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  1. Over the last few weeks, we've taken a deeper dive into how options work, when the fourth option is allowed and how DFA and waivers work. This week, we'll look at the Rule 5 rules, including the draft and roster implications. To dive deep, we'd have to talk about very, very small details and you would probably lose interest and I wouldn't blame you. So here's a shallow dive into the Rule 5 process. If there's more you're curious about, feel free to do so in the comments.The Rule 5 draft works very closely with the 40-man roster rules. Teams must add players to their 40-man roster to avoid exposure in the Rule 5 draft where players could be lost to another organization. RULE 5 ELIGIBILITY We start, simply, at the beginning when a player is first drafted or signed. Most players sign their first professional contract after being drafted or signed as an international free agent. The Twins drafted college outfielder Trevor Larnach in the first round of the 2018 draft. They drafted prep outfielder Willie Joe Garry eight rounds later. The rules state that these players are exempt from the Rule 5 draft for an amount of time after they are initially signed: “A minor league player who was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract is eligible for selection starting with the 5th Rule 5 Draft, and a minor league player who was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract becomes eligible for selection starting with the 4th Rule 5 Draft.” In Larnach’s case, the first Rule 5 draft that he will be eligible for (or need to be protected before) is 2021. In Garry’s case, the first Rule 5 draft that he will be eligible for/protected before is the following year, 2022. International free agent outfielder Masiel Urbina signed with the Twins last July. He will fall on the same timeline as the drafted high schoolers, being first-time eligible in 2022. The difference, obviously, is high school graduates signing at 18 years old, while international players are signing at 16, subjecting them to eligibility while being two years younger than their drafted counterparts. IFAs who sign after the conclusion of the minor league season would have one more year before they’d need to be protected. This was the case with Miguel Sano. Despite signing in the same class as Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco, he didn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster until a year later. (Jeremy’s note: International free agents can’t play the first year after they sign, but that partial season does count towards their protection clock. I’ve long wondered why teams don’t reach an agreement with their players, slow play taking care of the physical and actual signing, and then officially announce the whole class right after the conclusion of the minor league season. That gives the organization one more year to evaluate. Plus, most of these deals are reached with players well before they turn 16, so what’s a couple more months to wait before receiving the money?) RULE 5 DRAFT The Rule 5 Draft is the last thing to happen at the Winter Meetings, on Thursday morning. All players who are not protected on a 40-man roster or exempt from selection can be chosen by another team. The drafting team must have space on their 40-man roster. There are two phases to the draft. The Major League Phase and the Minor League (“AAA”) Phase. In the Major League Phase, teams draft a player and pay the opposing club $100,000. The AAA Phase costs a team $24,000 to select a player. Both drafts will continue until all teams pass on a selection. Once a team passes, it may not jump back in and draft again. All drafted players in the Major League Phase must remain on the major-league (active) roster for whole next season or be offered back to their previous team (and get half their money back). A player like Nick Burdi, who the Twins lost to the Pirates, spent most of last season on the disabled list. He must be active for 90 days before the Pirates can option him to the minors. There is no requirement for players drafted in the minor league phase. Classes that will be first time eligible for the Rule 5 draft this November: College draftees in 2016 (Griffin Jax, Thomas Hackimer), prep draftees in 2015 (Travis Blankenhorn, Trey Cabbage) and IFAs in late 2014 or 2015 (Brusdar Graterol, Edwar Colina) This also includes those who were acquired via trade that fit the aforementioned criteria (Luke Raley, Devin Smeltzer, Jorge Alcala, Jhoan Duran, Gilberto Celestino, Gabriel Maciel). The Twins are going to be facing a massive roster crunch. That is, if they don’t package a number of these guys together to improve their bullpen or deepen their rotation this summer. Click here to view the article
  2. The Rule 5 draft works very closely with the 40-man roster rules. Teams must add players to their 40-man roster to avoid exposure in the Rule 5 draft where players could be lost to another organization. RULE 5 ELIGIBILITY We start, simply, at the beginning when a player is first drafted or signed. Most players sign their first professional contract after being drafted or signed as an international free agent. The Twins drafted college outfielder Trevor Larnach in the first round of the 2018 draft. They drafted prep outfielder Willie Joe Garry eight rounds later. The rules state that these players are exempt from the Rule 5 draft for an amount of time after they are initially signed: “A minor league player who was 18 or younger on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract is eligible for selection starting with the 5th Rule 5 Draft, and a minor league player who was 19 years or older on the June 5th immediately prior to signing his first contract becomes eligible for selection starting with the 4th Rule 5 Draft.” In Larnach’s case, the first Rule 5 draft that he will be eligible for (or need to be protected before) is 2021. In Garry’s case, the first Rule 5 draft that he will be eligible for/protected before is the following year, 2022. International free agent outfielder Masiel Urbina signed with the Twins last July. He will fall on the same timeline as the drafted high schoolers, being first-time eligible in 2022. The difference, obviously, is high school graduates signing at 18 years old, while international players are signing at 16, subjecting them to eligibility while being two years younger than their drafted counterparts. IFAs who sign after the conclusion of the minor league season would have one more year before they’d need to be protected. This was the case with Miguel Sano. Despite signing in the same class as Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco, he didn’t need to be added to the 40-man roster until a year later. (Jeremy’s note: International free agents can’t play the first year after they sign, but that partial season does count towards their protection clock. I’ve long wondered why teams don’t reach an agreement with their players, slow play taking care of the physical and actual signing, and then officially announce the whole class right after the conclusion of the minor league season. That gives the organization one more year to evaluate. Plus, most of these deals are reached with players well before they turn 16, so what’s a couple more months to wait before receiving the money?) RULE 5 DRAFT The Rule 5 Draft is the last thing to happen at the Winter Meetings, on Thursday morning. All players who are not protected on a 40-man roster or exempt from selection can be chosen by another team. The drafting team must have space on their 40-man roster. There are two phases to the draft. The Major League Phase and the Minor League (“AAA”) Phase. In the Major League Phase, teams draft a player and pay the opposing club $100,000. The AAA Phase costs a team $24,000 to select a player. Both drafts will continue until all teams pass on a selection. Once a team passes, it may not jump back in and draft again. All drafted players in the Major League Phase must remain on the major-league (active) roster for whole next season or be offered back to their previous team (and get half their money back). A player like Nick Burdi, who the Twins lost to the Pirates, spent most of last season on the disabled list. He must be active for 90 days before the Pirates can option him to the minors. There is no requirement for players drafted in the minor league phase. Classes that will be first time eligible for the Rule 5 draft this November: College draftees in 2016 (Griffin Jax, Thomas Hackimer), prep draftees in 2015 (Travis Blankenhorn, Trey Cabbage) and IFAs in late 2014 or 2015 (Brusdar Graterol, Edwar Colina) This also includes those who were acquired via trade that fit the aforementioned criteria (Luke Raley, Devin Smeltzer, Jorge Alcala, Jhoan Duran, Gilberto Celestino, Gabriel Maciel). The Twins are going to be facing a massive roster crunch. That is, if they don’t package a number of these guys together to improve their bullpen or deepen their rotation this summer.
  3. See updates below...The Twins lost two players in the Major League portion of the Rule 5 draft and added a right-handed pitcher. In the minor league Rule 5, they added two players without losing anyone. On Thursday morning, the 2017 Winter Meetings will come to a close with the annual Rule 5 draft. Last month, the Minnesota added three players to their 40-man roster, but they left several very talented players unprotected. The Twins could potentially lose a couple of players (at least tentatively) to the Rule 5. However, they currently have just 37 players on their 40-man roster, so in theory, they could make a Rule 5 pick (or three!). Below you'll find a brief preview of the 2017 Rule 5 Draft, but as the draft takes place, this article will continue to be updated if the Twins lose or gain players. So be sure to check back often. The draft starts at 8:00 a.m. central time.8:15 Update: A computer glitch delayed the inevitable, but with the 3rd overall pick in the Rule 5 draft, the Phillies selected Nick Burdi from the Twins. It was expected. Reports from Orlando indicate that he will be traded. 8:18 Update: Angels selected Luke Bard. 8:19 Update: The Twins selected right-handed pitcher Tyler Kinley from the Miami Marlins (more to come after draft). Tyler Kinley was the 16th round pick of the Miami Marlins in the 2013 draft out of Barry Universityl in Miami Shores, Florida. He spent the 2017 between High-A Jupiter and AA Jacksonville. Combined, he threw 53.1 innings in 50 outings. He walked 22 and struck out 72. He had a 1.98 ERA in High-A, and a 5.19 ERA in AA. He will turn 27 in January. The Major League portion of the Rule 5 draft is complete. The Twins add Tyler Kinley and lose Nick Burdi and Luke Bard. The Minor League portion of the draft is starting. 8:51 Update: The Phillies traded Nick Burdi to the Pirates for international slot money. 8:37 Update: The Twins select RH Yancarlos Baez from the Yankees roster in the AAA Rule 5. Baez was signed by the Yankees as a shortstop, but in 2017, he transitioned to pitching in the GCL. Interesting gamble. 8:43 Update: The Twins selected Sandy Lugo, a 22-year-old RHP from the Dominican, and from the Reds organization. In 2017, he split the year before Low-A Dayton (2 games) and High-A Daytona (4-6, 5.32 ERA in 42 relief games). In 64 innings, he had 40 walks but he struck out 82. 8:51 Update: Nick Burdi was traded to the Pirates in exchange for international bonus pool money. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Below we're going to start with the basics. Who is eligible for the Rule 5 draft? Who could the Twins lose in the Rule 5 draft, and who could they select if they do make a pick? Also, check back often during the 8:00 hour as I'll be updating this article if (or when) they lose a player or add a pick. The Basics Let's start with who is eligible. Players who were 18-years-old when they signed as an international free agent or draft pick signed in 2013. This group includes players such as Kohl Stewart and Lewin Diaz.College players selected in the 2014 Draft. This category includes the likes of Nick Burdi and Jake Reed.Players who are not yet minor league free agents and have been eligible in previous seasons. Luke Bard and Ryan Eades are two from this group.For much more on the players who are eligible for the Rule 5 draft, with the exception of the three players added to the 40-man roster, click here. To make an MLB selection, a team must pay $100,000. That player needs to be on the drafting team’s 25-man roster all season or be offered back to the original team for $50,000. The other option is that the teams can work out a trade. The Twins have examples of what can happen with their five most recent picks. Scott Diamond – Twins selected him from the Braves. He did not make the opening day roster, but the Twins and Braves were able to work out a trade. Diamond was taken off of the 40-man roster and the Twins sent RHP Billy Bullock to Atlanta.Terry Doyle – The Twins selected Doyle from the White Sox organization. He was returned to Chicago late in spring training.Ryan Pressly – The Twins drafted Pressly from the Red Sox organization. He remained on the Twins roster the entire 2013 season. He was able to be sent back to AAA during the 2014 season and pitched well enough to be called up during the season’s second half.JR Graham - The Twins selected Graham from the Atlanta organization. He spent an entire season on the Twins roster in 2015 only to be DFAd less than two months into the 2016 season.Justin Haley - The Twins selected Miguel Diaz from the Brewers organization with the top pick in the 2016 Rule 5. They traded down and got starter Justin Haley. He made the roster and made a few appearances. He spent a couple of stints on the DL before the Twins sent him back to the Red Sox.Who The Twins Could Lose Throughout the week, we have heard from several sources that Nick Burdi is very likely be be selected. The flame-thrower had Tommy John surgery in June and will likely miss much of the 2018 season. If he does, the requirement of staying on a team's active roster will carry into the 2019 season.Jake Reed and Luke Bard are two other relievers that I feel have a chance at least to be selected. They are both hard-throwing relievers who finished 2017 in AAA. They both get a lot of movement. They could be stashed on an MLB roster, but they are also guys who could contribute in 2018.Lewin Diaz is less likely to be selected due to his proximity and his lack of position flexibility.Ryan Eades had a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League and did have a couple of appearances in AAA late in the season.Kohl Stewart was the Twins top pick in 2014 out of high school in Houston. He's put up strong ERAs (until 2017), but he's never put up the strikeout numbers that the front office might hope for.Who The Twins Could Pick I don't know if the Twins will make a pick. My general theory is that a team should almost always take a Rule 5 pick and see how it goes. The Twins have three open spots on the roster, so they could take three players. They won't, but they could take one. Here are two good sources for lists of who might be available. Baseball America- 91 namesMLB.comThe Twins have the 20th pick in the Rule 5 draft (as they will next June in the Rule 4 draft). However, several teams ahead of them have full 40-man rosters so they won't be able to make a pick. Some teams may pass. Minor League Rule 5 Draft Shortly after the Major League Rule 5 draft, the Minor League (AAA) portion will start. We'll also update you on any players the Twins gain or lose in that draft. Feel free to discuss the Rule 5 draft before, during and after... Click here to view the article
