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  1. LaMonte Wade, Akil Baddoo, and Nick Anderson have all gone on to find success with other organizations. Teams need to be strong when it comes to scouting, so do the Twins have an issue when it comes to scouting their own talent? There’s no question that successful organizations need to have a strong scouting department. It is the job of this group to find talent at any level and decide if those players are a good fit for an organization. One undervalued scouting skill might be the ability of an organization to evaluate their own talent and decide which pieces are most critical for an organization’s long-term success. Unfortunately, these three players have all found success with other organizations without getting a long look at the big-league level by the Twins. Akil Baddoo, Detroit Tigers Minnesota drafted Baddoo in the second round back in 2016 and he played his first four professional seasons in the organization. Back in 2019, he topped out at High-A where he hit .214/.290/.393 in 29 games. Entering the 2021 season, he didn’t have an at-bat at the Double-A level and the lost 2020 season certainly took away some development time, so the Twins left him unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft. Now, it’s looking like the Twins might have given up on him too soon. Detroit is in rebuild mode so they can afford to take some chances in the Rule 5 Draft, and they were willing to give Baddoo a shot at the big-league level. His hot start to the season was well documented as he had a 1.024 OPS through his first 15 games. He may not be getting the hype he was at season’s start, but he entered play on Monday with a 142 OPS+ while leading the American League in triples. Minnesota had a lot of minor league outfield depth, but Baddoo is looking more like he can be a contributor for years to come. LaMonte Wade Jr., San Francisco Giants Wade was a ninth-round pick by the Twins in the 2015 MLB Draft and the Twins had used him throughout parts of the 2019 and 2020 season. In those two years, he compiled an 87 OPS+ in 42 games and he looked to have a shot at making the 2021 Twins. The decision came down to picking Wade or Jake Cave as the team’s fourth outfielder. Minnesota was able to trade Wade to the Giants in exchange for Shaun Anderson, who was recently claimed off waivers by the Rangers. It was a deal that couldn’t have gone more poorly for the Twins. In his age-27 season, Wade has found a role with the Giants, the first team to 50 wins this season. Through his first 28 games, he has posted a 136 OPS+ while playing all three outfield positions and first base. Cave compiled a 43 OPS+ in 31 games this year before ending up on the 60-day injured list with a stress reaction in his lower back. Wade is finding big-league success on one of baseball’s best teams while the Twins have been forced to shuffle through a variety of outfielders. Nick Anderson, Tampa Bay Rays Anderson, a Minnesota native, had to work his way into professional baseball after attending college at Mayville State University in North Dakota. The Twins signed him out of independent baseball and used him as a reliever in four different seasons as he topped out at Triple-A. In November 2018, the Twins traded him to the Miami Marlins for Brian Schales and Anderson has pitched at the big-league level ever since that deal. Anderson was a critical piece of the Rays bullpen that drove them to the 2020 World Series. Throughout the 2019-20 seasons, he has combined for a 155 ERA+ with a 0.96 WHIP and 15 SO/9. His 2021 season hasn’t started yet as he recovers from a partial torn ligament in his right elbow. The injury didn’t require surgery and he is supposed to return for the season’s second half. This will be a welcome boost to a Rays club that is fighting for an AL East crown. He would also be a welcome addition to a Twins bullpen that has seen it’s fair share of struggles this season. It’s great to see these players writing their own success story, but it’s too bad those achievements didn’t come in a Twins uniform. Minnesota needs to hang on to players like these that can add to their organizational depth and that process might start with looking in the mirror at their own self-scouting. Do you think the Twins have a self-scouting issue? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  2. There’s no question that successful organizations need to have a strong scouting department. It is the job of this group to find talent at any level and decide if those players are a good fit for an organization. One undervalued scouting skill might be the ability of an organization to evaluate their own talent and decide which pieces are most critical for an organization’s long-term success. Unfortunately, these three players have all found success with other organizations without getting a long look at the big-league level by the Twins. Akil Baddoo, Detroit Tigers Minnesota drafted Baddoo in the second round back in 2016 and he played his first four professional seasons in the organization. Back in 2019, he topped out at High-A where he hit .214/.290/.393 in 29 games. Entering the 2021 season, he didn’t have an at-bat at the Double-A level and the lost 2020 season certainly took away some development time, so the Twins left him unprotected in the Rule 5 Draft. Now, it’s looking like the Twins might have given up on him too soon. Detroit is in rebuild mode so they can afford to take some chances in the Rule 5 Draft, and they were willing to give Baddoo a shot at the big-league level. His hot start to the season was well documented as he had a 1.024 OPS through his first 15 games. He may not be getting the hype he was at season’s start, but he entered play on Monday with a 142 OPS+ while leading the American League in triples. Minnesota had a lot of minor league outfield depth, but Baddoo is looking more like he can be a contributor for years to come. LaMonte Wade Jr., San Francisco Giants Wade was a ninth-round pick by the Twins in the 2015 MLB Draft and the Twins had used him throughout parts of the 2019 and 2020 season. In those two years, he compiled an 87 OPS+ in 42 games and he looked to have a shot at making the 2021 Twins. The decision came down to picking Wade or Jake Cave as the team’s fourth outfielder. Minnesota was able to trade Wade to the Giants in exchange for Shaun Anderson, who was recently claimed off waivers by the Rangers. It was a deal that couldn’t have gone more poorly for the Twins. In his age-27 season, Wade has found a role with the Giants, the first team to 50 wins this season. Through his first 28 games, he has posted a 136 OPS+ while playing all three outfield positions and first base. Cave compiled a 43 OPS+ in 31 games this year before ending up on the 60-day injured list with a stress reaction in his lower back. Wade is finding big-league success on one of baseball’s best teams while the Twins have been forced to shuffle through a variety of outfielders. Nick Anderson, Tampa Bay Rays Anderson, a Minnesota native, had to work his way into professional baseball after attending college at Mayville State University in North Dakota. The Twins signed him out of independent baseball and used him as a reliever in four different seasons as he topped out at Triple-A. In November 2018, the Twins traded him to the Miami Marlins for Brian Schales and Anderson has pitched at the big-league level ever since that deal. Anderson was a critical piece of the Rays bullpen that drove them to the 2020 World Series. Throughout the 2019-20 seasons, he has combined for a 155 ERA+ with a 0.96 WHIP and 15 SO/9. His 2021 season hasn’t started yet as he recovers from a partial torn ligament in his right elbow. The injury didn’t require surgery and he is supposed to return for the season’s second half. This will be a welcome boost to a Rays club that is fighting for an AL East crown. He would also be a welcome addition to a Twins bullpen that has seen it’s fair share of struggles this season. It’s great to see these players writing their own success story, but it’s too bad those achievements didn’t come in a Twins uniform. Minnesota needs to hang on to players like these that can add to their organizational depth and that process might start with looking in the mirror at their own self-scouting. Do you think the Twins have a self-scouting issue? 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
  3. Wednesday was about as ugly as it gets. After giving away the game to Houston on Tuesday, Minnesota watched their Postseason hopes go up in flames, for an 18th consecutive loss. Now out of the end-of-season-tournament, how can we put a Twins spin on the great baseball action still left? If you missed what the San Diego Padres did yesterday afternoon and into the evening, that’s really too bad. It’s performances like those that define October baseball. The Twins are out of it, and so are countless other teams. In fact, the entirety of the AL Central is now eliminated. That doesn’t mean there aren’t avenues to pull for guys that once made an impact in a Minnesota uniform. Ryan Pressly – Houston Astros This one is tough personally because Ryan and his wife Kat are people I’ve gotten to know. They are both awesome individuals, and Ryan evolving into one of the game’s best relievers has been fun to see. Watching him take his abilities to a whole new level in embracing different techniques in Houston was also exciting. The downside is that he’s teammates with Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, and Jose Altuve. I can get past them having just beaten the Twins, and I can even move on from the fact that those guys cheated so substantially. What rubs me the wrong way is that the trio remains brazen, unapologetic, and completely aloof when it comes to their public perception. Ryan, go shove, but the rest of the Astros can shove it. Liam Hendriks and Robbie Grossman – Oakland Athletics Hendriks is hardly a secret anymore. He’s been one of baseball’s best relievers for a number of years, and some new hardware should be coming his way for the performance in 2020. Recently fresh off defeating the Chicago White Sox, there’s plenty to like about that outcome as well. Grossman went from a disaster year defensively with the Twins to a complete turnaround and one of the better glue guys in baseball. He’s not a household name, and while he’s always going to be an OBP-guru, he’ll never rack up the accolades. Both are extremely easy to root for, however. Go Athletics! Aaron Hicks – New York Yankees It’ll be a cold day in hell before I every cheer for the Yankees in a baseball game. That said, former top prospect Aaron Hicks remains among my favorite to follow around the game. He’s been great with New York when healthy, and although it crushed the Twins, the diving catch he made to steal a game winning hit from Max Kepler last summer was nothing short of amazing. Go Aaron, boo Yankees. Nick Anderson – Tampa Bay Rays A first-class organization is always easy to pull for, and the Rays are in the driver’s seat this season as a one seed. Nick Anderson is someone I touch on constantly through Twitter as it still irks me that Derek Falvey let this one get away. The former Twins prospect was tearing up Triple-A and was never given a chance to even flash his stuff at the big-league level. Instead he’s gone on to become one of the nastiest relievers in all of baseball. He’s a Minnesota native, and would’ve looked great in the Twins baby blues. Hopefully, he’s part of a Rays squad that downs the Evil Empire. Brandon Kintzler – Miami Marlins What a season it has been for this team. They needed to basically reconstruct an entire roster just days into an already weird year, and then made the Postseason despite being expected to perform as somewhat of a bottom feeder. Kintzler closed out games for the Twins a couple of years ago and is now doing the same for Miami. He was under-appreciated here and always seemed like a good due. Certainly not going to blow the ball by anyone, but he can serve up ground balls with the best of them. This is a Cinderella story I can get behind. Brusdar Graterol – Los Angeles Dodgers Kenta Maeda came over to the Twins and performed like an absolute ace. There’s nothing wrong with both teams benefitting from a good trade, and it seems like that’s what at play here. Minnesota’s former top pitching prospect closed out a series win following Clayton Kershaw last night. He throws 100 and is always smiling. The Bazooka is a level-headed kid that’s going to see plenty more success. The Dodgers are the favorites, and with good reason. If you want to get behind a near sure thing, this is your team. For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz
  4. Not all minor leaguers are top prspects,, but once given an opportunity, you never know what will happen. Our guests today weren't first-round picks, but they have found themselves in good positions, worked hard and found success in their young careers. Austin Schulfer and Caleb Hamilton are climbing the ladder, and they're trying to get to the big leagues where our third guest, Nick Anderson reached in 2019. Anderson wasn't a prospect. He came through the independent leagues and gives hope and motivation to all minor leaguers that if they work hard and things break right, the big-league dream is out there for anyone. Austin Schulfer was the Twins 19th round draft pick in 2018 out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he set several pitching records. He spent the 2019 season with the Cedar Rapids Kernels where he worked five innings in a combined no-hitter. Off the field, he has developed a large gamer following on his Twitch TV link. (his interview begins at the 12:30 mark) http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_8.mp3 Caleb Hamilton was the Twins 23rd round pick in 2016 out of Oregon State. It was the second time he had been drafted, but his journey (which involved a AA All Star appearance and reached AAA in 2019) hasn't always been smooth. Find out about his trek, his long-time relationship with now-former Twins catching coordinator Tanner Swanson, playing at Oregon State, becoming a catcher and working with some of the very hard-throwing Twins pitching prospects. (39:35 mark) http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_8.mp3 Nick Anderson's story is pretty incredible. Born in Crosby, Minnesota, he attended Brainerd High School. He played three years at St. Cloud State before heading to Mayville State for his senior year. He was drafted by the Brewers but never offered a contract. He played independent ball until the Twins signed him late in the 2015 season. He moved up the organizational ladder and pitched well in 2018 at Rochester. In his offseasons, he worked construction in Minnesota winters. He didn't receive a September call-up and instead of adding him to their 40-man roster, the Twins drafted the hard-throwing right-hander to the Miami Marlins. He made the Opening Day roster and pitched well. At the trade deadline, he was sent to the Tampa Bay Rays where he struck out 17.3 batters per nine innings. He became a reliable late-inning arm for the Rays in their playoff run. We talked to him about being traded, making the Marlins roster, finding success, getting traded and much more. (1:16:10 mark) http://traffic.libsyn.com/sethstohs/GTKE_Podcast_Ep_8.mp3 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 Episode 7: Get to know: Matt Wallner (and Ten Minutes with Tyler Wells) 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.
  5. In this week's episode, we get to know two current Twins minor leaguers and a former Twins minor leaguer who became one of the most dominant relief pitchers in baseball in 2019. Get to know right-handed pitcher Austin Schulfer, catcher Caleb Hamilton and right-handed pitcher of the Tampa Bay Rays, Nick Anderson.Not all minor leaguers are top prspects,, but once given an opportunity, you never know what will happen. Our guests today weren't first-round picks, but they have found themselves in good positions, worked hard and found success in their young careers. Austin Schulfer and Caleb Hamilton are climbing the ladder, and they're trying to get to the big leagues where our third guest, Nick Anderson reached in 2019. Anderson wasn't a prospect. He came through the independent leagues and gives hope and motivation to all minor leaguers that if they work hard and things break right, the big-league dream is out there for anyone. Austin Schulfer was the Twins 19th round draft pick in 2018 out of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee where he set several pitching records. He spent the 2019 season with the Cedar Rapids Kernels where he worked five innings in a combined no-hitter. Off the field, he has developed a large gamer following on his Twitch TV link. (his interview begins at the 12:30 mark) Caleb Hamilton was the Twins 23rd round pick in 2016 out of Oregon State. It was the second time he had been drafted, but his journey (which involved a AA All Star appearance and reached AAA in 2019) hasn't always been smooth. Find out about his trek, his long-time relationship with now-former Twins catching coordinator Tanner Swanson, playing at Oregon State, becoming a catcher and working with some of the very hard-throwing Twins pitching prospects. (39:35 mark) Nick Anderson's story is pretty incredible. Born in Crosby, Minnesota, he attended Brainerd High School. He played three years at St. Cloud State before heading to Mayville State for his senior year. He was drafted by the Brewers but never offered a contract. He played independent ball until the Twins signed him late in the 2015 season. He moved up the organizational ladder and pitched well in 2018 at Rochester. In his offseasons, he worked construction in Minnesota winters. He didn't receive a September call-up and instead of adding him to their 40-man roster, the Twins drafted the hard-throwing right-hander to the Miami Marlins. He made the Opening Day roster and pitched well. At the trade deadline, he was sent to the Tampa Bay Rays where he struck out 17.3 batters per nine innings. He became a reliable late-inning arm for the Rays in their playoff run. We talked to him about being traded, making the Marlins roster, finding success, getting traded and much more. (1:16:10 mark) 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 Episode 7: Get to know: Matt Wallner (and Ten Minutes with Tyler Wells) 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
  6. As a reminder, here are some of the criteria for who is eligible for the Rule 5 draft if not protected. Here is this year’s criteria: Players who signed when they were 18 or younger in 2014 (during the minor league season). Players who signed when they were 19 or older in 2015. Players who were eligible in previous seasons are also eligible again. Players drafted or signed during the 2012 season became free agents after the World Series was complete. That includes Luke Bard and DJ Baxendale. If the Twins signed them (or other minor league free agents) before the Rule 5 draft, they would be eligible to for the Rule 5 draft. But back to the players needing to be added or risk losing to the Rule 5 draft, I’ll break them into a few categories. The Givens are players that I think have to be added or there is a high percentage that they will be selected if they are not. The next are players that are more On The Bubble. It will be interesting to see which of these guys are added. How many spots are available on the team’s 40-man roster, etc. I’m going to add a couple of Sleepers. Finally, the Next category are those players that probably won’t be added and yet do have a chance to be selected by the right team with the right need or the right report. The Givens Andrew Vasquez would have been in this list, but he was called up to the Twins on September 1st. I have two players listed as givens. SS/2B Nick Gordon - He may have struggled in the second half of the season after his promotion to the Red Wings, but Gordon, the team’s top pick in 2014 just turned 23 and remains a quality prospect. Will he play second base or shortstop, or both, in the big leagues? Yes. OF LaMonte Wade - Wade will turn 25 on New Years Day. He returned to AA to start 2018 and hit the same number of home runs in less than half as many games. He hit .229 in Rochester and still got on base 33% of the time. The outfielder is close and for the right team, he could start in the big leagues now. On The Bubble Again, this group is the players on the bubble. Depending upon how many players the Twins add, a couple of these players could be added. 2B Luis Arraez - After missing most of 2017, Arraez returned to form with the Miracle in 2018 and ended the season with two months in Chattanooga. While not a high ranking prospect, the second baseman can hit single after single. RHP Jake Reed - If it was me, Reed would be a given, but he already didn’t get selected a year ago in the Rule 5 draft, and he didn’t get a September call up despite being tremendous over the final three months of the season. Now 26, he is ready for a big league opportunity. RHP Nick Anderson - As good as Reed was over the final three months, that’s how good Anderson was during the season’s first three months. Another inexplicable exclusion from the September roster adds, Anderson is absolutely ready for a big league opportunity, making him a strong Rule 5 candidate. LHP Tyler Jay - The Twins top pick in 2015 has endured a series of arm injuries which have cost him time and some of his stuff. Now a reliever, he still has a chance to be a big league contributor. The Sleepers Here are a couple of guys who might be brought up some places as possible . RHP Johan Quezada - Signed way back in September of 2012, Quezada only has four games pitched above the rookie leagues. He was very raw when he signed. He grew a ton, but then he struggled with shoulder issues for a couple of years. He returned this year and found an upper-90s fastball. He turned 24 late in the season and isn’t likely to stick, but he is a very intriguing arm. RHP Andro Cutura - Cutura returned in May after missing two years due to Tommy John surgery. The former seventh-round pick threw well for the Miracle in his return. Again, probably not so much a Rule 5 guy as one to watch in 2019. The Next This is a group that contains some intriguing names. While they aren’t obvious choices, there could be a team that likes them enough to take a shot with a Rule 5 pick. 1B/OF Zander Wiel - Now playing first base and left field, Wiel had a really nice season in AA Chattanooga before a late-season promotion to Rochester. RHP Ryan Eades - The Twins second round pick in 2013, Eades continued to pitch in multiple roles. Not a starter, and not a late-inning guy, Eades could be intriguing for teams interested in using him as an Opener candidate. C Brian Navarreto - Navaretto is such a strong defensive catcher. If he can hit even a little bit, he could have a long big league career. He’s got the size, but he just hasn’t put up the numbers offensively. OF Jaylin Davis - Davis is playing well in the Arizona Fall League. He was able to cut down his K-rate and increase his walk rate in 2018. RHP Hector Lujan - Another AFL candidate, Lujan has slowly worked up the system and continued to add pieces to his game. He throws hard and has some intriguing secondary pitches. RHP Cody Stashak - Stashak moved to the bullpen in 2018 and really had a nice season. He too could be intriguing as teams look to use the Opener of bullpening strategies in coming years. The Rest Here is a list of other players who are eligible for the Rule 5 draft in the Twins organization. LHP Sam Clay OF Tanner English RHP Randy LeBlanc IF Alex Perez LHP Alex Robinson 1B/3B Chris Paul OF Jean-Carlos Arias RHP Miguel De Jesus RHP Sandy Lugo LHP Lachlan Wells RHP Yancarlos Baez RHP Williams Ramirez RHP Moises Gomez Now, the number of players added to the 40-man roster will in large part depend upon how many players that the front office is willing to remove from the 40-man roster over the next couple of weeks. In the comments below, discuss my ranking and rank them by how you would protect them.
