting three games back in fourth place of the Western Division. E-TWINS E-NOTES Johnson City 5, Elizabethton 7 Box Score The Twins got a quality start from right-hander Tyler Benninghoff who went the first six innings, his longest outing of the year, and allowed just three hits and a walk while striking out six. The three runs charged to him were of the unearned variety thanks to errors in the second and fourth innings. When his day was done Elizabethton held a 6-3 lead thanks in most part to a five-run bottom of the third. Two one-out singles got the inning started, then three consecutive two-out hits broke it open, with the biggest knock a double from Matt Wallner to score two. A throwing error also allowed two more runs to score as the teams combined for six errors on the game. Max Smith added a solo home run in the fourth and Kidany Salva an RBI single in the seventh to account for all the Twins scoring. Reliver Frandy Torres was back with Elizabethton after a brief stint in Cedar Rapids and went the next 1 2/3 after Benninghoff. He allowed two runs on two hits and two walks, but also struck out four. Dylan Thomas picked up his third save by finishing the final 1 1/3, allowing only one hit. Smith (4-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI), Parker Phillips (2-for-4, 2 R, RBI, BB), Wallner (2-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB), and Trevor Jensen (2-for-4, R) all had multiple hits on the day. Shorstop Will Holland stole two bases despite finishing 0-for-4. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Rays 1, GCL Twins 2 Box Score Pitching owned the day in the Gulf Coast League matchup as pitchers from both teams combined to allow just three runs on 13 hits and four walks combined, while striking out 20. Dakota Chalmers was on the mound for the Twins and went the first four innings. He worked around singles in the first and third before a couple of doubles in the fourth allowed the Rays to tie it. He struck out four and walked none in his four innings. The Twins had taken the first lead in the bottom of the second thanks to a bases- loaded walk, and then the lineup picked him up in the bottom of the fourth when Sergio Toribio led off with a triple and would score on a single from Erick Rivera. Relievers Williams Ramirez, Niall Windeler, and Anthony Escobar combined to shut out the Rays the rest of the way, allowing no runs on four hits and zero walks over the final five innings. Escobar did the bulk of the work, finishing the final three innings and striking out two. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Cole Sands, Fort Myers Miracle (W, 7.0 IP, 7 H, 1 ER, 6 K) Hitter of the Day – Max Smith, Elizabethton Twins (4-for-5, 2 R, 2B, HR, RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Fort Myers) – 1-for-4, R, 2 K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 1-for-5, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 1-for-4, R, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - No game #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) - 0-for-4, 3 K #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Fort Myers) – Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 0-for-5, 2 K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Fort Myers) – 2-for-4, R, K #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 0-for-0, BB (incredible at-bat in replacing Schoop) #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) – 2-for-3, R, 2B, 2 RBI, BB #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – Did no tplay #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) - Did not play #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – Injured list WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Norfolk (6:05PM CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe (4-4, 5.22 ERA) Pensacola - Scheduled day off Tampa @ Fort Myers (11AM CST) - RHP Jhoan Duran (1-8, 3.44 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Lake County (6:00PM CST) - RHP Tyler Palm (1-5, 4.21 ERA) Elizabethton @ Greeneville (5:30PM CST) - RHP Ben Gross (2-1, 2.70 ERA) GCL Braves @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! 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  14. Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Pensacola announced that LHP Jovani Moran was activated from the IL. Also, Tom Hackimer was activated from the suspended list. Veterans Jeff Ames and Zack Weiss were released. AWARDS Cedar Rapids Kernels RHP Kai-Wei Teng was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 11 Norfolk 4 Box Score Zander Wiel continued his impressive power display in 2019. For the third time this season, and the second time in three games, he hit two homers in a game. Wiel last played last Thursday in a doubleheader. In Game 1, he went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two homers. Before Friday’s game, he tweaked his back and missed the Red Wings weekend games. He returned on Monday and went 2-for-4 with his 16th and 17 home runs. The second came in the team’s five-run fifth inning when his two-run homer was later followed by a three-run homer by Drew Maggi. It was Maggi’s eighth homer of the Red Wings season. He went 1-for-3 with two walks. https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1150959244293881856 Jaylin Davis went 3-for-4 with a walk, and he hit his 11th home run (in 27 games) with the Red Wings. Nick Gordon went 2-for-5 with his 23rd double. Wilin Rosario was 2-for-5 with his 14th double. Devin Smeltzer pitched well again. He started with five shutout innings before giving up a solo homer in the sixth inning. In total, he worked six innings and gave up one run on three hits. He walked two and struck out eight. Carlos Torres came on and gave up two runs in the seventh inning. He followed it with a scoreless eighth inning. Cody Stashak gave up a run on three hits in the ninth. BLUE WAHOOS BITES Pensacola 2, Montgomery 6 Box Score Griffin Jax started for the Wahoos. He gave up five runs on nine hits and a walk. He struck out three batters. Anthony Vizcaya came on and gave up a run on a hit and two walks over two innings. He struck out three. Alex Phillips tossed two scoreless innings. Alex Kirilloff and Jordan Gore each had two hits in the game. Lewin Diaz went Oppo for his third homer with the Blue Wahoos and 16th overall. https://twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall/status/1150960448042352651 MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers Box Score Scheduled off day for the Miracle. Trevor Larnach held the #1 spot in Baseball America’s Hot Sheet this week. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 14, Lansing 7 Box Score The Kernels offense broke out on Monday afternoon in Lansing. Yes, even Wander Javier had a huge game. Javier broke out with a big game. Here is a glimpse through the eyes of Jeff Johnson who was covering the game for The Gazette in Cedar Rapids. https://twitter.com/jeje66/status/1150818465097375744 https://twitter.com/jeje66/status/1150837738004013064 https://twitter.com/jeje66/status/1150850346610307073 https://twitter.com/jeje66/status/1150859835254169601 In his previous 25 games, Javier was hitting .067/.170/.090 (.260) with two doubles, ten walks and 39 strikeouts in 100 plate appearances. Just six hits. So, yes, a cynic might say that now he has 10 hits in his last 105 plate appearances, but hey, you have to start somewhere and a 4-for-5 game with two crushed home runs and some line drive singles is a good way to start. https://twitter.com/mobrientv/status/1150852531133833216 But obviously in a 14-run game, the Kernels got offense from many others besides Javier. Spencer Steer (2019 third round, Oregon) went 3-for-4 with a walk and his first MWL homer. Gilberto Celestino had two hits including a bases-clearing double. Gabe Snyder knocked his ninth home run. Tyler Webb hit his first Kernels home run. Alex Isola, another 2019 draft pick (29th round, TCU) who has been with the Kernels for about ten days, went 3-for-5 with his first MWL home run (he did have one with Elizabethton). Austin Schulfer started and gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out six. Alex Schick got the next four outs. 2019 25th-round pick (from UCLA) Nate Hadley picked up his first Kernels win. He struck out two over a scoreless 1 1/3 innings. Ricky Ramirez got the final six outs and gave up just one run on two hits. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 5, Johnson City 9 Box Score Things didn’t exactly start out well for the E-Twins hitters. Through six innings, 18 batters came to the plate and 18 batters were gotten out. In the seventh inning, Ruben Santana singled to break up the perfect game. Anthony Prato was then hit by a pitch. Soon after, Albee Weiss came up and drilled a three-run homer, his ninth of the E-Twins season. In the ninth, Weiss tripled in a run and then scored on a ground out. However, it wasn’t enough and the Twins fell to 15-11. Lefty Ryley Widell started and was charged with six runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out six batters. Erik Cha came on and gave up one run on three hits over 3 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four. Osiris German gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in the ninth inning. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 1, GCL Rays 3 Box Score Dutch right-hander Donny Breek was on the mound to start Monday’s game. He gave up three runs (just one earned) on two hits and three walks over the first four innings. He struck out one. Moldovan lefty Petru Balan walked two and struck out two over two scoreless, hitless innings. Recently-signed Evan Gillespie worked two scoreless frames. The lefty gave up one hit, walked one and struck out two. Top 2019 draft pick Keoni Cavaco went 2-for-5 and drove in the team’s lone run. Parker Phillips went 2-for-4. Jake Hirabayashi got hit by a pitch twice. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Devin Smeltzer, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled. #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 2-4, R, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled. #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 4-5, 2 HR(4), 2 R, 6 RBI #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled. #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - 2-5, RBI, K #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Did Not Play. #9 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled. #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled. #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch. #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 2-5, 2B(23), R, K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled. #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - All Star Break #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 1-4, K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 1-3, BB, 2B(3), K #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 2-5, HR(2), 2 R, RBI, K, OF Assist #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - Did Not Play. TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Norfolk (6:05 CST) - RHP Sean Poppen (5-0, 2.39 ERA) Montgomery @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (2-2, 5.30 ERA) Tampa @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - RHP Cole Sands (2-2, 2.22 ERA) Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled. Johnson City @ Elizabethton (5:30 CST) - RHP Tyler Benninghoff (1-1, 9.49 ERA) GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games or any other minor league topics you would like.
