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  1. Edouard Julien and Austin Martin again had strong weeks to close out their AFL seasons. They even hit their team into the Championship Game. Were they able to win it? Keep reading to find out, and how all the Minnesota Twins prospects performed to finish up their AFL campaigns. Image courtesy of Ed Bailey (Wichita Wind Surge), Steve Buhr (Cedar Rapids Kernels) Game Results: Tuesday, 11/8 | Glendale 9, Peoria 3 Wednesday, 11/9 | Glendale 10, Mesa 4 Thursday, 11/10 | Salt River 2, Glendale 5 The Glendale Desert Dogs finished their season strong, going 3-0 in their final three games to secure the #2 spot in the standings. In the past, this meant they’d be playing in the AFL Championship game, but the league implemented a four-team playoff this season so they would have to win another game to make it that far. IF Austin Martin Week: 4-for-12, 4 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB (3 games) Overall: .373/.454/.482 (.936 OPS) Martin finished his AFL season with another solid week, batting .333 in three games and continuing to be a menace from the top of the order, scoring at least one run in each. He played center field in his first game of the week, then was back at shortstop for the last two. In Tuesday’s win over Peoria, he helped key a six-run fifth inning with a single that loaded the bases. He’d later score on a bases-loaded single and finished 1-for-5. He was 2-for-4 and scored two runs in Wednesday’s 10-4 win over Mesa, leading off the game with a single, advancing to second base on a wild pitch, and scampering home on Edouard Julien’s single that followed for the game's first run. He’d cross the plate for the second time in the eighth to cap the Desert Dogs scoring on the game. He did it a little differently in Thursday’s win over Salt River, finishing 1-for-3 but that lone hit, a single in the sixth inning, drove in two runners to tie the game at two, and Glendale went on to add three more runs in the frame to take the game and secure their playoff position. Martin was the epitome of your “prototypical leadoff hitter” in his time in the desert, getting on base at a .454 clip (ranking 6th in AFL play), stealing 10 bases (3rd), and scoring 23 runs in 21 games (2nd, to only Julien’s 24). His .936 OPS also ranked 11th in the circuit, while his 31 total hits were second to League MVP Heston Kjerstad’s 35, and his .373 batting average came in at third overall. I’ve followed this league for a long time, and just like Royce Lewis’ MVP campaign of 2019 (where he had a .975 OPS after a .661 in the regular season), this performance absolutely should restore some prospect luster for Austin Martin. Now the Twins just need to find him a position, but I can see him functioning as a very athletic super-utility type when it comes to defense in the majors, much like how Luis Arraez got his start. IF Edouard Julien Week: 5-for-7, 3 R, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K (2 games) Overall: .400/.563/.686 (1.249 OPS) Julien saw action in two of their three wins on the week, batting second in each and serving as the second baseman in one and designated hitter in the other. He got on base in four of his five trips to the plate against the Javelinas on Tuesday, finishing 2-for-3 with a run scored, RBI, and two walks. In Wednesday’s big win over Mesa, it was Julien driving the ship, as his three singles in four at-bats led to three RBI and a pair of runs scored. Two of his hits came in a seven-run eighth inning that the Desert Dogs used to blow the game open. He led off the inning with a single and trotted home on a home run to the next batter that gave Glendale the lead 5-4. After they had batted around, his two-RBI single made the score 9-4. He also drew a walk to reach base in four of five trips for the second time during the week. While he didn’t take home the AFL MVP award (Heston Kjerstad is a top 100 prospect, which has always factored into this award’s voting), instead having to settle for the Breakout Player of the Year Award, Julien was the best hitter in the entire AFL this year by a decent margin. He ranked first in runs scored (24), walks (23), batting average (.400), on-base percentage (.563), and OPS (1.249). He was also third in total hits (28), second in slugging percentage (.686), tied for second in home runs (5), tied for third in RBI (17), and also stole six bases which ranked top ten in his 21 games played. If Julien wasn’t a top-ten Minnesota Twins prospect before this, he should be there firmly now. Just imagine the pitch counts a lineup starting with Martin, Julien, and Luis Arraez could run up on starters in the majors someday soon. C/1B Alex Isola Week: 2-for-6, 1 R, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB (2 games) Overall: .228/.343/.316 (.659 OPS) Like Julien, Isola made the start in two of the Desert Dogs' three games on the week, playing first base in the games on Tuesday and Thursday. He scored a run and drew two walks in his first game of the week, finishing 1-for-3 out of the sixth spot in the lineup. He moved up to the cleanup position in the batting order for Thursday’s win over Salt River, and his two-RBI double in the sixth inning broke a 2-2 tie and put the Desert Dogs out front for good. While Isola didn’t see as much action at the catcher position as he may have liked, he did improve as a hitter as the season wore on, moving into the middle of Glendale’s batting order for the final few weeks of the season after beginning as their number nine hitter. He also displayed a strong eye at the plate, drawing 10 walks compared to just 11 strikeouts on the season in his 16 games. His five doubles also matched Julien’s total and were second on the Desert Dogs to just Austin Martin on the season. RHP Jon Olsen Week: Did not pitch Overall: 2-1, 5.27 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, .288 BAA, 10 BB, 17 K (13 2/3 IP) Olsen did not pitch in any of Glendale’s final regular season games, but that was because they had him slotted for something better, which we will recap further below. Overall on the season, Olsen’s stats may not look that great in the above, but what was important for him was getting some innings against increased competition after missing multiple seasons of development time. He recovered from a poor first outing in the AFL to be solid down the stretch, getting the win and allowing just one earned run in his last two starts. Over those final seven innings, he gave up just four hits, walked two, and struck out eight. LHP Denny Bentley Week: Did not pitch Overall: 1-0, 3.18 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, .189 BAA, 14 BB, 9 K (11 1/3 IP) The left-handed Bentley did not make any appearances in the final three games of the AFL regular season, but he did pitch in the playoffs. He ends his regular season campaign with a solid ERA and batting average against numbers, but the walks remain worrisome as he issued them at a far higher rate than he piled up strikeouts. He has excelled particularly against same-sided hitters, but the command of his pitches will continue to be an area to work on for him. He ended his 2022 season in the bullpen of the Wichita Wind Surge, and I’d expect him to remain there to start the 2023 season. RHP Ryan Shreve Week: 1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (1 appearance) Overall: 1-0, 1.84 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, .152 BAA, 8 BB, 12 K (14 2/3 IP) Shreve was the only pitcher to make an appearance in any of the regular season games this week, and it came Wednesday’s win over Mesa. He was the first reliever summoned in the game, with one out in the bottom of the fourth after Glendale’s starter had given up the lead. He came in with a runner on third base and walked the first batter, but recovered to strike out the next two and keep the Solar Sox from expanding their lead. Back out for the fifth, he delivered a one-two-three inning, needing just five pitches to do so. Shreve was one of the Desert Dogs' top performers out of their bullpen, ranking second on their team in ERA (1.84) and WHIP (1.02) while holding hitters to a team-best .152 batting average against. He gave up a few walks early in the campaign, but over his final three weeks struck out seven compared to just two walks allowed in his final 6 2/3 innings. RHP Francis Peguero Week: Did not pitch Overall: 1-1, 2.45 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, .227 BAA, 8 BB, 9 K (11 IP) Like three of the other four pitchers on this list, Peguero did not make an appearance in any of Glendale’s final three regular-season games but did see action in the playoffs. New to the Minnesota Twins organization for 2022 after being part of the Sonny Gray trade package from the Cincinnati Reds, there wasn’t a lot known about this pitcher. While he walked basically nobody during the season with Wichita, that number spiked significantly in AFL play. Despite that, he was still good at keeping runs off the scoreboard, finishing several of the games for the Desert Dogs. AFL Playoffs Friday, 11/11 - Semifinal | Peoria 3, Glendale 6 In the semifinal game against the Peoria Javelinas on Friday, the Twins' own Jon Olsen made the start for the home team. He went the first two innings, pitching a scoreless first before running into trouble in the second. He got two quick outs, but the next five hitters would reach base via walks or singles before they were able to escape by catching a runner trying to advance an extra base on the last of those hits. Before it was over he had allowed three runs, and the Javelinas had an early 3-0 lead. After clawing back with a pair of runs of their own in the second, it was Alex Isola who tied the game for Glendale with his home run to left-center leading off the fourth. Francis Peguero came out of the bullpen for the fifth and delivered a scoreless inning in his only appearance of the week. He allowed a single to the leadoff man but got outs from the next three hitters, including one strikeout to keep the game tied at the time. In the bottom of the seventh, it was Austin Martin who gave the Desert Dogs their first lead with an RBI single, and they would hold on to win and advance to the championship game against the Surprise Saguaros. Martin was 1-for-3 with a run scored, RBI, and walk in this one, playing centerfield while Edouard Julien finished 1-for-4 with three strikeouts. Isola finished 1-for-3 with two runs scored and a walk in addition to the big home run. Saturday, 11/12 - Championship Game | Glendale 6, Surprise 7 (11 innings) The title game against Surprise was a back-and-forth affair throughout, with either team never leading by more than two runs, and the game being tied on five separate occasions. Martin was again the leadoff man playing center field to start, followed by Julien at his usual second base spot. Isola was also at first base, hitting sixth. Julien drew a walk in the first but was thrown out trying to steal second base to end the inning. This would be a familiar theme on the night for him, as he drew a walk in four of his six plate appearances, finishing 0-for-2 with a run scored in the game. In the top of the sixth, his walk to lead off resulted in him scoring a run to give Glendale a 3-2 lead. He also made a play in the extra innings to keep it going: Pitchers Denny Bentley and Ryan Shreve both made appearances in this one, being the first two relievers out of the bullpen after their starter was done. Bentley came on with one out in the third after a home run tied the game at one, and allowed a walk but otherwise got out of the inning. He also got two quick outs in the fourth before another walk brought on Shreve for the final out. Shreve then picked up a pair of strikeouts in the fifth, but an error led to a 2-2 tie after five. Tied at four after nine innings, the game went to extras, where the teams again traded blows, each scoring one run in the tenth, but Martin did his best to win the game for Glendale in both the ninth and eleventh innings. He was at the plate with the score 4-4 in the ninth, when his groundball to short ended with the runner coming home being thrown out. Then in the eleventh with two outs and runners on first and second, Martin delivered a single into right field to give the Desert Dogs a 6-5 lead. It took only two batters with the runner starting on second base for Surprise to dash their hopes in the bottom half, as two consecutive RBI singles won the game for the team that ended the regular season with the best record. Martin finished 1-for-6 with an RBI, and Isola was 0-for-4 with a walk in the championship game. While they weren’t able to take it home, it was an exciting game and season for Twins prospects. Austin Martin and Edouard Julien were fantastic throughout, leading Glendale to the final game and coming as close as they possibly could to winning it for them. Congrats on all the players for a fun season, and I look forward to 2023! Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the prospects playing in the AFL this week! View full article
