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  1. The Twins have been devastated by injuries over the past few weeks, both in the pitching staff and in the lineup. Using the "next guy up" philosophy, the Twins have given opportunities to several minor leaguers and they've helped the Twins during their current streak of 14 wins in 17 games. With Carlos Correa placed on the Injured List and Luis Arraez not coming off of the Covid-IL list, outfielder Mark Contreras was called up to provide the Twins with depth. Look back at his development from high school to the Saints. Recently I was chatting with a former Minnesota Twins minor leaguer. I think if you asked him, he would have called himself a suspect instead of a prospect. We were talking about current prospects, and I made the comment that I always have a soft spot for guys who either weren’t drafted or were drafted in the late rounds. Mark Contreras wasn’t a late-round pick, but he fits into another similar category. He was a ‘Senior Sign.’ In 2017, the Twins had the top overall pick and signed Royce Lewis. He signed for under-slot value to allow the team to also draft and go way over-slot RHP Blayne Enlow in the third round. In addition, the Twins drafted three college seniors with their eighth (Bryan Sammons), ninth (Contreras), and tenth (Calvin Faucher) round picks and signed each of the for just $10,000. It’s a strategy every team uses to manipulate the current draft slot system. The Twins have had success with several senior signs. In 2013, they drafted Mitch Garver, a senior catcher from the University of New Mexico, in the ninth round. In 2008, Brian Dozier, a shortstop from Southern Mississippi, was the Twins' eighth-round pick. With that as the backdrop, let’s take a look back at the baseball career and timeline of Mark Contreras, all of which has led him to his first big-league call-up today. High School: Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, California Contreras was a four-year starter in high school. He worked hard on the field and in the classroom. He was known already then for his great defense. He played in the infield, mostly at third base until his senior season when he moved to shortstop. College: UC-Riverside Despite all of his high school successes - his team won the league championship all four years, he was all-league his final three years - he didn’t have a lot of college offers. He stayed fairly close to home and enrolled at UC-Riverside. As a freshman, he played in just 19 games and went 4-for-27 (.148). His sophomore year, an opening presented itself in the outfield. His coach asked how comfortable he would be in the outfield. Contreras replied, “If I’m in the lineup, it doesn’t matter. I’d love to play.” He showed it could do just that, hitting .284 with ten doubles. In his junior season, he played in 55 games and hit .332/.407/.430 (.837) with 14 doubles and a homer. He went undrafted. He returned for his senior season and hit .366/.427/.558 (.985) with 11 doubles, eight triples, and two homers in 42 games. Northwoods League: Rochester Honkers His time with the Saints and Twins does not mark his first time playing ball in Minnesota. In the summers of 2015 and 2016, he played for the Rochester Honkers. “That was fun. Meeting new guys. The competition was great. The success our first year. We got to the semi-finals. The St. Cloud Rox kept kicking our butt. They put it on us. Going back for another year was great. Playing in Rochester exposes you to a lot of excellent players from around the country.” Professional Baseball: Minnesota Twins As mentioned, Contreras became the Twins’ ninth-round draft pick in 2017. He signed quickly at $10,000 and went to Elizabethton. In 43 games, he hit .275/.319/.421 (.740) with nine doubles, two triples, and four home runs. In 2018, he played in 97 games with Ft. Myers and hit .212/.302/.361 (.663) with 15 doubles, four triples, and nine home runs. He also stole 12 bases. He did hit .440 in seven games in Cedar Rapids at the end of the season. 2019 was a tough season for Contreras. He played in 27 games for Ft. Myers and hit just .101 with three doubles. He moved back and forth to Double-A Pensacola several times. In 85 games with the Blue Wahoos, he hit .210/.279/.381 (.660) with 12 doubles, three triples, and ten home runs. Double-A manager Ramon Borrego talked last year about the challenge for Contreras, moving back and forth between Ft. Myers and Pensacola. It was difficult to get into any sort of routine. He later said, “That back-and-forth helped me understand the mental grind of the game.” To illustrate that, Contreras was named a Rawlings Minor League Gold Glove Award winner. Defense has always been an important part of his game, and he is capable of playing all three outfield positions very well. The home run power he started to show at the end of 2019 was something he wanted to continue to improve upon in 2020. Unfortunately, there was no 2020 minor league season due to the pandemic. He spent the whole lost season, working with his dad, hitting every weekday. It helped. In 2021, Contreras’s prospect stock rose with his play at the highest level. He began the season in Wichita, and like in 2019, he moved back and forth between Double-A and Triple-A a couple of times. In 19 games at Double-A, he hit .269/.355/.448 (.803) with four doubles and two homers. In 95 games at Triple-A, he hit .248/.335/.493 (.828) with 26 doubles and 18 home runs. In 2022, he has hit .239/.350/.489 (.838) with five doubles, five homers, and five stolen bases. The Call Being just a short drive from Target Field has been a motivator to Twins prospects the last two seasons. Contreras said last year, “We're 20 minutes from Target Field, and being so close to that… We know we're so close.” He has seen several of his current and former teammates get The Call. He noted, “"It's definitely amazing to see my teammates that I grinded a whole year at High-A or Double-A with getting their opportunity to be in the big leagues. Not just there and back, but proving that they can be in the big leagues. Trevor Larnach. Alex Kirilloff. Luis Arraez is one of the best hitters I've seen. Griffin Jax got his opportunity this year, and he's doing what he needs to do. Charlie Barnes just got called up the other day, and he had a great outing for his first start. We were drafted in the same year. I know there's a lot more that I've played with. Akil Baddoo is getting his opportunity. It's very motivating because it shows that they're getting the chance to show.” Last summer, he also told me, “I'm not there, so the goal is to take care of the What, and then the When will happen.” Tuesday became the When for Mark Contreras when he was called up to the Twins for the first time. With the team having two players on the Covid list, Contreras (and Jharel Cotton) did not need to be added to the 40-man roster. It’s very possible that if Luis Arraez is activated on Wednesday, Contreras could be on a plane to Columbus to meet the Saints. Scouting Report Let's start with the defense. Again, Contreras is a plus-defender at all three outfield positions. He isn't a burner, but he gets good jumps. He also has a very strong arm. Offensively, he has power. After 20 combined homers in 2021, Contreras has five homers in 26 games for the Saints this year. Only Matt Wallner, with six, has more homers in the Twins minor leagues. A left-hander, he will strike out quite a bit, but he has learned which pitches he can do something with and can really drive. Contreras is a team player who will do what he can to help the team win. ---------- For much, much more on Mark Contreras, click here to see all of the Twins Daily articles Contreras has been tagged in. View full article
  2. Recently I was chatting with a former Minnesota Twins minor leaguer. I think if you asked him, he would have called himself a suspect instead of a prospect. We were talking about current prospects, and I made the comment that I always have a soft spot for guys who either weren’t drafted or were drafted in the late rounds. Mark Contreras wasn’t a late-round pick, but he fits into another similar category. He was a ‘Senior Sign.’ In 2017, the Twins had the top overall pick and signed Royce Lewis. He signed for under-slot value to allow the team to also draft and go way over-slot RHP Blayne Enlow in the third round. In addition, the Twins drafted three college seniors with their eighth (Bryan Sammons), ninth (Contreras), and tenth (Calvin Faucher) round picks and signed each of the for just $10,000. It’s a strategy every team uses to manipulate the current draft slot system. The Twins have had success with several senior signs. In 2013, they drafted Mitch Garver, a senior catcher from the University of New Mexico, in the ninth round. In 2008, Brian Dozier, a shortstop from Southern Mississippi, was the Twins' eighth-round pick. With that as the backdrop, let’s take a look back at the baseball career and timeline of Mark Contreras, all of which has led him to his first big-league call-up today. High School: Canyon Springs High School in Moreno Valley, California Contreras was a four-year starter in high school. He worked hard on the field and in the classroom. He was known already then for his great defense. He played in the infield, mostly at third base until his senior season when he moved to shortstop. College: UC-Riverside Despite all of his high school successes - his team won the league championship all four years, he was all-league his final three years - he didn’t have a lot of college offers. He stayed fairly close to home and enrolled at UC-Riverside. As a freshman, he played in just 19 games and went 4-for-27 (.148). His sophomore year, an opening presented itself in the outfield. His coach asked how comfortable he would be in the outfield. Contreras replied, “If I’m in the lineup, it doesn’t matter. I’d love to play.” He showed it could do just that, hitting .284 with ten doubles. In his junior season, he played in 55 games and hit .332/.407/.430 (.837) with 14 doubles and a homer. He went undrafted. He returned for his senior season and hit .366/.427/.558 (.985) with 11 doubles, eight triples, and two homers in 42 games. Northwoods League: Rochester Honkers His time with the Saints and Twins does not mark his first time playing ball in Minnesota. In the summers of 2015 and 2016, he played for the Rochester Honkers. “That was fun. Meeting new guys. The competition was great. The success our first year. We got to the semi-finals. The St. Cloud Rox kept kicking our butt. They put it on us. Going back for another year was great. Playing in Rochester exposes you to a lot of excellent players from around the country.” Professional Baseball: Minnesota Twins As mentioned, Contreras became the Twins’ ninth-round draft pick in 2017. He signed quickly at $10,000 and went to Elizabethton. In 43 games, he hit .275/.319/.421 (.740) with nine doubles, two triples, and four home runs. In 2018, he played in 97 games with Ft. Myers and hit .212/.302/.361 (.663) with 15 doubles, four triples, and nine home runs. He also stole 12 bases. He did hit .440 in seven games in Cedar Rapids at the end of the season. 2019 was a tough season for Contreras. He played in 27 games for Ft. Myers and hit just .101 with three doubles. He moved back and forth to Double-A Pensacola several times. In 85 games with the Blue Wahoos, he hit .210/.279/.381 (.660) with 12 doubles, three triples, and ten home runs. Double-A manager Ramon Borrego talked last year about the challenge for Contreras, moving back and forth between Ft. Myers and Pensacola. It was difficult to get into any sort of routine. He later said, “That back-and-forth helped me understand the mental grind of the game.” To illustrate that, Contreras was named a Rawlings Minor League Gold Glove Award winner. Defense has always been an important part of his game, and he is capable of playing all three outfield positions very well. The home run power he started to show at the end of 2019 was something he wanted to continue to improve upon in 2020. Unfortunately, there was no 2020 minor league season due to the pandemic. He spent the whole lost season, working with his dad, hitting every weekday. It helped. In 2021, Contreras’s prospect stock rose with his play at the highest level. He began the season in Wichita, and like in 2019, he moved back and forth between Double-A and Triple-A a couple of times. In 19 games at Double-A, he hit .269/.355/.448 (.803) with four doubles and two homers. In 95 games at Triple-A, he hit .248/.335/.493 (.828) with 26 doubles and 18 home runs. In 2022, he has hit .239/.350/.489 (.838) with five doubles, five homers, and five stolen bases. The Call Being just a short drive from Target Field has been a motivator to Twins prospects the last two seasons. Contreras said last year, “We're 20 minutes from Target Field, and being so close to that… We know we're so close.” He has seen several of his current and former teammates get The Call. He noted, “"It's definitely amazing to see my teammates that I grinded a whole year at High-A or Double-A with getting their opportunity to be in the big leagues. Not just there and back, but proving that they can be in the big leagues. Trevor Larnach. Alex Kirilloff. Luis Arraez is one of the best hitters I've seen. Griffin Jax got his opportunity this year, and he's doing what he needs to do. Charlie Barnes just got called up the other day, and he had a great outing for his first start. We were drafted in the same year. I know there's a lot more that I've played with. Akil Baddoo is getting his opportunity. It's very motivating because it shows that they're getting the chance to show.” Last summer, he also told me, “I'm not there, so the goal is to take care of the What, and then the When will happen.” Tuesday became the When for Mark Contreras when he was called up to the Twins for the first time. With the team having two players on the Covid list, Contreras (and Jharel Cotton) did not need to be added to the 40-man roster. It’s very possible that if Luis Arraez is activated on Wednesday, Contreras could be on a plane to Columbus to meet the Saints. Scouting Report Let's start with the defense. Again, Contreras is a plus-defender at all three outfield positions. He isn't a burner, but he gets good jumps. He also has a very strong arm. Offensively, he has power. After 20 combined homers in 2021, Contreras has five homers in 26 games for the Saints this year. Only Matt Wallner, with six, has more homers in the Twins minor leagues. A left-hander, he will strike out quite a bit, but he has learned which pitches he can do something with and can really drive. Contreras is a team player who will do what he can to help the team win. ---------- For much, much more on Mark Contreras, click here to see all of the Twins Daily articles Contreras has been tagged in.