  15. We hear it from time to time, but it is a phrase that is important to remember. Player development is not linear. From the time a player signs until he reaches the big leagues - should that happen - is filled with ups and downs. The hope, of course, is that there are more ups than downs. But more important is the development. Not the stats, but the development. Several of the Twins top prospects have had rough first halves this season. A few former prospects had a rough year last year. A few of them have regained prospect status in 2019. At the end of the day, it is really hard to get to the big leagues, much less stay there. Wander Javier has been struggling since joining the Kernels about six weeks ago. He also missed all of 2018 and the first couple of months this season with injury. Hopefully he is working on things. Royce Lewis hasn’t put up huge numbers in Ft. Myers, but as we know, he continues to work on things. Pitchers are working on new pitches, or tightening up their current pitches, or working in a different role. Remember that the goal isn’t about being great, or even necessarily good, in Cedar Rapids or Ft. Myers. The goal is for them to be great or at least productive big leaguers. And again, that is a lofty goal. On Monday, Wander Javier had the kind of game that hopefully can help relax him and propel him to a strong second half. Perhaps playing in the Futures Game and in that environment will catapult Royce Lewis to a strong second half, maybe pushing toward a promotion to Double-A. Zander Wiel and Jaylin Davis are two late-round draft picks out of college who have gradually worked their way up to the minor league’s highest level where they are finding a lot of success. Lewin Diaz's prospect status has certainly been regained with his 2019 performance. The list is - or at least could - go on and on with examples, good and bad… and that’s what makes following the minor leagues and the prospects fun and intriguing. With that little sermonette, I certainly hope that you will enjoy today’s Twins Minor League Report. Enjoy the ups and downs and remember it’s all about the process, and it’s all with a goal to get productive players to the big leagues.Find out everything that happened happened in the Twins system on Thursday, starting with the transactions of the day. TRANSACTIONS Pensacola announced that LHP Jovani Moran was activated from the IL. Also, Tom Hackimer was activated from the suspended list. Veterans Jeff Ames and Zack Weiss were released.AWARDS Cedar Rapids Kernels RHP Kai-Wei Teng was named the Midwest League Pitcher of the Week.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 11 Norfolk 4 Box Score Zander Wiel continued his impressive power display in 2019. For the third time this season, and the second time in three games, he hit two homers in a game. Wiel last played last Thursday in a doubleheader. In Game 1, he went 4-for-4 with two doubles and two homers. Before Friday’s game, he tweaked his back and missed the Red Wings weekend games. He returned on Monday and went 2-for-4 with his 16th and 17 home runs. The second came in the team’s five-run fifth inning when his two-run homer was later followed by a three-run homer by Drew Maggi. It was Maggi’s eighth homer of the Red Wings season. He went 1-for-3 with two walks. But obviously in a 14-run game, the Kernels got offense from many others besides Javier. Spencer Steer (2019 third round, Oregon) went 3-for-4 with a walk and his first MWL homer. Gilberto Celestino had two hits including a bases-clearing double. Gabe Snyder knocked his ninth home run. Tyler Webb hit his first Kernels home run. Alex Isola, another 2019 draft pick (29th round, TCU) who has been with the Kernels for about ten days, went 3-for-5 with his first MWL home run (he did have one with Elizabethton). Austin Schulfer started and gave up six runs (five earned) on eight hits and three walks in 4 1/3 innings. He struck out six. Alex Schick got the next four outs. 2019 25th-round pick (from UCLA) Nate Hadley picked up his first Kernels win. He struck out two over a scoreless 1 1/3 innings. Ricky Ramirez got the final six outs and gave up just one run on two hits. E-TWINS E-NOTES E-Twins 5, Johnson City 9 Box Score Things didn’t exactly start out well for the E-Twins hitters. Through six innings, 18 batters came to the plate and 18 batters were gotten out. In the seventh inning, Ruben Santana singled to break up the perfect game. Anthony Prato was then hit by a pitch. Soon after, Albee Weiss came up and drilled a three-run homer, his ninth of the E-Twins season. In the ninth, Weiss tripled in a run and then scored on a ground out. However, it wasn’t enough and the Twins fell to 15-11. Lefty Ryley Widell started and was charged with six runs on six hits in 4 1/3 innings. He walked two and struck out six batters. Erik Cha came on and gave up one run on three hits over 3 2/3 innings. He walked one and struck out four. Osiris German gave up two runs on three hits and a walk in the ninth inning. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Twins 1, GCL Rays 3 Box Score Dutch right-hander Donny Breek was on the mound to start Monday’s game. He gave up three runs (just one earned) on two hits and three walks over the first four innings. He struck out one. Moldovan lefty Petru Balan walked two and struck out two over two scoreless, hitless innings. Recently-signed Evan Gillespie worked two scoreless frames. The lefty gave up one hit, walked one and struck out two. Top 2019 draft pick Keoni Cavaco went 2-for-5 and drove in the team’s lone run. Parker Phillips went 2-for-4. Jake Hirabayashi got hit by a pitch twice. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day - Devin Smeltzer, Rochester Red Wings Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Wander Javier, Cedar Rapids Kernels PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled. #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 2-4, R, K #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured List (shoulder) #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled. #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 4-5, 2 HR(4), 2 R, 6 RBI #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled. #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - 2-5, RBI, K #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Did Not Play. #9 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled. #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled. #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did Not Pitch. #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 2-5, 2B(23), R, K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - No Game Scheduled. #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - All Star Break #15 - Matt Wallner (Elizabethton) - 1-4, K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 1-3, BB, 2B(3), K #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Injured (Tommy John) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did Not Pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - 2-5, HR(2), 2 R, RBI, K, OF Assist #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - Did Not Play. TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Norfolk (6:05 CST) - RHP Sean Poppen (5-0, 2.39 ERA) Montgomery @ Pensacola (6:35 CST) - LHP Bryan Sammons (2-2, 5.30 ERA) Tampa @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - RHP Cole Sands (2-2, 2.22 ERA) Cedar Rapids - No Game Scheduled. Johnson City @ Elizabethton (5:30 CST) - RHP Tyler Benninghoff (1-1, 9.49 ERA) GCL Rays @ GCL Twins (11:00 CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the Monday games or any other minor league topics you would like. Click here to view the article
  16. 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.
