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  1. The Twins’ minor league teams won more than they lost on Saturday, and most teams did better on offense than the Twins. Of course, that isn’t much of a bar to clear, but I digress. Read all about that and more in this edition of the minor league report. TRANSACTIONS INF Tzu-Wei Lin transferred from 7-day IL to 60-day IL Saints Sentinel St. Paul 3, Omaha 1 Box Score Andrew Albers: 5 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: Drew Maggi (11) Multi-hit games: Tomás Telis (2-for-4, 2 RBI) The Saints took down the Omaha powerhouse on Saturday. Andrew Albers was brilliant in his start. The 35-year-old lefty almost completely shut down an offense powered by some serious prospect talent. I hope that some grateful teammates took him out for a nice steak dinner afterwards. Drew Maggi continued his power surge as he blasted his 11th homer of the year in the 6th inning. The blast gave him a new career high in home runs in any given season over his extensive minor league career. He may end up with the Twins if (when) Andrelton Simmons is traded. The big hit of the night came off the bat of Tomás Telis. His 7th inning single added two extra-crucial runs for the Saints. Jovani Moran threw a pair of scoreless innings with three strikeouts. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where he is not pitching for the Twins by September at the latest. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 5, Arkansas 4 Box Score Adam Lau: 3 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: Jermaine Palacios (12) Multi-hit games: Roy Morales (2-for-5, R, RBI), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-4), D.J. Burt (2-for-4) Wichita played an absolute dog fight of a game on Saturday. Adam Lau kicked off the game with an impressive start. He was not meant to get many outs, but the ones he got were efficient. It’s hard to criticize a guy who allowed just two baserunners over 11 outs. The offense was there for Wichita early as Roy Morales singled home the first run of the game in the 3rd inning and Jermaine Palacios bashed a three-run homer in the 5th. If Palacios is not the outright most surprising minor leaguer of the year, he’s at least in the conversation. He quietly returned to the Twins after the Rays were unable to work their magic on him. 2021 has been nothing but a rake fest as he came into Saturday with a 120 wRC+. It has been a good year for Palacios. It was looking like Wichita could set the game to cruise control on their way to an easy W, but things did not shake out that way. Some shenanigans in the 7th inning by Arkansas knotted the game and suddenly upped the stakes. The game went into extras where the Wind Surge were able to take advantage of Manfredball an honest runner in scoring position with a sacrifice fly by Aaron Whitefield. Zach Neff and Ryan Mason combined forces to hold the Travelers scoreless in the bottom of the inning, and Wichita was able to walk away with a win. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 10, Beloit 4 Box Score Ben Gross: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K HR: Michael Helman (9), Matt Wallner (6) Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, RBI), Michael Helman (3-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, RBI, BB), Kyle Schmidt (3-for-5, R), Gabriel Maciel (3-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI, BB), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-5, RBI) Something, something, beware the 7th inning, something, something. Ben Gross, was, uhh, gross in his start on Saturday. The righty struck out eight batters over five shutout innings and was generally the man in charge. I mean, how can a pitcher not succeed when he has such an appropriate last name? He proves the theory of nominative determinism. The Kernels supported Gross early as Gabriel Maciel knocked home the first run of the game in the 2nd inning, and Michael Helman added on in the 5th frame with a solo shot. Oh, but did things ever get wacky after that. The Snappers responded in the 7th inning with four runs off a sacrifice fly and a bases-clearing double. Suddenly, the game was tilted four to two in favor of Beloit. The Kernels were having none of it. In the bottom half of the inning, a wild pitch brought the game to within a run. Maciel then doubled home two runs to gain the lead before Edouard Julien doubled home two more runs for posterity sake. Matt Wallner homered in the 8th inning just for giggles (and for scoring, I guess). Daniel Ozoria singled home yet another run, and Julien walked in the tenth (and final) run for good measure. Eight hitters for the Kernels reached base multiple times on Saturday. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 1, Daytona 4 Box Score Orlando Rodriguez: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (2-for-3, RBI, BB) Fort Myers attempted a tribute to the Twins on Saturday, as they also could not find much offense on the day. Starter Orlando Rodriguez did his job well as he allowed just a pair of earned runs over his five innings of work. He walked three, which is a bit much, but he also struck out seven batters, which is also a bit much. So it evened out in the end. The offense just could not find anything, however. Will Holland and Nick Anderson were both able to work a pair of walks, and Yunior Severino got on base three times. Outside of them, the box score is quite dusty. Aaron Sabato and Misael Urbina both had especially rough games as they combined for seven strikeouts without a hit. You tend not to win many games when your three and four hitters put up lines like that. Matthew Swain and Steven Cruz combined for three shutout innings in relief of Rodriguez. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 4, FCL Red Sox 7 Box Score Juan Mendez: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Kala’i Rosario (2) Multi-hit games: None The FCL Twins lost on Saturday, but not without a vicious comeback attempt. The game was even through four as Juan Mendez did his best to support his team on the mound. He would end with the best line of any FCL Twins pitcher on Saturday. A double by what I can only assume is someone’s superhero alter-ego, a man named Blaze Jordan, kicked off a run of, well, runs for the Red Sox. They would plate seven over three innings in what ended up being the dagger. The FCL Twins did not go gentle into that good night. Kala’i Rosario blasted a 9th inning grand slam that, while awesome, was not enough to turn the game around. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Ben Gross Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Michael Helman 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 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, K #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 0-4 #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – 0-3, 3 K #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 0-3, BB, 3 K #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 3-5, HR, 2 R, RBI #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) – 1-4, 3 K #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-4, 4 K #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-1, K #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Daytona @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) LHP Zarion Sharpe Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (1:05 PM) RHP Cody Laweryson Wichita @ Arkansas (1:10 PM) RHP Jordan Balazovic St. Paul @ Omaha (4:05 PM) RHP Griffin Jax View full article
  2. TRANSACTIONS INF Tzu-Wei Lin transferred from 7-day IL to 60-day IL Saints Sentinel St. Paul 3, Omaha 1 Box Score Andrew Albers: 5 ⅔ IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: Drew Maggi (11) Multi-hit games: Tomás Telis (2-for-4, 2 RBI) The Saints took down the Omaha powerhouse on Saturday. Andrew Albers was brilliant in his start. The 35-year-old lefty almost completely shut down an offense powered by some serious prospect talent. I hope that some grateful teammates took him out for a nice steak dinner afterwards. Drew Maggi continued his power surge as he blasted his 11th homer of the year in the 6th inning. The blast gave him a new career high in home runs in any given season over his extensive minor league career. He may end up with the Twins if (when) Andrelton Simmons is traded. The big hit of the night came off the bat of Tomás Telis. His 7th inning single added two extra-crucial runs for the Saints. Jovani Moran threw a pair of scoreless innings with three strikeouts. It’s difficult to imagine a scenario where he is not pitching for the Twins by September at the latest. Wind Surge Wisdom Wichita 5, Arkansas 4 Box Score Adam Lau: 3 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 6 K HR: Jermaine Palacios (12) Multi-hit games: Roy Morales (2-for-5, R, RBI), Andrew Bechtold (2-for-4), D.J. Burt (2-for-4) Wichita played an absolute dog fight of a game on Saturday. Adam Lau kicked off the game with an impressive start. He was not meant to get many outs, but the ones he got were efficient. It’s hard to criticize a guy who allowed just two baserunners over 11 outs. The offense was there for Wichita early as Roy Morales singled home the first run of the game in the 3rd inning and Jermaine Palacios bashed a three-run homer in the 5th. If Palacios is not the outright most surprising minor leaguer of the year, he’s at least in the conversation. He quietly returned to the Twins after the Rays were unable to work their magic on him. 2021 has been nothing but a rake fest as he came into Saturday with a 120 wRC+. It has been a good year for Palacios. It was looking like Wichita could set the game to cruise control on their way to an easy W, but things did not shake out that way. Some shenanigans in the 7th inning by Arkansas knotted the game and suddenly upped the stakes. The game went into extras where the Wind Surge were able to take advantage of Manfredball an honest runner in scoring position with a sacrifice fly by Aaron Whitefield. Zach Neff and Ryan Mason combined forces to hold the Travelers scoreless in the bottom of the inning, and Wichita was able to walk away with a win. Kernels Nuggets Cedar Rapids 10, Beloit 4 Box Score Ben Gross: 5 IP, 4 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K HR: Michael Helman (9), Matt Wallner (6) Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (3-for-5, HR, 2 R, RBI), Michael Helman (3-for-4, HR, 2B, 4 R, RBI, BB), Kyle Schmidt (3-for-5, R), Gabriel Maciel (3-for-4, 2B, R, 3 RBI, BB), Daniel Ozoria (2-for-5, RBI) Something, something, beware the 7th inning, something, something. Ben Gross, was, uhh, gross in his start on Saturday. The righty struck out eight batters over five shutout innings and was generally the man in charge. I mean, how can a pitcher not succeed when he has such an appropriate last name? He proves the theory of nominative determinism. The Kernels supported Gross early as Gabriel Maciel knocked home the first run of the game in the 2nd inning, and Michael Helman added on in the 5th frame with a solo shot. Oh, but did things ever get wacky after that. The Snappers responded in the 7th inning with four runs off a sacrifice fly and a bases-clearing double. Suddenly, the game was tilted four to two in favor of Beloit. The Kernels were having none of it. In the bottom half of the inning, a wild pitch brought the game to within a run. Maciel then doubled home two runs to gain the lead before Edouard Julien doubled home two more runs for posterity sake. Matt Wallner homered in the 8th inning just for giggles (and for scoring, I guess). Daniel Ozoria singled home yet another run, and Julien walked in the tenth (and final) run for good measure. Eight hitters for the Kernels reached base multiple times on Saturday. Mussel Matters Fort Myers 1, Daytona 4 Box Score Orlando Rodriguez: 5 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Yunior Severino (2-for-3, RBI, BB) Fort Myers attempted a tribute to the Twins on Saturday, as they also could not find much offense on the day. Starter Orlando Rodriguez did his job well as he allowed just a pair of earned runs over his five innings of work. He walked three, which is a bit much, but he also struck out seven batters, which is also a bit much. So it evened out in the end. The offense just could not find anything, however. Will Holland and Nick Anderson were both able to work a pair of walks, and Yunior Severino got on base three times. Outside of them, the box score is quite dusty. Aaron Sabato and Misael Urbina both had especially rough games as they combined for seven strikeouts without a hit. You tend not to win many games when your three and four hitters put up lines like that. Matthew Swain and Steven Cruz combined for three shutout innings in relief of Rodriguez. Complex Chronicles FCL Twins 4, FCL Red Sox 7 Box Score Juan Mendez: 3 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K HR: Kala’i Rosario (2) Multi-hit games: None The FCL Twins lost on Saturday, but not without a vicious comeback attempt. The game was even through four as Juan Mendez did his best to support his team on the mound. He would end with the best line of any FCL Twins pitcher on Saturday. A double by what I can only assume is someone’s superhero alter-ego, a man named Blaze Jordan, kicked off a run of, well, runs for the Red Sox. They would plate seven over three innings in what ended up being the dagger. The FCL Twins did not go gentle into that good night. Kala’i Rosario blasted a 9th inning grand slam that, while awesome, was not enough to turn the game around. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Ben Gross Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Michael Helman 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 – Jhoan Duran (St. Paul) – Injured List (elbow strain) #3 – Jordan Balazovic (Wichita) – Did not pitch #4 – Matt Canterino (Cedar Rapids) – Injured List (right elbow strain) #5 – Jose Miranda (St. Paul) - 1-5, R, K #6 – Keoni Cavaco (Fort Myers) – 0-4 #7 – Gilberto Celestino (Minnesota) – 0-3, 3 K #8 – Josh Winder (St. Paul) – Did not pitch #9 – Aaron Sabato (Fort Myers) – 0-3, BB, 3 K #10 – Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 3-5, HR, 2 R, RBI #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) – 1-4, 3 K #15 – Misael Urbina (Fort Myers) – 0-4, 4 K #16 – Spencer Steer (Wichita) – 0-1, K #17 – Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – Did not play #18 – Alerick Soularie (Complex) – N/A (foot injury) #19 – Edwar Colina (Rehab) – Injured List (elbow) #20 – Chris Vallimont (Wichita) – Did not pitch SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Daytona @ Fort Myers (10:00 AM) LHP Zarion Sharpe Beloit @ Cedar Rapids (1:05 PM) RHP Cody Laweryson Wichita @ Arkansas (1:10 PM) RHP Jordan Balazovic St. Paul @ Omaha (4:05 PM) RHP Griffin Jax
  3. 5. Alex Kirilloff, OF/1B Current/Future Power: 55/60 Kirilloff has the potential to be on of the best Twins prospects in quite some time. He can power the ball to all fields, and some think he can hit upwards of 30 home runs. He might be the best pure hitter in the Twins system and there will certainly be power with his smooth swinging approach. His power comes from a swing that has a scooping motion that creates line drives and a better launch angle. Twins fans hope Kirilloff is hitting near the top of the line-up for most of the next decade. 4. Matt Wallner, OF Current/Future Power: 55/65 Wallner, a Minnesota native, is a big boy at 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds and he fits the mold of players drafted by the current regime. He hit for power in all three years of college as he posted a .652 SLG and a 1.113 OPS. Because of these numbers, scouts ranked him as one of the best power bats in the 2019 MLB Draft with some giving him 70 or 80 grades. What’s crazy to consider is the fact that he was still being used as a pitcher in college. In 65 games during his pro debut, he collected 31 extra-base hits and posted an ISO of .194. 3. Trevor Larnach, OF Current/Future Power: 55/65 For some fans, Larnach almost feels like a forgotten prospect because of the presence of Royce Lewis and Alex Kirilloff. Since being draft, Larnach has been a half step behind Kirilloff, but that takes nothing away from what Larnach can mean to the Twins line-up in the up-coming years. He’s the organization’s reigning Minor League Player of the Year. As a left-handed power hitter, Larnach has connected with Justin Morneau to be his hitting mentor. It’s clear that Larnach loves to work on his swing and he’s going to make sure Twins fans don’t forget about him after he makes his big-league debut at some point in 2021. 2. Aaron Sabato, 1B/DH Current/Future Power: 60/65 Sabato is trying to buck a trend, because right-handed hitting college players with limited defense haven’t found much professional success. There’s one reason the Twins drafted Aaron Sabato and it was because of his powerful bat. As a college freshman, he won ACC Rookie of the Year after knocking 18 home runs. He has a rare combination of exceptional strength, bat speed, and launch angle that led to off the charts raw power. Scouts were confident in Sabato’s ability to hit throughout the upper-minors especially with his track-record against elite college pitching. 1. Brent Rooker, OF/1B Current/Future Power: 60/65 Rooker spent his college years putting up impressive power numbers in the college baseball’s best conferences, the SEC. In his junior season, he hit .287/.496/.810 with 23 home runs. Scouts saw some him post some of the best exit velocities in the 2017 draft class and his raw power was off the charts. Minnesota has been aggressive with him as he spent his entire second full professional season at Triple-A where he posted a .928 OPS. Since he is already 26-years old, there’s a good chance he breaks camp on the big-league roster, and this should give him the opportunity to prove his powerful swing translates to baseball’s highest level. How would you rank these players? Does someone else make the list? 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