  4. 8:15 Update: A computer glitch delayed the inevitable, but with the 3rd overall pick in the Rule 5 draft, the Phillies selected Nick Burdi from the Twins. It was expected. Reports from Orlando indicate that he will be traded. 8:18 Update: Angels selected Luke Bard. 8:19 Update: The Twins selected right-handed pitcher Tyler Kinley from the Miami Marlins (more to come after draft). Tyler Kinley was the 16th round pick of the Miami Marlins in the 2013 draft out of Barry Universityl in Miami Shores, Florida. He spent the 2017 between High-A Jupiter and AA Jacksonville. Combined, he threw 53.1 innings in 50 outings. He walked 22 and struck out 72. He had a 1.98 ERA in High-A, and a 5.19 ERA in AA. He will turn 27 in January. The Major League portion of the Rule 5 draft is complete. The Twins add Tyler Kinley and lose Nick Burdi and Luke Bard. The Minor League portion of the draft is starting. 8:51 Update: The Phillies traded Nick Burdi to the Pirates for international slot money. 8:37 Update: The Twins select RH Yancarlos Baez from the Yankees roster in the AAA Rule 5. Baez was signed by the Yankees as a shortstop, but in 2017, he transitioned to pitching in the GCL. Interesting gamble. 8:43 Update: The Twins selected Sandy Lugo, a 22-year-old RHP from the Dominican, and from the Reds organization. In 2017, he split the year before Low-A Dayton (2 games) and High-A Daytona (4-6, 5.32 ERA in 42 relief games). In 64 innings, he had 40 walks but he struck out 82. 8:51 Update: Nick Burdi was traded to the Pirates in exchange for international bonus pool money. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Below we're going to start with the basics. Who is eligible for the Rule 5 draft? Who could the Twins lose in the Rule 5 draft, and who could they select if they do make a pick? Also, check back often during the 8:00 hour as I'll be updating this article if (or when) they lose a player or add a pick. The Basics Let's start with who is eligible. Players who were 18-years-old when they signed as an international free agent or draft pick signed in 2013. This group includes players such as Kohl Stewart and Lewin Diaz. College players selected in the 2014 Draft. This category includes the likes of Nick Burdi and Jake Reed. Players who are not yet minor league free agents and have been eligible in previous seasons. Luke Bard and Ryan Eades are two from this group. For much more on the players who are eligible for the Rule 5 draft, with the exception of the three players added to the 40-man roster, click here. To make an MLB selection, a team must pay $100,000. That player needs to be on the drafting team’s 25-man roster all season or be offered back to the original team for $50,000. The other option is that the teams can work out a trade. The Twins have examples of what can happen with their five most recent picks. Scott Diamond – Twins selected him from the Braves. He did not make the opening day roster, but the Twins and Braves were able to work out a trade. Diamond was taken off of the 40-man roster and the Twins sent RHP Billy Bullock to Atlanta. Terry Doyle – The Twins selected Doyle from the White Sox organization. He was returned to Chicago late in spring training. Ryan Pressly – The Twins drafted Pressly from the Red Sox organization. He remained on the Twins roster the entire 2013 season. He was able to be sent back to AAA during the 2014 season and pitched well enough to be called up during the season’s second half. JR Graham - The Twins selected Graham from the Atlanta organization. He spent an entire season on the Twins roster in 2015 only to be DFAd less than two months into the 2016 season. Justin Haley - The Twins selected Miguel Diaz from the Brewers organization with the top pick in the 2016 Rule 5. They traded down and got starter Justin Haley. He made the roster and made a few appearances. He spent a couple of stints on the DL before the Twins sent him back to the Red Sox. Who The Twins Could Lose Throughout the week, we have heard from several sources that Nick Burdi is very likely be be selected. The flame-thrower had Tommy John surgery in June and will likely miss much of the 2018 season. If he does, the requirement of staying on a team's active roster will carry into the 2019 season. Jake Reed and Luke Bard are two other relievers that I feel have a chance at least to be selected. They are both hard-throwing relievers who finished 2017 in AAA. They both get a lot of movement. They could be stashed on an MLB roster, but they are also guys who could contribute in 2018. Lewin Diaz is less likely to be selected due to his proximity and his lack of position flexibility. Ryan Eades had a strong showing in the Arizona Fall League and did have a couple of appearances in AAA late in the season. Kohl Stewart was the Twins top pick in 2014 out of high school in Houston. He's put up strong ERAs (until 2017), but he's never put up the strikeout numbers that the front office might hope for. Who The Twins Could Pick I don't know if the Twins will make a pick. My general theory is that a team should almost always take a Rule 5 pick and see how it goes. The Twins have three open spots on the roster, so they could take three players. They won't, but they could take one. Here are two good sources for lists of who might be available. Baseball America - 91 names MLB.com The Twins have the 20th pick in the Rule 5 draft (as they will next June in the Rule 4 draft). However, several teams ahead of them have full 40-man rosters so they won't be able to make a pick. Some teams may pass. Minor League Rule 5 Draft Shortly after the Major League Rule 5 draft, the Minor League (AAA) portion will start. We'll also update you on any players the Twins gain or lose in that draft. Feel free to discuss the Rule 5 draft before, during and after...
  5. In echoing the thoughts of others throughout the winter, it’s extremely difficult to be disappointed as a Twins fan this off-season. The team has added six pitchers, including a necessary starting pitching addition in Jake Odorizzi. Minnesota has added established bullpen arms (Reed) and others with either upside (Rodney), or bounce back potential (Duke). While we can bemoan the Twins inability to land a marquee arm like Yu Darvish, the Twins have established themselves a platform for being competitive in a weak division. Solid rotation, good bullpen, excellent lineup.The Falvey and Levine regime, let’s call them The Falvgime, deserves credit for the rapidity of their organizational overhaul. After a year of assessment and modest additions in 2017, they have added exciting, progressive coaching voices such as James Rowson and Garvin Alston. They have beefed up their research and analytics department both quantitatively and qualitatively, adding reputable names such as Josh Kalk, John Manuel and Daniel Adler. (If you haven’t listened to Adler’s recent appearance on Ben Lindbergh’s Effectively Wild podcast, you’re doing yourself an injustice). It’s easy to be swept up into The Falvgime hype train, but what are the mistakes they have made along the way so far? Are there any opportunities missed which may end up as organizational regrets? Let’s rewind a few years to June 4th 2012. The 2012 amateur player draft will forever be remembered by Twins fans as the draft that landed them Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios. If both Buxton and Berrios continue their respective careers at their current trajectories, this draft would be remembered as monumentally successful. The 2012 Draft also marked a trend of the Twins drafting an increasing number of high velocity arms, adding Luke Bard with the 42nd pick, Mason Melotakis with the 63rd pick, and J.T. Chargois with the 72nd pick. More on those three shortly. The 2012 draft also netted the Twins Tyler Duffey at 160th overall, and Taylor Rogers at 340th overall, both of whom have become significant role players in the Twins’ bullpen. Of the three 2012 draft arms, only Melotakis remains. The 27-year-old Bard was claimed by the Angels in the Rule 5 draft, after amassing a 2.76 ERA over 65 innings between Chattanooga and Rochester in 2017. Bard managed a 13.6 SO/9 in those innings. Chargois was claimed by the 104-win LA Dodgers last week after being placed on waivers to make extra space available on the Twins 40-man roster. Chargois, also 27, has been plagued by injuries, but is intriguing as the Twins former top relief prospect and one of only five Twins pitchers to throw a pitch 99mph or higher since 2008. Reaction to Chargois being claimed has been mixed, with most cautioning against a snap reaction until the Twins fill the final spot on their 40-man roster. Thad Levine indicated some regret in the Twins’ loss, telling Twin Cities’ media "we were 29/30ths of the way there." The Dodgers are certainly an interesting team to claim Chargois, having put together the fourth best bullpen ERA in 2017, the third best strikeout total, and the second best batting average against in MLB. Melotakis successfully passed through waivers during the 2017, much to the ire of Twins fans, who struggled to understand the rationale of placing a former top (left-handed) relief pitching product who was having an excellent season at risk. All three of the Bard, Melo, and Chargois triumvirate had struggled throughout their minor league careers with injuries, and that may well be a decisive factor in the front office’s decision-making process. It does, however, seem that the organization has let significant arm talent slip from its grasp in Bard and Chargois, right when they appeared ready to make a more significant major league contribution. Rewind again to 2014. Nick Gordon was selected fifth overall by the Twins. Minnesota proceeded to select an entire bullpen after him, including several more high velocity arms such as Nick Burdi (second round), Jake Reed (fifth round) and John Curtiss (sixth round). It’s easy to pretend as if the old Twins regime did nothing about the teams’ bullpen struggles year after year, but it was a problem which was recognized and drafted toward several years before Derrick Falvey and Thad Levine took over the organization. Burdi fits the familiar pattern of the Twins 2012 drafted relief pitchers. He has a massive arm with the ability to hit triple digits. In 104 MiLB innings, he has managed 142 K's. Burdi seemed to be putting it all together at AA in 2017, giving up just one earned run in 17 IP until Tommy John surgery derailed his season. Burdi was selected by the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft before being traded to the Pirates. John Curtiss and Jake Reed are the two remaining arms from the 2014 draft who have made the steadiest progress towards the major league team, Curtiss making, and struggling in, his MLB debut last year. Curtiss dominated minor league competition to the tune of 68 K's in 48.1 IP and a miserly .135 avg. Reed spent 2017 split between Chattanooga and Rochester, turning it up at AAA and giving up a 2.05 ERA whilst striking out 25 in 30 innings. Both are strong contenders to contribute at the major league level this year. Looking through the Twins current top 30 prospects as a whole (MLB Pipeline list), there’s still some depth at reliever. The names featured are Tyler Jay (8th), John Curtiss (20th), and Jake Reed (26th). The recently departed Chargois was listed at 21. While this may be in no way indicative of how much help the Twins bullpen may receive from the minor leagues in 2018, it raises an interesting question. Did "The Falvgime" completely press the reset button on Twins relief pitching prospects when they took over the organization? While this seems counter-intuitive the front office has certainly been more aggressive at exposing relief pitching options via waivers and the Rule 5 draft than we might have expected. The common denominator surrounding high-end relief pitching prospects the Twins have lost is a history of significant injuries. It seems likely that on a team with several necessary areas of improvement (between the rotation and the bullpen) Falvey and Levine have been careful not to pin their hopes to prospects who have struggled to stay healthy, perhaps recognizing that they are entering a window of contention with the Tigers and Royals entering rebuilds and the White Sox in the midst of one. They have taken some gambles with exposing these players, some seemingly paying off, others have not. What do y’all think? Has "The Falvgime" made mistakes in how they have handled Twins’ relief pitching prospects? Do you think they should have prioritized keeping Bard and Burdi? Will they regret losing Chargois? Click here to view the article
