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  1. During a short season, it can be challenging for hitters to separate themselves from other players at their level. In one of this season's closest voting results, each of the top three candidates was considered for the Twins Daily Short-Season Hitter of the Year. Image courtesy of Instagram (graphics by Thieres Rabelo) Minnesota signed Jose Rodriguez as part of the 2022 international signing period. At the time, the Twins were signing other players for higher signing bonuses, which may have helped Rodriguez fly under the radar. As a 17-year-old, Minnesota had him spend the entire season in the Dominican Summer League, where he showed why he might be a prospect to keep an eye on in the years to come. The DSL Twins started their season in June, and Rodriguez slowly started to see his bat warm up. In his first 18 games, he went 17-for-61 (.279 BA) with three doubles, two triples, and two home runs. For the month, he had three games with three or more hits. It was an impressive start to the season, especially since he faced older pitchers in all but 12 of his plate appearances this year. July was Rodriguez's most impressive month as he hit .333/.414/.747 (1.161) with eight doubles, one triple, and seven home runs. He added on three stolen bases and a 19-to-10 strikeout to walk ratio. Rodriguez had a 14-game on-base streak that saw him go 22-for-52 (.423 BA) with 14 extra-base hits. In August, he posted a .919 OPS with nine extra-base hits in 15 games. To end the season on a strong note, Rodriguez went 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI on August 18th. Ranking teenage prospects before they sign can be challenging for evaluators, but Rodriguez showed he might have been a steal from last year's signing class. Runner-Up: Ricardo Olivar, C/OF Rookie League Stats (40 G): .349/.442/.605 (1.046), 12 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 23 RBI Olivar has a unique skill set as the Twins use him as a catcher and an outfielder. His bat is so good that there is no wonder the team wants him in the lineup as much as possible. Last season, he struggled in his professional debut with a .686 OPS in 34 games for the FCL Twins. In July and August this season, he combined to hit .344/.446/.677 (1.123) with 18 extra-base hits in 27 games. His performance earned him a September promotion to Fort Myers, where he played three games, including a 2-for-4 effort in his final appearance. Second Runner-Up: Yasser Mercedes, OF DSL Stats (41 G): .355/.421/.555 (.975), 13 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 30 SB Mercedes ranked as one of the best international prospects in this year's signing class, and he showcased all of his tools in his professional debut. He hit for average and power, played terrific outfield defense, and stole 30 bases in 41 games. Mercedes had multiple hits in 16 games, and he saw his OPS increase each month of the season. He's one of the team's top prospects, and he should rise on prospect rankings this winter based on his professional debut. Honorable Mentions: Rafael Cruz, 1B/3B (FCL/DSL): .297/.398/.558 (.956), 8 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR Cruz saw his OPS jump over 370 points in his second professional season. Alexander Pena, 1B/3B (FCL): .317/.374/.537 (.910), 7 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR Pena repeated the FCL as a 20-year-old but saw a significant increase in his power production this season. Bryan Acuna, SS (DSL): .310/.409/.393 (.803) 12 2B, 0 HR, 9 SB, 20 BB Acuna showed he can hit for average and draw walks, and his power will develop as he adds to his frame. Anderson Nova, OF (DSL): .355/.465/.476 (.932) 8 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR Nova drew 21 walks in 40 games to help boost his OBP, which is good to see from a 17-year-old. Which players will most likely impact the Twins down the road? Who would you vote as the short-season hitter of the year? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. PREVIOUS WINNERS: 2016 - Lewin Diaz 2017 - Akil Baddoo 2018 - Chris Williams 2019 - Matt Wallner 2021 - Kala’i Rosario View full article