  2. Game Results: Tuesday, 11/8 | Glendale 9, Peoria 3 Wednesday, 11/9 | Glendale 10, Mesa 4 Thursday, 11/10 | Salt River 2, Glendale 5 The Glendale Desert Dogs finished their season strong, going 3-0 in their final three games to secure the #2 spot in the standings. In the past, this meant they’d be playing in the AFL Championship game, but the league implemented a four-team playoff this season so they would have to win another game to make it that far. IF Austin Martin Week: 4-for-12, 4 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB (3 games) Overall: .373/.454/.482 (.936 OPS) Martin finished his AFL season with another solid week, batting .333 in three games and continuing to be a menace from the top of the order, scoring at least one run in each. He played center field in his first game of the week, then was back at shortstop for the last two. In Tuesday’s win over Peoria, he helped key a six-run fifth inning with a single that loaded the bases. He’d later score on a bases-loaded single and finished 1-for-5. He was 2-for-4 and scored two runs in Wednesday’s 10-4 win over Mesa, leading off the game with a single, advancing to second base on a wild pitch, and scampering home on Edouard Julien’s single that followed for the game's first run. He’d cross the plate for the second time in the eighth to cap the Desert Dogs scoring on the game. He did it a little differently in Thursday’s win over Salt River, finishing 1-for-3 but that lone hit, a single in the sixth inning, drove in two runners to tie the game at two, and Glendale went on to add three more runs in the frame to take the game and secure their playoff position. Martin was the epitome of your “prototypical leadoff hitter” in his time in the desert, getting on base at a .454 clip (ranking 6th in AFL play), stealing 10 bases (3rd), and scoring 23 runs in 21 games (2nd, to only Julien’s 24). His .936 OPS also ranked 11th in the circuit, while his 31 total hits were second to League MVP Heston Kjerstad’s 35, and his .373 batting average came in at third overall. I’ve followed this league for a long time, and just like Royce Lewis’ MVP campaign of 2019 (where he had a .975 OPS after a .661 in the regular season), this performance absolutely should restore some prospect luster for Austin Martin. Now the Twins just need to find him a position, but I can see him functioning as a very athletic super-utility type when it comes to defense in the majors, much like how Luis Arraez got his start. IF Edouard Julien Week: 5-for-7, 3 R, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 2 K (2 games) Overall: .400/.563/.686 (1.249 OPS) Julien saw action in two of their three wins on the week, batting second in each and serving as the second baseman in one and designated hitter in the other. He got on base in four of his five trips to the plate against the Javelinas on Tuesday, finishing 2-for-3 with a run scored, RBI, and two walks. In Wednesday’s big win over Mesa, it was Julien driving the ship, as his three singles in four at-bats led to three RBI and a pair of runs scored. Two of his hits came in a seven-run eighth inning that the Desert Dogs used to blow the game open. He led off the inning with a single and trotted home on a home run to the next batter that gave Glendale the lead 5-4. After they had batted around, his two-RBI single made the score 9-4. He also drew a walk to reach base in four of five trips for the second time during the week. While he didn’t take home the AFL MVP award (Heston Kjerstad is a top 100 prospect, which has always factored into this award’s voting), instead having to settle for the Breakout Player of the Year Award, Julien was the best hitter in the entire AFL this year by a decent margin. He ranked first in runs scored (24), walks (23), batting average (.400), on-base percentage (.563), and OPS (1.249). He was also third in total hits (28), second in slugging percentage (.686), tied for second in home runs (5), tied for third in RBI (17), and also stole six bases which ranked top ten in his 21 games played. If Julien wasn’t a top-ten Minnesota Twins prospect before this, he should be there firmly now. Just imagine the pitch counts a lineup starting with Martin, Julien, and Luis Arraez could run up on starters in the majors someday soon. C/1B Alex Isola Week: 2-for-6, 1 R, 2B, 2 RBI, 2 BB (2 games) Overall: .228/.343/.316 (.659 OPS) Like Julien, Isola made the start in two of the Desert Dogs' three games on the week, playing first base in the games on Tuesday and Thursday. He scored a run and drew two walks in his first game of the week, finishing 1-for-3 out of the sixth spot in the lineup. He moved up to the cleanup position in the batting order for Thursday’s win over Salt River, and his two-RBI double in the sixth inning broke a 2-2 tie and put the Desert Dogs out front for good. While Isola didn’t see as much action at the catcher position as he may have liked, he did improve as a hitter as the season wore on, moving into the middle of Glendale’s batting order for the final few weeks of the season after beginning as their number nine hitter. He also displayed a strong eye at the plate, drawing 10 walks compared to just 11 strikeouts on the season in his 16 games. His five doubles also matched Julien’s total and were second on the Desert Dogs to just Austin Martin on the season. RHP Jon Olsen Week: Did not pitch Overall: 2-1, 5.27 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, .288 BAA, 10 BB, 17 K (13 2/3 IP) Olsen did not pitch in any of Glendale’s final regular season games, but that was because they had him slotted for something better, which we will recap further below. Overall on the season, Olsen’s stats may not look that great in the above, but what was important for him was getting some innings against increased competition after missing multiple seasons of development time. He recovered from a poor first outing in the AFL to be solid down the stretch, getting the win and allowing just one earned run in his last two starts. Over those final seven innings, he gave up just four hits, walked two, and struck out eight. LHP Denny Bentley Week: Did not pitch Overall: 1-0, 3.18 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, .189 BAA, 14 BB, 9 K (11 1/3 IP) The left-handed Bentley did not make any appearances in the final three games of the AFL regular season, but he did pitch in the playoffs. He ends his regular season campaign with a solid ERA and batting average against numbers, but the walks remain worrisome as he issued them at a far higher rate than he piled up strikeouts. He has excelled particularly against same-sided hitters, but the command of his pitches will continue to be an area to work on for him. He ended his 2022 season in the bullpen of the Wichita Wind Surge, and I’d expect him to remain there to start the 2023 season. RHP Ryan Shreve Week: 1 2/3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K (1 appearance) Overall: 1-0, 1.84 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, .152 BAA, 8 BB, 12 K (14 2/3 IP) Shreve was the only pitcher to make an appearance in any of the regular season games this week, and it came Wednesday’s win over Mesa. He was the first reliever summoned in the game, with one out in the bottom of the fourth after Glendale’s starter had given up the lead. He came in with a runner on third base and walked the first batter, but recovered to strike out the next two and keep the Solar Sox from expanding their lead. Back out for the fifth, he delivered a one-two-three inning, needing just five pitches to do so. Shreve was one of the Desert Dogs' top performers out of their bullpen, ranking second on their team in ERA (1.84) and WHIP (1.02) while holding hitters to a team-best .152 batting average against. He gave up a few walks early in the campaign, but over his final three weeks struck out seven compared to just two walks allowed in his final 6 2/3 innings. RHP Francis Peguero Week: Did not pitch Overall: 1-1, 2.45 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, .227 BAA, 8 BB, 9 K (11 IP) Like three of the other four pitchers on this list, Peguero did not make an appearance in any of Glendale’s final three regular-season games but did see action in the playoffs. New to the Minnesota Twins organization for 2022 after being part of the Sonny Gray trade package from the Cincinnati Reds, there wasn’t a lot known about this pitcher. While he walked basically nobody during the season with Wichita, that number spiked significantly in AFL play. Despite that, he was still good at keeping runs off the scoreboard, finishing several of the games for the Desert Dogs. AFL Playoffs Friday, 11/11 - Semifinal | Peoria 3, Glendale 6 In the semifinal game against the Peoria Javelinas on Friday, the Twins' own Jon Olsen made the start for the home team. He went the first two innings, pitching a scoreless first before running into trouble in the second. He got two quick outs, but the next five hitters would reach base via walks or singles before they were able to escape by catching a runner trying to advance an extra base on the last of those hits. Before it was over he had allowed three runs, and the Javelinas had an early 3-0 lead. After clawing back with a pair of runs of their own in the second, it was Alex Isola who tied the game for Glendale with his home run to left-center leading off the fourth. Francis Peguero came out of the bullpen for the fifth and delivered a scoreless inning in his only appearance of the week. He allowed a single to the leadoff man but got outs from the next three hitters, including one strikeout to keep the game tied at the time. In the bottom of the seventh, it was Austin Martin who gave the Desert Dogs their first lead with an RBI single, and they would hold on to win and advance to the championship game against the Surprise Saguaros. Martin was 1-for-3 with a run scored, RBI, and walk in this one, playing centerfield while Edouard Julien finished 1-for-4 with three strikeouts. Isola finished 1-for-3 with two runs scored and a walk in addition to the big home run. Saturday, 11/12 - Championship Game | Glendale 6, Surprise 7 (11 innings) The title game against Surprise was a back-and-forth affair throughout, with either team never leading by more than two runs, and the game being tied on five separate occasions. Martin was again the leadoff man playing center field to start, followed by Julien at his usual second base spot. Isola was also at first base, hitting sixth. Julien drew a walk in the first but was thrown out trying to steal second base to end the inning. This would be a familiar theme on the night for him, as he drew a walk in four of his six plate appearances, finishing 0-for-2 with a run scored in the game. In the top of the sixth, his walk to lead off resulted in him scoring a run to give Glendale a 3-2 lead. He also made a play in the extra innings to keep it going: Pitchers Denny Bentley and Ryan Shreve both made appearances in this one, being the first two relievers out of the bullpen after their starter was done. Bentley came on with one out in the third after a home run tied the game at one, and allowed a walk but otherwise got out of the inning. He also got two quick outs in the fourth before another walk brought on Shreve for the final out. Shreve then picked up a pair of strikeouts in the fifth, but an error led to a 2-2 tie after five. Tied at four after nine innings, the game went to extras, where the teams again traded blows, each scoring one run in the tenth, but Martin did his best to win the game for Glendale in both the ninth and eleventh innings. He was at the plate with the score 4-4 in the ninth, when his groundball to short ended with the runner coming home being thrown out. Then in the eleventh with two outs and runners on first and second, Martin delivered a single into right field to give the Desert Dogs a 6-5 lead. It took only two batters with the runner starting on second base for Surprise to dash their hopes in the bottom half, as two consecutive RBI singles won the game for the team that ended the regular season with the best record. Martin finished 1-for-6 with an RBI, and Isola was 0-for-4 with a walk in the championship game. While they weren’t able to take it home, it was an exciting game and season for Twins prospects. Austin Martin and Edouard Julien were fantastic throughout, leading Glendale to the final game and coming as close as they possibly could to winning it for them. Congrats on all the players for a fun season, and I look forward to 2023! Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the prospects playing in the AFL this week!