  6. The Falvey and Levine regime, let’s call them The Falvgime, deserves credit for the rapidity of their organizational overhaul. After a year of assessment and modest additions in 2017, they have added exciting, progressive coaching voices such as James Rowson and Garvin Alston. They have beefed up their research and analytics department both quantitatively and qualitatively, adding reputable names such as Josh Kalk, John Manuel and Daniel Adler. (If you haven’t listened to Adler’s recent appearance on Ben Lindbergh’s Effectively Wild podcast, you’re doing yourself an injustice). It’s easy to be swept up into The Falvgime hype train, but what are the mistakes they have made along the way so far? Are there any opportunities missed which may end up as organizational regrets? Let’s rewind a few years to June 4th 2012. The 2012 amateur player draft will forever be remembered by Twins fans as the draft that landed them Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios. If both Buxton and Berrios continue their respective careers at their current trajectories, this draft would be remembered as monumentally successful. The 2012 Draft also marked a trend of the Twins drafting an increasing number of high velocity arms, adding Luke Bard with the 42nd pick, Mason Melotakis with the 63rd pick, and J.T. Chargois with the 72nd pick. More on those three shortly. The 2012 draft also netted the Twins Tyler Duffey at 160th overall, and Taylor Rogers at 340th overall, both of whom have become significant role players in the Twins’ bullpen. Of the three 2012 draft arms, only Melotakis remains. The 27-year-old Bard was claimed by the Angels in the Rule 5 draft, after amassing a 2.76 ERA over 65 innings between Chattanooga and Rochester in 2017. Bard managed a 13.6 SO/9 in those innings. Chargois was claimed by the 104-win LA Dodgers last week after being placed on waivers to make extra space available on the Twins 40-man roster. Chargois, also 27, has been plagued by injuries, but is intriguing as the Twins former top relief prospect and one of only five Twins pitchers to throw a pitch 99mph or higher since 2008. Reaction to Chargois being claimed has been mixed, with most cautioning against a snap reaction until the Twins fill the final spot on their 40-man roster. Thad Levine indicated some regret in the Twins’ loss, telling Twin Cities’ media "we were 29/30ths of the way there." The Dodgers are certainly an interesting team to claim Chargois, having put together the fourth best bullpen ERA in 2017, the third best strikeout total, and the second best batting average against in MLB. Melotakis successfully passed through waivers during the 2017, much to the ire of Twins fans, who struggled to understand the rationale of placing a former top (left-handed) relief pitching product who was having an excellent season at risk. All three of the Bard, Melo, and Chargois triumvirate had struggled throughout their minor league careers with injuries, and that may well be a decisive factor in the front office’s decision-making process. It does, however, seem that the organization has let significant arm talent slip from its grasp in Bard and Chargois, right when they appeared ready to make a more significant major league contribution. Rewind again to 2014. Nick Gordon was selected fifth overall by the Twins. Minnesota proceeded to select an entire bullpen after him, including several more high velocity arms such as Nick Burdi (second round), Jake Reed (fifth round) and John Curtiss (sixth round). It’s easy to pretend as if the old Twins regime did nothing about the teams’ bullpen struggles year after year, but it was a problem which was recognized and drafted toward several years before Derrick Falvey and Thad Levine took over the organization. Burdi fits the familiar pattern of the Twins 2012 drafted relief pitchers. He has a massive arm with the ability to hit triple digits. In 104 MiLB innings, he has managed 142 K's. Burdi seemed to be putting it all together at AA in 2017, giving up just one earned run in 17 IP until Tommy John surgery derailed his season. Burdi was selected by the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft before being traded to the Pirates. John Curtiss and Jake Reed are the two remaining arms from the 2014 draft who have made the steadiest progress towards the major league team, Curtiss making, and struggling in, his MLB debut last year. Curtiss dominated minor league competition to the tune of 68 K's in 48.1 IP and a miserly .135 avg. Reed spent 2017 split between Chattanooga and Rochester, turning it up at AAA and giving up a 2.05 ERA whilst striking out 25 in 30 innings. Both are strong contenders to contribute at the major league level this year. Looking through the Twins current top 30 prospects as a whole (MLB Pipeline list), there’s still some depth at reliever. The names featured are Tyler Jay (8th), John Curtiss (20th), and Jake Reed (26th). The recently departed Chargois was listed at 21. While this may be in no way indicative of how much help the Twins bullpen may receive from the minor leagues in 2018, it raises an interesting question. Did "The Falvgime" completely press the reset button on Twins relief pitching prospects when they took over the organization? While this seems counter-intuitive the front office has certainly been more aggressive at exposing relief pitching options via waivers and the Rule 5 draft than we might have expected. The common denominator surrounding high-end relief pitching prospects the Twins have lost is a history of significant injuries. It seems likely that on a team with several necessary areas of improvement (between the rotation and the bullpen) Falvey and Levine have been careful not to pin their hopes to prospects who have struggled to stay healthy, perhaps recognizing that they are entering a window of contention with the Tigers and Royals entering rebuilds and the White Sox in the midst of one. They have taken some gambles with exposing these players, some seemingly paying off, others have not. What do y’all think? Has "The Falvgime" made mistakes in how they have handled Twins’ relief pitching prospects? Do you think they should have prioritized keeping Bard and Burdi? Will they regret losing Chargois?
  7. Luke Bard, Right-Handed Pitcher Bard never pitched a game above Triple-A in the Twins system and he spent the majority of his age-26 season in the Lookouts bullpen. He was almost two years older than the competition in the Southern League and he didn’t really blow away the competition. For the year, he posted a 2.76 ERA with a 1.33 WHIP. His 99 strikeouts in 65.1 innings were impressive and that’s probably why the Los Angeles Angles were willing to take a chance on him in the Rule 5 Draft. Minnesota’s bullpen looks strong this year and Bard hasn’t found enough success in the upper-levels of the minor leagues. Nick Burdi, Right-Handed Pitcher Burdi has been on quite the journey over the last calendar year. He underwent Tommy John surgery last May. He’s on track to be throwing off the mound near the conclusion of spring training. Burdi was left unprotected during the Rule 5 Draft. The Phillies selected him and then he was traded to the Pirates. Burdi was dominant last season before his elbow injury. In 17 innings at Double-A, he posted a 0.53 ERA with a 0.77 WHIP and a 20 to 4 strikeout to walk ratio. Burdi will start the season on the 60-day DL and he will get time to make some rehab appearances before he needs to appear in a Pirates game. JT Chargois, Right-Handed Pitcher Chargois was a second-round pick back in 2012 and he quickly established himself as one of the best relief pitchers in the Twins system. He hasn’t been able to stay healthy as he has pitched just over 100 innings in his professional career. Essentially, he has missed almost three of the last five seasons. In what some considered a strange move, Minnesota placed him on waivers last week only to see him claimed by the Dodgers, the team with the final waiver pick based on last season’s records. He has one option remaining and he could be a dangerous relief option if he is healthy. The Dodgers were willing to take that chance. Daniel Palka, Outfielder One year after being named the Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Year, Palka is no longer part of the organization. Palka, a 26-year old slugger, has a chance to break camp with the White Sox in a designated hitter and outfield role. Last season, he hit .274/.329/.431 with 27 extra-base hits in 84 Triple-A games. This was a far cry from the .848 OPS he compiled between Double-A and Triple-A in 2016. Palka’s lack of a defensive position and his age all factored into him ending up with a new organization. Randy Rosario, Left-Handed Pitcher Rosario pitched over 100 minor league games in the Twins system and posted a 3.37 ERA. The 2017 season marked his first as a full-time reliever. Last year, he made 34 appearances between High-A and Double-A and posted a 3.84 ERA and a 1.37 WHIP. Those numbers might not exactly jump off the page but he was able to hold left-handed batters to a .169 average during his Double-A appearances. As the old adage goes, Rosario is “left-handed and he has a pulse” so the Cubs might find a spot for him out of the bullpen this year. Nik Turley, Left-Handed Pitcher Turley only made 10 appearances in a Twins uniform as he allowed 22 earned runs in 17.2 innings. In the minors, he fared much better with a 2.00 ERA and a 1.02 WHIP in almost 110 innings. The Pirates selected Turley off of waivers in November but they will have to wait a while for him to pitch in a game for their organization. At the end of January, Turley was suspended for 80 games after testing positive for the performance-enhancing substance Ipamorelin. Engelb Vielma, Shortstop The last half of a year has been a crazy ride for Mr. Vielma. Over the last six months, he is now with his fifth different organization. He enters Orioles camp with a chance to compete for a utility spot at the big league level. In 87 Triple-A games last season, he hit .206 with 17 RBI but his defense has always been his calling card. The 23-year old was the best defensive infielder in the Twins system when they let him go. Minnesota currently has plenty of depth at the shortstop position with other players ranking higher than Vielma. Which player or players will the Twins miss the most in the coming season? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
  8. In echoing the thoughts of others throughout the winter, it’s extremely difficult to be disappointed as a Twins fan this off-season. The team has added six pitchers, including a necessary starting pitching addition in Jake Odorizzi. Minnesota has added established bullpen arms (Reed) and others with either upside (Rodney), or bounce back potential (Duke). While we can bemoan the Twins inability to land a marquee arm like Yu Darvish, the Twins have established themselves a platform for being competitive in a weak division. Solid rotation, good bullpen, excellent lineup. The Falvey and Levine regime, let’s call them ‘The Falvgime’, deserves credit for the rapidity of their organizational overhaul. After a year of assessment and modest additions in 2017, they have added exciting, progressive coaching voices such as James Rowson and Garvin Alston. They have beefed up their research and analytics department both quantitatively and qualitatively, adding reputable names such as Josh Kalk, John Manuel, and Daniel Adler. (If you haven’t listened to Adler’s recent appearance on Ben Lindbergh’s Effectively Wild podcast, you’re doing yourself an injustice). It’s easy to be swept up into The Falvgime hype train, but what are the mistakes they have made along the way so far? Are there any opportunities missed which may end up as organizational regrets? Let’s rewind a few years to June 4th 2012. The 2012 amateur player draft will forever be remembered by Twins fans as the draft that landed them Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios. If both Buxton and Berrios continue their respective careers at their current trajectories, this draft would be remembered as monumentally successful. 2012 also marked a trend of the Twins drafting an increasing number of high velocity arms, adding Luke Bard with the 42nd pick, Mason Melotakis with the 63rd pick, and J.T. Chargois with the 72nd pick. More on those three shortly. The 2012 draft also netted the Twins Tyler Duffey at 160th overall, and Tyler Rogers at 340th overall, both of whom have become significant role players in the Twins’ bullpen. Of the three 2012 draft arms, only Melotakis remains. The 27 year old Bard was claimed by the Angels in the Rule 5 draft, after amassing a 2.76 ERA over 65 innings between Chattanooga and Rochester in 2017. Bard managed a 13.6 SO/9 in those innings. Chargois was claimed by the 104 win LA Dodgers last week after being placed on waivers to make extra space available on the Twins 40 man roster. Chargois, also 27, has been plagued by injuries, but is intriguing as the Twins former top relief prospect and one of only five Twins pitchers to throw a pitch 99mph or higher since 2008. Reaction to Chargois being claimed has been mixed, with most cautioning against a snap reaction until the Twins fill the final spot on their 40 man roster. Thad Levine indicated some regret in the Twins’ loss, telling Twin Cities’ media ‘we were 29/30ths of the way there’. The Dodgers are certainly an interesting team to claim Chargois, having put together the fourth best bullpen ERA in 2017, the third best strikeout total, and the second best batting average against in MLB. Melotakis successfully passed through waivers during the 2017, much to the ire of Twins fans, who struggled to understand the rationale of placing a former top (left-handed) relief pitching product who was having an excellent season at risk. All three of the Bard, Melo, and Chargois triumvirate had struggled throughout their minor league careers with injuries, and that may well be a decisive factor in the front office’s decision making process. It does however, seem that the organization has let significant arm talent slip from its grasp in Bard and Chargois, right when they appeared ready to make a more significant major league contribution. Rewind again to 2014. Nick Gordon was selected 5th overall by the Twins. Minnesota proceeded to select an entire bullpen after him, including several more high velocity arms such as Nick Burdi (2nd round), Jake Reed (5th round) and John Curtiss (6th round). It’s easy to pretend as if the old Twins regime did nothing about the teams’ bullpen struggles year after year, but it was a problem which was recognized and drafted towards several years before Derrick Falvey and Thad Levine took over the organization. Burdi fits the familiar pattern of the Twins 2012 drafted relief pitchers. He has a massive arm with the ability to hit triple digits. In 104 MiLB innings, he has managed 142 Ks. Burdi seemed to be putting it all together at AA in 2017, giving up just one earned run in 17 IP until Tommy John surgery derailed his season. Burdi was selected by the Phillies in the Rule 5 draft before being traded to the Pirates. John Curtiss and Jake Reed are the two remaining arms from the 2014 draft who have made the steadiest progress towards the major league team, Curtiss making, and struggling in his MLB debut last year. Curtiss dominated minor league competition to the tune of 68Ks in 48.1 IP and a miserly .135 avg. Reed spent 2017 split between Chattanooga and Rochester, turning it up at AAA and giving up a 2.05 ERA whilst striking out 25 in 30 innings. Both are strong contenders to contribute at the major league level this year. Looking through the Twins current top 30 prospects as a whole (MLB list), there’s still some depth at reliever. The names featured are Tyler Jay (8th), John Curtiss (20th), and Jake Reed (26th). The recently departed Chargois was listed at 21. While this may be in no way indicative of how much help the Twins bullpen may receive from the minor leagues in 2018, it raises an interesting question. Did ‘The Falvgime’ completely press the reset button on Twins relief pitching prospects when they took over the organization? While this seems counter intuitive the front office has certainly been more aggressive at exposing relief pitching options via waivers and the Rule 5 draft than we might have expected. The common denominator surrounding high end relief pitching prospects the Twins have lost is a history of significant injuries. It seems likely that in a team with several necessary areas of improvement (between the rotation and the bullpen) Falvey and Levine have been careful not to pin their hopes to prospects who have struggled to stay healthy, perhaps recognizing that they are entering a window of contention with the Tigers and Royals entering rebuilds and the White Sox in the midst of one. They have taken some gambles with exposing these players, some seemingly paying off, others have not. What do y’all think? Has ‘The Falvgime’ made mistakes in how they have handled Twins’ relief pitching prospects? Do you think they should have prioritized keeping Bard and Burdi? Will they regret losing Chargois?