  7. The MLB offseason is upon us. There are many decisions that this front office will need to make. Some will happen soon. One big decision that is made every November is which players to add to the 40-man roster. Being added to the 40-man roster is a huge thing for players. They make a little more money in the minor leagues, but more important, a huge obstacle to being called up to the big leagues is removed. Here is a list of Twins minor leaguers who would be eligible for the Rule 5 draft if not protected.As a reminder, here are some of the criteria for who is eligible for the Rule 5 draft if not protected. Here is this year’s criteria: Players who signed when they were 18 or younger in 2014 (during the minor league season).Players who signed when they were 19 or older in 2015.Players who were eligible in previous seasons are also eligible again.Players drafted or signed during the 2012 season became free agents after the World Series was complete. That includes Luke Bard and DJ Baxendale. If the Twins signed them (or other minor league free agents) before the Rule 5 draft, they would be eligible to for the Rule 5 draft.But back to the players needing to be added or risk losing to the Rule 5 draft, I’ll break them into a few categories. The Givens are players that I think have to be added or there is a high percentage that they will be selected if they are not. The next are players that are more On The Bubble. It will be interesting to see which of these guys are added. How many spots are available on the team’s 40-man roster, etc. I’m going to add a couple of Sleepers. Finally, the Next category are those players that probably won’t be added and yet do have a chance to be selected by the right team with the right need or the right report. The Givens Andrew Vasquez would have been in this list, but he was called up to the Twins on September 1st. I have two players listed as givens. SS/2B Nick Gordon - He may have struggled in the second half of the season after his promotion to the Red Wings, but Gordon, the team’s top pick in 2014 just turned 23 and remains a quality prospect. Will he play second base or shortstop, or both, in the big leagues? Yes.OF LaMonte Wade - Wade will turn 25 on New Years Day. He returned to AA to start 2018 and hit the same number of home runs in less than half as many games. He hit .229 in Rochester and still got on base 33% of the time. The outfielder is close and for the right team, he could start in the big leagues now.On The Bubble Again, this group is the players on the bubble. Depending upon how many players the Twins add, a couple of these players could be added. 2B Luis Arraez - After missing most of 2017, Arraez returned to form with the Miracle in 2018 and ended the season with two months in Chattanooga. While not a high ranking prospect, the second baseman can hit single after single.RHP Jake Reed - If it was me, Reed would be a given, but he already didn’t get selected a year ago in the Rule 5 draft, and he didn’t get a September call up despite being tremendous over the final three months of the season. Now 26, he is ready for a big league opportunity.RHP Nick Anderson - As good as Reed was over the final three months, that’s how good Anderson was during the season’s first three months. Another inexplicable exclusion from the September roster adds, Anderson is absolutely ready for a big league opportunity, making him a strong Rule 5 candidate.LHP Tyler Jay - The Twins top pick in 2015 has endured a series of arm injuries which have cost him time and some of his stuff. Now a reliever, he still has a chance to be a big league contributor.The Sleepers Here are a couple of guys who might be brought up some places as possible . RHP Johan Quezada - Signed way back in September of 2012, Quezada only has four games pitched above the rookie leagues. He was very raw when he signed. He grew a ton, but then he struggled with shoulder issues for a couple of years. He returned this year and found an upper-90s fastball. He turned 24 late in the season and isn’t likely to stick, but he is a very intriguing arm.RHP Andro Cutura - Cutura returned in May after missing two years due to Tommy John surgery. The former seventh-round pick threw well for the Miracle in his return. Again, probably not so much a Rule 5 guy as one to watch in 2019.The Next This is a group that contains some intriguing names. While they aren’t obvious choices, there could be a team that likes them enough to take a shot with a Rule 5 pick. 1B/OF Zander Wiel - Now playing first base and left field, Wiel had a really nice season in AA Chattanooga before a late-season promotion to Rochester.RHP Ryan Eades - The Twins second round pick in 2013, Eades continued to pitch in multiple roles. Not a starter, and not a late-inning guy, Eades could be intriguing for teams interested in using him as an Opener candidate.C Brian Navarreto - Navaretto is such a strong defensive catcher. If he can hit even a little bit, he could have a long big league career. He’s got the size, but he just hasn’t put up the numbers offensively.OF Jaylin Davis - Davis is playing well in the Arizona Fall League. He was able to cut down his K-rate and increase his walk rate in 2018.RHP Hector Lujan - Another AFL candidate, Lujan has slowly worked up the system and continued to add pieces to his game. He throws hard and has some intriguing secondary pitches.RHP Cody Stashak - Stashak moved to the bullpen in 2018 and really had a nice season. He too could be intriguing as teams look to use the Opener of bullpening strategies in coming years.The Rest Here is a list of other players who are eligible for the Rule 5 draft in the Twins organization. LHP Sam ClayOF Tanner EnglishRHP Randy LeBlancIF Alex Perez LHP Alex Robinson1B/3B Chris PaulOF Jean-Carlos AriasRHP Miguel De Jesus RHP Sandy Lugo LHP Lachlan WellsRHP Yancarlos Baez RHP Williams Ramirez RHP Moises Gomez Now, the number of players added to the 40-man roster will in large part depend upon how many players that the front office is willing to remove from the 40-man roster over the next couple of weeks. In the comments below, discuss my ranking and rank them by how you would protect them. Click here to view the article
  8. Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Monday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS It’s a rarity, but on Monday there were no transactions in the Twins minor leagues. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 1, Columbus 2 Box Score Chase De Jong was on the mound for the Red Wings in Ohio, facing off against Columbus. The right-hander gave up two runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five. Nick Anderson worked the final 2 1/3 innings and gave up just one hit. He struck out three batters without issuing a walk. Jon Kemmer led the offense. He went 3-for-4 with his fifth Red Wings double. Gregorio Petit went 2-for-4 with his ninth double. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga Box Score No Game Scheduled. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 4, Charlotte 3 Box Score Down 3-2 going into the bottom of the eighth inning. Caleb Hamilton drilled his 15th double of the season to drive in the tying and winning runs. Ryan Costello went 2-for-4. Royce Lewis got the Miracle on the scoreboard in the third inning when he singled in Hamilton. Griffin Jax put up another quality start. It was the tenth time in his eleven starts that he has completed six innings. On this night, he began with three perfect innings and five scoreless innings before giving up three runs in the sixth inning. In total, he gave up five hits, walked two and struck out six batters. Jovani Moran came on and struck out four batters over two, one-hit innings. He walked two. Kevin Marnon picked up his second save with a scoreless ninth inning. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 0, Quad Cities 3 Box Score Edwar Colina had another strong start for the Kernels. He gave up one run on two hits (one solo homer) and two walks over the first seven innings. He struck out a career-high ten batters. Rickey Ramirez came on and pitched a scoreless eighth inning, but he gave up two runs in the ninth to push the deficit to 3-0. The Kernels got a base runner in the ninth inning, but were unable to break up the shutout. Trey Cabbage broke up the no-hitter in the fifth inning with a single. The team had just four hits in the game. Michael Helman had two of them. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 4, Greeneville 1 Box Score Sometimes a strong start is all you need. In this game, Lean Marrero led off the top of the first inning with his second E-Twins homer. The next batter, Yunior Severino, drilled his fifth home run. Two batters into the game, the Twins had what proved to be enough runs to win this ball game. Jean Carlos Arias added a two-run triple later in the game. Yeltsin Encarnacion went 2-for-4 with his fourth double. Gilberto Celestino walked twice and stole his sixth base. Kody Funderburk started and threw four scoreless innings. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out two. Funderburk's four innings extended the E-Twins starters' stretch of scoreless innings to 26 (per Mike Gallagher). Brian Rapp came on and worked the next four innings. He was charged with an unearned run on two hits and a walk. He struck out six on his way to his first professional win. Johan Quezada came on and pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his second save of the year. He gave up a hit, walked one and struck out one. GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins , GCL Orioles Box Score Monday’s game was postponed by rain. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Jon Kemmer, Rochester Red Wings (3-4, 2B(5)). Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Edwar Colina, Cedar Rapids Kernels (7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, RBI, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, 2B(19), R #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch. #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-4, K #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch #6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, K #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - No Game Scheduled #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 0-3, BB, 2 K #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB, RBI, 2 K #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - No Game Scheduled #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 1-4, HR(5), R, RBI, 2 K #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - Out for the season (wrist) #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, K #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4 #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - No Game Scheduled. #21 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, HBP *Since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list. TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Columbus (6:05 CST) - TBD Chattanooga @ Mississippi (7:00 CST) - TBD Charlotte @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker (4-7, 4.17 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids - LHP Tyler Watson (4-5, 4.66 ERA) Elizabethton @ Greeneville (6:00 CST) - RHP Luis Rijo (3-1, 2.35 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have.
