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  1. There were several tight games tonight on the farm in the Twins organization, but it was another Louie Varland start of dominance that paces the highlights. TRANSACTIONS Charlie Barnes was returned to the Saints after being the 29th man on Tuesday. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Indianapolis 2 Box Score Playing an afternoon matinee in Indianapolis, the Saints sent Beau Burrows to the bump. He tossed 6 1/3 innings of four-hit ball allowing just a single run. Burrows walked two and punched out six in what was among his best outings this season. St. Paul scored first as Sherman Johnson singled home Damek Tomscha in the 2nd inning. After allowing an equalizer in the bottom half, St. Paul added again in the 3rd inning. Jimmy Kerrigan drove in Jose Miranda on a single to center. Putting some distance between the clubs, Caleb Hamilton singled in the 4th inning to score Tomscha and make it a 3-1 game. Things got a bit dicey in the 9th inning when Yennier Cano allowed some traffic to turn into a run. He loaded the bases with a walk on a 3-2 pitch but generated a ground ball to end the game. Miranda continued his amazing season with a 3-for-4 effort and Tomscha had a multi-hit game as well tallying two doubles. WIND SURGE WISDOM Arkansas 10, Wichita 5 (Game 1) Box Score Suspended yesterday, here’s what Steve had to say about the action that did get played: Unfortunately for the Wind Surge, they played much of this game through some drizzle before the conditions became too much for them to continue. They had not yet completed five innings, so the game was suspended in the top of the fifth and will resume tomorrow. It had been a mixed bag before the game was paused, as Simeon Woods Richardson delivered a fantastic performance for the first three innings of the game, but upon his exit the Travelers struck to take the 4-1 lead against Ben Gross. In his outing, Woods Richardson allowed just two hits while striking out five in his three innings. He definitely looked like a top prospect in this one as compared to his prior outings. Of his 47 pitches in the game, 32 went for strikes (68%), including a whopping 12 swinging strikes. He got those swings and misses on all of his pitches as well, with his changeup especially (to my eyes) looking like it was fooling everyone. Wichita got their lone run in the bottom of the second thanks to an RBI infield single from Aaron Whitefield. Picking up in the 5th inning, Trey Cabbage made his presence felt launching his 18th homer of the year, a two-run shot that drew Wichita within one at 4-3. A 6th inning grand slam for Arkansas allowed a five-run inning to provide plenty of distance. Wichita attempted to make things interesting in the 8th inning when Andrew Bechtold singled in Cabbage and Aaron Whitefield drove in Spencer Steer. That 9-5 deficit was the closest things would get, and with Arkansas adding another run in the 9th inning, this one stayed out of reach. Wichita 6, Arkansas 4 (F/7 Game 2) Box Score Jordan Balazovic was on the bump for game two of this non-traditional doubleheader. It wasn’t his sharpest outing and the Twins top pitching prospect went just 3 2/3 innings allowing four runs on four hits and four walks while striking out five batters. Down 2-0 after the first inning, Wichita answered with two runs of their own in the 2nd inning. Jermaine Palacios singled driving in Leobaldo Cabrera, and Andrew Bechtold plated Palacios on a single of his own. Again trailing after the 4th inning, the Wind Surge answered with Spencer Steer ripping a bases loaded double to bring everyone home. Grabbing their first lead of the contest, Cedar Rapids was now on top 5-4. During a 6th inning Bechtold walk, Whitefield swiped third base and scored on an error by the Travelers backstop. 6-4 is where this on would end, and Roy Morales was the lone player to record a multi-hit effort going 3-for-4 on the evening. KERNELS NUGGETS Peoria 2, Cedar Rapids 1 Box Score Louie Varland has been dominant at the two levels of Class A ball this season, and he turned in another great start tonight for the Kernels. Working six innings, Varland allowed two runs (just one earned) on four hits and no walks. He punched out 11 batters on the evening and dropped his ERA to 2.10. Derek Molina struck out four batters over the final two innings. Jair Camargo drove in Aaron Sabato with a 5th inning single knotting the game at one, but that was the only run production the Kernels could muster and they fell just short. Camargo had a two-hit night and accounted for half of Cedar Rapids total. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 5, Tampa 2 Box Score Needing just seven total strikeouts to set a new team record, the Mighty Mussels eclipsed the team total set by the Miracle back in 2019. Starter John Stankiewicz picked up six of the necessary punch outs and worked six innings allowing just a single run on five hits and a walk. After getting behind in the first, Charles Mack recorded his second triple of the season plating both Misael Urbina and Will Holland to take the lead. Mack then drew a bases-loaded walk in the third to drive in Alerick Soularie before Jake Rucker was hit and allowed Christian Encarnacion-Strand to score. Kyle Fedko was hit by a pitch and allowed Holland to score. Three runs came across in the inning, and none were generated by a ball put in play. Tampa drew closers with a solo shot in the 9th inning, but the left the bases loaded and wound up on the short side of the scoreboard. Despite being scheduled for a twin bill, rain again impacted tonight’s plans and turned this into a one game, nine-inning affair. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Scheduled Day Off TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Louie Varland (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 K Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-4, R PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-2, R, BB, K #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 4 H 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-4, R #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - No game #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - Did not play #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - No game #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play (Paternity List) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-3, R, BB #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-3, 3 RBI THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Derek Law (1-0, 3.20 ERA) Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (5-7, 6.33 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 9.00 ERA) Tampa @ Fort Myers, Game 1 (6:00 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! 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  2. TRANSACTIONS Charlie Barnes was returned to the Saints after being the 29th man on Tuesday. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 3, Indianapolis 2 Box Score Playing an afternoon matinee in Indianapolis, the Saints sent Beau Burrows to the bump. He tossed 6 1/3 innings of four-hit ball allowing just a single run. Burrows walked two and punched out six in what was among his best outings this season. St. Paul scored first as Sherman Johnson singled home Damek Tomscha in the 2nd inning. After allowing an equalizer in the bottom half, St. Paul added again in the 3rd inning. Jimmy Kerrigan drove in Jose Miranda on a single to center. Putting some distance between the clubs, Caleb Hamilton singled in the 4th inning to score Tomscha and make it a 3-1 game. Things got a bit dicey in the 9th inning when Yennier Cano allowed some traffic to turn into a run. He loaded the bases with a walk on a 3-2 pitch but generated a ground ball to end the game. Miranda continued his amazing season with a 3-for-4 effort and Tomscha had a multi-hit game as well tallying two doubles. WIND SURGE WISDOM Arkansas 10, Wichita 5 (Game 1) Box Score Suspended yesterday, here’s what Steve had to say about the action that did get played: Unfortunately for the Wind Surge, they played much of this game through some drizzle before the conditions became too much for them to continue. They had not yet completed five innings, so the game was suspended in the top of the fifth and will resume tomorrow. It had been a mixed bag before the game was paused, as Simeon Woods Richardson delivered a fantastic performance for the first three innings of the game, but upon his exit the Travelers struck to take the 4-1 lead against Ben Gross. In his outing, Woods Richardson allowed just two hits while striking out five in his three innings. He definitely looked like a top prospect in this one as compared to his prior outings. Of his 47 pitches in the game, 32 went for strikes (68%), including a whopping 12 swinging strikes. He got those swings and misses on all of his pitches as well, with his changeup especially (to my eyes) looking like it was fooling everyone. Wichita got their lone run in the bottom of the second thanks to an RBI infield single from Aaron Whitefield. Picking up in the 5th inning, Trey Cabbage made his presence felt launching his 18th homer of the year, a two-run shot that drew Wichita within one at 4-3. A 6th inning grand slam for Arkansas allowed a five-run inning to provide plenty of distance. Wichita attempted to make things interesting in the 8th inning when Andrew Bechtold singled in Cabbage and Aaron Whitefield drove in Spencer Steer. That 9-5 deficit was the closest things would get, and with Arkansas adding another run in the 9th inning, this one stayed out of reach. Wichita 6, Arkansas 4 (F/7 Game 2) Box Score Jordan Balazovic was on the bump for game two of this non-traditional doubleheader. It wasn’t his sharpest outing and the Twins top pitching prospect went just 3 2/3 innings allowing four runs on four hits and four walks while striking out five batters. Down 2-0 after the first inning, Wichita answered with two runs of their own in the 2nd inning. Jermaine Palacios singled driving in Leobaldo Cabrera, and Andrew Bechtold plated Palacios on a single of his own. Again trailing after the 4th inning, the Wind Surge answered with Spencer Steer ripping a bases loaded double to bring everyone home. Grabbing their first lead of the contest, Cedar Rapids was now on top 5-4. During a 6th inning Bechtold walk, Whitefield swiped third base and scored on an error by the Travelers backstop. 6-4 is where this on would end, and Roy Morales was the lone player to record a multi-hit effort going 3-for-4 on the evening. KERNELS NUGGETS Peoria 2, Cedar Rapids 1 Box Score Louie Varland has been dominant at the two levels of Class A ball this season, and he turned in another great start tonight for the Kernels. Working six innings, Varland allowed two runs (just one earned) on four hits and no walks. He punched out 11 batters on the evening and dropped his ERA to 2.10. Derek Molina struck out four batters over the final two innings. Jair Camargo drove in Aaron Sabato with a 5th inning single knotting the game at one, but that was the only run production the Kernels could muster and they fell just short. Camargo had a two-hit night and accounted for half of Cedar Rapids total. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 5, Tampa 2 Box Score Needing just seven total strikeouts to set a new team record, the Mighty Mussels eclipsed the team total set by the Miracle back in 2019. Starter John Stankiewicz picked up six of the necessary punch outs and worked six innings allowing just a single run on five hits and a walk. After getting behind in the first, Charles Mack recorded his second triple of the season plating both Misael Urbina and Will Holland to take the lead. Mack then drew a bases-loaded walk in the third to drive in Alerick Soularie before Jake Rucker was hit and allowed Christian Encarnacion-Strand to score. Kyle Fedko was hit by a pitch and allowed Holland to score. Three runs came across in the inning, and none were generated by a ball put in play. Tampa drew closers with a solo shot in the 9th inning, but the left the bases loaded and wound up on the short side of the scoreboard. Despite being scheduled for a twin bill, rain again impacted tonight’s plans and turned this into a one game, nine-inning affair. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Scheduled Day Off TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Louie Varland (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 11 K Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-4, R PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-2, R, BB, K #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 3.2 IP, 4 H 4 R, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-4, R #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - No game #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Temporarily Inactive List #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - Did not play #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - No game #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play (Paternity List) #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-3, R, BB #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-3, 3 RBI THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Derek Law (1-0, 3.20 ERA) Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (5-7, 6.33 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 9.00 ERA) Tampa @ Fort Myers, Game 1 (6:00 PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
  3. The Minnesota Twins got crushed by Cleveland Wednesday night, but Miguel Sanó took Cal Quantrill deep, so that was fun. Louie Varland had 11 strikeouts for Cedar Rapids and Trey Cabbage hit is 27th home run of the year for Wichita. Also discussed in this recap are Jordan Balazovic and Beau Burrows.
  4. The Minnesota Twins got crushed by Cleveland Wednesday night, but Miguel Sanó took Cal Quantrill deep, so that was fun. Louie Varland had 11 strikeouts for Cedar Rapids and Trey Cabbage hit is 27th home run of the year for Wichita. Also discussed in this recap are Jordan Balazovic and Beau Burrows. View full video
  5. Miguel Sanó hit his 26th home run of the year for the Minnesota Twins and later gave Cleveland pitcher Cal Quantrill a talking to. Also discussed in tonight's recap are Josh Donaldson, Gilberto Celestino, Simeon Woods-Richardson, Louie Varland, Alex Isola, Jeferson Morales and Edouard Julien.
  6. Miguel Sanó hit his 26th home run of the year for the Minnesota Twins and later gave Cleveland pitcher Cal Quantrill a talking to. Also discussed in tonight's recap are Josh Donaldson, Gilberto Celestino, Simeon Woods-Richardson, Louie Varland, Alex Isola, Jeferson Morales and Edouard Julien. View full video
  7. TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins recalled LHP Andrew Albers from St. Paul Saints. Fort Myers Mighty Mussels placed RHP Orlando Rodriguez on the temporarily inactive list. Fort Myers Mighty Mussels placed SS Keoni Cavaco on the temporarily inactive list SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 4, St. Paul 2 Box Score Gilberto Celestino put the Saints on the board with a crisp line drive homer (5) over the center field wall in the bottom of the first inning to tie the game at one. St. Paul scored their second run thanks to an RBI ground out from Tomas Telis that scored Damek Tomscha. Starting pitcher Beau Burrows lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on four hits while striking out six. Burrows' Achilles was the long ball, giving up three home runs on the evening. Burrows did enough to keep the game close and had a little help from his defense as well! Ryan Mason followed Burrows and was efficient, giving up no runs and zero hits while striking out three and walking two in 1 1/3 innings. Yennier Cano followed that up with two innings on the bump, giving up a run on two hits while striking out two. Edgar Garcia pitched the final inning for the Saints and escaped with a scoreless inning after walking two batters. WIND SURGE WISDOM NW Arkansas 14, Wichita 7 Box Score After gaining an early 2-0 lead the Surge were unable to hang with the Naturals after giving up 10 runs in the second inning. Wichita got things going early when D.J. Burt laced an RBI double that scored Austin Martin in the first inning. After advancing on the previous play, Burt scored thanks to an RBI groundout from Roy Morales. Top Prospect and Olympic Silver Medalist Simeon Woods Richardson didn't have his stuff on the bump tonight. Woods Richardson lasted only 1 2/3 innings and gave up six runs and three walks on his short outing. Tyler Beck took the brunt of the relief work for the Surge, giving up six runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. Evan Sisk and Mitchell Osnowitz carried the caboose for the Wind Surge bullpen. tossing a combined two innings while giving up two runs and walking one. Sisk struck out one batter. Despite the surplus of scoring from the other dugout, Ernie De La Trinidad knocked his eighth homer of the year in the second inning. Jermaine Palacios plated the final run for Wichita when he struck a fourth inning RBI single to left field that scored Leobaldo Cabrera. Cabrera added to Wichita's run count in the eighth inning when he demolished a three-run homer (10) to left field, plating Burt and Morales. That would prove to be the final run for Wichita on a rare night where the team was outscored in a football-esque score. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 11, Wisconsin 4 Box Score On the opening night of the NFL the Cedar Rapids Kernels attempted to put up a football-like score...and succeeded. Cedar Rapids scored 11 runs in the first five innings to propel the Kernels to a 11-4 win on Thursday night. The offense was great, but Cedar Rapids starting pitcher and Minnesota native Louie Varland was just as solid. Varland didn't walk any hitters and struck out seven, giving up three runs on six hits. Varland is now 6-1 on the year and has been one of the brightest surprises in the Twins organization all season long. The Kernels offensive barrage began in the first inning when Edouard Julien led off the game with a single. Michael Helman followed suit with a triple (3) that scored Julien all the way from first. Helman's efforts were rewarded when he later scored on an RBI sac-fly from Aaron Sabato. The second innings was 'thrice' as fruitful for the Kernels. Cedar Rapids scored six runs in the inning to open the flood gates. To the eye, one would assume a six-run inning would consist of at least one extra base hit. Not the case. The Kernels recorded six walks (2 HBP) and singles from Deshawn Keirsey, Alex Isola, and Jeferson Morales to put up the crooked number on the inning. The Kernels DID see a pair of extra-base hits two innings later. Isola and Morales tallied back-to-back solo home runs to expand the Kernels lead to 10-0 after four innings of play. Julien added a homer of his own to inflate the lead to 11-1 in the fifth. After Varland exited the game, reliver Carlos Suniaga touted his own dominance on the mound with two innings of one run, one hit ball with one strikeout. Tyler Palm sealed the deal for the Kernels with a perfect ninth inning. The win puts Cedar Rapids a full game ahead of Great Lakes and Lake County for the second spot in their playoff race. The team has now won three straight! MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1 Fort Myers 7, Palm Beach 6 Box Score With weather postponing the completion of Wednesday's game, the Mussels showed up at Hammond Stadium for double the amount of baseball on Thursday. The squad didn't disappoint. After Palm Beach plated four runs in the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game at six, Fort Myers scored the go-ahead run to push the Mussels past the Cardinals' affiliate in game one of a double-header. The go-ahead run came courtesy of an home run from Alerick Soularie, who punished a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall to secure the lead for the Mussels. Soularie's late-inning blast wasn't the only time that the Tennessee Volunteer touched home plate in the game. Soularie scored a run in the fourth, one of four on the inning for Fort Myers. Willie Joe Garry Jr. led off the inning with a triple and scored on an RBI single from Mikey Perez. Soularie and Christian Encarnacion-Strand joined Perez on base thanks to a pair of walks. Patrick Winkel and Jake Rucker followed suit with a pair of back to back singles to score Perez, Soularie, and Encarnacion Strand. Fort Myers starting pitching John Stankiewicz lasted four innings, giving up five hits and two runs while walking two and striking out four. David Festa took the bulk of bullpen duties for the Mussels, pitching 2 2/3 innings of three strikeout ball, walking two and giving up two runs. Reliever A.J. Labas received one of the more unique stat lines on the night. Labas tossed 1 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and two-runs, including the game-tying run that tallied a blown save under his name. However, thanks to Soularie's blast, Labas also recorded the win (W, 1-2) on the game. Juan Pichardo cleaned up in the final inning and earned his fourth save of the season. Game Two Fort Myers 11, Palm Beach 2 Box Score Just like they relied on a big inning in the first game of the doubleheader, Fort Myers soared in game two thanks to a five-run third inning....and an absolutely electric outing from starting pitcher Casey Legumina. Legumina was stellar through 5 2/3 innings, striking out six while only giving up one run on one hit and a walk. The outing was the second outstanding appearance that Legumina has recorded in the month of September. The Dallas, Texas native went the same distance on the mound on September 2 against Dayton, giving up zero runs on three hits while striking out three and walking one. Yet dominant pitching is often a biproduct of dominant offense, something the Mussels did not lack in the third inning. Charlie Mack launched a three-run homer (7) followed by a Will Holland solo shot (10) to give Fort Myers a comfortable lead. Mikey Perez added to the scoring party with an RBI double in the inning, his first of the year. Holland continued his impressive night with an RBI single in the sixth inning that scored Encarnacion-Strand to put the Mussels up 11-1. After Legumina's masterpiece reliever Logan Campbell closed the door for the Mussels, tossing 1 1/3 innings of one-run ball while striking out one and walking none. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 4, FCL Pirates Gold 3 (10) Box Score A three-run fourth inning and a sac-fly walk-off from Rubel Cespedes powered the Twins to a victory against the Pirates on Thursday afternoon. Wander Valdez and Rubel Cespedes each tallied RBI singles to score runs in the Twins' dominant third inning. LaRon Smith also drew an RBI walk to score a run. Noah Miller, the Minnesota Twins' second pick in the 2021 draft tallied two hits on the day, including a single and a run in the fourth. Twins starting pitcher Erasmo Moreno was excellent, pitching three innings of scoreless baseball while striking out two and walking three. Jordan Carr followed Moreno with three innings, giving up one run on four hits while striking out three. Similar to A.J. Labas of Cedar Rapids, Complex reliever Malik Barrington tallied a blown save but also the win (W, 1-1), thanks to Cespedes' walk-off sac-fly that scored Ka'lai Rosario. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Casey Legumina (Fort Myers) - (W, 4-2) 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day - Michael Helman (Cedar Rapids) - 3-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-3, R, BB #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1.2 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 2 K #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-4 #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, RBI, BB, 2 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, HR, R, RBI #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not pitch #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 2-for-2 #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, 2 K FRIDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (7:05 PM CST) - LHP Charlie Barnes (6-3, 3.93 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (4-4 3.61 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 11.25 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (0-0, 3.00 ERA) Thoughts? Comments? Concerns? Drop a comment below!