  3. After an injury-ridden 2021, Cedar Rapids pitcher Brent Headrick was electric on Wednesday night. Combine that with an offensive clinic in St. Paul and a nail-biter in Florida, it was an exciting evening across the farm. TRANSACTIONS Ft. Myers announced after their game that infielder Jesus Feliz is going on the 7-Day IL with a right elbow strain. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 8, Iowa 1 Box Score The bats were alive in Lowertown on Wednesday night. Combined with rock-solid pitching, St. Paul used seven hits, two homers, and a pair of doubles to pummel the I-Cubs. The Saints flooded the bases right out of the gate thanks to a pair of first-inning walks from Jake Cave and Curtis Terry. Two batters later, Mark Contreras mashed a three-run homer over the right-field wall to give St. Paul a 3-0 lead. St. Paul scored on a similar sequence to put two more runs on the board in the second inning. After Derek Fisher was hit by a pitch Elliot Soto crushed his first homer of the year to put St. Paul up 5-0. The team would tack on two more runs in the fifth. Terry opened the floodgates with an RBI double that scored Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff to give the Saints a 7-1 lead. Lewis and Kirilloff teamed up to add another run in the seventh when Lewis scored on a Kirilloff single. Starting pitcher Ronny Henriquez was admirable on the night, allowing only one run through 3 1/3 innings. JC Ramirez was even more impressive in relief tossing 3 2/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit ball while striking out three. The tandem of Drew Strotman and Yennier Cano teamed up to pitch a perfect final two innings to seal the deal. WIND SURGE WISDOM POSTPONED For the second time in recent days, Wichita’s Wednesday night game was postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow evening. The highly-anticipated matchup of brothers Louie and Gus Varland will take place in game one. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 0 Box Score An outstanding starting pitching performance and a myriad of insurance runs propelled Cedar Rapids to a shutout win over rival Quad Cities. Cedar Rapids starting pitcher Brent Headrick was incredible, tossing six innings of scoreless ball. The Braidwood, Illinois, native only surrendered one hit and one walk while fanning a season-high ten strikeouts past the Quad Cities batting order. Headrick has at least five strikeouts in each of his five starts this season and an impressive 38 in total on the young season. Cedar Rapids broke the chess match in the sixth inning. After reaching on a thrower error, Kennie Taylor would find his way around the bases thanks to a Jeferson Morales single, a sac-fly by Anthony Prato, and an RBI single from Christian Encarnacion-Strand. The Kernels would tack on a trio of insurance runs in the seventh. After reaching on a Fielder’s Choice, Alerick Soularie stole second base and would advance to third courtesy of a Will Holland single. The former Tennessee Volunteer then scored thanks to a wild pitch. The bases weren’t clear for long; thanks to the same players that manufactured the run in the sixth inning. After consecutive walks from Taylor and Morales, Prato laced a triple to center field that scored both men to give the Kernels a 4-0 lead. That lead would hold true to the final strike thanks to an efficient bullpen outing courtesy of Orlando Rodriquez and Andrew Cabezas. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Lakeland 4 Box Score Despite multiple comeback efforts, the Mussels dropped a tight game in the Sunshine State. The Mussels rebounded to tie the game in both the sixth and ninth innings but ultimately fell short in extra innings. Aside from giving up two runs in the first, starting pitcher David Festa was solid through four innings, striking out five and only walking one. Regi Grace followed suit by pitching three innings of scoreless ball, striking out three, and walking one. Down two for the first five innings, Fort Myers fought back with a stellar sixth inning. Highly-touted prospect Noah Miller kicked off the inning with his first triple of the year. Two batters later, Kyler Fedko reached on a Fielder’s Choice that would allow Miller to score from third. Fedko would advance to second thanks to a Lakeland error on the play and a balk in the next at-bat. With two outs, Keoni Cavaco came in clutch with a sharp double to score Fedko from third and give the Mussels a slight lead. The double added his stellar night at the plate. Prior to the at-bat, Cavaco laced a triple in the first. After Lakeland regained the lead in the eighth, the Mussels scrapped back a run in the ninth to tie it up on a wild span of events. With one out Mikey Perez went to first and was later advanced to second thanks to a bunt from Ernie Yake. Yake would eventually be caught stealing second on a play that moved Perez to third and resulted in the ejection of Mussels skipper Brian Meyer. After a pair of substitutions, Perez bolted home to score on a wild pitch to tie the game at three and send the game to extra innings. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Elliot Soto (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K Pitcher of the Day: Brent Headrick (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, O R, H, BB, 10 K PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-4 #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, SB, B, K #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, 3B, BB, 2 SO #14 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 3.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 4 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, RBI, K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (5:35 PM CST) - RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-1, 4.70 ERA) Doubleheader Game One :Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05 PM CDT) - RHP Louie Varland (2-1, 3.05 ERA) Game Two: Following Game One Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CDT) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-0, 2.08 ERA) Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 PM CDT) - TBA View full article
  4. TRANSACTIONS Ft. Myers announced after their game that infielder Jesus Feliz is going on the 7-Day IL with a right elbow strain. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 8, Iowa 1 Box Score The bats were alive in Lowertown on Wednesday night. Combined with rock-solid pitching, St. Paul used seven hits, two homers, and a pair of doubles to pummel the I-Cubs. The Saints flooded the bases right out of the gate thanks to a pair of first-inning walks from Jake Cave and Curtis Terry. Two batters later, Mark Contreras mashed a three-run homer over the right-field wall to give St. Paul a 3-0 lead. St. Paul scored on a similar sequence to put two more runs on the board in the second inning. After Derek Fisher was hit by a pitch Elliot Soto crushed his first homer of the year to put St. Paul up 5-0. The team would tack on two more runs in the fifth. Terry opened the floodgates with an RBI double that scored Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff to give the Saints a 7-1 lead. Lewis and Kirilloff teamed up to add another run in the seventh when Lewis scored on a Kirilloff single. Starting pitcher Ronny Henriquez was admirable on the night, allowing only one run through 3 1/3 innings. JC Ramirez was even more impressive in relief tossing 3 2/3 innings of scoreless, one-hit ball while striking out three. The tandem of Drew Strotman and Yennier Cano teamed up to pitch a perfect final two innings to seal the deal. WIND SURGE WISDOM POSTPONED For the second time in recent days, Wichita’s Wednesday night game was postponed due to rain. The game will be made up as part of a doubleheader tomorrow evening. The highly-anticipated matchup of brothers Louie and Gus Varland will take place in game one. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Quad Cities 0 Box Score An outstanding starting pitching performance and a myriad of insurance runs propelled Cedar Rapids to a shutout win over rival Quad Cities. Cedar Rapids starting pitcher Brent Headrick was incredible, tossing six innings of scoreless ball. The Braidwood, Illinois, native only surrendered one hit and one walk while fanning a season-high ten strikeouts past the Quad Cities batting order. Headrick has at least five strikeouts in each of his five starts this season and an impressive 38 in total on the young season. Cedar Rapids broke the chess match in the sixth inning. After reaching on a thrower error, Kennie Taylor would find his way around the bases thanks to a Jeferson Morales single, a sac-fly by Anthony Prato, and an RBI single from Christian Encarnacion-Strand. The Kernels would tack on a trio of insurance runs in the seventh. After reaching on a Fielder’s Choice, Alerick Soularie stole second base and would advance to third courtesy of a Will Holland single. The former Tennessee Volunteer then scored thanks to a wild pitch. The bases weren’t clear for long; thanks to the same players that manufactured the run in the sixth inning. After consecutive walks from Taylor and Morales, Prato laced a triple to center field that scored both men to give the Kernels a 4-0 lead. That lead would hold true to the final strike thanks to an efficient bullpen outing courtesy of Orlando Rodriquez and Andrew Cabezas. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Lakeland 4 Box Score Despite multiple comeback efforts, the Mussels dropped a tight game in the Sunshine State. The Mussels rebounded to tie the game in both the sixth and ninth innings but ultimately fell short in extra innings. Aside from giving up two runs in the first, starting pitcher David Festa was solid through four innings, striking out five and only walking one. Regi Grace followed suit by pitching three innings of scoreless ball, striking out three, and walking one. Down two for the first five innings, Fort Myers fought back with a stellar sixth inning. Highly-touted prospect Noah Miller kicked off the inning with his first triple of the year. Two batters later, Kyler Fedko reached on a Fielder’s Choice that would allow Miller to score from third. Fedko would advance to second thanks to a Lakeland error on the play and a balk in the next at-bat. With two outs, Keoni Cavaco came in clutch with a sharp double to score Fedko from third and give the Mussels a slight lead. The double added his stellar night at the plate. Prior to the at-bat, Cavaco laced a triple in the first. After Lakeland regained the lead in the eighth, the Mussels scrapped back a run in the ninth to tie it up on a wild span of events. With one out Mikey Perez went to first and was later advanced to second thanks to a bunt from Ernie Yake. Yake would eventually be caught stealing second on a play that moved Perez to third and resulted in the ejection of Mussels skipper Brian Meyer. After a pair of substitutions, Perez bolted home to score on a wild pitch to tie the game at three and send the game to extra innings. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Elliot Soto (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, HR, 2 RBI, BB, K Pitcher of the Day: Brent Headrick (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, O R, H, BB, 10 K PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, K #3 - Jose Miranda (Minnesota) - 0-for-4 #10 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, SB, B, K #11 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-for-4, 3B, BB, 2 SO #14 - Ronny Henriquez (St. Paul) - 3.1 IP, 1 R, 1 ER, 6 H, 4 K #18 - Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-4, RBI, K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (5:35 PM CST) - RHP Chi Chi Gonzalez (2-1, 4.70 ERA) Doubleheader Game One :Tulsa @ Wichita (7:05 PM CDT) - RHP Louie Varland (2-1, 3.05 ERA) Game Two: Following Game One Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CDT) - RHP Sean Mooney (0-0, 2.08 ERA) Fort Myers @ Lakeland (5:30 PM CDT) - TBA
  5. Ryan Jeffers kept the eight inning going by hitting a two-out double, affording the Minnesota Twins a chance to turn things around against the White Sox Friday night. After a chaotic bottom of the eighth, Jeffers also helped secure the victory with some stellar work behind the plate as the Twins won 2-1. Also included in this video are highlights of Bailey Ober, Mark Contreras, Michael Helman, Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand and more.