  2. Minnesota signed Jose Rodriguez as part of the 2022 international signing period. At the time, the Twins were signing other players for higher signing bonuses, which may have helped Rodriguez fly under the radar. As a 17-year-old, Minnesota had him spend the entire season in the Dominican Summer League, where he showed why he might be a prospect to keep an eye on in the years to come. The DSL Twins started their season in June, and Rodriguez slowly started to see his bat warm up. In his first 18 games, he went 17-for-61 (.279 BA) with three doubles, two triples, and two home runs. For the month, he had three games with three or more hits. It was an impressive start to the season, especially since he faced older pitchers in all but 12 of his plate appearances this year. July was Rodriguez's most impressive month as he hit .333/.414/.747 (1.161) with eight doubles, one triple, and seven home runs. He added on three stolen bases and a 19-to-10 strikeout to walk ratio. Rodriguez had a 14-game on-base streak that saw him go 22-for-52 (.423 BA) with 14 extra-base hits. In August, he posted a .919 OPS with nine extra-base hits in 15 games. To end the season on a strong note, Rodriguez went 3-for-5 with two home runs and five RBI on August 18th. Ranking teenage prospects before they sign can be challenging for evaluators, but Rodriguez showed he might have been a steal from last year's signing class. Runner-Up: Ricardo Olivar, C/OF Rookie League Stats (40 G): .349/.442/.605 (1.046), 12 2B, 3 3B, 5 HR, 23 RBI Olivar has a unique skill set as the Twins use him as a catcher and an outfielder. His bat is so good that there is no wonder the team wants him in the lineup as much as possible. Last season, he struggled in his professional debut with a .686 OPS in 34 games for the FCL Twins. In July and August this season, he combined to hit .344/.446/.677 (1.123) with 18 extra-base hits in 27 games. His performance earned him a September promotion to Fort Myers, where he played three games, including a 2-for-4 effort in his final appearance. Second Runner-Up: Yasser Mercedes, OF DSL Stats (41 G): .355/.421/.555 (.975), 13 2B, 3 3B, 4 HR, 20 RBI, 30 SB Mercedes ranked as one of the best international prospects in this year's signing class, and he showcased all of his tools in his professional debut. He hit for average and power, played terrific outfield defense, and stole 30 bases in 41 games. Mercedes had multiple hits in 16 games, and he saw his OPS increase each month of the season. He's one of the team's top prospects, and he should rise on prospect rankings this winter based on his professional debut. Honorable Mentions: Rafael Cruz, 1B/3B (FCL/DSL): .297/.398/.558 (.956), 8 2B, 4 3B, 9 HR Cruz saw his OPS jump over 370 points in his second professional season. Alexander Pena, 1B/3B (FCL): .317/.374/.537 (.910), 7 2B, 1 3B, 3 HR Pena repeated the FCL as a 20-year-old but saw a significant increase in his power production this season. Bryan Acuna, SS (DSL): .310/.409/.393 (.803) 12 2B, 0 HR, 9 SB, 20 BB Acuna showed he can hit for average and draw walks, and his power will develop as he adds to his frame. Anderson Nova, OF (DSL): .355/.465/.476 (.932) 8 2B, 2 3B, 1 HR Nova drew 21 walks in 40 games to help boost his OBP, which is good to see from a 17-year-old. Which players will most likely impact the Twins down the road? Who would you vote as the short-season hitter of the year? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. PREVIOUS WINNERS: 2016 - Lewin Diaz 2017 - Akil Baddoo 2018 - Chris Williams 2019 - Matt Wallner 2021 - Kala’i Rosario
  3. While only the short season leagues play on Monday’s, the Dominican Summer League club had the day off so it was all Florida Complex League action. Get caught up on how the action went. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Orioles 2, FCL Twins 1 Box Score The Twins turned to Develson Aria today and got three strong innings. He allowed just a single hit while striking out a batter and walking another. Through four innings, the Orioles had just one hit. It wasn’t just the Orioles finding themselves stifled in this one though. It wasn’t until Rafael Cruz crushed his 2nd home run of the season until the Twins were on the board. Despite tallying a total of six hits, that was their only run of the game. The Orioles were able to rally four two runs against Isiah Rivera in the bottom of the 9th inning and walked it off against the Twins. DOMINICAN DAILIES Scheduled Day Off DRAFT PICK UPDATES A handful of the top picks have been