  4. Minnesota Twins prospect Twitter went atwitter when video dropped of Louie Varland hitting 100 miles per hour in a February bullpen session. It was an incredible achievement for the North St. Paul graduate. For most of his career, Varland had been in the mid-90s, maxing at 94. In training, his velocity had been increasing but not like this. On that day,he was shooting upper 90s consistently. There were 97s, 98s, 99s, and, finally, there it was: three numbers, a dot, and another number. And it almost didn’t happen.On what was to be his final pitch of the session, Varland hit 99.6 off the mound. It was a fantastic achievement. Had Varland been throwing at Target Field, that 99.6 would be rounded to 100 on the broadcast, an effect that Trevor May called “the TV hundge.” Still, the staff at the facility Varland has trained at begged him for one more pitch. Empty the tank, they said, give it everything and try to clear that barrier. An instructor gave Varland a “velo slap” and the right-hander took a deep breath and let it fly. The iPad read 100.2. The 100-mile-per-hour mark is a mystical and, too often, mythical figure for the Minnesota Twins organization. Since tracking and archiving of velocity began in 2008, the Twins have reached 100-miles-per-hour 16 times. Until 2018, they had only hit it 3 times -- all by the forgettable Juan Morillo. Only the Brewers (13), Indians (13) and Diamondbacks (5) have thrown fewer triple digit fastballs than the Twins. Thankfully, in the last two seasons, Brusdar Graterol (12) and Jorge Alcala (1) helped move the Twins up the velocity leaderboard. Maybe because of this lack of heat at the big league level, whenever a Twins prospect hits one-double-oh -- regardless if it is indoors in the offseason -- it draws attention. In March, Varland returned to face hitters in live at-bats with the goal of reaching that number again. As he warmed up, he threw an effortless 97. It had an incoming sizzle that popped the catcher’s glove like a firecracker. High school players stopped their training and turned their attention to Louie’s cage. In addition to the players and staff, another attendee was Wade Varland, Louie’s father. Wade was tasked with setting up a GoPro on the catcher’s helmet to capture mechanics and pitch movement. But he said his real motivation was to witness his son break the century mark. He had seen the clip circulating and wanted to see him do it up close. Asked at what point he knew he was raising two future professional athletes in Louie and older brother Gus, a member of the Dodgers organization, Wade laughed. There was no high-pressure upbringing to be pros. He had padded mats in the basement and let them run amok and be athletes as kids. He encouraged them to be competitive in all endeavors, having them play football and wrestling. They just happened to like — and eventually excel at — baseball. As the boys got older, Wade tried to keep them hungry. Gus or Louie would spin a breaking ball or dot the corner with a fastball and Wade would just say meh. That didn’t impress him. Hell, if he had a bat in his hands, he’d hit it clear to Washington County, he’d add. His intention was to keep them from becoming complacent. He didn’t want them to settle for pretty good, no matter what path they chose. The key to the entire system, Wade admitted, was never to let a bat get into his hands. He’d sidestep any requests for a challenge, especially when they started to throw harder. As they got older and more cocksure, they’d beg their father to stand in and face them. Let’s see you try to knock it into the next county, they’d ask. Wade knew he didn’t stand a chance. When Gus was in college, after years of dodging pleas and making excuses to avoid a showdown, he was finally able to put a bat into Wade’s hands. They headed to the fieldhouse on Concordia’s campus. Wade was going to face his oldest son in a live AB round. An umpire looking for some preseason work crouched behind the catcher. Players gathered around to watch. This was going to happen officially and publicly. Wade knew he was overmatched. His son was playing in an elite college league for major league worthy prospects and was sitting 92-93. There was no way he was going to redirect anything across any adjacent county lines. Nevertheless, Wade Varland stood in there and competed, just like he had preached to his boys. It was laughable. Gus’s fastballs slammed into the catcher’s mitt and Wade would be starting his swing. This repeated several times. Then, by the grace of baseball’s divine, Wade made contact. It was, as he described it, the latest any swing could have possibly happened, as deep into the zone as physics would allow, but the ball shot off into foul territory. It landed feet — not a county — away but it was contact. The crowd erupted. “It was like I won gold in the Olympics,” Wade said with a chuckle. The reason he went through this charade was because he wanted the boys to keep working, keep improving, and to never be satisfied with where they were at. That lesson seemed to take hold. Both Varland boys found themselves at a small Division II program rather than the prototypical D1 powerhouses. That didn’t stop them from working to get on the radar of professional teams. That mindset may explain why the younger Varland, Louie, was not settling for the 99.6 and looking to hit that hundo. Louie credits the Twins’ pitching development for unlocking this extra gear. After being drafted in the 15th round, he entered the minor league system at Elizabethton in 2019. He made three outings and started to feel discomfort in his elbow and forearm. A barrage of tests showed no signs of torn ligaments. The Twins asked him to make some adjustments to his mechanics hoping it would help him feel better and unlock some velocity. “I had elbow climb that took my arm above my shoulder plane,” Louie said, demonstrating where his release point was and, through adjusting it by training with connection and plyo balls, where it is now (several inches lower). Elbow climb is considered an inefficient movement and leads to a pushing action, zapped velocity, and potentially injuries. Now his arm action follows a more optimal path, mirroring his shoulder rotation. When he rotates, his elbow and forearm follow his shoulder plane rather than rising above it. He said the delivery feels more natural. Download attachment: image_6483441.JPG On the left, Varland pitching for the Willmer Stingers in 2019. On the right, Varland at Starters Sports Training in February 2020. Notice how much lower the elbow is compared to his head level. With the new release point comes added challenges. At the lower point, he has to try to keep on top of the fastball to maintain a high vertical break and he’s refining his slider’s movement from the new angle. Those are two of his focuses this spring. That, and sustaining the upper 90s velocity over longer stretches. He knows he still has a long way to go. The 100 mile per hour pitch in the great indoors is fine but it’s a far cry from repeating it on the mound in a game situation. For now, the ball keeps firing out of his hand. During the live ABs, Varland wasn’t able to show his dad the 100 mile per hour pitch -- Wade would have to settle for a 99er. The Stalker radar gun set up behind home plate registered 97s and 98s. The Rapsodo caught one at 99 while his fastball maxed out over 20 inches of vertical break (the latter datapoint excited Louie since his previous range was closer to 17 inches).
  5. On what was to be his final pitch of the session, Varland hit 99.6 off the mound. It was a fantastic achievement. Had Varland been throwing at Target Field, that 99.6 would be rounded to 100 on the broadcast, an effect that Trevor May called “the TV hundge.” Still, the staff at the facility Varland has trained at begged him for one more pitch. Empty the tank, they said, give it everything and try to clear that barrier. An instructor gave Varland a “velo slap” and the right-hander took a deep breath and let it fly. The iPad read 100.2. https://twitter.com/npgsports/status/1365387580573970436 The 100-mile-per-hour mark is a mystical and, too often, mythical figure for the Minnesota Twins organization. Since tracking and archiving of velocity began in 2008, the Twins have reached 100-miles-per-hour 16 times. Until 2018, they had only hit it 3 times -- all by the forgettable Juan Morillo. Only the Brewers (13), Indians (13) and Diamondbacks (5) have thrown fewer triple digit fastballs than the Twins. Thankfully, in the last two seasons, Brusdar Graterol (12) and Jorge Alcala (1) helped move the Twins up the velocity leaderboard. Maybe because of this lack of heat at the big league level, whenever a Twins prospect hits one-double-oh -- regardless if it is indoors in the offseason -- it draws attention. In March, Varland returned to face hitters in live at-bats with the goal of reaching that number again. As he warmed up, he threw an effortless 97. It had an incoming sizzle that popped the catcher’s glove like a firecracker. High school players stopped their training and turned their attention to Louie’s cage. In addition to the players and staff, another attendee was Wade Varland, Louie’s father. Wade was tasked with setting up a GoPro on the catcher’s helmet to capture mechanics and pitch movement. But he said his real motivation was to witness his son break the century mark. He had seen the clip circulating and wanted to see him do it up close. Asked at what point he knew he was raising two future professional athletes in Louie and older brother Gus, a member of the Dodgers organization, Wade laughed. There was no high-pressure upbringing to be pros. He had padded mats in the basement and let them run amok and be athletes as kids. He encouraged them to be competitive in all endeavors, having them play football and wrestling. They just happened to like — and eventually excel at — baseball. As the boys got older, Wade tried to keep them hungry. Gus or Louie would spin a breaking ball or dot the corner with a fastball and Wade would just say meh. That didn’t impress him. Hell, if he had a bat in his hands, he’d hit it clear to Washington County, he’d add. His intention was to keep them from becoming complacent. He didn’t want them to settle for pretty good, no matter what path they chose. The key to the entire system, Wade admitted, was never to let a bat get into his hands. He’d sidestep any requests for a challenge, especially when they started to throw harder. As they got older and more cocksure, they’d beg their father to stand in and face them. Let’s see you try to knock it into the next county, they’d ask. Wade knew he didn’t stand a chance. When Gus was in college, after years of dodging pleas and making excuses to avoid a showdown, he was finally able to put a bat into Wade’s hands. They headed to the fieldhouse on Concordia’s campus. Wade was going to face his oldest son in a live AB round. An umpire looking for some preseason work crouched behind the catcher. Players gathered around to watch. This was going to happen officially and publicly. Wade knew he was overmatched. His son was playing in an elite college league for major league worthy prospects and was sitting 92-93. There was no way he was going to redirect anything across any adjacent county lines. Nevertheless, Wade Varland stood in there and competed, just like he had preached to his boys. It was laughable. Gus’s fastballs slammed into the catcher’s mitt and Wade would be starting his swing. This repeated several times. Then, by the grace of baseball’s divine, Wade made contact. It was, as he described it, the latest any swing could have possibly happened, as deep into the zone as physics would allow, but the ball shot off into foul territory. It landed feet — not a county — away but it was contact. The crowd erupted. “It was like I won gold in the Olympics,” Wade said with a chuckle. The reason he went through this charade was because he wanted the boys to keep working, keep improving, and to never be satisfied with where they were at. That lesson seemed to take hold. Both Varland boys found themselves at a small Division II program rather than the prototypical D1 powerhouses. That didn’t stop them from working to get on the radar of professional teams. That mindset may explain why the younger Varland, Louie, was not settling for the 99.6 and looking to hit that hundo. Louie credits the Twins’ pitching development for unlocking this extra gear. After being drafted in the 15th round, he entered the minor league system at Elizabethton in 2019. He made three outings and started to feel discomfort in his elbow and forearm. A barrage of tests showed no signs of torn ligaments. The Twins asked him to make some adjustments to his mechanics hoping it would help him feel better and unlock some velocity. “I had elbow climb that took my arm above my shoulder plane,” Louie said, demonstrating where his release point was and, through adjusting it by training with connection and plyo balls, where it is now (several inches lower). Elbow climb is considered an inefficient movement and leads to a pushing action, zapped velocity, and potentially injuries. Now his arm action follows a more optimal path, mirroring his shoulder rotation. When he rotates, his elbow and forearm follow his shoulder plane rather than rising above it. He said the delivery feels more natural. On the left, Varland pitching for the Willmer Stingers in 2019. On the right, Varland at Starters Sports Training in February 2020. Notice how much lower the elbow is compared to his head level. With the new release point comes added challenges. At the lower point, he has to try to keep on top of the fastball to maintain a high vertical break and he’s refining his slider’s movement from the new angle. Those are two of his focuses this spring. That, and sustaining the upper 90s velocity over longer stretches. He knows he still has a long way to go. The 100 mile per hour pitch in the great indoors is fine but it’s a far cry from repeating it on the mound in a game situation. For now, the ball keeps firing out of his hand. During the live ABs, Varland wasn’t able to show his dad the 100 mile per hour pitch -- Wade would have to settle for a 99er. The Stalker radar gun set up behind home plate registered 97s and 98s. The Rapsodo caught one at 99 while his fastball maxed out over 20 inches of vertical break (the latter datapoint excited Louie since his previous range was closer to 17 inches). https://twitter.com/twinsdaily/status/1367931763511619584 Malcolm Gladwell pointed out that one of the most useful predictors of real success is people’s willingness to persevere past the point of pretty good. Having a 94-mile-per-hour fastball is pretty good. Reaching 99.6 miles per hour is pretty dang good. Louie Varland isn’t looking to stop at pretty good and that says a lot about him as a prospect.