  9. http://traffic.libsyn.com/gleemangeek/Ep_348_Fernando_Rodney_Is_Friday_Night_Pizza.mp3
  10. Aaron and John talk about the Twins optimism surrounding signing Yu Darvish, a summer of the Fernando Rodney Experience, the future-oriented baseball deal for Michael Pineda, the Twins gains and losses in MLB Rule 5 draft and their secret admirers in the Nippon Ham Fighters front office. Sponsored by Sota Stick Co. You can listen by downloading us from iTunes, Stitcher or find it at GleemanAndTheGeek.com. Or just click this link. Click here to view the article
  11. Let’s get started by reviewing prospects from 40 down to 31, starting with a left-hander selected out of Clemson in 2017. #40 LHP Charlie Barnes The Twins made Barnes their fourth-round pick in 2017 after three years at Clemson. Touted as one of the best changeup pitchers in the draft, Barnes made six appearances for the Elizabethton Twins and then was promoted to Cedar Rapids where he made another six starts. After working 101 innings in college, he worked 48.1 innings in pro ball. He walked 18 and struck out 46 batters in his debut. Barnes turned 22 following the minor league season. #39 Ricky De La Torre When the Twins used their sixth-round pick in 2017 on the shortstop, he became the highest-drafted player from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy since Carlos Correa was the #1 overall pick in 2012. De La Torre was projected to go earlier in the draft, so the Twins were happy to swoop up the athletic, 6-2 shortstop. The 18-year-old hit .268/.341/.359 (.701) in 42 games during his pro debut. He played a bit of second base when Royce Lewis was in the GCL, but upon Lewis’s promotion, De La Torre played mostly shortstop. He should advance to E-Town in 2018. #38 LHP Tyler Watson The Twins acquired Watson from the Nationals at the trade deadline for Brandon Kintzler. The 20-year-old had been Washington’s 34th-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Arizona. Most believed he would go to college. He had posted a 4.35 ERA at Hagerstown (Low A) in 98 innings. In 120.1 combined innings, he walked 32, struck out 116. At 6-6, there is a lot of projection. He’s throwing a little over 90 now with good, but still developing, secondary stuff. #37 LHP Lachlan Wells As a 19-year-old, Lachlan Wells spent the second half of the 2016 season in Cedar Rapids. He went 6-4 with a 1.77 ERA in 12 starts. In 71.1 innings, he walked 16 and struck out 63. In 2017, he moved up to Ft. Myers where he went 4-10 with a 3.98 ERA. His peripheral numbers were all pretty similar to his numbers a year earlier. He did miss nearly two months with an elbow flexor muscle strain. He did return to the Miracle late in the season. He won’t turn 21 until late February. #36 RHP Jake Reed Like Nick Burdi, Reed was a 2014 draft pick that we figured we would see before now. He dominated pro ball his first season. Since then, he has had some control issues and some injury issues that have cost him time. He was well on his way in 2017 until an oblique injury on the final day of spring training cost him the season’s first two months. He remains a legit relief pitching prospect. He has a fastball with a lot of movement at 97. He also has a darting slider. #35 RHP Landon Leach Leach was a prospect who had a lot of helium as the draft approached. He had been a catcher in the Canadian youth leagues until the last couple of years when he got a shot on the mound and reached into the mid-90s with a fastball. He agreed to the terms set out by the Twins and they took him in the second round of this year’s draft. It took several weeks for Leach to get his work visa and then he headed down to Ft. Myers. He turned 18 in July and pitched in 13.1 innings over five appearances before the end of the season. #34 RHP Aaron Slegers Slegers was the Twins fifth-round pick in 2013 out of Indiana where he was the reigning Big 10 Pitcher of the Year. He has moved up one level each season. He received an invitation to big league spring training in 2017, and had a really nice season with the Red Wings. He went 15-4 with a 3.40 ERA. In mid-August, he made a spot start against Cleveland and responded b y giving up just two runs in 6.1 innings. He made four total appearances for the Twins. He is 6-10. He doesn’t throw real hard, sitting mostly in the low-90s but occasionally touching 94. He’s got the secondary pitches and know-how to pitch. He can be a solid back-of-the-rotation starter. #33 LHP Gabriel Moya Moya came to the Twins in late July from Arizona in exchange for catcher John Ryan Murphy. At the time of the trade Moya had a 0.82 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP for Jackson (also in the AA Southern League). After the trade, he helped Chattanooga to a share of the Southern League championship. With the Lookouts, he had a 0.61 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in 14.1 innings. When the Lookouts finished their playoff run, Moya was summoned to the big leagues. He posted a 4.26 ERA in seven games for the Twins. The left-hander has a herky-jerky, deceptive motion and delivery making his 90 mph fastball appear much faster. He has a good slider and a changeup and has a chance to be a good lefty-reliever for years. Recently, he was named MiLB.com’s minor league relief pitcher of the year. #32 RHP Tyler Wells Another tall starter, Wells spent most of his 2017 season in Cedar Rapids. Drafted in the 15th round in 2016 out of Cal State - San Bernadino, Wells has a good fastball. His best pitches might be his breaking balls. He has a really good 12-6 curveball, but he also has shown a really sharp slider. He was limited to 14 starts in 2017 due to a couple of stints on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis. He went 5-3 with a 3.11 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. In 75.1 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 92 (11.0 K/9). #31 RHP Nick Burdi Like Reed, the assumption was that Burdi would already be on the 40-man roster, an established, dominant, late-inning reliever for the big league club.. Instead, he is now a question mark to be added to the 40-man roster in November after having Tommy John surgery early in the 2017 season. But this almost still feels too low. Yes, he’ll probably miss a majority of the 2018 season, but when he comes back from surgery, he’ll still be a reliever with upper-90s fastball and an upper-80s slider. And, he’ll only be 25 throughout the 2018 season. So there you have it, my choices for Twins prospects 31-40. What do you think of these choices or these rankings? Feel free to ask questions or leave your comments below.