promoted to Low-A Fort Myers or High-A Cedar Rapids. Most of the picks have also made their professional debut at one level or another. Infielder Jorel Ortega was 1-for-1 with the Mighty Mussels, but then removed from the game after a slide and has been placed on the 60-day injured list with a left wrist sprain. Ben Ross has played five games with Fort Myers and owns a 1.076 OPS with two homers. Nate Baez is 3-for-11 to start his Low-A career. Promoted to Cedar Rapids last week, Brooks Lee has now played in nine games. He's 12-for-36 with two homers. Every bit the polished prospect he was originally billed, Cedar Rapids fans should have a blast seeing Twins Daily's second-best prospect. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Develson Aria (FCL Twins) - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K Hitter of the Day – Rafael Cruz (FCL Twins) - 3-4, R, 2B, HR(2) TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Iowa (6:38PM CST) - TBD Wichita @ Frisco (7:05PM CST) - RHP Brent Headrick Cedar Rapids @ Lake County (5:35PM CST) - TBD Lakeland @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Monday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates and the two Complex Season affiliates back and playing. View full article
  4. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Orioles 2, FCL Twins 1 Box Score The Twins turned to Develson Aria today and got three strong innings. He allowed just a single hit while striking out a batter and walking another. Through four innings, the Orioles had just one hit. It wasn’t just the Orioles finding themselves stifled in this one though. It wasn’t until Rafael Cruz crushed his 2nd home run of the season until the Twins were on the board. Despite tallying a total of six hits, that was their only run of the game. The Orioles were able to rally four two runs against Isiah Rivera in the bottom of the 9th inning and walked it off against the Twins. DOMINICAN DAILIES Scheduled Day Off DRAFT PICK UPDATES A handful of the top picks have been promoted to Low-A Fort Myers or High-A Cedar Rapids. Most of the picks have also made their professional debut at one level or another. Infielder Jorel Ortega was 1-for-1 with the Mighty Mussels, but then removed from the game after a slide and has been placed on the 60-day injured list with a left wrist sprain. Ben Ross has played five games with Fort Myers and owns a 1.076 OPS with two homers. Nate Baez is 3-for-11 to start his Low-A career. Promoted to Cedar Rapids last week, Brooks Lee has now played in nine games. He's 12-for-36 with two homers. Every bit the polished prospect he was originally billed, Cedar Rapids fans should have a blast seeing Twins Daily's second-best prospect. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day – Develson Aria (FCL Twins) - 3.0 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K Hitter of the Day – Rafael Cruz (FCL Twins) - 3-4, R, 2B, HR(2) TUESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Iowa (6:38PM CST) - TBD Wichita @ Frisco (7:05PM CST) - RHP Brent Headrick Cedar Rapids @ Lake County (5:35PM CST) - TBD Lakeland @ Fort Myers (6:00PM CST) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Monday’s games! It sure is exciting to have all four Twins full-season affiliates and the two Complex Season affiliates back and playing.
  5. TRANSACTIONS The Minnesota Twins officially recalled RHP Josh Winder to start tonight’s game with Chris Archer being scratched, after he had joined their taxi-squad yesterday. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Braves 4, FCL Twins 2 Box Score Despite outhitting their opponents 9-to-5 on the game, The Twins came out on the short end of this one as the Braves got the big home run to steal a victory. Jose Olivares made the start for the home team and went the first four innings. It was the last one that finally put a dent on his appearance, as a pair of walks preceded a three-run blast that put the Braves up by two. Before then, Olivares had allowed just two other hits and was in command. His final line would include three earned runs on three hits, the two walks that came back to bite him, and struck out four. The FCL Twins got two innings of perfect rehab work from Jon Olsen, who struck out two in the process, then got a pair of one-two-three innings from Francis Peguero (2 K) and Miguelangel Boadas to get