  3. Edouard Julien and Austin Martin continued their hitting prowess in Week 5 of the AFL season, and both sit near the top of leaderboards in several categories heading into the final week. A pitcher had another good start to pick up a win, and two players also played in the Fall Stars Game on Sunday. Image courtesy of Ed Bailey (Wichita Wind Surge), Steve Buhr (Cedar Rapids Kernels) Game Results: Tuesday, 11/1 | Glendale 4, Peoria 0 Wednesday, 11/2 | Glendale 1, Surprise 2 Thursday, 11/3 | Surprise 12, Glendale 4 Friday, 11/4 | Glendale 6, Scottsdale 1 Sunday 11/6 | AL Fall Stars 3, NL Fall Stars 9 The Glendale Desert Dogs went 2-2 in the win-loss column in week 5, continuing their trend of being a .500 team in Arizona Fall League play. As of Tuesday, they are tied with three other teams at 13-13 on the season for second place in the standings with two games left to play. (Apologies for the delay on the report this week! There’s this thing called deer hunting that opened up in Minnesota this past weekend, and I never miss it. The deer and blizzard didn’t cooperate much though…) IF Austin Martin Week: 5-for-8, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 SB (2 games) Overall: .380/.464/.507 (.971 OPS) Austin Martin got back to his hitting ways in week five, though he played in just two of the Desert Dogs' games. In Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Peoria, he was 2-for-4 and started off the sixth inning with a single, later coming around to score to make it 2-0. He played center field and batted leadoff. On Wednesday he was again the leadoff man, but back to manning shortstop. He made a big impact in this one, finishing 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and stealing two bases. He was left stranded in scoring position a couple of times, otherwise, the box score may have been a bit different for Glendale. IF Edouard Julien Week: 4-for-12, 4 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K, 2 SB (4 games) Overall: .365/.535/.683 (1.218 OPS) Julien continued to hit with authority, and reach base at a greater than .500 clip on the AFL season in week five. He slugged his fifth home run of the season to start the bottom of the first inning in Thursday’s game against Surprise for an early lead. He reached base in each game during the week, scored four runs total, and also stole two bases. He played second base in all of the games, and in Martin’s absence on Thursday and Friday, took over the leadoff duties after batting second in the prior two games. Julien leads all hitters in the AFL in runs scored, walks, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS heading into the final three games of the season. He also started in the AFL Fall Stars game on Sunday, and competed in the home run derby, as his five home runs on the season rank second in the league. No matter who actually wins the award (star power has always played a role here), this is your on-field-performance Arizona Fall League MVP, hands down. C/1B Alex Isola Week: 3-for-16, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K (4 games) Overall: .216/.322/.294 (.616 OPS) Isola also played in all four games on the week, getting bumped up to the middle of the lineup after a strong week four. He played first base in two games, catcher in one, and served as the designated hitter in the other. He scored two runs in Thursday’s loss to Surprise and drove in two runs with a double in the seventh inning to add some insurance runs in Friday’s win over Scottsdale. RHP Jon Olsen Week: W, 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K (1 start) Overall: 2-1, 5.27 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, .288 BAA, 10 BB, 17 K (13 2/3 IP) The right-hander got the starting nod in Friday’s 6-1 win over the Scorpions, finishing three solid innings to get credited with his second win of the season. He worked around a triple and a walk in the first for a scoreless frame and added a one-two-three second inning. In the third Scottsdale finally strung a pair of singles and a walk together to get their only run of the game. Olsen threw 65 pitches in the outing, with 37 going for strikes (57%). LHP Denny Bentley Week: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 K (1 appearance) Overall: 1-0, 3.18 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, .189 BAA, 14 BB, 9 K (11 1/3 IP) The left-handed Bentley made one appearance during the week, finishing the ninth inning in Thursday’s loss to Surprise. He faced four hitters, allowing just a single while picking up one strikeout. The more encouraging aspect was Bentley needed just 13 pitches, with 9 going for strikes (69%) in the scoreless inning. RHP Ryan Shreve Week: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (1 appearance) Overall: 1-0, 2.08 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .171 BAA, 7 BB, 10 K (13 IP) Shreve continued to be a steadying presence in the Desert Dogs bullpen, delivering two scoreless innings in Tuesday’s shutout of Peoria to open the week. He came on for the sixth inning and was credited with a hold as he faced just eight hitters over his two innings, walking one in the sixth, and hitting a batter in the seventh. 16 of his 21 pitches went for strikes (76%) in the outing. RHP Francis Peguero Week: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (1 appearance) Overall: 1-1, 2.45 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, .227 BAA, 8 BB, 9 K (11 IP) Like the rest of his fellow Twins pitching prospects, Peguero made one appearance on the week, coming in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Surprise. Unfortunately, he was credited with the loss, as he came on for the top of the ninth inning and surrendered a two-out go-ahead home run. AFL Fall Stars Game All the best prospects in the league came together for the Fall Stars Game on Sunday, with the National League squad coming out on top in the game 9-3. Edouard Julien got the start at second base, batting second, and finished 0-for-2 with a walk. He grounded out in the first, struck out in the third, and made it to third base in the fifth after drawing his walk. He also participated in the pre-game home run derby, launching three home runs in his first round before being shut out in the second. The only other Twins prospect to make an appearance, was pitcher Francis Peguero, who pitched a one-two-three sixth inning, needing just seven pitches. Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the prospects playing in the AFL this week! View full article
  4. Game Results: Tuesday, 11/1 | Glendale 4, Peoria 0 Wednesday, 11/2 | Glendale 1, Surprise 2 Thursday, 11/3 | Surprise 12, Glendale 4 Friday, 11/4 | Glendale 6, Scottsdale 1 Sunday 11/6 | AL Fall Stars 3, NL Fall Stars 9 The Glendale Desert Dogs went 2-2 in the win-loss column in week 5, continuing their trend of being a .500 team in Arizona Fall League play. As of Tuesday, they are tied with three other teams at 13-13 on the season for second place in the standings with two games left to play. (Apologies for the delay on the report this week! There’s this thing called deer hunting that opened up in Minnesota this past weekend, and I never miss it. The deer and blizzard didn’t cooperate much though…) IF Austin Martin Week: 5-for-8, 2 R, 2 2B, 2 SB (2 games) Overall: .380/.464/.507 (.971 OPS) Austin Martin got back to his hitting ways in week five, though he played in just two of the Desert Dogs' games. In Tuesday’s 4-0 win over Peoria, he was 2-for-4 and started off the sixth inning with a single, later coming around to score to make it 2-0. He played center field and batted leadoff. On Wednesday he was again the leadoff man, but back to manning shortstop. He made a big impact in this one, finishing 3-for-5 with a pair of doubles and stealing two bases. He was left stranded in scoring position a couple of times, otherwise, the box score may have been a bit different for Glendale. IF Edouard Julien Week: 4-for-12, 4 R, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K, 2 SB (4 games) Overall: .365/.535/.683 (1.218 OPS) Julien continued to hit with authority, and reach base at a greater than .500 clip on the AFL season in week five. He slugged his fifth home run of the season to start the bottom of the first inning in Thursday’s game against Surprise for an early lead. He reached base in each game during the week, scored four runs total, and also stole two bases. He played second base in all of the games, and in Martin’s absence on Thursday and Friday, took over the leadoff duties after batting second in the prior two games. Julien leads all hitters in the AFL in runs scored, walks, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS heading into the final three games of the season. He also started in the AFL Fall Stars game on Sunday, and competed in the home run derby, as his five home runs on the season rank second in the league. No matter who actually wins the award (star power has always played a role here), this is your on-field-performance Arizona Fall League MVP, hands down. C/1B Alex Isola Week: 3-for-16, 2 R, 2B, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 4 K (4 games) Overall: .216/.322/.294 (.616 OPS) Isola also played in all four games on the week, getting bumped up to the middle of the lineup after a strong week four. He played first base in two games, catcher in one, and served as the designated hitter in the other. He scored two runs in Thursday’s loss to Surprise and drove in two runs with a double in the seventh inning to add some insurance runs in Friday’s win over Scottsdale. RHP Jon Olsen Week: W, 3 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K (1 start) Overall: 2-1, 5.27 ERA, 1.83 WHIP, .288 BAA, 10 BB, 17 K (13 2/3 IP) The right-hander got the starting nod in Friday’s 6-1 win over the Scorpions, finishing three solid innings to get credited with his second win of the season. He worked around a triple and a walk in the first for a scoreless frame and added a one-two-three second inning. In the third Scottsdale finally strung a pair of singles and a walk together to get their only run of the game. Olsen threw 65 pitches in the outing, with 37 going for strikes (57%). LHP Denny Bentley Week: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 K (1 appearance) Overall: 1-0, 3.18 ERA, 1.85 WHIP, .189 BAA, 14 BB, 9 K (11 1/3 IP) The left-handed Bentley made one appearance during the week, finishing the ninth inning in Thursday’s loss to Surprise. He faced four hitters, allowing just a single while picking up one strikeout. The more encouraging aspect was Bentley needed just 13 pitches, with 9 going for strikes (69%) in the scoreless inning. RHP Ryan Shreve Week: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (1 appearance) Overall: 1-0, 2.08 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, .171 BAA, 7 BB, 10 K (13 IP) Shreve continued to be a steadying presence in the Desert Dogs bullpen, delivering two scoreless innings in Tuesday’s shutout of Peoria to open the week. He came on for the sixth inning and was credited with a hold as he faced just eight hitters over his two innings, walking one in the sixth, and hitting a batter in the seventh. 16 of his 21 pitches went for strikes (76%) in the outing. RHP Francis Peguero Week: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K (1 appearance) Overall: 1-1, 2.45 ERA, 1.64 WHIP, .227 BAA, 8 BB, 9 K (11 IP) Like the rest of his fellow Twins pitching prospects, Peguero made one appearance on the week, coming in Wednesday’s 2-1 loss to Surprise. Unfortunately, he was credited with the loss, as he came on for the top of the ninth inning and surrendered a two-out go-ahead home run. AFL Fall Stars Game All the best prospects in the league came together for the Fall Stars Game on Sunday, with the National League squad coming out on top in the game 9-3. Edouard Julien got the start at second base, batting second, and finished 0-for-2 with a walk. He grounded out in the first, struck out in the third, and made it to third base in the fifth after drawing his walk. He also participated in the pre-game home run derby, launching three home runs in his first round before being shut out in the second. The only other Twins prospect to make an appearance, was pitcher Francis Peguero, who pitched a one-two-three sixth inning, needing just seven pitches. Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the prospects playing in the AFL this week!
  5. After a scorching hot start to the AFL season for Austin Martin, Edouard Julien has taken over the stud mantle, and then some, when it comes to Minnesota Twins prospects playing in the desert. He followed up a big Week 3 with an even better Week 4 and finds himself as the class of AFL hitters heading into Week 5. Another hitter also had a breakout week, and a pitcher had perhaps the best start of his professional career after dealing with tons of adversity to this point. Image courtesy of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge (photo of Edouard Julien) Game Results: Monday, 10/24 | Scottsdale 12, Glendale 14 Tuesday, 10/125 | Glendale 3, Surprise 9 Wednesday, 10/26 | Peoria 5, Glendale 5 Thursday, 10/27 | Salt River 9, Glendale 6 Friday, 10/28 | Surprise 1, Glendale 11 Saturday, 10/29 | Mesa 10, Glendale 3 The Glendale Desert Dogs continued to play around .500 baseball in Week 4, winning two games and losing three, along with ending their sixth game in another tie. Despite that, the good competition in the AFL has them just two games back of first place in the standings, well within striking distance of an appearance in the title game heading into the season’s penultimate week. Edouard Julien came on strong in Week 3 of the AFL season, how did he and the rest of the Minnesota Twins prospects perform for the Desert Dogs in Week 4? IF Austin Martin Week: 4-for-22, 5 R, 2 2B, 2 BB, 4 K, SB (5 games) Overall: .349/.447/.460 (.907 OPS) Martin cooled off a bit in Week 3 after having a blazing start to his Arizona Fall League campaign. Despite that, he played in five of six games, all from atop the lineup for the Desert Dogs, and still managed to score five runs on the week. He made three starts at shortstop, one in center field, and was also the designated hitter for one game. His best game of the week came in Monday’s 14-12 win over Scottsdale, in which he was 3-for-5 with a double and scored three runs. In Saturday’s 10-3 loss to Mesa, he chipped in another double, drew a walk, scored two runs, and stole his eighth base of the season. IF Edouard Julien Week: 7-for-18, 6 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, 3 SB (5 games) Overall: .373/.536/.706 (1.242 OPS) Julien