  12. Last week, I began to review my Top 50 Minnesota Twins prospects by looking at prospects 41-50. That list was comprised of several nearly-ready relievers and some young players with plenty of promise. Today, the list continues with a look at my choices for prospects 31-40. This group is kind of all over the place. There are some upper-level arms that are likely big leaguers, maybe back-end of the rotation types. There are some very young, high-risk, high-reward players as well. Injuries have been a factor in some of these rankings also.Let’s get started by reviewing prospects from 40 down to 31, starting with a left-hander selected out of Clemson in 2017. #40 LHP Charlie Barnes The Twins made Barnes their fourth-round pick in 2017 after three years at Clemson. Touted as one of the best changeup pitchers in the draft, Barnes made six appearances for the Elizabethton Twins and then was promoted to Cedar Rapids where he made another six starts. After working 101 innings in college, he worked 48.1 innings in pro ball. He walked 18 and struck out 46 batters in his debut. Barnes turned 22 following the minor league season. #39 Ricky De La Torre When the Twins used their sixth-round pick in 2017 on the shortstop, he became the highest-drafted player from the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy since Carlos Correa was the #1 overall pick in 2012. De La Torre was projected to go earlier in the draft, so the Twins were happy to swoop up the athletic, 6-2 shortstop. The 18-year-old hit .268/.341/.359 (.701) in 42 games during his pro debut. He played a bit of second base when Royce Lewis was in the GCL, but upon Lewis’s promotion, De La Torre played mostly shortstop. He should advance to E-Town in 2018. #38 LHP Tyler Watson The Twins acquired Watson from the Nationals at the trade deadline for Brandon Kintzler. The 20-year-old had been Washington’s 34th-round pick in 2015 out of high school in Arizona. Most believed he would go to college. He had posted a 4.35 ERA at Hagerstown (Low A) in 98 innings. In 120.1 combined innings, he walked 32, struck out 116. At 6-6, there is a lot of projection. He’s throwing a little over 90 now with good, but still developing, secondary stuff. #37 LHP Lachlan Wells As a 19-year-old, Lachlan Wells spent the second half of the 2016 season in Cedar Rapids. He went 6-4 with a 1.77 ERA in 12 starts. In 71.1 innings, he walked 16 and struck out 63. In 2017, he moved up to Ft. Myers where he went 4-10 with a 3.98 ERA. His peripheral numbers were all pretty similar to his numbers a year earlier. He did miss nearly two months with an elbow flexor muscle strain. He did return to the Miracle late in the season. He won’t turn 21 until late February. #36 RHP Jake Reed Like Nick Burdi, Reed was a 2014 draft pick that we figured we would see before now. He dominated pro ball his first season. Since then, he has had some control issues and some injury issues that have cost him time. He was well on his way in 2017 until an oblique injury on the final day of spring training cost him the season’s first two months. He remains a legit relief pitching prospect. He has a fastball with a lot of movement at 97. He also has a darting slider. #35 RHP Landon Leach Leach was a prospect who had a lot of helium as the draft approached. He had been a catcher in the Canadian youth leagues until the last couple of years when he got a shot on the mound and reached into the mid-90s with a fastball. He agreed to the terms set out by the Twins and they took him in the second round of this year’s draft. It took several weeks for Leach to get his work visa and then he headed down to Ft. Myers. He turned 18 in July and pitched in 13.1 innings over five appearances before the end of the season. #34 RHP Aaron Slegers Slegers was the Twins fifth-round pick in 2013 out of Indiana where he was the reigning Big 10 Pitcher of the Year. He has moved up one level each season. He received an invitation to big league spring training in 2017, and had a really nice season with the Red Wings. He went 15-4 with a 3.40 ERA. In mid-August, he made a spot start against Cleveland and responded b y giving up just two runs in 6.1 innings. He made four total appearances for the Twins. He is 6-10. He doesn’t throw real hard, sitting mostly in the low-90s but occasionally touching 94. He’s got the secondary pitches and know-how to pitch. He can be a solid back-of-the-rotation starter. #33 LHP Gabriel Moya Moya came to the Twins in late July from Arizona in exchange for catcher John Ryan Murphy. At the time of the trade Moya had a 0.82 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP for Jackson (also in the AA Southern League). After the trade, he helped Chattanooga to a share of the Southern League championship. With the Lookouts, he had a 0.61 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in 14.1 innings. When the Lookouts finished their playoff run, Moya was summoned to the big leagues. He posted a 4.26 ERA in seven games for the Twins. The left-hander has a herky-jerky, deceptive motion and delivery making his 90 mph fastball appear much faster. He has a good slider and a changeup and has a chance to be a good lefty-reliever for years. Recently, he was named MiLB.com’s minor league relief pitcher of the year. #32 RHP Tyler Wells Another tall starter, Wells spent most of his 2017 season in Cedar Rapids. Drafted in the 15th round in 2016 out of Cal State - San Bernadino, Wells has a good fastball. His best pitches might be his breaking balls. He has a really good 12-6 curveball, but he also has shown a really sharp slider. He was limited to 14 starts in 2017 due to a couple of stints on the disabled list with biceps tendinitis. He went 5-3 with a 3.11 ERA and 1.13 WHIP. In 75.1 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 92 (11.0 K/9). #31 RHP Nick Burdi Like Reed, the assumption was that Burdi would already be on the 40-man roster, an established, dominant, late-inning reliever for the big league club.. Instead, he is now a question mark to be added to the 40-man roster in November after having Tommy John surgery early in the 2017 season. But this almost still feels too low. Yes, he’ll probably miss a majority of the 2018 season, but when he comes back from surgery, he’ll still be a reliever with upper-90s fastball and an upper-80s slider. And, he’ll only be 25 throughout the 2018 season. So there you have it, my choices for Twins prospects 31-40. What do you think of these choices or these rankings? Feel free to ask questions or leave your comments below. Click here to view the article
  13. Last week, I began a review of my updated, midseason Top 40 Minnesota Twins prospects. In Part 1, we reviewed prospects 31-40. In Part 2, we looked at prospects 21-30. As we jump into the Top 20, we will briefly profile five players at a time. Today’s grouping of five is rather interesting. Two upper-level relief pitcher prospects. Two very young, but immensely talented arms. A former top prospect who has really struggled yet still profiles well by several reports. This group illustrates so much about pitching prospects. There are lots of young arms with huge upsides, but there is a reason that TINSTAAPP (There Is No Such Thing As A Pitching Prospect) is a thing in baseball circles. Some take off and become MLB starters. Some struggle with control, adding secondary pitches or injury and never reach their perceived potential. Some become relievers. Some relievers who throw really hard get hurt.Today’s group of prospects also illustrates why prospect rankings are so difficult. There is such a large range of talent, age, and potential. Some players are very young and have a lot of development to do. Others have pitched at the highest level. With that, I present Part 3 of my midseason Top 40 Prospect Rankings, prospects 16-20. 20. Huascar Ynoa, RHP, 19 Ynoa turned 19 years old on Memorial Day. He signed with the Twins in July of 2014 out of the Dominican Republic. His brother Michael is a reliever for the Chicago White Sox. After spending 2015 in the Dominican Summer League, he came to the States in 2016. He was the Twins Daily short-season minor league pitcher of the year. For the GCL Twins, he went 3-5 with a 3.18 ERA in 11 starts and 51 innings. He walked 12 and struck out 51. Ynoa throws hard, sitting 91-93 and touching 95. He’s got the makings of really good secondary pitches. He’ll likely pitch at Elizabethton this season. 19. Nick Burdi, RH RP, 24 After a long 2016 season in which he missed most of the season with a bone bruise in his elbow, things were looking good for Nick Burdi in 2017… at least until last week. Burdi had pitched 17 innings in 14 outings for Chattanooga. He had four walks and 20 strikeouts. He had given up just one run, on a solo homer. His ERA was 0.53 ,and his WHIP was 0.77. There was talk of him being ready for a promotion to Rochester, if not even directly to the Twins. He was hitting 100 with regularly. And then news came late last week that he has a torn UCL and will need Tommy John surgery which will put him out for the rest of the season. The Twins second-round pick in 2014 out of Louisville. 18. JT Chargois, RH RP, 25 The Twins second-round pick in 2012 out of Rice University, Chargois missed the 2013 and 2014 seasons with an elbow injury and Tommy John surgery. He returned in 2015 and stayed healthy. Last year, he dominated the minor leagues and got a chance to pitch for the Twins. Early results were not good but he was terrific in September. His velocity (normally 95-98 on the fastball) was a little down this spring and he struggled, so he went down to Rochester. Unfortunately, he has pitched in just two games this year due to elbow concerns. Frankly, we haven’t heard anything on him in quite some time. But as we’ve seen, when he’s healthy, his fastball-slurvy thing-change up can be a late-inning threat for the Twins. 17. Kohl Stewart, RHP, 22 It’s been a difficult start to the 2017 season for Stewart, the Twins first-round pick in the 2013 draft. While he’s never been a big strikeout pitcher, he’s always done a good job of not giving up too many hits and not walking batters. He’s maintained low ERAs. However, he went 0-4 with a 5.62 ERA in six starts to begin the season. In just 24 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 14. He was placed on the disabled list with a ‘knee’ injury. Still just 22, there is no reason to give up on Stewart. He has great talent. He throws into the mid-90s. He’s got a good slider. He can have a good changeup. Let’s hope that he gets healthy and starts throwing strikes again, because if he’s got those things, he can still be a solid starter. 16. Brusdar Graterol, RHP, 18 When I posted a previous Top 40, I had Graterol ranked in the low-20s. I felt that might have been too low, but most readers told me I had him too high. I’m sticking to my thinking and have moved him up. While he hasn’t pitched in nearly two years, and that was just 11 innings over four starts in the DSL (also 1 walk, 17 strikeouts), Graterol is intriguing. The right-hander signed with the Twins in 2014, but after those 11 innings in 2015, he came to the States and had Tommy John. He missed all of 2016. but he was pitching (and hitting 100 mph) in Instructional League. Unfortunately, before spring training, he broke his hand and had to sit most of camp. But he’s back, and he’s often sitting 97-98 with his fastball. He’s also got some solid secondary pitches. Now he just needs to be healthy and start working some innings. So there you have my selections for Twins Prospects 16-20. Feel free to discuss, ask questions, debate, etc. Click here to view the article
  14. Today’s group of prospects also illustrates why prospect rankings are so difficult. There is such a large range of talent, age, and potential. Some players are very young and have a lot of development to do. Others have pitched at the highest level. With that, I present Part 3 of my midseason Top 40 Prospect Rankings, prospects 16-20. 20. Huascar Ynoa, RHP, 19 Ynoa turned 19 years old on Memorial Day. He signed with the Twins in July of 2014 out of the Dominican Republic. His brother Michael is a reliever for the Chicago White Sox. After spending 2015 in the Dominican Summer League, he came to the States in 2016. He was the Twins Daily short-season minor league pitcher of the year. For the GCL Twins, he went 3-5 with a 3.18 ERA in 11 starts and 51 innings. He walked 12 and struck out 51. Ynoa throws hard, sitting 91-93 and touching 95. He’s got the makings of really good secondary pitches. He’ll likely pitch at Elizabethton this season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zujYwEsJmFs 19. Nick Burdi, RH RP, 24 After a long 2016 season in which he missed most of the season with a bone bruise in his elbow, things were looking good for Nick Burdi in 2017… at least until last week. Burdi had pitched 17 innings in 14 outings for Chattanooga. He had four walks and 20 strikeouts. He had given up just one run, on a solo homer. His ERA was 0.53 ,and his WHIP was 0.77. There was talk of him being ready for a promotion to Rochester, if not even directly to the Twins. He was hitting 100 with regularly. And then news came late last week that he has a torn UCL and will need Tommy John surgery which will put him out for the rest of the season. The Twins second-round pick in 2014 out of Louisville. 18. JT Chargois, RH RP, 25 The Twins second-round pick in 2012 out of Rice University, Chargois missed the 2013 and 2014 seasons with an elbow injury and Tommy John surgery. He returned in 2015 and stayed healthy. Last year, he dominated the minor leagues and got a chance to pitch for the Twins. Early results were not good but he was terrific in September. His velocity (normally 95-98 on the fastball) was a little down this spring and he struggled, so he went down to Rochester. Unfortunately, he has pitched in just two games this year due to elbow concerns. Frankly, we haven’t heard anything on him in quite some time. But as we’ve seen, when he’s healthy, his fastball-slurvy thing-change up can be a late-inning threat for the Twins. 17. Kohl Stewart, RHP, 22 It’s been a difficult start to the 2017 season for Stewart, the Twins first-round pick in the 2013 draft. While he’s never been a big strikeout pitcher, he’s always done a good job of not giving up too many hits and not walking batters. He’s maintained low ERAs. However, he went 0-4 with a 5.62 ERA in six starts to begin the season. In just 24 innings, he walked 22 and struck out 14. He was placed on the disabled list with a ‘knee’ injury. Still just 22, there is no reason to give up on Stewart. He has great talent. He throws into the mid-90s. He’s got a good slider. He can have a good changeup. Let’s hope that he gets healthy and starts throwing strikes again, because if he’s got those things, he can still be a solid starter. 16. Brusdar Graterol, RHP, 18 When I posted a previous Top 40, I had Graterol ranked in the low-20s. I felt that might have been too low, but most readers told me I had him too high. I’m sticking to my thinking and have moved him up. While he hasn’t pitched in nearly two years, and that was just 11 innings over four starts in the DSL (also 1 walk, 17 strikeouts), Graterol is intriguing. The right-hander signed with the Twins in 2014, but after those 11 innings in 2015, he came to the States and had Tommy John. He missed all of 2016. but he was pitching (and hitting 100 mph) in Instructional League. Unfortunately, before spring training, he broke his hand and had to sit most of camp. But he’s back, and he’s often sitting 97-98 with his fastball. He’s also got some solid secondary pitches. Now he just needs to be healthy and start working some innings. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NitwR1NtDVw So there you have my selections for Twins Prospects 16-20. Feel free to discuss, ask questions, debate, etc.
