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  1. The opening week of the 2021 Arizona Fall League season started off slowly for the Scottsdale Scorpions as they went 0-2 in their first two games. But with help from one of the Minnesota Twins prospects and his power, they finished the week with two consecutive wins to even their record after week one. There was one start from a Twins pitcher in those four games, some big strikeout performances from their relievers, and an impressive early stat line from another hitter. Matt Wallner: 3 games, 3-for-11, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K; .273/.385/.545 (.930 OPS) overall. After missing about half of the 2021 minor league season with a hand injury, Matt Wallner is looking to make up development time in the AFL. He got off to a pretty good start. In the AFL season’s opening game that Scottsdale lost to Glendale 4-3, Wallner batted third in the lineup (which is a good indication of his talent level on a team with Marco Luciano and Triston Casas in the same lineup) and played in right field. He finished the game 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, but notched a single in the third inning that put runners on the corners for a Scorpions scoring threat they didn’t cash in. His other at-bat was a lineout to left field in the fifth. After a day off, Wallner was back in the lineup on Friday for the Scorpions first win, a reverse of their opener where they defeated the Desert Dogs 4-3. Wallner batted fifth and switched sides in the outfield, getting the nod in left in this one. He finished 0-for-2, but drew a pair of walks and was on base when Curtis Mead clubbed the deciding three-run homer in the top of the seventh. In his final game of the week, an 8-2 victory over Peoria, Wallner was again batting fifth and was the designated hitter. Down 1-0 after three innings, Wallner stepped to the plate with two outs and a runner on first before putting the Scorpions ahead for good with one swing of the bat. His homer to left-center field made the score 2-1. He got another RBI opportunity in the ninth, and delivered a run-scoring single to account for the Scorpions eighth and final run. It was an exclamation point game for the slugger to end his first week of action on a high note. Zach Featherstone: 2 appearances, 2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, BB, 4 K; 4.50 ERA, 2.50 WHIP overall. Zach Featherstone was an excellent part of the Cedar Rapids Kernels bullpen during the 2021 season, amassing 93 strikeouts in 55 innings with a 2.13 ERA and nine saves. He came in third in Twins Daily’s 2021 MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Year voting. While he definitely walked too many (42 batters) and is likely part of the reason he’s in Arizona, hoping to learn some new tricks when it comes to his command and control. He appeared in two games on the week, the first of which came in the season opener against Glendale. He was tabbed for the sixth inning and struck out the first two hitters he faced before allowing a double and single that put runners on the corners. He recovered nicely, striking out the next hitter on three pitches for a scoreless frame and a nice start to his AFL ledger when it comes to strikeouts. His second appearance of the AFL season came in Saturday’s 8-2 win over the Javelinas. He was the second reliever of the game for the Scorpions and came on to start the fifth inning. It wasn’t as clean as his first game, as he allowed a leadoff single where the runner ended up coming around to score on a double three batters later. He walked one and struck out one in his inning, being credited with a hold, and will look to continue racking up strikeouts in week 2. Andrew Bechtold: 2 games, 2-for-8, 2B, 0 BB, 3 K; .250/.250.375 (.625 OPS) overall. Andrew Bechtold was the Twins fifth round pick in the 2017 draft after an excellent season at Chipola College. He was among the organization's leaders in home runs during the 2021 minor league season with 18 in 99 games for Wichita. One interesting development for Bechtold that he will continue in the AFL, is the Twins working with him at the catcher position, where he advanced enough during the year that they got him in a single game there late. Bechtold had to wait for the Scorpions third game to get his first AFL action, and he was tabbed to play third base and bat seventh in the lineup in their 4-3 win over Glendale. He finished the game 1-for-4, clubbing a two-out double in the fifth inning before being stranded. His other three at-bats included three ground balls, including two that ended in double-plays. In Saturday’s 8-2 win, Bechtold again was batting seventh and got the start behind the dish for the Scorpions. I’m sure he’d like to have been better than his first three at-bats in his first game as the catcher for the Scorpions that all ended in strikeouts, but he got another chance in the eighth, where he singled to put a runner in scoring position. As the catcher, Bechtold allowed one stolen base with an errant throw, but later also threw a runner out at second. Scorpions pitchers walked eight Javelinas and had two wild pitches, but Bechtold surely contributed to them scoring just two runs calling the game as they were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base. Kody Funderburk: 1 start, 2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, BB, 2 K; 18.00 ERA, 3.50 WHIP overall. After finishing the 2021 season as a reliever with Wichita, Kody Funderburk is tabbed as a starter for the Scorpions in the AFL. He did make 10 starts for Cedar Rapids before his promotion to Wichita where he was used only as a reliever. However, he was a long reliever and averaged more than three innings per appearance. He also had a sub 1.00 WHIP with Wichita and is likely in Arizona in part due to his limited innings as a professional, as he’s thrown just 155 innings since being drafted in 2018. Funderburk was on the mound to start Scottsdale’s second game of the season on Thursday, a game they lost big. You might think Funderburk was the biggest reason for that after you see he allowed four runs on six hits in his two innings, but those that followed him on the mound were infinitely worse as the Scorpions lost 13-5 behind a nine-run third inning after Funderburk’s day was over. He pitched a scoreless first inning, allowing only an infield single, but with a 4-0 lead after the top of the second, Funderburk wasn’t able to keep runners off the bases in the bottom half. Two doubles, three singles, and a walk in the inning led to the score being tied at four, but he did end his outing with his second strikeout of the frame and his outing. When I used that term “infinitely” above I was being quite literal, as the next two pitchers for Scottsdale in the third inning didn’t record a single out and were charged with nine earned runs. Michael Helman: 2 games, 3-for-6, 2 R, 2B, 2 BB, 0 K; .500/.625/.667 (1.292 OPS) overall. Like Bechtold, Michael Helman was among the organization's leaders in home runs during the 2021 season, slugging 19 with the Kernels in 111 games. He was an infielder when drafted and played mostly second base in his first two seasons, but in 2021 was primarily an outfielder (all three positions) with some middle-infield mixed in. He’ll likely play all around the diamond in Arizona, but I’ll be watching for his opportunities in center field especially. His first game of the week came in Thursday’s big loss to Mesa, but it wasn’t because of anything he did as he reached base three times and scored a run. He batted eighth in the lineup and played third base, finishing 1-for-2 with two walks. He drew his first base on balls in the second inning and later scored on a Jeter Downs single. In the fourth inning, he singled to right field and was on third base when the bases were loaded, but was forced out at home on a comebacker to the pitcher. His second walk of the game came in the eighth inning, but he was again the force out on a double-play ball that ended the inning. Helman was tabbed for center field in Saturday’s 8-2 win over the Javelinas, and batted eighth in the lineup behind his organizational teammate Andrew Bechtold. He singled in the fifth inning and later scored Scottsdale’s third run of the game on a double. In the seventh inning, his first double of the AFL season put a runner on third that later scored on a sacrifice fly from the next hitter. He finished the game 2-for-4 and his first week with an excellent batting line. Cody Laweryson: 1 appearance, 2 1/3 IP, 2 BB, 6 K; 0.00 ERA, 0.86 WHIP overall. After a strong debut season in 2019 in which he struck out 63 batters in 46 innings with a 0.80 WHIP and 1.57 ERA, Cody Laweryson missed some time to start the 2021 and wasn’t back to pitching until June. The strikeouts were still there as he racked up 73 in just 58 2/3 innings with the Kernels over 15 games (14 starts), but the missed 2020 season and injury loomed large as his ERA was 4.91 with a 1.33 WHIP. He’s looking to make up some innings and gain confidence in the AFL. Laweryson’s lone appearance on the week came in Thursday’s 13-5 loss to Mesa. After his team fell behind so big he was one of the stabilizing forces, along with another of his organizational teammates, as he entered the game in the middle of the fourth inning with the bases loaded and only one out. He struck out both hitters he faced to squash that threat, and followed that up by striking out all three hitters in the fifth. Back out for the sixth he got two more outs, including another strikeout, before losing some steam and walking his final two hitters before being removed. I say that last bit a little tongue in cheek, as if you believe the data available, he should have gotten his seventh strikeout of the night on multiple pitches in the at-bat resulting in the first of those walks: In all, Laweryson struck out six hitters and walked two in his 2 1/3 scoreless innings, and if this game is any indication his confidence should be sky high moving forward. Evan Sisk: 1 appearance, 1 1/3 IP, H, 2 BB; 0.00 ERA, 2.25 WHIP overall. Evan Sisk is new to the Twins organization, coming over from the St. Louis Cardinals in the trade of J.A. Happ during the 2021 season. He pitched in 14 games with the Wichita Wind Surge that resulted in a 4.87 ERA and 1.82 WHIP. Like Featherstone he’ll need to work to cut down his walks and the AFL gives him a good opportunity to hone those skills against top competition. Sisk’s only outing of the week also came in the Scorpions blowout loss to Mesa, but he was the pitcher who picked up where Laweryson left off after those walks in the sixth inning. He did issue another walk to the first hitter he faced to load the bases, but got a fly out to escape that jam. Back out for the seventh, Sisk gave up a leadoff single and a walk later in the inning, but otherwise got three ground ball outs to finish his game with a scoreless outing. In total, he allowed no runs on one hit and two walks in 1 1/3 innings. Check back every week to see how Minnesota Twins prospects have played during the AFL season, and please feel free to ask questions about the AFL and the players who are there! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  2. Matt Wallner: 3 games, 3-for-11, 2 R, HR, 3 RBI, 2 BB, 4 K; .273/.385/.545 (.930 OPS) overall. After missing about half of the 2021 minor league season with a hand injury, Matt Wallner is looking to make up development time in the AFL. He got off to a pretty good start. In the AFL season’s opening game that Scottsdale lost to Glendale 4-3, Wallner batted third in the lineup (which is a good indication of his talent level on a team with Marco Luciano and Triston Casas in the same lineup) and played in right field. He finished the game 1-for-4 with a pair of strikeouts, but notched a single in the third inning that put runners on the corners for a Scorpions scoring threat they didn’t cash in. His other at-bat was a lineout to left field in the fifth. After a day off, Wallner was back in the lineup on Friday for the Scorpions first win, a reverse of their opener where they defeated the Desert Dogs 4-3. Wallner batted fifth and switched sides in the outfield, getting the nod in left in this one. He finished 0-for-2, but drew a pair of walks and was on base when Curtis Mead clubbed the deciding three-run homer in the top of the seventh. In his final game of the week, an 8-2 victory over Peoria, Wallner was again batting fifth and was the designated hitter. Down 1-0 after three innings, Wallner stepped to the plate with two outs and a runner on first before putting the Scorpions ahead for good with one swing of the bat. His homer to left-center field made the score 2-1. He got another RBI opportunity in the ninth, and delivered a run-scoring single to account for the Scorpions eighth and final run. It was an exclamation point game for the slugger to end his first week of action on a high note. Zach Featherstone: 2 appearances, 2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, BB, 4 K; 4.50 ERA, 2.50 WHIP overall. Zach Featherstone was an excellent part of the Cedar Rapids Kernels bullpen during the 2021 season, amassing 93 strikeouts in 55 innings with a 2.13 ERA and nine saves. He came in third in Twins Daily’s 2021 MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Year voting. While he definitely walked too many (42 batters) and is likely part of the reason he’s in Arizona, hoping to learn some new tricks when it comes to his command and control. He appeared in two games on the week, the first of which came in the season opener against Glendale. He was tabbed for the sixth inning and struck out the first two hitters he faced before allowing a double and single that put runners on the corners. He recovered nicely, striking out the next hitter on three pitches for a scoreless frame and a nice start to his AFL ledger when it comes to strikeouts. His second appearance of the AFL season came in Saturday’s 8-2 win over the Javelinas. He was the second reliever of the game for the Scorpions and came on to start the fifth inning. It wasn’t as clean as his first game, as he allowed a leadoff single where the runner ended up coming around to score on a double three batters later. He walked one and struck out one in his inning, being credited with a hold, and will look to continue racking up strikeouts in week 2. Andrew Bechtold: 2 games, 2-for-8, 2B, 0 BB, 3 K; .250/.250.375 (.625 OPS) overall. Andrew Bechtold was the Twins fifth round pick in the 2017 draft after an excellent season at Chipola College. He was among the organization's leaders in home runs during the 2021 minor league season with 18 in 99 games for Wichita. One interesting development for Bechtold that he will continue in the AFL, is the Twins working with him at the catcher position, where he advanced enough during the year that they got him in a single game there late. Bechtold had to wait for the Scorpions third game to get his first AFL action, and he was tabbed to play third base and bat seventh in the lineup in their 4-3 win over Glendale. He finished the game 1-for-4, clubbing a two-out double in the fifth inning before being stranded. His other three at-bats included three ground balls, including two that ended in double-plays. In Saturday’s 8-2 win, Bechtold again was batting seventh and got the start behind the dish for the Scorpions. I’m sure he’d like to have been better than his first three at-bats in his first game as the catcher for the Scorpions that all ended in strikeouts, but he got another chance in the eighth, where he singled to put a runner in scoring position. As the catcher, Bechtold allowed one stolen base with an errant throw, but later also threw a runner out at second. Scorpions pitchers walked eight Javelinas and had two wild pitches, but Bechtold surely contributed to them scoring just two runs calling the game as they were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base. Kody Funderburk: 1 start, 2 IP, 6 H, 4 ER, BB, 2 K; 18.00 ERA, 3.50 WHIP overall. After finishing the 2021 season as a reliever with Wichita, Kody Funderburk is tabbed as a starter for the Scorpions in the AFL. He did make 10 starts for Cedar Rapids before his promotion to Wichita where he was used only as a reliever. However, he was a long reliever and averaged more than three innings per appearance. He also had a sub 1.00 WHIP with Wichita and is likely in Arizona in part due to his limited innings as a professional, as he’s thrown just 155 innings since being drafted in 2018. Funderburk was on the mound to start Scottsdale’s second game of the season on Thursday, a game they lost big. You might think Funderburk was the biggest reason for that after you see he allowed four runs on six hits in his two innings, but those that followed him on the mound were infinitely worse as the Scorpions lost 13-5 behind a nine-run third inning after Funderburk’s day was over. He pitched a scoreless first inning, allowing only an infield single, but with a 4-0 lead after the top of the second, Funderburk wasn’t able to keep runners off the bases in the bottom half. Two doubles, three singles, and a walk in the inning led to the score being tied at four, but he did end his outing with his second strikeout of the frame and his outing. When I used that term “infinitely” above I was being quite literal, as the next two pitchers for Scottsdale in the third inning didn’t record a single out and were charged with nine earned runs. Michael Helman: 2 games, 3-for-6, 2 R, 2B, 2 BB, 0 K; .500/.625/.667 (1.292 OPS) overall. Like Bechtold, Michael Helman was among the organization's leaders in home runs during the 2021 season, slugging 19 with the Kernels in 111 games. He was an infielder when drafted and played mostly second base in his first two seasons, but in 2021 was primarily an outfielder (all three positions) with some middle-infield mixed in. He’ll likely play all around the diamond in Arizona, but I’ll be watching for his opportunities in center field especially. His first game of the week came in Thursday’s big loss to Mesa, but it wasn’t because of anything he did as he reached base three times and scored a run. He batted eighth in the lineup and played third base, finishing 1-for-2 with two walks. He drew his first base on balls in the second inning and later scored on a Jeter Downs single. In the fourth inning, he singled to right field and was on third base when the bases were loaded, but was forced out at home on a comebacker to the pitcher. His second walk of the game came in the eighth inning, but he was again the force out on a double-play ball that ended the inning. Helman was tabbed for center field in Saturday’s 8-2 win over the Javelinas, and batted eighth in the lineup behind his organizational teammate Andrew Bechtold. He singled in the fifth inning and later scored Scottsdale’s third run of the game on a double. In the seventh inning, his first double of the AFL season put a runner on third that later scored on a sacrifice fly from the next hitter. He finished the game 2-for-4 and his first week with an excellent batting line. Cody Laweryson: 1 appearance, 2 1/3 IP, 2 BB, 6 K; 0.00 ERA, 0.86 WHIP overall. After a strong debut season in 2019 in which he struck out 63 batters in 46 innings with a 0.80 WHIP and 1.57 ERA, Cody Laweryson missed some time to start the 2021 and wasn’t back to pitching until June. The strikeouts were still there as he racked up 73 in just 58 2/3 innings with the Kernels over 15 games (14 starts), but the missed 2020 season and injury loomed large as his ERA was 4.91 with a 1.33 WHIP. He’s looking to make up some innings and gain confidence in the AFL. Laweryson’s lone appearance on the week came in Thursday’s 13-5 loss to Mesa. After his team fell behind so big he was one of the stabilizing forces, along with another of his organizational teammates, as he entered the game in the middle of the fourth inning with the bases loaded and only one out. He struck out both hitters he faced to squash that threat, and followed that up by striking out all three hitters in the fifth. Back out for the sixth he got two more outs, including another strikeout, before losing some steam and walking his final two hitters before being removed. I say that last bit a little tongue in cheek, as if you believe the data available, he should have gotten his seventh strikeout of the night on multiple pitches in the at-bat resulting in the first of those walks: In all, Laweryson struck out six hitters and walked two in his 2 1/3 scoreless innings, and if this game is any indication his confidence should be sky high moving forward. Evan Sisk: 1 appearance, 1 1/3 IP, H, 2 BB; 0.00 ERA, 2.25 WHIP overall. Evan Sisk is new to the Twins organization, coming over from the St. Louis Cardinals in the trade of J.A. Happ during the 2021 season. He pitched in 14 games with the Wichita Wind Surge that resulted in a 4.87 ERA and 1.82 WHIP. Like Featherstone he’ll need to work to cut down his walks and the AFL gives him a good opportunity to hone those skills against top competition. Sisk’s only outing of the week also came in the Scorpions blowout loss to Mesa, but he was the pitcher who picked up where Laweryson left off after those walks in the sixth inning. He did issue another walk to the first hitter he faced to load the bases, but got a fly out to escape that jam. Back out for the seventh, Sisk gave up a leadoff single and a walk later in the inning, but otherwise got three ground ball outs to finish his game with a scoreless outing. In total, he allowed no runs on one hit and two walks in 1 1/3 innings. Check back every week to see how Minnesota Twins prospects have played during the AFL season, and please feel free to ask questions about the AFL and the players who are there! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  3. Wednesday is Opening Day in the Arizona Fall League. After a year without it, six teams will begin their six-week season. The Twins have sent seven players and one coach to play for the Scottsdale Scorpions. Learn a little more about each and what they want to get out of their time in the AFL. The Scottsdale Scorpions team contains seven players from the Twins, Giants, “Guardians,” Rays, and Red Sox. As was announced just last week, the Twins are sending four pitchers and three position players. Right-hander Cody Laweryson and lefties Kody Funderburk, Zach Featherstone, and Evan Sisk will get some extra innings on the mound. Outfielder Matt Wallner, infielder Andrew Bechtold, and utility man Michael Helman will get more opportunities at the plate and in the field. For the Twins representatives, it is their first time playing in the league. Most of them hadn’t even been to Arizona for the Fall League as a fan. The lone exception is Kody Funderburk, who grew up in Mesa, Arizona, and frequented the ballparks in the Fall. The southpaw was a two-way player at Dallas Baptist, but he has been solely a pitcher since joining the Twins as their 15th round draft pick in 2018. He began this season at High-A Cedar Rapids, where he made ten starts and was 1-3 with a 3.18 ERA. In 45 1/3 innings, he had 59 strikeouts. He moved up to Double-A Wichita, and all seven of his appearances came out of the bullpen. He posted a 1.25 ERA and had 23 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings. Ryan Smith has earned praise for his terrific work as the hitting coach of the Wichita Wind Surge, the same role he will have for Scottsdale. Smith noted, “Prior to last week, I had never been in Arizona!” The Twins prospects finished the season in either Cedar Rapids or Wichita. Both teams made the playoffs. They got a couple of weeks off before heading to Arizona for a week of practice. Each player has things they want to work on during their time in the Fall League. Likewise, Smith intends to continue to improve himself during his time there. He said, “ I’d like to continue to sharpen my communication (and Spanish-speaking) skills with this new group of players.” For Evan Sisk, the Fall League provides him with an opportunity to work on pitches and such. He came to the Twins at the trade deadline from the Cardinals in the J.A. Happ trade and spent the final two months working in the Wind Surge bullpen. He will also get to know these Twins teammates better. Minnesota native Matt Wallner missed about two months of the 2021 season because of a broken hamate bone. This time will allow him to get some of those missed at-bats back. He noted, “Working on seeing and being more comfortable against the better arms in this league.” Kernels starter Cody Laweryson missed time early in the season. His season began in June, and he made 14 starts. In 58 2/3 innings, he had 73 strikeouts. For him, it is mainly about working on his confidence. “My biggest thing to work on is keeping my confidence high no matter how my outings are going.” Like Funderburk, Zach Featherstone was a two-way player in college. The Twins drafted him in the 12th round of the 2016 draft as a first baseman/outfielder. He spent that first year in the organization as a hitter. However, he quickly moved to the mound. Unfortunately, after just a handful of innings in 2017, he had Tommy John surgery. He missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He was ready for a rehab appearance when a hurricane shut down the GCL season. Like others, he did not pitch in 2020. So you can imagine what it meant for him to get back on the mound for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 2021. And he was terrific. By season’s end, he was the Kernels closer, and his pitches were much sharper. He noted, “I’m going to be working on getting ahead of hitters more often, attacking the strike zone with all three of my pitches.” Featherstone throws a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a curveball, and a slider that can be devastating at times. Michael Helman was drafted as a middle infielder in the 11th round of the 2018 draft out of Texas A&M. His power arrived in 2021. In 121 pro games between 2018 and 2019, he had 19 doubles and seven homers. In 111 games for the Kernels in 2021, he hit 21 doubles and 19 home runs. Helman did so while spending time playing all over the diamond. Having played one pro game in the outfield over his first two pro seasons, he played 42 games in left field, 27 games in right field, and 26 games in center field. He played 20 games in the middle infield. He pointed out, “I would like to become more of a complete player all around both on the offensive and defensive sides. I’m not sure if I’ll be playing more outfield or infield. I guess it just depends on where they want to work me in.” In the season’s first half, he split his time between first base and third base. After the Twins promoted Jose Miranda to St. Paul, Bechtold played more third base. In 99 games, he hit 23 doubles and 18 home runs. The day after the Wind Surge clinched a playoff spot, Bechtold played his first game as a catcher. It is something he had been working on for about a month. “I’m definitely going to be continuing to work on my catching. Catching for me was a project the last month or so of the season, and we put in a lot of work. I was able to catch in a game in Double-A this year because of how well the progression we were working on worked. I know catching is a valuable tool for me to have. I’m excited to continue to work on it and continue to get more experience. Along with catching, I want to continue to develop as much range as possible at third base and continue to fine-tune my approach at the plate.” The Arizona Fall League is something that baseball fans should include on their bucket list. And for players, the opportunity to play in the league is tremendous. The players should be excited about this opportunity, and they all are. Bechtold said, “I’m most looking forward to playing against guys you may not normally see, whether that’s because of the league they are in or level. I think the AFL is a great opportunity to see guys first-hand and see how you compare to some of the other organizations’ top talents. I think playing with high-caliber players for an extended period of time pushes you and forces you to play your best baseball, so I’m looking forward to that.” It is about testing yourself against prospects from around baseball. Featherstone said, “I’m looking forward to getting to compete against some of the best minor league competition from this year.” Laweryson explained, “I would say I’m most looking forward to the competition I’m going to face and the great players I’m going to be playing with.” Wallner echoed the sentiment, “ Looking forward to competing against upper-level competition that’s out here.” And so did Helman, “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play against some great competition.” One of the great things about the Fall League and playing with coaches and players from other organizations is the chance to learn from others. Maybe try something that will click for them and help them achieve another level of success. Smith is undoubtedly looking forward to that. “I’m really looking forward to the collaboration with coaches and players from other organizations, as well as enjoying the great fall weather out in AZ. ” To summarize, Bechtold said, “I’ve heard a lot about it just being a baseball fan growing up, and I always knew it was something I would want to play in one day if given the opportunity. I think the Twins have a good group of guys here, so I’m excited to experience it with them and really take it all in and enjoy my time here.” In the past, I have chatted with players after the AFL season is complete to hear their experiences. Most are just thrilled to have had the opportunity to have met such great players and people from other organizations. It’s fun to see if they were able to accomplish some of the things they wanted to. Each week throughout the AFL season, Twins Daily will update how the Twins prospects have performed. View full article
  4. After a one-year hiatus, the Arizona Fall League is back. This league combines some of baseball’s best prospects, so who are Minnesota’s top five prospects heading to the AFL? The Arizona Fall League started in 1992 as an off-season league where some of baseball’s best up-and-coming prospects can take the field together. Six teams make up the AFL, and each club plays a 30-game schedule. According to MLB.com, “Nearly 60 percent of all AFL players make a Major League roster, with the league boasting 321 All-Stars, 21 MVPs, six Cy Young Award winners, eight World Series MVPs, 103 Silver Sluggers, 96 Gold Gloves and 32 Rookies of the Year.” Will any of the names mentioned below be able to add to the accolades mentioned above? Here are the top five Twins prospects heading to the 2021 Arizona Fall League: 5. Michael Helman, 2B/OF 2021 Stats: .246/.336/.462 (.798), 19 HR, 21 2B, 4 3B, 87 K, 51 BB (111 G) Helman ended the 2019 season at High-A, and he spent all of 2021 at the same level. He was over 2.5 years older than the average age of the competition at that level. During the 2021 season, he was among the organization leaders in homers. He is listed as a second baseman on the AFL rosters, even though he primarily played in the outfield this season. This might be an opportunity to get him more reps in the infield. 4. Kody Funderburk, LHP 2021 Stats: 2.55 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 82 K, 28 BB (67.0 IP) Minnesota selected Funderburk with their 15th round pick back in 2018. During the 2019 season, he struggled at Low-A as he posted a 4.68 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP in 13 appearances (10 starts). Funderburk posted strong numbers between High- and Double-A this season while being used as a starter and a reliever. He has only pitched 155 innings as a professional, so this is likely an opportunity for him to get more innings under his belt. 3. Zach Featherstone, LHP 2021 Stats: 2.13 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 93 K, 42 BB (55.0 IP) Entering 2021, Featherstone was limited to 18 1/3 innings since the Twins drafted him as a position player in 2016. None of those innings came above the rookie leagues. Minnesota pushed him to High-A this season, where the 25-year old was 1.7 years older than the average age of the competition. Featherstone posted an eye-popping 15.2 K/9 out of the bullpen this season. Unfortunately, he also walked nearly seven batters per nine. This is likely an opportunity to get Featherstone some more innings so he can work on his control. 2. Andrew Bechtold, 3B 2021 Stats: .239/.328/.459 (.786), 18 HR, 23 2B, 131 K, 45 BB (99 Games) Originally, Bechtold was a fifth-round pick by the Twins back in 2017. His college experience at Maryland helped him post an .829 OPS at Elizabethton. He struggled in 2018 at Low-A as his OPS dropped by 236 points. The Twins sent him back to Low-A in 2019, and he split time between Low- and High-A with a .738 OPS. Like Helman, he was among the organization leaders in homers this season. Defensively, he continues to play at third base with some time at first. 1. Matt Wallner, OF 2021 Stats: .265/.350/.504 (.854), 15 HR, 14 2B, 2 3B, 100 K, 28 BB (68 Games) Wallner strikes out a bunch, but he has light-tower power, which puts him at the top of this list. He came in as the organization’s 12th best prospect in the most recent Twins Daily prospect rankings. A broken hamate bone limited him to 68 games, so sending him to the AFL to recoup some last at-bats makes sense. In a third of his plate appearances this season, he struck out, so that will be something to watch in Arizona. How would you rank these players? What will you be looking for in the AFL? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  5. The Scottsdale Scorpions team contains seven players from the Twins, Giants, “Guardians,” Rays, and Red Sox. As was announced just last week, the Twins are sending four pitchers and three position players. Right-hander Cody Laweryson and lefties Kody Funderburk, Zach Featherstone, and Evan Sisk will get some extra innings on the mound. Outfielder Matt Wallner, infielder Andrew Bechtold, and utility man Michael Helman will get more opportunities at the plate and in the field. For the Twins representatives, it is their first time playing in the league. Most of them hadn’t even been to Arizona for the Fall League as a fan. The lone exception is Kody Funderburk, who grew up in Mesa, Arizona, and frequented the ballparks in the Fall. The southpaw was a two-way player at Dallas Baptist, but he has been solely a pitcher since joining the Twins as their 15th round draft pick in 2018. He began this season at High-A Cedar Rapids, where he made ten starts and was 1-3 with a 3.18 ERA. In 45 1/3 innings, he had 59 strikeouts. He moved up to Double-A Wichita, and all seven of his appearances came out of the bullpen. He posted a 1.25 ERA and had 23 strikeouts in 21 2/3 innings. Ryan Smith has earned praise for his terrific work as the hitting coach of the Wichita Wind Surge, the same role he will have for Scottsdale. Smith noted, “Prior to last week, I had never been in Arizona!” The Twins prospects finished the season in either Cedar Rapids or Wichita. Both teams made the playoffs. They got a couple of weeks off before heading to Arizona for a week of practice. Each player has things they want to work on during their time in the Fall League. Likewise, Smith intends to continue to improve himself during his time there. He said, “ I’d like to continue to sharpen my communication (and Spanish-speaking) skills with this new group of players.” For Evan Sisk, the Fall League provides him with an opportunity to work on pitches and such. He came to the Twins at the trade deadline from the Cardinals in the J.A. Happ trade and spent the final two months working in the Wind Surge bullpen. He will also get to know these Twins teammates better. Minnesota native Matt Wallner missed about two months of the 2021 season because of a broken hamate bone. This time will allow him to get some of those missed at-bats back. He noted, “Working on seeing and being more comfortable against the better arms in this league.” Kernels starter Cody Laweryson missed time early in the season. His season began in June, and he made 14 starts. In 58 2/3 innings, he had 73 strikeouts. For him, it is mainly about working on his confidence. “My biggest thing to work on is keeping my confidence high no matter how my outings are going.” Like Funderburk, Zach Featherstone was a two-way player in college. The Twins drafted him in the 12th round of the 2016 draft as a first baseman/outfielder. He spent that first year in the organization as a hitter. However, he quickly moved to the mound. Unfortunately, after just a handful of innings in 2017, he had Tommy John surgery. He missed the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He was ready for a rehab appearance when a hurricane shut down the GCL season. Like others, he did not pitch in 2020. So you can imagine what it meant for him to get back on the mound for the Cedar Rapids Kernels in 2021. And he was terrific. By season’s end, he was the Kernels closer, and his pitches were much sharper. He noted, “I’m going to be working on getting ahead of hitters more often, attacking the strike zone with all three of my pitches.” Featherstone throws a low-to-mid-90s fastball, a curveball, and a slider that can be devastating at times. Michael Helman was drafted as a middle infielder in the 11th round of the 2018 draft out of Texas A&M. His power arrived in 2021. In 121 pro games between 2018 and 2019, he had 19 doubles and seven homers. In 111 games for the Kernels in 2021, he hit 21 doubles and 19 home runs. Helman did so while spending time playing all over the diamond. Having played one pro game in the outfield over his first two pro seasons, he played 42 games in left field, 27 games in right field, and 26 games in center field. He played 20 games in the middle infield. He pointed out, “I would like to become more of a complete player all around both on the offensive and defensive sides. I’m not sure if I’ll be playing more outfield or infield. I guess it just depends on where they want to work me in.” In the season’s first half, he split his time between first base and third base. After the Twins promoted Jose Miranda to St. Paul, Bechtold played more third base. In 99 games, he hit 23 doubles and 18 home runs. The day after the Wind Surge clinched a playoff spot, Bechtold played his first game as a catcher. It is something he had been working on for about a month. “I’m definitely going to be continuing to work on my catching. Catching for me was a project the last month or so of the season, and we put in a lot of work. I was able to catch in a game in Double-A this year because of how well the progression we were working on worked. I know catching is a valuable tool for me to have. I’m excited to continue to work on it and continue to get more experience. Along with catching, I want to continue to develop as much range as possible at third base and continue to fine-tune my approach at the plate.” The Arizona Fall League is something that baseball fans should include on their bucket list. And for players, the opportunity to play in the league is tremendous. The players should be excited about this opportunity, and they all are. Bechtold said, “I’m most looking forward to playing against guys you may not normally see, whether that’s because of the league they are in or level. I think the AFL is a great opportunity to see guys first-hand and see how you compare to some of the other organizations’ top talents. I think playing with high-caliber players for an extended period of time pushes you and forces you to play your best baseball, so I’m looking forward to that.” It is about testing yourself against prospects from around baseball. Featherstone said, “I’m looking forward to getting to compete against some of the best minor league competition from this year.” Laweryson explained, “I would say I’m most looking forward to the competition I’m going to face and the great players I’m going to be playing with.” Wallner echoed the sentiment, “ Looking forward to competing against upper-level competition that’s out here.” And so did Helman, “I’m looking forward to the opportunity to play against some great competition.” One of the great things about the Fall League and playing with coaches and players from other organizations is the chance to learn from others. Maybe try something that will click for them and help them achieve another level of success. Smith is undoubtedly looking forward to that. “I’m really looking forward to the collaboration with coaches and players from other organizations, as well as enjoying the great fall weather out in AZ. ” To summarize, Bechtold said, “I’ve heard a lot about it just being a baseball fan growing up, and I always knew it was something I would want to play in one day if given the opportunity. I think the Twins have a good group of guys here, so I’m excited to experience it with them and really take it all in and enjoy my time here.” In the past, I have chatted with players after the AFL season is complete to hear their experiences. Most are just thrilled to have had the opportunity to have met such great players and people from other organizations. It’s fun to see if they were able to accomplish some of the things they wanted to. Each week throughout the AFL season, Twins Daily will update how the Twins prospects have performed.