ended his Week 3 with a monster performance, that he incredibly matched with his first game of Week 4. For the second consecutive game, he launched two home runs, finishing 4-for-5 with four RBI in Monday’s win over the Scorpions. He also added a double and scored three runs. He reached base at least once in each of his five games on the week, playing second base in four games and serving as the designated hitter in the other. He added another double in Wednesday’s tie with Peoria, and also stole three bases on the week. Heading into Week 5, Julien leads the AFL in runs scored, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS. He also ranks Top 3 in home runs, batting average, and walks. This is an MVP-level performance from another Twins prospect in the league if he keeps this up after Royce Lewis took home that honor in 2019, and Matt Wallner was worthy of consideration in 2021. C/1B Alex Isola Week: 5-for-11, R, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K (3 games) Overall: .229/.357/.314 (.671 OPS) Isola had a breakout Week 4 performance, improving his numbers across the board with hits in each of his three games. He played first base in two of those games, and another at catcher to close out his week on Friday. He especially made his mark in Wednesday’s tie against Peoria, collecting three hits in four at-bats, including two doubles and two RBI. He also drew a walk in each of his appearances on the week to raise his on-base percentage during the AFL season to .357. RHP Jon Olsen Week: W, 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 4 K (1 start) Overall: 1-1, 5.91 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, .300 BAA, 8 BB, 13 K (10 2/3 IP) Olson got the start in Friday’s 11-1 win over Surprise and was dominant in his four innings to pick up the win. He faced the minimum number of hitters, allowing just one single that was erased on a strike-’em-out-throw-’em-out double play in the second inning with teammate Alex Isola. Of his 52 pitches in the game, 35 went for strikes (67%) and the outing was a tremendous boost of confidence for a pitcher who has had the kitchen sink thrown at him since being drafted in 2018. LHP Denny Bentley Week: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 7 BB, 4 K (2 appearances) Overall: 1-0, 3.48 ERA, 1.94 WHIP, .182 BAA, 14 BB, 8 K (10 2/3 IP) While Bentley continued to struggle with his command, walking seven hitters in two appearances on the week, he has been able to limit the damage by not allowing any big hits. In Thursday’s 9-6 loss to Salt River, he pitched the fourth and fifth innings, walking four but also punching out four as he proves to be an enigma for opposing AFL hitters. RHP Ryan Shreve Week: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 K (2 appearances) Overall: 1-0, 2.45 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, .194 BAA, 6 BB, 9 K (11 IP) Shreve made two perfect appearances on the week, picking up the win with two hitless innings against Scottsdale on Monday, and a one-two-three ninth inning in the tie with Peoria on Wednesday. He struck out two hitters in each outing and has been one of the top performers for the Desert Dogs out of their bullpen thus far. In the game on Monday, Shreve was summoned after six straight hitters had reached base, culminating with a grand slam that gave Scottsdale a 7-5 lead, but his offense answered with nine runs of their own over the next three innings to put him in line for the win. RHP Francis Peguero Week: 3 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R (2 earned), 1 BB, 3 K (3 appearances) Overall: 1-0, 1.80 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, .225 BAA, 7 BB, 8 K (10 IP) Peguero finally ran into some trouble in Week 4, giving up a run in each of his three outings after not allowing any prior. Of his five runs allowed on the week, just two were earned as his defense let him down in Thursday’s loss to Salt River as a two-out, three-run homer came after a throwing error to start off the inning. Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the prospects playing in the AFL this week! In things I find interesting for Major League Baseball’s future, the AFL was experimenting with a “challenge” system for balls and strikes in some games during the season, and the results sound promising and fun for both fans and players! It is similar to the system that was used at times in the Florida State League this season. View full article
  6. Game Results: Monday, 10/24 | Scottsdale 12, Glendale 14 Tuesday, 10/125 | Glendale 3, Surprise 9 Wednesday, 10/26 | Peoria 5, Glendale 5 Thursday, 10/27 | Salt River 9, Glendale 6 Friday, 10/28 | Surprise 1, Glendale 11 Saturday, 10/29 | Mesa 10, Glendale 3 The Glendale Desert Dogs continued to play around .500 baseball in Week 4, winning two games and losing three, along with ending their sixth game in another tie. Despite that, the good competition in the AFL has them just two games back of first place in the standings, well within striking distance of an appearance in the title game heading into the season’s penultimate week. Edouard Julien came on strong in Week 3 of the AFL season, how did he and the rest of the Minnesota Twins prospects perform for the Desert Dogs in Week 4? IF Austin Martin Week: 4-for-22, 5 R, 2 2B, 2 BB, 4 K, SB (5 games) Overall: .349/.447/.460 (.907 OPS) Martin cooled off a bit in Week 3 after having a blazing start to his Arizona Fall League campaign. Despite that, he played in five of six games, all from atop the lineup for the Desert Dogs, and still managed to score five runs on the week. He made three starts at shortstop, one in center field, and was also the designated hitter for one game. His best game of the week came in Monday’s 14-12 win over Scottsdale, in which he was 3-for-5 with a double and scored three runs. In Saturday’s 10-3 loss to Mesa, he chipped in another double, drew a walk, scored two runs, and stole his eighth base of the season. IF Edouard Julien Week: 7-for-18, 6 R, 2 2B, 2 HR, 6 RBI, 2 BB, 5 K, 3 SB (5 games) Overall: .373/.536/.706 (1.242 OPS) Julien ended his Week 3 with a monster performance, that he incredibly matched with his first game of Week 4. For the second consecutive game, he launched two home runs, finishing 4-for-5 with four RBI in Monday’s win over the Scorpions. He also added a double and scored three runs. He reached base at least once in each of his five games on the week, playing second base in four games and serving as the designated hitter in the other. He added another double in Wednesday’s tie with Peoria, and also stole three bases on the week. Heading into Week 5, Julien leads the AFL in runs scored, on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS. He also ranks Top 3 in home runs, batting average, and walks. This is an MVP-level performance from another Twins prospect in the league if he keeps this up after Royce Lewis took home that honor in 2019, and Matt Wallner was worthy of consideration in 2021. C/1B Alex Isola Week: 5-for-11, R, 2 2B, 4 RBI, 3 BB, 4 K (3 games) Overall: .229/.357/.314 (.671 OPS) Isola had a breakout Week 4 performance, improving his numbers across the board with hits in each of his three games. He played first base in two of those games, and another at catcher to close out his week on Friday. He especially made his mark in Wednesday’s tie against Peoria, collecting three hits in four at-bats, including two doubles and two RBI. He also drew a walk in each of his appearances on the week to raise his on-base percentage during the AFL season to .357. RHP Jon Olsen Week: W, 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 4 K (1 start) Overall: 1-1, 5.91 ERA, 1.88 WHIP, .300 BAA, 8 BB, 13 K (10 2/3 IP) Olson got the start in Friday’s 11-1 win over Surprise and was dominant in his four innings to pick up the win. He faced the minimum number of hitters, allowing just one single that was erased on a strike-’em-out-throw-’em-out double play in the second inning with teammate Alex Isola. Of his 52 pitches in the game, 35 went for strikes (67%) and the outing was a tremendous boost of confidence for a pitcher who has had the kitchen sink thrown at him since being drafted in 2018. LHP Denny Bentley Week: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 7 BB, 4 K (2 appearances) Overall: 1-0, 3.48 ERA, 1.94 WHIP, .182 BAA, 14 BB, 8 K (10 2/3 IP) While Bentley continued to struggle with his command, walking seven hitters in two appearances on the week, he has been able to limit the damage by not allowing any big hits. In Thursday’s 9-6 loss to Salt River, he pitched the fourth and fifth innings, walking four but also punching out four as he proves to be an enigma for opposing AFL hitters. RHP Ryan Shreve Week: 3 IP, 0 H, 0 ER, 4 K (2 appearances) Overall: 1-0, 2.45 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, .194 BAA, 6 BB, 9 K (11 IP) Shreve made two perfect appearances on the week, picking up the win with two hitless innings against Scottsdale on Monday, and a one-two-three ninth inning in the tie with Peoria on Wednesday. He struck out two hitters in each outing and has been one of the top performers for the Desert Dogs out of their bullpen thus far. In the game on Monday, Shreve was summoned after six straight hitters had reached base, culminating with a grand slam that gave Scottsdale a 7-5 lead, but his offense answered with nine runs of their own over the next three innings to put him in line for the win. RHP Francis Peguero Week: 3 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R (2 earned), 1 BB, 3 K (3 appearances) Overall: 1-0, 1.80 ERA, 1.60 WHIP, .225 BAA, 7 BB, 8 K (10 IP) Peguero finally ran into some trouble in Week 4, giving up a run in each of his three outings after not allowing any prior. Of his five runs allowed on the week, just two were earned as his defense let him down in Thursday’s loss to Salt River as a two-out, three-run homer came after a throwing error to start off the inning. Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the prospects playing in the AFL this week! In things I find interesting for Major League Baseball’s future, the AFL was experimenting with a “challenge” system for balls and strikes in some games during the season, and the results sound promising and fun for both fans and players! It is similar to the system that was used at times in the Florida State League this season.
  7. While the pair of on-base specialists the Minnesota Twins sent to the Arizona Fall continued that trend in the season's first week, their pitchers left a little bit to be desired. Austin Martin had a big game at the end of the week and was one of the top performers across the board for the Glendale Desert Dogs in Week 1. Image courtesy of Ed Bailey, Wichita Wind Surge (photo of Austin Martin) Game Results: Monday, 10/3 | Peoria 5, Glendale 3 Tuesday, 10/4 | Glendale 11, Salt River 9 Wednesday, 10/5 | Glendale 5, Surprise 6 Thursday, 10/6 | Glendale 8, Peoria 9 Friday, 10/7 | Scottsdale 6, Glendale 10 Saturday, 10/8 | Glendale 13, Scottsdale 11 As a team, the Glendale Desert Dogs racked up a ton of runs on the week, averaging more than eight per game. They also gave up runs in bunches, however, and because of that finished an even 3-3 on the week. Twins Daily's Seth Stohs also caught up with a few of the prospects before their seasons began, and you'll find some quotes below. How did all of the Minnesota Twins prospects fare for the Desert Dogs in Week 1 of the 2022 AFL season? IF Austin Martin: 4 games - 5-for-14, 6 R, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K, 3 SB; .357/.526/.357 (.883 OPS) overall. Martin played four games on the week, playing shortstop in three of them, and DH-ing in the other. He batted in the sixth spot in the lineup in each game and scored at least one run in all of them. While he didn’t pick up any extra-base hits on the week, he was on base over half the time and active while there, stealing three bases and leading the team with six runs scored. As their primary shortstop on the week, he committed one throwing error, but otherwise made all the plays that came his way. He ended the week with a big game on Saturday, finishing 3-for-5, with two runs scored, two RBI, and two stolen bases in Glendale’s 13-11 win over Scottsdale. IF Edouard Julien: 4 games - 3-for-14, 3 R, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K, 1 SB; .214/.421/.214 (.635 OPS) overall. Julien also saw action in four games, splitting his time with two games at second base, and two as the designated hitter. In the first game of the week, he was in the cleanup spot but batted seventh in his three other contests. Despite only three singles on the week, Julien did reach base in each game, and at least twice in three of his four games, as he continued to control the strike zone, drawing five walks total. His best game of the week came in Thursday’s 9-8 loss to Peoria, in which he finished 1-for-2, scored a run, stole a base, and drew two walks. C Alex Isola: 3 games - 1-for-10, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K; .100/.250/.100 (.350 OPS) overall. Isola played in three games during the week, getting the start at first base in all of them and hitting at the bottom of the Desert Dogs' batting order. He was responsible for the second RBI of the season in Monday’s opener, as he reached base via an error but his ball in play would have scored the run either way. He also picked up his only hit of the week in this one, a single in the ninth inning, and also reached base a third time thanks to another error. His second RBI of his season came in the same fashion as the first, as a ground ball to third allowed Austin Martin to score in Friday’s 10-6 win. While he didn’t catch any games on the week, I do expect we’ll see a few of those as the season goes on, and it's one of the things he is looking forward to working on in the AFL. When asked what he wanted to work on, he told Seth, "I'm really trying to focus on my defense and show that I can catch and play first at a high level." He added, "Looking forward to the experience and competition of playing against some of the best players in the minor leagues." He was also excited to be playing in the league, saying "I actually went (while in) high school and watched Francisco Lindor play here. It was for a tournament and we happened to go. I remember being very impressed. It's amazing to think I'm actually here now!" RHP Jon Olsen: 1 start - 1 2/3 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K; 21.60 ERA, 6.00 WHIP (1 2/3 IP) overall. Olsen made the start in Friday’s 10-6 win over the Scottsdale Scorpions, but he needed some help from his offense as he wasn’t as sharp as he would like to be in his first game. The first batter he faced doubled, then a pair of walks and singles led to a 3-0 lead for the Scorpions. Back out for the second inning, he allowed one run before loading the bases with two outs, putting an end to his outing after 1 2/3 innings. He threw 49 pitches, with 25 of them going for strikes (51%). Thankfully, his offense let him off the hook, scoring ten runs over the next three innings and the bullpen held up for the win. LHP Denny Bentley: 2 appearances - 3 IP, 0 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 2 K; 6.