  6. Ryan Jeffers kept the eight inning going by hitting a two-out double, affording the Minnesota Twins a chance to turn things around against the White Sox Friday night. After a chaotic bottom of the eighth, Jeffers also helped secure the victory with some stellar work behind the plate as the Twins won 2-1. Also included in this video are highlights of Bailey Ober, Mark Contreras, Michael Helman, Spencer Steer, Christian Encarnacion-Strand and more. View full video
  7. The Minnesota Twins' minor league starting pitchers dominated and a couple of young prospects crushed multiple home runs as the farm system combined to go 3-1 Friday night. TRANSACTIONS OF Kyle Garlick selected by the Minnesota Twins RHP Dereck Rodriguez designated for assignment SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 6, Indianapolis 4 Box Score The Saints bounced back nicely after getting no-hit Wednesday and snowed out Thursday to pick up their sixth win of the young season. Devin Smeltzer started on the bump, going five scoreless innings, striking out three, and allowing only three Indianapolis batters to reach base. The lefty has yet to allow an earned run across his first nine innings, successfully piggybacking off of a strong Spring Training in which many thought he would be the final addition to the Twins bullpen. Mario Sanchez struggled in his two innings of relief, surrendering three runs. However, Yennier Cano and Juan Minaya shut the door on Indianapolis to secure the win. Mark Contreras and Royce Lewis powered the Saints offensively as the two combined to go 4-for-7 with two doubles, a home run, and four RBI. At 27 years old and over four years of minor league experience, you won’t find Contreras’s name on most Twins top prospect lists. However, he has a sweet swing and good pop from the left side of the plate. He can also play a capable right field. Should the Twins deal with multiple long-term injuries in the outfield this summer, it would not surprise to see Contreras get a call up. Curtis Terry (1-for-4, 2 RBI) also belted a home run, while Chance Sisco (1-for-3, BB), Jermaine Palacios (1-for-4, R), and Elliot Soto (1-for-3, R) contributed hits. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 4, Northwest Arkansas 2 Box Score The Wind Surge picked up their second win of the season Friday night thanks to a solid outing from Simeon Woods Richardson as well as a combination of aggressive base running and timely hitting. Woods Richardson looked like a top 100 prospect during his first three innings of work as he effectively mixed his fastball with his loopy curve and running changeup. While he only picked up three strikeouts on the night, Natural batters from either side of the plate were largely unable to make solid contact against Wood Richardson. However, his last two frames were more laborious as he surrendered two hits, an unearned run, and lost some of his command. Cody Funderburk came on in relief for Woods Richardson and pitched three solid innings. He struck out one and allowed one earned run. Austin Schulfer picked up the save with a scoreless ninth. Alex Isola led the Wind Surge at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run and RBI. Spencer Steer added an RBI of his own on a double after Austin Martin (0-for-2, 3 BB, 4 SB) stole second. Michael Helman (1-for-3) also drove in Martin on a triple. Dennis Ortega (2-for-5), Andrew Bechtold (1-for-4, RBI) and DaShawn Keirsey (1-for-3, BB, R) also contributed hits. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 8, Cedar Rapids 3 Box Score A strong start from Brent Headrick and another two home run game from Christian Encarnacion-Strand was not enough to propel the Kernels past the River Bandits on Friday. Headrick tossed the first four innings of the game, surrendering only one hit and striking out eight. The lefty’s performance was largely derived from the success of his slider, which had Quad Cities batters off guard all evening. Unfortunately, Cody Lawyerson and Andrew Cabezas were unable to build off of Headrick’s dominance and combined to surrender eight runs, all earned, over their 3 ⅓ innings. Matt Mullenbach pitched the final ⅔ innings, striking out and walking one. Encarnacion-Strand was the lone Kernel to register a multi-hit game, slugging two home runs and driving in all three of Cedar Rapids’ runs. He now has five dingers and 20 RBI across his first 30 at-bats of the season. Anthony Prato (1-for-4, BB, R), Aaron Sabato (1-for-4), and Charles Mack (1-for-4, 2B) logged the Kernels other hits. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 12, Jupiter 0 Box Score Fort Myers dominated the Hammerheads Friday behind the thrust of overwhelming play from starting pitcher John Stankiewicz and burgeoning power hitter Emmanuel Rodriguez. Stankiewicz tossed six scoreless innings, striking out 10 Jupiter batters and limiting the Hammerheads to three singles. Through two starts, the former undrafted free agent owns a 1.64 ERA to go along with 19 strikeouts and only two walks. Hunter McMahon and Mike Paredes combined to strike out four batters across three scoreless innings of relief. Rodriguez belted two home runs in four plate appearances, raising his batting average and OPS to .409 and 1.618, respectively. Kyler Fedko (3-for-4, 2 RBI, 3 R) and Kyle Schmidt (2-for-4, 4 RBI, R) also launched home runs. Dylan Neuse added the Mighty Mussels only other extra base hit, a double. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – RHP John Stankiewicz (Fort Myers): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K, 65 pitches Hitter of the Day – Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids): 2-for-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-1, 3 BB, 4 SB, R #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, R #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, 2 K #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - IL #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4, BB, K, R #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - Did Not Play #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - Did Not Play #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-4, 2 HR, BB, 3 R #16 - Ronny Hendriquez (Development List) - Did Not Pitch #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-3, 2B, RBI, 2 K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - IL #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul vs. Indianapolis (2:07 PM CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe Wichita @ Northwest Arkansas (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (0-1, 67.50 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Jupiter (6:00 PM CST) - RHP David Festa (1-0, 0.00 ERA) View full article
  8. TRANSACTIONS OF Kyle Garlick selected by the Minnesota Twins RHP Dereck Rodriguez designated for assignment SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 6, Indianapolis 4 Box Score The Saints bounced back nicely after getting no-hit Wednesday and snowed out Thursday to pick up their sixth win of the young season. Devin Smeltzer started on the bump, going five scoreless innings, striking out three, and allowing only three Indianapolis batters to reach base. The lefty has yet to allow an earned run across his first nine innings, successfully piggybacking off of a strong Spring Training in which many thought he would be the final addition to the Twins bullpen. Mario Sanchez struggled in his two innings of relief, surrendering three runs. However, Yennier Cano and Juan Minaya shut the door on Indianapolis to secure the win. Mark Contreras and Royce Lewis powered the Saints offensively as the two combined to go 4-for-7 with two doubles, a home run, and four RBI. At 27 years old and over four years of minor league experience, you won’t find Contreras’s name on most Twins top prospect lists. However, he has a sweet swing and good pop from the left side of the plate. He can also play a capable right field. Should the Twins deal with multiple long-term injuries in the outfield this summer, it would not surprise to see Contreras get a call up. Curtis Terry (1-for-4, 2 RBI) also belted a home run, while Chance Sisco (1-for-3, BB), Jermaine Palacios (1-for-4, R), and Elliot Soto (1-for-3, R) contributed hits. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 4, Northwest Arkansas 2 Box Score The Wind Surge picked up their second win of the season Friday night thanks to a solid outing from Simeon Woods Richardson as well as a combination of aggressive base running and timely hitting. Woods Richardson looked like a top 100 prospect during his first three innings of work as he effectively mixed his fastball with his loopy curve and running changeup. While he only picked up three strikeouts on the night, Natural batters from either side of the plate were largely unable to make solid contact against Wood Richardson. However, his last two frames were more laborious as he surrendered two hits, an unearned run, and lost some of his command. Cody Funderburk came on in relief for Woods Richardson and pitched three solid innings. He struck out one and allowed one earned run. Austin Schulfer picked up the save with a scoreless ninth. Alex Isola led the Wind Surge at the plate, going 3-for-4 with a home run and RBI. Spencer Steer added an RBI of his own on a double after Austin Martin (0-for-2, 3 BB, 4 SB) stole second. Michael Helman (1-for-3) also drove in Martin on a triple. Dennis Ortega (2-for-5), Andrew Bechtold (1-for-4, RBI) and DaShawn Keirsey (1-for-3, BB, R) also contributed hits. KERNELS NUGGETS Quad Cities 8, Cedar Rapids 3 Box Score A strong start from Brent Headrick and another two home run game from Christian Encarnacion-Strand was not enough to propel the Kernels past the River Bandits on Friday. Headrick tossed the first four innings of the game, surrendering only one hit and striking out eight. The lefty’s performance was largely derived from the success of his slider, which had Quad Cities batters off guard all evening. Unfortunately, Cody Lawyerson and Andrew Cabezas were unable to build off of Headrick’s dominance and combined to surrender eight runs, all earned, over their 3 ⅓ innings. Matt Mullenbach pitched the final ⅔ innings, striking out and walking one. Encarnacion-Strand was the lone Kernel to register a multi-hit game, slugging two home runs and driving in all three of Cedar Rapids’ runs. He now has five dingers and 20 RBI across his first 30 at-bats of the season. Anthony Prato (1-for-4, BB, R), Aaron Sabato (1-for-4), and Charles Mack (1-for-4, 2B) logged the Kernels other hits. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 12, Jupiter 0 Box Score Fort Myers dominated the Hammerheads Friday behind the thrust of overwhelming play from starting pitcher John Stankiewicz and burgeoning power hitter Emmanuel Rodriguez. Stankiewicz tossed six scoreless innings, striking out 10 Jupiter batters and limiting the Hammerheads to three singles. Through two starts, the former undrafted free agent owns a 1.64 ERA to go along with 19 strikeouts and only two walks. Hunter McMahon and Mike Paredes combined to strike out four batters across three scoreless innings of relief. Rodriguez belted two home runs in four plate appearances, raising his batting average and OPS to .409 and 1.618, respectively. Kyler Fedko (3-for-4, 2 RBI, 3 R) and Kyle Schmidt (2-for-4, 4 RBI, R) also launched home runs. Dylan Neuse added the Mighty Mussels only other extra base hit, a double. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – RHP John Stankiewicz (Fort Myers): 6 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 10 K, 65 pitches Hitter of the Day – Christian Encarnacion-Strand (Cedar Rapids): 2-for-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-for-1, 3 BB, 4 SB, R #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-for-3, 2B, RBI, R #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, 2 K #4 - Jordan Balazovic (St. Paul) - IL #5 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 6 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K #6 - Matt Canterino (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #7 - Jhoan Duran (Minnesota) - 2 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #8 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 5 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 3 K #9 - Josh Winder (Minnesota) - Did Not Pitch #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 0-for-4, BB, K, R #11 - Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) - Did Not Play #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - Did Not Play #13 - Cole Sands (St. Paul) - Did Not Pitch #14 - Louie Varland (Wichita) - Did Not Pitch #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 2-for-4, 2 HR, BB, 3 R #16 - Ronny Hendriquez (Development List) - Did Not Pitch #17 - Blayne Enlow (Wichita) - IL #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-3, 2B, RBI, 2 K #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - IL #20 - Steve Hajjar (Ft. Myers) - Did Not Pitch SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul vs. Indianapolis (2:07 PM CST) - LHP Lewis Thorpe Wichita @ Northwest Arkansas (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (0-1, 67.50 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Sawyer Gipson-Long (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Fort Myers vs. Jupiter (6:00 PM CST) - RHP David Festa (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
  9. The first week of the Saints season and first weekend series for all other Twins affiliates concluded with impressive wins and a hard loss for Wichita. Read about it in today’s Minor League Report. TRANSACTIONS Catcher Jose Godoy cleared waivers and was outrighted to St. Paul. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 15, Louisville 6 Box Score SP: Jake Faria - 3 1/3 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K HR: Curtis Terry (1), Kyle Garlick (1), Mark Contreras (2), Daniel Robertson (1) Multi hit games: Robertson (2-5 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Garlick (2-5 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB), Terry (2-3 3 R, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 BB), Contreras (3-5, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI), Jermaine Palacios (2-5 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI), Chance Sisco (3-5 2 R, 2 2B, RBI) The Saints finished their series in Louisville with a bang as six Saints hitters tallied multiple hits in their 15-6 victory over the Bats. The offense was balanced for the Saints with everyone except Derek Fisher getting a hit and top prospects Royce Lewis and Jose Miranda being the only ones without multiple hits. This gave an opportunity for all the other hitters in the Saints lineup a chance to shine, especially the likes of Sisco and Contreras who tallied two doubles each in their three-hit games. Louisville starter Ben Lively struggled with his control in this game as he hit three batters, one to Miranda and two to Lewis. Fortunately for both Miranda and Lewis the pitches they took did not result in any serious injuries that removed them from the game. Jake Faria struggled in his first two innings but recovered during his final inning and a third on the mound. Coming in to replace Faria was Chi Chi Gonzlaez, who had a notoriously bad spring training with the Twins posting an 18.69 ERA in just 4 1/3 innings pitched. A bad spring training did not carry over into Gonzalez’s Saints debut as he gave up two earned runs on three hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings pitched. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, Tulsa 7 Box Score SP: Chris Vallimont 2/3 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-4) The Wind Surge took the only loss for the Twins minor league affiliates on Sunday. Chris Vallimont couldn’t find his way out of the first inning in his 2022 season debut. The Drillers tallied five runs off of him to knock him out early. Following Vallimont’s struggles, Kody Funderburk came in from the bullpen to stop the bleeding. Funderburk only surrendered one run in three innings of relief. The Wind Surge were able to get a run back in the bottom half of the first inning thanks to a Spencer Steer double that drove in Austin Martin. But the Drillers were able to keep the Wind Surge scoreless until the seventh inning when they scored two more runs. All nine Wind Surge hitters were able to get on base this game but still did not have enough juice in the bats to pull together a win. Wichita has yet to win a game this season, falling to 0-3. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Beloit 0 Box Score SP: Sawyer Gipson-Long 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None Christian Encarnacion-Strand had been the star of the Kernels first two games but his bat cooled off just a little bit in Sunday’s game going 1-for-4 with an RBI double. However, the pitching stepped up in a big way on Sunday. The Kernels had five pitchers work on Sunday afternoon, and they combined to shutout the Sky Carp in a 2-0 victory. The starter for the Kernels was Sawyer Gipson-Long who hurled four scoreless innings and gave up two hits, walked two, and struck out five batters. Following Gipson-Long from the bullpen were Bobby Milacki, Melvi Acosta, Denny Bentley, and Osiris German. They combined for five innings pitched of no-hit baseball giving up only two walks and striking out four Sky Carp batters. German earned the save for the Kernels. The Kernels were able to pull off the sweep of the Sky Carp on only three hits thanks to the master class pitching from their rotation on Sunday. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Clearwater 3 Box Score SP: Travis Adams 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Noah Cardenas (1) Multi-hit games: Kyler Fedko (2-3 1 R, 3B, 3 RBI, BB, K) The Mighty Mussels completed their sweep of the Clearwater Threshers on Sunday bringing them to a 3-0 record to start the season. Mussels starter Travis Adams contributed a strong first outing of the season keeping Clearwater to one run in his five innings pitched. Jaylen Nowlin came into the game after Adams and surrendered the Threshers two runs, but the rest of the Fort Myers bullpen kept the game scoreless. Jackson Hicks pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Juan Mendez came on and recorded his first save of the season. Kyler Fedko had the big hit of the game for Fort Myers. Fedko smacked a bases-clearing triple in the top of the seventh that gave the Mussels the lead making it a 6-3 game. Mussels catcher Noah Cardenas also had a big hit getting his first home run of the season in the second inning. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Travis Adams (Ft. Myers) - 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day – Mark Contreras (St. Paul) - 3-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, HR PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B (2), K #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 1-4, 2B (3), 2 R, 2 K, RBI, CS, 2-HBP #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-5, K, RBI (4), HBP #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, BB, 3 K, CS (1) #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-3, BB, K, CS (1) #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, 2 BB, SB (1) #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B (2), RBI #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-4, K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, April 12. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). The Saints and Mighty Muscles will be hosting their home openers on Tuesday. Indianapolis @ St. Paul (6:37 PM CST) - RHP Daniel Gossett (0-0, 7.36 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Brandon Lawson Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich Jupiter @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya (first professional start) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games as the first weekend of the Minor and Major League seasons has concluded. View full article
  10. Chris Archer made his Minnesota Twins debut and delivered four shutout innings against the Dodgers. It was a wet and windy night across the Twin Cities, which impacted both the Twins and St. Paul Saints games. Also discussed in this video are Steven Cruz, Cade Povich and Marco Raya (among others).