  9. A week after Royce Lewis faced Casey Mize in a Battle of #1 Overall Picks, he (and his Miracle teammates) faced Brendan McKay who was taken three picks after the Twins took Lewis. Lewis and Kirilloff each had one hit off of the talented left-hander. Griffin Jax put together another quality start. Edwar Colina put together one of the best starts of his career (and he was part of a no-hitter earlier in the season). The E-Twins began their night with back-to-back home runs.Keep reading to find out more on the night in the Twins minor league system on Monday. As always, please feel free to discuss and ask questions. TRANSACTIONS It’s a rarity, but on Monday there were no transactions in the Twins minor leagues.RED WINGS REPORTRochester 1, Columbus 2 Box Score Chase De Jong was on the mound for the Red Wings in Ohio, facing off against Columbus. The right-hander gave up two runs on five hits over 5 2/3 innings. He walked two and struck out five. Nick Anderson worked the final 2 1/3 innings and gave up just one hit. He struck out three batters without issuing a walk. Jon Kemmer led the offense. He went 3-for-4 with his fifth Red Wings double. Gregorio Petit went 2-for-4 with his ninth double. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga Box Score No Game Scheduled. MIRACLE MATTERS Ft. Myers 4, Charlotte 3 Box Score Down 3-2 going into the bottom of the eighth inning. Caleb Hamilton drilled his 15th double of the season to drive in the tying and winning runs. Ryan Costello went 2-for-4. Royce Lewis got the Miracle on the scoreboard in the third inning when he singled in Hamilton. Griffin Jax put up another quality start. It was the tenth time in his eleven starts that he has completed six innings. On this night, he began with three perfect innings and five scoreless innings before giving up three runs in the sixth inning. In total, he gave up five hits, walked two and struck out six batters. Jovani Moran came on and struck out four batters over two, one-hit innings. He walked two. Kevin Marnon picked up his second save with a scoreless ninth inning. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 0, Quad Cities 3 Box Score Edwar Colina had another strong start for the Kernels. He gave up one run on two hits (one solo homer) and two walks over the first seven innings. He struck out a career-high ten batters. Rickey Ramirez came on and pitched a scoreless eighth inning, but he gave up two runs in the ninth to push the deficit to 3-0. The Kernels got a base runner in the ninth inning, but were unable to break up the shutout. Trey Cabbage broke up the no-hitter in the fifth inning with a single. The team had just four hits in the game. Michael Helman had two of them. E-TWINS E-TALK Elizabethton 4, Greeneville 1 Box Score Sometimes a strong start is all you need. In this game, Lean Marrero led off the top of the first inning with his second E-Twins homer. The next batter, Yunior Severino, drilled his fifth home run. Two batters into the game, the Twins had what proved to be enough runs to win this ball game. Jean Carlos Arias added a two-run triple later in the game. Yeltsin Encarnacion went 2-for-4 with his fourth double. Gilberto Celestino walked twice and stole his sixth base. Kody Funderburk started and threw four scoreless innings. He gave up four hits, walked one and struck out two. Funderburk's four innings extended the E-Twins starters' stretch of scoreless innings to 26 (per Mike Gallagher). Brian Rapp came on and worked the next four innings. He was charged with an unearned run on two hits and a walk. He struck out six on his way to his first professional win. Johan Quezada came on and pitched a scoreless ninth inning for his second save of the year. He gave up a hit, walked one and struck out one. GCL TWINS TALK GCL Twins , GCL Orioles Box Score Monday’s game was postponed by rain. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Hitter of the Day: Jon Kemmer, Rochester Red Wings (3-4, 2B(5)). Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day: Edwar Colina, Cedar Rapids Kernels (7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 10 K) PROSPECT SUMMARY Here’s a look at how the Twins Daily Midseason Top 20 Twins Prospects performed. #1 - Royce Lewis (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, RBI, K #2 - Alex Kirilloff (Ft. Myers) - 1-4, 2B(19), R #3 - Brusdar Graterol (Ft. Myers) - Did not pitch. #4 - Nick Gordon (Rochester) - 0-4, K #5 - Stephen Gonsalves (Rochester) - Did not pitch #6 - Trevor Larnach (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, K #7 - Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) - No Game Scheduled #8 - Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) - 0-3, BB #9 -Wander Javier - out of for the season #10 - Zack Littell (Rochester) - Did not pitch #11 - Blayne Enlow (Cedar Rapids) - Did not pitch #12 - LaMonte Wade (Rochester) - 0-3, BB, 2 K #13 - Travis Blankenhorn (Ft. Myers) - 1-3, BB, RBI, 2 K #14 - Lewis Thorpe (Chattanooga) - No Game Scheduled #15 - Ben Rortvedt (Ft. Myers) - Did not play #16 - Yunior Severino (Elizabethton) - 1-4, HR(5), R, RBI, 2 K #17 - Lewin Diaz (Ft. Myers) - Out for the season (wrist) #18 - Ryan Jeffers (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4, K #19 - Jacob Pearson (Cedar Rapids) - 0-4 #20 - Luis Arraez (Chattanooga) - No Game Scheduled. #21 - Jose Miranda (Ft. Myers) - 0-3, HBP *Since Wander Javier is out, I’d add #21 to the list. TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Columbus (6:05 CST) - TBD Chattanooga @ Mississippi (7:00 CST) - TBD Charlotte @ Ft. Myers (6:00 CST) - RHP Clark Beeker (4-7, 4.17 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids - LHP Tyler Watson (4-5, 4.66 ERA) Elizabethton @ Greeneville (6:00 CST) - RHP Luis Rijo (3-1, 2.35 ERA) GCL Twins @ GCL Orioles (11:00 am CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask any questions about Monday’s games, or ask any questions you may have. Click here to view the article
  10. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Relievers for April, here are some terrific bullpen performances that just missed the cut. HONORABLE MENTION John Curtiss, Rochester Red Wings, 8 G, 2.61 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 12.2 K/9, 10.1 IP, 6 H, 7 BB, 14 K Luke Bard, Rochester Red Wings, 8 G, 3.00 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 9.8 K/9, 12.0 IP, 9 H, 4 BB, 13 K. Cody Stashak, Chattanooga Lookouts, 7 G (1 GS), 1.88 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 10.7 K/9, 14.1 IP, 8 H, 5 BB, 17 K Ryan Mason, Ft. Myers Miracle, 8 G, 2.51 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 8.8 K/9, 14.1 IP, 14 H, 3 H, 14 K Jovani Moran, Cedar Rapids Kernels, 8 G (1 GS), 2.50 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 13.0 K/9, 14 H, 7 BB, 26 K. THE TOP FIVE RELIEF PITCHERS #5 - Gabriel Moya - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 1.38 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 9 H, 3 BB,18 K Moya made the Twins Opening Day roster wen Phil Hughes began the season on the disabled list. He was sent down to Rochester in late April. The 23-year-old southpaw from Venezuela had a strong first month in Rochester (remember, he jumped up to the big leagues directly from Double-A last year). Along with the solid numbers and striking out 12.5 batters per nine innings, opponents hit just .196/.260/.326 (.586) off of him in May. #4 - Andrew Vasquez - Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 15 H, 2 BB, 18 K Another left-hander, Vasquez had a one-game stint in Chattanooga already this year. The Twins 32nd round pick in 2015 out of Westmont College has been moved along slowly, in large part due to some inconsistent control. After ending 2017 with the Miracle, he pitched well in the Arizona Fall League last year. He has returned to the Miracle, but he’s in need of a promotion to AA. In May, he struck out 11 batters per nine inning. He’s blessed with what should be a dominant slider. #3 - Nick Anderson - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 1.46 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 3 H, 5 BB, 19 K Anderson was the Twins Daily April reliever of the month, and he was nearly as good in May. The Brainerd (Minnesota) native signed with the Twins out of the independent ranks late in the 2015 season. He has been blowing hitters away ever since and now finds himself one promotion from his big league dreams. In May, opponents hit a miniscule .077/.182/.154 (.336) off of him. He’ll turn 28 in early July. It’d be great to see him debut his big fastball/slider combination by then. #2 - Alan Busenitz - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 19 K It is inexplicable to the writer of this article why Busenitz is not in the big leagues. He dominates AAA, and he pitched very well last year and he got just four innings early this year in the big leagues. He’s got the big fastball and what can be a very good slider. In May, opponents hit just .159/.213/.159 (.372) against him. His 13.2 K/9 shows the type of dominance that he can have. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Chattanooga Lookouts – RHP Todd Van Steensel - 8 G, 1.13 ERA, 0.44 WHIP, 16.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 17 K Van Steensel is the kind of player that you just can’t help but cheer for. Signed originally by the Phillies, he was released after one year. The Twins signed him, but after one season in Elizabethton, they released him. He played in Europe and in his native Australia and a couple of years later, the Twins brought him back, this time as a reliever. Since returning, Van Steensel has been one of the best relievers in the organization. He made over 100 appearances in Ft. Myers and despite a fantastic 2017 in Chattanooga, he’s there again in 2018. He put up incredible numbers again in May. Opponents hit just .100/.148/.120 (.268) off of him. He continues to rack up big strikeout numbers and his walk rate has certainly come down this year. Van Steensel frequently shows up in these reports, but he is very worthy of this award for May. There were several very strong relief pitcher performances in May throughout the Twins minor league system. As you can see from their representation, the Red Wings have had a strong bullpen this month. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today, but again, congratulations to the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for May 2018, Todd Van Steensel.
  11. The Twins bullpen generally pitched quite well in May. More exciting, the Twins have lots of depth as they had several relievers in Rochester that had fantastic months. Were any of them our choice for Twins Daily Minor League Reliever of the Month, as Nick Anderson was in April? Well, you’ll just have to keep reading to find out. Today, we start our May Award series with the Twins minor league relief pitcher of the month. We’ll count down the Top 5 Twins minor league relievers, and there are enough good bullpen performances that we’ll include some honorable mentions.Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Relievers for April, here are some terrific bullpen performances that just missed the cut. HONORABLE MENTION John Curtiss, Rochester Red Wings, 8 G, 2.61 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, 12.2 K/9, 10.1 IP, 6 H, 7 BB, 14 KLuke Bard, Rochester Red Wings, 8 G, 3.00 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 9.8 K/9, 12.0 IP, 9 H, 4 BB, 13 K.Cody Stashak, Chattanooga Lookouts, 7 G (1 GS), 1.88 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 10.7 K/9, 14.1 IP, 8 H, 5 BB, 17 KRyan Mason, Ft. Myers Miracle, 8 G, 2.51 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, 8.8 K/9, 14.1 IP, 14 H, 3 H, 14 KJovani Moran, Cedar Rapids Kernels, 8 G (1 GS), 2.50 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 13.0 K/9, 14 H, 7 BB, 26 K.THE TOP FIVE RELIEF PITCHERS #5 - Gabriel Moya - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 1.38 ERA, 0.92 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 9 H, 3 BB,18 K Moya made the Twins Opening Day roster wen Phil Hughes began the season on the disabled list. He was sent down to Rochester in late April. The 23-year-old southpaw from Venezuela had a strong first month in Rochester (remember, he jumped up to the big leagues directly from Double-A last year). Along with the solid numbers and striking out 12.5 batters per nine innings, opponents hit just .196/.260/.326 (.586) off of him in May. #4 - Andrew Vasquez - Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 15 H, 2 BB, 18 K Another left-hander, Vasquez had a one-game stint in Chattanooga already this year. The Twins 32nd round pick in 2015 out of Westmont College has been moved along slowly, in large part due to some inconsistent control. After ending 2017 with the Miracle, he pitched well in the Arizona Fall League last year. He has returned to the Miracle, but he’s in need of a promotion to AA. In May, he struck out 11 batters per nine inning. He’s blessed with what should be a dominant slider. #3 - Nick Anderson - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 1.46 ERA, 0.65 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 3 H, 5 BB, 19 K Anderson was the Twins Daily April reliever of the month, and he was nearly as good in May. The Brainerd (Minnesota) native signed with the Twins out of the independent ranks late in the 2015 season. He has been blowing hitters away ever since and now finds himself one promotion from his big league dreams. In May, opponents hit a miniscule .077/.182/.154 (.336) off of him. He’ll turn 28 in early July. It’d be great to see him debut his big fastball/slider combination by then. #2 - Alan Busenitz - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, 13.0 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 19 K It is inexplicable to the writer of this article why Busenitz is not in the big leagues. He dominates AAA, and he pitched very well last year and he got just four innings early this year in the big leagues. He’s got the big fastball and what can be a very good slider. In May, opponents hit just .159/.213/.159 (.372) against him. His 13.2 K/9 shows the type of dominance that he can have. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Chattanooga Lookouts – RHP Todd Van Steensel - 8 G, 1.13 ERA, 0.44 WHIP, 16.0 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 17 K Van Steensel is the kind of player that you just can’t help but cheer for. Signed originally by the Phillies, he was released after one year. The Twins signed him, but after one season in Elizabethton, they released him. He played in Europe and in his native Australia and a couple of years later, the Twins brought him back, this time as a reliever. Since returning, Van Steensel has been one of the best relievers in the organization. He made over 100 appearances in Ft. Myers and despite a fantastic 2017 in Chattanooga, he’s there again in 2018. He put up incredible numbers again in May. Opponents hit just .100/.148/.120 (.268) off of him. He continues to rack up big strikeout numbers and his walk rate has certainly come down this year. Van Steensel frequently shows up in these reports, but he is very worthy of this award for May. There were several very strong relief pitcher performances in May throughout the Twins minor league system. As you can see from their representation, the Red Wings have had a strong bullpen this month. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today, but again, congratulations to the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for May 2018, Todd Van Steensel. Click here to view the article
  12. Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Relievers for April, here are some terrific bullpen performances that just missed the cut. HONORABLE MENTION Tyler Duffey - Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 11.0 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 14 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.36 WHIP. Matt Magill - Elizabethton Twins - 5 G, 8.2 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 13 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.81 WHIP. Andrew Vasquez - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 8 G, 14.0 IP, 8 H, 6 BB, 14 K, 1.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIP Todd Van Steensel - Chattanooga Lookouts - 7 G, 13.2 IP, 10 H, 6 BB, 17 K, 2.63 ERA, 1.17 WHIP THE TOP FIVE RELIEF PITCHERS #5 - Kevin Marnon - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 G, 1.46 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 14 K Kevin Marnon went undrafted last year after his college career, a career that took him to East Tennessee State, Akron and Ball State. He went to the USPBL, but soon after, the Twins called him and he signed. The 6-8 left-hander began the 2018 season in Cedar Rapids. As you can see, he did a nice job out of the Kernels bullpen. He worked two innings most times and once worked in five innings in an extra-innings game. As the calendar changed from April to May, Marnon learned that he had been promoted to the Ft. Myers Miracle. #4 - John Curtiss - Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 2.89 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 9.1 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 17 K Curtiss was the Twins sixth-round pick in 2014 out of the University of Texas. In college, he had both thoracic outlet surgery and Tommy John surgery. He missed time his first full season in the minor leagues. However, the last two seasons, he has been as good as any other pitcher in the system and moved up very quickly. He was the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year in 2017 and ended the year with nine games with the Twins. He had a really good April with the Red Wings and earned his promotion to the Twins at the end of the month. He was returned to Rochester last night where he’ll jump back into late-inning relief work. #3 - DJ Baxendale - Rochester Red Wings - 6 G (2 GS), 0.00 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 9 K Baxendale was the Twins 10th-round pick in 2012 out of the University of Arkansas. He began his career as a starter, but he has worked primarily out of the bullpen in recent years. He’s worked in many roles including short-relief, long-relief and spot starting, a role he has continued to have in 2018. Baxendale was very good in April. While he isn’t a strikeout pitcher, he works fast and has a real good slider and good control. #2 - Ryan Mason - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 2.20 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 9 H, 1 BB, 19 K Mason led all Twins minor league relievers in innings pitched in April. It’s impressive, in part, because he received a promotion to Ft. Myers mid-month. He moved up and didn’t miss a beat. He’s mostly been working two to three innings late in games. He went 2-1 with three saves in his eight outings. At 6-6, he was drafted in the 13th round out of Cal-Berkeley in 2016. He’s got a good fastball, and he can throw as many as four pitches thanks to his college years as a starter. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Rochester Red Wings – RHP Nick Anderson - 6 G, 0.82 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 17 K Anderson won this month award a couple of times in 2017 and was a finalist for Twins Daily’s Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. He spent most of 2017 in Chattanooga, but he jumped right to Rochester to start the 2018 season. He continues to do what he has done since signing with the Twins. He throws a lot of strikes. He throws hard, mid-90s, touching 97. He’s got a wipeout slider. He’s able to miss bats. Opponents hit just .162 off of him for the month. While he is not on the 40-man roster, it will be interesting to see if he is given an opportunity with the big league club in 2018. For those still unaware, Anderson’s is a great story. He is a graduate of Brainerd High School. He went to St. Cloud State for three years before heading to Mayville State for a season. The Brewers drafted him, but they didn’t even offer him a contract. After working in the indy leagues for a few seasons, the Twins signed him late in 2015, and he’s been a dominant late inning reliever wherever he’s played. He is in his first season with the Rochester Red Wings. There were several very strong relief pitcher performances in April throughout the Twins minor league system. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today, but again, Congratulations to the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for April 2018, Nick Anderson.