  6. As we work toward the Top 10, the next batch of prospects in our countdown features four outfielders, with varying skill sets and arrival timelines, as well as one of the organization's best young arms.15. Cole Sands, RHP Age: 23 (DOB: 7/17/1997) 2019 Stats (A/AA): 97.1 IP, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 10.0 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 ETA: 2022 2020 Ranking: 19 The lack of a minor-league season in 2020 hurt many prospects, and Sands is certainly among them. He was just beginning to ramp up his workload – from 75 ⅓ innings during his final year at Florida State to 97 ⅓ in his first year with the Twins – and then it all got shut down. Now, the former fifth-round draft pick will try to pick up where he left off. Prior to the pandemic, he had quite a bit of momentum going. Sands was extremely impressive during his first professional season in 2019, posting a 2.68 ERA along with a brilliant 108-to-19 K/BB over 18 starts. He started out at Low-A and ended in Double-A. Solidly built at 6-foot-3 and 215 lbs, Sands brings a fastball in the mid-90s and his changeup is rated by Baseball America as the best in the Twins system. The Twins called up Rooker in early September after Kepler went down with a groin strain. He wasted no time at the plate, collecting six hits including a home run and two doubles. "I don’t want to say he’s got Miguel Sanó power, but it’s that type of power to the big part of the field,” said hitting coach Edgar Varela of the slugger. Rooker's defensive limitations were also on display during brief action in right and left field, and while he is ostensibly an option at first base, he hasn't played it since 2018. With Nelson Cruz returning in 2021, Rooker doesn't have much of a path to regular playing time at the moment, but he's useful as a rotational righty bench bat. To become more than that, he'll need to cut down the strikeouts, prove his defensive viability, and above all, find an opportunity. 11. Gilberto Celestino, OF Age: 21 (DOB: 2/13/99) 2019 Stats (A): 536 PA, .277/.349/.410, 10 HR, 54 RBI ETA: 2023 2020 Ranking: 12 Celestino was on a roll before his 2020 season got wiped out. After a slow start at Cedar Rapids in 2019, the outfielder pressed the pedal to the medal, slashing .357/.427/.550 in 43 games after July 1st and earning a late-season call-up to Ft. Myers. After the season, Minnesota added him to the 40-man roster, fearing that another club might try to snap him up in the Rule 5 draft. For a 20-year-old who had barely skimmed High-A, it was a rather extraordinary move, setting Celestino's options clock in motion at a very early stage. Clearly, the Twins like this kid, and with good reason. He was seeing plenty of early action in spring training last year before the shutdown.
  7. 15. Cole Sands, RHP Age: 23 (DOB: 7/17/1997) 2019 Stats (A/AA): 97.1 IP, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 10.0 K/9, 1.8 BB/9 ETA: 2022 2020 Ranking: 19 The lack of a minor-league season in 2020 hurt many prospects, and Sands is certainly among them. He was just beginning to ramp up his workload – from 75 ⅓ innings during his final year at Florida State to 97 ⅓ in his first year with the Twins – and then it all got shut down. Now, the former fifth-round draft pick will try to pick up where he left off. Prior to the pandemic, he had quite a bit of momentum going. Sands was extremely impressive during his first professional season in 2019, posting a 2.68 ERA along with a brilliant 108-to-19 K/BB over 18 starts. He started out at Low-A and ended in Double-A. Solidly built at 6-foot-3 and 215 lbs, Sands brings a fastball in the mid-90s and his changeup is rated by Baseball America as the best in the Twins system. The mission for Sands in 2021 is to rebuild his workload and get back on track toward a full starter's regimen, while also translating his early success into the high minors. It's a tall task, but all signs suggest the right-hander is up to it. He's a sleeper candidate to debut in the majors this year. 14. Misael Urbina, OF Age: 18 (DOB: 4/26/02) 2019 Stats (Rookie): 217 PA, .279/.382/.443 , 2 HR, 26 RBI ETA: 2024 2020 Ranking: 17 Urbina was considered one of the best international prospects available in 2018 when the Twins landed him with a $2.75 million signing bonus. The toolsy outfielder arrived with an exceptional pro debut the following year, slashing .279/.382/.443 over 50 games in the Dominican Summer League. In 217 plate appearances, Urbina showed excellent plate discipline (23 walks, 14 strikeouts), hit for power (21 extra-base hits), and flashed standout speed (19 steals and five triples). He also played a very sharp center field defensively. The Twins signed Urbina as a scrawny 16-year-old, and now he's going to be challenged to grow up in a hurry. He's still young, but turns 19 in April and hasn't been exposed to a full-season league. That'll happen now. If the uber-athletic teenager can come anywhere close to replicating his 2019 performance as he presumably graduates to A-ball, he'll climb these rankings quickly. 13. Matt Wallner, OF Age: 23 (DOB: 12/12/1997) 2019 Stats (Rookie/A): 291 PA, .258/.357/.452, 8 HR, 34 RBI ETA: 2022 2020 Ranking: 14 Like Urbina, Wallner was a highly touted young outfielder who made an impressive debut in 2019, posting an .810 OPS in 65 games between Elizabethton and Cedar Rapids after being selected in the supplemental first round of June's draft. But unlike Urbina, time is not on Wallner's side. The Twins took him out of the University of Southern Mississippi with the 39th overall pick, valuing the Forest Lake native as a polished and potentially fast-moving collegiate lefty bat. Now, after the lost 2020 season, he's 23 and has played 12 games above rookie ball. To put that in context: Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler were all established as full-time major-league outfielders at 23, and Alex Kirillloff will probably do so for himself this year at the same age. None of this is damning for Wallner, who faces the same need to make up for lost time as his minor-league peers, but it leaves him with little margin for error. If he struggles at all to acclimate in A-ball, he'll quickly fall behind the curve. Conversely, if he hits the ground running, Wallner is in line to move quickly as a relatively advanced hitter. 12. Brent Rooker, OF/1B Age: 26 (DOB: 11/1/1994) 2020 Stats (MLB): 21 PA, .316/.381/.579, 1 HR, 5 RBI ETA: 2021 2020 Ranking: 9 Rooker is different from almost every other prospect we'll rank on this list, in that he gave us some actual, concrete performance to evaluate in 2020. Granted, it was an absurdly small sample: 21 plate appearances with the Twins before a fractured forearm ended his season in mid-September. But what we saw mostly confirmed what we've come to believe about Rooker: he's a quality right-handed bat with real power potential, and ready for the big leagues. The Twins called up Rooker in early September after Kepler went down with a groin strain. He wasted no time at the plate, collecting six hits including a home run and two doubles. "I don’t want to say he’s got Miguel Sanó power, but it’s that type of power to the big part of the field,” said hitting coach Edgar Varela of the slugger. Rooker's defensive limitations were also on display during brief action in right and left field, and while he is ostensibly an option at first base, he hasn't played it since 2018. With Nelson Cruz returning in 2021, Rooker doesn't have much of a path to regular playing time at the moment, but he's useful as a rotational righty bench bat. To become more than that, he'll need to cut down the strikeouts, prove his defensive viability, and above all, find an opportunity. 11. Gilberto Celestino, OF Age: 21 (DOB: 2/13/99) 2019 Stats (A): 536 PA, .277/.349/.410, 10 HR, 54 RBI ETA: 2023 2020 Ranking: 12 Celestino was on a roll before his 2020 season got wiped out. After a slow start at Cedar Rapids in 2019, the outfielder pressed the pedal to the medal, slashing .357/.427/.550 in 43 games after July 1st and earning a late-season call-up to Ft. Myers. After the season, Minnesota added him to the 40-man roster, fearing that another club might try to snap him up in the Rule 5 draft. For a 20-year-old who had barely skimmed High-A, it was a rather extraordinary move, setting Celestino's options clock in motion at a very early stage. Clearly, the Twins like this kid, and with good reason. He was seeing plenty of early action in spring training last year before the shutdown. Celestino was on Minnesota's extended 60-man roster last summer, and got his work in daily at the alternate site in St. Paul, so his development was impeded less than many ohter prospects who weren't so lucky. That might give him a leg up heading into the coming season. He's probably the best center fielder in the system after Byron Buxton, which is noteworthy given Buxton's proneness to injury. Although Celestino is not a candidate to be called up early in the 2021 season, he could quickly enter the conversation with a fast start and a major-league opening. The combination of speed and power, combined with improving discipline and strong defense in center, makes him a multi-dimensional prospect with big impact potential. Although Ryan Pressly became an All-Star after the Twins traded him to Houston, it's still looking like the Twins – with young fireballer Jorge Alcala penned into their bullpen and Celestino fast on the rise – might end up getting the best of that 2018 trade. Twins 2021 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Bailey Ober, RHP 19. José Miranda, 3B/2B 18. Alerick Soularie, UTIL 17. Ben Rortvedt, C 16. Edwar Colina, RHP
  8. Evaluating prospects in a pandemic certainly presents multiple challenges. Two of these players made their MLB debut last season and others on this list continue to rise. Minnesota’s system is deep and any of these names can impact the big-league roster in the years ahead. 15. Edwar Colina- RHP (23-years old) Acquired: 2015 International Free Agent ETA: 2021 Colina made one lone big-league appearance in 2020, but it didn’t go so well. Obviously, this is a small sample size, and it doesn’t take anything away from his potential big-league impact. He can consistently hit in the upper-90s with his fastball, but it doesn’t have a lot of movement. His slider is his best secondary pitch, and he can control in different parts of the zone. He moved to the bullpen at the end of the 2019 campaign and that might be his best role at the big-league level. 14. Matt Wallner- OF (23-years old) Acquired: 2019 First Round Pick ETA: 2022 Power is the name of the game for Wallner. He fits the current regimes draft mold of finding experienced college hitters with a lot of pop in their bat. At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, he is an opposing force in the batter’s box. Because of his college experience, the Twins can be aggressive with him in 2021 as he has yet to appear in a game above Low-A. That being said, he is only 23-years old, so the team can give him a chance to find his swing as he moves up the organizational ladder. 13. Misael Urbina- OF (18-years old) Acquired: 2018 International Free Agent ETA: 2023 Urbina was one of the highest ranked prospects during the 2018 international signing period. He is still projected to play center field, but if he continues to add muscle, his destination might be a corner outfield spot. For his age, he shows skills that are very advanced at the plate. Since the Twins minor league affiliates were reorganized, Urbina can spend 2021 at Low-A in Fort Myers, where the team will be housing many of their younger players. 12. Brent Rooker- OF (26-years old) Acquired: 2017 First Round Pick ETA: 2020 Twins fans got a brief glimpse of Rooker last season as he made a positive impression before being hit by a pitch that ended his season. Throughout his professional career, he has been able to crush fastballs, but he has struggled to adjust to breaking pitches. He’s already 26-years old, so the Twins are going to have team control of him through the prime of his career. If Minnesota doesn’t sign a DH, Rooker is a player that can slide into this role. Most likely, he will start the season at St. Paul, where he will be a quick phone call away from being back in the Twins line-up. 11. Gilberto Celestino- OF (21-years old) Acquired: Along with Jorge Alcala in the Ryan Pressly trade ETA: 2021 When the Twins acquired Celestino, defense was his calling card, but his offensive skills have developed quite nicely since the trade. He continues to be one of the best outfield defenders in system. His size likely means he won’t hit for a ton of power. However, he makes consistent contact, and his other skills will likely allow him to fit into a regular role at the big-league level. This winter, he played in a handful of games in the Dominican Winter League and went 1-for-7 at the plate. Which of these players has a brighter future? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Prospects 16-20 — Prospects 1-10 Coming Soon MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  9. Not all organizations have prospect depth that stretches outside of their top-10 prospects. The Twins have multiple names on this list that will impact the big-league roster in 2021.Evaluating prospects in a pandemic certainly presents multiple challenges. Two of these players made their MLB debut last season and others on this list continue to rise. Minnesota’s system is deep and any of these names can impact the big-league roster in the years ahead. 15. Edwar Colina- RHP (23-years old) Acquired: 2015 International Free Agent ETA: 2021 Colina made one lone big-league appearance in 2020, but it didn’t go so well. Obviously, this is a small sample size, and it doesn’t take anything away from his potential big-league impact. He can consistently hit in the upper-90s with his fastball, but it doesn’t have a lot of movement. His slider is his best secondary pitch, and he can control in different parts of the zone. He moved to the bullpen at the end of the 2019 campaign and that might be his best role at the big-league level. 14. Matt Wallner- OF (23-years old) Acquired: 2019 First Round Pick ETA: 2022 Power is the name of the game for Wallner. He fits the current regimes draft mold of finding experienced college hitters with a lot of pop in their bat. At 6-foot-4 and 220 pounds, he is an opposing force in the batter’s box. Because of his college experience, the Twins can be aggressive with him in 2021 as he has yet to appear in a game above Low-A. That being said, he is only 23-years old, so the team can give him a chance to find his swing as he moves up the organizational ladder. 13. Misael Urbina- OF (18-years old) Acquired: 2018 International Free Agent ETA: 2023 Urbina was one of the highest ranked prospects during the 2018 international signing period. He is still projected to play center field, but if he continues to add muscle, his destination might be a corner outfield spot. For his age, he shows skills that are very advanced at the plate. Since the Twins minor league affiliates were reorganized, Urbina can spend 2021 at Low-A in Fort Myers, where the team will be housing many of their younger players. 12. Brent Rooker- OF (26-years old) Acquired: 2017 First Round Pick ETA: 2020 Twins fans got a brief glimpse of Rooker last season as he made a positive impression before being hit by a pitch that ended his season. Throughout his professional career, he has been able to crush fastballs, but he has struggled to adjust to breaking pitches. He’s already 26-years old, so the Twins are going to have team control of him through the prime of his career. If Minnesota doesn’t sign a DH, Rooker is a player that can slide into this role. Most likely, he will start the season at St. Paul, where he will be a quick phone call away from being back in the Twins line-up. 11. Gilberto Celestino- OF (21-years old) Acquired: Along with Jorge Alcala in the Ryan Pressly trade ETA: 2021 When the Twins acquired Celestino, defense was his calling card, but his offensive skills have developed quite nicely since the trade. He continues to be one of the best outfield defenders in system. His size likely means he won’t hit for a ton of power. However, he makes consistent contact, and his other skills will likely allow him to fit into a regular role at the big-league level. This winter, he played in a handful of games in the Dominican Winter League and went 1-for-7 at the plate. Which of these players has a brighter future? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. OTHER POSTS IN THE SERIES — Prospects 16-20 — Prospects 1-10 Coming Soon MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  10. 