  15. We are more than a month and a half into the season, and several prospects have gotten off to a great start. I avoided the prospects who have just been on their current team for just the last month and a half. Last year, I made a list like this and all five were promoted soon after I wrote it, so we’ll see if I have similar luck this year. 5. Tom Hackimer, RP, Cedar Rapids I was tempted to put Fort Myers’ Williams Ramirez in this spot, but I decided against it since he has only pitched 22 innings with the Miracle. Hackimer debuted with the Kernels last season and had a terrific season, but has been much better in 2017. In 2016, he had a 2.39 ERA with 26 strikeouts in 26 innings. He has improved upon those numbers this season. In 22 innings, he has an ERA of just 1.64 and an incredible WHIP of just 0.59, which leads the Twins minor league system. His six saves ranks second in the system and has just walked two batters in his 22 innings. Last year’s fourth round pick also has given up just one homer in his 48.1 career innings with the Kernels. He also is striking out more than one per inning, having struck out 25 already. His numbers across the board are sensational and the former St. John’s star should be getting the call to join High-A Fort Myers very soon. 4. Chris Paul, 3B, Fort Myers When he is not throwing alley-oops to Blake Griffin, you can find Paul lighting up the Florida State League. After dominating in Cedar Rapids last season, he was promoted to Fort Myers after just seven games. He did not have the same amount of success with the Miracle following his promotion. He batted just .228, having just two homers and 36 RBI in 92 games in Fort Myers last season, but his numbers so far in 2017 are near the stats he put up with Cedar Rapids in 2016. This has been a theme for Paul ever since being drafted by the Twins in 2015. Every year, Paul has started with a bang to earn a promotion and then has struggled mightily following it, only to bounce back at the start of the new season. Through 43 games in High-A this year, Paul is hitting .335, which leads the organization. He also is in the top five in the Twins system in OPS, doubles and runs batted in. He is due for a promotion to Double-A Chattanooga soon, but it will depend on how invested the organization is in T.J. White, who Paul would replace with the Lookouts. 3. Sean Poppen, SP, Cedar Rapids Last year’s 19th round pick has been impressive in every stop he has made in the organization. His worst stop was actually Elizabethton, where he had a 2.97 ERA, but walked 18 in 36 innings. After a promotion to Cedar Rapids last year, Poppen went 1-1 with a 2.12 ERA. His control improved a bit, but still walked six in 17 innings in his four games (three starts) last year with the Kernels. This year, his control has improved and his numbers have remained very good. In his eight starts so far, he is 2-1 with an ERA of 2.68. In his 50.1 innings, he has walked just 11. His walks per nine innings is currently tied for second in the organization. He also ranks in the top five among the Twins affiliates in strikeouts per nine with 8.7. With him already being 23, it would be a good decision to challenge him at High-A Fort Myers. 2. Jermaine Palacios, 2B, Cedar Rapids In 2015, Palacios took Minor League Baseball by storm, hitting .370 in his stops between the GCL Twins and Elizabethton. But last year was a disappointment. In his first season with Cedar Rapids, Palacios was a part-time starter and hit just .222. However, he is back to his 2015 form this season with the Kernels. This year, he is near the top of the Twins minor league system in many offensive categories. His batting average (.327) is second in the Twins system and his slugging percentage (.544) leads the system. He also shown some extra base power, having 20 extra base hits, including six homers. Palacios has six steals as well, but has been caught five times. The 20-year-old will probably spend most, if not all, of the season down in Cedar Rapids, but he will make his Fort Myers debut at some point in the near future. With his impressive season, he is showing that last year may have been a but of a fluke and may have risen into the top 10 for Twins prospects. 1. Nick Burdi, RP, Chattanooga After an arm injury wiped out nearly his entire 2016 season, Burdi has come back with a vengeance this season. When he was drafted out of Louisville in 2014, Minnesota expected him to be up with the team late that season or in 2015, but injuries have his hurt his progress and had been mediocre when on the field when he was healthy. He has finally put it all together in 2017. He has just allowed a single run in his 17 innings this year, and his 0.53 ERA is second in the Twins system. His WHIP of 0.76 is also third in the system and has punched out 20 in his 17 innings. I am not sure he will be moved up really soon due to him having pitched only 20 innings in a little more than a season. However, if he keeps this up, he will be with the Twins or Triple-A Rochester at some point this season. As always, feel free to comment with players who you think should be in the top five.
  16. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 1 Box Score Aaron Slegers spun another gem, pitching into the ninth inning for the first time this season. After giving up one run on five hits over 8.1 innings, Slegers’ ERA is down to 3.83 in his first year with the Red Wings. Over seven starts he’s gone six or more innings while giving up one run or fewer in four of them. Slegers only struck out two batters, but it was a particularly impressive performance considering the opponent. https://twitter.com/JoshWhetzel/status/865730959362150400 The 6-10 right-hander carried a shutout into the ninth, but gave up a ground rule double on his first pitch of the inning. That runner would come around to score, and Drew Rucinski came in to record the final two outs for his first save of the season. Zack Granite hit his first Triple A home run in the fourth inning. He’s now hitting .300/.327/.420 with six stolen bases in 12 games for Rochester. https://twitter.com/BaseballByTom/status/865752014889910272 Matt Hague scored Daniel Palka on a sac fly in the seventh. ByungHo Park and J.B. Shuck both had doubles. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Biloxi 4, Chattanooga 0 Box Score Nick Burdi continued his impressive 2017 with a 1-2-3 inning in which he consistently hit 99 mph on the radar gun. In 15.2 innings, he’s only given up one run and with one more strikeout tonight is up to an even 20 Ks. The Lookouts could only muster seven baserunners on the evening, but Ryan Strausborger was on three times. The 29-year-old outfielder was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks. Nick Gordon was credited with a throwing error, but it really probably should have gone to first baseman Jonathan Rodriguez as a missed catch. Ryan Eades made his second start of the season and gave up three runs over five innings while striking out five. Randy Rosario gave up an unearned run over two innings. Over 22.1 innings for Chattanooga, Rosario has a 2.01 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 7, Bradenton 1 Box Score Lewis Thorpe, making his first start since Aug. 31, 2014 and his first ever appearance in the Florida State League, had an encouraging debut. The Aussie hit 94 mph and struck out three batters over four innings, giving up a run on two hits and a walk to help lead the Miracle to their sixth straight win. As expected, the Twins appear to be playing it safe with the 21-year-old lefty. He threw just 49 pitches, but just having him back on the mound at all is exciting. Thorpe had a 2.96 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 11.2 K/9 between 2013 and ‘14. It was also a special day for Rafael Valera. In his 264th career game, the native of Venezuela finally hit his first professional home run. Tanner English, in his fifth game since being sent down from Double A, went 2-for-3 with three RBI, scored a run and was hit by a pitch. Chris Paul also reached in three of his plate appearances, tallying a double, a walk and an HBP. Nelson Molina had a pair of hits and drove in two and Max Murphy drew a couple walks and stole his sixth base. Anthony McIver, Alex Muren and Nick Anderson combined to throw five shutout innings out of the bullpen. KERNELS NUGGETS Wisconsin 9, Cedar Rapids 2 Box Score Jermaine Palacios hit his fifth home run of the season and Clark Beeker pitched seven strong innings, but an ugly night from reliever Max Cordy put this one out of reach. Christian Cavaness was the only Kernels to reach safely twice, recording a single and Cedar Rapids’ only walk of the evening. Beeker gave up a pair of homers, but limited the Timber Rattlers to three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five. A 33rd-round pick from last year’s draft, Beeker now has a 2.76 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and has pitched at least six innings in six of his seven starts. Cordy walked three batters, hit two more and threw a wild pitch. Wisconsin scored six runs while he was on the mound (four earned) and he recorded just one out. Andrew Vasquez came in and struck out the only two batters he faced. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Slegers (carried a shutout into the ninth inning) Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Rafael Valera (hit a go-ahead homer, the first of his professional career after over 264 games played) SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Scranton/WB, 3:05 CT, Nick Tepesch (2.29 ERA, 1.53 WHIP) Chattanooga at Biloxi, 6:35 CT, Stephen Gonsalves (first start of season) Fort Myers vs. Bradenton, 5:05 CT, Dereck Rodriguez (2.80 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) Cedar Rapids at Wisconsin, 6:35 CT, Eduardo Del Rosario (5.29 ERA, 1.48 WHIP) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday's games.
  17. There was a near complete game shutout, a prospect made his triumphant return after a two-year absence and a hitter slugged his very first home run in 264 professional games. Find out what else happened around the Twins' minor leagues on Friday.RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 2, Scranton/Wilkes Barre 1 Box Score Aaron Slegers spun another gem, pitching into the ninth inning for the first time this season. After giving up one run on five hits over 8.1 innings, Slegers’ ERA is down to 3.83 in his first year with the Red Wings. Over seven starts he’s gone six or more innings while giving up one run or fewer in four of them. Slegers only struck out two batters, but it was a particularly impressive performance considering the opponent. Matt Hague scored Daniel Palka on a sac fly in the seventh. ByungHo Park and J.B. Shuck both had doubles. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Biloxi 4, Chattanooga 0 Box Score Nick Burdi continued his impressive 2017 with a 1-2-3 inning in which he consistently hit 99 mph on the radar gun. In 15.2 innings, he’s only given up one run and with one more strikeout tonight is up to an even 20 Ks. The Lookouts could only muster seven baserunners on the evening, but Ryan Strausborger was on three times. The 29-year-old outfielder was 1-for-2 with a pair of walks. Nick Gordon was credited with a throwing error, but it really probably should have gone to first baseman Jonathan Rodriguez as a missed catch. Ryan Eades made his second start of the season and gave up three runs over five innings while striking out five. Randy Rosario gave up an unearned run over two innings. Over 22.1 innings for Chattanooga, Rosario has a 2.01 ERA and 0.90 WHIP. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 7, Bradenton 1 Box Score Lewis Thorpe, making his first start since Aug. 31, 2014 and his first ever appearance in the Florida State League, had an encouraging debut. The Aussie hit 94 mph and struck out three batters over four innings, giving up a run on two hits and a walk to help lead the Miracle to their sixth straight win. As expected, the Twins appear to be playing it safe with the 21-year-old lefty. He threw just 49 pitches, but just having him back on the mound at all is exciting. Thorpe had a 2.96 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 11.2 K/9 between 2013 and ‘14. It was also a special day for Rafael Valera. In his 264th career game, the native of Venezuela finally hit his first professional home run. Tanner English, in his fifth game since being sent down from Double A, went 2-for-3 with three RBI, scored a run and was hit by a pitch. Chris Paul also reached in three of his plate appearances, tallying a double, a walk and an HBP. Nelson Molina had a pair of hits and drove in two and Max Murphy drew a couple walks and stole his sixth base. Anthony McIver, Alex Muren and Nick Anderson combined to throw five shutout innings out of the bullpen. KERNELS NUGGETS Wisconsin 9, Cedar Rapids 2 Box Score Jermaine Palacios hit his fifth home run of the season and Clark Beeker pitched seven strong innings, but an ugly night from reliever Max Cordy put this one out of reach. Christian Cavaness was the only Kernels to reach safely twice, recording a single and Cedar Rapids’ only walk of the evening. Beeker gave up a pair of homers, but limited the Timber Rattlers to three runs on four hits and two walks while striking out five. A 33rd-round pick from last year’s draft, Beeker now has a 2.76 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and has pitched at least six innings in six of his seven starts. Cordy walked three batters, hit two more and threw a wild pitch. Wisconsin scored six runs while he was on the mound (four earned) and he recorded just one out. Andrew Vasquez came in and struck out the only two batters he faced. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Aaron Slegers (carried a shutout into the ninth inning) Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Rafael Valera (hit a go-ahead homer, the first of his professional career after over 264 games played) SATURDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester at Scranton/WB, 3:05 CT, Nick Tepesch (2.29 ERA, 1.53 WHIP) Chattanooga at Biloxi, 6:35 CT, Stephen Gonsalves (first start of season) Fort Myers vs. Bradenton, 5:05 CT, Dereck Rodriguez (2.80 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) Cedar Rapids at Wisconsin, 6:35 CT, Eduardo Del Rosario (5.29 ERA, 1.48 WHIP) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Friday's games. Click here to view the article
  18. Through their first 120 innings pitches, Minnesota checks in with the 23rd best relief ERA in MLB (4.73). The 7.43 K/9 ranks 28th out of 30 big league teams and the 3.75 BB/9 checks out in the middle of the pack. Largely unaddressed this offseason (Matt Belisle being the only signing of note), the goal should be to address the bullpen before it goes off the rails. Looking at what's out there, you can see some definite pieces. Brandon Kintzler is a solid reliever, even if his "stuff" remains questionable for working as a closer. Taylor Rogers fits, and Tyler Duffey looks like a real weapon. I still believe Ryan Pressly is more than his funk suggests, and Justin Haley being carried makes sense. That leaves both Matt Belisle and Craig Breslow, and you have to wonder if Minnesota isn't in a position to push for more on their own being promoted. Triple-A Rochester has some intriguing arms worthy of a shot. Adding Drew Rucinski to the 40-man roster for a brief call up was confusing, if only because there were other options. Trevor Hildenberger, D.J. Baxendale, Aaron Slegers, and even Jason Wheeler could all use a look. If we're really trying to push the envelop though, Double-A is where the Twins greatest assets lie. Both Mason Melotakis and Nick Burdi have been lights out to start 2017. Melotakis owns a 1.17 ERA across 15.1 IP. The 25-year-old southpaw has compiled a 7.0 K/9 while offering free passes at a rate of 2.3 BB/9. The former second-round pick has been at Double-A since 2014, albeit missing the 2015 season. He's compiled just under 50.0 IP across the last two years and he's shown an ability to strike batters out, while reducing the walks in 2017. Another second-round pick, Burdi has come out with guns blazing this season as well. The 24-year-old right-hander can push his fastball into triple digits, and seeing him healthy after throwing just three innings last year is a major plus. Across 13.2 IP this season, he's struck out 11.9 per nine innings, and he's walking batters at a very strong 2.6 BB/9. While command has always been Burdi's shortcoming, it's something he seems to have honed in this campaign. I have no idea whether or not the Twins would promote either arm straight from Double-A, but I would lean towards them not doing so. Both have velocity and wanting to see them pitch, more than just throw, at the next level might be worth a stop in Triple-A. Neither guy is going to be able to rely solely on speed at the big league level, and seeing evidence they could get big league hitters out is a must. Regardless of how they get to the Target Field bullpen, both Melotakis and Burdi could be there by early summer. I'd expect at least a brief stop for both in Triple-A, but guys like Breslow, or even Adam Wilk, shouldn't stand in their way. Unlike a starting prospect, relievers don't necessarily need a long stay at the highest level of the farm system; give them a taste and move them on. J.T. Chargois put forth just 12.1 IP in AAA after 11.2 IP at AA prior to his promotion last year. A similar path could be had for both of these guys. When they arrive, there's little reason to suggest it wouldn't be an immediate boost to the bullpen. Throw in a healthy J.T. Chargois or Jake Reed, and maybe a flier on one of those other names, and Minnesota will have reworked their relief corps from within. Right now, there are some question marks as to how it will come together, and which guys can get healthy, but what Minnesota doesn't have in starting options, they have in relief. Both Burdi and Melotakis can lead the charge and let the dice fall as they may.