them to the ninth down 3-1. Boadas came back out for the ninth and would finish the game, but allowed an insurance run thanks to a single and a triple. He struck out two in his two innings. Danny De Andrade put the FCL Twins on the scoreboard first in the third inning, with his first home run of the year, a solo shot. But the Twins weren’t able to push any more runs across until the bottom of the ninth when Andres Centeno led off the inning with a double, moved to third on a single from Amilcar Vasquez, and then scored on a Misael Urbina double, where Centeno was thrown out at home for the innings first out. The tying run was then in the batter's box, but Alexander Pena and De Andrade weren’t able to keep it going, falling 4-2 to the Braves. Urbina led the offense with a three-hit effort in four at-bats, also drawing a walk. De Andrade had two hits including the home run, and Centeno’s double accounted for their three extra-base hits in the game. Second baseman Fredy Michel also drew three walks, but wasn’t able to score any runs as the team finished just 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position, and left 10 men on base in total. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL KC Stewart 5, DSL Twins 6 Box Score The DSL Twins scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning en route to building an early 5-1 lead, but then let their Kansas City Royals-based opponents back into the game late. Would they be able to hold them off? The Twins got on the scoreboard first in the second inning as Anderson Nova, Isaac Pena, and Ricardo Pena all notched singles in the frame, with the last of those driving in a run. They had a chance for more as a walk loaded the bases with two outs, but would have to wait until the next inning to really cash in. They did so when Bryan Acuna and Jose Rodriguez started the third with consecutive singles, before all three of them trotted the bases thanks to a Rafael Cruz home run, his first of the season. Nova followed with his first triple of the year and scored the fourth run of the inning on an error to the next hitter. They remained in the lead until the ninth inning thanks to the collective efforts of Jose Ojo (1 IP, BB, K), Bianger Liendo (1 IP, BB, 2 K), and Eduardo Soriano (1 IP, 2 H, R) to start the game. Miguel Olivares then did the heavy lifting, pitching five innings from the fourth through the eighth. He allowed one earned run on two hits and three walks, while striking out six. With the score 5-2 entering the top of the ninth, the Twins brought Eider Machuca out of the bullpen for the save opportunity and he retired the first two hitters he faced. Then the wheels fell off. A pair of walks was followed by a three-run home run to tie the game at five, and he then walked the next batter to bring an end to his outing with a blown save. He was bailed out as the Royals attempted a steal with new pitcher Orlando Rubio on the mound, and catcher Javier Roman cut them down at second base for the third out. The Twins lineup wasn’t fazed, and remained patient against a new pitcher in the bottom half of the inning, with Luis Rodriguez drawing a leadoff walk. He was advanced to second with a sacrifice bunt before the next two hitters drew walks of their own to load the bases, the second of which was intentional to Yasser Mercedes. After a pop-out from Acuna, Jose Rodriguez delivered the walk-off fireworks with a single to left field to secure the 6-5 win. Jose Rodriguez (2-for-5, R, RBI, K), Nova (2-for-4, 2 R, 3B), and Isaac Pena (2-for-4) each had two-hit nights to support the big blast from Cruz. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Miguel Olivares, DSL Twins (H, 5 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 BB, 6 K) Hitter of the Day - Rafael Cruz, DSL Twins (1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY With the full-season affiliates enjoying their day off, there were no Twins Daily top prospects in action on Tuesday. WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (6:05 PM CDT) - RHP Cole Sands (1-4, 4.68 ERA) Amarillo @ Wichita (7:05 PM CDT) - RHP Louie Varland (6-2, 3.42 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CDT) - TBD Fort Myers @ Tampa (5:30 PM CDT) - RHP Marco Raya (3-1, 2.77 ERA) DSL Cardinals @ DSL Twins (10:00 AM CDT) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games!