  8. Big bats and stellar pitching were a-plenty at Low-A Fort Myers and High-A Cedar Rapids. Read up on all the action across the Twins' farm! TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins recalled LHP Andrew Albers from St. Paul Saints. Fort Myers Mighty Mussels placed RHP Orlando Rodriguez on the temporarily inactive list. Fort Myers Mighty Mussels placed SS Keoni Cavaco on the temporarily inactive list SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 4, St. Paul 2 Box Score Gilberto Celestino put the Saints on the board with a crisp line drive homer (5) over the center field wall in the bottom of the first inning to tie the game at one. St. Paul scored their second run thanks to an RBI ground out from Tomas Telis that scored Damek Tomscha. Starting pitcher Beau Burrows lasted 4 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on four hits while striking out six. Burrows' Achilles was the long ball, giving up three home runs on the evening. Burrows did enough to keep the game close and had a little help from his defense as well! Ryan Mason followed Burrows and was efficient, giving up no runs and zero hits while striking out three and walking two in 1 1/3 innings. Yennier Cano followed that up with two innings on the bump, giving up a run on two hits while striking out two. Edgar Garcia pitched the final inning for the Saints and escaped with a scoreless inning after walking two batters. WIND SURGE WISDOM NW Arkansas 14, Wichita 7 Box Score After gaining an early 2-0 lead the Surge were unable to hang with the Naturals after giving up 10 runs in the second inning. Wichita got things going early when D.J. Burt laced an RBI double that scored Austin Martin in the first inning. After advancing on the previous play, Burt scored thanks to an RBI groundout from Roy Morales. Top Prospect and Olympic Silver Medalist Simeon Woods Richardson didn't have his stuff on the bump tonight. Woods Richardson lasted only 1 2/3 innings and gave up six runs and three walks on his short outing. Tyler Beck took the brunt of the relief work for the Surge, giving up six runs on six hits in 5 1/3 innings. Evan Sisk and Mitchell Osnowitz carried the caboose for the Wind Surge bullpen. tossing a combined two innings while giving up two runs and walking one. Sisk struck out one batter. Despite the surplus of scoring from the other dugout, Ernie De La Trinidad knocked his eighth homer of the year in the second inning. Jermaine Palacios plated the final run for Wichita when he struck a fourth inning RBI single to left field that scored Leobaldo Cabrera. Cabrera added to Wichita's run count in the eighth inning when he demolished a three-run homer (10) to left field, plating Burt and Morales. That would prove to be the final run for Wichita on a rare night where the team was outscored in a football-esque score. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 11, Wisconsin 4 Box Score On the opening night of the NFL the Cedar Rapids Kernels attempted to put up a football-like score...and succeeded. Cedar Rapids scored 11 runs in the first five innings to propel the Kernels to a 11-4 win on Thursday night. The offense was great, but Cedar Rapids starting pitcher and Minnesota native Louie Varland was just as solid. Varland didn't walk any hitters and struck out seven, giving up three runs on six hits. Varland is now 6-1 on the year and has been one of the brightest surprises in the Twins organization all season long. The Kernels offensive barrage began in the first inning when Edouard Julien led off the game with a single. Michael Helman followed suit with a triple (3) that scored Julien all the way from first. Helman's efforts were rewarded when he later scored on an RBI sac-fly from Aaron Sabato. The second innings was 'thrice' as fruitful for the Kernels. Cedar Rapids scored six runs in the inning to open the flood gates. To the eye, one would assume a six-run inning would consist of at least one extra base hit. Not the case. The Kernels recorded six walks (2 HBP) and singles from Deshawn Keirsey, Alex Isola, and Jeferson Morales to put up the crooked number on the inning. The Kernels DID see a pair of extra-base hits two innings later. Isola and Morales tallied back-to-back solo home runs to expand the Kernels lead to 10-0 after four innings of play. Julien added a homer of his own to inflate the lead to 11-1 in the fifth. After Varland exited the game, reliver Carlos Suniaga touted his own dominance on the mound with two innings of one run, one hit ball with one strikeout. Tyler Palm sealed the deal for the Kernels with a perfect ninth inning. The win puts Cedar Rapids a full game ahead of Great Lakes and Lake County for the second spot in their playoff race. The team has now won three straight! MUSSEL MATTERS Game 1 Fort Myers 7, Palm Beach 6 Box Score With weather postponing the completion of Wednesday's game, the Mussels showed up at Hammond Stadium for double the amount of baseball on Thursday. The squad didn't disappoint. After Palm Beach plated four runs in the seventh and eighth innings to tie the game at six, Fort Myers scored the go-ahead run to push the Mussels past the Cardinals' affiliate in game one of a double-header. The go-ahead run came courtesy of an home run from Alerick Soularie, who punished a 2-0 pitch over the left field wall to secure the lead for the Mussels. Soularie's late-inning blast wasn't the only time that the Tennessee Volunteer touched home plate in the game. Soularie scored a run in the fourth, one of four on the inning for Fort Myers. Willie Joe Garry Jr. led off the inning with a triple and scored on an RBI single from Mikey Perez. Soularie and Christian Encarnacion-Strand joined Perez on base thanks to a pair of walks. Patrick Winkel and Jake Rucker followed suit with a pair of back to back singles to score Perez, Soularie, and Encarnacion Strand. Fort Myers starting pitching John Stankiewicz lasted four innings, giving up five hits and two runs while walking two and striking out four. David Festa took the bulk of bullpen duties for the Mussels, pitching 2 2/3 innings of three strikeout ball, walking two and giving up two runs. Reliever A.J. Labas received one of the more unique stat lines on the night. Labas tossed 1 1/3 innings, giving up five hits and two-runs, including the game-tying run that tallied a blown save under his name. However, thanks to Soularie's blast, Labas also recorded the win (W, 1-2) on the game. Juan Pichardo cleaned up in the final inning and earned his fourth save of the season. Game Two Fort Myers 11, Palm Beach 2 Box Score Just like they relied on a big inning in the first game of the doubleheader, Fort Myers soared in game two thanks to a five-run third inning....and an absolutely electric outing from starting pitcher Casey Legumina. Legumina was stellar through 5 2/3 innings, striking out six while only giving up one run on one hit and a walk. The outing was the second outstanding appearance that Legumina has recorded in the month of September. The Dallas, Texas native went the same distance on the mound on September 2 against Dayton, giving up zero runs on three hits while striking out three and walking one. Yet dominant pitching is often a biproduct of dominant offense, something the Mussels did not lack in the third inning. Charlie Mack launched a three-run homer (7) followed by a Will Holland solo shot (10) to give Fort Myers a comfortable lead. Mikey Perez added to the scoring party with an RBI double in the inning, his first of the year. Holland continued his impressive night with an RBI single in the sixth inning that scored Encarnacion-Strand to put the Mussels up 11-1. After Legumina's masterpiece reliever Logan Campbell closed the door for the Mussels, tossing 1 1/3 innings of one-run ball while striking out one and walking none. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 4, FCL Pirates Gold 3 (10) Box Score A three-run fourth inning and a sac-fly walk-off from Rubel Cespedes powered the Twins to a victory against the Pirates on Thursday afternoon. Wander Valdez and Rubel Cespedes each tallied RBI singles to score runs in the Twins' dominant third inning. LaRon Smith also drew an RBI walk to score a run. Noah Miller, the Minnesota Twins' second pick in the 2021 draft tallied two hits on the day, including a single and a run in the fourth. Twins starting pitcher Erasmo Moreno was excellent, pitching three innings of scoreless baseball while striking out two and walking three. Jordan Carr followed Moreno with three innings, giving up one run on four hits while striking out three. Similar to A.J. Labas of Cedar Rapids, Complex reliever Malik Barrington tallied a blown save but also the win (W, 1-1), thanks to Cespedes' walk-off sac-fly that scored Ka'lai Rosario. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Casey Legumina (Fort Myers) - (W, 4-2) 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K Hitter of the Day - Michael Helman (Cedar Rapids) - 3-for-5, 2B, 3B, 2 R, 2 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-3, R, BB #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 1.2 IP, 6 R, 6 ER, 3 H, 3 BB, 2 K #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-4 #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, RBI, BB, 2 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, HR, R, RBI #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not pitch #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 2-for-2 #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, 2 K FRIDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (7:05 PM CST) - LHP Charlie Barnes (6-3, 3.93 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (4-4 3.61 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-1, 11.25 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich (0-0, 3.00 ERA) Thoughts? 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  9. For both Wichita and Cedar Rapids the scoring was the highlight tonight, but that’s not to overshadow a strong pitching performance and a rout led by the bats down in the complex league. TRANSACTIONS: The Twins traded Saints LH RP Andrew Vasquez to the Dodgers for minor league catcher Stevie Berman. RHP Jason Garcia promoted from Double-A to St. Paul C Kyle Schmidt promoted from High-A to St. Paul RHP Ben Gross promoted from High-A to Wichita IF Andrew Bechtold placed on 7-day IL SAINTS SENTINEL Postponed (Rain) WIND SURGE WISDOM Wind Surge 10, Travelers 3 Box Score Twins pitching prospect Jordan Balazovic threw tonight for the Wind Surge, and it was a bit of a mixed bag. He gave up nine hits in just 4 2/3 innings, but he also limited the damage to just three runs (two earned) while walking two and striking out three. Hardly dominant, but he did work around danger. After getting down in the 1st inning, Wichita took the lead in the 4th inning and never looked back. Leobaldo Cabrera tallied his fifth double of the season scoring Austin Martin and Roy Morales. D.J. Burt then singled to drive in Trey Cabbage and Cabrera, doubling the tally to four. Arkansas made noise in the 5th inning, but Jermaine Palacios lifted his 19th homer of the year in the top of the 6th inning to make it a 5-3 lead. Aaron Whitefield then singled in the 7th inning scoring Burt and extending the lead before Cabrera, Burt, and Whitefield drove in runs on a trio of singles in the 8th inning. Palacios pushed across Wichita’s 10th run scoring Cabbage in the 9th on a single, and the 17 hits for the Wind Surge resulted in double-digit runs. Arkansas used a 9th inning grand slam in an effort to make things interesting, but the 10-7 score held strong. Morales and Burt both recorded three hits on the evening, while Palacios picked up a four-hit effort. Cabbage, Cabrera, and Whitefield all had two-hit nights for Wichita in the rout. KERNELS NUGGETS Kernels 12, River Bandits 2 Box Score It was a Louie Varland start tonight for the Kernels, and that’s good news when you’re looking for a win. The righty went five strong innings and allowed just one run on three hits. He struck out eight and worked around three walks. His ERA drops to 1.85 since the promotion to High-A Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids gave up the first run tonight on a 4th inning single, but they quickly erased the deficit with a crooked number in the bottom half. Aaron Sabato recorded his third Kernels double to score Alex Isola before a Michael Helman single plated Matt Wallner. Wander Javier then grounded into a fielder’s choice that featured a Quad Cities throwing error, and Sabato was able to scamper home. Before the inning ended, Seth Gray hit a two-run single driving in both Helman and Javier. Tacking on in a big way again, it was a seven-spot in the 6th inning for the home team. Javier’s 14th double drove in Helman before a Gray single brought Wander across the plate. Edouard Julien crushed his ninth dinger with the Kernels, a three-run blast, making it 10-1. Isola followed up with a solo shot of his own, his 12th of the year, and Helman picked up another RBI on a single to score Wallner. With 12 hits recorded by the Kernels tonight, there was a trio of hitters putting up multi-hit efforts. Isola and Gray both recorded two while Michael Helman went 3-for-5 on the evening. MUSSEL MATTERS Tortugas 9, Mussels 1 Box Score A.J. Labas made his first start for the Mighty Mussels tonight, just his second appearance for the club. The recently-signed righty from LSU recorded just two outs, however, and gave up five runs on six hits while both walking and striking out a single batter. After the Tortugas put up a five spot in the home half of the 1st inning, Fort Myers was going to be up against it all night. Daytona added another run in the 2nd inning and then two more in the 4th inning. Trailing 8-0, the Mussels needed a response. Christian Encarnacion-Strand provided the first offense for Fort Myers. His 7th inning single scored Will Holland and they finally found themselves with a tally in the run column. Encarnacion-Strand compiled two hits on the evening and was joined with that designation by Jake Rucker. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 15, FCL Orioles Orange 2 Box Score Niklas Rimmel took the ball for the Twins FCL squad today and worked two innings giving up a single run on two hits. Brandon Koch started his rehab stint and came on in relief punching out two. Juan Mendez worked three innings and earned his second win of the season. DaShawn Keirsey also kicked off his rehab while leading off. He went 1-for-3 with two runs scored before being lifted. Three runs crossed in the first as Noah Miller roped his third double of the season to score Keirsey. A Rubel Cespedes single then scored both Emmanuel Rodriguez and Kala’i Rosario. Entering the 4th inning leading 4-1, the Twins added in some less conventional ways. Miller and Rodriguez both drew RBI on bases loaded hit by pitches and then Keirsey scored on a wild pitch with the bases still chucked. Leading 7-1, Rosario drove in another on a ground out, and it wasn’t until a Carlos Aguiar single that a run scored on a hit. Another goofy run scored in the 7th inning when Rodriguez came home on an Orioles balk. The tally stood at 11-2 going into the 9th inning. Because this one wasn’t enough of a laugher yet, Aguiar crushed a grand slam that pushed the final total to 15-2. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Louie Varland (Cedar Rapids) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios (Wichita) - 4-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, HR(19) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-4, R, BB, K #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 4.2 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - No game #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 0-3, BB, 3 K #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-3, 2 R, 2B, BB, 2 K #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - No game #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - No game #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 2-4, 2 R, RBI, 2B, BB #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-2, K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-2, 2 BB, K #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-4, BB, 2 TRANSACTIONS RHP Miguel Rodriguez reinstated from 7-day IL at A Fort Myers RHP Ramon Pineda transferred from FCL Twins to A Fort Myers Saints Sentinel St. Paul 9, Toledo 9 (Paused game) Box Score Drew Strotman: 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Well, I had a write-up here, but apparently the game ran so late that it was paused due to a curfew. I'll leave the box score link so that people can check it out as they please, but know that the game is not technically finished. Also know that this is the first time I have ever seen something like this happen in a minor league game. Weird stuff. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 13, Tulsa 4 Box Score Cole Sands: 3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K HR: Leobaldo Cabrera (8), Andrew Bechtold (16), Austin Martin (2), Spencer Steer (13) Multi-hit games: Spencer Steer (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB), Austin Martin (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI), Wichita gave Tulsa the business on Saturday. ...Oh, I need to say more? (Editor's Note: Yes, please.) Here are a few questions: Is it a good thing when eight out of nine of your batters get a hit? Is it a good thing when six different hitters earn an RBI? Is it a good thing when your 1-2 hitters combine for six runs? I’m not a baseball expert, but I tend to think that the answer to all of those questions is yes. Tulsa actually had the first lead of the game but a homer by Leobaldo Cabrera put the lead firmly in Wichita’s grasp. They would not let go. With five runs already on the board, Andrew Bechtold demolished a three-run homerun to make it a cruel seven-run lead. With a nine-run lead, Austin Martin clobbered a homer to make it an evil 11-run lead. Finally, with 12 runs on the board, Spencer Steer obliterated a solo shot to add a cherry on top of this battered cake. Tulsa actually out-hit the Wind Surge on Saturday which is objectively hilarious. Cabrera: Bechtold: Martin: Steer: Cole Sands allowed only one run over three innings but was inefficient as he tossed 80 pitches in order to do so. From there the combination of Kody Funderburk, Zach Neff, and Hector Lujan took Wichita to the finish line on Saturday. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 1, Beloit 6 Box Score Ben Gross: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Daniel Ozoria (2-for-3, RBI) Cedar Rapids had the lone offensive dud on Saturday. Ben Gross brought the strikeouts, but the Snappers proved resilient, and dropped 10 hits on the starter. It was an all-or-nothing approach that netted Beloit six extra-base hits off of Gross en route to a lead that would never really be challenged. The lone Kernels run came thanks to a Daniel Ozoria infield single in the 5th inning. The team put together just six hits on the night, but oddly enough, three of those hits were doubles. In another odd turn, both teams had matching one walk, 14 strikeout performances by their respective pitching staffs (and lineups, technically). But, Beloit bunching their extra-base hits proved to be a wise strategy as they easily beat Cedar Rapids on Saturday. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 8 Box Score Miguel Rodriguez: 1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 K HR: Jesus Feliz (7) Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (2-for-5, 3 R), Will Holland (3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) Fort Myers was unable to recover from a 4-0 deficit on Saturday. Starter Miguel Rodriguez had one to forget. The righty was activated just before the game and more than a bit rusty on Saturday. Allowing three walks over just a single inning more or less speaks for itself. Let’s hope that Rodriguez can get back on the horse the next time he’s called upon. To their credit, the Mighty Mussels did not lie down and let the Marauders win this game without a fight. They were down by a score of 7-1 before a burning offensive spirit took hold across the dugout. Jesus Feliz kicked off the rebuttal with a solo homer in the 7th while Will Holland doubled home a run later in the inning. This would be just the first attack. Kyler Fedko unloaded the bases in the 8th with a double that was followed by the classic double error on the part of the Marauders. Unfortunately, the fight would end there. Bradenton plated one more run in the 9th, and Fort Myers fell narrowly short of a victory. Casey Legumina provided a strong effort in the loss. He was able to siphon off the bleeding over five strong innings of one-run ball in relief of Rodriguez. Complex Chronicles The FCL Twins game was suspended in the 8th inning on Saturday. Nash will have the update for you on this game when it is completed on Sunday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Casey Legumina Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, K #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - Suspended game #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - Suspended game #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 1-3, RBI, BB, 2 K #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-1, R, BB, K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-3, 2 BB #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - 3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (5:15CT PM) RHP Bryan Sammons (0-2, 5.86 ERA) Wichita @ Arkansas (7:10CT PM) TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35CT PM) RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (2-1, 2.12 ERA) Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05CT PM) RHP Matthew Swain (6-2, 4.99 ERA) If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask below. 