  6. The Arizona Fall League started in 1992 as an off-season league where some of baseball’s best up-and-coming prospects can take the field together. Six teams make up the AFL, and each club plays a 30-game schedule. According to MLB.com, “Nearly 60 percent of all AFL players make a Major League roster, with the league boasting 321 All-Stars, 21 MVPs, six Cy Young Award winners, eight World Series MVPs, 103 Silver Sluggers, 96 Gold Gloves and 32 Rookies of the Year.” Will any of the names mentioned below be able to add to the accolades mentioned above? Here are the top five Twins prospects heading to the 2021 Arizona Fall League: 5. Michael Helman, 2B/OF 2021 Stats: .246/.336/.462 (.798), 19 HR, 21 2B, 4 3B, 87 K, 51 BB (111 G) Helman ended the 2019 season at High-A, and he spent all of 2021 at the same level. He was over 2.5 years older than the average age of the competition at that level. During the 2021 season, he was among the organization leaders in homers. He is listed as a second baseman on the AFL rosters, even though he primarily played in the outfield this season. This might be an opportunity to get him more reps in the infield. 4. Kody Funderburk, LHP 2021 Stats: 2.55 ERA, 1.10 WHIP, 82 K, 28 BB (67.0 IP) Minnesota selected Funderburk with their 15th round pick back in 2018. During the 2019 season, he struggled at Low-A as he posted a 4.68 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP in 13 appearances (10 starts). Funderburk posted strong numbers between High- and Double-A this season while being used as a starter and a reliever. He has only pitched 155 innings as a professional, so this is likely an opportunity for him to get more innings under his belt. 3. Zach Featherstone, LHP 2021 Stats: 2.13 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, 93 K, 42 BB (55.0 IP) Entering 2021, Featherstone was limited to 18 1/3 innings since the Twins drafted him as a position player in 2016. None of those innings came above the rookie leagues. Minnesota pushed him to High-A this season, where the 25-year old was 1.7 years older than the average age of the competition. Featherstone posted an eye-popping 15.2 K/9 out of the bullpen this season. Unfortunately, he also walked nearly seven batters per nine. This is likely an opportunity to get Featherstone some more innings so he can work on his control. 2. Andrew Bechtold, 3B 2021 Stats: .239/.328/.459 (.786), 18 HR, 23 2B, 131 K, 45 BB (99 Games) Originally, Bechtold was a fifth-round pick by the Twins back in 2017. His college experience at Maryland helped him post an .829 OPS at Elizabethton. He struggled in 2018 at Low-A as his OPS dropped by 236 points. The Twins sent him back to Low-A in 2019, and he split time between Low- and High-A with a .738 OPS. Like Helman, he was among the organization leaders in homers this season. Defensively, he continues to play at third base with some time at first. 1. Matt Wallner, OF 2021 Stats: .265/.350/.504 (.854), 15 HR, 14 2B, 2 3B, 100 K, 28 BB (68 Games) Wallner strikes out a bunch, but he has light-tower power, which puts him at the top of this list. He came in as the organization’s 12th best prospect in the most recent Twins Daily prospect rankings. A broken hamate bone limited him to 68 games, so sending him to the AFL to recoup some last at-bats makes sense. In a third of his plate appearances this season, he struck out, so that will be something to watch in Arizona. How would you rank these players? What will you be looking for in the AFL? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  7. The Kernels clinched their eighth playoff berth in as many years with a blowout win. The Wind Surge also put up double-digit runs and the Mussels won a tight game. SAINTS SENTINEL Indianapolis 10, Saints 3 Box Score Drew Strotman: 4 IP, 8 H, 7 R/ER, 3 BB, 2 K HR: Drew Stankiewicz (2) Multi-hit games: Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-3, 2 2B, RBI, BB), Stankiewicz (2-for-3, HR, RBI, R) Drew Strotman started allowed seven runs in four innings in the Saints’ loss Sunday. Strotman has allowed 23 runs over his last 23 innings. Yennier Cano gave up two runs in relief on two hits and two walks. Ryan Mason allowed an unearned run and Vinny Nittoli and Chris Nunn each pitched scoreless innings. Drew Stankiewicz blasted a homer in the third and added another hit from the nine-hole. Jimmy Kerrigan drove in Mitch Garver in the fourth with a double and BJ Boyd picked up an RBI with a groundout. Indianapolis recorded 13 singles and zero extra-base hits, scoring 10 runs and walking five times. The Saints fell to 61-59. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wind Surge 10, Travelers 6 Box Score Ben Gross: 4 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Spencer Steer (14), Andrew Bechtold (18) Multi-hit games: Austin Martin (2-for-2, 2 2B, 3 BB, 3 R), D.J. Burt (2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI), Steer (2-for-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI), Aaron Whitefield (2-for-4, 2B) Spencer Steer hit a three-run homer in the first, setting the tone for a great offensive day for the Surge. Ben Gross started and allowed five runs (four earned) in four innings of work. Austin Martin reached base five times, including two doubles and three walks. Andrew Bechtold continued his power-breakout with his 18th homer of the season. Simeon Woods Richardson pitched two scoreless innings and struck out one. Alex Phillips and Erik Manoah Jr. each threw scoreless innings. Jordan Gore allowed one run on two hits in the ninth. The Surge will compete in the playoffs next week. KERNELS NUGGETS Kernels 11, Chiefs 0 Box Score Aaron Rozek: 5 IP, 0 R/ER, BB, 4 K HR: Edouard Julien (15), Matt Wallner (15), DaShawn Keirsey 2 (7) Multi-hit games: Julien (2-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB), Aaron Sabato (2-for-4, 2 R, BB), Wallner (2-for-3, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI), Alex Isola (2-for-5, RBI, R), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI, R), Keirsey (2-for-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) The Kernels clinched a playoff berth with a huge 11-0 win Sunday. Aaron Rozek started and dazzled with five scoreless innings. Rozek struck out four. Denny Bentley, Carlos Suniaga, Zach Featherstone, and Andrew Cabezas combined for four scoreless innings out of the Kernels’ bullpen. Edouard Julien and Matt Wallner both hit two-run homers in the third and the Kernels never looked back. DaShawn Keirsey then added a solo homer in the fourth before Michael Helman drove in a run on an RBI double. The Kernels didn’t stop. Alex Isola added an RBI double, Daniel Ozoria drove in two as a pinch-hitter, and DaShawn Keirsey hit two homers, his sixth and seventh of the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Mussels 5, Tarpons 4 Box Score Brent Headrick: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2-for-4, 3B, RBI), Kyler Fedko (2-for-4, R), Mikey Perez (2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, R), Willie Joe Gary Jr. (2-for-4, 3B, RBI, R) Willie Joe Garry got things going with an RBI triple in the second and things were looking good for the Mussels early. Brent Headrick started and dominated in three innings, striking out seven. Unfortunately David Festa couldn’t hold the lead, allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits and a walk. Zarion Sharpe pitched very well in relief, striking out three in 3 1/3 one-run innings. The Mussels rallied in the eighth as Patrick Winkel and Mikey Perez added clutch hits to drive in runs. Ramon Pineda, younger brother of Twins pitcher Michael Pineda, earned the win. Fort Myers finished its season with a 60-54 record. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Season is Complete. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Rozek (5 IP, 0 R/ER, BB, 4 K) Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – DaShawn Keirsey (2-for-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-2, 2 R, 3 BB #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 2 IP, H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, K #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, K #7 – Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not play #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, R #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 4 IP, 8 H, 7 R/ER, 3 BB, 2 K #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - Did not play #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, R, 3 K #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-for-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI View full article
  8. SAINTS SENTINEL Indianapolis 10, Saints 3 Box Score Drew Strotman: 4 IP, 8 H, 7 R/ER, 3 BB, 2 K HR: Drew Stankiewicz (2) Multi-hit games: Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-3, 2 2B, RBI, BB), Stankiewicz (2-for-3, HR, RBI, R) Drew Strotman started allowed seven runs in four innings in the Saints’ loss Sunday. Strotman has allowed 23 runs over his last 23 innings. Yennier Cano gave up two runs in relief on two hits and two walks. Ryan Mason allowed an unearned run and Vinny Nittoli and Chris Nunn each pitched scoreless innings. Drew Stankiewicz blasted a homer in the third and added another hit from the nine-hole. Jimmy Kerrigan drove in Mitch Garver in the fourth with a double and BJ Boyd picked up an RBI with a groundout. Indianapolis recorded 13 singles and zero extra-base hits, scoring 10 runs and walking five times. The Saints fell to 61-59. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wind Surge 10, Travelers 6 Box Score Ben Gross: 4 IP, 7 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K HR: Spencer Steer (14), Andrew Bechtold (18) Multi-hit games: Austin Martin (2-for-2, 2 2B, 3 BB, 3 R), D.J. Burt (2-for-5, 2 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI), Steer (2-for-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI), Aaron Whitefield (2-for-4, 2B) Spencer Steer hit a three-run homer in the first, setting the tone for a great offensive day for the Surge. Ben Gross started and allowed five runs (four earned) in four innings of work. Austin Martin reached base five times, including two doubles and three walks. Andrew Bechtold continued his power-breakout with his 18th homer of the season. Simeon Woods Richardson pitched two scoreless innings and struck out one. Alex Phillips and Erik Manoah Jr. each threw scoreless innings. Jordan Gore allowed one run on two hits in the ninth. The Surge will compete in the playoffs next week. KERNELS NUGGETS Kernels 11, Chiefs 0 Box Score Aaron Rozek: 5 IP, 0 R/ER, BB, 4 K HR: Edouard Julien (15), Matt Wallner (15), DaShawn Keirsey 2 (7) Multi-hit games: Julien (2-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB), Aaron Sabato (2-for-4, 2 R, BB), Wallner (2-for-3, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI), Alex Isola (2-for-5, RBI, R), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-2, 2B, 2 RBI, R), Keirsey (2-for-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) The Kernels clinched a playoff berth with a huge 11-0 win Sunday. Aaron Rozek started and dazzled with five scoreless innings. Rozek struck out four. Denny Bentley, Carlos Suniaga, Zach Featherstone, and Andrew Cabezas combined for four scoreless innings out of the Kernels’ bullpen. Edouard Julien and Matt Wallner both hit two-run homers in the third and the Kernels never looked back. DaShawn Keirsey then added a solo homer in the fourth before Michael Helman drove in a run on an RBI double. The Kernels didn’t stop. Alex Isola added an RBI double, Daniel Ozoria drove in two as a pinch-hitter, and DaShawn Keirsey hit two homers, his sixth and seventh of the season. MUSSEL MATTERS Mussels 5, Tarpons 4 Box Score Brent Headrick: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R/ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Christian Encarnacion-Strand (2-for-4, 3B, RBI), Kyler Fedko (2-for-4, R), Mikey Perez (2-for-4, 2 2B, RBI, R), Willie Joe Gary Jr. (2-for-4, 3B, RBI, R) Willie Joe Garry got things going with an RBI triple in the second and things were looking good for the Mussels early. Brent Headrick started and dominated in three innings, striking out seven. Unfortunately David Festa couldn’t hold the lead, allowing three runs (two earned) on two hits and a walk. Zarion Sharpe pitched very well in relief, striking out three in 3 1/3 one-run innings. The Mussels rallied in the eighth as Patrick Winkel and Mikey Perez added clutch hits to drive in runs. Ramon Pineda, younger brother of Twins pitcher Michael Pineda, earned the win. Fort Myers finished its season with a 60-54 record. COMPLEX CHRONICLES Season is Complete. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Rozek (5 IP, 0 R/ER, BB, 4 K) Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – DaShawn Keirsey (2-for-5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 2 R) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 2-for-2, 2 R, 3 BB #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - 2 IP, H, 0 R/ER, 2 BB, K #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 0-for-4, K #7 – Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not play #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, R #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 4 IP, 8 H, 7 R/ER, 3 BB, 2 K #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - Did not play #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-4, R, 3 K #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 2-for-4, 2B, HR, R, 4 RBI
  9. Between the blasts for St. Paul and Cedar Rapids and Noah Miller’s near cycle down in the Complex League, there was plenty of offense to go around this afternoon in the Twins system. It’s not often a two home run game gets outdone, but here we are. TRANSACTIONS None reported SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 17, Omaha 3 Box Score It was Drew Strotman’s turn today for the Saints, and he danced around a good Omaha lineup. Working 5 1/3 innings, Strotman picked up six punch outs while allowing three runs on four hits and three walks. Uber-prospect Bobby Witt Jr. tagged him for a solo shot that never left the park. The Saints provided him with plenty of offensive support. Looking to make up for the inside-the-park homer from Witt Jr., St. Paul answered quickly. Jose Miranda recorded his 18th double to drive in Sherman Johnson, and Tomas Telis then lifted a two-run blast over the left-center field wall. Tied up after the top half of the 4th inning, the Saints took the lead again in the bottom half. Drew Maggi hit his 15th homer of the year before David Banuelos recorded his first for St. Paul. Up 5-3 in the 7th inning, B.J. Boyd recorded his first double with the club and scored Mark Contreras on the play. After a bases loaded walk allowed Gilberto Celestino to score, Banuelos crushed his second home run of the day. A grand slam put the Saints up 11-3 and this one was way out of reach. In the bottom of the eighth, the Saints scored six more runs. JT Riddle hit the team's second grand slam of the game, and Jose Miranda followed with a solo shot, his 13th with the Saints. Banuelos went 3-for-5 with his first two Saints homers, three runs scored and six RBI. Drew Maggi went 3-for-4 with a walk and his 15th homer of the season. Miranda went 3-for-6. Tomas Telis, Mark Contreras and BJ Boyd each had two hits. Sherman Johnson walked four times in this contest. Strotman got his first Win with the Saints. Chris Nunn recorded the next four outs. Nick Vincent got the final out of the seventh inning. Chandler Shepherd pitched the eighth and ninth innings. WIND SURGE WISDOM NW Arkansas 1, Wichita 0 Box Score Austin Schulfer shoved tonight for the Wind Surge. Yes, he lacked command, but he went 4 1/3 innings giving up just two hits and working around five free passes. Schulfer also recorded six strikeouts before turning the ball over to Ben Gross. Gross then put in solid work of his own going 3 2/3 innings allowing just a single run on five hits while walking two and fanning three. Despite combining for 13 hits, these two teams plated just one run. An 8th inning single for the opposition put Wichita behind and that was enough to do them in for the evening. Roy Morales recorded three hits while D.J. Burt had two of his own. Jordan Gore worked a scoreless 9th inning but the offense remained dormant and Wichita wound up being shut out on the evening. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 11, Wisconsin 5 Box Score Cody Lawyerson was on the bump for Cedar Rapids in today’s matinee and worked six strong. He was dominant, striking out nine and walking just two while allowing only three hits. The Kernels have a thing for threes in today’s tilt. Putting up the first runs of the game, it was a three-spot in the third inning. Edouard Julien lifted his 11th homer to driver in Daniel Ozoria, and Michael Helman made it back-to-back jacks with his 18th. Then in the fourth inning it was again a three spot started by a Julien walk with the bases loaded. Helman ripped a single to center plating both DaShawn Keirsey and Ozoria on the play. As had been the case all afternoon the 6th inning featured another three-spot. Last night’s hero Matt Wallner drove in Julien on a single before Alex Isola hit his 14th dinger to also bring home Wallner. Giving up five runs across the 7th and 8th innings, Cedar Rapids looked to grab some extra breathing room. Wallner homered for the second straight game, his 13th on the season, and Seth Gray drove in Yunior Severino to push the final tally up to 11-5. Wallner and Gray both had three hits on the afternoon with Helman adding two of his own. Following Laweryson was Derek Molina who gave up one run in the seventh inning. Stephen Cruz came in for his High-A debut in the eighth frame. He gave up four runs (3 earned) on two hits and two walks. He recorded just one out, but it was on a strikeout. Melvi Acosta came on and got the final five outs. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Palm Beach 2 (Susp B/4) Box Score John Stankiewicz was tonight's starter as he celebrated his 23rd birthday. Working through four innings, he allowed just two runs on five hits and two walks. Stankiewicz also struck out four. Despite being at just 69 pitches, his night was done in by rain with the game being suspended in the 4th inning. Fort Myers scored first tallying a run on a Kyler Fedko walk with the bases loaded in the 1st inning. After giving the run back in the 2nd inning, Alerick Soularie reached on an error that allowed Mike Perez to scamper home. Again tied after the top half of the 4th inning, Perez drove in Willie Joe Garry in the bottom half to retake the lead for the Mighty Mussels. The clubs will finish this one out tomorrow evening. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Orioles Orange 15, FCL Twins 8 Box Score If you’re a fan of offensive outputs then this one was for you. A makeup of a previously postponed contest, the Twins and Orioles complex clubs combined for 23 runs on 25 hits. It was also a rather sloppy affair with both teams adding to the eight total errors on the day. After a starter Juan Mendez was able to record just a single out before giving up four runs, Cole Bellair worked 4 ⅓ innings. He was tagged for seven runs, but just one of them was of the earned variety. His eight strikeouts looked very nice up against just one walk. Ricardo Velez gave up one run over 2 1/3 innings of relief. Rafael Feliz gave up three runs over the final two innings. Down 8-1 after the 3rd inning, this one got out of hand early. The Twins did combine for seven runs the rest of the way, including a four-run effort in the bottom of the 9th inning. 2021 draftee Noah Miller was the star of the show with a 5-for-5 effort where he finished just a double shy of the cycle. Malfrin Sosa (three hits) and Luis Baez (two hits) joined Miller with multi-hit efforts of their own. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Cody Lawyerson (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K Hitter of the Day - Noah Miller (Complex) - 5-5, 3B, HR(2), R, 5 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, K #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-6, 2B (18), HR (13), 2 R, 2 RBI, K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR(13), 2 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-2, 2 BB #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 5-5, 3B, HR(2), R, 5 RBI #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 2-2 #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-3, K, BB THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Beau Burrows (2-4, 6.20 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland (5-1, 1.85 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (3-2, 3.23 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games View full article