  11. Chris Archer made his Minnesota Twins debut and delivered four shutout innings against the Dodgers. It was a wet and windy night across the Twin Cities, which impacted both the Twins and St. Paul Saints games. Also discussed in this video are Steven Cruz, Cade Povich and Marco Raya (among others). View full video
  12. TRANSACTIONS Catcher Jose Godoy cleared waivers and was outrighted to St. Paul. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 15, Louisville 6 Box Score SP: Jake Faria - 3 1/3 IP, 2 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 5 K HR: Curtis Terry (1), Kyle Garlick (1), Mark Contreras (2), Daniel Robertson (1) Multi hit games: Robertson (2-5 2 R, HR, 2 RBI, BB), Garlick (2-5 R, HR, 3 RBI, BB), Terry (2-3 3 R, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 BB), Contreras (3-5, 2 2B, HR, 3 RBI), Jermaine Palacios (2-5 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI), Chance Sisco (3-5 2 R, 2 2B, RBI) The Saints finished their series in Louisville with a bang as six Saints hitters tallied multiple hits in their 15-6 victory over the Bats. The offense was balanced for the Saints with everyone except Derek Fisher getting a hit and top prospects Royce Lewis and Jose Miranda being the only ones without multiple hits. This gave an opportunity for all the other hitters in the Saints lineup a chance to shine, especially the likes of Sisco and Contreras who tallied two doubles each in their three-hit games. Louisville starter Ben Lively struggled with his control in this game as he hit three batters, one to Miranda and two to Lewis. Fortunately for both Miranda and Lewis the pitches they took did not result in any serious injuries that removed them from the game. Jake Faria struggled in his first two innings but recovered during his final inning and a third on the mound. Coming in to replace Faria was Chi Chi Gonzlaez, who had a notoriously bad spring training with the Twins posting an 18.69 ERA in just 4 1/3 innings pitched. A bad spring training did not carry over into Gonzalez’s Saints debut as he gave up two earned runs on three hits and a walk in 4 2/3 innings pitched. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 3, Tulsa 7 Box Score SP: Chris Vallimont 2/3 IP, 5 H, 5 ER, 1 BB, 1 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-4) The Wind Surge took the only loss for the Twins minor league affiliates on Sunday. Chris Vallimont couldn’t find his way out of the first inning in his 2022 season debut. The Drillers tallied five runs off of him to knock him out early. Following Vallimont’s struggles, Kody Funderburk came in from the bullpen to stop the bleeding. Funderburk only surrendered one run in three innings of relief. The Wind Surge were able to get a run back in the bottom half of the first inning thanks to a Spencer Steer double that drove in Austin Martin. But the Drillers were able to keep the Wind Surge scoreless until the seventh inning when they scored two more runs. All nine Wind Surge hitters were able to get on base this game but still did not have enough juice in the bats to pull together a win. Wichita has yet to win a game this season, falling to 0-3. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 2, Beloit 0 Box Score SP: Sawyer Gipson-Long 4 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None Christian Encarnacion-Strand had been the star of the Kernels first two games but his bat cooled off just a little bit in Sunday’s game going 1-for-4 with an RBI double. However, the pitching stepped up in a big way on Sunday. The Kernels had five pitchers work on Sunday afternoon, and they combined to shutout the Sky Carp in a 2-0 victory. The starter for the Kernels was Sawyer Gipson-Long who hurled four scoreless innings and gave up two hits, walked two, and struck out five batters. Following Gipson-Long from the bullpen were Bobby Milacki, Melvi Acosta, Denny Bentley, and Osiris German. They combined for five innings pitched of no-hit baseball giving up only two walks and striking out four Sky Carp batters. German earned the save for the Kernels. The Kernels were able to pull off the sweep of the Sky Carp on only three hits thanks to the master class pitching from their rotation on Sunday. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 6, Clearwater 3 Box Score SP: Travis Adams 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Noah Cardenas (1) Multi-hit games: Kyler Fedko (2-3 1 R, 3B, 3 RBI, BB, K) The Mighty Mussels completed their sweep of the Clearwater Threshers on Sunday bringing them to a 3-0 record to start the season. Mussels starter Travis Adams contributed a strong first outing of the season keeping Clearwater to one run in his five innings pitched. Jaylen Nowlin came into the game after Adams and surrendered the Threshers two runs, but the rest of the Fort Myers bullpen kept the game scoreless. Jackson Hicks pitched a scoreless eighth inning, and Juan Mendez came on and recorded his first save of the season. Kyler Fedko had the big hit of the game for Fort Myers. Fedko smacked a bases-clearing triple in the top of the seventh that gave the Mussels the lead making it a 6-3 game. Mussels catcher Noah Cardenas also had a big hit getting his first home run of the season in the second inning. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Travis Adams (Ft. Myers) - 5 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K Hitter of the Day – Mark Contreras (St. Paul) - 3-5, 3 R, 3 RBI, HR PROSPECT SUMMARY We will again keep tabs on the Twins' top prospects. You’ll probably read about them in the team sections, but if they aren’t there, you’ll see how they did here. Here’s a look at how the current Twins Daily Top 20 performed: #1 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B (2), K #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 1-4, 2B (3), 2 R, 2 K, RBI, CS, 2-HBP #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-5, K, RBI (4), HBP #10 - Noah Miller (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, BB, 3 K, CS (1) #12 - Matt Wallner (Wichita) - 0-3, BB, K, CS (1) #15 - Emmanuel Rodriguez (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, 2 BB, SB (1) #18 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-4, 2B (2), RBI #19 - Edouard Julien (Wichita) - 2-4, K TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS All Twins Minor League Affiliates are off on Monday and will resume their games on Tuesday, April 12. The only Monday in which there will be minor-league games is July 4th (and some for the Saints in September). The Saints and Mighty Muscles will be hosting their home openers on Tuesday. Indianapolis @ St. Paul (6:37 PM CST) - RHP Daniel Gossett (0-0, 7.36 ERA, 1.36 WHIP) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Brandon Lawson Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CST) - LHP Cade Povich Jupiter @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Marco Raya (first professional start) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Sunday’s games as the first weekend of the Minor and Major League seasons has concluded.