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  10. TRANSACTIONS: The Twins traded Saints LH RP Andrew Vasquez to the Dodgers for minor league catcher Stevie Berman. RHP Jason Garcia promoted from Double-A to St. Paul C Kyle Schmidt promoted from High-A to St. Paul RHP Ben Gross promoted from High-A to Wichita IF Andrew Bechtold placed on 7-day IL SAINTS SENTINEL Postponed (Rain) WIND SURGE WISDOM Wind Surge 10, Travelers 3 Box Score Twins pitching prospect Jordan Balazovic threw tonight for the Wind Surge, and it was a bit of a mixed bag. He gave up nine hits in just 4 2/3 innings, but he also limited the damage to just three runs (two earned) while walking two and striking out three. Hardly dominant, but he did work around danger. After getting down in the 1st inning, Wichita took the lead in the 4th inning and never looked back. Leobaldo Cabrera tallied his fifth double of the season scoring Austin Martin and Roy Morales. D.J. Burt then singled to drive in Trey Cabbage and Cabrera, doubling the tally to four. Arkansas made noise in the 5th inning, but Jermaine Palacios lifted his 19th homer of the year in the top of the 6th inning to make it a 5-3 lead. Aaron Whitefield then singled in the 7th inning scoring Burt and extending the lead before Cabrera, Burt, and Whitefield drove in runs on a trio of singles in the 8th inning. Palacios pushed across Wichita’s 10th run scoring Cabbage in the 9th on a single, and the 17 hits for the Wind Surge resulted in double-digit runs. Arkansas used a 9th inning grand slam in an effort to make things interesting, but the 10-7 score held strong. Morales and Burt both recorded three hits on the evening, while Palacios picked up a four-hit effort. Cabbage, Cabrera, and Whitefield all had two-hit nights for Wichita in the rout. KERNELS NUGGETS Kernels 12, River Bandits 2 Box Score It was a Louie Varland start tonight for the Kernels, and that’s good news when you’re looking for a win. The righty went five strong innings and allowed just one run on three hits. He struck out eight and worked around three walks. His ERA drops to 1.85 since the promotion to High-A Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids gave up the first run tonight on a 4th inning single, but they quickly erased the deficit with a crooked number in the bottom half. Aaron Sabato recorded his third Kernels double to score Alex Isola before a Michael Helman single plated Matt Wallner. Wander Javier then grounded into a fielder’s choice that featured a Quad Cities throwing error, and Sabato was able to scamper home. Before the inning ended, Seth Gray hit a two-run single driving in both Helman and Javier. Tacking on in a big way again, it was a seven-spot in the 6th inning for the home team. Javier’s 14th double drove in Helman before a Gray single brought Wander across the plate. Edouard Julien crushed his ninth dinger with the Kernels, a three-run blast, making it 10-1. Isola followed up with a solo shot of his own, his 12th of the year, and Helman picked up another RBI on a single to score Wallner. With 12 hits recorded by the Kernels tonight, there was a trio of hitters putting up multi-hit efforts. Isola and Gray both recorded two while Michael Helman went 3-for-5 on the evening. MUSSEL MATTERS Tortugas 9, Mussels 1 Box Score A.J. Labas made his first start for the Mighty Mussels tonight, just his second appearance for the club. The recently-signed righty from LSU recorded just two outs, however, and gave up five runs on six hits while both walking and striking out a single batter. After the Tortugas put up a five spot in the home half of the 1st inning, Fort Myers was going to be up against it all night. Daytona added another run in the 2nd inning and then two more in the 4th inning. Trailing 8-0, the Mussels needed a response. Christian Encarnacion-Strand provided the first offense for Fort Myers. His 7th inning single scored Will Holland and they finally found themselves with a tally in the run column. Encarnacion-Strand compiled two hits on the evening and was joined with that designation by Jake Rucker. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 15, FCL Orioles Orange 2 Box Score Niklas Rimmel took the ball for the Twins FCL squad today and worked two innings giving up a single run on two hits. Brandon Koch started his rehab stint and came on in relief punching out two. Juan Mendez worked three innings and earned his second win of the season. DaShawn Keirsey also kicked off his rehab while leading off. He went 1-for-3 with two runs scored before being lifted. Three runs crossed in the first as Noah Miller roped his third double of the season to score Keirsey. A Rubel Cespedes single then scored both Emmanuel Rodriguez and Kala’i Rosario. Entering the 4th inning leading 4-1, the Twins added in some less conventional ways. Miller and Rodriguez both drew RBI on bases loaded hit by pitches and then Keirsey scored on a wild pitch with the bases still chucked. Leading 7-1, Rosario drove in another on a ground out, and it wasn’t until a Carlos Aguiar single that a run scored on a hit. Another goofy run scored in the 7th inning when Rodriguez came home on an Orioles balk. The tally stood at 11-2 going into the 9th inning. Because this one wasn’t enough of a laugher yet, Aguiar crushed a grand slam that pushed the final total to 15-2. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Louie Varland (Cedar Rapids) - 5.0 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 8 K Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jermaine Palacios (Wichita) - 4-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB, HR(19) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-4, R, BB, K #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 4.2 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - No game #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 0-3, BB, 3 K #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-3, 2 R, 2B, BB, 2 K #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - No game #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - No game #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 2-4, 2 R, RBI, 2B, BB #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-2, K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-2, 2 BB, K #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-4, BB, 2 TRANSACTIONS RHP Miguel Rodriguez reinstated from 7-day IL at A Fort Myers RHP Ramon Pineda transferred from FCL Twins to A Fort Myers Saints Sentinel St. Paul 9, Toledo 9 (Paused game) Box Score Drew Strotman: 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Well, I had a write-up here, but apparently the game ran so late that it was paused due to a curfew. I'll leave the box score link so that people can check it out as they please, but know that the game is not technically finished. Also know that this is the first time I have ever seen something like this happen in a minor league game. Weird stuff. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 13, Tulsa 4 Box Score Cole Sands: 3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K HR: Leobaldo Cabrera (8), Andrew Bechtold (16), Austin Martin (2), Spencer Steer (13) Multi-hit games: Spencer Steer (2-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB), Austin Martin (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI), Wichita gave Tulsa the business on Saturday. ...Oh, I need to say more? (Editor's Note: Yes, please.) Here are a few questions: Is it a good thing when eight out of nine of your batters get a hit? Is it a good thing when six different hitters earn an RBI? Is it a good thing when your 1-2 hitters combine for six runs? I’m not a baseball expert, but I tend to think that the answer to all of those questions is yes. Tulsa actually had the first lead of the game but a homer by Leobaldo Cabrera put the lead firmly in Wichita’s grasp. They would not let go. With five runs already on the board, Andrew Bechtold demolished a three-run homerun to make it a cruel seven-run lead. With a nine-run lead, Austin Martin clobbered a homer to make it an evil 11-run lead. Finally, with 12 runs on the board, Spencer Steer obliterated a solo shot to add a cherry on top of this battered cake. Tulsa actually out-hit the Wind Surge on Saturday which is objectively hilarious. Cabrera: Bechtold: Martin: Steer: Cole Sands allowed only one run over three innings but was inefficient as he tossed 80 pitches in order to do so. From there the combination of Kody Funderburk, Zach Neff, and Hector Lujan took Wichita to the finish line on Saturday. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 1, Beloit 6 Box Score Ben Gross: 5 IP, 10 H, 6 ER, 0 BB, 8 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Daniel Ozoria (2-for-3, RBI) Cedar Rapids had the lone offensive dud on Saturday. Ben Gross brought the strikeouts, but the Snappers proved resilient, and dropped 10 hits on the starter. It was an all-or-nothing approach that netted Beloit six extra-base hits off of Gross en route to a lead that would never really be challenged. The lone Kernels run came thanks to a Daniel Ozoria infield single in the 5th inning. The team put together just six hits on the night, but oddly enough, three of those hits were doubles. In another odd turn, both teams had matching one walk, 14 strikeout performances by their respective pitching staffs (and lineups, technically). But, Beloit bunching their extra-base hits proved to be a wise strategy as they easily beat Cedar Rapids on Saturday. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 8 Box Score Miguel Rodriguez: 1 IP, 4 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 0 K HR: Jesus Feliz (7) Multi-hit games: Jake Rucker (2-for-5, 3 R), Will Holland (3-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) Fort Myers was unable to recover from a 4-0 deficit on Saturday. Starter Miguel Rodriguez had one to forget. The righty was activated just before the game and more than a bit rusty on Saturday. Allowing three walks over just a single inning more or less speaks for itself. Let’s hope that Rodriguez can get back on the horse the next time he’s called upon. To their credit, the Mighty Mussels did not lie down and let the Marauders win this game without a fight. They were down by a score of 7-1 before a burning offensive spirit took hold across the dugout. Jesus Feliz kicked off the rebuttal with a solo homer in the 7th while Will Holland doubled home a run later in the inning. This would be just the first attack. Kyler Fedko unloaded the bases in the 8th with a double that was followed by the classic double error on the part of the Marauders. Unfortunately, the fight would end there. Bradenton plated one more run in the 9th, and Fort Myers fell narrowly short of a victory. Casey Legumina provided a strong effort in the loss. He was able to siphon off the bleeding over five strong innings of one-run ball in relief of Rodriguez. Complex Chronicles The FCL Twins game was suspended in the 8th inning on Saturday. Nash will have the update for you on this game when it is completed on Sunday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Casey Legumina Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Spencer Steer PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 3-5, HR, 2 R, 3 RBI, K #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - Suspended game #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - Did not play #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - Suspended game #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 2 2/3 IP, 3 H, 6 ER, 6 BB, 2 K #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 1-3, RBI, BB, 2 K #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-1, R, BB, K #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-3, 2 BB #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - 3 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, 2 RBI, BB WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Columbus (5:15CT PM) RHP Bryan Sammons (0-2, 5.86 ERA) Wichita @ Arkansas (7:10CT PM) TBD Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35CT PM) RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (2-1, 2.12 ERA) Fort Myers @ Daytona (6:05CT PM) RHP Matthew Swain (6-2, 4.99 ERA) If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to ask below.
  11. The Twins' affiliates hit homers early and often tonight, and some victories followed. Check out who hit it out and who dominated on the mound in tonight's Minor League Report! TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins recall LHP Lewis Thorpe from Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins designate RHP Nick Vincent for assignment SAINTS SENTINEL Iowa 11, St. Paul 7 Box Score The Saints fell behind early, but used the big fly to get back in the game and take the lead, only to blow it in the ninth. They battled to force extras, but sputtered in the additional frames to lose 11-7. The I-Cubs got the scoring going early with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly off the bat of Jared Young, but couldn’t manage to add any additional runs from the chance. The Saints responded immediately with a Trevor Larnach solo blast that tied the game at a run apiece. In the third, however, Iowa put one across on a single from Young and then two more came in on a Trent Giambrone homer. And in the fourth, Chandler Shepherd grooved a hanging breaking ball to the ninth hitter in the Cardinals lineup, and Edwin Figuera hit it about 400 feet over the left field wall to add one more. The Saints had a response though, in the form of a two-run Gilberto Celestino home run onto the Killebrew Root Beer awning in left-center. Moments later, Jimmy Kerrigan put a ball a bit further left: Then, in the next inning, Tomas Telis tied the game and gave the left field spectators yet another souvenir. In the seventh, the Saints finally got their noses in front. In an inning with three stolen bases (including a steal of third from Telis!), Mark Contreras drove in Telis with a double. He was thrown out at the plate two batters later trying to grab another run, but St. Paul took their first lead nonetheless. Unfortunately, that lead wasn't enough, as Jovani Moran uncharacteristically allowed two runs in the ninth to blow the save and give the Cubs the lead back. Still, the never-say-die Saints weren't out of it yet. Mark Contreras hit his third double of the night and moved up to third on a flyout. At that point, Cubs pitcher Dillon Maples walked Ben Rortvedt unnecessarily and threw a ball a foot behind Kerrigan, allowing Contreras to tie the game on a wild pitch and send the game to extras. However, Iowa answered with four runs in the top of the tenth. At that point, the never-say-die Saints were, in fact, out of it. They lose 11-7. Chandler Shepherd ended up getting through five innings, but allowed five earned runs on eight hits and two walks. He struck out three. Ryan Mason (6th) and Chris Nunn (7th and 8th) combined for three scoreless innings to set the game up for Moran. Moran only got two outs and allowed two runs on two hits, two walks and a homer. He needed Robinson Leyer to come in to get the last out in the top of the ninth. He managed that, but fell apart in the 10th, as he allowed four runs and gets saddled with the loss. Telis, Contreras, and Kerrigan had multi-hit games (all three of Contreras's hits were doubles). WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 7, Springfield 1 Box Score Springfield squandered big opportunities for runs early and late, while Wichita capitalized on theirs all night long. The Surge win this one in a rout. Springfield led off the game with a triple and loaded the bases in the third, and both times, Tyler Beck was able to weasel out of the inning without allowing a run. Beck’s threat management paid off immediately as Leobaldo Cabrera blasted a two-run shot to give his team (and his starter) a two run cushion. Then, in the fifth inning, after (another) Austin Martin hit by pitch, a ground ball from B.J. Boyd led to two errors from the Springfield defense which allowed Martin to score and Boyd to take third on a Little League triple. Boyd scored in the next at-bat on Jermaine Palacios’s double. After a few close brushes early in the game, Beck settled down nicely into the middle innings. He only allowed two baserunners in innings four through six and handed the ball over the bullpen after the sixth without ever allowing a run. He worked around five hits and two walks, and struck out six. The Surge fully broke the game open in the eighth, when they scored three runs. Cabrera, D.J. Burt and Chris Williams each grabbed an RBI and the Wichita lead ballooned to 7-0. Springfield finally pushed one across in the eighth, but then, for good measure, they squandered another bases loaded opportunity in the ninth. Surge win 7-1. After Beck’s excellent work, Bryan Sammons struck out two in a baserunner-less seventh inning. Jason Garcia was tasked with finishing the game, but allowed a run in the eighth, and loaded the bases in the ninth frame, requiring Jordan Gore to get the final out. Cabrera, Burt, Palacios, and Aaron Whitefield all had multi-hit games. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 10, Wisconsin 1 Box Score The Cedar Rapids offense was explosive in this game and Louie Varland was excellent again, leading to a big Kernels win. Michael Helman started the Kernels onslaught with his solo homer in the second inning. However, Joey Wiemer answered for Wisconsin with a solo shot of his own to lead off the fourth. Wiemer, with his homer, was the first Timber Rattler to reach base. In the bottom of the inning the Kernels had another homer, only this time it wasn’t a solo shot. In fact, Jeferson Morales’s deep bomb to center came with the bases juiced and Cedar Rapids took a 5-1 lead, just like that. Manager Brian Dinkelman said, "(Morales) competes well at the plate, has a good feel for the zone, good bat-to-ball skills, puts the ball in play. So far he's driven the balls hard, has a couple of home runs, Big grand slam for us tonight. He puts together good at-bats and seems to find the barrel." Matt Wallner helped the Kernels add on in the fifth with a two-run double down the right field line. Wallner scored on a Seth Gray sac fly minutes later to stretch the lead to 8-1. The Kernels kept pouring it on in the seventh, as another Gray double drove in Wallner and Edouard Julien. After Wisconsin’s catcher, Kekai Rios, took the mound to do his best Willians Astudillo impression, the Timber Rattlers went down quietly in the ninth and this game came to its official conclusion. While the offense was making noise all night, Louie Varland was silencing the Wisconsin bats. He became the first Kernels starter to record an out in the seventh inning. He got through seven full innings (the longest start of his career) and allowed one earned run on six hits. He also struck out six. Varland was also remarkably efficient, needing only 75 pitches (54 strikes) to get through seven innings. Dinkelman said, "Louie attacks the zone. Tonight, they were very aggressive and he switched his plan to a lot of off-speed pitches and induced a lot of weak contact, and got outs early. He threw the ball well again for us and gave us seven strong innings." Of his efficiency, Varland noted, "I had all three of my pitches working. I went off-speed heavy and got a lot of soft contact for outs. I'm happy with it." He acknowledged, "I need to find that changeup and use it more consistently and throw it in the zone more. That right now is my next step moving forward, finding that consistent third pitch." Tyler Palm covered the final two innings of the game, allowing no runs on two hits and striking out four. Julien, Morales, and Wander Javier had multi-hit games in tonight’s drubbing. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 1, Dunedin 0 (Game suspended due to weather) Box Score Tonight’s Mighty Mussels was suspended after three innings due to inclement weather and wet field conditions Jesus Feliz’s solo homer in the second inning was the only run scored before the postponement. On the mound, Aaron Rozek was effective for Fort Myers, as he struck out four in three scoreless innings. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 9, FCL Orioles Orange 5 (F/7) Box Score The Complex League Twins have turned around their form of late, as today’s win over the Orioles’ Orange squad makes it four victories in their last five. The Twins scored in all but two innings of this seven-inning contest and the offense was keyed by contributions from the bottom of the order. Seventh hitter Malfrin Sosa had a two-run shot in the second and an RBI double in the fifth, eighth hitter Rubel Cespedes hit a LONG home run, and ninth hitter Nelson Roberto had a two-run homer of his own (and also made a nice, running catch in center). Leadoff man Luis Gomez also had a two-hit outing, but didn’t score or drive in any runs. Kala'i Rosario added a big, booming double. On the mound, Samuel Perez was perfect through five innings. He ran into a bit of trouble with back-to-back singles in the sixth and was removed. Ricardo Velez replaced Perez and only managed to get one out while allowing two inherited runs and three runs of his own. Fortunately, the offense was humming, and John Wilson got the Twins out of the sixth and covered the seventh and final inning to close out a 9-5 win. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids (7.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 75 pitches) Hitter of the Day - Jeferson Morales, Cedar Rapids (2-for-4, R, 4 RBI, Grand Slam) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-3, R, BB, HBP #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-6, K #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 0-for-1 (game suspended) #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (shoulder) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, R, 2 RBI, BB, K, HR #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-for-1 (game suspended) #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-5, R, 2B, BB THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) - RHP Beau Burrows (2-1, 4.34 ERA) Wichita @ Springfield (7:05PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (3-7, 4.19 ERA) Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (2-3, 3.33 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (5:30PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (2-1, 4.63 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games! 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  12. TRANSACTIONS Minnesota Twins recall LHP Lewis Thorpe from Triple-A St. Paul Minnesota Twins designate RHP Nick Vincent for assignment SAINTS SENTINEL Iowa 11, St. Paul 7 Box Score The Saints fell behind early, but used the big fly to get back in the game and take the lead, only to blow it in the ninth. They battled to force extras, but sputtered in the additional frames to lose 11-7. The I-Cubs got the scoring going early with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly off the bat of Jared Young, but couldn’t manage to add any additional runs from the chance. The Saints responded immediately with a Trevor Larnach solo blast that tied the game at a run apiece. In the third, however, Iowa put one across on a single from Young and then two more came in on a Trent Giambrone homer. And in the fourth, Chandler Shepherd grooved a hanging breaking ball to the ninth hitter in the Cardinals lineup, and Edwin Figuera hit it about 400 feet over the left field wall to add one more. The Saints had a response though, in the form of a two-run Gilberto Celestino home run onto the Killebrew Root Beer awning in left-center. Moments later, Jimmy Kerrigan put a ball a bit further left: Then, in the next inning, Tomas Telis tied the game and gave the left field spectators yet another souvenir. In the seventh, the Saints finally got their noses in front. In an inning with three stolen bases (including a steal of third from Telis!), Mark Contreras drove in Telis with a double. He was thrown out at the plate two batters later trying to grab another run, but St. Paul took their first lead nonetheless. Unfortunately, that lead wasn't enough, as Jovani Moran uncharacteristically allowed two runs in the ninth to blow the save and give the Cubs the lead back. Still, the never-say-die Saints weren't out of it yet. Mark Contreras hit his third double of the night and moved up to third on a flyout. At that point, Cubs pitcher Dillon Maples walked Ben Rortvedt unnecessarily and threw a ball a foot behind Kerrigan, allowing Contreras to tie the game on a wild pitch and send the game to extras. However, Iowa answered with four runs in the top of the tenth. At that point, the never-say-die Saints were, in fact, out of it. They lose 11-7. Chandler Shepherd ended up getting through five innings, but allowed five earned runs on eight hits and two walks. He struck out three. Ryan Mason (6th) and Chris Nunn (7th and 8th) combined for three scoreless innings to set the game up for Moran. Moran only got two outs and allowed two runs on two hits, two walks and a homer. He needed Robinson Leyer to come in to get the last out in the top of the ninth. He managed that, but fell apart in the 10th, as he allowed four runs and gets saddled with the loss. Telis, Contreras, and Kerrigan had multi-hit games (all three of Contreras's hits were doubles). WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 7, Springfield 1 Box Score Springfield squandered big opportunities for runs early and late, while Wichita capitalized on theirs all night long. The Surge win this one in a rout. Springfield led off the game with a triple and loaded the bases in the third, and both times, Tyler Beck was able to weasel out of the inning without allowing a run. Beck’s threat management paid off immediately as Leobaldo Cabrera blasted a two-run shot to give his team (and his starter) a two run cushion. Then, in the fifth inning, after (another) Austin Martin hit by pitch, a ground ball from B.J. Boyd led to two errors from the Springfield defense which allowed Martin to score and Boyd to take third on a Little League triple. Boyd scored in the next at-bat on Jermaine Palacios’s double. After a few close brushes early in the game, Beck settled down nicely into the middle innings. He only allowed two baserunners in innings four through six and handed the ball over the bullpen after the sixth without ever allowing a run. He worked around five hits and two walks, and struck out six. The Surge fully broke the game open in the eighth, when they scored three runs. Cabrera, D.J. Burt and Chris Williams each grabbed an RBI and the Wichita lead ballooned to 7-0. Springfield finally pushed one across in the eighth, but then, for good measure, they squandered another bases loaded opportunity in the ninth. Surge win 7-1. After Beck’s excellent work, Bryan Sammons struck out two in a baserunner-less seventh inning. Jason Garcia was tasked with finishing the game, but allowed a run in the eighth, and loaded the bases in the ninth frame, requiring Jordan Gore to get the final out. Cabrera, Burt, Palacios, and Aaron Whitefield all had multi-hit games. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 10, Wisconsin 1 Box Score The Cedar Rapids offense was explosive in this game and Louie Varland was excellent again, leading to a big Kernels win. Michael Helman started the Kernels onslaught with his solo homer in the second inning. However, Joey Wiemer answered for Wisconsin with a solo shot of his own to lead off the fourth. Wiemer, with his homer, was the first Timber Rattler to reach base. In the bottom of the inning the Kernels had another homer, only this time it wasn’t a solo shot. In fact, Jeferson Morales’s deep bomb to center came with the bases juiced and Cedar Rapids took a 5-1 lead, just like that. Manager Brian Dinkelman said, "(Morales) competes well at the plate, has a good feel for the zone, good bat-to-ball skills, puts the ball in play. So far he's driven the balls hard, has a couple of home runs, Big grand slam for us tonight. He puts together good at-bats and seems to find the barrel." Matt Wallner helped the Kernels add on in the fifth with a two-run double down the right field line. Wallner scored on a Seth Gray sac fly minutes later to stretch the lead to 8-1. The Kernels kept pouring it on in the seventh, as another Gray double drove in Wallner and Edouard Julien. After Wisconsin’s catcher, Kekai Rios, took the mound to do his best Willians Astudillo impression, the Timber Rattlers went down quietly in the ninth and this game came to its official conclusion. While the offense was making noise all night, Louie Varland was silencing the Wisconsin bats. He became the first Kernels starter to record an out in the seventh inning. He got through seven full innings (the longest start of his career) and allowed one earned run on six hits. He also struck out six. Varland was also remarkably efficient, needing only 75 pitches (54 strikes) to get through seven innings. Dinkelman said, "Louie attacks the zone. Tonight, they were very aggressive and he switched his plan to a lot of off-speed pitches and induced a lot of weak contact, and got outs early. He threw the ball well again for us and gave us seven strong innings." Of his efficiency, Varland noted, "I had all three of my pitches working. I went off-speed heavy and got a lot of soft contact for outs. I'm happy with it." He acknowledged, "I need to find that changeup and use it more consistently and throw it in the zone more. That right now is my next step moving forward, finding that consistent third pitch." Tyler Palm covered the final two innings of the game, allowing no runs on two hits and striking out four. Julien, Morales, and Wander Javier had multi-hit games in tonight’s drubbing. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 1, Dunedin 0 (Game suspended due to weather) Box Score Tonight’s Mighty Mussels was suspended after three innings due to inclement weather and wet field conditions Jesus Feliz’s solo homer in the second inning was the only run scored before the postponement. On the mound, Aaron Rozek was effective for Fort Myers, as he struck out four in three scoreless innings. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Twins 9, FCL Orioles Orange 5 (F/7) Box Score The Complex League Twins have turned around their form of late, as today’s win over the Orioles’ Orange squad makes it four victories in their last five. The Twins scored in all but two innings of this seven-inning contest and the offense was keyed by contributions from the bottom of the order. Seventh hitter Malfrin Sosa had a two-run shot in the second and an RBI double in the fifth, eighth hitter Rubel Cespedes hit a LONG home run, and ninth hitter Nelson Roberto had a two-run homer of his own (and also made a nice, running catch in center). Leadoff man Luis Gomez also had a two-hit outing, but didn’t score or drive in any runs. Kala'i Rosario added a big, booming double. On the mound, Samuel Perez was perfect through five innings. He ran into a bit of trouble with back-to-back singles in the sixth and was removed. Ricardo Velez replaced Perez and only managed to get one out while allowing two inherited runs and three runs of his own. Fortunately, the offense was humming, and John Wilson got the Twins out of the sixth and covered the seventh and final inning to close out a 9-5 win. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids (7.0 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 75 pitches) Hitter of the Day - Jeferson Morales, Cedar Rapids (2-for-4, R, 4 RBI, Grand Slam) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-3, R, BB, HBP #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-6, K #7 - Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 0-for-1 (game suspended) #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (shoulder) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, 3 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, R, 2 RBI, BB, K, HR #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-for-1 (game suspended) #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-5, R, 2B, BB THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) - RHP Beau Burrows (2-1, 4.34 ERA) Wichita @ Springfield (7:05PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (3-7, 4.19 ERA) Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) - LHP Tyler Watson (2-3, 3.33 ERA) Fort Myers @ Dunedin (5:30PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (2-1, 4.63 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
  13. On Monday, Twins Daily revealed prospects 26-30 in our post-draft and trade deadline updated rankings. We continue today with prospects 21-25. 25. RHP Chris Vallimont (24-years-old) Season Stats (High-A + Double-A): 4-4, 4.76 ERA, 64 1/3 IP, 102 K, 40 BB, 6 HR Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 20, 2021 Preseason: NR Chris Vallimont has the physical profile of a modern day pitcher. He stands nearly 6-foot-6-inches tall with an athletic 220 pound frame that he uses to generate fastballs in the mid-90s to go along with a hammer curve (as well as the occasional slider and changeup). When he's on, there's a strong argument to be made that he has some of the most dynamic stuff in the Twins' system. However, he is a bit of an enigma. His peripheral numbers suggest that he is a better pitcher than what the surface-level stats say, the main anchor dragging him down being his walks. If he hones his command, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he develops into, say, a No. 3 starter. If he doesn't, he may wind up in the bullpen long-term. There are few prospects in the Twins' system with more future outcome variance than Vallimont. 24: RHP Louie Varland (23-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): 6-2, 1.70 ERA, 69 IP, 98 K, 25 BB, 2 HR Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NR Louie Varland is one of those Twins prospects who has shot up the rankings this season due to sustained dominance. Varland was an unknown prospect when the Twins selected him in the 15th round of the 2019 draft out of Concordia-St. Paul. He started out the 2021 season with the Low-A Fort Myers Mighty Mussels before earning a promotion to the High-A Cedar Rapids Kernels where he rattled off nearly 20 straight innings of scoreless ball to begin his run at that level. Varland primarily relies on a fastball-curveball pitch mix. His fastball plays well both up and low in the zone; it presents with decent rise when elevated and greater sinking action when down. His most likely future role is as a reliever, but he has the raw stuff — and performance, to this point — to suggest he'll be effective in the high minors and, possibly, the big leagues. 23: UTIL Nick Gordon (25-years-old) Season Stats (MLB): .250/.301/.333, 37 G, 3 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 SB, 26/5 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NR, 2021 Preseason: NR To say that Nick Gordon was an after thought on the minds of Twins' fans entering the 2021 season would be an understatement. However, a strong showing at Triple-A combined with a fast start when promoted to the parent squad quickly got him back into people's minds. Gordon primarily played shortstop in the minors; however, the rash of injuries suffered by Twins' outfielders thrust Gordon into some minutes in centerfield. While he didn't provide Gold Glove caliber defense, he did show enough to suggest that he may have a brighter future as a true utility man than most thought. Gordon doesn't do anything great, but also doesn't do anything well-below average. He may not be an everyday-type of player, but he should find himself with a role in the majors — though perhaps ultimately not with the Twins — for years to come. 22: 1B/DH Aaron Sabato (22-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A): .181/.365/.309, 75 G, 13 2B, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 101/67 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 9, 2021 Preseason: 8 The tale of Aaron Sabato is virtually the opposite of that of Varland and Gordon. Sabato was known as a bopper with a good eye at the plate when the Twins selected him with the 27th overall pick in the 2020 draft but so far only his peepers have translated. Sabato has struggled to keep pace with Low-A pitching. His strikeout numbers are through the roof and his power has evaporated compared to what he displayed while with the Tar Heels. To put it bluntly, not many minor leaguers have struggled as much as he has to date and proceeded to carve out a productive major league career. Sabato's walk totals are encouraging, but he needs to show more the rest of the way. 21: INF Edouard Julien (22-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): .251/.423/.449, 78 G, 21 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 47 RBI, 25 SB, 98/73 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NR Alright, back to being positive. Edouard Julien is an on-base machine with some pop who has displayed the ability to play multiple positions defensively, though he is probably best at second base. He's also stolen far more bases this year than many thought possible when he came out of Auburn University. Julien's overall productivity has declined some since his promotion to Cedar Rapids — and, thus, the removal of Robo-umps — however, he has done more than enough to justify his placement on this list. Not bad for a former 18th round pick. What do you think of this set of five prospects? Future big-leaguers? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  14. 25. RHP Chris Vallimont (24-years-old) Season Stats (High-A + Double-A): 4-4, 4.76 ERA, 64 1/3 IP, 102 K, 40 BB, 6 HR Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 20, 2021 Preseason: NR Chris Vallimont has the physical profile of a modern day pitcher. He stands nearly 6-foot-6-inches tall with an athletic 220 pound frame that he uses to generate fastballs in the mid-90s to go along with a hammer curve (as well as the occasional slider and changeup). When he's on, there's a strong argument to be made that he has some of the most dynamic stuff in the Twins' system. However, he is a bit of an enigma. His peripheral numbers suggest that he is a better pitcher than what the surface-level stats say, the main anchor dragging him down being his walks. If he hones his command, it's not out of the realm of possibility that he develops into, say, a No. 3 starter. If he doesn't, he may wind up in the bullpen long-term. There are few prospects in the Twins' system with more future outcome variance than Vallimont. 24: RHP Louie Varland (23-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): 6-2, 1.70 ERA, 69 IP, 98 K, 25 BB, 2 HR Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NR Louie Varland is one of those Twins prospects who has shot up the rankings this season due to sustained dominance. Varland was an unknown prospect when the Twins selected him in the 15th round of the 2019 draft out of Concordia-St. Paul. He started out the 2021 season with the Low-A Fort Myers Mighty Mussels before earning a promotion to the High-A Cedar Rapids Kernels where he rattled off nearly 20 straight innings of scoreless ball to begin his run at that level. Varland primarily relies on a fastball-curveball pitch mix. His fastball plays well both up and low in the zone; it presents with decent rise when elevated and greater sinking action when down. His most likely future role is as a reliever, but he has the raw stuff — and performance, to this point — to suggest he'll be effective in the high minors and, possibly, the big leagues. 