  17. 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
  18. Hi everybody! Here are some highlights of Lewin Diaz from this season. After posting an .866 OPS in 57 games for Fort Myers, Diaz now has a .957 OPS in his first 11 games for Pensacola. Included in this three-minute package is his three-homer game with the Miracle and an impressive performance he had against Sixto Sanchez, who MLB Pipeline ranks as the No. 22 prospect in all of baseball right now.
  19. TRANSACTIONS OF LaMonte Wade promoted to Minnesota from Rochester. IF Ronald Torreyes promoted to Rochester from Fort Myers. LHP Andrew Vasquez reinstated from the IL with Rochester. RHP DJ Baxendale placed on IL with Rochester (left ankle sprain). RHP Adam Bray transferred to Pensacola to Rochester. LHP Bryan Sammons placed on the IL with Pensacola. RHP Tom Hackimer placed on the suspended list for Pensacola. LHP J.T. Perez promoted to Cedar Rapids from Elizabethton. SS Tanner Brubaker assigned to Elizabethton. LF Carlos Agular placed on the IL with the GCL Twins. RHP Regi Grace placed on the IL with the GCL Twins. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 8, Lehigh Valley 7 Box Score Rochester snuck out to an early 4-0 lead in this one and they needed every run in the end. Zander Wiel and Nick Gordon both had three-hit nights. Gordon had his 15th double while Wiel had his 13th home run and his 19th double. Jordany Valdespin, Wilin Rosario and Brian Schales all joined the multi-hit parade with two hits apiece. The Red Wings pounded out 15 total hits, but the club only went 4-for-21 with runners in scoring position. Devin Smeltzer pitched into the fifth inning, allowing one run, a home run, with five strikeouts and a walk. Rochester’s bullpen did little to support Smeltzer’s effort as every relief pitcher allowed at least one run. Jake Reed surrendered three runs in two innings. Carlos Torres pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on two hits. Ian Krol earned his third save but he also allowed a run in the ninth as the result of three walks. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 1, Biloxi 5 Box Score The Blue Wahoos offensive struggled to string together hits and found themselves on the wrong end of this one. Only one batter stepped in with a runner in scoring position and the team went 0-for-1 in those situations. Lewin Diaz continued his hot hitting ways since being called up. He homered for the second time in three games. Alex Kirilloff and Mark Contreras both added doubles. Andro Cutura was used as an opener and held Biloxi off the scoreboard even though he allowed two hits. Charlie Barnes was used as the primary pitcher. He allowed two earned runs but errors from Alex Kirilloff and Travis Blankenhorn allowed two unearned runs to score. Barnes struck out six and walked one in six innings. Jeff Ames allowed one run on one hit in two innings. He struck out one and walked two. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 1, Charlotte 2 Box Score Blayne Enlow ended up on the wrong end of a pitcher’s duel. Both starting pitchers allowed a home run but Enlow’s was a two-run shot to baseball’s best prospect, Wander Franco. In 6 1/3 innings, Enlow allowed two runs on five hits with six strikeouts and two walks. He’s pitched six innings in every appearance with Fort Myers and he has yet to allow more than two runs. Ryan Jeffers accounted for the lone Miracle run. He knocked his 10th home run in the fourth inning and it gave Fort Myers a 1-0 lead. He finished 2-for-4. Royce Lewis and Gabriel Maciel both went 1-for-4. Andrew Bechtold picked up a hit in three trips. He’s now gone 3-for-20 since being promoted from Cedar Rapids. Joe Record finished off the seventh inning for Enlow. He allowed a walk and a hit. Derek Molina continued his tremendous streak. Over his last 11 appearances, Molina hasn’t allowed an earned run. In this one, he pitched two perfect innings and struck out four. In other news... https://twitter.com/SNETCampbell/status/1144239237707063296 KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Wisconsin 5 (11 Innings) Box Score Cedar Rapids scored two runs in the first three innings. However, they would be shut out from there and Wisconsin plated three runs in extra-innings for the win. Jacob Pearson did his best to keep Cedar Rapids in this one. In the first inning, Pearson set up a run all by himself. He led off the inning with a single and then he stole second. Gabe Snyder followed with a single and Pearson came around to score. In the bottom of the third, he cracked his fourth home run of the year. Chris Williams and Daniel Ozoria both went 2-for-4 in the losing effort. Tyler Palm was terrific on the mound as he was nearly unhittable. He retired the first 14 batters he faced and carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. In 5 1/3 innings, he limited the Timber Rattlers to one run on three hits. He struck out three and walked one. Carlos Suniaga pitched 1 2/3 innings and only allowed one baserunner while striking out two. Moises Gomez struck out six batters in three innings, but he allowed the tying run in the eighth. Tanner Howell took the loss after Wisconsin put up a three spot in the final frame. Three walks would come back to haunt him. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 2, Bristol 6 Box Score Bristol jumped all over E-Twins starter Tyler Benninghoff in his first start of the year. The first batter doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch. Six straight batters reached before Benninghoff was able to record an out. He was only able to collect two outs and he allowed six runs on four hits. The E-Twins bullpen did fantastic in relief. Frandy Torres took over for Benninghoff and did well in a tough spot. Over 3 1/3 shutout innings, he limited the Pirates to two hits and added four strikeouts. Louie Varland continued the shutout innings. He tossed three innings and allowed two hits. Nate Hadley finished off the final two frames. He only allowed one baserunner and struck out three. Elizabethton was limited to four hits in the game. Matt Wallner collected his first professional home run as part of a two-hit effort. He also scored both of the team’s runs. Trevor Jensen reached base two times. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Tyler Palm, Cedar Rapids (5.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 3 K, BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Zander Wiel, Rochester (3-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, R, 2 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 1-4 #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 1-3, 2B, BB #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) – Injured list #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 0-4 #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4, BB, K #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – 0-5, BB, 3 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 6 K, 2 BB #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) – Tommy John surgery, out for the year #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 3-6, 2B, 2 R, BB, 3 K #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – 2-4, HR, R, RBI #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – 1-4, 2 K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, RBI, BB, K #17 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 BB #18 - LaMonte Wade (Minnesota) – Did not play #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) – 0-4, K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Pawtucket (6:05 CST) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-4, 5.71 ERA) Pensacola vs. Biloxi (6:35 CST) – RHP Jorge Alcala (5-5, 5.65 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Bradenton (6:00 CST) – TBD Cedar Rapids vs. Wisconsin (6:35 CST) – RHP Luis Rijo (1-4, 2.72 ERA) Elizabethton @ Greeneville (5:30 CST) – TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox (11:00 AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games.