20. Randy Dobnak, RHP 2019 MiLB Stats (A+, AA, AAA): 12-4, 2.07 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 109 K, 28 BB, 135.0 IP 2019 MLB Stats: 2-1, 1.59 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 23 K, 5 BB, 28.1 IP Dobnak went on a tremendous ride last season with his first pitches of the year coming with the Fort Myers Miracle and his last pitches coming at Yankee Stadium in the playoffs. While Dobnak posted fantastic numbers last season, few expect him be the ace of a pitching staff. He has the potential to be a solid back end of the rotation pitcher for multiple years. His spot in the 2020 rotation wasn’t a guarantee so it will be interesting to see how he is used this year, especially with little chance of a minor league season occurring. His pitch mix includes four pitches with his sinker being used over 36% of the time. He also mixes in a changeup, curve, and four seamer. According to MLB’s Baseball Savant, his fastball spin was in the third percental when compared to the rest of baseball. His fastball velocity and curve spin also ranked in the 44th percentile or lower. Still, batters were only able to manage to barrel up the ball 2.3% of the time and his average exit velocity was 88.6. 19. Cole Sands, RHP 2019 MiLB Stats (A, A+, AA): 7-3, 2.68 ERA, 1.03 WHIP, 108 K, 19 BB, 97.1 IP Much like Dobnak, Sands made stops at three different minor league levels in 2019 where he was younger than the average age of the competition. His most impressive stop was in the Florida State League where he posted a 2.25 ERA and a 53 to 7 strikeout to walk ratio in 52 IP. He utilizes a fastball in the low-90s but there are times he can rear back and reach the mid-90s. His curveball and change-up are both good pitches that help to separate him from other starters in the organization. In his professional debut, Sands put up numbers that were far superior than anything he was able to compile as a three-year starter in college. His lowest ERA for any college season was 4.13 and he had a 4.73 ERA for his entire collegiate career. There were some good peripheral numbers that might have stood out to the Twins front office. Over his final two college seasons, he struck out more than 11 batters per nine innings and his WHIP dropped in every season. 18. Jose Miranda, 2B/3B 2019 MiLB Stats (A+, AA): .252/.302/.369, 8 HR, 26 2B, 54 K, 24 BB, 119 G Miranda played all but one regular season game in the Florida State League during 2019. He started off slow but ended the year on quite the offense run. Over his final 162 plate appearances, he hit .295/.333/.436 with 13 extra-base hits and almost as many walks (8) as strikeouts (10). Minnesota thought highly enough about him to send him to Pensacola for the playoffs where he compiled a .955 OPS in five postseason games. Defensively, he played more time at third base last season than any other season. Last season was the first time since his professional debut that he failed to hit double-digits in home runs. If he continues to add power, he could become quite the weapon at third base. He almost never strikes out and he has the defensive flexibility to play other infield positions as well. 17. Misael Urbina, OF 2019 MiLB Stats (FRK): .279/.382/.443, 2 HR, 14 2B, 5 3B, 19 SB, 23 BB, 14 K, 50 G Urbina signed for a boatload of cash ($2.75 million) back during the 2018 international signing period. He made his professional debut in 2019 and showed many of the skills that made him one of the top prospects in that signing class. He had 21 extra-base hits and 19 steals in 27 attempts. Also, he showed an advanced approach at the plate with more walks (23) than strikeouts (14). He can play all over the outfield, but 34 of his 44 defensive appearances came in center field. His speed will help him to stick in center field and he has the other tools to make himself a defensive weapon. As Twins fans have seen with Byron Buxton, speed can help to turn singles into doubles and doubles into triples. With more experience, he should also become better at stealing a higher percentage of bases. 16. Matt Wallner, OF 2019 MiLB Stats (RK, A): .258/.357/.452, 8 HR, 21 2B, 80 K, 24 BB, 65 G The Twins selected Wallner with the 39th overall pick in last year’s draft and he quickly made his presence known in the organization. In June and July, he hit .289/.392/.465 with 18 home runs in 37 games. He tired a little down the stretch by hitting .218/.312/.436 over the season’s final 28 games which included a dozen games in Cedar Rapids. Wallner was set to go to college at the University of North Dakota, but they cut their baseball program, and this might have actually helped him in the long run. He decided to play at Southern Mississippi and this likely allowed him to play a higher level of competition and for more scouts to put their eyes on him. His junior year really put him on a lot of team’s draft radars (if he wasn’t already there). In those 61 games, he posted a 1.127 OPS with 23 home runs. Stop back in the coming days to see who completes the top-20 list. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  11. After a great 2019 season the Twins slid all the way down to 27th in the picking order for 2020. Falvey and Thad Levine have a brief but strong history of identifying talent for the organization however, and the hope would be that this season is no different. Taking a look back on the guys they tabbed in 2019, here’s how year one in pro ball went. Keoni Cavaco SS (1, 13) As a helium pick it was probably expected that there’d be growing pains. Cavaco rose the draft boards late and is a long-term play for the Twins. He played 25 games in the GCL and posted just a .470 OPS. The slash line isn’t as concerning as the 35/4 K/BB rate. He’ll need to clean that up as he adjusts to the next level. Matt Wallner RF (1, 39) A local kid and standout at Southern Miss, Wallner jumped into pro ball and did not disappoint. He pitched and hit in college but is being groomed solely as a position player for the Twins. After 53 games in Elizabethton, Wallner was promoted to Low-A Cedar Rapids. He posted an .810 OPS across both levels and the power translated to eight dingers in 65 games. Matt Canterino RHP (2, 54) Despite a quirky delivery, Canterino is one of my favorite arms in the Twins system. He made two quick GCL appearances and then went straight to Low-A Cedar Rapids. He pitched 25 innings after completing his season with Rice and posted some eye-popping results. The former Owls star had a 1.44 ERA 11.2 K/9 and allowed just eight walks. Spencer Steer SS (3, 90) After lighting it up in the Appy League to the tune of a .949 OPS, Minnesota got aggressive and moved Steer quickly. At Cedar Rapids he slashed .260/.358/.387 in 44 games. He showed awesome plate discipline and a good eye. Steer did make six errors in just over 100 innings at short for Elizabethton and then split over 300 innings at 2nd and 3rd for the Kernels. Seth Gray 3B (4, 119) Most of Gray’s 2019 was spent in the Appy League, reaching Cedar Rapids for just four games. Despite just a .225 average he posted a .781 OPS. 30 walks in 257 plate appearances was indicative of good zone control, and the power played to the tune of 11 homers. Gray had a nice spring for Minnesota as well in the brief time I saw him. Will Holland SS (5, 149) There was a little lag time in getting Holland started with Auburn’s participation in the College World Series. Across 36 games for Elizabethton he posted a .675 OPS with seven homers. After a .936 OPS in 2018 for the Tigers, Holland slid in the draft due to a .777 mark last season. He just turned 22 though and has the makings of a true shortstop. Certainly, a guy to watch in Minnesota’s system. Sawyer Gipson-Long RHP (6, 179) Minnesota got Gipson-Long going right away in the Appy League. He made six abbreviated starts going a total of 18.1 IP. He was scoreless through his first two outings, including a six-strikeout performance in just three innings of work. Things went south in his final four appearances but certainly could’ve been a bit of fatigue. An 11.3 K/9 in his pro debut is reason to be excited. Anthony Prato SS (7, 209) Prato posted a .755 OPS for Elizabethton in 45 games before getting a two-game stint with Cedar Rapids. The 26/20 K/BB is an encouraging sign for an up-the-middle player. The Twins did play him mostly at second and third base defensively. There isn’t much power in Prato’s bat, but he’s a good contact hitter with elite on-base ability. Casey Legumina RHP (8, 239) Minnesota took Legumina after he made just four starts for the Zags in 2019. He left after 73 pitches in his final outing and was shut down. There was an exciting velocity spike that garnered more draft attention. He did not pitch in pro ball last year. Brent Headrick LHP (9, 269) The first lefty on the board, Headrick only turned in 3.2 IP during his pro debut season. Pitching for Elizabethton he gave up two unearned runs on two hits. He did have a negative 2/5 K/BB ratio. Not much to go off of at this point professionally, but the Illinois State hurler had big time strikeout numbers in college. Ben Gross RHP (10, 299) Of all the pitchers drafted by Minnesota Gross may have been worked the most. He made 11 starts at Elizabethton and posted a 4.30 ERA across 52.1 IP. He tallied 8.4 K/9 and gave up just 2.4 BB/9. His college numbers remained pretty consistent from year to year, and while there’s nothing that jumps off the page, he’s a pretty safe bet to continue contributing. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  12. Find more on these five Minnesota Twins prospects and much more in the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. It’s available in paperback and as an ebook. 15. Matt Canterino, RHP Age: 22 (DOB: 12/14/1997) 2019 Stats (Rookie/A): 25 IP, 1.44 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 11.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 ETA: 2021 2019 Ranking: NR Of the many things this rebuilt front office has done well, drafting ranks near the top. And while it's early, the returns thus far on their third pick from last summer have been exceedingly good. After an outstanding collegiate career at Rice University (alma mater of current Twins reliever Tyler Duffey), Canterino went to Minnesota in the second round, with the 54th overall pick. He quickly got to work against pro hitters, posting the marks you see above against overwhelmed – and generally younger – competition. https://twitter.com/TFTwins/status/1223263416631980033 The right-hander was as dominant as can be in his first minor-league stint, which was kept in check at 25 innings after he totaled nearly 100 during the college season. Such a small sample is hardly decisive, but we can at least lean positive on his pre-draft scouting reports; per Baseball America, he was "one of the funkier pitchers in this year’s draft class," and also "one of the better high-floor options among the college arms." So far, so good. https://twitter.com/BaseballAmerica/status/1135752137886130176 14. Matt Wallner, OF Age: 22 (DOB: 12/12/97) 2018 Stats (Rookie/A): 291 PA, .258/.357/.452, 8 HR, 34 RBI ETA: 2022 2019 Ranking: NR Did I mention the Twins have drafted well lately? Wallner's contiguity to Canterino doesn't stop with landing next to him in these rankings; they were born two days apart, and drafted within 15 picks of one another last June, both out of southern colleges in the same conference. But unlike the Texas-native Canterino, Wallner is a local product, born and raised in Forest Lake. As a high schooler he was anointed Minnesota's Mr. Baseball in 2016. https://twitter.com/TwinsPics/status/1135747586290311169? After passing up the Twins as a 32nd-round pick that year, opting instead for Southern Miss, Wallner straight-up raked over three years in Conference USA. He amassed a .337/.461/.652 slash line over 189 games, earning his way up to the 39th overall pick in 2019. And unlike Canterino, Wallner wasn't held back by the constraints of a pitching workload post-draft. He got in a healthy 291 plate appearances as a pro at age 21. The results weren't necessarily amazing, but they're almost eerily similar to those Alex Kirilloff put up in his own Elizabethton debut, as a first-round pick in 2016. I think we all recall what followed in the (delayed) encore. 13. Wander Javier, SS Age: 21 (DOB: 12/29/98) 2019 Stats (A): 342 PA .177/.278/.323, 11 HR, 37 RBI ETA: 2023 2019 Ranking: 5 There's no positive spin to be placed on Javier's 2019 season. After losing his entire 2018 to shoulder surgery, the highly touted shortstop returned with a thud, posting a .601 OPS in Low-A ball while striking out at a hideous 34% rate. Most distressingly, there was no real showing of improvement throughout of the year – he was bad at the start, bad in the middle, bad at the end. He was such a complete void the plate that his somewhat refined work in the field barely registered. But Javier did not rank fifth on this list a year ago, even coming off a lost season, for no reason. His $4 million signing bonus from the Twins in 2015 remains the largest they've ever doled out for an international prospect. His performance as a teenager in 2017 and 2018 reinforced the investment. And for all he's been through, Javier is still only 21 – almost exactly a year younger than Wallner, who has followed such a very different path. Javier is still a young and raw player, whose immense talents and abilities are not negated by one undeniably futile season at age 20 in the unfamiliar American Midwest. Patience is warranted and luckily the Twins can afford it. 12. Gilberto Celestino, OF Age: 20 (DOB: 2/13/99) 2019 Stats (A/A+): 536 PA, 277/.349/.410, 10 HR, 54 RBI ETA: 2022 2019 Ranking: 16 Celestino came at a cost. The Twins also received a hard-throwing, volatile reliever named Jorge Alcala when they sent Ryan Pressly to the Astros in 2018, but there was always a sense Celestino was the centerpiece. Minnesota's front office clearly saw something in the teenage center fielder out of the Dominican Republic. Good on 'em. In the 2015 international signing period, Celestino was ranked by MLB Pipeline as the No. 11 talent, exactly one spot ahead of fellow Dominican Wander Javier. (The kismet in this section of the rankings is something, ain't it?) He signed with Houston for $2.5 million, and was coming along nicely when the Twins plucked him away at the trade deadline. His 2019 campaign got off to a brutal start, as Celestino hit .219/.299/.290 through the end of May at Cedar Rapids. Then, as summer set in, he took flight. From June 1st onward, the 20-year-old slashed .313/.380/.485, including a successful closing stint at High-A. With excellent plate discipline, he produced consistently, doing so as an athletic and rangy center fielder. The Twins might just have a gem on their hands here. Also he once did this, which was awesome: https://twitter.com/WBSC/status/1055987197814308864 11. Lewis Thorpe, LHP Age: 24 (DOB: 11/23/95) 2019 Stats (AA/AAA): 129.2 IP, 3.54 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 10.9 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 ETA: 2020 2018 Ranking: 8 Here's the way prospect analysis and the minor leagues almost inevitably tend to work: Uber-talented young ballplayers garner heavy praise and underground notoriety by dominating the lower tiers of the profession. Then, as they rise and the competition elevates, reality sets in. Their numbers come down to Earth. Their rankings slide. For example, it isn't like Nick Gordon's failures last year caused him to fall from No. 11 in 2019 to outside the top 20 in this year's rankings – he had a fine season at Triple-A – but the limitations of his skill set became clearer than ever at the highest level. And at age 24, the upside is getting harder to see. The same cannot be said for Thorpe. No, his surface numbers at Triple-A were not spectacular, much less his 6.18 ERA in a brief big-league run. But he was also a 23-year-old whose early development was derailed by health issues, and amidst the unspectacular results, his proclivity for missing bats was relentless. In 450 innings between the minors and majors, Thorpe has compiled 542 strikeouts, equating to a 10.8 K/9 rate, and he's done so while generally staying in the strike zone and keeping the ball in the park. That's the right recipe. A critical year lies ahead of him, standing at the front of the line for opportunities to impact a championship-caliber team. Twins Daily 2020 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Jose Miranda, 3B/2B 19. Cole Sands, RHP 18. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/LF 17. Misael Urbina, OF 16. Edwar Colina, RP 15. Matt Canterino, RHP 14. Matt Wallner, OF 13. Wander Javier, SS 12. Gilberto Celestino, OF 11. Lewis Thorpe, LHP Stop by tomorrow for prospect #10! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  13. Fresh draft picks and international signings rule over this next segment of our 2020 Minnesota Twins top prospect rankings, which are brimming with dynamic talents of all kinds.Find more on these five Minnesota Twins prospects and much more in the 2020 Minnesota Twins Prospect Handbook. It’s available in paperback and as an ebook. 