23: UTIL Nick Gordon (25-years-old) Season Stats (MLB): .250/.301/.333, 37 G, 3 2B, 3 3B, 1 HR, 5 RBI, 5 SB, 26/5 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: NR, 2021 Preseason: NR To say that Nick Gordon was an after thought on the minds of Twins' fans entering the 2021 season would be an understatement. However, a strong showing at Triple-A combined with a fast start when promoted to the parent squad quickly got him back into people's minds. Gordon primarily played shortstop in the minors; however, the rash of injuries suffered by Twins' outfielders thrust Gordon into some minutes in centerfield. While he didn't provide Gold Glove caliber defense, he did show enough to suggest that he may have a brighter future as a true utility man than most thought. Gordon doesn't do anything great, but also doesn't do anything well-below average. He may not be an everyday-type of player, but he should find himself with a role in the majors — though perhaps ultimately not with the Twins — for years to come. 22: 1B/DH Aaron Sabato (22-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A): .181/.365/.309, 75 G, 13 2B, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 101/67 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: 9, 2021 Preseason: 8 The tale of Aaron Sabato is virtually the opposite of that of Varland and Gordon. Sabato was known as a bopper with a good eye at the plate when the Twins selected him with the 27th overall pick in the 2020 draft but so far only his peepers have translated. Sabato has struggled to keep pace with Low-A pitching. His strikeout numbers are through the roof and his power has evaporated compared to what he displayed while with the Tar Heels. To put it bluntly, not many minor leaguers have struggled as much as he has to date and proceeded to carve out a productive major league career. Sabato's walk totals are encouraging, but he needs to show more the rest of the way. 21: INF Edouard Julien (22-years-old) Season Stats (Low-A + High-A): .251/.423/.449, 78 G, 21 2B, 1 3B, 10 HR, 47 RBI, 25 SB, 98/73 K:BB Previous Rankings: 2021 Midseason: Honorable Mention, 2021 Preseason: NR Alright, back to being positive. Edouard Julien is an on-base machine with some pop who has displayed the ability to play multiple positions defensively, though he is probably best at second base. He's also stolen far more bases this year than many thought possible when he came out of Auburn University. Julien's overall productivity has declined some since his promotion to Cedar Rapids — and, thus, the removal of Robo-umps — however, he has done more than enough to justify his placement on this list. Not bad for a former 18th round pick. What do you think of this set of five prospects? Future big-leaguers? MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  15. Look at Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher Louie Varland’s stat line and you’d think he was a Division I standout drafted in the first few rounds of the MLB Draft. Not a 15th round pick who played college ball at Division II Concordia-St. Paul. These aren’t just part of the home-grown star’s identity; they’re things that have motivated him unlike anything else. “It definitely has been a chip on my shoulder, but it came down to the fact that ‘I’ve got something to prove,” Varland said. “I wasn’t a DI guy, but I came in to prove my own and show that I can compete at this level.” The confidence from that chip has shown. Since being promoted to Cedar Rapids from Low-A Fort Myers on July 13, Varland is 2-0 with a 0.83 ERA in four starts for the Kernels. That second win came Friday night when Varland tossed 5 2/3 innings of two-run, five-strikeout ball to lead the Kernels to a critical win over league-leading Quad Cities in front of a season-high attendance at Perfect Game Field. The Maplewood, Minnesota native and North St. Paul High School graduate began the season with the Mighty Mussels and was nothing short of rock-solid. Varland appeared in ten games and made eight starts for Fort Myers, going 4-2 with a 2.06 ERA. He was named Low-A Pitcher of the Week on June 14 after pitching 12 consecutive scoreless innings and striking out 17 in that period. Yet as the competition increased upon his arrival to High-A, so did the difficulty for batters to hit Varland. Opposing batters mustered up a meager .228 batting average against Louie in the Sunshine State. That number has dipped to an incredible .173 average throughout his time in Cedar Rapids so far. “I feel great. I feel confident on the mound. I’ve got my stuff working for me,” Varland said. That confidence was crafted in the in Fort Myers earlier this year at the Twins’ spring training site and courtesy of the Mussels’ staff with a dash of technology. “I had some mechanical flaws earlier in the year, so down at the Low-A level, we have simulation cameras (that helped), and Pete (Larson) and the coaching staff helped me fix those issues to create a more efficient arm path, leading to more strikes,” Varland said. “I can throw harder, my delivery is cleaner, and I feel ready to go.” Is this Heaven? No, it’s Iowa After exiting a stellar pitching staff in Fort Myers, Varland arguably joined an even more dominant one in Cedar Rapids. The Kernels staff touts a league-leading 3.66 ERA and an impressive 1.23 WHIP. Ben Gross has led the starting pitching staff with his 4-1 record and 3.27 ERA. He’s also been an incredible asset to the newest member of the pitching staff. “It’s absolutely helped (having other successful pitchers), especially Ben Gross,” Varland said. “He’s really helped me dive into the preparation part of things; what to throw and when to throw certain pitches. He’s helped me dive into opposing hitters, which he’s really big into, and that’s helped me out a lot.” And while Varland is surrounded by a strong group of players on the field, the greatest asset of his Iowa promotion may be off the field. Cedar Rapids is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Twins Cities metro, where Varland’s family still resides. “It’s especially nice for my family,” Varland said. “It’s the closest affiliate of all the affiliates to my hometown. Every trip (for my family) to Cedar Rapids, Beloit, and Wisconsin (Appleton) are all roughly four and a half hours away so it’s great for them.” Varland’s dad Wade, who played a huge role in mentoring Louie and his brother Gus, can attend games more frequently. The family is even taking a trip to Tulsa to watch Gus pitch for Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate Tulsa later this month. “It’s just really nice to have my family back in the stands watching me play,” Louie said. Sprint to the Finish Now that Varland has gotten his feet wet in Cedar Rapids, his dominance couldn’t have come at a more critical time. The Kernels are amidst a playoff race that looks like it will come down to the wire. While there are two divisions in the High-A Central League, only two teams will qualify for the playoffs, regardless of division. Quad Cities (Royals affiliate) holds a commanding ten-game-lead in the league with a 54-26 record. Cedar Rapids and Great Lakes (Dodgers affiliate) are tied for second, sitting at 45-37. Lake County (Cleveland affiliate) and Dayton (Reds affiliate) are within two and a half games from Great Lakes and the Kernels. It’s going to be exhilarating. And only one team can make it. The good news for the Kernels? They arguably control their destiny. Cedar Rapids and Quad Cities will play each other eight more times before the end of the season, all at Perfect Game Field in Cedar Rapids. “The atmosphere is really competitive. Every game, we’re fighting for a playoff spot," Varland said. "With six and a half weeks left, every game counts, especially these against Quad Cities. Hopefully, we can win this series.” The Kernels face off against Quad Cities tonight at 6:35 PM CST in Cedar Rapids. Tickets are available at www.kernels.com, and the game can be viewed on MiLB.TV. More on Louie Varland from Twins Daily Twins Prospect Louie Varland Won't Stop at Pretty Good Twins Spotlight: Louie Varland
  16. Minnesota native Louie Varland isn’t just living out his dream of playing professional baseball. He’s doing it at a high level when his team needs it the most. Look at Cedar Rapids Kernels pitcher Louie Varland’s stat line and you’d think he was a Division I standout drafted in the first few rounds of the MLB Draft. Not a 15th round pick who played college ball at Division II Concordia-St. Paul. These aren’t just part of the home-grown star’s identity; they’re things that have motivated him unlike anything else. “It definitely has been a chip on my shoulder, but it came down to the fact that ‘I’ve got something to prove,” Varland said. “I wasn’t a DI guy, but I came in to prove my own and show that I can compete at this level.” The confidence from that chip has shown. Since being promoted to Cedar Rapids from Low-A Fort Myers on July 13, Varland is 2-0 with a 0.83 ERA in four starts for the Kernels. That second win came Friday night when Varland tossed 5 2/3 innings of two-run, five-strikeout ball to lead the Kernels to a critical win over league-leading Quad Cities in front of a season-high attendance at Perfect Game Field. The Maplewood, Minnesota native and North St. Paul High School graduate began the season with the Mighty Mussels and was nothing short of rock-solid. Varland appeared in ten games and made eight starts for Fort Myers, going 4-2 with a 2.06 ERA. He was named Low-A Pitcher of the Week on June 14 after pitching 12 consecutive scoreless innings and striking out 17 in that period. Yet as the competition increased upon his arrival to High-A, so did the difficulty for batters to hit Varland. Opposing batters mustered up a meager .228 batting average against Louie in the Sunshine State. That number has dipped to an incredible .173 average throughout his time in Cedar Rapids so far. “I feel great. I feel confident on the mound. I’ve got my stuff working for me,” Varland said. That confidence was crafted in the in Fort Myers earlier this year at the Twins’ spring training site and courtesy of the Mussels’ staff with a dash of technology. “I had some mechanical flaws earlier in the year, so down at the Low-A level, we have simulation cameras (that helped), and Pete (Larson) and the coaching staff helped me fix those issues to create a more efficient arm path, leading to more strikes,” Varland said. “I can throw harder, my delivery is cleaner, and I feel ready to go.” Is this Heaven? No, it’s Iowa After exiting a stellar pitching staff in Fort Myers, Varland arguably joined an even more dominant one in Cedar Rapids. The Kernels staff touts a league-leading 3.66 ERA and an impressive 1.23 WHIP. Ben Gross has led the starting pitching staff with his 4-1 record and 3.27 ERA. He’s also been an incredible asset to the newest member of the pitching staff. “It’s absolutely helped (having other successful pitchers), especially Ben Gross,” Varland said. “He’s really helped me dive into the preparation part of things; what to throw and when to throw certain pitches. He’s helped me dive into opposing hitters, which he’s really big into, and that’s helped me out a lot.” And while Varland is surrounded by a strong group of players on the field, the greatest asset of his Iowa promotion may be off the field. Cedar Rapids is just a hop, skip, and a jump away from the Twins Cities metro, where Varland’s family still resides. “It’s especially nice for my family,” Varland said. “It’s the closest affiliate of all the affiliates to my hometown. Every trip (for my family) to Cedar Rapids, Beloit, and Wisconsin (Appleton) are all roughly four and a half hours away so it’s great for them.” Varland’s dad Wade, who played a huge role in mentoring Louie and his brother Gus, can attend games more frequently. The family is even taking a trip to Tulsa to watch Gus pitch for Dodgers’ Double-A affiliate Tulsa later this month. “It’s just really nice to have my family back in the stands watching me play,” Louie said. Sprint to the Finish Now that Varland has gotten his feet wet in Cedar Rapids, his dominance couldn’t have come at a more critical time. The Kernels are amidst a playoff race that looks like it will come down to the wire. While there are two divisions in the High-A Central League, only two teams will qualify for the playoffs, regardless of division. Quad Cities (Royals affiliate) holds a commanding ten-game-lead in the league with a 54-26 record. Cedar Rapids and Great Lakes (Dodgers affiliate) are tied for second, sitting at 45-37. Lake County (Cleveland affiliate) and Dayton (Reds affiliate) are within two and a half games from Great Lakes and the Kernels. It’s going to be exhilarating. And only one team can make it. The good news for the Kernels? They arguably control their destiny. Cedar Rapids and Quad Cities will play each other eight more times before the end of the season, all at Perfect Game Field in Cedar Rapids. “The atmosphere is really competitive. Every game, we’re fighting for a playoff spot," Varland said. "With six and a half weeks left, every game counts, especially these against Quad Cities. Hopefully, we can win this series.” The Kernels face off against Quad Cities tonight at 6:35 PM CST in Cedar Rapids. Tickets are available at www.kernels.com, and the game can be viewed on MiLB.TV. More on Louie Varland from Twins Daily Twins Prospect Louie Varland Won't Stop at Pretty Good Twins Spotlight: Louie Varland View full article
  17. Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the FCL Twins game on Monday. There were no transactions announced on Monday. FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 0, FCL Pirates Black 3 Box Score On Monday, the FCL Twins fell to 6-18 despite a nice start from a rehabbing Lewis Thorpe. The lefty from Australia tossed three scoreless, hitless innings. He walked one and struck out four batters. Danny Moreno came up a run in the fourth on a hit and two walks. Matt Mullenbach gave up two runs (1 earned) on three hits in 1 2/3 innings. Cole Bellair got the final four outs, two on strikeouts. The Twins managed just four hits in the game. Yonardy Soto’s double was the lone extra-base hit. With that, let’s look at Week 13 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (3-3, hosting Indianapolis), overall (40-37) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (3-3, @ NW Arkansas), overall (44-34) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, @ Wisconsin), overall (44-34) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (1-2,@ Clearwater), overall (40-35) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-4), overall (6-18) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Second Half Success Scouting Twins Prospects: Jose Miranda Tuesday: Everybody Hits, Sometimes… Wednesday: Bombas Across the Board Thursday: Saints Hold Serve Twins Prospect Joe Ryan Excels in Olympic Debut Twins Acquire Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson Twins Acquire Evan Sisk Twins Claim Edgar Garcia off Waivers Twins Acquire Alex Scherff Friday: You Win Some, You Lose Some, Sometimes There’s COVID 5 Things to Know About Twins Deadline Centerpiece Austin Martin The Twins Have Got to Make Their Loaded Farm System Count 5 Things To Know About Twins Pitcher Simeon Woods-Richardson Saturday: A New Prospect Approaches Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month - July 2021 Sunday: Tyler Beck Dazzles for Kernels, Surge Win a Thriller Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month - July 2021 HIGHLIGHTS We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 13 performances Twins Player of the Week: Michael Helman, Cedar Rapids Kernels Helman played in six games last week for the Kernels and hit .435/.500/.652 (1.152) with a triple and a home run in 26 plate appearances. In 71 games this season, he has hit .237/.333/.420 (.754) with 13 doubles and ten home runs. At least twice this season, Helman has ended a game in walk-off fashion. Helman was the Twins 11th round pick in 2018 out of Texas A&M. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels It has been a breakout year for St. Paul native and Concordia University alum Louie Varland. He began the season dominating in Ft. Myers, and after throwing five shutout innings this week for the Kernels, he has begun his Cedar Rapids tenure with 16 scoreless innings. He was the Twins choice for Pitcher of the Week, and he was Twins Daily’s choice for Starting Pitcher of the Month for July. Click the link for more information on the hard-throwing right-hander. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints Jimmy Kerrigan was named the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month, and he ended it with a strong week. In six games, he hit .391/.423/.696 (1.119) with a double and two home runs. Rob Refsnyder played four rehab games. He hit .500/.600/1.063 (1.663) with three doubles and two homers. Keon Broxton played four games and hit .333/.412/.800 (1.212) with a double and two homers. Jose Miranda played five games and hit .409/.480/.636 (1.116) with two doubles and a homer. On the mound, Matt Shoemaker tossed seven shutout innings in his start. He gave up just two hits, walked two and struck out six batters. Rob Whalen returned and tossed two perfect innings over two games. In his start last Tuesday, Chandler Shepherd gave up two hits over seven scoreless innings. Wichita Wind Surge Spencer Steer had been struggling in Wichita since his promotion, other than home runs. In five games last week, he hit .444/.565/1.056 (1.621) with three doubles, a triple and two home runs. BJ Boyd played all six games and hit .429/.448/.679 (1.127) with a double and two home runs. DJ Burt played in four games and hit .357/.550/.500 (1.050) with two doubles. Chris Williams hit .357 and had a double and a home run. Chris Nunn made his Twins organizational debut this week. He struck out seven batters in 3 2/3 innings over two games. Cedar Rapids Kernels Yunior Severino was promoted to the Kernels and in his five games, he hit .412/.524/.647 (1.171) with four doubles and four walks. Matt Wallner played in five games. He hit .304/.304/.783 (1.087) with two doubles and three home runs. Edouard Julien hit just .217, but he posted a .976 OPS because his five hits included two doubles and three home runs. Tyler Beck tossed five scoreless innings in his start. He gave up two hits and two walks, but struck out five. Zach Featherstone continues to dominate. He pitched in three games and had a hold and two saves. In four innings, he struck out seven and didn’t allow a run. Tyler Watson gave up only an unearned run over his five innings in his start. Erik Manoah, Jr., struck out eight batters in 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Obviously when the team played just three games, it’s hard to make too much out of anything. Charlie Mack played in one of the three games, and he went 3-for-4. Keoni Cavaco hit a home run in the game he played. Ruben Santana went 5-for-10 with a double and a walk (1.145 OPS). Sawyer Gipson-Long was the league’s pitcher of the week. In his start, he went seven innings and gave up just an unearned run on three hits and a walk. He struck out nine batters. Bobby Milaci tossed three perfect innings and struck out three batters. FCL Twins Emmanuel Rodriguez had just two hits in nine at bats, but both were home runs. LaRon Smith went 4-for-8 (.500) with his fourth homer of the season. Kala’i Rosario went 6-for-16 (.375) with three walks, a double and a triple. Samuel Perez tossed six innings of one-hit baseball this past week. He struck out eight batters. Ramon Pineda struck out four batters in four scoreless innings… and his brother didn’t get traded. Giovahniey German threw three innings and gave up just one hit while striking out three batters. Juan Mendez gave up just one hit over 3 2/3 scoreless innings. ; LOWLIGHTS Weekly Reminder: We are talking about very small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints Damek Tomscha went 1-for-12 (.083) over four games. JT Riddle was 2-for-14 (.143). In his start on Sunday, Chandler Shepherd again took one for the team. In four innings, he gave up eight runs on 11 hits. Wichita Wind Surge Roy Morales went 3-for-17 (.176). Ernie De La Trinidad went 2-for-13 (.154) over four games. Trey Cabbage went 3-for-16 (.188) with ten strikeouts. Chris Vallimont had a tough two-start week. He gave up 11 runs (10 earned) on 10 hits and eight walks in 8 1/3 innings. Byran Sammons gave up seven earned runs on five hits and four walks in four innings in his start. Jordan Balazovic went 3 1/3 innings in his start and gave up seven runs (6 earned) on six hits and four walks. Cedar Rapids Kernels Seth Gray went 4-for-26 (.154) with 12 strikeouts. Tyler Palm gave up five runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. He was replacing Cody Laweryson who gave up three runs in just 2/3 of an inning before leaving with an apparent injury. The good news is that he is on the schedule to make another start this week. Ft. Myers Might Mussels The lowlight was simply that the team played just three games up in Clearwater because of a COVID situation by their opponent. Games Friday through Sunday were canceled. TRENDING STORYLINE For this week, let’s use this section to ask our readers a couple of questions. Leave your responses or comments below. #1a. Who is the Twins top position player prospect? It would appear that it is a choice between Austin Martin and Royce Lewis, but has Jose Miranda done enough to put himself into that conversation? #1b. Who is the Twins top pitching prospect? This one is pretty challenging. In our preseason rankings, Jhoan Duran was ahead of Jordan Balazovic. Is it one of them? Does either Simeon Woods-Richardson or Joe Ryan enter the conversation? How about Matt Canterino? Maybe even Josh Winder? PROSPECT SUMMARY We have now updated this Prospect Summary to show our Midseason Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings… #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 11 GS, 52.2 IP, 47 H, 19 BB, 64 K, 3.59 ERA, 1.25 WHIP #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4 GS, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 35 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP (went on the IL with right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 76 games, .347/.410/.612 (1.022) with 18 doubles, 22 homers, 62 RBI, 30 BB, 48 K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 43 games, .264/.344/.362 (.706) with 6 doubles, 2 triple, 2 homers, 20 RBI, 18 BB, 52 K, 6 SB #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (1 game, .400/.400/1.000 (1.400) with 1 homer, 0 BB, 1 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 71 games, .185/.370/.290 (.660) with 13 doubles, 4 homers, 26 RBI, 66 BB, 97 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 26 games, .330/.381/.680 (1.060) with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 9 homers, 20 RBI, 7 BB, 41 K. #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (11 GS, 47.1 IP, 46 H, 14 BB, 51 K, 4.94 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 10 G, 9 GS, 39.2 IP, 27 H, 19 BB, 53 K, 2.72 ERA, 1.16 WHIP #14 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (16 games, .197/.258/.443 (700) with 3 doubles, 4 homers, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 20 K) #15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 67 games, .203/.303/.299 (602) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 3 homer, 43 RBI, 35 BB, 56 K, 11 SB) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 73 games, .257/.371/.504 (.874) with 10 doubles, 2 triples, 18 homers, 44 RBI, 45 BB, 63 K) #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 71 games, .226/.279/.420 (.700) with 12 doubles, 8 triples, 9 homers, 38 RBI, 18 BB, 102 K) #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (injured) #19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 14 GS, 59.1 IP, 56 H, 36 BB, 94 K, 4.85 ERA, 1.55 WHIP LOOKING AHEAD Dunedin @ Ft. Myers (Casey Legumina, Sean Mooney, Landon Leach, Bobby Milacki, TBD, Sawyer Gipson-Long): Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids:(Jon Olsen, Tyler Watson, Ben Gross, Louie Varland, Tyler Beck Cody Laweryson) Midland @ Wichita: (Cole Sands, Bryan Sammons, Jordan Balazovic, Chris Vallimont, Austin Schulfer, Cole Sands) Louisville @ St. Paul: (Matt Shoemaker, Andrew Albers, Drew Strotman, TBD, TBD, Matt Shoemaker): Feel free to ask any questions you like.