  10. Jordan Balazovic was incredible on the mound in Wichita and there was late drama for Cedar Rapids. Check out that and other news and notes in tonight's Minor League Report! TRANSACTIONS No transactions today. SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 6, St. Paul 3 Box Score Omaha touched St. Paul for four homers in this one and led wire-to-wire, taking the game 6-3. Bobby Witt Jr. got the game started for the Storm Chasers with a solo homer in the first frame, and Ryan McBroom matched his teammate three innings later to make it 2-0. Omaha added on in the sixth and Witt was involved again. The Royals’ top prospect doubled in a run and later scored on an M.J. Melendez sacrifice fly. The Saints offense finally got off the mark in the sixth, when a Gilberto Celestino double started a rally that scored two and featured an RBI each from Mark Contreras and Jimmy Kerrigan. The Saints’ momentum stopped there, though, as Robinson Leyer gave up a solo bomb to the first batter of the next inning to make it 5-2, and a second McBroom homer in the eighth stretched the Omaha lead one notch further. Tomas Telis homered in the eighth to cut the deficit to 6-3, but the Saints went down quietly in the ninth and lose to that score. Charlie Barnes got the start for the Saints tonight and made just the one mistake to Bobby Witt Jr. over 3 ⅓ innings. Barnes’ early hook didn’t seem to serve any purpose for the Saints in this game, but manager Toby Gardenhire may still have taken him out for a reason: As Seth noted in his tweet, Chandler Shepherd took over from there, but he struggled, allowing three runs in 1 ⅔ innings. Leyer allowed just a solo homer in his two innings, as did Nick Vincent in his only inning of work. Chris Nunn took the ninth and was the only Saint pitcher to not allow a run. Telis and Celestino were the Saints with multi-hit games tonight. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, NW Arkansas 3 Box Score Jordan Balazovic did a lot to confirm his title as the Twins’ top pitching prospect with a truly special outing on the mound that keyed tonight’s victory for Wichita. Balazovic allowed a run on an RBI groundout in the third, but he went six full innings, struck out five, and, most notably, did not allow a hit. Balazovic, who had thrown 88 pitches when he left the game, was showing no signs of slowing down, but manager Ramon Borrego evidently didn’t see the benefit in stretching his top asset’s limits. Still, enjoy Balazovic’s six innings of dominance: Meanwhile, the Surge offense was having quite the interesting game as well. Wichita got their first two runs in the third, thanks to Austin Martin. The Wichita star shortstop came to the plate with men on first and second and poked a weak grounder to right side, but he busted out of the box and forced an overthrow (allowing one to score), and then got in a rundown that allowed the second run to score. Just watch: In the fifth, Trey Cabbage (who else?) also drove in two runs, but in a very, very different way: The Surge added another run in the fifth off a Roy Morales single that scored Chris Williams. The Naturals got their first hits of the game in the eighth off Zach Neff, and they scored two as well. Clay Dungan doubled in Kevin Merrell and later scored on a Vinnie Pasquantino sac fly to cut the lead to 5-3. Jordan Gore was rock solid in the ninth inning, though, and put away the two-run W. After Balazovic’s six no-hit innings, Adam Lau pitched a no-hit inning of his own, though he did walk two batters. Neff allowed the two runs (and the Naturals’ only two hits) in the eighth and only managed to get two outs. Gore grabbed the last four outs of the game without allowing a base runner. Cabbage and Roy Morales had multi-hit games for the Surge. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids X, Wisconsin X Box Score This game was an absolute nail-biter until it wasn't: the Kernels explode for four runs in the ninth to take it 7-3. Matt Wallner and Aaron Sabato struck first for the Kernels with back-to-back solo homers in the top of the first: However, Sean Mooney allowed that lead to slip away immediately by allowing a three-run shot to Joey Wiemer in the bottom of the inning. In the third though, Alex Isola pumped a homer of his own well over the fence in the left center to tie the game for Cedar Rapids. Both teams built and squandered numerous chances over the middle innings of this game, but it stayed tied at three into the late innings. Like they had in the fifth, the Timber Rattlers loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, and, just like the fifth, they couldn't bring even one run across. And, unlike in the fifth, this time Wisconsin's lack of clutch hitting really hurt them. While the Timber Rattlers were likely still cursing their failures in the eighth inning, Aaron Sabato came up with a man on and blasted his second bomb of the night to give the Kernels a two-run lead. Then, not to be outdone, Isola followed up with his second homer of the night, and the Kernels still weren't done. Gabriel Maciel ripped an RBI single up the middle to make the score 7-3 and effectively seal the game for Cedar Rapids. However, seemingly just to torture themselves, the Timber Rattlers loaded the bases one more time in the bottom of the ninth, and, one more time, they failed to score. But hey, it's hard to be that upset when you're dressed like this: Other than his three-run mistake, Sean Mooney hung tough on the mound for Cedar Rapids. Those were the only runs he allowed in four innings of work and he struck out six, though he did walk three. Denny Bentley was rock solid again in his 2 ⅔ innings of work, striking out four and working around three hits and two walks. Zach Featherstone got the Kernels into trouble with three walks in the eighth, but Osiris German got them out of the eighth. German went out for the ninth, too and got two outs but was removed from the game with two runners on. Melvi Acosta came on for the last out, and walk the bases loaded before finally closing out the game. MUSSEL MATTERS Palm Beach 2, Fort Myers 0 Box Score The Fort Myers’ arms, led by Cade Povich in his second Single-A start, were excellent in this game. However, the Palm Beach pitchers were two runs better and the Mussels drop this one, 2-0. Povich, the Twins’ latest third round draft pick, was very impressive in his three innings to start this game, allowing only one hit and no runs, while striking out five Cardinal batters. Miguel Rodriguez took the middle three innings of the game, and only allowed one run, a home run off the bat of Ryan Holgate in the fourth inning. Zaquiel Puentes took over from there and allowed only one run over the seventh and eighth innings, as he, too, fell victim to Holgate, this time through an RBI single. Bradley Hanner hurled a scoreless ninth inning to finish off a solid outing from the Mussels pitching staff. Still, despite the successes of their pitchers, Fort Myers never looked like winning this game because their offense fell flat. They did get seven hits – and even loaded the bases in the fifth – but they couldn’t string knocks together and their clutch hitting was atrocious. Alerick Soularie and Mikey Perez got multi-hit games, but the Mussels’ hitters might owe the pitching staff dinner after this 2-0 loss. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Red Sox 16, FCL Twins 10 Box Score The bats came out to play for the FCL Twins tonight, but unfortunately, they came out in greater force for the FCL Red Sox and Minnesota’s complex leaguers drop this one 16-10. Leading the offense for the Twins was Carlos Aguiar, who bopped two homers for a total of four RBI, and Kala’i Rosario, who was 3-for-5 with three runs, two RBI, and a homer of his own. The Twins scored two in the top of the first, but never had the lead again despite plating seven runs over the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. They added one in the ninth, but fell well short of the offensive output from the Red Sox. Other than Aguiar and Rosario, Wander Valdez was the only other Twin with a multi-hit game. It goes without saying that it was a struggle on the mound for the FCL Twins tonight. Giovahniey German started the game and allowed seven runs (six earned) over 2 ⅓ innings. His outing was low-lighted by three different wild pitches and five walks. John Wilson replaced German and was the most effective pitcher for the Twins, allowing only two runs (one earned) in 2 ⅔ innings of work. Danny Moreno followed Wilson, but followed more in German’s footsteps as he was touched for five runs in an inning and a third. Rafael Feliz finished the game by allowing two earned run in 1 ⅔ innings. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 6.0 IP, R, ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR, BB, K PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4 #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 6.0 IP, R, ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 5 K #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, 2 R, RBI, HR, 2 BB, K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, R, 2B, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 1-for-5, 2 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-5, 3 K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Did not play #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-4, K SATURDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (6:05 PM CST) - TBD NW Arkansas @ Wichita (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (5-6 5.75 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (1:05 PM CST) - LHP Aaron Rozek (0-1, 4.38 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Regi Grace (1-0, 3.47 ERA) Feel free to comment and discuss tonight’s games! 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  11. TRANSACTIONS No transactions today. SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 6, St. Paul 3 Box Score Omaha touched St. Paul for four homers in this one and led wire-to-wire, taking the game 6-3. Bobby Witt Jr. got the game started for the Storm Chasers with a solo homer in the first frame, and Ryan McBroom matched his teammate three innings later to make it 2-0. Omaha added on in the sixth and Witt was involved again. The Royals’ top prospect doubled in a run and later scored on an M.J. Melendez sacrifice fly. The Saints offense finally got off the mark in the sixth, when a Gilberto Celestino double started a rally that scored two and featured an RBI each from Mark Contreras and Jimmy Kerrigan. The Saints’ momentum stopped there, though, as Robinson Leyer gave up a solo bomb to the first batter of the next inning to make it 5-2, and a second McBroom homer in the eighth stretched the Omaha lead one notch further. Tomas Telis homered in the eighth to cut the deficit to 6-3, but the Saints went down quietly in the ninth and lose to that score. Charlie Barnes got the start for the Saints tonight and made just the one mistake to Bobby Witt Jr. over 3 ⅓ innings. Barnes’ early hook didn’t seem to serve any purpose for the Saints in this game, but manager Toby Gardenhire may still have taken him out for a reason: As Seth noted in his tweet, Chandler Shepherd took over from there, but he struggled, allowing three runs in 1 ⅔ innings. Leyer allowed just a solo homer in his two innings, as did Nick Vincent in his only inning of work. Chris Nunn took the ninth and was the only Saint pitcher to not allow a run. Telis and Celestino were the Saints with multi-hit games tonight. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 5, NW Arkansas 3 Box Score Jordan Balazovic did a lot to confirm his title as the Twins’ top pitching prospect with a truly special outing on the mound that keyed tonight’s victory for Wichita. Balazovic allowed a run on an RBI groundout in the third, but he went six full innings, struck out five, and, most notably, did not allow a hit. Balazovic, who had thrown 88 pitches when he left the game, was showing no signs of slowing down, but manager Ramon Borrego evidently didn’t see the benefit in stretching his top asset’s limits. Still, enjoy Balazovic’s six innings of dominance: Meanwhile, the Surge offense was having quite the interesting game as well. Wichita got their first two runs in the third, thanks to Austin Martin. The Wichita star shortstop came to the plate with men on first and second and poked a weak grounder to right side, but he busted out of the box and forced an overthrow (allowing one to score), and then got in a rundown that allowed the second run to score. Just watch: In the fifth, Trey Cabbage (who else?) also drove in two runs, but in a very, very different way: The Surge added another run in the fifth off a Roy Morales single that scored Chris Williams. The Naturals got their first hits of the game in the eighth off Zach Neff, and they scored two as well. Clay Dungan doubled in Kevin Merrell and later scored on a Vinnie Pasquantino sac fly to cut the lead to 5-3. Jordan Gore was rock solid in the ninth inning, though, and put away the two-run W. After Balazovic’s six no-hit innings, Adam Lau pitched a no-hit inning of his own, though he did walk two batters. Neff allowed the two runs (and the Naturals’ only two hits) in the eighth and only managed to get two outs. Gore grabbed the last four outs of the game without allowing a base runner. Cabbage and Roy Morales had multi-hit games for the Surge. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids X, Wisconsin X Box Score This game was an absolute nail-biter until it wasn't: the Kernels explode for four runs in the ninth to take it 7-3. Matt Wallner and Aaron Sabato struck first for the Kernels with back-to-back solo homers in the top of the first: However, Sean Mooney allowed that lead to slip away immediately by allowing a three-run shot to Joey Wiemer in the bottom of the inning. In the third though, Alex Isola pumped a homer of his own well over the fence in the left center to tie the game for Cedar Rapids. Both teams built and squandered numerous chances over the middle innings of this game, but it stayed tied at three into the late innings. Like they had in the fifth, the Timber Rattlers loaded the bases with one out in the eighth, and, just like the fifth, they couldn't bring even one run across. And, unlike in the fifth, this time Wisconsin's lack of clutch hitting really hurt them. While the Timber Rattlers were likely still cursing their failures in the eighth inning, Aaron Sabato came up with a man on and blasted his second bomb of the night to give the Kernels a two-run lead. Then, not to be outdone, Isola followed up with his second homer of the night, and the Kernels still weren't done. Gabriel Maciel ripped an RBI single up the middle to make the score 7-3 and effectively seal the game for Cedar Rapids. However, seemingly just to torture themselves, the Timber Rattlers loaded the bases one more time in the bottom of the ninth, and, one more time, they failed to score. But hey, it's hard to be that upset when you're dressed like this: Other than his three-run mistake, Sean Mooney hung tough on the mound for Cedar Rapids. Those were the only runs he allowed in four innings of work and he struck out six, though he did walk three. Denny Bentley was rock solid again in his 2 ⅔ innings of work, striking out four and working around three hits and two walks. Zach Featherstone got the Kernels into trouble with three walks in the eighth, but Osiris German got them out of the eighth. German went out for the ninth, too and got two outs but was removed from the game with two runners on. Melvi Acosta came on for the last out, and walk the bases loaded before finally closing out the game. MUSSEL MATTERS Palm Beach 2, Fort Myers 0 Box Score The Fort Myers’ arms, led by Cade Povich in his second Single-A start, were excellent in this game. However, the Palm Beach pitchers were two runs better and the Mussels drop this one, 2-0. Povich, the Twins’ latest third round draft pick, was very impressive in his three innings to start this game, allowing only one hit and no runs, while striking out five Cardinal batters. Miguel Rodriguez took the middle three innings of the game, and only allowed one run, a home run off the bat of Ryan Holgate in the fourth inning. Zaquiel Puentes took over from there and allowed only one run over the seventh and eighth innings, as he, too, fell victim to Holgate, this time through an RBI single. Bradley Hanner hurled a scoreless ninth inning to finish off a solid outing from the Mussels pitching staff. Still, despite the successes of their pitchers, Fort Myers never looked like winning this game because their offense fell flat. They did get seven hits – and even loaded the bases in the fifth – but they couldn’t string knocks together and their clutch hitting was atrocious. Alerick Soularie and Mikey Perez got multi-hit games, but the Mussels’ hitters might owe the pitching staff dinner after this 2-0 loss. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Red Sox 16, FCL Twins 10 Box Score The bats came out to play for the FCL Twins tonight, but unfortunately, they came out in greater force for the FCL Red Sox and Minnesota’s complex leaguers drop this one 16-10. Leading the offense for the Twins was Carlos Aguiar, who bopped two homers for a total of four RBI, and Kala’i Rosario, who was 3-for-5 with three runs, two RBI, and a homer of his own. The Twins scored two in the top of the first, but never had the lead again despite plating seven runs over the fifth, sixth, and seventh innings. They added one in the ninth, but fell well short of the offensive output from the Red Sox. Other than Aguiar and Rosario, Wander Valdez was the only other Twin with a multi-hit game. It goes without saying that it was a struggle on the mound for the FCL Twins tonight. Giovahniey German started the game and allowed seven runs (six earned) over 2 ⅓ innings. His outing was low-lighted by three different wild pitches and five walks. John Wilson replaced German and was the most effective pitcher for the Twins, allowing only two runs (one earned) in 2 ⅔ innings of work. Danny Moreno followed Wilson, but followed more in German’s footsteps as he was touched for five runs in an inning and a third. Rafael Feliz finished the game by allowing two earned run in 1 ⅔ innings. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 6.0 IP, R, ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 5 K Hitter of the Day - Aaron Sabato (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI, 2 HR, BB, K PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4 #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - 6.0 IP, R, ER, 0 H, 2 BB, 5 K #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-for-4, K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-for-3, 2 R, RBI, HR, 2 BB, K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 2-for-4, R, 2B, K #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 1-for-5, 2 K #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 0-for-5, 3 K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - Did not play #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-for-4, K SATURDAY'S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (6:05 PM CST) - TBD NW Arkansas @ Wichita (6:05 PM CST) - RHP Chris Vallimont (5-6 5.75 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (1:05 PM CST) - LHP Aaron Rozek (0-1, 4.38 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Regi Grace (1-0, 3.47 ERA) Feel free to comment and discuss tonight’s games!