  20. Red Wings outfielder Brent Rooker has been destroying the baseball and he was recognized for it on Thursday. The International League announced the league’s All-Star rosters and Rooker will be joined by catcher Tomas Telis as Rochester’s representatives. Stu Cliburn, the team’s pitching coach, will also make the trip to El Paso, TX for the game. Would Rooker or Telis impact the Red Wings line-up on Thursday? Read on to find out.TRANSACTIONS OF LaMonte Wade promoted to Minnesota from Rochester. IF Ronald Torreyes promoted to Rochester from Fort Myers. LHP Andrew Vasquez reinstated from the IL with Rochester. RHP DJ Baxendale placed on IL with Rochester (left ankle sprain). RHP Adam Bray transferred to Pensacola to Rochester. LHP Bryan Sammons placed on the IL with Pensacola. RHP Tom Hackimer placed on the suspended list for Pensacola. LHP J.T. Perez promoted to Cedar Rapids from Elizabethton. SS Tanner Brubaker assigned to Elizabethton. LF Carlos Agular placed on the IL with the GCL Twins. RHP Regi Grace placed on the IL with the GCL Twins. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 8, Lehigh Valley 7 Box Score Rochester snuck out to an early 4-0 lead in this one and they needed every run in the end. Zander Wiel and Nick Gordon both had three-hit nights. Gordon had his 15th double while Wiel had his 13th home run and his 19th double. Jordany Valdespin, Wilin Rosario and Brian Schales all joined the multi-hit parade with two hits apiece. The Red Wings pounded out 15 total hits, but the club only went 4-for-21 with runners in scoring position. Devin Smeltzer pitched into the fifth inning, allowing one run, a home run, with five strikeouts and a walk. Rochester’s bullpen did little to support Smeltzer’s effort as every relief pitcher allowed at least one run. Jake Reed surrendered three runs in two innings. Carlos Torres pitched 1 1/3 innings and gave up two runs on two hits. Ian Krol earned his third save but he also allowed a run in the ninth as the result of three walks. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 1, Biloxi 5 Box Score The Blue Wahoos offensive struggled to string together hits and found themselves on the wrong end of this one. Only one batter stepped in with a runner in scoring position and the team went 0-for-1 in those situations. Lewin Diaz continued his hot hitting ways since being called up. He homered for the second time in three games. Alex Kirilloff and Mark Contreras both added doubles. Andro Cutura was used as an opener and held Biloxi off the scoreboard even though he allowed two hits. Charlie Barnes was used as the primary pitcher. He allowed two earned runs but errors from Alex Kirilloff and Travis Blankenhorn allowed two unearned runs to score. Barnes struck out six and walked one in six innings. Jeff Ames allowed one run on one hit in two innings. He struck out one and walked two. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 1, Charlotte 2 Box Score Blayne Enlow ended up on the wrong end of a pitcher’s duel. Both starting pitchers allowed a home run but Enlow’s was a two-run shot to baseball’s best prospect, Wander Franco. In 6 1/3 innings, Enlow allowed two runs on five hits with six strikeouts and two walks. He’s pitched six innings in every appearance with Fort Myers and he has yet to allow more than two runs. Ryan Jeffers accounted for the lone Miracle run. He knocked his 10th home run in the fourth inning and it gave Fort Myers a 1-0 lead. He finished 2-for-4. Royce Lewis and Gabriel Maciel both went 1-for-4. Andrew Bechtold picked up a hit in three trips. He’s now gone 3-for-20 since being promoted from Cedar Rapids. Joe Record finished off the seventh inning for Enlow. He allowed a walk and a hit. Derek Molina continued his tremendous streak. Over his last 11 appearances, Molina hasn’t allowed an earned run. In this one, he pitched two perfect innings and struck out four. In other news... KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Wisconsin 5 (11 Innings) Box Score Cedar Rapids scored two runs in the first three innings. However, they would be shut out from there and Wisconsin plated three runs in extra-innings for the win. Jacob Pearson did his best to keep Cedar Rapids in this one. In the first inning, Pearson set up a run all by himself. He led off the inning with a single and then he stole second. Gabe Snyder followed with a single and Pearson came around to score. In the bottom of the third, he cracked his fourth home run of the year. Chris Williams and Daniel Ozoria both went 2-for-4 in the losing effort. Tyler Palm was terrific on the mound as he was nearly unhittable. He retired the first 14 batters he faced and carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning. In 5 1/3 innings, he limited the Timber Rattlers to one run on three hits. He struck out three and walked one. Carlos Suniaga pitched 1 2/3 innings and only allowed one baserunner while striking out two. Moises Gomez struck out six batters in three innings, but he allowed the tying run in the eighth. Tanner Howell took the loss after Wisconsin put up a three spot in the final frame. Three walks would come back to haunt him. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 2, Bristol 6 Box Score Bristol jumped all over E-Twins starter Tyler Benninghoff in his first start of the year. The first batter doubled and moved to third on a wild pitch. Six straight batters reached before Benninghoff was able to record an out. He was only able to collect two outs and he allowed six runs on four hits. The E-Twins bullpen did fantastic in relief. Frandy Torres took over for Benninghoff and did well in a tough spot. Over 3 1/3 shutout innings, he limited the Pirates to two hits and added four strikeouts. Louie Varland continued the shutout innings. He tossed three innings and allowed two hits. Nate Hadley finished off the final two frames. He only allowed one baserunner and struck out three. Elizabethton was limited to four hits in the game. Matt Wallner collected his first professional home run as part of a two-hit effort. He also scored both of the team’s runs. Trevor Jensen reached base two times. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Tyler Palm, Cedar Rapids (5.1 IP, 1 ER, 1 H, 3 K, BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Zander Wiel, Rochester (3-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 RBI, R, 2 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) – 1-4 #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – 1-3, 2B, BB #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) – Injured list #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) – 0-4 #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 0-4, BB, K #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) – 0-5, BB, 3 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) – Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) – Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) – 6.1 IP, 2 ER, 5 H, 6 K, 2 BB #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) – Tommy John surgery, out for the year #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) – 3-6, 2B, 2 R, BB, 3 K #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) – Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) – 2-4, HR, R, RBI #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) – 1-4, 2 K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, RBI, BB, K #17 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) – 1.0 IP, 0 ER, 2 BB #18 - LaMonte Wade (Minnesota) – Did not play #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) – Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) – 0-4, K FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Pawtucket (6:05 CST) – LHP Lewis Thorpe (3-4, 5.71 ERA) Pensacola vs. Biloxi (6:35 CST) – RHP Jorge Alcala (5-5, 5.65 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Bradenton (6:00 CST) – TBD Cedar Rapids vs. Wisconsin (6:35 CST) – RHP Luis Rijo (1-4, 2.72 ERA) Elizabethton @ Greeneville (5:30 CST) – TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Red Sox (11:00 AM CST) – TBD Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday’s games. Click here to view the article