  18. The poor FCL Twins are just struggling to find wins this season, but all four full-season affiliates are over .500 on their season as they are about to cross 80 games played. See which players had a strong week, and how the top prospects are performing. Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the FCL Twins game on Monday. There were no transactions announced on Monday. FCL Twins Talk FCL Twins 0, FCL Pirates Black 3 Box Score On Monday, the FCL Twins fell to 6-18 despite a nice start from a rehabbing Lewis Thorpe. The lefty from Australia tossed three scoreless, hitless innings. He walked one and struck out four batters. Danny Moreno came up a run in the fourth on a hit and two walks. Matt Mullenbach gave up two runs (1 earned) on three hits in 1 2/3 innings. Cole Bellair got the final four outs, two on strikeouts. The Twins managed just four hits in the game. Yonardy Soto’s double was the lone extra-base hit. With that, let’s look at Week 13 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (3-3, hosting Indianapolis), overall (40-37) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (3-3, @ NW Arkansas), overall (44-34) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, @ Wisconsin), overall (44-34) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (1-2,@ Clearwater), overall (40-35) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-4), overall (6-18) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: Second Half Success Scouting Twins Prospects: Jose Miranda Tuesday: Everybody Hits, Sometimes… Wednesday: Bombas Across the Board Thursday: Saints Hold Serve Twins Prospect Joe Ryan Excels in Olympic Debut Twins Acquire Austin Martin and Simeon Woods-Richardson Twins Acquire Evan Sisk Twins Claim Edgar Garcia off Waivers Twins Acquire Alex Scherff Friday: You Win Some, You Lose Some, Sometimes There’s COVID 5 Things to Know About Twins Deadline Centerpiece Austin Martin The Twins Have Got to Make Their Loaded Farm System Count 5 Things To Know About Twins Pitcher Simeon Woods-Richardson Saturday: A New Prospect Approaches Twins Minor League Hitter of the Month - July 2021 Sunday: Tyler Beck Dazzles for Kernels, Surge Win a Thriller Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month - July 2021 HIGHLIGHTS We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 13 performances Twins Player of the Week: Michael Helman, Cedar Rapids Kernels Helman played in six games last week for the Kernels and hit .435/.500/.652 (1.152) with a triple and a home run in 26 plate appearances. In 71 games this season, he has hit .237/.333/.420 (.754) with 13 doubles and ten home runs. At least twice this season, Helman has ended a game in walk-off fashion. Helman was the Twins 11th round pick in 2018 out of Texas A&M. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels It has been a breakout year for St. Paul native and Concordia University alum Louie Varland. He began the season dominating in Ft. Myers, and after throwing five shutout innings this week for the Kernels, he has begun his Cedar Rapids tenure with 16 scoreless innings. He was the Twins choice for Pitcher of the Week, and he was Twins Daily’s choice for Starting Pitcher of the Month for July. Click the link for more information on the hard-throwing right-hander. Other Strong Performances this Week St. Paul Saints Jimmy Kerrigan was named the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Month, and he ended it with a strong week. In six games, he hit .391/.423/.696 (1.119) with a double and two home runs. Rob Refsnyder played four rehab games. He hit .500/.600/1.063 (1.663) with three doubles and two homers. Keon Broxton played four games and hit .333/.412/.800 (1.212) with a double and two homers. Jose Miranda played five games and hit .409/.480/.636 (1.116) with two doubles and a homer. On the mound, Matt Shoemaker tossed seven shutout innings in his start. He gave up just two hits, walked two and struck out six batters. Rob Whalen returned and tossed two perfect innings over two games. In his start last Tuesday, Chandler Shepherd gave up two hits over seven scoreless innings. Wichita Wind Surge Spencer Steer had been struggling in Wichita since his promotion, other than home runs. In five games last week, he hit .444/.565/1.056 (1.621) with three doubles, a triple and two home runs. BJ Boyd played all six games and hit .429/.448/.679 (1.127) with a double and two home runs. DJ Burt played in four games and hit .357/.550/.500 (1.050) with two doubles. Chris Williams hit .357 and had a double and a home run. Chris Nunn made his Twins organizational debut this week. He struck out seven batters in 3 2/3 innings over two games. Cedar Rapids Kernels Yunior Severino was promoted to the Kernels and in his five games, he hit .412/.524/.647 (1.171) with four doubles and four walks. Matt Wallner played in five games. He hit .304/.304/.783 (1.087) with two doubles and three home runs. Edouard Julien hit just .217, but he posted a .976 OPS because his five hits included two doubles and three home runs. Tyler Beck tossed five scoreless innings in his start. He gave up two hits and two walks, but struck out five. Zach Featherstone continues to dominate. He pitched in three games and had a hold and two saves. In four innings, he struck out seven and didn’t allow a run. Tyler Watson gave up only an unearned run over his five innings in his start. Erik Manoah, Jr., struck out eight batters in 3 2/3 scoreless innings. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Obviously when the team played just three games, it’s hard to make too much out of anything. Charlie Mack played in one of the three games, and he went 3-for-4. Keoni Cavaco hit a home run in the game he played. Ruben Santana went 5-for-10 with a double and a walk (1.145 OPS). Sawyer Gipson-Long was the league’s pitcher of the week. In his start, he went seven innings and gave up just an unearned run on three hits and a walk. He struck out nine batters. Bobby Milaci tossed three perfect innings and struck out three batters. FCL Twins Emmanuel Rodriguez had just two hits in nine at bats, but both were home runs. LaRon Smith went 4-for-8 (.500) with his fourth homer of the season. Kala’i Rosario went 6-for-16 (.375) with three walks, a double and a triple. Samuel Perez tossed six innings of one-hit baseball this past week. He struck out eight batters. Ramon Pineda struck out four batters in four scoreless innings… and his brother didn’t get traded. Giovahniey German threw three innings and gave up just one hit while striking out three batters. Juan Mendez gave up just one hit over 3 2/3 scoreless innings. ; LOWLIGHTS Weekly Reminder: We are talking about very small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints Damek Tomscha went 1-for-12 (.083) over four games. JT Riddle was 2-for-14 (.143). In his start on Sunday, Chandler Shepherd again took one for the team. In four innings, he gave up eight runs on 11 hits. Wichita Wind Surge Roy Morales went 3-for-17 (.176). Ernie De La Trinidad went 2-for-13 (.154) over four games. Trey Cabbage went 3-for-16 (.188) with ten strikeouts. Chris Vallimont had a tough two-start week. He gave up 11 runs (10 earned) on 10 hits and eight walks in 8 1/3 innings. Byran Sammons gave up seven earned runs on five hits and four walks in four innings in his start. Jordan Balazovic went 3 1/3 innings in his start and gave up seven runs (6 earned) on six hits and four walks. Cedar Rapids Kernels Seth Gray went 4-for-26 (.154) with 12 strikeouts. Tyler Palm gave up five runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. He was replacing Cody Laweryson who gave up three runs in just 2/3 of an inning before leaving with an apparent injury. The good news is that he is on the schedule to make another start this week. Ft. Myers Might Mussels The lowlight was simply that the team played just three games up in Clearwater because of a COVID situation by their opponent. Games Friday through Sunday were canceled. TRENDING STORYLINE For this week, let’s use this section to ask our readers a couple of questions. Leave your responses or comments below. #1a. Who is the Twins top position player prospect? It would appear that it is a choice between Austin Martin and Royce Lewis, but has Jose Miranda done enough to put himself into that conversation? #1b. Who is the Twins top pitching prospect? This one is pretty challenging. In our preseason rankings, Jhoan Duran was ahead of Jordan Balazovic. Is it one of them? Does either Simeon Woods-Richardson or Joe Ryan enter the conversation? How about Matt Canterino? Maybe even Josh Winder? PROSPECT SUMMARY We have now updated this Prospect Summary to show our Midseason Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings… #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 11 GS, 52.2 IP, 47 H, 19 BB, 64 K, 3.59 ERA, 1.25 WHIP #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4 GS, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 35 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP (went on the IL with right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 76 games, .347/.410/.612 (1.022) with 18 doubles, 22 homers, 62 RBI, 30 BB, 48 K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 43 games, .264/.344/.362 (.706) with 6 doubles, 2 triple, 2 homers, 20 RBI, 18 BB, 52 K, 6 SB #7 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), St. Paul (1 game, .400/.400/1.000 (1.400) with 1 homer, 0 BB, 1 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 71 games, .185/.370/.290 (.660) with 13 doubles, 4 homers, 26 RBI, 66 BB, 97 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 26 games, .330/.381/.680 (1.060) with 5 doubles, 2 triples, 9 homers, 20 RBI, 7 BB, 41 K. #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (11 GS, 47.1 IP, 46 H, 14 BB, 51 K, 4.94 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 10 G, 9 GS, 39.2 IP, 27 H, 19 BB, 53 K, 2.72 ERA, 1.16 WHIP #14 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (16 games, .197/.258/.443 (700) with 3 doubles, 4 homers, 5 RBI, 4 BB, 20 K) #15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 67 games, .203/.303/.299 (602) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 3 homer, 43 RBI, 35 BB, 56 K, 11 SB) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 73 games, .257/.371/.504 (.874) with 10 doubles, 2 triples, 18 homers, 44 RBI, 45 BB, 63 K) #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 71 games, .226/.279/.420 (.700) with 12 doubles, 8 triples, 9 homers, 38 RBI, 18 BB, 102 K) #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (injured) #19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 14 GS, 59.1 IP, 56 H, 36 BB, 94 K, 4.85 ERA, 1.55 WHIP LOOKING AHEAD Dunedin @ Ft. Myers (Casey Legumina, Sean Mooney, Landon Leach, Bobby Milacki, TBD, Sawyer Gipson-Long): Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids:(Jon Olsen, Tyler Watson, Ben Gross, Louie Varland, Tyler Beck Cody Laweryson) Midland @ Wichita: (Cole Sands, Bryan Sammons, Jordan Balazovic, Chris Vallimont, Austin Schulfer, Cole Sands) Louisville @ St. Paul: (Matt Shoemaker, Andrew Albers, Drew Strotman, TBD, TBD, Matt Shoemaker): Feel free to ask any questions you like. View full article
  19. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Four Starters for July, there were some other solid starting performers that just missed the cut. Let’s discuss the top starting pitchers in the organization in July. HONORABLE MENTION RHP Ben Gross - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 3 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 14 H, 4 BB, 25 K RHP Jordan Balazovic - Wichita Wind Surge - 5 GS, 28.1 IP, 2.86 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 21 H, 11 BB, 31 K. THE TOP FOUR STARTING PITCHERS #4 - RHP Giovahniey German - FCL Twins - 5 GS, 16.2 IP, 1.62 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 9 H, 7 BB, 19 K German was born in Massachusetts but grew up in the Dominican Republic. The Twins signed him as a 16-year-old in 2017. He spent two seasons in the DSL. After missing the 2020 season, He came to the States this spring and was placed on the FCL Twins roster. His first start was June 28th and he gave up four earned runs in four innings. In his first start of July, he gave up three earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. Since then, he has tossed 13 1/3 innings and only allowed an unearned run. In his July 13th start, he tossed five no-hit innings and allowed two walks. #3 - LHP Aaron Rozek - FCL Twins/Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels/Wichita Wind Surge - 5 G, 2 GS, 22.0 IP, 1.64 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 16 H, 2 BB, 29 K Rozek grew up a Twins fan in Burnsville. After high school, he went to Minnesota State-Mankato. He redshirted and then pitched four seasons for the Mavericks. He also played in the Northwoods League during his summers. He went undrafted in 2018 and has played independent baseball since. Until, that is, the Twins signed him in June. It’s been an interesting month. After two appearances in the FCL, including five shutout innings on July 3rd in which he struck out 11, he was moved to the Double-A Wichita Wind Surge. He pitched three scoreless innings in relief and recorded a Win. He was then sent to Ft. Myers where he has pitched three times. He tossed five scoreless innings in his first start there and ended the month with a two-inning scoreless outing. The lefty rarely, if ever, touches 90 on a radar gun, but he mixes things up well to keep hitters off balance. #2 - LHP Tyler Watson - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 3 GS, 19.0 IP, 0.47 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 11 H, 7 BB, 17 K Watson spent most of the season’s first month in a piggybacking role, either starting and working three innings or coming on after the starting and working three innings. In June, he worked mostly as a more traditional relief pitcher, working two innings or less. His final appearance of June was a four-inning start, and his four outings in July were all either four or five innings. His non-start, he came into the game in the second inning and pitched until the seventh inning. On the month, he gave up just two earned runs. He limited base runners. He was very good. Overall this season, the former Nationals prospect is 2-1 with a 1.68 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is (Drumroll, please...) Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels/Cedar Rapids Kernels - RHP Louie Varland - 5 GS, 27.0 IP, 1.00 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 20 H, 8 BB, 36 K Louie Varland was a star on the diamond and on the wrestling mat in his years at North St. Paul High School. He stayed home and pitched for three years at Concordia University in St. Paul, the first two years with his brother Gus. Gus was the 14th round pick of the Oakland A’s in 2018. He was traded to the Dodgers earlier this year. Louie was the 15th round pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2019. He pitched in just three games that summer for Elizabethton. He used the 2020 summer to get healthy, get stronger and gain velocity, and he did just that, hitting 100 mph on a radar gun before spring training. But for now, the intent for Varland is to be a starter, and he’s been fantastic. He began the season with Ft. Myers where he went 4-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 10 games. In 47 1/3 innings, he walked 16 and struck out 76 batters. He made two July starts in Ft. Myers, but mid-month, he was promoted to HIgh-A Cedar Rapids. He has made three starts for the Kernels so far and is yet to allow a run. In 16 innings, he has given up just eight hits, walked seven and struck out 17 batters. His best start was in Cedar Rapids against Beloit when he gave up one hit and struck out nine batters in five scoreless innings. Overall this season, the 23-year-old is 5-2 with a 1.56 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. In 63 1/3 innings, he has walked 23 and struck out 93 batters. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of July, Cedar Rapids RHP Louie Varland.
  20. After taking a look at the top hitters in the Twins minor leagues in July yesterday, let’s take a look at who the top starting pitchers in the organization were. There were certainly some strong candidates for the top spot. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Four Starters for July, there were some other solid starting performers that just missed the cut. Let’s discuss the top starting pitchers in the organization in July. HONORABLE MENTION RHP Ben Gross - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 3 GS, 21.0 IP, 2.14 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 14 H, 4 BB, 25 K RHP Jordan Balazovic - Wichita Wind Surge - 5 GS, 28.1 IP, 2.86 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 21 H, 11 BB, 31 K. THE TOP FOUR STARTING PITCHERS #4 - RHP Giovahniey German - FCL Twins - 5 GS, 16.2 IP, 1.62 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 9 H, 7 BB, 19 K German was born in Massachusetts but grew up in the Dominican Republic. The Twins signed him as a 16-year-old in 2017. He spent two seasons in the DSL. After missing the 2020 season, He came to the States this spring and was placed on the FCL Twins roster. His first start was June 28th and he gave up four earned runs in four innings. In his first start of July, he gave up three earned runs in 3 1/3 innings. Since then, he has tossed 13 1/3 innings and only allowed an unearned run. In his July 13th start, he tossed five no-hit innings and allowed two walks. #3 - LHP Aaron Rozek - FCL Twins/Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels/Wichita Wind Surge - 5 G, 2 GS, 22.0 IP, 1.64 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 16 H, 2 BB, 29 K Rozek grew up a Twins fan in Burnsville. After high school, he went to Minnesota State-Mankato. He redshirted and then pitched four seasons for the Mavericks. He also played in the Northwoods League during his summers. He went undrafted in 2018 and has played independent baseball since. Until, that is, the Twins signed him in June. It’s been an interesting month. After two appearances in the FCL, including five shutout innings on July 3rd in which he struck out 11, he was moved to the Double-A Wichita Wind Surge. He pitched three scoreless innings in relief and recorded a Win. He was then sent to Ft. Myers where he has pitched three times. He tossed five scoreless innings in his first start there and ended the month with a two-inning scoreless outing. The lefty rarely, if ever, touches 90 on a radar gun, but he mixes things up well to keep hitters off balance. #2 - LHP Tyler Watson - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 4 G, 3 GS, 19.0 IP, 0.47 ERA, 0.95 WHIP, 11 H, 7 BB, 17 K Watson spent most of the season’s first month in a piggybacking role, either starting and working three innings or coming on after the starting and working three innings. In June, he worked mostly as a more traditional relief pitcher, working two innings or less. His final appearance of June was a four-inning start, and his four outings in July were all either four or five innings. His non-start, he came into the game in the second inning and pitched until the seventh inning. On the month, he gave up just two earned runs. He limited base runners. He was very good. Overall this season, the former Nationals prospect is 2-1 with a 1.68 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP. And the Twins Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month is (Drumroll, please...) Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels/Cedar Rapids Kernels - RHP Louie Varland - 5 GS, 27.0 IP, 1.00 ERA, 1.04 WHIP, 20 H, 8 BB, 36 K Louie Varland was a star on the diamond and on the wrestling mat in his years at North St. Paul High School. He stayed home and pitched for three years at Concordia University in St. Paul, the first two years with his brother Gus. Gus was the 14th round pick of the Oakland A’s in 2018. He was traded to the Dodgers earlier this year. Louie was the 15th round pick of the Minnesota Twins in 2019. He pitched in just three games that summer for Elizabethton. He used the 2020 summer to get healthy, get stronger and gain velocity, and he did just that, hitting 100 mph on a radar gun before spring training. But for now, the intent for Varland is to be a starter, and he’s been fantastic. He began the season with Ft. Myers where he went 4-2 with a 2.09 ERA in 10 games. In 47 1/3 innings, he walked 16 and struck out 76 batters. He made two July starts in Ft. Myers, but mid-month, he was promoted to HIgh-A Cedar Rapids. He has made three starts for the Kernels so far and is yet to allow a run. In 16 innings, he has given up just eight hits, walked seven and struck out 17 batters. His best start was in Cedar Rapids against Beloit when he gave up one hit and struck out nine batters in five scoreless innings. Overall this season, the 23-year-old is 5-2 with a 1.56 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. In 63 1/3 innings, he has walked 23 and struck out 93 batters. Congratulations to our Twins Daily Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month of July, Cedar Rapids RHP Louie Varland. View full article