  13. April was an interesting month for baseball, in the big leagues and in the minor leagues. Weather effected many teams including the Rochester Red Wings and the Cedar Rapids Kernels. But we have a month worth of games, so it’s time to post our first monthly minor league award. Today, we start with the Twins minor league relief pitchers of the month. We’ll count down the Top 5 Twins minor league relievers, and there are enough good bullpen performances that we’ll include some honorable mentions.Before we share our choices for the Twins Minor League Top Five Relievers for April, here are some terrific bullpen performances that just missed the cut. HONORABLE MENTION Tyler Duffey - Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 11.0 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 14 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.36 WHIP.Matt Magill - Elizabethton Twins - 5 G, 8.2 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 13 K, 0.00 ERA, 0.81 WHIP.Andrew Vasquez - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 8 G, 14.0 IP, 8 H, 6 BB, 14 K, 1.29 ERA, 1.00 WHIPTodd Van Steensel - Chattanooga Lookouts - 7 G, 13.2 IP, 10 H, 6 BB, 17 K, 2.63 ERA, 1.17 WHIPTHE TOP FIVE RELIEF PITCHERS #5 - Kevin Marnon - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 5 G, 1.46 ERA, 0.81 WHIP, 12.1 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 14 K Kevin Marnon went undrafted last year after his college career, a career that took him to East Tennessee State, Akron and Ball State. He went to the USPBL, but soon after, the Twins called him and he signed. The 6-8 left-hander began the 2018 season in Cedar Rapids. As you can see, he did a nice job out of the Kernels bullpen. He worked two innings most times and once worked in five innings in an extra-innings game. As the calendar changed from April to May, Marnon learned that he had been promoted to the Ft. Myers Miracle. #4 - John Curtiss - Rochester Red Wings - 5 G, 2.89 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 9.1 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 17 K Curtiss was the Twins sixth-round pick in 2014 out of the University of Texas. In college, he had both thoracic outlet surgery and Tommy John surgery. He missed time his first full season in the minor leagues. However, the last two seasons, he has been as good as any other pitcher in the system and moved up very quickly. He was the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year in 2017 and ended the year with nine games with the Twins. He had a really good April with the Red Wings and earned his promotion to the Twins at the end of the month. He was returned to Rochester last night where he’ll jump back into late-inning relief work. #3 - DJ Baxendale - Rochester Red Wings - 6 G (2 GS), 0.00 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 9 K Baxendale was the Twins 10th-round pick in 2012 out of the University of Arkansas. He began his career as a starter, but he has worked primarily out of the bullpen in recent years. He’s worked in many roles including short-relief, long-relief and spot starting, a role he has continued to have in 2018. Baxendale was very good in April. While he isn’t a strikeout pitcher, he works fast and has a real good slider and good control. #2 - Ryan Mason - Cedar Rapids Kernels/Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 2.20 ERA, 0.61 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 9 H, 1 BB, 19 K Mason led all Twins minor league relievers in innings pitched in April. It’s impressive, in part, because he received a promotion to Ft. Myers mid-month. He moved up and didn’t miss a beat. He’s mostly been working two to three innings late in games. He went 2-1 with three saves in his eight outings. At 6-6, he was drafted in the 13th round out of Cal-Berkeley in 2016. He’s got a good fastball, and he can throw as many as four pitches thanks to his college years as a starter. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Rochester Red Wings – RHP Nick Anderson - 6 G, 0.82 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 17 K Anderson won this month award a couple of times in 2017 and was a finalist for Twins Daily’s Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. He spent most of 2017 in Chattanooga, but he jumped right to Rochester to start the 2018 season. He continues to do what he has done since signing with the Twins. He throws a lot of strikes. He throws hard, mid-90s, touching 97. He’s got a wipeout slider. He’s able to miss bats. Opponents hit just .162 off of him for the month. While he is not on the 40-man roster, it will be interesting to see if he is given an opportunity with the big league club in 2018. For those still unaware, Anderson’s is a great story. He is a graduate of Brainerd High School. He went to St. Cloud State for three years before heading to Mayville State for a season. The Brewers drafted him, but they didn’t even offer him a contract. After working in the indy leagues for a few seasons, the Twins signed him late in 2015, and he’s been a dominant late inning reliever wherever he’s played. He is in his first season with the Rochester Red Wings. There were several very strong relief pitcher performances in April throughout the Twins minor league system. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today, but again, Congratulations to the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for April 2018, Nick Anderson. Click here to view the article
  14. There wasn’t much hitting throughout the system on this day as the affiliates combined for just seventeen hits in their four games, but there were plenty of solid pitching performances that kept all of them close. Those pitchers were led by a top prospect who improved to 3-0 on the year with a season high in Ks, and an unheralded reliever who deserves to start getting some serious attention as he continues to put up impressive numbers.Keep reading find out how all your Minnesota Twins prospects performed in Tuesday’s games! TRANSACTIONS Early in the afternoon the option of Alan Busenitz to Rochester and the recall of Tyler Duffey to the Twins bullpen was made official. RED WINGS REPORT Gwinnett 5, Rochester 2 Box Score Red Wings starter Myles Jaye was able to scatter five hits and two walks through the game's first four innings, but the Braves finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth thanks to another walk and two singles to take a 1-0 lead. In total for his five innings, Jaye allowed just the one run on seven hits and three walks while striking out four. Rochester tied the game in the bottom of the sixth as they were able to take advantage of an error by left fielder and top prospect Ronald Acuna. Gregorio Petit scored that run after leading off the inning with a single. In the top of the seventh however, the Braves took back control of the game, putting up four runs against reliever Ryne Harper. Harper had pitched a one-two-three sixth inning but walks to Jose Bautista and Acuna leading off the seventh led to surrendering a grand slam a few hitters later, and a 5-1 Gwinnett lead they would not relinquish. The lineup for the Red Wings would make the final 5-2 in the ninth, but managed just two hits to go along with five walks on the game. They were 1-4 with runners in scoring position and left only five men on base in dropping to 6-9 on the season. In an otherwise forgettable game, one positive to mention is the pitching of the aforementioned reliever Nick Anderson. He finished the game for the home team with two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out four. After a beyond-stellar MiLB career thus far before reaching AAA this season, Anderson has allowed only one run on six hits and three walks in nine innings while striking out 13. His age prevents him from getting much notice as a prospect (he will turn 28 in July), but Anderson (also #OneOfUs) continues to put up numbers that are hard to ignore. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Jackson 1 Box Score The Lookouts got on the board in the first inning thanks to a Nick Gordon single that was followed by the seventh double on the season from Zander Wiel. In the second inning Brian Navarreto launched his first home run of the season for the early 2-0 lead. Stephen Gonsalves got the start for Chattanooga and a walk to lead off the second inning turned the score to 2-1 when he allowed a two-out double. But It would remain that way until Gonsalves exited the game after five strong innings. His pitch count did climb to 91 pitches, as he struck out nine Generals hitters. Of those pitches, 60 went for strikes including 12 of the swing and miss variety. He struck out two hitters in each of the second, third, and fifth innings, and the side in the fourth. His ERA on the year held steady after the outing at 1.77. Zack Jones pitched a scoreless sixth inning, striking out three around a leadoff single and a walk. Tyler Jay made his return from the disabled list in the seventh and recorded two quick outs before an error on a grounder to second base that was followed by a single put a runner in scoring position. Jay buckled down and got another ground ball to end the threat and keep the Lookouts up 2-1. Todd Van Steensel was summoned from the bullpen in the eighth, and finished the game for Chattanooga, picking up his first save of the season along the way. In his two innings he walked one and struck out two. Gordon led the offense with a 2-for-4 night including a run scored and his third triple. He was also caught stealing and picked off third base on the basepaths. Wiel and LaMonte Wade both finished 1-3 with a walk in the victory that put the Lookouts above .500 on the year. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Clearwater 3 Box Score Fort Myers also took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning and were up 2-1 after three in this one, but unlike their AA brothers, they were unable to hold on for the victory. They scored first after the newly promoted Mark Contreras drew a walk to start the game and came around on the double from Joe Cronin that followed. In the second inning a double from Contreras scored Jared Foster, who had singled earlier to account for Chattanooga’s two runs on the game. Starting pitcher Anthony Marzi was effective for five innings, allowing only one earned run on four hits and one walk with six strikeouts, but one of those hits was a solo home run in the second and an error in the fourth allowed Clearwater to tie the game at two before Marzi exited the game. Ryan Mason kept the score that way until the ninth inning, when a one-out solo home run walked it off for the Threshers. Mason had set down all ten hitters he’d faced to that point, including five strikeouts so any second guessing of a manager doesn’t really hold up. 25 of Mason’s 31 pitches went for strikes, including eight swing-and-misses. On offense the Lookouts got another double from third baseman Nelson Molina, but just two other hits to go along with 12 strikeouts as a team. They were hitless in eight plate appearances with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base. KERNELS NUGGETS Burlington 1, Cedar Rapids 3 Box Score The Bees and Kernels combined for just nine hits on the game, but luckily for the home team they were able to take advantage of their scoring opportunities. Singles from Ben Rortvedt and Ben Rodriguez got a one-out rally started in the second inning, and a sac fly from Jean Carlos Arias and a Shane Carrier double put them out front 2-0 early. From there, starter Edwar Colina kept the sting of Burlington at bay with some old-fashioned wildness. In five innings, he threw 79 pitches with just 37 going for strikes (47%). Despite that, he retired the last ten hitters he faced and allowed just two hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts in picking up his first win of the year. Jose Martinez pitched the next two innings, allowing the only Bees' run to score on a balk in the sixth inning. He gave up a single and walked two while picking up two Ks. Kevin Marnon picked up his first save of the year by finishing with two scoreless innings allowing one hit and striking out two. The Kernels offense was led by Rodriguez, who finished the game 2-for-3 with a run scored. Royce Lewis picked up the final RBI with a single in the eighth inning in a 1-for-4 night and stole his fourth base. Akil Baddoo drew two walks, scored a run, and stole his fourth base. As a team Cedar Rapids went 2-4 with runners in scoring position while the Bees finished 1-9. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Stephen Gonsalves, Chattanooga Lookouts (W, 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 9 K) Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Nick Gordon, Chattanooga Lookouts (2-4, R, 3B) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY 1. Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, RBI, SB (4) 3. Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) – 2-4, R, 3B (3), CS (2) 4. Stephen Gonsalves (Chattanooga) – W (3-0), 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 9 K’s 5. Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 0-3, BB, K 7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 0-4, 2 K’s 10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 0-2, R, 2 BB, SB (4) 13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 0-4 14. LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) – 1-3, BB 15. Mitch Garver (Minnesota) – 1-4, K 16. Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) – 1-3, R 17. Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 1-3, BB, K 19. Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) – Hold (2), 1.0 IP, H WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Gwinnett @ Rochester (10:05AM CST) – LHP Adalberto Mejia (0-0, 5.63 ERA) Chattanooga @ Jackson (11:05AM CST) – RHP Randy LeBlanc (2-1, 1.69 ERA) Fort Myers @ Clearwater (11:00AM CST) – LHP Tyler Wells (2-0, 1.29 ERA) Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (1-0, 1.08 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! Click here to view the article
  15. Keep reading find out how all your Minnesota Twins prospects performed in Tuesday’s games! TRANSACTIONS Early in the afternoon the option of Alan Busenitz to Rochester and the recall of Tyler Duffey to the Twins bullpen was made official. RED WINGS REPORT Gwinnett 5, Rochester 2 Box Score Red Wings starter Myles Jaye was able to scatter five hits and two walks through the game's first four innings, but the Braves finally got on the scoreboard in the fifth thanks to another walk and two singles to take a 1-0 lead. In total for his five innings, Jaye allowed just the one run on seven hits and three walks while striking out four. Rochester tied the game in the bottom of the sixth as they were able to take advantage of an error by left fielder and top prospect Ronald Acuna. Gregorio Petit scored that run after leading off the inning with a single. In the top of the seventh however, the Braves took back control of the game, putting up four runs against reliever Ryne Harper. Harper had pitched a one-two-three sixth inning but walks to Jose Bautista and Acuna leading off the seventh led to surrendering a grand slam a few hitters later, and a 5-1 Gwinnett lead they would not relinquish. The lineup for the Red Wings would make the final 5-2 in the ninth, but managed just two hits to go along with five walks on the game. They were 1-4 with runners in scoring position and left only five men on base in dropping to 6-9 on the season. In an otherwise forgettable game, one positive to mention is the pitching of the aforementioned reliever Nick Anderson. He finished the game for the home team with two scoreless innings, allowing one hit and striking out four. After a beyond-stellar MiLB career thus far before reaching AAA this season, Anderson has allowed only one run on six hits and three walks in nine innings while striking out 13. His age prevents him from getting much notice as a prospect (he will turn 28 in July), but Anderson (also #OneOfUs) continues to put up numbers that are hard to ignore. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 2, Jackson 1 Box Score The Lookouts got on the board in the first inning thanks to a Nick Gordon single that was followed by the seventh double on the season from Zander Wiel. In the second inning Brian Navarreto launched his first home run of the season for the early 2-0 lead. Stephen Gonsalves got the start for Chattanooga and a walk to lead off the second inning turned the score to 2-1 when he allowed a two-out double. But It would remain that way until Gonsalves exited the game after five strong innings. His pitch count did climb to 91 pitches, as he struck out nine Generals hitters. Of those pitches, 60 went for strikes including 12 of the swing and miss variety. He struck out two hitters in each of the second, third, and fifth innings, and the side in the fourth. His ERA on the year held steady after the outing at 1.77. Zack Jones pitched a scoreless sixth inning, striking out three around a leadoff single and a walk. Tyler Jay made his return from the disabled list in the seventh and recorded two quick outs before an error on a grounder to second base that was followed by a single put a runner in scoring position. Jay buckled down and got another ground ball to end the threat and keep the Lookouts up 2-1. Todd Van Steensel was summoned from the bullpen in the eighth, and finished the game for Chattanooga, picking up his first save of the season along the way. In his two innings he walked one and struck out two. Gordon led the offense with a 2-for-4 night including a run scored and his third triple. He was also caught stealing and picked off third base on the basepaths. Wiel and LaMonte Wade both finished 1-3 with a walk in the victory that put the Lookouts above .500 on the year. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2, Clearwater 3 Box Score Fort Myers also took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning and were up 2-1 after three in this one, but unlike their AA brothers, they were unable to hold on for the victory. They scored first after the newly promoted Mark Contreras drew a walk to start the game and came around on the double from Joe Cronin that followed. In the second inning a double from Contreras scored Jared Foster, who had singled earlier to account for Chattanooga’s two runs on the game. Starting pitcher Anthony Marzi was effective for five innings, allowing only one earned run on four hits and one walk with six strikeouts, but one of those hits was a solo home run in the second and an error in the fourth allowed Clearwater to tie the game at two before Marzi exited the game. Ryan Mason kept the score that way until the ninth inning, when a one-out solo home run walked it off for the Threshers. Mason had set down all ten hitters he’d faced to that point, including five strikeouts so any second guessing of a manager doesn’t really hold up. 25 of Mason’s 31 pitches went for strikes, including eight swing-and-misses. On offense the Lookouts got another double from third baseman Nelson Molina, but just two other hits to go along with 12 strikeouts as a team. They were hitless in eight plate appearances with runners in scoring position and left seven men on base. KERNELS NUGGETS Burlington 1, Cedar Rapids 3 Box Score The Bees and Kernels combined for just nine hits on the game, but luckily for the home team they were able to take advantage of their scoring opportunities. Singles from Ben Rortvedt and Ben Rodriguez got a one-out rally started in the second inning, and a sac fly from Jean Carlos Arias and a Shane Carrier double put them out front 2-0 early. From there, starter Edwar Colina kept the sting of Burlington at bay with some old-fashioned wildness. In five innings, he threw 79 pitches with just 37 going for strikes (47%). Despite that, he retired the last ten hitters he faced and allowed just two hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts in picking up his first win of the year. Jose Martinez pitched the next two innings, allowing the only Bees' run to score on a balk in the sixth inning. He gave up a single and walked two while picking up two Ks. Kevin Marnon picked up his first save of the year by finishing with two scoreless innings allowing one hit and striking out two. The Kernels offense was led by Rodriguez, who finished the game 2-for-3 with a run scored. Royce Lewis picked up the final RBI with a single in the eighth inning in a 1-for-4 night and stole his fourth base. Akil Baddoo drew two walks, scored a run, and stole his fourth base. As a team Cedar Rapids went 2-4 with runners in scoring position while the Bees finished 1-9. STARS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Pitcher of the Day – Stephen Gonsalves, Chattanooga Lookouts (W, 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 9 K) Twins Daily Hitter of the Day – Nick Gordon, Chattanooga Lookouts (2-4, R, 3B) TOP PROSPECT SUMMARY 1. Royce Lewis (Cedar Rapids) – 1-4, RBI, SB (4) 3. Nick Gordon (Chattanooga) – 2-4, R, 3B (3), CS (2) 4. Stephen Gonsalves (Chattanooga) – W (3-0), 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 2 BB, 9 K’s 5. Alex Kirilloff (Cedar Rapids) – 0-3, BB, K 7. Brent Rooker (Chattanooga) – 0-4, 2 K’s 10. Akil Baddoo (Cedar Rapids) – 0-2, R, 2 BB, SB (4) 13. Lewin Diaz (Fort Myers) – 0-4 14. LaMonte Wade (Chattanooga) – 1-3, BB 15. Mitch Garver (Minnesota) – 1-4, K 16. Ben Rortvedt (Cedar Rapids) – 1-3, R 17. Travis Blankenhorn (Fort Myers) – 1-3, BB, K 19. Tyler Jay (Chattanooga) – Hold (2), 1.0 IP, H WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Gwinnett @ Rochester (10:05AM CST) – LHP Adalberto Mejia (0-0, 5.63 ERA) Chattanooga @ Jackson (11:05AM CST) – RHP Randy LeBlanc (2-1, 1.69 ERA) Fort Myers @ Clearwater (11:00AM CST) – LHP Tyler Wells (2-0, 1.29 ERA) Burlington @ Cedar Rapids (6:35PM CST) – LHP Tyler Watson (1-0, 1.08 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  16. This award will not be a three-peat, and I think everyone’s thrilled about the reasons behind that fact. Trevor Hildenberger had won each of the past two Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Year awards, and was off to another incredible start, this time for Rochester. Just when it looked like he might be among the top choices for the award again, he got The Call. With Hildy quickly establishing himself as a reliable member of the Twins bullpen, the door opened up for someone new to earn the title. There was no shortage of candidates. It was a special season across the entire Twins minor league system, and there’s no way you can win as many games as they did without a collection of stellar bullpen performers. After all the votes were tallied up, it was a Top-5 finisher in last year’s voting who took the crown.Seven Twins Daily Minor League writers were asked to vote for the various awards. For the relief pitcher of the year, we each voted for five players. The player who was voted as #1 received five points, #2 received four points and so on with the #5 vote receiving one point. Results were tabulated and can be found below. Short profiles of our top five are to follow, but first, some players worthy of honorable mention. These players also received votes. Others Receiving Votes Sam Clay – Fort Myers – 40 G, 8-0, 9 SV, 1.38 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 65.0 IP, 42 H, 32 BB, 63 K (8.7 K/9). Also pitched in three games for Chattanooga. Of the 10 earned runs he gave up with the Miracle, six of them were from his very first appearance of the seasonMichael Tonkin – Rochester Red Wings – 31 G, 4-2, 5 SV, 1.73 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 41.2 IP, 31 H, 13 BB, 61 K (13.2 K/9).Alan Busenitz – Rochester Red Wings – 24 G, 3-0, 2 SV, 1.78 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 35.1 IP, 19 H, 10 BB, 39 K (9.9 K/9).Todd Van Steensel – Chattanooga Lookouts – 36 G, 5-3, 0 SV, 1.38 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 58.2 IP, 42 H, 25 BB, 59 K (9.1 K/9).Drew Rucinski – Rochester Red Wings – 37 G, 2-6, 2 SV, 2.57 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 63.0 IP, 54 H, 10 BB, 57 K (8.1 K/9).Nik Turley – Rochester Red Wings & Chattanooga Lookouts – 14 G, 2-1, 0 SV, 0.81 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 33.1 IP, 18 H, 11 BB, 38 K (10.3 K/9). These are only his stats as a reliever. He also started 16 games.Alex Wimmers – Rochester Red Wings – 34 G, 7-3, 7 SV, 3.23 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 47.1 IP, 33 H, 11 BB, 48 K (9.1 K/9).Ryan Mason – Cedar Rapids Kernels – 29 G, 1-2, 0 SV, 2.01 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 49.1 IP, 54 H, 11 BB, 43 K (7.8 K/9).Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year Here are the top five vote getters for Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. 5. Andrew Vasquez – Fort Myers Miracle & Cedar Rapids Kernels – 37 G, 4-1, 2 SV, 1.55 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 58.0 IP, 47 H, 21 BB, 85 K (13.2 K/9). A 32nd-round pick in 2015 out of Westmont College, Vasquez appears to be a nice find. He returned to Cedar Rapids, where he left off at the end of 2016, and dominated. At the start of June, the big 6-foot-6 lefty got the call up to Fort Myers and just kept on rolling. Lefties in particular struggled, hitting just .200/.297/.200 (.497 OPS) off him. Yes, in 75 plate appearances, no left-handed batter mustered an extra-base hit off Vasquez. And home runs? Forget about it. In 108.2 innings pitched as a professional, Vasquez hasn’t given up a single homer to anybody -- left or right. 4. Hector Lujan – Cedar Rapids Kernels – 42 G, 3-1, 17 SV, 1.33 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 54.0 IP, 41 H, 8 BB, 54 K (9.0 K/9). The Twins scouts did a really nice job with Westmont College in 2015. Lujan, who was a college teammate of Vasquez, was selected by the Twins in the 35th round that year. After a rocky first couple of seasons in the system, Lujan broke out this year and was a consistent force at the end of games for the Kernels. In fact, he led the Midwest League with 17 saves. What really sticks out for Hector is his impressive K:BB ratio of 6.75. He was able to average a strikeout per inning while issuing just eight free passes over 54 innings. Lujan was at his best during the stretch run for Cedar Rapids, as he gave up just one earned run over his final 20 innings. 3. Tom Hackimer – Fort Myers Miracle & Cedar Rapids Kernels – 43 G, 7-1, 13 SV, 1.76 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 61.1 IP, 30 H, 22 BB, 71 K (10.4 K/9). The side-arming right-hander is much more than a gimmicky pitcher, but we know from guys like Hildenberger and Pat Neshek that relievers who drop down can be extremely effective. Drafted in the fourth round out of St. Johns University in 2016, Hackimer had an impressive debut season, but really turned heads in this, his first full year of pro ball. Just two other minor league pitchers gave up fewer hits per nine innings pitched than Hackimer (4.4 H/9) while throwing at least 50 innings. Sidewinders are usually extremely difficult on same-sided hitters, and Hackimer is no exception. Right-handed batters hit just .113/.231/.121 (.352 OPS) off him this season. It’s pretty tough for relievers to earn Player of the Week honors, but Hackimer was honored by the Florida State League as it’s best pitcher for the week of July 3-9. 2. Nick Anderson – Chattanooga Lookouts & Fort Myers Miracle – 44 G, 4-1, 11 SV, 1.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 54.0 IP, 32 H, 10 BB, 57 K (9.5 K/9). The Twins signed Anderson, who went to high school in Brainerd, out of the Independent Frontier League in 2015. He had a 3.58 ERA in his first taste of the Florida State League last season, but returned to dominate the league this year and ended up being a key contributor in Chattanooga’s championship run. While he fell just short of the award this season, there’s no doubt Anderson was one of the best relievers in all of the minor leagues this year, let alone just in the Twins system. Among minor leaguers who threw at least 50 innings, Anderson ranked sixth in ERA and seventh in WHIP. Relief Pitcher of the Year John Curtiss – Rochester Red Wings & Chattanooga Lookouts – 39 G, 2-0, 19 SV, 1.28 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 49.1 IP, 23 H, 22 BB, 68 K (12.4 K/9). Curtiss’ year started with 22 scoreless innings for the Lookouts and in all he was charged with earned runs in just five of his 39 minor league appearances. The University of Texas product held opposing hitters to a .134 average this season, which was the second-lowest mark in all of the minors among pitchers with at least 40 innings. He also averaged 12.4 K/9 and didn’t give up a single homer while down on the farm. Minor league hitters were hopeless against him. The fact that the voting was so close is a pretty strong statement in regard to how many great performances there were in the system, as MLB Pipeline selected Curtiss as its lone relief pitcher on the 2017 Pipeline Prospect Team of the Year. Guess how many minor leaguers pitched at least 40 innings and had a lower ERA, lower WHIP and higher K/9 than Curtiss. Two. And here’s the part you’re really going to like: one of those two pitchers is also in the organization. That would be Gabriel Moya, who the Twins acquired from Arizona in a trade for John Ryan Murphy. It would have been interesting to see how the voting would’ve shaken out had Moya spent all year in the organization, as he had a 0.77 ERA, matching 0.77 WHIP, 13.4 K/9 and a Southern League-leading 24 saves this season. But just 14.2 of his 58.1 innings on the season came with Minnesota. Curtiss finished fourth in last year’s voting, one spot ahead of Anderson that year, too. He joined the Twins in late August and has gotten his major league career off to a rough start, but he appears likely to fill a role in the Twins bullpen for years to come. The Ballots In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs – 1) Nick Anderson, 2) John Curtiss, 3) Tom Hackimer, 4) Hector Lujan, 5) Alan BusenitzJeremy Nygaard – 1) John Curtiss, 2) Tom Hackimer, 3) Alan Busenitz, 4) Alex Wimmers, 5) Nick AndersonCody Christie – 1) John Curtiss, 2) Michael Tonkin, 3) Hector Lujan, 4) Sam Clay, 5) Drew RucinskiTom Froemming – 1) John Curtiss, 2) Andrew Vasquez, 3) Tom Hackimer, 4) Nick Anderson, 5) Alan BusenitzSteve Lein – 1) Nick Anderson, 2) John Curtiss, 3) Hector Lujan, 4) Tom Hackimer, 5) Andrew VasquezEric Pleiss – 1) Sam Clay, 2) Nick Anderson, 3) Todd Van Steensel, 4) Nik Turley, 5) Michael TonkinTed Schwerzler – 1) John Curtiss, 2) Nick Anderson, 3) Andrew Vasquez, 4) Tom Hackimer, 5) Ryan MasonFeel free to discuss. What do you think? How would you rank them? How would your ballot look? Click here to view the article
  17. Seven Twins Daily Minor League writers were asked to vote for the various awards. For the relief pitcher of the year, we each voted for five players. The player who was voted as #1 received five points, #2 received four points and so on with the #5 vote receiving one point. Results were tabulated and can be found below. Short profiles of our top five are to follow, but first, some players worthy of honorable mention. These players also received votes. Others Receiving Votes Sam Clay – Fort Myers – 40 G, 8-0, 9 SV, 1.38 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 65.0 IP, 42 H, 32 BB, 63 K (8.7 K/9). Also pitched in three games for Chattanooga. Of the 10 earned runs he gave up with the Miracle, six of them were from his very first appearance of the season Michael Tonkin – Rochester Red Wings – 31 G, 4-2, 5 SV, 1.73 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 41.2 IP, 31 H, 13 BB, 61 K (13.2 K/9). Alan Busenitz – Rochester Red Wings – 24 G, 3-0, 2 SV, 1.78 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 35.1 IP, 19 H, 10 BB, 39 K (9.9 K/9). Todd Van Steensel – Chattanooga Lookouts – 36 G, 5-3, 0 SV, 1.38 ERA, 1.14 WHIP, 58.2 IP, 42 H, 25 BB, 59 K (9.1 K/9). Drew Rucinski – Rochester Red Wings – 37 G, 2-6, 2 SV, 2.57 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, 63.0 IP, 54 H, 10 BB, 57 K (8.1 K/9). Nik Turley – Rochester Red Wings & Chattanooga Lookouts – 14 G, 2-1, 0 SV, 0.81 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 33.1 IP, 18 H, 11 BB, 38 K (10.3 K/9). These are only his stats as a reliever. He also started 16 games. Alex Wimmers – Rochester Red Wings – 34 G, 7-3, 7 SV, 3.23 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, 47.1 IP, 33 H, 11 BB, 48 K (9.1 K/9). Ryan Mason – Cedar Rapids Kernels – 29 G, 1-2, 0 SV, 2.01 ERA, 1.32 WHIP, 49.1 IP, 54 H, 11 BB, 43 K (7.8 K/9). Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year Here are the top five vote getters for Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year. 5. Andrew Vasquez – Fort Myers Miracle & Cedar Rapids Kernels – 37 G, 4-1, 2 SV, 1.55 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 58.0 IP, 47 H, 21 BB, 85 K (13.2 K/9). A 32nd-round pick in 2015 out of Westmont College, Vasquez appears to be a nice find. He returned to Cedar Rapids, where he left off at the end of 2016, and dominated. At the start of June, the big 6-foot-6 lefty got the call up to Fort Myers and just kept on rolling. Lefties in particular struggled, hitting just .200/.297/.200 (.497 OPS) off him. Yes, in 75 plate appearances, no left-handed batter mustered an extra-base hit off Vasquez. And home runs? Forget about it. In 108.2 innings pitched as a professional, Vasquez hasn’t given up a single homer to anybody -- left or right. 4. Hector Lujan – Cedar Rapids Kernels – 42 G, 3-1, 17 SV, 1.33 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 54.0 IP, 41 H, 8 BB, 54 K (9.0 K/9). The Twins scouts did a really nice job with Westmont College in 2015. Lujan, who was a college teammate of Vasquez, was selected by the Twins in the 35th round that year. After a rocky first couple of seasons in the system, Lujan broke out this year and was a consistent force at the end of games for the Kernels. In fact, he led the Midwest League with 17 saves. What really sticks out for Hector is his impressive K:BB ratio of 6.75. He was able to average a strikeout per inning while issuing just eight free passes over 54 innings. Lujan was at his best during the stretch run for Cedar Rapids, as he gave up just one earned run over his final 20 innings. 3. Tom Hackimer – Fort Myers Miracle & Cedar Rapids Kernels – 43 G, 7-1, 13 SV, 1.76 ERA, 0.85 WHIP, 61.1 IP, 30 H, 22 BB, 71 K (10.4 K/9). The side-arming right-hander is much more than a gimmicky pitcher, but we know from guys like Hildenberger and Pat Neshek that relievers who drop down can be extremely effective. Drafted in the fourth round out of St. Johns University in 2016, Hackimer had an impressive debut season, but really turned heads in this, his first full year of pro ball. Just two other minor league pitchers gave up fewer hits per nine innings pitched than Hackimer (4.4 H/9) while throwing at least 50 innings. Sidewinders are usually extremely difficult on same-sided hitters, and Hackimer is no exception. Right-handed batters hit just .113/.231/.121 (.352 OPS) off him this season. It’s pretty tough for relievers to earn Player of the Week honors, but Hackimer was honored by the Florida State League as it’s best pitcher for the week of July 3-9. 2. Nick Anderson – Chattanooga Lookouts & Fort Myers Miracle – 44 G, 4-1, 11 SV, 1.00 ERA, 0.78 WHIP, 54.0 IP, 32 H, 10 BB, 57 K (9.5 K/9). The Twins signed Anderson, who went to high school in Brainerd, out of the Independent Frontier League in 2015. He had a 3.58 ERA in his first taste of the Florida State League last season, but returned to dominate the league this year and ended up being a key contributor in Chattanooga’s championship run. While he fell just short of the award this season, there’s no doubt Anderson was one of the best relievers in all of the minor leagues this year, let alone just in the Twins system. Among minor leaguers who threw at least 50 innings, Anderson ranked sixth in ERA and seventh in WHIP. Relief Pitcher of the Year John Curtiss – Rochester Red Wings & Chattanooga Lookouts – 39 G, 2-0, 19 SV, 1.28 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 49.1 IP, 23 H, 22 BB, 68 K (12.4 K/9). Curtiss’ year started with 22 scoreless innings for the Lookouts and in all he was charged with earned runs in just five of his 39 minor league appearances. The University of Texas product held opposing hitters to a .134 average this season, which was the second-lowest mark in all of the minors among pitchers with at least 40 innings. He also averaged 12.4 K/9 and didn’t give up a single homer while down on the farm. Minor league hitters were hopeless against him. The fact that the voting was so close is a pretty strong statement in regard to how many great performances there were in the system, as MLB Pipeline selected Curtiss as its lone relief pitcher on the 2017 Pipeline Prospect Team of the Year. Guess how many minor leaguers pitched at least 40 innings and had a lower ERA, lower WHIP and higher K/9 than Curtiss. Two. And here’s the part you’re really going to like: one of those two pitchers is also in the organization. That would be Gabriel Moya, who the Twins acquired from Arizona in a trade for John Ryan Murphy. It would have been interesting to see how the voting would’ve shaken out had Moya spent all year in the organization, as he had a 0.77 ERA, matching 0.77 WHIP, 13.4 K/9 and a Southern League-leading 24 saves this season. But just 14.2 of his 58.1 innings on the season came with Minnesota. Curtiss finished fourth in last year’s voting, one spot ahead of Anderson that year, too. He joined the Twins in late August and has gotten his major league career off to a rough start, but he appears likely to fill a role in the Twins bullpen for years to come. The Ballots In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs – 1) Nick Anderson, 2) John Curtiss, 3) Tom Hackimer, 4) Hector Lujan, 5) Alan Busenitz Jeremy Nygaard – 1) John Curtiss, 2) Tom Hackimer, 3) Alan Busenitz, 4) Alex Wimmers, 5) Nick Anderson Cody Christie – 1) John Curtiss, 2) Michael Tonkin, 3) Hector Lujan, 4) Sam Clay, 5) Drew Rucinski Tom Froemming – 1) John Curtiss, 2) Andrew Vasquez, 3) Tom Hackimer, 4) Nick Anderson, 5) Alan Busenitz Steve Lein – 1) Nick Anderson, 2) John Curtiss, 3) Hector Lujan, 4) Tom Hackimer, 5) Andrew Vasquez Eric Pleiss – 1) Sam Clay, 2) Nick Anderson, 3) Todd Van Steensel, 4) Nik Turley, 5) Michael Tonkin Ted Schwerzler – 1) John Curtiss, 2) Nick Anderson, 3) Andrew Vasquez, 4) Tom Hackimer, 5) Ryan Mason Feel free to discuss. What do you think? How would you rank them? How would your ballot look?