  21. TRANSACTIONS RHP Cody Allen transferred to A+ Fort Myers from AA Pensacola RHP Zack Littell optioned to AAA Rochester from the Twins RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 9, Pawtucket 6 Box Score Preston Guilmet: 2 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 66.0% strikes (33 of 50 pitches) HR: Jaylin Davis (4), Wilin Rosario (9) Multi-hit games: Wilin Rosario (2-for-5, HR, 2B, R, 3 RBI), Zander Wiel (2-for-4, RBI), Tomas Telis (3-for-4, 2B, R), Ronald Torreyes (3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) The Red Wings won another game and have clawed their way back to one game under .500 despite their slow start. The Red Wings ran a bullpen game and the five pitchers used combined for four earned runs while punching out eleven batters. Every Red Wings batter reached base in some way and all but one did so by getting a hit. In total, they had six extra-base hits in the game. Jaylin Davis continued to terrorize AAA pitchers as he blasted his fourth AAA home run in just his twelfth game at the level. Unfortunately for him, there are other outfielders on the 40-man roster so a callup in the near future seems unlikely, but it is still great to see him hit well. Video evidence of Wilin Rosario capping off a clutch six run 8th inning: https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1145153976800878592 BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 5, Biloxi 1 Box Score Griffin Jax: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 68.3% (56 of 82 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Lewin Diaz (2-for-4, 2 2B, R), Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R) In the least surprising event of the day, Griffin Jax had another great outing. His ERA on the year now sits at an astonishingly low 1.67. Lewin Diaz continues to rake at the plate as he hit a pair of doubles in the game. His AA OPS sits at .977 now and really I am running out of ways to compliment how well he is doing at the plate. All I can do is pray for whatever poor pitcher has to face him next. Travis Blankenhorn collected an RBI single in the fifth inning and then ended the game with this great play at second base: https://twitter.com/BlueWahoosBBall/status/1145151466988085248 MIRACLE MATTERS Game one: Ft. Myers 2, Bradenton 5 (8 innings) Box Score Tyler Watson: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 77.3% strikes (51 of 66 pitches) HR: Royce Lewis (6) Multi-hit games: None The Miracle lost the first game of their doubleheader in extra innings against the Bradenton Marauders. Royce Lewis cracked his sixth home run of the year as he continues to fight through the slump that he has been in for basically the entire season. He has shown signs of breaking free and the recent power surge could be him getting back to the old Royce Lewis we all know and love. Cody Allen came in to the game in the seventh inning and threw a scoreless inning with a strikeout and topped out at 91 MPH on the fastball. The Twins obviously are interested enough in potentially coaxing the old Cody Allen out of him and how he performs in the coming weeks will affect how the Twins work the trade deadline. Game Two: Ft. Myers 1, Bradenton 4 (7 innings) Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 62.2% strikes (51 of 82 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Royce Lewis (2-for-4) The Miracle also unfortunately dropped the second game of their doubleheader against Bradenton. The Marauders became one of the few teams that could actually slow down Jordan Balazovic. I suspect foul play or at the very least some good old-fashioned voodoo as Balazovic has been a buzzsaw for most of the season Royce Lewis built off his home run in the prior game by having a multi-hit game, yet another potential sign that good things are in store in the second half for the young shortstop. Despite slapping seven hits and drawing three walks, the Miracle were only able to put up a single run as they went just 2-for-11 with RISP. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Kane County 0 Box Score Josh Winder: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 67.4% strikes (64 of 95 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Jacob Pearson (2-for-4, 3B, R, RBI), Gilberto Celestino (2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI), Estamy Urena (3-for-4, 2B, 2 R) It was all Cedar Rapids in their impressive 6-0 shutout of Kane County. Josh Winder was spectacular as he threw eight shutout innings while punching out eight. Kane County’s hitters were utterly baffled all night as Winder navigated their lineup with the ability of a grizzled mariner through a stormy sea. The Kernels set the tone early as they put up a four spot in the very first inning thanks to a Yeltsin Encarnacion single and a Gilberto Celestino bases-clearing double. Although, they really just needed the one run with the way Winder tossed the ball in the game. E-Town E-Notes Elizabethton 8, Greeneville 1 Box Score Andriu Marin: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 64.4% strikes (47 of 74 pitches) HR: Albee Weiss 2 (2), Anthony Prato (1) Multi-hit games: Albee Weiss (2-for-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI), Matt Wallner (2-for-5, 2 R) The young Twins gave the business to Greeneville in an 8-1 rout. Andriu Marin and Ryan Shreve combined for nine innings without any earned runs and a combined fourteen strikeouts, an outstanding pitching showing from the both of them. There were many Elizabethton batters who performed well in the game, but Albee Weiss stands out as he blasted his first two home runs of the year to help lead the offensive charge. In total, all but two Elizabethton batters reached base safely via a hit and thirteen total hits rained down from the bats of the other Twins. GCL Twins Takes GCL Twins 0, GCL Red Sox 2 Box Score Miguel Rodriguez: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, HR: None Multi-hit games: Victor Heredia (2-for-2, BB) Four GCL Twins pitchers threw in the game and they combined for a total of twelve strikeouts. Keoni Cavaco was absent from the lineup after being pulled early from the game yesterday. It is only speculation, but I assume they are playing it safe with the recent first-round draft pick. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Josh Winder Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Albee Weiss PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 3-for-8, HR, R, RBI, K (Two games) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-for-3 #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3, BB, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-3, R, BB, K #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 0-for-2, R, 2 BB, 2 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - With the Twins #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Tommy John surgery, out for year #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-7, BB, 2 K (Two games) #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 0-for-3, BB #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured list #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - 2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2K #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Did not play #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-7, K (Two games) SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pawtucket @ Rochester (12:05 P.M.) - RHP Kohl Stewart Pensacola @ Mississippi (5:05 P.M.) - RHP Andro Cutura Bradenton @ Fort Myers (12:00 P.M.) - TBD Kane County @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 P.M.) - RHP Andrew Cabezas Elizabethton @ Greeneville (4:00 P.M.) - RHP Cody Laweryson Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games.
  22. A full seven games were played in the land of the Twins minor league system thanks to a doubleheader. Ignoring the panic this caused the writer to undergo, all was recorded and written about. Josh Winder was great again, Lewin Diaz continued to rake, and a longtime MLB relief pitcher threw in the Twins system for the first time ever, all that and more in this edition of the Minor League Report.TRANSACTIONS RHP Cody Allen transferred to A+ Fort Myers from AA Pensacola RHP Zack Littell optioned to AAA Rochester from the Twins RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 9, Pawtucket 6 Box Score Preston Guilmet: 2 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 66.0% strikes (33 of 50 pitches) HR: Jaylin Davis (4), Wilin Rosario (9) Multi-hit games: Wilin Rosario (2-for-5, HR, 2B, R, 3 RBI), Zander Wiel (2-for-4, RBI), Tomas Telis (3-for-4, 2B, R), Ronald Torreyes (3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) The Red Wings won another game and have clawed their way back to one game under .500 despite their slow start. The Red Wings ran a bullpen game and the five pitchers used combined for four earned runs while punching out eleven batters. Every Red Wings batter reached base in some way and all but one did so by getting a hit. In total, they had six extra-base hits in the game. Jaylin Davis continued to terrorize AAA pitchers as he blasted his fourth AAA home run in just his twelfth game at the level. Unfortunately for him, there are other outfielders on the 40-man roster so a callup in the near future seems unlikely, but it is still great to see him hit well. Video evidence of Wilin Rosario capping off a clutch six run 8th inning: BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 5, Biloxi 1 Box Score Griffin Jax: 6 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, 68.3% (56 of 82 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Lewin Diaz (2-for-4, 2 2B, R), Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-4, 2B, 2 R) In the least surprising event of the day, Griffin Jax had another great outing. His ERA on the year now sits at an astonishingly low 1.67. Lewin Diaz continues to rake at the plate as he hit a pair of doubles in the game. His AA OPS sits at .977 now and really I am running out of ways to compliment how well he is doing at the plate. All I can do is pray for whatever poor pitcher has to face him next. Travis Blankenhorn collected an RBI single in the fifth inning and then ended the game with this great play at second base: MIRACLE MATTERS Game one: Ft. Myers 2, Bradenton 5 (8 innings) Box Score Tyler Watson: 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 