  12. TRANSACTIONS None reported SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 17, Omaha 3 Box Score It was Drew Strotman’s turn today for the Saints, and he danced around a good Omaha lineup. Working 5 1/3 innings, Strotman picked up six punch outs while allowing three runs on four hits and three walks. Uber-prospect Bobby Witt Jr. tagged him for a solo shot that never left the park. The Saints provided him with plenty of offensive support. Looking to make up for the inside-the-park homer from Witt Jr., St. Paul answered quickly. Jose Miranda recorded his 18th double to drive in Sherman Johnson, and Tomas Telis then lifted a two-run blast over the left-center field wall. Tied up after the top half of the 4th inning, the Saints took the lead again in the bottom half. Drew Maggi hit his 15th homer of the year before David Banuelos recorded his first for St. Paul. Up 5-3 in the 7th inning, B.J. Boyd recorded his first double with the club and scored Mark Contreras on the play. After a bases loaded walk allowed Gilberto Celestino to score, Banuelos crushed his second home run of the day. A grand slam put the Saints up 11-3 and this one was way out of reach. In the bottom of the eighth, the Saints scored six more runs. JT Riddle hit the team's second grand slam of the game, and Jose Miranda followed with a solo shot, his 13th with the Saints. Banuelos went 3-for-5 with his first two Saints homers, three runs scored and six RBI. Drew Maggi went 3-for-4 with a walk and his 15th homer of the season. Miranda went 3-for-6. Tomas Telis, Mark Contreras and BJ Boyd each had two hits. Sherman Johnson walked four times in this contest. Strotman got his first Win with the Saints. Chris Nunn recorded the next four outs. Nick Vincent got the final out of the seventh inning. Chandler Shepherd pitched the eighth and ninth innings. WIND SURGE WISDOM NW Arkansas 1, Wichita 0 Box Score Austin Schulfer shoved tonight for the Wind Surge. Yes, he lacked command, but he went 4 1/3 innings giving up just two hits and working around five free passes. Schulfer also recorded six strikeouts before turning the ball over to Ben Gross. Gross then put in solid work of his own going 3 2/3 innings allowing just a single run on five hits while walking two and fanning three. Despite combining for 13 hits, these two teams plated just one run. An 8th inning single for the opposition put Wichita behind and that was enough to do them in for the evening. Roy Morales recorded three hits while D.J. Burt had two of his own. Jordan Gore worked a scoreless 9th inning but the offense remained dormant and Wichita wound up being shut out on the evening. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 11, Wisconsin 5 Box Score Cody Lawyerson was on the bump for Cedar Rapids in today’s matinee and worked six strong. He was dominant, striking out nine and walking just two while allowing only three hits. The Kernels have a thing for threes in today’s tilt. Putting up the first runs of the game, it was a three-spot in the third inning. Edouard Julien lifted his 11th homer to driver in Daniel Ozoria, and Michael Helman made it back-to-back jacks with his 18th. Then in the fourth inning it was again a three spot started by a Julien walk with the bases loaded. Helman ripped a single to center plating both DaShawn Keirsey and Ozoria on the play. As had been the case all afternoon the 6th inning featured another three-spot. Last night’s hero Matt Wallner drove in Julien on a single before Alex Isola hit his 14th dinger to also bring home Wallner. Giving up five runs across the 7th and 8th innings, Cedar Rapids looked to grab some extra breathing room. Wallner homered for the second straight game, his 13th on the season, and Seth Gray drove in Yunior Severino to push the final tally up to 11-5. Wallner and Gray both had three hits on the afternoon with Helman adding two of his own. Following Laweryson was Derek Molina who gave up one run in the seventh inning. Stephen Cruz came in for his High-A debut in the eighth frame. He gave up four runs (3 earned) on two hits and two walks. He recorded just one out, but it was on a strikeout. Melvi Acosta came on and got the final five outs. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 3, Palm Beach 2 (Susp B/4) Box Score John Stankiewicz was tonight's starter as he celebrated his 23rd birthday. Working through four innings, he allowed just two runs on five hits and two walks. Stankiewicz also struck out four. Despite being at just 69 pitches, his night was done in by rain with the game being suspended in the 4th inning. Fort Myers scored first tallying a run on a Kyler Fedko walk with the bases loaded in the 1st inning. After giving the run back in the 2nd inning, Alerick Soularie reached on an error that allowed Mike Perez to scamper home. Again tied after the top half of the 4th inning, Perez drove in Willie Joe Garry in the bottom half to retake the lead for the Mighty Mussels. The clubs will finish this one out tomorrow evening. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Orioles Orange 15, FCL Twins 8 Box Score If you’re a fan of offensive outputs then this one was for you. A makeup of a previously postponed contest, the Twins and Orioles complex clubs combined for 23 runs on 25 hits. It was also a rather sloppy affair with both teams adding to the eight total errors on the day. After a starter Juan Mendez was able to record just a single out before giving up four runs, Cole Bellair worked 4 ⅓ innings. He was tagged for seven runs, but just one of them was of the earned variety. His eight strikeouts looked very nice up against just one walk. Ricardo Velez gave up one run over 2 1/3 innings of relief. Rafael Feliz gave up three runs over the final two innings. Down 8-1 after the 3rd inning, this one got out of hand early. The Twins did combine for seven runs the rest of the way, including a four-run effort in the bottom of the 9th inning. 2021 draftee Noah Miller was the star of the show with a 5-for-5 effort where he finished just a double shy of the cycle. Malfrin Sosa (three hits) and Luis Baez (two hits) joined Miller with multi-hit efforts of their own. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Cody Lawyerson (Cedar Rapids) - 6.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 9 K Hitter of the Day - Noah Miller (Complex) - 5-5, 3B, HR(2), R, 5 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, K #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 3-6, 2B (18), HR (13), 2 R, 2 RBI, K #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - 7.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 3-5, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2B, HR(13), 2 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 1-2, 2 BB #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - 5.1 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - 5-5, 3B, HR(2), R, 5 RBI #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 2-2 #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 0-3, K, BB THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Beau Burrows (2-4, 6.20 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Simeon Woods-Richardson (0-0, 0.00 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (6:35 PM CST) - RHP Louie Varland (5-1, 1.85 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:00 PM CST) - RHP Casey Legumina (3-2, 3.23 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games
  13. Three of the Minnesota Twins four full-season affiliates were back in their home ballparks this week, and this proved to be the difference in each of the three victories on the night. St. Paul walked-off the team in front of them in the standings, Wichita and Fort Myers got solid starting pitching, and Cedar Rapids got a big blast from one of their sluggers, but would it be enough? TRANSACTIONS In Cedar Rapids, RHP Steven Cruz was promoted to the Kernels from Fort Myers, and OF DaShawn Keirsey was activated from the injured list. In low-A Fort Myers, RHP David Festa and SS Mikey Perez were assigned to the Mighty Mussels from the FCL Twins, and LHP Brent Headrick was activated from the injured list. For the FCL Twins, RHP Orlando Rodriguez was sent on a rehab assignment from Fort Myers. SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 5, St. Paul 6 Box Score With lefty Bryan Sammons getting the start, the Saints found themselves down 5-1 after the top half of the fifth inning. That was due in large part as Sammons couldn’t keep the ball in the yard, with four of those five runs coming courtesy of the longball. He made it through 4 2/3 innings in total, allowing those runs on seven total hits while striking out two Storm Chasers. Lucky for him, his offense wasn’t going to let that be the story of the game, as they put together a rally in the bottom of the fifth that ended with the score tied. Drew Stankiewicz got it started with a one-out double, then Tomas Telis drove him in with a two-out single to score the first run of the frame. A Gilberto Celestino single was then followed by a Mark Contreras three run blast to knot the game up at five. It remained that way until the bottom of the ninth inning, as the bullpen trio of Robinson Leyer, Jovani Moran, and Kyle Barraclough combined to hold Omaha to just one hit over the final 4 1/3 innings. Leyer struck out two in 1 1/3 while Moran walked two and punched out two in two innings. That led into Barraclough coming on for the top of the ninth and he delivered two huge strikeouts after a leadoff double and sac bunt put the go-ahead run just 90 feet away. The Saints lineup was likely energized by those pitches, and Stankiewicz started the bottom of the frame with a walk, Jose Miranda and Telis followed with singles to load the bases, then Celestino walked it off with a high chopper that allowed Stankiewicz to beat the throw home. Take it any way you can get it when you’re at home, St. Paul Saints! In all the offense racked up thirteen hits, with the top four in the lineup of Miranda (2-for-5, R), Telis (3-for-5, R, RBI, K), Celestino (3-for-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI, K), and Contreras (2-for-3, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, K) collecting multiple knocks. Stankiewicz also added a double, walk, and two runs scored to the effort out of the nine-hole. Barraclough picked up his eighth win of the season thanks to the walk-off. WIND SURGE WISDOM NW Arkansas 1, Wichita 3 Box Score It was a low-scoring affair in Wichita on Tuesday, with the teams combining for just four runs on 12 hits in the game. The Naturals got on the board first against Wind Surge starter Cole Sands thanks to a double and single from the first two hitters, then a throwing error on a steal attempt that allowed the runner on third to score. But Sands recovered and got himself out of that jam by getting a pop-out, fielder's choice that nabbed a runner at home, and a lineout to keep the damage to just one run (unearned) in the top half of the first. Sands then settled in from there and dominated for six innings, allowing no more runs on just two hits and two walks, while striking out five hitters. He was replaced by Kody Funderburk to start the seventh inning with the score tied at one so he’d finish with a no-decision for his efforts. Wichita tied the game at one in the third inning when Austin Martin drove in D.J. Burt, who had doubled earlier in the inning, with a single to left field. In the bottom of the seventh the Wind Surge finally took the lead on Andrew Bechtold’s 17th home run of the season, a solo blast to the opposite corner of the field. That was followed by consecutive doubles by Burt and Aaron Whitefield to put them out front 3-1. Funderburk kept the score that way for the rest of the game, holding the Naturals to just one hit in three innings pitched, and striking out two along the way, to pick up his third win with Wichita. Burt led the offense with a 3-for-3 night at the dish, scoring two runs and picking up his seventh and eighth doubles on the year. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Wisconsin 8 Box Score Kernels starter Sawyer Gipson-Long came into this game on a streak of three straight starts where he pitched six innings and just two total earned runs, while striking out 21 hitters compared to issuing just four walks. Two of those starts were included in a fantastic month of August where he took home Twins Daily’s Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month award. He started this one off on the same foot, striking out the first batter he faced, but unfortunately that was the only out he’d record on the night. The next six hitters went double, walk, single, triple, walk, walk and three runs were on the board before he was replaced by Andrew Cabezas. Three more runs would be charged to Gipson-Long before the inning was over and his ERA with Cedar Rapids in five starts ballooned from 2.35 to 4.63. Cabezas would steady the ship for the next 3 1/3 innings, allowing only a single run (on a home run) of his own on four hits and two walks, while he struck out four Timber Rattlers hitters. While Cabezas was on the mound, the Kernels closed that early gap in a big way thanks to the bat of Matt Wallner, who laced a grand slam to right in the third inning, his 12th home run of the season. Reliever Tyler Palm recorded one out in the fourth inning before Cedar Rapids cut the lead back to two in the top of the fifth when Edouard Julien launched his 10th homer with Kernels to make it 7-5. Palm was back out for the bottom of the fifth in which Wisconsin scratched across an insurance run that would prove the difference maker in the end. In all Palm completed two innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one batter. Osiris German was brought on with two outs in the sixth and would finish 2 1/3 scoreless innings to keep the game in reach. He allowed two hits and struck out two. Things continued to look up for the Kernels when they closed the gap to one in the top of the sixth thanks to a two-run shot from Seth Gray, but weren’t able to cash in a two-out double from Wallner in the seventh. In the ninth, Julien drew a one-out walk and Aaron Sabato singled to put him in scoring position with Wallner coming up, but the comeback was not meant to be completed as he was struck out swinging to end the game. The Kernels got multiple hits in the game from Sabato (2-for-5, R, 3 K) and Wallner (3-for-5, R, 2B, GS HR, 4 RBI, 2 K). Julien also finished 1-for-2 with two runs scored, an RBI, three walks, and a stolen base, but as a team they also struck out 15 times, hurting their chances to take advantage when it counted. With a record of 59-50, the Kernels are tied with the Lake County Captains in the High-A Central League standings, one game back of the Great Lakes Loons for a playoff spot. MUSSEL MATTERS Palm Beach 2, Fort Myers 6 Box Score The Fort Myers lineup used a big fifth inning to put Palm Beach away in this one, but also got some excellent work from their pitchers to keep them at bay. Left-hander Zarion Sharpe got the start for the Mighty Mussels and mowed through the Cardinals lineup for the first four innings, allowing only one walk and a double through that point in the game while striking out five hitters. A two-out single in the fifth finally got Palm Beach on the board, but the third out of the inning was also recorded on the play so any rally was cut short. That run had tied the game at one as Fort Myers got on the board first in the second inning thanks to a Willie Joe Garry ground out that scored Charles Mack, who had doubled earlier in the inning and advanced to third on a Jake Rucker single. The home team didn’t strike again until the fifth inning, but they made sure it was a big one. It didn’t really get started until there were two outs, as a Christian Encarnacion-Strand triple scored Will Holland from first before a combination of walks, a wild pitch, and a throwing error made it 4-1. Charles Mack then delivered the big blow, a two-run homer to the opposite field and a 6-1 lead for the Mighty Mussels. Sharpe allowed another run in the top of the sixth after a leadoff double, but finished his day with six quality innings. He allowed just two runs while scattering five hits and two walks, and punching out eight total Palm Beach hitters, improving to 6-2 on the season along the way. Matthew Swain was summoned to start the seventh and finished off the Cardinals in the final three innings, allowing only one hit, one walk, and striking out five to pick up his second save of the season. The Fort Myers offense was led by multi-hit efforts from Encarnacion-Strand (3-for-3, R, RBI, BB) and Mack (2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, K), which was plenty of a one-two punch on the game. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Braves 7, FCL Twins 3 Box Score The Braves used a four-run seventh inning to overcome a 3-2 deficit at the time, pulling away from the Twins late in Fort Myers. The Twins got a solid start from left-hander Wilker Reyes, who allowed just one run (unearned) on one hit and a walk in five innings. He struck out two. Orlando Rodriguez got saddled with the loss as he allowed four runs on two hits and two walks in his 1 1/3 innings pitched. John Wilson allowed an unearned run in 2/3 of an inning, and Erasmo Ramirez finished the final two innings allowing one run on one hit and three walks while striking out one hitter. The Twins offense had just five hits on the game, and the big one was a two-out solo home run from Nelson Roberto in the sixth inning. LaRon Smith scored the first run of the game in the second inning thanks to a bases loaded wild pitch. And their third run came right before Roberto's home run in the sixth thanks to a sac fly from Noah Cardenas to score Smith. Smith and Alexander Pena each drew three walks on the game, and Pena and Emmanuel Rodriguez each also stole a base in the loss. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Cole Sands, Wichita Wind Surge (6 IP, 4 H, R, 2 BB, 5 K) Hitter of the Day - Matt Wallner, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-for-5, R, 2B, GS HR, 4 RBI, 2 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4, RBI #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, R #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 3-for-5, R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 2 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI, K, walk-off single #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, R, HR, RBI, K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, R, BB, 2 K #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R (zero earned), 2 BB, 5 K #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (1:05 PM CST) - RHP Drew Strotman (7-3, 4.80 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (6-7, 4.56 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (12:05 PM CST) - RHP Cody Laweryson (1-4, 4.94 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:05 PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz (0-0, 2.70 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! 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  14. Minnesota Twins starting pitcher John Gant delivered five scoreless innings against Cleveland Tuesday night and struck out seven batters. Down on the farm, Matt Wallner was the headliner with a three-hit night that included a grand slam. Also featured in tonight's recap are Josh Donaldson, Brent Rooker, Luis Arraez, Jose Miranda, Gilberto Celestino, Mark Contreras, Austin Martin, Edouard Julien and Christian Encarnacion-Strand.
  15. Minnesota Twins starting pitcher John Gant delivered five scoreless innings against Cleveland Tuesday night and struck out seven batters. Down on the farm, Matt Wallner was the headliner with a three-hit night that included a grand slam. Also featured in tonight's recap are Josh Donaldson, Brent Rooker, Luis Arraez, Jose Miranda, Gilberto Celestino, Mark Contreras, Austin Martin, Edouard Julien and Christian Encarnacion-Strand. View full video
  16. TRANSACTIONS In Cedar Rapids, RHP Steven Cruz was promoted to the Kernels from Fort Myers, and OF DaShawn Keirsey was activated from the injured list. In low-A Fort Myers, RHP David Festa and SS Mikey Perez were assigned to the Mighty Mussels from the FCL Twins, and LHP Brent Headrick was activated from the injured list. For the FCL Twins, RHP Orlando Rodriguez was sent on a rehab assignment from Fort Myers. SAINTS SENTINEL Omaha 5, St. Paul 6 Box Score With lefty Bryan Sammons getting the start, the Saints found themselves down 5-1 after the top half of the fifth inning. That was due in large part as Sammons couldn’t keep the ball in the yard, with four of those five runs coming courtesy of the longball. He made it through 4 2/3 innings in total, allowing those runs on seven total hits while striking out two Storm Chasers. Lucky for him, his offense wasn’t going to let that be the story of the game, as they put together a rally in the bottom of the fifth that ended with the score tied. Drew Stankiewicz got it started with a one-out double, then Tomas Telis drove him in with a two-out single to score the first run of the frame. A Gilberto Celestino single was then followed by a Mark Contreras three run blast to knot the game up at five. It remained that way until the bottom of the ninth inning, as the bullpen trio of Robinson Leyer, Jovani Moran, and Kyle Barraclough combined to hold Omaha to just one hit over the final 4 1/3 innings. Leyer struck out two in 1 1/3 while Moran walked two and punched out two in two innings. That led into Barraclough coming on for the top of the ninth and he delivered two huge strikeouts after a leadoff double and sac bunt put the go-ahead run just 90 feet away. The Saints lineup was likely energized by those pitches, and Stankiewicz started the bottom of the frame with a walk, Jose Miranda and Telis followed with singles to load the bases, then Celestino walked it off with a high chopper that allowed Stankiewicz to beat the throw home. Take it any way you can get it when you’re at home, St. Paul Saints! In all the offense racked up thirteen hits, with the top four in the lineup of Miranda (2-for-5, R), Telis (3-for-5, R, RBI, K), Celestino (3-for-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI, K), and Contreras (2-for-3, R, HR, 3 RBI, BB, K) collecting multiple knocks. Stankiewicz also added a double, walk, and two runs scored to the effort out of the nine-hole. Barraclough picked up his eighth win of the season thanks to the walk-off. WIND SURGE WISDOM NW Arkansas 1, Wichita 3 Box Score It was a low-scoring affair in Wichita on Tuesday, with the teams combining for just four runs on 12 hits in the game. The Naturals got on the board first against Wind Surge starter Cole Sands thanks to a double and single from the first two hitters, then a throwing error on a steal attempt that allowed the runner on third to score. But Sands recovered and got himself out of that jam by getting a pop-out, fielder's choice that nabbed a runner at home, and a lineout to keep the damage to just one run (unearned) in the top half of the first. Sands then settled in from there and dominated for six innings, allowing no more runs on just two hits and two walks, while striking out five hitters. He was replaced by Kody Funderburk to start the seventh inning with the score tied at one so he’d finish with a no-decision for his efforts. Wichita tied the game at one in the third inning when Austin Martin drove in D.J. Burt, who had doubled earlier in the inning, with a single to left field. In the bottom of the seventh the Wind Surge finally took the lead on Andrew Bechtold’s 17th home run of the season, a solo blast to the opposite corner of the field. That was followed by consecutive doubles by Burt and Aaron Whitefield to put them out front 3-1. Funderburk kept the score that way for the rest of the game, holding the Naturals to just one hit in three innings pitched, and striking out two along the way, to pick up his third win with Wichita. Burt led the offense with a 3-for-3 night at the dish, scoring two runs and picking up his seventh and eighth doubles on the year. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 7, Wisconsin 8 Box Score Kernels starter Sawyer Gipson-Long came into this game on a streak of three straight starts where he pitched six innings and just two total earned runs, while striking out 21 hitters compared to issuing just four walks. Two of those starts were included in a fantastic month of August where he took home Twins Daily’s Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month award. He started this one off on the same foot, striking out the first batter he faced, but unfortunately that was the only out he’d record on the night. The next six hitters went double, walk, single, triple, walk, walk and three runs were on the board before he was replaced by Andrew Cabezas. Three more runs would be charged to Gipson-Long before the inning was over and his ERA with Cedar Rapids in five starts ballooned from 2.35 to 4.63. Cabezas would steady the ship for the next 3 1/3 innings, allowing only a single run (on a home run) of his own on four hits and two walks, while he struck out four Timber Rattlers hitters. While Cabezas was on the mound, the Kernels closed that early gap in a big way thanks to the bat of Matt Wallner, who laced a grand slam to right in the third inning, his 12th home run of the season. Reliever Tyler Palm recorded one out in the fourth inning before Cedar Rapids cut the lead back to two in the top of the fifth when Edouard Julien launched his 10th homer with Kernels to make it 7-5. Palm was back out for the bottom of the fifth in which Wisconsin scratched across an insurance run that would prove the difference maker in the end. In all Palm completed two innings, allowing one run on two hits and a walk, while striking out one batter. Osiris German was brought on with two outs in the sixth and would finish 2 1/3 scoreless innings to keep the game in reach. He allowed two hits and struck out two. Things continued to look up for the Kernels when they closed the gap to one in the top of the sixth thanks to a two-run shot from Seth Gray, but weren’t able to cash in a two-out double from Wallner in the seventh. In the ninth, Julien drew a one-out walk and Aaron Sabato singled to put him in scoring position with Wallner coming up, but the comeback was not meant to be completed as he was struck out swinging to end the game. The Kernels got multiple hits in the game from Sabato (2-for-5, R, 3 K) and Wallner (3-for-5, R, 2B, GS HR, 4 RBI, 2 K). Julien also finished 1-for-2 with two runs scored, an RBI, three walks, and a stolen base, but as a team they also struck out 15 times, hurting their chances to take advantage when it counted. With a record of 59-50, the Kernels are tied with the Lake County Captains in the High-A Central League standings, one game back of the Great Lakes Loons for a playoff spot. MUSSEL MATTERS Palm Beach 2, Fort Myers 6 Box Score The Fort Myers lineup used a big fifth inning to put Palm Beach away in this one, but also got some excellent work from their pitchers to keep them at bay. Left-hander Zarion Sharpe got the start for the Mighty Mussels and mowed through the Cardinals lineup for the first four innings, allowing only one walk and a double through that point in the game while striking out five hitters. A two-out single in the fifth finally got Palm Beach on the board, but the third out of the inning was also recorded on the play so any rally was cut short. That run had tied the game at one as Fort Myers got on the board first in the second inning thanks to a Willie Joe Garry ground out that scored Charles Mack, who had doubled earlier in the inning and advanced to third on a Jake Rucker single. The home team didn’t strike again until the fifth inning, but they made sure it was a big one. It didn’t really get started until there were two outs, as a Christian Encarnacion-Strand triple scored Will Holland from first before a combination of walks, a wild pitch, and a throwing error made it 4-1. Charles Mack then delivered the big blow, a two-run homer to the opposite field and a 6-1 lead for the Mighty Mussels. Sharpe allowed another run in the top of the sixth after a leadoff double, but finished his day with six quality innings. He allowed just two runs while scattering five hits and two walks, and punching out eight total Palm Beach hitters, improving to 6-2 on the season along the way. Matthew Swain was summoned to start the seventh and finished off the Cardinals in the final three innings, allowing only one hit, one walk, and striking out five to pick up his second save of the season. The Fort Myers offense was led by multi-hit efforts from Encarnacion-Strand (3-for-3, R, RBI, BB) and Mack (2-for-4, 2 R, 2B, HR, 2 RBI, K), which was plenty of a one-two punch on the game. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Braves 7, FCL Twins 3 Box Score The Braves used a four-run seventh inning to overcome a 3-2 deficit at the time, pulling away from the Twins late in Fort Myers. The Twins got a solid start from left-hander Wilker Reyes, who allowed just one run (unearned) on one hit and a walk in five innings. He struck out two. Orlando Rodriguez got saddled with the loss as he allowed four runs on two hits and two walks in his 1 1/3 innings pitched. John Wilson allowed an unearned run in 2/3 of an inning, and Erasmo Ramirez finished the final two innings allowing one run on one hit and three walks while striking out one hitter. The Twins offense had just five hits on the game, and the big one was a two-out solo home run from Nelson Roberto in the sixth inning. LaRon Smith scored the first run of the game in the second inning thanks to a bases loaded wild pitch. And their third run came right before Roberto's home run in the sixth thanks to a sac fly from Noah Cardenas to score Smith. Smith and Alexander Pena each drew three walks on the game, and Pena and Emmanuel Rodriguez each also stole a base in the loss. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Cole Sands, Wichita Wind Surge (6 IP, 4 H, R, 2 BB, 5 K) Hitter of the Day - Matt Wallner, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-for-5, R, 2B, GS HR, 4 RBI, 2 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY #1 - Royce Lewis (rehab) - Out for season (torn ACL) #2 - Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-for-4, RBI #3 - Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) - Did not pitch #4 - Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 - Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (elbow strain) #6 - Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 2-for-5, R #7 - Joe Ryan (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #8 - Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (right elbow strain) #9 - Chase Petty (Complex) - Did not pitch #10 - Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - Did not play #11 - Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (right shoulder impingement) #12 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 3-for-5, R, 2B, HR, 4 RBI, 2 K #13 - Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 3-for-5, R, 2B, 2 RBI, K, walk-off single #14 - Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 - Noah Miller (Complex) - Did not play #16 - Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 1-for-3, R, HR, RBI, K #17 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for season (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 0-for-3, R, BB, 2 K #19 - Cole Sands (Wichita) - 6 IP, 4 H, 1 R (zero earned), 2 BB, 5 K #20 - Spencer Steer (Wichita) - 1-for-4, K WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Omaha @ St. Paul (1:05 PM CST) - RHP Drew Strotman (7-3, 4.80 ERA) NW Arkansas @ Wichita (7:05 PM CST) - RHP Austin Schulfer (6-7, 4.56 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (12:05 PM CST) - RHP Cody Laweryson (1-4, 4.94 ERA) Palm Beach @ Fort Myers (6:05 PM CST) - RHP John Stankiewicz (0-0, 2.70 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  17. Jose Miranda had four hits, Jordan Balazovic went six scoreless, and Austin Martin had a late go-ahead hit. If that doesn't get you excited to read about this minor league report, then nothing will. TRANSACTIONS RHP Matt Canterino placed on the 7-day IL at A+ Cedar Rapids (right elbow strain) RHP Breckin Williams placed on the 7-day IL at A+ Cedar Rapids (right shoulder strain) LHP Bryan Sammons promoted to AAA St. Paul RHP Randy Dobnak assigned to A Fort Myers for a rehab assignment Saints Sentinel St. Paul 7, Iowa 4 Box Score Bryan Sammons: 4 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K HR: Jose Miranda (12) Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (4-for-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Tomás Telis (2-for-4, R) Jose Miranda. Yeah, usually I begin with the pitcher, but this one is going to be different. Jose Miranda dropped four hits on Saturday, including a home run, and I’m left wondering what in the world he possibly needs to do in order to get called up. I mean, he’s having one of the best minor league seasons these eyes have seen, and the major league team is not doing much of anything at the moment. Figure it out. Speaking of guys that need to be called up, Jovani Moran pitched 2 1/3 innings in relief with one earned run and three strikeouts. He will certainly be up at some point, but whenever that time comes, it’ll already be overdue. Beyond Miranda, the Saints found the 5th inning to be the perfect time to strike. Mark Contereras singled home a run, Drew Maggi brought another run in with a groundout, and a wild pitch scored the final run of the inning. All-in-all, the Saints had six runs on the board. Ian Hamilton brought us all home with two clean innings to end the game. Yeah, maybe he walked a guy, but he was just keeping the hitters on their toes. It appears that it worked. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 2, Springfield 0 Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None Wichita’s pitching took care of business on Saturday. Jordan Balazovic had an interesting day on the mound. He held the Cardinals scoreless, which is good; but then he walked five batters, which is not good. This is one of those times we just say “we take those” and move on. Details don’t matter. Wichita did not score much, but they didn’t need to. Austin Martin plated the first run of the game with an 8th inning single, and Andrew Bechtold brought home the final run with a single of his own in the 9th inning. Honestly, that was it. But that was all that was needed. After Balazovic’s six innings of work, Adam Lau took the team to the ninth and Erik Manoah Jr. ended it. Those three pitchers combined to allow just five hits total in the entire game. That’ll work. Funny enough, the Wind Surge actually only had four hits. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 5, Wisconsin 12 Box Score Cody Laweryson: 4 2.3 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: Matt Wallner (11), Michael Helman (15) Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB), Matt Wallner (2-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-4) The Kernels were unable to come back on Saturday. Cody Laweryson put forth an impressive effort with half of his outs coming via the K. He was bogged down by some 4th inning shenanigans that saw a double error play score a run. This was actually not even the only double error play of the game by the Kernels; the 7th inning saw a similar effort that ended up plating a pair of runs. As you will read later, it was not a great day for defense in the system. I hope Laweryson’s fielders bought him one of those real cheesy Hallmark apology cards after the game. Despite scoring just three runs, Cedar Rapids brought some firepower. Matt Wallner deposited his 11th homer of the year over the fence while Michael Helman, who suddenly has been possessed by the spirit of Hank Aaron, blasted his 15th home run. The problem was that both of these blasts came without a runner on base. Edouard Julien reached base four times because of course he did. I find myself more shocked when he doesn’t get on base multiple times than when he does. I assume that his season OBP is still .600 or something like that. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 3, Dunedin 4 Box Score Randy Dobnak: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Charles Mack (2-for-4) Well, Randy Dobnak sure came to play on Saturday. The right-hander emerged from his long slumber (or injury) and took the mound for the first time in two months. Using his major league success as well as his right hand, Dobnak completely shut down the Dunedin lineup in just 32 pitches. It’s good to see Dobnak back on the mound; his return will hopefully be a relief for a depleted major league pitching staff. On the offensive side of things, Jesus Feliz carried the team. He broke the 0-0 tie in the 5th with a solo homer, before then putting a ball into play in the 7th that brought home two off of an error. That must have been one impressive error. It appears that defense was the Achilles heel for Fort Myers on Saturday. The team had five errors in total (Keoni Cavaco had his 17th error of the year), and it was a Charles Mack throwing error that sent the game-winning runner to third base in the 9th inning. That run was then brought home off an infield single. Hopefully the team can clean it up on Sunday. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 5, FCL Red Sox 11 Box Score Develson Aria: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K HR: Endy Rodriguez (1) Multi-hit games: None The FCL Twins lost a rough one to the FCL Red Sox on Saturday. A certain swear for poop hit the fan quickly in this effort as the Red Sox plated two runs before fans could even find their seats. Top draft pick, Marcelo Mayer, dropped an RBI single while Bryan Gonzalez singled home another run. In fact, the Red Sox scored 10 times before the Twins plated a single run. In the 5th, Mayer then blasted his first career professional home run. This is far from the first time that we’ve seen a Mayer have multiple hits. Alright, let’s get back to talking about the Twins. The team responded to the 10-0 deficit with an impressive gusto. A 6th inning rally brought three runs home while individual runs were then scored in the 7th and 8th, respectively. That 8th inning run came due to Endy Rodriguez’s first home run of the season; so congrats to Rodriguez. The run of, well, runs, was not enough, and the team fell to the Red Sox on Saturday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Jordan Balazovic Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jose Miranda PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-4, RBI #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 6 K #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 4-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-5, 3 K #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 K #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-3 #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 1-3, RBI, BB, 2 K #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-4 #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - Did not play SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Fort Myers @ Dunedin (11:00 AM) RHP Bobby Milacki Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (1:05 PM) TBD Iowa @ St. Paul (1:05 PM) RHP Drew Strotman Wichita @ Springfield (4:05 PM) RHP Chris Vallimont View full article
  18. TRANSACTIONS RHP Matt Canterino placed on the 7-day IL at A+ Cedar Rapids (right elbow strain) RHP Breckin Williams placed on the 7-day IL at A+ Cedar Rapids (right shoulder strain) LHP Bryan Sammons promoted to AAA St. Paul RHP Randy Dobnak assigned to A Fort Myers for a rehab assignment Saints Sentinel St. Paul 7, Iowa 4 Box Score Bryan Sammons: 4 2/3 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 2 K HR: Jose Miranda (12) Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (4-for-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Tomás Telis (2-for-4, R) Jose Miranda. Yeah, usually I begin with the pitcher, but this one is going to be different. Jose Miranda dropped four hits on Saturday, including a home run, and I’m left wondering what in the world he possibly needs to do in order to get called up. I mean, he’s having one of the best minor league seasons these eyes have seen, and the major league team is not doing much of anything at the moment. Figure it out. Speaking of guys that need to be called up, Jovani Moran pitched 2 1/3 innings in relief with one earned run and three strikeouts. He will certainly be up at some point, but whenever that time comes, it’ll already be overdue. Beyond Miranda, the Saints found the 5th inning to be the perfect time to strike. Mark Contereras singled home a run, Drew Maggi brought another run in with a groundout, and a wild pitch scored the final run of the inning. All-in-all, the Saints had six runs on the board. Ian Hamilton brought us all home with two clean innings to end the game. Yeah, maybe he walked a guy, but he was just keeping the hitters on their toes. It appears that it worked. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 2, Springfield 0 Box Score Jordan Balazovic: 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 6 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None Wichita’s pitching took care of business on Saturday. Jordan Balazovic had an interesting day on the mound. He held the Cardinals scoreless, which is good; but then he walked five batters, which is not good. This is one of those times we just say “we take those” and move on. Details don’t matter. Wichita did not score much, but they didn’t need to. Austin Martin plated the first run of the game with an 8th inning single, and Andrew Bechtold brought home the final run with a single of his own in the 9th inning. Honestly, that was it. But that was all that was needed. After Balazovic’s six innings of work, Adam Lau took the team to the ninth and Erik Manoah Jr. ended it. Those three pitchers combined to allow just five hits total in the entire game. That’ll work. Funny enough, the Wind Surge actually only had four hits. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 5, Wisconsin 12 Box Score Cody Laweryson: 4 2.3 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 0 BB, 7 K HR: Matt Wallner (11), Michael Helman (15) Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-for-3, 2B, 2 R, 2 BB), Matt Wallner (2-for-5, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-4) The Kernels were unable to come back on Saturday. Cody Laweryson put forth an impressive effort with half of his outs coming via the K. He was bogged down by some 4th inning shenanigans that saw a double error play score a run. This was actually not even the only double error play of the game by the Kernels; the 7th inning saw a similar effort that ended up plating a pair of runs. As you will read later, it was not a great day for defense in the system. I hope Laweryson’s fielders bought him one of those real cheesy Hallmark apology cards after the game. Despite scoring just three runs, Cedar Rapids brought some firepower. Matt Wallner deposited his 11th homer of the year over the fence while Michael Helman, who suddenly has been possessed by the spirit of Hank Aaron, blasted his 15th home run. The problem was that both of these blasts came without a runner on base. Edouard Julien reached base four times because of course he did. I find myself more shocked when he doesn’t get on base multiple times than when he does. I assume that his season OBP is still .600 or something like that. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 3, Dunedin 4 Box Score Randy Dobnak: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Charles Mack (2-for-4) Well, Randy Dobnak sure came to play on Saturday. The right-hander emerged from his long slumber (or injury) and took the mound for the first time in two months. Using his major league success as well as his right hand, Dobnak completely shut down the Dunedin lineup in just 32 pitches. It’s good to see Dobnak back on the mound; his return will hopefully be a relief for a depleted major league pitching staff. On the offensive side of things, Jesus Feliz carried the team. He broke the 0-0 tie in the 5th with a solo homer, before then putting a ball into play in the 7th that brought home two off of an error. That must have been one impressive error. It appears that defense was the Achilles heel for Fort Myers on Saturday. The team had five errors in total (Keoni Cavaco had his 17th error of the year), and it was a Charles Mack throwing error that sent the game-winning runner to third base in the 9th inning. That run was then brought home off an infield single. Hopefully the team can clean it up on Sunday. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 5, FCL Red Sox 11 Box Score Develson Aria: 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 3 K HR: Endy Rodriguez (1) Multi-hit games: None The FCL Twins lost a rough one to the FCL Red Sox on Saturday. A certain swear for poop hit the fan quickly in this effort as the Red Sox plated two runs before fans could even find their seats. Top draft pick, Marcelo Mayer, dropped an RBI single while Bryan Gonzalez singled home another run. In fact, the Red Sox scored 10 times before the Twins plated a single run. In the 5th, Mayer then blasted his first career professional home run. This is far from the first time that we’ve seen a Mayer have multiple hits. Alright, let’s get back to talking about the Twins. The team responded to the 10-0 deficit with an impressive gusto. A 6th inning rally brought three runs home while individual runs were then scored in the 7th and 8th, respectively. That 8th inning run came due to Endy Rodriguez’s first home run of the season; so congrats to Rodriguez. The run of, well, runs, was not enough, and the team fell to the Red Sox on Saturday. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Jordan Balazovic Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Jose Miranda PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 1-4, RBI #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – 6 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 5 BB, 6 K #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 4-5, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-5, 3 K #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI, 2 K #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-3 #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 – Noah Miller (FCL Twins) - 1-3, RBI, BB, 2 K #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - Did not play #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 1-4 #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - Did not pitch #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - Did not play SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Fort Myers @ Dunedin (11:00 AM) RHP Bobby Milacki Wisconsin @ Cedar Rapids (1:05 PM) TBD Iowa @ St. Paul (1:05 PM) RHP Drew Strotman Wichita @ Springfield (4:05 PM) RHP Chris Vallimont
  19. TRANSACTIONS INF Anthony Prato added to A+ Cedar Rapids following rehab assignment RHP Matt Canterino activated from IL at A+ Cedar Rapids RHP Ralph Garza Jr. recalled by Minnesota Twins Saints Sentinel St. Paul 4, Indianapolis 7 Box Score Starter: Beau Burrows: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K HR: Tomás Telis (8), Nick Gordon (3) Multi-hit games: Nick Gordon (2-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI), Tomás Telis (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI), Damek Tomscha (2-for-4, R) St. Paul lost their momentum on Saturday. It began with some Beau on Beau action as both starting pitchers were named “Beau” (seriously). Burrows (or BB, as the cool kids call him), held Indianapolis scoreless over his three innings of work with five strikeouts. Burrows then passed the baton to Jovani Moran who, as usual, shut it down. He struck out three over two innings of work, and could be heard muttering “what else did I have to do to get called up?*” *I cannot confirm this. Offensively, St. Paul jumped out in front first. Tomás Telis plopped his eighth homer of the year in the first inning to give the Saints a quick 1-0 lead. Nick Gordon was not to be outdone, and he sent his third home run of the year over the right field wall. Now, usually I don’t point out defense in these games because, well, who cares. But Nick Gordon played at third base while Jose Miranda played in left field. I assume that this was done out of necessity, but if both players can play at those positions in just a passable manner, then their value to the major league club will be just that much more. This game revealed one of the problems that can arise in a bullpen game. Burrows and Moran did their part well, but Ryan Mason struggled and it allowed Indianapolis to tie the game in the 7th inning. Indianapolis then jumped on Ian Hamilton in the 8th with a bases-clearing double, and that ended up being all she wrote. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 2, Tulsa 5 Box Score Starter: Cole Sands: 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K HR: B.J. Boyd 2 (11, 12) Multi-hit games: B.J. Boyd (2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Ernie De La Trinidad (2-for-3, BB) The Wind Surge lost on Saturday. ...But not due to Cole Sands. The righty was on his game on Saturday. Of the 17 outs he netted, 10 came via strikeouts. Yeah, that’ll work. It was his first start of the season with double-digit punch outs, and it was also his seventh start allowing one or fewer walks. They also did not lose because of B.J. Boyd. The free agent signee has been nothing short of elite in his time with Wichita. His OPS on the season is now above .900, and I imagine that one more game like this will finally force Wichita to build a statue in his honor. It was not enough to top the Drillers, though. Tulsa took out their frustration on Erik Manoah Jr., and put the game out of reach after the 7th inning. Oddly enough, Tulsa only had one more hit than Wichita. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 7 Box Score Starter: Sawyer Gipson-Long: 5 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 9 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-for-4, 2 R) The Kernels lost to a rehabbing major leaguer on Saturday. Miles Mikolas started for the Chiefs and was excellent. He held the Kernels to three runs over seven innings of work with eight strikeouts to boot. Come on man, go pick on players your own age (I’m sure he will soon). Sawyer Gipson-Long’s line is misleading. Two of his earned runs came via a two-run homer, while another run scored due to a throwing error by his catcher (not sure why it counts as an earned run, actually). No matter the runs, striking out nine batters over five innings of work is impressive. The bats were a bit quiet on Saturday. Every run was scored off the bat of Matt Wallner (a first inning DP, and a 6th inning two-run single), and Edouard Julien was the only batter to net multiple hits. Of course it was Julien. I swear he gets on base twice every time I check the box score. The game slipped away in the 7th inning as the Chiefs ambushed Osiris German to the tune of three earned runs. Much like how the Saints lost, this proved to be too back-breaking for the Kernels to overcome. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 1, Bradenton 2 Box Score Starter: Bobby Milacki: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K HR: Aaron Sabato (10) Multi-hit games: Misael Urbina (2-for-5, 2B) Fort Myers lost in extra-innings on Saturday. Bobby Milacki started the Mighty Mussels off right with an excellent start on Saturday. His six strikeouts tied a personal single-game record, and it was his sixth outing in 2021 that ended without a walk. Not bad for a 38th round pick who the Twins signed out of independent ball. John Stankiewicz, Zaquiel Puentes, and Aaron Rozek carried the weight the rest of the way with five combined innings, and just a single hit allowed. They struck out three in total. Offensively, things were a bit tough. Misael Urbina was the lone hitter to drop in multiple hits, and just one other batter had an extra-base hit. But that one batter was Aaron Sabato who, unsurprisingly now, bopped his 10th homer of the year. He had just four home runs coming into the month of August. It has been great to see Sabato turn the corner like this. No prospect dropped as much as him when we at Twinsdaily updated our top prospect list, and a monster August to cap off his season would go a long way towards regaining his old 1st-round pick status. Will he do it? I suppose we shall see. Unfortunately, the Mighty Mussels got Manfred-ed and the very first opposing batter in the bottom of the 10th singled home a run to end the game. I’m sure that they didn’t mind getting out of the way of the tropical storm, though. Complex Chronicles The FCL Twins game was suspended on Saturday, and will be finished on Sunday. A quick scan of the box score reveals that Zander Wiel was in the starting lineup working through a rehab assignment. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cole Sands Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – B.J. Boyd PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, 2 K #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-3, BB #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-5, K #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, 2 RBI, K #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-3 #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 – Noah Miller (Complex) - #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 2-5, 2B #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - 5 ⅔ IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - Did not play SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (11:35 AM) LHP Andrew Albers Wichita @ Tulsa (12:05 PM) RHP Jordan Balazovic Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (12:35 PM) RHP Matt Canterino Fort Myers will not play on Sunday in anticipation of Tropical Storm Fred.