15. Matt Canterino, RHP Age: 22 (DOB: 12/14/1997) 2019 Stats (Rookie/A): 25 IP, 1.44 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 11.2 K/9, 2.9 BB/9 ETA: 2021 2019 Ranking: NR Of the many things this rebuilt front office has done well, drafting ranks near the top. And while it's early, the returns thus far on their third pick from last summer have been exceedingly good. After an outstanding collegiate career at Rice University (alma mater of current Twins reliever Tyler Duffey), Canterino went to Minnesota in the second round, with the 54th overall pick. He quickly got to work against pro hitters, posting the marks you see above against overwhelmed – and generally younger – competition. 11. Lewis Thorpe, LHP Age: 24 (DOB: 11/23/95) 2019 Stats (AA/AAA): 129.2 IP, 3.54 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 10.9 K/9, 2.5 BB/9 ETA: 2020 2018 Ranking: 8 Here's the way prospect analysis and the minor leagues almost inevitably tend to work: Uber-talented young ballplayers garner heavy praise and underground notoriety by dominating the lower tiers of the profession. Then, as they rise and the competition elevates, reality sets in. Their numbers come down to Earth. Their rankings slide. For example, it isn't like Nick Gordon's failures last year caused him to fall from No. 11 in 2019 to outside the top 20 in this year's rankings – he had a fine season at Triple-A – but the limitations of his skill set became clearer than ever at the highest level. And at age 24, the upside is getting harder to see. The same cannot be said for Thorpe. No, his surface numbers at Triple-A were not spectacular, much less his 6.18 ERA in a brief big-league run. But he was also a 23-year-old whose early development was derailed by health issues, and amidst the unspectacular results, his proclivity for missing bats was relentless. In 450 innings between the minors and majors, Thorpe has compiled 542 strikeouts, equating to a 10.8 K/9 rate, and he's done so while generally staying in the strike zone and keeping the ball in the park. That's the right recipe. A critical year lies ahead of him, standing at the front of the line for opportunities to impact a championship-caliber team. Twins Daily 2020 Top 20 Prospects Honorable Mentions 20. Jose Miranda, 3B/2B 19. Cole Sands, RHP 18. Travis Blankenhorn, 2B/LF 17. Misael Urbina, OF 16. Edwar Colina, RP 15. Matt Canterino, RHP 14. Matt Wallner, OF 13. Wander Javier, SS 12. Gilberto Celestino, OF 11. Lewis Thorpe, LHP Stop by tomorrow for prospect #10! MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email Click here to view the article
  14. Today is one of the biggest releases on the calendar in the hobby world. As Topps pumps out the latest Bowman Draft product, collectors feast their eyes on an opportunity to grab autographs and cardboard of the next great stars. For the Minnesota Twins specifically, a Bowman product hasn’t been this exciting in a few years. While collecting sports cards is a hobby, a large contingent of its appeal is monetarily driven and provides an aspect of gambling. Outside of buying specific cards you covet on secondary markets, opening boxes or packs leaves the consumer fully open to chance. With Bowman that reality is heightened given the nature of the product. Up and coming prospects are put in their major league uniforms, and for many, it will be their first professional cards. From a desire perspective it’s the “1st Bowman” card that reigns supreme. Mike Trout’s fetch more than $20,000, and while no one else is on that pedestal, plenty of players routinely top the $1,000 mark on an annual basis. At the most fundamental level, you’re looking for strong prospects with youth and talent on their side, with the understanding that hitters are more desirable than pitchers. In Draft, which features the top picks from the previous amateur cycle, Minnesota has five key subjects. Let’s get into what their potential, cardboard and baseball, may look like. Matt Wallner- OF 1st Round 2019 Age 21 A decent comp within the Twins system would be Brent Rooker, although the Minnesota native has youth on his side. Wallner pitched as Southern Miss as well, but he’s being groomed solely for his bat after being taken in the first round. There’s plenty of power potential here as he set college records, and his eight professional dingers in 65 games was a nice start. Wallner is the type of hobby player that sits in the middle. He’ll hit a boatload of homers, but the position and other abilities leave him with some bust potential. Given his hometown narrative, he could be coveted by Twins collectors, but this should remain an affordable chase player. Keoni Cavaco- SS 1st Round 2019 Age 18 A helium pick for the Twins, Cavaco played in 25 games after being the 13th overall pick. He didn’t show well owning just a .470 OPS in the GCL, but there’s reason to call that expected. He came into his own during the showcase circuit, and pro ball is going to be yet another leap. Minnesota obviously sees all-around promise and continuing his development should only raise his overall ceiling. In the card world he could soon become an expensive get. Youth is in his corner, and talent is through the roof. The minute results follow, there’ll be a clamoring for his cardboard. Anthony Prato- INF 7th Round 2019 Age 21 Taken after his junior season at Uconn, Prato is an up-the-middle player that the Twins see promise in. He played in 45 games for Elizabethton while getting in two at the next level for Cedar Rapids. He’s not a power guy, but he can swipe bases and hit the gaps. That profile is much more beneficial on the diamond than it is in the baseball card realm. He could be a solid utility player at the big-league level, but his cards aren’t going to see much of a jump unless there’s a shift in projection. Matt Canterino- SP 2nd Round Age 21 Another Conference USA product, Canterino was taken in a class with Wallner, who he is very familiar with. Arguably the best projected player of Minnesota’s 2019 class right now, the pitcher posted a 1.44 ERA across his first seven professional starts. He’s got a quirky delivery, but he’ll mow down hitters and has an advanced approach on the mound. There’s middle-of-the-rotation upside here for Minnesota and that’s great news for the big-league club. Pitchers aren’t highly collectible however, and that generally mutes prices significantly. With the volatility of injury or ineffectiveness as well, there should be no reason this is ever more than an entry level purchase. Spencer Steer- INF 3rd Round Age 21 After playing for the Oregon Ducks across three seasons, Steer was selected by the Twins and made quite the impression. His .949 OPS at Elizabethton earned him a promotion to Cedar Rapids. In 44 games there he owned a .745 OPS still buoyed by a strong OBP. He’s always controlled the strike zone well, and he should have some potential to grow into power. Steer isn’t going to light the world on fire, but he’s probably got the safest floor of anyone that made it into the product for Minnesota. An affordable autograph with staying power makes this one worthy of looking into. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  15. Matt Wallner was the Twins Competitive Balance pick in 2019, the 39th overall pick in the 2019 draft. In 2016, the Forest Lake, MN, native was the Twins 32nd round pick but instead of signing, he went to Southern Mississippi where he became a three-time All American. We discussed several topics with him including his high school playing days, being Mr. Baseball in 2016, the draft(s) and beginning his professional career. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_7.mp3 We need a good name for our bi-weekly segment with Twins RHP prospect Tyler Wells. We went with Ten Minutes with Tyler. Well, we went about 15 minutes, but that's OK. We discussed several topics including losing minor league coordinators, what's going on at the Twins academy in the offseason, the 40-man roster, his status and rehab updates and more. http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_7.mp3 7:00 - Ten Minutes with Tyler 25:40 - Matt Wallner interview Leave questions or comments below on this podcast. Send me names of people you would like to see interviewed in the future. And send your questions for Tyler Wells as well, as he will return to the show in two weeks to answer your questions. You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells Episode 6: Get to know: Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook.
  16. In this week's Get to Know 'Em podcast, Seth talked to Twins outfield prospect Matt Wallner about playing in Minnesota, at Southern Mississippi, being drafted by the Twins (twice) and more. Also, we had out Ten Minutes with Tyler (Wells) segment, which actually went about 15 minutes.Matt Wallner was the Twins Competitive Balance pick in 2019, the 39th overall pick in the 2019 draft. In 2016, the Forest Lake, MN, native was the Twins 32nd round pick but instead of signing, he went to Southern Mississippi where he became a three-time All American. We discussed several topics with him including his high school playing days, being Mr. Baseball in 2016, the draft(s) and beginning his professional career. We need a good name for our bi-weekly segment with Twins RHP prospect Tyler Wells. We went with Ten Minutes with Tyler. Well, we went about 15 minutes, but that's OK. We discussed several topics including losing minor league coordinators, what's going on at the Twins academy in the offseason, the 40-man roster, his status and rehab updates and more. 7:00 - Ten Minutes with Tyler 25:40 - Matt Wallner interview Leave questions or comments below on this podcast. Send me names of people you would like to see interviewed in the future. And send your questions for Tyler Wells as well, as he will return to the show in two weeks to answer your questions. You can subscribe to the Get to Know 'Em podcast on iTunes. or follow Libsyn for new episodes here as well. PAST EPISODES Episode 1: Get to know Niko Guardado (Actor and son of Eddie Guardado) Episode 2: Get to know Pat Dean, Brent Rooker Episode 3: Get to know Royce Lewis, AJ Achter Episode 4: Get to know Devin Smeltzer Episode 5: Get to know Jaylin Davis, Tyler Wells Episode 6: Get to know: Travis Blankenhorn, LaMonte Wade Please share your thoughts in the comments below. Not registered? Click here to create an account. To stay up to date, follow Twins Daily on Twitter and Facebook. Click here to view the article
  17. A list of previous winners of this award is comprised of an interesting trio. In 2016 it was the recently traded Lewin Diaz. Having broken out in a big way during 2019, he became a hot commodity and was the piece Miami coveted in exchange for big league reliever Sergio Romo. For his efforts in 2017 Akil Baddoo took home the honors. He played in just 29 games for High-A Fort Myers before needing season ending elbow surgery. Last year’s winner was Chris Williams who split time between Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers this season. The goal with the Short Season Hitter of the Year award is to put a focus on both the GCL and Elizabethton clubs. While promotions are great for players, only their exploits in those respective leagues are to be considered. The seasons are shorter and the stats obviously have less ability to accumulate, but these bats all made an immediate and powerful impact. Previous Winners: 2016: Lewin Diaz 2017: Akil Baddoo 2018: Chris Williams Stay tuned to Twins Daily for the announcements of the rest of the minor league awards in the coming days. Before we profile the top five, here’re the guys that rounded out the Short Season Hitter of the Year ballots. Others Receiving Votes: Jeferson Morales, GCL Twins: 26-110, .236/.373/.436, 7 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 16 RBI Seth Gray, Elizabethton Twins: 49-218, .225/.336/.445, 15 2B, 11 HR, 36 RBI Parker Phillips, GCL Twins/Elizabethton Twins: 54-204, .265/.367/.407, 9 2B, 3B, 6 HR, 26 RBI Short Season Hitter of the Year: Here are the top five players for the Twins Daily Short Season Hitter of the Year 5. Albee Weiss, Elizabethton Twins: 25-96, .260/.295/.604, 4 2B, 3B, 9 HR, 25 RBI Weiss was selected in the 23rd round of the 2018 MLB draft. He played the entire season last year at Elizabethton and mustered just a .610 OPS in 36 games. Repeating the level this year, his power played significantly higher and he parlayed that in to opportunities with both Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers. He’s split time between left field and first base during his professional career. 4. Max Smith, Elizabethton Twins: 61-213, .286/.353/.451, 12 2B, 3B, 7 HR, 28 RBI The Twins took Smith in the 31st round of the 2019 MLB draft out of UNLV. The Tucson, Arizona native was a senior sign and turned in a respectable debut season in pro ball. Power isn’t really his game, but seeing seven long balls show up in his first year is a nice development. A left-handed bat, he played primarily in left field for Elizabethton, but can man all three outfield spots. 3. Spencer Steer, Elizabethton Twins: 25-77, .325/.442/.506, 6 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 13 RBI Minnesota made the former Oregon Ducks shortstop their third-round pick in the most recent amateur draft. It’s not surprising that a talent taken that high would be better than the rookie ball level, but Steer proved it quickly. He hit on a nightly basis and left Elizabethton with a .949 OPS. Moving up to Cedar Rapids, he was an important cog for a team with postseason aspirations. This is definitely a player to watch in the Twins system going forward. 2. Wander Valdez, GCL Twins: 30-93, .323/.382/.516, 6 2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI Signed on the July 2 International Free Agent date back in 2016 as a 16-year-old, Valdez spent the past two seasons playing in the Dominican Summer League. In his first season on US soil the Twins got to see plenty of excitement from a talent they doled out a half-million to. Still young, power should be a developing aspect of the corner infielder’s game, but the impressive output during 29 games of GCL action is something to build off of. 1. Matt Wallner, Elizabethton Twins: 56-208, .269/.361/.451, 18 2B, 3B, 6 HR, 28 RBI A hometown star from Forest Lake, Minnesota, Wallner was grabbed by the Twins with their 39th overall selection in the most recent MLB draft. After three great seasons for Southern Mississippi, and a handful of shattered Conference USA records, it was time to go pro. Wallner has an electric arm, but was drafted as a hitter for Minnesota. The power stroke is something of a calling card for him, and putting him in the same system as 2017 draftee Brent Rooker gives Minnesota two of the most accomplished Division I ballplayers of recent memory. For the Golden Eagles Wallner hit at least 16 homers in each of his collegiate seasons, and topped out with 23 as a junior in 2019. He owned a career 1.113 OPS across 189 games in Conference USA and left his mark all over the program. Talking with Wallner after the draft in June, he mentioned the level of excitement being taken by his hometown team saying, “It’s a dream come true and can’t wait to get started with the Twins organization.” Wallner was actually selected by the Twins out of high school in the 32nd round, but the intention then was always to go to school. He mentioned comparisons of his power-lefty style to Justin Morneau, and Minnesota fans would be elated to see that replicate itself at the highest level. Wallner earned a late season promotion to Cedar Rapids, and has been involved in a postseason run that will no doubt help development and growth down the line through valuable experience. Matt has operated entirely as a right fielder for Minnesota, and continuing to see his power play from that role as he helps teams at different levels throughout his journey to the big leagues will be must-watch excitement. The Ballots In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs- 1) Matt Wallner 2) Max Smith 3) Seth Gray 4) Parker Phillips 5) Wander Valdez Tom Froemming- 1) Matt Wallner 2) Albee Weiss 3) Seth Gray 4) Jeferson Morales 5) Wander Valdez Cody Christie- 1) Wander Valdez 2) Matt Wallner 3) Max Smith 4) Spencer Steer 5) Jeferson Morales Matt Braun- 1) Spencer Steer 2) Wander Valdez 3) Jeferson Morales 4) Albee Weiss 5) Matt Wallner Ted Schwerzler- 1) Spencer Steer 2) Albee Weiss 3) Wander Valdez 4) Matt Wallner 5) Jeferson Morales Steve Lein- 1) Matt Wallner 2) Max Smith 3) Wander Valdez 4) Seth Gray 5) Jeferson Morales Feel free to discuss. What do you think of our rankings? How would you rank them? How would your ballot look?