77.3% strikes (51 of 66 pitches) HR: Royce Lewis (6) Multi-hit games: None The Miracle lost the first game of their doubleheader in extra innings against the Bradenton Marauders. Royce Lewis cracked his sixth home run of the year as he continues to fight through the slump that he has been in for basically the entire season. He has shown signs of breaking free and the recent power surge could be him getting back to the old Royce Lewis we all know and love. Cody Allen came in to the game in the seventh inning and threw a scoreless inning with a strikeout and topped out at 91 MPH on the fastball. The Twins obviously are interested enough in potentially coaxing the old Cody Allen out of him and how he performs in the coming weeks will affect how the Twins work the trade deadline. Game Two: Ft. Myers 1, Bradenton 4 (7 innings) Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 4 IP, 5 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 4 K, 62.2% strikes (51 of 82 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Royce Lewis (2-for-4) The Miracle also unfortunately dropped the second game of their doubleheader against Bradenton. The Marauders became one of the few teams that could actually slow down Jordan Balazovic. I suspect foul play or at the very least some good old-fashioned voodoo as Balazovic has been a buzzsaw for most of the season Royce Lewis built off his home run in the prior game by having a multi-hit game, yet another potential sign that good things are in store in the second half for the young shortstop. Despite slapping seven hits and drawing three walks, the Miracle were only able to put up a single run as they went just 2-for-11 with RISP. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 6, Kane County 0 Box Score Josh Winder: 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 67.4% strikes (64 of 95 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Jacob Pearson (2-for-4, 3B, R, RBI), Gilberto Celestino (2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI), Estamy Urena (3-for-4, 2B, 2 R) It was all Cedar Rapids in their impressive 6-0 shutout of Kane County. Josh Winder was spectacular as he threw eight shutout innings while punching out eight. Kane County’s hitters were utterly baffled all night as Winder navigated their lineup with the ability of a grizzled mariner through a stormy sea. The Kernels set the tone early as they put up a four spot in the very first inning thanks to a Yeltsin Encarnacion single and a Gilberto Celestino bases-clearing double. Although, they really just needed the one run with the way Winder tossed the ball in the game. E-Town E-Notes Elizabethton 8, Greeneville 1 Box Score Andriu Marin: 5 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 64.4% strikes (47 of 74 pitches) HR: Albee Weiss 2 (2), Anthony Prato (1) Multi-hit games: Albee Weiss (2-for-5, 2 HR, 2 R, 3 RBI), Matt Wallner (2-for-5, 2 R) The young Twins gave the business to Greeneville in an 8-1 rout. Andriu Marin and Ryan Shreve combined for nine innings without any earned runs and a combined fourteen strikeouts, an outstanding pitching showing from the both of them. There were many Elizabethton batters who performed well in the game, but Albee Weiss stands out as he blasted his first two home runs of the year to help lead the offensive charge. In total, all but two Elizabethton batters reached base safely via a hit and thirteen total hits rained down from the bats of the other Twins. GCL Twins Takes GCL Twins 0, GCL Red Sox 2 Box Score Miguel Rodriguez: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K, HR: None Multi-hit games: Victor Heredia (2-for-2, BB) Four GCL Twins pitchers threw in the game and they combined for a total of twelve strikeouts. Keoni Cavaco was absent from the lineup after being pulled early from the game yesterday. It is only speculation, but I assume they are playing it safe with the recent first-round draft pick. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Josh Winder Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Albee Weiss PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 3-for-8, HR, R, RBI, K (Two games) #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 0-for-3 #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list #4 - Trevor Larnach (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-3, BB, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-3, R, BB, K #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 0-for-2, R, 2 BB, 2 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - With the Twins #9 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Tommy John surgery, out for year #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 1-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, K #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-7, BB, 2 K (Two games) #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 0-for-3, BB #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured list #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2B, 3 RBI #17 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - 2 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 2K #18 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - Did not play #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-7, K (Two games) SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Pawtucket @ Rochester (12:05 P.M.) - RHP Kohl Stewart Pensacola @ Mississippi (5:05 P.M.) - RHP Andro Cutura Bradenton @ Fort Myers (12:00 P.M.) - TBD Kane County @ Cedar Rapids (2:05 P.M.) - RHP Andrew Cabezas Elizabethton @ Greeneville (4:00 P.M.) - RHP Cody Laweryson Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games. Click here to view the article
  23. Continue reading, and then discussing, the Twins Daily choices for 26th through 30th prospects of the Minnesota Twins below. 30. Lewin Diaz - 1B Age: 22 ETA: Late 2020 2019 Stats (High-A/AA): .303/.343/.541 (.884 OPS), 14 2B, 1 3B, 13 HR, 44 K, 14 BB. 2019 Preseason Ranking: NR Seth: 25 | Tom: 25 | Cody: 39 | Ted: NR | Steve: 18 Diaz was a big prospect when the Twins signed him for $1.4 million in July 2013. He was the Twins Daily short-season Minor League Hitter of the Year in 2016 when he had a strong season at Elizabethton. He was quite productive in Cedar Rapids in 2017. Last year, he struggled in the first half in Ft. Myers and his season ended with wrist surgery. He came to spring training much lighter in 2017 and lighter yet in 2018 and his hard work really paid off. He was red hot in May and selected the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month when he hit 10 home runs. He was promoted to Pensacola last week and started out hot there. 29. Devin Smeltzer - LHP Age: 23 ETA: 2019 2019 Stats (AAA/MLB): . MLB: 12.1 IP, 3.65 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 6.6 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 3.0 K/BB MILB: 70.0 IP, 1.80 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 9.4 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 6.1 K/BB 2019 Ranking: NR Seth: 31 | Tom: 31 | Cody: 21 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR When the Twins acquired Smeltzer (and Luke Raley) from the Dodgers last July for Brian Dozier, few knew much about the left-hander. And if anything, it was more about his story than his pitching. He had been moved to the bullpen by the Dodgers and pitched in that role in Chattanooga and in the Arizona Fall League. But this offseason, the decision was made for him to return to starting, and he has been terrific. He started in Pensacola where he gave up just two earned runs in 30 innings (five starts). He moved up to Rochester and started with 15 scoreless innings. He came up to the Twins and worked six shutout innings against the Brewers and made one more start. Smeltzer is a good reminder that command for pitchers is key. He tops out at about 92 but he mixes all of his pitches really well and he’s able to miss bats without issuing walks. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/Get_To_Know_Em_Eps_4_Devin_Smeltzer_Final.mp3 28. Matt Canterino - RHP Age: 21 ETA: 2022 2019 Stats (College): 99.1 IP, 2.81 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 11.0 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 5.3 K/BB 2019 Ranking: NR Seth: 32 | Tom: 29 | Cody: 28 | Ted: 18 | Steve: 22 It is likely we won’t actually see Canterino pitch in 2019, and if he does, it will be with very limited innings in the low minor leagues. Just 21, he has a lot of pitching experience and innings under his belt, so I expect he will be shut down until spring. He has pitched for Rice University the last three years. He is one of just two college pitchers who has over 100 strikeouts in each of the past three seasons. He spent a summer with Team USA. He spent last summer in the Cape Cod League. He throws a fastball that sits in the 92-94 range but he can crank it up into the upper 90s. He’s got a good mid-80s slider and a spike curveball. https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/1135753743826395136 27. Luke Raley - OF Age: 24 ETA: 2020 2019 Stats (AAA): .302/.362/.516 (.878 OPS), 6 2B, 0 3B, 7 HR, 42 K, 7 BB. 2019 Preseason Ranking: Seth: 19 | Tom: 23 | Cody: 46 | Ted: 15 | Steve: 28 Raley has kind of always been an overlooked player. He had a really good high school career, yet he ended up going to Division II Lake Erie College. He dominated at that level but was a seventh-round pick of the Dodgers in 2016. He has put up a lot of power since then while never being considered a top prospect. We continue that trend with these rankings. When Raley’s season came to an abrupt stop with an ankle injury, he was playing well and just starting to display some big power for that Red Wings offense. He has a ton of power, and he’s also got enough speed that he played quite a bit in center field. People tout his high-energy level and willingness to work, along with his power potential. 