  20. Well, uh, everyone lost on Saturday. Some lost in a closer fashion than others, but they still lost alright. Read all about who performed well in these losses. TRANSACTIONS INF Anthony Prato added to A+ Cedar Rapids following rehab assignment RHP Matt Canterino activated from IL at A+ Cedar Rapids RHP Ralph Garza Jr. recalled by Minnesota Twins Saints Sentinel St. Paul 4, Indianapolis 7 Box Score Starter: Beau Burrows: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K HR: Tomás Telis (8), Nick Gordon (3) Multi-hit games: Nick Gordon (2-for-4, HR, R, 3 RBI), Tomás Telis (2-for-4, HR, R, RBI), Damek Tomscha (2-for-4, R) St. Paul lost their momentum on Saturday. It began with some Beau on Beau action as both starting pitchers were named “Beau” (seriously). Burrows (or BB, as the cool kids call him), held Indianapolis scoreless over his three innings of work with five strikeouts. Burrows then passed the baton to Jovani Moran who, as usual, shut it down. He struck out three over two innings of work, and could be heard muttering “what else did I have to do to get called up?*” *I cannot confirm this. Offensively, St. Paul jumped out in front first. Tomás Telis plopped his eighth homer of the year in the first inning to give the Saints a quick 1-0 lead. Nick Gordon was not to be outdone, and he sent his third home run of the year over the right field wall. Now, usually I don’t point out defense in these games because, well, who cares. But Nick Gordon played at third base while Jose Miranda played in left field. I assume that this was done out of necessity, but if both players can play at those positions in just a passable manner, then their value to the major league club will be just that much more. This game revealed one of the problems that can arise in a bullpen game. Burrows and Moran did their part well, but Ryan Mason struggled and it allowed Indianapolis to tie the game in the 7th inning. Indianapolis then jumped on Ian Hamilton in the 8th with a bases-clearing double, and that ended up being all she wrote. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 2, Tulsa 5 Box Score Starter: Cole Sands: 5 2/3 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K HR: B.J. Boyd 2 (11, 12) Multi-hit games: B.J. Boyd (2-for-4, 2 HR, 2 R, 2 RBI), Ernie De La Trinidad (2-for-3, BB) The Wind Surge lost on Saturday. ...But not due to Cole Sands. The righty was on his game on Saturday. Of the 17 outs he netted, 10 came via strikeouts. Yeah, that’ll work. It was his first start of the season with double-digit punch outs, and it was also his seventh start allowing one or fewer walks. They also did not lose because of B.J. Boyd. The free agent signee has been nothing short of elite in his time with Wichita. His OPS on the season is now above .900, and I imagine that one more game like this will finally force Wichita to build a statue in his honor. It was not enough to top the Drillers, though. Tulsa took out their frustration on Erik Manoah Jr., and put the game out of reach after the 7th inning. Oddly enough, Tulsa only had one more hit than Wichita. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 3, Peoria 7 Box Score Starter: Sawyer Gipson-Long: 5 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 1 BB, 9 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Edouard Julien (2-for-4, 2 R) The Kernels lost to a rehabbing major leaguer on Saturday. Miles Mikolas started for the Chiefs and was excellent. He held the Kernels to three runs over seven innings of work with eight strikeouts to boot. Come on man, go pick on players your own age (I’m sure he will soon). Sawyer Gipson-Long’s line is misleading. Two of his earned runs came via a two-run homer, while another run scored due to a throwing error by his catcher (not sure why it counts as an earned run, actually). No matter the runs, striking out nine batters over five innings of work is impressive. The bats were a bit quiet on Saturday. Every run was scored off the bat of Matt Wallner (a first inning DP, and a 6th inning two-run single), and Edouard Julien was the only batter to net multiple hits. Of course it was Julien. I swear he gets on base twice every time I check the box score. The game slipped away in the 7th inning as the Chiefs ambushed Osiris German to the tune of three earned runs. Much like how the Saints lost, this proved to be too back-breaking for the Kernels to overcome. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 1, Bradenton 2 Box Score Starter: Bobby Milacki: 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 6 K HR: Aaron Sabato (10) Multi-hit games: Misael Urbina (2-for-5, 2B) Fort Myers lost in extra-innings on Saturday. Bobby Milacki started the Mighty Mussels off right with an excellent start on Saturday. His six strikeouts tied a personal single-game record, and it was his sixth outing in 2021 that ended without a walk. Not bad for a 38th round pick who the Twins signed out of independent ball. John Stankiewicz, Zaquiel Puentes, and Aaron Rozek carried the weight the rest of the way with five combined innings, and just a single hit allowed. They struck out three in total. Offensively, things were a bit tough. Misael Urbina was the lone hitter to drop in multiple hits, and just one other batter had an extra-base hit. But that one batter was Aaron Sabato who, unsurprisingly now, bopped his 10th homer of the year. He had just four home runs coming into the month of August. It has been great to see Sabato turn the corner like this. No prospect dropped as much as him when we at Twinsdaily updated our top prospect list, and a monster August to cap off his season would go a long way towards regaining his old 1st-round pick status. Will he do it? I suppose we shall see. Unfortunately, the Mighty Mussels got Manfred-ed and the very first opposing batter in the bottom of the 10th singled home a run to end the game. I’m sure that they didn’t mind getting out of the way of the tropical storm, though. Complex Chronicles The FCL Twins game was suspended on Saturday, and will be finished on Sunday. A quick scan of the box score reveals that Zander Wiel was in the starting lineup working through a rehab assignment. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Cole Sands Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – B.J. Boyd PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Austin Martin (Wichita) - 0-3, 2 K #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Simeon Woods Richardson (Wichita) - Did not pitch #5 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Elbow Strain) #6 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-3, BB #7 – Joe Ryan (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #8 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #9 – Chase Petty (Complex) - #10 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) - 1-5, K #11 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) - Injured List (Right Shoulder Impingement) #12 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-4, 2 RBI, K #13 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) - 0-3 #14 – Drew Strotman (St. Paul) - Did not pitch #15 – Noah Miller (Complex) - #16 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) - 2-4, HR, 2B, 2 R, 2 RBI #17 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #18 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) - 2-5, 2B #19 – Cole Sands (Wichita) - 5 ⅔ IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 10 K #20 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) - Did not play SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Indianapolis (11:35 AM) LHP Andrew Albers Wichita @ Tulsa (12:05 PM) RHP Jordan Balazovic Cedar Rapids @ Peoria (12:35 PM) RHP Matt Canterino Fort Myers will not play on Sunday in anticipation of Tropical Storm Fred. View full article
  21. Lewis Thorpe had an encouraging performance in what was his fourth appearance since being activated off the IL. Read all about that and more in Friday night’s edition of the minor league report. TRANSACTIONS RHP Orlando Rodriguez of Fort Myers placed on the 7-day IL. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 7, Indianapolis 5 Box Score Lewis Thorpe: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (3-for-5), Tomas Telis (2-for-5, HR), Mark Contreras (2-for-5), Gilberto Celestino (2-for-5, 2B), Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-4) HR: Kerrigan (16), Telis (7) Lewis Thorpe looked comfortable and confident tonight. He was throwing his curveball and changeup early in counts, then working in high fastballs to try to finish hitters off. He threw 50 of his 78 pitches for strikes (64.1%) and was efficient enough to record two outs in the sixth inning. This was a jump up from the 58 pitches he threw in his last outing for the Saints. The Twins are clearly viewing Thorpe as a starting pitcher at this point. It would make sense for him to make another start with the Saints, stretching out another 15-20 pitches, but with Michael Pineda exiting his start early, Thorpe may be looked upon as a potential replacement. The St. Paul lineup was patient with 36-year-old knuckleballer Steven Wright, who threw 97 pitches in four innings. Along with the five batters who had multiple hits listed above, Nick Gordon also reached twice, drawing a pair of walks, and stole a base. He played center field tonight. Yennier Cano had an eventful ninth inning, giving up a run on three hits, but locked down the save by striking out the final two batters he faced, stranding runners at second and third base. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 4, Wichita 1 Box Score Austin Schulfer: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K Multi-hit games: B.J. Boyd (2-for-4), Jermaine Palacios (2-for-3) HR: None The Surge were scheduled to play a doubleheader today but more inclimate weather resulted in the first game being postponed, leaving one seven-inning game left to be played. Neither team scored through seven, however, so this one went into “extra” innings. B.J. Boyd singled home the Wichita bonus runner in the top of the inning. The Wind Surge were an out away from victory but a ground ball got by first baseman Andrew Bechtold for a game-tying single and the next batter hit a walk-off home run. Tyler Beck was turning in an impressive Double-A debut before things fell apart with two outs in the eighth inning. He was attempting to cover the final four frames, and had struck out five of the first 15 batters he faced. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Peoria 3 Box Score Jon Olsen: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (4-for-5, 2B), Jefferson Morales (2-for-4) HR: Matt Wallner (10) Yunior Severino and Jeferson Morales have been huge boosts to the Kernels since being called up from Fort Myers. After a four-hit night, Severino is hitting .439 with a 1.147 OPS in his first 15 games with the club. Morales hasn’t been around as long, this was just his fourth game with Cedar Rapids, but he has a .563 average with a 1.463 OPS. Matt Wallner hit the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning. It was his 10th homer of the year and 18th as a pro, just the fourth that’s come against a lefty. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 9, Bradenton 1 Box Score Casey Legumina: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K Multi-hit games: Keoni Cavaco (2-for-6), Jesus Feliz (2-for-5, 2B), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-4, BB) HR: Will Holland (8) Every member of the Fort Myers lineup reached base and everyone but Jesus Feliz also struck out. The team combined for 10 hits, eight walks and 14 strikeouts. Keoni Cavaco had a multi-hit game, but he also struck out four times. Here’s his two-run single in what was a big five-run inning for the Mussels. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher: Lewis Thorpe, St. Paul Hitter: Yunior Severino, Cedar Rapids PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – DNP #4 – Matt Canterino (Fort Myers) – DNP #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 3-for-5, R #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 2-for-6, 2 RBI, R #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, R #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – DNP #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 1-for-6, RBI #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-3, HR, BB, HBP, 2 RBI, R #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – DNP #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – DNP #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 4-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – DNP #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-for-3 #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5 #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – DNP #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – DNP SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Fort Myers at Bradenton, 11 am CT: Bobby Milacki St. Paul at Indianapolis, 6:05 pm CT: Beau Burrows Cedar Rapids at Peoria, 6:35 pm CT: Sawyer Gipson-Long Wichita at Tulsa, 7:05 pm CT: Cole Sands View full article
  22. TRANSACTIONS RHP Orlando Rodriguez of Fort Myers placed on the 7-day IL. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 7, Indianapolis 5 Box Score Lewis Thorpe: 5.2 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (3-for-5), Tomas Telis (2-for-5, HR), Mark Contreras (2-for-5), Gilberto Celestino (2-for-5, 2B), Jimmy Kerrigan (2-for-4) HR: Kerrigan (16), Telis (7) Lewis Thorpe looked comfortable and confident tonight. He was throwing his curveball and changeup early in counts, then working in high fastballs to try to finish hitters off. He threw 50 of his 78 pitches for strikes (64.1%) and was efficient enough to record two outs in the sixth inning. This was a jump up from the 58 pitches he threw in his last outing for the Saints. The Twins are clearly viewing Thorpe as a starting pitcher at this point. It would make sense for him to make another start with the Saints, stretching out another 15-20 pitches, but with Michael Pineda exiting his start early, Thorpe may be looked upon as a potential replacement. The St. Paul lineup was patient with 36-year-old knuckleballer Steven Wright, who threw 97 pitches in four innings. Along with the five batters who had multiple hits listed above, Nick Gordon also reached twice, drawing a pair of walks, and stole a base. He played center field tonight. Yennier Cano had an eventful ninth inning, giving up a run on three hits, but locked down the save by striking out the final two batters he faced, stranding runners at second and third base. WIND SURGE WISDOM Tulsa 4, Wichita 1 Box Score Austin Schulfer: 4.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 4 K Multi-hit games: B.J. Boyd (2-for-4), Jermaine Palacios (2-for-3) HR: None The Surge were scheduled to play a doubleheader today but more inclimate weather resulted in the first game being postponed, leaving one seven-inning game left to be played. Neither team scored through seven, however, so this one went into “extra” innings. B.J. Boyd singled home the Wichita bonus runner in the top of the inning. The Wind Surge were an out away from victory but a ground ball got by first baseman Andrew Bechtold for a game-tying single and the next batter hit a walk-off home run. Tyler Beck was turning in an impressive Double-A debut before things fell apart with two outs in the eighth inning. He was attempting to cover the final four frames, and had struck out five of the first 15 batters he faced. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 4, Peoria 3 Box Score Jon Olsen: 4.0 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 3 K Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (4-for-5, 2B), Jefferson Morales (2-for-4) HR: Matt Wallner (10) Yunior Severino and Jeferson Morales have been huge boosts to the Kernels since being called up from Fort Myers. After a four-hit night, Severino is hitting .439 with a 1.147 OPS in his first 15 games with the club. Morales hasn’t been around as long, this was just his fourth game with Cedar Rapids, but he has a .563 average with a 1.463 OPS. Matt Wallner hit the go-ahead home run in the seventh inning. It was his 10th homer of the year and 18th as a pro, just the fourth that’s come against a lefty. MUSSEL MATTERS Fort Myers 9, Bradenton 1 Box Score Casey Legumina: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 3 K Multi-hit games: Keoni Cavaco (2-for-6), Jesus Feliz (2-for-5, 2B), Willie Joe Garry Jr. (2-for-4, BB) HR: Will Holland (8) Every member of the Fort Myers lineup reached base and everyone but Jesus Feliz also struck out. The team combined for 10 hits, eight walks and 14 strikeouts. Keoni Cavaco had a multi-hit game, but he also struck out four times. Here’s his two-run single in what was a big five-run inning for the Mussels. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher: Lewis Thorpe, St. Paul Hitter: Yunior Severino, Cedar Rapids PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – DNP #4 – Matt Canterino (Fort Myers) – DNP #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 3-for-5, R #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 2-for-6, 2 RBI, R #7 – Gilberto Celestino (St. Paul) – 2-for-5, 2B, RBI, R #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – DNP #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 1-for-6, RBI #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-3, HR, BB, HBP, 2 RBI, R #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – DNP #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) – DNP #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 4-for-5, HR, 2 RBI, 2 R #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – DNP #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-for-3 #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 1-for-5 #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – DNP #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – DNP SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Fort Myers at Bradenton, 11 am CT: Bobby Milacki St. Paul at Indianapolis, 6:05 pm CT: Beau Burrows Cedar Rapids at Peoria, 6:35 pm CT: Sawyer Gipson-Long Wichita at Tulsa, 7:05 pm CT: Cole Sands