  19. All the affiliates took early leads on Tuesday night, but not all of them were able to hang onto them. One prospect had a massive power surge in the Midwest League that gave his team that early lead, and also brought his team back later. Another hitter extended an impressive streak and an early season standout pitcher at AA was back after a cameo in AAA, and struck out a bunch more hitters.To see who came up with the big blasts on Tuesday night, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS Adalberto Mejia was removed from the temporary inactive list for Rochester and made the start tonight. Alex Wimmers was “sent” to extended spring training to make room. RED WINGS REPORT Lehigh Valley 9, Rochester 5 Box Score Rochester scored early and often in this one, but a Daniel Palka three-run home run in the bottom of the third spelled the end of their offense on the night. His sixth home run of the season made it 5-0 in the home team's favor; unfortunately the ban on bacon at Frontier Field didn’t keep the Iron Pigs from coming back. Adalberto Mejia went the first three innings for the Red Wings, and allowed just one hit while striking out one. He had thrown only thirty-three pitches, so let the speculation about Saturday’s starter for the Twins commence. Nick Tepesch came on for the fourth, and ended up with six runs allowed (just one earned) in 1.2 innings. An error from Engelb Vielma led to the five unearned runs in the fifth. D.J. Baxendale struck out three in 2.1 innings, allowing one run on two hits. Trevor Hildenberger allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in the eighth to cap the game's scoring. Buddy Boshers struck out two in the ninth to finish the game for the Red Wings. Zack Granite (2-4, 2 R’s, 2B) and Bengie Gonzalez (2-4, R, 2 RBI) each had multiple hits. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Birmingham 1, Chattanooga 4 Box Score The Lookouts jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first as Nick Gordon led off the game with his Southern League-leading fifth triple that was followed by an RBI double from Edgar Corcino. He scored on a single from LaMonte Wade that also had an error on the relay throw. They extended the lead to 4-0 in the fourth, when a Dan Rohlfing double was followed by Gordon’s third home run of the season. It was 4-0 at that point as starter Nik Turley, fresh off the plane back from a cameo in AAA, blanked the Barons for the first four innings. As he had only pitched six innings in three appearances with the Red Wings (one start), Turley was in the process of getting stretched back out so those four innings were all he went (64 pitches). In his last start for them on April 25th, he struck out 14 in seven innings. He actually bested that K-rate in this one, with nine. He allowed only one hit and walked one, lowering his ERA in AA to 0.37. His 45 K’s on the year rank fifth in the Southern League despite eleven or more fewer innings than the four starters in front of him (including White Sox prospect Michael Kopech). Matt Tracy came on for the fifth inning and went the next four innings. He scattered one run on four hits and a walk, while striking out four. The walk came in the sixth and put a runner on second, who scored on the single that followed. Tracy worked around a leadoff double in the eighth and finished his night by striking out the next three hitters. Nick Burdi was brought on for his first save opportunity of the season in the ninth with the score 4-1, and he set the Barons down in order to pick up his first save. He extended the Lookouts home winning streak to nine games by striking out the final hitter. Gordon and Corcino each had two-hit nights to lead the offense from the top two spots in the lineup. Wade’s single in the first made it a five-game hitting streak, and he has reached base safely in his last nineteen games. Over that time he is hitting .428/.556/.603 with five doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI, and 18 walks versus just 10 K’s. Get the man a player of the week award, Southern League. MIRACLE MATTERS Clearwater 2, Fort Myers 5 Box score Fort Myers took a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Max Murphy led off the game for the home team with a single and stole second base. He moved to third on a Chris Paul blooping double, and they scored on singles from Zander Wiel and Alex Perez. Left-hander David Fischer made the start for the Miracle, and went the first 4.2 innings, enduring a rain delay in the bottom of the third. The Threshers got to him in the fifth, as a two-out single with the bases loaded tied the game at two and ended his night. It would remain that way until the bottom of the ninth, as Alex Muren and Nick Anderson combined for 4.1 scoreless innings. Muren allowed one hit in 2.1 innings, and Anderson struck out two in his two innings to give the Miracle a chance in the ninth. Brian Navarreto reached based on an error to start a rally, and Paul ended it with a three-run home run to walk his team off. He finished 2-4 with two runs scored, a walk, and three RBI in leading his team to victory. It was his second home run of the season. Murphy added two hits and scored two runs. Bradley Strong stole his first two bases of the year. KERNELS NUGGETS Peoria 6, Cedar Rapids 7 Box Score Like everyone else in the system Tuesday night, Cedar Rapids also took an early lead in this one. After four innings it was 3-0 for the home team as Jaylin Davis slugged a solo home run in the second, and a two-run shot in the fourth. Starter Tyler Beardsley retired the first ten Chiefs, but ran into more trouble than he could navigate in the top of the fifth. After a double he recorded the inning's second out, but a walk, RBI single, and two-run triple tied the game at three. Catcher Mitchell Kranson helped him finish the sixth by nabbing two runners on the bases. Beardsley got the quality start by allowing the three runs on seven hits and a walk. He struck out one. Andrew Vasquez got wild in the seventh, walking three along with an RBI single, but managed to limit the damage to just the one run as Peoria took the lead 4-3. The Kernels got that run right back as Davis led off the bottom of the inning with his third home run of the game to tie it back up. They went back out front in the eighth after an RBI triple from Christian Caveness, and two-run double from Lewin Diaz to make it 7-4. Hector Lujan pitched a scoreless top-half of the eighth before it got interesting in the top of the ninth. Three singles and a walk to the first four hitters of the inning put the winning run on the bases before an out was recorded. Lujan got the first out on an RBI groundout that closed it to 7-6, but he then buckled down. He got the next two hitters on strikeouts to pick up his second win of the season. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Nik Turley, Chattanooga Lookouts (4.0 IP, H, BB, 9 K’s) Hitter of the Day – Jaylin Davis, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-4, 3 HR, 4 RBI) WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) – LHP David Hurlbut (2-2, 1.59 ERA) Birmingham @ Chattanooga (10:15AM CST) – RHP Felix Jorge (3-1, 3.45 ERA) Clearwater @ Fort Myers (5:35PM CST) – LHP Lachlan Wells Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (12:05PM CST) – RHP Sean Poppen (1-1, 2.29 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! Click here to view the article
  20. To see who came up with the big blasts on Tuesday night, keep reading! TRANSACTIONS Adalberto Mejia was removed from the temporary inactive list for Rochester and made the start tonight. Alex Wimmers was “sent” to extended spring training to make room. RED WINGS REPORT Lehigh Valley 9, Rochester 5 Box Score Rochester scored early and often in this one, but a Daniel Palka three-run home run in the bottom of the third spelled the end of their offense on the night. His sixth home run of the season made it 5-0 in the home team's favor; unfortunately the ban on bacon at Frontier Field didn’t keep the Iron Pigs from coming back. https://twitter.com/RocRedWings/status/864673849262125056 Adalberto Mejia went the first three innings for the Red Wings, and allowed just one hit while striking out one. He had thrown only thirty-three pitches, so let the speculation about Saturday’s starter for the Twins commence. Nick Tepesch came on for the fourth, and ended up with six runs allowed (just one earned) in 1.2 innings. An error from Engelb Vielma led to the five unearned runs in the fifth. D.J. Baxendale struck out three in 2.1 innings, allowing one run on two hits. Trevor Hildenberger allowed two runs on two hits and a walk in the eighth to cap the game's scoring. Buddy Boshers struck out two in the ninth to finish the game for the Red Wings. Zack Granite (2-4, 2 R’s, 2B) and Bengie Gonzalez (2-4, R, 2 RBI) each had multiple hits. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Birmingham 1, Chattanooga 4 Box Score The Lookouts jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the first as Nick Gordon led off the game with his Southern League-leading fifth triple that was followed by an RBI double from Edgar Corcino. He scored on a single from LaMonte Wade that also had an error on the relay throw. They extended the lead to 4-0 in the fourth, when a Dan Rohlfing double was followed by Gordon’s third home run of the season. It was 4-0 at that point as starter Nik Turley, fresh off the plane back from a cameo in AAA, blanked the Barons for the first four innings. As he had only pitched six innings in three appearances with the Red Wings (one start), Turley was in the process of getting stretched back out so those four innings were all he went (64 pitches). In his last start for them on April 25th, he struck out 14 in seven innings. He actually bested that K-rate in this one, with nine. He allowed only one hit and walked one, lowering his ERA in AA to 0.37. His 45 K’s on the year rank fifth in the Southern League despite eleven or more fewer innings than the four starters in front of him (including White Sox prospect Michael Kopech). Matt Tracy came on for the fifth inning and went the next four innings. He scattered one run on four hits and a walk, while striking out four. The walk came in the sixth and put a runner on second, who scored on the single that followed. Tracy worked around a leadoff double in the eighth and finished his night by striking out the next three hitters. Nick Burdi was brought on for his first save opportunity of the season in the ninth with the score 4-1, and he set the Barons down in order to pick up his first save. He extended the Lookouts home winning streak to nine games by striking out the final hitter. Gordon and Corcino each had two-hit nights to lead the offense from the top two spots in the lineup. Wade’s single in the first made it a five-game hitting streak, and he has reached base safely in his last nineteen games. Over that time he is hitting .428/.556/.603 with five doubles, two home runs, 11 RBI, and 18 walks versus just 10 K’s. Get the man a player of the week award, Southern League. MIRACLE MATTERS Clearwater 2, Fort Myers 5 Box score Fort Myers took a 2-0 lead in the first inning as Max Murphy led off the game for the home team with a single and stole second base. He moved to third on a Chris Paul blooping double, and they scored on singles from Zander Wiel and Alex Perez. Left-hander David Fischer made the start for the Miracle, and went the first 4.2 innings, enduring a rain delay in the bottom of the third. The Threshers got to him in the fifth, as a two-out single with the bases loaded tied the game at