26. Gilberto Celestino - OF ETA: 2018 Age: 20 2019 Stats (Low-A): .217/.298/.314 (.612 OPS), 11 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 51 K, 28 BB. 2019 Ranking: 16 Seth: 27 | Tom: 26 | Cody: 27 | Ted: 24 | Steve: 29 The Twins acquired Celestino, along with RHP Jorge Alcala, late last July from the Houston Astros in exchange for RHP Ryan Pressly. Celestino was a big international signing when he was a 16-year-old. He is a very good athlete. He’s not tall, but he is built strong and has really good speed. Some scouting reports indicate that he a very good defensive center fielder with a strong arm and room to continue to improve. Offensively, he works counts and is willing to take walks, though that has led to a lot of strikeouts to this point. He’s very young for the Midwest League and has not been over-matched. That's it for now. The prospect rankings will continue tomorrow. Feel free to ask questions and leave comments below. Twins Daily 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings Prospects 36-40 Prospects 31-35 Prospects 26-30 Prospects 21-25 (Coming Soon)
  24. Last week, we began revealing the Twins Daily Midseason Top 40 Prospects rankings with our choices for prospects 31-40 (Part 1, Part 2). This week, we jump into our Top 30 prospects. These “lower” rankings help illustrate the prospect depth in the Twins organization. Two guys in the 31-40 range have already played in the big leagues. This group reminds us of how quickly talent can be accumulated via trade and the draft. Several of our minor league writers provided player rankings. They were consolidated and our rankings are set. In this set, there are a couple of high-potential players who could quickly rise, and all of them are very capable of playing and contributing in the big leagues. Or, as July approaches, they are candidates to possibly be traded. In fact, 60% of today’s prospects were acquired by the Twins in a trade.Continue reading, and then discussing, the Twins Daily choices for 26th through 30th prospects of the Minnesota Twins below. 30. Lewin Diaz - 1B Age: 22 ETA: Late 2020 2019 Stats (High-A/AA): .303/.343/.541 (.884 OPS), 14 2B, 1 3B, 13 HR, 44 K, 14 BB. 2019 Preseason Ranking: NR Seth: 25 | Tom: 25 | Cody: 39 | Ted: NR | Steve: 18 Diaz was a big prospect when the Twins signed him for $1.4 million in July 2013. He was the Twins Daily short-season Minor League Hitter of the Year in 2016 when he had a strong season at Elizabethton. He was quite productive in Cedar Rapids in 2017. Last year, he struggled in the first half in Ft. Myers and his season ended with wrist surgery. He came to spring training much lighter in 2017 and lighter yet in 2018 and his hard work really paid off. He was red hot in May and selected the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month when he hit 10 home runs. He was promoted to Pensacola last week and started out hot there. 29. Devin Smeltzer - LHP Age: 23 ETA: 2019 2019 Stats (AAA/MLB): . MLB: 12.1 IP, 3.65 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 6.6 K/9, 2.2 BB/9, 3.0 K/BB MILB: 70.0 IP, 1.80 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 9.4 K/9, 1.5 BB/9, 6.1 K/BB 2019 Ranking: NR Seth: 31 | Tom: 31 | Cody: 21 | Ted: NR | Steve: NR When the Twins acquired Smeltzer (and Luke Raley) from the Dodgers last July for Brian Dozier, few knew much about the left-hander. And if anything, it was more about his story than his pitching. He had been moved to the bullpen by the Dodgers and pitched in that role in Chattanooga and in the Arizona Fall League. But this offseason, the decision was made for him to return to starting, and he has been terrific. He started in Pensacola where he gave up just two earned runs in 30 innings (five starts). He moved up to Rochester and started with 15 scoreless innings. He came up to the Twins and worked six shutout innings against the Brewers and made one more start. Smeltzer is a good reminder that command for pitchers is key. He tops out at about 92 but he mixes all of his pitches really well and he’s able to miss bats without issuing walks. 28. Matt Canterino - RHP Age: 21 ETA: 2022 2019 Stats (College): 99.1 IP, 2.81 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 11.0 K/9, 2.1 BB/9, 5.3 K/BB 2019 Ranking: NR Seth: 32 | Tom: 29 | Cody: 28 | Ted: 18 | Steve: 22 It is likely we won’t actually see Canterino pitch in 2019, and if he does, it will be with very limited innings in the low minor leagues. Just 21, he has a lot of pitching experience and innings under his belt, so I expect he will be shut down until spring. He has pitched for Rice University the last three years. He is one of just two college pitchers who has over 100 strikeouts in each of the past three seasons. He spent a summer with Team USA. He spent last summer in the Cape Cod League. He throws a fastball that sits in the 92-94 range but he can crank it up into the upper 90s. He’s got a good mid-80s slider and a spike curveball. 27. Luke Raley - OF Age: 24 ETA: 2020 2019 Stats (AAA): .302/.362/.516 (.878 OPS), 6 2B, 0 3B, 7 HR, 42 K, 7 BB. 2019 Preseason Ranking: Seth: 19 | Tom: 23 | Cody: 46 | Ted: 15 | Steve: 28 Raley has kind of always been an overlooked player. He had a really good high school career, yet he ended up going to Division II Lake Erie College. He dominated at that level but was a seventh-round pick of the Dodgers in 2016. He has put up a lot of power since then while never being considered a top prospect. We continue that trend with these rankings. When Raley’s season came to an abrupt stop with an ankle injury, he was playing well and just starting to display some big power for that Red Wings offense. He has a ton of power, and he’s also got enough speed that he played quite a bit in center field. People tout his high-energy level and willingness to work, along with his power potential. 26. Gilberto Celestino - OF ETA: 2018 Age: 20 2019 Stats (Low-A): .217/.298/.314 (.612 OPS), 11 2B, 1 3B, 4 HR, 51 K, 28 BB. 2019 Ranking: 16 Seth: 27 | Tom: 26 | Cody: 27 | Ted: 24 | Steve: 29 The Twins acquired Celestino, along with RHP Jorge Alcala, late last July from the Houston Astros in exchange for RHP Ryan Pressly. Celestino was a big international signing when he was a 16-year-old. He is a very good athlete. He’s not tall, but he is built strong and has really good speed. Some scouting reports indicate that he a very good defensive center fielder with a strong arm and room to continue to improve. Offensively, he works counts and is willing to take walks, though that has led to a lot of strikeouts to this point. He’s very young for the Midwest League and has not been over-matched. That's it for now. The prospect rankings will continue tomorrow. Feel free to ask questions and leave comments below. Twins Daily 2019 Midseason Prospect Rankings Prospects 36-40 Prospects 31-35 Prospects 26-30 Prospects 21-25 (Coming Soon) Click here to view the article
  25. It was a full slate of action in the Minnesota Twins system on Tuesday night and if not for a shutout on the road in the Florida State League, the organization would have gone undefeated on the day after the Twins bludgeoned Blake Snell and the Tampa Bay Rays at Target Field. There were some big nights for a couple of recently promoted hitters on the day, including the first home run at his new level for one, and two blasts from the other. The Kernels were also being no-hit for a majority of their game, but finally broke through against the opposing bullpen to pull out a win.To find out how it all went down in the system on Tuesday, and just how big of a night those two hitters had, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS The Red Wings activated infielder Ronald Torreyes from the injured list and transferred him to Fort Myers.The Miracle activated infielder Jose Miranda from the injured list, and placed RHP Calvin Faucher on the 7-day IL with a left ankle sprain.RED WINGS REPORTScranton/WB 9, Rochester 10 Box Score Right-hander Kohl Stewart took the mound for the Red Wings for his first turn since his last recall for the Twins and delivered two scoreless innings to start the game. He ran into trouble in the third however, as a leadoff home run, a walk, then three straight singles and a ground ball put the RailRiders out front 3-1. Stewart’s day was then done as he threw over thirty pitches in the inning. He allowed the three runs on five hits and a walk along with striking out two. Jaylin Davis picked him up in a big way in the bottom of the inning however, as he stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs and delivered a grand slam to put Rochester back out front 