  13. The star-studded St. Paul Saints continued their hot start to the 2022 season on Wednesday evening. Read up on highlights from game and updates from around the Twins farm system! Once again, the St. Paul Saints were the only Twins minor league team in action on Wednesday. That didn't stop them from putting on an offensive clinic. The Wind Surge, Kernels, and Mussels will all kick off their season on Friday. That's when the Twins will play their first game as well after it was postponed from Thursday. TRANSACTIONS The Twins placed LHP Lewis Thorpe, RHP Ronny Henriquez, and RHP Jake Petricka on Developmental List. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 7, Louisville 4 Box Score Fresh off their first W of the season, the Saints were the true bearers of lumber against the Louisville Bats on Thursday evening. The Saints got the party started with a three-run first inning and never looked back, notching their second win of the young season. The hype around the talented Saints roster has been exponentially leading up to the 2022 season. Wednesday evening showed why. On the third pitch of the game, Jose Miranda launched a 2-0 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Saints a 1-0 lead. The MLB.com Top 100 prospect launched 30 homers between AA Wichita and AAA St. Paul last season and his Wednesday dinger will likely be the first of many. 2017 first-round pick Royce Lewis followed suit with a double to center on an 0-2 pitch to keep the momentum going. Lewis recorded his first hit of the season last night in the season opener and it’s safe to say that all of Twins Territory is thrilled to see Lewis’ play and personality back on the diamond. Touted for his impressive speed, Lewis followed suit by stealing third base (2) and was eventually driven in alongside Mark Contreras by a Jake Cave double (1) to give the Saints a 3-0 lead. Miranda continued his solid evening by knocking in Curtis Terry on an RBI single in the fourth inning. Jermaine Palacios also scored in the first thanks to a catching error by Louisville first basemen Jake Bauers. St. Paul tacked on two more runs in the seventh. After an infield single by Lewis, Contreras launched an 0-1 pitch over the right-field wall to give the Saints a 7-3 lead. The shot was Contreras’ first of the young season. The Goose is Loose A former member of the Red Sox organization, RHP Daniel “Goose” Gossett was rock-solid in his first outing for the Saints. Despite a rocky third inning, Gossett gave up no runs on one hit in the first two innings and retired the first two batters in the fourth inning before being removed. Newcomer JC Ramirez (W, 1-0) came in after Gossett and was rock solid for 2.1 innings. The Managua, Nicaragua native struck allowed no runs on three hits with three strikeouts, allowing the Saints offensive opportunities to pad their lead. The tandem of Jovani Moran and Juan Minaya (S, 1) tackled the final seven outs, allowing only two combined hits. Minaya struck out four batters to earn his first save of the year. Larnach Out Just hours before first pitch, the Saints announced that top prospect Trevor Larnach had been removed from the lineup and replaced by Mark Contreras (who had a stellar evening). Pre-game, Saints manager Toby Gardenhire told broadcaster Sean Aronson that he had some muscle tightness and with the wet field conditions (both of the first two games have been delayed), they removed him from the lineup. That didn't stop Twitter from being curious. Then Ken Rosenthal tweeted out during the Saints game that the Twins were working on acquiring San Diego starting pitcher Chris Paddack. And while some believe Larnach could be headed to Southern California, Rosenthal followed up by saying that the Padres are interested in Twins reliever Taylor Rogers. Will Larnach's promising future remain in Minnesota? It seems likely, but only time will tell. WIND SURGE WISDOM The Wind Surge will begin their season on Friday at home against the Tulsa Drillers. The Surge will send top prospect Matt Canterino to the mound for the season opener. Canterino was 1-0 with a 0.78 ERA in 2021 before being sidelined with an elbow injury. The return of one of the most exciting pitchers in the Twins organization should be electric. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Wind Surge roster preview. KERNELS NUGGETS The Kernels announced on Wednesday that LHP and Burnsville, MN native Aaron Rozek will take the bump for Cedar Rapids' opener on Friday against Beloit. Signed to a minor-league contract last season, Rozek went 3-2 with a 2.40 ERA between Fort Myers, Cedar Rapids, and Wichita in 2021. Be sure to take a look at the Cedar Rapids roster in advance of their opener on Friday. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers hits the road to Clearwater to open their 2022 season against the Threshers on Friday. There should be quite a few of the Twins 2021 draft picks on their roster, which has yet to be officially announced. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - JC Ramirez, St. Paul Saints (W, 2.1 IP, 3 H, BB, 3 K) Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda, St. Paul Saints (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 SB (3), 2 K #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K #11 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-5, 2 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (5:35 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands View full article
  14. Once again, the St. Paul Saints were the only Twins minor league team in action on Wednesday. That didn't stop them from putting on an offensive clinic. The Wind Surge, Kernels, and Mussels will all kick off their season on Friday. That's when the Twins will play their first game as well after it was postponed from Thursday. TRANSACTIONS The Twins placed LHP Lewis Thorpe, RHP Ronny Henriquez, and RHP Jake Petricka on Developmental List. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 7, Louisville 4 Box Score Fresh off their first W of the season, the Saints were the true bearers of lumber against the Louisville Bats on Thursday evening. The Saints got the party started with a three-run first inning and never looked back, notching their second win of the young season. The hype around the talented Saints roster has been exponentially leading up to the 2022 season. Wednesday evening showed why. On the third pitch of the game, Jose Miranda launched a 2-0 pitch over the left-field wall to give the Saints a 1-0 lead. The MLB.com Top 100 prospect launched 30 homers between AA Wichita and AAA St. Paul last season and his Wednesday dinger will likely be the first of many. 2017 first-round pick Royce Lewis followed suit with a double to center on an 0-2 pitch to keep the momentum going. Lewis recorded his first hit of the season last night in the season opener and it’s safe to say that all of Twins Territory is thrilled to see Lewis’ play and personality back on the diamond. Touted for his impressive speed, Lewis followed suit by stealing third base (2) and was eventually driven in alongside Mark Contreras by a Jake Cave double (1) to give the Saints a 3-0 lead. Miranda continued his solid evening by knocking in Curtis Terry on an RBI single in the fourth inning. Jermaine Palacios also scored in the first thanks to a catching error by Louisville first basemen Jake Bauers. St. Paul tacked on two more runs in the seventh. After an infield single by Lewis, Contreras launched an 0-1 pitch over the right-field wall to give the Saints a 7-3 lead. The shot was Contreras’ first of the young season. The Goose is Loose A former member of the Red Sox organization, RHP Daniel “Goose” Gossett was rock-solid in his first outing for the Saints. Despite a rocky third inning, Gossett gave up no runs on one hit in the first two innings and retired the first two batters in the fourth inning before being removed. Newcomer JC Ramirez (W, 1-0) came in after Gossett and was rock solid for 2.1 innings. The Managua, Nicaragua native struck allowed no runs on three hits with three strikeouts, allowing the Saints offensive opportunities to pad their lead. The tandem of Jovani Moran and Juan Minaya (S, 1) tackled the final seven outs, allowing only two combined hits. Minaya struck out four batters to earn his first save of the year. Larnach Out Just hours before first pitch, the Saints announced that top prospect Trevor Larnach had been removed from the lineup and replaced by Mark Contreras (who had a stellar evening). Pre-game, Saints manager Toby Gardenhire told broadcaster Sean Aronson that he had some muscle tightness and with the wet field conditions (both of the first two games have been delayed), they removed him from the lineup. That didn't stop Twitter from being curious. Then Ken Rosenthal tweeted out during the Saints game that the Twins were working on acquiring San Diego starting pitcher Chris Paddack. And while some believe Larnach could be headed to Southern California, Rosenthal followed up by saying that the Padres are interested in Twins reliever Taylor Rogers. Will Larnach's promising future remain in Minnesota? It seems likely, but only time will tell. WIND SURGE WISDOM The Wind Surge will begin their season on Friday at home against the Tulsa Drillers. The Surge will send top prospect Matt Canterino to the mound for the season opener. Canterino was 1-0 with a 0.78 ERA in 2021 before being sidelined with an elbow injury. The return of one of the most exciting pitchers in the Twins organization should be electric. In the meantime, be sure to check out the Wind Surge roster preview. KERNELS NUGGETS The Kernels announced on Wednesday that LHP and Burnsville, MN native Aaron Rozek will take the bump for Cedar Rapids' opener on Friday against Beloit. Signed to a minor-league contract last season, Rozek went 3-2 with a 2.40 ERA between Fort Myers, Cedar Rapids, and Wichita in 2021. Be sure to take a look at the Cedar Rapids roster in advance of their opener on Friday. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers hits the road to Clearwater to open their 2022 season against the Threshers on Friday. There should be quite a few of the Twins 2021 draft picks on their roster, which has yet to be officially announced. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - JC Ramirez, St. Paul Saints (W, 2.1 IP, 3 H, BB, 3 K) Hitter of the Day - Jose Miranda, St. Paul Saints (2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #2 - Royce Lewis (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 2 SB (3), 2 K #3 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 K #11 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-5, 2 K THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (5:35 PM CST) - RHP Cole Sands
  15. This offseason the Minnesota Twins signed Byron Buxton to an extension cementing their centerfield plans into the foreseeable future. Needing the talent to play alongside him, and provide depth, new outfield possibilities remain a key for the Twins. 2017 draft pick Mark Contreras could be among them. Drafted out of the University of California-Riverside, Contreras scuffled through his first three professional seasons. In more than 1,000 plate appearances the outfielder had never posted a single-season OPS better than .740, and it had declined each year. Throw in that he was impacted by a lost minor league season in 2020 and things begin to look ominous. Fortunately for both the Twins and Contreras, the organization continued to buy in and show faith. Last season starting at Double-A Wichita a corner began to be turned. Playing 19 games for the Wind Surge, Contreras got out to a strong start with an .803 OPS. As Minnesota needed outfield depth and the ripple effects were felt throughout the system, Contreras found an opportunity with the Triple-A St. Paul Saints. In St. Paul, Contreras drew regular starts and played in 95 games. His .248/.335/.493 (.828) slash line was a career-high, and the power production came seemingly out of nowhere. Having previously hit 23 total homers in his pro career, Contreras launched 20, 18 of which came for the Saints, and he did so while maintaining a strong on-base percentage. Now ticketed to begin 2022 in St. Paul alongside outfielders like Trevor Larnach and Gilberto Celestino, Minnesota’s crosstown affiliate may have one of the most talented trios in the minors. For Contreras though, there was always a belief that this could happen, and a clubhouse mix that made him feel comfortable may be to credit. “Tuning in to my approach at the plate made a big impact. Talking to Smars (Tyler Smarslok) and our old hitting coach Borgs (Matt Borgschulte), they really helped dial me in there. The clubhouse was good to me. We had a lot of vet guys, you know J.T. Riddle, Drew Maggi, and my roommate Sherman Johnson. They really helped me understand myself a little bit more and playing the game within the game.” Getting comfortable both at the plate and while handling success is part of the developmental process. It was clear Contreras had somewhat of a new approach, but it wasn’t necessarily intentional to bring the power along the way. “I’ve always known I could (hit for power) I just was making better contact and the ball was doing what it was doing. I showed myself I can do that, and I’m excited for this year. Again, a lot of respect and thanks to those guys last year because they really helped me dial that in.” When going through it at the dish, Contreras has always remained a strong defender and taken pride in that part of his game. “My dad always told me to separate the two. If you’re not having a good day at the plate, you can’t take that out to the field. You can’t take a bad play in the field to the plate, bounce back either way. Going good at the plate really helped me to relax out there as well.” As Minnesota struggled down the stretch at the Major League level last season it was worth wondering if Contreras would get the call. Now starting at the highest level of the minors, he’s as close as ever, and a repeat of 2021 could have him in contention for a big league debut sooner rather than later. View full article
  16. The Minnesota Twins are looking like contenders in the American League Central. While the lineup is loaded at the Major League level, they’ll need depth and prospects to supplement along the way. Fortunately, the St. Paul Saints look up to the task. On Sunday the Twins Triple-A affiliate held their first full-squad workout at CHS Field before departing for Louisville where they’ll kick off the minor league season on Tuesday. Although more than a handful of players remained in Fort Myers, there was a good contingent of returning players getting work in. Last season the Saints got out to a slow start offensively, but that shouldn’t be the case this year as the club looks to be loaded throughout the roster with players that have Major League experience as well as guys that have significant prospect hype, Minnesota’s Triple-A affiliate should be more than a force to be reckoned with. Right now Toby Gardenhire’s club is filled with names such as Trevor Larnach, Jose Miranda, and Royce Lewis. Gilberto Celestino broke out at Triple-A last season, while Mark Contreras had a coming-out party in 2021. Derek Fisher has significant big-league experience, and Curtis Terry has pummeled the ball in the minors. Gardenhire will have a challenge finding ample time for everyone to contribute. Now in his second season with the Saints, Gardenhire suggested the first month will be interesting due to the shortened Spring Training and Minnesota having signed some guys late. “Our roster might be a little up and down at times, but we’ve got a good group of guys and a good group of young prospects. I think they are going to help the big league team out during the season.” Looking at his lineup and hoping to start faster this season Gardenhire said, “On paper, it looks great, right? We had Larnach here to start last year and he ended up in the big leagues after one game or something. It’s a one-day at a time situation, but having Royce Lewis back, I’m happy for him. He’s a great player. He’s a great kid. I’m excited to watch him. Larnach is pushing the big leagues. I told him already I expect him to help out in the big leagues sooner rather than later. Miranda had a great year last year. If he can keep doing that, it won’t be long before he’s up there either.” “This group (Miranda, Larnach, Lewis) fit great in the big league clubhouse this spring. Miranda, nothing ever seems to phase that guy.” Gardenhire spent a good deal of time in the Major League dugout this spring down in Fort Myers as plenty of his players competed for the Twins. He talks glowingly of the talent he has close, both top prospects and veterans alike. It’s evident that Gardenhire is excited to coach a club that should have one of the best lineups in minor league baseball. For the Saints, and Lewis as well, it will be exciting to have Minnesota’s top prospect back on the field. He’s not going to have an immediate workload resembling no restrictions, but it doesn’t sound as though Gardenhire is worried about any setbacks or issues for the talented shortstop. When looking at the roster it’s fair to drool over the big names, but there’s plenty of sustainability here too when considering those under the radar types as well. Terry was prioritized as a free agent while big-league veterans will be present. Continued development of players like Contreras, David Banuelos, and Caleb Hamilton is going to be nice to see. Having been down this path both as a player and following in the managerial footsteps of his dad, Gardenhire gets it. He’s a quality leader, a strong developer of talent, and certainly going to have a front-row seat to a very intriguing Saints club in the year ahead. View full article
  17. On Sunday the Twins Triple-A affiliate held their first full-squad workout at CHS Field before departing for Louisville where they’ll kick off the minor league season on Tuesday. Although more than a handful of players remained in Fort Myers, there was a good contingent of returning players getting work in. Last season the Saints got out to a slow start offensively, but that shouldn’t be the case this year as the club looks to be loaded throughout the roster with players that have Major League experience as well as guys that have significant prospect hype, Minnesota’s Triple-A affiliate should be more than a force to be reckoned with. Right now Toby Gardenhire’s club is filled with names such as Trevor Larnach, Jose Miranda, and Royce Lewis. Gilberto Celestino broke out at Triple-A last season, while Mark Contreras had a coming-out party in 2021. Derek Fisher has significant big-league experience, and Curtis Terry has pummeled the ball in the minors. Gardenhire will have a challenge finding ample time for everyone to contribute. Now in his second season with the Saints, Gardenhire suggested the first month will be interesting due to the shortened Spring Training and Minnesota having signed some guys late. “Our roster might be a little up and down at times, but we’ve got a good group of guys and a good group of young prospects. I think they are going to help the big league team out during the season.” Looking at his lineup and hoping to start faster this season Gardenhire said, “On paper, it looks great, right? We had Larnach here to start last year and he ended up in the big leagues after one game or something. It’s a one-day at a time situation, but having Royce Lewis back, I’m happy for him. He’s a great player. He’s a great kid. I’m excited to watch him. Larnach is pushing the big leagues. I told him already I expect him to help out in the big leagues sooner rather than later. Miranda had a great year last year. If he can keep doing that, it won’t be long before he’s up there either.” “This group (Miranda, Larnach, Lewis) fit great in the big league clubhouse this spring. Miranda, nothing ever seems to phase that guy.” Gardenhire spent a good deal of time in the Major League dugout this spring down in Fort Myers as plenty of his players competed for the Twins. He talks glowingly of the talent he has close, both top prospects and veterans alike. It’s evident that Gardenhire is excited to coach a club that should have one of the best lineups in minor league baseball. For the Saints, and Lewis as well, it will be exciting to have Minnesota’s top prospect back on the field. He’s not going to have an immediate workload resembling no restrictions, but it doesn’t sound as though Gardenhire is worried about any setbacks or issues for the talented shortstop. When looking at the roster it’s fair to drool over the big names, but there’s plenty of sustainability here too when considering those under the radar types as well. Terry was prioritized as a free agent while big-league veterans will be present. Continued development of players like Contreras, David Banuelos, and Caleb Hamilton is going to be nice to see. Having been down this path both as a player and following in the managerial footsteps of his dad, Gardenhire gets it. He’s a quality leader, a strong developer of talent, and certainly going to have a front-row seat to a very intriguing Saints club in the year ahead.