  21. We are officially past the halfway point in the minor league season. By the next time we provide a Week in Review, the trade deadline will have passed, we will post our July minor league awards, and it is likely the Twins will add more prospects to the organization. . Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the Transactions and the FCL Twins game on Monday: Infielder Yunior Severino was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. Right-Handed Pitcher Cole Bellair was sent from Ft. Myers to the Complex. FCL Twins Talk On Monday, the FCL Twins game against the FCL Orioles Black was suspended in the first inning. With that, let’s look at Week 12 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (4-2, @ Omaha), overall (37-34) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (4-2, @ Arkansas), overall (41-31) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, hosting Beloit), overall (40-32) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (3-3, hosting Daytona), overall (39-33) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-4), overall (5-14) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT... Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: All Four Teams Over .500 Tuesday: Balazovic Extends Scoreless Streak Wednesday: Dingers Galore, Nick Vincent Shines Thursday: Little Bit of Everything One Prospect the Twins Should be Willing to Trade Friday: Close Games Across the Board Twins Minor League Pitching Report: Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman Finding Hope for a 2022 Bullpen Saturday: Some Strong Corn Sunday: Fantastic Feliz! This Saints Outfielder is Making his Mark Highlights We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 12 performances Twins Player of the Week: Trey Cabbage, Wichita Wind Surge Trey Cabbage was the Twins choice for Hitter of the Week. He played in all six games for the Wind Surge. He hit .304/.320/.652 (.972) with two doubles and two home runs. Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Tennessee. He began the season in High-A Cedar Rapids. In 40 games, he hit .266/.342/.538 (.880) with 10 doubles and nine home runs. In 25 games for Wichita, he has hit .231/.317/.451 (.768) with five doubles and five more home runs. His 15 doubles this season is fifth in the Twins system, and his 14 homers ranks fourth. His 49 RBI ranks third in the organization this year. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels In his second start with the Kernels, Varland tossed five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit, walked two and struck out nine batters. In his first start for Cedar Rapids, he threw six shutout innings. Overall this year, he is 4-2 with a 1.70 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. In 58 1/3 innings, he has walked 20 and struck out 90 batters. Varland, who has a diploma from North St. Paul High School, was the Twins 15th round pick in 2019 out of Concordia University in St. Paul. His brother Gus Varland pitches for Tulsa, the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Highlights St. Paul Saints It’s the highlights list, so of course Jose Miranda needs to be here. In six games last week, he hit .321/.345/.714 (1.059) with two doubles, three homers and six RBI. Roberto Pena doesn’t play a ton, but he went 3-for-9 with a double and a homer. He also walked three times. Jimmy Kerrigan played in five games and hit .300/.533/.800 (1.333) with two doubles, a homer and five walks. Andrew Albers gave up one run on six hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six batters. Chandler Shepherd gave up one runover five innings in his outing. He struck out six as well. Andrew Vasquez came out of the Saints’ bullpen three times and recorded seven outs, three on strikeouts. Wichita Wind Surge Along with Cabbage, the Wind Surge’s top performers last week were hitters signed to minor league contracts before or during the season. Catcher/First Baseman Roy Morales played in all six games and hit .500/.571/.636 (1.208) with a double, a triple and five walks. Jermaine Palacios was limited to three games, but he hit .308/.357/.769 (1.126) with two home runs. DJ Burt played four games and went 8-for-15 (.533) with a double and a triple. Adam Lau made a spot start for the Wind Surge. He went 3 2/3 scoreless innings and gave up just one hit and walk. He struck out six. Continuing his return to the mound, Cole Sands struck out four batters over three shutout innings. Chris Vallimont was very good in his start. He tossed six scoreless innings, gave up three hits, three walks and struck out eight batters. On Tuesday, Jordan Balazovic tossed seven shutout innings to extend his streak to 25 2/3 consecutive scoreless frames. He wasn’t as strong in his second start of the week. He gave up three runs on five hits and five walks in five innings. Cedar Rapids Kernels The highlight of the week for the Kernels, at least from a Twins/Player Development standpoint, has to be the return of Matt Wallner from his hamate bone injury. He played in five games and hit .278/.381/.611 (.992) with two home runs. Gabriel Maciel played in four games and hit .500/.571/.583 (1.155) with a double and three big RBI. Kyle Schmidt played in three games and went 5-for-11 (.455). Along with Louie Varland, the Kernels had some really good starts. Ben Gross struck out eight batters in five shutout innings. Jon Olsen gave up just three hits over 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Cody Laweryson and Tyler Watson both gave up one run on three hits in their five-inning starts. The sixth Kernels starter, Tyler Beck gave up two runs (and struck out seven batters) in five innings. Melvi Acosta struck out six batters in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up only an unearned run. Zach Featherstone struck out six batters in 2 2/3 one-hit innings. Erik Manoah struck out five batters in three no-hit innings. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Charlie Mack played in five games last week. He hit .333/.429/.500 (.929) with three walks, a homer and four RBI. Jesus Feliz posted an .807 OPS, but he also provided the team with a walk-off homer on Sunday. Lefty Zarion Sharpe had his best start. He gave up two hits over five shutout innings. He struck out five. Sawyer Gipson-Long had a Quality Start. He gave up two runs on six hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out 11 batters. Denny Bentley pitched in three games. He got a Win and two Saves. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up one hit, walked three and struck out seven batters. FCL Twins Luis Baez went 6-for-15 (.400) with a double and a triple last week. Alexander Pena went 5-for-11 (.455) with a double. LaRon Smith, Malfrin Sosa, Argenis Jimenez and Kala’i Rosario each hit a home run. Develson Aria and Juan Mendez each tossed three scoreless innings. Aria struck out six and gave up only one hit. Lowlights We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints It has certainly been a struggle of late for JT Riddle. He played all six games last week, but went just 1-for-19 (.053). Ian Hamilton has been fantastic for the Saints for a couple of months, but he had a rough week. He came into three games and was charged with four runs on one hit and four walks. That said, he also was 2-for-2 in Save Opportunities. Yennier Cano gave up five runs (4 earned) on nine hits over just 3 2/3 innings. Wichita Wind Surge Last week, we highlighted catcher Chris Williams. This week, he only played twice and went 0-for-8 with five strikeouts. Aaron Whitefield went 2-for-17 (.118, .308 OPS). Spencer Steer went 3-for-22 (.136) with a homer (.409 OPS). Bryan Sammons gave up four runs on two hits and four walks in three innings in his appearance. Joe Kuzia made one appearance and gave up three runs on two hits, a walk and a hit batter in just 2/3 of an innings. Cedar Rapids Kernels A lot of Kernels struggled at the plate last week. Wander Javier went 2-for-20 (.100) with eight strikeouts. Edouard Julien went 2-for-24 (.083) with 11 strikeouts. Max Smith went 1-for-11 (.091). DaShawn Keirsey went 1-for-12 (.083). Luis Rijo made one appearance out of the bullpen. In 1 2/3 innings, he gave up four runs on five hits and a walk. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Justin Washington played four games and went 1-for-12 (.083). Willie Joe Garry was hitless in 14 at bats, but he did walk five times for a .300 on-base percentage. Keoni Cavaco played in four games in his return to the lineup after missing a week. He went 3-for-19 (.158) with eight strikeouts. Aaron Sabato went 2-for-16 (.125) with ten strikeouts in five games. He did walk seven times and had an on-base percentage of .391. Bobby Milacki gave up five runs (4 earned) on five hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Juan Pichardo gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk in two innings. FCL Twins 31-year-old lefty Sean Gilmartin pitched in 81 games in the big leagues from 2015 through 2020. The Twins signed him a few weeks ago, probably with the plan of getting him up to the Double-A or Triple-A level soon. In three games and 4 1/3 innings, he has given up nine runs (8 earned) on ten hits, two walk sand eight strikeouts. It’s been a tough season for righty from The Netherlands, Donny Breek. He pitched in four games with the Mighty Mussels earlier this year. He gave up 11 runs on six hits and 12 walks in just 3 2/3 innings. For the FCL Twins, he has now worked 1 2/3 innings and gave up nine runs (4 earned) on zero hits and seven walks. Overall, that’s a 25.31 ERA and a 4.69 WHIP in 5 1/3 innings. He’s given up six hits, walked 19, hit four and struck out three batters. Trending Storyline The trade deadline is Friday afternoon at three o’clock. The team has already made one trade, acquiring Triple-A right-handed pitchers Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman from the Rays for Nelson Cruz. There is a good chance that by the next time you read this, the Twins will have acquired several more prospect for us to research and discuss. Along with the draft picks that have signed, we may even be in need of a new prospect rankings. PROSPECT SUMMARY We have now updated this Prospect Summary to show our Midseason Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings… #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 10 GS, 49.1 IP, 41 H, 15 BB, 61 K, 2.74 ERA, 1.14 WHIP #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4 GS, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 35 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP (went on the IL with right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 71 games, .342/.405/.610 (1.015) with 16 doubles, 21 homers, 60 RBI, 28 BB, 43 K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 42 games, .264/.343/.346 (.689) with 6 doubles, 2 triple, 1 homer, 19 RBI, 18 BB, 52 K, 6 SB #7 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 70 games, .185/.370/.290 (.660) with 13 doubles, 4 homers, 26 RBI, 66 BB, 97 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 24 games, .322/.380/.600 (.980) with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 6 homers, 16 RBI, 7 BB, 36 K. #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (10 GS, 43.1 IP, 42 H, 13 BB, 45 K, 5.19 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 9 GS, 36.2 IP, 25 H, 18 BB, 49 K, 2.45 ERA, 1.17 WHIP #14 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (12 games, .136/.191/.386 (375) with 2 double, 3 homers, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 18 K) #15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 64 games, .208/.310/.308 (618) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 3 homer, 42 RBI, 34 BB, 56 K, 10 SB) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 68 games, .244/.356/.465 (.821) with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 16 homers, 37 RBI, 42 BB, 59 K) #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 66 games, .215/.274/.400 (.674) with 11 doubles, 5 triples, 9 homers, 36 RBI, 18 BB, 96 K) #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (injured) #19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 12 GS, 51.0 IP, 46 H, 28 BB, 82 K, 3.88 ERA, 1.45 WHIP LOOKING AHEAD Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (Sawyer Gipson-Long, Brent Headrick, Landon Leach, TBD, TBD): Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin:(Louie Varland, Jon Olsen, Tyler Watson, Ben Gross, Cody Laweryson, Tyler Beck) Wichita @ NW Arkansas: (Chris Vallimont (Cole Sands), Austin Schulfer, Bryan Sammons, Jordan Balazovic, TBD, Chris Vallimont) Indianapolis @ St. Paul: (Beau Burrows, Charlie Barnes, Matt Shoemaker, Griffin Jax, Drew Strotman, Beau Burrows): Feel free to ask any questions you like. View full article
  22. Be sure to read Nick’s Twins Week in Review from yesterday, and then jump into the minor league week. Before we get started, let’s check out the Transactions and the FCL Twins game on Monday: Infielder Yunior Severino was promoted from Ft. Myers to Cedar Rapids. Right-Handed Pitcher Cole Bellair was sent from Ft. Myers to the Complex. FCL Twins Talk On Monday, the FCL Twins game against the FCL Orioles Black was suspended in the first inning. With that, let’s look at Week 12 in the Twins minor leagues: RESULTS Triple-A: St. Paul Saints: Week (4-2, @ Omaha), overall (37-34) Double-A: Wichita Wind Surge: Week (4-2, @ Arkansas), overall (41-31) High-A: Cedar Rapids Kernels: Week (4-2, hosting Beloit), overall (40-32) Low-A: Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels: Week (3-3, hosting Daytona), overall (39-33) Complex League FCL Twins: Week (1-4), overall (5-14) IN CASE YOU MISSED IT... Here are the week’s Twins minor league-related articles. Twins Minor League Week in Review: All Four Teams Over .500 Tuesday: Balazovic Extends Scoreless Streak Wednesday: Dingers Galore, Nick Vincent Shines Thursday: Little Bit of Everything One Prospect the Twins Should be Willing to Trade Friday: Close Games Across the Board Twins Minor League Pitching Report: Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman Finding Hope for a 2022 Bullpen Saturday: Some Strong Corn Sunday: Fantastic Feliz! This Saints Outfielder is Making his Mark Highlights We will start with the Twins choices for the organizational hitter and pitcher of the week, and then mention several other Twins prospects who had good Week 12 performances Twins Player of the Week: Trey Cabbage, Wichita Wind Surge Trey Cabbage was the Twins choice for Hitter of the Week. He played in all six games for the Wind Surge. He hit .304/.320/.652 (.972) with two doubles and two home runs. Cabbage was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Tennessee. He began the season in High-A Cedar Rapids. In 40 games, he hit .266/.342/.538 (.880) with 10 doubles and nine home runs. In 25 games for Wichita, he has hit .231/.317/.451 (.768) with five doubles and five more home runs. His 15 doubles this season is fifth in the Twins system, and his 14 homers ranks fourth. His 49 RBI ranks third in the organization this year. Twins Pitcher of the Week: Louie Varland, Cedar Rapids Kernels In his second start with the Kernels, Varland tossed five scoreless innings. He gave up just one hit, walked two and struck out nine batters. In his first start for Cedar Rapids, he threw six shutout innings. Overall this year, he is 4-2 with a 1.70 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. In 58 1/3 innings, he has walked 20 and struck out 90 batters. Varland, who has a diploma from North St. Paul High School, was the Twins 15th round pick in 2019 out of Concordia University in St. Paul. His brother Gus Varland pitches for Tulsa, the Double-A affiliate of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Highlights St. Paul Saints It’s the highlights list, so of course Jose Miranda needs to be here. In six games last week, he hit .321/.345/.714 (1.059) with two doubles, three homers and six RBI. Roberto Pena doesn’t play a ton, but he went 3-for-9 with a double and a homer. He also walked three times. Jimmy Kerrigan played in five games and hit .300/.533/.800 (1.333) with two doubles, a homer and five walks. Andrew Albers gave up one run on six hits and a walk over 5 2/3 innings. He struck out six batters. Chandler Shepherd gave up one runover five innings in his outing. He struck out six as well. Andrew Vasquez came out of the Saints’ bullpen three times and recorded seven outs, three on strikeouts. Wichita Wind Surge Along with Cabbage, the Wind Surge’s top performers last week were hitters signed to minor league contracts before or during the season. Catcher/First Baseman Roy Morales played in all six games and hit .500/.571/.636 (1.208) with a double, a triple and five walks. Jermaine Palacios was limited to three games, but he hit .308/.357/.769 (1.126) with two home runs. DJ Burt played four games and went 8-for-15 (.533) with a double and a triple. Adam Lau made a spot start for the Wind Surge. He went 3 2/3 scoreless innings and gave up just one hit and walk. He struck out six. Continuing his return to the mound, Cole Sands struck out four batters over three shutout innings. Chris Vallimont was very good in his start. He tossed six scoreless innings, gave up three hits, three walks and struck out eight batters. On Tuesday, Jordan Balazovic tossed seven shutout innings to extend his streak to 25 2/3 consecutive scoreless frames. He wasn’t as strong in his second start of the week. He gave up three runs on five hits and five walks in five innings. Cedar Rapids Kernels The highlight of the week for the Kernels, at least from a Twins/Player Development standpoint, has to be the return of Matt Wallner from his hamate bone injury. He played in five games and hit .278/.381/.611 (.992) with two home runs. Gabriel Maciel played in four games and hit .500/.571/.583 (1.155) with a double and three big RBI. Kyle Schmidt played in three games and went 5-for-11 (.455). Along with Louie Varland, the Kernels had some really good starts. Ben Gross struck out eight batters in five shutout innings. Jon Olsen gave up just three hits over 5 1/3 scoreless innings. Cody Laweryson and Tyler Watson both gave up one run on three hits in their five-inning starts. The sixth Kernels starter, Tyler Beck gave up two runs (and struck out seven batters) in five innings. Melvi Acosta struck out six batters in 3 2/3 innings. He gave up only an unearned run. Zach Featherstone struck out six batters in 2 2/3 one-hit innings. Erik Manoah struck out five batters in three no-hit innings. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Charlie Mack played in five games last week. He hit .333/.429/.500 (.929) with three walks, a homer and four RBI. Jesus Feliz posted an .807 OPS, but he also provided the team with a walk-off homer on Sunday. Lefty Zarion Sharpe had his best start. He gave up two hits over five shutout innings. He struck out five. Sawyer Gipson-Long had a Quality Start. He gave up two runs on six hits over six innings. He walked two and struck out 11 batters. Denny Bentley pitched in three games. He got a Win and two Saves. In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up one hit, walked three and struck out seven batters. FCL Twins Luis Baez went 6-for-15 (.400) with a double and a triple last week. Alexander Pena went 5-for-11 (.455) with a double. LaRon Smith, Malfrin Sosa, Argenis Jimenez and Kala’i Rosario each hit a home run. Develson Aria and Juan Mendez each tossed three scoreless innings. Aria struck out six and gave up only one hit. Lowlights We are talking about small samples for these six-game weeks, so it’s important not to make any big decisions or develop a full impression on a player from this small size. It’s just a reminder of the fact that baseball is hard, and all players have good and bad stretches. St. Paul Saints It has certainly been a struggle of late for JT Riddle. He played all six games last week, but went just 1-for-19 (.053). Ian Hamilton has been fantastic for the Saints for a couple of months, but he had a rough week. He came into three games and was charged with four runs on one hit and four walks. That said, he also was 2-for-2 in Save Opportunities. Yennier Cano gave up five runs (4 earned) on nine hits over just 3 2/3 innings. Wichita Wind Surge Last week, we highlighted catcher Chris Williams. This week, he only played twice and went 0-for-8 with five strikeouts. Aaron Whitefield went 2-for-17 (.118, .308 OPS). Spencer Steer went 3-for-22 (.136) with a homer (.409 OPS). Bryan Sammons gave up four runs on two hits and four walks in three innings in his appearance. Joe Kuzia made one appearance and gave up three runs on two hits, a walk and a hit batter in just 2/3 of an innings. Cedar Rapids Kernels A lot of Kernels struggled at the plate last week. Wander Javier went 2-for-20 (.100) with eight strikeouts. Edouard Julien went 2-for-24 (.083) with 11 strikeouts. Max Smith went 1-for-11 (.091). DaShawn Keirsey went 1-for-12 (.083). Luis Rijo made one appearance out of the bullpen. In 1 2/3 innings, he gave up four runs on five hits and a walk. Ft. Myers Might Mussels Justin Washington played four games and went 1-for-12 (.083). Willie Joe Garry was hitless in 14 at bats, but he did walk five times for a .300 on-base percentage. Keoni Cavaco played in four games in his return to the lineup after missing a week. He went 3-for-19 (.158) with eight strikeouts. Aaron Sabato went 2-for-16 (.125) with ten strikeouts in five games. He did walk seven times and had an on-base percentage of .391. Bobby Milacki gave up five runs (4 earned) on five hits and two walks in 2 2/3 innings. Juan Pichardo gave up three runs on seven hits and a walk in two innings. FCL Twins 31-year-old lefty Sean Gilmartin pitched in 81 games in the big leagues from 2015 through 2020. The Twins signed him a few weeks ago, probably with the plan of getting him up to the Double-A or Triple-A level soon. In three games and 4 1/3 innings, he has given up nine runs (8 earned) on ten hits, two walk sand eight strikeouts. It’s been a tough season for righty from The Netherlands, Donny Breek. He pitched in four games with the Mighty Mussels earlier this year. He gave up 11 runs on six hits and 12 walks in just 3 2/3 innings. For the FCL Twins, he has now worked 1 2/3 innings and gave up nine runs (4 earned) on zero hits and seven walks. Overall, that’s a 25.31 ERA and a 4.69 WHIP in 5 1/3 innings. He’s given up six hits, walked 19, hit four and struck out three batters. Trending Storyline The trade deadline is Friday afternoon at three o’clock. The team has already made one trade, acquiring Triple-A right-handed pitchers Joe Ryan and Drew Strotman from the Rays for Nelson Cruz. There is a good chance that by the next time you read this, the Twins will have acquired several more prospect for us to research and discuss. Along with the draft picks that have signed, we may even be in need of a new prospect rankings. PROSPECT SUMMARY We have now updated this Prospect Summary to show our Midseason Twins Top 20 Prospect Rankings… #1 - Royce Lewis (Wichita) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #2 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – 5 G, 4 GS, 16.0 IP, 16 H, 13 BB, 22 K, 5.06 ERA, 1.81 WHIP (on IL with a right forearm strain) #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 10 GS, 49.1 IP, 41 H, 15 BB, 61 K, 2.74 ERA, 1.14 WHIP #4 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – 4 GS, 18.0 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 35 K, 1.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP (went on the IL with right elbow strain) #5 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 71 games, .342/.405/.610 (1.015) with 16 doubles, 21 homers, 60 RBI, 28 BB, 43 K #6 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 42 games, .264/.343/.346 (.689) with 6 doubles, 2 triple, 1 homer, 19 RBI, 18 BB, 52 K, 6 SB #7 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Wichita (21 games, .250/.344/.381 (.725) with 5 doubles, 2 homers. 11 BB, 24 K), Minnesota (22 games, .140/.183/.298 (.482) with 3 BB, 13 K) #8 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - 14 GS, 72.0 IP, 55 H, 13 BB, 80 K, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP #9 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 70 games, .185/.370/.290 (.660) with 13 doubles, 4 homers, 26 RBI, 66 BB, 97 K #10 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 24 games, .322/.380/.600 (.980) with 3 doubles, 2 triples, 6 homers, 16 RBI, 7 BB, 36 K. #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – 3 GS, 14.2 IP, 13 H, 6 BB, 23 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.30 WHIP (underwent Tommy John surgery on June 9th) #12 - Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – St. Paul (4 GS, 16.0 IP, 13 H, 5 BB, 21 K, 2.81 ERA, 1.13 WHIP), Minnesota (10 GS, 43.1 IP, 42 H, 13 BB, 45 K, 5.19 ERA, 1.27 WHIP) #13 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – 9 GS, 36.2 IP, 25 H, 18 BB, 49 K, 2.45 ERA, 1.17 WHIP #14 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – St. Paul (58 games, .239/.368/.566 (.934) with 8 doubles, 1 triple, 19 homers, 37 BB, 74 K), Minnesota (12 games, .136/.191/.386 (375) with 2 double, 3 homers, 4 RBI, 2 BB, 18 K) #15 - Misael Urbina (Ft. Myers) – 64 games, .208/.310/.308 (618) with 7 doubles, 4 triples, 3 homer, 42 RBI, 34 BB, 56 K, 10 SB) #16 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 68 games, .244/.356/.465 (.821) with 7 doubles, 1 triple, 16 homers, 37 RBI, 42 BB, 59 K) #17 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 66 games, .215/.274/.400 (.674) with 11 doubles, 5 triples, 9 homers, 36 RBI, 18 BB, 96 K) #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (injured) #19 - Edwar Colina (Minnesota) - 60-Day IL (had surgery on his right elbow to remove bone chips) #20 - Chris Vallimont (Wichita) - 12 GS, 51.0 IP, 46 H, 28 BB, 82 K, 3.88 ERA, 1.45 WHIP LOOKING AHEAD Ft. Myers @ Clearwater (Sawyer Gipson-Long, Brent Headrick, Landon Leach, TBD, TBD): Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin:(Louie Varland, Jon Olsen, Tyler Watson, Ben Gross, Cody Laweryson, Tyler Beck) Wichita @ NW Arkansas: (Chris Vallimont (Cole Sands), Austin Schulfer, Bryan Sammons, Jordan Balazovic, TBD, Chris Vallimont) Indianapolis @ St. Paul: (Beau Burrows, Charlie Barnes, Matt Shoemaker, Griffin Jax, Drew Strotman, Beau Burrows): Feel free to ask any questions you like.