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP (3 IP) overall. Bentley made two appearances on the week, picking up the win in Tuesday’s game against Salt River. In that one, Bentley was the first reliever out of the bullpen after Glendale fell behind 6-1 after the first inning. He delivered two scoreless frames as his team stormed back, scoring eight runs in the fourth inning that put them in front before he was replaced. He allowed no hits, walked two, and struck out one. In Friday’s 10-6 win over Scottsdale, Bentley came on for the fifth inning and despite making it through the frame and not allowing a hit, gave up two runs thanks to three walks and a couple of wild pitches. He’ll look to keep it in the zone better in week two of the AFL season, as just 21 of his 52 pitches (40%) thus far have gone for strikes. When asked what he looking forward to while playing in the AFL, Bentley answered "To play at Chase Field. Having never played in a major league stadium before, I can't wait to see what it's like being on the field at night and want to try to hit the pool out in right-center, LOL!" He also has plenty he wants to work on, saying "I'm going to be working on commanding my off-speed in the zone at the higher levels. It's good to have [those pitches] that you can land in the zone early. Always working on control in the zone. Out of the bullpen is huge because you usually come into the game with runners on. I'm honored to represent the Twins and I'm really thankful to be here." RHP Ryan Shreve: 2 appearances - 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K; 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP (3 IP) overall. Shreve’s first appearance of the week came in the season opener, where he was the first reliever summoned for the fourth inning. He pitched two scoreless frames, allowing one hit and striking out one as he kept the game scoreless to that point. He needed just 17 pitches to finish those two innings, with 12 of them going for strikes (71%). He came on for the sixth inning in Thursday’s 9-8 loss to Peoria, with the score 2-1 Javelinas at the time. He picked up a strikeout to start the frame, but a walk was followed by a double and a sac fly that made the score 3-1 before it was over. He threw 25 pitches in this one, with 13 of them going for strikes (52%). Asked what he was looking forward to most in the AFL, Shreve responded "Competing on a big stage against high-level competition and continuing to learn from it." He also has a plan for his time there, saying "I'd like to continue developing my pitches and stay comfortable in my mechanics." RHP Francis Peguero: 2 appearances - 2 1/3 IP, 0 H, 4 BB, 1 K; 0.00 ERA, 1.71 WHIP (2 1/3 IP) overall. Like his other two reliever teammates, Peguero also made two appearances on the week, finishing the game in Wednesday’s 6-5 loss to Surprise, and pitching the sixth inning in Friday’s 10-6 win over Scottsdale. He entered the game on Wednesday in the seventh inning after Surprise had extended their lead to 6-2, and got a lineout to end the threat. In the eighth, he walked the leadoff man and was called for a balk, but recovered to get a pair of groundouts and a flyout to give his team a chance. They almost accomplished that task with three runs in the top of the ninth but fell one short of tying the game. In Friday’s contest, Peguero had to work to finish his lone inning, as he walked the bases loaded, but mixed in a strikeout and was able to escape without allowing a run. Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the prospects playing in the AFL this week! View full article
  8. Game Results: Monday, 10/3 | Peoria 5, Glendale 3 Tuesday, 10/4 | Glendale 11, Salt River 9 Wednesday, 10/5 | Glendale 5, Surprise 6 Thursday, 10/6 | Glendale 8, Peoria 9 Friday, 10/7 | Scottsdale 6, Glendale 10 Saturday, 10/8 | Glendale 13, Scottsdale 11 As a team, the Glendale Desert Dogs racked up a ton of runs on the week, averaging more than eight per game. They also gave up runs in bunches, however, and because of that finished an even 3-3 on the week. Twins Daily's Seth Stohs also caught up with a few of the prospects before their seasons began, and you'll find some quotes below. How did all of the Minnesota Twins prospects fare for the Desert Dogs in Week 1 of the 2022 AFL season? IF Austin Martin: 4 games - 5-for-14, 6 R, 3 RBI, 3 BB, 1 K, 3 SB; .357/.526/.357 (.883 OPS) overall. Martin played four games on the week, playing shortstop in three of them, and DH-ing in the other. He batted in the sixth spot in the lineup in each game and scored at least one run in all of them. While he didn’t pick up any extra-base hits on the week, he was on base over half the time and active while there, stealing three bases and leading the team with six runs scored. As their primary shortstop on the week, he committed one throwing error, but otherwise made all the plays that came his way. He ended the week with a big game on Saturday, finishing 3-for-5, with two runs scored, two RBI, and two stolen bases in Glendale’s 13-11 win over Scottsdale. IF Edouard Julien: 4 games - 3-for-14, 3 R, 1 RBI, 5 BB, 5 K, 1 SB; .214/.421/.214 (.635 OPS) overall. Julien also saw action in four games, splitting his time with two games at second base, and two as the designated hitter. In the first game of the week, he was in the cleanup spot but batted seventh in his three other contests. Despite only three singles on the week, Julien did reach base in each game, and at least twice in three of his four games, as he continued to control the strike zone, drawing five walks total. His best game of the week came in Thursday’s 9-8 loss to Peoria, in which he finished 1-for-2, scored a run, stole a base, and drew two walks. C Alex Isola: 3 games - 1-for-10, 1 R, 2 RBI, 2 BB, 2 K; .100/.250/.100 (.350 OPS) overall. Isola played in three games during the week, getting the start at first base in all of them and hitting at the bottom of the Desert Dogs' batting order. He was responsible for the second RBI of the season in Monday’s opener, as he reached base via an error but his ball in play would have scored the run either way. He also picked up his only hit of the week in this one, a single in the ninth inning, and also reached base a third time thanks to another error. His second RBI of his season came in the same fashion as the first, as a ground ball to third allowed Austin Martin to score in Friday’s 10-6 win. While he didn’t catch any games on the week, I do expect we’ll see a few of those as the season goes on, and it's one of the things he is looking forward to working on in the AFL. When asked what he wanted to work on, he told Seth, "I'm really trying to focus on my defense and show that I can catch and play first at a high level." He added, "Looking forward to the experience and competition of playing against some of the best players in the minor leagues." He was also excited to be playing in the league, saying "I actually went (while in) high school and watched Francisco Lindor play here. It was for a tournament and we happened to go. I remember being very impressed. It's amazing to think I'm actually here now!" RHP Jon Olsen: 1 start - 1 2/3 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 1 K; 21.60 ERA, 6.00 WHIP (1 2/3 IP) overall. Olsen made the start in Friday’s 10-6 win over the Scottsdale Scorpions, but he needed some help from his offense as he wasn’t as sharp as he would like to be in his first game. The first batter he faced doubled, then a pair of walks and singles led to a 3-0 lead for the Scorpions. Back out for the second inning, he allowed one run before loading the bases with two outs, putting an end to his outing after 1 2/3 innings. He threw 49 pitches, with 25 of them going for strikes (51%). Thankfully, his offense let him off the hook, scoring ten runs over the next three innings and the bullpen held up for the win. LHP Denny Bentley: 2 appearances - 3 IP, 0 H, 2 ER, 5 BB, 2 K; 6.00 ERA, 1.67 WHIP (3 IP) overall. Bentley made two appearances on the week, picking up the win in Tuesday’s game against Salt River. In that one, Bentley was the first reliever out of the bullpen after Glendale fell behind 6-1 after the first inning. He delivered two scoreless frames as his team stormed back, scoring eight runs in the fourth inning that put them in front before he was replaced. He allowed no hits, walked two, and struck out one. In Friday’s 10-6 win over Scottsdale, Bentley came on for the fifth inning and despite making it through the frame and not allowing a hit, gave up two runs thanks to three walks and a couple of wild pitches. He’ll look to keep it in the zone better in week two of the AFL season, as just 21 of his 52 pitches (40%) thus far have gone for strikes. When asked what he looking forward to while playing in the AFL, Bentley answered "To play at Chase Field. Having never played in a major league stadium before, I can't wait to see what it's like being on the field at night and want to try to hit the pool out in right-center, LOL!" He also has plenty he wants to work on, saying "I'm going to be working on commanding my off-speed in the zone at the higher levels. It's good to have [those pitches] that you can land in the zone early. Always working on control in the zone. Out of the bullpen is huge because you usually come into the game with runners on. I'm honored to represent the Twins and I'm really thankful to be here." RHP Ryan Shreve: 2 appearances - 3 IP, 2 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 2 K; 3.00 ERA, 1.00 WHIP (3 IP) overall. Shreve’s first appearance of the week came in the season opener, where he was the first reliever summoned for the fourth inning. He pitched two scoreless frames, allowing one hit and striking out one as he kept the game scoreless to that point. He needed just 17 pitches to finish those two innings, with 12 of them going for strikes (71%). He came on for the sixth inning in Thursday’s 9-8 loss to Peoria, with the score 2-1 Javelinas at the time. He picked up a strikeout to start the frame, but a walk was followed by a double and a sac fly that made the score 3-1 before it was over. He threw 25 pitches in this one, with 13 of them going for strikes (52%). Asked what he was looking forward to most in the AFL, Shreve responded "Competing on a big stage against high-level competition and continuing to learn from it." He also has a plan for his time there, saying "I'd like to continue developing my pitches and stay comfortable in my mechanics." RHP Francis Peguero: 2 appearances - 2 1/3 IP, 0 H, 4 BB, 1 K; 0.00 ERA, 1.71 WHIP (2 1/3 IP) overall. Like his other two reliever teammates, Peguero also made two appearances on the week, finishing the game in Wednesday’s 6-5 loss to Surprise, and pitching the sixth inning in Friday’s 10-6 win over Scottsdale. He entered the game on Wednesday in the seventh inning after Surprise had extended their lead to 6-2, and got a lineout to end the threat. In the eighth, he walked the leadoff man and was called for a balk, but recovered to get a pair of groundouts and a flyout to give his team a chance. They almost accomplished that task with three runs in the top of the ninth but fell one short of tying the game. In Friday’s contest, Peguero had to work to finish his lone inning, as he walked the bases loaded, but mixed in a strikeout and was able to escape without allowing a run. Please feel free to ask questions and discuss the prospects playing in the AFL this week!
  9. Major League Baseball has released the initial full rosters of prospects heading to the Arizona Fall League, which starts this year on October 3rd. Headlining the Minnesota Twins prospects are Austin Martin and Edouard Julien. Image courtesy of Ed Bailey (Wichita Wind Surge), Steve Buhr (Cedar Rapids Kernels) Joining infielders Austin Martin and Edouard Julien on the roster of the Glendale Desert Dogs will be catcher Alex Isola, and pitchers Denny Bentley (LHP), Jon Olsen, Francis Peguero, and Ryan Shreve. Countless numbers of top prospects have gone through the Arizona Fall League, which is often used as a proving ground for those near the top of their team’s system looking to make their jump to the majors. It’s also a mechanism utilized to help make 40-man roster decisions heading into the next season and to make up for lost development time among players. Last season, for example, the Twins were represented by pitchers Kody Funderburk, Cody Laweryson, Evan Sisk, and Zach Featherstone as well as hitters Matt Wallner, Andrew Bechtold, and Michael Helman. Almost all of these players took that experience and ran with it in 2022, pushing themselves up the organizational ladder and having great seasons in many different ways. So who are the players for the 2022 season? IF/OF Austin Martin (Twins Daily’s #4 prospect) Austin Martin came to the Twins from the Toronto Blue Jays in the Jose Berrios trade, after being drafted fifth overall in the 2020 MLB Draft. His elite contact ability and athleticism had him in the running for the first overall pick and was widely considered as perhaps the best overall hitter in the class after hitting .368/.474/.532 in his career at Vanderbilt. It hasn’t necessarily played out that way so far for Martin as a professional, but the potential still remains. Martin missed over a month this season with a wrist injury, so he’s in the AFL both looking to make up for lost time, and attempting to recapture some of that “top prospect” status. His inclusion reminds me a lot of Royce Lewis’ during the 2019 season, where he had struggled in High-A and Double-A, but went on to win the AFL’s Most Valuable Player award while playing all over the diamond. For more Twins Daily content on Austin Martin, click here. IF/OF Edouard Julien (TD’s #14 prospect) Julien continues to fly a bit under the radar as a prospect despite owning a career OPS over .900 in two minor league seasons, spending all of this season at Double-A Wichita. Known primarily for his ability to draw a walk, Julien has also demonstrated some pop and speed since