  18. Following the completion of the Major League Baseball Amateur Draft, organizations kick off their short season leagues. For the Minnesota Twins, their Gulf Coast team stays at the southern headquarters in Fort Myers, while the Appalachian League Elizabethton Twins head out to Tennessee. Both teams had plenty of intriguing names on them this season, and kicking off the awards swing, it’s the Twins Daily 2019 Short Season Hitter of the Year.A list of previous winners of this award is comprised of an interesting trio. In 2016 it was the recently traded Lewin Diaz. Having broken out in a big way during 2019, he became a hot commodity and was the piece Miami coveted in exchange for big league reliever Sergio Romo. For his efforts in 2017 Akil Baddoo took home the honors. He played in just 29 games for High-A Fort Myers before needing season ending elbow surgery. Last year’s winner was Chris Williams who split time between Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers this season. The goal with the Short Season Hitter of the Year award is to put a focus on both the GCL and Elizabethton clubs. While promotions are great for players, only their exploits in those respective leagues are to be considered. The seasons are shorter and the stats obviously have less ability to accumulate, but these bats all made an immediate and powerful impact. Previous Winners: 2016: Lewin Diaz 2017: Akil Baddoo 2018: Chris Williams Stay tuned to Twins Daily for the announcements of the rest of the minor league awards in the coming days. Before we profile the top five, here’re the guys that rounded out the Short Season Hitter of the Year ballots. Others Receiving Votes: Jeferson Morales, GCL Twins: 26-110, .236/.373/.436, 7 2B, 3 3B, 3 HR, 16 RBISeth Gray, Elizabethton Twins: 49-218, .225/.336/.445, 15 2B, 11 HR, 36 RBIParker Phillips, GCL Twins/Elizabethton Twins: 54-204, .265/.367/.407, 9 2B, 3B, 6 HR, 26 RBIShort Season Hitter of the Year: Here are the top five players for the Twins Daily Short Season Hitter of the Year 5. Albee Weiss, Elizabethton Twins: 25-96, .260/.295/.604, 4 2B, 3B, 9 HR, 25 RBI Weiss was selected in the 23rd round of the 2018 MLB draft. He played the entire season last year at Elizabethton and mustered just a .610 OPS in 36 games. Repeating the level this year, his power played significantly higher and he parlayed that in to opportunities with both Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers. He’s split time between left field and first base during his professional career. 4. Max Smith, Elizabethton Twins: 61-213, .286/.353/.451, 12 2B, 3B, 7 HR, 28 RBI The Twins took Smith in the 31st round of the 2019 MLB draft out of UNLV. The Tucson, Arizona native was a senior sign and turned in a respectable debut season in pro ball. Power isn’t really his game, but seeing seven long balls show up in his first year is a nice development. A left-handed bat, he played primarily in left field for Elizabethton, but can man all three outfield spots. 3. Spencer Steer, Elizabethton Twins: 25-77, .325/.442/.506, 6 2B, 3B, 2 HR, 13 RBI Minnesota made the former Oregon Ducks shortstop their third-round pick in the most recent amateur draft. It’s not surprising that a talent taken that high would be better than the rookie ball level, but Steer proved it quickly. He hit on a nightly basis and left Elizabethton with a .949 OPS. Moving up to Cedar Rapids, he was an important cog for a team with postseason aspirations. This is definitely a player to watch in the Twins system going forward. 2. Wander Valdez, GCL Twins: 30-93, .323/.382/.516, 6 2B, 4 HR, 13 RBI Signed on the July 2 International Free Agent date back in 2016 as a 16-year-old, Valdez spent the past two seasons playing in the Dominican Summer League. In his first season on US soil the Twins got to see plenty of excitement from a talent they doled out a half-million to. Still young, power should be a developing aspect of the corner infielder’s game, but the impressive output during 29 games of GCL action is something to build off of. 1. Matt Wallner, Elizabethton Twins: 56-208, .269/.361/.451, 18 2B, 3B, 6 HR, 28 RBI A hometown star from Forest Lake, Minnesota, Wallner was grabbed by the Twins with their 39th overall selection in the most recent MLB draft. After three great seasons for Southern Mississippi, and a handful of shattered Conference USA records, it was time to go pro. Wallner has an electric arm, but was drafted as a hitter for Minnesota. The power stroke is something of a calling card for him, and putting him in the same system as 2017 draftee Brent Rooker gives Minnesota two of the most accomplished Division I ballplayers of recent memory. For the Golden Eagles Wallner hit at least 16 homers in each of his collegiate seasons, and topped out with 23 as a junior in 2019. He owned a career 1.113 OPS across 189 games in Conference USA and left his mark all over the program. Talking with Wallner after the draft in June, he mentioned the level of excitement being taken by his hometown team saying, “It’s a dream come true and can’t wait to get started with the Twins organization.” Wallner was actually selected by the Twins out of high school in the 32nd round, but the intention then was always to go to school. He mentioned comparisons of his power-lefty style to Justin Morneau, and Minnesota fans would be elated to see that replicate itself at the highest level. Wallner earned a late season promotion to Cedar Rapids, and has been involved in a postseason run that will no doubt help development and growth down the line through valuable experience. Matt has operated entirely as a right fielder for Minnesota, and continuing to see his power play from that role as he helps teams at different levels throughout his journey to the big leagues will be must-watch excitement. The Ballots In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs- 1) Matt Wallner 2) Max Smith 3) Seth Gray 4) Parker Phillips 5) Wander ValdezTom Froemming- 1) Matt Wallner 2) Albee Weiss 3) Seth Gray 4) Jeferson Morales 5) Wander ValdezCody Christie- 1) Wander Valdez 2) Matt Wallner 3) Max Smith 4) Spencer Steer 5) Jeferson MoralesMatt Braun- 1) Spencer Steer 2) Wander Valdez 3) Jeferson Morales 4) Albee Weiss 5) Matt WallnerTed Schwerzler- 1) Spencer Steer 2) Albee Weiss 3) Wander Valdez 4) Matt Wallner 5) Jeferson MoralesSteve Lein- 1) Matt Wallner 2) Max Smith 3) Wander Valdez 4) Seth Gray 5) Jeferson MoralesFeel free to discuss. What do you think of our rankings? How would you rank them? How would your ballot look? Click here to view the article
  19. AWARDS The Twins announced their weekly Hitter and Pitcher of the Week Hitter of the Week: Zander Wiel, Rochester In seven games for the Red Wings, Wiel hit .370 (10-for-27) with four doubles, three home runs, seven RBI, three walks and a 1.271 OPS. Wiel was selected in the 12th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Vanderbilt University. Pitcher of the Week: Cody Laweryson, Elizabethton Laweryson made the start on Monday vs. Greeneville, pitching 6.0 shutout innings with three hits allowed, no walks and 15 strikeouts. He was selected out fo the 14th round of the 2019 MLB Draft out of the University of Main at Orono. TRANSACTIONS OF Ian Miller had contracted selected by Minnesota. RHP Brusdar Graterol had contracted selected by Minnesota. RHP Zack Littell recalled by Minnesota. RHP Kohl Stewart recalled by Minnesota LHP Devin Smeltzer recalled by Minnesota LHP Lewis Thorpe recalled by Minnesota. C Willians Astudillo ended MLB rehab assignment and returned to Minnesota. RHP Sean Poppen returned from rehab assignment, recalled by Minnesota, and placed on the MLB 60-day Injured List. INF Yeltsin Encarnacion transferred from Ft. Myers to Rochester. RHP Alex Schick transferred from Cedar Rapids to Rochester. LHP Denny Bentley transferred from Elizabethton to Rochester. LHP Jeremy Bleich reinstated from the IL with Rochester. INF Anthony Prato promoted from Elizabethton to Cedar Rapids OF Byron Buxton has ended his rehab assignment with the Kernels RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Syracuse 7 (Final- 9 Innings, Rain) Box Score Rochester scored three runs in the seventh inning to tie the game before allowing four runs in the eighth inning to relinquish their advantage. In the seventh inning, Rochester plated three runs thanks to a double from Alejandro De Aza. Wilin Rosario would score in the next at-bat thanks to a wild pitch. Rochester tied the game at 3-3, but the bullpen saw that lead evaporate. With all of the roster shuffling, Preston Guilmet started and was asked to record only nine outs. He allowed three runs on four hits with three strikeouts. Denny Pentley took over and didn’t allow a hit in two innings of work. He struck out two and walked one. Ryan O’Rourke coughed up two of the late-inning runs and Jeremy Bleich also added another two runs allowed as Syracuse stretched their lead to 7-3. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 7, Montgomery 11 Box Score Pensacola’s potent offense tried to mount a late-inning comeback, but it wasn’t enough with the hole the pitching staff had dug. Charlie Barnes struggled through five innings for his fourth loss of the year at Double-A. He surrendered seven runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and two walks. The bullpen didn’t exactly help the situation for Barnes. Jonathan Cheshire did fine in his one inning of work. He didn’t allow any runs and he walked one and struck out one. Stephen Gonsalves struggled with three earned runs on two hits with the biggest hit being a home run. Alex Phillips didn’t stop the bleeding as he surrendered one run on two hits to end the eighth inning. Pensacola has already clinched a playoff spot, but the bullpen is going to need to have better outings if the club wants to find success in the postseason. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Beloit 1 Box Score Cedar Rapids plated four runs in the third inning and that turned out to be enough against the Beloit lineup that went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Kody Funderburk scattered five hits and allowed one earned run for his first Midwest League win. He struck out eight and walked two to lower his ERA to 4.68. Rickey Ramirez pitched the final three frames and limited the Snappers to two hits. He walked two and struck out one without allowing a run. Matt Wallner had the only extra-base hit of the night for the Kernels. He collected his third double since being promoted and drove in a run. In the third inning, Trevor Casanova was hit by a pitch before a Daniel Ozoria single moved him into scoring position. Gabe Snyder drove in the first run of the game before Wallner’s important double. A passed ball and a Seth Gray single plated enough runs to put the Kernels in the driver’s seat. The Midwest League playoffs begin on Wednesday night as Cedar Rapids hosts the Quad Cities River Bandits. First pitch on September 4 begins at 6:35 p.m. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Kody Funderburk, Cedar Rapids (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8 K, 2 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Ryan Costello, Pensacola (2-3, 3B, 3 RBI, R, BB) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) – 0-5, 2 K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – Did not play #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Minnesota) – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, K, 0 BB #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 2-4, 2 R, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 2-5, R, K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) – 1-4 #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 2-5, 2B, 2 R #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 K #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – 2-5, R, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Syracuse (12:05 CST) – TBD Pensacola @ Montgomery (12:05 CST) – RHP Bailey Ober (8-0, 0.71 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (2:00 CST) – RHP Luis Rijo (5-8, 2.86 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games.