  18. Minor league regular season 2017 has come to an end. Every minor league club with the exception of the Rochester Red Wings will be in the playoffs. And the Red Wings became the first team in International League history to win 80 games in a season two years in a row without going to the playoffs either season (per Red Wings PR director Nate Rowan). But before we get to the end of the season, we need to honor those players who ended their season with a strong final month. The next three days, we’ll post our August minor league awards, starting today with the top six relievers.Before we share our Twins Daily Minor League Top Six Relievers for August, here are some terrific bullpen performances that just missed the cut. It may have been a shorter list to jot down which minor league relievers didn’t have a good month. HONORABLE MENTION Pedro Garcia - GCL Twins - 5 G, 1 GS, 22.2 IP, 11 H, 11 BB, 20 K, 1.99 ERA, 0.97 WHIP.Moises Gomez - Elizabethton Twins - 5 G, 1 GS, 18.2 IP, 12 H, 8 BB, 20 K, 3.38 ERA, 1.07 WHIP.Michael Kohn - GCL Twins/Ft. Myers Miracle/Rochester Red Wings - 12 G, 4 GS, 12.0 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 17 K, 0.75 ERA, 0.83 WHIP.Logan Lombana - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 19.2 IP, 18 H, 4 BB, 16 K, 1.37 ERA, 1.12 WHIP.Hector Lujan - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 10 G, 10.1 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 9 K, 0.87 ERA, 1.07 WHIP.Kevin Marnon - GCL Twins - 7 G, 16.2 IP, 14 H, 4 BB, 17 K, 0.54 ERA, 1.08 WHIP.Anthony McIver - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 7 G, 15.1 IP, 19 H, 4 BB, 11 K, 1.17 ERA, 1.50 WHIP.Gabriel Moya - Chattanooga Lookouts - 7 G, 10.1 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 12 K, 0.87 ERA, 0.87 WHIP.Jake Reed - Rochester Red Wings - 9 G, 14.2 IP, 11 H, 6 BB, 15 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.16 WHIP.Michael Theofanopoulos - Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 15.0 IP, 9 H, 8 BB, 18 K, 1.13 ERA, 1.13 WHIP.THE TOP SIX RELIEF PITCHERS #6 - Derek Molina - GCL Twins - 8 G, 1.23 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 18 K Molina was the Twins 14th-round pick in 2017 out of Merced College. Obviously that is a small college, but Doug Fister and briefly-a-Twins-pitcher Brian Fuentes were drafted from the school. Molina’s career began a little bit later (late July) as he was getting healthy and ready, but he’s been quite good since signing. You can see from the numbers above that he’s pitched well. Opponents hit just .192/.232/.231 (.463) off of him during August. #5 - Blayne Enlow - GCL Twins - 4 G, 1.23 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 9 H, 3 BB, 13 K I know. I know. Enlow isn’t a reliever. He was drafted in the third round and given lots of money over the slotted amount to sign to be a starting pitcher. However, things are a little different in the GCL. It’s in Ft. Myers, where big leaguers and minor leaguers tend to rehab. When they rehab, they typically start and then the regularly-scheduled GCL starter piggybacks him, coming in second in the game. That’s what the situation was for Enlow. He made four appearances, and all four were out of the bullpen in August. Opponents hit just .170/.228/.283 (.511) off him. He’s shown good control and an ability early to miss bats. Hopefully we’ll see him in the Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Month reports a few times over the next two to three years. #4 - John Curtiss - Rochester Red Wings - 6 G, 0.87 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 10.1 IP, 5 H, 5 BB, 11 K Curtiss is certainly a candidate for Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year, to be sure. In August, he continued to pitch well in Rochester right up until he was called up to the Twins later in the month. As he has been most of the season, he worked late innings, gave up very few runs, gave up very few hits, and missed a lot of bats. He’s had some struggles now in the big leagues, but even so, you can see his electric stuff. He’s got plenty of fastball, with movement, and his breaking pitches are terrific too. He’s got a chance to be very good. Against minor leaguers in August, he gave up a slash line of just .139/.244/.139 (.383). #3 - Jared Finkel - Elizabethton Twins - 8 G, 0.55 ERA, 0.55 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 16 K Finkel was the Twins 23rd-round draft choice in 2017 out of Iona College in New York. The last player drafted out of Iona was Mariano Rivera’s son, Mariano. It’s not a baseball hotbed, though Jason Motte and Dennis Leonard went there. Finkel was rather Rivera-like, admittedly in rookie ball, in August. Opponents hit just .192/.232/.231 (.463) against the right-hander. #2 - Jovani Moran - Elizabethton Twins - 9 G, 0.87 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 10.1 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 23 K Moran was the Twins seventh-round draft pick in 2015 out of high school in Puerto Rico. The left-hander has a good pitch mix. Unfortunately, he had to miss the 2016 season after getting bone chips removed from his elbow. He’s returned to form this year and been fantastic. For Elizabethton, he started this season without giving up a run until his penultimate regular season outing of the year, a stretch of 20.1 innings. He gave up just one run the full season. He’s been hard to hit, hasn’t issued an excessive amount of walks, and certainly has the stuff to miss a lot of bats. For August, opponents hit just .086/.179/.171 (.351) off of him. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Chattanooga Lookouts – RHP Nick Anderson - 11 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.53 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 10 K For the second straight month, a Minnesotan will win the Twins Daily Relief Pitcher of the Month award. For the second straight month, that Minnesotan is RHP Nick Anderson. So, right or wrong, a bit of what you see below will be similar to what you read a month ago. Even his numbers are very similar to the previous month. He didn’t give up an earned run. He gave up about one base runner every other inning. He picked up four saves. He was named the Southern League Relief Pitcher of the Month for August. Opponents hit just .139/.162/.139 (.301) off of him. As a reminder, Anderson is a graduate of Brainerd High School. He went to St. Cloud state for three years before heading to Mayville State for a season. The Brewers drafted him, but they didn’t even offer him a contract. After working in the indy leagues for a few seasons, the Twins signed him late in 2015, and he’s been a dominant late inning reliever wherever he’s played. He’s spent most of this season with the Lookouts. There were a lot of very strong relief pitcher performances in August throughout the Twins minor league system. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today, but again, congratulations to the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for August 2017, Nick Anderson. Click here to view the article
  19. Before we share our Twins Daily Minor League Top Six Relievers for August, here are some terrific bullpen performances that just missed the cut. It may have been a shorter list to jot down which minor league relievers didn’t have a good month. HONORABLE MENTION Pedro Garcia - GCL Twins - 5 G, 1 GS, 22.2 IP, 11 H, 11 BB, 20 K, 1.99 ERA, 0.97 WHIP. Moises Gomez - Elizabethton Twins - 5 G, 1 GS, 18.2 IP, 12 H, 8 BB, 20 K, 3.38 ERA, 1.07 WHIP. Michael Kohn - GCL Twins/Ft. Myers Miracle/Rochester Red Wings - 12 G, 4 GS, 12.0 IP, 7 H, 3 BB, 17 K, 0.75 ERA, 0.83 WHIP. Logan Lombana - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 19.2 IP, 18 H, 4 BB, 16 K, 1.37 ERA, 1.12 WHIP. Hector Lujan - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 10 G, 10.1 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 9 K, 0.87 ERA, 1.07 WHIP. Kevin Marnon - GCL Twins - 7 G, 16.2 IP, 14 H, 4 BB, 17 K, 0.54 ERA, 1.08 WHIP. Anthony McIver - Ft. Myers Miracle/Chattanooga Lookouts - 7 G, 15.1 IP, 19 H, 4 BB, 11 K, 1.17 ERA, 1.50 WHIP. Gabriel Moya - Chattanooga Lookouts - 7 G, 10.1 IP, 7 H, 2 BB, 12 K, 0.87 ERA, 0.87 WHIP. Jake Reed - Rochester Red Wings - 9 G, 14.2 IP, 11 H, 6 BB, 15 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.16 WHIP. Michael Theofanopoulos - Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 15.0 IP, 9 H, 8 BB, 18 K, 1.13 ERA, 1.13 WHIP. THE TOP SIX RELIEF PITCHERS #6 - Derek Molina - GCL Twins - 8 G, 1.23 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 10 H, 3 BB, 18 K Molina was the Twins 14th-round pick in 2017 out of Merced College. Obviously that is a small college, but Doug Fister and briefly-a-Twins-pitcher Brian Fuentes were drafted from the school. Molina’s career began a little bit later (late July) as he was getting healthy and ready, but he’s been quite good since signing. You can see from the numbers above that he’s pitched well. Opponents hit just .192/.232/.231 (.463) off of him during August. #5 - Blayne Enlow - GCL Twins - 4 G, 1.23 ERA, 0.82 WHIP, 14.2 IP, 9 H, 3 BB, 13 K I know. I know. Enlow isn’t a reliever. He was drafted in the third round and given lots of money over the slotted amount to sign to be a starting pitcher. However, things are a little different in the GCL. It’s in Ft. Myers, where big leaguers and minor leaguers tend to rehab. When they rehab, they typically start and then the regularly-scheduled GCL starter piggybacks him, coming in second in the game. That’s what the situation was for Enlow. He made four appearances, and all four were out of the bullpen in August. Opponents hit just .170/.228/.283 (.511) off him. He’s shown good control and an ability early to miss bats. Hopefully we’ll see him in the Twins Daily Starting Pitcher of the Month reports a few times over the next two to three years. #4 - John Curtiss - Rochester Red Wings - 6 G, 0.87 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, 10.1 IP, 5 H, 5 BB, 11 K Curtiss is certainly a candidate for Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Year, to be sure. In August, he continued to pitch well in Rochester right up until he was called up to the Twins later in the month. As he has been most of the season, he worked late innings, gave up very few runs, gave up very few hits, and missed a lot of bats. He’s had some struggles now in the big leagues, but even so, you can see his electric stuff. He’s got plenty of fastball, with movement, and his breaking pitches are terrific too. He’s got a chance to be very good. Against minor leaguers in August, he gave up a slash line of just .139/.244/.139 (.383). #3 - Jared Finkel - Elizabethton Twins - 8 G, 0.55 ERA, 0.55 WHIP, 16.1 IP, 8 H, 1 BB, 16 K Finkel was the Twins 23rd-round draft choice in 2017 out of Iona College in New York. The last player drafted out of Iona was Mariano Rivera’s son, Mariano. It’s not a baseball hotbed, though Jason Motte and Dennis Leonard went there. Finkel was rather Rivera-like, admittedly in rookie ball, in August. Opponents hit just .192/.232/.231 (.463) against the right-hander. #2 - Jovani Moran - Elizabethton Twins - 9 G, 0.87 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 10.1 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 23 K Moran was the Twins seventh-round draft pick in 2015 out of high school in Puerto Rico. The left-hander has a good pitch mix. Unfortunately, he had to miss the 2016 season after getting bone chips removed from his elbow. He’s returned to form this year and been fantastic. For Elizabethton, he started this season without giving up a run until his penultimate regular season outing of the year, a stretch of 20.1 innings. He gave up just one run the full season. He’s been hard to hit, hasn’t issued an excessive amount of walks, and certainly has the stuff to miss a lot of bats. For August, opponents hit just .086/.179/.171 (.351) off of him. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Chattanooga Lookouts – RHP Nick Anderson - 11 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.53 WHIP, 11.1 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 10 K For the second straight month, a Minnesotan will win the Twins Daily Relief Pitcher of the Month award. For the second straight month, that Minnesotan is RHP Nick Anderson. So, right or wrong, a bit of what you see below will be similar to what you read a month ago. Even his numbers are very similar to the previous month. He didn’t give up an earned run. He gave up about one base runner every other inning. He picked up four saves. He was named the Southern League Relief Pitcher of the Month for August. Opponents hit just .139/.162/.139 (.301) off of him. As a reminder, Anderson is a graduate of Brainerd High School. He went to St. Cloud state for three years before heading to Mayville State for a season. The Brewers drafted him, but they didn’t even offer him a contract. After working in the indy leagues for a few seasons, the Twins signed him late in 2015, and he’s been a dominant late inning reliever wherever he’s played. He’s spent most of this season with the Lookouts. There were a lot of very strong relief pitcher performances in August throughout the Twins minor league system. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today, but again, congratulations to the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for August 2017, Nick Anderson.
  20. Before we share our Twins Daily Minor League Top 6 Relievers for July, here are some terrific bullpen performances that just missed the cut. It may have been a shorter list to jot down which minor league relievers didn’t have a good month out of the bullpen. HONORABLE MENTION Luke Bard - Chattanooga Lookouts - 10 G, 14.1 IP, 14 H, 5 BB, 16 K, 1.26 ERA, 1.33 WHIP. John Curtiss - Rochester Red Wings - 9 G, 9.2 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 17 K, 3.72 ERA, 1.03 WHIP. Colton Davis - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 8 G, 9.1 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 10 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.1 WHIP. Raul Fernandez - Chattanooga Lookouts - 7 G, 15.1 IP, 12 H, 5 BB, 20 K, 0.59 ERA, 1.11 WHIP. Logan Lombana - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 7 G, 12.2 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, 10 K, 1.42 ERA, 0.79 WHIP. Hector Lujan - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 11.2 IP, 10 H, 2 BB, 14 K, 0.77 ERA, 1.03 WHIP. Jose Martinez - Elizabethton Twins - 5 G, 9.1 IP, 8 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 0.96 ERA, 0.86 WHIP. Mason Melotakis - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 9.2 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 9 K, 1.86 ERA, 1.14 WHIP. Alex Muren - Ft. Myers Miracle - 9 G, 14.2 IP, 14 H, 3 BB, 15 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.16 WHIP. Alex Robinson - Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 11.1 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 22 K, 1.59 ERA, 0.97 WHIP. Randy Rosario - Chattanooga Lookouts - 9 G, 16.0 IP, 14 H, 4 BB, 8 K, 1.13 ERA, 1.13 WHIP. Drew Rucinski - Rochester Red Wings - 7 G, 11.1 IP, 10 H, 2 BB, 11 K, 3.18 ERA, 1.06 WHIP. Michael Tonkin - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 10.0 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 13 K, 0.90 ERA, 1.10 WHIP. Alex Wimmers - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 10.0 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 12 K, 1.80 ERA, 0.80 WHIP. THE TOP SIX RELIEF PITCHERS #6 - Todd Van Steensel - Chattanooga Lookouts - 9 G, 1.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 18.0 IP, 12 H, 4 BB, 21 K It seems like Todd Van Steensel has been around the Twins organization for a long time. He has, even if not all of the time has been continuous . Originally signed by the Phillies, he pitched for them in 2009. The Twins signed him in 2011 and he pitched (primarily as a starter) for Elizabethton. The Twins let him go at that time, and he pitched in Europe and in his native Australia. But before the 2014 season, the Twins signed him again, and he’s been really good ever since. He pitched in Cedar rapids that season. He pitched in 101 games out of the Miracle bullpen over three years. Last year, he made his AA debut late in the season. He was set to stay in Ft. Myers to start this season, but last minute, he had to drive himself to Chattanooga because of some plane scheduling issues. And as always, he’s been very good. In July, opponents hit just .190/.246/.254 (.500) which is really impressive when you realize that he threw 18 innings, most among Twins relievers in the month by two innings.He’s always been able to miss bats, but he threw a lot of strikes in July, the one thing that he has struggled with to some degree in the past. Overall this season, he is 4-2 with a 1.52 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. In 47.1 innings, he has 19 walks and 51 strikeouts. Van Steensel continues to fly under the radar. #5 - Andrew Vasquez - Ft. Myers Miracle - 9 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 20 K Andrew Vasquez is another relatively unknown Twins minor league relief prospect. That’s easy to happen because relievers don’t get talked about as much as starters and position players. But that’s reason #194 why we want to highlight relievers each month here at Twins Daily. Vasquez is becoming more known because he’s been showing up on these reports consistently. Recently, he ended a streak of 30.1 scoreless innings. He did not give up a run from May 16th until August 3rd. Which brings us to his July performance. He did not give up a run, obviously. He allowed very few base runners. He can get a lot of strikeouts, and he’s got good control. Opponents hit just .212/.281/.231 (.511). Between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers, Vasquez has a 1.15 ERA and a 1.00 ERA. In 47 innings, he’s walked 15 batters and struck out 72 (13.8 K/9!). At this rate, lots more Twins fans will know about the former 32nd-round pick from 2015 from Westmont College. #4 - Sam Clay - Ft. Myers Miracle - 9 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 5 H, 9 BB, 13 K Sam Clay has had a real good year in his transition from starter to reliever (which he had been at Georgia Tech too). Overall this year for the Miracle, he is 8-0 with nine saves. He’s got a 1.29 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP. Those numbers are even more impressive when you remember that his first appearance of the year did not go well. He gave up six earned runs in 0.2 innings. Since that game, he has given up two earned runs in 55.1 innings (0.33 ERA). His current streak is 29 straight scoreless innings. How he’s stayed in Ft. Myers all year is beyond my knowledge. In July, batters hit just .119/.275/.119 (.394) off him. If there is one area that he’s struggled, it is with his control. He has 28 walks in 56 innings this year, with 56 strikeouts. I guess we can say that he is effectively wild. #3 - Tom Hackimer - Ft. Myers Miracle - 10 G, 0.68 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 4 H, 5 BB, 17 K Hackimer was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2016 as a senior out of St. John’s University. At 5-11 and stocky, Hackimer doesn’t look like a typical Twins pitcher. And he doesn’t throw like one either. Well, literally he throws like one Twins pitcher… Trevor Hildenberger. Hackimer throws from the side which can be real tough on opposing hitters. He ended last year in Cedar Rapids, and that’s where he began this season. With the Kernels, he posted a 1.50 ERA and a 0.58 WHIP in 24 innings before a late-May promotion to the Miracle. In 25.1 innings with Ft. Myers, he’s got a 1.07 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. In July, opponents hit just .095/.220/.095 (.315). #2 - Patrick McGuff - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 0.56 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 16.0 IP, 8 H, 4 BB, 25 K A year ago, Patrick McGuff was the Twins 36th-round pick out of Morehead State. He began in the GCL where he threw 5.2 scoreless innings before moving up to Elizabethton. He continued to pitch well there as he picked up nine saves and struck out 33 in 26 innings. He was called up to the Kernels and helped them in the postseason. It was a surprise when he began this season in extended spring training. He was brought up to the Kernels at the end of May. He struggled for a couple of weeks, but the last six weeks, he’s been really good (as indicated by his July numbers). Opponents hit just .148/.220/.222 (.443) off him in the month. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Chattanooga Lookouts – RHP Nick Anderson - 10 G, 0.87 ERA, 0.39 WHIP, 10.1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 14 K It’s been a wild and interesting ride for Nick Anderson in his career since graduating from Brainerd High School. He went to St. Cloud State for three years before going to Mayville State. He was drafted by the Brewers, but they didn’t even offer him a contract. So, he had to go the independent ball route. Late in the 2015 season, he was signed by the Twins, and he’s been terrific since. He ended that season closing games for the Kernels. He split the 2016 season between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. He began this season with the Miracle as well. In 15 games, he posted a 0.89 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP. He has pitched in 18 games with the Lookouts and posted a 1.19 ERA with a 0.79 WHIP. And July was a big part of that. Anderson dominated hitters in July. They hit just .088/.139/.147 (.286) off him. He has a good, mid-90s fastball, and he throws a lot of strikes. But he also is able to miss bats. Already 26, he’s one of several Lookouts relievers who are ready for Triple-A, and they all become intriguing options for an organization whose big league club is in need of bullpen options. There were a lot of very strong relief pitcher performances in July throughout the Twins minor league system. There aren’t a lot of months with this many Honorable Mentions. Feel free to agree or disagree with the order, if you like, but congratulations to each of these individuals on an excellent month of relief work. Congratulations to the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for July 2017, Nick Anderson.