turning pro, slugging 35 home runs, and stealing 51 bases in his career thus far. The Twins took him in the 18th round of the 2019 draft out of Auburn, and they have to be ecstatic about the return they’ve received thus far. He may not have a defined defensive position at this point, but he has played second base exclusively during the 2022 season, after splitting time in the infield and outfield in 2021. His time in the AFL will likely be spent proving his hitting prowess is no fluke, and perhaps seeing if he can handle multiple positions. For more Twins Daily content on Edouard Julien, click here. C Alex Isola Isola joined the Twins organization in the 2019 draft, being selected in the 29th round out of Texas Christian University. He’s spent his career in the minors splitting time between catcher, first base, and designated hitter. His bat has continued to develop since turning pro, improving a .243/.342/.425 line with Cedar Rapids in 2021, to .286/.384/.473 line with Wichita this season. He will likely continue to work on his receiving skills once a week in the desert, while also getting plugged in at first base or designated hitter. He also missed two months of the 2022 season with an injury, so he’s getting the opportunity to make up for missed at-bats as well. We've written several articles on Alex Isola at Twins Daily. Check them out here. RHP Jon Olsen Projected to go much higher in the 2018 draft initially, Olsen fell to the Twins in the 12th round due to undergoing Tommy John surgery, and then later had a Thoracic Outlet procedure. Because of that and the COVID pandemic, Olsen has pitched less than 100 innings in four seasons since being drafted. Olsen is the most likely of the four pitchers the Twins are sending to the league to start games for the Desert Dogs, but it’s all about simply getting on the mound and throwing innings for the right-hander. He’s pitched just over 20 innings for the Cedar Rapids Kernels this season, and it will be interesting to follow if he can keep his strikeout rate up against the improved competition. For more Twins Daily content on Jon Olsen, click here. LHP Denny Bentley Bentley was drafted by the Twins in the 33rd round of the 2018 draft out of Howard Community College, a well-known JUCO program in Texas. He’s been purely a reliever since then, posting excellent strikeout rates as well as high walk rates, while pitching at five different levels thus far, including a brief jump to Rochester in 2019. He’s spent the 2022 season split between Cedar Rapids and Wichita, accumulating a 3.52 ERA, three saves, and 71 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings (11.9K/9IP) thanks in large part to an improving slider. He was Twins Daily’s choice for MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Month in June after being promoted to Wichita. Like several relievers before him (think Jovani Moran), Bentley will look to keep his strikeouts up and bring his walks down against the better competition in the AFL, and perhaps improve his stock in the system. Bentley has frequently been mentioned and a strong candidate for Relief Pitcher of the Month. For more, click here. RHP Ryan Shreve Shreve made his mark on the Twins system during the 2021 season, after being taken in the 16th round of the 2019 draft from Pacific University. He accumulated 73 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings, a drastic increase from his college days, that was good for a 3.62 ERA at three levels, holding hitters to a .167 average in the Midwest League. He suffered a shoulder impingement early in the 2022 season, and upon his return, the strikeouts didn’t come back right away. He got stronger as the season wore on, however, and since the start of July owns a 1.26 ERA over 28 2/3 innings, striking out 32 and walking just 8. For those efforts, he took home Twins Daily’s Relief Pitcher of the Month award for August. In the AFL he will look to keep up that momentum heading into the 2023 season, adding innings to his ledger after the missed time. For more Twins Daily content on Ryan Shreve, click here. RHP Francis Peguero Peguero came to the organization just before the 2022 season started, as part of the trade package that netted the Twins Sonny Gray from the Cincinnati Reds. He was signed by the Reds in the 2017 international signing period and has since made it to Double-A, appearing in 15 games for the Wind Surge this year. He did not appear in games until July as he dealt with an injury, so his time in the AFL is also about making up innings and allowing the Twins to get a better idea of what they have with the 25-year-old right-hander. He boasts a mid-90s fastball, doesn’t walk anybody, and can pick up strikeouts in bunches at times, but has had trouble limiting contact, allowing well over a hit per inning in his career. He will likely use the AFL to work on his secondary offerings with a plethora of new coaching voices, to see if he can unlock any new tricks. He hasn't been in the organization long, but Peguero has been mentioned in a few Twins Daily articles. Click here for more. What do you think of the contingent the Minnesota Twins are sending to the Arizona Fall League? What are you looking for out of the prospects above? View full article
  10. Joining infielders Austin Martin and Edouard Julien on the roster of the Glendale Desert Dogs will be catcher Alex Isola, and pitchers Denny Bentley (LHP), Jon Olsen, Francis Peguero, and Ryan Shreve. Countless numbers of top prospects have gone through the Arizona Fall League, which is often used as a proving ground for those near the top of their team’s system looking to make their jump to the majors. It’s also a mechanism utilized to help make 40-man roster decisions heading into the next season and to make up for lost development time among players. Last season, for example, the Twins were represented by pitchers Kody Funderburk, Cody Laweryson, Evan Sisk, and Zach Featherstone as well as hitters Matt Wallner, Andrew Bechtold, and Michael Helman. Almost all of these players took that experience and ran with it in 2022, pushing themselves up the organizational ladder and having great seasons in many different ways. So who are the players for the 2022 season? IF/OF Austin Martin (Twins Daily’s #4 prospect) Austin Martin came to the Twins from the Toronto Blue Jays in the Jose Berrios trade, after being drafted fifth overall in the 2020 MLB Draft. His elite contact ability and athleticism had him in the running for the first overall pick and was widely considered as perhaps the best overall hitter in the class after hitting .368/.474/.532 in his career at Vanderbilt. It hasn’t necessarily played out that way so far for Martin as a professional, but the potential still remains. Martin missed over a month this season with a wrist injury, so he’s in the AFL both looking to make up for lost time, and attempting to recapture some of that “top prospect” status. His inclusion reminds me a lot of Royce Lewis’ during the 2019 season, where he had struggled in High-A and Double-A, but went on to win the AFL’s Most Valuable Player award while playing all over the diamond. For more Twins Daily content on Austin Martin, click here. IF/OF Edouard Julien (TD’s #14 prospect) Julien continues to fly a bit under the radar as a prospect despite owning a career OPS over .900 in two minor league seasons, spending all of this season at Double-A Wichita. Known primarily for his ability to draw a walk, Julien has also demonstrated some pop and speed since turning pro, slugging 35 home runs, and stealing 51 bases in his career thus far. The Twins took him in the 18th round of the 2019 draft out of Auburn, and they have to be ecstatic about the return they’ve received thus far. He may not have a defined defensive position at this point, but he has played second base exclusively during the 2022 season, after splitting time in the infield and outfield in 2021. His time in the AFL will likely be spent proving his hitting prowess is no fluke, and perhaps seeing if he can handle multiple positions. For more Twins Daily content on Edouard Julien, click here. C Alex Isola Isola joined the Twins organization in the 2019 draft, being selected in the 29th round out of Texas Christian University. He’s spent his career in the minors splitting time between catcher, first base, and designated hitter. His bat has continued to develop since turning pro, improving a .243/.342/.425 line with Cedar Rapids in 2021, to .286/.384/.473 line with Wichita this season. He will likely continue to work on his receiving skills once a week in the desert, while also getting plugged in at first base or designated hitter. He also missed two months of the 2022 season with an injury, so he’s getting the opportunity to make up for missed at-bats as well. We've written several articles on Alex Isola at Twins Daily. Check them out here. RHP Jon Olsen Projected to go much higher in the 2018 draft initially, Olsen fell to the Twins in the 12th round due to undergoing Tommy John surgery, and then later had a Thoracic Outlet procedure. Because of that and the COVID pandemic, Olsen has pitched less than 100 innings in four seasons since being drafted. Olsen is the most likely of the four pitchers the Twins are sending to the league to start games for the Desert Dogs, but it’s all about simply getting on the mound and throwing innings for the right-hander. He’s pitched just over 20 innings for the Cedar Rapids Kernels this season, and it will be interesting to follow if he can keep his strikeout rate up against the improved competition. For more Twins Daily content on Jon Olsen, click here. LHP Denny Bentley Bentley was drafted by the Twins in the 33rd round of the 2018 draft out of Howard Community College, a well-known JUCO program in Texas. He’s been purely a reliever since then, posting excellent strikeout rates as well as high walk rates, while pitching at five different levels thus far, including a brief jump to Rochester in 2019. He’s spent the 2022 season split between Cedar Rapids and Wichita, accumulating a 3.52 ERA, three saves, and 71 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings (11.9K/9IP) thanks in large part to an improving slider. He was Twins Daily’s choice for MiLB Relief Pitcher of the Month in June after being promoted to Wichita. Like several relievers before him (think Jovani Moran), Bentley will look to keep his strikeouts up and bring his walks down against the better competition in the AFL, and perhaps improve his stock in the system. Bentley has frequently been mentioned and a strong candidate for Relief Pitcher of the Month. For more, click here. RHP Ryan Shreve Shreve made his mark on the Twins system during the 2021 season, after being taken in the 16th round of the 2019 draft from Pacific University. He accumulated 73 strikeouts in 49 2/3 innings, a drastic increase from his college days, that was good for a 3.62 ERA at three levels, holding hitters to a .167 average in the Midwest League. He suffered a shoulder impingement early in the 2022 season, and upon his return, the strikeouts didn’t come back right away. He got stronger as the season wore on, however, and since the start of July owns a 1.26 ERA over 28 2/3 innings, striking out 32 and walking just 8. For those efforts, he took home Twins Daily’s Relief Pitcher of the Month award for August. In the AFL he will look to keep up that momentum heading into the 2023 season, adding innings to his ledger after the missed time. For more Twins Daily content on Ryan Shreve, click here. RHP Francis Peguero Peguero came to the organization just before the 2022 season started, as part of the trade package that netted the Twins Sonny Gray from the Cincinnati Reds. He was signed by the Reds in the 2017 international signing period and has since made it to Double-A, appearing in 15 games for the Wind Surge this year. He did not appear in games until July as he dealt with an injury, so his time in the AFL is also about making up innings and allowing the Twins to get a better idea of what they have with the 25-year-old right-hander. He boasts a mid-90s fastball, doesn’t walk anybody, and can pick up strikeouts in bunches at times, but has had trouble limiting contact, allowing well over a hit per inning in his career. He will likely use the AFL to work on his secondary offerings with a plethora of new coaching voices, to see if he can unlock any new tricks. He hasn't been in the organization long, but Peguero has been mentioned in a few Twins Daily articles. Click here for more. What do you think of the contingent the Minnesota Twins are sending to the Arizona Fall League? What are you looking for out of the prospects above?