  6. In a scheduling quirk with the new minor league realignments and the holiday, all four of the Minnesota Twins full-season affiliates had the day off on Tuesday after their 4th of July contests that were played on their normal day off. Both rookie league teams were in action with one of them providing a firework-worthy celebration of their own down in the Dominican Republic. TRANSACTIONS The Minnesota Twins officially recalled RHP Josh Winder to start tonight’s game with Chris Archer being scratched, after he had joined their taxi-squad yesterday. COMPLEX CHRONICLES FCL Braves 4, FCL Twins 2 Box Score Despite outhitting their opponents 9-to-5 on the game, The Twins came out on the short end of this one as the Braves got the big home run to steal a victory. Jose Olivares made the start for the home team and went the first four innings. It was the last one that finally put a dent on his appearance, as a pair of walks preceded a three-run blast that put the Braves up by two. Before then, Olivares had allowed just two other hits and was in command. His final line would include three earned runs on three hits, the two walks that came back to bite him, and struck out four. The FCL Twins got two innings of perfect rehab work from Jon Olsen, who struck out two in the process, then got a pair of one-two-three innings from Francis Peguero (2 K) and Miguelangel Boadas to get them to the ninth down 3-1. Boadas came back out for the ninth and would finish the game, but allowed an insurance run thanks to a single and a triple. He struck out two in his two innings. Danny De Andrade put the FCL Twins on the scoreboard first in the third inning, with his first home run of the year, a solo shot. But the Twins weren’t able to push any more runs across until the bottom of the ninth when Andres Centeno led off the inning with a double, moved to third on a single from Amilcar Vasquez, and then scored on a Misael Urbina double, where Centeno was thrown out at home for the innings first out. The tying run was then in the batter's box, but Alexander Pena and De Andrade weren’t able to keep it going, falling 4-2 to the Braves. Urbina led the offense with a three-hit effort in four at-bats, also drawing a walk. De Andrade had two hits including the home run, and Centeno’s double accounted for their three extra-base hits in the game. Second baseman Fredy Michel also drew three walks, but wasn’t able to score any runs as the team finished just 2-for-14 with runners in scoring position, and left 10 men on base in total. DOMINICAN DAILIES DSL KC Stewart 5, DSL Twins 6 Box Score The DSL Twins scored four runs in the bottom of the third inning en route to building an early 5-1 lead, but then let their Kansas City Royals-based opponents back into the game late. Would they be able to hold them off? The Twins got on the scoreboard first in the second inning as Anderson Nova, Isaac Pena, and Ricardo Pena all notched singles in the frame, with the last of those driving in a run. They had a chance for more as a walk loaded the bases with two outs, but would have to wait until the next inning to really cash in. They did so when Bryan Acuna and Jose Rodriguez started the third with consecutive singles, before all three of them trotted the bases thanks to a Rafael Cruz home run, his first of the season. Nova followed with his first triple of the year and scored the fourth run of the inning on an error to the next hitter. They remained in the lead until the ninth inning thanks to the collective efforts of Jose Ojo (1 IP, BB, K), Bianger Liendo (1 IP, BB, 2 K), and Eduardo Soriano (1 IP, 2 H, R) to start the game. Miguel Olivares then did the heavy lifting, pitching five innings from the fourth through the eighth. He allowed one earned run on two hits and three walks, while striking out six. With the score 5-2 entering the top of the ninth, the Twins brought Eider Machuca out of the bullpen for the save opportunity and he retired the first two hitters he faced. Then the wheels fell off. A pair of walks was followed by a three-run home run to tie the game at five, and he then walked the next batter to bring an end to his outing with a blown save. He was bailed out as the Royals attempted a steal with new pitcher Orlando Rubio on the mound, and catcher Javier Roman cut them down at second base for the third out. The Twins lineup wasn’t fazed, and remained patient against a new pitcher in the bottom half of the inning, with Luis Rodriguez drawing a leadoff walk. He was advanced to second with a sacrifice bunt before the next two hitters drew walks of their own to load the bases, the second of which was intentional to Yasser Mercedes. After a pop-out from Acuna, Jose Rodriguez delivered the walk-off fireworks with a single to left field to secure the 6-5 win. Jose Rodriguez (2-for-5, R, RBI, K), Nova (2-for-4, 2 R, 3B), and Isaac Pena (2-for-4) each had two-hit nights to support the big blast from Cruz. TWINS DAILY MINOR LEAGUE PLAYERS OF THE DAY Pitcher of the Day - Miguel Olivares, DSL Twins (H, 5 IP, 2 H, ER, 3 BB, 6 K) Hitter of the Day - Rafael Cruz, DSL Twins (1-for-4, HR, 3 RBI) PROSPECT SUMMARY With the full-season affiliates enjoying their day off, there were no Twins Daily top prospects in action on Tuesday. WEDNESDAY’S PROBABLE STARTERS St. Paul @ Louisville (6:05 PM CDT) - RHP Cole Sands (1-4, 4.68 ERA) Amarillo @ Wichita (7:05 PM CDT) - RHP Louie Varland (6-2, 3.42 ERA) Quad Cities @ Cedar Rapids (6:35 PM CDT) - TBD Fort Myers @ Tampa (5:30 PM CDT) - RHP Marco Raya (3-1, 2.77 ERA) DSL Cardinals @ DSL Twins (10:00 AM CDT) - TBD Please feel free to ask questions and discuss Tuesday’s games! View full article
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