  21. The last two days, we’ve handed out our July Twins Minor League Hitter and Starting Pitcher of the Month Awards. Today, we’ll take a look at the top relievers in the Twins system in July. It was extremely difficult to come up with the top six because there were so many good candidates. However, we did it, and our honorable mention list is huge too, so let’s get started. If you missed any of the previous July awards, click the following links: Hitter of the Month - Jonathan Rodriguez, Chattanooga LookoutsStarting Pitcher of the Month - Aaron Slegers, Rochester Red WingsBefore we share our Twins Daily Minor League Top 6 Relievers for July, here are some terrific bullpen performances that just missed the cut. It may have been a shorter list to jot down which minor league relievers didn’t have a good month out of the bullpen. HONORABLE MENTION Luke Bard - Chattanooga Lookouts - 10 G, 14.1 IP, 14 H, 5 BB, 16 K, 1.26 ERA, 1.33 WHIP.John Curtiss - Rochester Red Wings - 9 G, 9.2 IP, 6 H, 4 BB, 17 K, 3.72 ERA, 1.03 WHIP.Colton Davis - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 8 G, 9.1 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 10 K, 0.00 ERA, 1.1 WHIP.Raul Fernandez - Chattanooga Lookouts - 7 G, 15.1 IP, 12 H, 5 BB, 20 K, 0.59 ERA, 1.11 WHIP.Logan Lombana - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 7 G, 12.2 IP, 8 H, 2 BB, 10 K, 1.42 ERA, 0.79 WHIP.Hector Lujan - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 11.2 IP, 10 H, 2 BB, 14 K, 0.77 ERA, 1.03 WHIP.Jose Martinez - Elizabethton Twins - 5 G, 9.1 IP, 8 H, 0 BB, 6 K, 0.96 ERA, 0.86 WHIP.Mason Melotakis - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 9.2 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 9 K, 1.86 ERA, 1.14 WHIP.Alex Muren - Ft. Myers Miracle - 9 G, 14.2 IP, 14 H, 3 BB, 15 K, 1.84 ERA, 1.16 WHIP.Alex Robinson - Ft. Myers Miracle - 8 G, 11.1 IP, 7 H, 4 BB, 22 K, 1.59 ERA, 0.97 WHIP.Randy Rosario - Chattanooga Lookouts - 9 G, 16.0 IP, 14 H, 4 BB, 8 K, 1.13 ERA, 1.13 WHIP.Drew Rucinski - Rochester Red Wings - 7 G, 11.1 IP, 10 H, 2 BB, 11 K, 3.18 ERA, 1.06 WHIP.Michael Tonkin - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 10.0 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 13 K, 0.90 ERA, 1.10 WHIP.Alex Wimmers - Rochester Red Wings - 8 G, 10.0 IP, 6 H, 2 BB, 12 K, 1.80 ERA, 0.80 WHIP.THE TOP SIX RELIEF PITCHERS #6 - Todd Van Steensel - Chattanooga Lookouts - 9 G, 1.00 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, 18.0 IP, 12 H, 4 BB, 21 K It seems like Todd Van Steensel has been around the Twins organization for a long time. He has, even if not all of the time has been continuous . Originally signed by the Phillies, he pitched for them in 2009. The Twins signed him in 2011 and he pitched (primarily as a starter) for Elizabethton. The Twins let him go at that time, and he pitched in Europe and in his native Australia. But before the 2014 season, the Twins signed him again, and he’s been really good ever since. He pitched in Cedar rapids that season. He pitched in 101 games out of the Miracle bullpen over three years. Last year, he made his AA debut late in the season. He was set to stay in Ft. Myers to start this season, but last minute, he had to drive himself to Chattanooga because of some plane scheduling issues. And as always, he’s been very good. In July, opponents hit just .190/.246/.254 (.500) which is really impressive when you realize that he threw 18 innings, most among Twins relievers in the month by two innings.He’s always been able to miss bats, but he threw a lot of strikes in July, the one thing that he has struggled with to some degree in the past. Overall this season, he is 4-2 with a 1.52 ERA and a 1.14 WHIP. In 47.1 innings, he has 19 walks and 51 strikeouts. Van Steensel continues to fly under the radar. #5 - Andrew Vasquez - Ft. Myers Miracle - 9 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 11 H, 2 BB, 20 K Andrew Vasquez is another relatively unknown Twins minor league relief prospect. That’s easy to happen because relievers don’t get talked about as much as starters and position players. But that’s reason #194 why we want to highlight relievers each month here at Twins Daily. Vasquez is becoming more known because he’s been showing up on these reports consistently. Recently, he ended a streak of 30.1 scoreless innings. He did not give up a run from May 16th until August 3rd. Which brings us to his July performance. He did not give up a run, obviously. He allowed very few base runners. He can get a lot of strikeouts, and he’s got good control. Opponents hit just .212/.281/.231 (.511). Between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers, Vasquez has a 1.15 ERA and a 1.00 ERA. In 47 innings, he’s walked 15 batters and struck out 72 (13.8 K/9!). At this rate, lots more Twins fans will know about the former 32nd-round pick from 2015 from Westmont College. #4 - Sam Clay - Ft. Myers Miracle - 9 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 14.1 IP, 5 H, 9 BB, 13 K Sam Clay has had a real good year in his transition from starter to reliever (which he had been at Georgia Tech too). Overall this year for the Miracle, he is 8-0 with nine saves. He’s got a 1.29 ERA with a 1.09 WHIP. Those numbers are even more impressive when you remember that his first appearance of the year did not go well. He gave up six earned runs in 0.2 innings. Since that game, he has given up two earned runs in 55.1 innings (0.33 ERA). His current streak is 29 straight scoreless innings. How he’s stayed in Ft. Myers all year is beyond my knowledge. In July, batters hit just .119/.275/.119 (.394) off him. If there is one area that he’s struggled, it is with his control. He has 28 walks in 56 innings this year, with 56 strikeouts. I guess we can say that he is effectively wild. #3 - Tom Hackimer - Ft. Myers Miracle - 10 G, 0.68 ERA, 0.68 WHIP, 13.1 IP, 4 H, 5 BB, 17 K Hackimer was the Twins fourth-round pick in 2016 as a senior out of St. John’s University. At 5-11 and stocky, Hackimer doesn’t look like a typical Twins pitcher. And he doesn’t throw like one either. Well, literally he throws like one Twins pitcher… Trevor Hildenberger. Hackimer throws from the side which can be real tough on opposing hitters. He ended last year in Cedar Rapids, and that’s where he began this season. With the Kernels, he posted a 1.50 ERA and a 0.58 WHIP in 24 innings before a late-May promotion to the Miracle. In 25.1 innings with Ft. Myers, he’s got a 1.07 ERA and a 0.99 WHIP. In July, opponents hit just .095/.220/.095 (.315). #2 - Patrick McGuff - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 9 G, 0.56 ERA, 0.75 WHIP, 16.0 IP, 8 H, 4 BB, 25 K A year ago, Patrick McGuff was the Twins 36th-round pick out of Morehead State. He began in the GCL where he threw 5.2 scoreless innings before moving up to Elizabethton. He continued to pitch well there as he picked up nine saves and struck out 33 in 26 innings. He was called up to the Kernels and helped them in the postseason. It was a surprise when he began this season in extended spring training. He was brought up to the Kernels at the end of May. He struggled for a couple of weeks, but the last six weeks, he’s been really good (as indicated by his July numbers). Opponents hit just .148/.220/.222 (.443) off him in the month. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Chattanooga Lookouts – RHP Nick Anderson - 10 G, 0.87 ERA, 0.39 WHIP, 10.1 IP, 3 H, 1 BB, 14 K It’s been a wild and interesting ride for Nick Anderson in his career since graduating from Brainerd High School. He went to St. Cloud State for three years before going to Mayville State. He was drafted by the Brewers, but they didn’t even offer him a contract. So, he had to go the independent ball route. Late in the 2015 season, he was signed by the Twins, and he’s been terrific since. He ended that season closing games for the Kernels. He split the 2016 season between Cedar Rapids and Ft. Myers. He began this season with the Miracle as well. In 15 games, he posted a 0.89 ERA and a 0.79 WHIP. He has pitched in 18 games with the Lookouts and posted a 1.19 ERA with a 0.79 WHIP. And July was a big part of that. Anderson dominated hitters in July. They hit just .088/.139/.147 (.286) off him. He has a good, mid-90s fastball, and he throws a lot of strikes. But he also is able to miss bats. Already 26, he’s one of several Lookouts relievers who are ready for Triple-A, and they all become intriguing options for an organization whose big league club is in need of bullpen options. There were a lot of very strong relief pitcher performances in July throughout the Twins minor league system. There aren’t a lot of months with this many Honorable Mentions. Feel free to agree or disagree with the order, if you like, but congratulations to each of these individuals on an excellent month of relief work. Congratulations to the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for July 2017, Nick Anderson. Click here to view the article
  22. We are now about six weeks into the season. Statistics are starting to show meaning. At the same time, we’ve seen that batting average and other rate stats can still change quite a bit in just a week. But it is time for us to share the current Twins minor league statistical leaderboard. Below, you will find out which hitters and which pitchers are off to the best starts over a bit of an extended time to start the year. What do these statistics mean? Well, they may mean something different to different people. We aren’t factoring in age or level of competition. We’re simply highlighting the leaderboard and giving recognition to these young men. But first, let’s take a quick look at how the Twins’ affiliates currently stack up in their leagues. Rochester is 17-14. The Red Wings are 2.5 games back of the Lehigh Valley IronPigs in the International League North Division. They’re in third place in the division.In the first half, Chattanooga is 20-16. That puts them in third place 2.0 games behind Tennessee, and they are in third place in the division.Ft. Myers is the lone affiliate under. 500. They are 17-20 and in fourth place in their division, 7.0 games behind the division leader, Bradenton.Cedar Rapids is 20-15 to start the season. They are currently tied with Kane County (19-14) at the top of the Midwest League’s Western Division.With that, let’s look at the minor league statistical leader board (through games on Saturday, May 13). HITTERS (Rate numbers- minimum 89 plate appearances) Plate Appearances - Chris Paul (152), Nick Gordon (150), Zander Wiel (147), Jermaine Palacios/Jonathan Rodriguez (144), Max Murphy (142), Lewin Diaz (140), Engelb Vielma/Travis Blankenhorn (137) Batting Average - LaMonte Wade (.327), Nick Gordon/Jermaine Palacios (.321), Chris Paul (.317), Edgar Corcino (.298), Lewin Diaz (.293), Mitchell Kranson (.292), Aaron Whitefield (.289). On-Base Percentage - LaMonte Wade (.470), Nick Gordon (.387), Max Murphy (.373), Edgar Corcino (.364), Engelb Vielma (.363), Jermaine Palacios (.354), Mitchell Kranson (.353), Matt Hague (.344) Slugging Percentage - Aaron Whitefield (.509), Lewin Diaz (.504), LaMonte Wade (.495), Jermaine Palacios (.489), Zander Wiel (.474), Nick Gordon (.470), Mitchell Kranson (.462), Jonathan Rodriguez (.426) OPS - LaMonte Wade (.965), Nick Gordon (.857), Jermaine Palacios (.843), Aaron Whitefield (.831), Lewin Diaz (.825), Mitchell Kranson (.810), Zander Wiel (.793), Max Murphy (.772). Hits - Chris Paul (45), Jermaine Palacios (44), Nick Gordon (43), Lewin Diaz (39), Zander Wiel/Max Murphy/Jonathan Rodriguez/Edgar Corcino/Engelb Vielma (34). Doubles - Lewin Diaz (14), Zander Wiel (12), Mitchell Kranson (10), Jonathan Rodriguez/Tommy Field (9), Chris Paul/Nick Gordon (8), three with 7. Triples - Jermaine Palacios (5), Zander Wiel/Rafael Valera (4), Nick Gordon (3), seven with 2. Home Runs - Aaron Whitefield/Daniel Palka (5), Jaylin Davis/Lewin Diaz/Dan Rohlfing/Jonathan Rodriguez/LaMonte Wade (4), seven with 3. Runs Scored - LaMonte Wade (26), Jermaine Palacios (25), Jonathan Rodriguez (22), Max Murphy (20), Aaron Whitefield/Nick Gordon (18), Daniel Palka/Tommy Field (17), three with 16. RBI - Zander Wiel (23), Nick Gordon/Lewin Diaz (20), Jonathan Rodriguez/Engelb Vielma (18), Jermaine Palacios/Travis Blankenhorn (16), three with 15. SB - Zack Granite/Aaron Whitefield (7), Tanner English (6), Jermaine Palacios/Jaylin Davis/LaMonte Wade (5), three with 4. THE STARTING PITCHERS (Rate number - minimum 27.0 innings) Innings Pitched: Dereck Rodriguez (45.0), Jose Berrios (39.2), Sean Poppen (39.1), Clark Beeker (38.2), Fernando Romero (35.2), Randy LeBlanc (35.0), Aaron Slegers/Tyler Wells (34.0) ERA: Jose Berrios (1.13), David Hurlbut (1.59), Sean Poppen (2.29), Clark Beeker (2.56), Tyler Wells (2.65), Dereck Rodriguez (2.80), Randy LeBlanc (2.83), Felix Jorge (3.45). WHIP: Jose Berrios (0.81), Clark Beeker (1.01), Cody Stashak (1.03), Dereck Rodriguez (1.09), Sean Poppen (1.12), Tyler Beardsley (1.21), Jason Wheeler (1.312), Randy LeBlanc (1.314). K/9: Tyler Wells (11.9), Eduardo Del Rosario (11.2), David Fischer (10.0), Cody Stashak (9.0), Sean Poppen (8.9), Jose Berrios (8.8), Fernando Romero (8.3). BB/9: Cody Stashak (1.1), Clark Beeker (1.2), Dereck Rodriguez (1.4), Sean Poppen (1.6), Jose Berrios (1.8), Tyler Beardsley (1.9), Lachlan Wells (2.0), Aaron Slegers (2.1). K: Tyler Wells/Nik Turley (45), Sean Poppen/Jose Berrios (39), Eduardo Del Rosario (34), Fernando Romero (33), Cody Stashak/Dereck Rodriguez (32). Wins: Clark Beeker (5-1). THE RELIEF PITCHERS (Rate numbers - minimum 11.0 innings, and less than 2 starts) Innings Pitched: Brady Anderson (25.2), Randy Rosario (21.0), Anthony McIver (20.2), Sam Clay/Ryan Eades (20.1), Luke Bard (18.2), Williams Ramirez (18.0), Michael Theofanopoulos (17.2). ERA: John Curtiss (0.00), Nick Burdi (0.66), Mason Melotakis (1.17), Nick Anderson (1.26), Logan Lombana (1.59), Jonny Drozd (1.65), Hector Lujan (1.80), Andrew Vasquez (1.84). WHIP: Tom Hackimer (0.65), Mason Melotakis (0.72), Nick Burdi (0.73), Nick Anderson (0.77), DJ Baxendale (0.85), Alan Busenitz (0.95), Randy Rosario/Hector Lujan (1.00). K/9: Luke Bard (14.9), Andrew Vasquez (14.1), Alex Robinson (13.2), Nick Burdi (11.9), John Curtiss/Todd Van Steensel (11.7), Alan Busenitz (11.4), Williams Ramirez (10.5). BB/9: Tom Hackimer (0.5), Brady Anderson (1.1), Hector Lujan (1.2), Nick Anderson (1.3), DJ Baxendale (1.4), Jonny Drozd (2.2), Mason Melotakis (2.3), Alex Robinson (2.5). K: Luke Bard (31), Andrew Vasquez (23), Alex Robinson/Williams Ramirez (21), Michael Theofanopoulos/Todd Van Steensel/Sam Clay (20), Ryan Eades/Anthony McIver (19). Saves: John Curtiss (5), Tom Hackimer/Alex Wimmers (4), Mason Melotakis/Jonny Drozd/Max Cordy (3), Nick Anderson (2), 12 with 1. Feel free to ask questions about any of the players or teams. Click here to view the article