  18. Drafted out of the University of California-Riverside, Contreras scuffled through his first three professional seasons. In more than 1,000 plate appearances the outfielder had never posted a single-season OPS better than .740, and it had declined each year. Throw in that he was impacted by a lost minor league season in 2020 and things begin to look ominous. Fortunately for both the Twins and Contreras, the organization continued to buy in and show faith. Last season starting at Double-A Wichita a corner began to be turned. Playing 19 games for the Wind Surge, Contreras got out to a strong start with an .803 OPS. As Minnesota needed outfield depth and the ripple effects were felt throughout the system, Contreras found an opportunity with the Triple-A St. Paul Saints. In St. Paul, Contreras drew regular starts and played in 95 games. His .248/.335/.493 (.828) slash line was a career-high, and the power production came seemingly out of nowhere. Having previously hit 23 total homers in his pro career, Contreras launched 20, 18 of which came for the Saints, and he did so while maintaining a strong on-base percentage. Now ticketed to begin 2022 in St. Paul alongside outfielders like Trevor Larnach and Gilberto Celestino, Minnesota’s crosstown affiliate may have one of the most talented trios in the minors. For Contreras though, there was always a belief that this could happen, and a clubhouse mix that made him feel comfortable may be to credit. “Tuning in to my approach at the plate made a big impact. Talking to Smars (Tyler Smarslok) and our old hitting coach Borgs (Matt Borgschulte), they really helped dial me in there. The clubhouse was good to me. We had a lot of vet guys, you know J.T. Riddle, Drew Maggi, and my roommate Sherman Johnson. They really helped me understand myself a little bit more and playing the game within the game.” Getting comfortable both at the plate and while handling success is part of the developmental process. It was clear Contreras had somewhat of a new approach, but it wasn’t necessarily intentional to bring the power along the way. “I’ve always known I could (hit for power) I just was making better contact and the ball was doing what it was doing. I showed myself I can do that, and I’m excited for this year. Again, a lot of respect and thanks to those guys last year because they really helped me dial that in.” When going through it at the dish, Contreras has always remained a strong defender and taken pride in that part of his game. “My dad always told me to separate the two. If you’re not having a good day at the plate, you can’t take that out to the field. You can’t take a bad play in the field to the plate, bounce back either way. Going good at the plate really helped me to relax out there as well.” As Minnesota struggled down the stretch at the Major League level last season it was worth wondering if Contreras would get the call. Now starting at the highest level of the minors, he’s as close as ever, and a repeat of 2021 could have him in contention for a big league debut sooner rather than later.
  19. Today we get back to my Twins Top 30 Hitting Prospect rankings with Part 2, prospects 21 through 25. Today's list includes more names that you have heard of, however, it still presents a group of players at various levels in the organization, and players at various levels of development. Do you agree with these rankings. A quick reminder. These prospect rankings are meant as a fun look at prospects throughout the Twins organization. In Part 2 today, you'll read about some hitters at various levels of development which can make it difficult to rank and differentiate. After reading about this group of players, enjoy the comments. Participate by asking questions or discussing the players mentioned. When we finish the rankings, I'd like to know your thoughts and your rankings. Let's get started with Twins hitting prospects ranked 21-25. #25 Jermaine Palacios 2021 STATS: .259/.340/.439, 17 2B, 19 HR, 54 RBI, 23.3 K%, 9.8 BB%, 18/26 SB Jermaine Palacios originally signed with the Twins way back in 2013 from Venezuela. By 2017, he had become a very solid Twins prospect, reaching into some Top 10 lists. Before the 2018 season, he was traded to the Rays for Jake Odorizzi. He really struggled in 2019 and 2020, especially in Double-A. He didn’t play in 2020 and became a free agent. He had other options, but he chose to come back to the Twins organization. The plan for him was to play all over the infield, but when Royce Lewis’s season came to an end, he became the almost-everyday shortstop. He was a very stabilizing factor in the Wind Surge infield, a fantastic defensively shortstop with a strong arm and range. In addition, he hit. He got on base, and he really showed a lot of power. Following the season, he very quickly signed to remain with the Twins organization on a minor league contract. He is currently hitting .349/.431/.563 (.994) with 11 doubles and four homers in 40 games in the Venezuelan Winter League. He will not turn 26 until mid-July. #24 Charlie Mack 2021 STATS: .229/.370/.368, 7 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 21 RBI, 26.4 K%, 18.3 BB%, 2/2 SB Charlie Mack was the Twins sixth-round pick in 2018 out of high school. He spent time as an infielder but after the 2019 season, he was moved behind the plate. Unfortunately, there was no 2020 minor league season, but Mack continued to work at it and showed progress on defense in 2021 with the Mighty Mussels. His bat really came around in the second half too. Mack has a nice, pure, left-handed swing that should develop more power. He’s got a patient approach as well. He will be 22-years-old throughout the 2022 season and should spend it in Cedar Rapids. His brother Joe was the Marlins first-round pick in 2021. #23 Mark Contreras 2021 STATS: .251/.338/.485, 30 2B, 3 3B, 20 HR, 29.6 K%, 9.1 BB%, 15/20 SB Mark Contreras had a bit of a breakout season in 2021. The former minor league Gold Glove outfielder struggled with the bat in 2019. However, in 2021, he showed a good approach at the plate and really started to drive the ball, as you can see from 53 extra base hits. He remained strong in the outfield and played all three positions which is good since the Twins hope centerfield is pretty well set for awhile. Meanwhile, he will be 27 throughout the 2022 season and continuing to prepare himself in St. Paul for The Call. #22 Will Holland 2021 STATS: .214/.336/.401, 15 2B, 10 HR, 27 RBI, 33.1 K%, 11.0 BB%, 19/24 SB The Twins selected Will Holland in the 5th round of the 2019 draft. He was playing with Auburn in the College World Series. In 2021, he played in Ft. Myers. He missed a little time with injury and played in 76 games. He was a shortstop in college, but this year he spent a lot of time in centerfield. While he didn’t hit for average, as the season went on he took quality plate appearances and showed terrific power. Holland is a great athlete who can play all over the diamond. #21 Seth Gray 2021 STATS: .212/.321/.333, 13 2B, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 28.3 K%, 10.6 BB%, 5/6 SB Seth Gray certainly looks the part of a power-hitting third baseman. He is big and strong, yet he is pretty quick on his first at third base and plays the position pretty well. It was a disappointing season for him offensively. He wasn’t able to really find a run of consistency throughout the year. There were a lot of swings-and-misses, but he also has a patient approach at the plate. It’s important to also remember that with the missed season, he also jumped over Low-A ball. 2022 will be a big year for him, but the talent and strength are certainly there to move up this list rapidly. While Contreras and Palacios could be ready to fill a role in the big leagues in the right situation, Mack was a high school pick changing positions while moving up to the Mighty Mussels. Meanwhile Gray and Holland are college guys who have had their ups and downs but both remain filled with talent and tools to give hope that it can click. Let's not underestimate how much the lost season affected people differently. Discuss... and keep coming back every day throughout the holiday season as we continue to discuss these prospects. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30 View full article
  20. A quick reminder. These prospect rankings are meant as a fun look at prospects throughout the Twins organization. In Part 2 today, you'll read about some hitters at various levels of development which can make it difficult to rank and differentiate. After reading about this group of players, enjoy the comments. Participate by asking questions or discussing the players mentioned. When we finish the rankings, I'd like to know your thoughts and your rankings. Let's get started with Twins hitting prospects ranked 21-25. #25 Jermaine Palacios 2021 STATS: .259/.340/.439, 17 2B, 19 HR, 54 RBI, 23.3 K%, 9.8 BB%, 18/26 SB Jermaine Palacios originally signed with the Twins way back in 2013 from Venezuela. By 2017, he had become a very solid Twins prospect, reaching into some Top 10 lists. Before the 2018 season, he was traded to the Rays for Jake Odorizzi. He really struggled in 2019 and 2020, especially in Double-A. He didn’t play in 2020 and became a free agent. He had other options, but he chose to come back to the Twins organization. The plan for him was to play all over the infield, but when Royce Lewis’s season came to an end, he became the almost-everyday shortstop. He was a very stabilizing factor in the Wind Surge infield, a fantastic defensively shortstop with a strong arm and range. In addition, he hit. He got on base, and he really showed a lot of power. Following the season, he very quickly signed to remain with the Twins organization on a minor league contract. He is currently hitting .349/.431/.563 (.994) with 11 doubles and four homers in 40 games in the Venezuelan Winter League. He will not turn 26 until mid-July. #24 Charlie Mack 2021 STATS: .229/.370/.368, 7 2B, 2 3B, 7 HR, 21 RBI, 26.4 K%, 18.3 BB%, 2/2 SB Charlie Mack was the Twins sixth-round pick in 2018 out of high school. He spent time as an infielder but after the 2019 season, he was moved behind the plate. Unfortunately, there was no 2020 minor league season, but Mack continued to work at it and showed progress on defense in 2021 with the Mighty Mussels. His bat really came around in the second half too. Mack has a nice, pure, left-handed swing that should develop more power. He’s got a patient approach as well. He will be 22-years-old throughout the 2022 season and should spend it in Cedar Rapids. His brother Joe was the Marlins first-round pick in 2021. #23 Mark Contreras 2021 STATS: .251/.338/.485, 30 2B, 3 3B, 20 HR, 29.6 K%, 9.1 BB%, 15/20 SB Mark Contreras had a bit of a breakout season in 2021. The former minor league Gold Glove outfielder struggled with the bat in 2019. However, in 2021, he showed a good approach at the plate and really started to drive the ball, as you can see from 53 extra base hits. He remained strong in the outfield and played all three positions which is good since the Twins hope centerfield is pretty well set for awhile. Meanwhile, he will be 27 throughout the 2022 season and continuing to prepare himself in St. Paul for The Call. #22 Will Holland 2021 STATS: .214/.336/.401, 15 2B, 10 HR, 27 RBI, 33.1 K%, 11.0 BB%, 19/24 SB The Twins selected Will Holland in the 5th round of the 2019 draft. He was playing with Auburn in the College World Series. In 2021, he played in Ft. Myers. He missed a little time with injury and played in 76 games. He was a shortstop in college, but this year he spent a lot of time in centerfield. While he didn’t hit for average, as the season went on he took quality plate appearances and showed terrific power. Holland is a great athlete who can play all over the diamond. #21 Seth Gray 2021 STATS: .212/.321/.333, 13 2B, 11 HR, 51 RBI, 28.3 K%, 10.6 BB%, 5/6 SB Seth Gray certainly looks the part of a power-hitting third baseman. He is big and strong, yet he is pretty quick on his first at third base and plays the position pretty well. It was a disappointing season for him offensively. He wasn’t able to really find a run of consistency throughout the year. There were a lot of swings-and-misses, but he also has a patient approach at the plate. It’s important to also remember that with the missed season, he also jumped over Low-A ball. 2022 will be a big year for him, but the talent and strength are certainly there to move up this list rapidly. While Contreras and Palacios could be ready to fill a role in the big leagues in the right situation, Mack was a high school pick changing positions while moving up to the Mighty Mussels. Meanwhile Gray and Holland are college guys who have had their ups and downs but both remain filled with talent and tools to give hope that it can click. Let's not underestimate how much the lost season affected people differently. Discuss... and keep coming back every day throughout the holiday season as we continue to discuss these prospects. Previous Rankings Hitters Part 1: 26-30 Pitchers Part 1: 26-30