  11. Over the weekend, we handed out theoretical awards to the top minor league hitter and starting pitcher of the month of August. Today, we conclude the awards by discussing some very impressive bullpen performances over the past month. Image courtesy of Steve Buhr, Twins Daily (Graphics by Thieres Rabelo) Before we get to our Top 4 relievers in the Twins system in August, here are a couple of Honorable Mentions. RHP Michael Feliz - St. Paul Saints - 8 G, 1.80 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 10.0 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 11 K RHP Niklas Rimmel - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 8 G, 1.54 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 8 H, 5 BB, 16 K THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - RHP Alex Phillips - Wichita Wind Surge - 9 G, 2.13 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 20 K Phillips put up incredible numbers in his final season at Baylor. He went 7-1 with a 2.40 ERA over 45 innings. Surprising that he wasn’t drafted at all in the 2018 draft, but the Twins were able to sign him later that summer after he had an impressive stint with Evansville in the Frontier League. In 2019, he reached Double-A. In 2021, he pitched in 30 games for Wichita. He began this season on the Injured List first with a shoulder issue, and then after an appendix issue (presumably it was removed). He returned in mid-July, and he was fantastic in August. He didn’t allow many base runners, and that 20 strikeouts to just three walks ratio is pretty incredible. #3 - LHP Evan Sisk - St. Paul Saints - 9 G, 0.87 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 10.1 IP, 5 H, 4 BB, 14 K The Twins acquired Sisk at the trade deadline in 2021. He came to the Twins with John Gant in exchange for J.A. Happ. After the season, he went to the Arizona Fall League. Frankly, he has been terrific the entire 2022 season. In 19 games with the Wind Surge, he went 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. Over 28 1/3 innings, he walked 11 and struck out 33. The 25-year-old was promoted to the Saints where he has now pitched in 23 games and has a 2-0 record with a 1.85 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. In 24 1/3 innings, he as given up 12 hits, walked 13 batters and struck out 29 batters. In other words, the walk rate is too high, but the lefty is making himself quite intriguing to Twins fans. As you can see, his walk rate was better in August than in July, and he missed a lot of bats. Originally, he was the 16th-round pick of the Cardinals in 2018 out of the College of Charleston where he teamed with Bailey Ober for two seasons. #2 – RHP Hunter McMahon - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 8 G, 1.62 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, 16.2 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 16 K Let me just start by saying that if you think Hunter McMahon should have won a second consecutive Relief Pitcher of the Month Award, I am not going to argue with you very much. He had a strong first month with the Kernels in July and was arguably even better in August. He didn’t give up runs. He didn’t hurt himself with walks. He was terrific. McMahon came to the Twins from the Washington Nationals in a late January trade in 2020. He had been the Nationals’ ninth-round pick the previous summer from Texas State. Unfortunately that 2020 season was lost, and he was only able to pitch in five games in 2021 due to injuries. He has made up for lost time in 2022. He began the season with 20 games in Ft. Myers where he posted a 2.23 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP over 32 1/3 innings. He moved up to Cedar Rapids and posted a 1.19 ERA and a 0.66 WHIP in 37 2/3 innings. Combined, he is 4-0 with seven saves. On Labor Day, he received another promotion, this time to Wichita. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: RHP Ryan Shreve - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 10 G, 2 GS, 0.51 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 17.2 IP, 9 H, 5 BB, 19 K Ryan Shreve’s 2022 season started approximately six weeks late, but since then, he has been very reliable in Brian Dinkelman’s Kernels bullpen. And August was no different. In fact, the only earned run he allowed came on the final day of the month when he still struck out four over two innings. It was just the second time he gave up an earned run since June 23rd. Yes, he gave up just one earned run over more than two months. That’s pretty impressive. But, Shreve isn’t just a one-inning guy. In that stretch, he got more than three outs in 10 of the 14 games. Twice he tossed three scoreless innings. He gave up a hit every other inning. He walked one every 3 1/2 innings, and he struck out more than one per inning. Shreve grew up in southern California and went to William Howard Taft High School in Woodland Hills. 14-year MLB big leaguer and long-time Astros manager Larry Dierker went to high school… about 50 years before Ryan. Current Giants manager and 12-year MLB player Gabe Kapler went there. Hall of Famer Robin Yount graduated from there about the same time the Brewers made him their first-round pick. Shreve attended the University of the Pacific, in Stockton, California, where he pitched in a variety of roles as a freshman, solely out of the bullpen as a sophomore and solely as a starter in his junior season. In 2017, he was a member of the St. Cloud Rox of the Northwoods League. The Twins made him their 16th round pick in 2019 and sent him to Elizabethton for the summer. In 2021, he began with six games with the Mighty Mussels before moving up to Cedar Rapids. In 22 games and 34 2/3 innings, he went 4-3 with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. He also had 49 strikeouts. This year with the Kernels, he has pitched in 27 games. He has a 3.25 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. In 36 innings, he has 36 strikeouts. ------------------------------------------------------- As you can see, there were several strong relief pitcher performances in August. These guys are all worthy of some recognition. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today. Previous 2022 Relief Pitchers of the Month April: RHP Tyler Viza, Wichita Wind Surge May: RHP Matthew Swain, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels June: LHP Denny Bentley, Wichita Wind Surge July: RHP Hunter McMahon, Cedar Rapids Kernels Congratulations to Kernels righty Ryan Shreve, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for August 2022. View full article
  12. Before we get to our Top 4 relievers in the Twins system in August, here are a couple of Honorable Mentions. RHP Michael Feliz - St. Paul Saints - 8 G, 1.80 ERA, 0.70 WHIP, 10.0 IP, 3 H, 4 BB, 11 K RHP Niklas Rimmel - Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels - 8 G, 1.54 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, 11.2 IP, 8 H, 5 BB, 16 K THE TOP FOUR RELIEF PITCHERS #4 - RHP Alex Phillips - Wichita Wind Surge - 9 G, 2.13 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 11.0 IP, 8 H, 3 BB, 20 K Phillips put up incredible numbers in his final season at Baylor. He went 7-1 with a 2.40 ERA over 45 innings. Surprising that he wasn’t drafted at all in the 2018 draft, but the Twins were able to sign him later that summer after he had an impressive stint with Evansville in the Frontier League. In 2019, he reached Double-A. In 2021, he pitched in 30 games for Wichita. He began this season on the Injured List first with a shoulder issue, and then after an appendix issue (presumably it was removed). He returned in mid-July, and he was fantastic in August. He didn’t allow many base runners, and that 20 strikeouts to just three walks ratio is pretty incredible. #3 - LHP Evan Sisk - St. Paul Saints - 9 G, 0.87 ERA, 0.87 WHIP, 10.1 IP, 5 H, 4 BB, 14 K The Twins acquired Sisk at the trade deadline in 2021. He came to the Twins with John Gant in exchange for J.A. Happ. After the season, he went to the Arizona Fall League. Frankly, he has been terrific the entire 2022 season. In 19 games with the Wind Surge, he went 3-0 with a 0.95 ERA and 0.95 WHIP. Over 28 1/3 innings, he walked 11 and struck out 33. The 25-year-old was promoted to the Saints where he has now pitched in 23 games and has a 2-0 record with a 1.85 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP. In 24 1/3 innings, he as given up 12 hits, walked 13 batters and struck out 29 batters. In other words, the walk rate is too high, but the lefty is making himself quite intriguing to Twins fans. As you can see, his walk rate was better in August than in July, and he missed a lot of bats. Originally, he was the 16th-round pick of the Cardinals in 2018 out of the College of Charleston where he teamed with Bailey Ober for two seasons. #2 – RHP Hunter McMahon - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 8 G, 1.62 ERA, 0.66 WHIP, 16.2 IP, 9 H, 2 BB, 16 K Let me just start by saying that if you think Hunter McMahon should have won a second consecutive Relief Pitcher of the Month Award, I am not going to argue with you very much. He had a strong first month with the Kernels in July and was arguably even better in August. He didn’t give up runs. He didn’t hurt himself with walks. He was terrific. McMahon came to the Twins from the Washington Nationals in a late January trade in 2020. He had been the Nationals’ ninth-round pick the previous summer from Texas State. Unfortunately that 2020 season was lost, and he was only able to pitch in five games in 2021 due to injuries. He has made up for lost time in 2022. He began the season with 20 games in Ft. Myers where he posted a 2.23 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP over 32 1/3 innings. He moved up to Cedar Rapids and posted a 1.19 ERA and a 0.66 WHIP in 37 2/3 innings. Combined, he is 4-0 with seven saves. On Labor Day, he received another promotion, this time to Wichita. And the Twins Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month is: RHP Ryan Shreve - Cedar Rapids Kernels - 10 G, 2 GS, 0.51 ERA, 0.79 WHIP, 17.2 IP, 9 H, 5 BB, 19 K Ryan Shreve’s 2022 season started approximately six weeks late, but since then, he has been very reliable in Brian Dinkelman’s Kernels bullpen. And August was no different. In fact, the only earned run he allowed came on the final day of the month when he still struck out four over two innings. It was just the second time he gave up an earned run since June 23rd. Yes, he gave up just one earned run over more than two months. That’s pretty impressive. But, Shreve isn’t just a one-inning guy. In that stretch, he got more than three outs in 10 of the 14 games. Twice he tossed three scoreless innings. He gave up a hit every other inning. He walked one every 3 1/2 innings, and he struck out more than one per inning. Shreve grew up in southern California and went to William Howard Taft High School in Woodland Hills. 14-year MLB big leaguer and long-time Astros manager Larry Dierker went to high school… about 50 years before Ryan. Current Giants manager and 12-year MLB player Gabe Kapler went there. Hall of Famer Robin Yount graduated from there about the same time the Brewers made him their first-round pick. Shreve attended the University of the Pacific, in Stockton, California, where he pitched in a variety of roles as a freshman, solely out of the bullpen as a sophomore and solely as a starter in his junior season. In 2017, he was a member of the St. Cloud Rox of the Northwoods League. The Twins made him their 16th round pick in 2019 and sent him to Elizabethton for the summer. In 2021, he began with six games with the Mighty Mussels before moving up to Cedar Rapids. In 22 games and 34 2/3 innings, he went 4-3 with a 3.63 ERA and a 1.07 WHIP. He also had 49 strikeouts. This year with the Kernels, he has pitched in 27 games. He has a 3.25 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. In 36 innings, he has 36 strikeouts. ------------------------------------------------------- As you can see, there were several strong relief pitcher performances in August. These guys are all worthy of some recognition. It was a good month for each of these pitchers mentioned today. Previous 2022 Relief Pitchers of the Month April: RHP Tyler Viza, Wichita Wind Surge May: RHP Matthew Swain, Ft. Myers Mighty Mussels June: LHP Denny Bentley, Wichita Wind Surge July: RHP Hunter McMahon, Cedar Rapids Kernels Congratulations to Kernels righty Ryan Shreve, the Twins Daily Minor League Relief Pitcher of the Month for August 2022.
  13. Twins Daily concludes our Minor League Player of the Month series by naming a much-deserving athlete Relief Pitcher of the Month. Before diving into the relievers, here are links to the Twins Minor League Hitter and Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month articles. HONORABLE MENTIONS RHP Kyle Barraclough, St. Paul Saints: 9 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 15 K, 0.00 ERA LHP Jovani Moran, St. Paul Saints: 16 2/3 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 10 BB, 24 K, 3.24 ERA LHP Aaron Rozek, Ft. Myers/Cedar Rapids: 18 1/3 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 27 K, 2.95 ERA RHP Melvi Acosta, Cedar Rapids Kernels: 14 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 19 K, 2.51 ERA The month of August saw a number of the more well-known relief arms in the Twins' farm system struggle or simply not perform to the level we've become accustomed. However, the four listed above, headlined by sure-fire future big leaguer Jovani Moran, just missed being considered for a spot in the top three. Each had at least one stat that prevented them from reaching the podium. Kyle Barraclough didn't throw enough innings (largely due to spending a week in the big leagues); Jovani Moran walked too many; and Aaron Rozek's and Melvi Acosta's ERA were higher than those above them. 3. RHP Jordan Gore, Wichita Wind Surge Stats: 13 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 16 K, 1.32 ERA This isn't the first time Gore's name has appeared on this list, and it likely won't be the last. The lefty's rise from a marginal infielder to one of the Twins' best minor league bullpen arms has been fun to watch and at no point has it appeared as though he's slowing down. Gore owns the farm system's fifth-best ERA (2.54) among pitchers who have tossed at least 40 innings, and his 82 strikeouts — in only 60 2/3 innings — comes in ninth; only Jovani Moran has struck out more batters (105) in a comparable amount of innings (64). Don't be surprised if he finds his way to Target Field at some point next season. 2. RHP Tyler Palm, Cedar Rapids Kernels Stats: 12 2/3 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 16 K, 0.00 ERA On the surface, Palm's numbers are arguably better than anyone else's on this list. His 8:1 K:BB ratio was topped only by Kyle Barraclough's 15:1 ratio in fewer innings and Aaron Rozek's 9:1 ratio, which accompanied a much higher ERA. However, what's keeping Palm from claiming the top spot in this month's rankings were his slightly higher number of hits and runs allowed (even if unearned) as well as four hit-by-pitches. It's nitpicking to a degree, sure, but the top guy performed infinitesimally better, and, therefore, he earned the nod. 1. RHP Ryan Shreve, Cedar Rapids Kernels Stats: 13 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 19 K, 0.69 ERA Shreve has been quietly one of the stronger bullpen arms in the Twins' farm system this season. Among Twins-affiliated minor league pitchers who have thrown at least 40 innings this summer, Shreve ranks fifth in K% at 34.8% as well as in K%-BB% at 24.9%, which places him alongside the likes of Rozek (32.9%), Moran (31.4%), Sawyer Gipson-Long (26.4%), and Louie Varland (25.1%). After excelling as a starter for Pacific University, Shreve was the Twins' 16th round pick during the 2019 draft. In late May, he was promoted from Low-A to High-A, putting him on track for a potential call to the big leagues next season. What are your thoughts? Who would get your vote? Congratulations to Kernels' reliever Ryan Shreve. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email View full article