  23. With that, let’s look at the minor league statistical leader board (through games on Saturday, May 13). HITTERS (Rate numbers- minimum 89 plate appearances) Plate Appearances - Chris Paul (152), Nick Gordon (150), Zander Wiel (147), Jermaine Palacios/Jonathan Rodriguez (144), Max Murphy (142), Lewin Diaz (140), Engelb Vielma/Travis Blankenhorn (137) Batting Average - LaMonte Wade (.327), Nick Gordon/Jermaine Palacios (.321), Chris Paul (.317), Edgar Corcino (.298), Lewin Diaz (.293), Mitchell Kranson (.292), Aaron Whitefield (.289). On-Base Percentage - LaMonte Wade (.470), Nick Gordon (.387), Max Murphy (.373), Edgar Corcino (.364), Engelb Vielma (.363), Jermaine Palacios (.354), Mitchell Kranson (.353), Matt Hague (.344) Slugging Percentage - Aaron Whitefield (.509), Lewin Diaz (.504), LaMonte Wade (.495), Jermaine Palacios (.489), Zander Wiel (.474), Nick Gordon (.470), Mitchell Kranson (.462), Jonathan Rodriguez (.426) OPS - LaMonte Wade (.965), Nick Gordon (.857), Jermaine Palacios (.843), Aaron Whitefield (.831), Lewin Diaz (.825), Mitchell Kranson (.810), Zander Wiel (.793), Max Murphy (.772). Hits - Chris Paul (45), Jermaine Palacios (44), Nick Gordon (43), Lewin Diaz (39), Zander Wiel/Max Murphy/Jonathan Rodriguez/Edgar Corcino/Engelb Vielma (34). Doubles - Lewin Diaz (14), Zander Wiel (12), Mitchell Kranson (10), Jonathan Rodriguez/Tommy Field (9), Chris Paul/Nick Gordon (8), three with 7. Triples - Jermaine Palacios (5), Zander Wiel/Rafael Valera (4), Nick Gordon (3), seven with 2. Home Runs - Aaron Whitefield/Daniel Palka (5), Jaylin Davis/Lewin Diaz/Dan Rohlfing/Jonathan Rodriguez/LaMonte Wade (4), seven with 3. Runs Scored - LaMonte Wade (26), Jermaine Palacios (25), Jonathan Rodriguez (22), Max Murphy (20), Aaron Whitefield/Nick Gordon (18), Daniel Palka/Tommy Field (17), three with 16. RBI - Zander Wiel (23), Nick Gordon/Lewin Diaz (20), Jonathan Rodriguez/Engelb Vielma (18), Jermaine Palacios/Travis Blankenhorn (16), three with 15. SB - Zack Granite/Aaron Whitefield (7), Tanner English (6), Jermaine Palacios/Jaylin Davis/LaMonte Wade (5), three with 4. THE STARTING PITCHERS (Rate number - minimum 27.0 innings) Innings Pitched: Dereck Rodriguez (45.0), Jose Berrios (39.2), Sean Poppen (39.1), Clark Beeker (38.2), Fernando Romero (35.2), Randy LeBlanc (35.0), Aaron Slegers/Tyler Wells (34.0) ERA: Jose Berrios (1.13), David Hurlbut (1.59), Sean Poppen (2.29), Clark Beeker (2.56), Tyler Wells (2.65), Dereck Rodriguez (2.80), Randy LeBlanc (2.83), Felix Jorge (3.45). WHIP: Jose Berrios (0.81), Clark Beeker (1.01), Cody Stashak (1.03), Dereck Rodriguez (1.09), Sean Poppen (1.12), Tyler Beardsley (1.21), Jason Wheeler (1.312), Randy LeBlanc (1.314). K/9: Tyler Wells (11.9), Eduardo Del Rosario (11.2), David Fischer (10.0), Cody Stashak (9.0), Sean Poppen (8.9), Jose Berrios (8.8), Fernando Romero (8.3). BB/9: Cody Stashak (1.1), Clark Beeker (1.2), Dereck Rodriguez (1.4), Sean Poppen (1.6), Jose Berrios (1.8), Tyler Beardsley (1.9), Lachlan Wells (2.0), Aaron Slegers (2.1). K: Tyler Wells/Nik Turley (45), Sean Poppen/Jose Berrios (39), Eduardo Del Rosario (34), Fernando Romero (33), Cody Stashak/Dereck Rodriguez (32). Wins: Clark Beeker (5-1). THE RELIEF PITCHERS (Rate numbers - minimum 11.0 innings, and less than 2 starts) Innings Pitched: Brady Anderson (25.2), Randy Rosario (21.0), Anthony McIver (20.2), Sam Clay/Ryan Eades (20.1), Luke Bard (18.2), Williams Ramirez (18.0), Michael Theofanopoulos (17.2). ERA: John Curtiss (0.00), Nick Burdi (0.66), Mason Melotakis (1.17), Nick Anderson (1.26), Logan Lombana (1.59), Jonny Drozd (1.65), Hector Lujan (1.80), Andrew Vasquez (1.84). WHIP: Tom Hackimer (0.65), Mason Melotakis (0.72), Nick Burdi (0.73), Nick Anderson (0.77), DJ Baxendale (0.85), Alan Busenitz (0.95), Randy Rosario/Hector Lujan (1.00). K/9: Luke Bard (14.9), Andrew Vasquez (14.1), Alex Robinson (13.2), Nick Burdi (11.9), John Curtiss/Todd Van Steensel (11.7), Alan Busenitz (11.4), Williams Ramirez (10.5). BB/9: Tom Hackimer (0.5), Brady Anderson (1.1), Hector Lujan (1.2), Nick Anderson (1.3), DJ Baxendale (1.4), Jonny Drozd (2.2), Mason Melotakis (2.3), Alex Robinson (2.5). K: Luke Bard (31), Andrew Vasquez (23), Alex Robinson/Williams Ramirez (21), Michael Theofanopoulos/Todd Van Steensel/Sam Clay (20), Ryan Eades/Anthony McIver (19). Saves: John Curtiss (5), Tom Hackimer/Alex Wimmers (4), Mason Melotakis/Jonny Drozd/Max Cordy (3), Nick Anderson (2), 12 with 1. Feel free to ask questions about any of the players or teams.
  24. It’s hard to believe that April is complete, and the calendar has turned to May. A lot has happened already in the minor league seasons. But today it’s time to start handing out some awards. As we do each month through the season, we will share our choices for Twins Daily Minor League Hitter, Starting Pitcher and Relief Pitcher of the Month. Fortunately most months have several qualifying candidates, and this month is no exception.Today we will start our April Awards by considering the relief pitchers in the Twins farm system. We’ll briefly profile our Top 5 candidates. But first, we will share a few relievers worth of mention who finished just outside our Top 5. HONORABLE MENTION First, a couple of relievers worthy of mention: Williams Ramirez - Ft. Myers - 6 G, 1.64 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 7 H, 8 BB, 13 KRandy Rosario - Ft. Myers/Chattanooga - 6 G, 2.63 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 13.2 IP, 12 H, 4 BB, 5 KTodd Van Steensel - Chattanooga - 5 G, 1.93 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 9.1 IP, 9 H, 5 BB, 13 KTom Hackimer- Cedar Rapids - 7 G, 3.27 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 10 KTHE TOP FIVE RELIEF PITCHERS IN APRIL #5 - John Curtiss - Chattanooga - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 8.1 IP, 6 H, 6 BB, 13 K John Curtiss was healthy again in 2016, and after spending the first month in Cedar Rapids, he moved up to Ft. Myers where he continued to pitch well. He was invited to pitch in the Arizona Fall League where he and his 97 mph fastball continued to impress. Curtiss was the Twins sixth-round draft pick out of the University of Texas in 2014, following his showing as the team’s closer in the College World Series. Curtiss is one of just a few relievers who are yet to give up an earned run this season. Opponents have hit just .188 off of him so far this season. He has also walked 6.5 per nine innings. However, he has the stuff to work out of innings, especially by missing bats. He has struck out 14 batters per nine innings so far this season. #4 - Colton Davis - Cedar Rapids - 6 G, 3.68 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 11 K Colton Davis was the Twins 25th-round pick last year out of Western Carolina. He pitched well for Elizabethton and ended the season pitching for the Kernels including through their playoff run. In April, his one two-inning appearance ended with him giving up three runs. In his other appearances combined he gave up just one hit. In his last five outings, he has struck out at least two batters in each. Opponents have hit just .192 off of him, and he’s walked only two. He also is able to work out of troubles with the strikeout (13.5 K/9). #3 - Nick Anderson - Ft. Myers - 5 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 8.1 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K The Brainerd High School graduate signed with the Twins out of independent ball late in the 2015 season. Since then he has pitched very well in Cedar Rapids and in Ft. Myers, primarily as an eighth or ninth inning man. While he started the season about a week late, he has started where he left off. He is yet to give up a run. He’s shown very good control, and opponents have hit just .172 off of him so far. Anderson traveled with the big league club several times during spring training. The 26-year-old with a mid-90s fastball should move up to Chattanooga soon. #2 - Nick Burdi - Chattanooga - 7 G, 1.08 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 8.1 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 10 K After a lost 2016 season, Nick Burdi is healthy and pitching very well for the Lookouts. He will certainly be handled with some caution early in the season, but if he continues, he could be not only moved up to Rochester, but could spend time in the big leagues this year. In April, opponents hit just .179 against him. He didn’t give up a run through his first six outings. In his most recent appearance he gave up a leadoff homer to Colin Walsh before getting the next three hitters. He has shown good control and the ability to get strikeouts. His fastball is in the upper 90s and his slider can be devastating. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Chattanooga Lookouts – LHP Mason Melotakis - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, 10.2 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 8 K Mason Melotakis was the Twins second-round pick in 2012 out of Northwestern State (in Louisiana) where he was a reliever. The Twins gave him the opportunity to start in Cedar Rapids in 2013 with mixed results. After two starts in 2014 in Ft. Myers, he was moved to the bullpen. He spent some time in AA that year as well, but he started experiencing elbow issues. Following the season, he had Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2015 season. He returned to the mound in 2016 having been added to the Twins 40-man roster during the offseason. He spent all of 2016 in Chattanooga where he was clearly being handled with kids gloves, which is wise following the surgery. Certainly the Twins will continue to monitor the hard-throwing southpaw. It didn’t help that he missed most of spring training with an oblique injury. That, along with likely not wanting him to pitch in the cold of Rochester early in the season, is why he began the year back in Chattanooga. But he has been terrific. While he is yet to pitch on back-to-back days, he has twice worked two innings. He has not yet given up a run this season, and opponents are hitting just .139 against him. He has walked just one batter so far this year. The strikeouts aren’t where they will be, but he is tough against left-handers. I would suspect that Melotakis will soon work his way up to Rochester, though as he is on the 40-man roster, he could be called up at any time if needed. There were several strong relief pitcher performances in April. Feel free to agree or disagree with the order, if you like, but congratulations to each of these individuals on an excellent first month to their seasons. Congratulations to the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for April 2017, Mason Melotakis. Click here to view the article
  25. Today we will start our April Awards by considering the relief pitchers in the Twins farm system. We’ll briefly profile our Top 5 candidates. But first, we will share a few relievers worth of mention who finished just outside our Top 5. HONORABLE MENTION First, a couple of relievers worthy of mention: Williams Ramirez - Ft. Myers - 6 G, 1.64 ERA, 1.36 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 7 H, 8 BB, 13 K Randy Rosario - Ft. Myers/Chattanooga - 6 G, 2.63 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, 13.2 IP, 12 H, 4 BB, 5 K Todd Van Steensel - Chattanooga - 5 G, 1.93 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 9.1 IP, 9 H, 5 BB, 13 K Tom Hackimer - Cedar Rapids - 7 G, 3.27 ERA, 0.64 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 6 H, 1 BB, 10 K THE TOP FIVE RELIEF PITCHERS IN APRIL #5 - John Curtiss - Chattanooga - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 1.44 WHIP, 8.1 IP, 6 H, 6 BB, 13 K John Curtiss was healthy again in 2016, and after spending the first month in Cedar Rapids, he moved up to Ft. Myers where he continued to pitch well. He was invited to pitch in the Arizona Fall League where he and his 97 mph fastball continued to impress. Curtiss was the Twins sixth-round draft pick out of the University of Texas in 2014, following his showing as the team’s closer in the College World Series. Curtiss is one of just a few relievers who are yet to give up an earned run this season. Opponents have hit just .188 off of him so far this season. He has also walked 6.5 per nine innings. However, he has the stuff to work out of innings, especially by missing bats. He has struck out 14 batters per nine innings so far this season. #4 - Colton Davis - Cedar Rapids - 6 G, 3.68 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 7.1 IP, 5 H, 2 BB, 11 K Colton Davis was the Twins 25th-round pick last year out of Western Carolina. He pitched well for Elizabethton and ended the season pitching for the Kernels including through their playoff run. In April, his one two-inning appearance ended with him giving up three runs. In his other appearances combined he gave up just one hit. In his last five outings, he has struck out at least two batters in each. Opponents have hit just .192 off of him, and he’s walked only two. He also is able to work out of troubles with the strikeout (13.5 K/9). #3 - Nick Anderson - Ft. Myers - 5 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.72 WHIP, 8.1 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 7 K The Brainerd High School graduate signed with the Twins out of independent ball late in the 2015 season. Since then he has pitched very well in Cedar Rapids and in Ft. Myers, primarily as an eighth or ninth inning man. While he started the season about a week late, he has started where he left off. He is yet to give up a run. He’s shown very good control, and opponents have hit just .172 off of him so far. Anderson traveled with the big league club several times during spring training. The 26-year-old with a mid-90s fastball should move up to Chattanooga soon. #2 - Nick Burdi - Chattanooga - 7 G, 1.08 ERA, 0.96 WHIP, 8.1 IP, 5 H, 3 BB, 10 K After a lost 2016 season, Nick Burdi is healthy and pitching very well for the Lookouts. He will certainly be handled with some caution early in the season, but if he continues, he could be not only moved up to Rochester, but could spend time in the big leagues this year. In April, opponents hit just .179 against him. He didn’t give up a run through his first six outings. In his most recent appearance he gave up a leadoff homer to Colin Walsh before getting the next three hitters. He has shown good control and the ability to get strikeouts. His fastball is in the upper 90s and his slider can be devastating. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: Chattanooga Lookouts – LHP Mason Melotakis - 8 G, 0.00 ERA, 0.56 WHIP, 10.2 IP, 5 H, 1 BB, 8 K Mason Melotakis was the Twins second-round pick in 2012 out of Northwestern State (in Louisiana) where he was a reliever. The Twins gave him the opportunity to start in Cedar Rapids in 2013 with mixed results. After two starts in 2014 in Ft. Myers, he was moved to the bullpen. He spent some time in AA that year as well, but he started experiencing elbow issues. Following the season, he had Tommy John surgery and missed the entire 2015 season. He returned to the mound in 2016 having been added to the Twins 40-man roster during the offseason. He spent all of 2016 in Chattanooga where he was clearly being handled with kids gloves, which is wise following the surgery. Certainly the Twins will continue to monitor the hard-throwing southpaw. It didn’t help that he missed most of spring training with an oblique injury. That, along with likely not wanting him to pitch in the cold of Rochester early in the season, is why he began the year back in Chattanooga. But he has been terrific. While he is yet to pitch on back-to-back days, he has twice worked two innings. He has not yet given up a run this season, and opponents are hitting just .139 against him. He has walked just one batter so far this year. The strikeouts aren’t where they will be, but he is tough against left-handers. I would suspect that Melotakis will soon work his way up to Rochester, though as he is on the 40-man roster, he could be called up at any time if needed. There were several strong relief pitcher performances in April. Feel free to agree or disagree with the order, if you like, but congratulations to each of these individuals on an excellent first month to their seasons. Congratulations to the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for April 2017, Mason Melotakis.
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