  20. Welcome to the final Sunday of the minor league season. Granted multiple affiliates of the Twins could be playing postseason. However, there is still work to get done in the regular season and rosters took on a very different feel after September call-ups were made on Sunday. Can the higher levels of the minor league’s survive without some of their key players? You will have to read on to find out.AWARDS The Twins announced their weekly Hitter and Pitcher of the Week Hitter of the Week: Zander Wiel, RochesterIn seven games for the Red Wings, Wiel hit .370 (10-for-27) with four doubles, three home runs, seven RBI, three walks and a 1.271 OPS. Wiel was selected in the 12th round of the 2015 MLB Draft out of Vanderbilt University.Pitcher of the Week: Cody Laweryson, ElizabethtonLaweryson made the start on Monday vs. Greeneville, pitching 6.0 shutout innings with three hits allowed, no walks and 15 strikeouts. He was selected out fo the 14th round of the 2019 MLB Draft out of the University of Main at Orono. TRANSACTIONS OF Ian Miller had contracted selected by Minnesota. RHP Brusdar Graterol had contracted selected by Minnesota. RHP Zack Littell recalled by Minnesota. RHP Kohl Stewart recalled by Minnesota LHP Devin Smeltzer recalled by Minnesota LHP Lewis Thorpe recalled by Minnesota. C Willians Astudillo ended MLB rehab assignment and returned to Minnesota. RHP Sean Poppen returned from rehab assignment, recalled by Minnesota, and placed on the MLB 60-day Injured List. INF Yeltsin Encarnacion transferred from Ft. Myers to Rochester. RHP Alex Schick transferred from Cedar Rapids to Rochester. LHP Denny Bentley transferred from Elizabethton to Rochester. LHP Jeremy Bleich reinstated from the IL with Rochester. INF Anthony Prato promoted from Elizabethton to Cedar Rapids OF Byron Buxton has ended his rehab assignment with the Kernels RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3, Syracuse 7 (Final- 9 Innings, Rain) Box Score Rochester scored three runs in the seventh inning to tie the game before allowing four runs in the eighth inning to relinquish their advantage. In the seventh inning, Rochester plated three runs thanks to a double from Alejandro De Aza. Wilin Rosario would score in the next at-bat thanks to a wild pitch. Rochester tied the game at 3-3, but the bullpen saw that lead evaporate. With all of the roster shuffling, Preston Guilmet started and was asked to record only nine outs. He allowed three runs on four hits with three strikeouts. Denny Pentley took over and didn’t allow a hit in two innings of work. He struck out two and walked one. Ryan O’Rourke coughed up two of the late-inning runs and Jeremy Bleich also added another two runs allowed as Syracuse stretched their lead to 7-3. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 7, Montgomery 11 Box Score Pensacola’s potent offense tried to mount a late-inning comeback, but it wasn’t enough with the hole the pitching staff had dug. Charlie Barnes struggled through five innings for his fourth loss of the year at Double-A. He surrendered seven runs on nine hits with two strikeouts and two walks. The bullpen didn’t exactly help the situation for Barnes. Jonathan Cheshire did fine in his one inning of work. He didn’t allow any runs and he walked one and struck out one. Stephen Gonsalves struggled with three earned runs on two hits with the biggest hit being a home run. Alex Phillips didn’t stop the bleeding as he surrendered one run on two hits to end the eighth inning. Pensacola has already clinched a playoff spot, but the bullpen is going to need to have better outings if the club wants to find success in the postseason. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 5, Beloit 1 Box Score Cedar Rapids plated four runs in the third inning and that turned out to be enough against the Beloit lineup that went 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position. Kody Funderburk scattered five hits and allowed one earned run for his first Midwest League win. He struck out eight and walked two to lower his ERA to 4.68. Rickey Ramirez pitched the final three frames and limited the Snappers to two hits. He walked two and struck out one without allowing a run. Matt Wallner had the only extra-base hit of the night for the Kernels. He collected his third double since being promoted and drove in a run. In the third inning, Trevor Casanova was hit by a pitch before a Daniel Ozoria single moved him into scoring position. Gabe Snyder drove in the first run of the game before Wallner’s important double. A passed ball and a Seth Gray single plated enough runs to put the Kernels in the driver’s seat. The Midwest League playoffs begin on Wednesday night as Cedar Rapids hosts the Quad Cities River Bandits. First pitch on September 4 begins at 6:35 p.m. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY TD Pitcher of the Day- Kody Funderburk, Cedar Rapids (6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 8 K, 2 BB) TD Hitter of the Day- Ryan Costello, Pensacola (2-3, 3B, 3 RBI, R, BB) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) – 0-5, 2 K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) – Did not play #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Minnesota) – 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, K, 0 BB #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) – 2-4, 2 R, K #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) – 2-5, R, K #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) – 1-4 #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) – 2-5, 2B, 2 R #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, HR, 2 RBI, 3 K #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) – 2-5, R, K MONDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester vs. Syracuse (12:05 CST) – TBD Pensacola @ Montgomery (12:05 CST) – RHP Bailey Ober (8-0, 0.71 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (2:00 CST) – RHP Luis Rijo (5-8, 2.86 ERA) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Sunday’s games. 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  21. TRANSACTIONS RHP D.J. Baxendale activated from the 7 day IL at AAA Rochester RHP Edwar Colina transferred to AA Pensacola RHP Adam Bray placed on the 7 day IL at AA Pensacola 1B Chris Williams assigned to A Cedar Rapids from A+ Fort Myers C Kyle Schmidt placed on the 7 day IL at A Cedar Rapids OF Ian Miller will reportedly be called up by the Twins https://twitter.com/DWolfsonKSTP/status/1167892292977360897 RHP Brusdar Graterol will reportedly be called up by the Twins sometime in September https://twitter.com/StribSports/status/1167813663543234560 RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Syracuse 3 Box Score D.J. Baxendale: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Ramón Flores (2-for-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI), Tomás Telis (4-for-5, 2B, R), Wilin Rosario (2-for-5, R), Alejandro De Aza (2-for-5, 2B, RBI), Ronald Torreyes (2-for-3, R), Mike Miller (2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) The Red Wings ran a bullpen game against the Syracuse Mets who also ran a bullpen game. I’m sure every reliever got their steps in with all the pitching changes made in the game. Baxendale started the game and was able to go three innings for his first outing off the IL. Jake Reed picked up after him and was able to net seven outs with just one earned run. After Reed, potential call-ups Jorge Alcala and Fernando Romero combined for 11 outs and no earned runs to put the finishing touches on a well- pitched game. While the offense only scored five runs, there were many opportunities to expand that for the Red Wings as they had 16 hits total in the game. Telis was the big winner at the plate with his four hits but there were five other hitters with multi-hit games and every hitter except one had a hit. In total, the only thing that could stop the Red Wings from scoring was themselves as they had a runner on base in every inning except for the ninth. Naturally, there was no ninth because they were the home team and had the lead following the top of the ninth so the bottom of the ninth did not exist, a shame. BLUE WAHOO BITES No game MIRACLE MATTERS Season cancelled KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Beloit 1 Box Score Josh Winder: 4 ⅔ IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (2-for-4, 3B, 2 R) In the only other game that was played in the Twins’ system, their affiliate won again. How’s that for a clean sweep? Josh Winder started the game and continued his excellent season with just one lone earned run given up. His ERA on the year now stands at an excellent 2.65 and he should get a fair amount of consideration for the Twins Daily minor league pitcher of the year. The offense was not loud for the Kernels but it got the job done. A DaShawn Kiersey ground out in the fourth plated their first run of the game and a passed ball in the sixth scored Matt Wallner following his triple earlier in the inning. The lone run scoring base hit came from a seventh inning Spencer Steer single which gave the Kernels an insurance run that was not needed. Not to be out-shined by Winder’s start, Dylan Thomas and Jose Martinez worked in relief and nailed down the game with 4 1/3 scoreless innings combined. As a whole, Winder, Thomas, and Martinez combined for just one earned run and 13 strikeouts on the night. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Josh Winder Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Tomás Telis PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - No game #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - No Game #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Rochester) - Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - No game #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Cancelled season #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Cancelled season #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - No game #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Cancelled season #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - No game #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) - 0-for-1, K #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, 2 K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - No game #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) - 1 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - Season over #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - No game SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Syracuse @ Rochester (5:05 P.M.) - TBD Pensacola @ Montgomery (5:05 P.M.) - LHP Charlie Barnes Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (2:00 P.M.) - LHP Kody Funderburk Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games.
  22. Just two games in the system tonight as Pensacola prepares for their playoff push and the two Florida-based leagues were cancelled. Still, there was some action in the system and some potential theories regarding who will be called up to the majors with the expanded rosters. All that and more in this edition of the Minor League Report.TRANSACTIONS RHP D.J. Baxendale activated from the 7 day IL at AAA Rochester RHP Edwar Colina transferred to AA Pensacola RHP Adam Bray placed on the 7 day IL at AA Pensacola 1B Chris Williams assigned to A Cedar Rapids from A+ Fort Myers C Kyle Schmidt placed on the 7 day IL at A Cedar Rapids OF Ian Miller will reportedly be called up by the Twins RHP Brusdar Graterol will reportedly be called up by the Twins sometime in September RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 5, Syracuse 3 Box Score D.J. Baxendale: 3 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 0 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Ramón Flores (2-for-3, 2B, R, 2 RBI), Tomás Telis (4-for-5, 2B, R), Wilin Rosario (2-for-5, R), Alejandro De Aza (2-for-5, 2B, RBI), Ronald Torreyes (2-for-3, R), Mike Miller (2-for-4, 2B, R, RBI) The Red Wings ran a bullpen game against the Syracuse Mets who also ran a bullpen game. I’m sure every reliever got their steps in with all the pitching changes made in the game. Baxendale started the game and was able to go three innings for his first outing off the IL. Jake Reed picked up after him and was able to net seven outs with just one earned run. After Reed, potential call-ups Jorge Alcala and Fernando Romero combined for 11 outs and no earned runs to put the finishing touches on a well- pitched game. While the offense only scored five runs, there were many opportunities to expand that for the Red Wings as they had 16 hits total in the game. Telis was the big winner at the plate with his four hits but there were five other hitters with multi-hit games and every hitter except one had a hit. In total, the only thing that could stop the Red Wings from scoring was themselves as they had a runner on base in every inning except for the ninth. Naturally, there was no ninth because they were the home team and had the lead following the top of the ninth so the bottom of the ninth did not exist, a shame. BLUE WAHOO BITES No game MIRACLE MATTERS Season cancelled KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 3, Beloit 1 Box Score Josh Winder: 4 ⅔ IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 7 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Matt Wallner (2-for-4, 3B, 2 R) In the only other game that was played in the Twins’ system, their affiliate won again. How’s that for a clean sweep? Josh Winder started the game and continued his excellent season with just one lone earned run given up. His ERA on the year now stands at an excellent 2.65 and he should get a fair amount of consideration for the Twins Daily minor league pitcher of the year. The offense was not loud for the Kernels but it got the job done. A DaShawn Kiersey ground out in the fourth plated their first run of the game and a passed ball in the sixth scored Matt Wallner following his triple earlier in the inning. The lone run scoring base hit came from a seventh inning Spencer Steer single which gave the Kernels an insurance run that was not needed. Not to be out-shined by Winder’s start, Dylan Thomas and Jose Martinez worked in relief and nailed down the game with 4 1/3 scoreless innings combined. As a whole, Winder, Thomas, and Martinez combined for just one earned run and 13 strikeouts on the night. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Josh Winder Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Tomás Telis PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - No game #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - No Game #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Rochester) - Did not pitch #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - No game #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-for-4, K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Ft. Myers) - Cancelled season #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL Twins) - Cancelled season #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured list #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - No game #10 - Blayne Enlow (Ft. Myers) - Cancelled season #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Rochester) - Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured list #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - No game #14 - Luis Arraez (Twins) - 0-for-1, K #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 2-for-4, 3B, 2 R, 2 K #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - No game #17 - Akil Baddoo (Ft. Myers) - Out for year with Tommy John surgery #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) - 1 ⅔ IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL Twins) - Season over #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - No game SUNDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Syracuse @ Rochester (5:05 P.M.) - TBD Pensacola @ Montgomery (5:05 P.M.) - LHP Charlie Barnes Cedar Rapids @ Beloit (2:00 P.M.) - LHP Kody Funderburk Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Saturday’s games. Click here to view the article