  21. MINOR LEAGUE END OF THE YEAR AWARDS There have been quite a few bright spots around the Twins' farm system throughout the 2021 season. Yet through all the ups, downs, wins, and losses there were a number of players who distinguished themselves as crowned jewels. Congrats to all of our 2021 Minor League Award winners! Twins Daily 2021 Minor League Hitter of the Year: Jose Miranda Twins Daily 2021 Starting Pitching of the Year: Louie Varland Twins Daily 2021 Relief Pitcher of the Year: Jovani Moran Short Season Awards Twins Daily 2021 Short Season Hitter of the Year: Kala'i Rosario Twins Daily 2021 Short Season Pitcher of the Year: Samuel Perez TRANSACTIONS The Saints placed catcher Ben Rortvedt on the IL with a concussion. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 2, Toledo 0 Box Score A late-inning blast and dominant pitching led to a gutsy win for the Saints on Thursday night at Fifth Third Field. After six innings of a stalemate, the Saints struck the scoreboard in the top of the seventh. Leadoff man Jose Miranda reached on a hit by pitch and eventually moved his way to third on a groundout and wild pitch. He may as well stayed at first. Moments later, Mark Contreras launched a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall to give the Saints a 2-0 lead. The blast was Contreras' 18th on the year and fifth in September. Starting pitcher Derek Law was rock solid on the night, tossing three innings of scoreless ball. Law allowed three hits and two walks while striking out four. And while Law kicked off the party, the guest of honor title belonged to the St. Paul bullpen. The duo of Chandler Shepherd and Yennier Cano rattled off six innings of scoreless ball to hold the lead for the Saints. Shepherd was nearly perfect through four innings, giving up one hit, zero walks, and striking out three. Cano entered in the eighth and put the nail in the coffin for St. Paul. After a smooth eighth, Cano gave up a one-out double to Mud Hen shortstop Ryan Kreidler. It didn't matter. Cano regained the momentum and struck out the next two batters to seal the deal for the Saints. The Mud Hens outhit St. Paul 5-2, with a Jose Miranda single playing as the only other hit for the Saints in addition to Contreras' blast. Yet when it came to crunch time, Toledo couldn't convert, going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The Saints are now 5-2 in the Final Stretch of the season. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Mark Contreras (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, K Pitcher of the Day: Chandler Shepherd (St. Paul)- W, 4.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, H, 5 K PROSPECT SUMMARY #6- Jose Miranda (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, R #7- Joe Ryan (Minnesota)- Game in progress #13- Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul)- 0-for-4, K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota)- Game in progress FRIDAY'S PROBABLE STARTER St. Paul @ Toledo (6:05PM CST) RHP Beau Burrows (4-5, 5.16 ERA)
  22. Trademarked as a relief pitcher, Derek Law diced through the first three innings for the Saints on Thursday night against Toledo. Add in a timely homer and a lights-out bullpen performance and there was nothing the Mud Hens could do. MINOR LEAGUE END OF THE YEAR AWARDS There have been quite a few bright spots around the Twins' farm system throughout the 2021 season. Yet through all the ups, downs, wins, and losses there were a number of players who distinguished themselves as crowned jewels. Congrats to all of our 2021 Minor League Award winners! Twins Daily 2021 Minor League Hitter of the Year: Jose Miranda Twins Daily 2021 Starting Pitching of the Year: Louie Varland Twins Daily 2021 Relief Pitcher of the Year: Jovani Moran Short Season Awards Twins Daily 2021 Short Season Hitter of the Year: Kala'i Rosario Twins Daily 2021 Short Season Pitcher of the Year: Samuel Perez TRANSACTIONS The Saints placed catcher Ben Rortvedt on the IL with a concussion. SAINTS SENTINAL St. Paul 2, Toledo 0 Box Score A late-inning blast and dominant pitching led to a gutsy win for the Saints on Thursday night at Fifth Third Field. After six innings of a stalemate, the Saints struck the scoreboard in the top of the seventh. Leadoff man Jose Miranda reached on a hit by pitch and eventually moved his way to third on a groundout and wild pitch. He may as well stayed at first. Moments later, Mark Contreras launched a 1-0 pitch over the right field wall to give the Saints a 2-0 lead. The blast was Contreras' 18th on the year and fifth in September. Starting pitcher Derek Law was rock solid on the night, tossing three innings of scoreless ball. Law allowed three hits and two walks while striking out four. And while Law kicked off the party, the guest of honor title belonged to the St. Paul bullpen. The duo of Chandler Shepherd and Yennier Cano rattled off six innings of scoreless ball to hold the lead for the Saints. Shepherd was nearly perfect through four innings, giving up one hit, zero walks, and striking out three. Cano entered in the eighth and put the nail in the coffin for St. Paul. After a smooth eighth, Cano gave up a one-out double to Mud Hen shortstop Ryan Kreidler. It didn't matter. Cano regained the momentum and struck out the next two batters to seal the deal for the Saints. The Mud Hens outhit St. Paul 5-2, with a Jose Miranda single playing as the only other hit for the Saints in addition to Contreras' blast. Yet when it came to crunch time, Toledo couldn't convert, going 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position. The Saints are now 5-2 in the Final Stretch of the season. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Mark Contreras (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, HR, R, 2 RBI, K Pitcher of the Day: Chandler Shepherd (St. Paul)- W, 4.0 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, H, 5 K PROSPECT SUMMARY #6- Jose Miranda (St. Paul)- 1-for-3, R #7- Joe Ryan (Minnesota)- Game in progress #13- Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul)- 0-for-4, K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota)- Game in progress FRIDAY'S PROBABLE STARTER St. Paul @ Toledo (6:05PM CST) RHP Beau Burrows (4-5, 5.16 ERA) View full article
  23. A “breakout” in sports is described as a player that plays surprisingly well and above expectations. That’s putting it lightly for Jose Miranda, our unanimous 2021 Minor League Hitter Of the Year. It’s not wise to overreact to a robust 15 games in the Puerto Rican Winter League, especially for a Minor Leaguer who hit just .252/.302/.369 in the prior season. For Jose Miranda, though, it was a glimpse into the future. His strong showing for Caguas was no mirage: he was improving. Miranda always possessed an elite ability to make contact, evidenced by his solid batting averages and low strikeout rates throughout his first handful of years in the minors. That’s why his power surge is so exciting. Starting the year with Wichita at Double-A, Miranda came out firing. He began the season going 13-for-32 (.406) with a double and three homers and never looked back. Miranda’s last 20 games before his promotion were outstanding. He hit .386 with a 1.085 OPS with seven homers and two doubles. Miranda’s ultimate statement came on June 29th in his debut for the Saints. He hit three homers, drove in six runs, and added a double in one of the best Triple-A unveilings you’ll ever see. Miranda proved that his great stretch in Wichita was no mirage. Miranda’s 153 wRC+ at Triple-A is the third-highest for a Twin since 2006 (min. 300 plate appearances). His 162 wRC+ at Double-A is tied for the third-best in that span. Miranda added patience to his profile while still maintaining a strikeout rate below 13%. He’s walking more, hitting for elite power, and spraying the ball all over the field. There are very few flaws to point out in his 2021 campaign. The 23-year-old leads the minors with 292 total bases, 176 hits, and 568 plate appearances. He’s started 48 games at third base, 29 at second base, 26 at first base, and 12 at Designated Hitter. He offers the infield versatility that the Twins value. So what does the future hold? Well, it’s interesting. While Miranda seemingly has nothing left to prove in the minors, there’s a log jam on the Twins’ roster. Josh Donaldson and Miguel Sanó (option) are both under contract at the corners until 2023. Alex Kirilloff impressed in his debut at first base, and Jorge Polanco had an MVP-level season at second. If that’s not enough, Luis Arraez needs a spot too. These things tend to work themselves out, so for now, let’s appreciate this incredible season from Jose Miranda. His future looks bright and offers hope that more contact-oriented prospects (like Austin Martin) can develop power in this system. While the Twins struggled to win games throughout the 2021 season, many fans found hope in the minors, especially in Jose Miranda. Congratulations, Jose! Below are the Top 8 Twins Minor League Hitters in 2021 (according to our 10-person, Twins Daily minor league writing staff) as well as others who received votes. If you click on their names, you will be directed to the search results for that player and find several other articles they are tagged in. TOP 8: 1. IF Jose Miranda - (.342/.400/.568 with 29 doubles, 29 homers at AA/AAA) T-2. 1B/OF Trey Cabbage - (.264/.346/.535 with 20 doubles, 27 homers at High-A/AA) Cabbage blasted 27 homers in 108 games and finished his season with a .535 slugging percentage. He posted an OPS over .880 for both Cedar Rapids and Wichita. T-2. IF Edouard Julien - (.266/.434/.480 with 28 doubles, 18 homers at Low-A/High-A) Julien stole 34 of 39 bases, hit 18 homers and walked 110 times in a breakout season. Julien mashed for Fort Myers before hitting .247/.397/.494 in Cedar Rapids. 4. IF Spencer Steer - (.254/.348/.484 with 18 doubles, 24 homers at High-A/AA) Steer found his power in 2021, stroking 24 homers across two levels. Steer posted a .915 OPS at Cedar Rapids and hit 14 homers for Wichita. 5. OF Mark Contreras - (.253/.341/.488 with 29 doubles, 19 homers at AA/AAA) Contreras is quietly hitting .253/.341/.488 and improved after a promotion to St. Paul. It was his best season as a Minor Leaguer. 6. OF BJ Boyd - (.294/.352/.491 with 15 doubles, 16 homers at AA/AAA) Boyd posted a .923 OPS in Wichita and earned a late season promotion to Triple-A. Boyd hadn't played professional baseball since 2018 but impressed in his return. 7. OF Jimmy Kerrigan - (.265/.336/.487 with 16 doubles, 19 homers at AA/AAA) Kerrigan is a steady force for the Saints, hitting .265/.336/.487 in over 100 games. Kerrigan has tallied 169 total bases, the most in his career. 8. OF Brent Rooker - (.245/.367/.564 with 8 doubles, 20 homers at AAA) Rooker destroyed at Triple-A before another promotion to Minnesota, where he's working himself into a 2022 role. "Rook" hit 20 homers in 62 games for the Saints. OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: OF Gilberto Celestino - (.280/.379/.431, 7 HR, 16 2B at AA/AAA) OF Matt Wallner - (.264/.350/.508, 15 HR, 14 2B, 2 3B at A+) IF/OF Drew Maggi - (.255/.358/.470, 16 HR, 13 2B, 2 3B at AAA) IF Yunior Severino - (.273/.372/.430, 8 HR, 29 2B, 2 3B at A/A+) IF/OF Michael Helman - (.246/.336/.462, 19 HR, 21 2B, 4 3B at A+) SS Jermaine Palacios - (.259/.340/.439, 19 HR, 17 2B at AA) C/1B Alex Isola - (.243/.342/.425, 17 HR, 15 2B at A+) C/OF Jeferson Morales - (.255/.370/.438, 12 HR, 24 2B at A/A+) C/1B Tomás Telís - (.292/.336/.411, 11 HR, 11 2B, 2 3B at AAA) 1B/3B Andrew Bechtold - (.239/.328/.459, 18 HR, 23 2B at AA) OF Ernie de La Trinidad - (.266/.344/.415, 9 HR, 12 2B, 2 3B at AA) PREVIOUS WINNERS: 2012 - Oswaldo Arcia 2013 - Miguel Sano 2014 - Mitch Garver 2015 - Max Kepler 2016 - Daniel Palka 2017 - Mitch Garver 2018 - Alex Kirilloff 2019 - Trevor Larnach View full article