  23. Yet another week of minor league baseball is in the books and it was yet another week in which I spent time breaking down video of some of the more intriguing arms in the Minnesota Twins’ farm system. Below are some takeaways on the performance and film of three pitchers that caught my eye in particular. Louie Varland (High-A Cedar Rapids) Twins Daily Ranking: Honorable Mention MLB Pipeline Ranking: N/a FanGraphs Ranking: N/a Weekly Stats: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K Varland made his well-earned High-A debut earlier this week after putting up some stellar numbers in Low-A. His 14.45 K/9 rate and 4.75 K:BB ratio in 47 ⅓ innings for the Mighty Mussels were not only among the best on the team, but the Twins’ system in general, which is not something that many expected for the team’s 15th-round pick in 2019. Varland owns a compact windup with repeatable mechanics and a three-quarter arm slot. Although he has primarily been utilized as a starter both in college - at NCAA Division II Concordia University, St. Paul - as well as in the minors, his pitch mix primarily consists of a fastball and curveball, which is typically better suited out of the bullpen. The fastball, which sits in the mid-90s, plays best up in the zone where it stays flat with a little bit of tailing action. However, as he moves it lower in the zone, the amount of sink increases and, along with it, a diminished command. The curveball has potential to be a plus second pitch if he can refine his command. While he unleashes it frequently to miss bats, his feel for the pitch is fairly average, highlighted by often leaving it hanging middle-middle, which is something he can get away with in A-ball but will get slapped around at higher levels. However, when he locates it low, it’s a very difficult ball to square up, especially when piggybacking off a fastball up in the zone. Varland’s lack of a third pitch, whether that be another off-speed offering or improved command of his fastball down, will likely limit him to a relief role should he make it to the majors. Regardless, his performance to date should get his name placed on the major Twins prospect ranking lists come the end of the season. Chris Vallimont (Double-A Wichita) Twins Daily Ranking: No. 20 MLB Pipeline Ranking: No. 18 FanGraphs Ranking: No. 18 Weekly Stats: 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 K Chris Vallimont looks every bit the part of a major league pitcher. Standing at 6-foot-5-inches tall with an athletic frame and a left arm full of tattoos, Vallimont was acquired along with former Twin Sergio Romo from the Miami Marlins in exchange for minor league slugger Lewin Diaz. He shot up the Twins prospect rankings due in large part to his projectability and solid fastball/curve repertoire; he’ll also mix in the occasional changeup and slider, though his command, which isn’t necessarily anything to write home about to begin with, of the latter two pitches is pretty poor. However, since joining the system, he has been a bit of an enigma. Vallimont has always boasted huge strikeout numbers and that has continued this season. He currently is cutting down batters at an impressive 14.57 K/9 clip, which translates to 68 strikeouts in 42 innings at the Double-A level. However, the sheen of these numbers are muted a bit due to his propensity to dish out free passes (5.36 BB/9) and hard contact (9.1% HR:FB ratio). Making things even more murky is the fact that Vallimont’s standard and advanced statistics largely paint two distinct pictures. His 4.71 ERA is ugly, but his 3.24 FIP is much prettier, for example. He also is getting BABIP’d to death (.402), which is unsustainable. Basically, the beauty of Vallimont’s future is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, though as of now, he’s more likely to end up as a reliever than a starter in the long-term. Jordan Gore (Double-A Wichita) Twins Daily Ranking: N/a MLB Pipeline Ranking: N/a FanGraphs Ranking: N/a Weekly Stats: 3 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K The success of Jordan Gore is simply a good story. Taken in the 19th round of the 2017 draft as an infielder, Gore converted to relief pitching full-time this season after serving as a two-way player for the previous two. In 46 career innings across rookie ball, A-ball, and Double-A, Gore has struck out 62, walked 24, and allowed only two home runs. Much like the two other pitchers discussed above, Gore is a right-hander who primarily relies on his fastball and curveball. The fastball won’t necessarily blow anyone away, but the curve plays well off of it. If he continues to perform as he has to this point, he may find himself in the Twins’ bullpen at some point next summer. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  24. Louie Varland (High-A Cedar Rapids) Twins Daily Ranking: Honorable Mention MLB Pipeline Ranking: N/a FanGraphs Ranking: N/a Weekly Stats: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K Varland made his well-earned High-A debut earlier this week after putting up some stellar numbers in Low-A. His 14.45 K/9 rate and 4.75 K:BB ratio in 47 ⅓ innings for the Mighty Mussels were not only among the best on the team, but the Twins’ system in general, which is not something that many expected for the team’s 15th-round pick in 2019. Varland owns a compact windup with repeatable mechanics and a three-quarter arm slot. Although he has primarily been utilized as a starter both in college - at NCAA Division II Concordia University, St. Paul - as well as in the minors, his pitch mix primarily consists of a fastball and curveball, which is typically better suited out of the bullpen. The fastball, which sits in the mid-90s, plays best up in the zone where it stays flat with a little bit of tailing action. However, as he moves it lower in the zone, the amount of sink increases and, along with it, a diminished command. The curveball has potential to be a plus second pitch if he can refine his command. While he unleashes it frequently to miss bats, his feel for the pitch is fairly average, highlighted by often leaving it hanging middle-middle, which is something he can get away with in A-ball but will get slapped around at higher levels. However, when he locates it low, it’s a very difficult ball to square up, especially when piggybacking off a fastball up in the zone. Varland’s lack of a third pitch, whether that be another off-speed offering or improved command of his fastball down, will likely limit him to a relief role should he make it to the majors. Regardless, his performance to date should get his name placed on the major Twins prospect ranking lists come the end of the season. Chris Vallimont (Double-A Wichita) Twins Daily Ranking: No. 20 MLB Pipeline Ranking: No. 18 FanGraphs Ranking: No. 18 Weekly Stats: 3 1/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 7 K Chris Vallimont looks every bit the part of a major league pitcher. Standing at 6-foot-5-inches tall with an athletic frame and a left arm full of tattoos, Vallimont was acquired along with former Twin Sergio Romo from the Miami Marlins in exchange for minor league slugger Lewin Diaz. He shot up the Twins prospect rankings due in large part to his projectability and solid fastball/curve repertoire; he’ll also mix in the occasional changeup and slider, though his command, which isn’t necessarily anything to write home about to begin with, of the latter two pitches is pretty poor. However, since joining the system, he has been a bit of an enigma. Vallimont has always boasted huge strikeout numbers and that has continued this season. He currently is cutting down batters at an impressive 14.57 K/9 clip, which translates to 68 strikeouts in 42 innings at the Double-A level. However, the sheen of these numbers are muted a bit due to his propensity to dish out free passes (5.36 BB/9) and hard contact (9.1% HR:FB ratio). Making things even more murky is the fact that Vallimont’s standard and advanced statistics largely paint two distinct pictures. His 4.71 ERA is ugly, but his 3.24 FIP is much prettier, for example. He also is getting BABIP’d to death (.402), which is unsustainable. Basically, the beauty of Vallimont’s future is ultimately in the eye of the beholder, though as of now, he’s more likely to end up as a reliever than a starter in the long-term. Jordan Gore (Double-A Wichita) Twins Daily Ranking: N/a MLB Pipeline Ranking: N/a FanGraphs Ranking: N/a Weekly Stats: 3 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K The success of Jordan Gore is simply a good story. Taken in the 19th round of the 2017 draft as an infielder, Gore converted to relief pitching full-time this season after serving as a two-way player for the previous two. In 46 career innings across rookie ball, A-ball, and Double-A, Gore has struck out 62, walked 24, and allowed only two home runs. Much like the two other pitchers discussed above, Gore is a right-hander who primarily relies on his fastball and curveball. The fastball won’t necessarily blow anyone away, but the curve plays well off of it. If he continues to perform as he has to this point, he may find himself in the Twins’ bullpen at some point next summer. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  25. To find out everything that happened with your favorite Twins prospects on MiLB opening day, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS The Minnesota Twins recalled infielder Nick Gordon to take the place of Luis Arraez who was placed on the 7-day concussion injured list. LHP Lachlan Wells was assigned to the Cedar Rapids Kernels. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 2, Omaha 8 Box Score The Saints debut as a major league and Twins affiliate didn’t quite go to plan, but count me as one who is super excited they are in the fold instead of an independent. Starter Andrew Albers went the first four innings but was touched up for a single run in three of them, and four in the other as the Saints fell behind 7-0 while he was on the mound. He allowed eight hits total and struck out six. Glenn Sparkman came on for the fifth and allowed a solo home run, Omaha’s fourth of the game, but struck out five in his two innings. Lefty Andrew Vasquez came on for the seventh and flummoxed Omaha hitters with his slider that the broadcaster compared to “those wiffle ball pitches you see in your backyard.” He went 1-2-3 in both his innings, striking out three. Saints hitters were also flummoxed by Storm Chasers pitching throughout the game, striking out 15 times and collecting only five hits and two walks. Zander Wiel and Ryan Jeffers led the way with two hits apiece, and Jeffers delivered the first two runs as an affiliate for St. Paul with a two-run homer in the seventh. https://twitter.com/KSTPSports/status/1389756806965174275 WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 2, Springfield 0 Box Score Another new affiliate for the Twins, Wichita got their season off on the right foot defeating the Springfield Cardinals 2-0. It's fun for me to see this matchup at Hammons Field in Springfield, MO as it is one of the MiLB stadiums I have had the pleasure of attending, and reminds me of their parent club’s Busch Stadium in mini form. As for this game, it was a pitcher’s duel throughout with the teams trading zeroes until the top of the eighth, when the Wind Surge struck for two runs. Singles from Damek Tomscha and Jose Miranda started the inning, then Mark Contreras and Andrew Bechtold finished it with consecutive RBI singles with two outs to account for the scoring. Josh Winder made the start for Wichita and went the first 4 2/3’s, allowing no runs on five hits and a walk while striking out six. He threw 81 pitches with 57 of them going for strikes (70.4%), including 14 swinging strikes. Left-hander Jovani Moran got the last out of the fifth with a K, then struck out two more in a scoreless sixth. Sidewinder Tom Hackimer was next out of the bullpen and added two more scoreless frames, allowing two hits and striking out three. International signing out of Cuba in 2019, Yennier Cano, came on for the ninth and bookended a single with a pair of strikeouts to close out the victory. Aaron Whitefield, batting ninth, led the Wind Surge offense with two hits including a double and a stolen base. Contreras finished 1-for-2 with a pair of walks in addition to the RBI. Gilberto Celestino led off the game with a single and finished 1-for-5. KERNELS NUGGETS Peoria 0, Cedar Rapids 7 Box Score In the Kernels first game as a high-A affiliate, they got the job done on opening night in convincing fashion. They chased Chiefs starter Ian Bedell from the game before he could complete one inning, scoring three runs on four hits and a walk in the opening frame. They would add two more in the second and one each in the third and fourth innings to jump out to a 7-0 lead that was more than enough. Kernels pitchers cruised throughout the game, allowing just three hits to Peoria hitters and scattering five walks. Kody Funderburk made the start and went the first three innings, allowing one hit, two walks, and striking out two. Andrew Cabezas went the next four innings and picked up the win, allowing one hit, two walks, and striking out two. Melvi Acosta finished the game with two scoreless frames, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out two. Leadoff man Spencer Steer (2-for-4, 2 R, BB, SB) was the only Kernels batter with multiple hits, while Matt Wallner, Jair Camargo, and Seth Gray each clubbed a double. Gabe Snyder had an RBI triple in the first and was hit by a pitch twice. While the lineup had just seven hits, they also drew eight walks. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Bradenton 3 Box Score Newly minted as the Twins low-A affiliate and renamed the Mighty Mussels before last year’s MiLB season was cancelled, Fort Myers opened their new era with a 6-3 win over Bradenton. Willie Joe Garry Jr. got the scoring started three pitches into the game, launching a home run to right-center for the early 1-0 lead. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1389715977990852609 Fort Myers would leave the bases loaded without adding another run in the opening frame and from there until the seventh inning the pitchers were the story. Mussels starter Regi Grace went 4 2/3 innings, allowing just one run on four hits and a walk while striking out six. Though he struck out the first two hitters of the fifth, he was lifted as his pitch count reached its limit at 75. He was relieved by Louie Varland who was drafted in the 15th round of the 2019 draft out of Concordia-St. Paul, and he would finish the game’s final 4 1/3 with some eye-popping numbers. He gave up two earned runs on two hits and a walk among his 16 batters faced, but struck out TEN(!) of them. The runs given up came on a two-run home run that gave the Marauders a 3-2 lead after seven, but the bats would pick him up in the ninth to give him the win. Will Holland led off the top of the ninth with a double and a few walks (one intentional to Garry Jr.) around a strikeout kept the bases loaded for the bulk of it. The first two runs would score on wild pitches, then with two outs Edouard Julien delivered the finishing blow with a two-run single. Garry Jr. (1-for-3, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB), Holland (1-for-3, 2B, 2 R, BB), Keoni Cavaco (1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB, SB), and Julien (2-for-4, 2B, 2 RBI, BB) led the way for the offense in the win. Aaron Sabato was 0-for-5 with 3 K’s in his minor league debut. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Louie Varland, Fort Myers Mighty Mussels (4.1 IP, 2 ER, 2 H, BB, 10 K) Hitter of the Day – Ryan Jeffers, St. Paul Saints (2-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Alex Kirilloff (Minnesota) – Did not play #2 - Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for Season (torn ACL) #3 - Trevor Larnach (St. Paul) – 0-for-3, BB, K #4 - Ryan Jeffers (St. Paul) – 2-for-4, R, HR, 2 RBI, K #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Injured List (back) #7 - Keoni Cavaco (Ft. Myers) – 1-for-3, R, RBI, 2 BB, SB #8 - Aaron Sabato (Ft. Myers) – 0-for-5, 3 K #9 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Did not pitch #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Wichita) – 1-for-5, 2 K #12 - Brent Rooker (St. Paul) – 0-for-4, 3 K #13 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5, R, 2B, K #14 - Misael Urbina (Complex) – N/A #15 - Cole Sands (Wichita) – Did not pitch #16 - Edwar Colina (Rehab) - 60-Day IL (elbow) #17 - Ben Rortvedt (Minnesota) – Did not play #18 - Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A #19 - Jose Miranda (Wichita) – 1-for-3, R, BB #20 - Bailey Ober (St. Paul) – Did not pitch WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Omaha (12:05PM CST) – LHP Charlie Barnes Wichita @ Springfield (6:35PM CST) – TBD Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – RHP Ben Gross Fort Myers @ Bradenton (5:05PM CST) – RHP Casey Legumina Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
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