  14. Before diving into the relievers, here are links to the Twins Minor League Hitter and Minor League Starting Pitcher of the Month articles. HONORABLE MENTIONS RHP Kyle Barraclough, St. Paul Saints: 9 1/3 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 15 K, 0.00 ERA LHP Jovani Moran, St. Paul Saints: 16 2/3 IP, 10 H, 7 R, 6 ER, 10 BB, 24 K, 3.24 ERA LHP Aaron Rozek, Ft. Myers/Cedar Rapids: 18 1/3 IP, 7 R, 6 ER, 3 BB, 27 K, 2.95 ERA RHP Melvi Acosta, Cedar Rapids Kernels: 14 IP, 9 H, 6 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 19 K, 2.51 ERA The month of August saw a number of the more well-known relief arms in the Twins' farm system struggle or simply not perform to the level we've become accustomed. However, the four listed above, headlined by sure-fire future big leaguer Jovani Moran, just missed being considered for a spot in the top three. Each had at least one stat that prevented them from reaching the podium. Kyle Barraclough didn't throw enough innings (largely due to spending a week in the big leagues); Jovani Moran walked too many; and Aaron Rozek's and Melvi Acosta's ERA were higher than those above them. 3. RHP Jordan Gore, Wichita Wind Surge Stats: 13 2/3 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 16 K, 1.32 ERA This isn't the first time Gore's name has appeared on this list, and it likely won't be the last. The lefty's rise from a marginal infielder to one of the Twins' best minor league bullpen arms has been fun to watch and at no point has it appeared as though he's slowing down. Gore owns the farm system's fifth-best ERA (2.54) among pitchers who have tossed at least 40 innings, and his 82 strikeouts — in only 60 2/3 innings — comes in ninth; only Jovani Moran has struck out more batters (105) in a comparable amount of innings (64). Don't be surprised if he finds his way to Target Field at some point next season. 2. RHP Tyler Palm, Cedar Rapids Kernels Stats: 12 2/3 IP, 9 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 16 K, 0.00 ERA On the surface, Palm's numbers are arguably better than anyone else's on this list. His 8:1 K:BB ratio was topped only by Kyle Barraclough's 15:1 ratio in fewer innings and Aaron Rozek's 9:1 ratio, which accompanied a much higher ERA. However, what's keeping Palm from claiming the top spot in this month's rankings were his slightly higher number of hits and runs allowed (even if unearned) as well as four hit-by-pitches. It's nitpicking to a degree, sure, but the top guy performed infinitesimally better, and, therefore, he earned the nod. 1. RHP Ryan Shreve, Cedar Rapids Kernels Stats: 13 IP, 7 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 19 K, 0.69 ERA Shreve has been quietly one of the stronger bullpen arms in the Twins' farm system this season. Among Twins-affiliated minor league pitchers who have thrown at least 40 innings this summer, Shreve ranks fifth in K% at 34.8% as well as in K%-BB% at 24.9%, which places him alongside the likes of Rozek (32.9%), Moran (31.4%), Sawyer Gipson-Long (26.4%), and Louie Varland (25.1%). After excelling as a starter for Pacific University, Shreve was the Twins' 16th round pick during the 2019 draft. In late May, he was promoted from Low-A to High-A, putting him on track for a potential call to the big leagues next season. What are your thoughts? Who would get your vote? Congratulations to Kernels' reliever Ryan Shreve. MORE FROM TWINS DAILY — Latest Twins coverage from our writers — Recent Twins discussion in our forums — Follow Twins Daily via Twitter, Facebook or email
  15. As you’ll read below, there were several pitchers on the Twins short-season teams who put together real solid seasons. Of course, we are generally talking about a limited number of innings due to their seasons being just two months long. One poor outing can have an effect on their overall numbers. Six Twins Daily Minor League writers voted for the various awards this year. For the short-season pitcher of the year, we each voted for five players. The player who was voted as #1 received five points, #2 received four points and so on with the #5 vote receiving one point. Results were tabulated and can be found below. Short profiles of our top five are to follow, but first, some players worthy of honorable mention. These players also received votes. Others Receiving Votes: Osiris German - Elizabethton Twins - 16 G, 3-1, 3.11 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 37.2 IP, 30 H, 10 BB, 47 K Anthony Escobar - GCL Twins - 11 G, 6 GS, 5-2, 3.83 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 42.1 IP, 33 H, 13 BB, 37 K Evan Gillespie - GCL Twins - 12 G, 1 GS, 3-1, 2.16 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 16.2 IP, 14 H, 4 BB, 18 K Short-Season Pitcher of the Year Here are the top five vote-getters for Twins Short Season Minor League Pitcher of the Year. #5 – Ryan Shreve, Elizabethton Twins: 14 G, 2 GS, 2-2, 3.40 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 45.0 IP, 55 H, 7 BB, 58 K Shreve was the Twins 16th-round pick in 2019 out of the University of the Pacific where he pitched for three years. He spent one summer with the St. Cloud Rox. The 6-6 right-hander from South California signed quickly and went to pitch for the Elizabethton Twins. After pitching 79 innings in college this season, he worked another 45 innings for the E-Twins, mostly out of the bullpen. #4 – Miguel Rodriguez, GCL Twins: 9 G, 5 GS, 2-2, 2.48 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 32.2 IP, 29 H, 11 BB, 39 The Twins signed Rodriguez in July of 2017 out of Venezuela. He spent the 2018 season pitching in the Dominican Summer League. He came to the States in 2019 and pitched for the Gulf Coast League Twins. He’s got good control and a good mix of pitches. He also showed an ability to miss bats. Opponents hit just .236 off of the 20-year-old. #3 – Donny Breek, GCL Twins: 10 G, 7 GS, 1-2, 0.74 ERA, 36.1 IP, 1.10 WHIP, 21 H, 19 BB, 38 K Breek signed with the Twins out of The Netherlands in September of 2017. He pitched in the GCL in 2018, posting an ERA of 2.84. He returned to the level this year, and as you can see, he was much improved. He has the ability to miss bats, though lack of control is the only thing really slowing him down. Over the weekend at the European Championships, he struck out ten batters over six scoreless innings. Gave up just just two hits and one walk. #2 – Niklas Rimmel, GCL Twins: 9 G, 7 GS, 3-1, 2.15 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 37.2 IP, 30 H, 8 BB, 34 K The Twins signed Rimmel out of Germany about a week before they signed Breek. The right-hander threw just over 14 innings in 2018, but he greatly improved his control. Rimmel stands about 6-3 and is lanky. He’s got a very smooth delivery with a repeatable motion. . Pitcher of the Year – Cody Laweryson, Elizabethton Twins: 10 G, 6 GS, 1-1, 1.76 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 41.0 IP, 25 H, 9 BB, 59 K Laweryson grew up in Maine and went to the University of Maine where he pitched for three years. He worked primarily out of the bullpen the first two seasons before moving into their starting rotation this year. In 14 starts, he went 5-5 with a 2.85 ERA. He threw 72 2/3 innings and struck out 79 batters. With that performance, and his size (6-4) and stuff, he caught the eyes of Twins scouts. The Twins drafted him in the 14th round in June. He signed quickly and reported to Ft. Myers for that fun-filled bus ride up to Elizabethton. The right-hander began by pitching six games for Elizabethton before moving up to Cedar Rapids where he made a spot start. In that Midwest League game, he tossed five shutout innings and gave up just two hits. He returned to the E-Twins where he made four more appearances. In his final start of the season, he struck out 15 batters in six shutout innings. Laweryson made a great first impression. He threw strikes (2.0 BB/9), recorded strikeouts (12.3 K/9), and opponents hit just .168 off of him on the season. All told, it was an easy choice for our votes, and summed up, it was clear why Cody Laweryson was our unanimous choice for Twins Daily Short-Season Pitcher of the Year. There you have it, the top pitchers in the short season leagues for the Minnesota Twins in 2019. The Ballots In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs – 1) Cody Laweryson, 2) Donny Breek, 3) Miguel Rodriguez, 4) Niklas Rimmel, 5) Anthony Escobar Cody Christie – 1) Cody Laweryson, 2) Donny Breek, 3) Niklas Rimmel, 4) Miguel Rodriguez, 5) Evan Gillespie Tom Froemming - 1) Cody Laweryson, 2) Osiris German, 3) Niklas Rimmel, 4) Ryan Shreve, 5) Donny Breek Steve Lein – 1) Cody Laweryson, 2) Donny Breek, 3) Niklas Rimmel, 4) Osiris German, 5) Miguel Rodriguez Ted Schwerzler - 1) Cody Laweryson, 2) Niklas Rimmel, 3) Donny Breek, 4) Miguel Rodriguez, 5) Ryan Shreve Matt Braun - 1) Cody Laweryson, 2) Ryan Shreve, 3) Niklas Rimmel, 4) Miguel Rodriguez, 5) Donny Breek Feel free to discuss. What do you think? How would you rank them? How would your ballot look?
  16. At the end of June each year, not long after the completion of the draft, the short-season minor leagues begin. The GCL Twins stay in Ft. Myers, and the Elizabethton Twins take the long bus ride to Tennessee. The last few seasons, Twins Daily has added two annual awards for the short-season Twins players. Yesterday, we handed out the award for the top hitter in the short-season teams. Today, we’ll start with the pitchers. Previous Winners: 2016: Huascar Ynoa 2017: Jovani Moran 2018: Andrew CabezasAs you’ll read below, there were several pitchers on the Twins short-season teams who put together real solid seasons. Of course, we are generally talking about a limited number of innings due to their seasons being just two months long. One poor outing can have an effect on their overall numbers. Six Twins Daily Minor League writers voted for the various awards this year. For the short-season pitcher of the year, we each voted for five players. The player who was voted as #1 received five points, #2 received four points and so on with the #5 vote receiving one point. Results were tabulated and can be found below. Short profiles of our top five are to follow, but first, some players worthy of honorable mention. These players also received votes. Others Receiving Votes: Osiris German - Elizabethton Twins - 16 G, 3-1, 3.11 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, 37.2 IP, 30 H, 10 BB, 47 KAnthony Escobar - GCL Twins - 11 G, 6 GS, 5-2, 3.83 ERA, 1.09 WHIP, 42.1 IP, 33 H, 13 BB, 37 KEvan Gillespie - GCL Twins - 12 G, 1 GS, 3-1, 2.16 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 16.2 IP, 14 H, 4 BB, 18 KShort-Season Pitcher of the Year Here are the top five vote-getters for Twins Short Season Minor League Pitcher of the Year. #5 – Ryan Shreve, Elizabethton Twins: 14 G, 2 GS, 2-2, 3.40 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 45.0 IP, 55 H, 7 BB, 58 K Shreve was the Twins 16th-round pick in 2019 out of the University of the Pacific where he pitched for three years. He spent one summer with the St. Cloud Rox. The 6-6 right-hander from South California signed quickly and went to pitch for the Elizabethton Twins. After pitching 79 innings in college this season, he worked another 45 innings for the E-Twins, mostly out of the bullpen. #4 – Miguel Rodriguez, GCL Twins: 9 G, 5 GS, 2-2, 2.48 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 32.2 IP, 29 H, 11 BB, 39 The Twins signed Rodriguez in July of 2017 out of Venezuela. He spent the 2018 season pitching in the Dominican Summer League. He came to the States in 2019 and pitched for the Gulf Coast League Twins. He’s got good control and a good mix of pitches. He also showed an ability to miss bats. Opponents hit just .236 off of the 20-year-old. #3 – Donny Breek, GCL Twins: 10 G, 7 GS, 1-2, 0.74 ERA, 36.1 IP, 1.10 WHIP, 21 H, 19 BB, 38 K Breek signed with the Twins out of The Netherlands in September of 2017. He pitched in the GCL in 2018, posting an ERA of 2.84. He returned to the level this year, and as you can see, he was much improved. He has the ability to miss bats, though lack of control is the only thing really slowing him down. Over the weekend at the European Championships, he struck out ten batters over six scoreless innings. Gave up just just two hits and one walk. #2 – Niklas Rimmel, GCL Twins: 9 G, 7 GS, 3-1, 2.15 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 37.2 IP, 30 H, 8 BB, 34 K The Twins signed Rimmel out of Germany about a week before they signed Breek. The right-hander threw just over 14 innings in 2018, but he greatly improved his control. Rimmel stands about 6-3 and is lanky. He’s got a very smooth delivery with a repeatable motion. . Pitcher of the Year – Cody Laweryson, Elizabethton Twins: 10 G, 6 GS, 1-1, 1.76 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 41.0 IP, 25 H, 9 BB, 59 K Laweryson grew up in Maine and went to the University of Maine where he pitched for three years. He worked primarily out of the bullpen the first two seasons before moving into their starting rotation this year. In 14 starts, he went 5-5 with a 2.85 ERA. He threw 72 2/3 innings and struck out 79 batters. With that performance, and his size (6-4) and stuff, he caught the eyes of Twins scouts. The Twins drafted him in the 14th round in June. He signed quickly and reported to Ft. Myers for that fun-filled bus ride up to Elizabethton. The right-hander began by pitching six games for Elizabethton before moving up to Cedar Rapids where he made a spot start. In that Midwest League game, he tossed five shutout innings and gave up just two hits. He returned to the E-Twins where he made four more appearances. In his final start of the season, he struck out 15 batters in six shutout innings. Laweryson made a great first impression. He threw strikes (2.0 BB/9), recorded strikeouts (12.3 K/9), and opponents hit just .168 off of him on the season. All told, it was an easy choice for our votes, and summed up, it was clear why Cody Laweryson was our unanimous choice for Twins Daily Short-Season Pitcher of the Year. There you have it, the top pitchers in the short season leagues for the Minnesota Twins in 2019. The Ballots In an attempt to be transparent, here are the votes from our Twins Daily minor league writers: Seth Stohs – 1) Cody Laweryson, 2) Donny Breek, 3) Miguel Rodriguez, 4) Niklas Rimmel, 5) Anthony EscobarCody Christie – 1) Cody Laweryson, 2) Donny Breek, 3) Niklas Rimmel, 4) Miguel Rodriguez, 5) Evan GillespieTom Froemming - 1) Cody Laweryson, 2) Osiris German, 3) Niklas Rimmel, 4) Ryan Shreve, 5) Donny BreekSteve Lein – 1) Cody Laweryson, 2) Donny Breek, 3) Niklas Rimmel, 4) Osiris German, 5) Miguel RodriguezTed Schwerzler - 1) Cody Laweryson, 2) Niklas Rimmel, 3) Donny Breek, 4) Miguel Rodriguez, 5) Ryan ShreveMatt Braun - 1) Cody Laweryson, 2) Ryan Shreve, 3) Niklas Rimmel, 4) Miguel Rodriguez, 5) Donny BreekFeel free to discuss. What do you think? How would you rank them? How would your ballot look? Click here to view the article
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