  23. Jhoan Duran was having a tough first taste of Double-A action, but everything seemed to click tonight. Duran carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, Blayne Enlow picked up a win in his return from the IL, Matt Wallner hit his first homer with the Kernels and Seth Gray walked it off for E-Town. Come see what else happened Friday.TRANSACTIONS RHP Blayne Enlow was activated off the IL and started for Fort Myers. IF Jake Hirabayashi was assigned to Cedar Rapids while the Kernels placed 2B Yunior Severino on the IL with a thigh strain. Elizabethton transferred RHP Casey Legumina on the 60-day IL retroactive 8/22. The GCL Twins transferred OF Bryson Gandy to the 60-day IL. RED WINGS REPORT Syracuse 5, Rochester 1 Box Score Randy Dobnak: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 57.6% strikes (49 of 85 pitches) HR: Ramon Flores (3) Multi-hit games: None Willians Astudillo started this game at third base and finished it in right field. He was also 1-for-4 with a strikeout. It was a quiet night for the Red Wings lineup, as Ramon Flores’ home run was their only extra-base hit. Randy Dobnak pitched well enough to give Rochester a chance, holding the Mets to two runs over five innings. Fernando Romero had a tough night in relief, walking three batters and giving up three runs in his inning of work. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 3, Jackson 2 Box Score Jhoan Duran: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Royce Lewis (3-for-4, 3 2Bs), Travis Blankenhorn (2-for-4, 2B) Jhoan Duran entered this game with a 7.13 ERA over his first 24 innings with Pensacola. He did a 180, got pointed in the right direction and was an absolute beast tonight for the Blue Wahoos. Duran carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, completed eight shutout innings and struck out 11 batters in what was an eye-opening performance. We’re getting very late in the minor league season, so it would be great to see him finish strong. Tonight was certainly a giant leap toward that direction. For most of Duran’s outing, he was protecting a one-run lead. Travis Blankenhorn hit an RBI double in the second inning and that was it through six frames. In the seventh, the rehabbing LaMonte Wade hit an RBI double and scored on a Royce Lewis double, one of three two-baggers for Royce on the evening. Those insurance runs proved to be massive, as Jackson rallied back to score two runs in the top of the ninth. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 8, Palm Beach 3 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 5.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 65.9% strikes (56 of 85 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (2-for-4, 2 2Bs, BB), Yelstin Encarnacion (2-for-4, BB) Fort Myers jumped all over Palm Beach, scoring three runs in the first inning and five more in the second. That created a low-stress return to the mound for Blayne Enlow, who was making his first start since Aug. 10. Enlow picked up the victory after throwing 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball. Four different Miracle hitters reached safely three times in this game. Jose Miranda had a pair of doubles and a walk. Yelstin Encarnacion also had two hits and a walk. Gabriel Maciel had a double and drew a pair of walks while Andrew Bechtold also had a hit and walked twice. KERNELS NUGGETS Clinton 6, Cedar Rapids 3 Box Score Tyler Palm: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 60.3% strikes (47 of 78 pitches) HR: Matt Wallner (1) Multi-hit games: Wallner (2-for-4, 2B, HR, HBP), Wander Javier (2-for-4, BB) Matt Wallner hit his first home run with the Kernels, his seventh on the season overall. Wander Javier reached base safely three times, but the rest of the Cedar Rapids lineup struggled to get much going. This was a tight game through most of the middle innings, thanks to a couple of clean frames from Austin Schulfer, but Clinton tallied two runs in the eighth and the Kernels could not answer. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 6, Danville 5 Box Score Owen Griffith: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K HR: Seth Gray (10), Charles Mack (7) Multi-hit games: Gray (3-for-5, 2B, HR), Kidany Salva (2-for-4) E-Town entered the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 5-4, but Willie Jo Garry Jr. sparked a rally with a one-out single. He advanced to second base on a wild pitch before Ruben Santana walked. Seth Gray stepped to the plate with the Twins down to their final out. He delivered a walk-off two-run double. Gray, the Twins fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, also hit his 10th home run, becoming just the fourth Appy League hitter to reach double digits in dingers this season. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Red Sox 1, GCL Twins 0 (8 innings) Box Score Jesus Toledo: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The GCL Twins got just two hits in this game, both singles. The rehabbing Luke Raley accounted for one of them. He also had an outfield assist. Jesus Toledo struggled with his control, walking three batters, but he managed to pitch three scoreless innings. Junior Navas followed suit with three shutout innings of his own before Niall Windeler pitched a scoreless seventh. The only run of this game was scored on a solo homer by the Red Sox in the bottom of the eighth inning. This game actually ended on a single to the next batter, as it was called early due to weather. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Jhoan Duran, Pensacola Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Seth Gray, Elizabethton TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis (PNS): 3-for-4, 3 2Bs, RBI 2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 1-for-4, E (fielding) 4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 1-for-3, BB, K 5. Wander Javier (CR): 2-for-4, BB, R 7: Keoni Cavaco (GCL): 0-for-4, 2 K 9. Jhoan Duran (PNS): 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K 10. Blayne Enlow (FM): 5.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 65.9% strikes (56 of 85 pitches) 13. Ryan Jeffers (PNS): 1-for-4, 2B, R, K 15. Matt Wallner (CR): 2-for-4, HR, 2B, HBP, R, 3 RBIs 18. Jorge Alcala (ROC): 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 40% strikes (2 of 5) 20. Travis Blankenhorn (PNS): 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Syracuse, 6:05 pm CT (TBD) Pensacola vs. Jackson, 6:05 pm CT (Bryan Sammons) Fort Myers at Palm Beach, 4:30 pm CT (Chris Vallimont) Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria, 6:35 pm CT (Andrew Cabezas) Elizabethton vs. Danville, 5:30 pm CT (TBD) GCL Twins vs. GCL Red Sox, 9:00 am CT (TBD) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games. Click here to view the article
  24. TRANSACTIONS RHP Blayne Enlow was activated off the IL and started for Fort Myers. IF Jake Hirabayashi was assigned to Cedar Rapids while the Kernels placed 2B Yunior Severino on the IL with a thigh strain. Elizabethton transferred RHP Casey Legumina on the 60-day IL retroactive 8/22. The GCL Twins transferred OF Bryson Gandy to the 60-day IL. RED WINGS REPORT Syracuse 5, Rochester 1 Box Score Randy Dobnak: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 57.6% strikes (49 of 85 pitches) HR: Ramon Flores (3) Multi-hit games: None Willians Astudillo started this game at third base and finished it in right field. He was also 1-for-4 with a strikeout. It was a quiet night for the Red Wings lineup, as Ramon Flores’ home run was their only extra-base hit. Randy Dobnak pitched well enough to give Rochester a chance, holding the Mets to two runs over five innings. Fernando Romero had a tough night in relief, walking three batters and giving up three runs in his inning of work. BLUE WAHOO BITES Pensacola 3, Jackson 2 Box Score Jhoan Duran: 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K HR: None Multi-hit games: Royce Lewis (3-for-4, 3 2Bs), Travis Blankenhorn (2-for-4, 2B) Jhoan Duran entered this game with a 7.13 ERA over his first 24 innings with Pensacola. He did a 180, got pointed in the right direction and was an absolute beast tonight for the Blue Wahoos. Duran carried a no-hitter into the seventh inning, completed eight shutout innings and struck out 11 batters in what was an eye-opening performance. We’re getting very late in the minor league season, so it would be great to see him finish strong. Tonight was certainly a giant leap toward that direction. For most of Duran’s outing, he was protecting a one-run lead. Travis Blankenhorn hit an RBI double in the second inning and that was it through six frames. In the seventh, the rehabbing LaMonte Wade hit an RBI double and scored on a Royce Lewis double, one of three two-baggers for Royce on the evening. Those insurance runs proved to be massive, as Jackson rallied back to score two runs in the top of the ninth. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 8, Palm Beach 3 Box Score Blayne Enlow: 5.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 65.9% strikes (56 of 85 pitches) HR: None Multi-hit games: Jose Miranda (2-for-4, 2 2Bs, BB), Yelstin Encarnacion (2-for-4, BB) Fort Myers jumped all over Palm Beach, scoring three runs in the first inning and five more in the second. That created a low-stress return to the mound for Blayne Enlow, who was making his first start since Aug. 10. Enlow picked up the victory after throwing 5 1/3 innings of one-run ball. Four different Miracle hitters reached safely three times in this game. Jose Miranda had a pair of doubles and a walk. Yelstin Encarnacion also had two hits and a walk. Gabriel Maciel had a double and drew a pair of walks while Andrew Bechtold also had a hit and walked twice. KERNELS NUGGETS Clinton 6, Cedar Rapids 3 Box Score Tyler Palm: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 1 BB, 4 K, 60.3% strikes (47 of 78 pitches) HR: Matt Wallner (1) Multi-hit games: Wallner (2-for-4, 2B, HR, HBP), Wander Javier (2-for-4, BB) Matt Wallner hit his first home run with the Kernels, his seventh on the season overall. Wander Javier reached base safely three times, but the rest of the Cedar Rapids lineup struggled to get much going. This was a tight game through most of the middle innings, thanks to a couple of clean frames from Austin Schulfer, but Clinton tallied two runs in the eighth and the Kernels could not answer. E-TWINS E-NOTES Elizabethton 6, Danville 5 Box Score Owen Griffith: 2.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 2 BB, 3 K HR: Seth Gray (10), Charles Mack (7) Multi-hit games: Gray (3-for-5, 2B, HR), Kidany Salva (2-for-4) E-Town entered the bottom of the ninth inning trailing 5-4, but Willie Jo Garry Jr. sparked a rally with a one-out single. He advanced to second base on a wild pitch before Ruben Santana walked. Seth Gray stepped to the plate with the Twins down to their final out. He delivered a walk-off two-run double. https://twitter.com/ETwinsBaseball/status/1165078543585427456 Gray, the Twins fourth-round pick in this year’s draft, also hit his 10th home run, becoming just the fourth Appy League hitter to reach double digits in dingers this season. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Red Sox 1, GCL Twins 0 (8 innings) Box Score Jesus Toledo: 3.0 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 3 BB, 2 K HR: None Multi-hit games: None The GCL Twins got just two hits in this game, both singles. The rehabbing Luke Raley accounted for one of them. He also had an outfield assist. Jesus Toledo struggled with his control, walking three batters, but he managed to pitch three scoreless innings. Junior Navas followed suit with three shutout innings of his own before Niall Windeler pitched a scoreless seventh. The only run of this game was scored on a solo homer by the Red Sox in the bottom of the eighth inning. This game actually ended on a single to the next batter, as it was called early due to weather. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day: Jhoan Duran, Pensacola Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day: Seth Gray, Elizabethton TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Top 20 Prospects performed: 1. Royce Lewis (PNS): 3-for-4, 3 2Bs, RBI 2. Alex Kirilloff (PNS): 1-for-4, E (fielding) 4. Trevor Larnach (PNS): 1-for-3, BB, K 5. Wander Javier (CR): 2-for-4, BB, R 7: Keoni Cavaco (GCL): 0-for-4, 2 K 9. Jhoan Duran (PNS): 8.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 11 K 10. Blayne Enlow (FM): 5.1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 2 BB, 4 K, 65.9% strikes (56 of 85 pitches) 13. Ryan Jeffers (PNS): 1-for-4, 2B, R, K 15. Matt Wallner (CR): 2-for-4, HR, 2B, HBP, R, 3 RBIs 18. Jorge Alcala (ROC): 0.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 0 K, 40% strikes (2 of 5) 20. Travis Blankenhorn (PNS): 2-for-4, 2B, RBI, K SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Syracuse, 6:05 pm CT (TBD) Pensacola vs. Jackson, 6:05 pm CT (Bryan Sammons) Fort Myers at Palm Beach, 4:30 pm CT (Chris Vallimont) Cedar Rapids vs. Peoria, 6:35 pm CT (Andrew Cabezas) Elizabethton vs. Danville, 5:30 pm CT (TBD) GCL Twins vs. GCL Red Sox, 9:00 am CT (TBD) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss the games.
  25. TRANSACTIONS Rochester Cibney Bello joins coaching staff as assistant pitching coach C Willians Astudillo rehab assignment transferred from Pensacola RHP Zack Littell optioned by Minnesota LHP Jeremy Bleich placed on IL with hamstring strain Fort Myers OF Gilberto Celestino promoted from Cedar Rapids INF Michael Davis placed on IL with meniscus tear Cedar Rapids OF Matt Wallner promoted from Elizabethton RED WINGS REPORT Buffalo 7, Rochester 4 Box Score Charlie Barnes had the starting duties for Rochester tonight. He recorded one out in the fifth inning and gave up four runs (three earned) on seven hits while walking two and doubling that amount in strikeouts. Down 4-0 by the middle of the fifth inning, it would be on the home team to mount a comeback. Wilin Rosario continued his hot hitting with his 22nd double to open up the scoring in the eighth. Zander Wiel then roped his 34th double to drive in two, pulled the Red Wings within one. Unfortunately three Bison batters scored in the top of the ninth, and a Rosario RBI single in the bottom half was all Rochester could muster. Likely eyeing a September return to the Twins, Willians Astudillo went 1-for-5 with an RBI in this one. Brusdar Graterol worked two innings of relief. He struck out three, walked one, and gave up a single. It’s a double dose of Stewart on the mound in the series finale tomorrow night. https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/1164358776369156101 BLUE WAHOOS BITES Pensacola 8, Mississippi 2 Box Score Bailey Ober is having one of the best seasons on the Twins farm, and you still may not know it. He made his second Double-A start tonight and turned in seven-shutout innings of three-hit ball while fanning 12 and walking none. He’s now 2-0 with Pensacola and owns a 0.64 ERA. With their starter on cruise control, the Wahoos lineup went to work. A three-run third featured RBIs from the prospect trio of Alex Kirilloff, Royce Lewis, and Trevor Larnach. Mark Contreras and Jimmy Kerrigan went back-to-back in the 4th before Larnach drove in two more. The fourth inning came to a close and Pensacola was already on top 7-0. The Wahoos added an insurance tally in the eighth that was wiped out by two from the Braves in the bottom half. That’s where this one finished though. Early offense and dominant starting pitching was the theme. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 7, Charlotte 5 Box Score Tyler Watson wasn’t exactly economical tonight for the Miracle, but he was good in what he gave them. Needing 84 pitches to make it through four innings turned it into a short outing. He left with a no-hitter though, and had struck out six while walking three. The Miracle bats came ready to work tonight as well. Pushing across seven runs on eleven hits, they scored in four straight innings from the fourth through the seventh. Brian Schales notched an RBI single to grab the game's first lead, and a Jacob Pearson double knotted it at two in the fifth. Ernie De La Trinidad tallied an RBI single in the sixth, and then Schales grabbed his first double to drive in two in the seventh. De La Trinidad added another on a sac fly before a Yeltsin Encarnacion single pushed the margin to five. Facing a very good Stone Crabs team the Miracle would need to hang on until the end. Three runs came across between the eighth and ninth, but the opposing rally ended two runs short. Phenom Wander Franco got his in a 2-for-3 night, but Schales and newly promoted Gilberto Celestino matched the effort. Celestino led off in his first Florida State game, and he turned in a 3-for-5 effort with two runs and a double. KERNELS NUGGETS Clinton 9, Cedar Rapids 0 Box Score Luis Rijo has been nothing short of lights out all season, but Clinton figured him out in this one. He lasted just one out into the sixth inning and had given up five runs (all earned) on seven hits. The lone bright spot was a 7/0 K/BB ratio on the evening. Cedar Rapids got behind by three in the first, and then allowed a six run inning in the sixth to seal the deal. The Kernels only put three hits on the board tonight, so not much of a comeback could’ve been expected. Recently promoted 2019 draft pick Matt Wallner picked up a hit in his second at-bat, and drew the start in right, batting sixth. E-TWINS E-NOTES Johnson City 3, Elizabethton 2 Box Score After Brent Headrick opened with an inning of scoreless work, Ryan Shreve got the next 4 2/3 innings. He gave up just a single run on five hits while walking two and striking out three. Elizabethton held Johnson City to just three runs, and outhit them seven to six, but the rally run never came. Kidany Salva launched his third homer of the year to open the scoring in the third, and Seth Gray knocked another in on a sac fly. After giving back a run in the sixth, the Twins watched the lead evaporate on a two-run Cardinals eighth. Only four E-Twins batters would come to the plate in the ninth, and Ruben Santana couldn’t advance beyond his two-out single. GCL TWINS TAKES GCL Orioles 2, GCL Twins 0 Box Score Still working his way back on a rehab assignment, Stephen Gonsalves began this one on the mound. He turned in two strong innings allowing a single hit, fanning four, and walking none. He’s missed a significant amount of time this season, but is looking closer and closer to making a return. The Twins squad tallied just four hits, and Alec Craig was responsible for two of them out of the leadoff spot. Keoni Cavaco was back in the lineup after dealing with a quad injury, however he was lifted after an 0-3 start. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Bailey Ober (Pensacola) 7.0 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 12 K Hitter of the Day – Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 3-5, 3 RBI PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed: #1 - Royce Lewis (Pensacola) - 2-4, 2B, R, RBI, BB, 2 K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Pensacola) - 2-4, 2 R, RBI, BB #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Rochester) - 2.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 3 K #4 - Trevor Larnach (Pensacola) - 3-5, 3 RBI #5 - Wander Javier (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, 2 K #6 - Jordan Balazovic (Fort Myers) - Did not pitch #7 - Keoni Cavaco (GCL) - 0-3, K #8 - Brent Rooker (Rochester) - Injured List (groin) #9 - Jhoan Duran (Pensacola) - Did not pitch #10 - Blayne Enlow (Fort Myers) - Injured List (hamstring) #11 - Lewis Thorpe (Minnesota) - Did not pitch #12 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - Injured List (leg contusion) #13 - Ryan Jeffers (Pensacola) - 0-5, K #14 - Luis Arraez (Minnesota) - 0-3, K #15 - Matt Wallner (Cedar Rapids) - 1-3 #16 - Ben Rortvedt (Pensacola) - Did not play #17 - Akil Baddoo (Fort Myers) - Injured List (Tommy John surgery) #18 - Jorge Alcala (Rochester) - Did not pitch #19 - Misael Urbina (DSL) - 2-3, 2B, R, RBI, BB #20 - Travis Blankenhorn (Pensacola) - Did not play THURSDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Buffalo @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) - RHP Kohl Stewart (7-5, 5.56 ERA) Pensacola @ Mississippi (6:35PM CST) - TBD Charlotte @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - RHP Jordan Balazovic (6-2, 2.98 ERA) Cedar Rapids @ Clinton (6:30PM CST) - RHP Matt Canterino (1-0, 0.90 ERA) Elizabethton @ Johnson City (5:30PM CST) - TBD GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00AM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Wednesday’s games!
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