  24. It’s not wise to overreact to a robust 15 games in the Puerto Rican Winter League, especially for a Minor Leaguer who hit just .252/.302/.369 in the prior season. For Jose Miranda, though, it was a glimpse into the future. His strong showing for Caguas was no mirage: he was improving. Miranda always possessed an elite ability to make contact, evidenced by his solid batting averages and low strikeout rates throughout his first handful of years in the minors. That’s why his power surge is so exciting. Starting the year with Wichita at Double-A, Miranda came out firing. He began the season going 13-for-32 (.406) with a double and three homers and never looked back. Miranda’s last 20 games before his promotion were outstanding. He hit .386 with a 1.085 OPS with seven homers and two doubles. Miranda’s ultimate statement came on June 29th in his debut for the Saints. He hit three homers, drove in six runs, and added a double in one of the best Triple-A unveilings you’ll ever see. Miranda proved that his great stretch in Wichita was no mirage. Miranda’s 153 wRC+ at Triple-A is the third-highest for a Twin since 2006 (min. 300 plate appearances). His 162 wRC+ at Double-A is tied for the third-best in that span. Miranda added patience to his profile while still maintaining a strikeout rate below 13%. He’s walking more, hitting for elite power, and spraying the ball all over the field. There are very few flaws to point out in his 2021 campaign. The 23-year-old leads the minors with 292 total bases, 176 hits, and 568 plate appearances. He’s started 48 games at third base, 29 at second base, 26 at first base, and 12 at Designated Hitter. He offers the infield versatility that the Twins value. So what does the future hold? Well, it’s interesting. While Miranda seemingly has nothing left to prove in the minors, there’s a log jam on the Twins’ roster. Josh Donaldson and Miguel Sanó (option) are both under contract at the corners until 2023. Alex Kirilloff impressed in his debut at first base, and Jorge Polanco had an MVP-level season at second. If that’s not enough, Luis Arraez needs a spot too. These things tend to work themselves out, so for now, let’s appreciate this incredible season from Jose Miranda. His future looks bright and offers hope that more contact-oriented prospects (like Austin Martin) can develop power in this system. While the Twins struggled to win games throughout the 2021 season, many fans found hope in the minors, especially in Jose Miranda. Congratulations, Jose! Below are the Top 8 Twins Minor League Hitters in 2021 (according to our 10-person, Twins Daily minor league writing staff) as well as others who received votes. If you click on their names, you will be directed to the search results for that player and find several other articles they are tagged in. TOP 8: 1. IF Jose Miranda - (.342/.400/.568 with 29 doubles, 29 homers at AA/AAA) T-2. 1B/OF Trey Cabbage - (.264/.346/.535 with 20 doubles, 27 homers at High-A/AA) Cabbage blasted 27 homers in 108 games and finished his season with a .535 slugging percentage. He posted an OPS over .880 for both Cedar Rapids and Wichita. T-2. IF Edouard Julien - (.266/.434/.480 with 28 doubles, 18 homers at Low-A/High-A) Julien stole 34 of 39 bases, hit 18 homers and walked 110 times in a breakout season. Julien mashed for Fort Myers before hitting .247/.397/.494 in Cedar Rapids. 4. IF Spencer Steer - (.254/.348/.484 with 18 doubles, 24 homers at High-A/AA) Steer found his power in 2021, stroking 24 homers across two levels. Steer posted a .915 OPS at Cedar Rapids and hit 14 homers for Wichita. 5. OF Mark Contreras - (.253/.341/.488 with 29 doubles, 19 homers at AA/AAA) Contreras is quietly hitting .253/.341/.488 and improved after a promotion to St. Paul. It was his best season as a Minor Leaguer. 6. OF BJ Boyd - (.294/.352/.491 with 15 doubles, 16 homers at AA/AAA) Boyd posted a .923 OPS in Wichita and earned a late season promotion to Triple-A. Boyd hadn't played professional baseball since 2018 but impressed in his return. 7. OF Jimmy Kerrigan - (.265/.336/.487 with 16 doubles, 19 homers at AA/AAA) Kerrigan is a steady force for the Saints, hitting .265/.336/.487 in over 100 games. Kerrigan has tallied 169 total bases, the most in his career. 8. OF Brent Rooker - (.245/.367/.564 with 8 doubles, 20 homers at AAA) Rooker destroyed at Triple-A before another promotion to Minnesota, where he's working himself into a 2022 role. "Rook" hit 20 homers in 62 games for the Saints. OTHERS RECEIVING VOTES: OF Gilberto Celestino - (.280/.379/.431, 7 HR, 16 2B at AA/AAA) OF Matt Wallner - (.264/.350/.508, 15 HR, 14 2B, 2 3B at A+) IF/OF Drew Maggi - (.255/.358/.470, 16 HR, 13 2B, 2 3B at AAA) IF Yunior Severino - (.273/.372/.430, 8 HR, 29 2B, 2 3B at A/A+) IF/OF Michael Helman - (.246/.336/.462, 19 HR, 21 2B, 4 3B at A+) SS Jermaine Palacios - (.259/.340/.439, 19 HR, 17 2B at AA) C/1B Alex Isola - (.243/.342/.425, 17 HR, 15 2B at A+) C/OF Jeferson Morales - (.255/.370/.438, 12 HR, 24 2B at A/A+) C/1B Tomás Telís - (.292/.336/.411, 11 HR, 11 2B, 2 3B at AAA) 1B/3B Andrew Bechtold - (.239/.328/.459, 18 HR, 23 2B at AA) OF Ernie de La Trinidad - (.266/.344/.415, 9 HR, 12 2B, 2 3B at AA) PREVIOUS WINNERS: 2012 - Oswaldo Arcia 2013 - Miguel Sano 2014 - Mitch Garver 2015 - Max Kepler 2016 - Daniel Palka 2017 - Mitch Garver 2018 - Alex Kirilloff 2019 - Trevor Larnach
  25. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 7, Iowa 5 Box Score After trailing early in the ballgame, the St. Paul Saints came roaring back, using the longball and solid relief pitching to earn a confidence-building victory over the Cubs. The I-Cubs jumped out to an early lead, plating four runs in the first three frames off of starting pitcher Bryan Sammons. In what looked to be a runaway game, B.J. Boyd ignited a flame for the Saints in the bottom of the third by crushing a line drive solo homer over the left field wall. St. Paul decreased the lead to one in the fifth when Jimmy Kerrigan led off with a triple that was followed up with a Ben Rortvedt homer in the next at-bat. Momentum continued to sway towards the Saints in the sixth. Jose Miranda led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a passed ball in the next at-bat. That at-bat belonged to Tomas Telis, who connected on a 2-2 pitch to punch an RBI single to center that scored Miranda and tied the game at 4. The draw wouldn't last for long. With Telis on base, Mark Contreras rocked a 3-1 pitch over the right field wall to give the Saints a 6-4 lead. The monumental home run was Contreras' 17th on the season. His 17 blasts trail only Brent Rooker (20) and Jimmy Kerrigan (19) for the Saints this season. Contreras leads the Saints with 58 runs and 59 RBI. After using the long ball early the Saints relied on small ball to scrap another run across in the sixth. B.J. Boyd led the inning off with a single and followed up by swiping second base. Drew Stankiewicz punched a fly ball deep enough to move Boyd to third in the next at-bat. After Jose Miranda reached on a hit-by-pitch Tomas Telis knocked an RBI single past the infield to score Boyd. After Sammons' rocky start Chandler Shepherd came in and dominated, pitching 3 2/3 innings of one-hit, scoreless ball, striking out four and walking one. Yennier Cano followed Shepherd with 1 1/3 innings of one-run, one-hit ball while striking out two, Cano faced adversity in the eighth after walking the first two batters and giving up a run. Yet with runners on base, Cano struck out the final batter to get out of the jam. Ryan Mason came into the game to shut the door in the ninth. After giving up a leadoff single to Ian Miller Mason diced, delivering with a strikeout, pop fly, and another strikeout to earn his seventh save of the season. St. Paul's win was sweet, yet the fact that the team tallied three home runs is even sweeter. On Wednesday the Saints announced that $50 would be donated to ACES4KIDS every time a Saints player hits a home run in the final ten games of the season. ACES (Athletes Committed to Educating Students) is a Twin Cities non-profit dedicated to tackling the academic opportunity gap and preparing young learners to succeed in school, career, and community. Tonight's three homers are the first for the Saints on the campaign, tallying $150. The partnership is part of the Triple-A "Homers that Help" initiative and MLB will donate an additional $5,000 to the charity of choice for whatever participating team hits the most homers in the stretch. WIND SURGE WISDOM Travel Day After dropping the first two games against NW Arkansas in a best-of-five series, the Surge head back to Wichita for game three of the Double-A Central Championship Series. Friday night's game will feature Austin Schulfer (6-8, 4.34 ERA) on the bump pitching against Drew Parrish (6-4, 2.83 ERA) of the Naturals. Parrish has faced the Surge three times this season, going 0-1 with a 5.27 ERA in 20 1/3 innings. In that span he gave up 15 hits and seven earned runs while striking up 24 and walking four. Likewise, Schulfer has faced the Naturals three times this season, going 1-1 with a 22.22 ERA in 10 2.3 innings. The Plover, Wisconsin native has given up 13 hits and 11 runs to NW Arkansas while striking out 15 and walking nine. First pitch is scheduled for 7:05pm CST. Tickets are still available and the game can be viewed on Milb.com. KERNELS NUGGETS Travel Day After winning game one thanks to a Jair Camargo homer the Kernels dropped game two at Quad Cities and come home for game three of the High-A Central Championship Series. Casey Legumina (4-2, 3.28 ERA, mostly in Ft. Myers) of Cedar Rapids will face off against Dante Biasi (5-2, 377 ERA) of Quad Cities. Legumina's start will be his first against the River Bandits after being called up to High-A from Ft. Myers on September 13th. Biasi has been a staple for Quad Cities all season and has faced the Kernels five times, going 1-0 with a 4.32 ERA. He's given up 11 hits and seven earned runs against Cedar Rapids while striking out 13 and walking 11. First pitch is scheduled for 6:30pm CST. Tickets are still available and the game can be viewed on Milb.com. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Hitter of the Day: Chandler Shepherd (St. Paul)- 3.2 IP, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 H, BB, 4 K Pitcher of the Day: B.J Boyd (St. Paul)- 3-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, SB PROSPECT SUMMARY #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-3, R #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-for-3, 2 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, 2B, 2 R, BB, 2 K FRIDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS Iowa @ St. Paul (7:05 PM CST) - LHP Charlie (6-4, 3.88 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Quad Cities (6:30 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (0-0, 0.00 ERA)
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