5-3. Davis wasn’t done either, as in the fifth he’d add a two-run shot to his ledger that also already included a double. He also drew a walk and had an outfield assist in an all-around effort. Chase De Jong relieved Stewart to start the fourth and went the next 3 1/3. He allowed three runs on three hits, including a home run, and struck out three. Ryan Eades came on with one out in the seventh and allowed both inherited runners to score along with two of his own and the RailRiders closed the gap to one run. Back out for the top of the eighth, Eades got two quick outs before a single was followed by a double and the game tied. He gave up another single before Cody Stashak was summoned to snuff out the two-out rally. He got a fly out to keep it tied. In the bottom of the eighth, the Red Wings loaded the bases with a double from Drew Maggi and consecutive hit batsman, and then with one out Zander Wiel delivered an RBI single to score one to take back the lead 10-9 and bring Davis up again. He got a 2-2 pitch and…missed it, but the one run would be enough as Stashak worked around a two-out double from Logan Morrison in the ninth to pick up his third win with Rochester. Joining Davis with multiple hits on the day were Maggi (4-for-5, 3 R, 2 2B), LaMonte Wade Jr. (3-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Wiel (2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, RBI, BB, K) and Tomas Telis (3-for-4, 2B, RBI, BB). BLUE WAHOOS BITES Biloxi 3, Pensacola 8 Box Score Pensacola jumped out to an early 5-0 lead after two innings thanks in large part to a big night from the recently promoted Lewin Diaz. His first inning blast was his first home run in Double-A, and he capped off a four-run second inning with a bases- clearing triple. Jimmy Kerrigan led off the second inning with his fifth home run of the year, then later in the game Jordan Gore contributed a two-RBI single that was followed by a run-scoring single from Travis Blankenhorn to account for all the Blue Wahoos runs. Alex Kirilloff added a double to the effort. Bryan Sammons made the start for the home team and picked up his second win with five scoreless innings. He allowed just two hits, walked one, and struck out six. Anthony Vizcaya contributed two scoreless innings of his own, navigating around three walks and one hit along with punching out two. Zach Weiss finished the game off with two innings, allowing three runs on four hits and a walk and striking out three. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 0, Charlotte 2 Box Score In a moment of déjà vu, the Miracle and Stone Crabs basically repeated the same game I recapped a week ago, as they again combined for just eight hits and two runs in a game Fort Myers would lose 2-0. Jhoan Duran got the start in this one and was solid over five innings. He allowed both of Charlotte’s runs on four hits and three walks while striking out eight. Of his 101 pitches, 61 went for strikes. Melvi Acosta and Alex Phillips combined to throw three shutout innings of relief, with Acosta walking two and Phillips striking out two. The Miracle were only able to mange four singles as a team, with Ronald Torreyes, Trevor Larnach, Jose Miranda, and Malique Ziegler each contributing one. As a team they finished 0-for-4 with runners in scoring position and left only four men on base. KERNELS NUGGETS Wisconsin 3, Cedar Rapids 4 Box Score It was tough sledding for the Kernels for the first six innings, as the only thing preventing Timber Rattlers starter Logan Gillaspie from having a perfect game intact to that point was the walk he issued to the first batter he faced on the game. That story line finally changed in the bottom of the seventh when Chris Williams stepped up to the plate with one out and deposited a 1-2 pitch onto the street beyond the left field porch to make it 2-1 Wisconsin. Starting pitcher Kai-Wei Teng was nearly as good over seven innings as his counterpart but his day would end with him in line for a loss despite his efforts. He also went seven innings, allowing just two runs on six hits and a walk along with striking out five hitters. After Alex Schick delivered a one-two-three eighth inning, the Kernels were finally able to pop against the Timber Rattlers bullpen. A leadoff single from Jared Akins and consecutive walks loaded the bases with nobody out, and a groundout scored one to tie the game before a two-run double from Estamy Urena put them out front 4-2. Back out for the ninth, Schick struck out the first two hitters of the inning before surrendering a solo home run to make it 4-3 but recovered just fine to strike out the next hitter and secure the victory. He struck out four in his two innings to finish the game. E-TWINS E-NOTES Bristol 5, Elizabethton 6 Box Score Elizabethton took an early 6-1 lead behind a five-run second inning where they batted around, but that came after 3rd-round pick Spencer Steer’s first professional home run to lead off the bottom of the first. Those five runs in the second were courtesy of an RBI single from Max Smith, a two-RBI double from Albee Weiss, and a two-RBI single from Yeremi De La Cruz. On the mound the Twins got four innings from Prelander Berroa, allowing one run on three hits and three walks while striking out seven Pirates. Denny Bentley had a rough fifth inning where he allowed four runs that made the score 6-5, but got through a scoreless sixth for two total innings. He allowed those four runs on four hits, a walk, and struck out one. Osiris German then went two scoreless frames, allowing a hit, two walks, and striking out four. Nate Hadley picked up his first professional save with a scoreless ninth inning including a strikeout and a hit batter. On offense Elizabethton got multiple hits from Smith (2-for-5, R, RBI), Matt Wallner (2-for-4, K), and De La Cruz (2-for-4, K). Charles Mack drew three walks and scored a run. Wallner has hit safely in all five of his games thus far. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Pirates 1, GCL Twins 4 Box Score The Twins jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the second inning thanks to a two-run home run from their 2019 39th-round draft pick, Jake Hirabayashi out of UCLA, that was his first as a professional in just his second game. Hirabayashi would finish the day 3-for-3 to lead his team, who added single runs in the fourth and seventh innings on an Erick Rivera RBI single, and an RBI groundout from Jim Caceras. Keoni Cavaco batted second in the lineup playing short and finished this one 0-for-3. Those four runs were more than enough as Twins pitchers combined to hold the Pirates to just six singles and four walks, while striking out ten hitters. Donny Breek made his 2019 debut on the mound and went the first four innings, scattering four hits and a walk along with picking up four K’s. Rogelio Reyes then made his pro debut after being drafted in the 22nd round earlier in the month and added two scoreless innings, walking one and striking out one. He was followed by 21st-round pick Bradley Hanner’s debut, also two scoreless frames, where he walked two and struck out three. Tyler Beck then finished the final inning, allowing one run two hits while striking out two. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Bryan Sammons, Pensacola Blue Wahoos (W, 5.0IP, 2 H, BB, 6 K) Hitter of the Day – Jaylin Davis, Rochester Red Wings (3-for-4, 3 R, 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, BB, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4 #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 1-for-4, R, 2B #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Pensacola) - Injured list #4 - Trevor Larnach (Fort Myers) - 1-for-4, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-2, BB, K #6 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - 0-for-4, 3 K #7 - Jhoan Duran (Fort Myers) - L, 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 8 K #8 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #9 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #10 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured list (Tommy John surgery) #11 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-for-5, 4 K #12 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Fort Myers) - 0-for-2 #14 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - 0-for-4, 2 K #15 - Yunior Severino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured list #16 - Gilberto Celestino (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-2, BB, K #17 - Zack Littell (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #18 - LaMonte Wade Jr. (Rochester) - 3-for-3, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, BB #19 - Jorge Alcala (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #20 - Jose Miranda (Fort Myers) - 1-for-3, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Lehigh Valley (6:05PM CST) - RHP Drew Hutchison (0-0, 0.00 ERA w/Red Wings) Biloxi @ Pensacola (6:35PM CST) - RHP Randy Dobnak (3-0, 2.38 ERA) Fort Myers @ Charlotte (9:00AM CST) - RHP Edwar Colina (3-2, 3.51 ERA) Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (5-3, 2.79 ERA) Bluefield @ Elizabethton (5:30PM CST) - TBD GCL Orioles @ GCL Twins (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! 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