two and ended his night. It would remain that way until the bottom of the ninth, as Alex Muren and Nick Anderson combined for 4.1 scoreless innings. Muren allowed one hit in 2.1 innings, and Anderson struck out two in his two innings to give the Miracle a chance in the ninth. Brian Navarreto reached based on an error to start a rally, and Paul ended it with a three-run home run to walk his team off. He finished 2-4 with two runs scored, a walk, and three RBI in leading his team to victory. It was his second home run of the season. Murphy added two hits and scored two runs. Bradley Strong stole his first two bases of the year. KERNELS NUGGETS Peoria 6, Cedar Rapids 7 Box Score Like everyone else in the system Tuesday night, Cedar Rapids also took an early lead in this one. After four innings it was 3-0 for the home team as Jaylin Davis slugged a solo home run in the second, and a two-run shot in the fourth. Starter Tyler Beardsley retired the first ten Chiefs, but ran into more trouble than he could navigate in the top of the fifth. After a double he recorded the inning's second out, but a walk, RBI single, and two-run triple tied the game at three. Catcher Mitchell Kranson helped him finish the sixth by nabbing two runners on the bases. Beardsley got the quality start by allowing the three runs on seven hits and a walk. He struck out one. Andrew Vasquez got wild in the seventh, walking three along with an RBI single, but managed to limit the damage to just the one run as Peoria took the lead 4-3. The Kernels got that run right back as Davis led off the bottom of the inning with his third home run of the game to tie it back up. They went back out front in the eighth after an RBI triple from Christian Caveness, and two-run double from Lewin Diaz to make it 7-4. Hector Lujan pitched a scoreless top-half of the eighth before it got interesting in the top of the ninth. Three singles and a walk to the first four hitters of the inning put the winning run on the bases before an out was recorded. Lujan got the first out on an RBI groundout that closed it to 7-6, but he then buckled down. He got the next two hitters on strikeouts to pick up his second win of the season. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Nik Turley, Chattanooga Lookouts (4.0 IP, H, BB, 9 K’s) Hitter of the Day – Jaylin Davis, Cedar Rapids Kernels (3-4, 3 HR, 4 RBI) WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Lehigh Valley @ Rochester (6:05PM CST) – LHP David Hurlbut (2-2, 1.59 ERA) Birmingham @ Chattanooga (10:15AM CST) – RHP Felix Jorge (3-1, 3.45 ERA) Clearwater @ Fort Myers (5:35PM CST) – LHP Lachlan Wells Peoria @ Cedar Rapids (12:05PM CST) – RHP Sean Poppen (1-1, 2.29 ERA) Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. Brian Dozier was back in the lineup for the Twins as they played just their second game of the week after an off day on Monday and a rainout on Wednesday night. Dozier was a little rusty after his time off and struck out three times, but birthday boy Miguel Sano hit a birthday #powerbanana and the Twins held on to beat the White Sox 7-6. TRANSACTIONS On Thursday afternoon, Rochester announced that Drew Rucinski had reported to the Red Wings. To make room, Nik Turley had been sent down to extended spring training. That was a pretty large hint of things to come. You see, by sending Turley to extended rather than Chattanooga, he could be immediately recalled to the Red Wings whenever they needed another pitcher. But why would the Red Wings need another pitcher? Well, following the Twins game, the team announced that Jose Berrios would be called up prior to Saturday's game in Cleveland and make the start. A corresponding move will be made at that time as well.Find out everything that happened in the Twins minor league system on Thursday. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3 @ Pawtucket 2 Box Score The Red Wings pushed two runs across in the top of the ninth inning to earn a victory on Thursday night in Pawtucket. With two outs in the ninth, down by a run with runners on first and second, Bengie Gonzalez singled home Niko Goodrum to tie the game and a Zack Granite single scored John Ryan Murphy from third to put the Wings ahead. Ninth inning heroes Granite and Gonzalez were the only Red Wings with multiple hits, each with a pair of singles and an RBI. The other run was driven in earlier on a Leonardo Reginatto double in the fifth. Starter Adalberto Mejia gave the Red Wings 6.2 strong innings, scattering 7 hits and giving up two runs. He struck out a pair and did not walk anyone. Busenitz, Chapman and the recently demoted Drew Rucinski held the Red Sox scoreless for the rest of the night and Rucinski picked up the victory thanks to the ninth inning heroics. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 1 @ Montgomery 7 Box Score Chattanooga starter Matt Tracy gave up a 7-spot in the bottom of the second inning, putting the Lookouts in a big hole they could not dig out of. Tracy stayed in to finish the third inning, and then Randy Rosario gave the Lookouts three innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out four and walked one. Flame throwing Nick Burdi pitched the final two innings of the night, perfectly, and struck out three. Jon Rodriguez came into Thursday night riding a 14-game hitting streak, just one shy of Zack Granite’s season leading 15-game hitting streak, but was held hitless on the night, going 0-3 with a walk. In fact, almost all of the Lookouts were hitless, combining for just three hits, a trio of singles from Edgar Corcino, Ryan Walker and Dan “Rolfs are the best” Rohlfing. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2 @ Charlotte 3 Box Score Fort Myers scored a run in the top of the first inning, but trailed the rest of the way as the Stone Crabs got to Lachlan Wells for three earned runs in the bottom of the first. Wells pitched six innings, gave up eight hits, just those three runs, and struck out two while not walking anyone. He was replaced by Brady Anderson who kept the Stone Crabs off the board for the final two innings, giving up a pair of hits and a walk in two innings. The Miracle had nine hits on the night, but were just 1-4 with men in scoring position and didn’t put many guys past first base. Brian Navarreto led the way for the Miracle, going 2-3 with a double and an RBI. Bradley Strong and Sean Miller each added two singles. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 0 @ Bowling Green 10 Box Score The Kernels managed just four hits against Hot Rods starter Travis Ott, and did not manage to pick up any runs on a tough night in Bowling Green. The Kernels had opportunities, but were 0-5 with runners in scoring position and twice hit into double plays. Kernels starter Sean Poppen gave up five runs (three earned) over six innings, giving up nine hits and a walk against six strike outs. Max Cordy equaled Poppen’s results in just an inning, giving up five more runs in the seventh. Logan Lombana came in for mop up duty and managed an uneventful eighth inning, giving up a walk, but no hits and no runs to finish the day for Kernels hurlers. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Nick Burdi – Chattanooga Lookouts Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Brian Navarreto – Fort Myers Miracle FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Pawtucket (5:05pm) – LHP Jason Wheeler (2-1, 4.85) Chattanooga @ Montgomery (7:05pm) – RHP Felix Jorge (3-1, 3.71) Ft. Myers @ Charlotte (5:35pm) – RHP Chris Anderson (0-0, 14.14) Cedar Rapids @ Bowling Green (6:35pm) – LHP Domenick Carlini (0-2, 5.74) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's games. Click here to view the article
  24. Find out everything that happened in the Twins minor league system on Thursday. RED WINGS REPORT Rochester 3 @ Pawtucket 2 Box Score The Red Wings pushed two runs across in the top of the ninth inning to earn a victory on Thursday night in Pawtucket. With two outs in the ninth, down by a run with runners on first and second, Bengie Gonzalez singled home Niko Goodrum to tie the game and a Zack Granite single scored John Ryan Murphy from third to put the Wings ahead. Ninth inning heroes Granite and Gonzalez were the only Red Wings with multiple hits, each with a pair of singles and an RBI. The other run was driven in earlier on a Leonardo Reginatto double in the fifth. Starter Adalberto Mejia gave the Red Wings 6.2 strong innings, scattering 7 hits and giving up two runs. He struck out a pair and did not walk anyone. Busenitz, Chapman and the recently demoted Drew Rucinski held the Red Sox scoreless for the rest of the night and Rucinski picked up the victory thanks to the ninth inning heroics. CHATTANOOGA CHATTER Chattanooga 1 @ Montgomery 7 Box Score Chattanooga starter Matt Tracy gave up a 7-spot in the bottom of the second inning, putting the Lookouts in a big hole they could not dig out of. Tracy stayed in to finish the third inning, and then Randy Rosario gave the Lookouts three innings of one-hit baseball. He struck out four and walked one. Flame throwing Nick Burdi pitched the final two innings of the night, perfectly, and struck out three. Jon Rodriguez came into Thursday night riding a 14-game hitting streak, just one shy of Zack Granite’s season leading 15-game hitting streak, but was held hitless on the night, going 0-3 with a walk. In fact, almost all of the Lookouts were hitless, combining for just three hits, a trio of singles from Edgar Corcino, Ryan Walker and Dan “Rolfs are the best” Rohlfing. MIRACLE MATTERS Fort Myers 2 @ Charlotte 3 Box Score Fort Myers scored a run in the top of the first inning, but trailed the rest of the way as the Stone Crabs got to Lachlan Wells for three earned runs in the bottom of the first. Wells pitched six innings, gave up eight hits, just those three runs, and struck out two while not walking anyone. He was replaced by Brady Anderson who kept the Stone Crabs off the board for the final two innings, giving up a pair of hits and a walk in two innings. The Miracle had nine hits on the night, but were just 1-4 with men in scoring position and didn’t put many guys past first base. Brian Navarreto led the way for the Miracle, going 2-3 with a double and an RBI. Bradley Strong and Sean Miller each added two singles. KERNELS NUGGETS Cedar Rapids 0 @ Bowling Green 10 Box Score The Kernels managed just four hits against Hot Rods starter Travis Ott, and did not manage to pick up any runs on a tough night in Bowling Green. The Kernels had opportunities, but were 0-5 with runners in scoring position and twice hit into double plays. Kernels starter Sean Poppen gave up five runs (three earned) over six innings, giving up nine hits and a walk against six strike outs. Max Cordy equaled Poppen’s results in just an inning, giving up five more runs in the seventh. Logan Lombana came in for mop up duty and managed an uneventful eighth inning, giving up a walk, but no hits and no runs to finish the day for Kernels hurlers. TWINS DAILY PLAYERS OF THE DAY Twins Daily Minor League Pitcher of the Day – Nick Burdi – Chattanooga Lookouts Twins Daily Minor League Hitter of the Day – Brian Navarreto – Fort Myers Miracle FRIDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS Rochester @ Pawtucket (5:05pm) – LHP Jason Wheeler (2-1, 4.85) Chattanooga @ Montgomery (7:05pm) – RHP Felix Jorge (3-1, 3.71) Ft. Myers @ Charlotte (5:35pm) – RHP Chris Anderson (0-0, 14.14) Cedar Rapids @ Bowling Green (6:35pm) – LHP Domenick Carlini (0-2, 5.74) Please feel free to ask any questions and discuss Thursday's games.
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