  23. On Tuesday, we revealed prospects 16-20 in our new, post-deadline update. Today, we will announce our next five prospects in rank. 15. Noah Miller - INF Age: 18 ETA: 2025 2021 Stats: n/a 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: n/a There is little to say about Noah Miller considering the fact that he is just 18, and has not played a game of professional baseball yet. The Twins decided to select Miller with the final pick in the 1st round of the 2021 MLB Draft as they believe in his immense potential as a switch-hitting, athletic shortstop. Oh, and also because he hit .608 as a high school senior. No, that is not a typo. Miller will certainly require a significant amount of time to develop, but the end result could be a truly dynamic middle-infielder who could anchor the top of a lineup for years. Just make sure to keep his name tucked away for future reference. 14. Drew Strotman - RHSP Age: 24 ETA: 2021 2021 Stats: 67 ⅔ IP, 3.59 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 4.14 FIP, 22.8 K%, 13.1 BB% 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: n/a Drew Strotman is perhaps the most polarizing prospect the Twins received at the trade deadline. Fangraphs has him placed optimistically as the team’s 7th best prospect (and on the edge of the top 100 prospect list), while MLB.com ranked him as the franchise's 15th best prospect-a number much closer to what we decided. At any rate, Strotman is an exciting combination of talent and seasoning. A brand new cutter has deepened what was already an intriguing repertoire of major league quality. He has already been added to the 40-man roster so his promotion to the major league club is simply a formality at this point. The walks are high, but Eric Longenhagen wrote that Strotman is “likely a big league starter”. Lord knows that the Twins need as many of those as they can get. 13. Gilberto Celestino - OF Age: 22 ETA: 2021 2021 Stats: (MLB): .136 AVG, .177 OBP, .288 SLG, 23 wRC+ (AA/AAA): .259 AVG, .338 OBP, .431 SLG, 107 WRC+ 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 7 Gilberto Celestino is the only player from this part of the list to play at the major league level and, well, he certainly seemed overwhelmed. The young outfielder was acquired by the Twins in the Ryan Pressly trade three years ago (holy bleep, it’s been three years already?), and it is quite clear that, while Celestino possesses quality tools, he needs more seasoning before he can succeed in the show. But fear not. Celestino is still just 22 years old and, as we all have seen over the past few years, toolsy center fielders often require an extended amount of time to realize their full potential. Celestino will play out the rest of 2021 at AAA (where he owns a 130 wRC+ in a small sample) and will be better prepared to potentially etch out a role on the 2022 Twins. 12. Matt Wallner - OF Age: 23 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (A+): .281 AVG, .338 OBP, .548 SLG, 135 wRC+ 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 10 Matt Wallner was plucked from the backwoods of Minnesota by the Twins with the 39th overall pick of the 2019 draft. Well, that is not entirely accurate as the Twins neither physically plucked him, like one would with an apple, nor was he taken directly from the state (he played college ball at the University of Southern Mississippi), but the sentence sounds cool so it shall stay. (Editor's Note: Ummmm....) Anyways, Wallner was drafted as a high-strikeout guy with “light tower power,” and so far in his minor league career he has played… like a high strikeout guy with light tower power. He has been frustratingly limited to just over 30 games in 2021 due to a pesky wrist injury that proved to be more serious than previously believed. He had surgery on his hamate bone. But in the time he has played, Wallner has mashed. His nine homers over 148 plate appearances gives him about a 36 home run pace over 600 plate appearances (a typical full season), while his .548 slugging percentage would make him the 11th best qualified major leaguer by that stat. Simply put, a healthy Wallner can absolutely crush. 11. Josh Winder - RHSP Age: 24 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (AA/AAA): 72 IP, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 3.41 FIP, 29.1 K%, 4.7 BB% 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 8 Perhaps no prospect throughout the Twins’ system has seen his stock rise higher in 2021 than Josh Winder. Even the noted, uh, “strong opinion-holder”, Keith Law, admitted that he was anticipating watching Winder pitch in 2021. So far, Winder has not disappointed. He saw a tangible uptick in velocity while working out in 2020, and the upgrade has rippled throughout his entire pitch mix. The result was an utterly dominant stint at AA Wichita that saw him strike out more than 30% of the hitters he faced, walk less than 5% of them, and earn a trip to the MLB Futures Game. Batters hit a paltry .207 against him, and I can only imagine that hitters in the AA-Central North division threw an absolute rager of a party to celebrate his promotion to AAA. A shoulder injury has cut Winder’s playtime in AAA to just four meager starts, and it appears that the team is in no rush to bring Winder back in 2021; a mix of injuries and a desire to limit his innings total is the culprit here. In any case, Winder should be on everyone's radar as a starter who will make an impact in 2022. View full article
  24. 15. Noah Miller - INF Age: 18 ETA: 2025 2021 Stats: n/a 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: n/a There is little to say about Noah Miller considering the fact that he is just 18, and has not played a game of professional baseball yet. The Twins decided to select Miller with the final pick in the 1st round of the 2021 MLB Draft as they believe in his immense potential as a switch-hitting, athletic shortstop. Oh, and also because he hit .608 as a high school senior. No, that is not a typo. Miller will certainly require a significant amount of time to develop, but the end result could be a truly dynamic middle-infielder who could anchor the top of a lineup for years. Just make sure to keep his name tucked away for future reference. 14. Drew Strotman - RHSP Age: 24 ETA: 2021 2021 Stats: 67 ⅔ IP, 3.59 ERA, 1.40 WHIP, 4.14 FIP, 22.8 K%, 13.1 BB% 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: n/a Drew Strotman is perhaps the most polarizing prospect the Twins received at the trade deadline. Fangraphs has him placed optimistically as the team’s 7th best prospect (and on the edge of the top 100 prospect list), while MLB.com ranked him as the franchise's 15th best prospect-a number much closer to what we decided. At any rate, Strotman is an exciting combination of talent and seasoning. A brand new cutter has deepened what was already an intriguing repertoire of major league quality. He has already been added to the 40-man roster so his promotion to the major league club is simply a formality at this point. The walks are high, but Eric Longenhagen wrote that Strotman is “likely a big league starter”. Lord knows that the Twins need as many of those as they can get. 13. Gilberto Celestino - OF Age: 22 ETA: 2021 2021 Stats: (MLB): .136 AVG, .177 OBP, .288 SLG, 23 wRC+ (AA/AAA): .259 AVG, .338 OBP, .431 SLG, 107 WRC+ 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 7 Gilberto Celestino is the only player from this part of the list to play at the major league level and, well, he certainly seemed overwhelmed. The young outfielder was acquired by the Twins in the Ryan Pressly trade three years ago (holy bleep, it’s been three years already?), and it is quite clear that, while Celestino possesses quality tools, he needs more seasoning before he can succeed in the show. But fear not. Celestino is still just 22 years old and, as we all have seen over the past few years, toolsy center fielders often require an extended amount of time to realize their full potential. Celestino will play out the rest of 2021 at AAA (where he owns a 130 wRC+ in a small sample) and will be better prepared to potentially etch out a role on the 2022 Twins. 12. Matt Wallner - OF Age: 23 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (A+): .281 AVG, .338 OBP, .548 SLG, 135 wRC+ 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 10 Matt Wallner was plucked from the backwoods of Minnesota by the Twins with the 39th overall pick of the 2019 draft. Well, that is not entirely accurate as the Twins neither physically plucked him, like one would with an apple, nor was he taken directly from the state (he played college ball at the University of Southern Mississippi), but the sentence sounds cool so it shall stay. (Editor's Note: Ummmm....) Anyways, Wallner was drafted as a high-strikeout guy with “light tower power,” and so far in his minor league career he has played… like a high strikeout guy with light tower power. He has been frustratingly limited to just over 30 games in 2021 due to a pesky wrist injury that proved to be more serious than previously believed. He had surgery on his hamate bone. But in the time he has played, Wallner has mashed. His nine homers over 148 plate appearances gives him about a 36 home run pace over 600 plate appearances (a typical full season), while his .548 slugging percentage would make him the 11th best qualified major leaguer by that stat. Simply put, a healthy Wallner can absolutely crush. 11. Josh Winder - RHSP Age: 24 ETA: 2022 2021 Stats (AA/AAA): 72 IP, 2.63 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, 3.41 FIP, 29.1 K%, 4.7 BB% 2021 Mid-Season Ranking: 8 Perhaps no prospect throughout the Twins’ system has seen his stock rise higher in 2021 than Josh Winder. Even the noted, uh, “strong opinion-holder”, Keith Law, admitted that he was anticipating watching Winder pitch in 2021. So far, Winder has not disappointed. He saw a tangible uptick in velocity while working out in 2020, and the upgrade has rippled throughout his entire pitch mix. The result was an utterly dominant stint at AA Wichita that saw him strike out more than 30% of the hitters he faced, walk less than 5% of them, and earn a trip to the MLB Futures Game. Batters hit a paltry .207 against him, and I can only imagine that hitters in the AA-Central North division threw an absolute rager of a party to celebrate his promotion to AAA. A shoulder injury has cut Winder’s playtime in AAA to just four meager starts, and it appears that the team is in no rush to bring Winder back in 2021; a mix of injuries and a desire to limit his innings total is the culprit here. In any case, Winder should be on everyone's radar as a starter who will make an impact in 2022.
  25. TRANSACTIONS There were no reported transactions today. SAINTS SENTINEL St. Paul 10, Indianapolis 5 Box Score One of just three teams in the Triple-A Midwest Division with a winning record, the Saints looked to gain ground on Toledo (41-30) against Indianapolis on Wednesday night. After Indy put two on the board in the top of the first, the Saints responded with a run of their our in the bottom of the inning. With two outs, Rob Refsnyder laced a double to right field to continue his red-hot rehab assignment. Ben Rortvedt followed suit with a single to left that scored Refsnyder to cut the lead to one. And while the run in the first got the party started, the main act took place in the third and fourth innings for St. Paul, racking up seven runs in the two innings. Sensational prospect Jose Miranda led off the third inning with his ninth home run on the season to knot the game at two. Later in the inning with the bases loaded, Sherman Johnson knocked his fifth double of the year, plating all three runners to give the Saints a 5-2 lead. Miranda once again led the offensive forge in the fourth inning, knocking a double to left. After a Mark Contreras walk, Refsnyder crushed a homer over the right field wall to expand the St. Paul lead to 8-2. And while extra-base hits and the long ball dictated the Saints’ scoring early on, the club would add two more insurance runs in the seventh thanks to a pair of singles from Rortvedt and Jimmy Kerrigan. Miranda, Rortvedt, and Refsynder all tallied multi-hit games for the Saints. Miranda now has a .355 batting average, the highest on the team. The offensive at CHS Field was nothing short of spectacular for the Saints on Wednesday night. Yet many fans may wonder why starting pitcher Charlie Barnes only tossed one inning on the night. No, it’s not an injury or trade situation. It’s probable that the Twins will need Barnes’ arm later this week given the excess of pitchers the major league club has used in the past few days and the trade deadline. And while Barnes wasn’t amazing in his one inning, the Saints bullpen sure was. Yennier Cano (W, 1-1), Jovani Moran, Ian Hamilton, and Kyle Barraclough combined for eight innings of three run ball, giving up only three hits and striking out nine. Well done, gentlemen! The Saints’ second straight win puts them at 39-34 on the season. Unfortunately for St. Paul, Toledo also won on the evening, keeping the club three games above the Saints in the standings. Yet if there’s one thing for sure it’s that the Saints are starting to get hot when it matters. WIND SURGE WISDOM Wichita 8, NW Arkansas 5 Box Score A night after scoring a season-high 18 runs the Wind Surge brought the bats to the Walmart-state once again on Wednesday night. Andrew Bechtold got the frenzy started in the second inning thanks to a leadoff double. BJ Boyd followed that up with his own double, scoring Bechtold from second. Aussie Aaron Whitefield decided to one-up Bechtold and Boyd with his fourth triple on the year, scoring Boyd. Whitefield scored on the next at-bat thanks to a failed pick-off move. Boyd continued his hot night with an RBI single in the third, scoring Spencer Steer from second to make it 4-0. After NW Arkansas gained a run back in the fourth, the Surge turned on the jets in the fifth for a four-run inning. Spencer Steer knocked a two-run homer to extend the lead to 6-1 and BJ Boyd followed up with a solo-shot of his own. Trey Cabbage finished off the strong inning by doubling in Aaron Whitefield to give Wichita an 8-1 lead. Starting pitcher Austin Schulfer was excellent through five innings, giving up only three hits and one run while striking out eight. Schulfer ran into trouble in the sixth, giving up back-to-back homers before striking out his final batter of the night. Schulfer has been an absolute workhorse for the Surge all season, leading his team with 16 total starts. After Schulfer left the game the Wichita bullpen sprung into action. Zach Neff, Jordan Gore, and Ryan Mason were electric, allowing zero runs in 3.2 innings while striking out six. Mason now has six saves on the year. Wichita’s win puts them at 43-31 on the year, a steady 3.5 games ahead of Arkansas for the lead in the Double-A Central North Division. The Surge are 7-3 in their last ten games and have a +46 run differential on the season. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 9, Wisconsin 6 (8) Box Score Three-hit performances from Wander Javier and Matt Wallner propelled the Kernels to a high-scoring win over Wisconsin on Wednesday night in a shortened game due to rain. Wallner continued his dominant return with a two-run homer and a double and Javier laced two singles and a triple to push the Kernels to a 42-32 record in the High-A Central West division. The Kernels got things going in the second inning thanks to a Jair Camargo double that scored Yunior Severino to put the Kernels on the board. And after Wisconsin plated three of their own runs in the third, Cedar Rapids responded with seven runs in the fifth and six innings. Michael Helman led off the fifth with a leadoff first-pitch triple to center field to get the rally started. Two batters later Edouard Julien launched a homer over the right-center field wall to tie the game at three. Seth Gray followed suit with a single and was later scored by Javier’s triple. The fifth inning was only a sneak peak to what the sixth inning would offer from the Kernels’ bats. After a Helman walk Max Smith smacked his fifth homer of the year to give Cedar Rapids an 8-5 lead. Matt Wallner would follow suit with his own two-run shot in the inning to add some insurance to the Kernels’ lead. Wednesday proved that the Cedar Rapids offense is firing on as good of cylinders as they have all year. Yet there were still moments of brightness on the pitching staff that shouldn’t go unnoticed. Starting pitcher Jon Olsen struck out four batters, and relievers Derek Molina and Osiris German struck out a combined seven on the night. 11 K’s on the night for a staff? Not bad. MUSSEL MATTERS Game Postponed Wednesday’s scheduled game at Clearwater was postponed due to rain and will be made up as part of a doubleheader on Thursday. Game one will begin at 3:00 pm CST and game two will begin shortly after the completion of game one. Both games will be seven innings. COMPLEX CHRONICLES No Game The Florida Complex League Twins had an off day. However, multiple players have had standout seasons so far. Right fielder Ka’lai Rosario is off to a hot start, slashing .293/.333/.533 (.867) in 75 at-bats. The Hawaii native is among league leaders in a number of stats. He’s tied for fourth-most hits (22), is second in RBI (21), and leads the league with four triples. While he doesn’t have the at-bats of Rosario, first basemen Alexander Pena has been electric, slashing .426/.481/.532 (1.013) with 20 hits and five doubles. RHP Giovahniey German has been solid through his first four starts, going 1-1 with a 3.71 ERA and 1.46 WHIP. Opposing hitters have just a .219 AVG when facing German. Throw 'em the heater, Giovahniey! The GCL Twins return to action tomorrow afternoon, facing the FCL Pirates Black at noon. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day- Ryan Mason (Wichita)- (S, 6) 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, BB, SO Hitter of the Day- BJ Boyd (Wichita)- 3-for-5, 2B, 2 R, 3 RBI, SO PROSPECT SUMMARY Take note that we have finished our midseason update, so there is a new list! Here is a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 – Royce Lewis (Rehab) – Out for season (torn ACL) #2 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) –Did not play #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) – 2-for-4, 2B, HR, 2 R, RBI, BB #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – Game postponed #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – Did not play #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – Game postponed #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 3-for-5, 2B, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, SO, #11 – Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) – Out for Season (Tommy John surgery) #12 – Bailey Ober (Minnesota) – Did not pitch #13 – Cole Sands (Wichita) –Did not pitch #14 – Brent Rooker (Minnesota) – 2-for-4, HR, 2 R, RBI, 2 BB #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – Game postponed #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 2-for-4, 2 R, 2 RBI #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 3-for-5, RBI #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Indianapolis @ St. Paul (7:05PM CST) – RHP Matt Shoemaker (1-0, 2.77 ERA) Wichita @ NW Arkansas (7:05PM CST) – LHP Bryan Sammons (2-3 6.29 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Wisconsin (7:05PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson ( 2-0. 1.87 ERA) Fort Myers @ Clearwater- Game One (3:00PM CST) – LHP Brent Headrick (3-4, 3.44 ERA) Game Two (makeup from July 28) - RHP Landon Leach (0-0, 2.25 ERA)
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